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Bluffs RCF escapee in custody

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A former Harlan resident who was listed as escaped from the Council Bluffs Work Release Facility, Sunday,  is in custody at the Shelby County Jail. Iowa Dept. of Corrections Assistant Director Fred Skaletta says 25-year old Colton Edward Benson-Blaine was apprehended late Sunday night.

Benson-Blaine was listed as escaped from the Council Bluffs Work Release Facility after he failed to return from his place of employment. He was serving a 12-year sentence out of Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties for Voluntary manslaughter, Operating a Vehicle without consent and Voluntary Absence. His sentence began Aug. 5th, 2011. He was transferred to Work Release on March 16th, 2016 under the authority of the Iowa Board of Parole.

Colton Edward Benson-Blaine

Colton Edward Benson-Blaine

Certified budget and school calendar hearings set for the CAM District

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Public hearings are set for Tuesday evening in Anita, with regard to the CAM School District’s proposed 2016-17 School Calendar and Certified Budget. The hearings take place in the CAM High School Media Center, beginning at 6:30-p.m., Tuesday, followed later on by action approving the calendar and budget.

In other business, the Board will consider bids to sell a Suburban and School bus, and discuss the structure of the District Administration, along with holding discussion on Capital Projects.

The Board will conclude with an exempt session for collective bargaining negotiations.

Exira-EHK School Board meeting tonight (4/11/16)

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School Board will hold its regular meeting this evening at the High School, in Elk Horn. On the agenda for their 5-p.m. session, are Public Hearings on the 2016-17 School Budget and 2016-17 School Calendar, followed later on by a vote on approving the budget and calendar.

In other business, the Board will act on: A Student Teacher agreement with Buena Vista University (BVU); Salaries for Support Staff; Master Contract changes for Teaching Staff; and, Administration salaries.

The meeting takes place in the High School Conference Room.

2 arrests in Montgomery County Sunday night

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested on separate charges Sunday night, in Montgomery County. The Sheriff’s Department reports that a little after 11-p.m., 27-year old Aaron Wade Opdyke, of Emerson, was arrested at the intersection of Highway 34 and G Avenue. Opdyke was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was cited into court and released from the scene.

And, at around 6:50-p.m., 29-year old Anthony Duane Pond, of Villisca, was arrested in Villisca and charged with Driving While Revoked. Pond was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Ag Secretary Northey endorsed Congressman King’s reelection bid

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey has endorsed Congressman Steve King’s bid for reelection. “This district needs to support a strong conservative, a hardworking candidate and we have that candidate,” Northey said Saturday. “That’s our Congressman Steve King.” Republican businessman and state senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City is challenging King in June’s Republican Primary.

Northey’s endorsement may provide some cover for King, who has been under fire from some in the G-O-P for backing presidential candidate Ted Cruz, an opponent of the federal ethanol production mandate. “I don’t know how that will all play out,” Northey says. “We’ve had some conversations with some folks that care a lot about that issue…When I think of who I want in the room talking with conservative congressmen and senators, talking with a potential president on ethanol issues, I want Steve King there.”

Northey is currently in the middle of his third term as state ag secretary. Northey describes King as a “great friend of agriculture.” King describes Northey as a third-generation farmer who is “deeply steeped” in agriculture. “His statewide presence and his activity among all of the ag issues, I think that that’s a reminder of where I have long been and none of that has changed,” King says.

Northey announced his endorsement Saturday at the Iowa G-O-P’s fourth district convention in Fort Dodge, about 100 miles southeast of the Northey family farm near Spirit Lake. Northey has a history of weighing in on Republican Primary contests. Northey endorsed Mark Jacobs in the 2012 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. Joni Ernst won that primary and the general election.

(Radio Iowa)

Grassley says he’s in middle of ‘severe’ campaign

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Republican Chuck Grassley says his bid for a seventh term in the U.S. Senate isn’t the kind of “slam dunk” he’s had in the past. Grassley delivered a brief midday speech to the delegates gathered for the Iowa G-O-P’s fourth district convention in Fort Dodge.
“I’m asking you, I’m begging you, I’m imploring you: Will you do all you can to help me win reelection?” Grassley focused most of his remarks on the fight over the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme court.

“Something you already know because you’re on top of the severe campaign that I’m involved in against the White House and Harry Reid and everybody else,” Grassley said, to applause. “…A lot of people in this state think that because I previously won by slam-dunk wins, this is not going to be such a race.” Grassley told reporters the “Washington establishment” will spend “big resources” promoting Democrat Patty Judge, the candidate he says has been “recruited…by the White House” to run against him.

Grassley got a standing ovation from the more than 600 Republicans in Fort Dodge when he called for letting the “next president” choose the next Supreme Court justice.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Monday, April 11th 2016

News

April 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has taken another step toward adjournment by agreeing to budget spending targets, but lawmakers still must decide details over what areas of state government will actually get some of the limited new dollars available. It’s unclear whether the split Legislature will reach consensus in time for an adjournment scheduled on April 19th.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a woman inside the Coral Ridge Mall last summer is scheduled to begin Tuesday. Twenty-two-year-old Alexander Kozak is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Andrea Farrington. Kozak’s trial, which was moved to Story County because of media attention, is expected to last two weeks.

WEST BEND, Iowa (AP) — A group of seven northwest Iowa grain elevators are being sold to a farmers cooperative in the area. The Sioux City Journal reports MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend is buying the elevators in Superior, Gruver, Milford, Everly, Spencer, Langdon and Greenville. The deal also includes an LP gas storage facility in Royal. The purchase price was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by May 1st.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The three northern Iowa counties being sued by a Des Moines water utility have received $900,000 in donations to cover most of their legal bills, but officials won’t identify the donors. The Register reports Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties released about 260 pages of legal records.

Council Bluffs Work Release Facility escape

News

April 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa are searching for a man who failed to return from a work release program this weekend. 25-year old Colton Edward Benson-Blaine was listed as escaped from the Council Bluffs Work Release Facility after he failed to return from his place of employment. Benson is described as being a white male, 6-feet 2-inches tall, weighing 232 pounds. He was blonde hair, blue eyes, and a scar on his right wrist.

Benson-Blaine was serving a 12-year sentence for out of Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties for Voluntary manslaughter, Operating a Vehicle without consent and Voluntary Absence. His sentence began Aug. 5th, 2011. He was transferred to Work Release on March 16th, 2016 under the authority of the Iowa Board of Parole.

If you see him, notify the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, Council Bluffs Police, or your local law enforcement agency.

Colton Edward Benson-Blaine

Colton Edward Benson-Blaine

Iowa lawmakers inch toward adjournment, though issues remain

News

April 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has taken another step toward adjournment by agreeing to budget spending targets, but lawmakers still must decide details over what areas of state government will actually get some of the limited new dollars available.

It’s unclear whether the split Legislature will reach consensus in time for an adjournment scheduled on April 19, but some legislative leaders believe it’s possible. It will come down to a set of budget groups that must allocate funding based on the spending targets. Many areas of state government will receive little new money.

Lawmakers agree there is about $7.34 billion to spend on the state budget that takes effect in July. It’s also unclear whether lawmakers will pass legislation before the session wraps up that addresses water quality initiatives or medical marijuana.

Private donors pay $900,000 to defend Iowa counties

News

April 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The three northern Iowa counties being sued by a Des Moines water utility have received $900,000 in donations to cover most of their legal bills, but officials won’t identify the donors. The Des Moines Register reports Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties released released about 260 pages of legal records.

One of Calhoun County’s attorneys, David Wollenzien, says the counties are trying to get permission from donors to share more, but they don’t believe they’re required to identify them because state law exempts donations from foundations that support government.

The lawsuit filed last year by Des Moines Water Works alleges the three counties that oversee 10 agricultural drainage districts should be required to obtain federal water pollution discharge permits because they release pollutants into rivers much like regulated factories.