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7AM Newscast 02-13-2013

News, Podcasts

February 13th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Glenwood High School Principal Fired Tuesday


February 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Community School District’s Board of Education has terminated the contract of Glenwood High School Principal Kerry Newman. The unanimous decision came during a two-hour closed session, Tuesday. According to the Daily NonPareil, Newman had been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 18th. No official reason for the action was given,but during Tuesday’s meeting, the board listed five reasons to terminate Newman’s employment with the district: an inappropriate relationship with a district employee, unprofessional conduct, poor judgement, inappropriate use or misuse of district resources and being a poor and ineffective role model. Newman has five days to request a hearing contesting the termination. Assistant principal Rick Nickerson has taken over in the interim.

Newman denied all the allegations, and she told the newspaper that she would fight to keep her job. Newman, an Omaha native, was a finalist for the School Administrators of Iowa 2012 Secondary Principal of the Year award. She took over as principal in 2003.

3,000 smoke alarms distributed to 18 Iowa cities


February 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from across the state traveled to Des Moines Tuesday, to pickup hundreds of free smoke alarms. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds purchased the alarms with money from a $245,000 federal grant and a $50,000 grant from State Farm Insurance.

Firefighters and other dignitaries receive and look-over the new fire detectors in Des Moines, Tues. (Radio Iowa photo)

Reynolds has a goal to install smoke alarms in every Iowa home with children. “We’re well on our way to doing that,” Reynolds said. “We have 36,000 smoke alarms installed to date in this two year old project and our goal is to have 50,000 smoke alarms installed by the end of the year.” The grants will eventually cover the cost of roughly 11,600 smoke alarms in 2013. And there’s plenty of demand for those alarms.

“There were 5,000 structure fires in Iowa last year and of those, one in five homes did not have working smoke alarms,” Reynolds said. Firefighters from 18 Iowa cities picked up a total of 3,000 smoke alarms today (Tuesday) as part of Reynolds’ project. Among the firefighters who came to pick up alarms, were those from Denison, Carroll, Breda and Harlan.

Denison Fire Chief Cory Snowgren says the new detectors will help continue his department’s efforts to keep citizens of the community safe. He says they’ve installed over 4,000 detectors in the community, but because there are still some requests to fill, they were happy to pickup more in Des Moines, on Tuesday. The Denison Fire Department received 200 new detectors.

Snowgren says they won’t have any problem finding homes to place them in. He says they have a list of families waiting to receive the potentially life-savings alarms. The Chief says in 2012, Denison had the distinction of having the first two lives saved in the State by fire alarms. The alarm awoke a family at 2-a.m. after a 3-prong device plugged into a space heater started on fire.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 12th 2013


February 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A scholar embroiled in a lawsuit with the University of Iowa has been arrested for drunken driving. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports Teresa Wagner was arrested Monday night after she failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed her blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit. Wagner filed a lawsuit against the University of Iowa in 2009, claiming she was passed up for jobs because of her conservative views.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A county recorder in northeast Iowa has been accused of stealing office funds. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arrested Bremer County Recorder Donna Ellison on Tuesday. She has been charged with a felony count of misconduct in office and third-degree theft.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City has approved a three-year contract with its firefighters. The Sioux City Journal reports the City Council unanimously approved on Monday the contract with Sioux City Firefighters Association Local 7. Under the agreement, firefighters will receive a 1.25 percent raise the first year, a 1.75 percent raise the second year and a 2.25 percent raise the third year.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — A trial for the former director of the Ottumwa Transit Authority has been delayed. The Ottumwa Courier reports Pam Ward’s trial has been rescheduled to start in June instead of March. Ward faces four counts of making false statement to the federal government.

Harlan man charged with attempted murder following shooting Tue. in Council Bluffs


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a Shelby County man faces three counts of Attempted Murder following an investigation into a shooting this (Tuesday) morning, in Council Bluffs.

30-year old Ronald Lee Farr, Jr.

Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says 30-year old Ronald Lee Farr, Junior, was arrested on the attempted murder charges. He is also facing two-counts of Willful Injury causing Serious Injury and one-count of going armed with intent. Farr was arrested without incident at a residence in Harlan.

Authorities say Farr shot 22-year old Heather Wilson and her 19-month old son Tyson Underwood, both of Council Bluffs, outside of an apartment complex at 1544 McPherson Avenue, at around 5:40-a.m., Tuesday. The incident happened at Wilson was putting one of her children in a vehicle. Wilson was found on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Her son was hit in the arm by one of the bullets. Both are expected to make a full recovery. The other child was not hurt. A third child was still inside the apartment at the time of the incident.

Lewis man arrested for OWI 2nd offense


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest last Friday of 23-year old Heath C.M. Nordby, of Lewis.  Nordby was taken into custody on an OWI 2nd offense charge. He was brought to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on his own recognizance.

Iowa lawmaker wants gun permit info to be private


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The names of Iowans with permits to acquire or carry guns would become private information under legislation proposed by a Republican lawmaker. Rep. Matt Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, sponsored the bill, which was debated by a House subcommittee Tuesday. Currently the names of permit holders are a public record. Windschitl says he was concerned that public permit information could put Iowans in danger by leading criminals to guns or giving them information to target homes without guns.

The state Department of Public Safety says about 144,000 Iowans have permits to carry a firearm. Statewide data was not available on the number of permits issued annually to allow people to buy handguns. A lobbyist for the Iowa Newspaper Association argued against the measure, saying that government actions should be publicized.

Iowa Transportation Commission Approves Grant for Mills County


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday), approved a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE) Local Development grant application submitted by Mills County.  Officials say slightly more than $1.626-million will be made available to assist in construction of approximately 5,650 feet of 190th Street south from Jesup Avenue toward U.S. 34, located west of Interstate 29.

The project is expected to be completed by October 2014. It was deemed necessary to provide access to six lots totaling 402 acres for industrial, transportation logistics and warehousing purposes. Funding for the grant comes from the county share of the RISE Fund.

Iowa Transportation Commission schedules public input meetings


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission says it will conduct four public input meetings around the state during 2013. The meetings will give Iowans opportunities to present ideas and comments directly to the commissioners concerning transportation policies and programs, without traveling to Ames. One of the four public input meetings will take place June 11th, in the Council Bluffs area.

Commissioners encourage representatives of regional and metropolitan planning organizations, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, and modal transportation providers to attend. All other interested groups and individuals are also invited to participate. Items that may be discussed at the meetings include: the Iowa Transportation Improvement Program; transportation policies; and highway, aviation, rail, river, trail and transit issues.

To obtain a scheduled time on the agenda for one of the Commission’s public input meetings, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Program Management at 515-239-1148, by fax at 515-239-1975, or e-mail donald.tebben@dot.iowa.gov. Include the date you prefer and general topic you wish to discuss. The meetings are not intended to address issues regarding specific projects or projects under construction. Delegation comments and presentations should be 20 minutes or less.

Western Iowa man convicted of murdering infant son


February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted a 36-year-old Glenwood man of murdering his 5-month-old son. Jason Curtis was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. Officials say Curtis called for help on July 14, 2011, because his son was barely breathing. When emergency crews arrived they found the child unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a Council Bluffs hospital. An autopsy showed Jackson died of head trauma. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for April 3rd.