1,072 Posts

GREENE COUNTY, Iowa — A Jefferson man who sexually assaulted his sister will avoid prison time but must register as a sex offender.

On Monday, a judge accepted Noah Exline’s guilty plea to one count of indecent contact with a child. He received a two-year suspended prison sentence, fines, and probation. Exline was originally charged with seven counts of second-degree sex abuse against his younger sister, Paige Exline.

Noah and Paige’s father James Exline also molested her between June 2016 and April 2017. He is currently a 75-year prison sentence.

Paige and her cousin Shakiah Cockerham died in a fire set by Noah’s step brother and James’ son Patrick Thompson. He is serving a sentence of life in prison for first-degree murder and arson.

DALLAS CENTER, Iowa — The Iowa State Patrol is investigating a weather-related accident from two weeks ago when a Dallas County deputy was hit while responding to an accident.

“When the wind is blowing and it’s a white-out, you can’t see through it,” Dallas Center Fire Chief Joel Hofland said.

During poor visibility on a stretch of Highway 44 two weeks ago, dash camera video shows Hofland assisting Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Soll. The two were on scene of a minor accident.

“A couple close calls when people don’t pay attention,” Hofland said.

One of those close calls was captured. A red SUV lost control careening into a patrol car. It just missed Hofland and a woman who was involved in the accident.

“It is scary no matter how long you have done it,” Hofland said. “The first thing you think about is looking around to see if everyone is alright because you know they came screaming through there.”

Grainy body camera video captured Soll getting hit. He suffered minor injuries.

“The deputy is doing pretty well. He is at home recovering. He has some minor bruises [and] some testing to go through. Hopefully we will get him back to work early beginning of next week,” Dallas County Sheriff Leonard said.

Emergency crews say severe weather in part caused the crash. Hofland and Leonard hope the incident serves as a reminder to slow down.

The driver of that red SUV is charged with failure to reduce speed to a reasonable rate causing crash and is expected to appear in court.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Police are investigating the death of an adult female who was found deceased at a Marshalltown business Sunday.

Marshalltown police say they received a report at 11:05 a.m. Sunday of an “unattended death” at a business located at 19 South Center Street.

The cause of the death has not been determined and is under investigation.

The name of the deceased person has not been released, pending notification of family.

If you have information pertaining to the investigation, contact Marshalltown Police Chief Michael Tupper by calling 641-754-5771 or email at mtupper@marshalltown-ia.gov

The Marshall County Attorney’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab and the Marshall County Medical Examiner are assisting the Marshalltown Police Department with this investigation.

 

UNION COUNTY, Iowa — The heavy snow falling throughout the state caused a number of crashes.  One crash was fatal.

The patrol says one person died in a head-on crash with another vehicle on Highway 34. It happened just west of Creston at around 1 p.m. Sunday.

The name of the person killed has not been released.

The Iowa State Patrol says they responded to 30 crashes from 5 a.m. Sunday morning until noon. The Des Moines Police Department officers responded to 29 crashes Sunday between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa — About 500 Democrats filled the Des Moines Social Club Saturday afternoon to hear Sen. Cory Booker speak, a 2020 presidential candidate who has family from this very state.

“As much as my story is all about New Jersey, the reality is my roots are right here in Des Moines,” Booker said.

The senator spoke on housing inequality and health care for all, but his main point of focus in Des Moines was about coming together over common ground.

“The larger call is not just how we beat Republicans, but how you unite all Americans in the cause of our country,” Booker said.

Booker made sure to keep things upbeat.

“Oh gosh, more candidates talking about love and hope. How are you going to beat Donald Trump with that,” Booker said. “Let me tell you, I may have been known to hug some folk. I may be a little bit of a hugger.”

Local political leaders had a chance to ask Booker a few questions as well.

“How do you set yourself apart when it’s such a crowded field?” said Kristin Sunde, State Representative for House District 42.

“Hair cut, I think might be one of them,” Booker responded. But all jokes aside, he says it’s his experience in running something, as a past mayor in New Jersey.

“I was a mayor during a very difficult time in America,” Booker said. “I was running a city during a recession, and when a country has a recession, inner cities have depression-like circumstances. I had to turn that city around at a time when people were giving up on Newark.”

Sen. Booker strayed away from conversations about the Green New Deal, though he did speak about it in earlier stops in Iowa. He finished his Des Moines trip like all the rest, with selfie, after selfie.

Tax season is off to a slower start this year, with early filers seeing smaller average refunds.

The average refund is down about 8% under the first full year of the overhauled tax code, according to data released by the IRS on Friday. Refunds averaged $1,865 compared to $2,035 for tax year 2017.

The total number of returns received also dipped during the first week of the season ending February 1, down from about 18 million to some 16 million so far in 2019.

This season will be watched closely to gauge the real impact of the Republican-led tax overhaul in 2017 that ushered in the most sweeping changes to the tax code in 30 years.

The new rules lowered most individual rates and nearly doubled the standard deduction. The legislation also included sweeping tax cuts for companies, lowering the corporate rate to 21% from 35%.

Some workers saw a bump in their take-home pay after employers started using the new IRS income tax withholding tables.

But experts have said people could see smaller refunds than expected if they didn’t adjust their paycheck withholdings after the changes took effect. Others could see their tax burden increase because the revised code eliminated some popular deductions.

The average American taxpayer got a refund of about $2,700 last year, according to IRS statistics.

Filing season opened just days after the end of the longest partial government shutdown in US history. “We thank the Treasury and IRS employees who have been working diligently to ensure the system is processing these returns efficiently,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.

URBANDALE, Iowa — The annual Guns N’ Hoses charity hockey game is back this weekend.

Des Moines police officers and firefighters will be back on the ice playing for a good cause.

The hockey game will take place Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Buccaneer Arena. Buccaneer Arena is located at 7201 Hickman Road in Urbandale.

All of the money raised will go to Easterseals Iowa and Camp Sunnyside.

Easterseals Iowa provides services to ensure all people with disabilities or special needs, and their families, have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in Iowa communities.

 

MONROE COUNTY, Iowa — An empty field is not what you’d expect when looking for a revolutionary city.  “There is only one major structure remaining: the stone warehouse,” said Rachelle Chase, author of “Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa.”

Despite the barren land, to Chase, the town is much more.  She said, “They did not accept or condone racial violence or racism and if you could’t accept that, you were told to move on.”

In Monroe County, southwest of Oskaloosa, Buxton was owned by a coal consolidation company and gained thousands of African-Americans when white coal miners began to strike and refused to work in the late 1800s.  “They actually went to Virginia and recruited African-Americans,” said Chase.

With as many as 10,000 residents, it was the largest town in America where African-Americans were in the majority.  “You had black people living next to white people, children going to the same schools and being taught by black and white teachers. Men working next to each other getting the same pay,” said Chase.

One-time resident Edward Carter became the first black graduate from the University of Iowa College of Medicine.  “You had black men in the U.S. getting lynched for accidentally touching a white woman and here you have a doctor delivering white babies,” Chase said.

George H. Woodson helped co-found the Niagara Movement, known today as the NAACP, which played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement.  He and fellow resident Samuel Brown helped create the National Bar Association in Des Moines which is now the largest and oldest professional association for black lawyers.  “People look at this and they are inspired,” said Chase.

When demand for Iowa coal dried up so did Buxton in 1927.  “The coal in Iowa, the demand for it went down.  Chase said, “The quality wasn’t as good as say in Illinois.”

The cemetery seems to be the only thing fully intact in Buxton, but for those who who are buried here or once lived here, their legacies continue to be a north star of racial relations in America.  “It was a time when against the odds people were getting along and there was inclusion as oppose to some of the divisiveness we see today,” she said.

Rachelle Chase will be speaking about her book at the Waukee Public Library Sunday at 1:30 p.m. You can purchase her book here at the Arcadia Publishing website. 

DES MOINES, Iowa– Southern Iowa got hit with an ice storm Wednesday.

City crews were out working double time trying to keep roads safe. Having to plow more than 15 miles of city road with no plans to get into the residential areas until Friday.

“We are afraid if we plow off the slushy stuff that is on the top of the side streets that we are just going to get down to the ice, it will probably make them worse,” Knoxville plow driver Kevin Delong  said.

Some spots heading north on Highway 5 were slick and covered with a slushy mixture of snow and ice.

There is a threat of a refreeze on Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Unless something drastic happens, the final Iowa House sports betting bill  will allow Iowans to bet on both professional and college sports if signed into law. Drake University Athletic Director Brian Hardin says he’s not thrilled about it.

“A big concern I have is for the student athletes and the coaches and our staff members, but also their families. There will be a lot of people looking to gain their information or influence from any of those groups and that could really alter the future of collegiate athletics.

Hardin says it’s easy to focus on the worst-case scenarios like point shaving scandals, but he’s also concerned about information leaking regarding an athlete’s grades or how recovery from an injury is going. On top of those concerns, Hardin says it just doesn’t seem right.

“I think the notion that we’re going to have Iowa natives essentially betting on Becca Hittner and Nick McGlynn who are basketball players here at Drake doesn’t feel right. They’re wagering on whether an 18 to 22 year-old is going to be able to make a basket. I’d love to see them separate pro sports from amateur sports” said Hardin.

State Representative Bobby Kaufmann, the lawmaker writing the final version of the house bill, says he has confidence in the oversight which will be in place.

“I have a lot of faith in our Iowa gaming commission and they’re there to catch nefarious bad actors, and so, I don’t think we need to split those out. I think the regulators can do a good job making sure everything’s above-board” said Kaufmann.

Kaufmann says every other state legalizing gambling has allowed for betting on college games, and it’s been happening in the state for years.

“No one is going to be able to make the argument to me that this is an expansion of gambling. What we’re doing, in my opinion, is bringing sports wagering out of the shadows, so we can regulate it, so that we can tax it, and so that the people who need help can get that help” he said.

Representative Kaufmann says the bill will explicitly exclude betting on high school athletics and hopes to introduce the comprehensive bill late next week.