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Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., June 20th 2013


June 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

RICEVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A northern Iowa police chief has been placed on paid leave pending a city investigation. The Riceville City Council took the action last week on Chief Kim Orth. Mayor Dean Eastman won’t discuss the reasons for the investigation because it is a personnel matter. He says the Mitchell County and Howard County sheriff’s departments will handle Riceville law enforcement coverage in the meantime.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines school district has approved the purchase of 182 additional security cameras. The Des Moines Register reports the school board Tuesday night approved a plan to buy and install the new camera at a cost of nearly $370,000. The expense will be covered by grants and money from a local option sales tax.

DESOTO, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol says a man has died from injured he received in a crash on Interstate 80 in central Iowa caused by a wrong-way driver. 20-year-old Jessie Leeper of Adair died early yesterday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say a man has died after being crushed between a truck and a semi-trailer. The Des Moines Register reports the accident happened late yesterday afternoon in an industrial lot near the Iowa Capitol. The victim’s name was not released last night.

Atlantic man fined in connection with stabbing incident


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man who was stabbed during an altercation with three young men on January 28th, has pled guilty to drug charges in connection with the incident, but additional felony charges of Willful Injury and Going Armed with Intent, were dismissed. Online court records indicate 43-year old Robert Alan Leslie entered a written plea of guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance/3rd offense, and Possession of a Marijuana/2nd offense, on May 28th in Cass County District Court. His trial was to have been held Tuesday (June 18th).

Judge James Richardson ordered Leslie to serve a total of 20-years in prison, but then suspended the sentences and ordered the man to pay fines amounting to $1,500 plus court costs and attorney’s fees. Leslie will also remain in two-years supervised probation, is required to complete a substance abuse treatment program, submit a DNA sample and maintain a full-time student or employment status.

Three young men were also charged in connection with the incident involving Robert Leslie. On April 29th, 18-year old Bryce Baker, of Atlantic, was sentenced to not more than 5-years in prison after pleading guilty to an amended charge of Willful Injury. 21-year-old Austin Nelson and 23-year-old Mykel Thoren, were charged with Accessory after the Fact, and received two-year suspended prison sentences.

During Baker’s sentencing, his attorney Jay Mez, said Baker was dating Robert Leslie’s daughter, and that Leslie did not agree with the relationship. The altercation took place, he said, when Baker went to Leslie’s home to “settle things.” Baker told the judge that the stabbing occurred out of self defense because Leslie had a weapon. He said he used a pocket knife to protect himself.

woman injured during Page County Motorcycle accident Wednesday


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Page County say one person was injured during a motorcycle accident in Clarinda, Wednesday. According to the Sheriff’s report, 61-year old Joann Joyce Rogers, of Clarinda, was stopped at the intersection of 6th and State Streets in Clarinda at around 11:30-a.m., and had proceeded to make a right turn onto State Street, when the 2007 Suzuki she was driving drove over a gravel/sand mix on the curb edge of the roadway, and according to a witness, “kicked out from under” Rogers and toppled onto its side.

Rogers hit her head on the concrete during the accident. She also complained of pain in her right shoulder and right ankle and was also bleeding on the right side of her face. She was not wearing a helmet. Rogers was taken by Clarinda EMS to Clarinda Regional Health Center for examination.

Affidavit: Iowa family abused adult son for years


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Council Bluffs family of three adults has been accused of severely beating the father’s 20-year-old son over several years. An affidavit says the abuse included the son being starved, chained with a dog leash and forced to sleep while standing.

The son, who ran away from home around March, was described in the affidavit as “mentally handicapped” without further explanation. He told authorities his father, 51-year-old James Beyer Jr., and his stepmother, 45-year-old Rebecca Beyer, had abused him for years. He says his stepmother often burned him with utensils heated from a stove.

Rebecca Beyer’s son, 22-year-old Ryan Smith, is accused of punching and kicking the man on previous occasions. Police arrested the Beyers and Smith on Wednesday. They each face first-degree kidnapping charges.

Board of Adjustment in Atlantic to hold hearings on 2 variance apps


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Board of Adjustment will hold public hearings on July 8th, with regard to two variance applications. One application comes from Joseph and Karen Riesberg, of 54886 650th Street, in Atlantic, that would, if approved, allow for the construction of a storage shed which would not conform with the Zoning Ordinance rear yard setback requirement. The shed would be located at 423 Elm Street. The other application, from Larry and Marlene Hummel, at 2803 Country Club Drive, in Atlantic, would allow for the construction of a three-car garage that does not conform to the street side yard setback requirements under City Code.

The public may comments in person at the hearings, set to take place 7:30-a.m. Monday, July 8th, at City Hall. You may also submit written comments in advance, to the City Clerk’s Office, at 23 East 4th Street, in Atlantic. Questions may be directed to Zoning Administrator John Lund, at 243-4810, or by e-mailing johnlund@mediacombb.net.

10-years in prison for woman connected to fatal crash near Mo. Valley


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Harrison County woman has been sentenced up to 10 years in prison following a fatal two car accident near Missouri Valley in February 2012. Online court documents say 32-year old Kerri Lynn Collier, formerly of Woodbine, was sentenced Monday in Harrison County District Court to 10 years in prison and fined $1,000.

Collier pleaded guilty on May 7th to an amended charge of vehicle homicide. As part of the plea, all of her simple misdemeanors, including driving on the wrong side of the highway, unlawful passing of a school bus and financial liability, were waived. By pleading guilty to the vehicular homicide charge, Collier admitted to causing the February 1st, 2012 accident that took the life of 54 year old Jennette McGrew of Magnolia.

The accident happened at the intersection of Highway 30 and Ann Street about 2 miles east of Missouri Valley. Collier was also ordered to pay $150,000 to McGrew’s estate.

Harlan City Council News


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council, Tuesday night, recognized a special member of the Harlan Community. Sanitation Superintendent Steve Kenkel received a Waste Environment Association Operator Advancement Award for his outstanding work with the Waste Water Treatment Plant, from the Iowa Environmental Association. Harlan Mayor Gene Gettys read a letter from the IEA that came with the award, which described Kenkel’s accomplishments, including the upgrades on the Waste Water Treatment facility, maintenance to the lift-station and his work with the Shelby County Cookers.

Kenkel helped the Cookers plant correct their compliance issues. In the letter, Scott Carlson, CEO of Westin Foods, said Kenkel was the key to helping the long term compliance for the city, state and federal regulations. Kenkel told the council how appreciative he was of them and what they do. He also praised his staff.

The Council Tuesday approved a request for an additional allocation of 100 pounds per day of biochemical oxygen demand or BOD from Shelby County Cookers. The cost for 100-pounds of BOD is $1,280 per pound, and 5-pounds of TKN is $3,600 per pound.

The Harlan City Council also accepted an agreement with Verizon Wireless to place a tower near 4th Street and Cyclone for additional cell phone coverage during RAGBRAI. The term of the agreement is from July 5th to July 30th, 2013. Verizon will pay a $500 fee to place the tower on a 75’ by 75’ parcel. Verizon is making similar agreements with host cities for the 2013 RAGBRAI event.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

King organizes anti-immigration reform event in DC


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King is among a group holding a six-hour-long press conference today (Wednesday) in Washington, D.C. to insist on securing the southern border before any reform of the immigration system. King is one of what’s been dubbed the “Gang of 70″ in the U.S. House who’ve lined up in opposition to the immigration reform plan being touted by the “Gang of Eight” in the U.S. Senate.

King says it’s “dumb” not to realize a fence is needed all across the U.S. border with Mexico. During a recent interview with Glenn Beck, King said a “horse high, hog tight and bull strong” fence like Iowa farmers build would keep people on the right side of the border. King has long opposed what he calls “amnesty” for “law-breakers” who came into the country illegally. King says it’s time for opponents to “stand their ground now” to ensure immigration reform is never considered in the U.S. House.

King hints there may be retribution from House Republican leaders against him and the other Republicans who oppose immigration reform. King bills today’s event as the “longest press conference in the history of the U.S. congress” to make the argument against immigration reform. It began at 8 a.m. Iowa time. There will be a two-hour break over midday and then the event will resume at one o’clock Iowa time for another three hours.

(Radio Iowa)

Harlan woman wins big in IA Lottery scratch game


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Lottery say a Harlan woman won $30,000 in an instant scratch game after buying a ticket for her husband’s birthday. Misty Robertson, accompanied by her husband, Eddy, claimed their jackpot prize off the Iowa Lottery’s Crossword scratch game. It was the 58th of 97 top prizes for the Crossword game.

The 34 year old Robertson told the lottery her husband enjoys playing the scratch tickets on his birthday. They ended up buying only 2 tickets, with the first being the $30,000 winner and the 2nd a $3 winner. Eddy Petersen said at first they thought they won $3,000 but his wife showed him there were more letters and called the whole experience very emotional. The couple took a few days to get everything together before claiming there prize. As Misty said, they didn’t want to go crazy with it.

Robertson claimed her winnings last Thursday at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines. She purchased her winning ticket at the Country Store 618 Durant Street in Harlan. She said they will use the money to fix up the house, buy a car and save some back.

Thirty nine top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Crossword, along with sixty-one $3,000 prizes. Since the lottery’s start in 1985, players have won more than $3.1 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.4 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Wendy Richter: FCSN in Atlantic is not closing


June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Director of the Family Crisis Support Network (FCSN) in Atlantic is dispelling rumors the shelter for abused women and their children is closing due to a loss of approximately $240,000 in state funding, and a failure to receive other forms of grants or funding. Richter says there are no plans to close the shelter at this time. Speaking before a meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors this (Wednesday) morning, in Atlantic, Richter addressed some questions that have arisen over what the shelter can and cannot do at this point. 

She says the can no longer serve victims of crimes, because that option has been taken away from the state. Richter says those agencies that have been serving crime victims, are only recognized as doing so. The FCSN is a member of two coalitions which allows their staff to work with victims of crime, but effective July 1st, any entity not funded by the state will not be recognized as a Crime Victim Service Agency. 

Richter says because the FCSN is a private, non-profit agency governed by a local Board of Directors, there is no reason to shut the shelter down. She says conversations with other entities within the County have been held to determine if there is a need to keep the shelter open. The final decision she says, will come with time. 

Last month, Richter said they have enough money in their “Rainy Day” fund to keep the shelter open. She says one option they could consider, is becoming a “Transitional Housing” facility, instead of a “Shelter.” She says there are numerous grants that can be applied for if they change the basis for their service, but the FCSN is not making a decision on that at this time, and it will stay open as a shelter until such time as it is no longer financially feasible to do so.

(Updated 6/20/13 w/edits)