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Braley, Harkin tout minimum wage hike

News

August 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

For the second time in four months, Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Bruce Braley have visited a central Iowa business to highlight their support for increasing the minimum wage. Their Sunday stop in Norwalk, however, comes just days after Braley — the Iowa Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nominee — began airing an ad attacking his Republican opponent, Joni Ernst, on the issue. “My opponent has said that she opposes a federal minimum and that she thinks $7.25 an hour is just fine for Iowa’s minimum wage workers,” Braley said Sunday, “and that’s where she and I disagree.”

During the primary campaign, Ernst said she opposed a nationwide minimum wage. She said states should set the minimum wage that’s appropriate for the local cost of living in each state. Braley supports raising the federal minimum wage to 10-dollars-and-10 cents an hour and setting up “indexing” so the rate automatically goes up in the future, without the need for congressional action. “So it doesn’t become captive of a political system,” Braley says, “and that’s what’s going on right now.” Harkin says this “should be a voting issue” this fall.

“We’ve had a minimum wage since 1939 and it’s worked well in this country,” Harkin said. “So those who say there should be no minimum wage are really on the fringes of any kind of economic thought at all.” Harkin and Braley toured the La Quercia company in Norwalk, a firm that makes cured meats, like its internationally acclaimed proscuito. The company’s owner has raised the starting pay for his employees to 10-dollars-and-10 cents an hour — the wage level Harkin has been pushing as a new national minimum wage.

In April, Harkin and Braley visited Raygun, a Des Moines t-shirt business known for its provocative slogans to highlight the minimum wage. Raygun’s owner offers a starting pay rate of 13-dollars an hour to his employees.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Aug. 4 2014

News

August 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Texas company seeking to run an underground oil pipeline through Iowa has a laborious approval process to get through before it can start digging. Energy Transfer Partners LP is behind the project, which would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois, cutting diagonally through 17 Iowa counties.

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 27-year-old was fatally shot by a Fort Madison police officer after he allegedly brandished a knife during a chase. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says officers were called to a report of a man slashing vehicle tires with a knife around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Officers say they spotted Ryan Swearingen with the knife and chased him before Swearingen refused to drop the knife and was shot.

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Four people were hospitalized and six others were injured after an early morning boating accident on Clear Lake. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that authorities were called to the northern Iowa lake shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday. The Iowa DNR and the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s office are investigating.

EPWORTH, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the four boys killed in a crash near the eastern Iowa city of Epworth. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald says the Dubuque County Sheriff’s office released the names Sunday. Those killed were 14-year-old Sean Kenneally of Peosta; 14-year-old Mitchell Kluesner of Epworth; 14-year-old Nicholas Kramer of Dyersville; and 14-year-old Bryce Wilwert of Epworth.

Exira woman injured in Saturday evening accident

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person was injured during a single vehicle accident Saturday evening, about 5 miles east of Audubon. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports 43-year old Ruth Ann Abernathy, of Exira, was transported by Audubon Fire and Rescue to the Audubon County Memorial Hospital, following the crash on 190th Street, near Nighhawk Avenue, at around 5:40-p.m., Saturday.

Officials say Abernathy was traveling westbound when her 1987 Oldsmobile Cutless partially left the road and slipped onto the shoulder. The woman over-corrected, sending the car across the southbound lane and into a ditch, where it struck a culvert. The vehicle sustained $5,000 damage.

The accident remains under investigation.

3 arrests in Audubon County

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Audubon County Sheriff Todd Johnson reports three people were arrested over the weekend, on separate charges. At around 3-a.m. Saturday (8/2), 22-year old Zachary Lee Niezgocki, of St. Cloud, MN, was arrested on Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. His arrest stems from an investigation into an incident in the 3100 block of Highway 71, near Brayton. Niezgocki was held in Audubon County Jail and then released, after appearing before the magistrate.

At around 1-a.m., Saturday, 20-year old Insaf Z Ali, of Omaha, was arrested during a traffic stop on Highway 71, in Audubon. The woman was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Having No Driver’s License. She pled guilty to the charges in front of a magistrate, was fined and then released.

And, at around 11-p.m. Friday, 41-year old Brian Lee Schwab, of Audubon, was arrested on a charge of Public Intoxication, following an incident which occurred at the Audubon County Fairgrounds. Schwab posted a cash bond and was released. He’s scheduled to appear before the magistrate, on August 7th.

Truck driver falls asleep at the wheel and crashes in Pott. County

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people in a semi tractor trailer were injured Sunday morning during an accident in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says the driver of the semi, 55-year old James E. Payne, of Detroit, and his passenger, 62-year old Vincent H. Brown, of Chicago, IL. suffered non-life threatening injuries, and were transported by Underwood Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Both men were wearing their seat belts. The accident happened on westbound Interstate 80 about a mile north of the Underwood Exit, at around 7:40-a.m.

Officials say the pair were in a 2012 Volvo semi when Payne fell asleep at the wheel. The rig entered the median and struck a crossover before hitting a sign and landing on its wheels.

Iowa authorities search for missing sex offender

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northwest Iowa are searching for a man who absconded from a sex offender transition release program. The Iowa Department of Human Services says 42-year-old Cory West did not return from his place of employment and was last seen in the Storm Lake area. Authorities say he absconded early Sunday.

Cory West (photo from IA Sex Offender Registry)

Cory West (photo from IA Sex Offender Registry)

West was ordered into a civil commitment program at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute in 2011, and became eligible for the transition release program in fall of 2013. The program provides long-term inpatient treatment for violent sexual predators that have served their prison terms but are considered likely to commit further offenses.131018535b

Proposed oil pipeline faces regulatory hurdles

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Texas company seeking to run an underground oil pipeline through Iowa has a laborious approval process to get through before it can start digging. Energy Transfer Partners LP is behind the project, which would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois, cutting diagonally through 17 Iowa counties along the way. The pipeline would use a 30-inch diameter pipe to carry at least 320,000 barrels a day.

The company says the pipeline would allow them to transport oil more safely than by trucks or rail, but environmental activists are already aggressively campaigning against the project and calling on Gov. Terry Branstad to oppose it. Branstad says he hasn’t made a decision about whether he would support the project.

Villisca man arrested for assault

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County report one person was arrested Saturday night on an assault charge. 52-year old Orval Clark, Jr., of Villisca, was arrested at around 9:37-p.m. for Simple Assault. Clark was brought to Montgomery County Corrections and held on $300 cash bond.

Branstad to open teacher summit

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad will be talking to educators from around the state about the importance of taking on leadership roles. Branstad will give opening remarks Monday at the state-sponsored Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium. This event will be held in Ankeny and is the second such summit. More than 450 teachers, principals and other educators are expected to attend.

Speakers throughout the daylong event include teachers and students from Iowa schools, as well as international experts. In 2013, Branstad signed a new education law that provides funding to offer extra compensation to teachers who take on leadership and mentoring roles.

CAM School Board to hold discussion with A-C Board, Monday

News

August 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The CAM School District’s Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting Monday evening (Aug. 4th), at the high school in Anita. During their 6-p.m. session, the Board will act on open enrollment applications, and enter into discussion with and/or possible act on matters pertaining to, the Adair-Casey Board of Education.

According to reports, the Adair-Casey School Board has been meeting with area school boards for general discussion on issues that may help determine any decisions that could affect the district in the future.