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‘Buffalo Bill’ to visit Iowa railroad museum


February 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A Buffalo Bill re-enactor will be speaking at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as part of the museum’s second Saturday guided tours program.  Darrel Palser, of Council Bluffs, will be speaking at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Omaha railroad’s history museum.
“Buffalo Bill” Cody supplied bison meat to the Union Pacific eastern division track crew during the 19th century. Darrel has been sharing the history of Buffalo Bill with the Council Bluffs community for years. Guided tours of the museum are offered every second Saturday and cover a wide range of topics. Always free, the tour talks expand on topics and themes already presented in the Museum.

Drug and theft arrests reported in Harlan


February 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports an Omaha man was arrested Tuesday, on drug charges. 20-year old Brian Sheehan was taken into custody following a traffic stop, on charges that included: Possession of a Controlled Substance; Possession with the Intent to Deliver; and, Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp. Sheehan made his initial appearance in court Wednesday, and was released on $10,000 bond. His preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 23rd.

And, 31-year old Erica Lacey, of Harlan, was charged Monday with Theft in the 5th Degree, following an investigation by Harlan Police, into a complaint a clutch purse containing $60 cash and a gift card, were missing from a resident’s room at the Elm Crest Retirement Home. No other information on the charge was available through the Iowa Courts On-line system.

Authorities in Harlan report also, 25-year old Devin Stahl, of Harlan, was cited January 28th, for carrying concealed weapons. Officials say a Harlan Police Officer conducting a traffic stop found two double-edged knives allegedly concealed on Stahl’s ankle. The knives were seized, and a complaint filed with the clerk of court.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Feb. 10 2012


February 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The first U.S.-China Agriculture Symposium will be held in Des Moines next week. U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack says China’s Vice President Xi (shee) Jinping (JIHN’ Pihng) will be accompanied by Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu. Thursday’s symposium will be held at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s congressional delegation wants answers from the Air Force on recommendations to retire 21 Iowa Air National Guard fighter planes in Des Moines and replace them with unmanned drones. Republican Senator Charles Grassley says it’s up to Congress to approve the plan and National Guard advocates are signaling they won’t go quietly. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin vows to do everything to keep the IAG’s F-16 fighter jets flying.

IDA GROVE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have found a man’s body in western Iowa’s Ida County. The sheriff’s office says a county worker found the body in a ditch near the town of Arthur yesterday morning. An autopsy is pending. No other details were immediately released.

CHICAGO (AP) — An animal control official says 43 puppies rescued from a parked van in southwest Chicago were packed into cramped carriers without enough food or water. Police say two Iowa men have been charged with one misdemeanor count each of failing to meet animal owner duties and 43 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. Bond was set at $10,000 each at a Cook County hearing on Wednesday.

Complaints about door-to-door vacuum sales in Adair County


February 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several residents of rural Adair County received unwelcome visits Thursday night from a band of traveling door-to-door vacuum sales persons. According to one resident who lives in the northern part of the county, a van with two men inside pulled up at around 8:15-p.m. Thursday, and tried to sell them Kirby vacuums. One of the salesmen (whom the resident described as a “seedy looking character”), asked to use the residents’ phone to call a number in Nebraska, and when the resident saw the vehicle drive away, they noticed it had Nebraska plates. 

The rural resident called the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed they had received a number of calls from concerned citizens about Kirby salesmen making their pitches well into the late evening hours. In the past, the practices of some of Kirby’s independent distributors have been subject to criticism. Many of the complaints involve older customers who, once they let the salespersons in, are subject to lengthy, high-pressure sales pitches.The resident KJAN News spoke with in Adair County last night, said the salesmen wanted credit card numbers and other personal information very soon after they started to make their pitch, but the resident denied them the information.

Anyone receiving these types of visits should call your local law enforcement authorities, to verify if the company has a permit to sell in your area, and to report the salesman’s license plate number to law enforcement, so they can speak with those individuals about their late night sales practices.

Grandchild & prize-winner phone scams surface in Cass County


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A few weeks ago, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office warned residents about a phone scam taking place in the area. Now Cass County authorities are saying the same thing. As we’ve warned you time and time again, these phone scams target mainly the  elderly, and they involve calls from someone claiming to be a persons grandchild. The supposed grandchild always says they are in trouble with the law, and need money wired to them right away.

Another age-old phone scam involves the caller saying you’ve won a prize, but in order to receive it, you need to wire a certain amount of money to persons out of state. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says if you receive the “grandchild in trouble”  type of calls, make certain you are sure of the caller’s identity. Before wiring money to someone who seems like they are a relative, hang up the phone and attempt to call that relative or other relatives on your own, to be sure of the situation. You can also call the law enforcement agency where the alleged “grandchild” was being held, to confirm their status.

If you receive a prize-winning-type call, keep in mind that winning a VALID prize will not require you to pay anything to anyone. Most importantly…do not give out any personal information to persons who may call you, such as social security number, bank account number, credit of debit card information. Following this simple rule, can help prevent identity theft, a loss of your hard earned money, and a bad credit rating resulting from stolen financial information.

Clarinda man arrested for impersonating Public Officials


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in southwest Iowa say a rural Clarinda man was arrested recently on charges he impersonated a public official, on more than one occasion. 20-year old Ryan Joel Kaleb Christie, of Clarinda faces three-counts of Impersonating a Public Official, an aggravated misdemeanor, after an investigation was conducted into traffic stops he allegedly made on Highway 2, on January 22nd and 29th

Taylor County Sheriff’s officials say a joint investigation into Christie’s alleged activities was conducted with the assistance of the Bedford Police Department, Iowa DNR, the State Patrol and Page County Sheriff’s Office. During the investigation, authorities looked into reports a young man – later identified as Christie — had made traffic stops on Highway 2 during the early morning hours of January 22nd and 29th. Witnesses said the man claimed to be with the Sheriff’s Office or the Fire Department.

Christie was being held in the Taylor County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Iowa, Neb. competing for $1.2 billion data center


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state economic development official says Iowa is competing with Nebraska to attract a $1.2 billion data center.  Debi Durham, director of the state Partnership for Economic Progress, says Thursday she can’t name the company due to a confidentiality agreement. But she said it’s not Google, Microsoft or IBM, all of which already have operations in Iowa.
Durham says the company is considering two locations in Iowa and one in Nebraska. She expects the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board to hear the plan and consider incentives to attract the business at a March meeting.

Iowa has a law aimed at attracting high-tech projects that includes a potential sales tax break on electricity used at those operations. Nebraska is considering similar legislation.  The company hopes to begin construction in May.

Vilsack tops $1 million in 4th District race


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democrat Christie Vilsack is mounting a serious financial challenge to veteran Republican Rep. Steve King in western Iowa’s new 4th District, but she still faces big hurdles in the GOP-leaning district. New financial disclosures show Vilsack has raised nearly $1.2 million for her campaign, far more than the $817,000 King has raised.
Her challenge will be running in a district where new registration numbers show there are more than 179,000 registered Republicans, compared to about 132,000 registered Democrats. That makes it the most heavily Republican of the state’s four congressional districts.  There are 179,133 registered voters not affiliated with either party.

Vilsack is the wife of Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor now serving as U.S. agriculture secretary.

$25-million mortage settlement announced


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  After leading a 16-month nationwide investigation and settlement negotiations involving the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, Attorney General Tom Miller Wednesday announced a landmark $25 billion national joint federal-state accord over mortgage foreclosure abuses and fraud, and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. The proposed agreement provides an estimated $40 million in direct relief to Iowa homeowners and addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general announced the settlement at a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. 

“This agreement is very significant in how it addresses the fraud that these banks committed against many homeowners across Iowa,” said Miller.  “This agreement not only provides badly needed relief to Iowa borrowers, but it also puts a stop to many of the bad behaviors that contributed to the mortgage mess throughout Iowa and across the country.  This agreement will protect homeowners and ensure they’re treated fairly.” 

Iowa’s estimated share of the settlement is $40,235,321.

  • Iowa borrowers will receive an estimated $5,899,449 in benefits from loan term changes.
  • Iowa borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 and encountered servicing abuse would qualify for $7,402,512 in payments to borrowers.
  • The value of refinanced loans to Iowa’s underwater borrowers would be an estimated $11,602,880.
  • The state will receive a direct payment of $15,330,480. 

The unprecedented joint state-federal settlement began with a massive civil law enforcement investigation that included state attorneys general and state banking regulators across the country, and several federal agencies.  The settlement holds banks accountable for past mortgage servicing and foreclosure fraud and abuses and provides significant relief to homeowners.  With the backing of a federal court order and the oversight of an independent monitor, the settlement stops future fraud and abuse. 

Under the agreement, the five servicers have agreed to a $25 billion penalty under a joint state-national settlement structure. The settlement does not grant any immunity from criminal offenses and will not affect criminal prosecutions.  The agreement does not prevent homeowners or investors from pursuing individual, institutional or class action civil cases against the five servicers.  The pact also enables state attorneys general and federal agencies to investigate and pursue other aspects of the mortgage crisis, including securities cases.

For more information on the proposed agreement: 





Kuemper Catholic wins ACT award for achievement


February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the college entrance exam organization ACT have recognized the Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll as a “Legacy Red Quill” award winner. Nearly fifty high schools across the Midwest have received recognition for their achievements to better prepare students for college and career readiness. The high-achieving schools are being honored for 2011-2012 , through both the ACT’s Red Quill, and Red Quill Legacy Awards.

ACT recognizes those schools and districts with demonstrated commitment over several years through the Red Quill Legacy Award. This year’s Legacy Award winners include 17 schools in six states, all of which are experiencing sustained improvement in student achievement.

Fewer than one quarter of schools that apply are awarded the Red Quill, which recognizes schools in the Midwest that take innovative approaches to improve their curriculum, teaching practices, and academic counseling. The winners also effectively use ACT assessment data-EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT exam-to benefit student achievement. EXPLORE, normally an eighth grade assessment, PLAN, normally a tenth-grade assessment, and the ACT test, normally taken by eleventh and twelfth graders, all measure whether students are on track for success in college and career. 

Red Quill and Red Quill Legacy Award recipients are recognized at each of the Midwest region’s ACT State Organization Annual Conferences.