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Red Oak woman arrested on drug charge Friday


February 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report a Nebraksa woman was arrested Friday afternoon on a drug charge. 20-year old Kylen Mary Gates, of Bellevue, NE, was taken into custody in the 100 block of Prospect Street in Red Oak, on a Possession of Prescription Pills without a prescription, charge.

She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

Former Denison Police Officer protests his termination


February 20th, 2016 by Chris Parks

A former Denison police officer is protesting his removal from the force. A press release from Denison Mayor Dan Leinen says Ray Ohl was fired Feb. 5th because of insubordination and other misconduct. Ohl has requested a public hearing before the Denison City Council about the issues connected to his removal. A date for the public hearing is pending. The Daily NonPareil says Ohl was the department’s K-9 officer until he was removed from that duty on Dec. 29th, 2015.

In an interview with the paper three weeks ago, Denison Police Chief John Emswiler said he could not discuss the event for which Ohl was removed as the K-9 handler. Two days after Ohl was taken off K-9 duty, Chief Emswiler became the subject of a complaint for an incident that involved Ohl. On Dec. 31st, 2015, Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler was contacted by an individual who had a complaint about Emswiler. The sheriff referred the individual to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

Ohl organized and was among a small group of people that protested outside Denison City Hall on Wednesday, holding signs about equality, race relations and doing the right thing.

Geoff Greenwood, communications director for the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, said his office is waiting for a report from the DCI before the investigation moves forward. Asked if the city intended to file charges against any of the individuals apparently in possession of the confidential personnel information, Leinen said an investigation was ongoing and he could not comment.

211 service celebrates 13 years of helping people in western Iowa


February 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The United Way of the Midlands is marking its 13th year of providing a wide array of services to people across western Iowa and in Nebraska through calling 2-1-1. Lena Thompson, the call center’s director, says the program has come a long way since it was launched. “We started as a pilot with three counties,” Thompson says. “Now, we have the ability to cover the whole state of Nebraska, which is 93 counties, and we cover nine counties in the southwest Iowa area.” She says 2-1-1 is a one-stop shop for answers on all sorts of services and aid.

“211 is information and referral primarily,” Thompson says. “We get calls from people who might need rent or utility assistance, a food pantry, back-to-school programs, substance abuse, just a wide variety of things.” The service will continue to expand in the years ahead. “Our future goals are to start doing text messaging and chat services,” Thompson says. “We’re hoping to do text messaging this year and maybe expand into chat at the end of this year or early next year.”

Nearly 57,000 calls were made to the 2-1-1 call center last year and the website was accessed some 47,000 times. Thompson says statistics show nearly 30% of the calls were for utility assistance, 23% were for help with rent and 9% were for food assistance.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Feb. 20th 2016


February 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The decision over whether to hold Senate hearings for President Obama’s eventual Supreme Court nominee rests with one person: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. So far, the 82-year-old Iowa senator has offered a muddled message on the subject. Grassley is seeking his seventh term in the Senate and has worked well with Democrats on some issues.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says most of the loss was smaller farms with sales of less than $10,000. Iowa posted a total of 87,500 farms in 2015. Total land in farms was 30.5 million acres. That’s about the same as the year before.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state will spend nearly $250,000 on a consultant to help three Iowa cities find new tenants for empty, state-owned buildings. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Economic Development Board voted Friday to hire a national company, Matrix Design Group, to help seek new tenants for recently closed facilities in Toledo, Clarinda and Mount Pleasant.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Health officials are reporting Iowa’s first case of the Zika virus. The Department of Public Health announced Friday that the female victim, who wasn’t named, tested positive for the virus. The agency says she’s between 61 and 80 years old and had traveled in Central America.

Iowa lost 500 farms last year as average farm size edges up

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger. The number of farms in Iowa has fallen about 1.6 percent in the last five years while the average farm size has increased 1.5 percent.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says most of the loss was smaller farms with sales of less than $10,000. Iowa posted a total of 87,500 farms in 2015. Total land in farms was 30.5 million acres. That’s about the same as the year before. The average farm size rose slightly to 349 acres. Nationally, the number of farms fell by 18,000 last year to 2.07 million.

Iowa Supreme Court: Stun guns are dangerous weapons


February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says a stun gun, under Iowa law, is a dangerous weapon. The court made the conclusion as it affirmed the conviction of a woman charged with carrying a dangerous weapon after police found a stun gun in her purse in 2013 during an arrest for theft at a Waterloo Walmart.

Taquala Howse, who is 25, appealed saying her small hand-held stun gun isn’t dangerous. A district judge convicted Howse, finding the state had proven it was dangerous. The Iowa Court of Appeals last year concluded since the device didn’t work when police tested it and it couldn’t immobilize anyone, it wasn’t dangerous.

The Supreme Court reversed the decision saying stun guns fall under the Iowa code’s definition of a dangerous weapon even if it’s inoperable.

Zika virus confirmed in Iowa


February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Friday) announced an Iowa resident, who recently traveled to countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, has tested positive for the virus. Following approval of Zika testing by IDPH, health care providers send specimens to the State Hygienic Laboratory, which then routes them to the CDC for analysis. The older adult (61 to 80 years of age) female has a travel history to Central America.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said “The general public is not at risk of contracting this virus, because the mosquitoes that transmit Zika are not established in Iowa. However, Iowans traveling to areas where there is ongoing Zika virus transmission should take care to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”IDPH

The CDC is currently advising pregnant women to delay travel to foreign countries where Zika is being transmitted. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly (meaning small head) and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctor about their plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection. The CDC is currently recommending that if your male sexual partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission you should abstain from sex or use condoms the right way every time you have vaginal, anal, and oral sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

The CDC is investigating a possible link between Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological condition which causes varying degrees of paralysis; in addition, mosquitoes in areas where Zika transmission is ongoing may also carry diseases like dengue or chikungunya.

Therefore, any traveler (males, females and children) visiting areas with ongoing Zika transmission should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites:

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
Using EPA-registered insect repellents
Using permethrin-treated clothing
Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms
Avoid or limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito times.

The Zika virus illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week and hospitalizations are rare. Most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for the virus. To learn more about Zika virus, including a link to a Zika-affected travel map, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/ehi/zika.

Exira man arrested Thu. night for Child Endangement


February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into an incident at a residence in Exira resulted in one person being arrested for two counts of Child Endangerment. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office says 36-year old Erik James Goldberg, of Exira, was arrested at around 11:30-p.m. Thursday, following an altercation that allegedly took place, where children were present.

Goldberg was brought to the Audubon County Jail and held until making an appearance in front of a magistrate, and then released. No other details about the incident which led to his arrest, were released. An investigation into the matter continues.

Prostitution sting in western IA Thursday


February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force (SWINE), based in Council Bluffs, report members of the Child Exploitation Task Force conducted an undercover operation in regards to a prostitution sting at an undisclosed location. During the operation, investigators arrested 15 individuals. Fourteen of them were charged with Prostitution and one was arrested on a warrant for Probation violation.

Two people from western Iowa, including Vincent Carroll Kanne, of Carroll, and Nicole McNealey, of Council Bluffs, were charged with prostitution. swilogo3

Others arrested for prostitution include:

Zilong Fan, Michael McIntosh, and Andrew H. Campbell, all of Bellevue, NE; Joseph Diaz, Imesha Davis, Mary F. Barnes, Bronchae M. Brown, Olivia Handy, Kiara Parker and Stacey Ohanion, all of Omaha; Teresa E. White, of Dayton, OH; and, Gary Steadman, of Blair, NE.  Also arrested during the sting, was Heather Fritz, of Omaha, who was wanted on a warrant for Probation Violation.

The Child Exploitation Task Force includes members of the following agencies: Council Bluffs Police Department; Pottawattamie and Mills County Sheriff’s Departments; the Omaha and La Vista, NE. Police Departments, and the FBI.

Distracted driver causes accident in Creston, Thursday


February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A motorist who was distracted by a friend caused an accident Thursday evening in Creston that resulted in possible/unknown injuries. Authorities say 18-year old Paul Carruthers, of Lenox, was driving a 1992 Dodge pickup east on Highway 34 at around 5:10-p.m., when he saw a friend waiving him down from the opposite side of the street. When Carruthers attempted to make a right turn onto Cherry Street in Creston, his pickup hit 2008 Chevy Impala that was in the adjacent lane of the two-lane road.

The impact caused the car to hit a utility pole head-on, and resulted in the vehicles’ airbags being deployed. The driver of the car, 53-year old Angela Vicker, of Creston, was checked-out at the scene by medics, and then released.

Carruthers was cited for “Turning at Intersection Violation.” Damage from the collision amounted to $5,500.