(Exira) Exira City Officials are alerting residents of a snow emergency.
According to the city’s facebook page, the snow emergency will be in effect starting 9:00 p.m. this evening to 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.
Mayor Brenda Bengard reminds residents that no person shall park, abandon, or leave unattached any vehicle on a public street, alley, or city owned off-street parking area during the snow emergency. Prohibited parking on even numbered streets between 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and odd numbered streets from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
January 31, 2015
(Clarinda) With the chance of accumulating snowfall to occur in Clarinda later this weekend the Clarinda Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Clarinda about the emergency snow ordinance.
The ordinance states that; no person shall park any motor vehicle or other apparatus upon any street of the city that will obstruct the removal of snow when there has been an accumulation of two (2) inches or more. Any vehicle left parked on any street in violation of this ordinance may be impounded, and the registered owner of the vehicle will be subject to a $15.00 parking fine, and payment of all applicable towing and storage fees in order for the vehicle to be released.
(Council Bluffs) A Council Bluffs man is in custody following an armed robbery at a Council Bluffs hotel early Saturday morning.
The Council Bluffs Police Department was called to the Days Inn Motel at 3208 South 7th Street at 12:52 a.m.. Their investigation showed the suspect entered the lobby area and produced a semi auto hand gun pointing it at the clerk on duty. The suspect then reached over the counter removing an undetermined amount of cash from the register and then fled on foot.
The suspect was observed by the clerk getting into a white SUV with no license plate information. A uniform officer in the area spotted this vehicle. Officers attempted to stop this vehicle in the area of 19th Avenue and South Expressway in which a vehicle pursuit ensued. Officers pursued this vehicle to the dead end area of the 1200 block of 19th Ave with the suspect throwing cash and clothing out of the car window.
The suspect then rammed a policed cruiser and the pursuit continued to the area of the 2700 block of South 6th Street. The suspect then fled of foot, leaving the vehicle behind.
At 1:11 a.m., nearly 30 minutes after the robbery, the 911 center received a call
from a female subject stating that her husband had just come home and wanted to report that he had been assaulted and his 2011 White Kia Sorrento had been stolen in the area of the Casey's General Sore at 23rd Avenue and South Expressway. Uniform officers responded to the residence where he was transported to the Criminal Investigation Division to be interviewed. It was determined through investigation that this subject was involved in the robbery and assault of a peach officer.
45-year-old Alonzo M. Wright, of Council Bluffs, was booked in to the Pottawatamie County Corrections on Robbery 1st, Assault on a Peace Officer, and Eluding charges.
The investigation is ongoing.
(State) The Governor’s proposal to close two of the state’s four mental health facilities, in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda, not sitting well with Democrats at the Iowa Legislature.
Cedar Rapids State Senator Rob Hogg says,
“He talks about the facilities not being accredited, well that’s because as a cost saving measure they didn’t go through the accreditation process. They could have been accredited, so that’s kind of a red herring. The availability of psychiatrists that is a problem, but it’s not just a problem in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, it’s a problem across the state.”
Hogg says that even though many people have been moved into community based settings, many people still need institutional care.
Lawmakers complained that they weren’t notified of the closings and only learned about them when they saw the Governor’s budget.
Iowa Radio Network
(State) North Dakota Drilling has resulted in a rise in rail tank cars, moving crude oil through Iowa. Thirty-nine thousand such rail tank cars moved through the state in 2013.
Tammy Nicholson of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation says because of potential hazards, railroads have self imposed newer safety standards. The Federal Government is set to issue rules too. New tank cars will be thicker and stronger.
“We put some head shields on them to help prevent punctures. Thermal protection on there and some other high pressure release valves.”
Nicholson says only 15% of the current fleet of rail tank cars meet all the new safety standards. She says once replacements are made, the older cars can be used to transport other fuels, including ethanol.
Nicholson says while 39,000 rail oil-tank cars is a big number, it actually represents less than one percent of all products moved by rail through Iowa.
Iowa Radio Network
(Red Oak) A Red Oak teen who attempted to outrun and hide from Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputies has been arrested.
In the early morning hours on Saturday, 19-year-old Kyle James Olson ran a stop sign at 180th and K Ave and then lost control of his vehicle rolling on to its side. When deputies turned on their emergency lights and approached the vehicle, Olson fled on foot. K9 was deployed and tracked the defendant to a rural residence where he was taken into custody.
Olson was taken to Montgomery County Corrections and charged with Interference with Officials Acts. He's also cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign. Damage to his 1995 Chevrolet K1500 is estimated at $8,000.
(Red Oak) A fight with a paramedic after a drunken fall has landed a Red Oak Man behind bars.
The Red Oak Police Department arrested, 53-year-old Kenneth Eugene Stroup, Saturday just after 6:00 p.m. According to the report, officers responded to assist Red Oak Rescue after Stroup, who had been intoxicated, fell and was bleeding from his head. During the attempt to assist him, he became combative and assaulted one of the Red Oak Fire Fighters/Paramedics. He was transported by ambulance to the Emergency Room at Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. Upon being medically cleared he was placed under arrest for Assault on a Health Care Provider, a Serious Misdemeanor. He also had separate warrants out of Decatur and Clarke Counties for Failure to Appear.
He was taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a total of $5,000 bond.
(Area) Nearly the entire state will be under a Winter Storm Warning beginning at 7:00p.m. tonight and lasting through 9:00p.m. on Sunday.
The National Weather Service predicts anywhere from 7-10 inches of snow accumulation during that time period. The only counties in Southwest Iowa that do not fall under the Winter Storm Warning are Fremont and Mills Counties.
Rain will change to snow and blowing snow by this evening and accumulate heavily overnight. Snow will continue to fall through the day Sunday with increasing winds.
Winds will turn northeast at 10-20 MPH by early Sunday Morning and become Northerly at 15-25 MPH by Sunday afternoon. Roads will become snow covered and hazardous. Blowing snow on Sunday will reduce visibility and make it difficult to clear the roads, especially in rural areas.
National Weather Service
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State Rep. Walt Rogers is working on legislation that would use sales tax revenue to pay for road improvements.
Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, said Friday he plans to introduce a bill next week that would shift a portion of state sales tax revenue to roads and bridges. Rogers said he is trying to find an alternative to increasing the fuel tax, which has been discussed by legislative leaders.
The proposal would require amending the state constitution, a process that takes years. It would need approval twice in the Iowa Assembly before going to a statewide vote.
Sen. Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa who heads the Senate transportation committee, said the sales tax proposal would shift money out of the state general fund.
(Des Moines) The Senate Judiciary Committee is looking at the best ways to shield military families from the affects of sequestration. The budget-controlling act slashed budgets across the board. Senator Joni Ernst says the impact was felt among her fellow veterans.
“This has been an issue in our reserve units and our guard units, as well as active duty units,” said Ernst. “With sequestration in place we do recognize the need to hold our military leaders accountable in the oversight and effective utilization of our taxpayer dollars.”
The committee has also spent the week on Capitol Hill meeting with former secretaries of state to learn about the threats facing America. Ernst says cyber security is one of the biggest concerns, she points to recent attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment as proof the safeguard in place aren't good enough.
Iowa Radio Network
(Oakland) The Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock will soon be placed south of the Grand Gazebo in Chautauqua Park in Oakland.
LaDonna Applegate is with the Oakland Friday Coffee Ladies, the group in charge of the Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock Project. Applegate said thanks to many kind donations, including the most recent donation from OSI Industries, they will now be able to afford to move the 80-ton rock to Oakland.
“We were just delighted that Oakland Foods (OSI) donated $4,000,” said Applegate. “When I had talked to them they asked how much we wanted and I said we never tell people that, we let you make your decision, but that we needed $4,000 more to move the rock and that’s where that came from.”
Applegate said Patriot Crane and Rigging from Omaha will do the lifting and loading. Scrib’s Moving & Heavy Hauling from David City, Nebraska will be transporting the rock to the park. Patriot Crane with then perform the unloading and placing of the Freedom Rock. The pink quartzite boulder was chosen from the Schildberg Rock Quarry near Macedonia.
Applegate said they next phase is to gather funds for the painting of the rock, the sidewalk that will go around the rock, and the sign that will display information about the rock. Applegate said they do not know at this time what will be painted on the rock.
“We want people to send us copies of pictures and stories about their veterans that we will put in a packet and we give that to “Bubba”, the artist, and he will come back with a drawing and then paint the rock,” said Applegate. “So we do not make those decisions as to what goes on the rock.”
The Freedom Rock Tour, created by the artist of the original Freedom Rock near Greenfield; Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, aims to boost tourism and spread the message of thanking our Veterans while providing a unique to their area Freedom Rock for all 99 counties in the state of Iowa.
Painting of the Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock is scheduled for September 2017.
If you have pictures or ideas for what should be painted on the Freedom Rock, or if you would like to donate, contact LaDonna Applegate by phone at 712-482-3285 or by mail at:
39503 Honeysuckle Road
(Des Moines) A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon for Dallas, Adair, Adams, Madison, Union, Taylor and Ringgold counties.
The National Weather Service says snow will pick up in intensity Saturday evening and continue at light to moderate rates into Sunday. Accumulations of five to nine inches are expected, with locally higher amounts. The highest amounts appear to be most likely east of the area. North winds will increase Saturday night and persist into Sunday at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Roads will become slick and hazardous. Drifting snow will create low visibilities Sunday and may make it difficult for road crews to keep roads clear, especially in open areas.
(Atlantic) Cass County Engineer Charles Marker discussed the Secondary Roads 5-year bridge construction program with the Board of Supervisors this morning.
Charles Marker spoke about the bridges that would be federally funded and constructed on Cass County Secondary roads. He explained that under federal law, bridges must be inspected at least every two years. In 2014, Cass County had six bridges on paved roads that have a two year or less estimated life. On unpaved roads, three were closed and six have two years or less estimated life. Numerous other bridges have been deemed structurally deficient (posted with a weight limit) or functionally obsolete (narrow, height restrictions).
State and Federal agencies require financial constraints and a projected five year construction program. A few of the upcoming proposed bridge projects on the list include: FY14-15; bridge #83 by the Griswold Golf Course and bridge #73C on the Montgomery County line… FY15-16; bridge #20 by Cumberland and bridge #347 on the Audubon County line… FY16-17; bridge #17 on Yankton Road south of Massena and bridge #134 south of Massena.
One bridge of interest on the list for FY17-18 is #450 on Buck Creek Road north of Atlantic that was closed last year. A large group of individuals who live in the area and have been impacted by the closure told the Supervisors that they want the bridge to be a priority on the list.
“You’re on the edge of the largest town in the county in an area that is being developed for industrial purposes; you’ve got several businesses… West Central is located here, you’ve got two other major businesses in the area that use that bridge on a regular basis,” said Glen Smith.
Charles Marker explained that the bridges are chosen based on a report they receive every two years from bridge engineers who specialize in bridge inspections.
“They then give us a report on bridges that are on paved roads and bridges on non-paved roads and they give us an estimated life. And, since I don’t have enough money financially to take care of all of those I sort out which ones that I think are the most critical based on traffic counts, school bus routes, paved roads, non-paved roads and I have to prioritize it and stay financially constraint,” explained Marker.
And, Marker said even though this bridge is on the list he can’t guarantee that they can even afford it.
“Without financial help somewhere I can’t do it. I’ve got to be honest with you, just like schools and everybody else; I don’t get enough money to take care of the bridges that are falling apart, I’ve got to prioritize them,” said Marker. “Financially, if I were to say yes we’re going to take five years of our bridge funds to do one bridge up here that means that there may be 20 other bridges that are held back for seven or eight years and I would have to close all of them.”
Cass County receives about $460,000 per year in Highway Bridge Program funding. Highway Bridge Program funding is an 80-percent Federal and 20-percent local matching fund program.
In other activity, the Cass County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning classification request from the General Agricultural District to Light Industrial District for a three acre parcel of land in Grant Township near the Cass/Adair county line so Alliant Energy can build a new substation.
(Atlantic) Five people face drug charges as a result of a traffic stop on Highway 92 and 620th Street in Cass County.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 51-year-old Henry Lewis Degraw, 32-year-old Julie Ann Holmes 33-year-old Justin Paul Parker and 46-year-old Samantha A. Jones all of Bridgewater Thursday evening. The four subjects face charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, two counts of drug stamp violations, and prohibited acts. Additional charges are pending.
A deputy conducted a traffic stop just before 7:00 p.m. and during the investigation a Cass County K9 conducted a sniff of the vehicle and indicated a narcotic odor. Deputies found approximately ½ pound of methamphetamine, with a street value of $20,000, ½ ounce of marijuana, baggies, scales, and paraphernalia.
As a result of the traffic stop, a Cass County deputy obtained search warrants for three residences in Bridgewater which resulted in the arrest of 63-year-old Toni Lynn Reese, of Bridegwater. Reese is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. She was taken to the Adair County Jail.
The search warrants were executed simultaneously by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Adair County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Atlantic Police Department and the Greenfield Police Department.
Additional charges are pending at this time.
January 30, 2015
(State) For the first time in 30 years, the state of Iowa will have a paddlefish season along the Missouri River.
950 licenses were originally on sale and 400 are still available. The deadline to get a license is Saturday.
“Paddlefish are a filter feeder. You don‘t catch them hook and line. You basically snag these fish. They are a large fish, our state record paddlefish is over 100 pounds.”
DNR Fisheries Biologist Bryan Hayes says the paddlefish season is only for the Iowa side of the Missouri River, Nebraska has not approved a season.
It will run from March 1st to April 15th.
“The success of the paddlefish season really is going to hinge on the flow in the river. We kind of selected season dates that mimics the start of the rising river which draws paddlefish into their pre-spawn movements up the river. So earlier in March likely will be better paddlefish fishing than later in March.”
The slot limit requiring the release of paddlefish is 35-45 inches. The DNR says most of the fish harvested will likely be below the slot limit.
(Atlantic) A local company is working on a proposal to bring fiber optics to the business areas of Atlantic. The proposal falls right in line with a Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday making Iowa’s rural areas look even worse when it comes to internet service.
Mike Klocke, General Manager of Massena Telephone says his company is considering the project which is currently in the fact finding stage. He says they are currently gauging interest to see what needs are and aren’t being met.
Klocke says fiber optics are the next generation in internet coverage and future proof" which should help everybody out for a long time.
He says they are currently working with CADCO to find out who is interested. A meeting explaining the proposal will be scheduled at a later date.
Thursday’s announcement of the new F-C-C guidelines define internet service as broadband only if it’s 25 megabits per second down/three megabits per second up or faster. Before yesterday’s vote, broadband was anything faster than four megabits down. That means many parts of the state don’t have access to broadband.
January 30, 2015
(Washington D.C.) The United States Senate has passed the Keystone X-L pipeline bill, in what Iowa Senator Charles Grassley says is an example of how differently things are running in the chamber, now that Republican Mitch McConnell is in charge, as opposed to democrat Harry Reid.
“The senate is back to being a deliberative body and Senator’s offering amendments, including the minority party”, stated Grassley.
Senator Grassley says last year there were only 18-roll calls on amendments and on the just passed Keystone legislation alone, there have been more than 30-amendments allowed, half from Republicans, and half from democrats.
The measure passed on a 62-36 vote, short of the threshold needed to override a white house veto. The bill authorizes construction of the nearly 1,200 mile pipeline to carry oil primarily from Canada’s tar sands to gulf coast refineries.
Iowa Radio Network
January 30, 2015
(Creston) Another theft is under investigation in Creston.
The Police Department received a report of a stolen LG Tablet estimated at $500. Roger Straw, of Creston, says sometime between 12:30 and 1:45 p.m on January 24th someone broke a window to his residence and stole the tablet.
The Police Department also reports the arrest of Sara Exline, of Afton, on a Union County Warrant for Attempted Burglary 2nd, and 2 counts of Burglary 3rd from Motor Vehicle. She was arrested at the Supertel Inn and transported to the Union County Jail on $5,000 cash or surety bond.
(Des Moines) The idea of raising the state’s gas tax, may be gaining ground in the legislature.
New Hartford Republican Pat Grassley was asked yesterday, if that’s because fuel prices have dropped recently.
“I think we have seen more progress towards something happening,” stated Grassley. “I don’t necessarily want to be the one to predict what that is. But I think we have moved towards that and I think that would be one of the reasons yes.”
Representative Grassley says there appears to be bi-partisan support, and lawmakers are interested in hearing a variety of related issues-such as the role that more efficient cars have played in a drop in revenues.
Iowa Radio Network
(Des Moines) A Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday make’s rural areas look even worse when it comes to internet service.
The F-C-C now defines internet service as broadband only if it’s 25 megabits per second down/three megabits per second up or faster. Before yesterday’s vote, broadband was anything faster than four megabits down.
Phillip Brown of Connected America says that means a lot of rural parts of the state don’t have access to broadband. And while the federal government’s been helping in bringing fiber optic connections to rural areas, there are ways the Iowa Legislature can help.
About 73-percent of Iowans do have access to broadband speeds according to the F-C-C’s new definition, but Brown says a lot of Iowans don’t have or need speeds that high yet, according to their surveys.
Iowa Radio Network
January 30, 2015
(Shenandoah) Two people were injured in a single vehicle accident in Page County this morning.
The Page County Sheriff’s Office says the accident occurred in the 1500 block of E Avenue just before 7:00 a.m. The investigation showed that a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse was being driven by 36-year-old Thomas Christopher Blank, of Council Bluffs, eastbound on 190th Street. The vehicle had blown a passenger side rear tire approximately 3.5 miles west of the accident scene and shredded the tire. Blank continued to drive the vehicle when he lost control approximately 150 yards east of the intersection of E Avenue. The vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled onto the roof.
When law enforcement arrived, Blank and a passenger, 33-year-old Lacey Nichole Remmen, of Carter Lake, were under the trunk/rear deck of the vehicle, sheltered from the weather. Both were transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for unknown injuries. Remmen was later transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center by Life Net.
Charges are pending at this time.
(Villisca) The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary of the United Farmers Mercantile Cooperative elevator in Villisca.
The burglary took place during the night time hours of January 28th and the morning hours of January 29th. An unknown perpetrator(s) gained entry into the building and removed an undetermined amount of cash. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-1001.
In other activity, the Sheriff’s Office received a call of a single vehicle property damage accident in the city of Villisca at 11:53 a.m. Thursday. A blue 2005 Chevy Impala, driven by 20-year-old Ashley Colwell, of Corning, was westbound on 8th Street from 7th Avenue when Colwell was attempting to adjust her seatbelt. The vehicle went off the road to the north and went across a driveway, striking a trash dumpster. No citations were issued.
(Audubon) Construction continues on a new duplex unit in the City of Audubon.
Audubon County Economic Development is overseeing the project which is designed to bring quality housing to Audubon. ACED President Brett Irlmeier says,
“We hope that as businesses start to take a look at expanding as the economy grows that it will put a positive spin on Audubon. I know right now, one of the realtors that are very involved in the project said that as of right now they don‘t have a any homes listed. There is right now a shortage of homes in Audubon and we are going to try to do our part to build quality housing sites.“
It’s located on the corner of Tracy and Davenport Streets just one block from the city square. Irlmeier reports construction is right on schedule
“Hopefully we should start being able to show that property shortly for sale. We have an April due date on it and it looks like they are going to finish up right on time if not just a little bit ahead.”
Once the property is complete the unit will go up for sale. Then they’ll go to work on more.
“The original plan, between the City of Audubon, and the county and ACED we cleared six lots, six homes that were vacant. So we have four other lots that are adjacent to this one that can be built on. Long term once we get this project complete we just keep moving forward down this block.”
He says the hope is to not only provide more and better housing for the current residents of Audubon and also attract new residents.
(Des Moines) The Iowa Department of Public Health is hoping to add a vaccine to the recommended regiment for pre-teens. The HPV vaccine can prevent some forms of cancer, most notably cervical cancer. State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says even though boys can't get that cancer, they should still get the vaccine.
“Men are the ones that can infect the females so the bottom line is we want men and women to get this vaccine at adolescence that way everybody is protected,” said Quinlisk.
Quinlisk says only about two in ten pre-teens get all three doses of the HPV vaccine. The department is trying to change that through a parent-outreach campaign called "You Are the Key".
Iowa Radio Network
(Ames) A Federal agency is investigating whether Iowa State University responded appropriately to reports of sexual violence against students.
The school confirmed that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights is investigating its handling of a 2014 assault of a female student by a male student. An October 15th letter from the agency to ISU President Steven Leath says investigators will look into whether the school has failed to “promptly and equitably” respond to complaints of sexual violence, including the female students report.
Iowa State spokesman John McCarroll says an investigation by campus police has led to a criminal charge against the male student. He says the student faces a disciplinary hearing next month. McCarroll says school officials believe they acted appropriately and are cooperating with investigators.
Iowa Radio Network
(State) It appears likely state lawmakers are going to approve a 10 cent per gallon increase on gasoline and diesel taxes in the coming weeks.
Democratic Senator Tod Bowman, of Maquoketa, and Republican Representative Josh Byrnes, of Osage, are working on a bi-partisan package of bills to raise the taxes. The money would go towards fixing the state’s roads and bridges.
A 2013 study found 26% of bridges in the state are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Burns is urging people to lobby their local lawmakers to vote for the increase.
Iowa Radio Network
(Creston) One person was injured in a two vehicle crash in Creston Tuesday afternoon.
Creston Police say 21-year-old Marissa Irene Merrill, of Creston was taken to Greater Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Authorities say Merrill was southbound on Vine Street and pulled in front of a westbound vehicle driven by 35-year-old Nicholas Allan Sprague, of Orient.
Sprague’s vehicle broadsided the passenger side of Merrill’s car.
Both vehicle's received an estimated $4,000 damge.
January 29, 2015
(Essex) Authorities are searching for a Glenwood man who fled law enforcement Wednesday night.
The Iowa State Patrol says at approximately 8:30 p.m., a State Trooper located a male subject walking on county road J20 east of Essex. The subject was identified by the Trooper as 36-year-old Harold Rudduck from Glenwood. The Trooper determined there was an active warrant out of Council Bluffs on Rudduck for Failure to Appear on Possession of Controlled Substance charges.
Rudduck fled on foot from the Trooper’s vehicle into a field before the Trooper could make the arrest. A perimeter was set up around the field with the assistance from officers from several agencies. Local K-9’s were used in an attempt to track and locate Rudduck. Officers called off the search at 11:00 p.m. after they were unable to locate Rudduck.
Officers believe Rudduck may have been picked up by a friend. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Rudduck should call their local police as the warrant remains active.
(Council Bluffs) Council Bluffs Police are searching for answers in a possible abduction that occurred Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of 25th Street and Avenue F.
Police say a concerned citizen called 9-1-1 and reported that he heard someone yelling for help and when he looked out he saw a female being pushed by two males against a dark colored SUV. Subsequently, the female was allegedly pushed into the back seat of the vehicle; described as an older model black SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee with a loud exhaust.
The girl is described as a white female in her teens, with shoulder length or longer brownish/blonde hair. She was wearing an orange, white and black shirt or jacket.
The two males are described as Hispanic in their late teens or early twenties.
The Council Bluffs Police Department has been trying to identify the female and verify whether or not a crime has been committed. No teenage girl or young woman has been reported missing since the incident allegedly occurred.
Police contacted all the high schools in Council Bluffs to account for any teenage girl absent from school. At this point authorities haven’t been able to identify the female or collect any evidence or additional information suggesting a crime even happened. Police say its’ possible that this was a prank or some young people playing around.
Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-328-STOP. Your information can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.
January 29, 2015
(Atlantic) Atlantic Area Ambassadors honor Carol Beebe’s 10th year at United Group Insurance. Prior to becoming a licensed agent, Beebe was a hair stylist. Beebe stated over the years she has seen many changes in the insurance industry. Donnie Drennan, owner of United Group Insurance, discussed personal and commercial insurance policies designed to fit diverse needs serving southwest Iowa with offices in Atlantic, Griswold, Red Oak and Shenandoah.
Pictured: Carol Beebe, Mark Daoust, Donnie Drennan, Arlene Drennan, Sue Muri, Debbie Leistad, Pat McCurdy, Dianne Gipple, Jolene Roecker, Kathie Hockenberry, JoAnn Runyan, Jamey Park, Bill Saluk, Tammy Waters, Christy Jespersen, Megan Roberts, Desiree Hoye, Lana Westphalen, Patty Maas, Melissa Ihnen, Nedra Perry, Kerry Jepsen, Dolly Bergmann, Gerald Brink, Ed Leistad, BJ Hart, Carol South, Crystal Christensen, Rita Willmott, Rich Perry, Keith Leonard, Lucas Mosier, Russ Joyce, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte, Doreen Ellsbury, Carole Schuler and Ouida Wymer.
(Grimes AP) The owners of a Grimes gift shop and bistro who refused to hold a wedding at their business for a same-sex couple have stopped holding any weddings.
The Des Moines Register reports that Betty and Richard Odgaard have settled a complaint the two gay men filed. And the Odgaards dropped their civil rights lawsuit against Iowa authorities.
Lee Stafford and Jared Ellers filed their complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, saying the Görtz Haus could not discriminate based on religion because the former church is a public venue. The Odgaards said the wedding would have violated their religious beliefs as Mennonites.
The Odgaards settled with the couple for $5,000. The Odgaards also dismissed a lawsuit they filed against the commission that said their religious freedoms were being violated.
January 29, 2015
(Des Moines AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has named a longtime staffer as acting director of the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Branstad said Thursday that Jerry Bartruff will take over the job. He will replace retiring Director John Baldwin.
Bartruff's first day in the role will be Friday. He has worked in the department since 1982, most recently as deputy director for operations in the department's eastern region.
Branstad called Bartruff a "capable professional" who could handle the transition.
Baldwin appeared before lawmakers earlier this week to discuss the long-delayed Iowa State Penitentiary. Baldwin said he still doesn't know when the facility will open, noting that officials are studying a potential solution to a faulty smoke control system. The prison in Fort Madison was scheduled to open last March.
January 29, 2015
(Creston) A Texas man was transported to the Union County Jail on drug related Charges Wednesday afternoon.
Creston Police say 39-year-old Robert Rix, of Heath, Texas, was arrested at the Supertel Inn on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana 1st Offense) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released from jail on $300 bond.
The Creston Police Department is also looking into a theft that occurred earlier this week. Virginia Wilson reported that sometime between 7:00 p.m. on Monday, and 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday someone stole a debit card and cash from her purse while it was in her vehicle at her residence. The estimated loss is $55.
(Corning) A Corning man has been charged in Adams County with harassment and impersonating a Police Official.
The Adams County sheriff’s Office says 48-year-old Edward Lee Avila was arrested at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday after deputies received a report of harassment and impersonation.
Witnesses provided an audio copy of a phone call and call back number belonging to Avila.
Avila is being held on $2,300.00.
January 29, 2015
(Council Bluffs) A Denison man has been convicted in a double homicide that occurred on March 10, 2014.
The Omaha World Herald says a jury found Michael David Schenk, of Denison, guilty on three counts in the double homicide and arson trial.
Schenk was charged with two-counts of first degree murder and one-count of first-degree arson in the deaths of 80-year-old Marvin Huelsing, of Maple River and 81-year-old Alice Huisenga, of Arcadia.
The two bodies were discovered after fire fighters responded to a report of a trailer house and pickup fire on Huelsing’s property between Deloit and Denison.
The jury found Schenk guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree and one count of arson in the first degree.
January 29, 2015
(Shelby) The process has begun to restructure Shelby’s fire and Rescue Department. Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Richmond tells KSOM/KS95 news that two official applications have already been turned in, at least three more are pending and about 14-total people have shown interest, including several past Shelby fire fighters, and a former fire chief.
Richmond says first and foremost is the safety of its’ citizens and that is why they are working quickly to get the department back up and going again.
“The fact that we were down to five active members, we were already in a position that when there was a call made we had to have other departments responding with us”, stated Richmond
Richmond says the council met in closed session Monday night and as a result the council revoked the volunteer status of the five active members of the volunteer Fire Department. Those members have the option to re-apply with the goal of starting up a new department.
Richmond says issues with fund accountability led to the council’s decision to revoke the volunteer status of the members of the fire department.
One Former fire fighter Robert Hall indicated there’s been an ongoing dispute over some fundraising of the department that the city thinks may be theirs, and the firemen don't agree.
The Council Bluffs Non-Pareil is reporting this morning that the current fire Chief Eric Wendt has turned in his resignation. Wendt told the newspaper that he resigned not because of the firings, he resigned because he was the only member serving and if something went south, he didn’t want to be held liable for anything.
January 29, 2015
(Red Oak) A Stanton woman was arrested on a warrant for Assault.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old Katie Marie Pierce Wednesday. She was released on $100 bond.
In other activity, 32-year-old Ronald Glen Ballinger III, of Red Oak, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for Violation of a No Contact Order. He was released on bond.
(Bagley) Three people were arrested on drug charges in Guthrie County.
The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office says Chief Deputy Bennett investigated a suspicious vehicle at the Bagley storage units on Highway 141 on January 21st and came in contact with a driver sleeping in the running vehicle in front of the storage unit. The driver, 43-year-old Terry King, of Des Moines, showed an outstanding warrant from Polk County. King was detained and found to have methamphetamine in his pocket. Investigation led to drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine inside the car. King was also found to be in possession of a loaded handgun inside the car.
There were two more people inside the storage unit. Deputy Swensen, Deputy Herbert and Sheriff Arganbright arrived and assisted in the investigation. The two subjects in the storage unit were identified as 20-year-old Mason McNeill and 22-year-old Shy Terry, of Jamaica. Both were found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.
Terry King was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine 3rd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Firearm as a Felon. Mason McNeill was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense and Drug Paraphernalia. Shy Terry was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine 1st Offense and Drug Paraphernalia. All three subjects were transported to the Guthrie County Jail.
(Kimballton) Officials behind a major tourist attraction have gone from crawling to walking as they continue to plan and fundraise for a Living Liberty Veterans Monument and Scultpture park along Highway 44 just west of Kimballton.
If you don’t dream it, it will never happen and if you don’t work on it, it will never happen. Those are the words of Dr. Scott Smith, who along with the late Billy Marples, came up with a vision for a project that when complete, will feature 25-20 life-size bronze figures, depicting military men and women.
“When we get this thing done it will be a national quality attraction. It’ll be something that people come from all over the world or all over the United States and it will definitely benefit surrounding communities.”
Smith is hoping to start dirt work on the project this spring. The total project has four phases and isn’t expected to be completely finished until 2021. What’s preventing the progress from being described as ‘off and running’ as opposed to walking is fundraising. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.4 million.
One main reason Smith wants to see the project through is to properly honor veterans.
“Well Billy and I were both Vietnam veterans. When we came we were spit on we were called baby killers, called all sorts of things. You couldn’t hardly get a date because you were evil if you were in the service. I think the Vietnam veterans did a good job of changing things around for Desert Storm. When those guys came home they were welcomed home and considered heroes”
The idea was originally thrown out there in 2007 and fundraising began nearly five years ago. Smith encourages veterans interested in assisting with the project in any capacity to get involved.
For more information you can visit their website at:
(Omaha) A Wind Advisory is in effect from Midnight to 9:00 Thursday morning for all of southwest Iowa.
The National Weather Service in Omaha says strong northwest winds from around 25 to 35 mph, with gusts to over 40 mph, will develop across much of the area tonight behind a cold front.
The strong winds will create difficult driving conditions and may blow around unsecured objects such as trash cans.
(Creston) An auto business in Creston reported damage to their vehicles.
K & K Auto, at 1452 Cromwell Road, reported to the Union County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning that sometime between January 25th and January 26th approximately $1,500 in damage was done to two of their vehicles.
(Atlantic) It may be awhile before an Omaha man, facing charges for the Cass County cattle thefts, is turned over to Cass County.
James Michael Brunzo, 49, is currently being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on charges of Theft and Burglary, as well as other federal offenses. Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said those charges are unrelated to the Cass County cattle thefts. Cass County will put a hold on Brunzo for his arrest, but he will have to serve his sentences on the other charges before he is turned over to Cass County on two counts of 2nd Degree Theft.
Ervin John Jacob, 57, of Omaha was arrested on three counts of Theft 2nd Degree and one count of Ongoing Criminal Conduct for his involvement in all three thefts. A third suspect, 42-year-old Amy Louise Springer, of Omaha, is wanted for one count of Theft 2nd Degree.
On May 28th, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office took a report of the overnight theft of two cattle from Freund Brothers Farms in Lewis. On June 9, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office took another report of the theft of four cattle from JW Freund Farms in Lewis. Again, on January 6, Freund Brothers Farms reported the theft of two more cattle overnight. On January 16, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant in Omaha, Nebraska, with the assistance of the Omaha Police Department and the Cuming County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office. The arrest and warrants stem from the result of information obtained via the search warrant.
(Greenfield) The Adair County Board of Supervisors approved the Iowa State County Engineer’s Association’s call for an increase in Road Use Tax Funding. The action by the board today indicates their support for the ongoing evaluation of creative, supplemental solutions to increasing the Road Use Tax.
Matt Wedemeyer, Chairman of the Adair County Board of Supervisor’s tells KSOM/KS95 news that Adair County has been lobbying for years to change the funding for their road system.
“Just the impact this would create for Adair County as far as funding is very significant, and to me, the average cost to the consumer is very minimal”, stated Wedemeyer. “A user fee is the fairest way to increase funding because it covers everyone across the board no matter where you are from and who you are, it’s going to help support our roads”.
Wedemeyer says a .10-cent increase in the fuel Tax would mean roughly $600,000 of additional revenue for the county which he says would go right into the road system.
Adair County has been fortunate to have Tax Increment Financing money coming in from the wind turbines and 80-percent of those funds have been used on the counties road system. However, Wedemeyer says the tax increment financing will eventually expire.
“You can never have enough rock on the roads”, said Wedemeyer. “We have embargoed bridges and other’s that are structurally deficient, we need more funding to keep up with the increased demand”.
The goal of a Road Use Tax increase is to offset the projected shortfall for the state’s most critical needs of over $215 million annually through an increase of the motor fuel tax revenues. Enable the DOT to provide primary highway funds to counties and cities in lieu of federal funds, providing increased efficiencies for state and local governments, and increase the permit fee for oversize/overweight vehicles.
January 28, 2015
(Area) The 123-day slide in gas prices came to an end Tuesday with the U.S. just pennies away from an average of $2.00 a gallon.
“The national average is $2.04 this morning, but Iowans are actually only paying $1.91 a gallon,” stated Gail Weinholzer with Iowa-Minnesota AAA. “So the Iowa net average is still below the national average since prices were falling every day since September 25. But that did end yesterday when prices actually crept up one penny at the national level.”
Weinholzer tells KSOM/KS95 news that refineries have cut back on production.
“There is such a glut on the economy of crude oil and refined gasoline that refineries have actually cut back on their production”, said Weinholzer. “In fact this week’s report shows that refineries are only operating at about 85-percent of capacity. So that was bound to happen because of the glut on the economy and typically this time of year refineries will do some maintenance work in preparation for the switch over from the winter grade fuel to the summer grade fuel.”
Weinholzer doesn’t expect gas prices to increase dramatically in the coming weeks because crude oil is still trading at $45.00 a barrel. While she certainly sees an end to this decline a significant increase in gas prices is not anticipated any time before spring.
January 28, 2015
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Woodbury County Board has taken a step down what could be a 10-year journey for another Interstate 29 interchange.
The board committed nearly $181,000 for its share of a study that will cost $600,000. Local officials have been asking the Iowa Transportation Department since 2012 for an exit between mile markers 138 and 140 to help boost economic development. They cite traffic near Southbridge Business Park, which is being built south of Sioux Gateway Airport.
Department rules require a justification report before interchanges can be built. The interchange cost was estimated at $20 million in 2013.
County consultant Terry Lutz told the board that even if state approves the project, it would take eight to 10 years before it opens to motorists.
(Creston) A Creston woman was injured Tuesday afternoon when her passenger van crashed into a building.
Police say 84-year-old Ruth Joan Kralik was transported by ambulance to Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston for treatment.
Authorities say Kralik was backing into a parking space when she lost control and pushed down on the gas pedal. The 1996 Ford passenger van jumped the curb into a yard barely missing a light pole and several trees. The van continued across the street and into another yard and spun around before crashing into the building.
The van broke a hole in the building and damaged several trees.
In other activity; a Creston resident told Police that someone entered his apartment between January 20 and January 28 and took his Toshiba Satellite computer.
The loss is estimated at $300.00
January 28, 2015
(Council Bluffs) Council Bluffs Police are searching for four suspects who allegedly assaulted two men Tuesday night during an exchange of items advertised on facebook.
Police say 20-year-old Ronald Kleckner and 18-year-old Scott Evans advertised some items for sale on a local buy and sell facebook page. The suspect contacted the two victims and set up a date, time and location to purchase the advertised items. At around 11:00 p.m. the victims arrived at the location and were approached by four suspects who assaulted them with a club and robbed them of several items. Kleckner and Evans, who suffered minor injuries, were able to drive away from the scene. Both victims reported hearing a gunshot as they drove away.
The suspects are described only as two African American males both 19-24 years old, the third suspect is described as Hispanic and the fourth suspect was only described as a male.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Council Bluffs Police Criminal Investigation Division at (712) 328-4728.
January 28, 2015
(Shelby) The city of Shelby has fired its’ volunteer fire department because of an apparent dispute over money.
WOWTV news says Robert Hall, a volunteer fireman indicated that there’s been an ongoing dispute over some fundraising of theirs that the city thinks it may be theirs, and the firemen don't agree.
Mayor Pro Tem Bob Richmond told the Omaha television station that he couldn’t comment on the reason this happened, but is willing to rebuild the department with volunteers who he says are willing to work within the accountability of the city.
In the meantime, the city is calling on Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties, and the Minden and Avoca fire departments.
There is no word on when the city hopes to have the fire department back in force.
The city is asking applicants to contact the Fire Chief, who is the only member that was not fired from the department.
January 28, 2015
(Des Moines AP) Iowa's three public universities may soon have a more uniform admissions policy for students from the growing number of high schools that do not provide class rankings.
The Iowa Board of Regents will consider a new formula next week that would affect students from roughly 40 public and private high schools that don't rank students.
Students from those schools would be automatically admitted if they score above a 245 on a mathematical formula, which is based on ACT scores, grade point average and number of core courses completed. Students who fall below that number would be subject to individual reviews.
The change addresses inconsistencies in how students without class rankings have been scored for admissions by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
January 28, 2015
(Atlantic) Interest rates continue to decline which is contrary to what most economists were predicting a year ago when the Feds announced they would stop pumping money into the bond market. Well, interest rates didn’t go up, they actually went down and the same scenario holds true this month.
Mark Smith, Senior Financial Services Representative for Principal Financial Group in Atlantic says ten-year treasury notes started off the year at 2.12-percent and have fallen to 1.83-percent, which is about a fourteen percent drop.
“Which is a substantial amount in a one month period,” stated Smith. Who notes interest rates are a prediction of the economy.
“And what the bond market is predicting is a slowing of the economy in the coming year and part of that prediction is based on a big drop in oil prices".
In addition, Smith says mortgage interest rates have dropped and the 30-month Treasury bill is down to about 3.5-percent.
January 28, 2015
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democrats in the Senate say a bill aimed at curtailing wage theft in Iowa would require businesses to be more direct with workers about employment terms.
Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, is co-sponsor of a bill that would require employers to share a written record of employment terms with an employee at the start of a job. The measure would also define penalty terms and expand protection for whistleblowers.
Dotzler and Democratic Sen. Tony Bisignano, of Des Moines, spoke at a press conference Tuesday.
Sen. Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, says the measure would over regulate many honest businesses. He says he plans to introduce a bill this session that would give Iowa Workforce Development more funds to investigate wage theft cases.
(Des Moines) Young teens would be banned from commercial tanning beds under a bill state Senators took public input on today.
Some of the comments included:
“Melanoma is more common in indoor workers than it is in outdoor workers.”
“They don’t know the risk factors, they don’t know what can cause this and how dangerous it is to tan as much as they do.
“It’s harmful to teens in disproportionate manner to teens only as opposed to other age groups and subdivisions.”
“My biggest issue is just with the redundancy of the signage requirements.”
Senate File Forty advanced to full Senate Human Resources committee consideration after unanimous support in sub-committee this morning.
Senator Bill Dotzler signed off on the bill even though he admits his teenage nieces might "hate him for it".
“As mad as they get at me, I know how much I love them and I know when they are my age they will thank me for what we are doing,” said Dotzler
And, Senator Dotzler says the issue also strikes close to him because his own brother had to fight cancer after medical radiation exposure when he was younger.
Iowa Radio Network
(Des Moines) With a $250,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s State Fire Marshal Division purchased 10,000 smoke detectors and 10,000 ten-year lithium batteries.
To date, the State Fire Marshal Division has already received 5,000 of those smoke detectors and 2,500 of those smoke detectors have already been picked up from numerous fire departments from across the state.
On January 26, the State Fire Marshal Division received the second portion of the initial shipment of 5,000 smoke detectors. Those 2,500 smoke detectors have already been spoken for by numerous other fire departments across the state. Another shipment of 2,500 smoke detectors will be delivered in March and all of that shipment has been spoken for also.
The final shipment of 2,500 smoke detectors, that will fulfill the 10,000 smoke detectors purchase, will arrive this summer and have not been spoken for by any fire departments.
Once all 10,000 of these smoke detectors are installed, a total of approximately 35,000 smoke detectors will have been installed across the state since this program started in 2010.
On January 22, 2010, four people died in a house fire in Clinton, Iowa, two of which were young boys. Autopsies revealed that they died of smoke inhalation. The smoke detector on the 2nd floor of the home was not working, and therefore, didn’t provide the critical warning to the family.
After these tragic deaths, community leaders in Clinton set a goal to make sure every house with elementary children in Clinton had working smoke detectors. In just a few months, over 500 homes were equipped with working smoke detectors.
In October 2010, the DPS’ State Fire Marshal Division expanded upon Clinton’s efforts and began a Smoke Detector Project for the entire state.
In 2014, there were 40 confirmed fire fatalities in Iowa.
(Treynor) TS Bank is pleased to announce Dan Rossell as the new Market President for the Atlantic branch.
Rossell will be working from a second floor office in the future Atlantic branch site in the coming month. Rossell’s work experience includes more than 21 years with Rolling Hills Bank & Trust in Atlantic. He most recently served as a SVP/Senior Lender. Rossell also has a broad background in the areas of loan administration, compliance, and operations. Rossell is originally from Lewis where he graduated from Griswold High School, then graduated from Northwestern College with a degree in Business Administration.
Rossell and his wife, Jody, and their three daughters, Danielle, Marlia, and Faith reside in Griswold where Jody is the Griswold High School volleyball coach. In his free time, Rossell enjoys watching his children’s activities and playing golf.
“With TS Bank and the TS Banking Group’s continued expansion, it was important to me that we have a Market President for this market, who already had strong ties to the area and can be TS Bank’s leader in the local market for many years into the future,” stated TS Banking Group and TS Bank CEO & CFO Josh Guttau. “Dan is someone who has proven to add value to the clients he works with, and we look forward to him working with our local team of bankers to provide great service to the local market.”
(Area) Snow removal experts are well aware that the winter of 2014-15 has lacked an element that most motorists fear.
Just six-tenths of an inch of snow fell in December and only one inch has been added to that so far this month. A typical January in Iowa sees 7.2 inches of snowfall.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says we’ve reached the midway point of the snowfall window and year to date, we’ve seen 5.5 inches of snowfall, with most of that coming in November. The normal snow fall amount for an entire winter is 26.6.
“Some years things really turn around in a big way, the 2nd half of winter could be much snowier than the first half, but I think most of the time we tend to get more of the same. So the first half of the winter is a little bet less on the snowy side, more often than not the 2nd half is as well.“
While totals are down, the state is not at a historically low pace.
“We have actually have some other years quite a bit less yet than quite a bit less than what we have seen this year. One example being quite a number of years ago 1988-89. We only had a half an inch of snow up to this point in the snow, so there have been a few years where we had very little indeed, but this year is certainly quite a bit less than usual.”
Hillaker says most recently the winter of 2011-12 was similar to this winter as was 2001-02. We likely aren’t out of the woods until the middle of April.
“For example 1973 is the one that would be in a lot of people‘s minds. We had a major April blizzard, in fact it would be major any time of the winter. It came April 8th and 9th of 1973. That one followed a record least snowy month of March in the state so you never know what mother nature might have in store for Iowa.“
Hillaker adds Southwest Iowa has seen less snowfall than most of the rest of the state. Northeast Iowa has experienced the most.
(Creston) A Des Moines man was arrested Monday on a Union County Warrant for probation violation. The Union County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year-old Cody John Courtney at the Law Enforcement Center. He was held in the Union County Jail awaiting an appearance before the Magistrate.
(Des Moines) Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in December from 4.3 percent in November.
The state’s jobless rate was 4.2 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in December.
“We saw a nice increase in job growth; we added 2,100 jobs to the economy,” said Kerry Koonce. “Additionally, the civilian labor force continues to grow and when that happens at the same time that the number of unemployed individuals continues to drop we see a nice decrease in the overall unemployment rate.”
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 71,100 in December from 73,600 in November. The current estimate is 100 higher than the year ago level of 71,000.
"Everything we see is looking to be fairly positive for 2015, looking toward nice job growth across the board, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since June of 2008,” said Koonce.
The total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of 1,642,900 in December. This figure is 3,100 higher than November and 38,100 higher than one year ago.
(Creston) No injuries were reported in a two vehicle accident in Creston Monday morning.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Person and Adams Streets at around 8:42 a.m. 18-year-old Keegan Williams, of Creston, was driving a 1999 Chrysler northbound on Peterson Street. Williams said he stopped at the intersection and looked before pulling away from the stop sign. He said that he did not see an eastbound vehicle, driven by 77-year-old Jerry White, of Creston. Williams’ vehicle broadsided White’s 2010 Chevrolet. White’s vehicle spun around almost a full 360 degrees and came to rest in the eastbound lane of Adams Street.
The damage to both vehicles was estimated at $2,000 each.
(Atlantic) Three people have been charged in connection with a series of cattle thefts in Cass County.
Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren tells KSOM/KS95 news that the three suspects are identified as 57-year-old Ervin John Jacob, (pictured), 49-year-old James Michael Brunzo, and 42-year-old Amy Louise Springer, all of Omaha, Nebraska.
Jacob is charged with three counts of 2nd degree theft and one count of Ongoing Criminal Conduct for his involvement in all three thefts. Warrants have been issued for Brunzo and Springer. Brunzo faces charges of two counts of 2nd degree theft and Springer faces a charge of one count of 2nd degree theft.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the overnight theft of two cattle from Fruend Brothers Farms near Lewis on June 9, 2014, and two more head of cattle on January 16, 2015.
Sheriff McLaren says information from a search warrant issued on January 22, led to the charges.
Cass County District court has also issued warrants for Brunzo and Springer.
The investigation was conducted by the Cuming County, Nebraska Sheriffs’ Office, the Omaha Police Department, and the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.
Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren would like to thank the Massena Sale Barn, Rolling Hills Bank and Trust, and citizens whose tips assisted in the outcome of the investigation.
Click here to listen to Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren
January 27, 2015
(Red Oak) The Red Oak Chamber is warning businesses that a gentleman is passing bad checks.
The information on the checks shows the name Dustin Marcelle with an address of 501 South Neptune, Marathon, Iowa, 50565. The checks are being written on a Lawrence State Bank account which has been closed. The account number is 347426.
(Sioux City AP) A former northern Iowa postmaster accused of stealing painkillers from the mail has pleaded guilty in a Sioux City federal courtroom.
Fifty-five-year-old Danny Miller, of Ventura, was convicted of mail theft by a postal services employee. His trial had been scheduled to begin next week. A federal grand jury indicted Miller in October.
Federal prosecutors say Miller admitted that from about May 2013 through July 2014, while serving as postmaster for Forest City, he stole the prescription painkillers from the mail.
He'd been appointed Forest City postmaster in 2012. He'd also served as postmaster in Fertile.
A sentencing date hasn't been set for Miller, who faces up to five years in prison.
January 27, 2015
(Corning) A Corning man faces criminal mischief charges following an incident at an Adams County Care facility Monday.
Stephen Elijah Ferguson, 41, was arrested at around 8:20 p.m. and charged with fourth degree criminal mischief.
Authorities say the arrest stems from an incident at Country Haven Care at 2168 on Highway 34. Deputies say dining rooms chairs and tables were overturned and a picture was broken over one of the overturned chairs. In addition, a drinking fountain was ripped off the wall.
Ferguson was taken to jail and held on $1,000 bond.
January 27, 2015
(Creston) A Creston man has been placed under arrest on an alcohol related charge.
The Creston Police Department says 57-year-old Terry Gene Tull was arrested in the 200 block of Russell Street for Public Intoxication. He was released on $300 bond.
(Villisca) Montgomery County Deputies arrested an Atlantic man early this morning on drug related charges.
Thomas Daniel Bruning, 19, was taken into custody at around 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of West High Street and U Avenue in Villisca. Bruning faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.
Deputies also cited 20-year-old Shawn Alexander Jensen at the same location for driving while suspended and no insurance. He was released on a citation.
The Red Oak Police K-9 assisted the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office during the investigation.
January 27, 2015
(Red Oak) Red Oak Police investigated a burglary at a residence near the walking trail Monday.
The victim told Police an unknown person forced their way into his garage and removed two items later found outside the residence. Officers suspect the perpetrator was spooked by an unsuspecting citizen.
Anyone observing suspicious activity is asked to contact Red Oak Police at (712) 623-6500.
January 27, 2015
(Ames) The Iowa Department of Public Health today announced the application form for obtaining a medical cannabidiol registration card is now available on the department’s web site.
IDPH, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Transportation, has established a process to approve and generate cannabidiol registration cards for patients and their primary caregivers. Cannabidiol registration cards provide documentation that patients and primary caregivers have met the requirements of the Medical Cannabidiol Act and are authorized to legally possess medically necessary cannabidiol.
If the application, which includes a written recommendation from a neurologist is approved, the patient (if age 18 or older), and primary caregiver(s), will receive information with the mailed approval notification on how to obtain the card through the Iowa DOT’s driver’s license issuance sites.
Last year, the Iowa Legislature established Iowa Code chapter 124D, the Medical Cannabidiol Act, allowing for use of cannabidiol to treat intractable epilepsy. The law allows patients to possess and use (but not to manufacture or sell) cannabidiol.
(Area) While ice fishing enthusiasts may curse the warmer than normal conditions over the past two months, the vast majority of the public has felt spoiled by the mild, dry weather.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker puts the pleasant temps into numerical perspective.
“December averaged about 5.8 degrees warmer than typical and so far in January, up through yesterday anyway, averaging 1.4 degrees above normal this month. Although certainly with the forecast like it is, its going to finish up the month a fair amount above that, maybe four degrees above normal by the time we are all done.“
The recent warm spell comes on the heals of one of the coolest Novembers in history. Before you get too comfortable, keep in mind the possibility for extreme cold temperatures still exists.
“Well on the cold end of things typically if we could get through February it would be really, not unheard of to get some below zero temperatures in March even after a mild January and February, but quite unusual for that to happen.“
The forecast for the rest of the week shows high temperatures in the 50’s for Tuesday and Wednesday, and approaching the 40’s on Thursday and Friday.
(Des Moines) Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds have canceled their public events for Tuesday to rest and recover from seasonal illnesses.
Governor’s Office spokesman Jimmy Centers today provided the following update to the governor’s condition after he fell ill at an event earlier in the day:
“Gov. Branstad is currently alert and resting comfortably at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. He is being observed and hydrated after having flu-like symptoms. The governor did have a flu shot this season. The governor has been admitted and will be kept overnight out of an abundance of caution.”
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — A high-ranking Iowa State Patrol officer has paid a $208 ticket for an off-duty speeding incident, two months after he was initially pulled over and let go by a subordinate.
Jasper County court officials said Monday that Capt. Ken Clary pleaded guilty last week to driving 92 in a 70-mph zone.
Video released this month shows trooper Bryan Guill speeding past cars on Interstate 80 near Newton to catch up with a van driven by Clary. Guill let Clary go without a ticket after a brief, friendly exchange. Clary was wearing his uniform but off-duty, driving a vehicle owned by a nonprofit for which he volunteers.
Patrol officials have repeatedly refused to say how fast Clary was clocked on radar and whether they reduced the speed listed on the ticket.
(Exira) The Exira-EHK high school science class is moving up the ladder in a national video popularity challenge.
Since we first reported this story five days ago, the Exira/EHK’s video has surpassed many large schools and is now in the top 20.
“We’re in sixteenth place out of 138 videos, so we are doing awesome”, stated Science teacher Lydia Wahlert. “If we can get 358 different people to cast a vote in the next five days we should be able to break into the top ten.”
The contest is called the Follett Challenge which showcases and rewards educators who are aligning their curriculum and approach in order to teach the skills needed in the 21st Century.
Participants fill out an online application and produce a five-minute video on each schools program thats' voted on by the public.
Wahlert says her science class is showcasing their earth day program.
“The students spend half their day learning about earth preservation and half the day performing community service”.
The top ten winners receive $8,000 dollars, three winners win $30,000 based on 80-percent written application and 20-percent from the online voting, and the grand prize winner receives $60,000.
The public can vote by logging onto Follettchallenge.com, exira-ehk.k12.ia.us, or on the schools facebook page Exira-EHK Update Information.
January 26, 2015
(Creston) A Creston woman was arrested in connection with theft from Creston Automotive.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says in October, 2014 the Creston Police Department received a report of missing money from Creston Automotive. A joint investigation was initiated by the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Creston Police Department. The investigation determined that in excess of $500,000 dollars was missing from Creston Automotive accounts.
Lyndsay Jo Huntsman, 44, was arrested today at the Union County Law Enforcement Center and charged with Ongoing Criminal Conduct and five counts of Theft in the 1st Degree.
(Council Bluffs) No action will be taken against a Council Bluffs Police Officer involved in a shooting incident on December 23rd.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber stated in his report that his review of this matter concludes that there was no indication of any criminal wrongdoing on behalf of Officer Jarrod Poore and that Officer Poore was legally justified in the use of deadly force.
The incident occurred at around 12:40 p.m. on December 23rd when officers Jarrod Poore and Corey Woodward, with the CBPD Police Area Representative Unit were attempting to locate a 2012 blue Corvette that had been reported stolen. The officers observed the Corvette pulling into the driveway of an apartment complex at 127 Park Avenue and stop near the driveway entrance. The officers approached the Corvette on foot from behind and as they neared the Corvette, the driver, Jesse Wilkinson, of Council Bluffs, put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward the officers. Two shots were fired at Wilkinson as he backed toward the officers. The officers radioed the shots fired call and advised that the Corvette had fled the scene.
Wilkinson was located later that day by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Metro Area Fugitive Task Force in a house at 5702 N. 35th Street in Omaha. He was suffering from gunshot wounds to his lower extremities. Wilkinson has a criminal history going back fifteen years. At the time of this incident, Wilkinson had active, nationwide, state and federal arrests warrants for possession of a firearm by a felon, theft, and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. The warrants indicated that he was to be considered armed and dangerous, had a history of assaulting officers, and was a known amphetamine user.
(Corning)” Picture this” is the theme for Thursday’s annual Adams Community Chamber Banquet.
“We’re picturing all the accomplishments of 2014,” stated Wendy Boswell, Executive Director of the Adams Community Chamber of Commerce and Main Street.
Those awards include; Entrepeneur of the Year, Best Agriculturalist, Business Organization of the Year, John McMahon Volunteer of the Year Award, and Joe Cook Lifetime Support Award.
Boswell says four new chamber directors will also be appointed to the board at the event held at the Happy Hollow Country Club, Thursday, January 29, with social hour starting at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m.
January 26, 2015
(Des Moines) AIB College of Business today announced that it will become the University of Iowa Des Moines campus.
Transition is expected to take at least a year, but the two schools will immediately establish an integration team to begin the process. Eventually Iowa will own AIB’s land and buildings, and AIB students will become Iowa students.
Founded in 1921, the school, originally located in downtown Des Moines, provided a variety of business training programs. In 1941, it was reorganized as a nonprofit institution, and in the 1950s, it began awarding associate degrees. In 1972, AIB moved to its current 20-acre campus on Fleur Drive. Today, it also offers Bachelor of Science degrees in seven business-related majors. Fall 2014 enrollment at AIB was more than 1,000 students.
(Des Moines) Iowa Governor Terry Branstad fell ill at an event at DuPont Pioneer today.
Iowa Governor’s Office spokesman Jimmy Centers today released the following statement:
“Gov. Branstad fell ill at an event today at DuPont Pioneer. An ambulance was called and he was transported to Methodist hospital in Des Moines. The governor is conscious and alert and was so during the transport to the hospital. During the transport, paramedics took the governor’s vitals and initial tests indicate that the spell was caused by a seasonal illness. The governor had been suffering from the effects of a cold.”
(Atlantic) One person was injured in a rollover accident south of Atlantic early Sunday morning.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was called to the accident two miles south of Atlantic at 610th Street and Lansing Road at around 12:15 a.m. A 1997 Chevy K1500, driven by 21-year-old Daylan Gene Kleen, of Audubon, was turning north on 610th Street from Lansing Road when he lost control. The vehicle overturned in the east ditch.
A passenger, 20-year-old Jayce Marie Nelson, of Audubon, was transported to Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac. Kleen was cited for Driving Under Suspension and Failure to Maintain Control. The damage to the vehicle was estimated at $3,000.
In other activity, 53-year-old Kenneth Dean Colebank, Jr., of Boone, was arrested Friday on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear to Serve Jail Sentence. He was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains until his sentence is served.
(Fort Dodge AP) A trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday for a 24-year-old woman accused of stabbing to death her brother in Fort Dodge.
The Messenger reports that Vanita Daniels has pleaded not guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. She's accused of stabbing 19-year-old Marcquis Collier on May 9.
Officers who were sent the scene that morning say they found Collier in a front yard, suffering from a chest wound. He was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center, where was pronounced dead later.
January 26, 2015
(Creston) Two Creston residents told Police that someone got away with over $1,300 worth of merchandise from a car and their residence sometime over the past three weeks.
Crystal Estell and Lena Darling told authorities that between January 4 and January 24 someone entered the vehicle and home and stole a purse, $45 cash, debit card, Social Security Card, EBT card, $50.00 cash, makeup hair spray, perfume, 30 disc CD case, a couple pieces of jewelry, and Mp3 player.
The total loss is estimated at $1,370.00.
January 26, 2015
(Clive AP) A Johnston couple has claimed a $1 million Powerball prize they won in the New Year's Eve drawing.
Friedel and Michele Djordjevic went to Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive on Friday to turn in the ticket that Friedel Djordjevic bought at a Johnston convenience store.
Once he and his wife were certain that five of the six numbers on the ticket matched the numbers pulled Dec. 31, they put the ticket in a fireproof box and began planning what to do with their winnings. They told lottery officials that they intend to put away some money for retirement, buy a new home, pay bills and share with their adult children.
Friedel, who is originally from Germany, says they also plan to take trips there to visit friends.
January 26, 2015
(Des Moines AP) As Gov. Terry Branstad prepares to introduce legislation aimed at expanding broadband Internet in Iowa, members of a committee tasked with giving him key recommendations for a bill say it's a complex issue that they're still sorting out.
Members of a broadband committee within a science, technology, engineering and math advisory council say they're still deciding what the state's overall goal should be with expanding high-speed Internet, also known as broadband.
John Carver, superintendent of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District in northeast Iowa, is committee co-chair. He says there's a shifting national definition of what constitutes high-speed Internet.
Branstad is once again making expanded broadband Internet a top priority this session. He has set aside $5 million in his budget proposal.
January 25, 2015
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The parents of a 13-month-old girl who died from methadone exposure last year have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Quad-City Times reports 26-year-old Precious L. Bailey, formerly of Bettendorf, and 25-year-old Spencer J. Smith, of Clinton, pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment resulting in serious injury.
Following the guilty plea, prosecutors on Tuesday reduced the previous charge of child endangerment resulting in a death, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Medical records say the couple's daughter died Sept. 24, 2013 after consuming a small amount of methadone. Tests show the girl had also been exposed to methamphetamine.
John Steckel, Bailey's attorney, says his client is happy the plea was negotiated, but that the "tragedy" of the incident will stay with her forever.
January 25, 2015
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic lawmakers say more than 200 Iowa school superintendents oppose Gov. Terry Branstad's education spending plan.
House and Senate Democratic leaders released data Thursday from an online survey sent to officials in Iowa's 338 school districts. Only one of those who answered thought Branstad's proposed funding level was adequate.
Branstad's $3 billion school budget offers about $100 million in new school funding, though much of it is earmarked for specific programs. The budget includes about $35 million more in general support for K-12 public schools.
Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach, chairman of the Senate education committee, says Branstad's budget didn't include enough school funding. Democrats haven't released a counter proposal.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says superintendents consistently seek more funds each year. He declined to comment further on the survey.
January 25, 2015
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge in Iowa says a man sentenced to life in prison for two robberies is one of the most dangerous people he's ever seen.
The Sioux City Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett made the comment at 23-year-old Jamal Dean's sentencing on Friday.
Authorities say Dean, of Sioux City, has a criminal record stretching back to age 7. In August, he was found guilty of conspiracy, weapons, carjacking and robbery charges in connection with separate robberies of drug dealers in April 2013.
He also pleaded guilty to an attempted murder charge in state court after he shot a police officer in the head.
Bennett says he believes in second chances, but described Dean as one of the biggest threats to society he's ever seen.
January 25, 2015
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport businessman could face six months in jail and have to pay restitution after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for the June 2013 death of his brother-in-law.
The Quad-City Times says 52-year-old Joseph Van Heckle is set to be sentenced on March 10 in Scott County District Court.
Van Hecke pleaded guilty to assault causing injury. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors will drop the more serious charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors are expected to ask for a 180-day jail sentence. Van Hecke has agreed to pay $142,500 in restitution to the heirs of Douglas Whalen.
Police say Van Hecke hit Whalen in the head at a private party in June 2013. His attorneys say Whalen was intoxicated and picked up Van Hecke's son in a bear hug.
January 25, 2015
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police are still looking for a man involved in a crash that caused a Council Bluffs house fire.
The Daily Nonpareil reports that a man was driving a 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup just after 2 a.m. Friday when he crashed into the home's porch. Witnesses told police the driver fled on foot. No injuries were reported.
Council Bluffs police say the truck caught fire after the wreck and was engulfed in flames by the time officers arrived. The fire spread to the porch, but the house was not damaged.
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Thomas says the wreck caused an estimated $15,000 in damage.
Police Sgt. Jason Bailey says the department hasn't been able to contact the pickup's registered owner.
January 25, 2015
(Des Moines) The investigation into the death of Grinnell College student Tammy Zywicki is getting a new perspective.
A Philadelphia based organization made up largely of retired forensics and law enforcement officials plans to look into the death of Tammy Zywicki who was 21 when she died in August of 1992. She had been driving to Grinnell College when her car broke down in northern Illinois. Her body was found four days later near Joplin, Missouri.
No one has ever been charged in the case, there have been no arrests.
Iowa Radio Network
(Des Moines) Iowa Workforce Development is beginning its rapid response program in the wake of hundreds of layoffs announced by Deere & Company.
IWD Spokesperson Kerry Koonce says first comes meetings with company to learn about severances packages…. “And then we coordinate worker meetings to meet with everyone at once and try to gather all of their information so that they know what they’re doing for unemployment, we talk to them about training that is available.”
She says they’ll discuss re-training options and available services. She notes, Iowa’s unemployment rate is about 4.3 percent right now, one of the lowest rates in the nation. She says the manufacturing sector has made a decent comeback from the recession and has been steady.
Iowa Radio Network
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two Sioux City brothers have been sentenced to federal prison for the armed robbery of two drug dealers.
Officials say 23-year-old Jamal Dean was sentenced Thursday to life in prison after being found guilty of several convictions, including carjacking and two counts of robbery, among other convictions. His 25-year-old brother, Levon Dean Jr., was sentenced to more than 30 years.
According to a release, Jamal Dean was already serving a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted murder in the April 2013 shooting of a Sioux City police officer.
The release says the two traveled together from Nebraska to Iowa and conspired to rob local drug dealers on two occasions in April 2013. After each attack, the brothers returned to Nebraska.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa lottery worker has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges following accusations that he illegally played the lottery, won a multimillion-dollar jackpot in 2010 and asked others to help him claim it.
Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, of Norwalk, Iowa, entered the plea deal Friday. Tipton was arrested and charged Jan. 15 on two counts of fraud.
Officials had been trying to identify the winner of the $14.3 million Hot Lotto ticket since a New York lawyer tried to claim the prize just before the one-year deadline in 2011. As director of information security at the Multi-State Lottery Association in Iowa, Tipton is not allowed to buy tickets or win prizes.
A message left for Tipton's attorney was not immediately returned.