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Council Bluffs man charged in toddler’s death last week


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police in western Iowa have arrested a man and charged him in the death of a toddler. Police say officers and fire personnel were sent to a Council Bluffs apartment last week for an unresponsive child. The child, a 16-month-old girl, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Javon Jennings

The initial investigation led to an arrest warrant being issued for 22-year-old Javon Jennings, of Council Bluffs, charging him one count of child endangerment causing serious injury. Police say Jennings was arrested Wednesday and is being held on $250,000 bond.

Police say Jennings was the sole caretaker of the girl when she was fatally injured. Her injuries included a broken left leg. The cause of the girl’s death remains under investigation, and detectives are awaiting final autopsy results.

Atlantic Board of Education approves Non-Certified Staff agreement


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education met during a brief session Wednesday evening and voted to approve a settlement with the Atlantic Employee Association, which represents the Non-Certified Staff (which includes Bus drivers, custodians, grounds maintenance, para-educators, secretaries and cafeteria personnel). Superintendent Steve Barber said the agreement (Which was tentatively reached March 13th) stipulates each eligible employee shall move a step on the salary schedule, and all employees shall receive 15-cents. Also, those employees serving as bus or event drivers, will receive a 50-cent per hour raise (from $10.50 to 11.00) for wait times during events.

All transportation staff would have the option to be paid bi-weekly, as well, if they choose. The total package amounts to $47,348.22, or an increase of 1.72%. Negotiations for the Certified Teaching Staff are currently underway. The Board held an exempt session following the regular meeting, for the purpose of negotiation strategy and/or related matters.

In other business, the Atlantic School Board approved a Driver’s Education Contract for the 2019 school year (effective 1/1/19), with White Knuckle Driving School in Atlantic. Local certified instructors will be used for the course. And, the Board approved a bid of $75,660 for a Middle School bleacher replacement from Academic Specialists LLC, doing business as Iowa Direct Equipment, of Cedar Falls.

The other bid, from a company in Minnesota, was considerable higher. Superintendent Steve Barber said there was no explanation why the bid from Carroll Seating Company, of Owatonna, MN. ($107, 973). He mentioned that a representative from, Iowa Direct came to the Middle School to examine the layout. The project was estimated to cost between $80,000 to $90,000.

The next, regular Atlantic School Board meeting will take place in the Middle School Media Center on May 9th, beginning at 5:30-p.m.

Trial pushed back for mother in drug-overdose death of girl


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a mother accused in the overdose death of her daughter has been rescheduled. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the trial of 34-year-old Misty Frazier will now start June 26. It had been set to begin on Tuesday.

Frazier is charged with child endangerment resulting in death and distributing a drug to a minor without a prescription. Prosecutors say an autopsy shows the girl died in October 2016 of an overdose of the antidepressant amitriptyline, commonly sold under the brand name Elavil.

Police say the child did not have a prescription for that medication.

2 charged w/Attempted Murder & other offenses in connection with NE/IA Pursuit


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A man and woman face charges of Attempted Murder in Fremont County, following a chase that began in Nebraska. Sheriff Kevin Aistrope reports early this (Wednesday) morning, Tabor Police engaged in the pursuit of a Chevy Malibu, in Tabor. As the pursuit went south, out of Tabor on Highway 275 by the Fremont-Mills High School, shots were fired from vehicle in the direction of Police.

The Fremont County K9 unit  joined in the pursuit to assist Tabor, at around 170th Street on Highway 275. An estimated four-to five rounds were fired from inside the suspect vehicle toward the pursuing K9 Unit, hitting the vehicle three times. Both agencies continued south bound pursuing the vehicle at speeds over 100mph. The suspect vehicle continued southbound and entered the Sidney city limits at a high rate of speed.



Once Inside the city limits, deputies and officers slowed down through town and lost sight of the vehicle around Main and Clay Streets. The deputies continued to search finding the vehicle on the Highway 275 bypass southbound off of 290th Avenue. At that point the car continued southbound at speeds of up to 125-mph. Deputies stayed with the vehicle into hamburg city limits.

The vehicle continued southbound through Hamburg to the Missouri Line before ramping the into the river just south of Hamburg. At that point multiple agencies had responded to deputies call for assistance with shots fired. Those agencies included Mills Co. K9 Unit, Montgomery Co. K9, Cass Co. K9 Unit, Shelby Co. K9 Unit, Shenandoah K9 Unit, Red Oak Police, Iowa State Patrol, Glenwood Police, and Page Co. Sheriff.

During the search for the suspects Deputies located 28 year old William Stanfill of Bellevue NE and 37 year old Jaqueline Streich also of Bellevue. Once located both subjects gave up without further incident and were transported to Grape Community Hospital for injuries sustained from crashing into the river. Once they were released from the Hospital Deputies arrested both subjects and transported them to the Fremont County law enforcement center.

Both Stanfill and Streich are being held on $1-million dollars cash-only bond each, on charges that include two-counts of Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer, Felony Assault with a deadly weapon, Felon in possession of a Firearm, Felony Eluding, Reckless driving and numerous traffic violations. The same subjects were being sought by Bellevue Police for multiple drive by shootings in that area, and also for shooting at Law Enforcement.

Health officials warn of measles exposure in SE Minnesota


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State health officials are warning residents of southeastern Minnesota about possible exposure to measles. The Minnesota Department of Health learned this week that a non-Minnesota resident with confirmed measles traveled through Minnesota from another state. According to the department, people may have been exposed to measles on April 13 at a McDonald’s on Main Street in Winona and on April 16 at the Freeborn County Co-op gas station in Albert Lea.

Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz tells the Star Tribune the infected person was from Missouri. Health officials in western Wisconsin and in Iowa also are warning people about recent potential exposure to measles. Symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and a rash. The disease can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


Ag/Outdoor, News

April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

AMES, IA – The Iowa FFA Creed Speaking Leadership Event was held at Iowa State University, Ames, on Monday, April 23, 2018. Eighteen individuals participated in this year’s Career Development Event (CDE). The  first place individual for the event was Anna Campbell from the Audubon FFA Chapter. Their agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor is Mrs. Brittany Elmquist.The second place individual for the event was Carter Wagner from the Harlan FFA Chapter. Their agriculture education instructors and FFA advisors are Ms. Justine McCall and Mr. James Shughart.

Anna Campbell (Photo submitted)

This event is designed to develop leadership and the ability to appear before groups by 7th through 9th grade students as they become members of the FFA.

Senate panel votes to expand Iowa’s medical marijuana law


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A committee in the Iowa Senate has voted to expand Iowa’s medical marijuana law, but the move faces firm opposition in the Iowa House. Critics say current state restrictions make it difficult for the companies that won state licenses to make AND sell cannabis oil, creams and pills to stay in business. The bill that cleared the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday afternoon would get rid of a limit on the amount of the “T-H-C” chemical allowed in cannabis products. Dane Schumann, a lobbyist for MedPharm Iowa, says the change is “crucial” for the success of the company. “With that THC cap in place at three percent as it is, it’s going to be extremely difficult for MedPharm to treat the patients that the legislature has asked us to treat,” he says, “particularly those with severe and chronic pain ad many cancer patients that are experiencing pain as well.”

Peter Komendowski of the Partnership for a Drug-free Iowa opposes the idea of increasing T-H-C levels in cannabis products. “It is the open door, the Trojan Horse that establishes all of the basis for legalizing marijuana use,” Komandowski says. “…I am very hard-pressed to find anybody in the medical community, mental health treatment that says we should rush to market with a product that has not been thoroughly tested and evaluated and approved by the FDA.”

Last year legislators voted to set up a state-licensed system for growing, producing and selling cannabis products in Iowa, but the cannabis may only be used as treatment for 15 specific medical conditions. Bruce Beeston represents the Veterans National Recovery Center and he says most veterans would like to see the cannabis oil, pills and cream available as treatment for post traumatic stress. “I know several hundred of them who have been treating themselves for 40 years and doing a great job with it,” Beeston says. “We’d love to see it be legalized, come up with a way that they could get it in a way other than smoking it.”

House Speaker Linda Upmeyer has made it clear this year that she opposes expanding Iowa’s medical marijuana law. Upmeyer says lawmakers should wait for a panel of experts that will review the law starting in May and report their findings to the legislature.

(Radio Iowa)

The Iowa Supreme Court Mourns the Passing of Former Justice Jerry L. Larson, of Harlan


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, former colleagues, and friends are remembering Iowa Supreme Court Justice Jerry L. Larson, of Harlan, as a dedicated public servant whose long career combined a profound respect for the rule of law, an unwavering support for fair and impartial courts, and a great fondness for his hometown and the Shelby County Courthouse.

Former IA Supreme Court Justice Jerry Larson

Justice Larson, who has passed away at the age of 81, served from 1978 to 2008 and was the longest-serving justice in the history of the Iowa Supreme Court. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said “The Iowa court family is saddened by the passing of former Justice Jerry Larson. I had the honor and great pleasure to serve with Justice Larson for my first 10 years as a justice on the supreme court. He was a great mentor and better friend with a keen legal mind, a quick wit, and a deep love of the law. Our sympathies go out to his entire family.”

Justice Larson was appointed a district judge in 1975. He served on the district bench until his appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1978. In September 2007, Justice Larson surpassed Justice Theodore Garfield (1941 – 1969) as the longest serving justice in the history of the Iowa Supreme Court. During his 29 years as a justice, Justice Larson wrote 991 opinions. As a member of the Iowa Supreme Court, Justice Larson played a key role in developing the court’s rules for expanded media coverage of Iowa’s courts. These rules have served as a model for other states.

Justice Larson was born and raised in Harlan. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1958 and law degree in 1960, both from the University of Iowa. While at law school, he was an editor of the Iowa Law Review. Following his graduation from law school, he was a law clerk for U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge M.D. Van Oosterhout. Later, Justice Larson practiced law in Harlan with his father and served two terms as Shelby County Attorney before his appointment to the district court bench.

Justice Larson has four children: Jeffrey Larson, is the chief judge in the Fourth Judicial District.  Susan Christensen is a district judge in the Fourth District. Rebecca Larson, is an elementary teacher in Bettendorf, and his son, David, is an attorney in Avoca.

Traffic stop in Mills County Wed. morning leads a drug-related arrest


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop at around 1-a.m. today (Wednesday), in Mills County, resulted in a man being arrested on drug charges. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the Mills County Sheriff’s K9 Unit conducted at traffic stop on a vehicle near 221st St. and Ellington Avenue, for an equipment violation. Upon investigation, and searching the vehicle, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia were found. The driver, 32-year old Steve Jerrame Meyer, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Unlawful possession of Prescription pills, Possession of drug paraphernalia, and for Driving Under Suspension. Meyer was being held in the Mills County Jail on a $2,600 bond.

And, Tuesday night, 19-year old Andrew Scott Jarko, of Council Bluffs, was arrested in Mills County, on a warrant for Failure To Appear in court on a Possession of Controlled Substance charge. His bond was set at $10,000.

Iowa legislature in overtime, heading toward record


April 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The state legislature is a week past the target date for completing its work for the year. Democratic Senator Rob Hogg says Republicans are heading toward setting the record for the longest annual legislative session when the same party has control of the executive and legislative branches of state government.  “So, if you can just keep this session grinding out another week and a half, you can set the record for futility in the management of a legislative session when you control the House, the Senate and the governorship,” Hogg says.

House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake says Iowans aren’t concerned about how long the legislature meets. “We came here to do the people’s work, what they expect us to get done. We’re going to do that. I think they want it done correctly and, particularly, tax bills are very complicated,” Upmeyer says. “We want to make sure we get it right.”

This (Wednesday) morning it took the Iowa Senate about six minutes to pray, recite the pledge and adjourn until two o’clock tomorrow. The Iowa House intends to return later this (Wednesday) afternoon to debate bills that outline next year’s spending for some areas of the state budget later this (Wednesday) afternoon. There have been extended legislative sessions in the distant past that lasted into the summer, but that was when the Iowa General Assembly met every other year. In the past three decades, the legislature has been meeting annually.

(Radio Iowa)