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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 19th 2014

News

February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Email and Internet service were disrupted yesterday for Gov. Terry Branstad’s office and many state government workers in the Capitol. Department of Administrative Services spokesman Caleb Hunter says the service loss started around 3 p.m. and could not quickly be restored. He says it was caused by a power outage at the government building that houses the state data servers.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Two sheep were killed in a barn fire in northeast Iowa. Dyersville Fire Chief Al Wessels says the fire was reported yesterday morning at a farm southeast of Dyersville. The fire was contained a short time later. Wessels tells the Telegraph Herald that the fire destroyed the barn. Damages have been estimated at $25,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have granted initial approval of a bill that would further crack down on texting while driving. A three-member Senate transportation subcommittee unanimously approved the measure yesterday. It goes to the full Senate Transportation Committee tomorrow.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa House are advancing legislation that would change the approval process to construct new power lines. The Des Moines Register reports that a House subcommittee approved the bill, which will move to the Judiciary Committee. The legislation is a response to opposition to the proposed Rock Island Clean Line.

Atlantic City Council to set the date for a Public Hearing on budget

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session Wednesday evening at the Senior Citizen Center next to the City Hall building. On the agenda for the 5:30-p.m. meeting is action on an order to adopt the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, and the setting of March 12th at 5:30-p.m. as the date and time for a public hearing on the budget. After the hearing, the Council may decrease the budget, but cannot increase it. The budget must be filed with the State and County Auditor’s Office by March 15th.

The proposed budgets for all operating funds amounts to $9.373-million, which is a decrease of $481,863 or 4.9%, from the total estimated expenditures in FY 2014. Even though the budget is lower than last year, the tax rate for the City is going up. The rate would be $18 per $1,000 of assessed taxable value, which is an increase of 32-cents or 1.8%, over the last Fiscal Year.

In other business, the Council will act on approving a Resolution accepting Public Improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. City Administrator Doug Harris says Fox Engineering reports Hawkins Construction has completed the project in general compliance with the terms, conditions and stipulations of the contract. The final payment to be approved amounts to just over $12.26-million, as compared to the final cost of $12.29-million. The City will retain a little more than $27,000, because the blower building was determined to be “defective work,” due to settlement caused by improper compaction of fill materials placed by the contractor.

The Council will also consider an appeal from an Atlantic resident with regard to a Storm Water fee paid for a building in the 600 block of Pine Street. The resident believes the building should be classified as residential, not commercial, for storm water assessment purposes.

Adair County man gets 10-years in prison on meth charge

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Adair County man was sentenced last Friday in U-S District Court in Council Bluffs, to 10-years in prison followed by three-years of supervised release, for the Possession with the Intent to distribute of methamphetamine on April 3rd, 2013. 49-year old Jason Shane Steckelberg, of Fontanelle, obtained meth from a source in South Omaha, Nebraska, and transported it back to Adair County for redistribution. On April 3, 2013, Steckelberg was stopped by law enforcement, and over 125 grams of pure methamphetamine was located in his car along with cash and other items that are indicative of drug trafficking.

Steckelberg pled guilty to the charge on November 1st, 2013. The charge was the result of an investigation conducted into methamphetamine distribution in and around the Adair and Cass County area. The investigation was conducted by the Adair and Cass County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Iowa Division of Narcotic Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Atlantic woman sentenced to 5-years in prison on meth charge

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports a Cass County woman was sentenced Friday to 5-years in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. 35-year old Azucena Carmen Cordero, of Atlantic, must also serve four years of supervised release following her incarceration, for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from July of 2012 until January 21, 2013.

Cordero pled guilty on October 15, 2013, to the charge, which was the result of an investigation conducted into methamphetamine distribution in and around the Atlantic area. Cordero obtained methamphetamine from a source in South Omaha, Nebraska, distributing it in Atlantic, and to a person in Polk City, Iowa. Co-defendant Paul Jessen was previously sentenced to 122 months in prison by the same judge who handed down the sentence again Cordero last Friday.

The investigation was conducted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the Atlantic Police Department and the Iowa Division of Narcotic Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Pott. Co. man sentenced to more than 6 years in prison for being a FIP

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced last week in Pottawattamie County to more than six-years in prison for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose handed down the 77 month sentence Friday against 35-year old Patrick Lawrence Estrada, who must also serve three years of supervised release following his incarceration.
Estrada pled guilty to the charge on November 1st, 2013. The charge was the result of an investigation conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department into a disturbance at a retail store on April 21st, 2013. The investigation determined that Estrada possessed a .40 caliber Springfield semi-automatic firearm in his car’s glove box. Estrada has been prohibited from possessing a firearm since 2003.
The investigation was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Atlantic man arrested Monday for violating a Protective Order

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Monday of 19-year old Phillip Thompson, of Lewis. Thompson was taken into custody for Violation of a No Contact or Protective Order. The man was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

(12:40-p.m. News)

Fontanelle man cited following Monday afternoon accident in Cass Co.

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says an Adair Couny man was cited Monday, following a non-injury accident at the intersection of Lansing Road and Highway 71. Officials say 59-year old Robert Lee Jacobsen, of Fontanelle, was cited for Failure to Stop. Jacobsen’s 2006 Dodge pickup rear-ended a 2001 Jeep Wrangler driven by 23-year old Myles Jeffrey Hetrick, of Atlantic, as Hetrick was slowing to turn onto Lansing Road. The accident, which happened at around 4:52-p.m., caused a total of $13,000 damage.

The Sheriff’s Office reports also, three arrests over the past few days. On Saturday, 32-year old Tracy Louise Porter, of Wiota, was arrested on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Porter pled guilty to the charge and was released from custody on Sunday. Also arrested Saturday, was 36-year old Shawn Joseph Williamson, of Anita. Williamson was also arrested for Driving Under Suspension, pled guilty, and was released on Sunday.

And on Friday, 56-year old Douglas Allen Howard, of Atlantic, was arrested on charges of OWI/2nd offense, and Driving While Revoked. Howard was released later that day on $3,000 bond.

Cass County traffic stop results in the arrest of NV residents on drug charges

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop on Interstate 80 Saturday in Cass County resulted in the arrest of two Nevada residents on drug charges. The Sheriff’s Office reports a Cass County Deputy pulled over a vehicle on I-80 westbound near the 67-mile marker, and as the result of an investigation arrested 32-year old Amanda Lynn Mesler of Sparks, NV, on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Another occupant of the vehicle, 46-year old Benjamin Michael Fielder, of Wadsworth, NV, was arrested on two counts of Possession of a controlled substance and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mesler and Fielder were taken to the Cass County Jail where both were released later that day on $2000 and $3,000 bonds respectively.

Shelby Co. Supervisors approve computer move to ECC

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Supervisors have approved a proposal to move the Shelby County courthouse computer services to the Emergency Communication Center. In a regular this (Tuesday) morning, Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter said the move has been planned for the last several years.

We’ve talked about how we did phase 1 with racks set up in preparation of moving our servers over there so this is nothing new. We have been putting money aside, at least 3 years to do the project. I finally talked to them and said let’s get this done. We talked about it at budget time. It is something that needs to be done. We need upgrades to our servers so in the process we will upgrade everything we can so we have everything where it should be when the move is complete.”

The Supervisors have been saving $50,000 per year for the last three years for the project. The current courthouse equipment is stationed in the basement of the courthouse which Carter said has the potential to be a problem. “We’ve been looking for a bunker type place. If there was a tornado and knocked the building down, right now they are not in a weather proof or secure place. We’ve had seminars on it and we need to be prepared.”

Carter went on to say that the equipment would be in jeopardy if a water main or large rainstorm came in as the equipment is on the floor. The cost of the project will be over $200,000 with the purchase of new equipment. A representative from Heartland Technologies was at the meeting and stated there will not be a lot of down time during the move as the company will work at off hours and overnight. The completion date is tentatively set for June 30th.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Malvern man arrested for sexual abuse

News

February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest last Friday of a Malvern man wanted on a warrant for Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree. 26-year old Jeffrey Scott Greene was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office, where he was being held on $10,000 bond. That same day, 42-year old Hope Rae Blevins, of Avoca, was arrested at the Lancaster County, NE., jail on a warrant for a Probation Violation. Her bond was also set at $10,000.

And on Sunday, 19-year old Joshua Udo Lambert, of Glenwood, was arrested in Mills County on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree. His bond was set at $1,000.

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report also, a man from Council Bluffs was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, following an accident Monday morning on 195th Street at the intersection with Eastman Road. Tristan Nolan, of Council Bluffs, was driving a 2006 Jeep west on Eastman Road and approaching the intersection when he failed to stop at the stop sign. A northbound semi driven by Robert Mattox, Sr., of LaVista, NE swerved to miss the Jeep, but the SUV struck the semi and left the road before hitting a utility pole and coming to rest in a ditch. The semi came to a stop on the roadway.