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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., March 28th 2012


March 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — House Republicans have pushed through a large proposed cut in education spending. Yesterday, they approved a $775 million schools budget — $36 million less than the current one. The matter is far from settled as Senate Democrats have a school spending plan that is $115 million larger than the House measure.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Almost a dozen bus drivers in large Iowa school districts either face charges or have been convicted in the past decade of serious traffic offenses or criminal convictions. The charges included drunken driving and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. A review of public records in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Dubuque districts show most drivers had clean records or minor traffic violations.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Governors or lieutenant governors from at least four states, including Iowa, are planning to tour the remaining operational Beef Products plant to show support for the company. The plant produces the low-cost beef filler known as “pink slime” that has come under public scrutiny. A company spokesman says officials from Texas, South Dakota and Nebraska also will tour the South Sioux City, Nebraska, plant Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An inmate serving a 25-year prison sentence for criminal transmission of HIV has died of heart disease. The Iowa Department of Corrections says 48-year-old Darrell John Alderton died Sunday in Iowa City. Alderton initially went to jail after being arrested in May 2005 for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy.

Cass County Audit report released


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said Tuesday, Gronewold, Bell, Kyhnn & Company P.C. CPAs have released an audit report on Cass County. The report shows the County had local tax revenue of $22,858,378 (roughly $22.86-million) for the year ended June 30th, 2011, which included $1,414,745 ($1.4-million) in tax credits from the state.

The County forwarded just over $16.26-million of the local tax revenue to the townships, school districts, cities and other taxing bodies in the County. The County retained $6.59-million of the local tax revenue to finance County operations, which is a 14.5 percent increase from the prior year. Other revenues included approximately $5.38-million from the state, including indirect federal funding of $837,755, and direct federal funding of $725,657, charges for service of $364,599, and $160,970 for the use of money and property.

Expenditures for County operations totaled nearly $11.94-million, which is a 9.1 percent decrease from the prior year. Expenses included slightly more than  S4,16-million for roads and transportation, $1.9-million for mental health, $1.85-million for public safety and legal services, and just over $1.07-million for administrative services.

A copy of the audit report is available for review in the office of the Auditor of State and the County Auditor’s office.

Atlantic School Board Terminates Food Service Employee’s Contract


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education held a special, closed session Tuesday night.

Becky Oliver (Photo from School District's website)

When the session concluded and the open session resumed, the board voted to terminate the employment of  Food Service employee, Becky Oliver, who worked at the Washington Elementary School. No reason was announced for the termination.

Program seeks to help with relative’s destructive behavior


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A program designed to help people cope with loved ones’ destructive behavior is opening a chapter in Omaha/Council Bluffs, the first chapter in either Nebraska or Iowa. Under the 12-step Families Anonymous program, only first names are used. The local organizer, Sally, says F-A helps people deal with the impact brought on by the problems of others.  She says, “Anyone who is concerned about relatives or friends who abuse drugs or alcohol or any substances.” Sally says anyone who has a friend or family member struggling with an addiction knows how this has a ripple effect and impacts many lives.

F-A was founded in 1971 by a group of parents in California. Sally learned about Families Anonymous when searching for a group to help her. She’s been associated with a person with an addiction for about three years and says she started attending meetings on-line.  “In my particular situation, once I began working the 12 steps and began working on me, I began to be able to handle situations very differently by reacting to them differently,” she says. “It changed my life. I feel like I’m getting back to who I was before.” While the group is called Families Anonymous, she says it isn’t exactly set up for smaller children. Sally says, “It’s not something you would probably want to bring a child to but anybody in their teenage years or older would be someone who would able to work the steps appropriately and benefit from the program.”

The local chapter will meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 at Methodist Hospital in Omaha. There are about 225 regular F-A meetings in the U-S and in more than 20 countries.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Tuesday evening, March 27th 2012


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Muscatine ethanol and corn sweetener manufacturer has been issued a notice by the Environmental Protection Agency that it has violated the Clean Air Act. The agency alleges that between 2007 and 2011, Grain Processing Corporation violated limits on air emissions included in company permits. The company has 15 days to respond to the EPA’s request for information.

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — An accidental release of chiller water from Sara Lee Foods into Storm Lake has had no negative environmental impact on the lake. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the water containing acid that is used to sanitize turkeys was accidentally released from a processing plant yesterday evening. The department is investigating the incident.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of parents and teachers have sued the Iowa Board of Regents to stop the closure of a laboratory school run by the University of Northern Iowa. The lawsuit argues that Iowa statute gives the board authority to operate and govern the Malcolm Price Laboratory School but not close it. The school is scheduled to close at the end of June.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ordered the University of Iowa to pay a suspended radiology professor who hasn’t worked for 14 months while he continues his whistleblower lawsuit. Malik Juweid could be in line for back pay of nearly $60,000. The judge today said the university may have improperly removed Juweid from the payroll after his sick leave expired.

Glenwood Man Sentenced 3-years on Meth charge


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 58-year old David Andrew Stump, of Glenwood, was sentenced today (Tuesday) in United States District Court in Council Bluffs, to 36-months in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Stump will serve 2-years of supervised release once his term in prison is completed. He’s also required to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim Fund.

His conviction was the result of a June 1st, 2011, a State of Iowa search warrant executed at Stump’s residence in Glenwood, by local law enforcement officers. Seventeen grams of actual methamphetamine was found, along with small amounts of other drugs and indications drugs were being distributed.

On August 3rd, 2011, while Stump was on release pending trial on the first charge, local
officers executed a second search warrant at Stump’s residence. As a result of the search, local officers seized 6 grams of actual methamphetamine and other indicators of drug distribution.

A federal indictment was returned against him on August 24th, 2011. On December 6th of that year, Stump entered a guilty plea in federal court to one of the two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The case against him was investigated by the SouthWest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, the Mills County Sheriff’s Department, and the Glenwood Police Department. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Cass Co. Child Abuse Council asks for assistance from residents


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the theme is Stand Up for Children!  The Cass County Child Abuse Prevention Council is asking the community for its assistance.  Council Facilitator Kristen Templeton says they are collecting new and unused items for the  Family Crisis Support Network, a nonprofit domestic abuse prevention assistance center and West Central Community Action, a nonprofit agency assisting families with clothing, food, heat assistance and other resources.

The council has set up displays and drop off points at four businesses in Atlantic: the Cass County Memorial Hospital; the HyVee & Fareway grocery stores; and, Mahle Engine Components.  Beginning Monday, April 2nd, CCCAP Council members will begin gathering donations for each agency.  The wish lists will be available at each drop off location.

A copy of the list can be found by clicking on this image:

Cass Co. Child Abuse Council's "Wish List"

Cash donations are not being requested at the drop off points. Donations will be accepted through Thursday, April 12th.

After the donations have been collected, the business who collects the most items will finish out the month displaying the 100 “Pinwheels for Prevention”and a banner spreading the word about protecting children.

Atlantic man arrested on Child support-related charge


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports 51-year old Jimmy Joe Misner, of Atlantic, was arrested Monday. Misner was taken into custody on two Cass County warrants for Failure to Appear for a Child Support Contempt Hearing. Misner was being held in the Cass County Jail.

California men arrested on drug charges following Pott County traffic stop Monday


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says two California men were arrested Monday on drug charges, after deputies stopped their vehicle for speeding, and found 15-pounds of marijuana. Sheriff Jeff Danker told the Omaha World-Herald the van the men were in was pulled over on Interstate 80 eastbound just south of the exit to Highway 6, at around 2-p.m., Monday.

Deputies detected the odor of marijuana and following a search of the vehicle, located the pot in a duffle bag stored in a floorboard compartment. 34-year old Justin Quayle and 21-year old Andrew Walton, both of Santa Rosa, CA, were taken into custody on charges of Possession with the Intent to Deliver, Prohibited Acts, and Violation of the Drug Tax Stamp.

The men were being held  in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $5,000 bond each. Danker said two pit bulls in the van were turned over to Pottawattamie County Animal Control.

Keeping Workforce Development operating with “status quo” budget


March 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Statehouse negotiators have reached a tentative deal to keep the Iowa Workforce Development agency operating ’til June 30th. In mid-March the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Governor Branstad overstepped his item veto authority by taking money legislators set aside to keep regional Workforce Development offices open. The governor instead let agency managers shut the offices down and use the money elsewhere. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo was one of the legislators who successfully sued Branstad over this decision. He has been involved in discussions to fix the agency’s budget, because the court decision also nullified key parts of agency’s budget. “Even though the department says they saved $6.5 million with closing the offices, they spent it elsewhere and you can’t back a train down the tracks very far,” Dotzler says.

 Legislators and the governor have agreed on a “status quo” budget plan that will carry the agency through to the end of the state fiscal year, according to Dotzler.
“The real discussion needs to continue to move forward on the FY13 budget and that’s probably where we’re going to bang some heads,” Dotzler says. The next 12-month budget plan runs from July 1st of this year to June 30th of 2013. Dotzler says Democrats will press to reopen some of the offices that were closed, in cities like Ames, Newton, Pella and Denison.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)