Techel's murder trial delayed; more
Correction: Haunted Barn opens Oct. 19
Van Buren County Jaycees’ Haunted Barn opens Oct. 19 and will be open 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 27, and also Halloween night.
Admission is $5. To find the haunted barn, take Highway 1 to Birmingham. At the flashing light, turn east on East Cedar Street and continue until it becomes 115th Street. Turn north on Quail Avenue. It is the first barn on the west side of the road. Call 919-0901 for more information.
The incorrect opening date for the Haunted Barn was listed in the article “Halloween events open in area communities” in Thursday’s Ledger.
Techel’s murder trial delayed
OTTUMWA (AP) — A southeast Iowa man suspected of killing his pregnant wife won’t go on trial next month.
Seth Techel is charged with first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy in the death of his wife, Lisa. She was shot in May at their home near Agency.
Techel’s trial had been set for Nov. 6 in Wapello County. Court documents show the trial has been canceled. Techel’s defense attorney has until Oct. 22 to file specific dates with the court.
Both Techels worked in law enforcement. Lisa Techel was a reserve deputy with the Wapello County sheriff’s office. Seth Techel was a jailer. He remains in jail on $750,000 bond.
D.OT. releases Android version of it driver’s license practice test
AMES — The Iowa Department of Transportation is announcing the release of the Android version of its popular “IA Driver Test” app, a practice test for the real exam that applicants must take to get their driver’s license.
The app generates 25 questions, randomly chosen from among 69 included in the real knowledge test given at any Iowa driver’s license station. Users can repeat the test as often as they like; each new test generates a different set of 25 questions. The app also tracks a user’s high scores.
The app is not just for teens; experienced drivers can use it as well. People can take the quiz just for fun, as a family, with friends or as a refresher.
Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa D.O.T.’s Motor Vehicle Division, said, “It might not be as easy as you think. Iowa’s traffic laws are always changing and it’s likely there will be a question or two that stump even the most seasoned driver.”
Lowe encourages people to use the app as a practice aide after studying the Iowa Driver’s Manual. Parents are urged to talk to their young drivers about their test results to foster discussion about safe driving rules and behaviors. Fourteen is the youngest age in which someone in Iowa can get an instruction permit to drive.
The free app, developed in partnership with Iowa Interactive, is now available to download to an Android phone or tablet through the Google Play Store — search for “IA Driver Test. It also is available for iPads through the iTunes Store — search for “IA Driver Test for iPad”.
Lowe said don’t be fooled by imitation apps developed by others that may be unreliable; the app will appear with an Iowa D.O.T. icon.
Higher salaries for beginning Iowa teachers urged
DES MOINES (AP) —A $150 million school improvement proposal includes higher salaries for beginning teachers.
The recommendations by the state’s Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation will be the centerpiece of Gov. Terry Branstad’s education proposal to legislators in 2013.
The task force report was released Thursday.
Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass says the proposal is aimed at retaining effective teachers while making the profession more appealing to the state’s “best and brightest.”
The proposal’s salary component for first-year teachers would take the minimum salary from $28,000 to $35,000, over the next three years.
The proposal also would require teachers to begin their careers with a residency year that would include intensive supervision and mentoring.
The task force was created last spring by the Legislature and included teachers and administrators.
Baby becomes digital delight
DES MOINES (AP) — What might be a digital dream for numerologists has come true in the delivery room of a Des Moines hospital.
Laila Fitzgerald was born.
Laila weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces. She came into the world on Thursday, which, numerically speaking, was 10/11/12. She arrived, militarily speaking, at 1314, which would be 1:14 p.m. for civilians.
So the numbers associated with her birth are 8-9-10-11-12-13-14.
Laila’s mother, 26-year-old Katie Deremiah, of Des Moines, says she had a feeling Thursday would be the day, despite the due date of Oct. 19. She says Laila arrived without inducements to speed her arrival.
Laila’s father, 26-year-old Ryan Fitzgerald, said he would be buying a lottery ticket as soon as he could.