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(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local/State News, May 9th 2013

News, Podcasts

May 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A (podcast) of some of the latest area news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

Riverside bond issue comes before the voters again

News

May 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Riverside School District hope another try will do the trick when it comes to passing a bond issued for new district facilities. Superintendent Jim Sutton told KJAN News the district’s Board of Education have accepted a petition calling for a June 25th Special Election which if approved, would result in the construction of a new, 7th-12th grade facility.  Sutton says voters will decide on a $15.1 million bond issue that leaves the tax levy the same as before, at $2.70 per thousand dollars of valuation. He says “Together with the savings we have and borrowing against our remaining sales tax, we’re looking at about a $23-million project.”

If approved, the new facility would be located near the intersection of Highways 6 and 59, south of Oakland, and it would not require the closure of all three of the district’s buildings. It would also eliminate the idea of a Pre-k through 12th grade building, and include an auditorium, a geothermal heating system, athletic complex and track, which remain on the district’s priority list. He said those items have simply been moved up on the priority list. Sutton says until the last election in Dec. 2012, the district’s thoughts were to include the extras if the money was available, but by trimming down the project to a 7-12 building, they were able to “Maintain a couple of buildings that are still usable in the district,” and “Assure voters that we would have geothermal in that project, and the athletic complex.” Previously, those items were on the wish list as more money became available.

Previous bond issue attempts for a new K-12 facility were rejected in April, 2011 and February 2012. The last attempt to pass the measure came up short of the 60-percent supermajority needed for the measure to pass, at 59.2-percent. Sutton says that’s because there were a couple of factors working against them. One was an Iowa Western Community College bond issue that was being voted on during the same day, which he says when added to the Oakland District’s bond vote, “Made it look a pretty hefty proposal.” The other issue, was the fact there was only one polling place in the County, which he says affected the turnout.

Sutton says they’re hoping they don’t have to share the ballot this time around, and that the County will be agreeable to having polling places in each one of the district’s communities, as has been the case in the past. An informal meeting on the latest bond measure is expected to take place June 11th, just weeks before the scheduled Special Election. Additional details on the locations and times for the meeting will be announced in the district’s newsletter and a mailer that will be sent out to the district’s patrons.

Sutton says the main thing they have to overcome this time around, is “Voter Apathy.”  He says with the tax rate having fallen by as much as 80-cents over the past year , it’s a “Wise time to spending this money for a new building, it really is.”

Council Bluffs gaming boat to be retired/ New casino waits to open

News

May 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A riverboat casino in Council Bluffs is about to be retired, and replaced with a new, indoor casino. The Daily NonPareil reports all of the gaming operations on-board the “Kanesville Queen” riverboat owned by Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Hotel will be removed from the 18-year old boat and taken into a new, 25-thousand square foot, one-level area, where Harrah’s convention rooms were located. The  move has been five-years in the making, according to Senior Vice President and General Manager, Bo Guidry. A change in Iowa law means casinos are no longer required to be on boats, which are expensive to maintain. Guidry said the company expects to save $2-million per year once the vessel is retired and closed at 4-a.m., June 3rd.

The new casino, which is set to hold its grand opening June 8th,  will offer 600 slot machines, including 200 new games and 100 video poker machines. There will be 18 table games featuring customer favorites like blackjack, craps and roulette. Forty-seven high-definition televisions will be installed on the walls around the room, as well.

Guidry told the paper that none of the nearly 500 employees at the casino/hotel will lose their jobs as a result of the move. An estimated 130 construction workers will be employed for the $10-million dollar project is underway.

Iowa early News headlines: Thu., May 9th 2013

News

May 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad and MidAmerican Energy have announced plans to spend $1.9 billion to install 656 wind turbines in Iowa by 2016. The Des Moines-based utility’s plan represents the largest economic development project in Iowa history. The new turbines will have the capacity to generate more than 1,000 megawatts of wind power.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Senator Tom Harkin is announcing nearly $1.2 million in funding for projects at six Iowa airports. The largest amount will go to the Spencer Municipal Airport. More than $300,000 will be spent on renovating the runway lighting system.

CLARION, Iowa (AP) — Jurors deliberating in the trial of an Osage teenager accused of shooting his mother to death say they’re “close” to being a hung jury. Noah Crooks is charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse in the 2012 killing of his mother. Jurors sent a note to the judge yesterday that read, “Close to hung jury. What do we do?”

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that includes $8 million to upgrade facilities at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. The Senate approved the money as part of an appropriations bill that includes spending on a variety of projects. The state tax dollars would be spread out over four years.

Utility announces $1.9 billion wind turbine plan

News

May 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad and MidAmerican Energy have announced plans to spend $1.9 billion to install 656 wind turbines in Iowa by the end of 2015. The Des Moines-based utility’s plan announced Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference represents the largest economic development project in Iowa history. When completed, the new turbines will have the capacity to generate up to 1,050 megawatts of wind power.

MidAmerican estimates that by January 2016, it will be capable of generating nearly 40 percent of its power by wind. MidAmerican is Iowa’s largest energy company, bringing electricity to 734,000 customers and natural gas to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Griswold woman sentenced to 15-years in prison

News

May 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County woman was sentenced today (Wednesday) to 15-years in prison an methamphetamine-related charges. The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 46-year old Katrina Sue Bates, of Griswold,  was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in and around Cass County. United States District Judge John Jarvey also ordered Bates to serve a ten-year term of supervised release following incarceration.

Bates pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) on September 30, 2012. The conviction was the result of a three year investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in and around Atlantic, Iowa. At the time of her guilty plea, Bates admitted that from July of 2009, until May of 2010, she agreed to distribute methamphetamine obtained from a South Omaha, Nebraska source to customers in the Atlantic area.

The investigation into her activities was conducted by the Cass County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, Audubon County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, Cass County, Iowa, County Attorney’s Office, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Harrison County man sentenced on firearm and explosives charges

News

May 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U-S Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt reports a Harrison County man was sentenced today (Wednesday), to more than seven and a-half years in prison. 31-year old Rodney Lee Crosby, of rural Pisgah, was sentenced in United States District Court in Council Bluffs on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of explosive devices. United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey sentenced Crosby to 46 months in prison on each charge, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release on each charge, with the imprisonment and supervised release on both charges to be served concurrently. Crosby was also ordered to pay a $10,000.

The Court also ordered Crosby to forfeit: eight weapons (Including: a Remington Arms, Model 870, 12 gauge shotgun; a Mossberg, Model 835 Ulti-Mag, 12 gauge shotgun; a savage, Model 116, 338 caliber rifle; a Remington Arms, Model 710, 30-06 caliber rifle; a Marlin Firearms, Model 39A, .22 caliber rifle; a Savage, Model 11, 243 caliber rifle; a Hipoint, Model 995, 9mm rifle; a Taurus .357 caliber revolver), and five different types of ammunition (.9-mm, .357 caliber, 30-06 caliber, .25 caliber, .22 caliber), 12- and 16-gauge  shotgun shells, all “improvised explosive bombs”, such as containers include “snuff cans” with metal lids, containing a per chlorate explosive mixture, and with functional pyrotechnic fuses, including among any others those seized from Crosby’s premises on July 2, 2011; and explosives in the form of commercial aerial display fireworks, including among others, cardboard tubing with plastic end plugs seized from Crosby’s premises on July 2, 2011.

Crosby was also ordered to pay a $200.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund. He was taken into custody by the United States Marshal’s Service to be detained pending designation of the Federal Bureau of Prisons facility at which he will serve his sentence. Crosby was sentenced upon his pleas of guilty to the two charges entered on September 6, 2012. The firearm and explosives charges against Crosby arose from a July 2, 2011, domestic disturbance call to Crosby’s residence. During the call, Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputies and Iowa State Patrolmen observed several firearms and ammunition in the residence. In a subsequent search of the premises, officers found additional firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and commercial aerial display fireworks. Crosby was prohibited from possessing those items, having previously been convicted of felony fraud and theft charges.

During the search, the State of Iowa Fire Marshal and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives were called, and joined the investigation. During the investigation, Crosby gave a statement regarding the fireworks manufacturing operation in which he stated that he made and sold fireworks, and that he made substantial money from the sale of the fireworks. Some of the explosives were deemed potentially dangerous, and were promptly destroyed by law enforcement personnel on the premises in which they were found.

The investigation was conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa State Patrol, the State of Iowa Fire Marshal, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

More than $700,000 in Grants Awarded to Iowa Communities

News

May 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Vision Iowa Board today (Wednesday), awarded $739,862 in grants to an historic railroad district in Sioux City, a park pavilion in Moville and the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset. The grants were approved today by the Vision Iowa Board at their meeting in Des Moines.

The Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District in Sioux City was award a Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant amounting to $314,862. The award is contingent upon completion of fundraising within 30 days. The total project cost of more than $2.6-million includes the exterior renovation of five historic buildings, the construction of a permanent restroom facility and an alternative transportation system of interpretive walking trails, parking lot and a miniature railroad. Additionally, the project will also support interior improvements to the roundhouse building and continue interior improvements to the machine shop building.

The John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset received a $400,000 CAT grant for a project expected to cost over $1.38-million. The grant funds are contingent upon completion of fundraising within 60-days. The project includes the construction of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, an interactive museum and learning center honoring the life and work of John Wayne. The facility will include a welcome center, theater, extensive exhibit space and gift shop.

The Vision Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. Currently, 373 CAT awards have been granted by the board, amounting to nearly $139.6-million.

Three more names to line the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial, including former Stuart Police Chief

News

May 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

This Friday, the State of Iowa will honor three officers who died in the line of duty: Stuart Police Department Chief Robert Smith, Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer Philip J. Adams, and Floyd County Deputy Levi Bowers. Each of the men died as a result of their efforts to secure Iowa communities.

Stuart Chief of Police Robert Smith was called to a disturbance at an establishment in Stuart, Iowa on September 20, 2009. As a result of this call, Chief Smith executed an arrest on a subject who physically resisted orders. In an attempt to escape, the suspect pushed Chief Smith to the ground at which time he struck his neck and knee on the pavement. The injuries to his neck required surgical intervention. Complications arose during the surgery, and Chief Smith was left paralyzed. He died from complications of the paralysis on August 13, 2010.

Chief Smith served the community of Stuart as the Police Chief since 2006. Prior to that, he served on the Ackley Police Department from 1994 to 2006 as Sergeant and Assistant Police Chief. Additionally, he served 23 years in the Army and Army Reserves. He is survived by a wife, six children and one step-child.

The event honoring Smith and the other two men will take place beginning 10-a.m. Friday, at the Peace Officer Memorial found at Oran Pape State Office Building in Des Moines (215 E. 7th St.). In the event of rain, the event will be held in the rotunda at the State Capital. On-hand for the ceremony will be Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Commissioner Brian London, and officers from Local, County, and State Law Enforcement Agencies

Red Oak Man Arrested for Harrassment

News

May 8th, 2013 by admin

The Red Oak Police Department reported the arrest today of 39-year old Geoffrey Allan Maurer of Red Oak. Maurer was arrested on North Highland Avenue and charged with Harassment/3rd Degree. His bond was set at $300.