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Iowa News Headlines: Mon., April 21st 2014

News

April 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders say they could end the session this week despite disagreements over budget bills and Governor Terry Branstad’s policy priorities. They have a strong incentive to close up shop and go home — their daily allowance for working and living in Des Moines runs out Tuesday. Three budget bills on which there are differences are in conference committees, where lawmakers from both parties negotiate compromises.

PLAINFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A water-line break in Plainfield has forced city officials to shut off the northeast Iowa town’s water supply. KWWL-TV in Waterloo reports that city officials aren’t sure how long it will take for crews to fix the problem. City officials say residents should use bottled water until further notice. Plainfield is a town of nearly 450 in Bremer County.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are looking for a 24-year-old man who has gone missing from a Davenport work-release facility. The Iowa Department of Corrections says Tyler Lampe was placed on escape status from the facility at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Lampe is serving a 15-year sentence for intimidation with a dangerous weapon and escape of felon.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating a body that was found lying next to a burning vehicle in West Des Moines. Police say officers discovered the body when responding to the fire report around 6 a.m. on Sunday. Anyone with information is asked to call West Des Moines police at 515-222-3321.

A preview of some area meetings coming up on Monday

News

April 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two School District Board of Education meetings are slated for Monday in the immediate KJAN listening area, along with a meeting of the City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors. The Park Board meeting takes place in the City Council’s chambers, beginning at 5:15-p.m.

During the Monday evening session, the Board will receive an update from Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring, with regard to the Sunnyside Park Senior Activities area. Other discussion and/or action items pertain to the Summer Recreation Program (including recommendations for a Pool Manager, Swim Coach, and Co-Softball Coordinators), and information about the recent $6,000 Cass County Community Foundation grant for new Summer Recreation Equipment. The Parks and Rec Board will also hear an update from Herring on Capital Projects and a tree replacement plan for the Camblin Addition at Sunnyside Park. Herring will also report on a recent meeting about the Emerald Ash Borer infestation affecting Iowa.

Elsewhere around the area, the Griswold School Board will meet Monday evening in the Central Office Board Room, beginning at 5:45. On their agenda, is a Public Hearing and action on the 2014-2015 School Calendar, along with Early Start Waiver and conversion to an hour-based calendar instead of day-based instruction. The Griswold Board will also discuss “The Scary Guy” presentation, and negotiations with district staff.

And, in Anita, the CAM School Board will hold a special meeting beginning at 6:30-p.m. in the High School Media Center, during which they will discuss: the sharing of a Superintendent; 2014-2015 Support Staff and Coaching/Extra Duty contracts. Prior to adjourning for the evening, the CAM School Board will move into a closed session as allowed under Iowa Code, for negotiations.

House fire north of Atlantic Sunday evening

News

April 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Atlantic were called to the scene of a house fire Sunday evening, north of Atlantic.

Ric Hanson (Photos)

Ric Hanson (Photos)

IMG_0410 The call about the blaze at 64505 Dunbar Road was dispatched at 4:36-p.m. All the residents of the home evacuated safely prior to firefighters’ arrival. Second-Assistant Fire Chief Tim Cappel said the south side of the structure was already fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. Crews reacted quickly to the situation. Once inside, they noticed the fire made its way into the attic. The roof was ventilated and an extensive overhaul to make sure the fire was out was conducted.

The flames weren’t the only thing firefighters had to contend with. Cappel says there was gunpowder and ammunition in a section of the basement, so they worked at different angles to avoid any rounds that might have gone off. Two small dogs were in the home when the fire broke out. Cass County Deputy Tyler Shiels tried to rescue them, but the smoke was too thick. Cappel says fortunately, the animals are still alive. The animals were later found under one of the beds, and did not appear to have suffered much from smoke inhalation.

Cappel says the fire was caused by a lighter used to start an outdoor grill. A charcoal lighter caught a nearby bush on fire. The flames then spread to the residence. Cappel cautioned that with the high winds the area has been experiencing, people need to be careful when they are grilling, enjoying a small bonfire or other such outdoor activity, because a tiny spark can cause a big fire.

Medivac Ambulance was called to the scene at around 5:44-p.m. to offer medical assistance to firefighter who was partially overcome by the heat. The temperature at the time was hovering around 82-degrees. No other injuries were reported.

Tabor Police Officer hit by fleeing suspect

News

April 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Police officer from Tabor suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was stuck by a car Sunday morning, in Fremont County. The Sheriff’s Department said Tabor Reserve Police Officers Derek Aistrope and Jared Johnson were conducting a traffic stop at around 12:40-a.m. in the 500 block of Main Street in Tabor, when the driver of the vehicle drove-off and hit Officer Johnson.

The suspect, 56-year old Larry Charles Smith, of Tabor, drove to his residence, with officers in pursuit. When he arrived at his home, Smith went inside and locked the door, but the Tabor officers along deputies from Fremont County made entry into the home and deployed a stun device, which brought Smith into submission and allowed him to be taken into custody.

He’s been charged with: 2 counts each of Assault on a Police Officer and Interference with Official Acts; OWI/2nd offense; Driving While Revoked; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Failure to Provide Security Against Liability (Failure to hold Insurance). Additional charges were pending. Smith was being held in the Fremont County Jail on just over $19,573 bond.

Officer Johnson was transported by Tabor Rescue to the Shenandoah Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Smith was transported by Tabor Rescue to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg for treatment of minor injuries.

Legislative leaders push for adjournment

News

April 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders say they could end the session this week despite disagreements over budget bills and Gov. Terry Branstad’s policy priorities. They have a strong incentive to close up shop and go home — their daily allowance for working and living in Des Moines runs out Tuesday.

Three budget bills on which there are differences are in conference committees, where lawmakers from both parties negotiate compromises. Differences remain on a school anti-bullying bill and expansion of broadband Internet, but leaders say resolution is possible.

Branstad appears unfazed by ongoing criticism from Democrats about payments for secrecy in settlement agreements and other executive branch issues pursued by the Government Oversight Committee. He says his focus remains on the substance of issues and he remains optimistic.

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., April 20th 2014

News

April 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say a teenager died while trying to climb onto a slow moving freight train. Police were called to a crossing on the city’s eastside early Sunday and determined that a male in his late teens had been waiting with friends at a rail crossing. The teen tried to climb onto the slow-moving train, possibly to cross to the other side.Police say he fell during this attempt. He was caught beneath the train and dragged along the tracks. Officers didn’t release the name of the teen.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City riverboat casino is preparing to close its doors this summer, but is hoping a court fight will save it. The Sioux City Journal reports that the Argosy Sioux City officially notified Iowa Workforce Development on Friday that the 300-employee boat likely will close by July 1st. That notice followed a vote Thursday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for the casino to close down by July.

OYENS, Iowa (AP) — A new surge of volunteers has raised hope that the northwest Iowa town of Oyens can revive its ambulance service, which was discontinued in February because of a lack of crew members. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports that ambulance director Dan Cronin has been working to recruit new members, and his work seems to be paying off.

SPERRY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old southeast Iowa man is accused of shooting a neighboring family’s dog while the animal was playing near a 10-year-old boy. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports that Cody Trails Warth of Sperry was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of felony criminal mischief, animal abuse and shooting a rifle across a roadway.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson is leaving the program after 15 seasons with the Hawkeyes. Coach Kirk Ferentz announced Johnson’s sudden departure on Saturday, saying he left to pursue a career opportunity outside of football. Johnson spent the past 10 years coordinating Iowa’s recruiting efforts.

Iowa burn center sees jump in ammonia burns

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center is reporting a higher-than-normal number of patients suffering from anhydrous ammonia burns. The center says it has treated five people in the last two weeks. The center’s medical personnel say they usually only see one or two cases each year. Official say the high number of patients in such a short amount of time is concerning.

Anhydrous ammonia is used legally by farmers as a crop fertilizer, but is often used, too, for the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine. The colorless, pungent gas can burn the eyes, throat, skin and damage lung tissue at high exposures.

Veteran’s Career Fair set for April 24th in Des Moines

News

April 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Director, Colonel Robert King (Retired), encourages Veterans to attend the upcoming Veterans Career Fair on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Freedom Center – Building S-70, Camp Dodge: 7105 NW 70th Avenue, Johnston, Iowa. A government-issue ID is required for entry onto Camp Dodge.

The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and Home Base Iowa are partnering with the Iowa Business Council and the Central Iowa Building Trades to create career opportunities for unemployed and underemployed veterans. All active military servicemen and women, members of the National Guard and Reserves, their spouses, as well as veterans of all ranks and levels of experience are welcome to attend the Veterans Career Fair. Most of the participating Veterans Career Fair employers and organizations have current openings for immediate hiring.

The Veterans Career Fair day will begin with a candidate support session from 9:30-11:00 am. This will include resume reviews, mock interviews, and coaching. A free lunch for Career Fair candidates follows at 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. The Veterans Career Fair participating companies and organizations will receive applications and conduct interviews during 12:00 – 4:00 pm.

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The following companies and organizations are scheduled to participate in this Veterans Career Fair:

Aflac, Alliant Energy, Blue Bunny/Wells Enterprises, Casey’s General Stores, Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART), DuPont Pioneer, Goodwill of Central Iowa, HNI Corp, Hy-Vee, Iowa Bankers, Job Dig, John Deere (Johnston, Ankeny, Urbandale), Mercy Medical Center, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Pella Corporation, Pepsi, Pioneer, Principal Financial Group, Rockwell Collins, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Verneer Manufacturing, Wellmark, Wells Fargo; members of the Central Iowa Building & Construction Trades Council (Boilermakers, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Plasterer & Cement Masons, Electricians, Elevator Constructors, Glaziers, Ironworkers, Laborers, Millwrights, Operating Engineers, Painters, Plumbers & Steamfitters, Roofers, Sheet Metal Workers); and representatives from ABC of Iowa Apprenticeship & Training Trust, AIB College of Business, American Legion, DAV Department of Iowa, DMACC, Farmer Veteran Coalition, Iowa State University, University of Dubuque, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, University of Phoenix, VA Central Iowa Health Care System, Veterans Benefit Administration.

Also on hand will be the Des Moines Vet Center and the Mobile Vet Center Van.

Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close

News

April 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City riverboat casino is preparing to close its doors this summer, but is hoping a court fight will save it.  The Sioux City Journal reports that the Argosy Sioux City officially notified Iowa Workforce Development on Friday that the 300-employee boat likely will close by July 1. That notice followed a vote Thursday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for the casino to close down by July 1.

But Argosy parent company Penn National Gaming has vowed to ask a judge to suspend the commission’s order, which would allow the boat to remain open while the company pursues a series of legal challenges against the state gambling commission.

Western Iowa arena manager says finance improving

News

April 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The general manager of the Mid-America Center in western Iowa’s Council Bluffs says the arena’s financial outlook is improving. Mark Vacanti with Caesars Entertainment tells the Council Bluffs Nonpareil that the city-owned arena and convention facility finished fiscal year 2013 with a $729,000 loss. Vacanti says that was below the average annual loss from the previous 10 years. But he notes that from October through December, the facility — which sit just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Neb. — showed a $52,000 profit.

A portion of the $729,000 loss, provided by Caesars’ accounting staff, was a company investment of $67,000 for replacing equipment and utilities. So far this fiscal year, Vacanti says, the Mid-America Center is showing a profit of $19,000.