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Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., March 6th 2015

News

March 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — The mother of a slain 5-year-old Iowa girl says she recalls the search that ensued after she discovered her daughter was missing. Noel Miller and officials involved in investigating the girl’s death testified yesterday in the trial of 35-year-old Casey Frederiksen, who is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. Prosecutors allege Frederiksen sexually abused Evelyn Miller and stabbed her to death while babysitting her in 2005. He was arrested in 2012.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of posing as an actor from the “Twilight” movies to entice girls in Iowa has pleaded guilty to federal possession of child pornography charges. U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt says 33-year-old David LaVera of San Diego, entered his plea deal yesterday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The parents of a detainee killed after escaping from an Iowa State Patrol car have filed a legal claim alleging a trooper violated policy in leaving him unattended. Attorney Joe Cacciatore said yesterday the claim with the State Appeal Board seeks to hold the patrol accountable for errors that contributed to Matthew Lentzkow’s November 1st death.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Senior forward Aaron White arrived in Iowa City as a scrawny kid that few outside of suburban Cleveland, Ohio had ever heard of. He’ll leave as one of the greatest players the Hawkeyes have ever had. White and the Hawkeyes host Northwestern Saturday in search of their first six-game Big Ten winning streak in 28 years.

Pott. County courthouse adds more security measures

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County say the County will be implementing additional security measures at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs, beginning Monday, March 9th. Sheriff Jeff Danker said in a Press Release, that in an effort to provide a safer workplace and place of business, an x-ray machine and walk through metal detector have been installed in the first floor lobby of the courthouse.

The machines will screen individuals and personal belongings for weapons and other contraband not allowed into the building. Prohibited items include firearms, knives or any other weapons, including items which could be used as a weapon as determined by the Sheriff’s Office. In an effort to expedite the screening process Danker says you should only bring required or necessary items with you into the courthouse to conduct your business.

Pickup and van collide in Anita: No injuries

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A collision between a pickup and a van last week in Cass County caused $6,200 damage, but no one was injured. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says deputies had responded just before 4-p.m. on February 25th, to a report of a two-vehicle accident in Anita. Officials say a 2013 Ford F350 pickup driven by 24-year old Shane Michael Suhr, of Anita, was eastbound on Locust Street when a 2000 Dodge Caravan owned and driven by 35-year old David Joel Case, of Anita, backed from a driveway in front of Suhr’s vehicle. Suhr attempted to stop but was unable to due to road conditions. Case was cited for Failure to Have Insurance.

Atlantic woman arrested on Meth charges

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports an Atlantic woman was arrested Thursday on three Cass County warrants. 56-year old Mary Helen Adams faces charges that include: Delivery of Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense (Aggravated Misdemeanor), Prohibited Acts (Aggravated Misdemeanor), Possession of Marijuana (Serious Misdemeanor), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Adams was taken to the Cass County Jail where she remains held on $10,000 bond.

And, in Tuesday (March 3rd) deputies in Cass County arrested 27-year old Aaron Lee Ihnken, of Atlantic,  on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Ihnken was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $10,000 bond.

House fire in Atlantic Thu. evening

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A mother and two children escaped a residential fire in Atlantic, Thursday afternoon.

Photo submitted

Photo submitted

The call about smoke coming from 103 Cedar came in at around 4:20-p.m. from a motorist passing by. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said when the first crews arrived there was smoke coming from the roof.

Photo submitted

Photo submitted

Photo submitted

Photo submitted

McNees said it appears the fire was caused by electrical wiring between the ceiling and floor joists. He said the whole top floor is destroyed and the house sustained extensive water damage. The house was a rental property occupied by Dusty Jones and her seven month old and nine-year old children. The family was being assisted by neighbors and the Red Cross.

Court dates set in 2nd Roger Ericksen sex abuse case

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The court dates have been set for a former Cass County man who faced sexual abuse allegations. According to the Cass County Attorney’s Office, an arraignment hearing for 56-year old Roger Allen Ericksen is set for March 16th, followed by a Pre-Trial Conference on April 6th, and Trial on May 27th. Ericksen faces 10 counts of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree, which is classified as a Class-B felony.

Ericksen, who was living in Underwood, was arrested by Cass County Sheriff’s deputies on Feb. 23rd, and remains in the Cass County Jail on $25,000 bond. A complaint filed in Cass County District Court says a Cass County Deputy interviewed a juvenile at Project Harmony, in Omaha, who alleged she was sexually assault by Ericksen several time in 2011. In an interview with the Cass County Deputy, Ericksen admitted to having sexual contact with the female.

In Dec. 2012, Ericksen pled guilty to Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree, stemming from a prior case.  In the previous case, Ericksen was given a 10-year suspended sentence and ordered to register was Sex Offender. He was also ordered to live in a residential correctional facility.

Workers at state mental health facility get layoff notices

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Layoff notices are going out to employees at a state mental health institution in Mount Pleasant that is slated for closure. Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy McCoy says Thursday that notices had gone out to 36 workers. The layoffs will be effective April 6. There currently are about 74 people working at the facility.

Under Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposed budget, funding would be eliminated for mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. Branstad says the hospitals are old and that people can seek mental health treatment from other providers, including two state mental health institutions in Cherokee and Independence.

Democratic lawmakers say the Republican governor is ignoring the fact that the Legislature appropriated money for the institutions. A Branstad spokesman says the change will lead to better care.

Bill seeks to restrict protests at military funerals

News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bill that would double the size of the “buffer zone” between protesters and mourners at an Iowa soldier’s funeral is eligible for debate in the Iowa House. Representative Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton, is the bill’s sponsor. “In my opinion, you don’t have a First Amendment right to disrupt a peaceful assembly of those that are gathering to mourn fallen loved ones who died for this country,” Kaufmann says. A 2006 Iowa law forbids protestors from being within 500 feet of a military funeral and Kaufmann’s bill would extend that zone to a thousand feet.

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs executive director Robert King is also director of the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. “We’ve never dealt with this at the cemetery in the two years that I’ve been there,” King says. “However, I can’t imagine the anguish that a family would endure if we had a bunch of people show up to protest.” The Phelps family from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, has staged dozens of anti-gay protests at military funerals. Representative Jake Highfill, a Republican from Johnston, says it’s a First Amendment right to protest, even though he’s no fan of the Phelps family.

“I believe there’s a special place in hell for people like this. These people are just the bottom of the barrel,” Highfill says. “But people did not die for this country to just protect the people that are popular. The First Amendment right is not here to protect the popular opinion. It’s there to protect the minority opinion.” Representative Zach Nunn, a Republican from Bondurant, was deployed three times when he was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He says burying a fallen soldier is a sacred act and this bill gets his support.  “When those who would perpetrate hate speech and attempt to cover it as a First Amendment right, it becomes difficult, then, to be able to support that level of intrusion…into a family suffering’s right to privacy.”

The bill cleared the Iowa House Judiciary Committee last night (Wednesday) by a 21-to-zero vote. The bill would give the families of fallen soldiers the right to sue protesters for “inflicting emotional distress” during a funeral or burial service. Such lawsuits could seek up to 10-thousand dollars for each family member if the bill becomes law. A member of the Phelps family told The Cedar Rapids Gazette “whiny, crybaby legislators” in Iowa were pushing this bill. Six Phelps family members staged a protest at the statehouse in January, but their chanting and singing was drowned out by the engine-revving Patriot Guard Riders. The group of motorcyclists travels the country to provide a buffer zone around the Westboro Baptist protesters wherever they go.

(Radio Iowa)

Western IA Watershed Quality Initiative to receive funding

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A watershed project that spans three counties in the KJAN listening area has received a grant amounting to $354,000 toward the total project cost of $713,000. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Thursday) announced the Elk Run Watershed Quality Initiative Project in Sac, Carroll and Calhoun Counties, headed up by Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance, is one of three such projects across the state selected to receive a total of $1.4-million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative, over the next three years.

In addition to the state funds, the three projects, including those in Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Story, Boone and Hamilton Counties, will provide an additional $1.4-million in matching funds to support qater quality improvement  efforts, as well as other, in-kind contributions. The selected projects will join 13 targeted Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects that were previously funded to help implement and demonstrate water quality practices.

The demonstration watersheds selected cover 274,596 acres. More than 30 partners from agricultural organizations, institutions of higher education, private industry, local, state and federal government and others, are working together on the projects.

DNR Listening Session ON fall hunting and trapping regulations rescheduled for march 25

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has rescheduled a public meeting over the Iowa Communications Network for March 25 from 6 to 9 p.m., to listen to the public’s thoughts on the hunting and trapping regulations for this fall. Meetings will be held in Atlantic, Boone, Calmar, Chariton, Clear Lake, Council Bluffs, Creston, Dubuque, Eldridge, Johnston, Marshalltown, Monroe, Ottumwa, Sac City, Sergeant Bluff, Sheldon, Spencer, Tiffin, Tripoli and West Burlington.

Complete ICN locations are available online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting. The meetings are part of the process for making rules in state government. At each meeting DNR staff will facilitate a discussion about what went well last fall, what didn’t, and what changes hunters and trappers would like to see for this fall.

These discussions along with the data that the wildlife bureau collects on harvest and population numbers will be used to develop recommendations for any rule changes this fall. Any changes must be approved by the Natural Resource Commission and then go back to the public for further comment before taking effect next fall.