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Defiance City Clerk arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An investigation by authorities in Shelby County has led to the arrest of the City Clerk in Defiance. The Sheriff’s Office reports 37-year old Kristin Wagner, of Defiance, allegedly used the city’s credit/debit card to make numerous purchases of merchandise for her personal use. The purchases exceeded $5,000. The loss was discovered following a review of bank transactions associated with the city’s credit/debit card, which revealed several misappropriated withdrawals. It’s not clear when the purchases began and what Wagner allegedly bought with the card.

Wagner was taken into custody Monday and charged with Felony 2nd degree theft. She had since posted a $5,000 bond and was released from custody.

Union County man reports a theft

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County say a Lorimor man reported Monday afternoon, that sometime in the past week, someone entered his machine shed and took a 3 point log splitter used with a tractor. The loss was estimated at $1500.

Jury selection set for 2nd suspect in western Iowa slayings

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Court officials say jury selection will be getting underway Tuesday in a Sioux City courtroom for the trial of the second man charged with killing two elderly people in Crawford County. A judge granted a venue change for 20-year-old Jayden Chapman because news coverage of the case.

Another man charged in the slayings of 80-year-old Marvin Huesling and 81-year-old Alice Huisenga, 27-year-old Michael Schenk, was sentenced last month to two life terms for his role in the killings.

Authorities say Schenk and Chapman shot the pair at a trailer home in Deloit in March 2014 and then set it on fire. Investigators have said Schenk and Chapman probably were on the property to steal scrap metal.

Sen. Grassley ponders requiring federal probe into all police-involved minority deaths

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

As fires from overnight riots in Baltimore still burn, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s considering calling on the U-S Justice Department to review all cases where minorities die at the hands of police. Grassley, a Republican, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he says all options are on the table as these cases appear to become more frequent, with very violent public reactions.

(R-IA) Sen. Charles Grassley

(R-IA) Sen. Charles Grassley

“We’re in the early stages of looking at what the committee can or should do, perhaps it’s a hearing, perhaps it could be legislation or it could be nothing. We just don’t know yet,” Grassley says. “I think we need to be very judicious in any response.” Starting with the Ferguson, Missouri, case last summer, there have been multiple, high-profile incidents in recent months in many states, including New York, Maryland and South Carolina, where lethal force was used by law officers against minorities. Grassley says he’s not sure about any of the options as possible solutions.

“There have been many suggestions, including one by my friend, Senator (Tim) Scott of South Carolina, who is a minority, that would require the federal Justice Department to review any deaths of minorities by law enforcement.” The latest case involves 25-year-old Freddie Gray of Baltimore, whose funeral was Monday. Gray died earlier this month while in police custody, sparking riots that culminated overnight with dozens of large fires, more than 200 arrests and at least seven police officers injured.

“People have every right to protest peacefully, but the looting and unrest only shows disrespect for Baltimore and disrespect for Mr. Gray’s family,” Grassley says. As the law now stands, the Justice Department can involve itself in instances where it’s believed federal laws may have been violated, but an investigation is not mandatory in all cases involving police-involved minority deaths.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic School District needs to reign-in spending & increase cash flow

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District needs to do a better job of reigning-in spending and taking in cash. That’s the word from Gary Sinclair, with PMA Financial Network, who handed out a half-inch thick booklet to the school board and discussed for more than 40-minutes, ways to continue to improve upon financial planning. The information he presented during Monday night’s board meeting, was compiled through the use of IASB (Iowa Association of School Board) reports.

Areas of concern included the district’s Unspent Balance, its Cash Position, Spending Authority, and Solvency ratio. He said the district has been “trending down,” and at the end of FY 2014 was -3.6, which means if all the bills had been paid, the district would not have had enough money. The district’s Unspent Balance has also been trending down.  He says eventually, unless that’s turned around, it will continue to accelerate.

Sinclair also pointed out the district has fewer students per full-time employee teachers, than four other, comparable districts, which results in higher salaries and benefits in the General Fund, and which “Has contributed to the financial challenges” the district is experiencing.

The district has been working with the Financial Planning Program (FPP) to better track and control its spending. The program is based on past spending, future spending, projected enrollment, income, and numerous other factors. The data show over the next two years, the district has to have a net reduction in salaries and one a one-year net reduction in benefits, to turn the budget around. If not, the district will show a negative balance in two-years.

Sinclair said there’s not much the district can do on the revenue side of the equation. PMA projects a reduction of eight teaching positions next year, but also adds fractional teacher hiring positions based on enrollment increases. Atlantic will start the TLC (Teacher Leadership and Compensation) system next year, which will bring in needed revenue, but part of activities the district is currently doing, will qualify for TLC spending, which will supplant the General Fund. Attrition of staff, by retirement, or by transfers to other districts, are also factored in to the financial picture.

He says the bottom line is the district needs to take in more cash next year in order to bring the solvency ratio back into a positive range.

Atlantic man arrested Monday

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Monday, for Violation of a No Contact Order. The A-PD says 44-year old Carl Kemp was taken into custody and booked into the Cass County Jail.

Bluffs Police investigate Tue. morning shooting

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a shooting that took place early this (Tuesday) morning. Authorities say 31-year old Aaron Caddell, of Council Bluffs, walked into the Emergency Room at Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital at around 2:40-a.m., suffering from a gunshot wound to his right ankle. He was treated at the hospital, and released.Bluffs Badge

Caddell told police he had been walking east on Kanesville Boulevard near the intersection with Main Street, when he heard a “pop,” and was shot. The bullet came allegedly from someone in a red car that was also traveling east on Kanesville Blvd.

Caddell was unable to provide any information on the occupants of the vehicle, or a better description of the vehicle itself. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-328-STOP. You can remain anonymous, and are eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to an arrest and conviction.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 4/28/2015

News, Podcasts

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area, and state news, from Ric Hanson.

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E-Cigarette Use Among Young People Tops Regular Cigarettes

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Iowa and across the United States is topping regular cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, for the first time in the history of its National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use is higher than all other forms of tobacco use, including cigarettes.

CDC director Tom Frieden said the increased popularity of the product is working against other progress made in the fight against cigarette smoking. “Big picture here is, we’re seeing a striking increase,” he said. “It’s very concerning. It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking, which we’ve seen occurring over the last few years.”

Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said the many flavors offered with e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco make them interesting options to young people. “Hookah, like e-cigarettes, are not regulated, although they have proposed to be regulated,” he said, “and they’re still available in flavors, and particularly kid-friendly flavors that can increase appeal and access.”

Last year, the CDC estimated, 2.4 million youths were users of e-cigarettes, and an estimated 1.6 million young people who used hookahs, the large pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco. The agency said those numbers have tripled since 2011. The report is online at cdc.gov.

(Iowa News Service)

Union County woman arrested on drug warrant

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports a woman from Cromwell, in Union County, was arrested Monday night. 36-year old Carrie Nawacy Parcher was taken into custody on a Union County warrant for a Controlled Substance Violation. Her bond was set at $10,000.