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Western IA man accused of assault & child endangerment


December 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man accused of injuring a 5-month-old baby faces felony charges of assault and child endangerment. The Omaha World-Herald reports 23-year old Rodney Weatherwax was arrested Saturday. Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Martha Heinicke said Weatherwax allegedly injured the baby on at least three occasions. According to court documents, the infant had at least 20 fractures. Heinicke said varied stages of healing indicate that the injuries happened at different times.

According to the arrest affidavit, the injuries took place between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30. The baby was born July 26. On Nov. 30, the baby was admitted to Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital for failing to thrive. After the mother told doctors the suspect had punched the child in the face, doctors did X-rays and found multiple fractures. According to the arrest affidavit, Weatherwax told police that marijuana, cocaine and Xanax had been used by people watching the child. He told police he had fallen while holding the infant on Nov. 27.

Weatherwax has been charged with two counts of assault causing willful injury, one count of abandonment of a dependent person and one count of child endangerment. He was being held Monday in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $200,000 bond.


Sanders to campaign in southwest Iowa today


December 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is campaigning in Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa today and Wednesday. The Daily NonPareil reports the Vermont senator will hold a town meeting in Harlan beginning at 4-p.m., at the C.G. Therkildsen Activity Center (706 Victoria St.). Doors open at 3-p.m. Then at 7-p.m., he’ll hold a public meeting focusing on the economy at Iowa Western Community Center Kanesville Arena, in Council Bluffs (2700 College Road). Doors for the event open at 6-p.m.

On Wednesday, Sanders will hold a town meeting in Red Oak at the Red Coach Inn (1200 Senate Ave.), at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9:30. And, he plans to hold a private meeting with supporters at noon at Barley’s, (114 W. Broadway), in Council Bluffs.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early at the events.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Dec. 22nd 2015


December 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A weekly free meal at a Cedar Falls church has come to an end after 31 years because no one has volunteered to replace its coordinator. The First United Methodist Church served its last Community Meal Tuesday. Coordinator Becky Hardman had announced her retirement in June.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say several agencies will work together over the next several months to update the state’s response to cybersecurity threats. Gov. Terry Branstad announced an executive order yesterday that directs several state agencies to draft a formal cybersecurity strategy.

THOMPSON, Iowa (AP) — Construction on a proposed $92 million egg-processing facility in northern Iowa has been placed on hold because of a bird flu outbreak last spring. Officials said Friday that the plant to be constructed in Thompson is on hold until further notice. The plant was designed to create 197 jobs and process eggs supplied from new egg production facilities.

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel says it will host the seventh Republican presidential debate, taking place next month in Des Moines, Iowa ahead of that state’s caucuses. Fox said yesterday that the two-hour debate on Jan. 28 will be anchored by Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.

Branstad: Remaining 3 companies will offer Medicaid services


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says Medicaid recipients enrolled with a private company that now has a terminated state contract can be covered by one of three remaining companies set to take over the $4.2 billion program.

Branstad says three companies is an adequate number for providing managed care of Medicaid services in the state. His remarks Monday come after an official terminated the state’s contract with WellCare of Iowa on Friday.

Branstad says the Iowa Department of Human Services will contact people enrolled in WellCare to inform them about the remaining companies. Department spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy says about 140,000 people will be reassigned equally among the companies over several weeks.

WellCare says it will legally challenge its termination. McCoy says the department does not comment on pending litigation.

Glenwood man arrested on child endangerment warrant


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Friday of 23-year old James John Dimauro. The Glenwood man was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant for Child Endangerment. His bond was set at $2,000. Also arrested Friday, was 26-year old Sensi Amelia Herron, of Plattsmouth, NE. The woman was taken into custody for Possession of Controlled Substance. Bond was set at $1,000.

Des Moines woman arrested in Greenfield


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office reports a woman from Polk County was arrested last week on an Iowa Department of Corrections warrant for Parole Violation. 24-year old Meggen Anne Richards, of Des Moines, was arrested Dec. 15th by officers with the Greenfield Police Department.

Audubon Sheriff’s Dept. report: 3 arrests


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested recently in Audubon County. The Sheriff’s Office reports 26-year old Joseph Dean White, of Atlantic, was arrested Dec. 16th following an investigation into an incident which occurred Dec. 12th, in Exira. White was charged with Violation of a No Contact Order. He was brought to the Audubon County Jail and later released after appearing before a magistrate.

Also arrested Dec. 16th, was 28-year old Nikki Lorene Elizabeth Johnson, of Hamlin. She was charged with Violation of a No Contact Order following an investigation into an incident that took place Dec. 9th, in Hamlin. Johnson was also released from custody after appearing before a magistrate. The incident remains under investigation.

And, on Sunday (Dec. 20th), deputies in Audubon County arrested 37-year old Sheila Elizabeth Wurr, of Glidden, for OWI/1st offense. Her arrest followed a traffic stop at around 12:15-a.m. on Highway 71 and Broadway Street, in Audubon. Wurr posted bond and was released from the Audubon County Jail, with orders to appear in court on Dec. 28th.

Applications Now Accepted for Safe at Home; Statewide Program Launches Jan. 1


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate today (Monday), announced that his office is now accepting applications for people interested in participating in the Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and stalking.

Pate says “This program is about helping victims of violence become survivors. My office has worked diligently to institute the Safe at Home program in Iowa and we are prepared for the full launch on January 1. I urge anyone who is looking for a way out of an abusive situation, so that they can move forward with their lives, to consider the Safe at Home program.”index

Secretary Pate estimates around 150 applicants will sign up for the Safe at Home program within the first six months, and that number will grow to around 500 within the first two years. Pate’s office will work closely with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault to institute and promote the program.

Iowa joins 33 other states across the country in adopting an address confidentiality program. The Safe at Home bill received unanimous support in both chambers of the Iowa Legislature, and was signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad in May.

To learn more about the Safe at Home program or to register, visit www.SafeatHome.iowa.gov. Applications are also available through state agencies across Iowa, victims’ advocacy groups across the state, and at law enforcement centers.

Branstad executive order calls for state cyber security plan


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad has issued an executive order that calls on state agencies to draft a “cyber security” strategy. In addition, the governor is asking his Homeland Security agency to update its emergency response plan to “deal with the physical consequences of a cyber attack on critical infrastructure” like the electrical grid, water supplies or transportation networks.

“It’s hard to predict what it could be or where it could come from,” Brasntad says. “But this is something that being prepared and being vigilant and trying to put in place as many safeguards as possible hopefully avoids these kind of things happening in our state.” Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says a year ago the governor assembled a working group to discuss ways for state government and the private sector in Iowa to “prevent, detect, respond and recover” from a cyber attack.

“Every day we hear about new threats and successful and high-profile attacks and the serious consequences of those attacks,” Reynolds says. “It is a rapidly growing threat and we all know that we must be prepared to respond.” State officials say there is no “credible threat” they know of today, but they’re mum about whether previous threats have been thwarted.

In 2012, a hacker in another country tapped into South Carolina’s computer servers and got access to more than three-and-a-half million Society Security numbers belonging to South Carolina taxpayers. In the past few years there have been data breaches at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, but the governor’s executive order on cyber security does not apply to the three Regents universities.

Branstad’s order only applies to executive branch agencies. Branstad’s chief information officer will work with administrators from the Iowa National Guard, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Communications Network and the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department to come up with a cyber security report by July 1st.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors to act on resolution supporting jobs program


December 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will act Wednesday morning on three resolutions to come before them. According to their agenda, the Board will act on approving a Resolution for Livestock Facility Construction Evaluation (otherwise known as the “Master Matrix”), a Resolution supporting the U-S Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and a Resolution approving sponsorship of and a local match application to, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) High Quality Jobs Program for Farmers Energy Cardinal, LLC.

The meeting begins at 8:30-a.m. in the Supervisors’ Board Room at the Cass County Courthouse, in Atlantic.