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7AM Newscast 02-19-2014

News, Podcasts

February 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Projected snowfall for Thursday

News, Weather

February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has released its projection of expected snowfall for Thursday. Officials say Central to northern Iowa will receive the most, with the worst blizzard conditions Thursday afternoon into the evening.projections Areas from Atlantic on north, can expect 3-to 6-inches of snow, with 2- to 3-inches possible to our southeast. One-to two-inches are possible to our west and southwest. A Blizzard Watch remains in effect from 6-a.m. Thursday until 6-a.m. Friday, for Adair, Guthrie and Dallas Counties in the listening area. And a Blizzard Watch is in effect from 9-a.m. Thursday until 6-a.m. Friday for Audubon, Carroll, Crawford and Sac Counties.

Audubon man pleads guilty to amended drug charges


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Audubon man arrested on drugs and a firearms charge in April 2013, pled guilty to the charges Monday, and faces sentencing on April 14th. 45-year old Joel Corey Brannon agreed to plead guilty to amended felony charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance (2 counts) Marijuana and Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Deliver a controlled substance/Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm as a Felon. A 4th charge of Habitual Offender was dismissed.

Brannon and 23-year old Desiray Elliott, also of Audubon, were taken into custody on April 19th, 2013, after a search warrant was executed at a residence in the 1100 block of North Division Street, in Audubon.  A pre-trial conference for Elliott will take place March 31st, with trial set for April 15th.

Prescription drugs & jewelry stolen during apartment burglary in Red Oak


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are investigating the theft of personal items reported stolen from an apartment. Authorities say a Red Oak woman reported Tuesday afternoon a person or persons entered her unlocked apartment on north 7th Street and took prescription drugs Aderall, Alprazolam, and some miscellaneous jewelry, out of her purse. The items were valued at a little more than $100.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Red Oak Police.

Pott. Co. Board approves the use of metal detectors at the courthouse


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, voted to approve new security measures at the courthouse in Council Bluffs. The Omaha World-Herald reports three metal detectors and one X-ray machine will be placed in the middle of the main lobby.Anyone coming into the Pottawattamie County Courthouse will eventually have to go through metal detectors and, if necessary, X-ray machines in the building lobby before continuing onto their destination.

The County Board voted 3-2 to approve the new security measures, which had support from law enforcement and judicial officials. The new equipment will initially cost $387,050.

Bill to update Iowa law on “sexting”


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Legislators are making another attempt to relax state laws for “sexting” between teenagers who are dating. Assistant Iowa Attorney General Sherri Soich says, for example, a teenage girl who sends a racy photo to her boyfriend could be charged with a felony today. “Under the current law, it makes teenagers who are ‘sexting’ actually child pornographyers,” Soich says, “because under the definition of child pornography…if you produce a picture of a prohibited sex act involving a minor, then you are deemed a producer of child pornography.”

Iowa’s attorney general began asking legislators in 2010 to change these laws, to make most cases of “sexting” a misdemeanor. Eric Tabor, another assistant attorney general, says young people sometimes do dumb things. “What we want to ensure here is that some youthful mistake like that does not turn into someone being convicted of a serious crime or being put on the sex offender registry forever,” Tabor says.

A bill that would make most cases of “sexting” a misdemeanor has cleared a senate committee. The bill would allow some “sexting” to be legal if the two parties are in a relationship and the text or photo or video is NOT sent to others, but once that content distributed beyond its original recipient, Soich says charges could be filed. “We want the law to sort of keep up with technology and this kind of new behavior that teenagers are engaging in,” she says. But Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids says legislators are likely to seek changes in the bill.

“I don’t want this legislature to convey a message that ‘sexting’ is o.k.,” Hogg says. “I want to convey a message that that is still illegal, but it’s not going to put you on the sex offender registry and it’s not going to make you serve a multi-year prison sentence if you do it.” The bill has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. As currently written prosecutors could have the discretion to charge individuals between the ages of 14 and 18 with a simple misdemeanor for sending images of a minor engaged in a sex act or in a state of full or partial nudity.

(Radio Iowa)

Officials: Synthetic marijuana linked to 3 deaths


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say three young Iowans died last year after using a new kind of synthetic marijuana. The Des Moines Register reports the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy disclosed the deaths Tuesday. Office Director Steve Lukan called the news a demonstration that the “quick-changing products are unsafe” and the need to educate people about their danger. Officials say those who died were in their late teens through late 20s. Officials wouldn’t provide details about the deaths.

The Iowa Poison Control Center says those who died had used a compound called 5F-PB-22. Although it’s hard to prove the drug was the sole cause of death, it was in the systems of those who died. The compound is the latest of many synthetic marijuana products, often known as spice or K2.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 19th 2014


February 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Email and Internet service were disrupted yesterday for Gov. Terry Branstad’s office and many state government workers in the Capitol. Department of Administrative Services spokesman Caleb Hunter says the service loss started around 3 p.m. and could not quickly be restored. He says it was caused by a power outage at the government building that houses the state data servers.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Two sheep were killed in a barn fire in northeast Iowa. Dyersville Fire Chief Al Wessels says the fire was reported yesterday morning at a farm southeast of Dyersville. The fire was contained a short time later. Wessels tells the Telegraph Herald that the fire destroyed the barn. Damages have been estimated at $25,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have granted initial approval of a bill that would further crack down on texting while driving. A three-member Senate transportation subcommittee unanimously approved the measure yesterday. It goes to the full Senate Transportation Committee tomorrow.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa House are advancing legislation that would change the approval process to construct new power lines. The Des Moines Register reports that a House subcommittee approved the bill, which will move to the Judiciary Committee. The legislation is a response to opposition to the proposed Rock Island Clean Line.

Atlantic City Council to set the date for a Public Hearing on budget


February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session Wednesday evening at the Senior Citizen Center next to the City Hall building. On the agenda for the 5:30-p.m. meeting is action on an order to adopt the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, and the setting of March 12th at 5:30-p.m. as the date and time for a public hearing on the budget. After the hearing, the Council may decrease the budget, but cannot increase it. The budget must be filed with the State and County Auditor’s Office by March 15th.

The proposed budgets for all operating funds amounts to $9.373-million, which is a decrease of $481,863 or 4.9%, from the total estimated expenditures in FY 2014. Even though the budget is lower than last year, the tax rate for the City is going up. The rate would be $18 per $1,000 of assessed taxable value, which is an increase of 32-cents or 1.8%, over the last Fiscal Year.

In other business, the Council will act on approving a Resolution accepting Public Improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. City Administrator Doug Harris says Fox Engineering reports Hawkins Construction has completed the project in general compliance with the terms, conditions and stipulations of the contract. The final payment to be approved amounts to just over $12.26-million, as compared to the final cost of $12.29-million. The City will retain a little more than $27,000, because the blower building was determined to be “defective work,” due to settlement caused by improper compaction of fill materials placed by the contractor.

The Council will also consider an appeal from an Atlantic resident with regard to a Storm Water fee paid for a building in the 600 block of Pine Street. The resident believes the building should be classified as residential, not commercial, for storm water assessment purposes.

Adair County man gets 10-years in prison on meth charge


February 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Adair County man was sentenced last Friday in U-S District Court in Council Bluffs, to 10-years in prison followed by three-years of supervised release, for the Possession with the Intent to distribute of methamphetamine on April 3rd, 2013. 49-year old Jason Shane Steckelberg, of Fontanelle, obtained meth from a source in South Omaha, Nebraska, and transported it back to Adair County for redistribution. On April 3, 2013, Steckelberg was stopped by law enforcement, and over 125 grams of pure methamphetamine was located in his car along with cash and other items that are indicative of drug trafficking.

Steckelberg pled guilty to the charge on November 1st, 2013. The charge was the result of an investigation conducted into methamphetamine distribution in and around the Adair and Cass County area. The investigation was conducted by the Adair and Cass County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Iowa Division of Narcotic Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.