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NW Iowa couple to be sentenced in bank robberies

News

April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man who robbed small-town banks with his wife is asking for a sentence that will perhaps let him see his teenage children again. Jeffrey and Roxena Schoon will be sentenced Wednesday in Sioux City. The couple has pleaded guilty to robbing four banks within 20 miles of their Wall Lake home in December 2011 and January 2012. Investigators say the pair then got married in Las Vegas.

Jeffrey Schoon tells the judge in a letter that he’s raised an 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son who suffers from cystic fibrosis. He’s asking Bennett to adopt a plea agreement that requires a 15-year sentence. He says the average life span of someone with cystic fibrosis is 30, and the deal gives hope his family will someday be reunited.

Statewide initiative launched to deter and catch vehicle thieves

News

April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Vehicle thieves could be in for a big surprise the next time they break into a car in Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol and Nationwide Insurance Company have launched a statewide initiative to deter and catch vehicle thieves in the act.

ISP car and “Bait” vehicles shown at a press conference, Tuesday.

Patrol Colonel Dave Garrison says motor vehicle theft is a serious problem in the state. “From the years 2006 through 2010, there were over 22,400 vehicles stolen (in Iowa). In 2012 alone, over 3,600 vehicles were stolen. So, it is a fairly big issue,” Garrison said. The initiative — launched Tuesday with a press conference outside the Nationwide Insurance building in downtown Des Moines — involves a couple of “bait cars.” The cars, donated by Nationwide, will be placed in areas known for vehicle theft. The computerized cars are monitored from a remote location by Troopers.

“Inside the vehicle, there are hidden cameras, there’s the ability to turn the ignition on and off and also lock and unlock the doors,” Garrison said. “There are a number of things hidden inside that vehicle…but it’s not going to appear to the normal person that the vehicle is abnormal.” If a would-be thief gets into a bait car, they could be trapped inside by the Trooper monitoring the vehicle. Similar projects have proven successful in other states, but this is the first time it’s been tried in Iowa.

“The biggest factor we’re looking at is deterrents,” Garrison said. “If we can stop one or two or 100 (vehicle thefts), that’s the biggest thing to us.” The two bait cars were hidden under vehicle covers Tuesday and not unveiled to the media. Garrison said several more of the highly equipped vehicles will be deployed to communities around Iowa over next few months. A spokesperson for Nationwide said about one-fourth of the comprehensive coverage of an auto policy is driven by auto theft costs. In Iowa, the average comprehensive coverage is $160 a year – so roughly $40 accounts for auto theft.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed. April 17th 2013

News

April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Senate Ways and Means committee advanced legislation yesterday that would offer a tax break to small businesses if they cover part of employees’ health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, a small business that employs up to 24 people and chooses to cover 50 percent of their employees’ health insurance costs gets a federal income tax break. If the bill passes, these businesses would get an additional state income tax break.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa House approved an economic development budget plan with less funding than the state Senate version. The plan passed in the House yesterday offers $45 million to economic development activities in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate approved a bill yesterday that would give funding to food banks and give tax breaks to farmers who donate produce. The bill would give an incentive for small farmers to donate produce by providing a 15 percent state income tax break on the market value of donations worth less than $5,000.

SUMNER, Iowa (AP) — More than 40 students from the Sumner-Fredericksburg School in northeast Iowa suffered minor injuries when two buses crashed. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV says the crash happened near Sumner just after 3:30 p.m. yesterday when one bus reared-ended the other.

Flash Flood Watch for parts of the KJAN listening area

News, Weather

April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

341 AM CDT WED APR 17 2013

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM NOON CDT TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL IOWA…SOUTH CENTRAL IOWA…SOUTHEAST IOWA AND SOUTHWEST IOWA…INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES IN THE KJAN LISTENING AREA..MADISON…RINGGOLD… UNION…and TAYLOR. FROM NOON CDT TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING

* PERIODS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE ANTICIPATED THROUGH THE DAY AND INTO TONIGHT. THE ENVIRONMENT WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR THESE SHOWERS AND STORMS TO PRODUCE HEAVY RAINS AS THEY REOCCUR OVER SIMILAR AREAS. RAINFALL TOTALS MAY REACH TWO TO THREE INCHES BY EARLY THURSDAY MORNING WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE IN FAR SOUTHEAST IOWA.

* FLASH FLOODING OF SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS MAY OCCUR ALONG WITH SIGNIFICANT PONDING WATER ON ROADS AND IN DITCHES. LARGER RIVERS SOUTH AND EAST OF DES MOINES MAY ALSO EXCEED FLOOD STAGE BEYOND THE VALID WATCH TIME INTO THURSDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

Cutler verdict returned in dog shooting case (updated 6:22-p.m.)

News

April 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The jury in the case of a Marne man facing an Aggravated Misdemeanor charge of Animal Abuse in connection with the shooting of a Colorado woman’s dog who strayed onto his property Dec. 24th, 2012,  rendered its verdict Tuesday afternoon, after a single day of testimony. District Court Judge James M. Richardson announced the decision of the seven woman, five man members of the jury before confirming the verdict with the jury foreman.

Charles Collins Cutler on the witness stand

It took approximately 30-minutes for the jury to deliberate and determine 56-year old Charles Collins Cutler was guilty of the offense. Their decision was handed down at around 5:15-p.m. The Judge ordered sentencing in the case to take place 9-a.m. May 6th, in Cass County District Court.

Earlier in the afternoon, the jury heard testimony from Dr. Keith Leonard, with the Atlantic Animal Health Center. The veterinarian testified the chocolate Labrador belonging to Stacey Ernat, an Elementary School Teacher in Denver, Colorado, died 30-minutes after it was brought in to his clinic for examination and treatment. Also testifying in the case was Cass County Deputy Corey Larsen, who, during the investigation into the incident, asked Cutler why he shot the 18-month old dog Ernat had owned since she obtained it from a breeder when it was a puppy. Cutler told the deputy it was because he feared for his dog’s safety, and “Was just tired” of animals running loose in Marne, especially on his property.

Ernat testified her dog, which was wearing a collar and tags, along with “Ranger,” a German Shepherd owned by her boyfriend Brandon Petersen’s brother, Jeremy Petersen, were outside playing before they were to make the long trip to the Quad Cities to visit Stacey’s parents.

Stacey Ernat

She learned from Brandon that something terrible had happened to her dog “Wrigley,” as she was preparing to load the car with their belongings. She says she ran through the snow to where the dogs were playing, and saw her dog laying under a pontoon boat, bleeding from her hind quarters, looking dead. They immediately took the dog to Atlantic to try and save it.

Collins Cutler testified that he was in his garage and was afraid to walk to his house because he heard one of the two dogs growling, but he didn’t know which one. After he ordered the dogs to “Get,” he went into the garage and loaded a .410 shotgun, and pointed it at the one dog that was left on his property…Wrigley…before pulling the trigger. Cutler said he was afraid for his cats and his own dog, which was secured in his house, when he shot the Lab. The animal he said may have been turning away when the pellets hit it in the right rear flank.

The jury ruled Cutler did not have the right to shoot a collared and licensed dog, because under Iowa law, the animal was not chasing, maiming or killing another domestic animal, or attacking or attempting to bite a person. Following the verdict, Ernat said while the verdict “Will not bring Wrigley back,” it sends a message that “It is not okay to abuse animals,” and that Cutler “Needs to be held accountable for his actions, and being found guilty and having to go endure the repercussions makes her happy,” and will help to bring closure to a four-month long ordeal. She said she knows her dog would have wanted to find the happiness she had when the two were together. Cutler faces up to 2-years in prison and a fine not to exceed $6,250, when he’s sentenced next month.

Atlantic City Council to hold a closed session on legal matter, Wednesday

News

April 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session Wednesday evening, at City Hall. During the meeting that begins at 5:30-p.m., they will hear reports from: Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Megan Roberts, and Dolly Bergman, with regard to the City’s “Trees Forever” Award.

The Council will also act on matters pertaining to: A contract with Iron Specialties, for the Park Maintenance facility; a change order on a contract with Snyder and Associates for additional services related to the 2013 Street Improvement Program; and, a Resolution approving the Contract and Bonds executed by Spray Com Utility, of Knob Noster, MO. (with regard to the sewer relining project).

Prior to concluding their session, the Atlantic City Council is expected to enter into a closed session to discuss initiating litigation to take title of an abandoned property, as allowed under Iowa Code.

Harlan Police Report

News

April 16th, 2013 by admin

The Harlan Police Department has released their weekly arrest report today (Tuesday). On April 12th, 18-year old Jenna McDaniel of Harlan was arrested on an active Shelby County warrant that was issued as a result of a domestic disturbance on December 30, 2012. McDaniel was transported to the Shelby County Jail.

On Monday April 15th, 41-year old Anthony Thraen of Harlan was taken into custody when it was reported that he was in violation of a no contact order issued between him and Rebecca Schaben, also of Harlan. Thraen was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with the violation.

Also arrested Monday was 39-year old Patricia Welsh of Shelby. Welsh was arrested following a traffic stop and was then taken to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with driving while barred and cited for failure to obey stop sign.

On April 10th, the Harlan Police Department responded to an accident. Sue Ellen Smith of Harlan was driving northbound on 8th street when she proceeded through a stop sign, not seeing a 2002 Buick driven by Colin Fuhs of Portsmouth. Fuhs was driving westbound on Durant at the time, his vehicle was struck on the rear left side by Smith’s 2012 Chevrolet. Damages to Fuhs car amounted to $950, while Smith’s car sustained $500 damage.

Corning man faces additional charges

News

April 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office reports a Corning man arrested Monday afternoon in Adams County on a charge of Domestic Assault, now faces and additional charge of concealing a weapon (a handgun), without  a permit. The charge is an aggravated misdemeanor. 24-year old Cody Austin Sanson was arrested at around 1:45-a.m. Sunday. Sanson was transported to the Adams County Jail.

Senate OKs nearly $43 million for mental health

News

April 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that calls for spending nearly $43 million on the state’s new regionalized mental health care system. The Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support Tuesday on a 37 to 17 vote. Last week, the Senate budget committee approved a plan for just under $30 million, but a larger spending plan was introduced in an amendment by Democrat Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The bill funds part of the mental health redesign approved last year. It provides about $43 million in state funding over the next fiscal year for counties to administer mental health services not covered by Medicaid.  Gov. Terry Branstad did not designate any money in his budget for this part of the redesign.

Shenandoah grad charged with murder

News

April 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A former southwest Iowa resident is facing a felony murder charge in Texas.

Padilla, Miller and Pena (photo from Ninjacops.com)

According to the Omaha World Herald, 20-year old Tyler Miller, a 2010 graduate of the Shenandoah High School, is accused in the fatal beating of 47-year old Baldemar Perez. Another man, 21-year old Christopher Padilla, was also arrested in connection with the March 29th incident, which occurred in San Antonio. Both men were charged Murder in the 1st degree.

Padilla is also suspected of committing a robbery about midnight at before he and Miller, beat Perez to death. He was charged with Robbery in the 2nd degree, which is also a felony offense. 35-year old Oscar Pena, who was in the home where Miller and Perez were arrested, was taken into custody on numerous warrants, but is not a suspect in the murder case.

Authorities say they believe the attack on Perez was a random incident that began with a series of crimes at a local strip club. Both men were being held in the Bexar County, TX, jail, where Miller’s bond was set at $250,000.