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“The Donald” to speak during Pott County GOP event in May

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Donald Trump will be the featured speaker at this year’s Pottawattamie County GOP Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner on Friday, May 15th. According to the Daily NonPareil, the dinner will be held in the student center of Iowa Western Community College. Specifics – such as the starting time and the guest speaker who will introduce Trump – will be finalized later.

Jeff Jorgensen, chairman of the county Republicans says joining Trump, is former U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, who will be given the local party’s Distinguished Legislative Service Award for his 20 years in Washington. Besides being an internationally known businessman, investor and author, Trump is also known to millions as the host of the reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”

Trump is also said to becontemplating a bid to seek the Republican nomination for president. For more information, call Jorgensen at (402) 871-6505 or email requests to pottawattamie.gop@gmail.com.

Judge to consider defense’ request to dismiss charges against Osborn

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A judge in Pottawattamie County is expected to render his decision this (Thursday) afternoon, on a request for defense attorneys representing John Osborn, to dismiss the case against him. The 47-year old Council Bluffs man, a former assistant girls softball coach, is charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse for an alleged relationship with a 14-year-old girl. He’s alleged to have engaged in sex acts with the girl on the night of July 16, 2014, and into July 17. The Daily NonPareil report Osborn’s defense team filed the motion to dismiss charges after alleging impropriety by the prosecution.

Defense attorney Jordan Glaser argues in the motion that a piece of evidence obtained by the state in late January wasn’t made available until Feb. 6, the second day of trial, calling it “needlessly late.” The prosecution filed a resistance to the motion, denying the allegations made by the defense and asking for Fourth District Court Judge Richard Davidson to overrule the request to dismiss the case.

The state and defense rested their cases last Friday after calling a number of witnesses, including the alleged victim; Osborn; his wife, Michaela; and his daughter. Closing arguments were delayed to allow Glaser time to examine the documents in question, which include a series of text communications between the accuser and her boyfriend and Osborn’s daughter on the days in question.

When the prosecution presented part of the file as evidence during the testimony of the accuser at trial on Thursday, Glaser objected, saying he hadn’t seen the file. The trial continued, with a caveat that the evidence be turned over to the defense for examination. In the motion, Glaser writes that the time-stamp on “almost every single piece of information produced by the state” Friday showed the state had the information in its possession since Jan. 23.

In the resistance, Dan McGinn of the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office said most of the evidence was turned over before the trial started, on Feb. 3. He referred to messages provided on Friday as “immaterial and irrelevant information.”

Judge Davidson is scheduled to make a decision on the defense motion at 2 p.m. today before both sides deliver closing arguments.

North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas tickets win Powerball

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tickets in North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas have matched all six numbers to split a $564.1 million Powerball jackpot Sue Dooley, senior drawing manager for the Multi-State Lottery Association, says the Puerto Rico ticket was the first Powerball jackpot winner ever sold outside the continental United States. Puerto Rico joined Powerball less than a year ago. Dooley had no immediate information on the specific locations of where the tickets were sold.

Should the winners select the lump sum option, each would get a one-third share of $381,138,450.16 before taxes. The jackpot was the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery prize. The jackpot now goes back to $40 million.

The winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball 19.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Feb. 12 2015

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — They’ll have to share, but with a more than $564 million jackpot, that shouldn’t be a problem. Lottery officials say there are at least three winning tickets in Wednesday night’s big Powerball drawing. The winning tickets are in North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas. Should the winners select the lump sum option, each would get a little more than $127 million before taxes.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are differing greatly over bills that would decide when fall classes can start for Iowa school districts. A Senate education committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would give control to school districts. Lawmakers on a House education committee later approved a bill that would require classes to start on or after August 23rd, with a stipulation that school districts cannot seek a waiver to begin sooner.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A court is dismissing an order that required a University of Iowa medical official to pay $183,000 for unfairly revoking the clinical privileges of a subordinate. The Iowa Court of Appeals dismissed a claim yesterday against UI nuclear medicine director Michael Graham brought by former employee Ravi Sood.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — The IRS will return $344,000 in legal earnings that agents seized from a prominent Iowa neurologist over the way he withdrew his own money. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa dismissed a civil forfeiture case last week involving Mason City doctor Alireza Yarahmadi.

Cass County close to rolling out “Alert Iowa” system for cell phones & landlines

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

You can’t sign-up just yet, but soon, you’ll be able to receive Emergency Notification messages about storms, Amber Alerts, Boil Orders and more, in Cass County. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon, Wednesday (Today), told the Board of Supervisors the County has agreed to become part of the state-wide “Alert Iowa” system. The system is expected to become active in Cass County sometime within the next month.

Cass County Emergency Mgmt. Coordinator Mike Kennon talks about Alert IA.

Cass County Emergency Mgmt. Coordinator Mike Kennon talks about Alert IA.

The system can be used by state and local authorities to quickly disseminate emergency information to residents in counties that utilize the system. Persons with landlines are already on a data base for notification, but when the online registration form is active, persons with cell phones can register those numbers and their landline for notifications.

The system is available, free of charge, to all counties. Approximately three out of every four Iowa counties have now signed up to use the Alert Iowa system. In southwest Iowa, there are only six counties (Audubon, Adams, Fremont, Page, Taylor and Union), who have not jumped on the Alert Iowa bandwagon. Kennon says before it can be rolled out in Cass County, he, along with Sheriff Darby McLaren and 9-1-1 Coordinator Rob Koppert need to go through necessary training to prepare for the system’s activation.

When active in Cass County, Alert Iowa will allow citizens to sign up for the types of alerts they would like to receive. Messages can be issued via landline or wireless phone, text messaging, email, FAX, TDD/TYY, and social media. Messages may contain photo, video and audio attachments to help subscribers better understand the situation at hand, or where to find additional information. And, you can choose which city or cities you want to receive notifications for.

(Sample) Online registration form for Cass County/Alert IA,

(Sample) Online registration form for Cass County/Alert IA,

The media will release more information on the system when the roll-out date grows closer. For more, general information, go to http://homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/about_HSEMD/alert_iowa.html

(UPDATE) Strong sales raise Powerball jackpot to $500 million

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the Powerball jackpot has risen to an estimated $500 million, which would make it the fifth largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The lottery raised its jackpot estimate hours before Wednesday night’s drawing and has raised it twice since Saturday’s drawing by a total of about $105 million.  No one has won the Powerball jackpot for more than two months, so the prize has been growing gradually from its $40 million starting point.

It’s been nearly a year since a Powerball prize topped $400 million. Powerball is sold in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 175 million.

Lawmakers consider permitting more fireworks sales in Iowa

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – July 4th celebrations could get colorful in Iowa under proposed legislation that would legalize more fireworks sales in the state. The bill got subcommittee-level approval in the Senate Wednesday. Under the proposal, retailers could sell firecrackers, roman candles and other fireworks. Currently, the state only allows sales of certain “novelty fireworks” like sparklers.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, said that Iowa residents are already going to border states to buy fireworks. He said the current restrictions are not working and that a more permissive law could promote better safety education. Representatives from the fireworks industry offered support for the bill, while health care groups questioned the plan, saying it could lead to more injuries.

The measure now moves to a Senate committee for review.

House panel turns down bill on mountain lion protection

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A House panel has declined to approve a bill that would have prohibited most people in Iowa from killing mountain lions. Members of a natural resources subcommittee discussed the bill Wednesday. It will not advance in the legislature this session.

There is no current law that prevents a person from killing a mountain lion, also known as a cougar. The bill would have increased protection for the animals by specifying that a person accused of trapping, wounding or killing a mountain lion could be charged with a simple misdemeanor. That may lead to jail time or a fine.

The bill had exemptions, including for a person who spotted a mountain lion and feared for their safety. Lawmakers expressed concern about who would determine when a person was in danger.

Atlantic City Council to hold budget work session tonight

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic City Council will gather this (Wednesday) evening in their chambers at City Hall, to review the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget. The 5:30-p.m. work session also allows the Council to ask questions and make any necessary changes, but no action will be taken on approving the budget. City Administrator John Lund has set aside about 90-minutes for the session, as a fair percentage of the budget deals with personnel, supplies and contracted services that are in the budget every year. Lund says a second session can be scheduled or the meeting extended, if the Council desires.

Cass County Engineer says 45 bridges are “Structurally deficient”

News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to his report two-weeks ago on Cass County’s 5-year bridge replacement/repair plan, County Engineer Charles Marker today (Wednesday), told the Board of Supervisors out of 226 bridges in the County, 45 are “Structurally Deficient.” He says a bridge is deemed “Structurally deficient,” when the components of the bridge…the deck, the support beams, etc., cannot support a legal load limit. When a bridge cannot support the legal minimum load, it must be marked with a sign indicating the maximum weight limit.

To that end, Marker presented the Board with a Resolution – which they unanimously approved – setting the posted weight limits on bridges in the County. In making the announcement with regard to the 45 bridges in Cass County that are “Structurally deficient,” Marker noted a report in the Washington Post that said 21-percent of all bridges in Iowa are deemed structurally deficient, or second in the nation for problem bridges. Cass County is right along the lines of the State average, at 20-percent. He said that “Isn’t anything to brag about, but it’s good to know we’re the same as they are.”

Five-percent of the bridges in the State are also “Functionally Obsolete.”