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Police: Man played role in street race that led to 2 deaths

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Ankeny police have arrested a man suspected of engaging in a drag race that ended when one of the vehicles crashed, killing its two occupants. An Ankeny news release says 21-year-old Brandon Ferin, of Johnston, was arrested Tuesday. He’s charged with misdemeanor drag racing and felony vehicular homicide. Polk County court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.
Police say Ferin was racing his pickup truck against another the night of Aug. 25 at speeds of up to 80 mph (129 kph) in a 35 mph (56 kph) zone. The other truck went out of control and crashed into another vehicle in a restaurant parking lot.

The two people in the other truck were killed: 41-year-old Brad Stover, from Colfax, and 50-year-old Ronald Girtz, from Pine City, Minnesota.

Hog confinement fire in Audubon County

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters in Audubon County were dispatched to a hog confinement operation fire this (Tuesday) morning, about three-miles east of Ross. The incident at 1599 Mockingbird Avenue was reported at around 10:15-a.m., according to the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office. No further details are available at this time.

Man gets 3 month behind bars and an order to pay back banks

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A northeast Nebraska man has been sentenced for defrauding banks in Iowa and Nebraska. U.S. District Court records say 32-year-old Joshua Huffman, of Lyons, was given three months behind bars and five years of supervised release. He also was told at an Omaha hearing Monday to pay restitution to Washington County Bank in Blair and United Bank of Iowa in Ida Grove, Iowa. He’d pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors say Huffman gave false and fraudulent financial statements to the banks to obtain loans for his farming operation from December 2014 through May 2015. He defaulted on the loans, so United Bank of Iowa suffered a loss of about $320,000, and Washington County Bank suffered a loss of almost $14,000.

Union County Sheriff’s report 12/11/18

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office reports 32-year old Sean Patrick Bagby, of Creston, was arrested Monday morning at the Union County Courthouse. Bagby was arrested on a Union County warrant for Domestic Abuse Assault. His bond was set at $1,000.

The Sheriff’s Office also took two theft reports, Monday. An Afton woman said that someone entered her vehicle overnight Sunday into early Monday morning, and took cash, credit cards, identification, a wallet and thermostat. The loss was estimated at $160. An Afton man told Union County authorities that a Keltek 9-mm. semi-automatic handgun was stolen from his vehicle during the same time frame. The loss was estimated at $300.

March trial set for Iowa man accused of killing girlfriend

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A March trial has been scheduled for a man accused of killing his girlfriend in central Iowa. Hamilton County District Court records say 32-year-old Zackery Bassett, of Webster City, entered a written plea of not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree murder. His trial is set to begin March 5.

Investigators say Bassett called Webster City police on Sept. 22 to report that his girlfriend , 50-year-old Andrea Sokolowski, was not breathing. Sokolowski was taken by ambulance to a Webster City hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Bassett was arrested on an Iowa warrant Nov. 14 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Grassley predicts fast confirmation for AG nominee Barr, Whitaker’s future uncertain

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley expects a swift confirmation process for President Trump’s nominee for U-S Attorney General. Grassley calls William Barr a “talented, well-respected lawyer” who has served in that post before — from 1991 to ’93 under President George H.W. Bush. “I think he had an outstanding reputation as attorney general in the past,” Grassley says. “I would expect him to be confirmed unless there’s something that’s really bad about something that he’s done in the last 20 years but I can’t think of anything.”

Grassley is now chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee but will step down from the position in a few weeks to become chair of the Finance Committee. Still, Grassley will remain a member of the Judiciary Committee in the new Congress and will participate in Barr’s confirmation hearings. “I would assume that it’s going to be early January,” Grassley says, “and I would assume that it’s not going to take a long time for the FBI to get through vetting him since he’s been vetted for several other government positions.”

An Iowa native is now the acting U-S Attorney General. Matt Whitaker was appointed to that post by the president after the resignation of Jeff Sessions last month. Whitaker had been Sessions’ chief of staff. Grassley is unsure what will become of Whitaker once Barr is confirmed. “It probably would be unusual if he’d stay on as the chief of staff for the next attorney general. That would be up to the attorney general,” Grassley says. “If he wants public service, I’m sure that he could have some comparable position within the administration but I have not talked to him.”

Whitaker is an Ankeny native who played football at the University of Iowa under Coach Hayden Fry. He was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa for more than five years before heading to Washington.

Four zebras shot to death in NE Iowa

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Authorities in northeast Iowa are investigating what’s turning out to be a string of shootings, in which four zebras and a horse were killed.  Mike Henninger of rural Oelwein, whose property lies just inside the Buchanan County line, reported Sunday afternoon that one of his pet zebras was shot and killed. The dead animal was taken to the state lab in Ames to determine the cause of death. Since last fall, a total of four zebras and a horse died on Henninger’s property, after being shot by an unknown assailant.

A Dysart man was arrested last year on a charge of harassment for threatening Henninger through text messages and a video. There was no indication that this same man was the person who shot Henninger’s animals. Henninger himself was wounded by gunfire. A bullet from an unknown source struck him in the leg while he was working outside last fall. He was treated at University Hospitals for the wound, but no charges were ever filed.

Iowa to pay more for children’s health insurance program

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s cost for a children’s health insurance program is set to soar from $7 million to $37 million over the next two years because of changes approved by Congress that reduce federal funding. The Des Moines Register reports that HAWK-I provides health insurance to 70,000 children from families with moderate income. A family of four qualifies with an annual income between about $42,000 and $76,000.
Congress decided in January to phase out extra federal financing for children’s health insurance programs, which had been part of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, state lawmakers will have to find funds to keep the program running. The Iowa Department of Human Services says that state’s share of the cost for HAWK-I will increase from 5 percent this fiscal year to 24 percent in two fiscal years.

Cass & Adair County Board of Supervisors meeting preview

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Cass and Adair Counties will hold their separate, regular meetings, Wednesday morning. The Cass County Board meeting begins at 8:30-a.m. in the Courthouse Board Room, and includes an annual report from West Central Community Action (WCCA), and request for continued match funding. The Board will also act on approving an application from Manatt’s, Inc., for a partial (Final) payment on the Glacier-to Buck Creek- to Echo Road paving project, which was tabled during their last meeting.

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet 9-a.m. Wednesday in the Adair County Courthouse Boardroom. County Auditor Mindy Schaefer is expected to ask for the Board to set the date for a Public Hearing on a Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Amendment, and approval of Homestead/Military allowances or disallowances. A closed session will then be held with Brent Hinders, with Hopkins & Huebner, with regard to matters in litigation, or for which litigation is imminent.

When they return to a regular session, the Adair County Supervisors will act on matters pertaining to work associated with ASK Studio. Mike Kastner will be present to discuss the project and related costs.

Plans to remove 2 dams in Fort Dodge delayed

News

December 11th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Concerns raised by the State Historic Preservation Office have delayed plans for removing two dams spanning the Des Moines River in Fort Dodge. The Messenger reports that the Fort Dodge City Council was scheduled to award contracts Monday for removing the Hydroelectric Dam and what’s commonly called the Little Dam. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the city’s consulting engineer earlier in the day that permits for the removals wouldn’t be issued because of the preservation office’s concerns.

The engineer, Wade Greiman, told the council that he and city staffers will meet with officials from the preservation office and the Corps later this week to learn more about the concerns. Plans call for demolition work on both dams to start Dec. 19. They would be replaced with structures to direct water and reduce stream bed erosion.