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Senate candidates agree to 3 debates

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The candidates running for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat have agreed to three debates this fall. The campaigns for Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst announced Thursday that the candidates will face off around the state. On September 28 they will likely appear in Indianola. They’ll be in the Quad Cities on October 11 and in Sioux City on October 16.

Braley and Ernst are locked in a tight race for the Senate seat, which is open because longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin is retiring. The race will play a key role in the battle for control of the chamber.

State has paid out over $2 million in settlements

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A review from the state auditor shows that since 2010, Iowa has paid out $2.4 million in settlement payments, mostly to former employees. Auditor Mary Mosiman on Thursday released a report on the grievance process and settlement payments made between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2014. The report was prompted by discussion during the 2014 legislative session about settlement agreements that included confidentiality clauses.

Mosiman found 2,679 grievances were filed during that time. Most were denied or resolved without payment, and hundreds were settled by providing back-pay. A total of 38 people, most former employees, received settlement payments totaling $2.4 million. The report says 42 current or former employees had settlement agreements with confidentiality clauses.

Branstad signed an executive order on March 24 ending the use of confidentiality provisions.

Iowa attorney general sues beauty school chain

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against a cosmetology school chain, accusing it of defrauding students. The Des Moines Register reports the lawsuit filed Thursday in Polk County District Court accuses the La’ James chain of cosmetology schools of fraudulent practices. It says students experience a high instructor turnover that results in teacher-less classrooms and inconsistent education.

The attorney general’s office also argues that the beauty school chain unfairly charges students who fail to graduate by an arbitrary deadline. Depending on which program they select, students pay at least $4,750 and up to $18,660 in tuition. A lawyer representing the beauty school chain says his client denies any wrongdoing.

The beauty school chain has several locations in Iowa and one each in Illinois and Nebraska.

SW IA man arrested on MO. warrant

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Page County report a Shambaugh man was arrested this (Thursday) morning, on a warrant out of Missouri. 54-year old Jimmy Wayne Blank was taken into custody without incident, at around 8:50-a.m.

Jimmy Blank

Jimmy Blank

Blank was wanted in Missouri for violating the terms of his parole. He was being held at the Page County Jail, pending extradition proceedings.

Omaha man convicted of several conspiracies

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a 48-year-old Omaha man has been convicted of conspiracies to launder money and sell controlled substances, among other crimes in Nebraska and Iowa.
John Ways Jr. was found guilty on Wednesday after a 13-day trial in U.S. District Court in Omaha.

Prosecutors say that from February 2010 to December 2012, Ways operated head shops in Nebraska and Iowa called Exotica. Among other things, the stores sold drug paraphernalia and controlled substances that included synthetic drugs such as K2 and bath salts. Prosecutors say Ways laundered the proceeds from the sales through transactions at various banks and credit unions in the Omaha area.

He faces up to 55 years in prison and must forfeit more than $1.1 million in cash and property.

Pacific Junction man arrested for Criminal Mischief

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports 46-year old Timothy John Konfrst, of Pacific Junction, was arrested Thursday (today), on a warrant for Criminal Mischief in the 1st degree. Konfrst was arrested at around 5:10-a.m. in Pacific Junction. He was being held in the Mills County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Woman arrested for misappropriation of funds from Malvern Library

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Mills County Attorney Eric Hansen reports a woman who formerly served as a librarian for the Malvern Public Library, was arrested for misappropriation of funds. A warrant was issued Wednesday for 41-year old Stacey Buick, for felony Ongoing Criminal Conduct and 1st degree Theft. If convicted, Buick faces up to 35-year in prison.

Authorities say Buick allegedly misappropriated over $20,000 from the Malvern Library while she was employed there, from July 1st, 2006 to October 31st, 2013.

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in its investigation by the State Auditor’s Office. The State Auditor’s Office investigated the records of the Malvern Library finding the misappropriation by Buick, who allegedly used altered receipts, primarily. The State Auditor’s report may be found on their website.

Buick was seen by the Magistrate and was released. Her preliminary hearing will take place September 17th. She will be represented in court by Attorney Mark Rater, of Council Bluffs.

Clarinda Police make early morning arrest

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Clarinda report a College Springs woman was arrested this (Thursday) morning on burglary, theft and tampering charges. At around 12:40-a.m., officers responded to a report of vehicles being broken into at the Maplewood Trailer Court. As a result of an investigation, Clarinda Police arrested 20-year old Torri Grace Perry.

Perry was arrested on complaints of burglary of a motor vehicle, theft of items valued between $200-500, and unlawful tampering with a motor vehicle. She was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Page County Jail. Perry was being held on $3,000 bond, pending an appearance before the Page County Magistrate Court.

Reports have been forwarded to the Page County Attorney’s Office for review regarding the filing of formal charges.

IRS Scam surfaces in Cass County

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a current scam. Officials say a person claiming to be from the IRS is calling people and telling them they have outstanding tax debt and that they must immediately go to a convenience store and load money on a Green Dot card to pay this debt. The scammer claimed his name was “Sam Thomas,” and had a middle-eastern accent. Authorties warn THIS IS A SCAM. Simply hang up the phone.

Earlier this month, the IRS reported the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) had received 90,000 complaints through its telephone hotline. To date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these types of scams.

As a taxpayer, it is important for you to know that the IRS:

  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

Red Oak man arrested for Operating a vehicle w/out consent

News

August 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a local man was arrested this (Thursday) morning for operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. 52-year old Randall Ray Talbott, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 8:15-a.m. at the Pottawattamie County Jail, and held on $2,000 bond.