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Friday Afternoon News, May 8

Four Year Old Council Bluff's Boy Shot In The Neck

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 4-year-old western Iowa boy has been shot in the back of his neck and another child has been taken into protective custody.

Authorities say Q-Marion Jones has been taken in critical condition to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Police say the boy was shot around 5 p.m. Thursday at the Northgate Apartments in Council Bluffs.

Police say another juvenile in the home at the time had access to a semi-automatic pistol, and the child was taken into protective custody. No arrests have been reported, and police haven't said whether the shooting was accidental.

 

 

 

 

 

State's Contract To Purchase Weapons For State Law Enforcement Under Review

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A spokesman says the Iowa Department of Public Safety has returned 800 handguns purchased under a contract that is now under investigation.

The weapons were bought under a master contract awarded to Smith & Wesson to supply handguns to troopers, agents and other law enforcement officials.

The department has hired two retired agents to review whether employees followed purchasing policies. Three veteran, high-ranking Iowa State Patrol officials have been placed on leave during the inquiry.

DPS Commissioner Roxann Ryan last month told employees to return their newly issued handguns after some officers raised concerns about the weapons' functionality. The department hasn't clarified their concerns but Ryan told employees she took them seriously because they implicated the safety of the officers and the public.

Smith & Wesson hasn't returned messages.

 

 

 

 

 

Severe Weather Possible For Weekend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say storms sweeping across eastern Nebraska and Iowa this weekend pose the threat of isolated tornadoes and hail while strong wind gusts and heavy snow are expected further west.

Meteorologist Jim Lee with the National Weather Service in Des Moines says the entirety of Iowa is slightly at risk for severe weather Sunday, though it's unlikely the storms will hammer the whole state. He says it remains unclear what regions could be hit the hardest.

Forecasters in central Nebraska say the region faces potentially damaging winds, and meteorologists overseeing the Nebraska Panhandle predict between 3 inches and 5 inches of snow by Sunday evening.

Meteorologist Shawn Rossi in Hastings says the upcoming system isn't expected to produce widespread storms like those seen in southeast Nebraska earlier this week.

 

 

 

 

Emerald Ash Borer Found In Polk And Dallas Counties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have found emerald ash borders in Polk County, home of the state capitol in Des Moines.

A news release from the Iowa Agriculture Department said Friday that the tree-killing pests were found in Urbandale and West Des Moines. The department says the confirmation brings to 22 the number of Iowa counties where the insects have been found.

The larva of an emerald ash borer cuts off an ash tree's flow of nutrients when deposited below the bark. Once infected, trees typically die within five years.

The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. They devastated ash trees in Michigan and have spread to at least 21 other states.

 

 

 

 

 

Airport Runway To Become Drag Racing Strip

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - Onawa officials plan to turn their little used municipal airport into a drag strip.

City administrator Bradley Hansen told the Sioux City Journal that officials are hoping to have at least one racing date this year.

The Onawa City Council voted in April to close the airport, which is used primarily by private pilots, aerial sprayers and traveling doctors. Hansen says four of its five hangars are occupied. Its closure is scheduled for July 1.

Officials have not determined whether the drag strip would be funded privately or with local taxes.

 

 

   

Friday News, May 8

Progress Being Made On New Fair Exhibit Building

Le Mars) -- Construction workers from the P-R Construction firm of Ireton, Iowa are making great progress on the new exhibit hall located on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  The hall is scheduled to be completed by June 1st, and Plymouth County Fair Board president, Tony Schroeder says construction has been on pace to perhaps a bit ahead of pace.

 

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Schroeder says the new exhibit hall is wider and taller than the previous Hall of 76 building. He says the older structure was rotting, and had nothing holding it down.

 

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Schroeder says the new exhibit hall will be insulated.  He says it will be more accommodating to fair vendors, and to anyone wishing to lease the building.

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As was the case with the Hall of 76, the fair board president says the new exhibit hall will be connected to Century Hall located just to the west of the new structure.

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As of today's date, the fairboard has not given a name to the new exhibit hall.


Life Skills Training Center To Hold Annual Awards And Banquet On Monday

(Le Mars) -- Life Skills Training Center of Le Mars, a facility that assists mentally challenged adults,  will hold its annual banquet and awards program on Monday evening.  Shelly Thomson, the Marketing and Development Director says at this year's banquet, Life Skills will unveil its new website.

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Thomson says awards will be presented to retiring board member, Wayne Pick, and the organization's outstanding client.

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Thomson explains the organization got its start in 1973, and since that time has expanded its client list from five to more than 70 today.  She says with the growth of clients being served, it meant their services also expanded.

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The Life Skills Official says there have been a number of changes with the facility, especially with how the organization is being funded.

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The Life Skills Training Center awards program will be at the Presbyterian-United Church of Christ and will begin at 6:30 p.m.


Floyd Valley Hospital Hosts Mother's Luncheon

(Le Mars) -- Sunday is Mother's Day, but the Floyd Valley Hospital honored local mothers of all ages with a luncheon that was held on Thursday.  Mindy Sylvester was the guest speaker. She serves as a registered nurse with the Spencer Municipal Hospital at Spencer, Iowa.  Sylvester focused on a "mother's love is from the heart of the matter"

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The Spencer nurse says its important for women to understand the numbers associated with heart disease.

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Sylvester says many times a mother can be under a great deal of stress, but research studies don't necessarily tie heart disease with stress.

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Women of all ages attended the noon luncheon, and Sylvester says she offered each of the women a challenge to go out and visit with their families, and to understand the importance of a mother's job.


Sioux City Man Convicted Of Sexually Abusing Three Girls Given New Trial

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man convicted in 2011 of sexually abusing three girls has been granted a retrial.
Woodbury County Assistant Attorney Drew Bockenstedt says 42-year-old Julius Turner filed for post-conviction relief in 2012, claiming his attorney inadequately defended him.  His appeal was approved in April, and he returned to the Woodbury County Jail on Wednesday.
Following his July 2011 conviction of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of third-degree sexual abuse, Turner faced life in prison without parole. He was accused of sexually abusing three girls under the age of 13 from 2008 to 2009.
Previously, he had been convicted in 1992 of third-degree sexual abuse and lascivious acts with a child.
Turner's new trial is scheduled for June 2.
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Murder Trial Of Man Continues While Lawyers Await Forensic Evidence

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The murder trial of a Sioux City man accused in the shooting death of another Iowan has been continued as lawyers await forensic test results.
Attorneys on Wednesday filed a motion to delay the first-degree murder trial of Timothy Schroeder, arguing they needed more time to conduct depositions. They also said they're waiting on ballistics and fingerprint reports from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation laboratory.
Schroeder was arrested in February in connection with the slaying of 29-year-old Dustin Wilder, of Sloan. Schroeder's wife told investigators that he fired two or three shots inside of Wilder's home. Wilder was later found unconscious and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The trial, which had been set to begin Tuesday, is rescheduled for Sept. 1.
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Two More Bird Flu Cases Detected

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say two additional commercial poultry farms show signs of the presence of bird flu.
A chicken farm in Osceola County with 100,000 birds and a turkey farm in Cherokee County are the latest additions to the list of farms testing positive for the H5N2 virus. The number of turkeys wasn't immediately released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
Osceola County now has three cases and Cherokee County totals four.
They raise Iowa's total number to 37 cases in 11 counties.
More than 21 million of Iowa's chickens will be affected if the latest cases are confirmed. The number of turkeys to be lost is approaching 500,000.
More than 100 farms in the Midwest have the bird flu virus with more than 28 million birds affected.

Composting Of Dead Birds Causing Odors

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of large Iowa farms due to the H5N2 bird flu virus.
Neighbors say they understand the challenge in disposing of more than 20 million bird carcasses, but are eager for quick action, especially as temperatures rise and create more decomposition odor and flies.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources environmental supervisor Ken Hessenius says the state must look at "all methods of disposal" and called the virus a "crisis."
Some of the birds are piled up and covered with dirt or other material, turkeys are often composted inside barns and at least one chicken farm is burying them in trenches. Portable incinerators have been set up and state officials are working with landfills.

Branstad Signs Bill To Keep Abuse Victims Addresses Private

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to keep their home address private through a mail-forwarding program.
Branstad signed the bill Thursday. It takes effect in January.
The law will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to have their mail sent to an address managed by the Iowa Secretary of State's Office. The mail will then be forwarded to the victim's home address. The system allows victims to keep their home address confidential from an abuser or potential abuser.
Rep. Dean Fisher, a Republican from Garwin, sponsored the bill. He says it could help between 300 and 500 people in Iowa. More than 30 other states have similar laws.

 

   

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