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7AM Newscast 3-4-2013

News, Podcasts

March 4th, 2013 by Marissa Hovde

w/Ric Hanson

Play

Anti-bullying bill emerges in legislature

News

March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The governor is proposing a bill that he says will help combat bullying in Iowa schools. Matt Carver of the School Administrators of Iowa worked on the legislation. “It would give more authority to school administrators as we’re facing issues with students while they’re bullying and harassing other students outside of school,” Carver says. The target is co-called “cyber-bullying” — the use of tweets, texts and Facebook posts to keep the bullying going outside of school hours.

“The problem has been really a loss of civility where we’ve students who are going well beyond speech that should be considered protected speech and they’re getting into things where just simply they’re just bullying other students or harassing other students,” Carver says, “so this legislation would provide some authority for administrators to take action whereas in the past they very likely did not have authority to take action regarding some of these things that are going on with the social media.”

Backers of the bill say it protects the First Amendment rights of students by making it clear the legislation does not apply to students who are expressing their political or religious views or comments on matters of legitimate public concern. However, the bill does shield school employees who decide not to act on cases of alleged cyber-bullying. “What we didn’t want to do is face a situation where school officials were concerned that they’re exposing themselves to liability and then, unintentionally, we might end up with a situation where they were going too far or being too aggressive in using their authority,” Carver says, “because we want to be very careful that we’re not infringing on the speech rights of students.”

Carver is legal services director for the School Administrators of Iowa. The Republican legislator who is chairman of the House Education Committee is the lead sponsor of this anti-bullying bill. The bill must clear his committee by week’s end to remain eligible for debate in the legislature.

(Radio Iowa)

Winter Weather Advisory Cancelled

News, Weather

March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Winter Weather Advisory which was scheduled to have been in-place for Cass and some adjacent counties from Midnight Sunday until Noon today (Monday), has been cancelled.

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., March 4th 2013

News

March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Another blast of winter weather is forecast to track from eastern North Dakota southeast overnight into Minnesota and Iowa. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through tomorrow for a system that is expected to dump the heaviest amounts of snow in eastern North Dakota and across a swath of Minnesota including the Twin Cities, down into northeastern Iowa.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Linn County voters will head to the polls tomorrow to decide whether or not they want to allow a casino to be built. KWWL TV reports campaigns on both sides spent the weekend trying to gather up last-minute support. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller says almost 11 percent of registered voters have already cast their ballots.

ATTICA, Iowa (AP) — A boil advisory for the city of Attica initiated on Friday has now been lifted after water samples indicate the water is safe. The boil order was issued by Pershing Utility after a break occurred in a water main. Attica, located in Marion County, about 45 miles southeast of Des Moines, gets its water from Pershing Utility.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines School Board has narrowed its search for a new superintendent to three finalists. They are Thomas Ahart, interim superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools; James Browder, superintendent of the Anchorage School District in Alaska; and Carey Wright, chief academic officer of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

4 arrested in Fremont County on drug and other charges

News

March 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Deputies responding to a possible burglary Saturday morning in the Fremont County town of Imogene arrested four people including two minors, on drug and other charges. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the call about an incident at the Emerald Isle came in at around 11-a.m., Saturday. Following an investigation, a search was conducted at a home in the 200 block of North Market Street in Imogene.

18-year-old Thomas Jay Stogdill, of Shenandoah, was arrested on charges that include possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance/marijuana, and participating in a drug gathering. He was later released on $1,000 bond. 29-year-old Jacob Daniel Cox, of Imogene, was arrested on two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and participating in a drug gathering. Cox was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $1,000 bond.

A 17-year old was charged with possession of a controlled substance/marijuana, two counts of 4th degree theft, 3rd degree criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia, 3rd degree burglary and participating in a drug gathering, while the another 17-year-old was charged with possession of a controlled substance/marijuana, 4th degree theft, 3rd degree criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia, 3rd degree burglary, and participating in a drug gathering.

Assisting the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in conducting the investigation and making the arrests, were officers with the Tabor Police Department.

Southwest Iowa should escape threat from latest snowstorm

News, Weather

March 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Southwest and western Iowa look to have dodged a bullet where the latest snow storm is concerned. The National Weather Services says \aA band of moderate to locally heavy snow is forecast to develop late tonight and continue into Monday morning across northern Iowa before moving northeast into Wisconsin and Minnesota. Periods of light snow are expected from late Monday morning through the afternoon before another round of moderate snow develops Monday evening and continues into Tuesday. North central to northeast Iowa looks to receive the higher snowfall amounts through Tuesday.

A brief period of sleet is possible tonight across southwest Iowa, but little ice accumulation is anticipated. Dry conditions and warmer temperatures are forecast by the late work week.

Branstad keeps focus on IowaCare, not Medicaid

News

March 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to soon reveal his plans for revamping the IowaCare health program for low-income adults, sticking to an approach he holds is better for the state than the Medicaid expansion Democrats are clamoring for.  IowaCare was designed to provide limited health benefits to low-income adults who don’t qualify for Medicaid. But the program, which now has about 70,000 enrollees, offers very limited services.

If Branstad agreed to expand Medicaid, the federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, then 10 percent of the cost would gradually be shifted to the state.  But Branstad says he’s not convinced the federal government will keep its promise to pay most costs.

ARC’s “Heroes in the Heartland” honors pair who warned of Thurman tornado

News

March 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The American Red Cross’ Nebraska/Southwest Iowa Region “Heroes in the Heartland Awards Luncheon” scheduled to take place March 13th at the Embassy Suites in La Vista, NE., will honor individuals from Southwest Iowa and the Omaha metro who have saved another person’s life during the past year or who have positively impacted the quality of life in the Heartland in other ways. Among the honoree’s is a father and son who put the safety of others first, when they warned the Fremont County town of Thurman about an approaching tornado in April, 2012.

Rod Umphreys and his 16-year old son Mason, will receive an award and recognition. Mason alerted his father, the Mayor of Thurman, about the EF-2 twister, which packed winds of up to 125-miles per hour. Moments later, the mayor scrambled from his home to the fire station, where he sounded the tornado sirens that alerted the community. About 90-percent of the buildings in town were destroyed or sustained damage, but there were no reported fatalities and only a few, minor injuries.

The “Hereos in Heartland event, which is held each year on the second Wednesday in March, originates from the Red Cross’ belief that qualities of bravery, commitment, dedication and selfless behavior should be recognized and honored.

For more information, surf to: http://www.redcross.org/news/event/Heroes-in-the-Heartland

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., March 3rd 2013

News

March 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ACKLEY, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa school superintendent has been put on administrative leave as law enforcement officials confirmed he is the subject of a criminal investigation. Fifty-one-year-old Robert Weber was placed on leave Tuesday from his job as superintendent of Ackley-Geneva-Wellsburg-Steamboat Rock public school district. Law enforcement officials declined to disclose the nature of the investigation.

IOWA FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Two school bus drivers in central Iowa have been fired after school officials say they engaged in a drag race while students were on the buses. Des Moines television station WHO-TV reports that the incident happened on February 14th, as buses were bringing young Iowa Falls students back from a Valentine’s Day field trip.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police plan to charge a 13-year-old Des Moines boy accused of shooting his friend with a simple misdemeanor. Police tell The Des Moines Register that the teenager will be charged tomorrow with discharging a firearm within city limits, as opposed to more serious assault or weapons charges. If convicted, the teen could face a maximum of 30 days in juvenile detention.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Romero Osby had 22 points and nine rebounds and Oklahoma tied the NCAA record for free throws without a miss in an 86-69 victory over Iowa State yesterday. Tyrus McGee led ISU with 22 points. Babu Palo added 12 points and Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang scored 10 each for the Cyclones in Norman, Oklahoma.

Iowa health officials: Child dies of flu

News

March 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State health officials are reporting that an Iowa child has died of the flu, and the news comes as experts declare that cases of the viral infection are waning. The Des Moines Register reports that state health officials disclosed the death Friday, saying the victim was the first child to die from the disease in Iowa this winter. Officials did not reveal the child’s age, gender, residence in the state or the date of death, saying that information could disclose the child’s identity and violate privacy rules.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 81 children have died in the U.S. as of Feb. 23 since this flu season began last fall. That figure does not including Iowa’s death.