Area News Stories
OSKALOOSA MARCH 2 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
(Mar. 3, 2015)Oskaloosa’s city council moved through their agenda in just over 20 minutes Monday. The meeting included three public hearings. No public comment, written or oral, was made and all measures passed unanimously.
The first public hearing was on proceedings to issue General obligation Bonds for $1.015 Million. The funds would be used to assist in paying for a new fire station, fire station renovations and a pumper. The second public hearing was to certify a 2015 budget amendment and the third adopted the budget for 2016 and the levying tax.
Councilors also approved a resolution to issue General Obligation Bonds of $4.15 million dollars.
Councilors approved a 2.75 percent raise for nonunion city employees. It was noted that part-time seasonal employees will be paid the same as fiscal year 2015. The final resolution adopted a policy change requiring the installation of drinking fountains in public parks and municipal buildings during construction or reconstruction. Councilor Jason Van Zetten voted against the measure.
Prior to Monday’s regular council session, councilors met with Andrew Jensen of Mahaska Community Development regarding a community needs assessment for recreation.
Jensen told councilors that the needs assessment is in part a study of the recreational needs of the community and how Mahaska YMCA fits into the plan. Mahaska YMCA has received funding from a variety of public and private entities recently to keep the center operating and make necessary repairs. The proposal, prepared by H. Ronald Walker of Walker, Coen, Lorentzen Architects of Des Moines, is broken down into three tasks. Task one looks at Recreation and childhood needs assessment at an estimated cost of $30,920. Task two develops a master plan for facilities based on the outcomes of the community needs assessment. Development of the plan and deliverables would be at a cost of $45,500.
"SIMPLY BRILLIANT" OSKALOOSA REBRANDING PRESENTATION
(Mar. 2, 2015) Oskaloosa has the potential for a “Simply Brilliant” future. Community marketing expert Roger Brooks gave a presentation about the branding and marketing ideas his team of experts, along with the Oskaloosa Brand Development Committee, have developed to change the future of Oskaloosa. “We want to put Oskaloosa on the map as a desirable place to live, visit and raise a family,” Brooks said at William Penn University Friday to a packed house in the Chief Mahaska Room of the student union. The purpose of Brooks’ weeklong work session with the Oskaloosa Branding Committee is to differentiate Oskaloosa from the 900 other communities in the state of Iowa. A working title for the downtown plaza is “Limelight Plaza” centered on the city square, and High Avenue and First Avenue. It would feature a stage on the east side of the square, the movement of the bandstand to the west side of the square and the center of the plaza would feature a water splash pad in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. There could be outdoor night time light shows in the plaza and a pedestrian walkway to connect the plaza to the mall, which would evolve into a market place for year-round entertainment and business. There could be 300 days of programmed activities for the downtown, Brooks said. A marketing strategy could include a slogan playing on a lighting theme such as “Oskaloosa, Iowa: Simply Brilliant.” For sporting events, the slogan could be “The fields are a dream.” An economic development slogan could be: “A brilliant business decision.” The education slogan could be: “Brilliant beginnings,” Brooks said. “You have one of the most beautiful downtowns in the country,” Brooks said. “It provides you with a center stage.”Brooks told community leaders to make the branding strategy be about people.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
MARCH 28th EGGS AND ISSUES
(Mar. 2, 2015) Angst and anger were prevalent emotions at Eggs and Issues Saturday morning. The bi-monthly informative meeting between legislators and the public took place at Smokey Row Café in Oskaloosa. State representatives Larry Sheets and Guy Vander Linden were on the program along with state senator Ken Roozeboom. The trio fielded a host of questions ranging from their votes on the gas tax, to school funding, and start dates. Gas tax and school funding were hot buttons among attendees, many speaking against the 10-cent tax, which went effect on Sunday, March 1. Roozeboom stated he had supported the tax while Vander Linden and Sheets voted no. Roozeboom said the additional funds are needed for necessary roadwork and maintenance. The last time the tax was raised was in 1989. Turning to school funding, legislators have indicated there is no chance of raising the education funding from the governors package of 1.25 percent. Schools are requesting a 4 percent increase. Representatives Larry Sheets and Guy Vander Linden stated they are standing firm with the governor. “If you want to talk about the senate idea, it is 1.25”, said Vander Linden. “That is the number so make the plan. We would like to give you more but there isn't any more.”School start date was also a hot topic. Vander Linden again stressed that he thought this would be a “food fight” issue. He said, tongue-in-cheek that it would be somewhere between July and September 1. He said if it is early then you have the tourism folks mad at you and if it is later you have the schools mad. He said the best compromise he has heard floating around would be a start date this year of Aug. 23, which would be the Monday following the close of the Iowa State Fair. “I don't think there has been much talk about it in the senate. I think it is a local issue. I hear the date of about the 23rd which I think might be a compromise.” The next meeting of Eggs and Issues will be Saturday March 14 at 8:30 a.m.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE SEEKING MISSING OSKALOOSA WOMAN
(Feb. 27, 2015) The Mahaska County Sheriff's office is searching for an Oskaloosa woman who was last seen Monday in Oskaloosa... She is 45 year old Sally West, who is described as a white female with dirty blonde or light brown hair... Her vehicle is a 2002 white Pontiac Grand Am with license plate number A-Z-Z-0-9-2... Sheriff's officers will be talking to family members later today in hopes of gathering more information to locate her... If you have information on her whereabouts, you are asked to call the Mahaska County Sheriff's office at 673-4322.
KNOXVILLE SCHOOLS BOMB THREAT
(Feb. 27, 2015) At the end of the school day on Thursday, February 26, a report was made to the Knoxville Middle School Administration of a bomb threat written on the wall in a girl’s restroom. A dozen officers representing the Knoxville Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Knoxville Fire Department, and Knoxville Rescue Team along with School District Administration completed a thorough search of the entire building, which took several hours. Every locker, classroom, closet, hallway and locker room was included as well as the gym, cafeteria, library, auditorium and offices. No bombs, materials for bombs, or written references to bombs were found. The site was considered clear and secured. As an additional precaution, the school’s computer network was searched for any laptop or desktop that has recently been on an Internet site relating to bombs, weapons, or threats. Nothing was discovered during this search. Knoxville Schools takes these threats seriously and appreciate the assistance of our local law enforcement and emergency management teams. Contact Superintendent Cassi Murra at 641-751-5891 if you have any information.
KATHY CHAMRA NAMED AS NEW MAHASKA CO. YMCA CHILDCARE DIRECTOR
(Feb. 27, 2015) There is a new childcare director at the Mahaska County YMCA and she is looking to ensure the childcare program remains viable for the foreseeable future. Kathy Chamra recently stepped on board in early January and she has had some time to adjust to her new position. During her career, Chamra has worked with people of all ages — from children to adults and the elderly — which gives her perspective at her new job at the YMCA. In her spare time, Chamra says she enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. She also has a love for books dealing with the latest trends in childcare.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
OSKALOOSA AFTER PROM BEACH PARTY FUNDRAISER
(Feb. 27, 2015) Need a break from the cold and the snow? The Oskaloosa After Prom Committee is holding a beach party fundraiser. Committee members are converting the Old Nazarene Youth Center, 202 S. 11th St., into a beach. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. Proceeds from the beach party will be used for the Oskaloosa High School Junior / Senior After Prom Party. Tickets are $50 per person. People can buy tickets at the Book Vault or Signatures Salon. They also can buy tickets at the door... The Oskaloosa High School Prom will be held on Saturday, April 18. The After Prom party is held at a designated location and attendees are locked in from midnight to 5 a.m. There are plenty of games and food for people to enjoy.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
OSKALOOSA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO HOLD FIRST FAMILY HEALTH NIGHT
(Feb. 26, 2015) Oskaloosa Elementary School announced today that the school will be hosting a Family Health Night on Thursday, February 26 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the OES gymnasium. The Oskaloosa Community School District and School Board promote healthy students by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as part of the aggregate learning environment. OCSD supports a healthy environment where students have the opportunity to learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students, and research has shown that improved health optimizes student performance and potential. OES has worked very hard to provide a comprehensive learning environment for the development and practice of lifelong wellness behaviors. A school wellness committee comprised of a physical education teacher, classroom teacher, nutrition service staff member, students, parents, school nurse and administrator serve as a planning, advisory, and decision-making group for school health policies and programs.
As families enter they’ll be taken on a family scavenger hunt which will eventually take them through each of the interactive booths. Go fishing with Mahaska County Conservation, plant garden seeds and learn about Oskaloosa Community Gardens, learn how to check your blood pressure with the William Penn University Nursing students, learn how to change your bicycle tire and properly fit your bike helmet with local business Bobzilla’s Bikes... You can take a family photo with the famous Walking School Bus, sample and vote on your favorite snack option which will be offered at the public pool this summer, join the Oskaloosa Police and Fire Department in a training drill, and so much more. They will also have a drawing for $25.00 in Chamber Bucks as well as goodie bags for each family. Oskaloosa Elementary School looks forward to you joining in on the family fun Thursday, February 26 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
AREA SNOW ORDINANCES
(Feb. 25, 2015) The city of Oskaloosa has declared a snow emergency Wednesday, February 25, 2015 effective a 12 pm until further notice...
ALL VEHICLES MUST BE REMOVED FROM CITY STREETS TO ALLOW CITY CREWS TO PLOW. VEHICLES LEFT ON THE STREET COULD BE TOWED AT THE OWNER'S EXPENSE. AS A REMINDER, ALL PROPERTY OWNERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEARING THE SIDEWALKS ALONG THEIR PROPERTY AFTER THE SNOW HAS STOPPED. THE CITY CHARGES THE PROPERTY OWNER TO CLEAR YOUR SIDEWALK.
The City of Ottumwa's Snow Emergency Ordinance is in effect as of 7 AM today... (Wednesday, February 25, 2015.) Residents are reminded that while the Snow Emergency is declared, no parking is allowed on streets designated as “Snow Routes” until the emergency is lifted. Snow Routes are marked with square blue signs showing a white snowflake. Parking on non-snow emergency route streets rotates sides on a daily basis. On the even numbered days, parking is allowed on the even numbered side of the street. On the odd numbered days, parking is allowed on the odd numbered side of the street. The Snow Emergency will remain in effect until further notice.
New Sharon's snow ordinance will go into effect at 10 pm this evening (Wednesday, 2-25) until the streets are cleared.
U.S. ARMY FIELD BAND CONCERT AT GEORGE DAILY AUDITORIUM
(Feb. 24, 2015) The U.S. Army Field Band is marching into town Sunday, March 8, for a free concert at the George Daily Auditorium. The U.S. Army Field Band will bring a 65-member Concert Band and a 29 member Soldiers’ Chorus to perform a wide variety of music ranging from Sousa marches to Broadway musicals. This is the first concert in Oskaloosa for the U.S. Army Field Band. Free tickets are available from The Oskaloosa Herald, KBOE radio or the George Daily Auditorium box office. People can contact George Daily Auditorium by phone at (641) 672-0799 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
WPU FIELDS OF FAITH EVENT SATURDAY, FEB. 28
(Feb. 24, 2015) The William Penn University Fellowship of Christian Athletes will be sponsoring a Fields of Faith event on campus at the PAC in the indoor football practice facility starting at 6:00 PM on Saturday February 28th. The evening will feature contemporary Christian music as well as the speaker Linda Hoskins, a 1977 graduate of WPU. In 2010 Hoskins was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and was later diagnosed in remission. In 2011 she, her oncologist and other cancer survivors took on the challenge of climbing Mt. Everest. Hoskins will speak on how her faith helped her survive cancer and eventually climb Mt. Everest. The event opens at 6 pm and is free to the public.
OSKALOOSA SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
(Feb. 23, 2015) The Oskaloosa School Board will hold a work session this evening at 5:30 pm in the George Daily Auditorium Board Room. Items on the agenda include a presentation by Professional Learning Community, presentation on Attendance Center rankings, discussion of use of timber on district property, and discussion of the 2015-2016 certified budget.
OSKALOOSA LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
(Feb. 23, 2015) Oskaloosa Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting will be held this afternoon at 4:00 PM... Items on the agenda include programs and events update, Reading Garden fence repair, library book sale, committee reports, service to non-open access residents, summer lunch program at the library, Heritage Quest and Ancestry Library Edition renewal.
EAST CENTRAL IOWA TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE ROUNDTABLE MEETING
(Feb. 23, 2015) The East Central Iowa Transportation Coalition held a roundtable this past week to learn the latest about transportation projects that will impact area businesses. The coalition formed in 2009 to talk about needed improvements to U.S. 63 that serves business and industry from Ottumwa to Interstate 80. Iowa Department of Transportation officials updated coalition members about the U.S. 63 Northwest Bypass of Oskaloosa. DOT District 5 Planner Jason Huddle said that all of the information has been gathered by HR Green for the habitat study. The archaeological report is due in April. The DOT will then move forward with a study of a two-lane bypass of Oskaloosa. The officials transitioned to speaking about improvements to U.S. 63 throughout the region. Roundtable members also learned more about the five-county freight study proposal. The study would encompass Mahaska, Marion, Poweshiek, Monroe and Wapello counties. The study would look at the engineering aspects of the infrastructure, the industrial nature of the corridor, manufacturing and exports, said Rich Voelker of Snyder & Associates. Mike Lipsman of Strategic Economics Group said the study would go to the micro level to use local economic development officials to collect data. Local businesses would be surveyed about any deficiencies in the transportation system. ECITC Chairwoman Beth Danowsky said the coalition needs to set up a committee to look at the scope of the study and funding sources and begin to talk about the data.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
TWO OTTUMWA MEN ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES
(Feb. 21, 2015) On Friday, February 20, 2015, officers from the Ottumwa Police Department, Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Narcotics Enforcement, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force, executed a search warrant at 201 Albany, Ottumwa, IA.
MAHASKA COUNTY SUPERVISORS MEETING
(Feb. 20, 2015) Mahaska County Supervisor Mike Vander Molen withdrew his proposal for a land exchange for farmers affected by the proposed regional airport during the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday. During the Feb. 2 supervisors meeting, Vander Molen proposed a 1031 exchange for farmers whose land would be purchased for the regional airport for land at the county farm. The 1031 exchange would allow farmers to avoid the capital gains tax. He cited the “strong emotions” people displayed while discussing the matter with him. At the meeting, Vander Molen also challenged the validity of a Taxpayers Against Regional Airport political action committee ad placed in the Friday edition of the Oskaloosa Herald. In other action, the supervisors approved the application for RPA 15 Surface Transportation Program funds for the repair of the intersection of county roads G5T and T-33 near Peoria. Mahaska County Engineer Mike Shanahan said that G5T is “the only good East-West road in the northern part of the county.” However, the pavement has been in place since the 1960s. Supervisor Willie VanWeelden said that the project would cost $2.3 million, of which $1.5 million would come from federal STP funds. Shanahan said that since the project would address driver safety, county officials are looking at requesting safety funds. The supervisors also approved the bid bonds and insurance for the courthouse roof repair project. They also approved replacing Advance Concrete with G&S Construction for concrete repair at the Mahaska Building. G&S Construction submitted a bid of $1,500. They also approved using Earth Services & Abatement to do asbestos mitigation at the Juvenile Probation Office.
For more on this story, check out to today's Oskaloosa Herald.
BEACON HOUSE FIRE
(Feb. 19, 2015) Oskaloosa firefighters were called to an early morning house fire shortly before 5 am in Beacon yesterday morning... The fire started in the attic of the home of Daniel Nicholson at 400 Leighton Street... Damage was estimated at $100,000, and the house is considered a total loss. There were no injuries... Firefighters battled the blaze for 3 and a half hours,returning to the station around 8:30 am.
LOVE INC. RAISES $30,000
(Feb. 19, 2015) People indulged their sweet tooth at the Love INC Dinner and Dessert Gala Saturday night and supported the charity with $30,000 in donations. Love INC is a non-profit organization that represents the caring arm of many local churches and works with community agencies to help people in need. Love INC held its dinner and dessert auction fundraiser in the Oskaloosa Christian School gym.
TWO ARRESTED FOR MULTIPLE LIVESTOCK BURGLARIES
(Feb. 18, 2015) The Mahaska County Sheriff's office ended a 6 week long investigation which involved approximately 22 burglaries and thefts from hog confinements in the rural Barnes City area and southern Poweshiek county... $25,000 in hogs and cattle were stolen with total value of all thefts exceeding $30,000...Officers seized tools and hog related equipment during the investigation... The stolen livestock was sold in sale barns in two counties... Arrested were 19 year old Bret Allen Doty of rural Malcom, and one male juvenile... Both were charged with theft in the first degree and 3rd degree burglary... A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
PELLA MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUG OFFENSES
(Feb. 18, 2015) Last Sunday afternoon at 4:25 pm, members of the Mid-Iowa Narcotics enforcement task force, and Pella police executed a drug search warrant at 404 East 3rd Street in Pella, where multiple marijuana plants and manufacturing materials were seized, along with drug paraphernalia... 38 year old Jason McDaniel of Pella was charged with manufacturing marijuana, failure to affix a drug tax stamp, and possession of drug paraphernalia... A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEBRUARY 17
(Feb. 18, 2015) The Oskaloosa City Council approved awarding the contract for the Third Avenue East reconstruction project to Cornerstone Excavating Inc. during its meeting Tuesday night. City officials received three bids for the project, and Cornerstone's was the low bid at $1,656,741.80. The bid came in under the revised budget estimates, according to city documents. Construction will begin in April and is anticipated to take 150 working days to complete. City staff recommends authorizing an additional 5 percent of the contract — $83,000 as a construction contingency, according to city documents.
The City Council unanimously approved the contract, with Council member Jason Van Zetten absent. In other action, the City Council also approved a resolution authorizing a professional services agreement with HR Green Inc. for $374,600 for the City of Oskaloosa EPA Brownfields Area-wide Hazardous Substances and Petroleum Assessment.
The City Council authorized staff to apply for a $400,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant at the Jan. 4, 2014, meeting. The application called for $200,000 for petroleum and $200,000 for hazardous substance site assessments. In November 2014, city staff advertised for professional services qualifications. The city received four proposals from engineering firms. HR Green Inc. was the most qualified, according to city documents.
Council member Tom Walling asked about a $25,000 expense.
Public Works Director Akhilesh Pal said that amount would cover expenses such as staff time or conference attendance, and it would be covered by the EPA grant.
City Manager Michael Schrock Jr. said there would be a lot of incentive for property owners to participate in the assessment since it would open property up for further assistance that could be considered a redevelopment.
2015 OSKY WINTER OPEN WRAPS UP
(Feb. 17, 2015) Two-person teams teed-off noon Friday to start the 2015 Osky Winter Open at Penn Central Mall. The Osky Winter Open was a two-day fundraiser for the Mahaska County YMCA. The event featured 18 holes of mini-putt golf with the holes located at various spots around the mall. A local business sponsored each hole that everyone plays through. The event opened Friday with a Two-Person Golf Tournament from noon to 1:30 p.m. At least 24 people participated in the opening event. A trophy went to the winners at an awards ceremony held Saturday night.
OSKY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RAISE $5100 FOR SICK CHILDREN
(Feb. 17, 2015) Oskaloosa High School students raised $5,100 Saturday during the Dance Marathon to benefit sick children. Members of Vocational Agriculture teacher Bret Spurgin’s Leadership Class organized the third annual Dance Marathon to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and the Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. The five-hour Dance Marathon began at 1 p.m. Saturday.
'FACE' ATTAINS NON-PROFIT STATUS
(Feb. 17, 2015) Fine Arts and Cultural Events of Mahaska County has officially attained non-profit status. Now that the government has granted the tax-exempt status to FACE, the organization can now seek grants and other opportunities in the future. Briana Bartlett, who is president of FACE and an art teacher at Oskaloosa Elementary School, outlined the process for getting that status. “We have been looking into this process for a few years. It used to be a much more in-depth process with more steps and paperwork that you had to go through,” Bartlett said. “Now you can fill them out online,” she said. Now the non-profit status has been confirmed, there are many things that FACE can do as an organization. "This allows us to do more things in the community. We can now apply for grants that help to better our community and be more visible,” Bartlett said. “It also allows people to donate to us.” Bartlett said FACE officials are now in the search for grants.
OSKALOOSA WASTEWATER RATE INCREASE
(Feb. 12, 2015) The city council recently passed the first reading of an ordinance that stated there will be rate increases pertaining to wastewater in the near future. According to a document issued by the City Manager’s Office, the 2016 recommended budget includes a financing and operating plan for the sanitary sewer system that requires an increase to base and usage rates that impacts the ratepayer by an additional $3.14 per month, or $37.68 annually. The average residential customer uses 3.7 units of water per month and is charged the sewer base rate regardless of usage. Here is the breakdown of what one should expect with the average monthly sewer bill today versus the proposed bill for the future. Today, the current number stands at $21.03 per month. With the new numbers, the residential sewer bill will increase to $24.17 per month. Therefore, the increase stands at $3.14 per month. The increase stems from the city being placed on notice by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for water bypassing of the treatment system must be halted. This resulted in the city of Oskaloosa hiring Garden & Associates to develop a response plan that would address the DNR mandate, which will be submitted to the agency by April 1. For fiscal year 2016, the utility budget will have to be averted and the money used for that category will shift from the utility budget to infrastructure. That means the five-year capital plan suggests increasing expenditures on the system from an average of $400,000 (or less) to $1,150,000 per year. It was indicated at the meeting that these increases are necessary in order to remain viable. Schrock also made it clear at the meeting that the current plan will not involve any bonding.
ISU EXTENSION AREA FARM BILL
MEETING MARCH 4th
INDIAN HILLS EOC FREE FINANCIAL AID WORKSHOPS IN OSKALOOSA
(Feb. 11, 2015) The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at Indian Hills Community College is offering a series of free financial aid workshops in February. These workshops will be held throughout the college’s 10-county region to provide help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as well as assistance in learning about the financial aid process and One of these workshops will be held on Monday, Feb. 16, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the IHCC William Penn Service Center in Oskaloosa. For more information call the EOC at 641-683-5315 or email email@example.com.
OSKALOOSA SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MONDAY, FEB. 9th
(Feb. 10, 2015) Three presentations highlighted Monday’s Oskaloosa School Board meeting. Oskaloosa Middle School staff presented the board with ideas on the one to one project with Chromebooks. District leadership team gave a short presentation, as did the Professional Learning Community.
Approved specifications to seek bids for two 77-passenger busses
Approved first reading of board policy regarding a smoke-free school to include all nicotine and look-alike products
OSKALOOSA HIGH SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS
MAHASKA COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE
People can register for Relay For Life by going to www.relayforlife.org/mahaskacountyia. People can create an account using email or Facebook. If you have questions or would like to
NEW SHARON TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INJURES TWO
(Feb. 10, 2015) Two motorists were injured in a two vehicle accident on Highway 63 at the intersection with 150th Street around 1:10 p.m. Monday. The New Sharon Police Department, New Sharon Fire Department, New Sharon Ambulance, the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol responded to the accident scene. No further information was available.
KNOXVILLE MAN ARRESTED ON ROBBERY CHARGES
(Feb. 9, 2015) At about 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, Knoxville Police were requested at a residence on E. South Street in Knoxville. Officers arrived and learned that a male had entered the residence and assaulted the 65-year old female resident. While at the residence officers were provided information which led officers to begin looking for 54-year old Knoxville resident, Fred Allan Smith. Mr. Smith was quickly located and arrested. Mr. Smith is charged with Robbery 1st Degree, a Class B Felony and Assault with the Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The investigation into this incident is on-going.
OMS MATHCOUNTS TEAM WINS 2nd PLACE
AT CHAPTER COMPETITION
OSKALOOSA SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9th
(Feb. 7, 2015) THE OSKALOOSA SCHOOL BOARD WILL MEET IN THE GEORGE DAILY AUDITORIUM BOARD ROOM AT 7 PM MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9th... AMONG THE ITEMS ON THE AGENDA ARE:
Presentation by District Leadership Team
ROGER BROOKS PRESENTATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th
(Feb. 7, 2015) With 900 communities in the state, what makes Oskaloosa special? Why should someone move to Oskaloosa? Play in Oskaloosa? Start or relocate a business in Oskaloosa? These important questions will be discussed on Friday, Feb. 27 by Roger Brooks, one of the world’s most sought after experts in place branding, marketing, tourism and economic development. His presentation will be held from 9:00 to 10:30 am in the Chief Mahaska Room at the William Penn University Atkins Memorial/Student Union Building on the second floor. It is free and open to the public. According to Oskaloosa Main Street President Josh Buckingham, Brooks and his team continue working with the Oskaloosa Brand Development Committee. “This committee has been working with Roger and his team since their initial presentation in Oskaloosa last September,” Buckingham explained. “We are now in the process of fine-tuning our focus for Oskaloosa going forward.” The Oskaloosa Brand Development Committee is made up of a wide cross section of individuals who have a vested interest in marketing Oskaloosa to bolster economic development and tourism. Buckingham said the committee consists of members of city and county government, business leaders, retailers, young professionals and interested citizens. Buckingham said the survey responses defined over 20 brand ideas and the Brand Committee reduced those ideas to five common themes. Ideas were then put through a 10-point brand feasibility test which allowed the committee to move closer to the ultimate goal of developing and implementing an active marketing plan anchored by a brand identity.
MHP EDUCATES THE PUBLIC ON MEASLES OUTBREAK
(Feb. 6, 2015) According to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States is currently experiencing a large outbreak of measles, linked to an amusement park in California, that has spread across multiple states. While there have not been any reported cases of measles in Iowa since 2009, the disease is highly contagious. Mahaska Health Partnership wants you to know the signs and symptoms of measles and how to protect your family “Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in existence,” explained Gloria Reed, MHP Nursing Director over Infection Control. “The droplets can be transmitted when someone breathes, coughs or sneezes. The virus can live on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours, so it’s possible to be exposed without ever being around an infected individual.” According to the CDC, measles is a virus characterized by a high fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and a red, bumpy skin rash. Symptoms generally appear within seven to 14 days after exposure. The virus can be serious for any age group, but children under 5, adults over 20, and those with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women, are more likely to suffer complications. Two doses of the vaccine given at least 28 days apart are necessary to develop lifetime protection. If you have specific questions regarding measles, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.ia.us.
SLAIN IOWA GIRL
12 jurors selected in trial of man charged with killing girl
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A jury has been selected in the trial for a man accused of killing his former girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.
Lawyers began questioning jurors Monday and narrowed a pool of more than 100 candidates to a panel of five women and seven men for the trial of Casey Frederiksen. Prosecutors say the 35-year-old was watching Evelyn Miller for her mother in July 2005 when he sexually abused the girl and stabbed her to death. He is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault.
The Floyd girl's body was found in the Cedar River a few days after she was reported missing.
The trial is being held in Hamilton County because a judge granted a change-of-venue request to move it from Floyd County.
Opening statements are expected Tuesday, pending weather conditions.
House education committee OKs anti-bullying legislation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislation aimed at expanding guidelines for Iowa educators who respond to school bullying has advanced in the House.
An education committee voted 19-4 Monday in favor of the bill. The full House can now debate it.
The measure would clarify the ability of educators to monitor bullying off school grounds. It would also expand parental notification language and the definition of cyberbullying.
After several changes to the bill Monday, it now better mirrors Senate legislation. Rep. Quentin Stanerson, a Center Point Republican, says a $200,000 appropriation for teacher training and a student mentoring program would remain in the bill.
That's different than the Senate. Sen. Robert Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, says removing the appropriation helps the legislation's chances. He says he wants to secure funding through another legislative process.
DES MOINES BODY
Officials: Des Moines woman found in alley not killed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a woman whose body was found in a Des Moines alley wasn't killed.
The Des Moines Police Department says an autopsy conducted Monday on 35-year-old Shannon Prothero revealed no major trauma to her body, and the Iowa medical examiner determined her death is not a homicide.
Her body was reported shortly before 8:45 a.m. Sunday in an alley near 14th Street and 14th Place.
Sgt. Jason Halifax says other causes of death are being investigated, including an overdose or exposure. He says that information will not be available until toxicology tests are completed.
SEXUAL ABUSE-IOWA TEACHER
Iowa middle school teacher arrested on sexual abuse charges
(Information in the following story is from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com )
UNDERWOOD, Iowa (AP) — A teacher at an Iowa middle school has been arrested on charges related to a claim that he sexually abused a former female student.
Pottawattamie County officials say 45-year-old Barret B. Glasnapp turned himself in Monday on an arrest warrant of four counts of sexual abuse, one count of felony sexual exploitation by a school employee and five misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee.
Authorities say Glasnapp's interaction began in 2011 when the student was 14, after her eighth-grade year, and continued until October. She was a student of Glasnapp from 2009 until 2012.
According to an affidavit, an investigator assigned to follow up on a report of a sexual assault at Underwood Middle School in December found that Glasnapp had resigned from his post in November.
Iowa Senate panel OKs bill on state mental health facilities
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill that could halt the upcoming closings of state mental health centers in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant.
A three-member human resources subcommittee approved the bill unanimously Monday. It now heads to a full committee for consideration.
The bill would require the state Department of Human Services to keep the facilities open until it develops a "suitable and appropriate" long-term care and treatment plan for its patients. The Legislature would approve the plan.
Gov. Terry Branstad's budget proposal removes funding for the facilities. State officials say patients will be able to receive treatment elsewhere. Critics say the closings, scheduled later this year, have not been well organized.
Democratic Sen. Rich Taylor, the bill's sponsor, says he has bipartisan support in both chambers.
Gov. Branstad defends plan to give raises to some staffers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is defending plans to give raises to some staffers in his office, arguing the budgeted money will be below previous administration costs.
Branstad's budget proposal seeks nearly $2.4 million for his office in the fiscal years that end in 2016 and 2017. That's an increase from nearly $2.2 million this current fiscal year.
Chief of Staff Matt Hinch says the money will be used for "modest" increases in salaries and other costs. He says there has not been such a financial request in years.
Branstad said Monday that former Gov. Chet Culver spent more money for such matters. Records show he spent about $3.4 million in the fiscal year that ended in 2009 and nearly $2.7 million in the fiscal year that ended in 2010.
Police: Iowan faked pregnancy for money in adoption scam
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have arrested an Ankeny woman accused of faking pregnancy to trick an Iowa couple into giving her money.
The Ankeny Police Department says 29-year-old Tracy Leann Bess was charged Friday with fourth-degree theft after prospective adoptive parents from Dewitt, Iowa, claim she accepted $200 from them when she wasn't pregnant.
According to a news release, Bess had signed onto Life Long Adoptions, an agency that connects birth mothers with potential parents. Detectives say Bess wasn't pregnant during this scam, but that she used information from a prior pregnancy to con people into offering her financial support.
Police say Bess previously used a similar scam in multiple states, including Nebraska.
Bess could not be reached to comment on the charge, and online court records do not yet list an attorney.
IOWA CORE-FINE ARTS
Senate panel OKs bill that would add fine arts to Iowa Core
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill that would add fine arts to Iowa's mandated education curriculum for K-12 students, though lawmakers expressed concern about its potential costs.
An education subcommittee approved the bill Monday. It now heads to a full committee, where it would need approval by Friday to survive a procedural legislative deadline.
The bill would add music, theater, visual art and other fine arts to the Iowa Core, the state's mandated academic standards.
Sen. Herman Quirmbach, who sponsored the bill, says it would properly recognize fine arts. He questioned an analysis by the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency, which determined it could cost a school district up to $100,000 to implement the bill.
Lawmakers say they need more financial analysis to pass the bill out of committee.
Judge: Ethanol plant must pay sex harassment victim's wages
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge says a northeastern Iowa ethanol company must pay an additional $1.1 million in lost wages and attorneys' fees to a former laboratory manager who was sexually harassed.
A jury in October ordered Homeland Energy Solutions to pay $1.4 million to Tina Haskenhoff to cover back pay and emotional distress.
District Judge John Bauercamper granted Haskenhoff's request Monday for $240,000 in front pay to cover three years of wages as she completes a college degree to enter a new field. He says she cannot be reinstated at the Lawler plant because those responsible for her harassment remain employed there.
Bauercamper also granted attorneys' fees and expenses in the amount of $846,000. And he ordered the company to amend its policies and procedures to prevent future workplace harassment and discrimination.