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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  —  West Des Moines Police have released body camera video – in its entirety – to clarify their stance on the arrest of a campaign worker who claims he was racially profiled while canvassing a neighborhood.

Officers say the initial caller told them Keilon Hill was going door to door in the 5700 block of Aspen Drive taking pictures of homes.  They also told officers he was dressed in clothing that was too warm for the weather and looked suspicious.

Video from Officer Clint Ray’s body camera shows his interaction with Hill who was seated on a rock when the encounter began.  Ray continues to ask Hill to stop and explain why he is in the neighborhood but Hill refuses and tucks his campaign flyers into his coat.  Hill continually refuses to identify himself and eventually is charged with Interference or Harassment with a Public Official.

13Raw: Watch the entire body camera video (Warning: Extreme Language)

Officers say there are times when you can walk away from the police but in this situation a criminal charge was justified.  “It changes when something has occurred someone has called and we owe our community the responsibility to make sure there is no crime that has taken place we can report back and say this is who it is and why they are here,” says West Des Moines Police Chief Chris Scott, “In this scenario that could have been the outcome but if an officer says you aren’t free to leave, you aren’t free to leave.”

The video was released at the West Des Moines CityCouncil’s request after citizens demanded to see the full body camera video.

Keilon Hill is scheduled for a court appearance on the charge December 6th.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa- This weekend Marshalltown will continue it’s traditional Holiday Stroll through the downtown area from 4-8 pm, Saturday November 17.

The celebration is named “Light up the Night,” for this year.

“We want to celebrate with no loss of life people, are getting back into buildings and businesses are opening so we want to have a celebration,” said Jenny Etter, Executive Director of the Marshalltown Central Business District, a Main Street Office. “Ninety-five percent of the buildings in the downtown really took a hit, what I’m excited about is the opportunity that we have now to do some of the things that we haven’t had before.”

Etter said many of the business owners are making improvements to their buildings which they had considered before, but now the tornado repair is prompting these changes.

One change is that the storm ripped the facades from two buildings revealing an original design long forgotten.

Also downtown businesses are opening up after the storm.

“Yes, almost all of our restaurants,” said Etter. “The one everybody is excited and waiting for is Sub City, to open up, they’re looking a probably a December First open date.”

Enter said she is thankful to all the private citizens who donated money to her office to help downtown businesses recover. The Central Business District Office has a grant program which businesses can apply for. Over $70,000 was given to this effort.

“To help them with signage with things they need to upgrade their buildings,’ said Etter.

 

PLYMOUTH, Iowa — Last Friday was devastating for the Le Mars community when four people from the area died in a plane crash near Guthrie Center. Less than a week later, members of the community are doing what they say any small Iowa town does, lends a hand, or a combine.

In a single night Del Kellen lost three loved ones when a plane crashed near Guthrie Center last weekend, including his son.

“Pat was killed in this accident. His daughter Sammi, who was our granddaughter, she got killed in this accident. Tyler Douvia, who is actually our nephew, got killed in this accident,” Kellen said.

The Kellen’s are now planning three funerals for the end of this week. Leaving hardly any time to harvest the family farm’s final 450 acres.

“I think everybody can look at this situation and say well ‘what if this was me and what would i hope the people would do for me,’” family friend, Marty Pippett said.

Pippett and other community members were quick to step up. Organizing a group, one day harvest to make sure that burden wasn’t left on the Kellens.

“It means a lot to have the harvest done by that time. It means a lot to us to have all the people show up to do it and I wish we could’ve had everybody come up to help, but so much help is all you can take,” Kellen said.

Six combines, six grain carts, and 16 semis stormed the Kellen farm. An act first cousin and fellow farmer, Chuck Kellen, says is normal to members of Northwest Iowa.

“They would do the exact same thing for anybody else, and they have done it before,” Chuck said. “Unfortunately, they are on the receiving end of this. Most other times they are the ones helping, but this time they are being helped.”

“I think most everybody that’s been out here today has been touched by the Kellens in some way shape or form, so it’s the least we can do to return the favor and help them out in their time of need,” Pippett said.

Pippett knows this first hand, his 16-year-old niece was killed in a car accident four months ago, she was best friends with plane crash victim Sammi.

“The poor kids in our community have seen more loss than what they deserve to. It’s been a tough road for this community, but everybody seems to rally the troops and help each other out,” Pippett said.

“I mean some farmers here aren’t even done with their own harvest and they quit to come help for a day, and they aren’t even done harvesting. You can see how the people around here care,” Del said.

The community also is coming together to feed the Kellen family and everyone who helped with harvesting. Del says the the amount of food is “unreal” and the community support is nonstop.

All three victims will have a joint funeral on Friday morning in Le Mars. The other crash victim, Edward Anderson’s funeral is Saturday. He was the pilot and suffered a heart attack during the flight.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  Some Nationwide insurance employees will be out of work next year in the company’s latest round of job cuts.

On Tuesday, Nationwide told 80 employees they have four months to find another job or apply for a different job within the company.

It’s a push to end 1,100 jobs across the country.

The bulk of the cuts are in the technical, marketing, insurance and banking fields.

No one from the company was available for an on-camera interview but they did send Channel 13 News a statement, it reads in part, “We are making these changes from a position of strength and stability to position the organization for long-term success and growth”.

A local recruiter Bill Raine says, those people shouldn’t have a tough time finding new work.

“There is never a good time to be laid off and of course over the holidays can make it a bit tougher. You can’t be looking for a job in a better market than Des Moines, Iowa,” Bill Raine with Raine Recruiting said.

Iowa Work Force Developmentt backs that up, Iowa’s unemployment rate is 3%, and to date there are more than 8,000 Polk County alone.

Regardless of the job’s economy, Raine implores those issued pink slips to not panic.

“You just want to start preparing yourself and your résumé now in a relaxed format not in a panicked format,” Raine said.

Nationwide says it will continue to carry out changes based off the needs of the business.

All laid off employees will get a severance package and there are more than 700 openings within the company.

Click here for help finding a new job or resume tips.

AMES, Iowa–  As the nation celebrates our veterans, the Veteran’s Administration is dealing with another controversy.

The department is delaying education and housing payments to some students under the GI Bill.

Benefits, Iowa State student veteran Douglas Jorgensen relies on.

“My schooling gets paid for by the GI Bill, and I also get a monthly stipend that covers housing and everything,” student Jorgensen said.

” I don’t have current numbers but we are aware of instances with the roll out of the new Forever GI Bill where there have been some delays,” Iowa State Veterans Center Director Jathan Chicoine said.

The VA blames the delays on problems caused by an aging computer system.

According to NBC News, the backlog of payments became even worse after the signing of the “Forever GI Bill” in 2017.

The bill expanded benefits to veterans but didn’t pay for computer upgrades to handle the expansion.

The House Veterans Committee will hold a hearing on the problems Wednesday.

In the mean time, Jorgensen says there are ways to get help.

“There are organizations out there that will vouch for you, and ways you can help get that money going through. Specifically contacting a senator that will help fight for you,” Jorgensen said.

Click here for more information on the GI Bill and to file a claim with the VA Office.

 

NEWTON, Iowa — Keith McMillan is able to apply the work ethic and discipline he learned, during his time in the military, to his job now as a quality assurance technician at Graphic Packaging International. “Being a Veteran and transitioning from a military side to a civilian side, Graphic Packaging has been very supportive of everything that we go through as veterans,” said McMillan.

But that transition hasn’t been easy.

“That’s been a personal battle of myself…” said 47 year-old McMillan, who has served in the U.S. Army during both of America’s wars in Iraq. Memories of those conflicts can be easily triggered.

“I can’t watch TV shows,” said McMillan.

For a long time McMillan didn’t know how to deal with what he had experienced in war. McMillan says for 15 years, he bottled it all inside. Then he was finally able to find a release.

“Well, the best person for me to talk to is my best friend, my wife,” said McMillan. “So, I started talking and some of this started coming out. A lot of tears were shed and a lot of memories were re-lived, but it was well worth it.”

Now McMillan is helping other veterans find healing, by pointing them to the non-profit organization Mission 22. The non-profit provides resources to veterans, including comprehensive wellness, a war detox program, health and housing access, and horse therapy.

“They have those several different programs that you can get into,” said McMillan. “And, they just started a new one this year. It’s called WIN, warriors integration now. It’s actually a 12-month program, where they`ll take the veteran to the location and work with them for 12 months to get him reintegrated back into a civilian society.”

As an Ambassador for Mission 22, McMillan is continuing to serve his country, by helping his fellow heroes find the support they deserve.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its most recent analysis of Veteran suicide data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, everyday 20 veterans commit suicide.

 

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — While veteran homelessness is on the decline in America, it’s another story for the state of Iowa. According to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s new national estimate released this month, the percentage of homeless vets in the country dropped 5.4 percent since last year. In Iowa it’s increased by 14.6 percent.

The Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS) has served over 1,700 homeless people so far this year, 173 of them being veterans. That number is only set to increase with the winter months upon us. One organization is doing their part to reverse the unmet needs of Iowa’s veterans.

“I’ve been here long. I’m kinda like the old guy, you know. I’ve been seeing them coming in and out,” Homeless Veteran Kendall Dennis said.

Dennis is an Army veteran and has been staying at CISS for almost three years. In a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the shelter has 19 studio apartments on the third floor all dedicated to homeless veterans. They are supplemented with resources like case management and job training, but sometimes that’s not enough.

“There’s a lot of guys who don’t have nothing, and I was one of them, and you got nothing,” Dennis said. But thanks to the Iowa Homeless Veterans Program that’s changed.

“All of a sudden you got pans, and you got bowls, and you got towels and stuff, and something to start out with. It’s awesome what they do for us,” Dennis said.

For the past seven years, co-founders John Rains and Susan Hansel donate baskets with household items to CISS to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.

“They are essential items that they can use now in their rooms and take with them when they move on to a more permanent location,” Rains said.

Retired Sergeant Major Rains and Retired Master Sergeant Hansel each served over 20 years for the National Guard. Rains’ son also serves, making these baskets even more meaningful.

“They were at one time willing to stand up and say I do and I will and they did. Some of them paid the ultimate price, but everybody that served was trained to do their job for the defense of our great country,” Rains said.

Sometimes the price that’s paid is coming back to a world that’s not the same, and Dennis says that can be hard.

“It’s a big change for them. I didn’t serve in a battle time, but I’ve talked to so many guys up here that have. I have a first cousin that that was in the Vietnam War and he came back with shrapnel. He never talked about it, but we need to talk about it. Even if it’s just veteran to veteran or whatever, because they can’t even talk to their families.

“Every veteran has a different story as I understand. It’s hard for me to relate to all the stories because I haven’t been there, but to hear their stories and to see them in their environment and then knowing what we all have; it’s all very humbling,” Rains said.

It cost about 90 dollars a basket. This year they raised enough money to make 41 baskets. While that’s a lot, Rains says it isn’t quite enough to supply the shelter year round.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Just over a week ago Channel 13 told you opioid related deaths are on the decline, according to preliminary data from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). But as the state works to conquer one addiction, an old foe is making a comeback.

“Methamphetamine has never gone away in Iowa, at least not in the last 15 to 20 years,” Dale Woolery the Interim Director of the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy said.

Iowans are now being admitted to treatment for a meth use disorder than ever before. The IDPH is finding from 2012-2016 the rate for methamphetamine related treatment admissions nearly doubled.

“We haven’t heard as much about it in recent years because meth labs have almost become non-existent; they are extremely rare,” Woolery said. “We’re looking at only 20-25 this year compared to 1,000-1,500 at the high water mark 15 years ago. So that has gone in a good direction.” But Iowans are still finding ways to get the drug.

“Not only is addiction a concern, but so is meth, and psycho-stimulant, related deaths,” Woolery said.

Methamphetamine related deaths in Iowa are increasing eight-fold since 2011, according to the IDPH. Just from 2016-2017, deaths involving meth jumped by more than 23 percent.

Woolery says regardless if preliminary data shows opioid deaths are down or meth use is up, it’s more about the bigger picture when it comes to this issue.

“It’s really not about a drug type or another drug type. It’s more about addicted substances generally,” Woolery said.

In regards to meth in Iowa’s young population, the Iowa Youth Surveys statewide are reporting rates near zero for the past several years, according to the IDPH.

JOHNSTON, Iowa — On Sunday the country will pause to honor the veterans who served our country, but Saturday at the Iowa Gold Star Museum Iowa veterans helped recognize each other.

“There are very few things in the military that anyone can say ‘I did that all by myself, this was a one man operation’ ‘cause that’s not the way the military works” said Larry Spencer.

Retired Commander Spencer was the keynote speaker. Spencer spent nearly seven years as a POW after he was shot down over Vietnam. Today, his message was camaraderie.

“Some people feel like there wasn’t anything unique that they did while they were in the military, you know, ‘I did my job and I put my four years in and then I got out’ said Spencer.

Spencer says that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

“Everybody has to do their part, and you realize that yes, some jobs are more glamorous or have more visibility, but all the jobs that have to get done are important” he said.

It was also an opportunity for the community to say thanks, something Vietnam veteran Michael Booker didn’t take for granted.

“People make you feel welcome and appreciated and that was kind of a hard thing to swallow coming back, you weren’t appreciated for your service but it was something we had to do, and we did it” said Booker.

Both Booker and Spencer say while appreciation was shown to them by people of all ages, they appreciate the amount of young Iowans who came out.

“I think it’s important for them because if you don’t know where you came from, how do you know where you’re going to go?” said Booker.

“It gives you a tremendous feeling of happiness, of belief and restoring your faith that yes, people do get the big picture when they take a step back and look at it” said Spencer.

The Gold Star Museum also hosted a supply drive for veterans in need.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  Des Moines Police think the same suspect carried out a pair of robberies on the Drake University campus this month.

One was caught on tape; Des Moines Police just released the surveillance video from earlier this month.

The video starts with the suspect walking through a parking lot wearing what police say is an orange or peach hoodie.

The suspect then confronts two students at gunpoint along a walking path near 32nd Street.

Both students were ordered to lay on the ground and hand over their wallets, credit cards, and cash.

Neither victim was injured, and police think the same suspect was behind at least one other robbery in the Drake Area.

“We think the same person is responsible for, and we got this video finally this is the biggest lead that we have right now, we know there is someone out there that will recognize this guy either by his clothes or by his appearance. There is always reward money available,” Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said.

Police only have a vague description of the suspect, and it’s also difficult to see the person in the security video.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Des Moines Police Department.