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Friday Morning Iowa Headlines

News

July 20th, 2012 by admin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -The Black Hawk County chief deputy investigating the disappearance of two Iowa cousins missing for nearly a week say one of the parents may not be cooperating 100 percent. Family members say Misty and Dan Morrissey, parents of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, have talked to an attorney who is advising they stop talking and taking polygraph tests. Both Morriseys have spent time in prison on drug charges.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that severe drought affecting much of the Midwest and Great Plains now covers more than half of Iowa and three-quarters of Nebraska.  The drought map is a project shared by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Weather Service. The latest map is based on conditions as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.

NEW YORK (AP) – A Republican-leaning independent group is out with a new TV ad chiding President Barack Obama for criticizing Mitt Romney’s business record. American Crossroads, a super PAC tied to GOP strategist Karl Rove, announced yesterday that it is spending $9.3 million to air the ad in nine general election battleground states, including Iowa.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – An Iowa woman accused of using a bomb threat to rob a Sioux Falls bank says she’d been kidnapped and forced to commit the crime. But police say her story doesn’t match the evidence. Thirty-nine-year-old Michelle Bock says two men kidnapped her, strapped a bomb to her chest and forced her to walk into the First Premier Bank on South Kiwanis with a note that read, “This is a robbery.” Bock is set to appear in court Wednesday.

MINBURN, Iowa (AP) – As the temperature soared near or past 100, people in Minburn were wondering when their electricity would come back on. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that the town lost power yesterdmorning when a truck ran into a power pole. Minburn has about 360 residents and sits 22 miles northwest of Des Moines. As night approached yesterday, power was restored to all but a few residents.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Pleasant Hill police officer has been charged in Des Moines with drinking in public. The Des Moines Register reports that 28-year-old Christopher Brooks was cited on Saturday.

Nebraska man jailed in Council Bluffs for multiple child molestation charges

News

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An eastern Nebraska man is now jailed on charges he lured at least three boys to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and molested them — perhaps hundreds of times over several years. Twenty-two counts of sexual child abuse are filed against 32-year-old Robert Schuster, who lives near Lincoln. Lancaster County (Nebraska) Sheriff Terry Wagner says Schuster befriended the parents of his victims to place himself in a position to be alone with their children.

“He was taking younger children from here to Iowa to some kind of event and then spending the night with the children in the Council Bluffs area,” Sheriff Wagner says. “That’s sort of how that whole thing developed.” Court documents indicate Schuster lured children from the Lincoln area to Council Bluffs between 2002 and 2009. The boys ranged in age from seven to 16. Authorities say more boys may have been victims and they’re urged to come forward.

Wagner says Schuster perfected his routine to obtain access to the boys. “He would befriend the parents of children and then just a typical sort of grooming process where he would befriend the parents and then put himself in a position to be alone with the children,” Wagner says. The investigation was launched after an unnamed 19-year-old told Lincoln authorities Schuster started sexually assaulting him in 2005. The suspect is known as Robby and changed his last name from Mulder to Schuster in 2005. Schuster was arrested in Council Bluffs and is in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $50,000 bond.

(Radio Iowa)

NE Iowa native killed in Afghanistan July 13th by an IED

News

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Department of Defense, Thursday, announced the death of a northeast Iowa native in Afghanistan. Officials say 25-year old Army Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, a native of Cascade, died  July 13th, in Qalat, Zabul province of Afghanistan.

Sgt. Michael Ristau (DOD photo)

Ristau was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was attacked by an Improvised Explosive Device. He was assigned as an infantryman to the Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Army, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Ristau joined the U.S. Army in July, of 2004, and was stationed at Lewis-McChord. He deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in 2006-07 and deployed to Afghanistan in December 2011. He is survived by his wife and two sons, his parents, one sister, and two brothers.

The family of Sgt. Michael E. Ristau issued the following statement: “Michael was loved by his family, friends and community. His passion, other than his family, friends and country, was bull-riding and off-road mud climbing in his four-wheel-drive. Michael was also involved with the Patriot Guard Riders in honoring other fallen Soldiers. As a young child, he loved to skateboard and ride go-karts. He also loved to spend his childhood days outside with his family and friends. For the past eight years, Michael had a passion for the military and was going to re-enlist. He will be sadly missed, but not forgotten. Michael was always looking out for others and helping them in any way possible.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. Services will be held in Washington state, with a memorial service being held in Iowa at a future date.

Two arrests in Cass County this week

News

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrests of two individuals this week. On Monday, 22-year old James Michael Howard, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Howard was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $10,000 bond.

On Wednesday, 31-year old Aaron Lee Latus, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Fremont County warrant. Latus was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day to Fremont County authorities.

Family of missing Iowa cousins consults attorney

News

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An aunt of two Iowa girls missing for nearly a week says the family has consulted with an attorney amid growing tensions with law enforcement officers handling the case. Tammy Brousseau says authorities seem to be treating her family members as suspects — particularly the parents of one of the missing girls, 10-year old Lyric Cook-Morrissey. Brousseau says she thinks police are targeting Misty and Dan Morrissey because they’ve spent time in prison, mostly due to drug charges. She says that this week a male family member briefly walked out of an interview with law enforcement in frustration. She didn’t identify him.

Lyric and her 8-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins have been missing six days. On Friday, an FBI dive team plans to search a lake where their bicycles were found.

US forecast: Hot, dry weather to linger into fall

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal weather forecasters predict the unusually hot dry weather that has gripped much of the nation will linger into fall, especially for the parched heartland. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for August through October shows that nearly every state likely will have hotter than normal temperatures. Much of the Midwest is likely to be drier than normal, too.

The forecast, issued Thursday, indicates a high probability for little rain for all or parts of 15 states for August. The region encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa and the states generally surrounding them. The outlook improves a bit over three months, shrinking to just eight states. Above normal rainfall is forecast for New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and parts of Nevada and southern California through October.

Bankers survey suggests drought hurting economy

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Western states because of drought conditions. The overall economic index dropped into negative territory at 47.9 in June from May’s 56.7. Any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests contraction in the months ahead. The survey covers parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. It focuses on communities with 1,300 residents, on average. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the drought is hard on farmers, livestock producers and ethanol plants in the region. The confidence index collapsed to 40.9 in June from May’s strong 58.5. That suggests bankers aren’t confident in the economy over the next six months.

Atlantic Accident Causes $5,500 Damage

News

July 19th, 2012 by admin

A traffic accident in Atlantic Wednesday resulted in over $5,000 of damage.

At about 4:00 Wednesday, Amy Williams of Atlantic was driving her vehicle southbound on Poplar as she was approaching a green light on 7th street.  At the same time, a vehicle driven by Tyler Boos of Exira was northbound on Poplar approaching the green light on 7th Street.  Boos started to make a left hand turn onto 7th street and struck the Williams vehicle in the intersection.

Williams was cited for no proof of insurance.  Boos was given a warning for failure to yield making a left turn.  Total damage from the accident was about $5,500.

Fremont County Burn Ban

News

July 19th, 2012 by admin

Two more southwest Iowa Counties have announced burn bans.

Fremont and Page Counties now have burn bans.  Page County’s ban went into effect at 8 AM this morning, Fremont will go into effect at noon.

Those burn bans are in addition to bans in Montgomery, Mills, Pottawatamie, Audubon, and Mills Counties.

More Hot Weather on the Way

News

July 19th, 2012 by admin

It’s been hot and dry in western Iowa all summer long, and it looks like it will probably stay that way.  Freese-Notis Meteorologist Dan Hicks spoke with Jim Field on KJAN’s Heartbeat Today Wednesday, as he assessed the extreme conditions across the Midwest.

He says the situation is getting serious with the lack of rainfall and high temperatures.  “There really is nobody in the Midwest that doesn’t need rain.  Looking at Iowa rainfall for July, many towns have seen less than a quarter of their normal rainfall,” according to Hicks.

He also says it doesn’t look promising in terms of getting any relief from the drought conditions. “Unfortunately not a lot of promise for rainfall in the near future.  It looks like this overall pattern will probably continue into early next week.  There might be some slight cooling moving south very late this week, but temps in the Atlantic area will still be above 90 degrees.  It might even be next week until we have another chance of any rainfall occurring.”

As for what may be the cause of the extreme weather we’ve had this summer, he says, “I don’t know if there’s one thing responsible.  It’s been attributed to the transition from La Nina to neutral conditions.  But to attribute to one single factor is hard to do.”

Hicks says he expects highs to remain in the 90’s through at least next week.