Friday Afternoon News, May 8
Four Year Old Council Bluff's Boy Shot In The Neck
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 4-year-old western Iowa boy has been shot in the back of his neck and another child has been taken into protective custody.
Authorities say Q-Marion Jones has been taken in critical condition to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Police say the boy was shot around 5 p.m. Thursday at the Northgate Apartments in Council Bluffs.
Police say another juvenile in the home at the time had access to a semi-automatic pistol, and the child was taken into protective custody. No arrests have been reported, and police haven't said whether the shooting was accidental.
State's Contract To Purchase Weapons For State Law Enforcement Under Review
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A spokesman says the Iowa Department of Public Safety has returned 800 handguns purchased under a contract that is now under investigation.
The weapons were bought under a master contract awarded to Smith & Wesson to supply handguns to troopers, agents and other law enforcement officials.
The department has hired two retired agents to review whether employees followed purchasing policies. Three veteran, high-ranking Iowa State Patrol officials have been placed on leave during the inquiry.
DPS Commissioner Roxann Ryan last month told employees to return their newly issued handguns after some officers raised concerns about the weapons' functionality. The department hasn't clarified their concerns but Ryan told employees she took them seriously because they implicated the safety of the officers and the public.
Smith & Wesson hasn't returned messages.
Severe Weather Possible For Weekend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say storms sweeping across eastern Nebraska and Iowa this weekend pose the threat of isolated tornadoes and hail while strong wind gusts and heavy snow are expected further west.
Meteorologist Jim Lee with the National Weather Service in Des Moines says the entirety of Iowa is slightly at risk for severe weather Sunday, though it's unlikely the storms will hammer the whole state. He says it remains unclear what regions could be hit the hardest.
Forecasters in central Nebraska say the region faces potentially damaging winds, and meteorologists overseeing the Nebraska Panhandle predict between 3 inches and 5 inches of snow by Sunday evening.
Meteorologist Shawn Rossi in Hastings says the upcoming system isn't expected to produce widespread storms like those seen in southeast Nebraska earlier this week.
Emerald Ash Borer Found In Polk And Dallas Counties
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have found emerald ash borders in Polk County, home of the state capitol in Des Moines.
A news release from the Iowa Agriculture Department said Friday that the tree-killing pests were found in Urbandale and West Des Moines. The department says the confirmation brings to 22 the number of Iowa counties where the insects have been found.
The larva of an emerald ash borer cuts off an ash tree's flow of nutrients when deposited below the bark. Once infected, trees typically die within five years.
The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. They devastated ash trees in Michigan and have spread to at least 21 other states.
Airport Runway To Become Drag Racing Strip
ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - Onawa officials plan to turn their little used municipal airport into a drag strip.
City administrator Bradley Hansen told the Sioux City Journal that officials are hoping to have at least one racing date this year.
The Onawa City Council voted in April to close the airport, which is used primarily by private pilots, aerial sprayers and traveling doctors. Hansen says four of its five hangars are occupied. Its closure is scheduled for July 1.
Officials have not determined whether the drag strip would be funded privately or with local taxes.