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by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:49PM

An Iowa Senate committee has approved a bill requiring employers to give time off to non-essential workers so they can attend Iowa's presidential caucuses.

The State Government Committee in the Democratic-controlled Senate approved the bill Wednesday. It would mandate that employers provide unpaid leave to workers who want to attend their precinct caucus. There are exemptions for jobs that affect public health or safety, or if employers could show that they would experience economic distress.

The legislation will move to the full Senate. It is not clear how it will fare in the Republican-controlled House.

The Iowa Democratic Party supports the bill as part of an effort to expand caucus attendance. The Republican Party of Iowa has declined to offer an opinion.

Iowa's presidential caucuses are scheduled for February 2016.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:42PM

Authorities involved with the investigation into the 2005 death of a 5-year-old Iowa girl have testified in the trial of a man accused of killing her.

Floyd County Chief Deputy Jeff Crooks was first to take the stand Wednesday in the case against 35-year-old Casey Frederiksen, who is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. Prosecutors allege Frederiksen sexually abused Evelyn Miller, the daughter of his former girlfriend, and stabbed her to death while babysitting her. He was arrested in 2012.

Crooks says he'll never forget what he saw when Evelyn's body was found in the Cedar River a few days after she was reported missing. He says her body appeared water worn.

During cross examination, Crooks testified there was no DNA evidence or weapon connecting Frederiksen to her death.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:38PM

Builders in Iowa would be required to install radon mitigation systems in new homes under legislation that has won approval in an Iowa Senate committee.

The bill moved out of the State Government Committee on Wednesday. Under the proposal, new homes must be built with radon mitigation pipes. If the homeowner discovers radon, they can add a fan to use the system.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can leak through cracks in building foundations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The agency also says Iowa's 99 counties are in the agency's highest risk zone for exposure.

A similar bill was approved by the Democratic-majority Senate two years ago but failed to advance in the Republican-controlled House.

Filed Under :
Topics : EnvironmentPolitics
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:36PM

A House panel has approved a bill that would require a physician to offer an ultrasound image to a woman seeking an abortion in Iowa.

Members of a human resources subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday. It heads to a full committee for consideration, where it will need to advance by Friday to beat a procedural deadline in the Legislature.

The bill would require a physician to perform an ultrasound on a woman and give her an opportunity to view an image of the fetus. The woman would be given the option of hearing a description of the ultrasound image and the potential heartbeat of the fetus. Physicians could face jail time and fines if they didn't comply.

It's unlikely the bill will advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:35PM

A man who helped his neighbor escape flames that destroyed a mobile home in eastern Iowa says he's no hero.

Jerry McBride Jr. says he merely answered a call of duty in aiding 71-year-old Fred Steven.

Steven says he awoke from a nap Monday afternoon to find that tubes from his oxygen tank were on fire inside his North Liberty home. Oxygen tanks began exploding by the time he reached a doorway.

McBride says he found Steven just outside the home, with his coat aflame. McBride says he used his body to shield Steven from the flaming home, pulled off Steven's coat and then helped him get away from the intense heat and other danger.

Neither man was injured. Fire officials are investigating the fire cause.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:34PM

University of Iowa officials are ready to begin planning a steam production plant on the west side of the school's campus.

Officials have asked theIowa state Board of Regents for permission to begin planning the $75 million production plant that will be adjacent to the school's new backup power facility.

University interim senior vice president Rod Lehnertz says that construction will likely take two years, and that the facility should be operational in four years.

The plant would be fueled by natural gas, but the building site allows the use of biofuel sources that would transport to the facility by rail.

Officials estimate that the proposed facility initially will be capable of delivering 150,000 pounds per hour of steam, and could be expanded up to 300,000 pounds per hour.

Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
Location : Iowa
People : Rod Lehnertz
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:33PM

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison after admitting he illegally entered the U.S.

Abel Hernandez-Labra, who had been living in Hampton, also was fined $5,000 on Tuesday. He must serve three years of supervised release once he completes his prison sentence.

Hernandez-Labra pleaded guilty in November to several charges, including making false statements in a passport application.

He admitted in his plea agreement he was a Mexican citizen who came to the U.S. illegally, after purchasing a birth certificate and Social Security number of an American citizen born in Puerto Rico and assuming that identity. Claiming he was a U.S. citizen, he obtained an Iowa driver's license, which he used to get a U.S. passport.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 2:31PM

An eastern Iowa woman is charged with child endangerment following accusations she exposed two 7-year-old children to methamphetamine inside her residence.

A criminal complaint says 51-year-old Paula A. Barton of Dubuque admitted to authorities she previously has used the drug but denied any recent drug activity at her residence.

The complaint says hair samples for Barton and the two children all tested positive for meth exposure.

It wasn't immediately known if Barton has an attorney.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
People : Paula A. Barton
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 6:59AM
Facing scrutiny over its practices for responding to sexual assault, a liberal arts college in Iowa has taken the unusual step of asking federal investigators to review whether three cases were handled appropriately.

Grinnell College President Raynard Kington asked the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights to determine whether the college complied with Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education.

The office praised the request Tuesday as a sign of progress toward addressing campus sexual violence, while a student group called it a public relations move to get ahead of a complaint that had already been filed.

While Kington's motives will be debated, American Association of University Women vice president Lisa Maatz says the request is novel and intriguing.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 4 2015 6:46AM
The Meskwaki Tribal Police are looking for a missing woman from the Tama area.
Rita Papakee is a Native American woman who is 5 foot four inches tall with a
medium build and is 41 years old weighing 145 pounds with long brown colored hair.
She was last seen on January 16th at one p-m at the Meskwaki Casino.
Anyone who has any information is asked to call 641-484-4844.

Filed Under :
People : Rita Papakee
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 3 2015 6:32AM
The Marshalltown School Board was briefed on a search for a new high school
Principal as they met on Monday. School officicials say 23 applications for the job
have been recieved.

It is hoped that a candidate for the job can be submitted tothe School Board in early April.
Filed Under :
Topics : Education
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 2 2015 12:50PM
Hobby Lobby in Marshalltown is now officially open for business after a crowd of local dignataries and employees cut a ceremonial ribbon on the business at the south end of the Marshalltown Mall. The business held a soft opening back on Friday and did pretty good business this past weekend.

The Company dates back to 1970 and is based in Oklahoma City Oklahoma.

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 2 2015 6:58AM
The Marshalltown Police Department reported a drug bust on Sunday afternoon following a traffic stop. Captain Brian Batterson says the suspect is identified as 27 year old Rachel Berrones of Des Moines who faces multiple drug charges including possessionof prescription drugs and methamphetamine and carrying a weapon. She was taken to the Marshall County Jail.

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 2 2015 6:42AM
History is being made in Marshalltown today as Hobby Lobby holds a ribbon
cutting and Grand Opening event at the new store at the Marshalltown Mall.
Jim Kelly is Manager of the Store which is the 16th such store in the
state of Iowa.

Filed Under :
Location : IowaMarshalltown
People : Jim Kelly
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 2 2015 6:30AM
The Marshalltown Public Library had a successful book sale this past weekend.
The event was held back on Saturday and Sunday, books both hardcover and paperback were available along with videos, dvds, compact discs, and cassetes.
On Sunday patrons could purchase a bag of materials for a dollars. Funds raised go
to a group called Friends of the Library and then back to library departments
for the purchase of materials.

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 2 2015 6:00AM
The Marshalltown City Council meets at noon today at City Hall.
According to the agenda Council will talk about and advance forward
the City Budget for the next fiscal year including the tax levy including
that of the levy for the five year Capital Improvement Project.
Also up for discussion is the proposed new Police Headquarters building
with the architect for the proposed project.

Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:21PM

A former board member for an Iowa school district seeks to block the closure of one of its three schools.

The Board of Education at Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District voted 5-2 Wednesday to close the district's elementary and middle school building located in Gladbrook and move students to two schools in Reinbeck in an effort to cut costs. But Charles Bearden, who previously served on the board, has filed a legal petition to prevent the closure.

Bearden said on Thursday that the building in Gladbrook is newer than those in Reinbeck, and that it would be a "disgrace" to shut it down.

Josh Hemann, a current board member who voted in favor of the proposal, says maintaining an elementary school in every town isn't realistic.

Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:19PM

A Senate panel has abandoned Gov. Terry Branstad's broadband bill and instead approved different legislation aimed at expanding high-speed Internet in Iowa.

Members of an economic growth subcommittee approved a bill Thursday that focuses more heavily on the infrastructure of building out broadband, also known as high-speed Internet. The bill has no grant program for service providers but expands a property tax offer.

The bill now heads to a full committee for consideration.

Sen. Steven Sodders, a Democrat from State Center, says Branstad's bill needed stronger language on expanding a fiber-optic network, which experts say is the best system for robust service.

Sodders is sponsor of the remaining bill and says it incorporates aspects of Branstad's legislation. He plans to meet with House leaders to ensure there is cohesive legislation.

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:15PM

The Burlington Animal Board has decided that a dog that was involved in a fatal police shooting of a woman was not dangerous or vicious, and should be returned to its owners.

The board announced its decision Wednesday after a 90-minute hearing.

On Jan.6, 34-year-old Autumn Steele was fatally shot by a Burlington police officer outside her home when the officer was investigating a domestic disturbance involving her husband. The policeman was startled by the couple's German Shepherd dog, which ran outside from the couple's home. The officer fired several shots at the dog when he fell down. One of the shots missed the dog, and hit Steele in the chest.

Steele's 4-year-old son and a neighbor witnessed the shooting. The witness said the dog did not appear to be attacking the officer.

Filed Under :
People : Autumn Steele
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:15PM

A House panel has approved a bill that would legalize the sale of more fireworks in Iowa, a move that echoes action in the Senate.

Members of a ways and means subcommittee approved the bill Thursday. It now heads to a full committee for consideration.

The bill would require retailers to obtain a license to legally sell firecrackers, roman candles and other fireworks. Currently, state law allows only sales of sparklers or certain "novelty fireworks."

Several groups spoke in opposition to the bill and argued it would lead to more injuries. Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley and chairman of the subcommittee, says it's important to give consumers the right to buy fireworks.

A similar bill is advancing in the Senate.

Filed Under :
Topics : PoliticsSocial Issues
Location : Iowa
People : Matt Windschitl
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:07PM

A southwest Iowa mother convicted in a cancer hoax involving her 5-year-old daughter must make restitution totaling nearly $33,000,

Seven claimants stepped forward at a restitution hearing on Wednesday in Cass County District Court to request around $10,000 total.

Cass County Attorney David Wiederstein says Judge Greg Steensland didn't rule on any of the claims. Once he rules, the total paid out will be deducted from the restitution that 30-year-old Leatha Slauson must pay. The remainder will be sent to cancer research-based charitable organizations.

Last month Slauson was sentenced to five years of probation. She'd pleaded guilty to child endangerment, theft and other crimes. Prosecutors say Slauson posted on a Facebook page that her daughter had colon cancer. Donations soon began pouring in.

Her story proved to be a lie.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 3:02PM

A 24-year-old Marion man faces several charges following a collision with a patrol car being driven by a sheriff's deputy in northeast Cedar Rapids neighborhood.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the accident occurred around 4:50 p.m. on East Post Road. The release says a southbound vehicle driven by D'Andre Hicks went out of control and ran into the northbound cruiser being driven by Deputy Chad Watkinson.

The release says Hicks drove away, with Watkinson and two other officers in pursuit. Hicks was captured a few blocks away when he stopped his car and tried to flee on foot.

Hicks' attorney didn't immediately return a call on Thursday seeking comment on the allegations.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 2:58PM

A 23-year-old man is accused of threatening to light a stick of dynamite in his girlfriend's North Liberty home and threatening her with a knife.

Dillon Charles Lee Sage of Grand Junction is charged with first-degree harassment and domestic abuse.

According to a North Liberty police complaint, Sage was arguing with the woman while packing his belongings at her home.

The complaint also says Sage briefly blocked the woman from leaving the residence with her son. The woman eventually was able to leave with her child and drove to a convenience store to call police.

Sage was being held in Johnson County Jail as of Thursday. Online jail records didn't list an attorney for him.

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by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 26 2015 5:40AM
Iowans are doing pretty good in the aftermath of the latest snowfall. The snow fell during the day Wednesday. Snowplowing and shoveling was done on a repeated basis. Roads this morning are mostly to partly covered with ice and snow.

Some schools depending on the location are delayed two hours others do to the efficiency of the snow clearing done are on time.

We're are back into the deep deep freeze as far as low  temperatures are concered the next two days in the listening area.
Filed Under :
Topics : Weather
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:45AM

Fuel prices will soon go up in Iowa now that Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a tax increase into law.

Branstad announced Wednesday that he had signed the bill, which will raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon. The Legislature gave bipartisan support to the measure Tuesday in an effort to provide more road funding.

The legislation will provide more than $200 million annually for Iowa's network of bridges and roads, many of which are considered deteriorating or deficient. The price change will go into effect March 1.

Branstad says he recognized the state needs more money for infrastructure. He praised lawmakers for reaching a bipartisan consensus.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
People : Terry Branstad
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:44AM

A 14-year-old girl has been flown to an Iowa City hospital after being shot by another teen handling a rifle.

Vinton Police Chief Ted Paxton says officers were sent to the Vinton home just after 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. They found the girl had been shot in the head. She was taken to Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton and then transferred in critical condition to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

The names of both teenagers have not been released.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : IowaIowa City
People : Ted Paxton
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:42AM

Officials have found no links between the suicides of two students at a school in suburban Des Moines.

Authorities say a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Urbandale Middle School killed herself on Feb. 15. The suicide of an eighth-grade girl was reported on Monday.

No evidence has been found that either girl was bullied, and Superintendent Doug Stilwell says the girls didn't know each other.

He told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday that the district is in shock and that, "We'd like to think that one or two suicides isn't a pattern."

Stilwell says counselors from the high school were brought in to help the middle school students and also says district officials are discussing the idea of bringing in professional speakers to discuss suicide with students.

Filed Under :
Location : Des Moines
People : Doug Stilwell
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:39AM

The trial of a 35-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in a northern Iowa girl's stabbing death is set to begin next week.

Prosecutors say Casey Frederiksen was watching the 5-year-old girl at the time of her disappearance in July 2005. She was the daughter of his live-in girlfriend. The child's body was found in the Cedar River a few days after she was reported missing.

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Hamilton County. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

A message seeking comment was left with Frederiksen's attorney Wednesday.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Hamilton CountyIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:06AM

The Iowa Senate has approved bills that would raise Iowa's minimum wage and try to curtail cases of wage theft.

The Democratic-majority Senate voted 27 to 22 Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage level to $8.75. The Senate also voted 26-23 to establish more rules to curtail alleged wage theft by employers in Iowa.

The bills now head to the Republican-led House for consideration, but it's unlikely there's enough support there to get them to Gov. Terry Branstad's desk.

Lawmakers in the House have said they would rather focus on skilled worker training opportunities instead of a minimum wage bill that raises it above its current level of $7.25. Lawmakers have also said there are other ways to prevent wage theft.

Filed Under :
Topics : LaborPolitics
Location : Iowa
People : Terry Branstad
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Feb 25 2015 11:03AM

Commercial airline service has returned to Fort Dodge for the first time in more than a year.

Air Choice One began service Monday from the Fort Dodge Regional Airport to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in Missouri and Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Illinois.

The restoration of commercial airline service to Fort Dodge comes about a year after Great Lakes Airlines halted operations at the local airport due to a lack of pilots.

Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation at the Fort Dodge airport, says Monday's flights are the result of year-long efforts to secure a new airline.

Erik Straka is the first passenger to depart from Fort Dodge, and he says the option to fly out of the city's regional airport was convenient.

Filed Under :
Location : IllinoisMissouri