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Committee in Montgomery County appoints Supervisor in District 2

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A committee in Montgomery County tasked with filling a vacancy on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors in District 2, has selected Mike Olsen to succeed Joshua Wiig. Wiig resigned from his Board seat on May 31st. The committee took action on his replacement Wednesday evening.

Mike Olson will serve as District 2 Supervisor until the results of the November 8, 2016, General Election are certified. However, Iowa Code states citizens of Montgomery County District 2, may request a special election to fill the vacancy by filing a petition with the Montgomery County Auditor containing 77 signatures of eligible electors within 14 days after the appointment is made.

2 Nebraska residents arrested following disturbance in Hamburg

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports two Nebraska residents were arrested Wednesday, following an investigation into a disturbance in Hamburg. Sheriff Kevin Aistrope says deputies were called to the disturbance that occurred between the 1500 and 160 block of Washington Street, after which 18-year old Kassie Neeman, of Nebraska City, NE., was arrested for Trespassing. Neeman was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $300 bond.

Brandon Leckenby

Brandon Leckenby

Kassie Neeman

Kassie Neeman

While at the scene of the disturbance, another investigation began that resulted in the arrest of 26-year old Brandon Leckenby, of Nebraska City. He faces charges that include Possession of numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia (Meth & marijuana), carrying weapons, and on a valid arrest warrant out of Boone County. The Fremont County K9 Unit and Iowa State Patrol assisted at the scene. Leckenby was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $2,300 bond while awaiting transfer to Boone County.

Jacob Hills

Jacob Hills

And, early this (Thursday) morning, 23-year old Jacob Hills, of Hamburg, was arrested in the parking lot of the Casey’s General Store in Hamburg, after Hills was found laying next to a car in front of the store. Hills was arrested for Public Intoxication and was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $300 bond.

Flash flood warning issued for Iowa’s Woodbury County

News, Weather

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Updated) — Heavy rain falling over parts of northwest and western Iowa overnight into early this (Thursday) morning, prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for Woodbury County. That warning has since expired. The service said early today (Thursday), that up to 3 inches of rain already had fallen and that thunderstorms in the area were expected to drop heavy rain.

Severe thunderstorms moved through much of western Iowa Wednesday evening, spawning at least one confirmed tornado. The service says the twister touched down near Persia, in Harrison County. Another tornado was observed not far from the Tri-Center High School, in Neola. No structural damage or injuries have been reported, however, hail ranging in size from nickels to quarters, and strong, straight-line winds flattened some corn and soybean field north of Neola, where they received more than an inch of rain.

And, hail up to the size of golf balls was reported three miles southwest of Underwood.

Report: one in three Iowans struggles to cover basic living expenses

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A report released Wednesday shows nearly one-third of Iowans struggle to afford basic living expenses. Deann Cook is executive director of United Ways of Iowa, which issued the statewide study. “This report indicates that over 381,000 households in Iowa, or 31-percent of the state’s total, are unable basic cost-of-living in their county,” Cook said. Around 12-percent of Iowans are below the federal poverty line, but Cook says that federal level is “outdated” and thousands of Iowans above the line are living paycheck to paycheck.

“And, most often, they have nothing left to navigate any unexpected expenses they may have such as a car repair, an illness, or a job loss,” Cook said. Heather Hennings is the president and CEO of the United Way of Siouxland and the incoming United Ways of Iowa Board Chair. She says wages in Iowa are failing to keep up with the rising cost of living. “Sixty-eight-percent of all jobs in Iowa pay less than $20 an hour and most of those actually pay between $10 and $15 an hour,” Hennings said.

The report could fuel more debate over efforts to raise the minimum wage in the state. “There are a lot of people who are working hard, playing by the rules…and we live in a country where you think, if you do work hard, you should be able to support your family. In some cases, that’s not happening,” Hennings said. The United Ways of Iowa represents 25 local United Ways that serve more than half of Iowa’s 99 counties.

(Radio Iowa)

Appeals Court approves class action status lawsuit against city of Council Bluffs

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Court of Appeals says a lawsuit in Council Bluffs over a property registration fee should be given class action status. Carla Limmer filed suit against the city of Council Bluffs in January of 2015, saying the property registration fee of 15 dollars for each rental unit exceeded the reasonable cost to operate the program. Limmer asked that the suit be certified as a class action so it would include all 26-hundred property owners.

The city opposed the class action status, saying the result of Limmer’s suit would benefit all rental owners whether or not it was a class action. The district court ruled for the city. The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, saying
Limmer’s legal fees for pursuing the issue could be more than her individual damages.

It says in cases where the cost of litigation is large in comparison to the damages that could be recovered by each individual, certifying a class action makes it more likely the action will be fully litigated.

(Radio Iowa)

99-county Bible-reading marathon starts this morning

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An 80-hour Bible-reading marathon begins at 8 a.m. today (Thursday) outside every county courthouse in the state. Karen Brownlee has been organizing the volunteer readers who will be on the Des Moines County Courthouse lawn in Burlington. “We have two-hour teams that come in read for a two-hour period and then another team will take over at that point,” Brownlee says. “The plan is to continue 24 hours a day, so in the evening we will switch to an indoor setting, the House of Prayer, which is just to the left of city hall.”

This scene will be replicated in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Organizers estimate it takes 79 hours to read the Bible aloud, at a “pastoral” pace, from the first chapter of Genesis to the end of Revelations. Brownlee says they hope to complete their task in each county by 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 3rd. “We wanted to just share the hope that is given in the Bible for our land right before America’s birthday,” Brownlee says.

Governor Branstad signed a proclamation in April, encouraging Iowans to take part in the event. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have raised constitutional concerns, arguing the government should be “neutral” toward religion. The “First Liberty Institute” has said it will defend Branstad if he is sued over the matter.

A lawsuit challenging President Obama’s proclamation declaring a “National Day of Prayer” each year was tossed out by a federal appeals court in 2011.

(Radio Iowa)

Man killed in all-terrain vehicle crash north of Orange City

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 65-year-old man has died of injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident north of Orange City. The Sioux City Journal reports that Kenneth VanGorp was driving an ATV with an attached sprayer trailer in a ditch when he lost control. The ATV and sprayer rolled in the ditch, pinning VanGorp underneath it.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says a passing motorist spotted VanGorp trapped under the ATV and called authorities. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries. The Orange City Ambulance as well as the Orange City police and fire departments also assisted in the incident.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, June 30th 2016

News

June 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for participating in a four-state methamphetamine trafficking operation. Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Anselmo Salazar, of Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Wednesday after being found guilty in December in a drug and money laundering conspiracy. The ring, which was based in St. Joseph, distributed more than 15 kilograms of meth from 2009 to 2013 in northwest Missouri, northeast Kansas, southern Iowa and Nebraska.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Neighboring property owners have filed an appeal with Iowa City Board of Adjustment in an effort to stop an Iowa City couple’s plans to build a home designed to resemble Kinnick Stadium. The Press-Citizen reports that the appeal was filed Wednesday by the Neighbors of Manville Heights Association and property owners in the area. Reed and Sandy Carlson have filed building plans for a nearly 7,500-square-foot house that would echo the stadium architecture.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 65-year-old man has died of injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident north of Orange City. The Sioux City Journal reports that Kenneth VanGorp was driving an ATV with an attached sprayer trailer in a ditch when he lost control. The ATV and sprayer rolled in the ditch, pinning VanGorp underneath it. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — A mausoleum at the Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine has again been vandalized. The Muscatine Journal reports that sometime over the weekend, vandals wrote graffiti in three spots on the Harry W. Huttig mausoleum. It was the second time in three months that vandals have hit the cemetery and the second time in the last 20 years that the mausoleum was a target.

Update – Griswold man dies in Cass County crash

News

June 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has released additional information on a fatal motorcycle accident that took place early this (Wednesday) afternoon. Officials report 56-year old Michael Douglas Noll, of Griswold, died from injuries he suffered when his 2010 Harley Davidson struck the left front wheel of a 2011 John Deere crop sprayer, as Noll was passing the machine, which was turning left into a residential driveway.

The accident happened at around 12:50-p.m.on Highway 92, near 612th Street. Noll was traveling eastbound when the collision occurred. He died at the scene. The driver of the sprayer, 17-year old Marty Pelzer, of Griswold, was not hurt.

Iowa DCI, FBI Investigating Robbery, Shooting at Fort Madison Bank

News

June 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety are investigating a bank robbery and officer-involved shooting in eastern Iowa. Authorities say at approximately 10:11-a.m. today (Wednesday), the Lee County Communication Center received a 911 call in reference to a bank robbery at the Fort Madison Bank and Trust Co. located at 1206 48th Street in Fort Madison.

The Fort Madison Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the bank at approximately 10:12 AM and discovered a male subject running from the bank in a southerly direction with an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency.  As they approached the suspect, he fired multiple rounds in the direction of the officers, striking a patrol squad.  Officers returned fire and one round struck the suspect in the torso.  He was transported to the Fort Madison Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The responding officers were not injured.

The name of the suspect will not be released at this time, pending an autopsy.  The two Fort Madison police officers who returned fire have been placed on administrative leave, per the policy of the Fort Madison Police Department.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were called to investigate the incident.  Also assisting with the investigation is the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol (ISP), Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Natural Resource and the Lee County Attorney’s Office.