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Iowans warned about new scam that’s already cost a local company millions

News

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Better Business Bureau is warning Iowans about a very sophisticated scam that’s already cost one company in the region millions of dollars. Jim Hegarty, president of bureau’s Omaha-Council Bluffs chapter, says the ruse could also expose thousands of workers to identity theft as the hackers disguise themselves as a company’s C-E-O in an email.  “Recently, a company’s CFO received an email asking for all of the employees’ W-2 tax statements to be sent to him in PDF format,” Hegarty says. “The CFO did the right thing. He reached out directly to the CEO saying, ‘Do you really need this from me?’ and the CEO had no idea what he was talking about.”

The con artists will hack into a company’s internal email servers and do reconnaissance for perhaps several weeks before launching their attack. “Often, it’s the result of the cyberhackers being in your system for quite some time in the background,” he says. “They sort of learn what’s going on in your organization and then they target emails specifically to try to take advantage of the knowledge they’ve gained.”

A local company, which was not identified, fell victim to the scam. “There was a CFO that received a correspondence from the company’s CEO on a really high-level deal that was occurring,” Hegarty says. “He needed money transferred in order to make it happen. Everything was to be kept confidential and the losses for this corporation were in the tens of millions of dollars.”

The best defense is having strong firewalls and remaining vigilant to check up directly on email requests that seem out of the ordinary, involve employees’ personal information or large amounts of money.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/15/2016

News, Podcasts

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Contest: where is Iowa’s best pizza? – Adair pizzeria on the list of 8 nominees

News

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A contest is underway to determine the location of Iowa’s best pizza. Eight restaurants around the state were selected for the “March Madness” style showdown. They are Zipp’s Pizzaria in Adair, Great Plains Sauce and Dough Company in Ames, Santa Maria Winery in Carroll, Mabe’s Pizza in Decorah, Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines, A & A Pagliai’s Pizza in Iowa City, P’s Pizza House in Le Mars, and Zeno’s Pizza in Marshalltown. The Iowa Tourism Office is coordinating the tournament and spokesperson Jessica O’Riley explains how the eight restaurants were selected.

pizza“We asked on Facebook for favorite locations. We also did some Trip Advisor research and others were called out by Midwest Living or other publications as superb pizza,” O’Riley said. Iowans can vote for their favorite pizza on Travel Iowa’s Facebook page. The eight restaurants face off in four head-to-head battles with a champion crowned on Friday, March 25. The winning restaurant will boast the title of “Iowa’s Best Pizza” place, but the businesses’ customers will win something as well.

“The winning restaurant will offer a $3 off coupon for people to go to the restaurant and experience the pizza themselves,” O’Riley said. Last year, the Iowa Tourism Office organized a similar contest to determine the location of Iowa’s best pie. The winner was a cherry pie served by Crouse Cafe in Indianola.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 15th 2016

News

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SEYMOUR, Iowa (AP) — Officials with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office say a 10-year-old boy has died after being involved in a skid loader accident in southern Iowa. Deputy Charles Henderson says authorities found Aaron Borntarager injured in a field Saturday afternoon after responding to a report of an accident involving a skid loader near Seymour. Henderson says no charges will be filed in connection to the incident.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man facing federal charges in Iowa who fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution has entered plea agreements. Court records say Shawn Michael Wegmann signed plea agreements last week for failure to appear and for four firearms counts. Wegmann admits stealing more than 30 guns in burglaries last year in Iowa and Illinois. He was caught last fall in Havana.

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) — Investigators say the shooting death of a boy in Mahaska County over the weekend was an accident. The 13-year-old boy was found Saturday in a rural area about 10 miles southwest of Oskaloosa.

MOORHEAD, Iowa (AP) — Smaller communities in western Iowa say they’re struggling to find new emergency medical technicians. Officials say as older EMTs are leaving the job, there are fewer younger people to step up as they leave the rural areas for larger cities. The Monona County sheriff says an EMT shortage is having an impact on response times.

Bluffs man arrested on kidnapping and assault charges

News

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs Monday night arrested a man on kidnapping in the 3rd degree and assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse, charges, following an incident that was reported just after 9-p.m.  Officers were called to the “Filling Station” at 1531 2nd Avenue for an attempted abduction of a female. Upon arrival, officers learned the victim, 44-year old Jennifer Holmes, of Council Bluffs, was riding her bicycle to the station, when she was flagged down by 32-year old DeCarlos Jackson, of Council Bluffs.

DeCarlos Jackson

DeCarlos Jackson

Jackson told Holmes that his toddler age son needed help and she needed to come over to his vehicle. She told police when she approached the vehicle she saw the toddler appeared to be having some type of medical problem. As Holmes opened the passenger car door, Jackson allegedly grabbed her sweatshirt around her stomach area and pulled her into the vehicle and allegedly asked her to perform sexual acts on him.

When Holmes refused, Jackson got out of vehicle and then locked the doors to the vehicle. He told Holmes to watch his child before he entered the gas station. Holmes said she was unable to open the doors from the inside of the vehicle. After a few moments Jackson returned to the vehicle. As he hit the ‘unlock’ button and began to get into the driver side, Holmes was able to open the car door and ran inside the store. Jackson then left the area in his vehicle.

Uniformed officers located Jackson inside the vehicle in the1300 Avenue block of Ave A. He was taken to the Criminal Investigation Division and upon the completion of the interview, was booked into Pottawattamie County Corrections on listed charges. The child was found not to have any medical issues. Holmes did receive minor injuries but did not require any medical attention.

An investigation is continuing into this incident however, authorities say they do not expect any additional charges.

Pott. County man sentenced on meth & firearm charges

News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A man from Pottawattamie County was sentenced Friday to a total of 22-years in prison on drug and weapon charges. Senior United States District Court Judge Robert W. Pratt handed down the sentences against 57-year old Carlton Allan Owens, of Council Bluffs. Owens was sentenced to 144 months in prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and 120 months imprisonment for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. The two prison terms will be served concurrently. Owens’ term of imprisonment will be followed by five years of supervised release.

Owens plead guilty to the charges on November 10th, 2015. According to the plea agreement, Council Bluffs police officers responded to a domestic violence call involving Owens. Upon arrival at the scene, officers contacted Owens, who was standing next to his motorcycle. Owens was arrested for domestic violence and a search of Owens and his property revealed over 600 grams of methamphetamine, a loaded handgun, and a large amount of cash. Prior to June 2015, Owens had been convicted of a felony offense.

The matter was investigated by the Council Bluffs Police Department and the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Massena woman arrested for OWI after a traffic stop; Anita man arrested on drug charges

News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop this (Monday) morning in Cass County resulted in the arrest of two people. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrested 54-year old Kelly Marie Erickson, of Massena, on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense (an Aggravated Misdemeanor), and 54-year old Myron Lee Flathers, of Anita, was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense (An Aggravated Misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (a Simple Misdemeanor). Both were taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on their own recognizances.

Cass County Deputies arrested two people last Friday: 26-year old Marshall Brandon Fischer, of Atlantic, was arrested on two district court warrants for Probation Violation. Fischer was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $100,000 bond. And, 38-year old Loren Michael Phillip Buskirk, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a warrant for Probation Violation. Buskirk was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $10,000 bond.

Cass County Dem’s nominate delegates

News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Democratic Party held its convention on Saturday, March 12th. Party Chair Sherry Toelle said all 50 delegates were seated and there were several observers. Toelle said “It was a great crowd and, despite all that you hear about supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and the candidates’ close race, the discourse was civil and respectful.” She said also, “It was emphasized that, whichever candidate eventually won the nomination, we need to come together as a Party to support our nominee in November. “

Five delegates were elected to move on to the Democratic Party’s District and State Conventions: Gerard O’Rourke, Don Sonntag, and Sherry Toelle, all of Atlantic, and Ray Nath and Cheryl Wessels, both of Anita. Numerous alternates were elected in case any of the delegates would be unable to attend either or both of the upcoming conventions.

Photo courtesy Sherry Toelle.

Photo courtesy Sherry Toelle.

Representatives for convention committees were also elected: O’Rourke—Credentials, Jodi Spencer—Rules & Nominations, Susan Hulsebus—Platform, and Casey Symonds—Arrangements. Rusia Salapa and Kimberlee Spillers, both of Atlantic, were named Co-Chairs of the Affirmative Action Committee. Representatives from the Jim Mowrer and Desmund Adams Congressional campaigns also spoke to the convention.

Cemetery vandalized in Griswold

News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

City officials in Griswold posted on their social media site Friday, that the Griswold Cemetery had been hit by vandalism. The damage was found Friday. A sign in the area designated for infant and youth burials was broken in half.

If you have any information on who may have perpetrated the damage, contact Griswold City Hall at 712-778-2615.

Image from the City of Griswold's Facebook page.

Image from the City of Griswold’s Facebook page.

2 arrests reported in Mills County

News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two, recent arrests. On Friday, 45-year old  John Leon Lynn Bowen, of Villisca, was arrested on Highway 34 for Driving While Revoked. His bond was set at $1,000. Also arrested Friday, was 35-year old Jeanie Louese Bowen, of Villisca. She was taken into custody on a warrant out of Montgomery County for Probation Violation. Bond was set at $5,000.