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Bill approved by House committee would allow parole after 45 years for juveniles convicted of first degree murder


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A bill discussed at the statehouse Thursday would set new sentencing guidelines for juveniles convicted of first degree murder. It’s in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in June that mandatory life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for those who committed first degree murder as juveniles. Elizabeth Reynoldson is with the Iowa Bar Association, which drafted a bill that would give district courts two options.  “Sentence a juvenile to either life without the possibility of parole or life with the possibility of parole after serving 45 years,” Reynoldson said. The Association of County Attorneys is also behind the bill. Supporter say it gives the courts two clear options. Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, was the only one of the three representatives at Thursday’s hearing who voted against moving the bill forward.

“Juveniles have not had the opportunity to actually form into whatever adult it is that they’ll be,” Wolfe said. Wolfe is especially concerned that the measure gives the courts the option to still sentence juvenile to life without parole. Under the Supreme Court ruling, Wolfe believes life without parole should be rare. “They’re so bad that it’s clear that this person…they’ll never be able to be rehabilitated,” Wolfe explained. Deputy Attorney General Thomas Miller said he appreciates hearing from those who know the criminals serving time, but he added there is voice missing at the table.

“I’ve been involved in a number of these cases, and I’ve maintained contact with the surviving relatives of murder victims and one of the things that affects them the most adversely is the lack of finality they see in our criminal justice system,” Miller said. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee expects the bill to eventually make it out of the full Iowa House. A bill in the Senate would allow parole after 25 years. Back in July, Governor Branstad commuted the punishment of 38 inmates to 60 years in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Critics say that still amounts to life in prison.

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad announces Board and Commission appointments


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Gov. Branstad today (Friday) announced his appointments to fill Iowa’s boards and commissions. The appointees’ term begins on May 1st, 2013.

Among the appointees from western Iowa, is:

(Board or Commission and area appointee)….

Early Childhood Iowa State Board

Tracy Erlandson, Onawa

Economic Development Authority

Theodore Crosbie, Earlham

Iowa Great Places Advisory Board

Barbara Determann, Early

Massage Therapy Board

Christina Michael, Earlham

Mental Health and Disability Services Commission

Richard Crouch, Malvern

Mental Health Risk Pool Board

Eugene Meiners, Templeton

Natural Resources Commission

Phyllis Reimer, Crescent

Board of Nursing Home Administrators

Karol Dammann, Manning

Board of Podiatry

Denise Mandi, Winterset

School Budget Review Committee

Gina Primmer, Council Bluffs

ACCF announces Godwin Endowed Scholarship


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Community Foundation is issuing a reminder to students, that the deadline for submitting applications for the Exira Lions Club/Harold and Beverly Ann Godwin Endowed Scholarship is March 31st.  The Fund will award one scholarship for $1,000 and is open to any high school senior from the Exira-EHK School District pursuing a two or four year degree, full-time, at any accredited vocational/technical or educational institution or a college or university.

Applicants are asked to complete the application form; submit a copy of your current transcripts as directed in the scholarship’s fact sheet.  Scholarship applications are available from your guidance counselor.

CCCF announces McCurdy Scholarship applications


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Community Foundation have announced that applications are currently being accepted for the Dustin McCurdy Endowed Scholarship Fund.  The McCurdy Scholarship provides two scholarships of approximately $500 each to high school seniors from Cumberland Anita Massena High School (C-A-M).

Applications are available from your high school guidance counselor.  Applications are due to your guidance counselor no later than March 31st.   The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Dustin McCurdy, a Broadcasting major who died from cardiac arhythmia due to an overwhelming viral infection in January 2001, during his Senior year, while attending college at Northwest Missouri State University, in Maryville.

Underwood High School to host Red Cross blood drive in honor of former student


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Red Cross say a Blood Drive will be held March 19th at the Underwood High School Gym, in honor of Alexandra “Alex” Peterson, of Neola. Peterson had recently graduated from the Underwood High School and was looking forward to going away to college, when a multiple-car accident in Council Bluffs on July 23rd, 2012 nearly cut the 18-year-old’s life short.

During the accident, Alex’s car was thrust into oncoming traffic and she was broadsided. Her injuries were numerous and life threatening. She stopped breathing and had no pulse for a short time, at the scene of the accident. Emergency surgeries were performed at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. and Alex received at least 14 pints of blood as doctors worked to repair her broken body.

Now, after months of rehabilitation, Alex’s family says she is nearly recovered. Alex started taking classes at Iowa State University in January. Alex’s family credits blood donors for their role in her recovery and now encourages others to give blood. The Peterson family is partnering with Red Cross and Underwood High School to help host blood drive in Alex’s honor. Alex and her family will be in attendance to thank those who give.

The Blood Drive will be held from 8-a.m. until 2-p.m. March 19th, at the Underwood High School Gym, 629 North St. in Underwood. To make an appointment, please contact the Underwood High School office at 712-566-2703. Blood collected at the blood drive in honor of Alex Peterson may be used for trauma victims – due to accidents and burns – heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies, patients with complications during childbirth, and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

You can donate blood elsewhere, as well. To find more information, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

2 arrests following overnight chase in Pottawattamie County


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s office are expected to release details this morning about an early morning chase that began in Neola, and ended with two arrests. According to authorities, the chase began at around 2-a.m. and lasted for approximately 15-minutes. Two suspects in the vehicle, which reportedly had plates matching a vehicle stolen out of Nebraska, were taken into custody. Additional details are forthcoming.

8AM Newscast 03-01-2013

News, Podcasts

March 1st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 03-01-2013

News, Podcasts

March 1st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Burglaries under investigation in Harlan


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan said Thursday they are investigating two burglaries which occurred on February 25th. Officials say two garages were broken into. A power washer was taken from a garage in the 1600 block of 10th Street, and an air compressor was taken from a garage in the 900 block of Victoria. Both cases remain under investigation.

Trespassing arrest in Red Oak


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested one person on trespassing charges late Thursday night. Officials say 28-year old Tasha Renee Smith, of Red Oak, was being held at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on a $300 bond, following her arrest at around 9:20-p.m. for a Trespassing Violation. The incident happened at a residence on West Coolbaugh Street.