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Arrests made in connection with theft of mail in Council Bluffs

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs said Thursday two arrests have been made in connection with the theft of mail from mail boxes in the community. Bluffs Police Capt. Todd Weddum reports 45-year old Eric J. Kriegler, and 30-year old James A. Whitsel, both of Council Bluffs, were each charged with four counts of Theft. Kriegler also faces charges associated with four traffic offenses.

According to Weddum, a Council Bluffs resident called 9-1-1 today (Thursday), to report they had eye-witnessed a white Toyota sedan in their neighborhood. The occupants of the vehicle were allegedly stealing mail from residential mailboxes. A short time later, a Council Bluffs police officer saw a vehicle matching that of the suspects, and initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of Bluffs and Willow Streets.

The driver, identified as Eric Kriegler, was subsequently arrested for several traffic offenses. Upon further investigation, it was determined the vehicle contained pieces of mail stolen from three different neighborhoods in Council Bluffs. Kriegler and his passenger were then taken into custody.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Council Bluffs Police Department is continuing to look into the case, to see if any additional charges will be added. The U-S Postal Service Inspector’s Office was also notified of the incident.

New report offers economic development strategies

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report says Iowa should invest more in business development, education and infrastructure to boost the state’s economy. The nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute released the report Thursday. It was commissioned last year by an economic advisory board co-chaired by Gov. Terry Branstad. Overall, the report said the state has seen job growth and wages increases in recent years. Still, there is room for improvement. As of 2013, Iowa ranked 23rd nationally for per capita income.

Recommendations in the report included simplifying the state tax code and providing more funding to programs that offer support to businesses. It suggests increasing educational opportunities to develop more skilled workers. The report also cites Iowa’s infrastructure needs, stressing the need for more funding for roads and better broadband infrastructure across the state.

Minor injuries reported after Creston accident Wed. evening

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person suffered what were described as “non-incapacitating” injuries during an accident Wednesday evening, in Creston. Authorities say vehicles driven by 84-year old Norma Orth, of Creston, and 19-year old Tanner Davidson, of Afton, collided at around 6:45-p.m. at the intersection of Townline and Sumner Streets.

The accident happened at Orth turned was turning from westbound Townline onto southbound Sumner Street, and cut the turn too sharply. Her 2008 Pontiac hit Davidson’s northbound 2012 Ford head-on, causing $3,000 damage altogether. Orth suffered minor injuries but was not transported to the hospital. Davidson was uninjured in the crash. No citations were issued.

Omaha company proposes vegetable oil plant in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) – An Omaha, Nebraska soybean processing company plans to build a $90 million vegetable oil refinery in western Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that Ag Processing Inc. plans to build the refinery at its complex near Sergeant Bluff, creating at least 20 new jobs. The information comes from documents by Ag Processing seeking nearly $1 million in Iowa loans and tax breaks released by the state Wednesday.

The company’s complex in Woodbury County currently includes a soybean processing plant, biodiesel plant and grain storage facilities. The vegetable oil refinery proposed for the same 85-acre site would be designed for 30 rail tank cars per day. Estimated project costs include $2.5 million for site preparation, $14.5 million for construction and $71.5 million for new machinery and equipment..

Thieves swipe Christmas gifts for young girl from doorstep

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who do a lot of holiday shopping online are being reminded to take steps to help ensure they receive their packages. Mindy Oberreuter of Cedar Rapids told KCRG-TV she fell victim this week to a “Grinch stealing Christmas” as someone took gifts right off her doorstep. “I get a phone call at work from my neighbor that he saw two people in a van steal our packages that were just delivered,” Oberreuter said.

The neighbor reported shortly after a UPS driver placed the packages on Oberreuter’s porch, two people ran up and took them. Oberreuter called police, but the boxes were long gone. They were filled with gifts for her daughter, Evey. “I was really annoyed at first, but shocked definitely in shock that someone would steal someone’s Christmas presents,” Oberreuter said.

UPS media relations manager Dan Cardillo claims package theft is rare, but consumers have options if they’re concerned. “If they’re at work during the day they can have packages delivered to where they work or they can choose to have things sent to a relative or a neighbor who is home during the day,” Cardillo said.

Mindy said she hopes her experience will open eyes that this can happen — something she learned the hard way. “But it’s something that you really shouldn’t have to learn, people should know better than to steal some little girl’s presents,” Oberreuter said.

Amazon did give a refund to Oberreuter and she ordered the gifts again, but changed the shipping address to her workplace. The packages should arrive in time for Christmas.

KCRG/Radio Iowa)

Slauson sentencing delayed

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The sentencing date has been extended for a Cass County woman convicted on numerous charges associated with faking her 5-year old daughter’s cancer. According to online court records, 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson’s sentencing which had been scheduled to take place Dec. 22nd, will not take place now until January 20th.

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner said the delay is due in-part to a witness or a witness’ report being unavailable in-time for the original sentencing date. Feistner says the witness is a professional, possibly selected to offer testimony as to Slauson’s current mental capacity to understand the proceedings.

Slauson’s attorney Jay Mez requested the continuance on Dec. 12th. Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski granted the request on Wednesday (Dec. 17th). The 20th was chosen as the sentencing date, since the 19th is a State holiday.

Slauson faces up to 21-years in jail when she is sentenced at 10-a.m. on Jan. 20th in Cass County District Court. Feistner said he’s not sure how much time, if any, she’ll actually be required to serve. He said the Dept. of Corrections Pre-Sentence Investigation [or, PSI], will likely have a lot of bearing on what the outcome will be.

The woman admitted last month that had given her daughter Cannabis Oil and Neupogen without a prescription. She also admitted she raised money for her daughter’s supposed cancer treatment, under false pretenses.

In her plea bargain, Slauson agreed to plead guilty to Class D felony charges that include two counts of Child Endangerment/Bodily Injury, with regard to the administering of Cannabis Oil and Neupogen to her daughter Riley, as well as a count of Administering Harmful Substances. She also plead guilty to a Serious Misdemeanor charge of Unlawful Possession of a prescription drug/Neupogen, and a reduced felony charge of Theft in the second degree, also a Class D- felony. She was originally charged with Theft in the 1st degree, a Class C felony.

Slauson was released from custody and is currently living with her mother in Hampton, Iowa.

Candy stolen from Creston public transportation company

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston are investigating an incident of vandalism and theft. Officials with the Southern Iowa Trolley at 215 east Montgomery Street in Creston, reported early this (Thursday) morning, that someone had broken into the building by breaking the glass on the front door. Inside, the burglars stole candy bars with a combined value of $10. Damage to the door was estimated at $200. The incident occurred sometime between 4-p.m. Wednesday and 5-a.m., today (Thursday).

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/18/2014

News, Podcasts

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

More area, and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN News, 12/18/2014

News, Podcasts

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A podcast of the 7:07-a.m. area News from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Final reminders of Iowa casino remain temporarily

News

December 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The final remnants of Sioux City’s former riverboat casino will remain in the river for up to a year. The Sioux City Journal reports two large moorings in the Missouri River are all that is left at the former site of the gambling boat. The reddish-orange moorings protrude about 15 feet above the surface near the shoreline.

The Argosy riverboat casino closed in July after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered it to cease operations because it wasn’t partnered with a state-licensed local nonprofit group as required by Iowa law. An Illinois marine business bought the riverboat and other assets, which it plans to sell.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman says the business has until December 2015 to remove the moorings.