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NEWS

 
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 31 2015 6:09AM
The National Weather Service says a long term duration Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for a large part of the state of Iowa as two storm systems collide.
As much as 7 to 10 inches of snow followed by colder temperatures and strong
winds kicking the fresh snow around and making travel conditions problematic.
In Marshalltown the Police Department says the snow ordinance will go into 
effect at 9 p-m Saturday evening.


 
Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 5:14PM

Enrollment in Iowa's public schools is on the rise for the fourth year in a row.

The Iowa Department of Education released a report Friday that shows the overall number of students enrolled for the 2014-15 school year again increased from the year before. The pattern follows 17 years of declining enrollment.

The state education department says student enrollment will likely follow the same pattern the next few years, but that the rate of growth is slowing and will eventually plateau.

According to the report, nearly 82 percent of Iowa's largest districts posted enrollment gains, which contributed significantly to statewide growth.

Despite the increase, a majority of the state's school districts saw declining enrollment, with the smallest districts facing the largest losses.

Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 4:48PM

An eastern Iowa man arrested earlier this month when his 4-month-old daughter was hospitalized with head trauma has been charged with first-degree murder after her death.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says 20-year-old Oscar Jimenez also faces a charge of child endangerment resulting in death.

He was arrested Jan. 20 on a charge of multiple acts of child endangerment after Marleen Jimenez of Columbus Junction was taken to the hospital with serious head injuries. She died three days later.

An autopsy was performed at University of Iowa but results were not immediately released.

State officials released a statement Friday that says additional charges were filed on Tuesday after further investigation.

The public defender listed for Jimenez did not immediately return a message.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 4:47PM

State Rep. Walt Rogers is working on legislation that would use sales tax revenue to pay for road improvements.

Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, said Friday he plans to introduce a bill next week that would shift a portion of state sales tax revenue to roads and bridges. Rogers said he is trying to find an alternative to increasing the fuel tax, which has been discussed by legislative leaders.

The proposal would require amending the state constitution, a process that takes years. It would need approval twice in the Iowa Assembly before going to a statewide vote.

Sen. Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa who heads the Senate transportation committee, said the sales tax proposal would shift money out of the state general fund.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
People : Tod BowmanWalt Rogers
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 11:37AM

  The Gilbertsville police chief has raised money in an unusual way to help purchase Tasers and body cameras for the department's officers.

  Police Chief Dave McGlaughlin allowed an officer to shock him using a Taser on Thursday night during halftime at a basketball game between Don Bosco High School and Columbus High School.

  The police chief says being stunned with a Taser felt like a jolt of electricity shot up his spine and says he couldn't move. He says he did it to help out the department, but didn't enjoy being shocked.

  McGlaughlin is hoping to raise as much as $8,400 for the equipment. The department raised nearly $750 at the game.

Filed Under :
Topics : Education
People : Dave McGlaughlin
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 11:22AM

  An April trial has been scheduled for a 31-year-old man accused of shooting a woman earlier this month at a motel in Marshalltown.

  Online court records say Jean Martinez-Velazquez, of Marshalltown, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and several other charges, his trial is set to begin April 7.

  Police say officers who responded to the Flamingo Motel on Jan. 4 found the woman suffering from a chest wound. Martinez-Velazquez also was in the room, and he was soon arrested.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Marshalltown
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 30 2015 6:01AM
The final in a series of three Law Enforcement Community meetings will be held in Marshalltown this afternoon. Police Chief Michael Tupper says the first two meetings
went very well with citizens airing their views and asking questions about crimes and
incidents over the last two month time frame in the community.

Today`s meeting will be at the City Council Chambers of Marshalltown City Hall from five to seven p-m.


 
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Marshalltown
People : Michael Tupper
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 29 2015 5:05AM
 The Marshalltown Police Department held the first in a series of three Law Enforcement Community meetings on the subject of crime and incidents in the area over the last two months. Police Chief Michael Tupper fielded questions and heard views from some 30 people who were in attendance.

  Subjects included: drugs, gang activitiy, mental health treatment, domestic violence and creating more neighborhood watch groups. Additional meetings are scheduled for this morning and again tomorrow afternoon.


 
Filed Under :
Location : Marshalltown
People : Michael Tupper
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:48PM

A man has been convicted of one count of second-degree murder in connection to a fatal stabbing on the Meskwaki Settlement in central Iowa.

Officials say 21-year-old Jonathan Youngbear pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In the plea deal, Youngbear says he stabbed his 17-year-old cousin Severn Jefferson. Jefferson died Feb. 24 in Youngbear's home, which is within the boundaries of the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County.

According to a news release, Youngbear was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time he stabbed Jefferson.

Youngbear remains in U.S. Marshal custody pending sentencing.

The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa own the Meskwaki Settlement land.

Filed Under :
Location : IowaMississippiTama County
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:46PM

Iowa investigators have gone to Virginia to consult national experts on the unsolved 2012 abduction and killing of two young cousins.

Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock and an Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation agent will be in Alexandria, Virginia, until Friday. The two will meet with representatives from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to discuss the investigation into the disappearance and deaths of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins.

The girls disappeared in Evansdale while riding their bikes in July 2012. Their bodies were discovered about five months later in a rural wildlife refuge in Bremer County.

No arrests have been made in the case.

While in Virginia, officials will review the case and seek additional testing and investigation options.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:44PM

Members of a House panel say they will revisit a bill that would help a person divorce an imprisoned spouse.

The bill would allow a court to grant the dissolution of a marriage if the person in prison was convicted of a crime against the spouse and is serving time for it. There are exemptions in the bill allowing a court to dissolve the marriage without a hearing.

Judiciary subcommittee members said Wednesday the bill needs language that gives more legal rights to the person in prison. A representative for the Iowa State Bar Association said the bill could be used in a negative way against an inmate.

Rep. Dean Fisher, a Garwin Republican, says he introduced the bill to help domestic abuse victims.

Filed Under :
Topics : Social Issues
Location : Iowa
People : Dean Fisher
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:38PM

Health officials say more than 400 Iowans committed suicide in 2013, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released data last month that reveals 445 such deaths statewide in 2013, the most since at least 1989. The suicide rate was 14.4 per 100,000 people, up from 12.8 in 2012.

Iowa's suicide rate exceeds those of neighboring Illinois and Wisconsin.

Officials say changes to Iowa's mental health system might improve crisis intervention in eastern Iowa.

Clete Gartner, a National Alliance on Mental Illness-Dubuque member, says criteria for hospitalization for mental health crises leave some without needed support. He says officials are pushing for law enforcement training and the expansion of in-between care systems to help stem Iowa's suicide spike.

Filed Under :
Topics : Social Issues
Location : IllinoisIowaWisconsin
People : Clete Gartner
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:35PM

The head of Iowa's corrections department says he still doesn't know when the long-delayed Iowa State Penitentiary will open.

Director John Baldwin told House lawmakers Wednesday in a government oversight committee that officials are studying a potential solution to a faulty smoke control system. He says the process of completing that fix will require a few months, and additional staff training will take another few months.

The $165.5 million prison in Fort Madison was scheduled to open last March. It was delayed by flaws in a geothermal heating and cooling system, as well as the smoke control system. The geothermal system has since been fixed.

Baldwin, who retires Thursday, also told lawmakers that officials are still investigating who was responsible for design plans that eventually led to the problems.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
People : John Baldwin
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:34PM

Iowa health officials say the number of flu hospitalizations has decreased by more than two-thirds since late December.

An Iowa Department of Public Health report shows just 50 flu hospitalizations were recorded in the week ending Jan. 17, down from 182 admitted in the week ending Jan. 3. The drop in cases comes when Gov. Terry Branstad's hospitalization due to the illness focused attention on the flu.

Health Department medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says there are likely more cases last week than the report indicates because a major hospital couldn't send its figures. Still, she says it's clear fewer people are becoming severely ill from the flu.

Despite the drop, Quinlisk says flu season is not over yet, and the epidemic could rekindle.

Filed Under :
Topics : Social Issues
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:32PM

A court is throwing out the harassment conviction of an Iowa man who posted disturbing photos about mass murder on Facebook.

The Iowa Court of Appeals says Jonathan Elphic of Hampton didn't admit to facts that would support his guilty plea to first-degree harassment.

Elphic was charged with harassment and threat of terrorism after making Facebook posts that referenced killing students at a high school. He posted several pictures of infamous shooters and bloody bodies.

Elphic denied threatening to kill students but acknowledged the photos could be considered threatening. He pleaded guilty to harassment; the state dropped the terrorism charge.

The court says Elphic's lawyer erred in allowing him to plead guilty since he denied that he was threatening to commit a forcible felony, a key element of first-degree harassment.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
People : Jonathan Elphic
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:31PM

Lawmakers say they hope to introduce a bill to increase Iowa's fuel tax as early as next week.

Sen. Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, and Rep. Joshua Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, said Wednesday they are working on legislation that would increase the tax, potentially by 10 cents a gallon. That would provide $215 million annually for the state's network of bridges and roads, many of which are in disrepair.

Iowa's fuel tax is currently 22 cents a gallon, including fees. It hasn't been raised since 1989. The lawmakers said they are working on ways to maintain the funding in future years.

Gov. Terry Branstad has said he wants to increase funding for roads this year, though he has not endorsed a specific plan.

Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:30PM

An attorney says a sex abuse lawsuit against the Scouts and a former scoutmaster has been partially dismissed.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2013 by an unnamed man who says he was sexually abused in 1977 or 1978 when he belonged to a West Des Moines troop. The lawsuit named former scoutmaster Kenneth Newell, who now lives in Cedar Rapids.

Guy Cook, who represented the Boy Scouts, said Wednesday that the dismissal filed by the plaintiff states that the scouting organization is not liable for the plaintiff's costs. Cook says the organization denies any liability or wrongdoing. He also says the lawsuit continues against Newell.

Newell has not been criminally charged. Court records don't list the name of his attorney.

Filed Under :
Location : Cedar RapidsDes Moines
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:24PM

Delaware is hoping to be the first to state in the country to allow drivers to use an app on their smartphones as their official driver's license.

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles is studying the issue after the Legislature adopted a resolution last week.

State officials say digital driver's licenses won't eliminate hard plastic licenses, but would give drivers more options and convenience.

DMV Director Jennifer Cohan, also the governor's nominee for secretary of transportation, says if meetings about the idea go well the next couple weeks, Delaware could begin testing out the idea "sooner rather than later."

Iowa is also trying to become the first state to offer digital driver's licenses and is now crafting its pilot program.

Filed Under :
Location : DelawareIowa
People : Jennifer Cohan
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:23PM

The Iowa Transportation Department is testing a new system that could help motorists drive more safely on icy roadways.

The testing is underway on an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 35 north of Des Moines.

During and after storms, some drivers go too fast, some too slow. The system being tested comes up with a limit that, if observed, would smooth out traffic flow and make travel safer.

The system includes sensors that use lasers to detect the ice, snow or slush on the pavement. Engineer Willy Sorenson says the system uses the data to determine what he calls an "advised" lower speed limit. That safer speed limit is sent to four digital speed limit signs along the roadway.

Filed Under :
Location : Des MoinesIowa
People : Willy Sorenson
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:22PM

Iowa's three public universities may soon have a more uniform admissions policy for students from the growing number of high schools that do not provide class rankings.

The Iowa Board of Regents will consider a new formula next week that would affect students from roughly 40 public and private high schools that don't rank students.

Students from those schools would be automatically admitted if they score above a 245 on a mathematical formula, which is based on ACT scores, grade point average and number of core courses completed. Students who fall below that number would be subject to individual reviews.

The change addresses inconsistencies in how students without class rankings have been scored for admissions by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:20PM

Authorities say three people, including a baby, are safe after they escaped from a second-story window during an apartment fire.

Coralville Fire Chief Dave Stannard says that it's not yet clear what caused the Tuesday night blaze.

Officials say firefighters and multiple ambulances were called to the building around 9:30 p.m. after receiving a report of smoke and fire.

Police say the three people didn't appear to have any injuries.

Filed Under :
Location : Coralville
People : Dave Stannard
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:19PM

Officials have identified two people who were found dead in a vehicle in Osceola.

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner said Tuesday the bodies found are those of 22-year-old Erick Reyna and 27-year-old Noe Flores Rascon. Autopsy results confirm their deaths as homicides.

Police on Monday announced the arrests of four people in connection to the killings of Reyna and Rascon.

Authorities charged 38-year-old Richard Ryan Lamb Carson with two counts of first-degree murder.

They also charged 47-year-old Lynn Ranean Sutton, 43-year-old Tracy Kay Johnson and 42-year-old Christopher Martin Elben with one count of accessory after the fact.

All those arrested are from Osceola.

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:17PM

The Iowa State Patrol says it didn't reduce the speed on a citation given to a high-ranking officer.

Capt. Ken Clary was cited for driving 92 in a 70-mph zone this month, following an investigation into a November off-duty incident in which he was pulled over and quickly let go by a trooper.

Video doesn't show the speed clocked on radar and no police report was filed. A patrol spokesman had said he didn't know whether Clary's speed was reduced on the citation, which can be done at an officer's discretion. That's significant because the penalty for driving 25 over the limit is a license suspension.

Responding to earlier inquiries, Patrol Maj. Todd Misel said Tuesday the radar clocked Clary at 92 and the $208 ticket he signed wasn't reduced.

Filed Under :
Location : Iowa
People : Ken Clary
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:16PM

Iowa has seen an increase in nonfarm jobs and a decrease in its unemployment rate in the past year.

Data released Tuesday shows Iowa gained 16,400 nonfarm jobs in 2014. The state's jobless rate dropped to 4.1 percent in December, down from 4.3 percent in November and 4.2 percent in December 2013.

According to a news release, Iowa nonfarm employment increased to 1.56 million jobs, gaining 2,100 jobs from November to December alone. Education and health services, government and construction saw the largest growth in the past year.

U.S. Department of Labor statistics show Iowa is among 46 states and the District of Columbia to lower unemployment rates in 2014.

Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development interim director, says the state's economy "ended on a high note."

Filed Under :
Topics : Labor
Location : District Of ColumbiaIowa
People : Beth Townsend
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 4:15PM

A Storm Lake mother and her 10-year-old son have been charged following the stabbing of the boy's 9-year-old brother.

Authorities say they responded to a call Monday that a mother was looking for a ride to the hospital because her son had been stabbed. They say her 10-year-old son had been arguing with his younger brother when he threw a knife at the 9-year-old, stabbing him in the back.

Police say the 10-year-old was charged Monday with aggravated assault with a weapon. He was later released to a family member. The mother was arrested on a child endangerment charge and is being held on $2,000 bond.

The 9-year-old was treated and released to family members.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 28 2015 6:52AM
A local group called RISE Up Marshalltown held a rally at the Marshalltown
High School Auditorium urging people to work together for the betterment
of the community. The rally featuring speakers was in response to crime
activity in the city over the last two-month time frame. D-J Wilder spearheaded
the effort and encouraged people to like their Facebook page.
Meanwhile the first in a series of meetings between law enforcement and
concerned members of the public will be held today between four and six
p-m at the City Council Chambers of Marshalltown City Hall.


 
Filed Under :
Location : Marshalltown
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 27 2015 11:50AM

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been released from a Des Moines hospital after receiving treatment for flu and dehydration.

Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the governor was in good condition when he was released Tuesday morning and is resting at Terrace Hill, the governor's official residence. Branstad's public appearances for the week have been cancelled so that he can recuperate.

Branstad was taken by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines on Monday after he required assistance at a ribbon-cutting event.

Branstad's personal physician released a statement saying the governor had a mild case of flu and dehydration. The hospital conducted tests and ruled out other contributing factors, including cardiac issues for which he's been previously treated.

Filed Under :
Location : Des MoinesIowa
People : HillTerry Branstad
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 27 2015 11:46AM

A man will plead guilty to second-degree murder in connection to a fatal stabbing on the Meskwaki Settlement in central Iowa.

21-year-old Jonathan Youngbear will enter his guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids to avoid trial and possible conviction for first-degree murder charges.

In the plea deal, Youngbear says he stabbed his 17-year-old cousin Severn Jefferson. Jefferson died Feb. 24 in Youngbear's home, which is within the boundaries of the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County.

Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison without parole and up to a $250,000 fine, but attorneys have proposed a prison sentence of 25 to 35 years.

The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa own the Meskwaki Settlement land.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : IowaMississippiTama County
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 27 2015 11:43AM

Classes were cancelled at an eastern Iowa high school after vandals broke into the building and turned on a water faucet, flooding part of the school.

The break-in at Western Dubuque High School in Epworth happened over the weekend but wasn't discovered until Monday morning.

There was 1 to 2 inches of water in about a dozen classrooms.

Crews worked to dry out the school and prepare the school for a return of students Tuesday.

Corkery says there was thousands of dollars in damage plus additional costs for the cleanup.

The vandals apparently entered the school by breaking out a window in a classroom. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident.

Filed Under :
Topics : EducationWeather
Location : Iowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Jan 27 2015 11:42AM

A 43-year-old Fort Madison man who made a plea deal has been given 10 years in prison for killing another man in Burlington.

Lenard "Ray" Polhans was sentenced on Monday. Prosecutors lowered the original charge of first-degree murder in exchange for Polhans' guilty pleas to charges of voluntary manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted in the June 1 shooting death of 35-year-old Marvin "Whitey" Sutton.

Polhans has said he acted in self-defense after Sutton used a hammer to strike him in the back during an argument. In court on Monday, Polhans apologized to Sutton's mother and said he wished he could go back in time to change everything that happened that day.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime