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Man who leaped from bridge into the Missouri River has died

News

January 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A man has died after authorities say he jumped from the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge into the Missouri River. The Omaha World-Herald reports authorities were called to the bridge linking Council Bluffs and Omaha, at around 11:15-a.m., Monday, after they received word a man had stepped over the bridge railing. As they were enroute, rescuers were told the man had jumped from the bridge. The air temperature at the time was around 29-degrees.

Council Bluffs River Rescue and the Omaha Fire Department were on the scene. Authorities found the man, pulled him out of the river, and transported him by ambulance to Creighton University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about 1:30-p.m.

The man’s identity has not been released.

 

Iowa to see no impact from ruling on teenager life terms

News

January 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court decision that makes retroactive a 2012 ruling striking down automatic life prison terms for people sentenced as teenagers is not expected to have much impact in Iowa since the state’s Supreme Court already extended the federal court ruling.

The federal court justices on Monday voted 6-3 to extend the 2012 decision to previous cases involving teenage killers. Now, even those who were convicted long ago must be considered for parole or given a new sentence.

Iowa’s high court in the 2013 appeal of Jeffrey Ragland had already concluded the federal court’s 2012 ruling applies retroactively to teenagers previously sentenced to life. The Iowa Attorney General’s office says the ruling affected 39 Iowa juvenile life offenders and most of them have already been resentenced.

Iowa lawmakers seek clarity on early literacy initiatives

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of Iowa lawmakers say they want more clarity from education officials on the implementation of early literacy initiatives in the state. Members of the Senate Education Committee told officials from the Iowa Department of Education on Monday that they want more data on how some state dollars are being used to improve reading proficiency for students between kindergarten and third grade.

A 2012 state law aimed at improving literacy for young students includes monitoring, programming and testing. It also requires a summer reading program for third-graders, though education groups have expressed concern about how it will be funded and implemented.

Some lawmakers suggested state officials give school districts more guidance on programming for students. A department spokeswoman says the agency appreciated the meeting and will provide follow-up information.

Iowa House panel OKs bill to remove age limit on handgun use

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House panel in the Iowa Legislature has given initial approval of a bill that would remove the age limit for children to use a handgun under the supervision of a parent. A House Judiciary subcommittee agreed Monday to send the legislation forward to its full committee. A similar measure last session had little support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The bill would allow a child of any age to possess a pistol or revolver under direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Current law requires the child to be at least 14 years old. State law has no age limit for a minor to possess a rifle or shotgun if there is consent from a parent or guardian. Several bills in the House this session propose expanding gun rights.

Medicaid official: Iowa is ready for privatization in March

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of Iowa’s Medicaid program says she’s “very confident” the $4.2 billion system will be ready for private management on March 1, though some lawmakers expressed lingering concerns. Mikki Stier from the Iowa Department of Human Services told lawmakers Monday her confidence comes from more signups of Medicaid health providers and better communication to Medicaid recipients about the switch.

The state’s Medicaid program provides care to some low-income people, children and disabled individuals. Three private companies are scheduled to take over the program amid growing criticism from some lawmakers that the new setup needs better state oversight.

Stier told lawmakers about 45 percent of Medicaid service providers have signed up with all three private insurers. Some lawmakers on the Senate Human Resources Committee said the number should be higher.

Iowa House votes on growth rate for basic aid to schools

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The debate over K-12 education spending in the Iowa Legislature has begun to take shape with a set of procedural votes.The Republican-controlled House voted Monday for legislation that would set a new growth rate for basic aid to schools in the fiscal year that begins in July. The bill now heads to the Democratic-majority Senate, where lawmakers have indicated the proposed increase is not adequate to properly support school districts.

The chambers are expected to go back and forth with procedural votes before the issue is debated through special legislative meetings. K-12 education takes up about $3 billion of the state’s roughly $7 billion budget. Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed a growth rate that is lower than what Democrats want, but also higher than what is supported by Republicans.

Montgomery County Man Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa said Monday (today), a Montgomery County man was sentenced last week on Child Pornography charges. 61-year old Mark A. Yeager, of rural Emerson,, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Stephanie Rose to 36 months in prison for possession of child pornography. Yeager was ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release following his prison term and to pay $100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

According to court documents, Yeager pled guilty to the charge on September 1, 2015. In a plea agreement, on April 16th, 2014, investigators seized several computers and items of computer paraphernalia from Yeager’s residence. A forensic examination revealed images of child pornography on a thumb-drive seized from Yeager’s home.

The matter was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Beware icy roads and sidewalks

News, Weather

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Area police departments are reporting roads have become slippery this afternoon due to freezing drizzle or rain. Authorities in Guthrie and Montgomery County were reporting slick conditions as of 3-p.m.  Although the Iowa DOT’s website 511ia.org shows most roads are in “Normal” winter driving condition, Highway 34 west of Highway 59, Interstate 29 from Council Bluffs. Highway 275 and Highway 2, west of Highway 59, were reported to be partially covered with snow.

Beware of black ice on the roads and sidewalks. Conditions are expected to deteriorate as the evening wears on.

3 arrests in Cass County last Friday

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports three arrests took place Friday. 24-year old  Christain Michael Collins, of Lewis, was arrested after he turned himself in at the Cass County Jail on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for OWI 1st Offense. Collins was booked into the jail and later released on $1,000 bond.

19-year old Patrick Lee Schultz, of Atlantic, was arrested Friday on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for Felony Theft in the 2nd Degree. Schultz was taken to the Cass County Jail and was released later that day on $5,000 bond.

And, 19-year old Logan Roger Dean Nielsen, of Atlantic, was arrested Jan. 22nd on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Nielsen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $1,000 bond.

Sac City man charged w/assault and killing 2 animals

News

January 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Sac City Police Department reports a Sac City man was arrested following an investigation into an alleged incident of domestic assault and animal abuse. Officers were called to an apartment in Sac City Jan. 13th, where 25-year old Cody Anthony Dupre and a 17-year old female reside.

Following their investigation, officers arrested Dupre Jan. 19th on a Sac County warrant charging him with Domestic Assault/1st offense, for allegedly assaulting the 17 year old female, and two counts of Animal Abuse, after it was discovered Dupre allegedly threw an 8 month old puppy and a Chinchilla against the wall, killing both animals.

Dupre was booked into the Sac County Jail where he was being held without bond on the Domestic Abuse charge, to which he has plead Not Guilty. Dupre was also ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim. His preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 9th.