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Mo. man arrested in Red Oak on weapon & drug charges


May 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A man from Missouri was arrested Monday evening in Red Oak, on drug and weapon charges. Red Oak Police report 25-year old Dillon Ray McCracken, of Hale, MO., was taken into custody at around 7:40-p.m. in the 500 block of W. Coolbaugh Street, for Carrying Weapons, felony Possession of Meth with the Intent to Deliver, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. McCracken was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $25,000 bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., May 23rd 2017


May 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to confirm Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. The 70-year-old Republican says he intends to use his decades-long relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to advance U.S. and international interests. The two met in 1985 when Xi, then a provincial official, led an agricultural trade delegation to Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad’s upcoming departure marks the end of a career in state politics that spans several decades. The 70-year-old Branstad was confirmed Monday as the U.S. ambassador to China. Branstad says he’s leaving Iowa with a low unemployment rate and renewable energy investments in wind farms and ethanol. Critics point to legislation he approved this year that weakened public unions, restricted minimum hourly wage increases and added a voter identification requirement.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police have announced a nearly $50,000 fund to pay for tips that help solve open homicide cases. The Des Moines Register reports police announced the fund Monday, saying the money came from unnamed private donors. Police will decide on a case-by-case basis how much a tip is worth. The fund was created at a time when Des Moines police are working on 12 unsolved homicides from the past two years. There have been 15 homicides so far this year, compared to 13 in all of 2016.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge who has already authorized a contempt of court action against one reporter is setting strict rules for journalists covering the trial of “The Bachelor” star Chris Soules. Judge Kellyann Lekar warned Monday that violations may result in contempt proceedings or a ban from the courtroom. She says reporters must give 24 hours’ notice to attend proceedings and cannot enter or leave court except during breaks, among many rules aimed at protecting Soules’ right to a fair trial.

Gov. Branstad leaves Iowa with new voter ID, anti-union laws


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad’s upcoming departure to Beijing marks the end of a career in state politics that spans several decades. The 70-year is the longest serving governor in the U.S. at more than 22 years. The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Branstad Monday as the next ambassador to China.

As Branstad gets ready to leave Iowa, he’s highlighted the state’s low unemployment rate and renewable energy investments in wind farms and ethanol.

But critics point to legislation he approved this year that weakened public unions, restricted minimum hourly wage increases and added a voter identification requirement at the polls. Branstad in recent years also privatized Iowa’s Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled without legislative approval.

Once Branstad resigns as governor, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace him.

Breaking News: Branstad confirmed as Ambassador to China – Reynolds to take over Wednesday


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. Senate confirmed Gov. Terry Branstad Monday as the new U.S. Ambassador to China. The Governor received 82 Yes votes from the Senate and 13 No votes, thereby sealing his confirmation bid. KCCI-TV reports Branstad is expected to resign as Governor and be sworn in as Ambassador to China on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would then be sworn in as Governor.

In a statement, Branstad said: “I want to thank President Trump and Vice President Pence for nominating me to be the United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.  I also want to thank Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and the United States Senate for the confidence they have placed in me.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a boy from a small farm in Leland, Iowa, would one day have the opportunity to represent my country and my state on the world stage, working closely with one of the world’s most influential countries and one of America’s largest trading partners.  None of this would have been possible without the dedicated love and support of my wife Chris and my family.”

He added that “While I’m temporarily leaving the state I love and have governed for over 22 years, I know I’m leaving Iowa in great hands with Kim Reynolds as governor.  I look forward to working with both my friend President Donald Trump and my old friend President Xi Jinping for the mutual benefit of both of our countries and the rest of the world.”

Reaction flowed-in Monday evening…

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement following the confirmation of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as U.S. Ambassador to China: “It is great news for Iowa and for the nation that Governor Branstad is now confirmed and will soon be in place as Ambassador to China.  Governor Branstad is uniquely qualified to serve in this critically important position and will vigorously support our nation’s interests.”

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said “Terry Branstad is Iowa. And now, we are happy to share the best this state has to offer with the world. Branstad’s work ethic is boundless, his passion to make a difference is strong, and perhaps most importantly, his heart is one with Iowa. Our sincere gratitude and prayers go with him as he embarks on this next journey.”

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, speaking on the Senate Floor, said “Having worked alongside the Governor for many years, I know he will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness, and dedication in his role as Ambassador to China on behalf of the United States as he did for the people of Iowa.”  She said also “It has been an honor to serve the people of Iowa alongside Governor Branstad – the longest serving governor in United States history – and I am thrilled to continue to work with him in his new role serving the American people. “I thank Governor Branstad for his service to Iowa, and I wish him and his family the best as they prepare to depart for Beijing.

Iowa, Nebraska crop planting progressing amid spring storms

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers have planted 92 percent of the state’s corn crop, which is three days behind last year’s rate mostly due to wet fields from recent storms but their progress is two days ahead of the five-year average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop update released Monday says 59 percent of the Iowa crop has emerged. The quality of the crop is high with 75 percent rated good or excellent. Soybean planting in Iowa is 62 percent completed.

Henderson man arrested on warrants for Driving While Barred


May 22nd, 2017 by Jim Field

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Henderson man on Monday on bench warrants from Montgomery and Mills Counties. At 11:56pm Officers arrested 32-year-old Nicholas John Horgdal on charges of Failure to Appear on Driving While Barred from both counties. Horgdal was taken to the Montgomery County District Court and entered a guilty plea on the Montgomery County charge and was sentenced to 14 days in jail. He is also being held for Mills County on $5,000 bond.

Cass County Sheriff reports 3 arrests


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office report three arrests took place in recent days. Last Friday, 34-year old Daniel Floyd Edwards, of Cumberland, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Edwards was brought to the Cass County Courthouse to appear before the District Court and subsequently returned to the Page County Jail.

On May 15th, 31-year old Brendan Matthew Thomas, of Crescent, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Thomas was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on $1,000 bond.

On May 12th, Cass County Deputies arrested 25-year old Carly Jean Seddon, of Atlantic, on a Sheriff’s Office warrant for Driving Under Suspension. Seddon was taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on $300 bond.

2 from Omaha arrested on drug charges in Mills County


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Mills County, Sunday, arrested two people from Nebraska on separate drug charges. 24-year old Paige Marie Kurtzuba, of Omaha, was arrested at around 12:45-p.m. for OWI 1st offense, Possession of Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $2,300.

And, 22-year old Cervando Pacheo Perez, Omaha, was arrested at around 11:30-p.m. for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and having No Valid Drivers License. His bond was set at $300.

2 suffer minor injuries in Mills County crash, Sunday


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The driver of a 1992 Toyota and her passenger suffered minor injuries during a rollover accident Sunday evening, west of Malvern. According to the Mills County Sheriff’s Office, 18-year old McKynna Brogan, of Glenwood, was traveling south on Highway 275 at around 7:40-p.m., when she lost control of the car just north of Kane Avenue.

When the vehicle began to fishtail, Brogan took evasive action, but over-corrected. The car hit the east embankment and rolled over, coming to rest on its top. Brogan was trapped in the vehicle, but the passenger managed to free herself. A passing motorist stopped to help and called 9-1-1. Glenwood Fire and Rescue extricated Brogan from the vehicle before she and the passenger were transported to Mercy Hospital, with Brogan transported by Glenwood Rescue. The accident remains under investigation.

Iowa smartphone driver’s licenses planned to launch in 2018


May 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa transportation officials say residents should be able to start downloading their driver’s licenses onto their smartphones by late next year. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Department of Transportation has conducted a pilot program with about 100 state employees who used state-issued iPhones last year.

The state conducted the test with help from MorphoTrust USA, a contractor that provides identity-related products and services. Department director Mark Lowe says the agency worked with a technology consultant on plans to award a contract to develop a fully functional mobile driver’s license for the public.

Iowa is among the first states in the country to explore digital driver’s licenses as an alternative to traditional plastic licenses. At least nine other states are considering the concept.