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Correction: Pursuit Tuesday afternoon in Cass County (IA)


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the pursuit of a vehicle allegedly used in an incident of theft ended in a crash Tuesday afternoon, and the apprehension of a man from Nebraska. Authorities say the Atlantic Police Department was called to Walmart for a reported theft, during which the suspect allegedly took items without paying, and left the store.

Officers and Cass County Deputies were given a description of the suspect’s vehicle that fled the scene.  A while later, a Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy located this vehicle on Interstate 80 traveling westbound.  Before attempting to stop this vehicle, the Deputy waited for additional law enforcement units to arrive.  Once additional law enforcement units were present, the Deputy stopped the vehicle at around 3:02-p.m.  The vehicle initially pulled over but during the course of the traffic stop, the vehicle fled and a pursuit ensued. 

Speeds exceeded 100 MPH and it was noted that the fleeing suspect and vehicle nearly ran several vehicles off of the roadway.  The pursuit continued west onto Interstate 880 in Pottawattamie County.  After exiting from the Interstate the vehicle wrecked at the intersection of L34 and Mahogany Rd, while attempting to swerve around law enforcement’s stop sticks.

Law Enforcement officials were able to take the operator into custody and he was identified as 37 year old Dale Saylors, of Papillion, NE.  Saylors was transported to the Cass County Jail where he was held on Theft charges.  Additional charges are pending in Pottawattamie County

House GOP proposes new rules for food stamps, Medicaid


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – House Republicans are considering new rules to determine which Iowans are eligible for government food assistance and medical coverage. Their bill would seek federal waivers to bar pop and candy purchases with food stamps and require that some Medicaid patients work. The bill also calls for considering the value of some household assets when calculating eligibility. Tyler Raygor, a lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity, is urging lawmakers to pass the bill. “We think it’s important to remember we’re dealing with finite taxpayer dollars,” Raygor says. “When you have folks on these programs who don’t need them, that puts these programs in jeopardy for folks who truly do need them.”

Advocates for low income Iowans say people who need help with food and medical care could lose their benefits if the bill becomes law. Cyndi Peterson, a lobbyist for the Iowa Food Bank Association, says the new eligibility checks would require a lot of more paperwork — and staff work.  “As you will recall, the State of Pennsylvania did an asset test limit for SNAP on a three year pilot,” Petersen says. “After three years, it reversed this decision because it brought a cost of $3.5 million administrative burden to the state.”

Other critics say the new asset rule means low income rural couples who work and have two vehicles would not qualify for government assistance.

Winter Storm Warning for NW Iowa, up to 9″ of snow expected

News, Weather

January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Southern Iowa may just see flurries, but forecasters predict most of Iowa’s northern half will have moderate-to-heavy snowfall late tonight (Friday) and much of the day Saturday. The heaviest snow is expected in the Sioux City area, which may get up to nine inches. Meteorologist Allan Curtis, at the National Weather Service, says ten counties in northwest Iowa are under a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight through 9 P-M Saturday. “That’s where we see the highest likelihood of anywhere from five-to-seven, maybe locally a bit higher, inches of snowfall,” Curtis says “and then the area surrounding in the Winter Weather Advisory could still see some impactful snowfall, anywhere from two-to-five and again, maybe locally a little bit more.”

This winter blast will include colder temperatures, with wind chills falling as low as 15-below zero. Next week, temperatures are expected to fall even further, which Curtis says is sort of like rubbing salt in the wound. “After you get the snowfall and everyone kind of digs out of that, it’s going to be our first dose of bitter cold in over a month in most cases,” Curtis says, “and we’re talking widespread temperatures falling below zero for lows, highs in the single digits, and then wind chills 20- to 30-below for at least a few days.”

He says it’s possible Iowa will have below-normal temps for the next two weeks or so before there’s a significant warm-up.

Bailey Smith Elected to Serve another term on the Iowa Association of Chambers of Commerce Board of Directors


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, IA — The Iowa Association of Chambers of Commerce (IACC) has announced Bailey Smith, Executive Director at the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, has been elected to serve as a director for the 2023 IACC board of directors. Madison Mills, IACC Executive Director, says “Bailey is a great asset and addition to our 2023 board of directors. We are confident her years of experience in the chamber industry will help strengthen our organization.”

The IACC board of directors is comprised of 11 individuals, representing chambers of commerce across all regions of Iowa, with the purpose of providing guidance in the areas of organizational sustainability, growth, public awareness and member programming. Smith commented “I’ve loved my time serving IACC this past year and getting the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the state. I look forward to continuing my service in 2023 and seeing how we can keep growing our communities together.”

Bailey Smith (Photo via Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives)

To see the full list of the IACC 2023 board of directors, please visit our website: www.iowachamber.net.

Bill to increase penalties for drug dealers passes through the statehouse


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Subcommittees of the Iowa House and Senate both advanced a bill proposed by Attorney General Brenna Bird to increase the penalties on the distribution of drugs that lead to death.  The bill creates a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison, for drug dealers who unintentionally cause the death of another by manufacturing or providing illegal drugs. Previously, prosecutors could only charge dealers with involuntary manslaughter, a Class D felony, which has a maximum sentence of five years.

“We must stop overdose deaths and hold drug dealers accountable,” said Bird. “There is no safe illegal drug. This bill will toughen sentences, equip prosecutors for the war against dangerous drugs, and reduce drug-related deaths. I’m grateful the Governor and state legislature are committed to addressing this issue.”

470 Iowans died due to overdose in 2021, and the threat of exposure to fatal drugs, such as fentanyl, is ongoing. This bill seeks to address the rise in deaths by drug overdoses and to hold illegal-drug dealers and users accountable. It also incentivizes the reporting of drug-related overdoses. For repeat drug offenders, the 25-year sentence has a 70% minimum requirement.

The bill passed through subcommittees in both the House and the Senate, Wednesday. It now moves to consideration by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.  You can read the bill in full here.

Iowa marks its first statewide Day of Kindness


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa)- It’s taking the concept of “Iowa Nice” to the next level, as today (Friday) is the first-ever statewide Day of Kindness. The effort started a few years ago as an offshoot of a project at the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and this year, Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation to make it an official day in Iowa. Kara Matheson, at the West Des Moines Chamber, says if everyone starts small it could have huge results. “Just be intentional. Everyone’s lives are so busy but kindness can go a long way,” Matheson says. “It doesn’t need to be this big, grand gesture. Just write a kind thought on a sticky note and leave it on someone’s car window, maybe sending a quick text. There are so many different ways that you can think of to be kind.”

Matheson says even small acts of kindness can make the biggest difference in someone’s day.  “Maybe help with the snow in your neighbor’s driveway,” Matheson says. “Everyone’s very familiar with the ‘pay it forward’ in your line for coffee in the morning, but maybe go to a local school and pay off some of the kids’ lunch tabs. You can get creative with what this looks like.” Whether big or small, monetary or action-oriented, anonymous or direct, Iowans are encouraged to be intentional with acts of kindness today to make (hashtag) #IowaKind spread far and wide.

“It can be random with anyone you might come across, or it can be picking up the phone and calling a loved one just to check in on them and make sure they’re doing okay,” Matheson says. “Just think about what would make someone smile and take action on that.” She says studies show kindness benefits not only the receiver, but also the giver.


Moore on Issues: Week 3


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa) – Southwest Iowa Republican Representative Tom Moore, of Griswold, reports, week three of the Iowa General Assembly, kept him busy with Committee meetings, sub-committee meetings and floor action on bills, as they begin the process of moving through debate. Moore, who represents House District 21, covering Adams, Union, parts of Cass and Pottawattamie Counties, says during the Health and Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday, his bill, HF13 passed unanimously with an amendment.

Moore said also, House Bill 9, which revises the mental health loan forgiveness program established last year, to add prescribing practitioners, and provides preference to Iowans and those willing to serve in a mental health shortage area, passed in the HHS Committee. It appropriates $1.5-million in the 2024 Fiscal Year.

The Education Committee, Moore said, also met Tuesday afternoon. A bill, HF11 passed with an amendment.

Two other bills in the committee also passed, but Moore says he voted against both. One requires within social studies requirements, United States Government, which includes a comparative discussion of political ideologies, including communism and totalitarianism, that Moore says “conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy that were essential to the founding of the United States.” Moore says he voted no because he is against increased mandates on schools.

(R) Rep. Tom Moore

The other bill he voted against, but still passed, deals with open enrollment transportation. It would allow school buses from the receiving district to enter in the district of residence, without both districts having to agree.

In the Economic Growth and Technology Committee, Representative Tom Moore says they passed bills defining ransomware, and creates penalties for the crime when used against certain entities. Another bill establishes a cybersecurity training center at ISU, that will conduct and sponsor research and activities that enable persons to develop strategies to count cybersecurity threats and mitigate the damage resulting from an attack.

Moore invites constituents with questions or comments, to reach out to him at  tom.moore@legis.iowa.gov

You can also call 712-789-9954. You can subscribe to Moore’s newsletter through those options.

Number of casino riverboats will drop to 2


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The number of Iowa casinos that float on a boat will soon be sinking. Iowa Racing and Gaming Administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says plans were approved Thursday for the Casino Queen operation in Marquette to move to land. “So they’re proposing to invest 12 million dollars into a land based facility that would connect with their current barge area. They would add a sports book, a new restaurant,” he says.

The first gambling in the state was at horse and dog tracks, and then the Iowa Legislature approved casinos on riverboats in 1989. The regulations changed quit a bit through the years and the trend now has been for casinos to move to land. “With casino Queen moving gaming to their to a land-based area that will lead just Lakeside and Ameristar Casino (Council Bluffs) as the two remaining gaming licenses that still have casino gambling on on a boat,” he says.

Casinos in Davenport and Sioux City are some of the others to move the move to solid ground. Ohorilkoh says they have seen an immediate improvement in gaming revenue and attendance in operations that move from a boat to a land.  “The reasons for that are very simple — in that it typically on a land base facility –, there is more space to offer, not only additional gaming, but most importantly, additional non gaming amenities,” Ohorilko says.

The Racing and Gaming Commission also approved a 31 million-dollar remodeling plan for Harvey’s in Council Bluffs that he says will include several upgrades. “A new Celebrity Chef Restaurant, a Guy Fierie restaurant, renovation of all of their hotel rooms, some additional space for gaming, just to allow for a more comfortable experience for those guests,” he says.

And the Commission approved phase one of a multi-million dollar renovation plan for the Q Casino in Dubuque. Ohorilko says the upgrades are needed in part due to new competition from others states. He says Harvey’s is a good example of that. “Nebraska has gaming, we’re starting to see some construction there, particularly in the Omaha market. And so, it’s really important for those Iowa facilities to put their best foot forward,” Ohorilko says.

He says the non-gaming amenities have become an important part of the casinos widening their draw and competing with other states.

Adams County Sheriff’s report, 1/27/23


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Corning, Iowa) – Sheriff’s officials in Adams County have released a report on arrests taking place from January 6, 2023 through the 25th. On Wednesday (1/25), Deputies arrested 67-year-old Jeff Mendenhall, of Corning, for Driving While Revoked, and Failure to have an ignition interlock device. He was being held in the Adams County Jail on $1,300 bond. On Sunday, Deputies responded to a report of a man threatening people at the Cenex gas station, in Corning. Upon further investigation, Denny Moore, of Corning, was arrested for Public Intoxication. He was released from the scene with a summons to appear in court.

A traffic stop last Saturday (1/21) in Adams County, resulted in the arrest of 58-year-old Robbie Allen Dohrn, of Creston, for Driving While Suspended. There were two arrests on the 18th: Deputies responding to a burglary call in the 1200 block of Corning Carl Road arrested 26-year-old Andrew Malloy, of Council Bluffs, for Burglary in the 3rd Degree and Interference with official acts. The Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol and Adams County EMA; and, Adams County Deputies arrested Joey Donald Shires, of Corning, on the 18th of January. Shires was arrested for Simple Assault in connection with an incident that occurred January 15th.

There were two arrests January 17th, in Adams County: 38-year-old Kimberly Bloom was arrested in Corning for Domestic Abuse Assault, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Substance/3rd offense (marijuana), and Interference with Official Acts. She was being held without bond in the Adams County Jail; And, 62-year-old Marvin Baker and 57-year-old Kathleen Baker, were arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault/1st offense. Both were being held without bond in the Adams County Jail.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports 29-year-old Joshua Ghale, of Greenfield,was arrested Jan. 16th, for OWI/1st offense, Driving While Revoked, and Failure to have SR-22 Insurance. His bond was set at $2,000. On the 14th, 54-year-old Ronnie Lee Fuller, of Clarinda, was arrested for OWI/2nd offense and Driving Under Suspension. His bond was set at $2,300. Separately, James Alfredo Sanchez III, and Alexis Emerald Rain Sanchez, were arrested on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance (marijuana), PCS with the Intent to Deliver (marijuana), Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp, Child Endangerment, and Poss. of Drug Paraphernalia. They were being held on $13,300 bond.

33-year-old Katherine Coleman, of Corning, was arrested Jan. 8th, for Burglary/2nd Degree, Harassment/1st Degree, Criminal Mischief/3rd Degree, Trespassing, Assault w/intent to inflict serious injury, and Assault on a Peace Office. Her bond was set at $21,300. And, on Jan. 6th, Deputies in Adams County responded at around 10:50-p.m. to a vehicle in the ditch at 190th & Quince, in Prescott. Upon further investigation, 20-year-old Cody Robertson, of Creston, was arrested for OWI/1st offense, PCS/Marijuana – 1st offense, Poss. of Drug Paraphernalia, and for being a Minor in Possession of Alcohol. His cash bond was set at $2,300.


Bill would limit train length in Iowa to 1.6 miles


January 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Three lawmakers have given the green light to a bill that would limit the length of trains passing through Iowa, but all three say it could get stopped in a House committee. The bill would make it illegal for trains to be more than one-point-six miles long. That would be up to 130 rail cars according to Chris Smith of Tama, a Union Pacific conductor and engineer. He’s a local leader in the SMART T-D union that represents railroad workers.

“Currently, there is no legislation that restricts the length of trains,” Evans says. “Right now they’re operating up to 15,000 feet, which is three miles. Infrastructure in this state was never designed to handle that…It blocks crossings in towns for extended periods of time.”

Mike Triplett, a lobbyist for Union Pacific, says train traffic is regulated by the federal government because it’s interstate commerce — and the proposed eight-thousand-500 feet limit on trains running through Iowa is unconstitutional. “If this bill were to pass and Nebraska says I’d like to do one better and we’re going to go 8000 and then Illinois goes 6000, the supply chain gets wrecked,” Triplett says.

Brad Epperly, a lobbyist for B-N-S-F Rail, says states can’t preempt federal law when it comes to regulating trains.  “It would be something along the lines of nullification,” Epperly says, “and that was decided by the Civil War.” Republican Representative Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs has some concerns about the bill, but voted in subcommittee to keep it alive for further debate. “I’ve been stuck like we all have at rail crossings,” Siegrist says.

He said “Once it gets to 100 cars..” he starts getting irritated. Republican Representative Tom Determann of Camanche says lawmakers need to gather more information before taking action on the bill.

“We have some problem in eastern Iowa with the CP/KCS thing and especially so I’m inclined to take it to committee for more discussion,” he said. The merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads is expected to increase train traffic between Sabula, Iowa and Kansas City according to the Iowa D-O-T.