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Iowa Legislature OKs firework sales, sends bill to Branstad

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Expect a few more pops and flashes this July Fourth thanks to a final vote on legislation allowing fireworks sales in Iowa. The bill approved Tuesday 52-40 would legalize consumer-grade fireworks, including bottle rockets, firecrackers and roman candles. The explosives could be sold from June 1 to July 8 and Dec. 10 to Jan. 3. Local governments could forbid firework use, but not the sale.

Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support for the bill, noting at a press conference that few states remain so restrictive about fireworks. The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency estimates sales tax revenue generated from the bill is estimated at $1.5 million for the 2018 fiscal year.

Emergency medical responders have expressed concern for the proposed change, noting the increased risk of injury with widespread firework use.

Judge orders U. Iowa to pay costs in lawsuit on scholarships

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa’s decision to eliminate and then reinstate scholarships for thousands of children of alumni will cost the university more than bad public relations.

A judge ordered the school Monday to pay the legal costs of a student who filed a class-action lawsuit to challenge President Bruce Harreld’s decision to eliminate scholarships they’d been promised. The bill’s expected to amount to a couple hundred dollars.

The university had asked the court to dismiss the case without costs after Harreld reinstated scholarships for those students last month. But Judge Carl Baker of the Sixth Judicial District said he agreed with plaintiff’s attorney Jim Larew, who argued Harreld tried to use the students as “political pawns” in an ill-advised attempt to convince Republican leaders to reverse budget cuts. Larew argued that UI only reversed course after an “adverse public reaction” to the cuts.

Griswold School Board votes to terminate HR sharing agreement

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School Board, Monday evening, voted to terminate the 2017-18 Human Resources Sharing Agreement. Superintendent Dave Henrichs said it was a cost saving measure. He said schools are allowed to receive funding through Operational Sharing, but there is a maximum of weighted [point value] positions allowed. Last year the district tried to reach enter into as many sharing agreements as possible to get the financial benefit of additional sharing dollars.

When they reached out to the other districts, they assumed not all the arrangements would be “do able,” but it turns out they were. As far as the sharing dollars are concerned, they were “Oversharing,” because funding is available for only 21 of the point values. The Griswold District was at 26, so it cost them money. The HR position was therefore eliminated, because it wasn’t “Financially beneficial” to the District. It also got the district total sharing down to the maximum of 21.

The Griswold School Board Monday voted to renew a Transportation Sharing Agreement with the Atlantic School District and Transportation Director Dave Eckles. In other business, the Griswold School Board discussed snow make-up days.

He says there were four snow days. One was made up April 17th. Another will be made up May 25th. The Board elected to forego using May 26th as a make-up day, therefore that will be the last day of classes.

 

Students will be dismissed four-hours early on May 26th, with staff remaining until 3-p.m. to wrap up end-of-year activities.

Avoca woman arrested on Cass County warrant

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Dave Erickson reports 26-year old Alicia Dellaca, of Avoca, turned herself-in to authorities Monday. Dellaca was wanted on a Cass County warrant for Probation Violation. She was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Atlantic Library Memorial Reading Garden project receives $2,500 donation

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Public Library’s Memorial Reading Garden project has received a big boost in funding, thanks to a donation by the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund. Fund spokesperson Melanie Petty recently presented Library Director Natalie Struecker with a check for $2,500 for the garden they are working on installing this spring.

Melanie Petty (Left) and Atlantic Public Library Director Natalie Struecker.

The money has been designated for a game table. Robinson Landscaping will be starting construction on the garden in the very near future. There are still many ways for the community to donate and support this great cause. Contact Natalie at 712-243-5466, if you are interested in helping out with the project.

Red Oak man arrested in connections w/vehicle vandalism; Man arrested for burglary

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two men were arrested on separate charges, Monday afternoon. 24-year old Cody Dean Johnson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree after allegedly slashing car tires in the 600 block of Sunset Avenue. He was subsequently charged with Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree as well, in connection with alleged tire slashing incidents that occurred at an earlier date.

And, 33-year old Kirby David Stoneking, of Red Oak, was arrested Monday afternoon on a warrant for Burglary in the 2nd degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

House votes to increase hunting, fishing, trapping license fees

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Iowa House have overwhelmingly voted for a bill that ultimately will increase the license fees for people who wish to legally hunt, fish and trap in Iowa. Republican Representative Terry Baxter of Garner is one of the 86 House members who voted yes. “It’s exciting to see this bill come forward. I’ve got to say some of my redneck hunting buddies are a little bit opposed to this, but every sportsmans’ group in Iowa has written me and they stand with this bill,” Baxter said. “It’s time to get some of these resources going. It’s been a long time since we had a fee increase.”

The bill gives officials in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources the authority to raise licensing fees for fishing, hunting and trapping. A yearly fishing license, for example, is currently 17 dollars and is expected to be hiked to 25 dollars. The money from hunting, fishing and trapping licenses is used for department efforts to improve habitat and other conservation efforts that boost hunting opportunities.

Representative John Wills, a Republican from Spirit Lake, says the bill will be a boost to the state’s 800-million dollar hunting, fishing and outdoors industries. “I’ve gotten literally hundreds of emails, hundreds of postcards, hundreds of people asking me to raise these fees,” Wills says.

Only six members of the House opposed the move. Representative Dave Jacoby, a Democrat from Coralville who voted FOR the bill, needled House Republicans who’ve taken a “no new taxes or fees” pledge. “We’ve underfunded the DNR to such an extent that they need some income to keep our waters ready for fishing, our fields ready for hunting,” Jacoby says. The bill now goes to the Iowa Senate for consideration.

(Radio Iowa)

Investigation continuing into burned Madison County covered bridge

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Madison County Sheriff Jason Barnes (Barns) has scheduled a news conference for this (Tuesday) afternoon to give an update on the investigation into the burning of the Cedar Covered Bridge near Winterset. The bridge burned early Saturday morning. Barnes expressed optimism Monday with the progress of the investigation. “We are moving forward with the investigation, we have received great help form the community. A lot of information has come in,” Barnes says.

Barnes says people have been very cooperative in helping find answers to this latest fire. “We have no direct witnesses to speak of, we are getting information from people in the community. Everything is going forward,” he says, We are real happy with everything.” Barnes says a search of the scene did provide some clues. “We were able to recover evidence that is going to help us, yes,” Barnes says.

The Cedar Bridge is one of six remaining bridges in Madison County which gained international fame after they were the centerpiece in Robert Waller’s book “The Bridges of Madison County.” The best-selling book was also made into a movie. It is the second time the Cedar Bridge has been torched, it burned down in 2002 and was rebuilt. Other bridges have also been the targets of vandals. Barnes says protecting the iconic bridges all the time is not easy.

“It comes down to money, it really does. we could turn every bridge into Fort Knox if you wanted to,” Barnes says. “…you could keep people out there, have infrared, put up fences around them, close them at night. But at the other end of the spectrum, these are parks. At the end of the day, these are just parks.” Barnes plans to hold a news conference at three o’clock today to update the information on the investigation.

(Radio Iowa)

Prom Patrol planned for Pott. County area schools

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says this Saturday, April 22nd, four school districts within Pottawattamie County will be celebrating prom.  The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office will have extra deputies out on patrol during the overnight hours.  The goal of adding patrol deputies, according to Danker, is to discourage underage drinking and/or other drug use and encourage safe and responsible behavior.

Anyone wanting to report suspicions of underage drinking or drug use, at a party or otherwise, can call the Pottawattamie County Communications non-emergency line – (712) 328-5737.

4 arrested in Pott. County for Burglary/Theft

News

April 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Four people, two adults and two juveniles from Council Bluffs, were arrested Monday night in Oakland, on Burglary and Theft charges. The juveniles, a 17-year old female and a 10-year old female, were cited and released to their parent or guardian, with orders to appear in juvenile court. Taken into custody for Burglary in the 3rd degree and Theft in the 4th Degree, was 37-year old Marcie Faith Enarson and 18-year old John Wesley Lovejoy.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded at around 11:10-p.m., Monday, to a possible assault or disturbance in progress at 314 Oakland Avenue, in Oakland, and that there was also a language barrier. The subjects left the scene in a Chevy Tahoe prior to the arrival of authorities, but the vehicle was pulled over at Highway 6 and 400th Street.

An investigation revealed no assault had taken place, but a burglary and theft had occurred at an apartment located at 314 Oakland Avenue. The stolen property, which included miscellaneous clothes, jewelry and an Xbox, was returned to the rightful owner. The items were valued at $350 altogether.

The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office reports also, 32-year old Eric D. Wright, Sr., of Omaha, was arrested early Monday morning for OWI/1st offense and Interference with Official Acts, after a deputy went to investigate a reported occupied, suspicious vehicle in the Jack Links parking lot.