(AKRON)–An Akron-Westfield High School senior is featured as one of 15 students in the Des Moines Register’s top achievers. Caine Westergard was nominated for the Academic All-State honor by her school.
Editors of the Des Moines Register selected and wrote stories about three students from each region and selected 50 other students to highlight.
Westergard is Plymouth County’s Fair Queen, the Iowa Fair queen and Girls’ State Governor.
Nicole Plendl of Kingsley-Pierson was selected by Register editors to be featured in the Northwest Iowa region Top 10. Plendl is student council president and lists a career goal of dentist or chiropractor.
A total of 285 students considered the best and brightest of their class were chosen for the honor of “Academic All-State” by their schools.
(LE MARS)–Le Mars residents can recycle their yard waste every Saturday. City administrator Scott Langel says grass, leaves, twigs and branches are accepted at the city site, near the Riverview Ball complex, Saturdays from 10 a-m to 2 p-m through November.
Langel says it’s a benefit to the resident to take their landscape waste to the city site and it’s a benefit to the city for the re-use of the material. For those reasons, the city administrator says he strongly recommends people use the site. There is no charge for the landscape waste disposal.
(ORANGE CITY)–A Hull man has been ordered to serve up to 60 days in jail for a forgery conviction. A judge suspended a five-year prison sentence for 28-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Cruz who was charged after a traffic stop by a Sioux County Sheriff’s deputy in February.
According to Sioux County attorney Coleman McAllister, Rodriguez-Cruz was accused of using an eight-year-old girl’s Social Security card to get a job at a rural Rock Valley dairy.
A judge ordered Rodriguez-Cruz to serve five years in prison for the felony identity theft conviction and up to 60 days in jail for the forgery conviction. However, the prison term was suspended. Rodriguez-Cruz is to be held for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after his criminal sentence is served.
In an separate case, a Granville man received a suspended prison term for a felony identity theft conviction. 36-year-old Manuel Chox-Chox was ordered to serve jail time for an O-W-I conviction and deportation proceedings are expected when he completes his jail time.
Chox-Chox was charged after his girlfriend reported in February that her vehicle had been taken without her permission and the driver was intoxicated. Chox-Chox was arrested for O-W-I. McAllister says further investigation indicated he had gotten a job at a Granville dairy using another person’s identity.
A judge Friday ordered him to serve five years in prison for felony identity theft and 60 days for O-W-I. The prison time was suspended, but he is required to serve the jail sentence. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to begin deportation proceedings when he has completed his criminal sentence in Sioux County.
BERESFORD, S.D. (AP) Authorities have released the names of two drivers killed when their pickups collided head-on and burst into flames near Beresford.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol identified them as 35-year-old Aaron Hoesing of Beresford and 40-year-old Daniel Ruring of Vermillion.
The patrol says Hoesing was traveling north in the southbound passing lane of Interstate 29 about 10 p.m. Friday and collided with Ruring’s truck, which was heading south in the same lane. Both vehicles were destroyed in the crash and ensuing fire.
The patrol says both drivers were killed upon impact.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KALONA, Iowa (AP) A buggy crash near Kalona has left one person dead and another injured.
The Johnson County sheriff’s office says it appears that the buggy’s driver veered off the road Sunday morning, sending the vehicle into a steep ditch, where it overturned.
Two passengers were taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where one was later pronounced dead.
An adult and 10-year-old passenger weren’t injured in the crash. The horse pulling the buggy also escaped injury.
No names have been released pending notification of family.
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says a Drake University student was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.
Investigators had been treating the death of 19-year-old Benjamin Backstrom of Norwalk as a homicide. But they hadn’t released any details about his death until Sunday.
Backstrom was found injured and leaning over the side of a bridge about four miles north of Indianola last Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The business student was remembered at two services Saturday as dedicated and engaged.
Funeral services were held at Wakonda Christian Church, while a memorial was held on Drake’s campus.
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A fellow soldier says Command Sgt. Maj. John Laborde of Waterloo was a “soldier’s soldier.”
Lt. Col. Lawson Coapstick says Laborde always made sure the soldiers in his command were taken care of before he addressed his own needs.
Laborde died April 22 at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
Military officials say the 53-year-old collapsed after leading a physical training session and died of a heart attack.
Officials say Laborde was deployed 10 times during his 31 years in the military and never lost a soldier.
Coapstick served with Laborde for 3 1/2 years and deployed with him to Afghanistan in August.
He says Laborde made sure soldiers could reach their families on holidays, lending out his computer or cell phone.
A funeral Mass was held Saturday. IOWA-SIERRA CLUB
1st Iowan elected to Sierra Club’s national board
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A longtime volunteer for environmental causes has become the first Iowan elected to the Sierra Club’s national board of directors.
Donna Buell was one of eight candidates for five seats on the board.
Buell says she’s looking forward to lending her rural farming heritage to the organization’s environmental expertise.
She served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission from 2003 to 2007 as an appointee of then-Gov. Tom Vilsack.
She’s worked with the Sierra Club at the local, state and national levels. She’s been a volunteer for the past 20 years.
Iowa’s Sierra Club organized in 1972.
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Iowa social workers had doubts about a Waterloo couple’s ability to care for their three children even before the death of their 8-month-old son.
That’s according to newly released Department of Human Services records.
Antwuan Williams Jr. died of head trauma in February 2008.
In the fall of 2006, social workers had blamed his parents, Tiara Williams and Antwuan Williams Sr., for injuries to another of their children.
Ziarah Williams had four to six fractures when she was just 3 months old. The Williams’ initially lost custody of their children but regained it after officials and a judge changed their minds.
Tiara Williams is serving three 10-year sentences in her son’s death. Antwuan Williams Sr. is serving a 50-year sentence.
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Iowa (AP) Iowa City and University Heights police were searching for a man accused of leading officers on a high-speed chase in a stolen Jeep.
Authorities say University Heights police tried to pull the man over for speeding late Friday, but he refused to stop.
He allegedly fled, leading officers through Iowa City, reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
After police used stop sticks to deflate two tires of the Jeep Cherokee, the man allegedly rammed a police car before running away on foot.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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