Man Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Spencer, Iowa — A Spencer man has died in a motorcycle crash in Spencer.
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The Spencer Police Department reports that their preliminary investigation shows that about 11:55 AM on Sunday, April 17th, 2016, 53-year-old Jonathon Ihnen of Spencer was driving a motorcycle southbound in the 1200 block of Eleventh Avenue Southwest. At that time, a Dodge Dakota driven by 59-year-old Linda Kunzmann of Spencer was eastbound on Thirteenth Street Southwest, and allegedly pulled into the path of the oncoming motorcycle, and the vehicles collided.

Ihnen was transported to the Spencer Hospital and was pronounced deceased upon arrival at the emergency department.

Officers say that charges are pending in anticipation of the completion of a report conducted by a technical accident investigator.

The Spencer Police Department says the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Spencer Ambulance, Spencer Fire Department, and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office assisted them.

Hull Man Acquitted Of Sex Abuse Charges

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Hull man has been acquitted by a jury after he was accused of sexual abuse.
Lyon Courthouse SVA
According to court records, 23-year-old Fernando Rojas of Hull was accused of contacting a victim in Doon via Snap Chat on August 21st, 2015, then going to her home and sexually abusing her. He was charged with two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class “C” felony.

The case went to trial, and on Thursday of this past week (April 14, 2016) Rojas was acquitted by a Lyon County jury. A no-contact order that had been in place was also lifted, according to court records.

School Board Association Opposes Standing Appropriations Bill

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Association of School Boards has released a statement saying they are opposed to Iowa House Study Bill 656 because they say it will seriously compromise Area Education Agencies’ ability to adequately deliver services to students and school districts across the state.
iowa state capitol sva
House leaders say that House Study Bill 656 is the standing appropriations bill. Unlike other line items in the state budget, they say there are a series of state appropriations that are established in either the Iowa Code or Iowa Constitution. These appropriations are known as standing appropriations. The standing appropriations bill proposes changes to those appropriations.

The Iowa Association of School Boards’ Phil Jeneary says the bill would cut Area Education Agency funding by $5 million – in addition to the ongoing $15 million reduction in their budgets. He says this effectively wipes out any budget increase generated for special education support from the 2.25 percent supplemental state aid rate and reduces special education support funding by $500,000.

Jeneary says Area Education Agencies are an important educational partner to public and accredited, nonpublic schools across the state. They provide services that improve the learning outcomes and well-being of all children and youth in Iowa. He says that the proposed reduction in the AEA budget is a serious cut that will impact students, teachers and administrators who rely on their services.

The Iowa Association of School Boards not only represents all the public school districts in the state, but also the Area Education Agencies and the state’s community colleges.

Rock Valley Purchases Land For Residential Growth

Rock Valley, Iowa — The Rock Valley Economic Development Corporation has acquired some land for future residential growth.
Rock Valley Logo
Rock Valley Economic Development Director David Miller says Rock Valley is experiencing sustained success in its business and industry sector, which has led to a shortage in available workforce over the years.

Miller says the newly-acquired 50-acre property is expected to meet the high demand for single-family construction in Rock Valley and he says Rock Valley’s past success with similar developments made the need for available single-family properties more prevalent.

He says that the partnership of the City of Rock Valley, RVEDC and private developers have produced twelve housing developments, where over 240 homes have been constructed since 2000. The newly-acquired 50 acres, along with land previously owned by RVEDC will be home to over 150 single family homes when completed. He says the new property, located about a half mile south of the Highway 18 stoplight was purchased from Wilmer and Wanda Wynia, and he thanked them for their willingness to work with the City.

Rock Valley grew 32.4% from 2000 to 2013, making Rock Valley the fastest-growing community in the western third of Iowa, says Miller.

He tells us what happens next.

While it’s too early to purchase lots in the new area, Miller says they do have a number of lots available in other developments. Plus, he says if you’re really interested in a lot in the new area, you could call his office at 712-476-2576.

Federal Tax Filing Deadline Is Monday

1040 income tax formNorthwest Iowa — April 15th, a date that strikes fear in the hearts of procrastinators all over the United States.  But this year, the date is a little less scary, due to an extension in the deadline for filing your federal income tax returns.

This year, the filing deadline is at midnight this coming Monday, April 18th.  The deadline for filing your 2015 Iowa income taxes is April 30th.

Also, be aware of the latest round of IRS scams that have been going around in the area.  Within the past week, Sheldon Police were notified of multiple individuals targeted by scammers claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.  The caller told the potential victims that there had been a lawsuit filed against them.  The caller then proceeded to try and get bank account information, and other information, such as Social Security numbers from the potential victims.

Authorities say, if you get one of these calls, hang up.  The Internal Revenue Service contacts taxpayers by mail, first, concerning tax-related issues, and never asks for your banking information over the phone.

Larchwood Casino Fined

Council Bluffs, Iowa — The Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood has been fined for allowing a self-banned gambler into the casino.
Grand Falls Roulette
That’s according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s administrator, Brian Ohorilko. He says the Grand Falls Casino fine is one of three approved at their meeting on Thursday in Council Bluffs.

He says the fine was five-thousand dollars.

Two other casinos were fined, including another casino run by Kehl Management, the same firm that runs Grand Falls.

The largest fine of 20-thousand dollars was levied against the Isle of Capri in Waterloo for allowing an underage gambler into the facility. Ohorilko says the minor came to the casino on a party bus.

The Riverside Casino, which is run by Kehl Management, was also fined for a violation involving a banned gambler. Ohorilko says the person had been on the banned list for 12 years, and had been receiving promotional materials from Riverside since 2014. He says the casino discovered the banned gambler was receiving the material through its internal audit process. The commission levied a $5000 fine in this case as well.