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DOT facial recognition software leads to more than 150 investigations each year

News

June 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The discovery that a fugitive from North Carolina was living in Iowa came after software used by the Iowa Department of Transportation found the man had applied for two driver’s licenses. D-O-T director of Investigations and Identity theft, Paul Steier, says the software has been one of the best tools available to help prevent identity theft from Iowans. “We investigate an average of 125 to probably 175 cases a year that were based on our facial recognition results,” Steier says. “From there we have to actually work and investigation — we just don’t take those results and go to the court with them.”

While the recent case turned up a man who had been fleeing the law for 41 years, Steier says most cases are people trying to steal somebody’s identity for financial gain.  “When we issue a license, that image is stored, so if somebody else would try come in some day and try to obtain a license under your name or my name, that system should catch the fact that it’s not a match — it doesn’t match what’s on file, it’s not the same,” Steier says. “And hopefully it stops a fraud from occurring or somebody from getting an official state-issued document showing them as being somebody else than they really are.”

The system is one of the reasons why the D-O-T asks you not to give a big wide smile when they take your driver’s license picture. Neutral facial expression, that gives us the best result. So, in order to protect our identities, the best thing that we can have people do is give us a neutral facial expression — a minimal smile — and that way the system will have better results,” Steier says. The system was upgraded last fall and now gives investigators like Steier more options in dealing with the pictures.

“If we have a photograph of someone that’s not maybe the best photograph, we can actually take software and enhance that image and make it a better quality photograph. Because the better the quality of the image,the better the results of the facial recognition inquiry, and the better possibility for either a no match or a positive match,” Steier says. The D-O-T started using the facial recognition system in 2008, but has photos going back 13 years that the system can check.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak man arrested on an assault charge Sunday

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report one person was arrested Sunday evening on an assault charge. 22-year old Cody Dean Johnson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Simple Assault at around 4:45-p.m at 106 W. Coolbaugh Street. Johnson was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Cass County Supervisors to meet Monday morning

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hold their regular weekly meeting Monday morning, here in Atlantic.

During their session, which begins at 8:30, the Board will: Review FY2014 budget expense appropriations and amend as necessary; Receive certifications from county officers for base salaries of their deputies and certify base salaries of deputies to the county auditor;  Determine the compensation of ‘other employees’ [other than those under bargaining unit or other employment contracts]; and, act on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Department changes, including… Agreements for GIS services with  Schneider Corp., Atlantic Municipal Utilities and others.

 

Boil Advisory lifted in Shenandoah

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shenandoah Water Department, early Sunday afternoon, reported that tests of the City’s water supply following the water main break that occurred early Saturday morning, came back negative for bacteria. Since no bacteria was found, the Boil Order which had been in-place since Saturday, has been lifted.

Authorities asked residents to continue to be somewhat conservative in the use water for through Sunday night, while water levels were being replenished.

Tornado Watch Until 11-pm Sunday for parts of western IA

News, Weather

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

TORNADO WATCH 367 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1100 PM CDT FOR THE
FOLLOWING LOCATION
. IOWA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE:
ADAIR ADAMS AUDUBON
BOONE CARROLL CASS
CLARKE CRAWFORD DALLAS
DECATUR FREMONT GREENE
GUTHRIE HARRISON LUCAS
MADISON MILLS MONONA
MONTGOMERY PAGE POLK
POTTAWATTAMIE RINGGOLD SHELBY
STORY TAYLOR UNION
WARREN WAYNE

Flooding causes damage to farms in several states

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Area farmers are dealing with damage to their crops and fences after all the rain that fell in June. The Sioux City Journal reports farmers in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska face significant work ahead because of the flooding on the Big Sioux, Rock and other rivers.

The flooding and heavy rains could also have a lasting effect on their crops because fertilizer may have been washed away and standing water in fields could have killed some plants. Janna Whitlock says her pasture in Union County, S.D., was underwater, and three lawn mowers, a snow blower and some other equipment in a shed was damaged.

Farmer Jack Kruse says he knows he faces weeks of fence repair ahead.

Severe weather possible in Iowa, eastern Nebraska

News, Weather

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Pay very close attention to weather watches and warnings this afternoon! Forecasters warn that strong storms and possibly tornadoes are possible in Iowa and eastern Nebraska this (Sunday) evening. The National Weather Service says there is a moderate risk of severe weather in Iowa and eastern Nebraska. There is a 60% chance of a Watch (Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm) being issued by 4-p.m. Central Time for the two states.

Forecasters say the main threat tonight will be strong winds, but large hail and even tornadoes are possible. Plus, some areas may receive heavy rain, so flash flooding may be a concern.

Delayed fatal accident report

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County report one person died during a single-vehicle accident late Thursday night. The Omaha World-Herald reports 22-year old Adam West, of Honey Creek was ejected from the pickup he was driving, as the vehicle rolled over into a steep ditch.The man was not wearing his seat belt.

Officials say West was driving a white 2008 Chevy pickup north on 185th Street about 11:50 p.m., Thursday, when the vehicle left the road and rolled over. Sheriff’s deputies performed CPR on West, who was not breathing. Medical personnel later pronounced him dead at the scene.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the accident.

Boil Advisory issued in Shenandoah

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Shenandoah are waiting on the results of tests on the City’s water supply before giving the all clear for residents to drink or use the water for cooking. The results are expected back sometime today (Sunday). Authorities say a massive water main break in a corn field near a major business just outside of the community resulted caused a drop in water pressure and the issuance of a boil advisory Saturday. Crews began searching for the source of the leak early Saturday morning.

The water department advised residents who ran out of water or had no water pressure, to boil their cooking and drinking water. Anyone who had just low water pressure should not have any problems with their water supply. In the meantime, many residents of the community were making a run to local stores to pick up bottles water.

Water pressure has since been returned to normal in Shenandoah, but the Boil Advisory will remain in place until the test results show the water is safe to consume. Water customers who have any questions are asked to call the water plant at 246-2803.

2 arrested on drug charges Saturday

News

June 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report two people were arrested on drug-related charges, Saturday. Officials say 52-year old Kenneth Dale Jipsen, of Red Oak, was arrested on a charge of Possession. Jipsen was taken into custody at around midnight in the 300 block of north 2nd Street and held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $2,000 bond.

And, 30-year old Zachariah Michael Holland, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 6:45-p.m. Saturday on a Delivery of Marijuana charge. Holland was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $50,000 bond.