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Auditor: Carroll County sheriff’s deputy & clerk collected gun safety course fees that belonged to county

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A special investigation by the state auditor’s office has concluded a deputy sheriff in Carroll County and a staffer in the sheriff’s office improperly split at least 128-thousand dollars’ worth of fees for gun safety classes. Starting January 1st of 2011, Iowans who proved they had completed a gun-handling course and met all other legal requirements automatically got a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The man who was Carroll County’s sheriff at the time asked Deputy Tom Fransen to start teaching the gun safety classes — but State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the fees for the classes “belong to the county.” The classes were taught in the courthouse in Carroll, county equipment was used, plus the sheriff’s office phone number was listed as the primary point of contact on the materials advertising the classes. Fransen and Shanna Balukoff — a clerk in the Carroll County sheriff’s office — split the fees that were collected over a five-and-a-half year period.

The auditors’ review says the two may have pocketed MORE than 128-thousand dollars in fees because not all receipts in the sheriff’s office were properly recorded. The auditors’ report has been forwarded to state and Carroll County prosecutors as well as the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

(Radio Iowa)

Troubled trucking firm faces scrutiny after Texas deaths

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A trucking company linked to a recent deadly human smuggling case in Texas had long promoted itself as a family firm whose hard-working drivers helped keep the U.S. economy running.

But according to public records and interviews with former drivers, Pyle Transportation was a cutthroat business that flouted laws, yet managed to stay afloat despite financial troubles and tangles with the government.

One of the company’s contract drivers was charged Monday in the deaths of 10 immigrants found in a sweltering Pyle trailer in San Antonio. The firm says it knew nothing about the human smuggling operation.

Federal regulators have launched an investigation into the company’s safety record.

Man arrested, charged in Sioux City slaying of Nebraska man

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have arrested a suspect in the Sioux City stabbing death of a Nebraska man. Police say 29-year-old Daniel Levering, of Sioux City, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder in the Sunday stabbing and beating death of 36-year-old Vincent Walker, of Winnebago, Nebraska.

Police say Walker was washing his car when he was confronted late Sunday afternoon by three people. Police say the group then assaulted him, with one stabbing him and another hitting him repeatedly with a baseball bat. Walker later died at a Sioux City hospital.

Levering is being held on $1 million bond. His preliminary hearing has been set for Aug. 7 in Woodbury County District Court.

Omaha Man Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison for Reentry Center Escape

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska man was sentenced today (Thursday) to 16 months in prison for escaping from a re-entry center in Pottawattamie County. According to the U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, 28-year old Keith Wayne Page, of Omaha, will also be required to serve three years of supervised release following his imprisonment.

On January 19th, 2017, Page pleaded guilty to the charge. He admitted that he failed to return to CH, Inc., a residential reentry center in Council Bluffs in early September of 2016, after being granted a job-seeking pass. In December of 2016, Page was apprehended in Omaha on a federal arrest warrant.

The United States Marshals Service and the Metro Fugitive Task Force conducted the investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

3 accidents in Cass County over the past week

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says three accidents occurred over the past week. At around 3:30-a.m. Sunday, Deputies responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 at the 60 mile marker. Officials say a 2005 Chevy Impala owned and driven by 31-year old Tanner Andrew Peterson,  of Des Moines, was eastbound on I-80 when the car went out of control, crossed the median, crossed westbound traffic, and entered the north ditch. Peterson was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac Ambulance. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $3,500. Peterson was subsequently cited into court for Possession of Marijuana 1st Offense. The incident remains under investigation.

At around 4:15-a.m. Monday, Cass County Deputies responded to a report of an accident involving a car and a horse on Highway 48, in Cass County. Authorities say a 2003 Ford F150 owned and driven by 43-year old Christopher Michael Miller, of Griswold, was northbound on Highway 48 when the vehicle struck a large horse in the roadway. The Miller wasn’t hurt, but the horse died at the scene. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $7,000.

And, on Tuesday, a two-vehicle accident happened at around 12:05-p.m. at the intersection of Main and Mills Streets, in Griswold. Officials say a 2010 Chevy Silverado owned and driven by 56-year old Gene Schmeling, of Atlantic, was westbound on Main Street when a 1995 Ford F150 pickup owned and driven by 51-year old Anita Marie Riley, of Griswold, pulled away from a stop sign on Mills Street and in front of Schmeling’s vehicle, causing a collision. No injuries were reported. Damage to Schmeling’s vehicle is estimated at $1,000; damage to Riley’s vehicle is estimated at $1,500. Riley was cited for Failure to Yield.

Atlantic man arrested on sex abuse warrant

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office say an Atlantic man was arrested today (Thursday), on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree. 29-year old Ryan Charles Juhl was brought to the jail from Clarinda Corrections, pending a hearing and will be taken back to Clarinda Corrections after the hearing. And, 25-year old Morgan Barbara Dvorak, of Atlantic, turned herself in at  the Cass County Jail Wednesday, on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Dvorak was booked and then released on $2,000 bond.

Worsening drought conditions in parts of US stressing crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Drought conditions are getting worse in several states, and extreme heat and weeks with little rain have begun to stress corn, soybeans, wheat and livestock in some areas. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says nearly 11 percent of the continental United States is in moderate drought or worse. The most severe drought area is centered on portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The United States Department of Agriculture has designated several counties in those states as areas of natural disaster, paving the way for emergency loans for producers.  Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas also are seeing stressed crops and farm animals. About half of U.S. spring wheat, 15 percent of corn and 14 percent of soybeans are in drought.

Defensive tactics for women to be taught in Shelby County

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says a Defensive Tactics class open to women is set to take place August 7th, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Harlan High School Wrestling room. Any female over the age of 14 is invited to join in this event. Participants will be asked to sign a waiver prior to the start of the class, and any participants under the age of 18 will need a guardian to sign the waiver upon arrival. Pre-registration is not required.     

Iowa Sales Tax Holiday to be held August 4 – 5

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The 18th annual Iowa Sales Tax Holiday will be held Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5, 2017. Qualifying clothing or footwear with a selling price of less than $100 will be exempt from sales and local option tax. Lists of taxable and exempt items are available on the Iowa Department of Revenue website: https://tax.iowa.gov/iowas-annual-sales-tax-holiday. Information on how to apply the tax to layaway and mail order items, rain checks, gift certificates, coupons, and exchanges is also available on our website.

Some tax exempt items include:
* Clothing and footwear for everyday wear such as shirts, pants, caps/hats, socks, shoes, sandals, underclothing
* Uniforms for work and school
* Coats
* Bathing suits
* Leotards and tights
* Costumes
* Diapers

Some items remain taxable on these two days, such as:
* Computers
* Backpacks
* School supplies
* Jewelry
* Fabric
* Special clothing or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear

Businesses that are open on these days and sell qualifying items are required to participate. The holiday does not include Sunday.

Report: Nebraska worst performing economy in country

News

July 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A report from a federal commerce bureau says the economies of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota logged the worst performance in the U.S. in the beginning of 2017, with economic output declining in all three states. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that from January through March this year, Nebraska’s economic output declined by 4 percent when compared to the final quarter of the previous year, making it the worst of any state. South Dakota ranked second-worst with a 3.8 percent decline, followed by Iowa with a 3.2 percent decline.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the bureau is a federal agency from the U.S. Department of Commerce. It measures a state’s “real” gross domestic product, which is the market value of goods and services produced in-state.