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Iowa News Headlines: Sat., May 31st 2014

News

May 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will end greyhound dog racing in Council Bluffs by 2016. Branstad’s office said the governor signed the bill Friday along with more than a dozen other bills.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have recovered a body from the Des Moines River. The Des Moines Fire Department says the body was recovered yesterday afternoon after a woman spotted it south of the Center Street Dam. A water emergency team used a boat to recover the body. Des Moines police later identified the body as 24-year old Sachin Rayappa of Des Moines. He had been reported missing Tuesday.

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the theft of farm and construction equipment. The Sioux City Journal reports Michael Block of Sibley entered his written plea Thursday in Osceola County District Court. He faces seven counts of first-degree theft, 10 counts of second-degree theft and one count each of third- and fourth-degree theft.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mark Calcavecchia and Wes Short Junior shot 6-under 66 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Principal Charity Classic. Calcavecchia, third last year at the Wakonda Club, had three straight birdies on the back nine for his best start of the season. Short birdied the 18th hole to join Calcavecchia atop the leaderboard.

(Updated 6:50-a.m.) Shooting suspect at large in Montgomery County

News

May 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in southwest Iowa are on the lookout for a man suspected in a shooting incident early this (Saturday) morning, in Red Oak. According to Red Oak Police, 34-year-old Raphael Baptista is suspected of shooting 36-year old Clyde Ziegler several times. The incident happened at 407 4th Street at around 12:15-a.m.  Ziegler was flown by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital, where he was reported to be in critical condition.

Baptista is described as being a Hispanic male, about 5-feet 8-inches tall, weighing 170-to-180 pounds. he has black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. Authorities say it appears he suffered a gunshot wound to his left hand. Area hospitals have been put on alert to notify authorities of anyone coming in with suspicious wounds, especially to their hand or hands. Baptista is considered to be armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his location should contact Red Oak Police at 712-623-6500, or call 9-1-1.

Multiple law enforcement converged on Red Oak during a search for the suspect, including deputies from Cass County, an aircraft from the Omaha Police Department, and the Iowa State Patrol. The Red Oak K-9 unit was also deployed in an attempt to locate Baptista.

At around 2-a.m., Montgomery County Emergency Management issued a Code Red Alert to residents at the request of Red Oak Police, urging residents to remain in their homes as a possibly armed suspect was at large. Red Oak Police gave the all clear to any immediate threat in or around the Red Oak area just before 5-a.m.

Former Glenwood H.S. teacher arrested on sexual exploitation charge

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Mills County say a former Glenwood High School Teacher was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexual exploitation by a school employee and supplying alcohol to a minor. According to Mills County Attorney Eric Hansen, 38-year old Russell Crouch, a social studies and communications teacher who resigned May 21st, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student who attended Glenwood High School and of supplying alcohol to another student.

Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray has said earlier, that Crouch was the subject of an internal school district investigation, which was subsequently suspended and turned over to law enforcement. Embray had indicated it was a personnel matter involving an alleged situation was brought to the attention of administrators on May 16th. Crouch was placed in paid administrative leave May 19th, two days before he resigned.

If convicted on the Aggravated Misdemeanor sexual exploitation charge, Crouch would be required to register as a sex offender. He may also have to serve up to two years in prison and pay a fine of $6,250. Supplying alcohol to a minor is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a minimum fine of $500. Crouch’s bond was set at $3,000.

Branstad OKs bill ending Council Bluffs dog races

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will end greyhound dog racing in Council Bluffs by 2016. Branstad’s office said the governor signed the bill Friday along with more than a dozen other bills.

The measure will end greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but allow dog owners to continue operating a track in Dubuque. It requires casinos that have long-subsidized the dog racing tracks to pay $72 million. That will pay for a retirement fund for dog owners and breeders and help the Iowa Greyhound Association negotiate a lease for the Dubuque track.

Branstad signed five bills publicly Friday, including legislation that legalizes the use of cannabis oil to treat severe epilepsy.

(Update 5/31) I-80 Accident near Marne was allegedly an attempt at murder

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Cass County have released additional details about an accident that occurred Friday morning in a construction zone on Interstate 80 westbound near the Marne exit. According to a press release from Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, the driver of a minivan – 33-year old Bruce S. Bingle, Jr., of Hamilton, OH, and his 29-year old wife, Brandy Bingle, also of Hamilton, OH, were injured when the 2005 Chevy Venture mini-van crashed into two unoccupied pickups (a 2014 Chev Silverado and a 2001 Ford F-250), that were parked in a construction zone. The State Patrol says Bruce Bingle did not merge to the left and continued into the construction area, hitting barrel barricades before crashing into the two parked pickups. Officials say he was wearing a seat belt, while his wife was not. The accident happened at around 7:19-a.m.

Feistner says the Iowa State Patrol arrived on scene shortly thereafter and found the couple outside the vehicle, both having sustained bodily injuries from the vehicle accident. Construction worker(s) were on scene and while rendering aid to Brandy Bingle, were informed by her, that her husband allegedly intentionally driven into the barricades and equipment in the construction zone in an apparent attempt to kill them both.

The full extent of the injuries to both individuals is unknown at this time, however Brandy Bingle appeared to have suffered broken bones, lacerations to the body and bruising. Bruce Bingle was first transported to Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic,  and became combative with law enforcement and medical staff during the transport and while at the hospital. A Cass County DRE Officer (drug recognition expert) arrived at CCMH and performed drug tests of the driver and obtained a urine sample for further testing.

Bruce S. Bingle, Jr. was transported by Life Flight to UNMC in Omaha, Nebraska. Brandy Bingle was transported by ambulance to UNMC in Omaha, Nebraska. The Iowa State Patrol later obtained a search warrant for the purposes of examining the vehicle for collision investigation. No criminal charges have been filed at this time. The matter remains under further investigation.

Marne, Atlantic and Walnut Fire and Rescue, Cass County Emergency Management, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Cass County Attorney all provided assistance to the Iowa State Patrol.

Atlantic Area Ambassadors Visit Duke Aerial

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors visited Duke Aerial, a locally owned and operated aerial lift company. Ambassadors learned about the service and parts provided and lift equipment available at Duke Aerial. Ken Tolton, owner, and Dave Wohllber, HR Safety Manager, gave a tour of the offices and equipment facilities. Duke Aerial’s goal is “exceeding customer expectations by constantly improving quality, service and communications.”

Pictured at the visit are Lucas Mosier, Russ Joyce,  Ali Krogman, Debbie Leistad, Kathie Hockenberry, JoAnn Runyan, Lana Westphalen, Rhonda Larsen, Tammy Waters, Kathy Sweeney,  Dave Whollber, Ken Tolton, Carole Schuler, Nedra Perry, Ed Leistad, Pat McCurdy, Tyler Mosier, Tara Jennerjohn, Gerhard Marburg, Chip Hansen, Gerald Brink, Donnie Drennan, Sue Muri, Dolly Bergmann, Arlene Drennan, Jolene Roecker, Bill Saluk, Steve Andersen, Rich Perry, Karl Aldag, Dave Schwab.

Pictured at the visit are Lucas Mosier, Russ Joyce, Ali Krogman, Debbie Leistad, Kathie Hockenberry, JoAnn Runyan, Lana
Westphalen, Rhonda Larsen, Tammy Waters, Kathy Sweeney, Dave Whollber, Ken Tolton, Carole Schuler, Nedra Perry, Ed Leistad, Pat
McCurdy, Tyler Mosier, Tara Jennerjohn, Gerhard Marburg, Chip Hansen, Gerald Brink, Donnie Drennan, Sue Muri, Dolly Bergmann, Arlene Drennan, Jolene Roecker, Bill Saluk, Steve Andersen, Rich Perry, Karl Aldag, Dave Schwab.

REDEDICATION CEREMONY SCHEDULED FOR COUNCIL BLUFFS READINESS CENTER AND FMS #4

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa National Guard will host a re-dedication ceremony commemorating the completed renovation of the Council Bluffs Readiness Center and Field Maintenance Shop (FMS) #4, 2415 East Kanesville Boulevard, Council Bluffs on Friday, June 6th at 11 a.m. IANG

Iowa National Guard leadership and representatives from federal, state, and local governments will participate in the ceremony. The public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend the rededication ceremony. The $4.5 million project began in October 2012 and features a complete renovation of both original facilities, which were constructed in 1993. It includes the renovation of 22,300 square feet of existing Readiness Center facility space and the conversion of 12,000 square feet of the adjoining Motor Vehicle Storage Building to Readiness Center space.

The existing facility also received new ceilings, wall and floor coverings, energy-efficient heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) systems and windows. The Field Maintenance Shop received an additional 4,000 square feet of space, including work bays, radiant heat and air equipment. New storm sewer, fencing, windows, and a new HVAC were also added. The facility exterior and parking were also updated. The project was designed by Design Alliance, Inc., Waukee, Iowa.

The general contractor for the Readiness Center was Meco-Henne Contracting Inc., Omaha, Neb. The general contractor for the FMS was Leuder Construction Company, Omaha, Neb. The Council Bluffs Readiness Center is home to Detachment 1, Company F, 334th Brigade Support Battalion (FSC); Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry; Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry; and Company D, Iowa Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program. Approximately 250 Soldiers are assigned to the Council Bluffs garrison.

SEND-OFF CEREMONY SCHEDULED FOR IOWA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD UNIT

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A community send-off ceremony for an Iowa Army National Guard unit based in Boone will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, June 5th, at the Boone Middle School Gymnasium, 1640 1st St., Boone. Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate and the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend the homecoming ceremony. Approximately 60 Soldiers with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation are being mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Soldiers will travel to their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas for additional training before deploying to the Central Command theater of operations. It is anticipated that the duration of this deployment will be for approximately one year. Company C flies and maintains UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

The unit previously deployed to Kosovo in 2010-11 and for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007.

Council Bluffs reinstalls fountain after repairs

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Workers are reinstalling a historic fountain in downtown Council Bluffs after a renovation by an Alabama company. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports workers began installing the 120-year-old Broadway Fountain on Thursday and hoped to finish soon. Crews must complete plumbing work before water begins flowing through the fountain.

The City Council awarded a nearly $100,000 contract to Andersen Construction Co. to oversee the project. Alexander City, Alabama-based Robinson Iron reattached pieces of the fountain that had broken free, cast some new pieces and painted the fountain. Council Bluffs Parks Director Larry Foster says it looks largely the same as before the work, but “that is what restoration is supposed to be.”

The fountain was originally in Bayliss Park but was moved later to West Broadway and Pearl Street.

Atlantic official involved in an accident

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An official with the City of Atlantic was involved in an accident Thursday morning. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a private vehicle driven by 29-year old John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, was struck at around 11:50-a.m., as Lund was slowing to turn left off of Poplar Street. As he was turning, Lund’s 2007 Toyota Corolla was hit on the left side by a 2008 Hyundai, driven by 74-year old Ray Martin Rasmussen, of Walnut.   No injuries were reported. Damage to Lund’s vehicle is estimated at $2000; damage to Rasmussen’s vehicle is estimated at $4500. No citations were issued.
(12:40-p.m. News)