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Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, Sept. 16th 2016

News

September 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — A prosecutor in the case of an Iowa teen who was given a suspended 10-year prison sentence for molesting a 1-year-old girl says the teen was duped into the act by child pornographers posing online as a teenage girl. The suspended sentence for 19-year-old Kraigen Grooms issued Monday has stirred outrage on social media and led to an online petition calling for an Iowa judge’s removal.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An attorney for the family of a woman mistakenly killed by an Iowa police officer is lashing out at the Iowa Public Information Board for “unconscionable” delays and errors in her case. Adam Klein, an attorney for Autumn Steele’s family, accused board members of mishandling complaints alleging that police have illegally withheld public records in her January 2015 shooting. Klein said their actions were hurting a grieving family.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Law enforcement officials have revealed the identities of two Cedar Rapids police officers who fatally shot a man earlier this week who was suspected of stabbing his children’s mother. The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Thursday in a news release that Officers Jeremiah White and Ashleigh Steil fired their weapons Monday, killing 25-year-old Markell Bivins. Hiring records show both joined the Cedar Rapids force in June 2008.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thirty protesters arrested last month at a central Iowa petroleum pipeline construction site have appeared in court on a trespassing charge. All but one protester took responsibility for the action and will pay just over $270 in fines and fees.

2 women arrested on charges associated w/a stolen vehicle

News

September 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports two women were arrested Thursday in association with the theft of a motor vehicle. At around 8:20-p.m., deputies arrested 37-year old Tamara Lynn McCoy, of Villisca, on an Adams County warrant for Theft of a Motor Vehicle. McCoy was being held in the Adams County Jail on $5,000 bond. And, at around 7:40-p.m., 27-year old Katherine Coleman, of Corning, was arrested for Possession of a Stolen vehicle.

Her arrest stems from an investigation into a vehicle stolen out of Villisca. At around 3:40-a.m., Thursday, Coleman was cited for Driving While Suspended and the vehicle was impounded. Later that day, the Mongtomery County Sheriff’s Office informed Adams County authorities the same vehicle had been reported stolen from Villisca.

Coleman was being held in the Adams County Jail on $5,000 bond.

NW IA high schoolers hold protest rally after voters reject school district merger

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

High school students in a northwest Iowa school staged a walk-out on Wednesday after the proposed merger of the Battle Creek-Ida Grove and Odebolt-Arthur School Districts failed. On Tuesday, voters in the Battle Creek-Ida Grove district overwhelmingly voted in favor of the merger, but 57 percent of voters in the Odebolt-Arthur School District voted against it. Terry Kenealy is the superintendent for both districts. He says teachers were going to have some professional development time Wednesday afternoon, so an early dismissal had already been planned for the high school.

“We had become aware that this was going to happen and our principal worked well with the students to try to make sure that it was done in a respectful manner,” Kenealy says. “They walked out to the football field and kind of had a rally and a discussion.” Students who didn’t want to participate left for home or stayed in the school cafeteria. The majority of students, though, chanted, “Ask the students!” as they left the school.

“My impression since I got here is that students for the most part — we’re not perfect, but for the most part — they get along really very well and they’ve enjoyed this experience as a whole-grade sharing school,” says Kenealy, who’s been superintendent for both districts for two years. “There’s many of them that were upset that the vote failed and they feel that students were not the primary concern that people were focused on when they went to vote…They feel like if they’d focused on the students, it would have passed.”

The two districts have had a whole grade sharing arrangement since 2009. High school students in both districts go to school in Ida Grove. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders to go school in Odebolt. There’s also an elementary school in Odebolt and an elementary school in Ida Grove. The superintendent says school boards in both districts will meet next week to discuss what’s next. Kenealy says the Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Board will discuss ending the whole grade sharing agreement with the neighboring district — and that decision must be made by November 1st.

“My point, in my discussion with board members, is students, families and staff members need to know what we’re going to do sooner rather than later because this impacts them more than anybody else,” Kenealy says. “The quicker we can let them know what’s going to happen, the better.” If the school boards decide to seek a second vote on a merger, that can’t happen for at least six months. Critics in Odebolt-Arthur who voted against the merger this week objected to the make-up of the merged school board. They argued it would give too much control to the Battle Creek-Ida Grove side of the district.

About 3900 people live in the Battle Creek-Ida Grove district and about 2000 people live in Odebolt-Arthur’s district. The merged district would have covered 259 square miles and included more than a thousand students.

(Radio Iowa)

Weak farm income hurts economy in rural parts of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers say weak farm income continues to weigh down the economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The overall rural economic index for the region remained in negative territory and declined to 37.3 in September from August’s 41.1. Survey officials say any score below 50 on any of the survey’s indexes suggests a decline in that area.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says farm income is expected to decline 12 percent over last year. That is limiting spending by farmers and hurting the economy in rural areas. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Goss says the number of farm loan defaults hasn’t increased significantly over the past year, but more loans are being restructured.

Atlantic Police investigate field vandalism

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Police Department are asking for your help in solving an incident of field vandalism. Authorities say last Sunday (September 11th), a person reported that a bean field had been mowed through, causing several paths of damage. Officials say it appears that the field was mowed with a bush hog.

The land is located on the southeast corner of Buck Creek Rd. and Iowa Ave., in between the railroad tracks and the Schildberg Recreation Area. Anyone having information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Atlantic Police Department.

Area where a bean field was vandalized.

Area where a bean field was vandalized.

Harlan Police report (9/15/16)

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department has issued an update on recent arrests and incidents. Officials say on Sept. 8th, two juvenile males were cited for possession of tobacco by persons under legal age when an officer observed them smoking at the skate park.  The juveniles were cited and released to their parents.

On Sunday, Sept. 11th, 64-year old Larry Meurer, of Harlan, was arrested when officers were called to an altercation between neighbors in the 1300 block of Hawkeye Avenue.  Meurer was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with intoxication in public.

This past Monday, 30-year old Cory Hunter, of Harlan, was taken into custody when officers were called to the 500 block of 12th Street for a domestic disturbance.  Hunter was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with domestic abuse assault for allegedly assaulting Gloria Sammons, also of Harlan.

And on Wednesday,  55-year old Denise Heilesen-Winchell was arrested on two active Shelby County warrants.  Heilesen was taken to the Shelby County Jail.

Iowa teen spared jail time in child molestation case

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – An online petition is calling for an Iowa judge’s removal after a 19-year-old man was spared jail time after pleading guilty to a child molestation charge involving a toddler. KTVO-TV reports Kraigen Grooms pleaded guilty to a count of engaging in a lascivious act with a child in July.

Wapello County Attorney Gary Oldenburger tells the station that Grooms received a 10-year suspended sentence and five years of supervised release Monday. He’s also required to register as a sex offender. The station reports that law enforcement told them after Grooms’ 2014 arrest that there was videotaped evidence of Grooms assaulting a 1-year-old.

The petition seeks Judge Randy DeGeest’s removal from office.

Bluffs man arrested on multiple charges early Thu. morning

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Thursday) morning in Pottawattamie County resulted in a man being arrested on several charges. A deputy stopped a pickup truck at around 3:20-a.m. near mile marker 54 of on Interstate 29. The driver, 36-year old Rodney Steel McCormick, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for OWI/1st offense, being a Fugitive from Justice, Possession of a Controlled Substance/marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia (a marijuana pipe with residue).

The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office said also, 32-year old Samantha Kathleen Wright, of Woodbine, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by police in Missouri Valley, on a Pott. County warrant for Failure to Appear in court on an original charge of Theft in the 4th degree. Wright was booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail and held on $10,000 bond.

Glenwood man arrested on sex abuse warrant out of Cass County

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports a man wanted on a Cass County warrant for Sexual Abuse in the 2nd degree, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his place of employment, in Council Bluffs. 25-year old Patrick James Barrett, Jr., of Glenwood, was arrested at around 3:30-p.m.  and brought to the Pottawattamie County Jail and was awaiting transported to Atlantic, by Cass County deputies.

5 more people allege abuse by priest, Iowa diocese says

News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Sioux City Diocese says five more people have made allegations of years-ago sexual abuse by a now deceased priest. The Sioux City Journal reports that the diocese also confirmed Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with the man who first came forward with allegations against the Rev. Peter Murphy, who served in several northwest Iowa parishes from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Spokeswoman Kristie Arlt says Bishop Walker Nickless is reaching out to the people who’ve contacted the diocese since June, when the diocesan newspaper asked readers for information about sexual misconduct by Murphy, who died in 1980.

Allegations originally surfaced when the now 69-year-old man wrote to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City about sexual abuse by Murphy when the man was a 12-year-old altar boy.