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Woman gets probation for setting fires in Council Bluffs

News

January 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A 25-year-old woman has been given three years of probation for setting fires in Council Bluffs. Court records say Rebecca Myers pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of arson and two of child endangerment after making a deal with prosecutors. On Tuesday a judge sentenced Myers to a total of 10 years in prison but suspended them in favor of probation.

The Daily Nonpareil reports that Myers was charged with child endangerment because her two children were nearby when she set a fire Oct. 11 in a basement near Myers’ home.  Investigators say Myers set six fires between Oct. 4 and Oct. 20. No injuries have been reported.

Red Oak woman arrested on assault warrant

News

January 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak, Tuesday night, arrested a woman on a Red Oak Police Dept. warrant charging her with assault. Officials say 36-year old Meri Ellen Kling, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 9:45-p.m., and brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where she was being held on a $300 cash bond.

The Latest: Powerball prize up to $1.5 billion, could grow

News

January 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest on tonight’s (Wednesday’s) Powerball drawing: The largest lottery jackpot in the world is up for grabs in the latest Powerball drawing. The prize has climbed to an estimated $1.5 billion, easily surpassing all other lotteries. The jackpot estimate is reviewed daily, so it could increase before tonight’s drawing if ticket sales continue to exceed expectations.

The jackpot for the twice-weekly game started at $40 million on Nov. 4. No one has matched all six Powerball numbers since then, so the prize kept growing. Lottery officials expect at least 80 percent of the 292.2 million number combinations will be purchased before the drawing.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 13th 2016

News

January 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It is a record year for Iowa and Nebraska crop farmers. The final harvest report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa farmers brought in 2.5 billion bushels of corn, 4 percent higher than the 2009 record. Iowa has led the nation in corn production for 22 consecutive years. The average per-acre yield of 192 bushels also is a new record.

A federal judge says the Iowa Supreme Court should settle legal questions about whether farmland drainage districts can be held liable for water pollution downstream before a lawsuit filed by a Des Moines water utility can proceed. Questions such as immunity for drainage districts and which constitutional protections might apply to parties challenging drainage systems have not been decided by state or federal courts in Iowa. The drainage districts have been around since the late 1800s.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors has accepted a $15,000 grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa to study possible uses for the county’s historic jail. The grant, along with a $5,600 cash match from the county, will pay for a consultant to assess the condition of the Old Jail, which was built in 1857. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Muscatine County must also provide a $5,000 in-kind match.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa legislative committee plans to look into the jackpot-fixing scandal that started in the state and has spread to several other state lotteries. State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann said yesterday that the Iowa House committee will investigate how it was possible for an employee at the Multi-State Lottery Association to allegedly fix jackpots. The alleged scheme didn’t affect Powerball, which uses balls instead of computers to draw numbers.

Charges dropped against 2 people in connection w/Sept. brawl in Glenwood

News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Daily NonPareil reports charges have been dismissed against two people involved in a brawl sparked by a racial slur on a residential Glenwood street in September, 2015. 19-year old Denver Cook, had been charged with willful injury, a felony, and assault causing bodily injury, a misdemeanor. 21-year old Colton McDaniel, had been charged with assault causing bodily injury. The charges stemmed from a fight involving several people, including Cook, McDaniel, 42-year old Hurl Beechum III and Beechum’s stepfather, Glenwood High School Principal Richard Hutchinson.

Court orders filed Monday indicated the charges against Cook and McDaniel were dismissed because of lack of evidence. Beechum remains charged with three felonies – intimidation with a dangerous weapon, willful injury and going armed with intent – and two misdemeanor counts of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. His trial begins next week.

According to court documents, McDaniel, Cook and four others were walking on Myrtle Street near Hutchinson’s home. Hutchinson and his wife, Randi Hutchinson, were cleaning their car in the driveway. One of the girls with McDaniel and Cook was on her cellphone, talking to her boyfriend, when she uttered a racial slur. As the group passed his house, Hutchinson, who is black, made contact with them and asked why someone had used the slur.

The group began to argue with him. Randi Hutchinson went to get Beechum. A fight ensued. Hutchinson, who was knocked unconscious, suffered a fractured bone in his face. Beechum was later treated for abrasions and a laceration to the back of his head. McDaniel was shot in his left thigh and right ankle.

Beechum is a former Iowa State University basketball player who played in the early 1990s. None of the juveniles had been charged in the case.

Persia house fire rekindled Tue. night

News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A home that caught fire in Persia late Monday night and burned into the early morning hours Tuesday, was on fire again late Tuesday evening. Sources told KJAN News firefighters from Persia were back on the scene as of 7:30-p.m. Tuesday. The rekindled fire has destroyed what remained of the home at 501 2nd Street. No other details were immediately available.

(Update) – Jeep & trailer stolen from Bluffs casino parking lot have been found

News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Omaha Police Department Tuesday evening said they had recovered a stolen 2003 Jeep Liberty and the tandem axle trailer that it was on. The SUV and trailer were found shortly after 2-p.m., Tuesday. The trailer and vehicle were found abandoned in Hummel Park, near the intersection of Copper Hollow Road and Pilcher Road.

The vehicle and trailer were stolen from the parking lot of the Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in Council Bluffs, sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning. A 2005 Ford F-350 pickup with Washington State license Plate C95260, and a 2008 Yamaha R6S motorcycle with Washington license plate 1D9964, have not been located, and authorities are continuing to ask for your help in locating them.

of missing vehicles & trailer.

Harrah’s Casino surveillance still photo images

Authorities are still looking for this pickup and motorcyle.

Authorities are still looking for this pickup and the motorcycle pictured above.

Officials say Nicolas Craig and his wife, Rochelle, were in the process of moving from Virginia Beach, Virginia to the state of Washington. They stopped in Council Bluffs Monday evening and got a room at Harrah’s Casino Hotel. When they awoke Tuesday morning, they discovered their vehicles, a trailer and many of their personal belongings were missing.

Nicholas Craig had just retired from the Navy and the Craig family was on their way home when the theft occurred. If you have any information about the theft, call 712 328-5737, and select Option 1.

Harlan Police report, 1/12/16

News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan issued a report Tuesday on recent arrests and incidents. Officials say on Monday (1/11), 77-year old Vincent Costanzo, of Harlan, was taken into custody following a traffic stop. Costanzo was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and violation of one-way street designation.

On Jan. 2nd, several young people were arrested in Harlan when officers were alerted to a party in the 1300 block of Durant St where persons under legal age were drinking. Referred to Juvenile Court was: 17-year old Matthew Andersen,16-year old Michael Monson, 17-year old Ross Petersen, and 16-year old Devin Kramer, all of Harlan, along with 17-year old Robert Wegner, of Panama, and 17-year old Brodrick Greer, of Westphalia. All were referred to Juvenile Court for minors in possession of alcohol.

On Dec. 31st, 34-year old David Stevens, of Harlan, was taken into custody when officers were called to a domestic disturbance. Stevens was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

And, on Dec. 29th, Harlan Police Officers were called to the 2000 block of 8th Street in regards to a back pack and wallet that were taken from a vehicle. The back pack and wallet were later recovered, however approximately $300.00 was missing from the wallet. The case remains under investigation.

Legal questions over Iowa farm drainage headed to high court

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge says the Iowa Supreme Court should settle legal questions about whether farmland drainage districts can be held liable for water pollution downstream before a lawsuit filed by a Des Moines water utility can proceed. Questions such as immunity for drainage districts and which constitutional protections might apply to parties challenging drainage systems have not been decided by state or federal courts in Iowa. The drainage districts have been around since the late 1800s.

Judge Mark Bennett said the novel legal issues deserve the attention of the state’s highest court. The decision comes in the lawsuit that Des Moines Water filed last year against three northwest Iowa counties that oversee 10 agriculture drainage districts. Farm drainage district attorneys say Iowa’s constitution has long protected them from legal liability.

Human remains identified in Sac County house fire

News

January 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

BREDA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the man whose remains were found last week in a burned house in Sac County, north of Breda. The Sac County Sheriff’s Office says the man has been identified as 48-year-old Daniel Robert Mielk, who lived in the home alone. The State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the identity using dental records.

On Jan. 8 deputies and firefighters from Auburn responded to a rural home and found that it had been burned to the ground. Authorities later found human remains inside the house. The cause of death has been listed as smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. No foul play has been suspected.

The State Fire Marshal’s office is still investigating the cause of the fire.