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(Atlantic) The Atlantic School Board approved a salary agreement for the non-certified staff during a special meeting Thursday night.

 

The school board initially rejected the agreement at their meeting last week. Atlantic Community Schools Business Manager Mary Beth Fast said Board President Kristy Pellett stated Thursday night that they needed more information and that they wished to reconsider ratifying that non-certified bargaining agreement.

 

“They approved the original agreement as it was presented and we had a zero percent increase in our health insurance and we are calculating the supplemental state aid at zero percent and in doing both of those things that settlement fell within the range that the district needed,” explained Fast.

 

The board unanimously approved the original agreement which allows for 47-cents an hour pay raise, for a total package increase of 3.2 percent for the 2015-2016 school year. The total cost to the district would be around $87,584.

 

Mandy Billings

03/27/2015

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(Des Moines) Iowa has the 11th lowest unemployment rate of any state in the nation.

 

Workforce Development Spokesperson Kerry Koonce says the latest number reflects a continued strong economy.

 

“Right now we’re seeing another drop in unemployment from 4.2 to 4.1 percent for Iowa,” said Koonce. “This is still significantly below the national rate of 5.5 percent and we are also down from 4.4 where we were this time last year.”

 

She says their latest report shows some job loss in the retail sector, which tends to happen after the holidays. Manufacturing added 1,200 jobs, education added a thousand positions, and constructions is picking up and is expected to continue to be strong over the next few months.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/27/2015

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(Area) Turkey Hunting Season kicks off one week from tomorrow as youth hunters will have the first opportunity to take the field.

 

The youth season runs April 4th through 12th. Bryan Hayes, with the Iowa DNR, says, 

 

“It gives the young hunters a chance to be out in the woods, out chasing the turkeys outside of the regular season where we will have as many as 50,000 hunters take the field during the regular season. During the youth season there is a smaller push and a lot more room in the woods for these young hunters.”

 

He says it’s a good opportunity for young hunters to learn the sport.

 

“The focus should be on that more than actually bagging a turkey. You know it‘s nice to call a bird in and get the young hunter an opportunity to harvest a turkey, but don‘t make that the primary focus because there is a lot more to turkey hunting than shooting a turkey.”

 

The first of four adult seasons will start on April 13th.

 

“It‘s split up into four different seasons. This divides up the hunters so we don‘t have everybody out there hunting at the same time. We have a limited amount of turkey hunting in the state. By dividing up the spring into four different seasons, we divide up the pressure and it makes for a lot more enjoyable hunt.”

 

A lot of scouting is taking place right now ahead of the start of the season. Hayes says about one of every three hunters are successful in bagging a turkey.

 

Bennett Blake
3/27/15

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended the law license of the former Madison County Attorney for 18 months for violating attorney rules of ethical conduct including having sex with a client and then assaulting her when the relationship deteriorated.

 

It was significantly more lenient than an attorney disciplinary board's recommendation of a four-year suspension.

 

Court documents filed Friday say Anthony Zane Blessum engaged in a sexual relationship with a client in 2011 and was convicted of repeatedly striking her in 2013. He also was found to have improperly handled client funds.

 

Blessum, who is 57, was Madison County attorney from 1986 to 1997. He recently has practiced law in his own office in Des Moines.

 

Blessum didn't immediately return a message.

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(Greenfield) A bill passed the House that would increase the distance from 500 feet to 1,000 feet for protestors at veteran’s funerals.

 

Clel Baudler, a Representative from Greenfield, said this was an easy bill to support. He said the bill is in reference to the folks from Westboro Baptist Church….

 

“These people are filled with hate,” said Baudler. “That Reverend Fred (Phelps), I know he died, but the one girl in that bunch is trying to carry on his legacy and there were problems at one military funeral and so we just upped the distance to 1,000 feet.”

 

Baudler was also part of a subcommittee meeting held Thursday morning on SF 319 which would tighten the texting while driving laws. The bill would make texting while driving a primary offense instead of a secondary offense.  Baudler said the subcommittee meeting was well attended by supporters of the bill. The bill passed the subcommittee unanimously and is currently in the Transportation committee.

 

Meanwhile, this week Baudler is asking for constituent’s opinions on HF 528 which relates to responsibilities for expenses for the safekeeping and maintenance of prisoners by counties and two cities… SF 151 which establishes an orientation and classification center at the Iowa correctional institution for women and at the Anamosa state penitentiary… and SF 309 which relates to the compilation of a presentence investigation report in a criminal proceeding.
 

Mandy Billings

03/27/2015

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(Creston) The Creston Police Department reports the arrest of 30-year-old Nick Wilkinson, of Creston.

 

Wilkinson was arrested Thursday morning at the Law Enforcement Center on a Union County Warrant for Probation Violation.

 

He is being held in the Union County Jail awaiting bond hearing.

 

Bennett Blake
March 27, 2015

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed against the Woodbury County sheriff and other officials, saying their failure to treat a jail inmate for substances abuse withdrawal led to his death more than two years ago.

 

The federal lawsuit was filed by Tony Josta, of Homer, Nebraska, representing the estate of his son, Anthony Josta. The lawsuit says 35-year-old Anthony Josta "was subjected to defendants' deliberate indifference to his medical needs."

 

Anthony Josta was found dead in his cell on March 26, 2013, three days after his arrest on a warrant for contempt of court.

 

Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew told the Sioux City Journal that he welcomes the chance to offer sworn testimony in defense of the jail's procedures and explain the conditions and decisions officers face daily.

 

March 27, 2015

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a southwest Iowa man's appeal of his conviction for robbery, carjacking, obstructing justice and witness tampering.

 

The court notified 49-year-old Tiran Casteel Thursday it would not hear his case.

Casteel, of Coin, Iowa, is serving 27 years in prison for the 2008 robbery of Darlene Eitzen at her rural Page County farm.

 

Prosecutors say Eitzen was held at gunpoint while Casteel and his son, Devan, robbed her of a rare coin collection her late husband left her.

 

While awaiting trial Casteel attempted to have Eitzen killed prompting obstructing justice and witness tampering charges.

 

Casteel's conviction was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2013. He's at a federal prison in Kansas. His son, Devan, is imprisoned in Texas, scheduled to be released in 2021.

 

March 27, 2015

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(Des Moines) Your days of nonchalantly driving past a police car while texting and driving may soon be coming to an end.  Lawmakers in the House advancing a Senate bill today (Th) that would make such distracted driving a so-called primary offense in Iowa.  That means police don't have to wait to see you break some other law before stopping you for texting and driving.  Subcommittee Chair and trucker Gary Worthan says he's in favor of the bill, but, he wishes it could be expanded to include all hand-held devices...

 

"It's amazing what you can see from the cab of a truck going down the interstate, what's going on in some of these vehicles. So I'm disappointed that this bill isn't stronger."

 

And, the Storm Lake Republican says he'll be checking with other members of the House Transportation Committee to see if an amendment toughening the bill would pass.  Senate File Three Ninety-One advancing unanimously out of sub-committee this morning.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/27/15

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(Des Moines) March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and in Iowa the focus is on ways in which communities can welcome and include individuals with disabilities.

 

The month was established in 1987 by President Reagan to ensure that everyone can lead productive lives and achieve their full potential. Rik Shannon, public policy manager for the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, said much progress has been made since then.

 

"We have people with all types of developmental disabilities living, learning working and playing in communities in which they choose to live," he said.

 

Shannon said one of the efforts this month has been a series of community discussions on ways to be more inclusive, with the latest held Thursday night in Ames and another set for Monday in Spencer.

 

Despite the strides made in recent years, Shannon said there's still much more to be done to ensure that needed services and supports are available.

 

"So in March, we hope to raise awareness of the issues, the challenges that confront people with disabilities, those barriers to full community inclusion," he said, "and we want to celebrate the successes that they've enjoyed since that first Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month."

 

In Iowa, about 50,000 people live with a developmental disability.

More information is online at iddcouncil.idaction.org.

 

Iowa News Service

3/27/15

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(St Charles) An Urbandale faces charges in connection with the bank robbery in Madison County Wednesday.
 
The Madison County Sheriff's Office says a charge of 1st Degree Robbery has been filed against 35-year-old Hussam Fayiz Abusharkh. It is believed that Abusharkh acted alone when he entered the Farmer's & Merchant's Bank in St Charles at around 3:00 p.m. while displaying a handgun and demanding money. 
 
After leading employees into a bathroom at gun point, Abusharkh fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. Abusharkh left the bank in a white 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo with the possible Iowa license plate of “CZH 166” or “CRX 108”.
 
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the incident and additional charges are pending. Abusharkh’s whereabouts are unknown at this time. If anyone knows of his location, please contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 515-462-3575 or your local law enforcement agency.  Abusharkh is armed and considered dangerous.
 
Mandy Billings
03/26/2015

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa youth softball coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old friend of his daughter has been convicted of four counts of sexual abuse.
 
The Omaha World-Herald reports 47-year-old John Osborn, of Council Bluffs, was found guilty Thursday of third-degree sexual abuse in a nonjury trial. He faces up to 40 years in prison at his May 1 sentencing hearing.
 
Council Bluffs police say the girl and Osborn began exchanging text messages in June and had phone conversations about sex. Court documents show the girl reported that she and Osborn engaged in sexual acts in July when the girl stayed at Osborn's house for a sleepover with his daughter.
 
Osborn has denied willingly touching the teen and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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(Des Moines) Iowa lawmakers want to increase the buffer zone between mourners and protesters at funerals like the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.  Bondurant Republican Zach Nunn floor managing a bill today (Th) that would increase the distance protesters have to stay away from mourners from 500-to-a-thousand feet.  Nunn says, as he was working on the bill, he was contacted by a widow in Ohio...

 

"Who was moved to tears on the phone because she herself was subjected to the actions of this despicable group of people during her husband's funeral and she's just happy Iowa is extending that buffer zone to 1,000 feet."

 

House File 558 passing through the House unanimously, 100-zip, and now heads to the Senate.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/26/15

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(Council Bluffs) A Council Bluffs 11-year-old who went missing this (Thursday) morning has been located safe and sound.

 

The Council Bluffs Police Department received a report at 9:45 a.m. that an 11-year-old male had left Edison School on foot without permission. From there, a two hour search involving Pottawattamie County Deputies and Council Bluffs Police Officers ensued.

 

Authorities were able to utilize cell phone technology to track the child in the area of Big Lake Park off North 16th Street. Officers on foot and in vehicles searched the area and additional cell phone information showed the child had moved a half mile north of city limits east of Monument Road. The child was eventually seen running into a heavily wooded area on a ridge where he was apprehended without incident.

 

The uninjured child was transported to his residence where he lives with his grandmother.

 

Bennett Blake
3/26/15

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(Carson)  The Carson Community Club hosts Game Show Mania 2.0 this Friday and Saturday.

 

Carson Resident, Marlene Novotny, says Game Show Mania 2.0 includes a dinner and show.

 

“We have a game show theme, so we’re going to play ‘The Price Is Right,’ we have a few games of that, where we’re going to call some people out of the audience and they can win some great prizes,” said Novotny.  “And then we have two different segments; we have the ‘Match’ game that everybody remembers from the 70’s and then we have ‘The Newlywed Game,’ expect for our case, we call it the “Not-So-Newlywed Game’ because most of the couples have been married many, many years.”

 

Game Show Mania 2.0 will be held at the Carson Community Center in Carson.  Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m.

 

Tickets cost $25 per person and can be purchased at Carson City Hall, Permanent Solution, Janell’s Hair Design, Pioneer Trail Museum, and Rolling Hills Bank in Carson.  To reserve tickets, email Marlene Novotny at gameshowmania@frontier.com.

 

All proceeds from the event go to the Carson Park Board and the Macedonia Historical Society’s expansion project. 

 

And our very own Frank Rizzo will be part of the cast for Game Show Mania 2.0.

 

Anna Hastert

03/25/2015

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(Red Oak) A Red Oak man is charged with Burglary in the 3rd Degree after being arrested late Thursday morning.

 

Kim Jack Douglas Trost, age 35, was arrested at 11:01 a.m. for two burglaries that he committed on March 19th and another on March 11th. Burglaries took place at the Red Oak Greenhouse, BNSF Railroad, and from a motor vehicle parked at BNSF.

 

At the time of the arrest, Trost was already being held on prior burglary and theft charges in the Montgomery County Jail.

 

Bennett Blake
3/26/15

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(Atlantic) A smooth transition took place this week from the old Cass County Communications Center located inside the Cass County Court House to their new location at 707 Poplar Street.

 

911 Communication Center Director Rob Koppert admits its a relief to have the new facility up and running.

 

"Yeah it is a relief because it's been a long time coming. I looked back in the Public Safety Commission Minutes and I first relocating back in 2001. I don't know if this is a 14 year project but we've been working on it fast and furious for the past four and a half years now. Once things started coming into shape the building location was the big thing."

 

He says finding a building right across the street and getting it at fairly decent cost was a significant factor. Overall things went well on Tuesday when they went live at their new location.

 

"Well it wasn't perfect, but for a project of this complexity and a move of this complexity I think it went pretty darn good."

 

Koppert thanks the Board of Supervisors and Public Safety Commission.

 

"We've got a really good center to serve the citizens of Cass County and those that pass through on the interstate. We get a lot of people that come through that need assistance. We've got a really good center that was done very well. The credit really goes to the Board of Supervisors and the Public Safety Commission for having the foresight to say yes we need to do something...and we did it as fiscally responsible to

the taxpayers as we possibly could."

 

Koppert says most of the equipment is all new because their previous equipment was aging and wearing out. He says that helped make the transmission simpler.

 

Bennett Blake
3/26/15

 

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(Atlantic) Wednesday's test of the Emergency Alert System in Cass County came with mixed reviews.

 

Cass County EMA Director Mike Kennon says the good news is the folks who signed up for text messages and e-mails received the proper communication.

 

"We had about 500 people that had registered thus far.  Every one of the texts and every one of the e-mails was delivered successfully. To me, that part is great."

 

The bad news is the land line numbers were not all reached.

 

"The voice mail, I believe because of the timing of it, about 10:00 to 10:15 a.m., with those phone lines you have to have somebody there picking up the lines so we had a lot unsuccessful. We have about 7,000 lines in the county and around 2,300 or so were unsuccessful."

 

He'd like to see more people get signed up.

 

"A lot of it is word of mouth. I received inquiries from people who said, 'I have a friend that got that emergency text. How do I get it?' I would like to see a lot more people.

 

To sign up log onto the Cass County Website, Cass County Sheriff's Office Facebook page or the Cass County EMA Facebook page.

 

Bennett Blake
3/26/15

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(Atlantic) The Cass County Master Gardeners group is again offering grant money to be used in the 2015 growing season, to encourage gardening to grow food and/or beautify local communities, and the deadline to apply is next week.

 

The money may also be used for gardening education purposes. The David Williams Master Gardener Grants are offered to honor the many years of service Master Gardener David Williams provided as a long-time volunteer, with the Master Gardener program and other community organizations, including a term as Cass County Master Gardener president in 2012.


 Any Cass County not-for-profit group or individual may apply. To ensure the money is helping a wide variety of community organizations, groups who were funded by 2014 grants will not be eligible to apply in 2015. Each grant has a maximum value of $300. The application must also include plans for teamwork and sustainability. Consideration for the environment is also an important selection factor.


 Applications must be received by Monday, March 30th for consideration. They may be submitted by mail or email. Grant recipients will be informed of their selection by the end of April. For more information, or with questions, call the Cass County Extension office.

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) — Officials from Clarinda Mental Health have begun to transfer mentally ill senior citizens from the institution to private nursing homes.

 

A spokeswoman for the state facility confirmed Wednesday that only about a dozen patients, who are considered to be some of the toughest cases the institution handles, will be affected. The institute itself is scheduled to close July 1.

 

The Department of Human Services says that it is looking for safe placements for the senior citizens. Patient advocates say most of the senior citizens in the program were placed in the institution because private facilities found them too difficult to handle.

 

Department spokeswoman Amy McCoy said that some of the transfers have taken place, but declined to say how many of the residents have been moved.

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(Atlantic) Three Atlantic men were arrested Wednesday by the Atlantic Police Department.

 

25-year-old Marshall Fischer is charged with Theft 4th Degree and Driving While Barred.

 

20-year-old Aaron Cole and Joshua Peters, age 24, each face charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance plus Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

Fischer, Cole, and Peters were all transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

 

Bennett Blake
3/26/15

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(Atlantic) The Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund recently donated $2500 to the Griswold Little League to assist them with expanding their concession stand/restrooms.  

 

The fund was founded when the family tragically lost Trevor in an apartment fire in 2009.  Since then, the fund has given out over $100,000 in donations back to the communities Trevor was a part of.  “

 

We are blessed with all the support we receive each year at our annual TFred Memorial Golf Tournament,” said Melanie Petty.  This year the tournament will be held on Saturday, August 8th.

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(Glenwood) Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident in Mills County this morning.

 

The Iowa State Patrol says 22-year-old Terrence Reynolds, Sr., of South Sioux City, Nebraska, was driving a 1994 Chevy S-10 westbound on Highway 370 and 44-year-old Jennifer Rethmeier, of Council Bluffs, was stopped at the I-29 southbound off ramp in her 2013 Ford Focus. Rethmeier did not see Reynolds’ vehicle and turned eastbound onto Highway 370 in front of Reynolds.

 

The report states Rethmeier was injured, but was not transported. Reynolds was transported to Jennie Edmundson Hospital by Glenwood Rescue.

 

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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(Harlan) A Harlan woman has been charged with six counts of forgery.

 

The Harlan Police Department arrested 26-year-old Brittney Dollen on March 22nd when it was discovered that she had allegedly altered several checks that were given by citizens for Girl Scout cookies. Dollen was taken to the Shelby County Jail.

 

In other activity, the Harlan Police Department cited two subjects on March 17th when officers were called to a go-cart being driven around the empty lots on Dye Street. 30-year-old Dane Stevens, of Harlan, was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with intoxication in public and trespassing. 33-year-old Kylie Stahl, of Harlan, was cited for trespassing and released.

 

And, 34-year-old Clayton Sorensen, of Harlan, was arrested March 20th following a traffic stop for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was also cited for improper rear lights.

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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(Des Moines) Petitions bearing thousands of signatures have been delivered to state lawmakers in support of adequate state aid for public schools.

 

The petitions, containing more than 6,000 signatures, were delivered to the conference committee trying to hammer out an agreement on increasing state aid to public schools.  Several education related organizations called on lawmakers to reach an agreement that would adequately fund K-12 education.  The petitioners contend a four percent increase is the bare acceptable minimum for the coming school year.  A four percent increase is in the measure approved by the senate while the house has stood firm with its approved level of funding of 1.25 percent. 

 

The petition drive began after the house approved its level of funding and vowed not to budge.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/26/2015

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(St Charles) A Madison County Bank was robbed at gun point Wednesday afternoon.

 

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Farmer’s & Merchant’s Bank in St. Charles at 3:07 p.m. reporting that they had just been robbed at gun point by a male subject. The suspect was described as 5’6” to 5’10” tall with a full beard and weighing 350 to 400 lbs.

 

After the suspect entered the bank he displayed a hand gun and instructed staff to fill a bag with the money. Once an undisclosed amount of money was obtained, he ordered all three employees into a bathroom. Once they were in the bathroom, the suspect fled the bank in an unknown direction. The suspect is believed to be possibly driving a white in color Chevy Monte-Carlo.

 

No customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery. An investigation is on-going at this time and anyone with information regarding the identity of this subject or any information related to the robbery is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 515-462-3575 or their local law enforcement agency. The subject is armed and considered dangerous.

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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(Underwood) A Wichita, Kansas man was injured when his semi rolled over early this morning in Pottawattamie County.

 

The Iowa State Patrol says 57-year-old Steven Cain was westbound on I-80 at around 12:38 a.m. and noticed the trailer lights on his semi were not working properly. Cain attempted to pull over and fix them, but pulled the tractor trailer over too far. The soft ground pulled the semi into the ditch where it rolled onto its side and came to rest.

 

Cain was transported to Mercy Hospital by Underwood Rescue for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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(Treynor) Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker awarded seven students at the Treynor School District for their leadership and bravery by assisting fellow students when a school bus rolled into a ditch northwest of Treynor on March 13th.

 

The Sheriff’s Office says about 20 students were on board, including Alora Nowlin, Chloe Mass, Amanda Stephens, Claire Rolf, Max Hayes, Nathan Nelson and Warren Rolf. These students went above and beyond to make sure all of the other students were safe, helped get everyone out of the school bus and called for help. The Sheriff’s Office says because of their bravery, as first responders arrived they found everyone calm and the scene organized.

 

These seven students were honored with a certificate, a pin, and a personal Thank You from Sheriff Danker.

 

(Photo from the Sheriff's Office Facebook page)

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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(Red Oak) A Villisca woman suffered minor injuries in a two vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon.

 

The Red Oak Police Department says the accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 34 and the entrance road to Senate Avenue, next to the Red Coach Inn, just after 4:30 p.m. 60-year-old Janice Robinson, of Villisca, was driving westbound on Highway 34 and signaled to turn onto Senate Avenue and then started to brake. 55-year-old Ronda Woods, of Red Oak, was driving behind Robinson and struck the rear of Robinson’s vehicle.

 

Robinson was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. Woods was given a warning for following too closely. The Red Oak Police Department was assisted by Red Oak Fire and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Mandy Billings

03/26/2015

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Debate over when school districts may start their calendar year continues, with a bill that gives the state control over start dates stalled in the Iowa Senate.

 

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would require Iowa school districts to start classes no earlier than Aug. 23. But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, filed a motion to reconsider the bill, meaning it is stalled until he calls it up for another vote.

 

Gronstal said he was concerned that the bill excludes high schools from setting year-round calendars.

 

Republican Senate minority leader Bill Dix called the bill a compromise.

 

This issue came up after the state announced plans late last year to stop issuing automatic waivers to allow districts to bypass current start date rules.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The House has passed legislation that would require some elected public officials in Iowa to have more contact information published online in a timely manner.

 

The House voted unanimously for the bill, which would require an entity with a website to post a telephone number and an email for an elected public official. Public officials are defined in the bill as lawmakers, county board supervisors, city council members and board members of a school district.

 

Rep. Mike Sexton, a Rockwell City Republican who led the bill, says the legislation offers transparency. The Senate is considering a similar bill, and Sexton expects it to pass.

 

The bill is not expected to change the current system in the Iowa Legislature, where lawmakers vary greatly in how much information they provide online.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Investigators have identified a woman who was found dead in the Des Moines River last week.

 

Authorities said Wednesday that dental records confirmed the woman as 19-year-old Ayawk Williams. Her body was discovered floating in the river March 17.

 

Williams was reported missing Jan. 10 after she jumped from the Center Street pedestrian bridge, went through the ice and disappeared. Subsequent searches of the river didn't turn up her body.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An 18-year-old Des Moines father has been sentenced to up to 50 years in prison in the death of his infant son.

 

Drew Weehler-Smith was sentenced Wednesday. He entered a plea deal in January to second-degree murder in the death of 4-month-old Gabriel King McFarland. He must serve 17 years before he is eligible for parole.

 

Prosecutors say Gabriel died April 22, 2014 after Weehler-Smith, then 17 years old, shook him. His death came weeks after he was adopted and then returned by court order to his birth mother.

 

Police say the birth mother left Gabriel alone with Weehler-Smith and returned to find him unresponsive. He was later declared dead.

 

At his sentencing hearing, Weehler-Smith apologized to everybody affected by the death.

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa's top health care official is expected to briefly serve as the school's interim president later this year.

 

Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter said Wednesday that he would recommend that UI vice president for medical affairs Jean Robillard fill in when President Sally Mason retires July 31.

 

Robillard's leading the search committee tasked with helping find a replacement for Mason, who announced in January her plan to step down. The search panel met Wednesday, and said it might not have finalists for the job until the beginning of the fall semester.

 

Robillard oversees University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the medical school, and the university's doctor's group practice. He has served in that role since 2007 after serving four years as dean of the medical college.

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(Des Moines) Cell phones and passengers play a bigger role in teen driver crashes than previously thought.

 

“Six out of ten moderate to severe teen crashes involve distraction with the number one cause being other passengers in the vehicle and secondly, of course, cell phone use,” said Gail Weinholzer, with AAA.

 

Weinholzer says that’s four times as many as in previous estimates based on police reports. The information comes from AAA in partnership with drive-cam and the University of Iowa.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/25/2015

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(Des Moines) An inmate serving a life sentence from Pottawattamie County has died.

 

The Iowa Department of Corrections says Rebecca Sue Beyer, an inmate assigned to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women Hospice Care Unit died Monday of natural causes from squamous cell carcinoma.

 

Beyer was 47-years-old and serving a life sentence from Pottawattamie County for Kidnapping First Degree and Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury. This sentence began on July 10, 2014.

 

Mandy Billings

03/25/2015

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(Atlantic) The new Cass County Communications Center is up and running.

 

Cass County 911 Director Rob Koppert thanked the Cass County Board of Supervisors this morning for allowing them to have a “fiscally responsible 911 Center that is functional and something to be proud of.”

 

“We could have spent a million more to make it a Taj Mahal but we got a really great center for what you guys gave us and I really thank you guys for that,” said Koppert.

 

The new center is located in the lower level of 707 Poplar Street, right across the street from the courthouse.

 

Mandy Billings

03/25/2015

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(Atlantic) The Cass County Board of Supervisors have signed a proclamation to declare April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Cass County.

 

The proclamation states in part that protecting children is everyone’s business. Child Abuse prevention succeeds because of the partnerships created between parents, practitioners, schools, faith communities, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies, community leaders, politicians and the business community.

 

“We the Cass County Board of Supervisors do hereby proclaim the month of April 2015 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Cass County and urge all citizens, community agencies, religious organizations, medical facilities and businesses to partner in efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, thereby strengthening the communities in which we live.”

 

The Cass County Child Abuse Prevention Council is selling blue pinwheels for prevention. Proceeds from the pinwheels go toward child abuse prevention projects throughout the county.

 

Mandy Billings

03/25/2015

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa county supervisor has been accused of drunken driving.

 

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office says 31-year-old Justin Schultz was arrested early Sunday morning after a deputy pulled him over.

 

The Daily Nonpareil reports that three tests showed Schultz's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.

 

At Tuesday's Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors meeting in Council Bluffs, Schultz declined to comment about the arrest and said he was working with an attorney.

 

3/25/15

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(Creston) The Creston Police Department reports two theft incidents and one arrest. 
 
A 16-year-old male was referred to Juvenile authorities from the Law Enforcement Center on charges of Public Intoxication, Trespass, Criminal Mischief 5th and Assault on Police Officer with Injury. He was released to Central Iowa Juvenile Detention. 
 
Nathan Lens, of Creston, reported that sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday someone entered his residence and took some towels, two HDMI cords, two phone chargers and a broken PS3. The estimated loss is $175. 
 
Rick Foster, of Creston, reported that someone had taken his vehicle that was parked at the Railroad Depot Parking lot. He vehicle, estimated at $10,000 is a Black 2005 Chevy Tahoe with Iowa License Plate CAA 591.
 
Bennett Blake
3/25/15

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(Montgomery) Following Tuesday's rain showers and a drop in temperatures, Montgomery County residents are no longer under a burn ban.

 

Montgomery County Emergency Management released a statement just after 9:00 this morning stating:

 

Effective immediately, the open burn ban for Montgomery County has been lifted.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

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ONAWA, Iowa (AP) — The Onawa City Council has put off a decision on what to do about a St. Bernard that's called a "gentle giant" by its owner and a potential menace by some other residents of the western Iowa community.

 

Dozens of people reportedly packed the council meeting Tuesday to learn Zhivago's fate. The 3-year-old, 200-pounder has gotten loose twice but hasn't bitten anyone. Police say he's a dangerous animal who should be seized. Owner Billy Parker says Zhivago is a "gentle giant" and a therapy animal who poses no threat.

 

Council members discussed changing city ordinances so that a tall fence could be installed to help keep the dog in his yard. The members delayed a final decision until their April 14 meeting.

 

3/25/15

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(Des Moines) The bill would prohibit those under the age of 18 from using a tanning device at a commercial establishment. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says restricting tanning was a safety precaution, but Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, argues it was safer for teens to tan in licensed establishments. He also unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill to allow parents to wave the restriction for their children. A similar bill has received committee level approval in the Iowa House, but has not yet had a full vote.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/25/15

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(Council Bluffs) A 24-year-old male subject had to be tasered by Council Bluffs Police prior to his arrest early this (Wednesday) morning. Joseph Broich, of Council Bluffs, faces Serious Assault charges.

 

Authorities were called to a possible assault involving a 17-year-old male at 4:00 this morning at 1961 Parkwild Drive. Officers located the victim at 1029 North 8th Street and confirmed the report. Broich was located, but became combative leading officers to use a taser to bring him into custody.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

 

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(Council Bluffs) A Council Bluffs man has died and his mother, a passenger in the vehicle, was injured as a result of an accident on Monday.

 

According to the Omaha World Herald 58-year-old Jeffrey Sealock passed out at the wheel late Monday morning. He was southbound on Valley View Drive just south of Greenview Road and East of Interstate 80 at around 11:25 a.m. His mother, 82-year-old Kathryn Sealock reportedly attempted to gain control of the vehicle, but was unable to as her unresponsive son’s foot was stuck on the accelerator. The vehicle veered off Valley View Drive, went airborne, and came to rest in a field on the west side of the road.

 

Kathryn Sealock was transported to Jennie Edmundson Hospital for minor injuries. Her son Jeffrey Sealock was declared dead at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

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(Red Oak) A Montgomery County man faces multiple offenses following a traffic stop early this (Wednesday) morning.

 

The Red Oak Police Department reports the arrest of 36-year-old Kale Alan Wenberg, of Red Oak. Wenberg is charged with Driving Suspended, No Insurance, and Operation Without Registration. Wenberg was arrested in the 700 block of North Broadway. He's being held on $300 bond.

 

Bennett Blake

3/25/15
 

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Atlantic- .2"

 

Creston- .7"

 

Audubon- .07"

 

Red Oak- .33"

 

Clarinda- .42"

 

Shenandoah- .75"

 

Council Bluffs- .48"

 

Harlan- .23"

 

Denison- .07"

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(Area) Former Senator Rick Santorum had several stops in Southwest Iowa this week as he continues to lay the ground work for a possible run for the Republican Presidential nomination. He says it all depends on fundraising.

 

"We were up against the establishment candidate who had a lot more funding than we did so I think the key is for us is to work a little bit harder on the funding side so we can be more competitive. That's one of the things people say, 'Why haven't you made a decision yet?' Well, we are still working on putting the funding pieces together."

 

Santorum says his experience in the Senate will top the experience of others in the potential field because his includes National Security and Foreign Policy.

 

Iowa Radio Network
3/25/15

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(Area) A dense fog advisory is in effect for portions of Southwest Iowa.

 

Counties included in the KSOM/KS95.7 coverage area are Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page.

 

The National Weather Service in Omaha has issued the dense fog advisory effective until 10:00 a.m. Visibility will be less than ¼ mile in most areas, making travel hazardous.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

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(Council Bluffs)  Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency launched their new emergency notification system Tuesday.

 

The new system is part of the growing statewide notification system “Alert Iowa”. Currently, 80 out of Iowa’s 99 counties have, or are in the process of, implementing this statewide notification system.

 

Doug Reed, Director of Emergency Management for Pottawattamie County, said this system will replace the current CodeRED alerting system.

 

“It will allow us to save a lot of money in our emergency warning capabilities, plus it provides us a system that is more user friendly to manage and activate as well as gives the citizens a lot more customizable options,” said Reed.

 

Residents will be able to choose the types of alerts they receive, such as for severe weather, 911 outages or winter storms. Alerts can be sent to residents via landline and wireless phone, text messaging, email, fax, TTY/TDD, and social media. Residents can sign up for multiple phone numbers and addresses to receive emergency alerts for themselves or for loved ones in another community within the county.

 

Reed said another new feature that will be available is the ability for citizens with special needs to provide that information during registration.

 

“If them, or a family member, have any type of assisted electrical device or they are hearing impaired or bed ridden or dependent on ventilators or things like that in the home setting, they can register that information when they sign up so we have a better idea and can better prepare for citizens who have special needs that might be affected by disaster,” explained Reed.

 

To register, visit www.pottcounty.com , the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Facebook page, or www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov .

 

Mandy Billings

03/25/2015

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(Red Oak) The Red Oak Police Department reports a pair of arrests, each took place Tuesday night.

 

At approximately 8:07 p.m. 34-year-old Kale Garrett Hardman, of Red Oak, was placed under arrest for a Protective Order Violation.

 

At 9:34 p.m. police arrested 26-year-old Jason Rolfe Aherns, of Red Oak, on a charge of Probation Violation.

 

Aherns was held on $5,000 bond and Hardman on $300 bond.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

 

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(Glenwood) Mills County Public health is gearing up for the start of April which marks Prevent Child Abuse Month.

 

Julie Lynes Family Center Services Supervisor with Mills County Public Health, says the ‘Festival of the Young Child’ will be held April 11th at the YMCA. All month long a family photo booth will be available at Mills County Public health offering a free 8X10 professional family photo in exchange for a package of diapers.

 

Lynes says the ultimate goal is to have a county free of child abuse.

 

“I would say that we are making some really good forward steps…In 2013 in Mills County, we had 111 cases that were turned over to the department of human services for investigation.”

 

Lynes admit’s the main focus of the Child Abuse Prevention Council is to offer preventative programs and support.

 

“And a lot of support for our families so if they get in a position where they are feeling overwhelmed with their new baby or parenting their adolescent they know that there are places in Mills County where they can go to get supported and get whatever help they may need to get through whatever rough patch they might be experiencing as a family.”

 

Pinwheels for prevention is the national and local public awareness campaign this year. She says the pinwheels you may see around the county represent hope, health, and happiness for our children.

 

Bennett Blake
3/25/15

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(Red Oak)  The Red Oak Police Department reports one arrest this afternoon.

 

Police arrested 31-year-old Zachariah Michael Holland, of Red Oak, on a valid warrant within the 400 Block of North 2nd Street in Red Oak.  Holland is being charged with four counts of a Class D felony, Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree.  Holland is being held at the Red Oak Law Center on $10,000 cash bond.


Anna Hastert

3/24/15

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(Red Oak) Wet roads are being blamed for a single vehicle accident in Red Oak Tuesday morning. The Red Oak Police Department responded to the 100 block of West Washington Avenue at around 9:15 a.m.

 

84-year-old Cleo Royer, of Essex, was northbound when she came upon the bridge, encountered a stagnant amount of water, and hydroplaned. Royer left the roadway to the right striking a street sign and continued through the yard and into the parking lot. The vehicle sustained extensive damage to the right front estimated at $7,000. Royer was uninjured in the accident.

 

Bennett Blake
3/24/15

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(Des Moines) Debate on a bill that sets when Iowa schools could start classes in the fall got more than a little personal this morning (Tue).  Iowa City Democrat Mary Mascher claims the bill's floor manager "broke his word" to her about allowing "more innovation" in school year calendars...


"Thank you representative Forristall, it's so nice to know that you are not committed to student achievement and year round calendars that will benefit districts and their students."

 

But, Macedonia Republican Greg Forristall claims he's been a long-time defender of the Iowa educational system...

 

"I killed two of those bills. When it started to come out of another committee I kicked it into the gutter again. And when it was offered on the house floor, as an amendment to a bill I killed it again. So do not question my devotion to education."

 

Senate File Two-Twenty-Seven was amended to require school districts to start classes no sooner than the week of August 23rd.  Senate bill was also amended to include an exemption for elementary schools that are currently on a year-round schedule.

 

S-F 227 passing out of the House (71-to-29) and now returns to the Senate.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/24/15

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(Atlantic) The Atlantic Rotary Club held their annual ‘Salute to Agriculture’ meeting at the Cass County Community Center Tuesday afternoon.

 

John Becker, of the Seed Pros, was the featured presenter. Becker grew up in the area, worked for Pioneer Hybrid corporately for 10 years, worked for Syngenta for a year and a half, and then moved back to the area.

 

“It was a great opportunity to come back and work with Lee (Saathoff) and Mark Venteicher and sell seed and work with, in my opinion, the best group of people that anyone could work for and that’s the farmers. People that truly have the belief and willingness to go out there and provide for our growing population.”

 

Becker went over several numbers detailing the changes in agriculture over the years, stating in 1900 the number of farms was close to 6,000 with an average size of 125 acres. In 2002 there were 2,000 farms with an average size of 450 acres. Costs have risen dramatically with the price of land having risen 883% over the last 45 years. Seed, chemical, and fertilizer rising 1,100%, machinery up 520%, and labor costs up 355%.

 

He also addressed the rising demand with the world population having topped 7 billion.

 

“The one thing that I always tell people is one thing is for certain, a farmer will always outgrow the demand. And you know why? Because they are extremely good at finding ways to become more efficient. What can I do to always increase my yield? What can I do to provide more for the people out there?”

 

He closed with a quote which he said applies to agriculture quite a bit.

 

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.

 

Bennett Blake
3/24/15

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(Atlantic) The Atlantic Police Department arrested 31-year-old Bryan Kirby Monday for Theft 4th Degree. Kirby was taken to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Atlantic) The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest of 25-year-old Brittany Sampson, of Atlantic, on a Cass County warrant for Theft 5th. She was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Shenandoah) An Essex woman was transported to the hospital following a rollover accident Monday evening.

 

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to A Avenue approximately one mile north of Shenandoah at around 5:23 p.m. where a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am was found in the field. The driver and only occupant, 32-year-old Carrie LeeAnn Leece, had been driving south on A Avenue when she lost control. The vehicle then went into the ditch where it rolled and came to rest on its wheels.

 

Leece was transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital by ambulance for unknown injuries.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Des Moines) There’s more talk in Washington before the Senate Agriculture Committee on the controversial “waters of the USA” regulations by EPA which would expand the Clean Water Act.

 

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley wishes the agency would just scrap the whole thing.

 

“When you have county officers, including supervisors, coming to Washington for their annual meeting and they tell you that they oppose it because it would even affect the ditches along the roads, you know something is wrong,” said Grassley.

 

Grassley says what the EPA wants to do is have oversight over “almost every square inch of land in this country”.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/24/2015

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(Atlantic) An Omaha woman has been arrested in connection with the Cass County cattle thefts.

 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 42-year-old Amy Louise Springer on Monday on a warrant for Theft 2nd Degree. The charge stems from the theft of cattle from Freund Brothers Farms in January. 57-year-old Ervin John Jacob of Omaha has also been charged.

 

Springer was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was held on $5,000 bond.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Des Moines) There’s an unwritten rule in the U.S. Senate that says new members don’t give floor speeches right away. It’s been nearly three months of silence for her, so Iowa Senator Joni Ernst gave her “maiden speech” on the floor Monday night.

 

In her first speech, Ernst pushed legislation she’s introduced that speeds access to mental health care for veterans by allowing veterans to get vouchers for mental health care if the VA system can’t provide timely help.

 

“If a non-VA mental health care professional can reach a veteran one day, one week, or even two weeks earlier than 36 days, congress, nor the VA, should be an obstacle to affording a veteran potentially lifesaving mental health treatment,” said Ernst.

 

After her speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told her he expects her bill will receive broad bi-partisan support in the Senate.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/24/2015

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(Des Moines) If you’ve fallen behind making payments to your electric or natural gas provider, there’s something you need to know.

 

Arrangements need to be made with your utility to work out a payment agreement or you might not have power or heat come April 2nd. Don Tormey with the Iowa Utilities Board says the power companies want to work things out.

 

“The utility companies want to keep their customers, they don’t want to disconnect people, they’ll try to work something out with you and they’ll even offer a second payment agreement a lot of times,” said Tormey.

 

Tormey says contact your utility because they’re more than willing to formulate a plan that works for you.

 

Iowa Radio Network

03/24/2015 

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(Des Moines) The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s State Fire Marshal Division has partnered up with the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to form the B-SAFE Team.

 

The Iowa Building Safety Assessment and Failure Evaluation Team (B-SAFE Team) was formed in 2014 by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s State Fire Marshal Division, who will also manage the team.

 

The B-SAFE Team is comprised of state employees, volunteer engineers and architects from various professional organizations, including:

 

-American Institute of Architects – Iowa Chapter

-Iowa Engineering Society/ American Council of Engineering Companies

-Structural Engineers Association of Iowa

-Iowa Association of Building Officials

 

The team will provide building inspections to ensure structures are safe for occupancy following large-scale disasters, such as tornadoes or floods.  The team will also provide any technical resources to local communities regarding building inspections and building safety during times of disaster and also during the recovery and rebuilding processes.

 

The B-SAFE Team has been designated as a state disaster specialty team, which allows communities to utilize this team as a state resource in times of disaster by contacting their county emergency manager.

 

This partnership showcases a unique effort of the private sector aiding the public sector in times of disaster.

 

03/24/2015

 

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(Des Moines) The National Weather Service in Des Moines says freezing rain may be possible for a short time this morning over portions of southern and central Iowa as a large shield of precipitation moves overhead with surface temperatures below freezing.

 

Any freezing rain would make walking and driving surfaces slick, especially secondary roads. The freezing rain threat should end by late morning as temperatures rise above freezing.

 

03/24/2015

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(Creston) The Creston Police Department reports two theft incidents.

 

Hy Vee in Creston reported Sunday that between 6:25 and 6:30 p.m. five packages of Charmin toilet paper were stolen from behind the store. The loss is estimated at $44.95.

 

And, Michael Thomas Walsh reported that between 8:00 p.m. on February 18th and 1:34 p.m. on March 20th a license plate was stolen from his moped while it was parked at his residence on Sycamore Street.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Red Oak) Two Kum & Go employees in Red Oak have been charged with Theft.

 

The Red Oak Police Department says officers were called to the Kum & Go convenience store Monday to investigate alleged theft by employees. At the conclusion of the investigation, Debra Lamb was charged with Theft 3rd Degree and Katherina Gurney was charged with Theft 4th Degree.

 

Both women were transported to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center. Lamb was held on $2,000 cash bond. Gurney was held on $1,000 cash bond.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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(Council Bluffs) A Council Bluffs man was cited following a car vs. pedestrian accident Monday afternoon.

 

The Council Bluffs Police Department says a 10-year-old, his mother and sister were crossing 6th Street, traveling westbound on bicycles at around 3:45 p.m. 32-year-old Fernando Vasquez was driving northbound on 6th Street and had stopped for a red light and then started to turn right onto Kanesville.

 

The 10-year-old male struck the side of Vasquez’s Mazda, fell to the ground and sustained minor scrapes. The child’s mother refused medical treatment at the scene.

 

Vasquez was cited for failing to yield to persons in a crosswalk.

 

Mandy Billings

03/24/2015

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three people appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad to join the Iowa Board of Regents say their political affiliations will not be a factor in their decisions.

 

Mary Andringa, Patricia Cownie and Rachael Johnson told the Senate Education Committee on Monday that they can be independent thinkers in how they approach education issues.

 

Their remarks came after Sen. Robert Dvorsky, a Coralville Democrat, criticized Branstad for placing five Republicans, one Democrat and three Independents on the board. Dvorsky says Branstad is not reflecting equal representation on the board.

 

Branstad's appointments are legal. Current law doesn't allow more than five members of the same political party to serve on the board.

 

Andringa and Cownie are registered Republicans; Johnson is a registered Independent. The Senate must confirm their appointments.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate and House have approved legislation that would protect cities from liability if people are injured while sledding in public parks.

 

The bill passed 48-0 in the Iowa Senate Monday. It passed in the House last week. Current law protects cities from liability when people are injured skateboarding or biking, but it doesn't include a sledding protection. This bill would change the language to provide protection from injuries sustained during "recreational activities," which means sledding would be covered.

 

Some Iowa cities have banned sledding in public parks over concern about liability if people get hurt.

 

When asked whether Branstad will sign the bill, spokesman Jimmy Centers said the governor will carefully review it before making a decision.

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(Glenwood) The Glenwood Police Department reports one weekend arrest.

 

29-year-old Colbie Fike, of Glenwood was arrested Friday on a Mills County Warrant for Probation Violation. His bond was set at $1,000.

 

The Police Department also received three assault incident reports over the last week, one identity theft report, and one criminal mischief report.

 

Bennett Blake

3/23/15
 

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(Harlan) The Fire Danger Rating in Shelby County has moved to the Moderate level.

 

Officials with Shelby County Emergency Management say with a burst of cool weather and moisture, expected over the next few days, we will ask the fire danger signs be Moved to the Moderate level.

 

The next update will be coming up on Thursday, March 26.

 

Bennett Blake

3/23/15

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(Area) So spring has sprung, but you’re not convinced? State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says variety is the ‘Name of the game’ this time of year. Just a week ago, Sioux City recorded a 90 degree temperature, and now northeast Iowa is dealing with a fresh blanket of snow. Hillaker says this transitional month-tends to have a lot of variability.

 

“The long range outlook just keeps us in that same kind of pattern. A few days of unusually cold weather followed by a few days of rather warm weather. We’re going to be in between here with much warmer weather to the west of Iowa and much colder weather to the east.”

 

All signs point to an ‘El-Nino’ weather pattern, which could mean warmer-than-normal temperatures, and near-normal precipitation. Currently, the state is on the dry-side. Hillaker says with the exception of the big snow-storm at the end of January, there hasn’t been much precipitation since mid-October of last year.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/23/15

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(State) More than 15 Iowa landowners, families or organizations honored today (Mon) for donations of land to the state.  D-N-R Director Chuck Gipp says it's not an insignificant amount...

 
"3,400 acres that will be donated today either in easements or direct transfers. That’s valued at about $3.7 Million so it’s a very significant gift to the state of Iowa for the enjoyment of Iowans.”
 

...And, Director Gipp says they don't take the donations of land lightly.  He says today's seventh annual "Gift To Iowa's Future Recognition Day" is one symbol of honoring that trust.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/23/15

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(Des Moines) A bipartisan panel spoke out today against the Governor's plan to shut-down two of the state's four mental health institutions.  H-H-S Appropriations Chair and Mount Pleasant Republican David Heaton says he's made his opposition clear to Terry Branstad...

 

“I’m trying to convince my leadership in the house to let senate file 402 come to the floor which strongly states that we need the local support services in place first and then you can consider closing the two MHI’s.”

 

...And, Ames Democrat Lisa Heddens says she's hoping it doesn't take a tragedy to point out the lack of transitional services if the mental health institutions do shut-down...

 

"It doesn't seem right to me to be shutting down those particular facilities until you have capacity within the community. 

 

...Both lawmakers part of a panel discussion during today's "Moral Mondays Iowa" event.

 

Iowa Radio Network

3/23/15

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