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Board of Parole will NOT recommend shorter prison sentence for Tracey Dyess (updated 1:05-pm)

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Parole Board holds Dyess commutation hearing

Tracey Dyess speaks via video conference

A woman who killed her younger brother and sister in a house fire went before the Iowa Board of Parole this (Friday) morning asking for her 45 year prison sentence to be reduced. Tracey Dyess was 17 at the time she set her home ablaze in Griswold. She told investigators the fire was intended to kill her abusive stepfather, but instead her siblings were killed. She took a plea bargain in 2005 that makes her eligible for parole in 2022.

“I know I took the plea deal and I know that what I did was wrong,” Dyess told the Parole Board. “I know I killed two innocent people and tried to kill more. I understand I need to be punished for it and I think I already have and I’m going to pay for it the rest of my life.” Dyess’ mother and her stepfather, Brian Street, escaped the fire. Street was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2007 for sexually abusing Dyess and her 13-year-old sister, Jessica. Dyess told board members she’d like to be released from prison before her sentence is up in 2035.

“I’m not saying I want out now, but maybe before my mandatory (sentence) is up,” Dyess said. “I did try and kill everyone in the house that night and I realize this and my brother and sister died.” Parole board members told Dyess they would NOT recommend Governor Branstad commute her sentence. Board chair Elizabeth Robinson noted Dyess agreed to the plea bargain and the 45 year prison sentence.

“I’ve read your file front and back and the DCI report and you had a horrible life. You…were a victim, but one crime cannot be committed to cover another crime. That’s where you went wrong,” Robinson said. “You lived right across the street from the sheriff. There were plenty of people you could’ve gone to for help.” Board members said they were also troubled by the fact that Dyess poured gasoline around the entire house, including an area near a couch where her sister was sleeping. Dyess said she didn’t intend to kill her siblings.

“That night, when I poured the gasoline, I wasn’t thinking about where I poured it. I just poured it and got anything I could because I was tired of all of it and just wanted it all to end. When I poured it that night, I wasn’t thinking about them,” Dyess said. One parole board member asked Dyess what she would say to her sister and brother if she could speak to them today.

“The only thing that I could think to say is that I’m sorry. I don’t know what I could say, I mean, there’s a lot that I’d like to say and a lot of regrets that I have. I don’t know,” Dyess concluded. She spoke to the Parole Board, gathered in Des Moines, via a video feed from the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. Parole Board member Thomas Phillips wasn’t swayed by Dyess’ arguments for early release.

“In my opinion, you seem to have little remorse in what crimes you committed,” Phillips said. “I think to say simply ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I don’t know what I would say to those individuals,’ I think personally does not show remorse.” James Felker, another Parole Board member, agreed with Phillips.

“I’m not impressed by statements on your part that you feel you’ve served enough time,” Felker told Dyess.”You don’t seem to be very remorseful, so therefore, my vote is no.” Dyess is now 24-years-old. Kaleb, the six-year-old boy she refers to as her brother, was actually her nephew. Dyess told board members she considered Kaleb her brother because he was being raised by her mother.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Change in I-29 road closure location in Council Bluffs

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – July 15, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reporting that the road closure point for Interstate 29 in Council Bluffs has been changed to exit 55, the North 25th Street interchange. The road had been closed to exit 54B, the North 35th interchange, due to an emergency repair project being performed by the city. 
Both the south- and northbound lanes of I-29 remain closed between exit 55 in Council Bluffs and exit 71 near Loveland due to the flooding. This is expected to be a longer-term closure.

Motorcycle stolen from Shenandoah

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Shenandoah are asking for the public’s help in locating a stolen motorcycle.  The purple, 1983 Honda VF-750 was reported stolen from a residence in the 500 block of 6th Avenue, sometime late Thursday night and early this (Friday) morning.

The cycle’s Iowa license plate number is 4696-LX.  Anyone with information on the stolen motorcycle should call Shenandoah Police at 712-246-3512.

8AM Newscast 07-15-2011

News, Podcasts

July 15th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Corning woman arrested just days after release from jail

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County report a Corning woman just out of jail on a harassment charge was arrested Thursday evening, along with a minor female. 18-year old Janelle Blaisure was charged with violating a Protection Order.

Blaisure was found guilty last month on a charge of 3rd degree harassment, in connection with an incident which occurred on April 20th. A judge ordered her to pay a fine and serve one day in jail. She served her sentence on Monday, and was released.

Volunteers still helping Iowa town recover

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) – More than three months after a tornado leveled much of Mapleton in western Iowa, volunteers are still coming to the rescue.

Sioux City television station KTIV reports that vans full of people are still pulling in to town to clean, build or paint buildings and other property damaged by the twister. No deaths were reported. The tornado was among at least 18 twisters in Iowa on April 9.

Pastor Katie Newman says her church has been working hard on recruiting and has lined up almost 200 volunteers over the next six weeks. Some are coming from across the country, including Devon Anderson. He came from Massachusetts to lend a hand.

Anderson says he’s “just helping with the tornado ’cause I felt bad and I thought we could help.”

Officials to discuss Neb. nuclear plant’s recovery

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) – Officials are starting to think about what it will take to clean up the flood damage around Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and get it running again once the Missouri River recedes.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a July 27 meeting with Omaha Public Power District officials to talk about Fort Calhoun’s recovery.

Much of the nuclear plant about 20 miles north of Omaha remains surrounded by floodwaters, but the plant itself remains dry inside. And Fort Calhoun will stay shut down until after the flooding eases sometime in the fall.

Regulators will meet with utility officials at Omaha’s downtown Doubletree Inn.

Council Bluffs flood fighting price tag: $5.6M and climbing daily

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The water level along the flooding Missouri River in Council Bluffs is holding steady, for now, which the town’s mayor says is good news in that the fast-moving, muddy water isn’t doing any more damage. Mayor Tom Hanafan says it remains an around-the-clock battle against the high water.

 

Hanafan says, “It’s a constant 24-hour-a-day operation but with no rain right now, it’s really helped us get through some tough times and get some things done.” He says he’s overwhelmed with the response from volunteers who continue to come daily to fill sandbags, which has helped the city save a little money.

“We fill (sandbags) every day,” Hanafan says. “We count every bag, every day, because as we fill them, crews are taking them out and using them for different operations.” He says Council Bluffs has spent about five-point-six million dollars fighting flooding — after about 46 days so far. The mayor says that figure covers personnel, equipment and outside resources. Levee monitoring is ongoing and small leaks are being quickly repaired to prevent a major breach and more evacuations.

(Radio Iowa)

7AM Newscast 07-15-2011

News, Podcasts

July 15th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Theft investigations in Harlan

News

July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harlan are investigating several incidents of theft. On July 8th, Tammy Schwartz, of Harlan, reported the theft of a 2003 GMC Yukon from her driveway. The vehicle was later recovered by the Omaha Police Department, with four persons inside. The theft remains under investigation.

And, Harlan Police say several reports of copper theft have been taken by their department. The thefts were reported on Tuesday, and they remain under investigation.