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Iowa board tables $100,000 settlement with worker

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The State Appeal Board is delaying the approval of a proposed $100,000 settlement with a former Glenwood Resource Center employee who claimed she faced retaliation. The board tabled the state’s settlement Monday with Cecilia Carman, who alleged officials violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act when they failed to rehire her. Board members said they wanted more details before approving the payments for lost wages, emotional distress and legal fees for Carman.

The board’s executive secretary, Joe Barry, said Tuesday that members wanted more information about the details, including whether actions have been taken to prevent similar problems in the future. He says it is expected to be considered at the board’s June 2 meeting, if not earlier.

The settlement came as the case was scheduled for trial last month.

Bluffs man sentenced to 3 life terms for murder

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man found guilty in connection with the July 2012 execution-style shootings of a reputed methamphetamine dealer and his two sons, will spend the rest of his life in prison. The Daily NonPareil reports District Judge Kimberly Miller Pankonin handed down the sentence Tuesday against Anthony “Pookie” Davis. The 35-year old Davis was sentenced in Douglas County District Court to three consecutive life terms for three counts of first-degree murder. He and co-defendant Timothy “Mont” Britt were found guilty pf shooting 44-year old Miguel Avalos, and his sons 18-year old Miguel Jr., and 16-year old Jose.

Judge Pankonin said Davis avoided a potential death sentence because the jury found no aggravating circumstances to the murders. Davis, who was also found guilty of three counts of using a weapon to commit a felony, declined to speak. His attorney, Kelly Steenbock, said only that she sincerely believed the shooting deaths were not intentional.

During the March trial, prosecutors said Davis and Britt planned to rob Avalos, but the robbery went horribly wrong, ending with the execution-style shootings of Avalos and his sons. The father was shot five times in the head. Davis and Britt each was charged with first-degree murder under the felony murder rule, which holds accomplices accountable if someone dies in the commission of a felony such as robbery.

At his April trial, Britt was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of using a weapon to commit a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced May 29th.

Glenwood aquatic center/pool bond issue fails

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A proposed $4.75 million bond issue in Glenwood for the construction of an outdoor swimming pool and aquatic center failed to meet the required 60-percent margin of approval during a vote held Tuesday. The Daily NonPareil says project would have increased property taxes 1.5 percent.  Of the 970 votes, 465 voted against the facility, while 505 voters supported it. There are 3,320 registered voters in Glenwood. The bond issue needed a 60 percent supermajority in order to pass. Glenwood has been without an outdoor pool since the previous facility closed in 2005.

City Administrator Brian Kissel said the facility included lap lanes, a lazy river feature and a zero-depth entry. Plans for water slides, which were part of a project alternate estimated at $5.1 million, weren’t included.According to a survey, more than 90 percent of Glenwood residents said they would support a swimming pool and aquatic center to replace the former municipal pool. City officials held town meetings to answer questions about the project.

If the bond had passed, the next step would have been for the Glenwood City Council and the Glenwood Community School District Board of Education to vote and sign a shared-property agreement. City officials were looking at a local option sales tax fund to help operate the facility.

Polk County approves $125,000 for Korean War veterans’ honor flight

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Plans are in the works to send 130 Korean War veterans from Iowa to Washington, D.C. to see monuments built in their honor. The Polk County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday awarded a $125,000 community development grant to the Central and Western Iowa Honor Flight organization, led by Jeff Ballenger,of Council Bluffs. “We’ve been taking flights since 2007 and have taken roughly 2,300 mainly World War Two veterans (to Washington, D.C.) from central and western Iowa,” Ballenger said. The honor flight for Korean War vets is scheduled to take place on September 30, with a pre-flight dinner on September 29 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center) in Des Moines.

Ballenger has been on 12 honor flights and says the veterans greatly appreciate their time in the nation’s capital.  “I’ve actually been to some funerals of our World War Two veterans who’ve passed away and some of them have been buried in their shirts from the honor flight, so that’s what this program means,” Ballenger said.

The veterans who travel to Washington, D.C. on September 30 will visit Arlington Cemetery as well as memorials to the Korean War, Vietnam, and World War Two.

(Radio Iowa)

Turn off the electronics and enjoy each other

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Everyone has been asked to turn off the T-V, computer, apps and video games as part of “Screen-Free Week.” Sara Adelmann, spokeswoman for Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, says one study estimates that school-age children spend more time with screen media than in any other activity except sleeping. Adelmann says, “What we ask during Screen-Free Week is for children and adults to give up digital entertainment for seven days and to spend that extra time reading, playing, daydreaming, enjoying the outdoors and reconnecting with family and friends and participating in other offline fun.”

A recent survey found that just in the past two years, the time children spend on media devices has tripled. While visiting the organization’s website will demand the use of a computer screen, she’s hoping you’ll get some ideas at screen-free-dot-org and then switch off the computer. “We have a list of 101 activities that you can do screen-free, for example: write a story, read a book, write a letter, write to your favorite author, draw with chalk outside, make playdough, host a potluck,” Adelmann says. “There are a lot of activities you can do that don’t involve screens and most of them don’t cost a whole lot.”

Excessive screen time can be linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problems and poor sleep time, while it’s becoming more of an issue as tablets and smart phones become more common. Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to give up screentime. “What we ask during Screen-Free Week is that you give up digital entertainment,” Adelmann says. “We absolutely understand that people can’t give up screen use for work or homework. We’re really asking people to try to figure out ways to have fun and spend your extra time involved in offline activities.”

Two Iowa communities are taking a very active role this week, including Alleman in central Iowa and Muscatine in eastern Iowa. Events include an old-time fishing event, a mother-daughter spa day and a father-son dodgeball night, along with family activities at bowling alleys, batting cages and libraries.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 7th 2014

News

May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

STANTON, Iowa (AP) — A human chain of more than 400 people in western Iowa has helped move books from an old library to a new one. People in the small community of Stanton lined the streets Tuesday to pass the books from the old library in the downtown area to a new community building. People moved about 3,000 books in about an hour and a half. The new library is expected to open this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A suspect in a homicide case in Chicago has been captured in central Iowa. The U.S. Marshals Services says the Southern Iowa Fugitive Task Force arrested 20-year-old Daryl D. Lee on Monday afternoon in Des Moines. The Chicago Police Department says Lee is a suspect in the January shooting death of 16-year-old Marquise Harris. Lee remains at the Polk County Jail awaiting extradition back to Chicago.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The editor of the Newton Daily News has been fired a week after he posted in a personal blog a message that said gay organizations are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’ ” Bob Eschliman had worked at the newspaper since June 2012. The 4,000-circulation newspaper delivered five days a week announced in a news story and an editorial in Tuesday’s edition that Eschliman was no longer its editor.

READLYN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say the death of a man found dead inside a northeast Iowa home that was damaged by fire has been ruled an accident. The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner says 64-year-old Richard Michael Elliot died Sunday at his residence in Readlyn (REED’-lihn). The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

Human chain links libraries in western Iowa

News

May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

STANTON, Iowa (AP) — A human chain of more than 400 people in western Iowa has helped move books from an old library to a new one. People in the small community of Stanton lined the streets Tuesday to pass the books from the old library in the downtown area to a new community building.

The Omaha World-Herald reports people moved about 3,000 books in about an hour and a half. About another 3,000 books were moved prior to Tuesday’s event because they were either too big or too delicate for the human chain. Another 2,000 books will be transported a different way.

The new library is expected to open this month.

Public hearing Wed. in Atlantic on disposal of property

News

May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing during its meeting Wednesday evening. The hearing is with regard to the disposal of property at 405 West 4th Street. During the last Council meeting, City Attorney Dave Wiederstein reported the vacant, half-lot was tax acquired by the City, and was not is buildable. A public hearing is required before the Council can act on approving the sale of the property.

The Council will also act on a motion to refer to the Planning and Zoning Commission, a proposal to vacate an alley located between 1106 E. 7th Street and 1200 E. 7th Street. City Administrator Doug Harris says his assistant, John Lund, has been working with the Cass County Assessor’s Office to get ride of some so-called “Phantom” alleys and streets found in the City’s plat map book. The streets are held by the City, and Harris says restoring them back to private property owners would put those locations on the tax rolls. He says there is a person interested in buying the alley mentioned. Neither AMU nor the Atlantic Street Department has an issue with the vacating of the alley, according to Harris.

In other business, the Council hold the first reading of an amendment to the City’s Code of Ordinances, with regard to “Flood Plain Regulations.” John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, has been designated by the State, as the City’s official Flood Plain Manager. As such, he’s been working with the DNR to make sure the Flood Plain Ordinance meets the necessary requirements set forth by FEMA and the Iowa DNR.

The proposed amendments to the Ordinance include modifying the definitions of “Development,” “Minor Projects,” and “Routine Maintenance of Existing buildings and Facilities.” And additional amendment requires the Iowa DNR to approve alterations or relocations with regard to Flood Plain Management Standards.

The Atlantic City Council will also consider a request by the Jaycees to shoot-off fireworks at the Airport on July 4th, during the annual holiday celebration.

4 Peace Officers to be honored this Friday

News

May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

This Friday, the State of Iowa and Governor Terry E. Branstad will honor four officers killed in the line of duty.

Iowa Peace Office Memorial

Iowa Peace Office Memorial

Each of these men died while serving to protect and keep Iowa communities safe:

Police Officer Jamie D. Buenting, Rockwell City Police Department. Died September 13, 2013
City Marshal Robert C. Coulter, Farmington Police Department. Died December 21, 1902
City Marshal Reuben Fenstenmaker, Farmington Police Department. Died January 1, 1868
Town Marshal Joseph Kashmetter, Alton Police Department. Died March 27, 1911

The public is invited to attend the event at the Peace Office Memorial in Des Moines (at the Oran Pape State Office Building, 215 East 7th Street), beginning at 10-a.m. Friday. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the rotunda of the State Capitol.

Officials say if you are unable to attend this year’s ceremony, there are many ways you can observe National Police Week. Simply  take time and thank current peace officers for protecting and serving your community and the State of Iowa.

Cramer talks about building a bridge to fiscal solvency

News

May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Robert Cramer, Republican candidate for U-S Congress in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District stopped by the KJAN studios Tuesday morning. Cramer is one of six Republican candidates who hope to win the June Primary to challenge Democrat Staci Appel for Tom Latham’s House of Representatives seat in Washington. Latham announced late last year he would not be seeking re-election. Iowa’s Third Congressional District includes Council Bluffs, Des Moines and much of southwest Iowa.cramer

Cramer says coming down the final stretch – the final four weeks – to the Primary, he’ll put his experience building bridges as a licensed, professional engineer to use in an attempt to “rebuild” Washington. He says he has the “blueprint” for fixing Washington. It starts he says, with balancing the budget with a 5-year plan, reducing debt and removing regulations that prevent small business people from hiring.

He says part of the way to fix Washington’s seemingly endless gridlock on issues of importance to Americans, is for the Republican party to find common ground in order to create a substantive plan to move forward. Cramer says Iowans are telling him their hope is fading that the country’s current fiscal mess can be turned around, but he’s confident Republicans can make the changes needed to turn that hope into a promise.

Cramer says Iowan’s shouldn’t have to choose between candidates who stand for Conservative values or the fiscally responsible businessman. He says they can get both by electing him in the Primary.