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Stanton woman arrested for assault


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested Wednesday afternoon on separate charges in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say 28-year old Katie Marie Pierce, of Stanton, was arrested on a warrant for assault. Pierce was later released on $100 bond. And, 32-year old Ronald Glen Ballinger the 3rd, of Red Oak, was arrested on a warrant for violating a No Contact Order. He was subsequently released on a Recognizance Bond.

Corning man arrested for harassment & impersonating a public official


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County say a man was arrested Wednesday night after a person recorded an audio copy of a phone conversation and a callback number belonging to a person who was allegedly harassing them. 48-year old Edward Lee Avila, of Corning, was arrested at around 11-p.m. , on charges of Harassment and Impersonating a Public Official. Avila was being held in the Adams County Jail on $2,300 bond.

Shelby’s Fire Chief resigns over controversy


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Department currently has no members and now, no chief. The City Council fired all 12 members Monday evening. Now, The Daily NonPareil reports Shelby’s Fire Chief, Eric Wendt, resigned Wednesday morning. With no active members, the city of 641 is relying on Minden and Avoca to respond to any emergencies via a mutual aid agreement.

Robert Hall, who was a volunteer firefighter, said the department had also provided EMS services, and now the city is relying on a for-profit ambulance service based out of Harlan. Wendt said he resigned not because of the firings but because of personal reasons.

The city council now oversees the fire department, he said, and is accepting applications for volunteer firefighters. The firings were the result of a dispute between the council and department over funds the department raises. The fire department kept a separate bank account to hold monies generated by fundraisers – about $40,000, according to Shelby City Attorney Clint Fichter, who said that money is considered public funds and is governed by the same rules as tax money.

Bob Richmond, mayor pro tem, said the council had tried on several occasions to repair the situation between the city and members of the fire department. Richmond said he could not speak to the matter of the separate account since it is being litigated between the city and an attorney for the fire department. However, he said the council is working to get the fire department active again as soon as possible.

Richmond said 14 people have shown interest in joining, including past members. All fired members were notified they could reapply under a stipulation they would follow council directives and state code. A meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. today (Thursday) at city hall, 419 East St., for those interested in joining the fire department.

Group warns tax-hikers will face angry voters in 2016


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The leader of a group created nearly four decades ago to lobby for a smaller state government and reduced taxes say Iowa legislators will pay a price in 2016 if they support a gas tax increase in 2015. Rob Solt is president of Iowans for Tax Relief, a group urging lawmakers to vote against any bill that would raise the state gas tax. “Legislators are sent up here to make tough decisions and the toughest decision they’re probably going to have to make this year is to pass a gas tax increase, which our polls show Iowans don’t want, or to take a look at are the resources there and can they just reallocate them,” Solt says. “And unfortunately at this point no one is willing to take a look at the formula.”

Here’s how the formula works: nearly half of the money raised by those taxes is kept by the state, with 20 percent going to cities and the rest going to counties. Solt suggests the state should keep less and share more with local governments. “If we get a gas tax increase passed and the money goes through the formula and people expected to get their local road or bridge fixed and it absolutely won’t get done, I mean it will be such a miniscule amount that will get done at the local level, they’re going to be really frustrated,” Solt says. “And they’re going to get to the 2016 elections and say: What did I get for paying this additional amount? And I think it’s going to make people angry.”

It appears momentum is building at the statehouse for a gas tax increase, however. Key legislators yesterday said a vote on a 10-cent hike in the per gallon gas tax could come in February and the higher tax rate might take effect as soon as March. The Iowans for Tax Relief president questions the way the State of Iowa is spending its current portion of gas tax proceeds.  “If you drive through Iowa City, there’s 10 miles of colored, stamped concrete there,” Solt says. “…How can we not have enough resources when we can do colored, stamped concrete as a median divider, but we can’t do a project in Davis County?”

The state taxes every gallon of regular gas at 21 cents. Ethanol-blended gasoline is taxed at 19 cents per gallon. The state tax on diesel is 22-and-a-half cents per gallon. Those tax rates were set in 1989. Gas tax revenue is declining because vehicles are more fuel efficient and supporters of a gas tax increase say the state is at least 215 million dollars short each year of what’s needed to fix up and expand Iowa’s transportation system.

(Radio Iowa)

Denison man found guilty in double homicide & arson case


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A jury in western Iowa returned three guilty verdicts Wednesday in the case of a Denison man charged with a double homicide and arson. The Omaha World-Herald says 26-year old Michael David Schenk was found guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree and one count of arson in the second degree.

Michael Schenk

Michael Schenk

Schenk was charged in the March 10, 2014 deaths of 80-year old Marvin Huelsing, of Maple River, and 81-year old Alice Huisenga, of Arcadia. The bodies of the two victims were discovered after fire departments responded to a report of a trailer house and a pickup on fire on Huelsing’s property at 1872 Milford Road, between Deloit and Denison.

Wind Advisory in effect for all of western/sw IA Thursday morning

News, Weather

January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson







Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Jan. 29th 2015


January 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A leader of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation says about 200 employees at the Dubuque IBM facility have been affected by the company’s mass layoff. Rick Dickinson, the corporations’ president and CEO, tells the Telegraph Herald Dubuque’s layoffs are part of companywide reductions after IBM announced a $600 million workforce rebalancing in its fourth-quarter filing for 2014.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senator Chuck Grassley — at 81 years old — is steering the Senate Judiciary Committee into a brave new world. The Iowa Republican is the first nonlawyer to chair the panel considering the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s choice for attorney general. But he also may be the committee’s first chairman to tweet straight from the podium.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he is seriously considering running for president because he sees gaps in the field of likely Republican candidates. Walker also said yesterday he’s planning trips to important primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida in the coming weeks and months.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of Iowa’s corrections department says he still doesn’t know when the long-delayed Iowa State Penitentiary will open. Director John Baldwin told House lawmakers Wednesday in a government oversight committee that officials are studying a potential solution to a faulty smoke control system. He says the process of completing that fix will require a few months, and additional staff training will take another few months.

3 arrested on drug charges in Guthrie County


January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Guthrie County said Wednesday that three people were arrested last week on drug charges. Authorities say on January 21st, Chief Deputy Bennett investigated a suspicious vehicle at the Bagley storage units on Highway 141. The deputy came into contact with a driver sleeping in the running vehicle in front of the storage unit. The driver was identified as Terry King, of Des Moines. King had an outstanding warrant from Polk county.

When he was detained, King was found to have methamphetaminc in his pocket. An investigation led to drug paraphernalia and mcthamphetamine being located inside the car. King was also found to be in possession of a loaded handgun inside the car. Two other individuals were 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 Mason McNeill and Shy Terry of Jamaica. Both subjects were found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphelamine. Terry King was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, third offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm as a felon. McNeill was charged with possession of methamphetamine, second offense, drug paraphernalia. Terry was charged with possession with methamphetamine, first offense and drug paraphernalia.

All three subjects were transported to Guthrie County jail.

Possible abduction in Council Bluffs


January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a possible abduction. Sgt. Chad Meyers said that at around 3:50-p.m. today (Wednesday), a concerned citizen called 911 and reported that he had heard someone yelling for help. When he looked outside, he saw a white female being pushed against a dark colored SUV by two males. The female was then pushed into the back seat of the vehicle, which then left south bound on No. 25th Street.
The girl was 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 men were described as Hispanic males in their late teens or early twenties. The vehicle was described as an older model black SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee with loud exhaust.The Council Bluffs Police Department has been trying to identify the female and verify whether or not a crime has been committed. There have been no teenage girls or young women reported missing since the incident occurred. Authorities say they have worked in cooperation with all the high schools in Council Bluffs to account for any teenage girl that was absent from school today. As of late Wednesday afternoon, they had not been able to identify the female, nor have officials discovered any evidence or additional information suggesting that a crime has occurred. It is possible that this was a prank or some young people playing around.
Meyers says authorities are asking that anyone with information on the incident call the Council Bluffs Police Department at 328-STOP. Your information can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

Groups sue EPA seeking livestock farm air quality standards

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A coalition of environmental, animal rights and citizen action groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleging failure to address air pollution from large-scale livestock farms. Two federal lawsuits filed in the District of Columbia allege the EPA has not responded to petitions filed in 2009 and 2011 asking the agency to use its Clean Air Act authority to regulate large hog, cattle and poultry farms.

The groups include the Environmental Integrity Project, the Humane Society of the United States, and citizen groups from Wisconsin, Iowa and California. They claim ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other manure-generated contaminants in states such as Iowa and North Carolina make people sick. The groups want the EPA to set air quality standards for large livestock farms.

An EPA spokesman had no immediate comment.