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Carter Lake man convicted for sexually abusing a 12-year old

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A western Iowa man was convicted Tuesday for sexually abusing a 12-year old female. The Omaha World-Herald reports 65-year-old David Anderson, of Carter Lake, was found guilty of 1st degree sexual assault, after a one-day bench trial.  He’s scheduled to be sentenced in Sarpy County, NE., District Court, in March.

The victim, a Bellevue, NE girl, was 12-years old when she told her parents that Anderson was the second man to molest her. She said she has also been raped and molested from age 6 until 11 by another man in Douglas County. That man was sentenced in 2012 to at least 30 years in prison.

Burglaries under investigation in 4 SW IA Counties

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Summary of earlier reports and updates on losses)

Authorities in four southwest Iowa Counties are investigating a rash of recent church burglaries. At least 10 churches were targeted. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says burglaries occurred at two churches near Lyman, sometime between Jan. 6th and the 9th. Churches in the Montgomery County towns of Villisca and Stanton were the target of thieves sometime last Thursday or Friday. Authorities in Page County are investigating numerous church burglaries in the county, and one in Clarinda. The incidents are believed to have occurred over the last five days, with the most recent one on Monday. And two more church burglaries took place in Taylor County, one of which also happened on Monday. Area law enforcement agencies are working together to try and solve the crimes, which are believed to be related. Cash appears to be the primary motive, according to the authorities, but electronic equipment is also a target

In Cass County, authorities say a person or persons unknown entered the Noble Center United Methodist Church in rural Lyman, by prying the lock from the back door. Burglars took a Power Point projector, a microphone, and an amplifier, with a combined value of $1,500. St John’s United Church of Christ, near Lyman, was also targeted, with thieves grabbing a latte machine, six boxes of flavor packets and about 20 bottles of water. The loss was estimated at $200. Anyone with any information regarding these break-ins is encouraged to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 712-243-2206.

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer is asking area residents to call his office or your local law enforcement agency if they see something suspicious. All but one of the break-ins in Page County and Clarinda involved forced entry to the Churches. A Cash reward of up to $1000.00 is available for information leading to the arrest and indictment of person’s involved. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

In Montgomery County, Sheriff Joe Sampson says the Presbyterian and Mamreland Lutheran Churches in Villisca and Stanton were hit, with damage and losses amounting to about $2,000. At the Mamrelund Lutheran Church in Stanton, thieves got away with electronic equipment. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office says one of the burglaries was reported Saturday at a church in Guss, where $250 in audio equipment was stolen. Another incident was reported Monday at a Siam church, which sustained approximately $300 in damage.

Authorities are recommending churches make sure the building is locked, not to keep cash on the premises, and secure electronic equipment, when possible.

NW Iowa district considering 4-day school week

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LAKE VIEW, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa district is considering switching to a four-day school week. Des Moines television station KCCI says the East Sac County School District plan would have classes run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. four days a week instead of 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. five days a week. Officials say the four days of classes would leave a fifth weekday for such things as parent-teacher conferences.

At a public forum Monday, some parents said they were concerned about finding day care and whether students would stay alert for a longer school day.  A final scheduling decision hasn’t been made. The district has about 1,000 students, with elementary schools in Sac City and Wall Lake, a middle school in Sac City and a high school in Lake View.

Governor’s anti-bullying plan may hit roadblocks

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad’s new anti-bullying plan would require school officials to notify the parents of a student who is “involved in a bullying incident.” Representative Josh Byrnes, a Republican from Osage who’s a former high school teacher, says legislators “need more clarification” about that idea.  “Boy, there’s some gray area,” Byrnes says. “Kind of like the whole mandatory reporter thing? If you know something as an educator, you have to report it?…If I’m a high school principal and I think there’s some bullying or we have something happen at school, am I now obligated as an administrator to go out onto the social media and find out if there is cyber-bullying going on between those two students, too?”

According to the governor’s staff, parents can’t act to protect their kids if they don’t know there is a problem and that “parental notification requirement” would help. Branstad’s proposal would give school officials “discretion” to respond to bullying outside of school if someone files a complaint and the alleged bullying has “significant mpact on students on school grounds.” Representative Frank Wood, a Democrat from Ellsworth who is a principal at North Scott High School, says that’s already his school’s policy, spelled out in the student handbook.

“To me, it’s just like fighting off of school grounds. We don’t do anything off of school grounds, but if it’s brought onto school grounds, now we can deal with it,” Wood says. “Same thing with cyberbullying, any type of bullying — if it becomes a school issue, we can deal with it.” Wood predicts Republican concerns about infringing on parental rights will ultimately doom the governor’s anti-bullying plan. “It’s my understanding that the biggest issue is that there’s some feeling that it’s ‘big government’ or ‘big daddy’ looking over your shoulder,” Wood says.

Branstad’s anti-bullying plan requires all “licensed school officials” to complete a training program in how to respond to bullying. The governor’s budget plan sets aside 25-thousand dollars for a series of “webinars” that would provide the training — free of charge — to teachers, principals and superintendents.

(Radio Iowa)

US seeks to dismiss suit over contraception rule

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) – The Obama administration is asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Christian colleges in Iowa and Michigan over a mandate requiring health insurance plans to provide free birth control coverage. The Justice Department said in a filing last week the legal challenge by Dordt College and Cornerstone University is a meritless attempt to prevent their female employees from obtaining coverage.

Sioux Center, Iowa-based Dordt and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Cornerstone filed the lawsuit last year. They claim that a mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance plans to provide birth control pills without co-pays violates their religious freedom since they oppose the use of contraception. The Obama administration says the mandate accommodates religious-based employers by requiring insurers and third-party plan administrators to pay for that coverage.

Red Oak man arrested for burglary, found to be in possession of drugs

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man arrested Tuesday night at a residence in the 100 block of west Coolbaugh Street, faces of burglary and possession of a controlled substance charges. 22-year old Aaron Gar Nelson was taken into custody at around 10:25-p.m. for Burglary in the 3rd degree, in connection with an earlier incident. During a search of his body, officers found him to be in possession of a controlled substance. Nelson was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 cash bond.

And, early this (Wednesday) morning, deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested 44-year old Richard Bryan Jenkins, of Red Oak, for Driving While Suspended with 10 withdrawals in effect. Jenkins was taken into custody just before 2-a.m. and held in the Montgomery County Jail jail on full bond.

Red Oak man arrested on a burglary charge

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a local man on burglary charges, Tuesday evening. Authorities say a Red Oak police officer making a traffic stop around 7:30 pm in the 100 block of West Maple, recognized Eric Alan Vannausdle, of Red Oak, who was a passenger in the vehicle. The officer knew Vannausdle was a suspect in the burglary of a hair salon that occurred a few days earlier, and was also wanted for 3rd degree burglary.

After Vannausdle was arrested and searched, officers found a pair of hair scissors in his pocket that had been reported stolen. The man was brought to the Montgomery County jail and held on $5,000 bond.

Essex man spends the night in a wrecked pickup on a frozen riverbed

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday evening released information about a single-vehicle accident which occurred Monday night about 2.5-miles north of Yorktown. Authorities say 56-year old Michael Dean Ohnmacht, of Essex, suffered incapacitating injuries and was transported to the Clarinda Regional Medical Center by Clarinda EMS, after the 1994 Ford Ranger he was driving struck a bridge railing before rolling over and landing on its top on the bank of East Tarkio Creek. The pickup then went end-over-end airborne and landed on the frozen creekbed. Ohnmacht spent the night in his vehicle waiting for help to find him, and climbed out Tuesday morning before making his way to the road and flagging down help.

The accident happened as Ohnmacht was traveling west on 190th Street just west of L Avenue, at around 8:30-p.m. Monday. Officials say he had swerved to avoid a deer that ran out onto the roadway in front of his vehicle. The pickup was totaled in the crash, which also caused $250 damage to the Page County bridge sign. No citations were issued.

Branstad expected to announce re-election bid

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to announce that he will seek re-election. Branstad is scheduled to hold a “major announcement” tonight (Wednesday), in West Des Moines. The 67-year-old Republican governor will then kick off a statewide tour.

Branstad, who is currently serving his fifth non-consecutive term, enjoys strong approval ratings. He is touting property tax cuts, education investments and a decline in unemployment as key accomplishments. His campaign announced last week that he had just over $4 million in his campaign account at the end of December.

The main Democrat seeking to oppose Branstad is 63-year-old state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines. Branstad sounded like a candidate during his annual “Condition of the State” speech before lawmakers Tuesday. Throughout the speech, Branstad repeatedly said: “Iowa is working.”

Iowa News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 15th 2014

News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids police say officers arrested a man who was accused of using a samurai sword to break windows at First Presbyterian Church in downtown. Thirty-four-year-old Jerrald Meek is charged with third degree criminal mischief and carrying weapons.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two Des Moines teenagers escaped a fire in their home by smashing a window and scrambling to safety. A smoke alarm that sounded early yesterday morning in the home of Butch Grimm awaked Grimm’s 13-year-old son, who rushed to wake up his 15-year-old sister

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Alcoa says it has completed a $300 million expansion of the Davenport Works plant the produces aluminum sheet products for the automotive industry. Alcoa executives made the announcement yesterday during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where manufacturers are focusing attention on increased use of aluminum in vehicles.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state panel has agreed to pay more than $1,400 to fix damage to first lady Christine Branstad’s car. The Iowa State Appeal Board approved the spending of $1,420 yesterday. Branstad’s personal car was damaged last year after a gate fell on it at the governor’s mansion in Des Moines.