Friday News, April 3
Siren Test To Begin Monday
(Le Mars) -- Beginning Monday at 1:00 p.m. the city of Le Mars will be testing its severe weather warning systems. Le Mars Assistant Fire Chief Mike Wise says testing will occur the first Monday of each month through September, unless at the time of the test, there is the threat of severe weather in the area. Wise says if that's the case, then testing of the weather warning sirens will happen the following week. National Weather Association meteorologist Todd Heitkamp says its important to understand the difference between a weather watch and a weather warning.
Sioux City Man Sentenced
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has been sentenced to five years in prison in connection with an attempted robbery at a convenience store.18-year-old Seth Pointer was sentenced Thursday. He entered a plea deal to assault while participating in a felony for flashing a pellet gun when he attempted to rob a Kum & Go convenience store in Riverside. A second-degree robbery charge was dismissed.Court documents show the incident took place the morning of February 6th. They say Pointer entered the store dressed in all black and brandished a pellet gun that appeared to be a real firearm. He demanded money but fled when two customers interfered. Sioux City police arrested Pointer in March.
Funnel Date Approaches For Legislature
(Des Moines) -- Today is the second funnel date for the state legislature. All introduced bills must have cleared the chamber of origin and be sent to the opposing chamber in order for survival. Key issues like bullying prevention and broadband Internet expansion remain alive in the Legislature as a procedural deadline looms, but other measure are likely dead.
Lawmakers from the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-majority House lamented the bills that failed to advance Thursday.
For Democrats those bills included efforts to provide more leave benefits to parents of adopted children and to increase the minimum wage. Republicans sought changes to bargaining rules for teacher unions and tried to require women to get ultrasounds before having abortions.
Under legislative rules, Friday is the deadline for many bills to get full approval from one chamber and committee-level approval in the other chamber.Reviewing this past week, state lawmakers finally reached an agreement for when schools can start. August 23rd is the earliest date for students to return to classes. State Representative, Chuck Soderberg talks about the compromise.
Soderberg believes the final bill that passed both chambers will serve as a good compromise.
House Approves 2 Mental Hospitals To Stay Open
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A House committee has approved a bill that would keep
two state mental health facilities open longer.
The Appropriations Committee unanimously supported the bill Thursday. It
would require the Department of Human Services to submit a transition plan to a
new commission, which would have to give its approval before the facilities in
Clarinda and Mount Pleasant could close.
The plan would include long-term care details for patients at the
The House committee added language requiring DHS to submit the plan within
60 days of the bill becoming law.
Governor Terry Branstad backs closing the facilities, saying they're
The facilities are scheduled to close within months. Some employees have
already lost their jobs.
The Senate approved the bill in March. It next heads to the full House.
Rev. Schuller Dies at 88
(California)--The Reverend Robert H. Schuller, who grew up in
northwest Iowa, has died at the age of 88. Schuller gained worldwide fame
through his "Hour of Power" television show broadcast from the massive Crystal
Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. In an interview several years ago with
the Archive of American Television, Schuller discussed his childhood -- he was
born in 1926 near Alton, Iowa.
He was the youngest of four children.
Schuller and his wife, Arvella, both grew up in northwest Iowa. They spent time
at a church in suburban Chicago before moving to Orange County, California in
1955. By the 1970s, Schuller had the most-watched religious show on television
and in 1980, he opened the $17 million Crystal Cathedral. Schuller said he was
only five years old when his uncle, a Princeton grad and a missionary to China,
returned to Iowa and told Schuller he would grow up to be a preacher.
His uncle advised the young Schuller that it would take him 20 years to reach
his goal of becoming a preacher.
In the last decade, the Crystal Cathedral ministry fell on hard times. Reverend
Schuller retired in 2006 and the church filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Robert
Schuller died Thursday from esophageal cancer at a care facility in California.