Plymouth County Authorities Find Dead Body In Rural Wooded Area

Plymouth County authorities have found a dead body in a rural wooded area.
 
The Plymouth County County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Monday, about 7:30 PM, they received a call of a missing person in rural Plymouth County.  Deputies went to a rural home to speak with the family of the missing person.  Authorities conducted a search near the home, and at about 11:30 PM, a female body was located east of the residence in a wooded area.  It appears that the woman sustained a single gunshot wound which appeared to be self-inflicted.
 
The woman was identified as 44-year-old  Amy Lynn Mace of rural Westfield.
 
No foul play is suspected in the incident.  The body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny for further examination.
 
The incident remains under investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.
 
The Akron Fire and Rescue, Akron Ambulance, Akron Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Plymouth County Conservation, and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner’s office assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

 


Minten Gets Deputy Job Back, Plus Nearly $270,000

As of last week, Dan Minten is once again an active Osceola County Deputy. Plus, he has a large settlement after winning his court case against his employer, Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber.

US District Judge Mark Bennet has awarded Minten nearly $270,000. That’s over $131,000 in back pay, over $26,000 to IPERS, the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System and over $112,000 to pay his legal fees.

Not only did Minten get his job back, but he was re-instated at the seniority and status he had reached before he was fired in 2010.

Minten claimed he was wrongfully fired in 2010 from his position by Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber after Minten offered to testify in a case against Weber.

US District Court Judge Mark Bennett agreed. He issued a summary judgment in favor of Minten in December. The jury trial was only to decide how much in monetary damages Minten was owed.

Judge Bennett found that Sheriff Weber fired Minten after Minten made a traffic stop of Emily Dorr, in which he told Dorr that he would be willing to testify against the Sheriff in her father’s case against the sheriff.

That lawsuit claimed that Weber discriminated against Paul Dorr and his son Alexander by not issuing them concealed weapons permits. The Dorrs won that suit in July 2010.

Judge Bennett says that Minten’s offer to testify was protected speech, and his firing was at least due in part to that speech. Therefore, he ruled that Weber’s firing of Minten was a violation of Minten’s first amendment rights.


Body Found in Plymouth County

Plymouth County authorities have found a dead body in a rural wooded area.
 
The Plymouth County County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Monday, about 7:30 PM, they received a call of a missing person in rural Plymouth County. Deputies went to a rural home to speak with the family of the missing person. Authorities conducted a search near the home, and at about 11:30 PM, a female body was located east of the residence in a wooded area. It appears that the woman sustained a single gunshot wound which appeared to be self-inflicted.
 
The woman was identified as 44-year-old Amy Lynn Mace of rural Westfield.
 
No foul play is suspected in the incident. The body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny for further examination.
 
The incident remains under investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.
 
The Akron Fire and Rescue, Akron Ambulance, Akron Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Plymouth County Conservation, and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner’s office assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

Hunting Meeting

Iowans have a chance this week to express their opinions about several proposed changes in hunting and trapping regulations for next fall. Perhaps the biggest change would apply to deer hunters.
 
Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife bureau chief Dale Garner says some areas of the state have too many deer, but other areas have dropped below or near department goals. “We would like to reduce the antlerless tags to stabilize the herd,” Garner said.
 
The proposed changes involve shortening the length of the January deer hunting season, eliminating the November antlerless season and changing the early muzzleloader season to reduce the harvest in the antlerless portion of the deer herd. The proposals are meant to satisfy the concerns of hunters who believe deer reduction efforts have gone too far. The DNR estimates deer numbers in Iowa are down 30% compared to a high mark in 2006. Iowa hunters, during the recent 2011-12 deer hunting seasons, killed 121,407 deer — down 4.5% from the previous year.
 
Changes are proposed for waterfowl hunting and trapping as well. “We’re looking to potentially increase quotas for both otters and bobcats,” Garner said. “For migratory birds, we have an opportunity to possibly add a (third) zone to the state, which will impact us for four years, so this is a chance for people to think about what that might do.”
 
The possible changes will be discussed during public meetings Tuesday night from 6 to 9 p.m. at 18 locations across the state.
 
For those who cannot make the meeting, comments may be emailed to wildlife@dnr.iowa.gov
 

Sheldon Police Report

In the latest report from Sheldon Police:
 
The police report that two Sheldon students were cited after an assault at the Sheldon High School on Friday (3/2). They report that a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were cited for assault.
 
They report they arrested 21-year-old Benjiman Matthews of Sheldon on Saturday morning for driving while his license was suspended. He was cited and released.
 
They arrested 23-year-old Ryan Wood of Hartley on Saturday morning for operating while intoxicated and driving while his license was suspended. He was taken to the O’Brien County Jail.
 
They arrested 25-year-old Job Mendoza-Mendoza of Sheldon on Sunday for driving without a license. He was also taken to the O’Brien County Jail.
 
The new Hy-Vee gas station has had its first gas drive-off. They reported somebody drove off without paying on Saturday morning. The gasoline was valued at $46.
 
Someone also reported their wallet was taken from Dave’s Auto Wash. The wallet contained a social security card, driver’s license, Medicare card, a script card, a food stamp card and $8 cash. Total value was about $38.

Several Public Hearings Scheduled for Sheldon Council Meeting

The Sheldon City Council meets Wednesday at 4:30 with several public hearings.

Hearings will be held on the preliminary and final plats of the Runger’s 4th Addition, rezoning of a parcel of land on the west side of the new Hy-Vee property, and rezoning of the property at 730 Western Avenue.

Also they will consider the sale of property to Evelyn Kats. This is a strip of property two and one-half feet wide along the east edge of the former Pucci’s property which is already occupied by part of the adjacent Kats building.

The Council will also hold a public hearing on refinancing of a loan which helped finance the City’s obligation to the Lewis and Clark Water project.

The refinancing at a lower interest rate will result in a savings of about $l60,000 to the city.

In other business, the council will hear the annual audit report, consider the third reading of the golf cart ordinance, and consider approving the precinct population for Crossroads Industrial Park. With the annexation of that area into the city limits, the population of the first precinct will be increase by one person, and that needs to be reported to the state of Iowa.

Wednesday’s 4:30 meeting will be held in Council Chambers on the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.