This is Newton Independent's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Newton Independent's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Newton Independent
Recent Activity
Newton Independent Bailey E. Seward, 31, of Mitchellville was charged with operating while intoxicated after sheriff deputies were called to the 300 block of West 148th Street North at 2:41 a.m. Sunday on a report an intoxicated female driver that had put her car in a ditch. Upon arrival, deputies detained Seward on suspicion of OWI and transported her to the Jasper County Jail to perform field sobriety tests. After failing the tests, she agreed to a preliminary breath test that indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.174. A Datamaster test confirmed the result. She was booked into the Jasper County Jail. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Kyle E. Chance, 29, of Baxter was charged with conspiracy for unlawfully arranging an agreement to assist another in the theft of a 46-inch LED TV, a surround sound system and a blu-ray player from Wal-Mart at 10:49 p.m. Dec. 13. According to police, another individual walked out of the store with the items but is seen on surveillance video placing the items into Chance's vehicle with Chance's assistance. Chance then drove the items to the theft suspect's residence. He was interviewed and admitted to driving the theft suspect and stolen items to the theft suspects residence. Value of the items taken was $785.73. He was released to appear. Daniel B. Pierce, 41, of Newton was charged with fourth degree theft after police were called to Wal-Mart at 3:30 a.m. Jan. 10 after store employees allegedly observed him walk out of the store with a laptop computer valued at $350.56 without paying for it. Employees were able to provide a license plate number from the vehicle, as well as video of the theft. Offices identified Pierce from the video. On Jan. 16, Pierce allegedly came back to Wal-Mart and attempted to purchase a laptop computer case. He was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent State Rep. Greg Heartsill individually introduced four pieces of legislation on Friday, the majority of which have to do with the feasibility of restructuring state government agencies. The Columbia Republican, who represents the southern half of Jasper County and points south, introduced House File 2026 that calls for a feasibility student on restructuring state government departments. The measure calls on the Department of Management to conduct a study on the viability of reducing the number of state departments to no more than 10. The study would be due to the General Assembly by Jan. 1. The first term state lawmaker, in House File 2025, is also asking the Department of Management to complete a study by Jan. 1 that assesses the impact of reorganizing the various state government divisions, bureaus and offices based on the function performed by each. Heartsill's House File 2024 would establish a task force that would look at establishing common statewide service delivery districts. The study group would be tasked, again by Jan. 1, with identifying common boundaries, to the extent possible, for the delivery of services that are provided on a regional district basis with the goal of providing cost efficiencies through possible... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent A March 3 trial date has been set for the Sully man charged in federal court for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition in connection with an incident in late December where he severely beat his wife while holding her against her will and discharging weapons toward her inside their southeast Jasper County home. Magistrate Judge Ross A. Walters set the trial date for William "Billie" Sanders, 40, of 11010 S. 100th Ave. E. on Friday during his arraignment on the charges brought by a federal grand jury earlier in the week. The charges from the grand jury indictment replace similar charges brought in a federal criminal complaint against Sanders after he was allowed to be released on $200 bond on the initial willful injury and possession of firearms complaints brought by the state. Following his arrest on the federal charges, he was ordered detained due to the risk he poses to public safety, the judge determined. The grand jury indictment charges that on Dec. 28, Sanders, "having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess ... firearms and ammunition" in violation of federal statutes. The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Image
Newton Independent A Newton man was charged by Missouri law enforcement officials last week for allegedly shooting a Moberly steakhouse owner 17-years ago, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported on Saturday. Ollie M. James III, 39, was charged after Moberly police allegedly obtained a recorded conversation where the Newton man admits he was responsible for the shooting. James is accused of shooting the owner of Richard's Steakhouse in the chest on the evening of Dec. 28, 1997. The shooting is alleged to have occured in the parking lot of the restaurant it had closed for the evening. The victim in the attack survived. James was charged on Tuesday with first degree assault, the Missouri newspaper reports. Bond was set at $100,000. Newton Chief of Police Jeff Hoebelheinrich and Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty said neither of their departments had any involvement in the investigation nor did they participate in making James' arrest. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Jasper County Conservation is partnering with the Central College Fishing Club to host the first "Frozen Fins Ice Fishing Tournament" set for 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Arhens access side of Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve. There is a $30 refundable entrance fee for pre-registered contestants with the registration fee rising to $35 on the day of the event. Cash prizes will be given to the top three places, dependent on the number of teams registered. There will also be a "big fish" pot teams can enter into for an additional $5. Space is limited so teams are encouraged to register by contacting Greg Oldsen at 641-792-9780 as soon as possible. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Find out if you are one of the estimated 28 million Americans who have a hearing loss that can be treated when Skiff Medical Center Audiologist Sue Bartel-Kelso holds free hearing screens from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Bartel-Kelso offered a number of indicators individuals might use to determine whether a free hearing screening might be in their best interest. Individuals should take note if they: frequently ask people to repeat themselves often turn their ear toward a sound to hear it better understand people better when they wear their glasses or look them directly in the face lose they their place in group conversations keep the volume on their radio or TV at a level that others says is to loud have pain or ringing in their ears "People who see themselves in these statements should be seen for a hearing test," she said. "Even a slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life. Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason to miss all the important sounds of life." The free hearing clinics at Skiff are by appointment only. Call 641-791-4380 to schedule an appointment for Thursday. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
By SEN. DENNIS BLACK Democrat, Lynnville The governor's State-of-the-State address this past week was surely one with which few could disagree. It was not overly substantive, but the major items were those that need attention. Bullying in schools, exempting veterans retirement benefits from state tax, freezing tuition at regent's institutions, and improving on the successes of the General Assembly from last year's session were the primary issues. The governor provided accolades to both parties for accomplishments of 2013, and to my recollection, gave no one reason to refrain from standing during the many applause lines. In other words, the address was meant to be non-partisan, and uplifting to the spirits of Iowans that the future would bring good things. This session should not be devoted to just the above, for they have near unanimous support in both chambers. Rather, the time should be spent with serious dialogue and action concerning cutting taxes for middle class families, expanding job skills training, investing in infrastructure and creating jobs, providing adequate funding for environmental protection and enhancement, and seeking compromise that will allow Iowan's to have a livable wage from their jobs. In other words, it need not be a "do nothing" session,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
By REP. GREG HEARTSILL Republican, Columbia House District 28 The 2014 session of the Iowa General Assembly is under way! This year’s session is scheduled to be 10 days less than last year’s session, at 100 days. However, leaders in both chambers are suggesting the legislative calendar may be even shorter than that. With a shorter schedule also comes earlier deadlines for the first and second self-imposed funnel dates for legislation. Over the interim, I have been busy gathering input from several of you in the district and working with fellow legislators to craft bills that are ready to submit. And I am not alone in that. Knowing that this year’s session will likely end sooner than last year’s, many in the House Chamber were prepared to hit the ground running on Day One. I have likened it to the guy who takes days to set up tens of thousands of dominoes in a gymnasium only to see them all topple one-by-one in a matter of minutes. On opening day, January 13, I was encouraged to hear the leadership of both parties set a more conciliatory tone for this year’s upcoming session. We have proven to ourselves and the citizens... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Newton Independent
313 W. 2nd St. S. Newton, IA 50208 Thanks
1 reply
By PETER HUSSMANN Dear Readers, I am writing this post to let you know that daily news items on the Newton Independent will slow considerably beginning in the middle of next week due to the necessity of my checking in to a hospital for treatment of a growth found on my larynx that doctor’s suspect is cancerous. I am scheduled to report to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. The plan, as it now stands, is to first have the growth biopsied to determine if it is cancerous. Should that be the finding, it is then likely that doctors would perform a tracheotomy to assist my breathing and install a feeding tube for my nutritional needs. The radiation and chemotherapy treatments would follow. While much is yet unknown about the course this treatment will take, what is known is that I will not be able to continue to be the trusted news source my thousands of daily readers have come to count on. For that, I apologize. I hope – and anticipate – this turns out to be nothing more than a short-term blip in my ability to provide local news content you’ve come to enjoy and often can’t find anywhere... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Newton Independent
28
Newton Independent Newton residents have one final chance to weigh in on a proposal to issue a total of $3,735,000 in taxable essential corporate purpose general obligation bonds to finance a multi-faceted housing initiative at three public hearings set at Monday's Newton City Council meeting. For months the council has been mulling the staff proposal to issue millions of dollars of debt to finance implementation of housing initiative designed to improve the city's curb appeal and facilitate new housing construction in the city. The proposal includes the continuation of the City's current focus on property nuisances and rental inspections, financing for the reinstitution of the Dangerous and Dilapidated buildings program, implementation of an Abandoned and Dilapidated buildings program and funding for low and moderate income resident home improvements. To facilitate new housing development, the program calls for city funding for the installation of infrastructure and financial incentives for home buyers, builders and property owners. Funds for potential property acquisition are included. The needs to be addressed in the housing intiative were identified through the development of the city's recent Comprehensive Plan, a comprehensive local housing report and current demographic factors. Three seperate public hearings will be held to approve financing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Lee E. Kenner, 35, of Newton was charged with fifth degree theft and public intoxication after police were called to Fareway at 11:33 a.m. Thursday on a report of an individual attempting to take beer from the grocery without paying for it. Upon arrival, police confiscated the beer - valued at $19.49 - from Kenner's backpack. After being arrested for theft and transported to the Police Department, officers notice a smell of an alcoholic beverage. He agreed to field sobriety tests, which he failed. Another test administered at the police station showed a blood alcohol content result of 0.362 percent. He was taken to the Jasper County Jail. Johnathan M. Montgomery, 39, of Newton was charged with second offense operating while intoxicated after police were called to Family Video at 12:18 a.m. Thursday on a report of an intoxicated male sitting in a truck in the parking lot. Police spoke with Montgomery who said he was waiting for a friend. While talking to him, police noticed a strong odor of alcohol. Police found open containers of vodka and orange juice, along with a can of beer, inside the vehicle. Montgomery refused sobriety tests. He had a prior OWI... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Though its future is uncertain at best, a group of 21 House Democrats on Wednesday wasted little time in introducing legislation to raise the state's minimum wage. House File 2011 calls for the current $7.25 minimum wage to jump to $7.75 as of July 1, $8.25 as of Jan. 1, 2015, $9 as of July 1, 2015, and $10.10 as of Jan. 1, 2016. In addition, the bill calls for annual increases to the minimum wage beginning July 1, 2016 by the same percentage as the cost-of-living increase in federal Social Security benefits approved by the Social Security Administration. An employer would not be required to pay a new employee the applicable hourly wage until the employee has completed 90 calendar days of employment. After the 90 days, the employer would be required to pay the employee the applicable hourly wage as of the date of completion. Current new hires have a minimum wage of $6.35. That would increase to $6.85 on July 1, $7.35 as of Jan. 1, 2015, $8.10 as of July 1, 2015 and $9.20 as of Jan. 1, 2016. Lobbyists are lining up for and against the measure along worker/business interest lines. The Iowa... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Newton Independent
By REP. DAN KELLEY Democrat, Newton We opened the 2014 legislative session this week and it was great to see my colleagues from around the state again. After legislative leaders offered their agenda for session on opening day Monday, we had two special joint sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday to hear from the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. The Governor outlined his priorities this year and also released his budget recommendations. We were pleased to hear many things that we all agree on, including: connecting more Iowans to broadband, freezing tuition at our state universities, and stopping bullying in our schools. While he also took a positive step expanding apprenticeship and job training programs, we’re going to have to work together to build more support for community colleges and grow our skilled workforce. If we keep focused on the middle class, we can approve some common sense solutions and give Iowans more economic security. Chief Justice Mark Cady’s State of Judiciary highlighted several priorities for the courts this year. The top priority is protecting Iowa’s kids with more face-to-face meetings with troubled youth. Justice Cady also wants to make sure the courts provide equal access... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent The Jasper County Sheriff's Department is investigating a number of break-ins and thefts reported recently in the rural Prairie City and Mitchellville areas. On Jan. 6, Sheriff's Department officials received two break-in reports in rural Mitchellville where miscellaneous tools and all-terrain vehicles were reported stolen at both locations. On Saturday, Sheriff's officials received a report of a vehicle being stolen from a rural Prairie City residence though the owner located it later that day and that it appeard that nothing had been taken from the vehicle. On Tuesday, a rural Prairie City resident reported that tractor batteries and copper battery cables had been taken from equipment in a farm field. The Jasper County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the thefts. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Members of the Newton Park Board will mull a proposal to ban tobacco use at all city parks and recreational facilities over the course of the next month before again discussing the matter at its meeting next month. Representatives of the American Lung Association made the pitch to Park Board members at its meeting Wednesday though the Park Board took no action on the matter. The Lung Association is pushing governmental entities throughout central Iowa to enact ordinances for tobacco free recreational areas. It has successfully persuaded the communities of Prairie City and Mitchellvile to ban tobacco at all city parks, trails and recreational facilities. The Park Board could enact a rule banning tobacco use or recommend to the Newton City Council that an ordinance banning tobacco be enacted. The Board could also choose to do nothing. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Newton Independent
Richard W. Vegter, 50, of Newton was transported by Newton paramedics to Skiff Medical Center early Wednesday after he lost control of the vehicle he was driving and struck two parked vehicles. According to police, Vegter was westbound in the 500 block of North Third Avenue West at 7:13 a.m. when he struck the front left side of a vehicle owned by Monica Powell of Newton that was parked on the south side of the road facing east. Vegter continued west and struck another vehicle owned by Ellen Birech of Newton, which was also parked facing east on the south side of the road. Damage to Vegter's vehicle was estimated at $5,000 (and was towed to Barney's) while Powell's vehicle sustained an estimated $1,600 damage and Birech's an estimated $1,000 damage. Vegter was cited for failure to maintain control. Lisa L. McConnell, 31, of Newton was charged with driving while license suspended after police stopped her vehicle at 9:25 p.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of East 12th Street North for no brake lights. She was taken to the Jasper County Jail. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent The cross-country ski and snowshoe clinic at Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve on Saturday has been cancelled due to a lack of snowcover, Katie Cantu, a conservationist with the Jasper County Conservation Department announced this morning. The next scheduled ski and snowshoe clinic is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Preserve, weather permitting. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Newton Independent
Image
Members of the Newton Christian School First Lego League Team show off the hardware they won at a regional competition that allows them to advance to state competition on Saturday at Iowa State University. Team members pictured are Abby Ambroson, TJ Barwegen, Jonathan Breckenridge, Tanner Garton, Brayden Koon, Peter Larson, Mason Lee, Parker Schnell, Tate Osborn and Logan Zylstra. The team is coached by Kim Didier and Steve Larson. Newton Independent Newton Christian School's First Lego League Team, the Tornado Techs, will compete in the First Lego League state competition set for Saturday at Iowa State University. The school's team recently participated in a regional competition in Maxwell where they earned recognition as the "most well rounded team" and qualified for the state competition. The Tornado Techs programmed an autonomous robot to complete missions and completed a project that accompanied this year's theme, "Nature's Fury." They were judged on three elements during the competition, the robot game, project and FLL Core Values. The team's project centered on learning about tornados and ensuring that the Christian School was appropriately prepared in case of a tornado. During their research, team members interviewed residents of tornado ravaged Parkersburg, emergency management personnel, local law... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at Newton Independent
Image
Newton Independent The Newton man accused of intentionally inflicting unreasonable force that resulted in the death of his infant son more than two years ago will appear at a final pretrial conference on Friday in advance of his first degree murder trial set for Tuesday in Jasper County District Court. District Court Judge Randy Hefner ordered today that Joseph Olea appear at the court hearing Friday where a number of matters pertaining to next week's jury trial will be discussed. Olea, 25, is charged with first degree murder and felony child endangerment for the death of his 5-month-old son, Kaiden Michael Olea. He is accused of inflicting blunt force injuries to the head and neck of the boy at their eastside Newton apartment in January 2012 that resulted in his death. The charges were filed in July 2012 following a seven-month investigation by Newton police. Police were called to an apartment at 210 E. 28th St. N. on Jan. 10, 2012 on a report of suspected child abuse. The baby was transported to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines where he later died from his injuries. The boy's mother, Chelsea Miller, 25, who is expected to testify on behalf of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent Megan A. James, 28, of Newton was charged with unlawful use of credit cards after coming to the Newton Police Department at 4:30 p.m. Monday to receive the citation in connection with an incident initially reported to police on Sept. 13. At that time, a female reported to police that her wallet, containing a debit card, was stolen out of her unlocked vehicle. She went to her bank to have her debit card cancelled but found that the card had already been used twice in Newton, once to purchase $48 worth of gas at Kum & Go and once to purchase $139.30 worth of wireless telephone merchandise from Wal-Mart. Video from the security cameras at both locations allegedly show James making the transactions. She was released to appear. Linda S. Sapp, 56, of MIngo was charged with criminal trespass after police were called to Wal-Mart at 5:23 p.m. Monday on a report of a person trespassing on the property. According to police, Sapp was presented copy of the no trespass order dated in June but told store employees she has yet to go to court on the matter so did not think it was yet in place. She... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Newton Independent
Newton Independent The Jasper County League of Women Voters is hosting a Legislative Coffee beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Club Room at the Newton Hy-Vee. State legislators representing the area have been invited to provide remarks on the opening of the 2014 legislative session. Those attending will also have an opportunity to ask questions of their elected state representatives. State Sen. Dennis Black, D-Lynnville, and Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, have indicated they plan to attend Saturday's coffee. State Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, and Rep. Greg Heartsill, R-Marion County, have also been invited. The Legislative Coffee is free and open to the public. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Newton Independent
To the Newton Independent: It is interesting when you look at trends in population. In 1960, there were 58 counties in Iowa with a population of under 20,000 for a total of 814,718. The top three had a total of 525,696. Then you look at 2010. There were 64 with less than 20,000 for a total of 765,586 and the top three had 807,090. Over that 50-year period, the total population of counties in Iowa with less than 20,000 has ent from 29.55 percent of the state total to 25.13 percent, while also going from 58 to 64 counties. When you look at the top three counties, they have went from 19.16 percent to 26.49 percent of the total state population. Jasper County has went down from 1.28 percent to 1.21 percent of the state total over those 50 years while gaining a modest 4.42 percent in population, dropping from the 17th largest to the 18th. This tells me you need jobs to increase population. The counties with good jobs have much larger population increases, just as Newton did in the 1950s. Dennis Messick Newton Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Newton Independent