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Sunday News, August 31

Morningside College Has Record Enrollment

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Morningside College has reported the largest enrollment in the school's 120-year history.
     The Sioux City Journal reports the college has enrolled 2,824 full- and part-time students for the fall 2014 semester.
     That total includes 1,280 full-time undergraduate students. The college enrolled 429 new full-time students for the fall 2014 semester.
     Officials say this fall's total enrollment surpasses the previous record of 2,542 full- and part-time students last fall.


Five Fire Fighters Injured In Des Moines Fire

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Five firefighters have been treated for injuries they received fighting a fire in a downtown Des Moines building.
     Officials say the firefighters' injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
     The fire was reported shortly after 12 a.m. Saturday in the 19-story Equitable Building.
     Fire Chief John TeKippe tells The Des Moines Register that two firefighters were hurt by falling debris, one fell off an 8-foot ladder and two others were treated for heat-related issues.
     No other injuries have been reported.
     Officials say the fire was contained in a crawl space with electrical wiring and ductwork on the second floor, where most of the damage occurred. Some upper floors received smoke damage.


Inmate Death

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say a Polk County inmate found hanging and unconscious in a cell last week has died.
     The Des Moines Register reports that the inmate, whose identity has not been released, died Monday at a hospital.
     Officials say the inmate was found hanging in the cell the morning of August 23rd. Officials say jail staff took lifesaving measures, and the inmate was taken to a hospital.
     No further information was immediately available.


Fatal Motorcycle Crash

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A motorcyclist has died in an Omaha, Nebraska hospital after crashing on a Council Bluffs roadway.
     Omaha television station KETV says the crash happened Saturday afternoon on the 16th street ramp onto Interstate 29, near the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office in western Iowa. The biker was taken to an Omaha hospital, where he died.
     A witness told investigators that the crash happened when the motorcyclist swerved to avoid another bike.
     Police have not yet released the name of the motorcyclist.


Laced Food

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Police in southeast Iowa say lab tests have confirmed the presence of THC, the intoxicating chemical found in marijuana, in a burger bought last April at a local fast-food restaurant.
     An Ottumwa couple reported to police on April 26th that they believed the food they received from the restaurant on April 26 contained marijuana.
     Police seized the food, sent it off for tests and began an investigation.
     While the lab determined the controlled substance was in the food, police say they have no evidence that a restaurant employee put it there, and the investigation has been closed.


After Legislative Scandal, No Plan To Change Ethics Rules

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislative leaders don't plan to change ethics rules for political work after a former state senator admitted to lying about receiving payments to switch his support from one Republican presidential candidate to another. 
     The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that former Sen. Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty to receiving thousands of dollars in "under the table payments" from a 2012 presidential campaign and lying about the money. 
     State Senate rules forbid sitting lawmakers from being paid by a campaign while in office. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says in Sorenson's case, the Senate oversight process worked
     In the House, lawmakers can accept paid political work but must disclose the income. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says there are no plans to change the rules. 







Saturday News, August 30

Dean Brothers Found Guilty

(Sioux City) --   A federal jury has fourn two Sioux City brothers guilty of several of the counts they were charged with in the April, 2013 robberies of two drug dealers.  Jurors found 23 year old Jamal Dean guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence and one count each of conspiracy to commit robbery, carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  His brother, 25 year old Levon Dean, was found guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of possessing a firearm in furthering a crime of violence and one count each of conspiracy to commit robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The Deans could face life in prison the charges.  Jamal Dean is already serving 25 years in prison for attempted murder in the shooting of Sioux City Police officer Kevin McCormick during a traffic stop in April of 2013.


Texas Man Arrested After Hitting Man With A Shovel

(Storm Lake) -- A Texas man is in jail after allegedly assaulting a co-worker with a shovel.  Victor Vela, 22, of Houston, Texas was arrested on Thursday and charged with willful injury after striking the victim with a shovel the day before at the Hillshire Brands Plant, at Storm Lake.  Storm Lake police in a statement says the victim suffered an injury to his arm after placing his arms up in self-defense.  Vela was terminated and was told to leave.  He returned to the worksite Thursday afternoon and fled when police were called.  He was arrested and booked into the Buena Vista county jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Sioux-Preme Packing Company Fined For Waste Discharge

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux Center packing company has been ordered to pay $54,000 for environmental violations tied to wastewater discharge.
     District Court Judge James Scott assessed the penalty Friday against the Sioux-Preme Packing Company.
     The company was accused of discharging wastewater into a West Branch Floyd River tributary in October 2012. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources later determined the discharge violated state water quality standards and killed about 190,000 fish over an 11-mile stretch.
     Scott ordered an additional $23,000 in restitution for the fish kill and the investigation into the cause.
     The state Department of Justice says the company admitted to construction and operation permit violations. They will be ordered to submit documents regarding its irrigation system, among other things.


Chinese Woman Wants Quick Trial Regarding Seed Theft

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Chinese woman charged in what federal prosecutors say was a conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed corn companies is seeking to separate her case from her brother's and she wants a trial held as quickly as possible.
     The attorney for Mo Yun filed documents in federal court in Des Moines on Thursday 
     Mo wants a separate trial from her brother, Mo Hailong, because his trial will be more complex and will take longer. Mo Yun wants her trial as soon at Dec. 1 so she can prove her innocence and get back to her children and family in China.
     Mo is one of seven people connected to Chinese agriculture biotechnology company DBN Group who prosecutors say stole patented seed corn to try to reproduce its traits.


Regent's Company Questioned About Loan 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The agribusiness owned by Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter was awarded $480,000 in no-interest loans from an Iowa State University-run program months after he joined the school's governing board.
     Records obtained by The Associated Press show the loans from the Iowa Energy Center helped Summit Farms LLC finance the cost of installing large wind turbines at its corporate office and two hog confinements.
     Rastetter owns the Alden-based corporation, which grew out of his family farm. The turbines were expected to generate $44,000 in annual energy savings for Summit Farms.
     Iowa State officials say Rastetter's company received no special treatment, and that the loans were approved because the projects qualified.
     But one critic says the loans give the appearance of a conflict.


Kentucky Senate Campaign Staffer Resigns Due To Connection With Iowa Political Scandal

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign manager is resigning as a result of a scandal involving a presidential campaign he worked for in 2012.
     Jesse Benton said Friday he's stepping down from his top role in the Republican senator's re-election effort.
     Benton calls the decision heartbreaking but the right one to keep the matter from becoming a distraction in Kentucky's Senate campaign.
     His announcement stems from a political scandal in Iowa. This week, a former Iowa lawmaker pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his switch of support from one Republican presidential candidate to another before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
     Former state Senator Kent Sorenson received thousands of dollars in "under the table payments" before switching loyalties from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
     Benton was Paul's political director at the time.


Planned Parenthood Lawsuit Can Proceed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal appeals court says a former Planned Parenthood clinic director may go forward with a lawsuit against the organization, reinstating portions of the case dismissed in 2012 by a judge.
     The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says in Friday's ruling Sue Thayer has provided sufficient detail to try claims that Planned Parenthood's Des Moines affiliate unlawfully filed claims for Medicaid money for unnecessary quantities of birth control pills, pills dispensed without examinations and abortion-related services.
     Planned Parenthood denies the allegations. The group's attorney says it has another chance for dismissal since the court sent the case back to a judge to consider whether its actions were consistent with state and federal regulations.
     Thayer filed suit in 2011 represented by the nonprofit Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom.







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