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Explosion in Creston claims one life

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – The manager of a fertilizer plant in southern Iowa says an employee has died following an explosion at the facility. Bill Clem, plant manager of Green Valley Chemical in Creston, says the explosion Thursday morning killed an employee and injured at least two people. He called those injuries non-life-threatening, but he did not elaborate. He also would not say if the injured are employees. Clem said he could not immediately provide any further details about the circumstances of the explosion.

Lee Freeman with the Creston Fire Department says officials responded to a medical call from the plant around 11 a.m. He says there was a report of an explosion, but he did not have additional information.
A website for the plant says it produces agricultural fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia.

DCA invests $1.3 million in six communities to spur cultural development

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) say it is continuing to build and sustain a more culturally vibrant Iowa by awarding more than $1.3 million for projects in six communities designated Iowa Great Places. The DCA approved an Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board recommendation to designate and award funding to five communities as Iowa’s newest Great Places: Sixth Avenue Corridor (Des Moines), Grinnell, Linn County, Manning and the Raccoon River Valley Trail (Waukee).

Iowa Great Places funding will advance the vision of Manning, to offer increased recreational, transportation, and social opportunities. Great Places support coincides with other major initiatives in Manning involving the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Drake University and the Iowa Restaurant Association. Manning’s proposal will reinforce its unique sense of place while encouraging creativity and highlighting its most historic attractions.

Plans call for bronze statues and sculptural elements to be placed throughout the community and the creation of a new park around the historic Milwaukee Trestle Bridge. Additionally, a Park/Hospital trail connector will improve pedestrian access from a regional hospital to the community’s historic Main Street, supporting the community’s economic development goals. All of the projects are supported by multiple local and regional vision plans and partnerships with Iowa State University and Trees Forever.

Dawn Rohe (Roy), with the City of Manning, said “The Manning community is very grateful for the Iowa Great Places designation and funding. Not only will it help fund three public art projects, two trail segments, and the new trestle park, it will help showcase some of the developments that make Manning one of the great places of Iowa.”

This year, the board reviewed applications from nearly a dozen Iowa communities requesting approximately $3 million. Common themes identified across the communities awarded funding include an emphasis on creating livable, walkable communities, revitalizing downtowns and urban neighborhoods, and capitalizing on outdoor recreational corridors.

1st New Year’s baby at CCMH

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System have announced the first baby born in the New Year, belongs to a couple identified as “Keisha” & “Rick.”LilyFamily The little girl and her proud parents of “Lily Lynn” were celebrated by the CCMH OB Department,  were celebrated by going home with a stash of diapers and Lily’s very own 2015 baby blanket.

Bluffs Police release details of CU robbery

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are looking for two men who robbed a credit union near the Mall of the Bluffs Thursday morning. Officials say just before 10-a.m., two black males entered the SAC Federal Credit Union at 1712 Madison Avenue, wearing grey hooded sweatshirts, orange safety vests and dark colored face masks. One of the men was wearing a dark colored stocking cap. He was described as being 5-feet 9-inches tall and of average build. The other man wore a white colored hard hat. He was said to be about 6-feet two-inches tall, and of average build.

Surveillance photo of the suspects.

Surveillance photo of the suspects.

The suspect in the dark colored stocking cap pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at one of the clerks and demanded money. The man in the white hard hat jumped over the counter and began removing money from one of the drawers. After taking an undetermined amount of money, both men fled the bank through the front doors and left the area in a black, newer model four door car.

The suspect's getaway vehicle.

The suspect’s getaway vehicle.

The car left the bank in an unknown direction. No one was injured during the commission of the robbery.

The Council Bluffs Police Department is working in cooperation with the FBI to solve this crime. Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 328-STOP, or the FBI at 402 493-8688. You can remain anonymous and any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects could be eligible for a cash reward.

Hearing on new trial set for Oakland man convicted of murder

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man who was found guilty of first-degree murder last November in connection with the death of an Atlantic woman, has filed a motion for a new trial. According to online court records, the attorney for 63-year old Robert A. Reynolds, of Oakland, filed the motion for a new trial on Dec. 31st. Reynolds’ attorneys cited in their motion the grounds for a new trial would include the trial not being in Avoca, a jailhouse phone call, and other issues discussed in the judges’ chambers.

Last Friday (Jan. 2nd), 4th District Court Judge Greg Steensland set Thursday, Jan. 15th, as the date for a hearing on the matter and an arrest of judgement. Reynolds, who was found guilty of shooting to death 64-year old Patricia Kinkade-Dorsey at Reynolds’ home during the early morning hours of April 8th 2013, was to have been sentenced Jan. 21st.

Bluffs bank robbed Thursday morning

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bank in Council Bluffs was robbed late this (Thursday) morning, near the Mall of the Bluffs. Omaha television station WOWT reports just before 10-a.m., two men conducted an armed robbery at the SAC Federal Credit Union on Madison Avenue.

Additional details are currently not available.

Gov. Scott Walker to attend Iowa conservative event

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will attend a conservative political event in Iowa this month. Organizers of the Iowa Freedom Summit announced Thursday that Walker will participate. The Jan. 24 event in Des Moines is being sponsored by Citizens United and Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Walker, a Republican recently re-elected to a second term, is weighing a 2016 presidential bid. Spokesman Tom Evenson said in a statement that Walker was looking forward to “sharing the story of Wisconsin’s successful reforms.”

Walker was last in Iowa in September for an economic conference.  Other confirmed guests for the summit include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Cannabis oil debate may resume in 2015 legislature

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three key state policymakers have varying opinions about whether to change the Iowa law that decriminalized possession of cannabis oil as treatment for chronic epilepsy. The parents of children who suffer from multiple seizures say it’s impossible to get the marijuana derivative and they’re asking lawmakers to allow the production and sale of cannabis oil in Iowa. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, does not anticipate legislators will take that kind of action to expand last year’s bill.

“The objective of that bill was not to take parents and families that are in this situation and somehow they end up in prison for trying to take care of their family,” Paulsen says. “…That’s what it was intended to, to decriminalize possession.” Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the pleas of those parents will get a hearing. “It’s decriminalized, but impossible for people to access the non-intoxicating oil,” Gronstal says, “I don’t think that does much in terms of solving the problem, so if we could find a way to do some tweaks to this legislation, I’m certainly open to that.” And Governor Terry Branstad isn’t necessarily closing the door either, but he’s not embracing changes in the law.

“And I think we also need to be concerned about unintended consequences,” Branstad says. “That’s what both the medical community and law enforcement last year and I think that’s why the legislature came down where it did.” Branstad says Iowa policymakers should review similar laws that were passed last year in Utah and Alabama, plus he suggests Iowans soon may be able to legally obtain cannabis oil in Illinois.

The State of Illinois has legalized the production, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes, but while that law took effect more than a year ago, Illinois has yet to award dispensing licenses and none of the more than six-hundred patients in Illinois who have permission to get the drug have gotten it. The parents of children with chronic epilepsy in Iowa say no other state where cannabis oil is currently sold will allow out-of-staters to buy it, plus they’d be in danger of arrest as they transport it back to Iowa through states where it is illegal.

Branstad, Gronstal and Paulsen made their comments during The Associated Press Legislative Forum yesterday (Wednesday) at the statehouse.

(Radio Iowa)

Citizen’s Police Academy to be held in Council Bluffs this Spring

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Residents of Council Bluffs have a chance to participate in a Citizen’s Police Academy, this Spring. The academy is designed to give people who live or own a business in Council Bluffs the opportunity to learn what police work is like in their community.CBPD The classes cover everything from community-oriented policing to special weapons and tactics teams and are taught by Council Bluffs police officers. The first class was held in the spring of 1992 and officials say it was a huge success.

Classes will meet Thursday night’s from 6:30-to 9-p.m., for 12 weeks, and will be held at the Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Training Facility. Last year, participants learning about their police department, first hand. Most of the classes are designed to be hands on experiences for the participants. Many people learn about police work through television and going through an experience such as the citizen police academy can be quite rewarding. Classes may be rearranged due to staffing, scheduling, or other circumstances.

Registrations for the Spring 2015 CPA are being taken now. Register for the CPA by filling out the form available on the Council Bluffs P-D’s Facebook page, and send it to: Officer Matt Brinkman, 227 South 6th St., Council Bluffs, IA 51501. If you have any questions please feel free to call Officer Brinkman at (712) 329-1825.Police Academy

Omaha woman arrested in Glenwood on drug-related charges

News

January 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Glenwood Police Department report the arrest this (Thursday) morning, of a Nebraska woman on drug-related charges. 31-year old Sharee Rhoades,  of Omaha, was arrested on a Pottawattamie County warrant for Failure to appear for unlawful possession of prescription drugs. SHe was also arrested for Fraudulent Practices in the 3rd Degree. Her total bond on both charges amounts to $12,000.