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Ex-Iowa teacher accused of sex with student takes plea deal

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – A former Glenwood teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student and of giving alcohol to a minor has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge as part of a plea deal. The Omaha World-Herald reports 39-year-old Russell Crouch was arrested and charged in May with sexual exploitation by a school employee and supplying alcohol to a minor.

Crouch was given deferred judgment, meaning if he successfully completes a year of probation, the charge of misdemeanor aggravated assault will be removed from his record. A district court judge has ordered him to complete counseling and therapy.

Crouch taught at Glenwood High School before he resigned. He had been a teacher in the district since 2006 and taught in Hyannis and Ansley, Nebraska.

Select a tax preparer wisely

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The end of the calendar year also marks the end of the tax year and the clock is now ticking on the deadline for you to file your tax return. I-R-S spokesman, Bill Brunson, says it’s important that you get someone who knows what they are doing to do your taxes. “More than half of all Iowans will go to a paid preparer, so you want to make sure that you chose wisely in this area, because you are sharing personal financial information with that business that’s going to prepare your tax return,” Brunson says. He has a few tips for selecting a tax preparer.

“Make sure that you go to one that is ethical, will be around after the filing season in case you get a letter from the I-R-S in your mailbox,” Brunson says. “Make sure that they’ve gone back to the schoolhouse and learned about the current tax law so they can provide you benefit from it.” Brunson says you should be concerned if the tax preparer makes big promises without first knowing your situation.

“A good tax preparer is going to ask you a lot of questions and ask you for your receipts and documents. A bad preparer will say to you ‘hey I can get you a large refund’ without running any numbers through the form. Or they might say ‘I am only going to charge you a percentage of what I can get back for you,'” Brunson says. “Those two items are red flags. You don’t want to go to those folks.” He says there are steps you need to take to protect yourself no matter who you have do your taxes.

“You never want to sign a blank return. You always want to review your return before you sign it. You are legally responsible for that information reported to the I-R-S, even though someone else prepared it,” Brunson says. For more information on filing your taxes, go to I-R-S-dot-gov (www.irs.gov).

(Radio Iowa)

Storm warning: snow, followed by “dangerously cold conditions”

News, Weather

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service is warning snow will fall in much of Iowa this (Monday) afternoon and “dangerously cold conditions” will arrive by Tuesday morning. Meteorologist Jim Lee of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Des Moines posted a video online describing the forecast. “The storm will produce moderate to heavy snowfall accumulations, generally in the four to eight inch range, extending from northern through central and into eastern portions of Iowa,” Lee says. “The heavy snow will fall on Monday afternoon and evening, causing slick roads and travel difficulties during the afternoon commute in many areas.”

The National Weather Service predicts wind speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour and perhaps even higher in some areas as the snow is falling. “As snow tapers off Monday night, very cold air will stream into Iowa resulting in wind chills of 20 to 30 below zero by Tuesday morning and even colder on the following days,” Lee said in the video. Snow fell across much of Iowa as Saturday night turned into Sunday morning.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reported roads in southeast Iowa were completely covered in snow by Sunday, with most of the rest of the state’s roads at least partially covered in snow. Dozens of Iowa churches cancelled services on Sunday morning as temperatures plummeted. By Sunday evening, roads in a chunk of northwest Iowa, including the Sioux City and Fort Dodge areas were still partially covered in snow.

Snow was also causing Sunday night travel problems north of Davenport and in a triangular section of southeast Iowa that stretched from Iowa City, down to Ottumwa and then over to Burlington.

(Radio Iowa)

Winter Weather Advisory for Monona-Harrison-Shelby-Pott. Counties

News, Weather

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

338 AM CST MON JAN 5 2015

A CLIPPER SYSTEM DROPPING OUT OF THE NORTHERN HIGH PLAINS WILL BE THE FOCUS FOR INDUCING SNOWFALL OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST NEBRASKA AND WEST-CENTRAL IOWA LATER THIS AFTERNOON. THIS SYSTEM WILL BE QUICK IN NATURE…THUS THE SNOW ACTIVITY SHOULD BE COMING TO A CLOSE BY EARLY THIS EVENING.

Winter Weather Advisory & Watch graphic (NWS/Des Moines). For more see www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

Winter Weather Advisory & Watch graphic (NWS/Des Moines). For more see www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTIES….WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION AND SUB-ZERO WIND CHILL INDICES…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING.

* TIMING…THE SNOW ACTIVITY SHOULD LAST THOUGH THE MAJORITY OF THE AFTERNOON HOURS. TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS FROM 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED BY EVENTS END THIS EVENING. IN ADDITION…WIND CHILL INDICES AROUND 5 BELOW ZERO ARE EXPECTED AS WELL THIS AFTERNOON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

PERIODS OF SNOW MAY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

 

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Jan. 5th 2015

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Part of the fun of sledding is the risk that comes with flying down a steep hill. No one tracks how many cities have banned or limited sledding, but the list grows every year. One of the latest is in Dubuque, Iowa, where officials are moving ahead with a plan to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks. Parks manager Marie Ware says Dubuque is hilly and the risk is too prevalent.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many small Iowa towns are struggling to afford required costly upgrades to their sewage systems to limit pollution. The Des Moines Register reports some towns are considering un-incorporating to avoid the cost of installing a centralized sewage system. In the central Iowa town of Luther, the dispute over a proposed $1.4 million plumbing system for about 120 residents prompted several top officials to resign.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have been moving slowly to implement a law allowing for an extract of marijuana to be used for medical treatment, and advocates say they’ll keep pressing for more access to the drug. The Quad-City Times reports the state Department of Public Health has yet to issue a single marijuana use card.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Waterloo firefighters and narcotics investigators are probing a suspicious weekend fire that injured a man. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports officers with the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force searched the home several hours after Sunday’s fire.

Adair County Board of Supervisors to hold Special Session Monday

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County will hold a Special Session at 9-a.m., Monday, to discuss and possibly act on funding requests. The Fiscal Year 2016 requests will be from: the County Ag Extension; Midwest Partnership; Dept. of Human Services; The Adair County Historical Society; Southern Iowa Trolley; and the Tourism Department.

In addition, County Engineer Nick Kauffman will present to the board a contract for signing, with regard to a bridge repair/replacement project, and County Auditor Mindy Schaefer will speak with regard to: Claims; Valuation information; the Clerk of Court and Medical Examiners’ FY 2016 Departmental Budget Requests.

Afterward, the Board will hold a budget work session.

Red Oak woman arrested Sunday morning

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report a woman was arrested early Sunday morning, for “Breach of Peace.”  44-year-old Shelby Joann Olivares, of Red Oak, was taken to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on $300 bond.

Car crosses bridge and crashes in Montgomery County

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after a car crossed a bridge and went out of control before crashing in Montgomery County, Sunday morning. Sheriff’s officials say Sheryl Heidecker was traveling west on 270th Street at around 10:20-a.m., when the vehicle crossed a snow covered bridge and began to slide to the right. When Heidecker tried to correct the skid, her 2005 Dodge Stratus slid across the road and crashed into the south ditch. The accident happened east of Coburg, about one-quarter of a mile east of J Avenue.

The vehicle was totaled, with the loss estimated at $3,500. No citations were issued.

Iowa officials slow to implement medical marijuana oil law

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have been moving slowly to implement a law allowing for an extract of marijuana to be used for medical treatment, and advocates say they’ll keep pressing for more access to the drug. The Quad-City Times reports the state Department of Public Health has yet to issue a single marijuana use card that’s required under the law that passed last year.

Des Moines mom Maria La France says she remains too nervous about being arrested to regularly obtain marijuana oil for her son’s chronic epilepsy. So she’ll keep pressing for more access. Logan Edwards says the lack of access to medical marijuana in Iowa is why he left the state last year. The U.S. Marine from Davenport says he uses the drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Liability concerns prompt some cities to limit sledding

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Part of the fun of sledding is the risk that comes with flying down a steep hill. But that risk leaves cities open to potential bills from sledding injuries, and some have opted to close hills rather than risk large liability claims.

No one tracks how many cities have banned or limited sledding, but the list grows every year. One of the latest is in Dubuque, Iowa, where officials are moving ahead with a plan to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks. Parks manager Marie Ware says Dubuque is hilly and the risk is too prevalent.

In meetings leading up to the ban, City Council members lamented the move but say it’s the only responsible choice given liability concerns and demands from Dubuque’s insurance carrier.