Friday News, October 17
Orange City Day Care Provider Sentenced To 100 Years
(Orange City) -- The daycare provider accused of killing a three year old girl that was in her care has been sentenced to 100 years. 34 year old Rochelle Sapp was given the sentence Thursday morning at the Sioux County District Court. Sapp was originally charged with willful injury and child endangerment following an incident that occured last year of October 2013. Three year old Autumn Elsgerma was originally taken to the Orange City hospital, then transferred to Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was diagnosed with severe brain injuries resulting from Sapp admitting to authorities that she threw the 3 year old girl to the floor. Two days later, the child passed away as a result of the injuries. Sioux County authorities dropped the willful injury and child endangerment charges and instead filed murder in the first degree charges. A plea agreement was reached with Sapp agreeing to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a second count of child endangerment resulting in death, and a third count of child endangerment with multiple acts.
Jill Ohm Released From Hospital
(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police officer and Le Mars native, Jill Ohm has been released from the hospital. Police Chief Doug Young says Ohm was released from Mercy Medical Center Wednesday afternoon.
Ohm was shot in the chin by Noah Ironshell while she responded to a disturbance call on the city's westside on October 3rd. Ironshell then shot himself in the head and died last Thursday. Chief Young says there is no timetable for Ohm's return to duty.
Many residents in Sioux City and Le Mars, where Ohm has family and friends, have supported the officer's recovery by displaying blue light bulbs on their porches and in windows.
Chief Young says the department appreciates all of the support given to Officer Ohm during her recovery.
Le Mars Beauty College Receives Grant For Historic Restoration
(Des Moines) -- The Le Mars Mainstreet Organization was given good news Wednesday when it had learned that it was one of 13 Iowa communities to receive funding through a state grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Known as the Iowa Mainstreet Challenge, Le Mars mainstreet will receive $75,000 which will be used to help with historical restoration of the Le Mars Beauty College. Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator, Mary Reynolds explains how the grant will be leveraged.
Reynolds explains the work that will be conducted on the Beauty College building.
Stacy Anderson, along with her husband, Todd, own the building. She says restoration of the Beauty College building would not have been possible if not for the Challenge grant through the Iowa Mainstreet Organization and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Anderson says the building has several unique characteristics. She says after her husband and her obtained ownerhip last year, there were a number of criteria that had to be met before consideration would be given for a grant approval.
Anderson explains the breakdown of the grant.
The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Since the first appropriation in 2002, approximately $5 million in state and federal funds has leveraged over $34 million in private reinvestment in 97 projects in 42 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.
Ernst And Braley Face Off In Final Debate
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst and Democratic opponent Bruce Braley have again sparred over abortion rights in their final debate.
The Iowa congressman and the state senator participated in a conversational debate Thursday as part of their neck-and-neck race. Abortion has come to define the final weeks of the campaign to succeed Senator Tom Harkin.
Ernst repeatedly stated that she believes life begins at conception and is in support of a constitutional amendment that would bestow rights of persons on fetuses. Braley says it would outlaw abortions.
But Ernst says she might support a legal exception to save the life of the mother.
Braley said he opposed late-term abortions beyond those to save the life of the mother, but declined to say when such a procedure would be too late.
Sioux City To Add Rail Maintenance Repair Which Will Create 250 Jobs
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A state agency says a Texas company plans to build a rail car maintenance and repair facility in Sioux City that would create 250 jobs.
Dallas-based TrinityRail Maintenance Services has requested $1.9 million in tax incentives for the proposed $29.5 million project. Plans call for a 150,000 square-foot complex.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority will consider the request at a meeting Friday in Des Moines.
To qualify for the incentives, the facility would need to pay workers at least $16.36 per hour.
Explosives Found In Rolfe, Iowa
ROLFE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have confiscated homemade, chemical-based explosives from the home of a student in the northern Iowa town of Rolfe.
Ron Humphrey of the State Fire Marshal Division says about a quarter pound of the explosive was found Thursday and that the material could have seriously injured someone, had it exploded.
Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe says an adult and a juvenile have been detained and will be charged.
Classes in the Pocahontas Area Community School District were dismissed early Thursday afternoon as a precaution. Superintendent Joseph Kramer says there were no direct threats against the school, its students or staff members.