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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 25th 2015

News

February 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Democratic-majority Senate and the Republican-controlled House have not yet found consensus on a school funding level for the coming academic year. Both sides stuck firm to their original funding proposals Tuesday.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they found two bodies with apparent gunshot wounds in a Cedar Rapids home following two 911 hang up calls. Local officials say police found a man and a woman dead at the home Tuesday morning after conducting a welfare check. Their names and ages have not been released.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say they’re still dealing with the aftermath of a freight train that derailed about three weeks ago and spilled ethanol into the Mississippi River north of Dubuque. Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, told the Telegraph Herald on Monday that 55,000 gallons of ethanol remain unaccounted for at the site where three train cars went off the tracks February 4th and tumbled into the river. A total of eight cars that derailed appeared to spill ethanol.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Drake Relays is adding a women’s 800-meter race to this year’s meet. Officials announced Tuesday that they’ve lined up eight of the top 10 800-meter runners in the U.S. The field will include Ajee Wilson and Brenda Martinez, the second and third-ranked 800 runners in the world. The Drake Relays will be held from April 23rd through 25th at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Winter Storm poised to hit Iowa Wednesday

News, Weather

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service says a winter storm will move across Iowa on Wednesday spreading moderate to heavy snow over the state. The snow will intensify during the morning and persist into the afternoon before diminishing in the evening.wx

Heaviest snow will occur in a band from northwest to southeast Iowa where 5 to 7 inches are expected and a Winter Storm Warning is in effect. On either side of this heavy band, 2 to 5 inches will occur with lighter amounts in the far southwest and far northeast.

Much colder air will dive into the state behind the system with highs in the single digits on Thursday and readings well below zero by Friday morning

Winter Weather Advisories & Winter Storm Warnings posted for s.w. IA

News, Weather

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES FOR PARTS OF WESTERN & S.W. IA. ON WEDNESDAY. IN HARRISON & SHELBY COUNTIES, THE ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FROM 3-A.M. UNTIL 9-P.M.; THE ADVISORY RUNS FROM 6-A.M. UNTIL 9-PM FOR CASS, AUDUBON & CRAWFORD COUNTIES; IN POTTAWATTMIE MONTGOMERY & PAGE COUNTIES, THE ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FROM 8-AM UNTIL 9-PM; IN ADAIR, ADAMS, RINGGOLD, TAYLOR & UNION COUNTIES THE ADVISORY RUNS FROM 9-A.M. UNTIL 9-PM.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

IN ADDITION, A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 6-AM UNTIL 9-PM WED. FOR SAC, CARROLL, GUTHRIE AND DALLAS COUNTIES, WHERE 4-TO 7-INCHES OF SNOW ARE POSSIBLE.

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

* TIMING…SNOW DEVELOPS LATE TONIGHT AND CONTINUES THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

* MAIN IMPACT…3 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW COULD OCCUR OVER WESTERN IOWA, WITH 4-TO 7-INCHES OVER WEST CENTRAL AND CENTRAL IOWA.

* OTHER IMPACTS…SOUTHEAST WINDS BECOME NORTHEAST AND INCREASE TO 20 TO 30 MPH WHICH COULD AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.

Lawmakers remain at odds over school funding

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Democratic-majority Senate and the Republican-controlled House have not yet found consensus on a school funding level for the coming academic year. Both sides stuck firm to their original funding proposals Tuesday. Senate Democrats are standing by a plan that would provide more than $200 million in new funding for K-12 education, which is more than double the increase sought by House Republicans. The House and Senate proposals both include funding specifically dedicated to teacher leadership training.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames who chairs the Senate education committee, said he expected the issue to move to a negotiating committee to try and find a compromise solution.

Iowa Senate, House approve 10-cent fuel tax increase

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has approved a 10-cent increase to the fuel tax to help pay for road improvements. Both chambers gave bipartisan support to the bill Tuesday, with the Senate voting 28-21 and the House 53-46. The plan would provide over $200 million annually for Iowa’s network of bridges and roads, many of which are in disrepair.

For years, the Legislature has considered raising the tax, which hasn’t been changed since 1989. But until this year, lawmakers never took action, despite heavy lobbying by groups representing farmers and trucking companies. This session, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad voiced his backing for increased infrastructure funding, sparking a more serious conversation. Branstad told The Associated Press he wants to review the bill, but indicated he was “very likely” to sign it into law.

Iowa Senate OKs bills on minimum wage, wage theft

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved bills that would raise Iowa’s minimum wage and try to curtail cases of wage theft. The Democratic-majority Senate voted 27 to 22 Tuesday to increase the state’s minimum wage level to $8.75. The Senate also voted 26-23 to establish more rules to curtail alleged wage theft by employers in Iowa.

The bills now head to the Republican-led House for consideration, but it’s unlikely there’s enough support there to get them to Gov. Terry Branstad’s desk. Lawmakers in the House have said they would rather focus on skilled worker training opportunities instead of a minimum wage bill that raises it above its current level of $7.25. Lawmakers have also said there are other ways to prevent wage theft.

Senate panel OKs bill aimed at school bullying in Iowa

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill aimed at reducing school bullying in Iowa, a key legislative issue for Gov. Terry Branstad this session. Members of an education subcommittee approved the bill Tuesday. It now heads to a full committee for consideration. The bill would expand guidelines for Iowa school districts responding to cases of bullying. It would allow school officials to address bullying outside of school grounds and expand the definition of cyberbullying.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is opposing the bill, saying the legislation has overly broad language about parental notification and how much teachers should be monitoring for bullying off school grounds. Other groups have expressed support for the bill. Similar legislation failed to garner enough support last session.

Harlan Police report, 2/24/15

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department today (Tuesday) issued its weekly activity report. Officials say on Feb. 17th, 33-year old Lisa Briggs, of Harlan, was taken into custody following a traffic stop. Briggs was transported to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with driving under suspension, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Briggs was also cited for failure to prove security against liability.

On Feb. 15th, two subjects were cited when police responded to a single car accident in the 1600 block of Durant Street. When officers arrived they found 20-year old Kayley Cooper, of Harlan, outside her vehicle that appeared to have struck a tree. As a result of the investigation into the cause of the accident Cooper was cited for failure to maintain control, failure to obey stop or yield sign, and careless driving. She was also charged with false reporting to police. A complaint was filed with the Shelby County clerk of court charging 21-year old Brandon Allen, with violating the conditions of a restricted license.

And Harlan Police took a report on Feb. 20th from Olivia Rink, of Harlan, who reported the theft of an iPhone from her locker at the Petersen Wellness Center. The replacement cost of the phone was estimated at $650.00. The case remains under investigation.

Accident investigation in Clarinda

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County investigated a hit and run accident Monday afternoon, in Clarinda. Officials say they received a call just after 4-p.m. about an accident at the intersection of Lincoln Street and 21st Street. Page County deputies determined that 44-year old Susan Muriel Lauritsen, of Clarinda, was southbound on 21st street driving a red 2008 Pontiac G6. 20-year old Chelsey Ann Boileau, of Sidney,  was eastbound on Lincoln Street driving a red 1997 Plymouth Neon.

At the intersection of Lincoln and 21st Streets, Boileau’s vehicle struck Lauritsen’s vehicle in the passenger side causing damage to Lauritsen’s vehicle. Boileau then left the scene without stopping as required. She was later found and cited into Magistrate court for Failure to have insurance – accident related and Leaving the scene of a traffic accident – vehicle damage.

Mills County Sheriff’s report (issued 2/24/15)

News

February 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report several arrests over the past week. In their report issued today (Tuesday), authorities said 63-year old Kenneth Eugene Farmer, of Coin, was arrested Monday afternoon for Driving Under Suspension. That same day, 37-year old Jeffrey Allen Culley, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a warrant out of Audubon County for Contempt of Court. Bonds for both men were set at $1,000 each.

On Sunday, Mills County deputies arrested: 35-year old Jason Allen Wilkinson, of Council Bluffs, for Burglary in the 2nd degree, and 34-year old Jayson Daniel Hickle, of Council Bluffs, for Public Intoxication. Wilkinson’s bond was set at $10,000, while Hickle was held on $300 bond.

Last Saturday, deputies arrested 34-year old Adam Lee Viner, of Omaha, on a warrant for Failure to Appear on a five counts of Theft in the 5th degree. His bond was set at $300. 41-year old Keith Alan Rowe, of Hastings, was arrested on a warrant for Theft in both the 1st and 2nd degrees. His bond was set at $10,000.

Last Friday, Mills County deputies arrested 37-year old Alan Kent Burison, of Essex, for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Trespassing. Bond was set at $1,300. That same day, 35-year old Shaun Joseph Goines, of Glenwood, was arrested for Driving Under Suspension and Failure to have SR-22 Insurance. His bond was also set at $1,300. And, 48-year old Tony Dean Martin, of Glenwood, was arrested Friday on a warrant for Violation of a No Contact Order. His bond was $300.

On Thursday: 20-year old Bridgette Renee Seyler, of Glenwood, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault. She was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail; 23-year old Nicholas Gene Argetsinger, of Glenwood, was arrested at the same time, also for Domestic Abuse Assault. He was also being held without bond in the Mills County Jail. And, 59-year old Gregory N. Jones, a homeless man, was arrested Thursday at the Polk County Jail on a Mills County warrant for Failure to Appear on on OWI/1st offense, charge. His bond was set at $1,000.