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Monday Afternoon News, March 18

IDOT Warns Northern Iowa Travelers About Weather/Road Conditions

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Travelers in northern Iowa have been advised to take extra care because of a possible blizzard.
The Iowa Transportation Department says the 25-35 mph winds and snowfall on Monday will lead to drifting snow and reduced visibility.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for several northern Iowa counties.
Winter weather advisories have been issued for most of the counties in the eastern quarter of Iowa.


Climatologist Says Cool Weather Will Stick Around

(Des Moines) -- The official start of spring may be scheduled for Wednesday, but the State of Iowa Climatologist says don't look for the temperatures to warm up anytime soon.  Harry Hillaker says despite a few days last week when statewide temperatures were about ten degrees above normal, he says cooler conditions will stick around for another few weeks.

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Hillaker says normal temperatures for this time of year would see the highs at 47 degrees and the overnight lows at 24 degrees with a half a degree increase each day.  He says the weather is a drastic contrast from last year, but he says given the continuation of a drought scenario, the cooler temperatures are better.
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Northwest Iowa has received a little precipitation within the last couple of weeks, but Hillaker says "little" is the operative word.  He says due to the frost still in the ground, the precipitation that did fall may have ran off, instead of re-charging our depleted soil moisture levels.
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Hillaker says on the plus side, the recent rains and snows have helped fill farm ponds, creeks, streams, and rivers.


County Supervisors Cancel Tuesday Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Due to a lack of agenda items, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have announced they will not be holding a meeting on Tuesday.  The Supervisors will again convene the following week, Tuesday, March 26 at 9:30 at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board Room.

Woman Teacher Pleads Guilty To Having Sex With Student

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A woman who had been teaching chemistry at a Cedar Rapids high school has pleaded guilty to having sex with a student.
Forty-two-year-old Heather Adams made the plea Monday at Linn County District Court, before jury selection began. Adams admitted to one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee, a
misdemeanor. Prosecutors say she had sex with an 18-year-old student in May last year.
She resigned her job at Washington High School soon after the incident.
Adams was given two years of probation and a deferred judgment, which means that if she successfully completes her probation, the conviction will be removed from her record.

Settlement Agreement Between U of I and Former Employee Released

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A settlement agreement shows the University of Iowa and one of its former employees agreed not to disparage each other when he left the university amid a messy
disciplinary dispute.
The Associated Press received a copy of the agreement Monday after a two-year legal fight for access.
It shows that surgeon John Chaloupka agreed not to disparage the university after his June 2011 departure and that Chaloupka and the university agreed they would only say that he left to pursue
another opportunity.
The deal allowed Chaloupka to keep his $380,000 per-year salary for the 2010-2011 academic year, even though he was moved to a non-clinical position, with a different office and no access to the
university's clinical computer records.
He now works at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida.


Homeless Woman Arrested For Cocaine Possession

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City police say a homeless woman arrested after cocaine was found in her purse told authorities it was baking soda.
Charnise McCambry was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over Sunday night. A plastic baggie with a white substance was found inside McCambry's purse after a K9 officer detected narcotics.
The 41-year-old McCambry told officers the substance was baking soda that she used to brush her teeth.
More than 60 grams of crack cocaine were found inside the purse. McCambry was arrested and faces several charges including controlled substance violation.
Records do not list an attorney for McCambry.





Monday News, March 18

Crime Stoppers Ask For Public Help On Vandalism Cases

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's assistance to help solve a series of vandalism crimes.  On last Monday morning, an unknown suspect damaged several residences and a vehicle using a golf club.  Damage was reported in the 100 block of 9th Street SE to a Chevy Colbalt, as someone smashed out the driver side window.  Damage was also reported at 700 block of 2nd Avenue SE, where someone used a golf club to shatter two windows in a garage.  Damage was also done to a residential fence about a block away.  If anyone has information on these crimes or any other crimes you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 548-4968.  Crime stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for any felony crime.  Your call is confidential and you do not have to give your name.  Plymouth County Crime Stoppers is sponsored by the Plymouth County
Peace Officers Association.

Sioux City Gynecologist Fined By State Medical Board

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City gynecologist has been fined $7,500 for botching a hysterectomy by mistakenly removing his 29-year-old patient's healthy ovaries.
The Iowa Board of Medicine fined 50-year-old Doctor Kevin Hamburger on Thursday for the July 2011 surgery and has ordered Hamburger to submit a plan describing how he'll avoid future
Hamburger is also being sued for damages by the patient, Erin Rehan. Her lawsuit says she was told by Hamburger that her ovaries would not be removed during the procedure.
Rehan is seeking more than $10,000 in damages.


Lawmakers Push Competing Tax Reduction Bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are advancing competing income tax reduction plans in the Republican-majority House and Democratic-controlled Senate and a compromise deal is not yet clear.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to offer a flat income tax option. Under their legislation, residents could pay a 4.5 percent state tax on income instead of the current progressive tax rates.
Most deductions and credits wouldn't be available to those paying the flat tax.
A Senate committee approved legislation Monday that would provide more tax credits to low income residents.
Lawmakers say they will work to find middle ground, but it wasn't clear what that could be. Republicans say their proposal would provide tax cuts to more people. But Democrats say the
Republican plan provides bigger breaks to top earners.


NASA Scientist To Visit With Lawmakers About Climate Change

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa native who works as a NASA scientist is scheduled to speak with Iowa lawmakers on Monday about climate change and its effect on the earth's polar regions.
Nathan Kurtz, a Fort Madison native, will talk to legislators at noon at the Capitol.
He is a NASA researcher working on Operation IceBridge, a project to capture detailed images of polar ice and to measure changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. The data is used to predict the response of polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise.
Senator Rob Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, says Iowans need to learn about climate change and its effects on our future.
Kurtz will also speak Monday night at 7 p.m. at First Unitarian Church in Des Moines.

Estherville Soldier Dies From Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa soldier who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week is being remembered for his love of flying.
The U.S. Defense Department said 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Steven Blass, of Etherville, Iowa, was one of five soldiers killed in the March 11 crash. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Blass was a helicopter crew chief who joined the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade last August. He had been in the Army since 2006 and was on his second combat deployment.
One of Blass' childhood friends, Brandon Johnson says that Blass loved flying Black Hawk helicopters.
Blass was married and had a young son. Funeral plans were still pending Sunday.

Dow City Man Charged With Murder After Bar Shooting

DOW CITY, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa man is facing a murder charge after a fatal shooting in a small town this weekend.
The Crawford County Sheriff's Department says 28-year-old Benton Wingrove was arrested after the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Adam Lary in Dow City where the two men lived.
Authorities say Wingrove and Lary argued at a bar in Dow City shortly before the shooting.
Lary left the bar first, but was shot while driving and his car crashed into a house.
Authorities say Wingrove called police around 1:45 a.m. Saturday to report the shooting. An officer arrived to find him with a handgun on the ground in front of him.
Wingrove was being held in lieu of $1 million bond.





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