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Bluffs man evades attempted murder conviction – jury gives lesser sentence


July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

According to the Daily NonPareil, a jury of six men and six women earlier this week found a Council Bluffs man guilty of willful injury causing serious injury, assault with intent to cause serious injury and criminal trespass. Christopher McNeal, Tuesday night, avoided an attempted murder conviction in connection with an incident that took place Feb. 22nd. McNeal faces up to 10 years in prison. The willful injury conviction carries a weapons enhancement that includes a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

The 54-year old McNeal had been charged with attempted murder, first-degree burglary and willful injury causing serious injury. According to testimony, a then-48-year-old man had been working in a garage in the 1700 Block of Avenue G when McNeal entered and asked to use some tools to work on something. The man didn’t own the garage and had been asked by the owner, Paul Aleksiak, not to let anyone else in the garage, so the man – who is now 49 – asked McNeal to leave. An argument ensued, and McNeal allegedly hit the man in the head with a sledgehammer.

Police eventually arrested McNeal after interviews with the alleged victim and suspect, though the weapon was never found.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., July 9th 2015


July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of Davenport residents have reported sewer backups and flooded basements following heavy rainfall. Melissa Logsdon told the Quad-City Times that water was ankle deep around stairs in her basement and that her “whole house smells like a sewer right now.” The National Weather Service says between 2.5 and 4.5 inches of rain fell across parts of Johnson, Muscatine and Scott counties in Iowa and Rock Island County in Illinois on Monday.

PALO, Iowa (AP) — The water level of a Linn County lake will be lowered next month to allow for work to improve its shoreline. Paul Sleeper, a state fisheries management biologist, tells KCRG-TV that a part of Pleasant Creek Lake’s shoreline is eroding. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to lower the lake’s level by at least 12 feet beginning in August.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man in Iowa in connection with a stabbing death in Texas. The U.S. Marshals Service says 23-year-old Noe Trevino of Abilene, Texas, was arrested Wednesday near an apartment complex in Des Moines.

BEDFORD, Iowa (AP) — The father of a 3-year-old girl slain in southwest Iowa now faces a murder charge. The Omaha World-Herald reports that new charge was filed last week against 25-year-old Charles Hall, who is from Chicago. Hall originally was charged with child endangerment resulting in serious injury, the same charged filed against his girlfriend, 25-year-old April Clair, who is from Bedford, Iowa.

Federal disaster declaration denied for bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad’s request for a federal disaster declaration to respond to the bird flu outbreak has been denied. The governor had sought a major disaster declaration from President Barack Obama for the four counties most impacted by the virus. In a letter from federal authorities dated Tuesday, the request was rejected.

The letter said the damage was “not of such severity and magnitude” that it could not be handled by the state. The virus has infected more than 31.5 million birds in Iowa, mostly egg-laying chickens, making the state the hardest hit in the nation. Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the administration was gathering information to assess whether an appeal would be effective.

5 teens escape injury in Page County crash


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The teenaged driver of a Chrysler PT Cruiser and four teenage passengers escaped injury during an accident Tuesday evening about nine-miles north of Clarinda, in Page County. The Sheriff’s Office says 15-year old Brandon Ray Kammerer, of Clarinda, was driving the car southbound on Quince Avenue at around 8-p.m. Tuesday, when the vehicle went out of control and hit a power pole.

Passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident included 16-year old Joslyn Renea Dale, 14-year old Collin Steven Gregory, 16-year old Dylan Gregory Dalton, and 15-year old Amber Rae Anne Foster.  Each of the vehicles’ occupants were released to their parents or guardians.

Kammerer was cited for Careless driving and Failure to have a valid driver’s license.

Sentenced handed-down in western IA Jail assault


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A former Denison resident was sentenced Monday to a maximum of five-years in prison in connection with the May 11th assault of a Crawford County Jailer. 20 year old Jayden Chapman is currently incarcerated in the Anamosa State Penitentiary. His telephone hearing took place before Judge Jeffrey Poulson.

The plea agreement Chapman accepted specified that, “an indeterminate term of imprisonment, not to exceed five years, shall be imposed.” Chapman had also been charged with attempted escape from custody, but that charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement. The new sentence will run concurrently with the two consecutive life sentences Chapman is now serving for the March 10, 2014, murders of 81-year old Alice Huisenga, of Arcadia, and 80-year old Marvin Huelsing, of Maple River. Chapman was convicted of their murders on May 5th.

The Crawford County Attorney says while awaiting sentencing, Chapman, who was in the exercise area of the Crawford County jail, went to a locked door to tell the jailer that he had a bloody nose. When the jailer opened the door to attend to him, Chapman “grabbed the door handle, pulled the door open and bodily assaulted her,” according to Prosecutor Roger Sailer.

Chapman then forced the jailer to the floor, punched her with his fist, choked her with his hands, and choked her with his arm from behind, while holding her body with his legs. Sailer says when Chapman heard others coming, he released the jailer and ran down a hallway to another part of the jail, where he was apprehended and placed in a restraining chair.

Liquid propane prices hit new all-time low


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

There’s good consumer news for Iowans who use liquid propane — from backyard grillers to farmers and homeowners. Propane prices are at an all-time low, according to Harold Hommes, an energy analyst at the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Hommes says those who grill probably won’t notice a difference, but he says the impact will be significant for the two-thousand or so Iowans who heat their homes with L-P.

“People are just now taking advantage of summer fills and buying opportunities where they try to lock in their needs for the winter,” Hommes says. “I think they’re going to be fairly happy with the results and where they can lock in those values.” Just how good are those values? In the winter of 2013, propane prices hit a record five-dollars per gallon due to increased exports and high demand from farmers needing it to dry grain. This summer, Hommes says many suppliers are offering the gas significantly cheaper.

“Depending on different locations in the state, anywhere from 70 to 95 cents and the dollar mark,” Hommes says, “but certainly a very favorable value compared to where we were at just a couple years ago.” Just like gasoline, Hommes says L-P inventories are up and foreign investors are not finding it as attractive as it’s been in the past.

(Radio Iowa)

Crash ends Denison pursuit, driver injured


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A high-speed chase that led law enforcement officers through Denison and portions of Crawford County ended in a crash near Westside, Monday night.

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz of Denison, the driver, was transported to Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison where he was treated for injuries.

The chase started at about 10:05-p.m., Monday, when an officer with the Denison Police Department attempted to stop a gray Ford Explorer on 16th Street in Denison, for a traffic violation. According to authorities, the SUV took off at a high rate of speed and failed to stop for the officer. The pursuit left the Denison city limits and continued for several miles through Crawford County at speeds of up to 80-miles per hour.

The SUV eventually crashed between on Highway 30 between 370th Street and 380th Street. Diaz faces numerous charges, including failure to maintain control, driving while suspended, operating while intoxicated and felony eluding.

Denison Police were assisted during the incident by personnel with the Iowa State Patrol, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Sac County Sheriff’s Office, Westside Fire Department and Crawford County Memorial Hospital Ambulance.

Child car safety seat checks to be offered in Atlantic


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Are your children and grandchildren safe in their car seat? Officials with the Atlantic Fire and Rescue Department said on their social media page, that there will be a FREE car seat check on July 17th, from 2-5 p.m., at the Atlantic Farm Bureau Insurance Office (1501 E. 7th St).

The AFD says they don’t want to respond to an accident where kids have been thrown about the vehicle, and urge you to stop by and have your car child safety seat checked.

Father of slain 3-year-old Iowa girl now faces murder charge


July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

BEDFORD, Iowa (AP) – The father of a 3-year-old girl slain in southwest Iowa now faces a murder charge. The Omaha World-Herald reports that new charge was filed last week against 25-year-old Charles Hall, who is from Chicago. Hall originally was charged with child endangerment resulting in serious injury, the same charged filed against his girlfriend, 25-year-old April Clair, who is from Bedford.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in Bedford on May 22 and found little Janiya King unresponsive. The Taylor County medical examiner later pronounced her dead.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 7/8/2015

News, Podcasts

July 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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