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ACT alerts Iowa students that exam answers were lost

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nearly 200 students who took the ACT college entrance exam at Johnston High School in December have been informed they won’t receive their results. The ACT organization sent an email Monday night to 195 students notifying them their answer sheets never arrived at headquarters in Iowa City for scoring. As a result, ACT says score reports cannot be issued for the Dec. 13 national testing date.

ACT spokeswoman Katie Wacker says as many as 6,000 testing centers administer the exam on national test days, making it difficult to immediately identify if one center’s score sheets don’t arrive. She says instances where test packets don’t show up are extremely rare.

Molly Vincent, whose 17-year-old daughter’s answer sheet was among those lost, says ACT’s notification interferes with her daughter’s scholarship application deadlines.

Iowa panel OKs bill banning minors from tanning salons

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A House legislative panel has approved a bill that would prohibit indoor tanning for minors at commercial salons in Iowa. Members of a human resources subcommittee agreed Tuesday to advance the bill. It now heads to a full committee for consideration. The bill would ban people under age 18 from using a tanning device at a commercial salon, with or without parental consent. Current law has no restrictions.

A separate legislative panel in the Senate approved a similar bill last month. There is no opposition listed for the bill. Eric Goranson, a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association, says the group supports the legislation.

Serious accident near Council Bluffs Tues. morning

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Emergency crews were called to the scene of a injury accident just east of Council Bluffs, this (Tuesday) morning. According to KETV in Omaha, the crash happened at around 11:15-a.m. on Highway 6, near 238th Street. One person was seriously injured and reported to have been trapped. A medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The highway in the vicinity of the crash was said to be closed while emergency personnel were on the scene.

Additional details are currently not available.

Police: Iowa girls’ killer likely familiar with remote area

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) – Investigators are asking the public for tips about anyone who is familiar with a remote wildlife area where two Iowa girls’ bodies were found in December 2012. Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said Tuesday the killer is likely very familiar with the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area, where hunters stumbled on the bodies of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins.

Lyric Cook

Lyric Cook

Elizabeth Collins

Elizabeth Collins

The girls went missing in July 2012 when they were riding their bikes in Evansdale, 22 miles from the wildlife area.

Smock said the area is “extremely remote” and the killer may have hunted, camped or partied there in the past. Smock acknowledged that thousands of people have been to the park but investigators will be careful not to falsely accuse anyone of involvement in the girls’ deaths.

Stolen van located in a ditch

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A van stolen last week from Harlan was found a few hours later, in a ditch. Harlan Police say Dawitt Sangele, of Harlan, reported his 1996 Dodge Caravan missing Jan. 28th. The vehicle was located in a ditch, about two-miles west of Harlan. The incident remains under investigation.

Atlantic man arrested on drug charge; 2 people arrested for assault

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested last week on a drug charge, and two Atlantic residents were arrested for assault. The A-PD reports 35-year old Michael Trotter, of Atlantic, was arrested Jan. 21st, for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. On Jan. 28th, 51-year old Preston Nelson, and 25-year old James Howard, both of Atlantic, were arrested on Assault Causing Injury, charges. And, on Jan. 29th, 19-year old Matthew Paulsen, of Adair, was arrested for 5th degree Theft (shoplifting).

All subjects were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Harlan couple reported after baby found w/marijuana in his system

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department today (Tuesday), released a report on recent arrests. Officials say on Jan. 25th, 25-year old’s Jennifer Andersen and Garrett Hampton, both of Harlan, were charged with Child Endangerment after officers were called to Myrtue Medical Center for a report of a 14-month old male who was admitted and found to have marijuana in his system. The couple were given citations and an order to appear later, in court. The incident was also reported to the Dept. of Human Services.

On Jan. 23rd, 27-year old Zane Szeliga, of Harlan, was arrested after police were notified by a concerned citizen, that they had observed someone kick-in the door of a residence in the 1800 block of 16th Street. Officers found Szeliga in the home and arrested him for Burglary in the 3rd degree, Possession of Marijuana and Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. That same day, 20-year old Matthew Strong, of Harlan, was arrested in drug charges, following a traffic stop. Strong was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Prohibited Acts, and Driving While Suspended. A passenger in the vehicle, 31-year old Orlando Rodriguez, of Harlan, was cited for Open Container, and released.

On Jan. 28th, 18-year old Brett Keane was arrested after officers were called to the Harlan Community High School, following a report of a student suspected to be in possession of marijuana. Keane was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Officials say on Sunday, 25-year old Brooke Scheffler, of Harlan, was arrested on charges that include Obstructing Emergency Communications, Tampering with a witness, and assault. The woman was taken into custody after officers were called to investigate the reported assault of Karen Scheffler.

Last Friday, Harlan Police arrested 25-year old Ross Buboltz, of Shelby, following a traffic stop. Buboltz was charged with OWI and Careless Driving. On Jan. 28th, 50-year old Curt Anstey, was cited by police for Violating a No Contact Order, after he allegedly had contact with Kristine Schmitz, of Harlan.

Mills County arrest report (2/3/15)

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports four recent arrests. On Monday, 36-year old Joshua Robert Saunders, of Omaha, was arrested just before 1-a.m. in Pacific Junction, for Failure to Appear on a Driving While Barred/Habitual Offender charge. His bond was set at $3,000.

On Saturday, deputies in Mills County arrested 18-year old Madison Leigh Bendt, of Glenwood, for Interference with Official Acts. Bond was set at $300; 33-year old Douglas Charles Heitman, of Silver City was arrested for Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Failure to Maintain Control. His bond was also set at $300. And, 28-year old Seth Allen Osler, of Malvern, was arrested Saturday morning for OWI/1st offense. His bond was set at $1,000.

Banning cell phone use while driving on docket at statehouse

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

It would be illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while driving if a bill proposed by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau becomes law. Texting while driving would also become a primary offense, meaning an officer would be able to pull someone over if they suspect the driver is texting. Patrick Hoye, the former head of the Iowa State Patrol, is now chief of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.
“We just think it is life-saving legislation,” Hoye says.20080708_bumpersticker_33

Hoye met with members of the Senate Transportation Committee to discuss the bill. He says cell phone use while driving — to either talk or text — is just as bad as drunk driving because not only does it take one hand off the wheel, it takes the driver’s attention away from the road. “For my family, does it matter if they’re drunk and they cross the center line and they take out my family or they cross the center line because they were texting and take out my family,” Hoye says. “You’re not only putting yourself in danger, but you’re putting everybody on the road in danger.”

The distraction of smart phones has become an “epidemic” on Iowa’s roads, according to Hoye. He cites 2013 stats showing 63 percent of the fatality crashes on Iowa roads involved a vehicle that had left its lane. “I think you can make a pretty strong correlation,” Hoye says. “…Something is causing our citizens to leave the road and we just believe that obviously distracted driving and, in particular texting, is one of those strong reasons.”

Fourteen other states have laws which forbid drivers to use their hands to text or hold their phone to talk. The Iowa law that’s been proposed by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau would impose a 30-dollar fine for texting or talking on a cell phone while driving and it is similar to the law that’s been in effect in Illinois for over a year. Sergeant John Thompson of the Illinois State Police told members of the Iowa Senate’s Transportation Committee that public opinion in Illinois was overwhelmingly in favor of banning cell phone use while driving.

“It’s scary out there to see what people are doing in vehicles,” Thompson says. “…You see people who are just all over the road…They’re doing everything in a vehicle but driving.” Thompson says traffic fatalities declined in Illinois last year — the first year the cell phone ban while driving was in effect. Last year, a bill banning texting while driving passed the Senate, but it was not considered in the Iowa House.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa soldiers won’t be joining Ebola fight in West Africa

News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

JOHNSTOWN, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa Army National Guard medical unit won’t be joining the fight against Ebola in West Africa. A National Guard news release says the 294th Area Support Medical Company’s estimated six-month deployment was canceled “due to completion of Ebola Treatment Unity construction and other major training in West Africa.” Because that work has been completed, more than 800 U.S. military personnel have been sent home, with more to follow.

Originally, 80 Iowans were scheduled for the West Africa mission, but that number was reduced to 40. The National Guard says the Iowa solders would have provided care only for Defense Department personnel and others sent to help, but they wouldn’t have been treating West Africans.