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State taxes for fiscal year top $8 BILLION

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

For the first time in state history, overall state tax collections for a fiscal year have topped eight BILLION dollars. State officials have to subtract tax refunds and local option sales tax payments to schools from that eight BILLION dollar figure. It represents GROSS state tax receipts. That means NET state tax collections were over six-point-six BILLION for the state fiscal year that ended Tuesday.

A report from the Legislative Services Agency indicates state tax collections grew by six percent over the 12 month period. That growth rate beat the official expectation of five and a half percent growth in state tax revenue during the fiscal year.

The six percent increase amounts to nearly 377-MILLION dollars in additional tax payments to the state this fiscal year compared to the last one. The increase was spurred by a nearly six percent increase in personal income tax payments to the state, plus corporate income tax payment to the state were up by about five percent. Sales and use tax payments to the state were up by more than four percent. That’s just under the prediction from a three-member panel that sets an official estimate of state tax collections. Lawmakers use that prediction as the basis for their state budget plan.

(Radio Iowa)

2 Iowans take deals in marijuana-for-sale cases

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WALL LAKE, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa woman is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 5 after pleading guilty to selling marijuana from the home she shares with her four children. The Sioux City Journal reports that 37-year-old Laura Lawler was convicted Wednesday in Sac County District Court. Prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange for her plea.

The father of the children, 38-year-old Jason Ransom, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge after several other charges were dropped in exchange for his plea. He was given a deferred judgment and a year of probation. Under a deferred judgment, the conviction will be removed from Ransom’s record if he successfully completes probation.

Officers say they found bags of marijuana locked in rooms and two measuring scales during a search of Lawler’s home on March 22.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 7/2/2015

News, Podcasts

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Former coach denies allegations he choked 7-year-old boy

News, Sports

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) – An assistant high school basketball coach has denied that he choked a 7-year-old boy at the man’s residence in western Iowa. The Daily Nonpareil reports that Michael Doner is charged with assault causing injury. The 40-year-old is due back in court on July 9th. Doner’s attorney, Chad Primmer, told the newspaper that Doner “denies the allegations and looks forward to his day in court.”

Authorities say the boy was choked on May 21 at Doner’s home in Treynor. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says that when authorities interviewed the boy, marks were found on his neck. Doner has told athletic officials at St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs that he would not be part of the school’s boys basketball coaching staff this coming season.

OK man arrested for assault in Creston

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Oklahoma was arrested Wednesday on an assault charge, in Creston. The Creston P-D says 42-year old Gustavo Parra-Bello, of Hugo, OK, was arrested at around 4:20-p.m. at the Union County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) for Simple Assault. The man was later released on a citation to appear in court.

Also arrested Wednesday in Creston, was 40-year old Jason Michael Spelts (whose address is unknown). Spelts was arrested at the Union County LEC at around 4:20-p.m., for Public Intoxication, and also released on a citation to appear later in court.

And early this (Thursday) morning, 37-year old Delbert Thomas Davis, of Clearfield, was arrested in Creston on a charge of Driving While Suspended. He was subsequently released on $300 bond.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 7/2/2015

News, Podcasts

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Electronic court filing now available in all 99 counties

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa court system reached a milestone Wednesday as all 99 counties now have electronic filing. Court communications officer, Steve Davis, says it’s a monumental achievement for the courts. “The biggest part of this is access to justice,” Davis says, “now people can access the courts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which they weren’t able to do before.” Davis says a variety of people need access to court records.

Attorneys are large users with their cases, but there’s also a lot of Iowans who represent themselves in court. Small claims cases and cases like those where they might be able to work in the evening and file documents in the evening where previously they would have had to take time off of work and go to the courthouse,” Davis says. The electronic filing system makes it easier for everyone working on a case.

“It makes all the files available the parties at the same time — that’s one big convenience. Because, previously if someone else had the case file and someone else wanted to see a document in it, they’d have to wait. Now multiple people can view the same file at the same time,” according to Davis. The electronic system also cuts down on courtroom clutter.

“It removes a lot of the stacks of files and papers on that are on clerks’ desks that needed to be filed manually. Now they are filed electronically so they are not taking up as much space in the courtroom,” he says. The first electronic documents were filed in Plymouth County five years ago, and the system was then expanded to cover every county.

“It was tweaked and refined and the bugs were worked out,” Davis explains. “It’s a totally unique system to Iowa, it’s not an off-the-shelf program that we just took and implemented. The I-T department developed it and worked slowly so it works well for everyone.” The Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) includes more than six million documents filed by nearly 88-thousand users.

(Radio Iowa)

New Atlantic Public Library Director introduced to CC

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, was introduced to Natalie Struecker, the new Director of the Atlantic Public Library.

Natalie Struecker (from her Linked-In page)

Natalie Struecker (from her Linked-In page)

Struecker worked at the Rock Island, IL, Public Library, before coming to Atlantic, but she’s a native of Des Moines. She attended ISU and later received a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Struecker has a background in programming and technology and has worked in libraries over the course of the past 18-years.

Iowan takes plea deal on charges he supplied beer to teen

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 21-year-old man has made a plea deal on charges that he had provided alcohol to an underage youth who later was involved in a collision that killed two teenage girls. The Sioux City Journal reports that Matthias Stork, of Breda, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15. He’s pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of selling, giving or supplying alcohol to a minor.

Prosecutors reduced the charges from felonies in exchange for Stork’s pleas. The deal also calls for a jail sentence of 360 days, with all but 45 days suspended, and two years of probation. Prosecutors say Stork supplied beer to Trevor Feauto in August. The 18-year-old Feauto, of Clarksville, has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide.

Fugitive out of MO. arrested in Grant

News

July 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man wanted on warrants out of Missouri for being e Fugitive from Justice, was arrested late Wednesday night, in Montgomery County. Authorities say 41-year old Scott Roy Michaels, of Grant, was arrested at around 10:20-p.m. in the 1100 block of U Avenue, in Grant. Michaels was being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail, while awaiting extradition to Missouri.