Thursday News, September 4
KC Phone-a-thon Raises Nearly $51,700
(Le Mars) -- After twelve continuous hours of phone calls raising money for the Life Skills Training Center, the Plymouth County Knights of Columbus members were able to surpass their fund raising goal. Zack Sitzmann, co-chair for the event, explains how much money the phone-a-thon was able to raise.
Sitzmann explains if you were not able to donate to Life Skills Training Center, there is still an opportunity to do so.
Plymouth County Candidates Running Unopposed
(Le Mars) -- Many of the political candidates running for office in Plymouth County are unopposed. Candidates had until August 27th to file their candidacy papers. Supervisors Craig Anderson and Don Kass are seeking re-election and are unopposed, as is new comer, John Meis who is seeking a position on the County Board of Supervisors for District 1. JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder, Shelly Sitzmann, the county's treasurer, and Darin Raymond, the county attorney are all unopposed for their races. There are five openings on the County Extension Council and five people are seeking the position. The County Soil and Water Conservation District has two openings and two candidates.
Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Begins In Emmetsburg
Emmetsburg, Iowa (AP) - Officials at the opening of one of the world's first commercial size cellulosic ethanol plants say it signifies a shift from the fossil fuel age to a biofuels revolution.
The opening of Project Liberty Wednesday was marked with cutting ribbons stretched over baled corn cobs, stalks and leaves that will be used to make ethanol.
The project, a joint venture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Netherlands biotechnology company Royal DSM, is one of the first capable of making 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from plant residue.
POET founder Jeff Broin says he hopes people a hundred years from now will remember how a small Iowa town changed the world.
Several dignitaries were on hand for the grand opening of the nation's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. U-S-D-A Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke and erased any doubts about the possibility of creating ethanol from bio-mass products.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is a vocal cheerleader for the new type of ethanol production and urged others to promote the industry.
The ceremony in Emmetsburg attracted King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands among other dignitaries.
Jurors View Tape Of Interview Of Suspect Accused Of Killing Police Officer
CLARION, Iowa (AP) - Jurors in the first degree murder trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer heard a taped interview in which he expressed no regret about shooting the officer.
In the first day of testimony Wednesday, jurors heard a two-hour taped interview of 33-year-old Corey Trott. He's charged with the September 2013 death of 37-year-old Jamie Buenting during a standoff at Trott's house. He has pleaded not guilty.
Trott noted after the killing that, "I don't have any regrets."
Earlier, Trott's lawyer, Joseph McCarville, said in his opening statements that jurors should find his client guilty of something less than first-degree murder.
Testimony will continue Thursday.
More Charges Filed Against Mother For Lying About Daughter Having Cancer
ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) - More charges have been filed against an Iowa woman accused of lying about her daughter's cancer diagnosis.
Court records show 30-year-old Leatha Slauson was charged recently with domestic abuse and assault charges in connection to a case involving her 5-year-old daughter. She also faces charges of administering harmful substances.
The charges are in addition to earlier charges of child endangerment causing bodily injury, drug distribution to a minor and unlawful possession of a prescription drug. A message left for her attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Slauson is accused of telling her community that her daughter had terminal cancer. Police say an investigation determined the child is not sick.
A trial date has been scheduled for November 12th in Cass County District Court.
New Trial Date Set For Former Police Officer
FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has set a new trial date of Oct. 29 for a former Forest City police officer charged with burglary and arson.
In May the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for 37-year-old Thaddeus Ellenbecker. The Appeals Court said officers failed to read Ellenbecker his Miranda rights.
Ellenbecker was convicted in 2012 of arson and burglary. He was accused of setting a fire that damaged the Forest City police station in October 2011. Authorities say he stole an assault rifle from a squad car in November 2010.
Ellenbecker's second trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 17. On Tuesday a Winnebago County District Court judge changed the date to Oct. 29 as Ellenbecker waived his right to a speedy trial.
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Universities
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force Iowa's public universities to pay into a fund that subsidizes insurance for Iowans with health risks.
Judge Dennis Stovall says the Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association doesn't have the authority to sue.
The association helps Iowans with medical conditions obtain affordable coverage, and is funded by assessments charged to insurers and self-insured health plans.
Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa paid assessments until 2010. The University of Iowa became self-insured that year and, the association argues, required to pay.
But all three refused to pay then, with their governing board arguing they weren't covered by the law.
The lawsuit sought to collect more than $1.5 million, warning that higher costs for patients and providers would otherwise result.