Transportation Safety Officials Rule Rail Track Was Flawed
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Federal investigators say a broken rail caused the fiery 2017 derailment in northwest Iowa that released 322,000 gallons of ethanol.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled Tuesday that Union Pacific’s maintenance was inadequate before the March 2017 derailment near Graettinger , Iowa, and Federal Railroad Administration inspectors didn’t do enough to identify flaws in the track.
No injuries were reported in connection with the derailment in a rural area about 160 miles (257 kilometers) northwest of Des Moines. Five of the 20 derailed tankers plunged into Jack Creek.
The NTSB says the train in this derailment was carrying ethanol for export that had not been denatured by adding chemicals. The agency wants to study whether it’s safer to transport ethanol before it is denatured.
Jury Finds School Responsible For Fatal Accident
ELKADER, Iowa (AP) – A jury says a northeast Iowa school district must pay $1.2 million in damages to the family of a motorcyclist killed in a fatal collision with a school bus.
The Telegraph Herald reports that the Clayton County jury on Monday found the Clayton Ridge School District at fault. Authorities say 50-year- old Ronald Kephart, of Garnavillo, died after his motorcycle ran into the side of the bus as it turned left on Sept. 1, 2016, near Guttenberg. The driver was cited for failure to yield. None of the students on the bus was
Kephart’s wife told the newspaper the verdict disappointed her,
calling it “a slap in the face.”
Amy Kephart says she realizes “no amount of money is going to be able to bring him back, but he did a lot for the family emotionally, financially, everything.”
Nurse Accused Of Stealing Prescription Medications
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Federal authorities have accused a northern Iowa nurse of stealing prescription drugs and violating federal patient confidentiality laws.
U.S. District Court records say 32-year-old Samantha Rogers is
charged with obtaining and attempting to obtain controlled substances by fraud, deception and subterfuge; criminal violations of privacy law; and aiding and abetting. Her attorney didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
A criminal complaint says Rogers, of Mason City, is a registered
nurse and occupational therapist and that the incidents occurred in Cerro Gordo County.
Authorities say Rogers stole medications from co-workers.
Authorities also say Rogers accessed medical records to find patient addresses and then would show up at their homes, posing as a public health worker who was recovering unused medications.
South Dakota Issues Execution Of Inmate That Killed Prison Guard
(Sioux Falls) — A South Dakota inmate put to death for the 2011 killing of a prison guard in a failed escape joked in his last words about a several-hour delay to his execution.
Rodney Berget was killed by lethal injection Monday for the 2011
killing of Ronald “R.J.” Johnson. The execution, originally scheduled to be carried out at 1:30 p.m. CDT, was delayed for hours while the U.S. Supreme Court weighed a last-minute legal bid to block it.
Before he was executed, Berget said, “Sorry for the delay, I got caught in traffic.” The 56-year-old inmate was soft-spoken and appeared emotional.
He also thanked people for their support.
After the drug was administered, Berget groaned. He drifted off and snored briefly before his eyes closed. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. CDT.
The widow of that South Dakota prison guard killed during a failed 2011 escape says her husband experienced “cruel and unusual punishment,” but his killer’s execution was “peaceful” and “sterile.”
Lynette Johnson, wife of correctional officer Ronald “R.J.” Johnson, spoke Monday after witnessing the execution of 56-year-old inmate Rodney Berget, saying the crime scene in which her husband died is embedded in her mind.