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Bluffs man sentenced for possessing a firearm as a felon


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced Tuesday, to two and a-half years in prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  32-year old Jason Lee Garza received his sentence in United States District Court by Judge Stephanie M. Rose, to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Garza pled guilty to the charge of a felon in possession of a firearm on February 8th, 2013.

The charge was the result of an investigation conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department, after the officers heard gun shots being fired in the area of 1200 block of Sixth Avenue and responded to that area on October 24th, 2012. Officers located several people who reported being shot at by Garza before he had fled the scene. A short time later, officers located Garza in a nearby residence, and the firearm used by Garza was found hidden in a wall of the residence.

The investigation was conducted by the Council Bluffs Poice Department, the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Griswold woman arrested on drug charges


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on of a Griswold woman Tuesday, on drug charges. 45-year old Lisa Marie Bruning, was taken into custody on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bruning was brought to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on $1000 bond.

Deputies in Cass County also arrested 69-year old William Henry Scanlan, of Massena, Tuesday, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault Simple. Scanlan was taken to the Cass County Jail where he pled not guilty before the magistrate the next day and was released on his own recognizance.

And on Friday (today) 28-year old Daniel Marc Chevalier,  of Hancock, was arrested in Cass County on a State of Iowa warrant for Parole Violation. Chevalier was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held without bond.

Crews reopen track after train derailment in Iowa


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

GRAND JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Crews repairing a train derailment in central Iowa have reopened one of two affected tracks. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says the track was reopened at 11 a.m. today (Friday) and trains are operating on it. The other track was expected to open this (Friday) afternoon.

Davis says an eastbound coal train on its way from Wyoming to Crescent, Ill., derailed Thursday morning into a westbound cargo train going from Chicago to Oakland, Calif. The impact derailed 13 of the 135 cars on the coal train and 22 of the 106 cars of the intermodal cargo train. Davis says a team is investigating what caused the derailment. The crash shut down a section of the company’s mainline tracks near Grand Junction about 60 miles northwest of Des Moines. No injuries were reported.

Villisca man sentenced to prison on child porn charges


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says a Villisca man was sentenced this week to prison on child pornography-related charges. 23-year old Scott Allen Gibbons, of Villisca, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison for receipt of child pornography. Gibbons previously pled guilty on January 10th, 2013, to the charge of receipt of child pornography.

The charge against Gibbons was the result of an investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies in Iowa and Florida after a complaint by a Florida mother of an eleven year-old boy regarding inappropriate “chats” between the eleven year-old and an adult in Iowa. Investigation showed that Gibbons had established an online relationship with the eleven year-old using a “chat room” component of an on-line game.

During the communication, Gibbons convinced the eleven year-old to send to Gibbons a picture of himself constituting child pornography via a text message. The child pornography was located on Gibbons’ cellular telephone by law enforcement, along with similar pictures from unknown prepubescent males.

The investigation was conducted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office, Tampa, Florida, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Former US Attorney Whitaker files for Senate bid


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republican Matt Whitaker says he has filed the paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in 2014.   The former U.S. attorney’s move come a week after Rep. Steve King announced he would not seek the seat being vacated by retiring five-term Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

The 43-year-old former University of Iowa football player from Clive was U.S. attorney for Iowa’s Southern District from 2004 to 2009. He ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2002.   Other Republicans weighing entry into the race include state Sen. Joni Ernst, former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Sen. Charles Grassley’s chief of staff David Young.

Rep. Tom Latham and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds also passed on running. Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo is his party’s only candidate.

USDA: Despite late start, record corn crop likely

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The wet start to the corn planting season may reduce the amount each acre produces this year, but farmers are planting so much corn they’re still likely to bring in a record crop. In a report released today (Friday), the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated farmers would bring in 14.1 billion bushels of corn this year, a billion bushels more than the previous record set in 2009.

The USDA expects farmers to grow an average of 158 bushels per acre, a 3.4 percent reduction from the 163.6 bushels predicted in February. The downward adjustment is due to delayed planting caused by a cold, wet spring.  Farmers are planting more than 97 million acres of corn, the most since 1936. That’s why even an average yield would result in a record crop.

G&R bankruptcy case update

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Trustee in the bankruptcy case of G & R Feed and Grain Co., Inc., in Portsmouth, has provided an update on the proceedings. Deborah L. Petersen says the Court has approved Del Peterson & Associates to auction the real estate, fixtures, machinery and equipment. The public online auction will be held on June 11, 2013. The online auction will open the week of May 13, 2013 and bidding will be available immediately. Details and information at www.delpeterson.com They can be contacted by phone at 800-492-9090.

A meeting to explain the bidding procedure will be held soon. The feed inventory and soybean meal has been sold as approved by the Court and all has been delivered. Petersen says as Trustee, she will be receiving $ 264,900.00 from the USDA for grain receipts from the sale of grain on hand at the time of filing. The Iowa Department of Ag is in the process of issuing their last few checks and amending their claim in the bankruptcy case.

Petersen says she is in the final stages of collecting accounts receivable that were due to G & R and will begin collection action for those remaining unpaid. She has filed an adversary proceeding against Cargill for the proceeds for the grain delivered in December. And, Petersen has started reviewing claims and still anticipates an interim distribution to creditors in late summer/early fall, again subject to the Court’s approval. The analysis of pre-petition preference claims and postpetition transfers will be done after the claims are reviewed.

The deadline for filing claims in the Bankruptcy is May 20, 2013. If you have a claim for a deferred price contract, or any other amount due you, you should take action to timely file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court. The Trustee has a recorded message that will be updated regularly. You can hear the message at 712-328-8808, option 8. If you have legal questions, including how to file a claim, the Trustee advises that you should contact an attorney of your choice.

(12-p.m News)

Danish Immigrant Museum to build new center


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Danish Immigrant Museum has announced plans to construct an 8,000 square foot curatorial center at its location on the western edge of Elk Horn.

Danish Immigrant Museum

The center will be located below ground on the west side of the present building and will feature an environmentally-friendly green roof. The project cost estimates are $3 million – $2 million for construction and $1 million to be invested in the museum’s endowment to meet increased operational costs.

To date, over $2.3 million has been raised or is anticipated, though construction will not begin until the $3 million fundraising goal is reached. The new addition will include offices for the curatorial staff and interns and space for traveling exhibit design, fabrication and storage, as well as additional climate-controlled artifact storage.

There will also be a loading dock to facilitate the shipping of traveling exhibits and a quarantine space for isolating artifacts before accessing them. The increased space will allow for the consolidation of four off-site storage facilities that the museum presently rents. Museum Executive Director Dr. John Mark Nielsen says the museum “Is the only museum in the country dedicated to preserving artifacts of the Danish American community here in the United States.” He says “The planned curatorial center will assure that the museum has appropriate space for expanded artifact collection and for creating traveling exhibits that will be shared with museums across the country and in Denmark.”

The museum is currently preparing for Memorial Day weekend’s Tivoli Fest in the Danish Villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton, and  a 30th anniversary celebration, in June. More information can be obtained by calling (712) 764-7001 or visiting the website at www.danishmuseum.org.


Carroll County school placed on lockdown earlier this week


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(corrected from earlier posting to indicate the district is in Carroll County, NOT Guthrie Co.)

A Carroll County school district was placed under lockdown earlier this week, after negative comments directed primarily at the superintendent, were allegedly made by a member of the community.  In a statement, Coon Rapids-Bayard Superintendent Rich Stoffers said the district was placed on lock down Monday morning after school personnel received perceived threats from a community member. Stoffers said an off hand comment with “direct” remarks by a community member were received by school personnel approximately 6:45 a.m., Monday.

Police were notified and while an investigation was underway into the “verbal threat,”  the school was “locked down” for about 90 minutes. The threat amounted to someone saying they “Wouldn’t want to work for” Stoffers.  A police investigation determined determined no crime had been committed, the lock down was terminated and students and staff were advised to continue with normal schedules and activities.

Stoffers said he was “Very proud of (the)  staff and students for listening, following directives, and keeping their focus on their classes and academics throughout the (morning), even though it was somewhat of a ‘stressful’ start to the work week” for school employees.

Sioux city attorney says strip searches show need for overhaul of county jail


May 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Sioux City attorney says Woodbury County jailers have continually violated the constitutional rights of female prisoners by conducting unwarranted strips searches in the county jail. Attorney Dave O’Brien is representing Shannon Peters and Nicole Clay in lawsuits against the county and the Sheriff’s Department over the strip searches. He says three women have received settlements of 385-thousand dollars in strip search cases, but that didn’t solve the problem. “Jail administration stood up and eventually understood that what they were doing was wrong and their policy was unconstitutional and they’ve corrected that. And I applaud them for that,” O’Brien says. “But unfortunately there are certain correctional officers that just haven’t gotten the message. And that’s what happened to Shannon, most recently, and also to Nicole Clay.”

O’Brien says his clients were given unlawful demands by jailers and read testimony from a case deposition by Jail Administrator, Lieutenant Lynett Phillips, regarding the strip searches of Clay and Peters. “If the correctional officer tells the detainee you have to strip naked in front of me even when the policy does not justify the detainee taking their clothes off, is the detainee required to follow the instructions of the correctional officer. Answer, ‘yes’,” O’Brien read. “They don’t get it.”

O’Brien says a deposition from the officer in charge when Clay was brought in on a public intoxication charge said she was forced to strip in front of him after refusing to undress herself. O’Brien says his clients were brought to the jail for legitimate reasons, but that does not allow for their rights to be violated. He says the Woodybury County Jail needs a top to bottom overhaul. Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew was not in office when the strip searches happened. He says he cannot comment on the ongoing lawsuits, and has been advised not to meet with O’Brien. “At one time after I took office he wanted to meet with me…and through the legal advice of three different attorneys, “I) said it would be best if we met after litigation was over,”Drew said.

Drew says he kept the jail administrator in place, although some changes and reviews are taking place. He says since he has taken office there are supervisors overseeing each shift at the jail and they are working on going over the policies and directives. Drew says jailers have a tough job, but people must be treated with respect and dignity.

(Radio Iowa)