- The Waldorf College Theatre Company's performance of The Tempest at Lund Pond on the Waldorf campus has been postponed to Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. due to pending weather conditions. In case of rain on Tuesday, the performance will take place in the Atrium.:
- 5/20/13, The Forest City Parks and Rec has cancelled all ball practices at Pammel Park for today. :
- 5/20/13-No Forest City Park and Rec Baseball practice today at the Waldorf Field.:
VOTING RULES-HEARING Public hearing held on proposed voter purge rule DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – About 40 people spoke at a public hearing to oppose a proposed new rule that would establish a process for removing voters from registration rolls if they cannot prove citizenship. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is pushing the rule. He says it’s needed because he believes people who are not U.S. citizens are registering to vote in Iowa. Many of the speakers say the rule will intimidate and scare voters, especially recent immigrants, from voting. The hearing was carried statewide on the Iowa Communications Network to allow broad participation. Comments came from several locations including Des Moines, Sioux City, Bettendorf and Iowa City. The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says Schultz doesn’t have the authority to pass the rule himself without legislative approval.
SMOKE ALARMS Iowa officials say smoke alarms saved record lives DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials say smoke alarms saved a record number of people’s lives in the state last year. The Iowa State Fire Marshal says more than 215 people survived because of working smoke alarm systems in their homes. That’s a jump from about 185 in 2011, and about 145 in 2010. Most people saved by smoke alarms were asleep during the night. Officials say advance warning also reduces property damage. The state estimates $20 million in property damage for fires with working smoking alarms. Property damage climbs to $46 million for fires with no smoke alarm. Officials say 42 people were killed in fires in the state last year.
JUSTICE CENTER Iowa officials scale down costs of justice center (Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/) IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Officials behind a proposed criminal justice center in Iowa City are scaling down the project’s costs in an effort to get voter support. The Gazette reports Johnson County supervisors on Wednesday tentatively agreed to seek a $43.5 million bond issue to pay for the project, which they’re estimating will cost about $46 million. Voters in November rejected a $46.8 million bond request for the project, which was originally estimated at about $48 million. Officials say the lowered numbers are an attempt to get the necessary voter support. The justice center would include a new county jail and court space. Officials have expressed concern about overcrowding and security at the existing jail and courthouse. Supervisors say they want to set a special election date for early May.
IVERSON-BOARD APPOINTMENT Former GOP leader appointed to lead Iowa tax board (Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Former Iowa Senate GOP leader Stewart Iverson has been appointed to lead a state agency monitoring property tax appeals in the state. The Des Moines Register reports Gov. Terry Branstad announced the appointment Thursday. Iverson’s annual salary to be chairman of the Iowa Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board will be $137,000. Iverson is filling the term left by Richard Stradley, who resigned in November. It will run through April 2017. The tax board is a state agency that conducts administrative hearings regarding the appeal process of an assessment or valuation.
WEAPONS PERMITS Applications for weapons permits up in Polk County DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials in central Iowa say the number of applications for weapons permits has jumped in the last two years. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released data Thursday that shows nearly 700 applications were submitted last month for permits to carry weapons. That’s a jump from about 400 during the same month in 2010. The total number of applications was just over 4,000 in 2010. It was nearly 5,000 in 2012. The number of applications for permits to acquire weapons has remained steadier during the two-year period. But there was a jump last month of about 400 applications. That’s double the applications during the same month in 2011.
PIT BULL BAN-MANLY Iowa city council upholds ban on pit bulls (Information in the following story is from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/) MANLY, Iowa (AP) – The City Council in the northern Iowa city of Manly has voted to keep and enforce its ban on pit bulls. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports the council made its decision Wednesday. Pit bull owners who had been sent letters about the ban have until Monday to move their dogs outside the city. The ban was adopted in 2008 after a pit bull menaced two children in town. Council member Scott Heagel says Manly residents requested it then. Mayor Kevin Isaacson says the ordinance has not been enforced since. The council revisited the issue in April but decided against rescinding it. The issue resurfaced in November, after pit bull owners got the letters about removing their dogs.
KIDNAPPING-CEDAR RAPIDS Cedar Rapids man faces trial on kidnapping charge (Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/) CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A trial for a Cedar Rapids man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an elderly woman has been pushed back to later this month. The Gazette reports William Roby’s trial will start Jan. 14 in Linn County District Court. It is expected to last three to four days. Roby is accused of forcing a 62-year-old woman into his apartment in May 2011. A search warrant says Roby kept the woman in his apartment for about 10 hours and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She told police he also threatened to kill her. Police say Roby and the woman had dated in the past. Roby is charged with first-degree kidnapping. He told the newspaper in June that he is innocent. Court records do not list an attorney for Roby.
NURSING HOME THEFT Iowa woman accused of stealing nursing home money (Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/) DECORAH, Iowa (AP) – A woman in northeast Iowa has been accused of stealing money from a nursing home where she worked for 36 years. The Gazette reports Nancy Elsbernd was charged last week with first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct for taking money from the Aase Haugen Nursing Home in Decorah. A police affidavit says the 64-year-old admitted to investigators that she issued checks to herself over the past five to six years. Investigators say more than $55,000 is missing from the nursing home’s finances. Auditors are still checking the records, which Elsband had access to. Elsbernd is out on bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7. She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. A message left for Elsbernd’s attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.
LOAN SCAM-GIFTS Iowa woman pleads to mail fraud in loan scheme DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A southern Iowa woman who convinced friends to loan her hundreds of thousands of dollars under false pretenses has pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Beverely DeRonde of Pella entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Des Moines under an agreement in which prosecutors dropped 11 other charges. The 61-year-old acknowledged that she fraudulently asked relatives and acquaintances to loan her money so she could buy birthday and anniversary presents to surprise her husband or equipment so he could open a boat shop. Instead, she actually used the money to buy antiques, jewelry and Rolex watches for herself while failing to repay them. DeRonde remains free on bond, but faces a possible prison term at her sentencing in April. She also agreed to pay full restitution, which hasn’t been calculated.