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Senate Democrats seek more funding for public preschool

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Democrats are again seeking to increase funding for school districts that expand public preschool for 4-year-olds. A Senate panel gave preliminary approval to a proposal Monday that seeks to expand the Iowa Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, which was established in 2007. The legislation now moves to the Senate Education Committee. A similar bill failed to win full legislative approval last year.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, introduced the bill. He says students benefit from early education and the state should help more students participate. He said the price tag for the proposal would depend on the number of new students enrolled.

Rep. Ron Jorgenson, a Republican from Sioux City, said he had not reviewed the bill, but that he was concerned about the potential cost.

Iowa mom pleads guilty to leaving son in tub, smoking pot

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City mom has pleaded guilty to leaving her 10-month-old son alone in a bathtub while she smoked marijuana in another room. The Sioux City Journal reports 21-year-old Maricela Vasquez submitted her plea deal Monday to charges of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury and possession of a controlled substance.

Authorities say Vasquez was arrested in August when they responded to a 911 call, found evidence of marijuana in the apartment and discovered the baby had nearly drowned. The boy was taken to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Regional Medical, where he was treated, released and removed from Vasquez’s custody.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Feb. 24. Vasquez faces up to five years in prison.

2 legislative coffees set to take place in Cass County

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with PRIDE (The Progressive Rural Iowa Development Enterprise) said Monday, two legislative coffees have been scheduled in Cass County for the 2015 session. The first is at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 14, at the Cass County Museum in Griswold, 412 Main Street. Cumberland is the second host Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. at the Fire Station, 216 Main Street.

Clarke Gerlock, vice-president of PRIDE said “The greatest thing about these coffees is our ability to talk with our elected leaders like they are our friends and neighbors, because they are.” Representives Jack Drake and Clel Baudler, and Senators Tom Shipley and Jake Chapman frequent legislative coffees in the district to hear what patrons have to say about what matters most about their children’s schools, employment and business opportunities and other important issues.

P.R.I.D.E. is the economic development organization that works on behalf of communities, businesses, and citizens for Southwest Iowa development. For additional information, please contact Clarke Gerlock at 712-774-5476, or Kenner Baxter, president, at 781-2395.

(Update 12-p.m.) Rollover accident reported near Wiota exit

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A central Iowa man was injured during an accident on Interstate 80 this (Monday) morning, in Cass County. The Iowa State Patrol reports 20-year old Trevor Volk, of Waukee, was treated at the scene of the crash on I-80 eastbound near mile marker 63, before being transported by Anita Rescue to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. The accident that happened at around 8:04-a.m.

Officials say a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder driven by 26-year old Daniel Pazdernik, of Marshalltown, was traveling eastbound when the SUV went out of control, entered the median and came to rest in the westbound side, on its left side. A 2010 Honda Civic driven by Volk was traveling westbound and hit the SUV. Both vehicles came to rest in the median facing eastbound.

Pazdernik and a passenger in his SUV refused treatment. Each of the vehicles’ occupants were wearing their seatbelts.

Glenwood man arrested Saturday was on the lam from police

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Glenwood man who eluded authorities following an incident last week, was arrested Saturday on a Pottawattamie County warrant for Failure to Appear. The Glenwood Police Department reports 36-year old Harold Rudduck also faces an Interference with Official Acts, charge. His bond was set at $4,000 altogether.

You may recall we mentioned a State Trooper stopped Rudduck last Wednesday while the man was walking on county road J-20, east of Essex. While the Trooper was checking Rudduck’s record, the man took off and disappeared into a wooded area before he could be placed under arrest.

Despite a perimeter being established and numerous law enforcement personnel as well as K9 units who engaged in a search for him, Rudduck managed to evade them and the search was called-off late Wednesday night. Authorities suspected at the time he may have been picked up by someone he knows.

Audubon man arrested Saturday; weather related accident Saturday

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports a traffic stop at around 2:30-a.m. Saturday resulted in the arrest of 20-year old Tyler Lane Boos, of Audubon. Boos was charged with OWI/1st offense and brought to the Audubon County Jail. He was released later, after appearing before a magistrate.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Saturday afternoon, in Audubon County. Authorities say 83-year old Peter John Humphrey, of Audubon, was traveling north on Littlefield Drive at around 1:30-p.m., when he lost control of the 2009 Dodge Dakota pickup he was driving on the slush covered roadway.

The pickup sideswiped a southbound 2011 Ford F-350 pickup and trailer, driven by 34-year old Kevin Wade Coffman, of Exira, and registered to Henningsen Construction. Following the collision, Humphrey’s pickup ended up in the east ditch. The damages amounted to $8,500.

Cass County woman dies from exposure to the cold

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County woman has died from apparent exposure to the cold. The Sheriff’s Office report 67-year old Judy Lynn Kay, of rural Atlantic, was found by her brother at around 7:12-p.m. Sunday, unconscious, and about 200-yards from her home near 644th Street and Jackson Road.

Sheriff’s officials say her truck had slid into a ditch in front of the house, and it appears that Kay, who was dressed in sandals and a sweater or light jacket, was apparently trying to make her way back to her home when she collapsed.

Judy Kay had served as a school psychologist for the Atlantic Community School District for many years, before retiring.

Council Bluffs Fire Department seeks to repair historic bell

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The Council Bluffs Fire Department is working to restore a bell that once rang throughout the city for more than 100 years. Fire Chief Justin James says the fire station bell, forged in 1876, once tolled for fire calls and firefighter funerals at several Council Bluffs stations. The bell had been relocated to a city storage facility for three years during station construction, and the department now wants it back in action.

James tells the Council Bluffs Nonpareil plans include erecting a tower outside the department’s new headquarters station. He says the tower would feature pictures and plaques depicting the history of the department. The department estimates the project will cost between $80,000 and $120,000. James says donations and grants will likely fund its construction.

Iowa to pay $390K to campers who were injured by fallen tree at Lake Manawa

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa judge has approved a $390,000 state payment to a couple and their child who were seriously injured when a large tree fell on their tent at a state park. The payment will settle a lawsuit alleging the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was negligent in failing to remove the diseased, 98-foot cottonwood tree at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs.

Heavy winds caused the tree to fall on a tent where 23-year-old Alecia Nichols, 25-year-old Timothy Hiers, Jr., and 3-year-old Timothy Hiers III were sleeping in May 2012. Nichols suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage, a crushed pelvis and several fractured vertebrae. She lost hearing in one ear and has undergone multiple surgeries. Her boyfriend and child suffered lacerated spleens and other injuries.

Pott. County Sheriff advises you to check road conditions

News

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office is advising persons needing to travel today to be sure to check road conditions before you venture out. Highway 6 is still closed from near Atlantic to Council Bluffs, primarily due to vehicles that opted to travel an impassable road getting stuck that is now preventing plows from being able to clear the roads.

Local reports advise Hwy 92 east of Treynor still 100% covered. If you’re traveling today, give yourself plenty of time and don’t risk traveling roads with travel warnings.