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Senator Ernst takes lead in bill to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood


July 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst took the lead Wednesday, in introducing a bill that would cut federal funds to Planned Parenthood in the wake of the release of videos showing leaders in the organization talking about harvesting body parts from aborted babies to be sold. Ernst was joined at a Washington, D-C news conference by seven other Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“The recent footage depicting Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs — heart, liver, kidneys — of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and vial,” Ernst says. “The American people, Republicans and Democrats alike, are horrified by the utter lack of compassion shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies.” Ernst says people in both parties are upset by the videos, including a Democrat candidate for president.

“In fact, now Hillary Clinton is calling these Planned Parenthood images ‘disturbing.’ And I agree. These videos are hard for anyone to defend, and hit at the moral fiber of our society,” Ernst says. Ernst says the bill she is backing will take away federal dollars from Planned Parenthood. “In addition to de-funding Planned Parenthood, our legislation ensures that federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood will be made available to other entities that provide health services for women,” Ernst says. She says the bill won’t hurt the availability of health services for women.

“I want to make clear that there will be no reduction in overall federal funding to support women’s health,” according to Ernst. Ernst was asked if the bill would also include state funding. “What we are discussing right now is just that federal legislation, and then how those state dollars, local dollars are handled, is another issue that will have to be addressed later on,” Ernst says. She was also asked if she is against all research using fetal tissue.

“That is a separate issue. What we’re seeing right now is absolutely reprehensible. There are a number of questions that have been raised by these videos,” Ernst says. “I have joined and led 49 other Senators in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking that she take a look at this. We want to make sure that any documents regarding this issue are preserved and that she is doing a thorough investigation. And we will see what the results are after she does that.” Other Republican Senators who appeared with Ernst are: Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas; Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota; Deb Fischer of Nebraska; Johnny Isakson of Georgia; James Lankford of Oklahoma, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign released this statement from Jill June, the former president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in response to the Republican Senator’s news conference: “Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood are nothing but a callous and political attempt to put ideology ahead of the health and well-being of Iowa women. We’ve seen this movie before. Senator Ernst and other Republican senators should drop their latest attack on Planned Parenthood that provides health care each year to nearly 60,000 patients in Iowa and surrounding states, including in hard to serve rural areas. Hillary Clinton believes health care should be left between a woman and her doctor – full stop. It’s time politicians stop trying to insert themselves in these personal decisions and instead focus on the issues Iowans elected them to solve.”

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines; Thu., July 30th 2015


July 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The founder of a large transportation company based in Cedar Rapids has died. CRST International, once known as Cedar Rapids Steel Transport, says Herald “Smitty” Smith Junior. died Monday at his home in eastern Wisconsin following a brief illness. He was 91. Smith founded the company in 1955.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in eastern Iowa are increasing their presence at recreational trails in the area after a woman said she was sexually assaulted while jogging at a state park in Waterloo. The Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office tells KWWL-TV authorities are encouraging people to stay alert and to use the trails with a friend.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Federal authorities believe a man suspected of robbing a credit union in Iowa with an assault rifle is the same man suspected of robbing banks in several states. The FBI says the “AK-47 Bandit” robbed banks in California, Idaho and Washington in 2012 and a bank in Nebraska in 2014. Authorities say a man entered the Iowa Heartland Credit Union in Mason City on Tuesday wearing a black ski mask.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Some residents of a mobile home park in Davenport say they still don’t know where they’ll live next as a deadline looms to leave the property. The Quad-City Times reports that Lake Canyada Mobile Home Park residents were notified by the park’s management company, CFLane, that they must leave before the end of the day Friday.

AtlanticFest is Coming Soon…


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A reminder from the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce: Mark Saturday August 8th on your calendar, because that’s the date for AtanticFest! Downtown Atlantic will be filled with fun activities for all ages. Come early and enjoy a pancake breakfast, or start the day off with a run through town in the Annual Road Race with a new route, or enjoy a leisurely Tractor Ride.atlanticfestlogo

There will be crafters from all over southwest Iowa, as well as some of the best food vendors to help satisfy any appetite. Kids can enjoy the pony rides and bounce house, while the adults can relax in the beer garden or play in the all new Bags Tournament. There’s free entertainment throughout the day, including local favorites Glass House Prophet, and Dirt Road Divide.

Make sure you also enjoy the 17th Annual Car Show and Motorcycle Show, as there will be some amazing vehicles there that you can’t see anywhere else. AtlanticFest is brought to you by our presenting sponsor First Whitney Bank & Trust. AtlanticFest will be Saturday August 8th, with Something for Everyone.

For more information about AtlanticFest, you can go to www.AtlanticIowa.com
or call the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at (712)243-3017.

Woman hurt in Council Bluffs altercation


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs say a woman suffered a minor head wound during an altercation Wednesday afternoon. Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says officials received word at around 12:37-p.m. that a stabbing had just occurred at 2610 Avenue B. Officers responded.

An investigation determined 33 year old Jennifer Miller and 51 year old Carol Packard had been involved in a physical disturbance in front of the residence they shared, and at some point during the disturbance, Packard displayed a folding knife and swung it several times at Miller.

Miller suffered from a small puncture wound to left side of her head. She was transported to Mercy Hospital by ambulance, treated and released. Packard was arrested for aggravated assault and transported to Pottawattamie County Corrections.

(Update) Suspect in Cass County I-80 faces eluding & other charges


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Updated 7/30 w/full name of suspect & city of residence)

A 18-year old man from Sioux City who tried to evade an Iowa State Patrol Trooper on Interstate 80 eastbound in Cass County this (Wednesday) morning, suffered from an apparent back injury when he wrecked the vehicle in a ditch near the Marne exit off I-80 eastbound. He was not wearing a seat belt. Iowa State Patrol Trooper Jim Bullington told KJAN News the incident began at around 7:42-a.m., near the Walnut exit.

He says Senior Trooper Craig Zenor was traveling eastbound on I-80 when a car came up behind his patrol vehicle. The suspect’s car was traveling 15-miles per hour over the posted speed limit. When Zenor pulled the vehicle over, the driver got out and gave a false name to the Trooper. A check of the man’s ID in his wallet showed the driver’s name was Jacob Parker Erickson.

Shortly thereafter, Erickson got out of the Trooper’s car and into the stolen vehicle, a 1999 Chrylser Concorde, and took off. A pursuit began, with speeds up to 100-miles per hour. Erickson exited the interstate at the Marne exit at a high rate of speed, where he lost control of the car, which vaulted across the exit and landed in a field on the southeast side of the exit.

The car was totaled in the crash. Erickson fled the vehicle on foot, ran up a hill and into some heavy brush and “hunkered down next to a tree.” Trooper Kenny Jensen, who was flying nearby in preparation for a traffic enforcement mission, was able to see the suspect from the air crawling on his hands and knees, and kept him under observation until authorities could arrive on the scene.

K9 units from the Cass and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Departments arrived on the scene at virtually the same time. After Erickson was warned the dogs would be deployed, he surrendered without incident at around 8:17-a.m.  Trooper Bullington says authorities confirmed the car was stolen out of Sioux City, along with tools that were found inside the vehicle.

Erickson was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs for treatment of his injuries. When he’s released, he’ll be taken into custody on warrants for Felony eluding, OWI, and numerous traffic violations. The Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers assisted the State Patrol and Sheriff’s deputies in handling the incident.

Reports: Iowa universities’ savings may take longer, be less


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Parts of a major cost-savings initiative at Iowa’s three public universities may not save as much or happen as fast as initially projected. Last year, the Iowa Board of Regents and Deloitte Consulting predicted the universities would save $16-$40 million in two years by renegotiating purchasing contracts.

Mark Braun, who’s leading the cost-saving effort, said Wednesday that Deloitte’s purchasing recommendations were “more aggressive in their approach and their timeline” than will be reality. A new report projects the universities will save $3.9 million to $7.8 million annually in buying items such as food and computers. Braun said additional savings could later be pursued in other areas.

A second report says the University of Iowa will save less than projected by restructuring its administration because the medical college will be excluded.

Leaders: Work needed to reduce minority disparities in Iowa


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State and community leaders say the state needs to reduce disparities in the number of minorities in Iowa’s criminal justice system, and they hope an upcoming summit will focus attention on the issue. Leaders including Gov. Terry Branstad spoke Wednesday at the Capitol while introducing the two-day summit in Ankeny in late August. The Iowa-Nebraska National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host.

Iowa-Nebraska NAACP President Betty Andrews says data show Iowa incarcerates African Americans at a high rate.  Branstad, who will make his first appearance at the annual summit, says Iowa has made progress but more work is needed.

Topics at the summit include fair hiring practices and racial profiling. Community leaders say they hope previously introduced legislation on those issues will pick up momentum next session.

Body found in Mo. River Sun. evening ID’d as a NE man


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Council Bluffs Police Department have identified the body of a man whose body was pulled from the Missouri River, Sunday evening. Police Sgt. Chad Meyers said the victim was 37-year old Jeffrey Kahler of Omaha. Meyers said at this time, there is no evidence to suggest that foul play was involved.

The Council Bluffs P-D’s 911 dispatch center had received a transfer call about the possibility of a body in the river, from the Omaha Police Department at around 5:25-p.m., Sunday. The Council Bluffs Fire Department’s rescue boat was then dispatched to the area located one-quarter of a mile south of the Vets Memorial Highway. Crews were able to recover Kahler’s body from the river just after 5:45-p.m.

Atlantic man arrested on drug charges


July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on July 21st of 50-year old David Duane Kirchner, of Atlantic. Kirchner was taken into custody on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Prescription Drug Violation. He was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $3,000 bond.

On July 23rd, deputies with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 38-year old Kameo Margaret Smith, of Exira, on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for Theft 4th Degree. Smith was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was later released on $1000 bond.

On July 24th, deputies arrested 24-year old Mark Alan Fredericksen, of Atlantic,  on a Cass County warrant for Failure to Appear and a charge of Driving While Revoked. Fredericksen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

On July 25th, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year old Devin Sparks Register, of Atlantic, on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for Theft 5th Degree. Register was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $325 bond.

And on Monday (July 27th), deputies arrested 39-year old Marc Edward Ernst, of Bridgewater, on a charge of Theft 5th Degree. Ernst was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

Environmental group pushes DNR for tougher clean water standards

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement are turning in petition signatures to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, calling for tougher enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Jess Mazour, I-C-C-I’s farm and environment organizer, says the comments were focused on the D-N-R’s draft list of impaired waterways. She says more accountability is needed.

“We decided we were going to get as many comments as we can, offering a solution to some of these problems,” Mazour says. “In our eyes, issuing Clean Water Act permits and holding factory farms and manure polluters accountable is one way we can start cleaning up Iowa’s waters. We got about 2,000 comments collected online and in person from across the state and then we hand-delivered them to the DNR.” Mazour says tougher rules and better enforcement are needed to protect the state’s waters.

“Not a single hog confinement in Iowa has a Clean Water Act permit and the current permitting system is not working, obviously, because we continue to have manure spill after manure spill,” Mazour says. “We know these factory farms are basically getting away with polluting and the DNR’s not doing anything about it. We think the Clean Water Act will give them tougher regulations to follow and then start cleaning up our water.” Mazour says the agency could use more state dollars to be able to enforce state environmental regulations.

“The DNR needs more funding to hire more inspectors,” she says. “Right now, there’s only 15.75 full-time equivalent inspectors for over 9,000 of these facilities in Iowa. Obviously, the Clean Water Act needs to be implemented. They need to start issuing tough fines and penalties when manure spills occur.” The DNR’s most recent list of impaired waterways in Iowa is at 725, that’s up from 630 in 2012.

(Radio Iowa)