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Harlan Police Dept. report 11/10/15


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports 39-year old Stephanie Anastasi, of Harlan, was arrested Monday on an active Shelby County warrant for theft in the 5th degree. Anastasi was taken to the Shelby County Jail.

On Sunday, officer with the Harlan P-D were called to the 700 block of Broadway for a disturbance. As a result of the investigation, 29-year old Charles Hayes, of Harlan, was arrested and transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with burglary in the 1st degree for allegedly entering the residence at 708 Broadway, uninvited, and a scuffle ensued. Justin Henriksen, of Harlan, was treated at Myrtue Medical Center for a severe laceration as a result of that scuffle.

And, last Friday, officers were called to the 400 block of Durant for a family disturbance. 18-year old Christopher Buttry, of Harlan, was arrested and taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with assault. Matthew Buttry, age 43, was also cited for assault and released.

Snow, tornadoes expected as system plows toward central US

News, Weather

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say a mixture of bad weather including heavy snow and tornadoes is expected as a strong storm system plows toward the central U.S. from the Rocky Mountains. A blizzard warning has been issued for Tuesday night and Wednesday in the Great Plains east of Denver, while tornadoes and high winds could rake parts of the Midwest on Wednesday.

Wet, heavy snow fell in Nevada on Tuesday morning, shuttering schools in Reno and knocking out power to thousands before moving eastward. Northeastern Colorado and western Kansas and Nebraska expect 6 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph overnight — a combination that can cause white-out conditions.

The Storm Prediction Center says an area from Nebraska to Illinois might face high winds, large hail and tornadoes Wednesday.


USDA expects record soybean crop, third-largest corn crop

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With most of this year’s corn and soybeans harvested, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is boosting its expectations for the size of the crops. An update Tuesday says farmers are expected to produce a record soybean crop totaling 3.98 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last year. That’s based on 95 percent of the crop harvested.

Illinois looks to remain the nation’s leading soybean producer with 550.5 million bushels, followed closely by Iowa. The corn crop will be the third-largest in USDA records at 13.7 billion bushels, based on 93 percent harvested. Iowa maintains its corn production lead with 2.49 billion bushels.

The abundance is sending downward prices that are already below production costs. Farmers who rent land will struggle to make a profit. Consumers shouldn’t see much effect.

Rand Paul to stop in Council Bluffs, Wednesday


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Fresh from a recent Republican Primary Debate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), will make presidential grassroots campaign stops in Iowa, Wednesday. Paul will be in Council Bluffs at 4-p.m, for a “Stand with Rand,” meet and greet at 2702 Mid America Drive.

Later in the evening, he has stops in Des Moines, and Ames. While on the campaign trail, Paul will discuss the importance of protecting the entire Bill of Rights, and his conservative agenda, which includes limiting the powers of those elected to office in Washington, D-C.

Rand Paul continues his visit in Iowa on Thursday, with another appearance in Ames, followed by a stop in Altoona, and at 3-p.m. in Winterset, at the Public Library.

(Update) Manning resident arrested following Shelby Co. pursuit


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(In an update to our earlier post….)

A pursuit that began this (Tuesday) morning in Harlan, resulted in the arrest of a man from Manning. According to Harlan Police, 32-year old Anthony John Bruns was taken into custody and faces numerous charges, including Felony Eluding, Possession of a Controlled Substance (marijuana), Possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, and Failure to obey a stop sign. Additional charges are possible.

Authorities say at around 7:40-a.m., a Harlan Police Officer attempted to stop a black 1999 Ford Ranger for equipment violations near 9th and Cyclone Avenue. The driver – later identified as Bruns – refused to stop, and sped off. His vehicle eventually left the city limits northbound on County Road M36. The road surface turned to gravel and speeds reached 70-80 MPH. In addition to speed, Bruns ran numerous stop signs.

He stopped on Timber Road near 1500th Street where Shelby County Deputies had the road blocked in front him. Bruns surrendered to officers just before 8-a.m, was taken into custody, and transported to the Shelby County Jail.

Special Nominating Convention to be held in Corning this evening


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Republican delegates from southwest Iowa will gather this (Tuesday) evening in Corning, for a Special Nominating Convention. The event begins at 6:30-p.m. at the Corning Opera House. At least four Republican candidates…Tom Moore of Griswold, John Hartkopf of Atlantic, Ian Barris, of Atlantic and Doug Borkowski of Elliott…have expressed an interest in filling the Iowa House District 21 seat left vacant by the death of State Rep. Jack Drake of Griswold.

The Democratic Party Nominating Convention will be held this 6-p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 12th, at the Massena Public Library. Delegates eligible for these conventions are the precinct committee members from Iowa House District 21 elected at the 2014 precinct caucuses or those elected by their county central committee after the caucuses.

House District 21 covers portions of Pottawattamie and Cass Counties and all of Adams and Union Counties.

Moratorium on utility disconnections now in place


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The state’s ban on utility disconnections is now in place as a protection for those who may fall behind on their bills during cold weather. Iowa Utilities Board spokesman, Don Tormey, says you have to be signed up for a couple of programs to be protected from having your utilities shut off. “Households that qualify for low income home energy heating assistance or weatherization program assistance are protected from natural gas or electric service disconnection during the moratorium period — which started November 1st and it goes through April 1st of 2016,” Tormey says.

The programs are available on a first-come, first-served basis and you can contact your local Community Action Agency to sign up. Tormey says the programs provide some help to people who’re struggling to pay. “It doesn’t pay the entire energy bill, it’s meant to supplement it and lend assistance to low-income qualified customers,” Tormey explains. He says the weather has been pretty warm so far this fall and people may not be thinking about the program.

“While they cannot be disconnected from that service during the moratorium, the board also urges all LIHEAP and weatherization customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter so they can avoid accumulating high debt, and then facing potential utility service disconnection when the moratorium ends,” Tormey says. The weatherization program helps low-income participants insulate their homes to help save on heating bills.

For more information on either program, go to the Iowa Utilities Board website or call the board at 1-877-565-4450.

(Radio Iowa)

Three sexual assault reports on UI campus


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Multiple reports of sexual assault prompted University of Iowa Police to issue a campus-wide “Hawk Alert” early this morning (Tuesday). UI Police say they received three reports of a male groping women. The incidents occurred in the areas of the UI Hospital, the main library, and Hospital Ramp 4. The suspect is described as a white male, about five feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing a red flannel shirt, with ripped jeans and flip flops.

U-of-I Police are urging anyone who sees someone matching the suspect’s description NOT to approach him and call law enforcement.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa hospitals ask Governor Branstad to ‘put the brakes’ on managed care for Medicaid patients


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for the state’s 118 hospitals says there’s too much uncertainty about the Branstad Administration’s push to switch more than half a million Medicaid patients in Iowa to a managed care plan on January 1st. “Put the brakes on this. Allow people time to talk things out, make things work and implement a plan that works for everybody.” That’s Scott McIntyre, the vice president of communications for the Iowa Hospital Association. He says the Branstad Administration still hasn’t provided hospitals with the “rate card” hospitals must use in discussions with the four private companies that will manage care for Medicaid patients.

“Hospitals really don’t have that starting point from which to negotiate a contract or from which to make financial plans,” McIntyre says. State officials have given hospitals and other Iowa health care providers a January 1st deadline to sign contracts with the managed care companies. On Monday, Branstad confirmed his administration will enforce a 10 percent penalty in Medicaid reimbursement to Iowa health care providers that fail to sign managed care deals by January 1st. McIntyre says lawyers tell him the state doesn’t have the authority to impose that 10 percent penalty.

“We don’t even know the base rates at this point, so we are talking about 10 percent of what?” McIntyre says. “It’s kind of another example of putting the cart before the horse and not being clear on what the state’s plans are.” After initially opposing the idea, Branstad in 2013 did approve expanding the number of poor Iowans who qualified for Medicaid. That has led to a reduction in so-called “charity care” in Iowa hospitals, but McIntyre says hospital executives fear those gains may be lost in the switch to “managed care” for Medicaid patients.

“Our concern, one of many, regarding this plan is that these companies will deny care. Folks will go to the emergency room anyway, which won’t be covered even if they do have insurance, and once again our charity care costs will go up and those costs impact everybody,” McIntyre says. “The hospitals really don’t have a choice but to pass along that impact.” Governor Branstad says 25 other states have shifted Medicaid patients into managed care and have saved money in the process.

(Radio Iowa)

Drug arrest in Clarinda Tue. morning


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Clarinda Police Department reports a drug-related arrest took place early this (Tuesday) morning. At around 1:30-a.m., officers went to 206 W. Main Street, Apt. #4, to arrest 24-year old Thomas Jeffrey Engstrand, of Clarinda, on an outstanding, probation violation warrant, issued by the Page County District Court. Pursuant to the arrest, Engstrand was found in possession of controlled substances believed to be methamphetamine and marijuana when he was being processed at the Page County Jail.

Engstrand was charged for possession of the substances as well as introduction of controlled substances to a jail facility. A search warrant was also executed at the apartment. Evidence found at the scene indicated the alleged illegal use and distribution of controlled substances. Additional charges against Engstrand are pending.

He was being held at the Page County Jail on $5,000 bond.