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Western Iowa man gets 30 years for robbery-related charges

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting to breaking into and stealing from two residences. The Sioux City Journal reports 25-year-old Dewayne Hendershot pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree burglary. Hendershot must serve a minimum of seven years in prison to become eligible for parole, as outlined in his plea agreement

Hendershot confessed to breaking into a home and robbing a resident at gunpoint in Dec. 2013. He also admitted to breaking into a home in Nov. 2013 and stealing guns. Charges from another robbery were dropped as part of Hendershot’s plea agreement.

(Update) Man seriously injured in accident at Iowa meatpacking plant

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OAKLAND, Iowa (AP) — A man has been seriously injured while working at a meat processing plant in Pottawattamie County. The Omaha World-Herald reports the man was operating a scissor lift alone on Wednesday morning at the OSI Oakland meat processing plant in Oakland when he found himself pinned against an overhead pipe. He was taken by ambulance to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the man sustained a head injury in the accident. Mike Koranda, the plant’s general manager, says the injury is not believed to be life-threatening. Koranda say the plant will investigate the incident.

Numerous, recent arrests in Mills County

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office today (Wednesday) released a report listing numerous, recent arrests. Officials say on Wednesday (1/14) 32-year old Anne Lynette Criswell, a homeless person, was arrested in Shelby County on a warrant for Assault causing bodily injury or mental illness. Her bond was set at  $1,000. And, a homeless man, 40-year old Robert David See, was arrested at the Pottawattamie County Jail, on a warrant for Theft in the 2nd Degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

There were also three arrests in Mills County, Tuesday. 21-year old Joseph Alan Sullivan, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Pott. County Jail on a warrant for Probation Violation. Bond was set at $5,000.  50-year old Roger Lee Wimer, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant for Failure To Appear on an OWI charge. His bond was also set at $5,000.  And, 32-year old Dustin Lee Schaffer, of Omaha, was arrested early Tuesday morning at Highway 34 and Kidd Road, for Driving Under Suspension. Bond was set at $300.

On Sunday, deputies in Mills County arrested 20-year old Trenton John Enger, and 19-year old  Darryk James Leu, both of Malvern for Possession of Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Their bonds were set at $1,300 each

And on Saturday, 51-year old Donald Edward Bonfiglio, of Omaha, was arrested for OWI/1st offense. His bond was set at $1,000. 21-year old Timothy John Jennings, of Glenwood, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault. He was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.  Also arrested Saturday, was 39-year old Jerry Lee Dawson, of Emerson, who was charged with Driving Under Suspension. His bond was set at $300. I

Injury accident at OSI in Oakland

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A maintenance worker at a food processing plant in Pottawattamie County was seriously injured this (Wednesday) morning, when he was pinned between a pipe and lift machine. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The employee was transported to a hospital in Omaha. WOWT reports the incident happened at Oakland Foods, on Highway 59. Pottawatttamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told the station the employee was on a lift extended upward when the accident happened at around 10-a.m.

Another worker called 911 after lowering the lift. The victim’s name has not yet been released. The parent company, OSI Industries said they were notifying the employee’s family, and had contacted OSHA. A thorough investigating was into what happened is expected.

Update: Harlan Schools to dismiss at 2:10-p.m. due to bomb threat

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency report students were safely evacuated from the Harlan Community High School this afternoon, after authorities were notified of a bomb threat. At 12:16 today Shelby County EMA/911 received a call for assistance in handling the incident. KETV reports the district alerted families via email and automated phone calls around 12:30 p.m. Officials said all students have been accounted for and are safe. Students were being dismissed at 2:10 p.m.

All K-8 students are at Immanuel Lutheran Church and can be picked up in the church parking lot. Students 9-12 are at Grace Baptist Church and can be picked up along Cyclone Avenue. Officials said students and staff won’t be allowed to get their vehicles or return to any building in the district, and everyone should stay away from the Middle School and High School.

Law enforcement determined the high school won’t be secure until at least 6 p.m.

Bomb threat at Harlan High School

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency report students were safely evacuated from the Harlan Community High School this afternoon, after authorities were notified of a bomb threat. At 12:16 today Shelby County EMA/911 received a call for assistance in handling the incident.

Harlan Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Harlan Fire Department were immediately dispatched to assist the Harlan Community School District. Law Enforcement is investigating the incident; no other information is available at this time as this is an evolving situation.

Students have been moved to a secure location. Officials are asking the public to stay out of the area as Emergency Vehicles are working. Traffic is being re-routed around the Harlan Community School. The next update is expected at 3-pm.

Newly elected Sen. Ernst to kick off 99 county tour

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sen. Joni Ernst says she’ll start her 2015 tour of all 99 Iowa counties this weekend. During a call with news reporters Wednesday, Ernst said she’ll be in her home town of Red Oak on Saturday. The appearance will mark the beginning of an annual effort to visit all the counties in Iowa every year.

Other Iowa politicians that make this effort each year include Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Terry Branstad.  The Republican Ernst was recently sworn in for her first term in the Senate.

Courthouse security discussions continue in Cass County

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The topic of courthouse security is clearly important, as evidenced by today’s (Wednesday’s) comments by Chief Justice Mark Cady, who spoke before the Iowa Legislature in his “State of the Judiciary” address (see the story posted on his statements). It’s also on the minds of officials in Cass County, who have been looking at ways to defend courthouse staff and the public during an “active shooter” situation.

Public Safety Commissioner Steve Livengood conducted an in-depth review of courthouse security and interviewed various departmental personnel to gauge their input. And while Livengood came up with numerous ways to address, or improve courthouse security, Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says his priority has to deal with ‘Safe Rooms” within the courthouse.

The various County offices are equipped with vaults that can be used as a “Safe Room,” but there are issues with them unable to be closed and secured from the inside. Kennon said in some cases, the doors were removed and know one knows where they are or why they were removed to begin with. He says if they can be found, they likely can be remounted on the existing brackets.

The courthouse security issue arose when concerns were made by the Clerk of Courts Office. On November 19th, an “Active shooter” drill was conducted at the courthouse, to familiarize County personnel with the sounds of gunfire on different levels of the building. In addition to establishing “Safe Rooms,” the County has taken measures to ensure there is only one public access point to the Courthouse, as suggested during a recent ISAC (Iowa State Association of Counties) meeting.

Supervisor Chuck Reiken said while addressing safety issues now are fine, there needs to be a more comprehensive, on-going and/or long-term plan to deal with threats and security.

Iowa’s chief justice: More security needed at courthouses

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s chief justice says the state’s court system needs more security at courthouses and better ways of addressing racial disparities in its criminal justice system. Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court made the comments Wednesday in the annual “state of the judiciary” address to a joint session of the Legislature. Cady says the judicial branch is completing surveys on security levels at each courthouse. He says some training has been implemented, but he did not elaborate.

The comments come after a man opened fire at the Jackson County Courthouse in September. He was killed after a scuffle with a county supervisor. Cady also says the justice system now offers staff training to recognize implicit biases that could contribute to racial disparities in its criminal justice system.

Branstad hoping tweaks to anti-bullying bill work

News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says he wasn’t surprised he got a standing ovation from legislators when he talked about the need to pass an anti-bullying bill. The moment came during Branstad’s “Condition of the State” message on Tuesday morning. “I think its time has come,” Brasntad said. “I think there’s a lot of interest in that and I think we perfected what we proposed last year.”

Branstad has tweaked his anti-bullying proposal after failing to get legislators’ approval in each of the past two years. For instance, he’s recommending the bill include a parental notice provision, so the student’s parents will be told if they’ve been involving in a bullying incident. Branstad has embraced the idea of spending more state money to train school administrators and teachers to deal effectively with bullying.

“We have tried to listen to some of the concerns that people had about the bill last year, such as if a student changes schools because of bullying, they’d be able to not have to sit out — they could participate in athletics immediately,” Branstad says. “The parental notification is important, but if there is a situation where the child would be harmed by that, we want there to be an opportunity to protect that child from that.”

Branstad unveiled his top legislative priorities, along with his proposed state budget yesterday (Tuesday). It would include more money for the public universities, but not as much as was requested — for instance, if the governor’s proposal is adopted by legislators the University of Iowa would get a third of what they’ve requested to cover a shift in the way state tax dollars are distributed to the three universities. “There’s only so much money available,” Branstad says. “And, you know, this is a tight budget.”

The board that governs the three state universities issued a written statement, saying Branstad’s budget plan would provide enough new state support for the schools so they’ll be able to freeze in-state tuition for a third consecutive year. But the board plans to lobby legislators to provide more money to the University of Iowa in the first year of the new system that will send Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa more state resources, since they have more students who are Iowa residents.

(Radio Iowa)