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X-L pipeline one of the first priorities of Senator Ernst


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

U-S Senator Joni Ernst says the bill authorizing the Keystone X-L pipeline is one of the first pieces of legislation she is working as she begins her term in Washington, D-C. “I do believe that this bipartisan legislation is a great step forward and it is an engine of opportunity to grow a better and stronger economy,” Ernst says. “And it really does show, it demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can work together, certainly work together to find ways to make American stronger. And I believe this bill does that.”

Oil prices have been in a free-falll in recent weeks with gasoline prices following. Ernst says some lawmakers my see that as a reason to have less urgency to pass the bill to bring oil into the U-S from Canada. “We do have lower prices at the pump right now — which I am thankful for — however, as we look at the Keystone X-L pipeline, this does provide infrastructure for the future,” Ernst says. The Republican from Red Oak says they need to look at the total impact of the pipeline. “We can’t be short-sighted, because how long are these gas prices going to remain low? That is a question we don’t know. But we need to look long-term at opportunities that exist, and part of the infrastructure is the Keystone X-L pipeline,” according to Ernst.

She is hopeful they can gain enough bipartisan support to pass the bill in both the House and Senate and possibly override a presidential veto is necessary. Ernst was asked about the ongoing debate in Iowa on water quality and nitrates in the water. “This is something that needs to be addressed at the lowest possible level and that starts with the communities and it does start with our farmers and our conservation techniques,” Ernst says. The former state senator says there are already some voluntary programs in place and they have shown success.

“I do think that a number of areas have seen reduced nitrate levels across the state of Iowa, so I do think that those programs work, they do need to be implemented,” Ernst says. “A lot of that funding comes through the state, we do have other funding sources through the federal government too, but again I do think those communities and the state need to figure out what is appropriate for that type of community.” Ernst says she was recently talking with representatives of a southwest Iowa community that is trying a program.

“It’s a very small rural community, and what they are doing is a type of filtration process through a wetland area,” Ernst explains. “And that was just implemented not all that long ago, so I am anxious to see what their water levels are looking like with the numbers and types of contaminants.” Ernst made her comments during a teleconference with reporters.

(Radio Iowa)

Classes expected to resumed in Harlan this morning following Wed. bomb threat


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bomb threat in Shelby County, Wednesday, prompted the evacuation of students and the cancellation of classes at the Harlan Community High School. Authorities were notified of the threat by district officials at around 12:16-p.m. Students were evacuated to two, separate secure locations while authorities and firefighters searched the premises. Officials decided to dismiss classes for the day at around 2:10-p.m.

After the school was secured at around 4-p.m., students and staff were allowed to return to the parking lot and retrieve their vehicles. Classes were expected to resume today (Wednesday), as normal.

An investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Branstad proposes closing Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant mental health facilities


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proposed the closure of two of the state’s four mental health institutions. Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn’t include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1st.

The Des Moines Register reports the institutions have experienced a population decline for decades, with only 24 residents currently at Clarinda facility and 47 in Mount Pleasant. McCoy says a 2009 taskforce previously recommended closure under Governor Chet Culver, but the proposal was dropped. Branstad also discussed consolidating mental health services last month, but said there were no immediate plans to do so.

Facilities in Cherokee and Independence will remain open.

Police rule Sloan man’s death a homicide


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SLOAN, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have ruled the death of a Sloan man found slain inside his home last week as a homicide.  The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday that it’s developed a person of interest in the death of 29-year-old Dustin Taylor Wilder. But the department says no arrests have been made yet.

Lt. Tony Wingert declined to comment to the Sioux City Journal about Wilder’s death since it’s still under investigation. He says more details are expected to be released as the investigation continues. Law enforcement officials found Wilder on Friday inside his residence after they say they received a report about an unconscious male.

2 arrests & theft investigation in Montgomery County


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two recent arrests and one theft investigation. Authorities say 31-year old Charles Bradshaw, of Clarinda, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree. The arrest stems from an incident that took place Jan. 11th, during which Bradshaw allegedly damaged a sprinkler head in his cell at the Montgomery County Jail, which resulted in the fire suppression and alarm system being activated. The incident caused $550 damage.

On Monday, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 29-year old Joshua Poe, of Villisca. The man was taken into custody following an investigation into an incident which took place on 260th Street east of Villisca, on Sunday. Poe was charged with Aggravated Domestic Abuse Assault, and Obstruction of Emergency Communications. He was being in the Montgomery County Jail on a $2,000 cash bond.

And authorities investigated a burglary which was reported Wednesday. The event took place sometime between Dec. 15th and Dec. 31st 2014, at Hawkeye Storage unit located on Highway 48, north of Red Oak. The victim reports numerous tools and power tools were taken from a storage unit. The loss was estimated at $3,250. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 712-623-5107 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Jan. 15th 2015


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proposed the closure of two of the state’s four mental health institutions. The Des Moines Register reports Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn’t include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1st. Facilities in Cherokee and Independence will remain open.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials have voted to revoke a dog ban in most Dubuque parks. The Telegraph Herald reports the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday narrowly approved a plan that would allow leashed and licensed dogs and cats in parks in the area. Following a 4-3 vote, the commission sent its recommendation to the City Council. Council members will consider the proposal February 2nd.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — An industrial service company has decided to demolish four 1800s buildings on a Burlington thoroughfare. The Hawk Eye newspaper reports Frank Millard Company will soon take down the historic Burlington buildings to construct new workspaces to expand its manufacturing services.

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A 68-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from a November collision in Nebraska’s Dodge County. The Fremont Tribune reports that Harry Beckner, of Sioux City, Iowa, made his pleas on Monday.

Western Iowa man gets 30 years for robbery-related charges


January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting to breaking into and stealing from two residences. The Sioux City Journal reports 25-year-old Dewayne Hendershot pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree burglary. Hendershot must serve a minimum of seven years in prison to become eligible for parole, as outlined in his plea agreement

Hendershot confessed to breaking into a home and robbing a resident at gunpoint in Dec. 2013. He also admitted to breaking into a home in Nov. 2013 and stealing guns. Charges from another robbery were dropped as part of Hendershot’s plea agreement.

(Update) Man seriously injured in accident at Iowa meatpacking plant


January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OAKLAND, Iowa (AP) — A man has been seriously injured while working at a meat processing plant in Pottawattamie County. The Omaha World-Herald reports the man was operating a scissor lift alone on Wednesday morning at the OSI Oakland meat processing plant in Oakland when he found himself pinned against an overhead pipe. He was taken by ambulance to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the man sustained a head injury in the accident. Mike Koranda, the plant’s general manager, says the injury is not believed to be life-threatening. Koranda say the plant will investigate the incident.

Numerous, recent arrests in Mills County


January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office today (Wednesday) released a report listing numerous, recent arrests. Officials say on Wednesday (1/14) 32-year old Anne Lynette Criswell, a homeless person, was arrested in Shelby County on a warrant for Assault causing bodily injury or mental illness. Her bond was set at  $1,000. And, a homeless man, 40-year old Robert David See, was arrested at the Pottawattamie County Jail, on a warrant for Theft in the 2nd Degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

There were also three arrests in Mills County, Tuesday. 21-year old Joseph Alan Sullivan, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Pott. County Jail on a warrant for Probation Violation. Bond was set at $5,000.  50-year old Roger Lee Wimer, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant for Failure To Appear on an OWI charge. His bond was also set at $5,000.  And, 32-year old Dustin Lee Schaffer, of Omaha, was arrested early Tuesday morning at Highway 34 and Kidd Road, for Driving Under Suspension. Bond was set at $300.

On Sunday, deputies in Mills County arrested 20-year old Trenton John Enger, and 19-year old  Darryk James Leu, both of Malvern for Possession of Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Their bonds were set at $1,300 each

And on Saturday, 51-year old Donald Edward Bonfiglio, of Omaha, was arrested for OWI/1st offense. His bond was set at $1,000. 21-year old Timothy John Jennings, of Glenwood, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault. He was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.  Also arrested Saturday, was 39-year old Jerry Lee Dawson, of Emerson, who was charged with Driving Under Suspension. His bond was set at $300. I

Injury accident at OSI in Oakland


January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A maintenance worker at a food processing plant in Pottawattamie County was seriously injured this (Wednesday) morning, when he was pinned between a pipe and lift machine. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The employee was transported to a hospital in Omaha. WOWT reports the incident happened at Oakland Foods, on Highway 59. Pottawatttamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told the station the employee was on a lift extended upward when the accident happened at around 10-a.m.

Another worker called 911 after lowering the lift. The victim’s name has not yet been released. The parent company, OSI Industries said they were notifying the employee’s family, and had contacted OSHA. A thorough investigating was into what happened is expected.