Valbuena has 3 RBIs to lead Astros over Cardinals 6-3


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

KISSIMMEE, Florida (AP) — Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the first inning and finished with three RBIs to lead the Houston Astros over the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in an exhibition game on Friday.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Jaime Garcia over the left field wall with one out in the first. Garcia then walked last year’s American League Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa on four pitches before Valbuena launched the first pitch over the right field wall to make it 3-0.

The Cardinals scored two in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2, but Preston Tucker’s home run in the bottom of the inning extended the lead back to 2. Jose Altuve added an RBI double in the fifth and Valbuena padded the lead with a run-scoring single later in the inning.


Inmate at the Clarinda Correctional facility has died – no foul play suspected


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Corrections report an inmate assigned to the Clarinda Correctional Facility has died. Authorities say 51-year old Gregory Eugene Simmons died Wednesday morning at the Clarinda Regional Health Center. He had been vomiting excessively in his cell at the Correctional Facility. When emergency medical assistance arrived on the scene, they found Simmons was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Emergency workers immediately began CPR and other life saving measures, but were unsuccessful. Simmons was then transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at Noon, on Wednesday.

Officials say while it is believed Simmons died of unknown natural causes, an autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death. However, initial indications were that there was no trauma, injury or foul play involved. Simmons was serving a 25 year sentence out of Marion County for Sex Abuse Second Degree. His sentence began December 13th, 2010.

(Update) – Additional sex abuse charge against Bluffs man


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officers with the Council Bluffs Police Department this (Friday) morning served an additional arrest warrant on a Council Bluffs man who was already facing one felony count, and one aggravated misdemeanor count, of Sexual Exploitation of a minor. A warrant for a felony count of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd degree was filed against 36-year old Shawn Beu. The warrant was served at the Pottawattamie County Jail, where Beu remains held on a $25,000 bond.

Since Beu’s arrest, the Council Bluffs Police Department has received inquiries from some concerned parents, who have children that have had contact with Beu in the past. Authorities say they want the public to know that they are investigating a single incident, with one victim. At this point in the investigation, officials have found no evidence indicating that there are other victims.

Beu is a corrections sergeant for Douglas County in Nebraska. Council Bluffs police say an investigation of Beu began after the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children passed a tip to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Friday State Girls Basketball Scores 3/4/2016


March 4th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Class 4A Semi-finals
Mason City 57, Keokuk 45
Pella 54, Marion 48

Class 5A Semi-finals
Johnston 51, Linn-Mar 39
Ankeny Centennial 57, Cedar Falls 31

Class 1A Championship Game
6:00-p.m. Turkey Valley vs. Springville

Class 2A Championship Game
8:00-p.m. Western Christian vs. Unity Christian

No. 5 Maryland pulls away from Iowa 75-55 in Big Ten tourney


March 4th, 2016 by Chris Parks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones each scored 23 points Friday to help No. 5 Maryland pull away from Iowa 75-55 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

The Terrapins (28-3), this year’s regular-season conference champs, have won seven straight and 16 of 17 to reach Saturday’s semifinal.

Iowa (19-13) was led by Ally Disterhoft with 16 points and Indiana native Whitney Jennings with 11.

It looked like the Hawkeyes might pull an upset when they took a 28-18 lead after the first quarter. But Walker-Kimbrough scored nine points in a 17-2 run to start the second quarter, allowing Maryland to take a 39-32 lead at halftime.

After Iowa closed to 41-37 early in the third quarter, Maryland answered with five straight points and sealed the win with an 11-0 run late in the quarter.

Iowa couldn’t closer than six the rest of the game.


Des Moines man arrested on Red Oak P.D. warrants for felony Theft & forgery


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Des Moines, Thursday afternoon, arrested a man wanted in Red Oak on felony Theft and Forgery charges. 32-year old Gordon Leroy Currin, III, of Des Moines, was arrested on a valid Red Oak Police Department warrant for two counts of felony Theft in the 2nd degree, and two felony counts of Forgery. Currin was brought to the Polk County Jail and held until Friday (today), and then transferred to the jail in Montgomery County, where he was being held on a $5,000 cash bond.

Bill calls for focus on career & technical ed programs in Iowa schools


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has approved legislation that attempts to elevate vocational and technical programs in Iowa schools. Representative Mary Ann Hanusa, a Republican from Council Bluffs, says Iowa businesses are struggling to fill high-skill jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but do NOT require a four-year college degree.

“The bill calls for collaboration between business, between the school districts and between the community colleges and partnerships to help provide opportunities for our students that, in many cases, are not now there,” Hanusa says. Some regions of the state have that kind of collaboration established already, but the bill aims to ensure all students in Iowa have access to those kinds of career paths.

Representative Josh Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, says the bill is the culmination of a two-year task force. Representatives of business and labor organizations as well as educators were part of the effort. “This is a big issue in the state of Iowa,” Byrnes says. “We’ve got a shortage of workers.” Representative Ron Jorgensen, a Republican from Sioux City, is chairman of the House Education Committee.

“I think this is an important piece of legislation backed by a lot of people, from a lot of hard work,” Jorgensen says. The bill passed by unanimous vote in the House and now goes to the Senate. Representative Cindy Winckler, a Democerat from Davenport who voted for the bill, nonetheless says the legislation is flawed because there’s no money in the bill for career and technical education programs in Iowa’s middle schools and high schools.

“I appreciate all the work that has been done on this bill and I know that labor and industry have had a significant role in identifying what we need to do,” Winckler says. “I’m not sure that we have a clear path to how we would accomplish it.” The bill calls for all Iowa schools to establish advisory boards so local businesses and community college officials can provide input to improve a district’s vocational and technical programs.

(Radio Iowa)

Former Ag Secretary, Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge running for US Senate


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(updated 12:15-p.m.) A Democrat who has won three statewide elections says U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has “lost his way” and she’s launching a campaign to try to defeat him in November. Republican Chuck Grassley is seeking a seventh term in the U.S. Senate this November. Democrat Patty Judge, the former lieutenant governor who served two terms as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, says she hadn’t planned to run for the U.S. Senate. That all changed last month after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia died and Grassley immediately announced his Judiciary Committee will not hold a hearing to consider whomever President Obama nominates to fill the vacancy.

Judge says she talked with her family and they came to this conclusion: “Things were lined up. There was a real chance to beat Chuck Grassley, not just to harass him, but to beat him and so we’ve jumped in, with both feet.” Judge says Grassley is acting like someone who has been in Washington for far too long. “I worked with Chuck through the years, particularly the years I was in the Department of Agriculture. I always found him to be cooperative and a person that was very helpful to me and who had Iowa’s best interests at heart,” Judge says. “I don’t know what’s happened.”

Judge says after serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 36 years, Grassley is finally the panel’s chairman, but is refusing to do the committee’s work when it comes to a nominee for the Supreme Court. “That is something that doesn’t sound like Chuck Grassley,” Judge says. “…It appears to me that he has caved into Washington thinking.” Judge is a registered nurse and her family farms near Albia. She served eight years in the state legislature and two terms as Iowa’s Ag Secretary. She ran for governor in 2006, but ended that campaign to become Chet Culver’s lieutenant governor running mate.

Culver and Judge lost to Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds in 2010 and a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee says Judge was rejected by Iowa voters the last time she ran because she’s an “out of touch liberal.” “I have served as a state senator, as the secretary of agriculture, as the lieutenant governr, as homeland security advisor during the floods of 2008 and I think people know that I’m not out of touch and I think they know that I’m a pragmatic person that likes to find solutions to problems,” Judge says. Judge suggests Grassley has become part of the problem in the U.S. Senate.

“This whole campaign season has been about anti-establishment. It’s been about people’s frustrating with government. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, that’s the conservation,” Judge says. “I think people are really tired of electing people to go out to Washington, D.C., and then watching them sit on their hands.” Judge promises to run a “vigorous campaign” against Grassley.

“Chuck Grassley’s been there too long,” she says. “He’s lost his way and I’d love to replace him.” Judge faces at least one Democrat in the June Primary. State Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids filed the paperwork Monday to place his name on the June ballot. Three other Democrats have talked about running for the U.S. Senate as well, but so far none of the three have submitted the required number of petition signatures to the Secretary of State to qualify for the ballot.

A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee says “no one works harder for Iowa than Chuck Grassley” and Grassley “wrote the book” on how to talk with voters “and take their ideas and concerns directly to Washington.”

(Radio Iowa)

LILLIAN F. WILSON, 77, of Adair (Svcs. 03-08-2016)


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

LILLIAN F. WILSON, 77, of Adair, died Friday, March 4th, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Memorial Services for LILLIAN WILSON will be held Tuesday, March 8th at 10:30am in the Hockenberry Funeral Home in Anita.

Visitation with family will be held Monday, March 7th from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Hockenberry Funeral Home in Anita.

LILLIAN F. WILSON is survived by:

Husband: Ronald Wilson of Adair.

Daughters: Ronda (Lonny) Barker of Casey.  Becky (Danny) Claussen of Adair.

Son: Russ (Tammy) Wilson of Adair.

Foster Daughters: Jamaica (Mike) Reed of Adair.  Keisha Nguyen (Jacob Watson) of Des Moines.

Brothers: Larry (Mary Lou) Phillips of Anita.  Jim (Donna) Phillips of Anita.

10 Grandchildren.

2 wolves shot in Iowa this winter


March 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Tests confirm that two wolves have been shot and killed in Iowa. Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Friday that two large canines that were shot this winter in Osceola and Van Buren counties have been identified as wolves. The wolves likely came from the Great Lakes region, including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Gray wolves are endangered, under both federal and state laws, but officials say no charges will be filed in the shootings. The wolves will be used for education outreach at local county conservation boards. Officials say there has been a recent increase in the number of wolves moving to Iowa from the Great Lakes region.