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Potential scam targets Iowa taxpayers

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A local tax preparer wants to pass along a message she’s received from the Iowa Department of Revenue. Jan Kinnison with J&R Tax Service in Atlantic, says Iowa officials have been made aware of a potential scam targeting Iowa taxpayers. The scam begins through an automated phone call, which shows on your caller ID as being from 515-281-3114. That number is the Iowa Dept. of Revenue’s Taxpayer Service number, however, no automated phone calls can originate from that number.

If you answer, you’ll be informed that you are eligible for a refund from the Iowa Dept. of Revenue, and you’ll be asked whether the refund should be deposited into the account the Dept. has on-file, if you’ like to donate the refund to an animal charity. The Dept. of Revenue stresses that THEY WILL NOT MAKE THESE TYPES OF CALLS! Official believe this is an attempt to steal your bank account or other personal information.

By fraudulently displaying the Department’s phone number on caller ID, the scammer is attempting to convince you the call is legitimate. If you receive such a call, DO NOT PROVIDE any information to the caller. You may report the incident to the Iowa Dept. of Revenue or Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

For more information, go to https://tax.iowa.gov/identity-theft-and-phishing.

Montgomery County Arrest

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Mark Saylor

Sheriff’s Deputies in Montgomery County arrested a woman from Elliott, Tuesday afternoon. 48 year old Kristine Courtney Ryan was wanted on a warrant for fraudulent practice in the 4th degree, which stemmed from allegations Ryan changed the purchase price of a vehicle that she registered. The woman  was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Memorial Day Weekend Campsites Going Quickly

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Camping options for the Memorial Day weekend in a state park are quickly shrinking. The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says campers wanting to spend the holiday weekend at Backbone, Black Hawk, Brushy Creek, Elinor Bedell, Emerson Bay, George Wyth, Lake Ahquabi, Ledges, Lewis and Clark,
Pleasant Creek, Prairie Rose, Rock Creek, Viking Lake, Walnut Woods and Waubonsie state parks should plan to arrive a few days early for one of the walk up sites with electricity – all the reservation sites have been taken. Other parks are close to hanging up the no reservations sign.

Bellevue, Dolliver, Green Valley, Gull Point, Lake Anita, Lake Macbride, Lake of Three Fires, Maquoketa Caves, McIntosh Woods, Palisades, Springbrook, Stone, Union Grove, Volga River, Waubonsie and Wilson Island state parks have only a site or two remaining.

Lake Geode State Park is not taking reservations for camping or for the beach shelter until the construction on the wastewater system is complete. The park is open and is accepting campers on a first come, first served basis. At this time there is no water available for the showers, restrooms, or for the dump station.  Water is available from the campground hydrants.

Lake Keomah State Park is closed to allow the roads to be replaced. Nine Eagles State Park modern campground is closed while a new shower and restroom facility is installed. Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend. Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov,  including links to the reservations page.

Tesla to open 8 electric charging stations in Council Bluffs

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Tesla Motors has installed eight accelerated charging stations in Council Bluffs as the company seeks to advance its plans to implement a nationwide charging network. Tesla officials say the Supercharger stations are the first of its kind in Iowa, offering quicker charge times for the company’s all-electric, battery-powered Model S sedan than those located in Cedar Falls and Davenport.tesla

A Tesla spokeswoman says the new docks in Council Bluffs are part of the company’s goal of providing free charging ports about every 150 miles along interstates and highways across the country. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the stations aren’t yet available for use, but the spokeswoman tells the newspaper that they should be opening soon.

Tesla is based in Palo Alto, California.

Another banking scam surfaces

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are warning the public about another banking-related scam. Officials say a resident of the city received a telephone call from a scammer saying they wanted to talk to the head of the household. The caller wanted information and about the bank and the potential victims’ experience the last time they went to the bank.

Never give your personal information to someone who requests your banking information, and stay alert to these type of telephone calls. On Monday, many people received text messages from a business purporting to be Wells Fargo, saying the recipients’ debit or check cashing card had been suspended, and the individual should click on a website link to get more information.

Other banks were also mentioned in similar text messages. That too, was a scam to get personal information. In some cases, the people who received the message didn’t have an account with the bank in question. If a text message, e-mail or phone call seems suspicious, it probably is an attempt to scam you.

New efforts launched to conserve monarch butterfly in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and several agriculture groups have convened to launch new efforts to conserve the monarch butterfly’s habitat across the state. Iowa State University on Monday announced its involvement in the so-called Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium with the DNR and the state Department of Agriculture, among other farmer and conservation organizations. Officials say the project employs a science-based approach to improve monarch butterfly reproduction and foster community conservation efforts.

The partnership comes after the federal government allocated $3.2 million to help save the monarch butterfly, whose population has seen a 90 percent decline in recent years. According to a news release, ISU has been tasked with leading research to develop best practices for maintaining milkweed plants in both rural and urban areas of the state.

2 accidents in Atlantic, Monday

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two accidents took place Monday, in Atlantic, with only minor injuries reported. The Police Department says just after 7:20-a.m., vehicles driven by Merle Pope, of Harlan, and Patsy Wood, of Adair, collided at 7th and Ash Streets, when Pope failed to stop at the traffic lights and ran into the Wood vehicle, which was proceeding into the intersection from the west side entrance to Wal-Mart. Damage from the impact amounted to $4,000. Wood said she bumped her head, but refused medical treatment. Police cited Pope for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

And, at around 5:30-p.m. Monday, vehicles driven by Kay Williams, of Marne, and Linda Fay, of Lewis, collided at the entrance to the Subway store on 7th Street. Both vehicles were heading eastbound when a non-contact vehicle in front of Williams’ car stopped. Williams also stopped, but Fay couldn’t stop in-time, and rear-ended the Williams vehicle, causing a total of $7,500 damage. No injuries were reported. Fay was cited for Following too Close.

House, Senate continue education funding negotiation

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers from the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House remain at odds over education funding. A joint committee met Tuesday to try to hammer out a deal for a funding level for K-12 education for the upcoming academic year. But the committee did not immediately reach a resolution. House Republicans have advanced a plan that would provide about $100 million in additional funding, while Senate Democrats want to give schools over $200 million in additional funding.

Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, says he’ll consider more funding if Democrats would agree to modify arbitration rules for teachers. This committee cannot directly negotiate on that, but a bill proposing some changes received approval from a House subcommittee Tuesday. Democrats are unlikely to consider any change to union rules.

Transportation board considering reopening Buddy Holly crash

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) – The National Transportation Safety Board has agreed to consider reopening the investigation into the Iowa plane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson.The_Day_the_Music_Died The Globe Gazette reports that the board has agreed to consider another investigation after receiving a letter from L.J. Coon, an experienced pilot from New England. He contended that there were other issues involving weight and balance calculations, the rate of the plane’s climb and descent, fuel gauge readings and the passenger-side rudder that the board should investigate.

In 1959, the Civil Aeronautics Board ruled that the most likely cause of the crash was pilot error, and snow was listed a secondary cause. An initial response to Coon’s information will take about two months, and then it could take up to a year to determine if the petition will be granted.

Icy roads contribute to rollover accident in Montgomery County

News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Icy roads contributed to a rollover accident this (Tuesday) morning west of Stennett, in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say Margene M. Bisbee, of Carson, suffered neck and back injuries, when the 2004 Ford Expedition she was driving went out of control and rolled over at around 8:10-a.m.  The accident happened as Bisbee was traveling west on 150th Street, about one-tenth of a mile from E Avenue.

The SUV entered the north ditch and continued westbound , skidding sideways until it encountered snow in the ditch. The vehicle flipped and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels. Bisbee was transported to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital for treatment. Her SUV sustained about $7,500 damage. No citations were issued.