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7AM Newscast 03-23-2012

News, Podcasts

March 23rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


5 people injured in Montgomery County accident, Thursday


March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An accident Thursday morning in Montgomery County caused five people, including three children, to be sent to the hospital. Sheriff’s officials say at around 9:25-a.m., an SUV driven by 16-year old Adam Mathew Stevens, of Villisca and owned by Jennifer Dawn Schultz, of Villisca, had gone into a ditch, after Stevens attempted to negotiate a turn from Highway 71 onto eastbound High Street.

Stevens and Schultz, along with their passengers, 12-year old Brigette M. Englebert, two-year old Malakeye Westbrook, and one-year old Montgomery Westbrook, were transported by Red Oak and Villisca Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, for evaluation. Sheriff’s officials say the Villisca Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

Damage to Schultz’ 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee was estimated at $1,500. There were no citations issued.

Omaha man arrested this morning on drug charges


March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports an Omaha man was taken into custody at around around midnight today (Friday), on drug-related charges. Timothy Gene Humphrey was arrested on a warrant charging him with Possession of a Controlled Substance, and, Gathering for the Use of Marijuana. Greene was located by authorities in Shenandoah, and transported without incident to meet with a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy. He was being held in jail on a $5,000 bond.

Vilsack & King talk about Affordable Care Act/”Obamacare” on its 2-year Anniversary


March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Today (Friday) is the second anniversary of what Democrats call The Affordable Care Act, while Republicans refer to it as ObamaCare. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is part of President Obama’s cabinet now and he held a conference call with reporters this week to tout the national health care reform law. “One thing that people don’t realize about this is that it actually will reduce the federal budget,” Vilsack said. “The Congressional Budget Office has determined that this act will reduce the federal deficit by over $100 billion over the course of the next decade.” According to Vilsack, people also overlook the tax breaks that were included in the legislation. “Particularly for small businesses, a 35 percent tax credit is a fairly significant tax create that makes it a little bit easier to afford the cost of health care coverage for a company that has, maybe, a half-dozen employees or so,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack, who is serving as U.S. Ag Secretary, invited a registered nurse at a hospital in Spencer, Iowa, to join his conference call to laud the provision that bars insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. “Many times that was the reason they chose not to have insurance later because they knew that for the very reason they needed insurance was the reason they now could not get that insurance,” she said. Carolyn Sheridan is also clinical director for AgriSafe, a network of health professionals who work in rural America.

From the other side of this debate, Republican Congressman Steve King spoke at a Washington, D.C. news conference this week to mark the law’s two-year anniversary. “Tens of thousands of Americans came here to this city to say to their legislators, ‘Keep your hands off of our health care and our constitution,’” King said. For the past two years King has argued for complete repeal of the law. “If we turned to the American people and said, ‘Come tear these pages out,’ they would tear every page out of there,” King said during the news conference, “and there’d be people standing in line to do that.” King has called the law an “assault on the personal liberty” of Americans that “nationalizes our skin and everything inside” our bodies. “Piece after piece, we know how bad this is,” King said. “I don’t have to do down through the list. It’s unaffordable, unsustainable, unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will get a look at this later this month and I hope to be there to hear that argument.”

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will start three days of hearings featuring lawyers arguing both sides of the health care reform dispute. President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law on March 23, 2010.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Iowa (early) News Headlines: Fri., March 23rd 2012


March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Construction is expected to begin soon on the University of Iowa’s first new residence hall since 1968. The Iowa Board of Regents on Wednesday approved plans for a $53 million, 10-story tower that will be located on the west side of campus near Rienow and Hillcrest residence halls. Construction work is expected to begin this summer and finish by spring 2015.

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) — A retired southwest Iowa teacher accused of sexual conduct with a student in 2009 and 2010 has pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee. KJAN radio in Atlantic reports 65-year-old William Foulkes (fowlks) of Anita entered his plea in Cass County magistrate court yesterday.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A 43-year-old Davenport woman has been given 10 years in prison for forgery and dependent adult abuse. Bobbi Christoffersen was sentenced Wednesday in Scott County District Court after pleading guilty. Prosecutors say she stole cash and forged checks belonging to the Walker family of rural Scott County while serving as a caregiver for their brain-injured son.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The excitement is building as a second eaglet has cracked out of its egg and a third is expected outside an Alcoa plant in Davenport. The second eaglet hatched Wednesday. The first hatched on Monday. A third egg was showing signs of a crack, but there was no announcement by yesterday afternoon on the company’s website that includes an internet camera.

Rivals in Iowa’s 4th District race talk debates


March 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Rep. Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack are negotiating for a series of debates leading up the November election in western Iowa’s newly redrawn 4th District. King, who has declined to debate his Democratic opponents in the past, has challenged Vilsack to a series of six debates. Vilsack on Thursday sent a letter to King saying she supports debates and this is the first step in the negotiations. Vilsack is the wife of Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor now serving as U.S. agriculture secretary. She says she’s reaching out to news organizations and other groups who may be interested in sponsoring the debates. King was first elected in November 2002 in Iowa’s 5th District. Iowa lost a congressional seat after the 2010 census.

DNR official explains why Iowa quit Missouri River coalition


March 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa and Nebraska have left the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes, known as MORAST (MORE-ast). Remaining members are meeting this week in Kansas City for the first time without Iowa at the table. The group was made up of seven states in the river basin, along with several Native American tribes. Now, only five states remain. Chuck Gipp, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says the reason Iowa left was simple. Gipp says, “We didn’t think that the lower basin states were being represented very well by that organization.”

 The executive director of MORAST said this week Iowa is welcome to rejoin the group at any time, but that appears unlikely. Gipp says Iowa decided to leave in large part because of a host of issues that arose from the record flooding on the river last summer. “It was determined by the governor of Iowa that we would withdraw simply because we didn’t think that we were being listened to as far as using the controls that we have on the Missouri River for interest in the lower basin states,” Gipp says. “It got people’s attention and hopefully, we can work forward from that aspect.” Gipp says despite leaving the association, the state will continue to cooperate with other states in the Missouri River basin, just not through MORAST. “All of the states have an impact and a contribution,” he says. “It’s going to be important to continue to talk with the upper basin states about what’s good for the entire Missouri River stem, because we certainly can’t go it alone.”

MORAST still includes: Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas. The group’s website says it was formed “to help resolve issues of concern to the basin states and tribes, to serve as a forum to foster communication and information exchange among the member states, tribes and various other governmental units, and to facilitate the management of the natural resources of the Missouri River Basin, including water resources, fish and wildlife while considering the impacts to the economic, historical, cultural, and social resources.”

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Body recovered from Tabor pond this morning


March 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in southwest Iowa’s Mills County say dive teams have recovered a body from a farm pond near Tabor. The name of the victim has not been released, pending notification of family, but it’s believed he is from Papillion, NE.  The Mills County Coroner arrived on the scene and has ordered an autopsy to determine the victim’s cause of death.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Bruce Paulsen said in a press release this (Thursday) afternoon, that the Mills County Sheriff’s Office responded to the farm pond northwest of Tabor, after receiving a report at around 11-a.m. March 19th, of a possible drowning.

Tabor Fire and Rescue and Red Oak Rescue and Dive teams, along with a dive team from Clarinda were called to the scene. A unoccupied boat believed to belong to the missing person’s boat was found in the pond. Deputy Paulsen said weather conditions and surface conditions on the pond complicated the search.

The body was recovered at around 11-a.m. today.

Former SW IA Teacher pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Exploitation charges


March 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(updated 3/23 with arraignment hearing date set)

A former teacher with the Anita School District has entered a plea of Not Guilty to charges he sexually exploited a minor female over a period of 13-months. 65-year old William Glenn Foulkes, of Anita, made his plea during his initial court appearance today (Thursday), in Cass County Magistrate’s Court. Foulkes also waived his Preliminary Hearing, and will appear in court during his arraignment hearing at 9-a.m., on April 10th.

Foulkes, a former long-time Math teacher at the Anita High School, and Anita Elementary School, was arrested March 15th on a felony warrant for Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee, and 49-Aggravated Misdemeanor counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. If convicted on all of the charges, Foulkes could face a maximum time of 103 years in prison and fines of more than $300,000. Foulkes resigned from his teaching position in November 2010. He’s accused of engaging in sexual conduct on numerous occasions with a minor female while teaching the student in a math program from August 2009 until November 11, 2010.

His Attorney, F. Montgomery Brown, from West Des Moines, spoke with reporters after the hearing. Brown said Foulkes, who is a 40-year employee of the Anita Community School District, “Is a decorated Iraq War veteran who served in the violence and combat. As a commanding sergeant, he will vigorously contest these allegations. He denies any contact or activity with any sexual purpose or ideation.” When asked about the allegations coming to light more than a year after the complaint says they last took place, Brown said the question “Should be addressed to the School District, about when specific complaints were made, and the school district’s response to that.”

When the charges were filed last week, CAM Superintendent Steve Pelzer said at the time Foulkes’ resignation was accepted, “The School Board had no knowledge of any allegations of criminal misconduct.” Foulkes remains free on bond. He was previously ordered not to have contact with his alleged victim.

Car hits tree in Atlantic Wednesday night


March 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was injured after the car he was driving hit a tree late Wednesday night. According to the Police Department, 18-year old Joseph Riesberg was traveling west on 9th Street at around 11-p.m., when the vehicle veered north onto the City Right of Way and hit a tree located just off the roadway. Riesberg was taken to the Cass County Hospital by Medivac Ambulance. No charges had been filed as of late this (Thursday) morning. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $3,000.

Police Chief Steve Green reports also, 22-year old Tyler Johnston, of Atlantic, was arrested Wednesday, on a charge of Criminal Trespass. Johnston was booked into the Cass County Jail.