(SIOUX CITY –Legislative issues in Siouxland will be discussed at a forum in Sioux City next month.
Western Iowa Tech Community College and the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) will host the Siouxland Legislative Discussion.
The program will focus on state-funded K-14 education, business and job growth and the economy and budget.
An informal open forum for discussion of other issues in the region is planned at the end of the forum.
The annual legislative event is December 3 from nine in the morning until noon at Western Iowa Tech’s Advanced Sciences Building.
Democratic state lawmaker Nygaard switches to GOP
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) The South Dakota Republican Party has announced that a state lawmaker from Vermillion has switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Eldon Nygaard, a pioneer winemaker in South Dakota, has been a Democratic member of the state House of Representatives for four years. He won a seat in the Senate this fall after running as a Democrat but is now switching to be a Republican.
Nygaard says he is switching because his philosophy regarding government is more in line with the Republican Party and he believes he can more effectively represent his district as a Republican.
Nygaard’s switch gives Republicans an even larger majority in the South Dakota Senate. Republicans will hold 30 seats, while Democrats hold just 5.
(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
Minnesota teen waives hearing in Iowa killings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An attorney for a Minnesota teenager charged with killing two convenience store clerks in northern Iowa has waived preliminary hearings, which were set for later this month in two counties.
Seventeen-year-old Michael Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged in Kossuth and Humboldt counties with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He’s accused of killing clerks Vicky Bowman-Hall in Algona and Sheila Myers in Humboldt on Monday.
Public defender Charles Kenville says Friday that he waived Swanson’s preliminary hearings on Nov. 24 in Humboldt County and Nov. 29 in Kossuth County.
Kenville declined to comment on his reasons. He also declined to comment on the investigation and on Swanson.
Kenville says the next step is for county attorneys to file trial information and for arraignments to be set.
Passer-by led to MN teen’s arrest in Iowa killings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Webster City Mayor Janet Adams says an alert passer-by led to the arrest of a Minnesota teenager charged in the killings of two convenience store clerks in northern Iowa.
Adams says the passer-by noticed a young man in a vehicle stopped at a traffic signal in Webster City near a McDonald’s for “a period of time” Monday night.
Adams says the passer-by “thought that seemed odd” and called police. Officers arrived and arrested 17-year-old Michael Swanson in the McDonald’s parking lot.
Adams says Police Chief Brian Hughes was proactive after receiving word of the killings. She says he and other officers went to convenience stores and late-night restaurants, giving them a description of the suspect’s Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is accused of killing clerks Vicky Bowman-Hall in Algona and Sheila Myers in Humboldt.
Funerals for slain Iowa store clerks
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Funerals for two clerks killed during robberies at convenience stores in northern Iowa will be held next week.
The Des Moines Register reports autopsies by the state medical examiner’s office showed Vicky Bowman-Hall, of Algona, and Sheila Myers, of Humboldt, died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Funeral services for both women will be on Monday, one week after they were shot while working at convenience stores in Algona and Humboldt.
Services for Myers will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith United Methodist Church in Humboldt. Services for Bowman-Hall will be at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona.
A Minnesota teenager, 17-year-old Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, is charged in their deaths.
Trial delayed for man charged in CR kidnapping
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The trial of a man accused of kidnapping a convenience store clerk in Cedar Rapids has been delayed.
Keith Elson Jr. is charged with first-degree kidnapping. He’s accused of abducting the female clerk at knife point from a Kwik Shop on May 17.
Police found the woman and Elson at his apartment about seven hours later. The woman told police she was sexually assaulted.
The Gazette says Elson’s trial, which had been set for Nov. 29 in Linn County District Court, is now scheduled for March 7.
Court documents show Elson plans to claim insanity, diminished capacity and intoxication as his defense.
A judge ordered a mental evaluation for Elson in August.
Police seek man in connection with DM killing
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say a material witness warrant has been issued in connection to a shooting death.
Police on Friday say the warrant was issued for 32-year-old Renard Eugene Andrews in connection with the death of 36-year-old LaCarlton Henderson of Des Moines. Henderson’s body was found Thursday morning in a sports utility vehicle idling n a parking lot.
Sgt. Jeff Edwards says Henderson had been shot in the head.
Police say Andrews is wanted in connection with the killing. He also has several unrelated felony warrants.
He’s considered armed and dangerous.
U. of Iowa challenges SoCal high school’s mascot
MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) The University of Iowa is demanding a Southern California high school get rid of its mascot.
The university says Murrieta Valley High’s Nighthawk emblem is too similar to its trademarked Hawkeye.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says Iowa’s trademark licensing director, Dale Arens, sent an October letter to the high school principal demanding the Riverside County campus stop using the mascot. The letter didn’t set a deadline and Arens says the school can gradually phase out the logo.
Both emblems feature a bird’s face but Iowa’s colors are black and gold while Murrieta Valley’s are red and black.
Murrieta Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Karen Parris says a committee of staff and students will determine whether the logo should be revised or replaced.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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