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Bluffs Police arrest fiance of shooting victim

News

March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs, Wednesday, arrested the fiance’ of a woman who, along with her 19-month old son, was shot last month outside of the apartment complex the couple shared. According to the Omaha World-Herald, 31-year old Nathan Underwood, was taken into custody on warrants for allegedly possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a tax stamp violation and three counts of child endangerment. His arrest came nearly three -weeks after 22-year old Heather Wilson was shot eight times, allegedly by 30-year old Ronald Farr, Jr., of Harlan, who faces three counts of attempted murder. The incident happened during the early morning hours of February 12th, as Wilson was putting her son and his 4-year-old sister in a car.

When authorities searched Underwood’s apartment, they found more than 4 ounces of marijuana, packaging material and a digital scale. A rifle also was found under one of the children’s beds. Court records say Underwood was found carrying more than $6,000 in cash. Investigators say he admitted to taking the money from Farr as prepayment for drugs that Farr was supposed to pick up in California.

Underwood remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail on Thursday on $10,000 bail, while Farr was being held on $1 million bond. His arraignment is scheduled for March 18th. Wilson was critically injured in the shooting. Her son suffered from a gunshot wound to his arm. Both were expected to make a full recovery. An account was set up in Wilson’s name at First National Bank, to help with medical expenses.

Boettger opposes bill banning teens from using commercial tanning beds

News

March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A bill that would prohibit teenagers from using tanning beds has won initial approval in an Iowa Senate subcommittee. Dr. Leslie Christenson of Ames, a dermatologist, says the ultraviolet rays from tanning beds are “a known carcinogen.” “Right up there with tobacco and asbestos,” Christenson says. “The interesting thing is, however, that the FDA regulates them as a Class 1 Medical Device, which is the same as band-aids and…tongue depressors, so we’re a bit behind in how we regulate these.” Dr. Christenson did research on the issue when she worked at the Mayo Clinic and found cases of melanoma skin cancer among young women had increased 50 percent over the past three decades.

“Tanning beds were introduced in the 1970s. By 1988, only one percent of the population had ever used them,” Christenson says. “2007 — by that time — about 27 percent of the population had used them.” The bill under consideration in the Iowa Senate would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using a commercial tanning bed. “We know when we’re exposed in our youth, our risks are higher,” Christenson said, “so when we are exposed to these before the age of like, you know, 35 — your risk of melanoma is 75 times that as someone who wasn’t exposed to them before the age of 35.” A variety of organizations representing doctors support the bill. Kate Walton, a lobbyist for the Iowa Medical Society, says a variety of organizations representing doctors support the bill.

“In Iowa, you cannot receive a tatoo if you’re under the age of 18. You can’t have body-piercing without parents permission. We don’t permit people to buy cigarettes under the age of 18, alcohol under the age of 21,” Walton says. “There are examples in the interest of the public health that say that a ban like this is a good idea.” But the move has its critics, like Senator Nancy Boettger, a Republican from Harlan. “If it’s a bad thing, let’s just ban it for everybody, but if not, I think it’s the parent’s responsibility,” Boettger said. “Laying on a tanning bed is not as dangerous as having an abortion and we allow that to happen.” Boettger also warns there’ll be a “revolte from prom-goers” if the bill becomes law.

Matt Eide, a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association, says the tanning bed industry has its own experts who’d like to speak with lawmakers. “We believe that this type of ban will move teenagers to aggressively suntan outdoors and/or turn to unregulated home tanning units where the dangers and risks are higher than we have now with the regulated industry.” Democratic Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, the bill’s sponsor, scoffs at that. “Outdoor tanning does occur a few months out of the year here,” Quirmback said, “but I doubt that it’s very likely to happen in February.” Quirmbach and another senator signed off on the bill, making it eligible for committee debate next week.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., March 1st 2013

News

March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Federal budget reductions set to take effect today could fall like a meat cleaver on the small Iowa town of Columbus Junction, where a Tyson Foods hog processing plant dominates the economy. The White House is warning that 6,300 meat and poultry plants could be forced to temporarily suspend production because the cuts may require U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors to be furloughed for 15 days.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — House Republicans are moving forward with a controversial proposal that would require Iowa voters to show photo identification at polling places. Lawmakers in the state government committee approved the legislation in a 12-8 vote yesterday. The measure is backed by Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who has filed identical bills in the House and Senate.

LETTS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in east Iowa say three people have been killed and one injured in a crash involving an empty school bus. Iowa State Patrol says yesterday morning’s crash happened near Louisa-Muscatine High School in Letts. The deceased were from Burlington and have been identified as 78-year-old Katherine Newton, 75-year-old Barbara Higgs and 50-year-old Mark Kaltefleiter.

RITTER, Iowa (AP) — No injuries have been reported in the derailment of a freight train in northwest Iowa. Sioux City television station KCAU reports that 19 cars left the tracks a little before 6:30 a.m. yesterday near Ritter, about three miles north of Sheldon. The cause of the derailment is being investigation.

Two Vehicle Accident in Montgomery County

News

February 28th, 2013 by Marissa Hovde

No injuries were reported following a collision between a car and a pickup Thursday afternoon, in Red Oak. Authorities say the accident involving a 2001 Hyundai Elantra, driven by 16-year old Macy Vaughan Kaiser, and a 2004 Chevy pickup driven by 17-yearold William Russell Stanley, both of Red Oak, happened at the intersection of north 5th Street and east Elm Street, at around 4:35-p.m.

After an investigation, officers determined Stanley was traveling south on 5th Street. As he approached the uncontrolled  intersection, Kaiser, who was traveling west, failed to yield.  She was given a written warning for failure to yield to the vehicle on the right. Damage from the accident amounted to $5,100.

Harlan woman arrested after her vehicle hits a convenience store

News

February 28th, 2013 by Marissa Hovde

Four accidents were reported by the Harlan Police Department within the past week. On February 22nd, 43-year old Michelle Ritter was arrested after the vehicle she was driving slammed into the Casey’s General Store. Ritter was charged with OWI/2nd offense and Failure to Maintain Control. Damage to the building was estimated at $8,000.

That same day, vehicles driven by Jason Taylor of Bellevue, NE and Randy Kool, of Adel, collided as Taylor was taking a wide turn off of Chatburn Avenue, to pull into the Subway parking lot. As he was turning, a vehicle driven by Kool continued traveling  straight in the outer lane and then struck the trailer of Taylor’s vehicle at the halfway point. Both vehicles sustained minor damage that amounted to $5,000.

Two accidents occurred on February 23rd in Harlan. According to Harlan Police, a 2000 Chevrolet being driven by Carole Thraen of Harlan was driving eastbound on Chatburn Avenue on the inside lane when a vehicle driven by Bol Thouc Youl Mok of Denison, driving on the outside lane on Chatburn Avenue, made an improper left turn in front of Thraen’s vehicle. Mok was cited for turning from an improper lane and no insurance.

Another accident that same day, was a result of icy road conditions. Ashton Weyer of Harlan was driving southbound on 18th Street, when her vehicle hit a patch of ice, went out of control and hit a fire hydrant, in at yard of 2007 18th Street.

Harlan Arrest Report

News

February 28th, 2013 by Marissa Hovde

The Harlan Police Department Thursday, released their arrest report for the past week. Officials say two arrests were reported on February 24th. One of the arrests occurred when Officers were called to the Myrtue Medical Center emergency room for a female who had received injuries during an altercation. The victim, Johana Torres of Harlan was treated for minor injuries and released. Twenty-four year old Theodore Behrens of Harlan was later located, arrested, and transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with domestic abuse assault.

The second arrest that same day, happened following a traffic stop. Twenty-nine year old Sean Gifford of Harlan was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance/Methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver/Marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and prohibited acts penalties. Gifford was also cited for driving under suspension and failure to use a seat belt.

On February 26th, two people were taken into custody after Officers were called to Casey’s General Store for a possible assault. After investigating, 42-year old James Delaney-Stevens of Omaha was arrested and transported to the Shelby County Jail for allegedly assaulting 23-year old Janice Massey of Brayton. Massey was subsequently arrested for public intoxication, and also transported to the Shelby County Jail.

 

Cass County Health System offers health career scholarship

News

February 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Health System is continuing their health career scholarship again this year.  Officials say a $1000 award is available for a student studying to become a healthcare professional.  Applicants must be accepted to or currently enrolled in a health career educational program leading to at least a bachelor’s degree.  Applications are available at area high school guidance offices, the human resources office at Cass County Memorial Hospital and on the hospital’s website, www.casshealth.org.

Applications for the scholarship are due April 1, 2013.  For further information, contact Sara Nelson, CCMH Public Relations Director, at 712-243-7408.

sTEP program coming up next month

News

February 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau are advising motorists about the next Special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP). Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in force the week of March 14th through the 17th, looking for motorists who are violating traffic laws during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The theme is “Don’t Press Your luck. Buckle up day and night.”

The sTEP program consists of five high-visibility enforcement waves throughout the year, meant to get motorists to change their driving behavior by buckling up, slowing down, driving sober, and obeying all traffic laws, in order to reduce the number of vehicle crashes and save lives.

During last year’s St. Patricks weekend sTEP wave, there were more than 16,279 traffic violations reported by 234 law enforcement agencies that together, had more than 1,600 officers working the enforcement effort. After the St. Patrick’s weekend sTEP, law enforcement will be gearing up for the same effort May 20th through June 2nd…during the Memorial Day Holiday.

Targeting bomb-making materials

News

February 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State officials want new penalties targeting bomb-makers. Representative Mark Brandenburg, a Republican from Council Bluffs, says the move is a priority for the Iowa Department of Public Safety and Brandenburg urged legislators to pass a bill on the subject. “This bill adds four chemicals to the current list of 14 chemicals that cannot be possessed with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance,” Brandenburg says. “Possession of these substances is a Class D felony.”

It means law enforcement can charge someone with possession of these four chemical ingredients for a bomb as well as for possession of the final product. The four new chemical that would be added to the illegal list are ammonia nitrate, ammonia sulfate, sodium hydroxide — which is also known as lye — and a distilled petroleum known by the slang term “white gas.” The Iowa House passed the bill unanimously. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

There are more than 60 subcommittee meetings today (Thursday) at the statehouse, as lawmakers face a deadline next week. Policy-related bills must win approval from a House or Senate Committee next week — by Friday, March 8th — or they’re declared ineligible for consideration. Bills that deal with taxes or spending are eligible for debate at any time during the legislative session.

(Radio Iowa)

Hansen Memorial Scholarship available through the CCMH Foundation

News

February 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation is offering $10,000 in scholarships to students who are enrolled and have been accepted into a nursing or medical doctor training program.  The scholarships were established by a bequest from Louis and Elsie Hansen.  John Molgaard, CCMH Foundation board member, says “The Hansens believed strongly in the importance of education, and the need for well-trained healthcare professionals, and (the Foundation is) very proud to provide this scholarship in their memory.”

The Louis and Elsie Hansen Memorial Scholarship was established to benefit Cass County high school graduates who are enrolled in a college of nursing or medicine, leading to an LPN, RN or MD degree.  Two $5000 awards will be presented.    Consideration will be given to applicants’ scholarship, citizenship and leadership abilities.  Applications are available at area high school guidance offices and the CCMH Foundation office at Cass County Memorial Hospital.  Applications are also available to download through a link on the hospital website, www.casshealth.org.

Applications for the scholarship are due April 1, 2013.  For further information, contact Dawn Marnin, CCMH Foundation Development Director, at 712-243-7409 or mardd@casshealth.org.