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7-a.m. SW IA News (podcast) Sat., Feb. 9th 2013

News, Podcasts

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

AHST to begin search for a new Superintendent


February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Superintendent of the A-H-S-T Community School District has announced his resignation. Mark Hopkins says his resignation takes effect at the end of the current school year. Hopkins is leaving the district to pursue a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership Studies, at the University of Iowa.

The A-H-S-T School Board is expected to begin the hunt for his replacement, with hopes Hopkins’ successor will be hired by early April.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Feb. 9th 2013


February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A young pig has won a reprieve from the frying pan just as Iowa’s popular bacon festival is about to begin. Governor Terry Branstad pardoned the 30-pound, 2 ½-month-old Berkshire pig named Bonnie yesterday morning.

SABULA, Iowa (AP) — For history buffs it might be the deal of a lifetime — an historic steel truss Mississippi River bridge free for the taking. There’s a catch though. The 1932 structure that connects Sabula, Iowa with Savanna, Illinois must be maintained at its new location forever. The Illinois Department of Transportation says before it considers demolition, it is required by federal regulations to offer the bridge to the public for free because it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City woman charged in the fatal beating of her young son will live at home until she goes to trial. Nineteen-year-old Mireya Balderas will live at home with her father under the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

STATE CENTER, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa High School Athletic Association official says two high schools are working out what should be done about an obscene message sent by one high school wrestling team to another. The Des Moines Register says the insult was written one letter at a time on the arms of the wrestlers lined up for a picture of the West Marshall High School team in State Center on Tuesday.

Cherokee man charged with attempted murder in Atlantic to stand trial Tuesday


February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A northwest Iowa man will appear in Cass County District court Tuesday, Feb. 12th, to stand trial on felony charges of Attempted Murder, Willful Injury causing bodily injury, Going Armed with Intent and Willful Injury causing serious injury. 38-year old Timothy Leigh Russell, of Cherokee has pleaded Not Guilty to the charges associated with a September 3rd 2012 incident in Atlantic,  during which he allegedly attacked a man during an early morning altercation in the 1200 block of Elm Street. Authorities said the attack involved the use of a shop tool or tools. The victim of the attack was never identified. They were initially taken to the Cass County Memorial Hospital before being transferred to a hospital in Omaha for surgery.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Russell remains in the Cass County Jail on $100,000 cash bond for the Attempt to Commit Murder charge. His trial is set to begin at 9:30-a.m. Tuesday.

Missouri Man Arrested in Fremont County


February 8th, 2013 by admin

Sheriff’s officials in Fremont County say a Missouri man was arrested Friday morning on a Trespassing  charge, after he allegedly boarded a train, opened several compartments and damaged the engine. 27-year old Joseph Wendell Wilson of Rockport, MO. was taken into custody, after authorities received a call from employees with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, who said that a man had boarded the train which was parked near the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street in Hamburg, and was causing damage.

Wilson was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $1,000 bond. Additional charges are pending.

Pacific Junction Man Arrested for Death of Child


February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety report a Pacific Junction man, 22-year old Colby Puckett, was arrested today (Friday), and charged with 1st Degree Murder in connection with the death of 13 month old Aliyanna May.

Colby Puckett (DPS photo)

Investigators determined that Puckett was the only adult with Aliyanna at the time she sustained injuries to her head and eyes.  Puckett is currently being held at the Mills County Jail.  His bond has been set at $1-million dollars.

Officials say at around 11-a.m. on Feb. 1st, the Mills County Communications Center received a 911 call reporting an unresponsive child located at 1101 Lincoln Avenue, Pacific Junction, Iowa.  Upon arrival, EMS personnel determined that Aliyanna needed immediate medical attention and she was transported to University Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska by medical helicopter.  Aliyanna was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit once medical personnel determined that she had extensive injuries to her eyes and brain.

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation once they were advised by UNMC medical staff that Aliyanna’s injuries were likely the result of abusive head trauma.

Aliyanna May died February 2nd at UNMC,as a direct result of her injuries.  An autopsy was conducted by the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday, February 3, 2013.  The State Medical Examiner determined Aliyanna’s death was the result of the head injuries she had sustained.  Her death was ruled a homicide.

The investigation into Aliyanna’s death is being conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Mills County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, and Mills County Attorney’s Office.


(A copy of the compliant and affidavit can be found here: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/commis/pib/Releases/2013/Puckett_MurderComplaint.pdf)

Restored barn burns to the ground in western IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A newly restored barn in rural Harrison County went up in flames Wednesday. The Missouri Valley Times reports the barn, located at 2731 Quentin Trail (five miles outside of Logan) started on fire around 10:15-am, Wednesday. Firefighters with the Logan Fire Department were the first to arrive on scene. Fire Chief Craig Charbonneau said the barn and another shed burned down quickly.

Firefighters from Woodbine, Missouri Valley, Magnolia and Modale were also on the scene, bringing anyway from 9-to 10,000 gallons of water altogether, but that wasn’t enough to save the structure, which was originally built in 1941, and completely restored last  November.

The loss, including an adjoining shed, was estimated at $45,000, not including the contents of the barn, which were still being inventoried. Firefighters were on the scene for more than two-hours. No injuries were reported.   Officials say an electrical issue appears to have been the cause of the fire.

Program Scheduled for Families in Caregiving Situations


February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A program for adult children and family members who are currently in or expect to be in a care-giving situation, will be held next month in Walnut. Sandra McKinnon, Iowa State University Extension family life program specialist and facilitator for the Caregiving Relationships program, says the workshop will be held Thursday, March 7th, from 7:00- to 9:15-pm, at the Walnut City Library in Walnut. The workshop is being offered free but registration is necessary. To register, call 712-482-6449.

McKinnon says research shows that spousal caregivers are more likely to provide care with help from adult children than to accept help from community supports or nonfamily members. The program helps adult children learn to recognize how caregiving affects relationships. It helps an adult child discover their role in making decisions about their parents’ later life. And a caregiver needs help to know how to ask for assistance and discuss difficult issues with family members.

McKinnon says the workshop also “Helps to build talking and listening skills, shares ideas on how to start the conversation, and how to say what you mean and hear what your parents or siblings say.”  It’s part of ISU Extension’s programming to address aging and family issues. Another program is available called Powerful Tools for Caregivers, a series of six workshops designed especially for family caregivers. If you are interested in this opportunity contact the East Pottawattamie County extension office at phone 712-482-6449.

Senate rejects one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits


February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A proposal to require a one-week waiting period before a laid off Iowa worker could get unemployment benefits has been rejected by the Iowa Senate. Iowa is one of just 10 states that do not have a waiting period and Senator Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, says it’s a consideration for businesses considering expansion or relocation. “When you lay out all the things: yeah, cut corporate tax; commercial tax; you know, income tax — all those little things that become tipping points, this is just one of those things,” Bertrand says.

Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, opposed the move. “I can’t believe that at a time when we’re just coming out of a recession and we’ve got high unemployment in the state of Iowa that you would offer…an amendment to this bill that would keep people in their first week of being laid off that would keep people from receiving any type of benefit at all,” Dotzler says.

Bertrand says Iowa’s lack of a waiting period penalizes businesses with temporary lay-offs, like Wilson Trailer in Sioux City. “They close down once a year for maintenance and their 325 employees come in, boom, day one and they drop unemployment claims on the employer. So what does that do?” Bertrand asks. “Well, it drives up their cost. Their unemployment tax goes up. It’s an additional cost in the long term.”

Dotzler says Bertrand’s proposal is written in such a way as to cut the maximum number of weeks for unemployment benefits from 26 to 25 weeks.  “What we’re really talking about is ripping off unemployed Iowans at a time when we’ve got a fragile economy. They’ve got no other income. They’ve got payments to make. They’ve got children to take care of,” Dotzler said. “And we are not going to give them the for decades?”

Twenty-two Republicans voted for the proposal, but it was defeated because all 26 Democrats and Republican Senator Brad Zaun  of Urbandale, voting against the one-week waiting period.

(Radio Iowa)

Contestants needed to compete for Ms. Wheelchair Iowa


February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Ms. Wheelchair Iowa Program is looking for a new spokeswoman for Iowans with disabilities. Judy Hoit, the program’s state coordinator, says the woman who is chosen to wear the crown must use a wheelchair for 100-percent of her daily mobility and be a U-S citizen between the ages of 21 and 60. “It’s not a beauty contest,” Hoit says. “The judging is done on achievements and accomplishments since the onset of the disability. We’re looking for people who are interested in advocating for disability issues and likes to speak in front of groups and also travel the state.”

The new Ms. Wheelchair Iowa will also be able to create her own platform to advocate for an issue about which she’s passionate. The deadline to apply to enter the Ms. Wheelchair Iowa program is next week, February 15th, while the contest itself is in about a month. “The event will be here in Iowa City on Saturday, March 16th, at Eagle’s Lodge,” Hoit says. “The titleholder for Iowa will compete in the national Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant which will be held in Houston, Texas, this year the week of July 15th.”

This is the 17th year for the contest in Iowa. Hoit, a polio survivor, was the first Ms. Wheelchair Iowa. To become a contestant, contact Hoit by email at Accnowjh@aol.com or phone at 319-351-8375.

(Radio Iowa)