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Wednesday Afternoon News, April 16

Branstad Releases Tax Forms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad earned $234,907 and is paying $28,298 in federal taxes for 2013.
     The governor and his wife, Chris, are paying $6,235 in state taxes.
     By releasing his tax returns Wednesday, Branstad continued a practice he's done annually as governor.
     Branstad's governor salary totaled just over $127,000. He also earned more than $54,000 from the state's retirement pension fund from earlier service as governor, lieutenant governor and legislator. Additional income of $22,000 is from capital gains earned on business investments. He also received $35,000 from an IRA following an uncle's death.
     Branstad contributed more than $40,000 to charities.
     He paid an effective tax rate of 12 percent.
     His Democratic opponent, Sen. Jack Hatch, released documents Tuesday showing income of $468,591 from real estate development businesses and his state salary.

 

Fugitive Found
 
  WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are awaiting a fingerprint check to confirm that a man being held in Waterloo is a fugitive of more than 40 years from North Carolina.
     The man was arrested after the Iowa Transportation Department's facial recognition system flagged his driver's license photo. Officers say they found information in his residence that identified him as 68-year-old Ronald Dwaine Carnes.
     Records say Carnes was convicted of robbery in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area in November 1970 and sentenced to 20 years. He escaped the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Huntersville, N.C., in August 1973.
     Authorities say the man they believe is Carnes moved to Waterloo from Washington state last summer. Authorities say he used the name Louie Vance to apply for an Iowa license in March.

 

Doctor Charged In Sexual Exploitation

  HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa doctor convicted of sexual exploitation has been given jail time for violating his probation.
     Forty-one-year-old Brian Hansen was found in contempt of court on Monday in Franklin County District Court. He'd violated a probation provision that barred him from contacting victims or their families.
     Hansen was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in May 2013 to one count of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. Prosecutors dropped seven other counts of sexual abuse and exploitation.
     The state medical board suspended Hansen's license last year. The board said Hansen had engaged in sex with co-workers and patients and made numerous improper sexual comments.

 

Work Force Chief Gave Judge Positive Reviews

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Documents show Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert approved positive performance evaluations for the agency's former top unemployment appeals judge, whom she publicly disparaged earlier this month.
     Wahlert criticized Joe Walsh after he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit contending that Wahlert fired him for opposing her efforts to change his job into a political appointment.
     Wahlert's agency issued a statement calling the lawsuit a frivolous attempt to shift attention from "the poor performance" of Walsh's appeals bureau. She accused him of failing to meet Department of Labor standards for deciding cases in a timely manner, among other things.
     Walsh says he was stunned because Wahlert had never previously criticized his performance. Evaluations signed by Wahlert in 2012 and 2013 indicated Walsh was meeting expectations and improving the bureau's case efficiency.

 

Parole Board Approves Release Of Inmate

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have granted parole to a 68-year-old Iowa inmate who has been imprisoned since 1974 for the killing of a man over a gambling debt.
      The Iowa Board of Parole on Wednesday approved the release of Rasberry Williams, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man outside a Waterloo pool hall.
     Over the decades, Williams had been a model inmate and in 1979 helped end a prison standoff in which two guards were taken hostage. Gov. Terry Branstad commuted his sentence last year, making him eligible for parole.
      Parole board chairman Jason Carlstrom maintained Williams wouldn't be a threat if released.
      Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says inmates typically are released two to four weeks after the board's decisions.

 

Johnston Man Wants Young Daughters To Be Given Chance To Shoot Guns

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Johnston father of two young daughters is joining with gun-rights advocates in seeking a change to an Iowa law that makes it illegal for children young than 14 to fire handguns.
     Nathan Gibson says he was inspired to change the law after being told at a shooting range last weekend that his 8-year-old daughter, Natalie, wasn't old enough to shoot her handgun.
      Natalie and her 10-year-old sister, Meredith, have been joining their father at shooting ranges since age 5.
     Those seeking to change the law say shooting ranges have enforced it more closely since Altoona Democratic Sen. Joe Riding sought to lower the age limit from 14 to 12. That effort failed, but publicity surrounding it prompted ranges to abide by the law.

 

 
 

   

Wednesday News, April 16

Architect Discusses Downtown Rennovation With Building Owners

(Le Mars) -- An informational meeting regarding the downtown district historical rennovation project was held Tuesday evening.  Peter Franks, an archetech with Franks Design Group of Glenwood, Iowa has been assigned the task of restoring many of the downtown buildings.  Franks, specializes in the restoration of older buildings, and says he prefers older buildings with character.

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During the presentation, Franks made several references to his work at Manning, Iowa which is also restoring its downtown district. Franks says there are several similarities between Manning's project and the Le Mars project.

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The Community Development Block Grant totals one million dollars for restoration and rennovation of the downtown building's facades.  $500,000 was appropriated through the federal government, the city of Le Mars will finance $250,000 and building owners will pay the final $250,000.  Franks says Le Mars has some special historical buildings as part of its downtown.

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The historical preservationist will meet with the 30 participating building owners on an individual basis on Wednesday and Thursday.  He says he is excited about working with the people of Le Mars, because of the large amount of support for the project.

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He says the large amount of community support is encouraging.

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Franks says contractor bids may be accepted in August and by early autumn the people of Le Mars should start to see the start of the downtown restoration and rennovation.

 

Public Radio Requests More Funding

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Public Radio is asking for additional funding from the state's three public universities, a departure from a plan to become financially independent of them.
     Documents released Tuesday show IPR is asking the Board of Regents to approve $945,000 in funding for the budget year beginning July 1. The regents will consider the request next week.
     The funding is $236,000 more than what IPR was expected to receive under a plan approved in 2011 to phase out its $1.2 million subsidy by mid-2016.
     IPR says it needs the additional support because its strategy to increase private donations was interrupted by the messy departure last year of its CEO, Mary Grace Herrington. The document says the extra funding would give new executive director Myrna Johnson time "to develop a sustainable model."

 

Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Abuse

 SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa pastor has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl.
      66-year-old Roger C. Kissel of Sidney pleaded not guilty to second-degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts and indecent exposure.
     When he was arrested in February, Kissel was a pastor at the nondenominational Sidney Cowboy Church. Sidney Police Chief Austin Richardson says the allegations aren't connected with the church.
     The crimes are alleged to have occurred over several months in 2013.
     Kissel posted bond and has been released from the Fremont County Jail.

 

Hypnotist Arrested For Being Intoxicated At Prom

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - Police say a hypnotist hired to provide alcohol-free entertainment at a post high school prom event in Marshalltown was arrested for public intoxication.
     The Marshalltown Police Department says 43-year-old Terry Woodward was taken into custody early Sunday morning. A message left for Woodward's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
     Woodward is accused of showing up drunk before a 3 a.m. performance at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA. He was hired to perform for GMG High School.
     Capt. Brian Batterson says that people reported Woodward smelled like alcohol. He had no interaction with students before his arrest.
     The talent agency that hired Woodward says he has been fired.
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