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IA early News Headlines: Wed., July 31st 2013


July 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Starting classes before September would be more difficult under a proposal being considered by the State Board of Education. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Department of Education proposed the new rule, which will be considered by the board tomorrow. State law now requires districts to start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes Sept. 1, but most districts seek waivers allowing them to begin earlier.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A robbery suspect has been accused of leading Des Moines police on a car chase before crashing into a garage. The Des Moines Register reports the man led the car chase yesterday afternoon on the city’s east side. Police say the man crashed into a garage then hopped a fence to escape. He was arrested a short time later.

AVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Davenport man stole diapers, baby wipes and tequila because he was trying to barter the items for crack cocaine. The Quad-City Times reports 32-year-old Thomas Elmer Reuther is accused of stealing $780 in merchandise from stores in Davenport and Bettendorf between July 19 and July 24.

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) — A northern Iowa man accused of shooting at a group of people last year now faces federal gun charges in the case. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports a criminal complaint against 24-year-old Daniel Wildman, of Cresco, was filed in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. It says Wildman was prohibited from possessing a firearm during the October incident because of his criminal history.

Bluffs man gets 4 months in Prison for Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Judge in Pottawattamie County has ruled a man from Council Bluffs will serve four-months in prison and three-years of supervised release, in connection with the transporting of stolen truck repair equipment across state lines from Omaha to Council Bluffs.  40-year old Joseph Patrick Connor was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Court Judge John Jarvey, who also ordered Connor to pay restitution amounting to $30,000.

On March 18th, Connor pled guilty to the charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. The charge was the result of an investigation conducted by several law enforcement agencies into the theft of tools from Hatcher Mobile Services of Omaha, Nebraska, taken during a burglary committed on March 20th, 2012. Many of the tools taken during the burglary were recovered from the back of a straight truck found in Council Bluffs,  by the Iowa State Patrol. The value of the tools taken during the burglary was estimated to be over $100,000.

The investigation was conducted by the Omaha Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Former Thurman resident sentenced on fraud charges


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A former Fremont County resident was sentenced Tuesday (July 30th) to prison on tax fraud charges. 55 year-old Robert W. Duncan, formally a resident of Thurman, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge John Jarvey to four years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Duncan entered a guilty plea on March 12th, 2013, to defrauding the Social Security Administration, filing a false income tax return and making a false statement to a financial institution. Duncan, former owner and auctioneer for Bob Duncan and Associates, was also ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $218,755.10, and to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $42,254.

During the plea proceeding, Duncan admitted that he had defrauded the Social Security Administration by receiving benefits he was not entitled to between 1993 and 2011. Duncan also admitted to the court that he had caused to be filed a false 1040 tax form for tax year 2008 by under reporting his income, and that he had provided false financial documents to Treynor State Bank to obtain a $225,000 loan in 2005.

The investigation was conducted by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Mills County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigations, Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Tiller Theft in Red Oak


July 30th, 2013 by admin

Police in Red Oak are investigating the theft of a garden tiller. Officials received a report this (Tuesday) afternoon from Jeremiah Binns, that someone stole his red, rear tine tiller with a 196-CC Viper Engine. The machine was taken from a garden located at the corner of North 8th Street and East Nuckols Street, in Red Oak.

Binns reported also, that a tarp covering the tiller was taken. He estimated the loss at approximately $600. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Red Oak Police Department at 712-623-6500.

Numerous arrests in Cass County over the past week


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office today (Tuesday), released a report on the most recent arrests. On Monday (July 29th), deputies arrested 29-year old Nickalas Dean Orstad, of Griswold, on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense (Aggravated). Orstad was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

On Saturday, July 27th, 41-year old Travis William Templeton, of Griswold, was arrested on a charge of Serious Assault. Templeton was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $1000 bond.

Arrested last Friday (July 26th) in Cass County, was 26-year old David Alan Campbell, Jr., of Oakland, and 45-year old Michael Lee Clason, of Marne. Campbell was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. He taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance. Clason was arrested on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear for Child Support Hearing. He was being held in the Cass County Jail on $2000 cash bond.

On July 25th, Cass County deputies arrested 28-year old Tyanna Karee Lungren, of Atlantic, on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for Failure to Appear on a ticket for Driving While Suspended, and a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Lungren was taken to the Cass County Jail where she is being held on $10,750 bond.

On July 24th, the Sheriff’s Office charged 53-year old Dennis Wayne Toepfer, of Atlantic, with Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Meth) (C Felony). Toepfer is being held at the Cass County Jail on an Atlantic Police Department Charge for Theft 3rd Degree. His total bond for both charges is $50,000.

On July 22nd, 22-year old Scott Nathaniel Belew, of Audubon, was arrested in Cass County on a warrant for Failure to Appear to Serve Time. Belew was held at the Cass County Jail until his owed time was served.  On July 19th, 54-year old Roger Allen Ericksen, of Lewis, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Violation of Probation. Ericksen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $10,000 bond.

And, on July 17th, 24-year old Johnny Lee Kirchner, of Atlantic, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Kirchner was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $5000 bond.

Salad pegged in Iowa, Neb. cyclospora outbreak

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Iowa and Nebraska health officials say a prepackaged salad mix is the source of a cyclospora outbreak that sickened more than 178 people in both states. Public health officials from both states announced their findings on Tuesday. Outbreaks of the same illness have been reported elsewhere in the U.S., but it’s not clear if prepackaged salad mix is also linked to those. Cyclospora is a rare parasite that causes a lengthy gastrointestinal illness.

Nebraska officials say the salad mix came through national distribution channels. It included iceberg and romaine lettuce, along with red cabbage and carrots. Local health departments are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to identify exactly where the contamination originated in the food production chain and where the product was distributed.

Law Enforcement Requests Public Help in Search for Suspect


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Iowa are asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted on several arrest warrants.

Troy Laufenberg

Troy Laufenberg

Troy Alan Laufenberg of Monona,is wanted for Child Endangerment (Class D Felony), Possession with Intent to Deliver (Class D Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance (Serious Misdemeanor), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Simple Misdemeanor).

The charges are a result of the collection and analysis of evidence seized during the execution of a search warrant on July 19, 2013 at the home of Troy Laufenberg and Emily Voshell.  The pair lived at 103½ E. Center Street in Monona, Iowa.   Officers were initially called to the residence on July 15 on report of an injured child.  That child remains hospitalized.

Laufenberg’s whereabouts however are unknown at this time. If you can assist officers in locating Laufenberg, please contact DCI Special Agent Mike Krapfl, 563-599-4239. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, and Monona Police Department are investigating.

Glenwood man suffers from abrasions during cycle accident


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from Glenwood suffered injuries to his arms, but was not transported to the hospital, following a motorcycle accident Monday morning, about 2 miles southwest of Glenwood. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office says Cody Weddon was traveling east on Highway 34 at around 7:25-a.m., and was slowing to make a right turn into the Mile Hill Lake parking lot, when his 2013 Honda motorcycle hit some loose gravel and went out of control, ending up on its side.

UNI looks at tuition discount to add enrollment


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – Faced with slumping enrollment, the University of Northern Iowa is considering discounting tuition for students from neighboring states.  UNI President William Ruud says a tuition discount program for entire states or regions could help lure more students to the Cedar Falls campus, which is projected to have an enrollment this fall of 11,800 students. That’s the school’s lowest total since 1989.

The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Board of Regents would need to approve such a plan. UNI experienced a drop in student enrollment after a major overhaul last year to close a $5 million budget gap. That included eliminating low-enrollment academic programs, cutting faculty staff and shuttering the Malcolm Price Laboratory School, a popular teacher training hub.

Branstad orders flags to half-staff in honor of Sioux City native Col. Bud Day


July 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today (Tuesday) ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, August 1, 2013, in honor of Iowa native, retired Col. George “Bud” Day. Day’s funeral will be on Thursday, August 1st, in Shalimar, Florida and he will be buried at Barrancas National Cemetery at Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

Col. George "Bud" Day (IA Aviation Museum/photo)

Col. George “Bud” Day (IA Aviation Museum/photo)

Gov. Branstad said “Bud Day loved this country and its people, and we are all better off as a result of his service. Bud Day was a hero to all, a friend to many and will be an inspiration to generations in the future.” He said also “I hope all Iowans will join me in recognizing this man and his extraordinary, unique career and contributions to his country.”

While flying a combat mission over North Vietnam, Day was shot down Aug. 26, 1967, captured by the North Vietnamese Army and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war. During his captivity in North Vietnam, Day and U.S. Sen. John McCain were cellmates at the Plantation and Hanoi Hilton prison camps. Day was released from captivity in March 1973 and retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1977.

Upon military retirement he moved to Florida, where he began a law practice that focused on advocating for veterans’ issues. Over the course of his 35-year military career, Day earned more than 70 awards for combat, including the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Vietnam. At the time of his death, Day was one of the nation’s most highly-decorated service members.