New Year's baby born Thursday; more
New Year’s baby born Thursday
Jefferson County welcomed its 2013 New Year’s baby Thursday night.
William Burgmeier, the son of Michelle and Joe Burgmeier, was born at 9:57 p.m. Thursday at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua.
A photo and more details about the baby and his family will be included in The Ledger next week.
Two nominated for 8th Judicial District judge job
Randy S. DeGeest of Oskaloosa and Daniel P. Kitchen of Washington, Iowa, were selected as nominees for the office of judge of the district court, in the 8A Judicial Election District, to fill the judicial vacancy.
The 8A Judicial Nominating Commission met and held interviews Thursday in the office of the 8th Judicial District Court Administration in Ottumwa. Judge Daniel Wilson is chairman of the 8A Judicial Nominating Commission.
Four candidates had submitted applications to fill the vacancy. In addition to DeGeest and Kitchen, other candidates were Robert E. Breckenridge II of Ottumwa and James R. Underwood of Centerville.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will appoint one of the nominees, DeGeest or Kitchen, within 30 days.
The vacancy occurred when Judge James Q. Blomgren submitted his letter of retirement June 12.
Iowa officials say smoke alarms saved record lives
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa officials say smoke alarms alerted a record number of people in the state about a fire emergency last year.
The Iowa State Fire Marshal says in a release Thursday that more than 215 people were saved 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.
Agency says tax collections up
DES MOINES (AP) —Tax collections in Iowa are up compared to the same halfway point a year ago.
The Gazette reports net state receipts totaled more than $3.1 billion from July through December. That’s about $264 million, or about 9 percent, higher than the first six months of the previous fiscal year.
The Legislative Services Agency says the percentage growth rate will likely dip in January because of processing days in the calendar.
The Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference projected last month that the state treasury would end the current fiscal year with nearly $6.4 billion. That would be about a 3.3 percent increase over the last fiscal year.
Cousins’ death causes won’t be released soon
EVANSDALE (AP) — Authorities won’t be releasing details anytime soon about what caused the deaths of two cousins whose bodies were found in a park about 25 miles from their homes in northeast Iowa.
Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday that the causes and other details about the deaths of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins will be kept confidential in order to protect the investigation.
Smock says “the only people that are going to know this information are the people who are responsible.”
He says tests on the girls’ bodies aren’t finished yet.
Lyric was 10 and Elizabeth was 8 when they disappeared from Evansdale on July 13. Their bodies were found on Dec. 5.
No arrests have been reported as the investigation continues.