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Red Oak man arrested on Theft warrant

News

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was arrested this (Monday) morning on a Red Oak P-D warrant for Theft in the 2nd Degree. Police say 18-year old Josiah Ivan Prokes was arrested at around 1:25-a.m. and held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

Volunteer weather observer/reporters needed in Carroll, Shelby, Audubon & Adams Counties

News, Weather

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who enjoy following the state’s ever-changing weather conditions are wanted to help with a national network of weather observers. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says volunteers are needed for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network, otherwise known as CoCoRaHS. “Basically, it’s an internet-based reporting system where people with a particular type of rain gage can report each day on precipitation amounts, snowfall totals, snow depths, hail events, and all sorts of things that can be reported through the network,” Hillaker says.

The data that’s collected by the volunteer observers is available for free online and helps the National Weather Service with flood forecasting, drought assessments, and more. “We currently have about 200 active observers across the state right now,” Hillaker says. “Almost 70 of Iowa’s 99 counties have observers and we could definitely use way more than that.”

The CoCoRaHS network was established in Colorado in 1998 and has spread to all 50 states. Iowa joined the volunteer network in 2007. Hillaker says weather observers are needed statewide, but the most critical needs are in Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Worth, Wright, Allamakee, Calhoun, Carroll, Shelby, Audubon, Cedar, Adams, Monroe, Louisa, Davis and Van Buren Counties.

More information about the network is available on the CoCoRaHS web site at www.cocorahs.org. The website includes information on how to join, where to purchase your rain gage and how to accurately measure and report rain and snow.

(Radio Iowa)

‘Peeping Tom’ bill eligible for House debate

News

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A bill that’s passed the Iowa Senate and is now eligible for House debate would make it easier to convict so-called “peeping toms.” Ruth Lapointe was a University of Iowa student in 2012 when a neighbor caught their landlord in the act. “She had stuffed one of the peep holes in her ceiling with cotton balls and noticed the cotton balls being removed and then was able to confront our landlord right after the incident and he admitted guilt,” Lapointe says.

Lapointe found a peep hole in her apartment, above the sink in her bathroom. Her landlord was convicted of 11 counts of invasion of privacy, but was not charged for spying on the apartments where men lived, just women like Lapointe. Lapointe says current law is flawed because it requires a peeping tom’s victim to be nude or partially nude and requires prosecutors to prove the peeper was sexually excited by what he or she saw.

“The crucial elements of this bill are that it removes requirements of arousal for a perpetrator of invasions of privacy or peeping tom,” Lapointe says. “That’s very hard to prove in court, that kind of intent, and not only is it hard to prove in court but, in my opinion, it is completely irrelevant to the crime.”

The bill has passed the Senate unanimously and last Thursday the House Public Safety Committee gave the bill its unanimous support. A similar bill was filed last year after a Des Moines cop was spotting looking through a locker room window as a female officer changed clothes inside, but he wasn’t prosecuted because the person who caught him couldn’t say what he was looking at.

Lapointe says invading someone’s privacy “without a legitimate purpose” should be sufficient for a conviction.”The bill, in my opinion, does a great job of just making it so if you assume privacy, you believe yourself to be in a private space, someone who is invading that is guilty,” Lapointe says. Last week, Coralville police arrested a Tiffin man who is accused of using his cell phone to take a picture of another man who was inside one of the stalls in a shopping mall restroom.

The bill that awaits House debate would make it illegal to install or retrieve equipment used to take pictures or record video in places someone reasonably expects to be a private place.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, March 7th 2016

News

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Animal rights groups say the state agency that regulates wild and exotic animals in Iowa is misinterpreting a nearly decade-old law that imposes tough rules for keeping such animals. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa and the Washington-based Born Free USA filed documents in February with the Iowa Court of Appeals that contend the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limiting its own authority. The agency says it’s following the law.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The fact that Iowa residents can complete training for a concealed weapons permit online is troubling to Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports several of the websites advertise training videos that people can watch to complete their training without any need to touch a gun. Thompson says the online training certificates don’t mean much.

HULL, Iowa (AP) — One northwest Iowa high school will have to look for a new bus driver when successful coach Jim Eekhoff retires after 34 years. The Sioux City Journal reports Eekhoff plans to retire from coaching and driving the team bus after this school year. But first he will lead his Western Christian High School team in the state boys basketball tournament.

ST. LOUIS (AP) —Northern Iowa survived after squandering a 17-point lead, beating Evansville 56-54 in the Missouri Valley Conference title game on Sunday. Wes Washpun had 18 points, five rebounds and three assists for UNI.

 

Cass Co. Democratic party convention will be held Saturday morning

News

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Democratic Party will hold its County Convention on Saturday, March 12th, at the Cass County Court House. Democratic Party Chair Sherry Toelle says registration will begin at 8:30-a.m., with the Convention convening at 9-a.m. The fifty Delegates to the County Convention will elect five delegates, based on Presidential preference groups, who will move on to the Iowa Democratic Party’s District Convention on April 30th in Creston and to the State Convention to be held in Des Moines on June 18th.

County delegates will also vote on the County Platform and on representatives for District and State Committees as well as to vacancies on the Cass County Central Committee.

Man & woman from Council Bluffs arrested for felony Criminal Mischief/2nd degree

News

March 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An investigation Sunday evening into several vehicles being damaged in the 600 block of Damon Street, in Council Bluffs, resulted in the arrest of two people on one count each of Felony Criminal Mischief in the 2nd degree. Authorities say 36-year old James M. Yoshida and 41-year old Jacqueline Robinson, both of Council Bluffs, were taken into custody, after witnesses positively identified them as the perpetrators who allegedly caused $6,500 damage to nine vehicles by scratching and/or spray painting those vehicles.

Robinson

Robinson

Yoshida

Yoshida

The investigation into their alleged activities began after police were called to the scene at around 7:15-p.m., Sunday. While en route to the call, they were advised the suspects had left the area in a blue Ford truck. Officers located the suspect vehicle at S. 1st and Knepper Streets, and identified the suspects as Yoshida and Robinson, who denied damaging the vehicles. Witness collaboration and evidence located inside the suspects’ vehicle, linked them to the crime.

Groups: Iowa agency misinterpreting law on exotic animals

News

March 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Animal rights groups say the state agency that regulates wild and exotic animals in Iowa is misinterpreting a nearly decade-old law that imposes tough rules for keeping such animals, and they argue it’s created a loophole.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa and the Washington-based Born Free USA filed documents in February with the Iowa Court of Appeals that contend the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limiting its own authority in overseeing some facilities that exhibit wildlife.

A 2007 law banned people from keeping such animals, though previous owners were grandfathered in with new rules. The advocacy groups say the department allows certain wildlife exhibitors to register through federal officials instead of following stringent state registration rules.

The agency says it’s following the law.

Sheriff questions online classes for concealed weapon permit

News

March 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The fact that Iowa residents can complete training for a concealed weapons permit online is troubling to Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports several of the websites advertise training videos that people can watch to complete their training without any need to touch a gun.

Thompson says the online training certificates don’t mean much, but a state law that was changed in 2011 requires him to accept them for gun permit applications. But the training does make it easier for people to get permits. Andrew Cederdahl says he went through an online course, so he could get a permit to legally keep his gun in his car for defense and trips to the shooting range.

Medical emergency may have caused fatal crash in C. Bluffs

News

March 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Council Bluffs died following an accident Sunday morning, and authorities believe a medical condition may have been the cause of the crash. 90-year old Ardeth Paulson was found unconscious and not breathing following a single-vehicle accident that happened at around 7:40-a.m. near the intersection of S. 7th Street and Willow Avenue. Rescue crews arrived on the scene and administered CPR before rushing the woman to Jennie Edmundson Hospital, where she died a short time later.

A preliminary investigation determined Paulson’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Am was traveling southbound on South 7th Street and had departed the Roadway to the East before striking a sign post. The vehicle came to rest on the East parking approximately 75 feet North of Willow Avenue.

The accident remains under investigation by the Special Operation Unit.

Cass County Master Gardeners Grant Money Available for Local Garden Projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The cold weather of winter is the time to plan for future gardens. The Cass County Master Gardeners group is again offering grant money to be used in the 2016 growing season, to encourage gardening to grow food and/or beautify local communities. The money may also be used for gardening education purposes. The David Williams Master Gardener Grants are offered to honor the many years of service Master Gardener David Williams provided as a long-time volunteer, with the Master Gardener program and other community organizations, including a term as Cass County Master Gardener president in 2012.Master Gardner

Any Cass County not-for-profit group or individual may apply. Schools, churches, libraries, 4-H clubs, Scouts, and individuals working to improving their communities can use the money to begin or improve gardens or landscaping, or to provide education for their members or the public. To ensure the money is helping a wide variety of community organizations, groups who were funded by 2015 grants will not be eligible to apply in 2016. Each grant has a maximum value of $300. The application must also include plans for teamwork and sustainability. Consideration for the environment is also an important selection factor.

Applications must be received by Thursday, March 31st for consideration. They may be submitted by mail or email. Grant recipients will be informed of their selection by the end of April. For more information, or with questions, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic. You may also contact committee members Carolyn Hartman, Donna Reimers or Connie Pettinger. Application forms can be picked up at the Extension Office, or printed from the Cass County Extension website- www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The Master Gardener program trains volunteers to develop their knowledge and skills in horticulture. These volunteers then give back to their communities through gardening service and education. The program is available in all 50 states and Canada through land grant university Extension programs such as Iowa State University. Education courses are available throughout Iowa on a regular basis. For more information on the program, or to sign up for our next class starting in August, contact Cass County Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson, at 712-243-1132 or keolson@iastate.edu.