Friday News, June 13
Branstad Declares Additional Counties As Emergency Disaster Areas
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Six Iowa counties hit by storms last week now qualify for emergency disaster assistance.
Governor Terry Branstad has issued proclamations for Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Mills, Taylor and Wayne counties. All were affected by severe storms that brought heavy rain, hail, and high wind on June 3rd. The proclamation allows state resources to be used.
The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Decatur County which provides grants of up to $5,000 for households meeting income eligibility guidelines for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and other assistance.
State emergency management officials have requested a federal damage assessment to public infrastructure in 10 counties including Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Harrison, and Mills counties. Also included are Montgomery Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor and Wayne.
Milford Mayor and Council Member Quit
MILFORD, Iowa (AP) - The mayor and a City Council member in the northwest Iowa city of Milford have resigned because of disagreements with members elected last fall.
Council member Rick Kilts acknowledged he and Mayor Don Lamb quit Wednesday night.
Kilts says they disagreed with the direction of three council members elected in November 2013.
One issue has been the council's decision to place City Administrator Matt Skaret on administrative leave. Kilts says the new council members want to fire Skaret and can do so without giving a reason.
Council member John Walters, who was elected in 2013, says there have been disagreements with Kilts and Lamb. Walters wouldn't say whether the council wants to fire Skaret.
Third Man In Memorial Day Flag Pole Theft Is Arrested
CARROLL, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities have arrested a third man accused of stealing flagpoles from the Carroll American Legion over the Memorial Day weekend.
18-year-old Jerad Wayne Reed of Lohrville was arrested on Tuesday.
Authorities have also charged 37-year-old Christopher Lee Gay and 20-year-old Chance Abel Kenny, both of Lake City.
Police say the men stole two trailers with an estimated 550 metal flagpoles and attempted to sell them at two local salvage yards. Legion members say the salvage-yard workers declined to buy them. The total value of the poles was estimated at $16,500.
All three men face felony theft charges. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
A phone message was left with Reed's attorney.
Museum Director Has Email Hacked In An Unusual Manner
(Sioux City) -- Have you ever had your email hacked? The director of a Sioux City museum wants everyone to know he's not in trouble and he wasn't robbed overseas. Larry Finley, director of the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation, says he was in a meeting in Sioux City yesterday (Wednesday) when something unusual happened.
At least two of Finley's email accounts were hacked. He received a text from his daughter to make sure he was still in Sioux City. Finley says he'll take steps to improve security on his accounts and he notes, everyone who uses email can learn a lesson from his experience.
Finley advises all of his friends to delete the emails that appear to be from him and not to open them.
Missing Council Bluffs Man Dies In New Year's Eve Fire
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police say a Council Bluffs man who went missing died in a New Year's Eve fire in southwest Iowa.
26-year-old Travis Bach disappeared around the time of the house fire near an Iowa Highway 370 bridge in Mills County.
Council Bluffs police Sgt. Chad Meyers says authorities believed from the outset that remains found at the scene were Bach's, but DNA tests were inconclusive. Meyers described the home as a "hoarder's house," full of items that made the fire burn hotter and longer than usual.
Police say Bach and the home's owner were acquaintances, and a car found at the scene was one that he had borrowed. The cause of death will be listed as accidental.
Minnesota Couple Told By Judge They Have To Wait For Their Money
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has told two Minnesota residents they'll have to ask federal authorities to return the $48,000 seized by Iowa City officers during a traffic stop in March.
District Judge Mitchell Turner made the ruling Wednesday on the application submitted by Tiffani Barber and Kearnice Overton, of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Johnson County prosecutor Susan Nehring says the money is part of a federal investigation and was seized by the officers at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Civil forfeiture laws permit officers to seize money and property of people suspected of crimes.
Overton says in court documents that Barber gave him the money to buy property from Overton's cousin in Rock Island, Illinois. Overton says the money was not connected to criminal activity.
Task Force Says Keep The University Celebration, But Don't Call It VIESHEA
AMES, Iowa (AP) - A university task force wants Iowa State University to continue having a universitywide event but not call it "Veishea."
The group was formed by President Steven Leath shortly after a late-night crowd disturbance in early April. People are accused of overturning cars and toppling light poles. One student was injured.
The group voted Thursday night to drop the name but keep the event.
The task force voted last week to discontinue the current setup of the annual celebration. The group will have open meetings next Thursday and on June 26 to discuss the event.
It has until June 30 to send recommendations to Leath.
Camera Found At University Of Iowa Restroom
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A video camera found on the floor of a University of Iowa restroom had recorded scenes of people there.
The camera was found June 4 in the University Capitol Centre's Information Technology Services space. The people recorded on the device have been identified and notified.
Information Technology Services chief information officer Steve Fleagle on Wednesday sent an email to his staff to report the discovery.
University spokesman Joe Brennan says university police are investigating the incident. No arrests have been reported.
Study Shows Fewer People Seeking Help With Gambling Addictions
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A new study says the vast majority of pathological gamblers in Iowa aren't receiving treatment and are at risk of financial devastation.
The study presented Thursday to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission found that 0.6 percent of Iowans - about 18,000 people - may be pathological gamblers during their lifetime. That means they experience symptoms such as writing bad checks to gamble, losing a job, asking relatives for loans and hiding the extent of a gambling problem.
Yet only 678 people received treatment through state-funded programs last year. The state has slashed the promotional budget for the 1-800-BETSOFF hotline by 75 percent, resulting in a sharp drop in referrals to service providers.
The study says the lack of treatment is "leaving them and their families subject to financial ruin."
Authorities Sieze 21 Dogs At Ottumwa Residence
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have seized 21 dogs from an Ottumwa home and plan to file charges against the animals' owner.
Officers discovered the dogs crowded into the home during a follow-up investigation on Wednesday.
Animal control officer Jeff Williams says officers found large amounts of animal waste, and the house had a strong smell of ammonia.
The owner relinquished rights to all but four dogs. The rescued animals were taken to Heartland Humane Society.
Williams says the situation stemmed from "a good-hearted, good-natured person" who got overwhelmed after taking in too many animals.
The city's inspection department posted signs on the house, prohibiting anyone from living there until it was cleaned.
Authorities say charges are pending against the dog owner.
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