Two eastern Iowa legislators say the state’s facing more huge financial troubles just down the road, despite this week’s special session that saw the slashing of 435-million dollars from the budget. Senator Sheldon Rittmer, a republican from DeWitt, says disaster is looming.Representative Clyde Bradley, a republican from Clinton, says democrat Governor Tom Vilsack got and followed some bad advice on the budget-balancing issue. He says they haven’t had any information from the governor on what he proposes doing. Bradley says Vilsack has decided to ride the fence instead of leading. The lawmakers made their comments during taping of a Clinton radio station’s legislative program.
Archives for May 2002
A reserve police officer from Baxter made an interesting discovery in Newton Wednesday.Officer Steve Wright went into the WalMart to get some money from the ATM. Wright found a stack of 20-dollar bills on top of the machine. There were 400 of the bills, or eight thousand dollars. The company servicing the ATM apparently left them on the machine and forgot to put them inside. The money was returned to the company.
Homeless people in an eastern Iowa city are about to be evicted.Davenport Police say they’ll be shutting down several camps of homeless people in the city. But they also promise to work with local social service agencies while doing so. An encampment near the Mississippi River in southwest Davenport was the scene of a brutal murder over the weekend. Two homeless people from Minnesota are accused of murdering a homeless Davenport woman. Chief Mike Bladel says he wants to eliminate homeless camps for everyone’s safety but they can’t just be swept away. He says officers and the public works department will work with the staff of a homeless shelter to develop a protocol to use when transient camps are discovered.
A northwestern Iowa man is in deeper trouble with the law after a chase earlier this week. The LeMars man who fled from police who were investigating a domestic assault complaint faces more charges after becoming combative while being held in the Sioux County Jail. 39-year-old Randall Hurlbut was arrested Monday when the pursuit ended near LeMars. Hurlbut allegedly flooded his cell by plugging shower and toilet drains, then attacked officers who entered the cell. One officer was taken to the hospital with a shoulder injury. Hurlbut was taken to a Sioux City hospital where he’s being held under a restrained security watch for mental and substance abuse evaluation.
Some critical statements a Remsen man made to authorities will -not- be heard by a jury when he’s tried for murder. 37-year-old Donald Boss made comments to members of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s department as they investigated the disappearance of Boss’ ten-year-old adopted son, Timothy. The body was found buried in the Boss’ basement in February. Boss is held in the slaying. Boss’ lawyer claimed anything Boss said after he told authorities he didn’t want to talk anymore should be thrown out. Among the conversations is one where a deputy claims Boss answered the child -was- dead and he knew where the body was buried. Trial is scheduled for July.
Information will not be kept from the public in the mailbox pipebombing case. Luke Helder’s public defender withdrew a gag order request yesterday. No reason was given by Jane Kelly. The motion was filed the same day federal prosecutors were to file a response to Kelly’s request.
Helder faces federal charges in the placing of 18 bombs found in mailboxes in Iowa and four other states earlier this month. Six exploded. Helder is being held in Cedar Rapids, pending trial.
The Dallas County Sheriff says hazardous chemicals were intentionally dumped in at least two locations in central Iowa.The water supply wasn’t threatened, but someone dumped a mixture of hazardous chemicals into equipment and on the floor of a water pumping station in Dawson on Tuesday. The goo was also poured in a mailbox. Ten pieces of mail were damaged. No one is reported hurt in either incident.
It’s still a mystery what caused a home to explode in western Iowa’s Loess Hills on Wednesday, apparently killing the man who lived there. The victim’s body was pulled from the rubble last night. He’s tentatively identified as 63-year-old Dwane Oliver, who’d lived about six miles north of the town of Missouri Valley. Oliver built the house himself about ten years ago. Harrison County authorities say the house was destroyed by the explosion and fire. Oliver collected guns and the ammunition inside kept exploding during the blaze, hindering efforts to extinguish it. Rough terrain also hurt efforts by firefighters.
Soil Conservation officials gathered in Des Moines yesterday to celebrate the significant increase in federal payments for farmland conservation projects. State Conservationist LeRoy Brown says the new Farm Bill provides farmers an 80 percent increase in federal payments for a wide variety of conservation practices. Brown says the new system will be better for landowners. He says past programs led to frustration because there weren’t enough dollars available.Farmers will be able to qualify for federal payments by planting filter strips, using “no-till” farming practices or other soil conservation measures on cropland. Brown says previous federal conservation efforts focused on getting land out of production. With the new focus on ground that’s planted with crops, Brown says Iowa’s water will be cleaner because soil erosion will be reducedBrown also notes farmers’ participation in conservation programs remains voluntary in the new Farm Bill. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the U-S Senate’s Ag Committee, expects the rules to be written so farmers can start signing up for the new-fangled federal conservation payments in January.
The Board of Directors of the Southern Prairie Y-M-C-A is still trying to sort out the books for their facilities in Creston and Greenfield. Executive director Dave Henle was fired a week ago after board members discovered financial problems. Board member Skip Kenyon says there were differences in the amounts the organization owed and what was reported by Henle.Kenyon says they don’t know the exact amount of debt they owe, but it’s well in excess of 100-thousand dollars. Kenyon says the financial trouble could force them to close both facilities.He says the goal is to try and avoid closing down, as they gotten recommendations from the national “Y” and others to try and keep things going. Kenyon says they’ve named a new executive director and are taking steps to lower costs.He says they’re basically starting from scratch with their operations, but he calls it an opportunity. The financial situation is being investigated by local police and other agencies, but no charges have been filed at this time.