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Settlement reached in Iowa suit over food bidding


September 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A food distribution company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it conspired with others over several years to restrain the bidding process for selling food at schools across Iowa. The lawsuit says Martin Brothers Distributing Company conspired with Iowa Educators Corporation and its successor, the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing, to monopolize the business of food distribution at hundreds of schools over a 14-year period.

Martin Brothers and the others deny they did anything wrong. They say the process was fair, and the agreement was reached to avoid litigation costs. An eligible individual can file a claim to receive up to $3.50 per student per year, for a maximum of $50 per student.

For a list of school districts, years covered by the settlement, and a claim form, go to: http://iowaschoolfoodsettlement.com/

Boston doctor who contracted Ebola in Africa being flown to Omaha hospital for treatment


September 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Updated 6-a.m.) A-P/Radio Iowa

A doctor who became infected with Ebola while working in Liberia has arrived at a Nebraska hospital for treatment. Dr. Rick Sacra (SAY-kruh) was driven by ambulance to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha after landing a little after 6 a.m. Friday at Offutt Air Force Base just south of Omaha. His ambulance went into a hospital receiving bay and vanished from public view at around 6:40-a.. He will begin treatment in the hospital’s 10-bed special isolation unit. Dr. Mark Rupp is medical director of infectious control at the hospital in Omaha where Dr. Rick Sacra will be treated. “I am very confident that we can care for this patient safely,” Rupp said during a news conference in Omaha on Thursday. “This is a specially designed unit. It’s locked. It’s secured. It’s separated physically.”

Dr. Sacra, the patient, is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He went on a mission trip to Liberia in August to work in a hospital there and was diagnosed with Ebola early this week. He will be treated in what’s called the “Biocontainment Patient Care Unit” at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Jeffery Gold, the chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says the unit is one of the few in the country that’s equipped to deal with a patient suffering from an infectious disease like Ebola.

“We have been preparing for this type of event for a very long time,” Gold said during a Thursday news conference. “This is not a surprise that we’re being called to serve in this way.” Gold says not only will Sacra receive “world-class care” but all other patients, staff, faculty and visitors at the hospital will be “completely protected and safe.” Sacra’s wife told reporters in Boston yesterday (Thursday) that her husband is very ill, but was able to walk onto the plane that carried him out of Africa.

A U.S. doctor and an American nurse who contracted Ebola while on mission trips to Africa were flown to Emory University’s hospital in Atlanta last month for treatment. Dr. Sacra, the third American to be diagnosed with the disease, is a 51-year-old family doctor who has made many trips to Liberia in the past 20 years. He was not treating Ebola patients during his most recent trip, but was working in another part of the hospital. He got a fever last Friday and put himself in isolation while tests were done to confirm the Ebola diagnosis.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Sept. 5th 2014


September 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa has expelled a second student for sexual misconduct as part of a campus crackdown on perpetrators. UI President Sally Mason said yesterday the student was expelled during the summer term. No other details were immediately released Thursday.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque officials are making homeowners liable for most cases in which people are injured on sidewalks. The Dubuque City Council has approved an amendment to a city ordinance, allowing officials to delegate financial responsibility for sidewalk repairs to property owners. The Telegraph Herald reports the move is aimed at encouraging homeowners to keep sidewalks in better condition.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal agency is reviewing whether it would be appropriate for Iowa City to use $1 million in affordable housing funds to buy five condominiums at a luxury high-rise development. The Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed the review in a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley, who raised questions about the arrangement.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A food distribution company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it conspired with others over several years to restrain the bidding process for selling food at schools across Iowa. The lawsuit says Martin Brothers Distributing Company conspired with Iowa Educators Corporation and its successor, the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing, to monopolize the business of food distribution at hundreds of schools over a 14-year period. Martin Brothers and the other defendants deny any wrongdoing.

Stanton Man Arrested following 2 month long theft investigation


September 4th, 2014 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department reports a Stanton man was arrested this week following an investigation that began in July with regard to incidents of thefts from multiple jurisdictions within Iowa and Missouri. Authorities say 48 year old Thayne Alvin Kinnison, of Stanton, was arrested on a warrant out of Council Bluffs for 4th degree theft as well as felony possession of stolen property and for being a felon in possession of a firearm/offensive weapon. Kinnison also faces possible charges from the Shenandoah Police Department and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

During their investigation, officers executed a search warrant Wednesday at 2569 O Avenue, south of Stanton. Officials recovered various stolen items related to the investigation as well as a weapon and items related to Department of Natural Resources violations.

Both sides rest in case of Iowa officer’s slaying


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CLARION, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys have rested their cases in the trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer last year. Both sides rested their cases Thursday in the trial of 33-year-old Corey Trott. Closing arguments will be delivered Friday morning. Trott is charged with first-degree murder in the September 2013 death of 37-year-old officer Jamie Buenting. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Trott shot Buenting during a standoff at Trott’s house. Officers were trying to arrest Trott after an alleged assault on his mother. He later surrendered. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports Prosecutors rested their case in the morning. The defense did not call any witnesses, and Trott did not testify.

Report questions billings to state public defender


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state auditor says 13 private attorneys working as public defenders overbilled the state by roughly $310,000 during a three-year period. Auditor Mary Mosiman released the report Thursday. Her office reviewed data from July 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2013, at the request of the State Public Defender’s Office. The report says 11 of the attorneys billed for work days that were longer than 12 hours. In some cases, they claimed to work more than 24 hours in a day.

A total of 13 attorneys filed improper mileage claims. State Public Defender Sam Langholz says contracts have been canceled with eight attorneys. Another attorney voluntarily terminated his contract. Langholz says the office has adopted new oversight rules.

A Department of Public Safety spokesman says the matter is under investigation.

Oakland man’s murder trial delayed again – 5th time


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Judge in Pottawattamie County has issued a continuance in the trial of an Oakland man charged with first-degree murder. Judge James Richardson ruled Wednesday the trial for 63-year old Robert A. Reynolds will be held October 14th instead of Sept. 30th. Reynolds’ attorney has until Sept. 26th to file pre-trial papers. It’s the fifth time the trial date has been changed since the original date of July 1st. Reynolds has plead not guilty to the murder charge.

Authorities say during the early morning hours of April 9th, 2014, Reynolds allegedly shot to death in his Oakland home, 64-year old Patricia Kinkade-Dorsey, a resident of rural Cass County.

During an interview with law enforcement, Reynolds allegedly admitted he and Kinkade-Dorsey had a verbal dispute inside his residence, and that he then left the area to locate a firearm which he allegedly used to fatally shoot Kinkade-Dorsey.

Three other people in the home at the time the incident occurred were not injured

Employees at 3 Bluffs businesses cited for selling booze to minors


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in southwest Iowa say an alcohol sales compliance check Wednesday in Council Bluffs revealed clerks at three out of nine businesses checked sold alcohol to minors. The check was conducted during an undercover operation by members of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force. The Task Force utilized an 18-year old female and a 19-year old male who attempted to make purchases of alcohol.

Officials say because they sold alcohol to persons of underage, the following persons acting as sales clerks in Council Bluffs were cited: Mindy Jo Johnson, an employee of BadonkaRonks on S. 24th Street; Wendy Hellend, an employee of the Goldmine Lounge, and Hannah E. Wenchell, an employee of the Fiddlin’ Monkey. An employee of a business who sells booze to a minor faces a$500 civil penalty or 14-day license suspension for the first violation or first violation within two-years. The business owner faces a similar fine.

The six Council Bluffs businesses checked who were in compliance with the law and refused to sell alcohol to minors, include: Glory Days; O’Face Bar; Caddy Shack; Rodeo Bar; Salty Dog and 1892 German Bier Haus.

Authorities say the Task Force will continue to conduct these types of undercover operations in the future, to make sure local businesses are in compliance.

Carstens Farm Days takes place this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farm history comes to life this weekend during the 32nd annual Carstens Farm Days. During the event which takes place south of Shelby, there’ll be thrashing, a saw mill, food and crafters, a quilt show, along with tractors and Ag equipment on display, as well as historic farm memorabilia.

Steam engines will power antique threshing machines, antique machinery, a parade, crafts, and entertainment. Over two hundred restored antique tractors will be on display. The original Carstens farm buildings will be open for tours. The buildings will be alive with demonstrations that will bring back memories for older visitors and teach valuable history lessons to young people.

To start Farm Days off right, a pancake breakfast is planned at 6:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The proceeds from the pancake breakfast go to the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department volunteers will also serve lunch both days. Various non-profit local groups will be offering refreshments and delicious desserts all weekend. On Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. enjoy Staley’s Chicken for a delicious dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will go toward on-going maintenance at Carstens 1880 Farmstead.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Tamie Hall and Band will entertain visitors on the front lawn of the farmhouse. Caterpillar tractors and equipment and related brands will be the featured line this year. All Cat tractors & equipment owners are invited to bring their exhibits to display throughout the weekend. Horsepower-testing, sawmill operations and field demonstrations will occupy tractor exhibitors all day.

Nearly 250 pieces of vintage equipment were on display during the 2013 Farm Days show. Visitors will enjoy watching most of the restored tractors as they go through the parade each afternoon at 2 p.m. A quilt made especially for the 2014 Carstens Farm Days show will be raffled on Sunday evening. Raffle tickets can be purchased at area businesses. The quilt is now on display at the Shelby County State Bank in Shelby. Foggy Mountain Cloggers will perform on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the farm’s main stage. On Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m., the Country Kickers America will entertain both young and old farmstead visitors alike.

Various music acts will add to the fun and folksy atmosphere of Farm Days. Admission is $5 per day for everyone nine years and older.


Weber to take over as HMU CEO


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Harlan Municipal Utilities report Ken Weber will takes the reins as HMU CEO on October 1st. Currently a resident of Avoca, but expected to move to Harlan by April 1, 2015, Weber has been involved in a wide variety of utility related construction projects for over 33 years. As the owner of Weber Services since 2000, he has been a consultant to firms such as Phillips 66 Pipeline, Chesapeake Energy, Clipper Windpower, Alltell, Nextel, US Cellular and Verizon in the areas of lease acquisition, permitting and siting of electric transmission lines, gas pipe lines and cellular towers.

Prior to establishing Weber Services, Ken had experience in electric and gas distribution plus overseeing energy efficiency programs while employed at predecessor of MidAmerican Energy. he also spent a year as a Superintendent at the State Center, Iowa Municipal Utility. Weber holds a Masters in Computer Systems management from Creighton University, a BS in Business Administration from Buena Vista University and significant hours of study in Civil Engineering while at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.