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Fremont County man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a child

News

February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Fremont County said Thursday a 66-year-old man from Sidney was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into allegations he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl. In a Press Release, the Sidney Police Department says Roger C. Kissel was arrested on charges of second-degree sex abuse, lascivious acts and indecent exposure.  Kissel was being held without bond in the Fremont County Jail.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the incident.

 

Tenn., Ill. and Iowa get grant to improve safety

News

February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa are receiving a grant to increase public safety by sharing criminal justice information. According to a news release from the National Governors Association, state-level reforms aimed at reducing recidivism, lowering corrections costs and improving safety may not work as well if states don’t have a good way of sharing corrections information with each other.

The states receiving the grant will get guidance and technical assistance from the National Governors Association and experts in the private sector, research organizations and academia. The program is called the Cross Boundary Corrections Information Exchange Policy Academy. It is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Feb. 21st 2014

News

February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha-based economist says a survey of bankers in Nebraska, Iowa and eight other Midwest states suggests that economic growth is slowing down. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the overall index’s decline shows that “areas of the nation highly dependent on agriculture and energy are losing economic steam.”

AMES, Iowa (AP) — The Ames Public Library is scheduled to re-open today after a norovirus sickened 30 employees earlier this week. The illnesses caused the library to close its doors on Wednesday and Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Des Moines say recent runoff caused by warmer weather has affected the taste and odor of water. Des Moines Water Works says extra runoff in the water supply has caused the utility to use more chlorine in its finished product. The change has been going on for three weeks. The utility says the water is safe to drink and use.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for a Minnesota man charged with killing his wife in Iowa in 1997 says the man has prostate cancer and only a few months to live. John Bloomfield’s attorney asked an Iowa judge to release Bloomfield from custody so he can live his final months at home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prosecutors oppose the request saying Bloomfield is receiving excellent medical care at a prison hospital. Judge Paul Miller in Iowa City says he’ll rule soon.

Harlan man sentenced for shooting a Bluffs woman & her infant

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Shelby County who was arrested in connection with the Feb. 12th 2013 shooting in Council Bluffs of a woman and her infant son, was sentenced Thursday to 25-years in prison after making a plea deal with prosecutors. The Daily NonPareil reports 30-year old Ronald Farr, Jr., plead guilty to charges of Attempted Murder and Willful Injury Causing Bodily Injury. Farr was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of willful injury causing bodily injury and one count of going armed with intent.

Farr was sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting 22-year old Heather Wilson. The incident took place in the parking lot outside Wilson’s apartment building in Council Bluffs. Wilson was putting her children – Tyson, then 19 months, and a 4-year-old – in her car at 5:40 a.m. when gunfire erupted. A neighbor heard the shots and ran out of his apartment to find Wilson lying on the ground. Wilson had been shot eight times. One of those rounds struck Wilson – then her infant – in the right arm. Both recovered from their wounds.

Investigators said it was $6,000 from a tax return that set the shooting in motion. Council Bluffs police detectives had pieced together information from witnesses and arrested Farr at his home in Harlan. Farr will serve his jail time concurrently with a 5-year sentence for willful injury causing bodily injury. He must serve 17-and-a-half years before he is eligible for parole.

Murdered Springfield, MO. girl has ties to Red Oak

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Springfield, Missouri girl who was kidnapped and murdered Tuesday afternoon, allegedly by a middle school football coach, has ties to southwest Iowa. The Red Oak Express reports 10-year old Hailey Owens is the daughter of Markus and Stacey Owens, of Springfield, MO., and granddaughter of Mark Scanlan, of Red Oak. Hailey’s great-grandmother, Connie Sparr, also lives in Red Oak.

Photo from the Porch lights for Hailey Owens Facebook page.

Photo from the Porch lights for Hailey Owens Facebook page.

The 4th grader was abducted as she was walking home from a friend’s house less than two-blocks away. Her body was found four-hours later inside Craig Woods’ basement. Woods has been charged with 1st degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action. He plead not guilty to the charges this (Friday) morning. Woods was being held without bond in the Greene County, MO, jail. Authorities have said there is no known connection between the girl and Wood.

Local residents are urged to leave their porch light on overnight for the next couple days and wear pink and purple Friday in memory of Hailey.

Since Owens’ death, several Facebook sites have been created to pay tribute to her and  honor her memory. One is “Porch Lights for Hailey Owens,” which encourages people to  to leave their porch light on overnight until Sunday. Another site, “Wear Pink/Purple Friday in Honor of Hailey Owens” encourages people to dress in Hailey’s favorite colors for the day, on Friday.

 

Braley stops in Atlantic, Wednesday

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Democratic Party Chair Sherry Toelle reports U-S Congressman Bruce Braley held a spirited discussion with 31 citizens from different counties Wednesday, at the Atlantic Family Table Restaurant.

Bruce Braley (Sherry Toelle/photo)

Bruce Braley (Sherry Toelle/photo)

Braley talked about his years growing up in Brooklyn, Iowa before moving to Waterloo where he and his wife raised their three children and where he practiced law for 23 years until he was elected to the US House of Representatives from Iowa’s First District. He called himself a “passionate spokesperson for the middle class, fighting for those people who have been marginalized and pushed out of the middle class”.

He talked also about the effects of Citizens United on his campaign, citing the monetary influence that unknown people are using to formulate negative ads against him. Topics discussed during the 50 minute event included mandatory minimum sentencing for federal crimes, the Affordable Care Act, and getting the youth and minorities of the country involved in politics.

Some in the crowd cited issues with the ACA, saying that they could get insurance at a lower cost outside the exchange. Others cited family members benefiting from the ACA, receiving insurance for conditions that they could not previously have had covered. Braley said that the bottom line to the ACA is that “people have benefitted from the the ACA, giving people a new lease on life”, allowing people to change jobs without worry that they will lose their health care coverage and allowing people with pre-existing conditions to have health care coverage for the first time.

Braley is running for the US Senate seat that will be open due to Senator Tom Harkin’s planned retirement at the end of his current term.

USDA releases key Census of Agriculture report

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of farms in Iowa has fallen but the total land farmed in the state has remained stable. The Census of Agriculture, a report released every five years, says the number of Iowa farms fell 4.5 percent to 88,631 in 2012 from 92,856 in 2007. The report released Thursday updates a wide range of agricultural statistics as of 2012.

The average size of a farm grew to 345 acres from 331 acres. Land farmed in the state declined by just over 130,000 acres to 30.6 million acres. The average age of an Iowa farmer increased to 57 from 56. The value of Iowa’s agricultural products rose 50 percent to $30.81 billion from $20.41 billion in 2007.

Bus crashes on I-80 in Adair County, Thursday

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three people were injured when a bus carrying passengers from Omaha to Des Moines was involved in an accident Thursday afternoon, in Adair County. KCCI in Des Moines reports a MegaBus went out of control and crashed at around 12:25-p.m., near the Greenfield ramps on eastbound Interstate 80.The bus’ wheels became separated from the axle and the windshield was smashed.

Two Megabus employees and two passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash. Stuart and Menlo rescue crews took three people to a hospital to be checked out.

2 women injured in Cass County accident

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two women were injured during an accident Thursday afternoon on Interstate 80 in Cass County. The Iowa State Patrol says a 2007 Chevy van driven by 19-year old Diana Cabanas, of West Covina, CA, was traveling west on I-80 near the Anita exit at around 2-p.m., when the van went out of control on the icy road, entered the median. The driver’s side impacted the guard rail causing Cabanas, and her passenger, 21-year old Danielle Perkins, from Offutt Air Force Base, to be injured. Both women were wearing their seat belts.

The women were transported by Anita Rescue to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment.

 

Survey suggests Midwest economy losing steam

News

February 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An economist says a survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states suggests the regional economy is losing steam. The Rural Mainstreet Index dropped below growth neutral in the February survey, hitting 48.4, compared with 50.8 in January and 56.1 in December. The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the overall index’s decline shows that “areas of the nation highly dependent on agriculture and energy are losing economic steam.”

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.