Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LAKE MILLS, IA (IRN) – A Lake Mills man has been ordered to pay restitution and stop deceptive sales of unregistered securities. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart has ordered Randall A. Finer to stop all sales of securities and to pay restitution in an amount over $614,000 plus interest. Finer allegedly solicited funds from 24 investors, “guaranteeing” a return of 20% or more on day trading.  Finer is not licensed to sell securities or act as an investment adviser.

WATERLOO (IRN) – Six Waterloo men and one Cedar Falls woman were charged in federal court with various gun charges. KWWL-TV reports that most charges relate to felons in possession, as well as drug charges.  If convicted, each faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

DES MOINES (IRN) – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in April from 4 percent in March.  Iowa Workforce Development reports that the state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in April, well above Iowa’s rate.   A total of 23,000 more Iowans are working now than a year ago.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – A 19-year-old faces six felony charges, including two counts of reckless homicide, for allegedly driving while intoxicated and causing a head-on crash that killed his passenger.  The Dubuque Tribune Herald reports that Cody J. Berry was driving east on Julien Dubuque Bridge at about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 17 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck a westbound semi-tractor trailer head-on. Berry’s passenger, Gavin J. Gremmel, 18, of Dubuque, was killed in the crash.

DES MOINES (IRN) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture is responding to two probable cases of the avian flu in Adair and Webster counties.  The Adair County case is a commercial laying operation with an estimated 975,000 birds, while the Webster County facility is a commercial laying operation with an estimated 160,000 birds.  With the new announcements, Iowa now has 66 cases of the disease in the state.

WASHINGTON, DC (IRN) – The USDA reports that 96% of the Iowa corn crop has been planted, three days ahead of the five year average. Soybean planting has reached 70%. Wet conditions delayed planting last week, with only 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork statewide. Cattle producers have concerns about muddy feedlots while crop farmers are experiencing spraying delays. Farmers are also evaluating the need to replant corn in low-lying areas.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – The Iowa Board of Regents is considering increasing efforts to prevent sexual assault on campus. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the proposed Campus Safety and Security Subcommittee, which would meet at least twice a year, would review campus safety and security reports and issues at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

OMAHA, Neb. (IRN) – Students at schools in Nebraska and Iowa are joining others around the nation in planting milkweed plants to help attract monarch butterflies. The Omaha World-Herald reports that students at St. Margaret Mary School in Omaha and St. Albert School in Council Bluffs are involved in the effort. The two schools were among 10 Catholic schools in the Midwest that received grants to start butterfly-friendly gardens.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MASON CITY, IA (IRN) – A Mason City man has filed a federal lawsuit seeking $105,000 from debt collectors he says repeatedly and wrongfully harassed him with robocalls. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Jerry Thomas says he received at least 205 automated phone messages from the Cedar Falls-based CBE Group, a third-party debt collector. Thomas says the calls to his cellphone sought payment for a debt incurred by someone he didn’t know.

DES MOINES (IRN) – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced a schedule of family-friendly summer events at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, including a “Super” guest appearance by Hollywood actor and Iowa native Brandon Routh. The Museum’s “Blockbuster Summer” features programming every Saturday beginning June 6 through Aug. 8, except for the Independence Day holiday on July 4.

ALTA VISTA, IA – An Alta Vista man seriously injured when his golf cart was struck by a vehicle has died. Marvel Erion, 84, was injured after he pulled out of his residential drive in the northeastern Iowa town Thursday. His cart was struck by a van driven by Carley Vrieze, 40, of Racine, Minn. Vrieze and her four passengers were not hurt.

DUBUQUE, IA – Two Dubuque residents were injured Saturday in an all-terrain vehicle crash. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that Nathan K. Groth, 23, was operating an ATV at high speed in a field when he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped over. Groth injured an ankle while a passenger on the ATV, Lori A. Meyer, 51, suffered multiple broken bones.

BURLINGTON, IA (IRN) – The body of a boater missing since Sunday afternoon was recovered in the Mississippi River. The Iowa DNR reports the body of Christopher Corson, 33, of Burlington, was found shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday. Corson and Anthony Zurmuehlen, 30, of Burlington, were fishing below a roller dam when the 14-foot jon boat they were in was pulled under the dam where it rolled over.  Zurmuehlen was able to grab on to a log and work his way to shore.

BEMIDJI, MN – A 15-year-old from Ankeny has died after being hit by a baseball while pitching during a pick-up game in Bemidji, Minnesota. The Bemidji Pioneer reports at around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Zacharie Schaubhut was pitching and he was struck by the ball after it was hit by a batter. Schaubhut had grown up in Bemidji, and his family moved to Ankeny last fall. A pre-existing condition may have played a factor in his death.

INDIANOLA, IA (IRN) – An Indianola man was killed in an accident on G36 northeast of Indianola yesterday morning. The Iowa State Patrol reports that Joe Franklin Blake, 65, entered a curve, lost control, and rolled the vehicle. He was ejected, and pronounced dead at the scene. Blake was not wearing a seatbelt.

DES MOINES (IRN) – Two inmates escaped from two different residential work release facilities on Sunday, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. 26-year-old Eric Livingston did not return to a Waterloo work release facility.  The other inmate, 51-year-old Llewellyn Roberts, failed to return to a Marshalltown work release facility. Livingston was serving time for robbery, Roberts for domestic assault.

Monday, May 25, 2015

WATERLOO (IRN) – People in Waterloo joined together again on Sunday to march for peace in the city. KWWL-TV reports that more than 150 people took part in the march. The walk ended with more than a dozen pastors praying for peace. Organizers say the marches will continue to happen on Sundays for the next few weeks.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has reportedly discovered evidence of a bear in the greater Dubuque area.  KGAN-TV reports that bear tracks were confirmed near Julien Dubuque Drive, south of downtown. One officer says it’s the first report of a bear in Dubuque he’s heard of in at least 30 years.  Police are advising the public to stay away from any bear they come across and urge residents not to feed them.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (IRN) – Council Bluffs police arrested one man after a head-on collision that ended with one car crashing into a home. KETV reports that officers arrested 22 year-old Mark Wilke on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, speeding and driving a stolen vehicle. Wilke crashed head-on into a minivan, then hit two parked cars and then struck a home. Wilke suffered minor injuries.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA  (IRN) – A semi-trailer carrying anhydrous ammonia overturned near Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids Sunday afternoon. KCRG-TV reports that the driver of the semi was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after his semi overturned while making a turn at an intersection. There was no spill as a result of the crash and no evacuations were necessary.

MUSCATINE, IA (IRN) –  Four people escaped serious injury when the boat they were in went over the spillway at Lock and Dam 16 near Muscatine late Saturday evening. The Iowa DNR reports that the fiberglass runabout boat being operated by Kevin Mundt, 41, of Orion, Ill., went over the spillway shortly before 11 p.m. at a high rate of speed landing in about two feet of water. Both Mundt and Jenna Bundy, 20, also of Orion, were transported to Trinity Hospital in Muscatine where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Two additional passengers who were thrown from the boat were not injured.

BURLINGTON, IA (IRN) – One boater was rescued, but another is missing after the small jon boat they were in went over the roller dam at Lock and Dam 18 near Burlington Sunday. The one boater was in the water holding a log in the Mississippi River when he was rescued by a Iowa DNR officer. The search for the missing occupant of the boat continues today. The names of the boaters are being withheld pending notification of relatives.

FAYETTE COUNTY, IA (IRN) – One person was killed Sunday morning after colliding head on with a semi-truck in Fayette County. The Iowa State Patrol reports the crash happened at approximately 11:30 a.m. when a northbound Subaru crossed the centerline on Highway 150, and collided with a southbound semi-truck. The driver of Subaru was killed. The semi-truck driver was taken to Palmer Hospital in West Union for treatment. The name of the victim, a 62-year-old from Decorah, has not been released.

DES MOINES (IRN) – Today is Memorial Day, when we honor those who died in the service of our country. Among the many events around the state today is a ceremony at 10 a.m. on the south side of the State Capitol grounds. Also, a display of modern and historic military vehicles, along with re-enactments and a vintage aircraft flyover will be held at Camp Dodge in Johnston. The event is now underway and will continue until 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

MORAVIA, IA (IRN) – An Oskaloosa man was killed Saturday morning after the boat he was operating rolled at Rathbun Lake in Appanoose County.  The DNR reports that Gregory Alan Williams, 50, of Oskaloosa, was killed when the boat he was operating overturned, throwing him and a passenger into the water. He was later pronounced dead after being taken to Mercy Medical Center in Centerville. The passenger was not seriously injured.

DES MOINES (IRN) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects on Friday. The awards are expected to assist in the creation of over 1,300 jobs and nearly $400 million in new capital investment for the state. Among the projects approved were a Beck’s Hybrids sales office and distribution center in Colfax, a ConAgra expansion in Waterloo, and a new pork processing facility in Sioux City.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – An early morning fire did considerable damage to a home in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. KCRG TV reports that crews responded to a report of two vehicles on fire. When they arrived, the fire had spread to the home and into the attic. One person was home when the fire started and was able to safely escape.

DES MOINES (IRN) – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and former Rep. Tom Latham scored well in a new index measuring bipartisanship, while Rep. Steve King and former Sen. Tom Harkin trended the other way. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the rankings come from the Bipartisan Index, created by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University to show how often members of Congress work across party lines.