Home News Friday Afternoon News, March 12th

Friday Afternoon News, March 12th


Knapp To Stand Trial For Two Different Charges At Same Time

(Le Mars) — District Judge Duane Hoffmeyer has ruled that accused murderer, 83-year old Thomas Knapp of Merrill will stand trial for two charges at the same time. During a hearing held Thursday, Hoffmeyer says Knapp will stand trial for the murder of his step son, and for domestic assault charges on his
wife. Knapp is charged with first-degree murder and willful injury for the May 11th shooting death of Kevin Juzek at their rural Merrill home.
According to court records, Knapp is accused of shooting Juzek in the abdomen and chest with a 20-gauge shotgun. In a separate case, Knapp is charged with willful injury causing bodily injury, domestic abuse assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon and two counts of first-offense domestic abuse
for striking his wife in the head with a stick and breaking bones in her hand during the same disturbance in which Juzek was killed. Knapp pleaded not guilty to all charges and is scheduled to stand trial on May 11th, the anniversary date of the shooting incident. The trial could be delayed depending on Hoffmeyer’s decision on a defense request to determine Knapp’s
competency to stand trial. That decision to determine if Knapp is competent to stand trial will be made later this month.




Restaurant Association Suggests To Stay Away From Third-Party Delivery Services

(Des Moines) — The head of the Iowa Restaurant Association is encouraging people to order directly from their favorite restaurant, instead of relying on a third-party delivery service to bring them food. In an industry trying to recover from a 33-percent drop in revenue in the past year, Jessica Dunker
says those delivery services are not a big help for most restaurants.

Dunker says there’s another issue when third-party services get involved.

Dunker encourages people who typically patronize a restaurant two times a week to think about going out a third time each week to help restaurants get to the other side of the economic downturn.




Iowa’s Drops to #14 For Public Health Emergency Preparedness

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa has slipped in an annual state-by-state report that tracks the level of our public health emergency preparedness. The Hawkeye State achieved a score of just four out of a possible ten measures of preparedness for diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism. Dara Lieberman, director of government relations at Trust for America’s Health, says Iowa now ranks with 14 other states in the middle tier. She said, “the year before, Iowa was in the high tier. We didn’t find specific backsliding by the state this year but we did find that other states gained more ground.” Lieberman says one area where the state could certainly improve is that Iowa cut its public health budget for the last several years. Iowa was above average for
the percentage of workers using paid time off, and its seasonal flu vaccination rates.




Competency Evaluation Ordered For Suspect in Prestage Plant Murder

(Clarion, IA) — A judge is ordering the suspect in a deadly stabbing at the Prestage pork plant in Eagle Grove to undergo a competency evaluation.
Twenty-six-year-old Lukoux Brown is charged with the first-degree murder of 50-year-old Wayne Smith of Fort Dodge. Smith was found stabbed to death in a locker room at the plant last month. Both Brown and Smith were Prestage employees but investigators have not released a motive in the killing.
Brown’s attorneys say he’s been diagnosed as a chronic schizophrenic and spent time in an out-of-state facility to be treated for the illness. All court proceedings are on hold.




World Pork Expo Returning to Iowa State Fairgrounds in June

(Des Moines, IA) — Organizers say the World Pork Expo will return to Des Moines this summer. The event is set for June 9th through 11th at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It was canceled last year over coronavirus concerns.
Officials say no animals will be allowed at the show and there will not be a cookout or barbecue contest. Jen Sorenson of the National Pork Producers Council says safety is their number-one priority and there will be appropriate precautionary measures in place. The World Pork Expo usually brings 20-thousand people from around the world to central Iowa.