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Des Moines man arrested in Stuart on a robbery charge thanks in-part to special law enforcement training


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Adair County Sheriff Jeff Vandewater credits a deputies’ special training in information gathering and sharing in making an arrest last week. Vandewater says at about 1:25 p.m., Tuesday June 30th, an Adair County Sheriff’s Deputy and Detectives from the Des Moines Police Department arrested 33-year old Johnny Saenz Jr., of Des Moines, at the Phillips 66 Food Mart on the south side of Interstate 80 in Stuart. Saenz, was charged with Robbery in the First Degree and is being held in the Polk County Jail. He is alleged to have robbed the First Class Credit Union in Des Moines on June 24th.

Vandewater says in early April this year, he sent a deputy to a two week L.E.I.N, or Law Enforcement Intelligence Network, school. While knowing the deputies’ being away from his local duties for that length of time is a bit of a burden for a small office, the Sheriff said they had needed to “bite the bullet” for a long time. They made some scheduling adjustments and made it work.

The primary goal of LEIN is information sharing. The deputy who arrested Saenz had just come back to work after having been off a week on vacation. Another deputy and the Greenfield Police Department had contact with Saenz in the middle of the preceding week in Greenfield. The LEIN-trained deputy learned of this, and while going through his LEIN information, he learned that Saenz was a suspect in the First Class Credit Union Robbery.

The LEIN deputy then contacted Des Moines Detectives and they initiated an investigation into Saenz’ current location, which culminated in his arrest in the Phillips 66 Food Mart parking lot. Vandewater says “The arrest of Saenz validates my belief that we have long needed to send a deputy to LEIN school. The criminal element is highly mobile and our ability to communicate and share information effectively and efficiently with other agencies is critical in the 21st century”.

For more information about L.E.I.N, go to http://www.dps.state.ia.us/intell/lein/index.htm

Iowa 2-year-old drowns during gathering on Wisconsin island


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

LANCASTER, Wis. (AP) — An Iowa girl has drowned during a family gathering on a Wisconsin island on the Mississippi River. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says 2-year-old Bryle Morgan, of Waterloo, Iowa, died early Sunday at an Iowa City hospital.

According to the initial investigation, the child’s family was preparing for a group picture on an island on the Wisconsin side near Waupeton, Iowa, late Saturday afternoon. Bryle’s mother took her back to the boat to retrieve an item. When the mother got out of the boat, the girl was missing. Bryle was found moments later under a boat in the water.

Detective Rick Place says Bryle was wearing a life jacket before the incident, but it was removed for the group picture. He says there’s no indication of foul play.

Fatal hit and run near Logan Saturday night


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One person is dead following a hit-and-run accident late Saturday night, near Logan. The Logan Herald-Observer says according to Logan Police Chief Aaron Brensel, officers were on patrol when they saw debris and clothing on Highway 127 at around 11-p.m., Saturday, near the north exit of the Logan-Magnolia High School. An investigation resulted in the discovery of a woman’s body. The female was unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was being withheld, pending notification of family.

KETV in Omaha reports the accident happened nearly half an hour after the town’s fireworks show, which was near Logan-Magnolia High School. Neighbors said someone pulled out of the high school parking lot, erratically spinning the car’s tires at about the time the woman was struck and killed. Residents who watched the scene said at first it appeared the driver appeared concerned, but fled northbound out of town.

The Police Chief said authorities identified a suspect and impounded the vehicle, but there’s no word on any arrest. The Iowa State Patrol is conducting an investigation into the incident, with assistance from the Logan Police Department, Harrison County Sheriff Office, the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office, and Logan Fire and Rescue.

Accident in Creston Sat. night


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident in Creston Saturday night resulted in $3,500 damage, but no one was injured. Authorities say a 2011 Chrysler Town and Country van was traveling east on West Adams Street at around 10:15-p.m., and had stopped because of traffic congestion at the intersection with North Lincoln Street, when the van was hit from behind by a 2010 Honda Insight.

The driver of the car, 27-year old Amanda Jean Putzier, of Creston, told authorities she didn’t notice the van, driven by 34-year old Corey Wayne Bisgard, of Ankeny, had stopped. The woman accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake when she got too close, the action of which resulted in the collision. There were no citations issued.

Inmate escaped from Iowa’s maximum security prison is captured


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An inmate who escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison this (Sunday) morning, was captured about 100 miles away, south of Geneseo, Illinois.

Justin James Kestner

Justin James Kestner

The Department of Public Safety notified the facility of his capture after 10 a.m., the officer said.

Iowa Department of Corrections spokesperson Fred Scaletta says 25-year-old Justin Kestner had been last seen at 1:30 a.m. during the routine count of the inmates. He was discovered missing at 4:45 a.m. Kestner is serving a 10 year prison sentence stemming from a 2009 theft charge out of Woodbury County. He robbed a Sioux City convenience store.

(WQAD/Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs child hit by stray bullet during fireworks celebration


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a stray bullet fired from a distance during 4th of July celebrations late Saturday night apparently came down a struck a 7-year old boy in the shoulder. Authorities say officers were called to the 2600 block of Avenue J at around 10:30-p.m. Saturday, to assist medics who were treated the boy.

Upon arrival, officers established the 7-year old had been outside in his driveway watching the neighborhood fireworks with his grandparents when he began crying and complaining of something hitting him in the right shoulder area.  His grandmother noticed a small amount of blood and thought that a firework had struck him. She took him inside to clean him up and calm him down when she discovered a bullet had worked its way out of the wound.

The wound appeared to be about one-quarter of inch in diameter and depth on the child’s right clavicle.  The bullet is believed to be a .223 caliber round which had been fired into the air and came down on the child as he was watching fireworks.  Judging by the size and depth of the wound, authorities say they believe the round was fired into the air a good distance away and had slowed considerably prior to striking him.

The child was taken to the hospital by his grandparents where he was treated and released. The Council Bluffs Police Department is once again warning the public against shooting firearms into the air in a celebratory manner. If anyone has any information regarding this incident please contact Crime Stoppers at (712)328-STOP.

USDA offers funding for farmers markets, local food programs

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s focus has traditionally been on food production, agriculture and natural resources but under the administration of President Barack Obama the USDA also has taken on a broader rural economic development role. The agency has funded energy projects, small business loans, upgrades to power lines and high speed internet.

Some don’t consider financial support for such rural development projects to be among the agency’s fundamental roles but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack disagrees. Vilsack is now promoting newly available funding of up to $800,000 to support farmers markets and other local food initiatives.

The USDA since 2009 has invested $800 million in more than 29,000 local and regional food projects including investments in 1,000 local food projects in Iowa and 617 in Nebraska.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., July 5th 2015


July 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) — Officials have issued a swimming advisory at a state park in Iowa because of higher than normal levels of E. coli. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Beeds Lake State Park in Franklin County was placed under the advisories following recent water tests. The advisory means officials do not recommend swimming at the park until the bacteria levels are back to normal.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — Filing a court claim in Iowa now only requires a computer. As of July 1st, Iowa courts have moved to a totally electronic, paperless filing system for records. Court documents can now be filed and viewed online. Mason City television station KIMT reports that the clerk of courts office in Floyd County calls the move a welcomed change.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A Coralville man has been arrested on suspicion of probation violation after an officer found a woman hiding inside a suitcase in his home. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that a probation officer was conducting a residence check at 29-year-old Ryan Ransom home on Wednesday.

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A University of Iowa police captain has been named Clear Lake’s new police chief. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the Clear Lake City Council is set to appoint 45-year-old Pete Roth to the post on Monday. City Administrator Scott Flory says the hiring of Roth follows a four month recruitment process. Roth is expected to start as chief on August 3rd.

Iowa police ask people not to use gun-shaped phone case


July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) —images Police in Sioux City are urging people not to use a cellphone case that looks like a gun, saying the device could be confused for the real thing. Police Chief Doug Young tells the Sioux City Journal that the case could put people who carry it in danger.

The case is designed to hold a smartphone in what would be the barrel of a handgun. It includes a pistol handle and trigger guard. Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says the phone case looks like a real gun if it’s tucked into a waistband or pocket to hide the phone and show only the handle.


Council Bluffs assault leaves man in critical condition


July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating an assault that left a man in critical condition, Friday night.Bluffs Badge Sgt. Mark Stuart with the Council Bluffs P-D said Saturday, officers responded to the vicinity of 10th and West Broadway Streets at around 10:30-p.m. to a report of an unconscious man lying in the middle of the street under the Broadway viaduct.

The male subject suffered severe injuries and was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.  The victim’s name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

The incident remains under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Council Bluffs Police Department. Anyone having information is encouraged to contact the Police Department at (712) 328-4728 or Crime Stoppers at (712) 328-7867.