Iowa early News Headlines: Saturday, 12/23/17


December 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:50 a.m. CST

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — One adult and two children have died and two other children were injured in a mobile home fire in Davenport. Firefighters responded Thursday night to the fire at the Five Seasons mobile home park and found heavy smoke and flames. District Fire Chief Joe Smith says it took crews about a half hour to extinguish the fire. Officials wouldn’t identify those killed and injured until relatives could be notified. The injured children were taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A nonpartisan group that reviews Iowa’s finances has estimated a shortfall of about $37 million in the current $7.2 billion state budget. The Legislative Services Agency provided the data in a report this week. The agency adds the next state budget, set to go into effect in July, has an expected shortfall of about $65 million. That’s due to built-in increases like plans to return money to Iowa’s emergency reserves, which helped plug previous budget shortfalls.

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — A southeast Iowa jury has found a former boarding school director guilty of abusing students. WGEM-TV reports that on Friday morning jurors found Benjamin Trane guilty of intent to commit sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child endangerment. The jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon. Trane was the owner and director of Midwest Academy in Keokuk. The school was closed in January 2016.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa businessman has pleaded guilty to evading federal income taxes. Prosecutors say 49-year-old Michael Collins, of McClelland, entered the plea Thursday in a U.S. District Court in Council Bluffs. His sentencing is scheduled for May 11.

Winter Weather Advisory for parts of s.w. IA tonight until 6-a.m. Sunday


December 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

340 AM CST Sat Dec 23 2017

...Snow spreading into parts of eastern Nebraska and southwest
Iowa tonight...

An upper level disturbance is expected to produce a band of
accumulating snow over parts of eastern Nebraska and southwest
Iowa starting this evening and lasting into Sunday morning. The
highest snow amounts, from 2 to 4 inches, are currently expected
mainly south of a line from around Columbus to Blair and Logan

Pottawattamie-Mills-Montgomery-Fremont-Page Counties...


The National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley has issued a Winter
Weather Advisory for snow, which is in effect from 6 PM this
evening to 6 AM CST Sunday.

* TIMING...Snow should spread east across the area this evening
  and then decrease by around sunrise Sunday.

* MAIN IMPACT...Accumulating snow could cause slippery roads and
  areas of reduced visibility.

* OTHER IMPACTS...winds with this event are expected to be mainly
  under 15 mph, which will limit blowing and drifting.


A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of snow
will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow
covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while

Chiefs’ Peters blames self for flag-tossing suspension


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters says he chose to throw an officials’ flag in frustration during a loss to the New York Jets, so he had nobody to blame but himself for the resulting one-game suspension.

The Pro Bowl alternate spoke to reporters Friday for the first time since the incident three weeks ago, a full 2 minutes in which he also professed his affinity for cognac and plan to beat Miami on Sunday so Chiefs fans can “go home and put out the cookies and milk for Santa.”

Peters missed the Chiefs’ win over Oakland ago while serving coach Andy Reid’s suspension, but returned last week against the Chargers to pick off two passes and force a fumble in a 30-13 victory.

The win left the Chiefs needing only to beat the Dolphins to win the AFC West.

HELEN MARY KLEFFMAN, 93, of Portsmouth (Svcs. 12/29/2017)


December 22nd, 2017 by Chris Parks

HELEN MARY KLEFFMAN, 93, of Portsmouth died Thursday, December 21st at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan. Mass of Christian Burial for HELEN MARY KLEFFMAN will be held Friday, December 29th at 10:30am at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church in Portsmouth. Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan has the arrangements.

Visitation will be held Thursday, December 28th from 4:00pm-8:00pm at the St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church in Portsmouth with family greeting friends from 5:00pm-8:00pm and a rosary at 7:00pm.

Burial will be in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in Portsmouth.

HELEN MARY KLEFFMAN is survived by:

Sons: Robert (Peggy) Kleffman of San Ramon, CA. Ralph (Caroline) Kleffman of Olathe, KS. Glen (Becky) Kleffman of Portsmouth. Paul Kleffman of Harlan. Bernard Kleffman of Portsmouth.

Daughter: Lori (Bob) Mages of Panama.

Brothers: Jim (Rita) Kloewer of Panama. Louis (Bernice) Kloewer of Castle Rock, WA.

Sisters: Edna (Keith) Mallonee of Birmingham, AL. Donna Schwery of Panama. Charlet (Jerry) Connelly of Tucson, AZ. Deanna (Gary) Clark of Gibbon, NE. Mary Ann Bell of Apache Junction, AZ.

Sister-in-law: Mary Ann (Leon) Schuller of Dawson, MN.

Brothers-in-law: Harry (Cecilia) Kleffman of Harlan. Rev. Jim Kleffman of Council Bluffs.

17 Grandchildren

18 Great-Grandchildren

King urging Trump to use executive power, end DACA now


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King says he had a “healthy conversation” with President Trump last (Thursday) night about the Obama-era “DACA” program. The program has granted temporary legal status to young adults brought into the country illegally when they were children. “President Trump said on the day that he announced his campaign for the presidency which was June 16th of 2015 that he would end DACA on his first day,” King says. “We expected that would happen on January 20th…so this concerns me a great deal.”

King says he’s upset that the “inertia” of the program continues. King is urging the president to resist any kind of deal WITH CONGRESS that would give new legal status to DACA recipients if congress approves enhanced border security and provides money to hire dozens more agents, prosecutors and judges to handle immigration cases. “I believe that the president is negotiating against himself,” King said. “He served up DACA and said: “Here it is, congress. You take DACA and solve that problem. Meanwhile, I’m not going to sign a DACA bill…unless I get some of these things or maybe even many of these things.'”

King has long been a critic of what he calls “amnesty” for anyone who came into the country illegally. King is also urging Trump to do something about granting automatic U.S. citizenship to babies born on American soil to foreign mothers. “We can’t be handing out citizenship like candy to the new mothers who are moving into America temporarily to have their babies, take their birth certificate and their baby and go back to China or wherever they come from,” King says. “There is an entire industry created over birthright citizenship.”

King made his comments in a video statement posted online and he ended by speaking directly to Trump. “You’re a president that’s on the path of being able to keep every single campaign promise. You’ve kept many of them. It’s a long list and those of us who have supported are exhilarated at the progress that’s been made, but right now there are only two of them out there that aren’t actually being kept. One of them is to end and repeal ObamaCare and that’s not your fault, at least not in a big way, because congress couldn’t get this done so far,” King said. “But when it comes to DACA, you can do that with a stroke of a pen.”

In a written statement, King used the word “constructive” to describe his phone conversation with Trump. King plans to seek a ninth term in the U.S. House in 2018. One Republican and four Democrats are campaigning for the chance to challenge his bid for reelection.

(Radio Iowa)

Governor will not propose it, but she supports death penalty in limited cases


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Governor Kim Reynolds says she supports the death penalty in “limited circumstances,” but she is not calling on legislators to pass a law in 2018 that would re-establish capital punishment in Iowa. “You’re not going to see me putting forth a bill,” Reynolds says. “But I know there’s some indication that there are some senators looking at that and so what I would say at this point is I would be willing to take a look at it, but not going to weigh in until I see what direction they’re going in.”

A bill that would have allowed a death sentence for those convicted of kidnapping, raping and then murdering the victim was introduced in the Iowa Senate last year, but was never considered by a committee. Republican Senators met privately last week and the issue came up during their discussion according to Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix. “I wouldn’t characterize it as a lengthy discussion,” Dix says. “Clearly there are members that it’s an important issue to. At the moment, we’ll just see what the process brings forward and determine where we go from there.”

Iowa got rid of capital punishment in 1965. Thirty-one states currently have some form of the death penalty, but this summer the company that makes a key drug used in executions done by lethal injection announced it would no longer produce the drug. Governor Reynolds has asked her legal counsel for a report on that, as well as other related issues. “I would like to take a look at what some of the other states are doing, what some of the other issues are and so I’ve actually just asked him three weeks ago (for)….an overview,” Reynolds says.

In 1995, a bill that would have reinstated the death penalty in Iowa narrowly passed the House, but was defeated in the Iowa Senate. Republicans held a majority of seats in both the House and Senate back then — as Republicans will when the legislature convenes next month.

(Radio Iowa)

Nonpartisan agency says Iowa budget has $37M shortfall


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A nonpartisan group that reviews Iowa’s finances has estimated a shortfall of about $37 million in the current $7.2 billion state budget. The Legislative Services Agency provided the data in a report this week. The agency adds that the next state budget, set to go into effect in July, has an expected shortfall of about $65 million. That’s due to built-in increases like plans to return money to Iowa’s emergency reserves, which helped plug previous budget shortfalls.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds will release budget recommendations in January that are expected to address any shortfalls. Her budget director previously said cuts to government departments were possible. Lawmakers must approve any proposals. An LSA analyst says their figures could change as additional accounting comes into play, including the new federal tax overhaul.

Anita woman arrested on Cass County warrant


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports a woman from Anita was arrested Thursday on a Cass County warrant for Probation Violation. 40-year old Kodi Newman was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked-in. And, this morning (Friday), 51-year old Richard H. Lewis, Sr., of Atlantic, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault, 3rd or subsequent offense. Lewis was booked into the Cass County Jail.

NE man arrested on sex abuse warrant in Cass County


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Deputies in Cass County arrested a Nebraska man Dec. 12th on a Cass County Sheriff’s warrant for two Felony counts of Sex Abuse 2nd Degree. 26-year old Donavvan Ace Smith, of Bellevue, NE, was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $50,000 bond. On December 16th, Cass County deputies arrested 49-year old Rhonda Annette Stanley, of Atlantic, on a charge of Driving While Revoked. Stanley was taken to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office where she was released the following day on $1,000 bond.

On December 19th, 22-year old Matthew Henry Paulsen, of Adair, turned himself in at the Cass County Jail on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Paulsen remains held at the Cass County Jail on $10,000 bond.

And, on December 21st, at 7:31 p.m., the Cass County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a one-vehicle accident on 620th (Olive) Street. A 1996 Ford Ranger driven by 29-year old Charlie Bennett Hadfield, of Exira, was southbound on 620th Street when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the icy roadway and the vehicle entered the east ditch and came to rest on the passenger side. No injuries were reported. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $1,500. Upon further investigation, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hadfield on charges of OWI 2nd Offense and Driving While Barred (Aggravated). Hadfield was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on $5,000 bond.

Upmeyer hoping to boost ‘associations’ that offer health insurance


December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The top Republican in the legislature says she’s hoping to find a way to help the thousands of Iowans who can’t afford to buy individual insurance policies for 2018.  “My gosh, we have got people that are paying up to $40,000 was one I heard with an $8000 deductible for each person. How is that sustainable? I’ve heard bankers talking about people coming in to borrow money to pay for health insurance. How do we sustain that kind of thing?” Upmeyer asked. “We have to move this needle.”

House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake plans to consult with the state insurance commissioner and the head of a federal agency to see what options may be available. One could be helping to set up “associations” that let people join, so they’re part of a group insurance plan. “We’ve moved away from those. Maybe we need to take another look. Maybe we need to dust somehting like that off,” Upmeyer says. Republicans have long favored arrangements which let small business owners, for example, join a professional or trade association that offers insurance to its members. The group insurance policies purchased by these associations could be even cheaper if state officials remove regulations on what insurance policies must cover.

“Maybe we can figure out a path,” Upmeyer says. “We just have to be creative and if we’re not going to get this accomplished in congress, at least we should work on it and shine a lot of light on it and maybe folks in Washington, D.C. will be more motivated.”

Upmeyer made her comments during an interview with Radio Iowa.