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Omaha/SW IA area therapist surrenders license over investigation into unethical conduct

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An area mental health counselor has agreed to surrender her license to settle a case with the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science. The Omaha World-Herald says according to a settlement agreement released Thursday, Amy Jo Murphy of Omaha, owner of AJ Counseling Services, admitted to engaging in sexual activities with a client, engaging in unethical conduct and engaging in practice harmful or detrimental to the public. She also admitted failing to disclose an investigation into her conduct by the State of Nebraska, but said that was accidental.

Under the terms of the agreement, Murphy was to give up her license immediately. She can request reinstatement after one year after completing a comprehensive evaluation and establishing that the basis for a license revocation no longer exists and it is in the public interest for her license to be reinstated.

AJ Counseling Services has locations in Omaha, Shenandoah, Red Oak and Corning, and employs several other therapists.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Feb. 17th 2015

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ATLANTIC – An air release valve on a forced wastewater main is leaking approximately 100 gallons per day of wastewater into the East Nishnabotna River from under the bridge at West 6th Street, west of Atlantic. The DNR says due to the location of the leak, city staff cannot access the leak to repair it, so the city’s engineer has been contacted to determine how to stop wastewater bypass. The leak bypasses wastewater only when the lift station pumps are operating-about one hour per day. Due to the river flow, the amount of wastewater reaching the river is diluted enough so that it is not effecting the environment. However, the DNR will monitor the situation until the leak is stopped.

SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) — A southwest Iowa man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his girlfriend. The Omaha World-Herald reports 34-year-old Brian Davis, of Omaha, was convicted Monday in connection to the July 18, 2009 death of Holly Durben. The conviction follows a trial earlier this month.

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport man accused of stealing prescription drugs from a disabled man nearly two years ago has been arrested. Police charged 31-year-old Steve Scotton with first-degree burglary. According to a police report, an arrest warrant was issued in December after Scotton entered the man’s Maquoketa home in April 2013 in search of prescription drugs. Authorities say the man retrieved a gun during the burglary and accidentally shot himself in the abdomen. Scotton was not injured in the scuffle.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Democrats say they plan to introduce legislation this session that would allow for the production and distribution of medical marijuana in Iowa. The bill would create a program that monitors the production and distribution of medical marijuana. It’s similar to legislation last session that failed to garner enough support. Bolkcom says he expects resistance this year in the Republican-controlled House.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate committee has approved a bill that would expand public preschool for 4-year-olds in Iowa. The bill would provide extra funding for school districts that expand preschool programs. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration. A similar bill failed to win full legislative approval last year.

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — A kindergarten teacher at a suburban Des Moines elementary school has been accused of drinking beer in her classroom. Police say 40-year-old Jennifer L. Rich, of West Des Moines, was arrested Friday at East Elementary School in Ankeny after testing positively on an initial breathalyzer test. She was charged with public intoxication and child endangerment.

WASTEWATER LEAKING INTO EAST NISHNABOTNA RIVER NEAR ATLANTIC

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural resources say an air release valve on a forced wastewater main is leaking approximately 100 gallons per day of wastewater into the East Nishnabotna River from under the bridge at West 6th Street, west of Atlantic. In a Press Release late Monday evening, officials said due to the location of the leak, city staff cannot access the leak to repair it, so the city’s engineer has been contacted to determine how to stop this wastewater bypass.

The leak bypasses wastewater only when the lift station pumps are operating-about one hour per day.

Due to the river flow, the amount of wastewater reaching the river is diluted enough so that it is not effecting the environment. However, the DNR will monitor the situation until the leak is stopped.

Southwest Iowa man found guilty in girlfriend’s death

News

February 16th, 2015 by admin

SIDNEY,Iowa (AP) — A southwestIowa man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his girlfriend.

Brian Davis (IA DPS photo, 10/2014)

Brian Davis (IA DPS photo, 10/2014)

The Omaha World-Herald reports 34-year-old Brian Davis, of Omaha, was convicted Monday in connection to the July 18, 2009 death of Holly Durben, from rural Shenandoah.

Holly Rae Durben (IA Cold Case file photo)

Holly Rae Durben (IA Cold Case file photo)

The conviction follows a trial earlier this month.

Prosecutors say Durben’s death was a homicide staged to look like a suicide, but Davis’ attorneys say Durben killed herself. Durben was found dead in a residence she shared with Davis, and an autopsy revealed she was shot in the head.

A sentencing hearing for Davis has not yet been scheduled.

Branstad declines to voice opinion on fuel tax increase

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he expects to approve legislation this session that would address road funding, but he declined to say whether it would be through a 10 cent increase to the fuel tax. Branstad told reporters Monday that legislation in the House and Senate could change before it reaches his desk for approval. When asked if he would support a 10 cent tax increase, he said he would reserve judgment until seeing a final draft.

The bills as they’re currently written would raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents. Panels have sent bills to full committees in the House and the Senate for consideration. Branstad and lawmakers have been vocal about raising money to help fix Iowa’s network of bridges and roads, many of which are in disrepair.

Juntos Helps Families Prepare for Education Beyond High School

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Helping a child succeed in school and prepare for education beyond high school can challenge any parent. When parents have not experienced college, it can be difficult to know how to create a path for their child to go to college. In Iowa, college participation is lowest among youth who live in families with low incomes and among Latino youth. “Juntos Para Una Mejor Educación” or “Together for a Better Education” is a series of workshops for parents and middle school youth to help them gain knowledge, skills and confidence, and access resources that will help youth be successful in school, as well as pursue higher education.

High school youth are welcome to participate as well. Sandra McKinnon, human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, says “Juntos means together in Spanish.”The program brings together Latino families, school staff and community partners to promote academic success and high school graduation among youth. Youth explore different paths they may take – a college or university, community college or trade school, a degree or certification, and so on.

ISU Extension and Outreach partners with local organizations and schools to implement Juntos and some or all of the wrap-around components in communities. The program is led by a community team that commonly includes representatives from schools, public and private youth and family community-based organizations, as well as faith organizations. McKinnon says “In Juntos we come together for five to six workshops. We begin each session with a family meal. During the sessions parents and youth spend part of the time together, and then part of the time as a group of parents or a group of youth. During the first session we discuss the importance of education and how parents and youth can work together to make education a family goal.”

Parents and youth learn to communicate better with each other, as well as with school staff to help youth be successful in school, and to think about their future. Families learn about skills that are important for youth to develop, and how to create a plan of action to help youth be successful in school and be prepared to go to college. Families learn about courses youth need to take in high school to prepare for college, how to create an environment at home to help youth learn, how and when to apply to college, and ways to save for and pay for college.

After participating in Juntos, parents felt more confident working with their youth’s school, were more likely to pay attention to their child’s homework and increased communication with their youth about high school, college or other future plans. Parents also were more empowered to advocate and work to improve their schools. For more information about “Juntos: Together for a Better Education,” contact Sandra McKinnon at 712-355-2067 or sandram@iastate.edu or visit the website, www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/juntos

CCHS Foundation’s Hansen Scholarship Available

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System Foundation is offering $10,000 in scholarships to students who are enrolled and have been accepted into a nursing or medical doctor training program. The scholarships were established by a bequest from Louie and Elsie Hansen. John Molgaard, CCHS Foundation Board member, says “The Hansens believed strongly in the importance of education, and the need for well-trained healthcare professionals.” Molgaard said also “We are very proud to provide this scholarship in their memory.”

The Louie and Elsie Hansen Memorial Scholarship was established to benefit Cass County high school graduates who are enrolled and have been accepted into a college of nursing or medicine, leading to an LPN, RN, BSN, or MD degree. Two $5,000 awards will be presented. Consideration will be given to applicants’ scholarship, citizenship, and leadership abilities. Applications are available at area high school guidance offices and the Foundation office at Cass County Health System. The application can also be downloaded from www.casshealth.org.

2014 recipients of the Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarship were Whitney Schafer of Massena who is attending the University of Iowa for her RN with Bachelor of Science degree, Kristen Schuler of Atlantic who is attending Northwestern College for her RN with Bachelor of Science degree, and Claire Markham who is attending Creighton University School of Medicine for her Doctor of Medicine degree.
Scholarship applications are due April 1, 2015.

For further information, contact Dawn Marnin, CCHS Foundation Director, at 712-243-7409 or mardd@casshealth.org

Bluffs Police make an arrest in Jan. 19th robbery case

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs report an arrest has been made in connection with the Jan. 19th armed robbery of a convenience store. 25-year old Brian Combs, of Council Bluffs, turned himself-in to Pottawattamie County Corrections officials last Friday. He’s been charged with 1st Degree Robbery, and remains held in the Pott. County Jail.

Brian Combs

Brian Combs

Authorities say at around 1:19-a.m. January 19th, the Kwik Shop at 3632 Avenue G was robbed by a white male, who displayed a silver colored revolver and demanded money from the clerk. After getting an undetermined amount of money, the man left the store . A security camera outside the Kiwk Shop showed the man getting onto a BMX style bicycle and riding eastbound. On January 20th, at 1:12 a.m., an Officer on patrol witnessed a man riding a BMX style bicycle without a headlamp. The Officer attempted to stop the man near the intersection of So. 1st Street and Pierce, but he refused to stop. The man fled for several blocks,but was eventually apprehended behind a house in the 200 block of W. Kanesville Blvd.

The subject, identified as Combs, was arrested that night for operating his bike without a light, eluding and being in possession of burglar tools. On January 21st, Officers were called to a church at 140 West Kanesville Blvd, for a silver colored revolver that had been located in the parking lot. The area of the parking lot where the gun was found is adjacent to the route taken by Brian Combs the previous night as he fled from the Police. The gun and other evidence was then used to apply for a warrant for Brian Combs’ arrest in connection with the Kwik Shop robbery.

Iowa authorities investigate man posing as police officer

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say they’re investigating a man who has been posing as a police officer and making traffic stops in western Iowa. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says two traffic stops were conducted late Saturday night and early Sunday morning near Correctionville and Anthon, Iowa. KTIV-TV reports no threats were made during the fake traffic stops.

According to a news release, the vehicles were pulled over by a seemingly new Dodge Charger with red and blue lights in the dash. The release says the man driving the Dodge identified himself as a member of law enforcement. Those who were pulled over later reported the incidents to police.

The sheriff’s office says officials making traffic stops will be dressed in complete uniform and can display their credentials upon request.

Woman arrested in “mass murder plot” in Canada graduated from Coe College

News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One of the suspects in a plot to kill people at a shopping mall in Canada has ties to Iowa. Twenty-three-year-old Lindsay Souvannarath was arrested on Friday in Canada where authorities claim she and two young men planned to kill “as many people as possible” at the Halifax Shopping Centre. One of the men was arrested along with Souvannarath and both are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Lindsay Souvannarath (High School Yearbook photo)

Lindsay Souvannarath (High School Yearbook photo)

The other male suspect was found dead in a house in Halifax with Canadian media reporting he shot himself. Investigators say the murder plot was foiled after a CrimeStoppers tip. Souvannarath is from Geneva, Illinois. She attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, enrolling in 2010 and graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, double majoring in English and creative writing.

(Radio Iowa)