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Iowa lawmakers move ahead with anti-bullying bill

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers in the state House are moving forward with anti-bullying legislation backed by Gov. Terry Branstad.  A House education subcommittee approved the bill Tuesday. The legislation would strive to deal with so-called cyber-bullying by updating state guidelines for school districts to include bullying that occurs outside school on social media sites such as Facebook.  The legislation is expected to get a committee hearing later this week.

Branstad convened a bullying prevention summit in Des Moines in November.  Last April, a 14-year-old boy from Primghar committed suicide following bullying at school and online after he told people he was gay. In June, a Mason City girl and her mother sued the Mason City school district, saying it did nothing to protect the teen from bullying.

Clarinda man arrested for ID Theft & parole violation

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports a two-month long investigation by the Clarinda Police Department into identity theft & the fraudulent use of a credit/debit card at several businesses in Clarinda & Shenandoah, has resulted in an arrest.  Late Monday afternoon, officers arrested 45-year old Rodney Earl Richardson, Jr., of Clarinda, on several aggravated misdemeanor counts of fraudulent use of a credit/debit card and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of theft. Richardson Jr. was arrested at a Clarinda apartment complex.

In addition to the fraud and theft charges, Rodney Richardson Jr. was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant issued out of Douglas County, Nebraska, for probation and parole violations.  He was booked into the Page County Jail and held without bond, pending an initial appearance before a Page County Magistrate. The Page County Attorney’s Office will review the matter for the filing of formal charges.

8AM Newscast 3-5-2013

News, Podcasts

March 5th, 2013 by admin

w/Ric Hanson

7:06-a.m. SW Iowa News (Podcast) – 3/5/13

News, Podcasts

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest (podcast) news from the KJAN listening area, from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

New snowfall helps, but drought deficit still looms

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More snow has fallen on Iowa in the region’s third large winter storm in three weeks, prompting farmers and others to wonder what impact the snowpack will have on the long-running drought. Climatologist Al Dutcher says there are signs the weather pattern is starting to return to normal, but he says just getting average snowfall or rainfall won’t put a dent in the drought deficits. “To double that precipitation is only going to knock off four or five inches of these accumulated deficits,” Dutcher says. “The hydrological drought is here for a while. It would take an average of at least an inch of moisture every single week through this entire growing season for us to substantially impact the drought.”

He says more of these late winter snowstorms could help the region regain some of its lost moisture. Dutcher, a climatologist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says the region needs more precipitation or spring planting will be a trial and the growing season ahead could be a disaster. “If the moisture doesn’t materialize these next two months, then it’s going to be exceptionally difficult if not virtually impossible for us to hold off the drought from getting much more intense as we get through this season compared to last season,” Dutcher says. “We won’t have any significant moisture in the profile. Most of it will to be right at the surface and it will not carry the crop.”

Ideally, he says the region needs to see a return to a normal rain pattern with temperatures low enough to keep vegetation from robbing a needed build-up of subsoil moisture. Parts of northeast Iowa are expecting up to ten inches of snow in this latest winter blast, another big help in overcoming the drought that began last year, the worst in more than a half century.

(Radio Iowa)

Forristall declines to hold a vote so Iowa House panel drops illegal immigrant bill

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill designed to deter businesses from hiring illegal immigrants appears dead after a House panel opted not to vote on the proposal.  Members of a House labor subcommittee decided to take no action Monday on the bill, which established punishments for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The measure had been sponsored by 27 Republican lawmakers.

Under the proposal, an employer in violation could have lost its business license and been forced to fire all illegal immigrant workers. Iowa contractors and businesses would have joined 27 other states that run employee documents through a federal electronic verification system. Subcommittee chairman Rep. Greg Forristall, of Macedonia, declined to hold a vote on the measure, saying he feared it would be costly for state and local governments to enforce.

Montgomery County arrests

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports three recent arrests. Early this (Tuesday) morning, 39-year old James Donald Uhlmann, Jr., of Red Oak, was arrested for Possession of Marijuana. Ulhmann, Jr. was taken into custody at around 12:30-a.m. A few minutes later, 26-year old Jennifer Rose Nelson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Gathering where controlled substances are used. Both suspects were transported to the Montgomery County Corrections facility, where they were being held on $1,000 bond each. Officers with the Red Oak Police Department assisted in conducting the arrests.

And, Monday afternoon, 30-year old George Allen Alfred Wesbrook the 3rd, of Red Oak, was arrested in the east 100 block of Coolbaugh Street in Red Oak. Wesbrook was charged with being in violation of a No Contact Order. Wesbrook was arrested again later that same evening by Red Oak Police, for Driving While Suspended in the vicinity of North 7th and east Reed Streets, in Red Oak. He was subsequently released on a citation bond amounting to $566.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 5th 2013

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says his health care proposal for some low-income Iowans will not provide the same benefits as an expanded Medicaid. But, the governor has called his approach more fiscally responsible. Branstad wants to get federal approval to set up Healthy Iowa instead of pursing a Medicaid expansion permitted under President Obama’s health care overhaul. He says his approach will better shield Iowa from federal fiscal changes.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Voters in Linn County will decide today whether to support a plan to build a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. If approved, casino supporters would seek to persuade the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to approve the first new casino license since 2010.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use likely is dead for this legislative session. A Senate subcommittee approved the bill yesterday. But, panel chairman, Iowa City Sen. Joe Bolkcom, says the proposal likely won’t go further because there isn’t support for it in a full committee. A House subcommittee has rejected a similar bill.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Snow and freezing drizzle from a winter storm could affect the morning commute for Iowa drivers. The state Department of Transportation says moderate to heavy snowfall from a winter storm will hit northeast and east central Iowa into this morning. The National Weather Service says between 6 to 10 inches of snow is possible.

Republicans move forward with Branstad tax plan

News

March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A commercial property tax proposal from Gov. Terry Branstad is moving forward in the Republican-majority Iowa House, while a very different plan has support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans in a House ways and means subcommittee on Monday approved legislation from Branstad that would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent. Branstad’s plan, which is estimated to cost $350 million, would also slow the growth of residential and agricultural assessments.

Senate Democrats have given committee-level approval to a plan that would gradually provide commercial property owners with a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value. Democrats say their $250 million plan would help small businesses more than Branstad’s plan.

I-80 bridge at the Casey exit damaged during accident Mon. morning

News

March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A bridge on Interstate 80 in Adair County sustained extensive damage early this (Monday) morning, when it was hit by the box section of a dump truck.

Photo Courtesy Bob Younie, State Maintenance Engineer (Iowa Dept. of Transportation)

I-80 westbound bridge underpass from Antique Country Drive (Exit 83/Adair County Road N-77) Ric Hanson photo.

I-80 westbound bridge underpass from Antique Country Drive (Exit 83/Adair County Road N-77) Ric Hanson photo.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, 62-year old Duane Nelson, of Casey, forgot to lower the box on a 1991 Mack dump truck registered to Schildberg Construction, in Greenfield. As the vehicle was traveling southbound on Antique Country Drive, south of Casey, the truck box hit the westbound I-80 bridge support beam. The impact tore the box section off of the truck, but it became wedged against the support beam at the point of impact.

The accident happened at around 5:40-a.m. The Patrol cited Nelson for driving a vehicle with excessive height. No injuries were reported. A DOT crewman on the scene told KJAN News traffic was rerouted off of I-80 westbound for about two-hours until the bridge could be inspected. Crews have put a protective “bib” or tarp in-place to prevent debris from falling on motorists traveling beneath the bridge until the beam can be repaired or replaced.