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Red Oak woman arrested Wed. night


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 21-year old Tiffany Nicole Studey, of Red Oak, was arrested late Wednesday night, on a Red Oak Police Department warrant for Harassment in the 3rd degree. Studey was taken into custody at around 11:30-p.m. and booked into the Montgomery County Jail. She was subsequently released on $300 cash bond.

(update): 2 arrests following theft of ATM from Bank in Earling


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested this morning in connection with the theft of a cash machine from a bank in Earling. Authorities in western Iowa were put on alert about the theft early this morning. Officials broadcast the alert at around 4:30-a.m., about a grey SUV which reportedly tore an ATM away from a bank building or stanchion.

Additional details are expected later this morning.

House passes new restrictions on special city taxing districts


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Most of the Republicans in the Iowa House have voted to limit the authority cities and counties now have to set up special districts where tax growth is used to finance improvements like roads, sewers and, in some cases, swimming pools. Representative Chuck Soderberg, a Republican from Le Mars, says a few local governments have abused these “tax increment financing” districts. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Iowa to address the issues; to clarify, but to strengthen…and bring more accountability to the hard-earned dollars that our taxpayers provide in this program,” Soderberg says. Representative Dan Muhlbauer, a Democrat from Manilla, says his rural area has used this financing tool to pay for improvements to roads, to lure a wind turbine farm to the area. “You’re trying to micromanage what it is we want to do out in our small communities,” Muhlbauer said. “…We need just to leave it like it is. It’s a great tool.”

Representative Dave Jacoby, a Democrat from Coralville, railed against provisions in the bill which he argues would give school districts “veto power” to nix some of the special projects cities devise.
“Why is this the state’s business?” Jacoby asked. “Does this make us smaller and smarter? No, it’s big government and it’s slapping local governments in the face.” Representative Tom Sands, a Republican from Wapello, says school districts “should have a voice” to raise objections when property tax dollars are diverted forever, as is the case in tax increment financing districts in some Iowa cities. “This takes…what we have, it tries to build on what is working right and going forward with that,” Sands says. Senator Mary Gaskill, a Democrat from Ottumwa, says the bill’s new requirements would hamper the ability of city officials to quickly put together deals that lure businesses to town.

“Remember, these are businesses who are wanting to come to our districts and we’re putting all of these steps in place that’s doing to slow the process down, tremendously,” Gaskill says. “It’s going to slow it down.” After nearly two hours of debate, Representative Soderberg responded to the critics, arguing the bill would not “kill” cities’ ability to create these special taxing districts. “Puts some parameters around it, but does not restrict it as a tool,” Soderberg said. The bill passed on a 54 to 43 vote. It now goes to the Senate. The Iowa League of Cities, the Professional Developers of Iowa and the Iowa Chamber Alliance are all opposed to the bill, but groups like the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Association of School Boards support it.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Vision Iowa Board awards project in Stanton $514,000


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Vision Iowa Board has awarded grants to build new attractions in three Iowa cities. Vision Iowa spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says the largest award granted Wednesday is worth one-million dollars ($1 million) and will help with several expansion projects at Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo. Those include a filtration system for the seal and sea lion pool, a new camel exhibit near the zoo’s entrance and more space for new animals in an Africa exhibit. All of the improvements at Blank Park Zoo carry a total price tag of over $9.3 million. The southwest Iowa town of Stanton will receive just under $514,000 in Vision Iowa funding toward the construction of a building that will serve as a public library, a community center, a wellness center and a storm shelter.

“This is a fabulous project,” O’Riley said. “The residents of Stanton have really supported this. For a town of about 700, I believe they have raised 800-thousand dollars. So, there’s obviously broad community support.” The third Vision Iowa award is for a wellness facility in Indianola. The board granted just over $483,000 toward the $15 million project.

The 55,000 square foot facility will include a gymnasium, a swimming pool and racquetball court. Wednesday’s meeting of the Vision Iowa Board took place in Mason City (at the Park Inn Hotel).

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Thu., April 12th 2012


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say three teenage girls have been charged with sending nude pictures of themselves to an Iowa man who’s been charged for possessing the photos. The girls are ages 16 and 17 and have been charged as adults with felony exploitation of a minor — in this case, the exploited minors are themselves. Nineteen-year-old Alex Case is charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An arbitrator says the University of Northern Iowa improperly fired a professor and should pay him lost wages. Arbitrator Ruth Weatherly ruled that finance professor Gordon Klein’s termination was at least partially based on inappropriate reasons and violated his academic freedom. A spokeswoman said yesterday that UNI acted appropriately and the decision is non-binding.

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa businesswoman accused of misusing the company’s money is suing her partner, claiming he went to police to cover up his own criminal behavior. Melissa Frost of North Liberty was arrested last week on suspicion of fraudulent practices. She’s suspected of taking money from Iowa City-based C & M Tax Services to cover $22,000 in personal credit card purchases. Her male partner hasn’t been charged with any crime.

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — A Le Mars man accused of breaking into a house and assaulting an 11-year-old girl is scheduled to go on trial next month. KTIV-TV in Sioux City reports a May 15th trial is set for 19-year-old Matthew Jandreau in Plymouth County District Court.

Rose to Run for State Representative in District 21


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Retired educator John Rose, from Creston, announced today (Wednesday), that he will run as a Democrat for the Iowa House in the new District 21, which includes all of Union and Adams Counties and parts of Cass and Pottawattamie Counties.

John Rose (D), from Creston

In a Press Release, Rose said “As a teacher and football coach, I spent years in the classroom helping our kids and grandkids become engaged, successful citizens. We also have to guarantee that no child or school in rural Iowa gets left behind.”

Now retired, Rose was a secondary Social Studies teacher and assistant football coach at Creston High School for 28 years and also worked at Adair-Casey High School in Adair. He has served as a substitute teacher in Creston and also authored a football coaching book.

John Rose was born and raised in Spencer, and graduated from Spencer High School. He received his Bachelors and Masters from Mankato State University in Minnesota. His wife Lois is a retired English and Speech teacher. The couple has a two adult children and three grandchildren.

Benefits of Iowa’s Universities to be the topic of an event in Atlantic, Thursday


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here’s a reminder from “The Station Where Your Friends Are”: A student-led movement to create awareness of the value Iowa’s public universities deliver throughout the state, is coming to Atlantic, Thursday evening. “Universities for a Better Iowa” will hold a program at the Cass County Community Center from 5- until 6:30-p.m.

During the event, alumni and friends of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa, along with student leaders at those institutions, will be in attendance. One of those planning to make the trip is Greta Johnson, a native of Le Mars, in northwest Iowa. Johnson grew up on a farm, attended the Le Mars Community High School, and received an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in Political Science. She’ll be graduating soon from the University of Northern Iowa, with a Master’s Degree in Youth and Human Service Administration. Johnson says the Universities for a Better Iowa is designed to showcase all the great things a public education at Iowa’s Colleges and University’s have to offer. She says the impact all of the State’s Universities have can be felt all across the State.

Budget cutbacks and rising tuition costs are things all public colleges and universities have to deal with, but Johnson says these “challenging times” will make the institutions better in the end, by making them stronger. That, along with the value of a college education, will be demonstrated to those in attendance, by student leaders from the three big universities in Iowa, during Thursday evening’s event. She says 50% of all doctors in Iowa were trained at Iowa public universities. That includes six doctors in Cass County. There are also seven Cass County Veterinarians who earned their degrees at one of Iowa’s institutions of higher learning. That, according to Johnson, shows people who graduate from the State’s universities return to their hometowns and contribute to the economy, therefore it is a true investment from the State.

She says college grads in Iowa become their community’s business leaders, doctors, pharmacists and more. The presentations Thursday, are put on by students from the University of Iowa, ISU and UNI. Light snacks and refreshments will also be served. The event is free, and open to the public.

Cass County wins nearly $12,000 in court case


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A jury in Atlantic, Tuesday, awarded Cass County nearly $12,000 in a case filed by the County against the driver of a vehicle which collided with a County Conservation vehicle on June 14th, 2010. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner told the Board of Supervisors the decision against 26-year old Sean M. Bloomfield, of Atlantic, was handed down in Cass County District Court, and awards the County $11,791.80 in damages. Costs to handle the case in court will also be assessed to Bloomfield.

The accident happened as Bloomfield drove a vehicle around a parked semi as he was exiting a driveway, and collided with a car driven by Lora Schwendinger, of Lewis. Neither driver was seriously injured. Damage from the crash was estimated at the time, at around $9,000. Bloomfield was cited for failure to have insurance, and in July 2010 negotiated a voluntary plea of guilty to a charge of Violation of Financial Liability-Accident related.

Feistner said the County went after Bloomfield, because he didn’t have insurance at the time, and was unwilling or unable to pay for the damage to the County vehicle. He says even if the man currently doesn’t have any assets from which to pay for the judgment, there are other ways the funds can be recovered, including his future tax returns, or leans on his property.

Liquid Nitrogen spilled during accident Tuesday in Cass County


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was called-in to handle the clean-up of a liquid nitrogen spill Tuesday afternoon, following an accident at 550th Street and Newton Road.

Liquid Nitrogen spill (photo courtest Mike Kennon, Cass Co. Emergency Management Agy.)

 The accident happened at around Noon. Officials say a 2006 Chevy 2500 pickup driven by 26-year old Kirk Albert Schwarte, of Atlantic, was traveling north on 550th and was in the process of making a left turn onto Newton Road, when the two-axle trailer being pulled by the pickup, began to jackknife against the driver’s side of the truck. Both the pickup and trailer entered the ditch, where the trailer tipped over. No injuries were reported. Damage to the pickup was estimated at $4,000. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says Schwarte was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Griswold man arrested on drug charge


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a Griswold man was arrested Monday on a drug-related charge. 20-year old Devin Allen Foote was taken into custody on a Cass County felony warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver. Foote was being held in the Cass County Jail on $50,000 bond. 

Sheriff’s officials report also, 46-year old Michael Patrick Carr, of Des Moines, was arrested Monday on a District Court Warrant for Failure to Appear (Child Support). Carr was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held on $5000 bond. 

That same day, 32-year old Travis Lynn Sickels, of Red Oak,  was arrested on a District Court Warrant for Failure to Appear (Child Support). Sickels was taken to the Cass County Jail, where he was being held on $2000 bond.