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Bill would let woman sue doctors who perform their abortions


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow a woman who gets an abortion to sue the doctor who performed the procedure if she experiences emotional distress later. If approved, it would be the first law of its kind in the U.S.

The proposal would permit the woman to file a lawsuit at any point in her life, something that would go against typical statute of limitation rules. It could also make the state vulnerable to costly court challenges.

Sen. Mark Chelgren is the Republican who introduced the bill. He says the measure is about holding doctors and clinics accountable. It’s unclear how much GOP support the idea has in the Iowa Legislature, though the state’s incoming Republican governor did not dismiss it.

Legislative Coffees Scheduled for Cass County


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with PRIDE (the Progressive Rural Iowa Development Enterprise, Inc.) have an announced one legislative coffee has been scheduled in Cass County for the 2017 session by PRIDE. The public is welcome to attend the session set for 10-a.m. Saturday, January 21st,  the Cumberland Fire Station (216 Main Street), in Cumberland .

This year, area residents have an opportunity to meet with Senator Tom Shipley and Representative Tom Moore, so they can talk about the legislative session, and hear your concerns about what matters most to southwest Iowans.


P.R.I.D.E. is the economic development organization that works on behalf of communities, businesses, and citizens for Southwest Iowa. For additional information, please contact Clarke Gerlock at 712-774-5476, or Kenner Baxter, president, at 781-2395.

Drug-related arrests reported in Cass County


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports three people have been arrested on drug-related charges following a traffic stop this (Tuesday) morning on Highway 92 at Highway 148.  46-year old Thomas Matthew Connors III, of Omaha, was arrested on a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine 1st Offense, and 28-year old Jose Gonzalez, of Cicero, IL, was arrested for Possession Marijuana 1st Offense and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both men were taken to the Cass County Jail where they remain held on $1,000 bond each.

Last Friday, Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 26-year old Justin Tyler Jacobs, of Atlantic, on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Jacobs was taken to the Cass County Jail and released the following day on $2,000 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office reports also, 23-year old Jennifer Rose Passarelli, of Council Bluffs, was arrested today (Tuesday), on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Passarelli was taken to the Cass County Jail where she remains held on $5,000 bond.

Last Friday, 40-year old Daniel Patrick Campbell, of Walnut, was arrested by Cass County Deputies on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Campbell was taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on $10,000 bond.

On January 11th, 19-year old Austin Daniel Malloy, of Walnut, was arrested on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for OWI 1st Offense. Malloy was taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on his own recognizance.

On January 10th, Cass County Deputies arrested 37-year old Joseph Leeray Bartlett, of Council Bluffs, on a Sheriff’s Office warrant for felony counts of Assault on a Police Officer, Eluding and two counts of Criminal Mischief 2nd Offense. Bartlett was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $25,000 bond.

And, on January 8th, 29-year old Ryan Charles Juhl, of Atlantic, was charged with Serious Assault with regard to an incident in the Cass County Jail. Juhl remains held at the Cass County Jail on $51,000 bond.

Iowa trial delayed for Nebraska man accused of killing wife


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa trial again has been delayed for a Nebraska man charged with killing his wife. Court records say a Woodbury County judge approved a defense request to delay Rogelio Morales’ trial. It had been scheduled to begin Jan. 24. Court records don’t show that a new date has been set.

The case was delayed last fall after Morales’ previous attorney withdrew from the case. The 29-year-old Morales lives in Hubbard, Nebraska. He’s pleaded not guilty to killing 21-year-old Margarita Morales, of South Sioux City, Nebraska, on April 19, 2015, in his car near a Sioux City residence.

Court documents say Morales told investigators a fight broke out when his wife told him she no longer wanted to be in a relationship and that she was seeing another man.

Three men plead guilty in 2015 deer poaching case

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR report two Minnesota men and one northern Iowa man have pleaded guilty to illegally taking deer in Emmet and Kossuth counties in Iowa in October and November 2015. 45-year old Michael Paschke, of Worthington, Minn., 21-year old Dakota Isebrand, of Sherburn, Minn., and 20-year old Seth Norland, of Ledyard, Iowa, pleaded guilty to 58 wildlife violations including illegal method of take, abandonment of wildlife, hunting by artificial light, no deer license or tag and illegal possession of deer.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Officers Virginia Schulte and Steve Reighard and DNR Park Ranger Corey McCartan received information that lead them to Paschke’s residence on Dec. 5, 2015, where they discovered deer and deer parts but no deer tags attached to the deer and no licenses to establish that these deer had been taken legally.

The total fines and court costs assessed in Kossuth County were $11,538.75 and $25,000 civil penalty. The total fines and court costs assessed in Emmet County were $1,530 and $10,000 civil penalty.

Each man also lost his hunting privileges for 25 years; three years from DNR for being a multiple offender and 22 years by court ordered suspension. This Iowa suspension also prohibits them from hunting in any of the 44 states that are members of the Wildlife Violator Compact. Four states are in the process of joining the compact.

Vilsack takes job with dairy industry after leaving USDA

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is taking a job at the U.S. Dairy Export Council.  The group is a nonprofit that promotes dairy products. An announcement Tuesday said Vilsack will help “develop a long-term vision for building sales and consumer trust in U.S. dairy.”

Vilsack is entering the private sector after decades in public service. Before he was appointed agriculture secretary in 2009, he was Iowa’s governor for eight years. He also served in the Iowa state senate and as mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

He was also on Democrat Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential short list. She chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine instead.  Vilsack was President Barack Obama’s longest-serving Cabinet secretary. He left that position Friday, a week before Donald Trump takes office.

19 percent of recent Iowa high school grads had to take remedial math classes in college


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The state has released a new report on Iowa schools that measures how many students go on to college and how those students perform at the next level. Department of Education director Ryan Wise says the report shows how many Iowa high school graduates had to take remedial classes in college because they weren’t ready for college-level courses.

“Data and information are powerful tools for improvement. Accordingly, these reports can be used at the local level to provide valuable baseline data,” Wise says. “Districts and schools can look at their existing programming, identify areas for growth and develop next steps based on the data.”

The report found 71 percent of Iowa public school students enrolled in college or technical training within a year of graduating from high school. However, nearly 19 percent of those high school graduates had to take a remedial math class in college. “While these reports do not tell the complete story of any school’s successes or challenges, they can serve as a conversation starter to enlist more parents and community members in their improvement efforts,” Wise says.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says the report provides “more precise information” to help craft new policies. “When we’re talking about investing in our greatest asset which is our students it helps us identify best practices,” Reynolds says. “It helps the school district identify areas that they’re not meeting their objectives.”

The report (At http://reports.educateiowa.gov/postsecondaryreadiness) covered the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 who graduated from a public high school in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Reynolds supports program cuts to defund Planned Parenthood


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she supports cutting money that helps at-risk youth in Iowa in order to pay for a new program that ends state funding for Planned Parenthood. Reynolds, the incoming Iowa governor, defended the plan Tuesday by saying other services like foster care wouldn’t be affected.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Reynolds want to create a state program that distributes family planning money to organizations that don’t perform abortions. The plan includes passing up millions of federal dollars and redirecting $2.8 million that currently goes to child and family services. The Iowa Department of Human Services says there would be less money for programming that helps at-risk youth stay out of welfare and the juvenile justice system.

Planned Parenthood says the move hurts vulnerable children for the sake of politics.

Pott. County man arrested Saturday afternoon following pursuit and crash


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A pursuit in Pottawattamie County Saturday afternoon resulted in a crash and the apprehension of the suspect after a brief foot pursuit. The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy was dispatched at around 2:37-p.m. to a residence in Avoca, with regard to a stolen vehicle report. While he was enroute, an Iowa State Patrol Trooper located the stolen vehicle and engaged in a pursuit.  The car, a 2001 VW Jetta, had been left running while the driver was inside the Casey’s General Store, in Avoca.

During the pursuit, the car crashed in Council Bluffs near North Avenue and Kanesville Boulevard. After taking off from the scene on foot pursuit, 53-year old James D. Blankenfeld, who has residences in Carter Lake and Avoca, was taken into custody for Theft in the 1st degree, OWI/1st offense, and Carrying a concealed weapon (A knife). He was booked into the Pott. County Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office said also, 36-year old Joni Lee Sands, of Underwood, was arrested Friday night for Domestic Assault with Injury and two counts of Child Endangerment without Injury, following a domestic disturbance in Neola, during which two children, ages eight and 10, were present. Authorities say 29-year old Christopher Owens called 9-1-1 to report his girlfriend (Joni Sands) wouldn’t let him leave their apartment. Owens and Sands both suffered apparent, minor injuries during the incident. Following an investigation, Deputies arrested Sands on the charges mentioned.

Late Friday evening, Pottawattamie County Deputies arrested 31-year old Sergio Lira Maldonado-Butler, of Avoca, on a U-S Marshal Service warrant for being a Fugitive from Justice/violation of supervised release. Maldonado-Butler was located at his residence in the 100 block of N. Cherry Street in Avoca, and taken into custody without incident. He was being held without bond in the Pott. County Jail, pending extradition.

And, at around 11:45-a.m. Friday, 53-year old Charles Arthur Robinson, of Council Bluffs, was arrested during eviction proceedings at an apartment in Council Bluffs, where drug paraphernalia and a pill bottle containing 21-grams of a white crystal substance believed to be meth, were found. Robinson was charged with Possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia (a glass bong and glass pipe).

IA DOT offers tips for purchasing vehicles online


January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

ANKENY, Iowa – Jan. 17, 2017 – Dreaming of that next vehicle purchase? Online car shopping can be a great way to pass some time, but if you’re seriously looking to purchase a vehicle from an online seller, the Iowa Department of Transportation has a few tips and tricks to make the purchase a success.

  • Take your time. For many people, buying a vehicle is the second largest investment next to buying a home. You want to make smart decisions when shopping online.
  • Do your homework. Whether you are researching a specific make and model of vehicle or a certain dealer, read the customer reviews and expert ratings.
  • Buy from a reputable dealer. Most reputable dealers will provide you with documentation to certify the authenticity of the vehicle title and disclose previous damage.

It’s unfortunate, but criminals may create fake vehicle dealer sales websites to lure customers to send money toward the purchase of a vehicle. The following alert from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office provides information to help you be a better informed consumer: https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-consumers/consumer-alert/past-consumer-alerts/consumer-alert-scammers-target-consumers-buying-cars-online/.

If buying from a private party, make sure the vehicle has legitimate documentation. Most consumers are not familiar with what legitimate vehicle ownership documents look like or how to research a vehicle’s history. It’s important to learn everything you can about the vehicle prior to signing a purchase agreement, making a payment for part or all of the vehicle, and taking possession of the vehicle.

There are several websites that offer individualized reports on vehicles. These reports can provide valuable insight into a vehicle’s ownership and odometer history. Examine all of the details contained in these reports, including dates, mileage, title numbers, and vehicle title brands. There is a minimal cost associated with the use of these websites, but a little time and money spent ahead of time can save you from losing thousands later.

Extreme caution should be taken when purchasing a vehicle over the internet or outside of the United States. For vehicles purchased outside the United States there is less vehicle history information available, the vehicle may not meet United States safety and emission standards, and vehicle ownership documents may be subject to counterfeiting. Another challenge with vehicle purchases outside of the United States is you may have little, if any, recourse if the vehicle turns out to be stolen or has had an odometer rollback.

If something doesn’t look or feel right in your research, ask questions and obtain more information from the seller. If you are still concerned about the validity of the vehicle, walk away from the deal. Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have questions regarding buying or selling a vehicle, the following Iowa DOT website has information to assist you: www.iowadot.gov/mvd/buyingselling/selling.htm.

If you feel you have purchased a vehicle that may have an odometer roll back or the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) has been tampered with, please contact the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection at invburea@iowadot.us or 515-237-3050.