Ocheyedan Man Behind Bars, Accused Of Incest, Sexual Abuse

Jail Door2Sibley, Iowa — An Ocheyedan man is behind bars on felony sex charges after Osceola County authorities allege he committed a sex act with a child.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that one of their deputies arrested 62-year-old Ernest Christensen of Ocheyedan on Tuesday (3/5) on charges of Incest, a Class D Felony; and Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree, a Class C Felony.

Christensen is being held on a $15,000 cash-only bond in the Osceola County Jail.


Melvin Man, Sheldon Man Charged After Incident Damages Two Vehicles

osceolasheriffOcheyedan, Iowa — A Melvin man and a Sheldon man are both charged after an incident in Osceola County early on Sunday, February 24th near Ocheyedan.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:40 AM, just into Sunday morning (2/24), 25-year-old William Reuter of Melvin was driving a 1991 Dodge pickup eastbound on 230th Street, three miles so//uthwest of Ocheyedan. Twenty-eight-year-old Gabriel Hall of Sheldon was driving a 1995 Chevy westbound on 230th. The Sheriff’s report says Reuter intentionally swerved into the westbound Chevy colliding in the westbound lane. Reuter did not want subjects in the Chevy to enter his property because of family members in the house. The Chevy left skid marks approximately 100’ to avoid collision.

The vehicles’ front ends hooked together in the collision. Reuter put his vehicle in reverse but was unable to free the Chevy by pulling it in a zig zag manner. Both vehicles ended up in the north ditch on their wheels.

There were possible minor injuries.

Reuter’s Dodge pickup sustained $2000 damage. The Chevy driven by Hall was owned by Nikole Anthofer of Bagley IA, and also sustained $2000 damage.

Reuter was charged with reckless driving. Hall was charged with no driver license, leaving the scene of an accident, criminal mischief and open container.


Anti-Bullying Bill Clears First Hurdle In House

Iowa Capitol DomeDes Moines, Iowa — School officials would have clear legal authority to discipline students who use Twitter and Facebook to bully other students if a bill pending in the Iowa House becomes law.  The bill comes 11 months after Primghar teen Kenneth Weishuhn took his own life.  Family and friends say he was bullied after he came out as gay.

The bill is not without controversy, however — as it would give school officials authority to police something that could happen at home. Tom Narak is government relations director for the School Administrators of Iowa.

[captweet1] :18 :as you’re doing it.”

(as said) “I compare some of the social media to the way it was in the wild west. They had to establish some laws and get some order and this helps us do that,” Narak says. “We help kids understand you can use social media, but our expectation is you use it responsibly — and you’re not picking on other kids as you’re doing it.”

The bill was crafted by lawyers for the School Administrators of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Education. It has the support of Governor Branstad. However, some groups have raised questions about the proposal. Emily Piper of the Iowa Association of School Boards says school board members have “a bit of uncomfortableness” about the bill’s scope.

[captweet2] :21 :with suspension, expulsion.”

(as said) “It really allows us to start policing what happens at home and have some real concerns about putting boards in that position,” she says. “Obviously, they’re not the ones that will be required to go in and do that, but they are the ones that will be required to deal with whatever the aftermath might be — litigation, dealing with suspension, expulsion.”

Matt Carver, legal counsel for the School Administrators of Iowa, says families are already asking school officials to intervene when bullying on social media sites gets out of hand.

[captweet3] :15 :educate Iowans.”

(as said) “This is really about changing the culture in our schools and in our communities,” Carver says, “and we feel that this legislation will go a long way to changing that culture by really clarifying and simplifying the message as we try to educate Iowans.”

The bill is on a fast-track at the statehouse. Representative Josh Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, is a former high school biology teacher. He’s the bill’s manager and part of a three-member panel that held a public hearing on the legislation Tuesday morning.

[captweet4] :18 :get started from.”

(as said) “Each and every one of us sitting here could probably tell a story of someone, something, you know, of a situation where we’ve had bullying in a school district,” Byrnes said. “…Definitely an issue in the state of Iowa. It’s an issue nationwide. I’m glad we’ve got a framework here to get started from.”

The bill cleared that three-member subcommittee Tuesday and will be considered by the House Education Committee Wednesday or Thursday.


Ashton Man Arrested On Felony OWI, Other Charges After His Vehicle Was Found In Middle Of The Road

law lightbar blueGeorge, Iowa — An Ashton man has been arrested on several charges, one of them a felony, after a deputy found the man’s vehicle parked in the middle of the road.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that early on Sunday morning (3/3), about 4:15 AM, one of their deputies saw a vehicle parked in the middle of the roadway at the intersection of 170th Street and Kingbird Avenue — about four miles north and a mile east of George.

Upon further investigation it was determined that 22-year-old Rocky K. Kruse of Ashton had been operating the vehicle.

Kruse was arrested and charged with Parking on the Traveled Portion of the Roadway, a Simple Misdemeanor, Driving While License Suspended, a Simple Misdemeanor, and OWI 3rd Offense, a Class D Felony.


King: Congress’s Job To Pass the National Right to Work Act

Congressman Steve King OfficialWashington, D.C. — Congressman Steve King has introduced the National Right to Work Act in Congress.

The bill would repeal the provisions in federal law that make “forced dues” the default labor law of the country. The forced dues provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA) allow unions to extract dues from nonunion workers as a condition of employment. Twenty-four states have opted out of the forced dues clauses, but it remains the default law of the land. The National Right to Work Act was introduced with 57 original cosponsors (full list below). King says if the bill passed, it would help the economy.

Mark Mix, the President of the National Right to Work Committee says they are extremely pleased that Congressman King has introduced the National Right to Work Act, intensifying a growing debate about labor law and worker freedom in our country.

He says, “This legislation would enshrine the common-sense principle – already enforced in nearly half of U.S. states – that no worker should be compelled to join or pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job. A National Right to Work Act enshrines worker freedom while providing significant economic benefits for workers. The National Right to Work Committee is mobilizing its 2.8 million members to call on their Congressperson to support the National Right to Work Act.”

Full List of Original Cosponsors (57):

Bachmann, Michele
Bachus, Spencer
Barr, Andy
Barton, Joe
Black, Diane
Bonner, Jo
Boustany, Charles
Brady, Kevin
Broun, Paul
Bucshon, Larry
Chabot, Steve
Cole, Tom
Cotton, Tom
Cramer, Kevin
Crawford, Rick
Duncan, Jeff (SC)
Duncan, John (TN)
Fincher, Stephen
Fleming, John
Foxx, Virginia
Gardner, Cory
Gingrey, Phil
Gohmert, Louie
Goodlatte, Bob
Gosar, Paul
Graves, Tom
Griffin, Tim
Griffith, Morgan
Harper, Greg
Harris, Andy
Huelskamp, Tim
Huizenga, Bill
Jenkins, Lynn
Jordan, Jim
LaMalfa, Doug
Lamborn, Doug
Long, Billy
Lummis, Cynthia
McClintock, Tom
Meadows, Mark
Mulvaney, Mick
Nugent, Richard
Nunnelee, Alan
Palazzo, Steve
Perry, Scott
Pittenger, Robert
Poe, Ted
Roe, Phil
Ross, Denis
Salmon, Matt
Scalise, Steve
Schweikert, David
Stockman, Steve
Walberg, Tim
Westmoreland, Lynn
Wilson, Joe
Yoho, Ted


2012 Was A Safe Hunting Year Say DNR Officials

DNR logoDes Moines, Iowa — With just a few exceptions, Iowa hunters are ‘getting it right’ when it comes to staying safe in the great outdoors. Iowa’s 2012 hunter safety incident report shows no firearm related deaths, just 13 injuries and six cases with property damage. Overall, that continues a trend seen for more than a decade now.

Still, hunter safety advocates know a truly safe hunting year should register zeros across the board.

Megan Wisecup, safety education coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources says that a lot of the incidents still involve target fixation. She says, basically the shooter gets focused on the game and tends to forget about surroundings, and what lies beyond the target. She says that the opening weekend of Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons continue as busy weekends for investigators.

She says that several injuries sustained were self-inflicted, and that most could be avoided by going back to basic firearms safety rules; and making sure your muzzle is pointing in a safe direction. She also emphasizes keeping your finger out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot.

Figures from the last couple decades however, pale in comparison to the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

From the mid ‘60s to the mid ‘70s, hunting fatalities averaged 13 per year. In the last 10 years, the total has been just six. Injury rates were just as pronounced; scores of them in a typical year in the 60s, and dropping a bit in the 70s. They are in the teens now.

On one hand, there were more hunters back then. On the other, anyone born after 1972 is now required to complete a hunter education class before buying a hunting license.

“That’s the common denominator. Since 1983, when it became mandatory; we have seen a significant decrease in hunting incidents,” agrees Wisecup.

A new round of hunter ed classes is underway now in communities across Iowa ahead of spring turkey season. More pop up ahead of the late fall openers for deer and pheasant season. There were 355 offered in 2012. Those classes are taught by more than 1,200 volunteer instructors, all giving up weekends or weeknights to cover the 10 hours of instruction. And more are needed.

Case in point?

A 40-seat early April class in Johnson County filled up in just days…even when 10 more spots were added.

“There’s still a big demand. We have enough volunteers for the four classes we do each year,” assesses instructor Doug Thompson of Solon. “The big problem is that our team runs out of weekends where we can all be there. We sometimes set classes four months out, to make sure.”

That annual report carries a grim reminder about the growing popularity in bowhunting. Tree stand falls resulted in two deaths in 2012. There were three injuries, as well. As with firearm incidents…a couple common causes can be traced.

“Not properly wearing a tree stand harness or a harness at all,” reports Wisecup, recommending a built in suspension release system; for hunters who fall but remain suspended for long periods.

She stresses as well, maintaining three points of contact with your ladder or steps as you ascend or come down; and taking care as you haul a bow or other essentials to and from the stand.

“In the last five or six years, we’ve had our archery instructor stress climbing safety, wearing the harness properly. We’ve had harnesses in class for instruction. There’s been a big push,” says Thompson.

With the longer season bowhunting provides, more archery in school phys-ed offerings; even the push attributed to the popularity of ‘The Hunger Games’ book and movie; archery is growing. That’s why safety instructors want to stay ahead of the curve.

More instructors would always be good, too. That involves a full day workshop; refresher courses each year and, of course, an interest in hunting, safety and interest in working with the (mostly) younger make up of hunter ed attendees. Information is available from the DNR website (www.iowadnr.gov) or local conservation officers.