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Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., March 7th 2013

News

March 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have decided not to change state law dealing with traffic cameras that ticket motorists for speeding or running red lights. The chairman of the House transportation committee yesterday decided against allowing a vote on a measure introduced by Republican Representative Walt Rogers of Cedar Falls. The proposal would have required cities and counties to get a permit from the Department of Transportation before installing new traffic cameras.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of Federal Aviation Administration employees in Iowa could be forced to take up to 11 days without pay due to automatic budget cuts. FAA Administrator Michael Huert emailed most agency employees Tuesday about the proposed furloughs this spring and summer. A representative for the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists in Waterloo says notices were sent to a dozen workers in Waterloo and Dubuque, and 14 in Cedar Rapids.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines-based Meredith Corporation is confirming the company held discussions with Time Warner about combining their magazines, but the deal has fallen apart. Instead, Time Warner announced yesterday it would split off its magazine unit into a separate, publicly traded company by the end of the year.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Senior Will Clyburn scored 20 points and Iowa State beat Number 13 Oklahoma State 87-76 last night to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes. Georges Niang added 18 points for the Cyclones, who notched just their second victory over a ranked opponent this season.

Authorities: Fugitive from Creston, IA shot by Kansas farmer

News

March 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified a 42-year-old Iowa fugitive who was fatally shot by a farmer in south-central Kansas. Sumner County, Kansas Sheriff Darren Chambers says Joseph Lamasters, of Creston, Iowa, was wanted in that state for a probation violation stemming from drug charges. KSNW-TV reports Kansas authorities began searching for Lamasters after he left his ID at a Kansas Turnpike tollbooth Monday, apparently to retrieve money to pay the toll. That’s when authorities learned he was wanted in Iowa.

Lamasters ran into a wooded area and was spotted by a farmer. The farmer says he opened fire after Lamasters jumped out from a pile of feed sacks and threatened to kill him. The sheriff says the shooting was in self-defense, and he does not expect the farmer to be charged.

Large cache of explosives and weapons seized in rural Guthrie County Wednesday

News

March 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Several law enforcement agencies cooperated in the execution of a search warrant Wednesday in Guthrie County. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Guthrie County Sheriff’s Department, Stuart Police, Iowa State Patrol and Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office seized several illegal firearms — including military-style weapons – and a large amount of explosive material, from a house in rural Guthrie County near Stuart.

An official with the ATF in Des Moines refused to comment on the investigation, and instead referred KJAN’s inquiry to the U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa. A spokesman for the U-S Attorney’s office contacted by KJAN News has confirmed ATF agents executed the search warrant, but he would not elaborate on the location or other details concerning the case while it is under investigation.

News of the raid was initially posted on the Stuart Police Department’s Facebook page.

(Updated 10:54-a.m.)

SUV slams into Dollar General store in Clarinda

News

March 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after an SUV slammed into a store Wednesday in Clarinda. According to the Clarinda P-D, 81-year old Neva Humphrey, of Clarinda, was driving a 2010 Ford Escape, when her foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator. The mishap resulted in her SUV slamming into a brick wall of the Dollar General Store at 200 East Glenn Miller Drive. The accident, which happened at around 1-p.m. Wednesday, caused just $1,000 damage to the SUV, but an estimated $14,000 damage to the store’s wall. No citations were issued.

House panel OKs bill keeping gun records private

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gun permit records would be kept private under a bill that has cleared a state House committee. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved the measure, which would make the name, address and other personal information on gun permit records private. The records of people seeking to buy or carry guns now is public in Iowa.

The issue came up after a suburban New York City newspaper published an interactive online map listing the names and addresses of thousands of permit holders. Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, says the bill would protect Iowans who don’t own guns from criminals who could seek the information and then target them.

Lawmaker wants abortion ban sent to Iowa voters

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Republican lawmaker is proposing a ban on abortion in Iowa, though he acknowledges his effort likely won’t succeed this session.  Rep. Dwayne Alons, of Hull, introduced a resolution Wednesday seeking to amend the Iowa Constitution to define life as beginning at conception, making abortion illegal at any stage. The proposal was supported by five other Republican legislators.

To change the state constitution, the measure would need to be passed by lawmakers, then approved by the Legislature elected in 2014 before a public vote.  Hull acknowledged the Senate likely wouldn’t take up his proposal but says the measure could have more support next year.  He also says the plan likely violates the U.S. Constitution, but he’s hopeful the Supreme Court will overrule current law that guarantees abortion rights.

Atlantic man arrested on warrant

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Tuesday of 38-year old Tommy Auten, of Atlantic. Auten was taken into custody on a District Court warrant associated with his Failure to Appear for a Child Support Hearing. Auten was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

Braley cosponsors Rural Health Care Fairness Act

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is introducing a bill today (Wednesday) that he says will cut rural health care costs. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is cosponsoring the “Rural Health Care Fairness Act” with Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois. Braley says the bill would allow rural health care clinics to qualify for federal incentives as they transition to electronic medical records. Braley says electronic medical records will help rural health clinics improve patient care, cut costs and prevent medical errors.

The Medicare Electronic Records Incentive Program already provides payments of up to 44-thousand dollars ($44,000) to eligible hospitals that upgrade to electronic health records technology. Braley says his bill would expand that program. “There are 142 Medicare rural health clinics currently in Iowa. They are not eligible to receive the electronic health records incentives. Our bipartisan bill changes that and allows rural health clinics to qualify for the electronic records incentive program,” Braley said.

Braley told reporters the legislation is budget-neutral, since it simply expands eligibility for the existing Medicare grant program and doesn’t expand the size of the program itself.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors approve amended burial policy

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved an amendment to the County’s Indigent Burial Policy. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman says the policy as amended states “Applications for Disposition Benefits shall be made by family, interested friends or a funeral home, through the Cass County General Assistance office. Previously, funeral homes were not included in the application process, but that was changed due to the fact if the deceased has no family, and the other avenues of paying for a burial are not available because of a lack of assets, the “Friend” or funeral home can assume liability for reimbursing the County for related burial costs if it is later determined funds were available through a will or other source.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken said if there assets available no one was aware of at the time of application, the funeral home or person who applies has the responsibility of notifying the County. Rieken said the Board may revisit the Disposition Policy next year, to see if costs have increased and if the County can continue to provide an indigent burial service.

Cass County Supervisors approve FY 2014 budget & secondary roads budget

News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved a slightly more than $16.3-million budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins on July 1st, 2013. The action came after a public hearing was held on the matter. It marks an increase of a little more than $254,260 over re-estimated FY 2012-2013 budget, but also results in a decrease in the tax levy due to an increase in assessed valuations. The residential/urban levy for FY 2013-2014 is $5.63 per thousand dollars assessed valuation, or a decrease of about 28-cents over last year, while the levy for the rural areas of the county is $10.17 per thousand…which represents a 23-cent decrease over last year.

The Supervisors also approved a recommendation by the County Compensation Board for a three-percent salary increase for all elected officials, including the Sheriff, Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer and members of the Board of Supervisors. The Board chair will receive an additional $1,000 compensation. The Board then approved the Secondary Roads Department Expense Budget, which is in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Engineer Charles Marker says also submitted for the Board’s approval the five-year road and bridge construction program.

With regard to the Secondary Roads Budget, Marker says they “Held the line on all the costs.” He said also, that a bridge project near Cumberland is for the most part done, with the exception of some work that is weather dependent.  The project being conducted by Murphy Construction is located northwest of Cumberland, one-mile north of the intersection of G-43 and N-48, is essentially complete, with the exception of some work that can only be finished when the weather is warmer. Once it’s done, the road will be open to the public.