Area News Stories
OSKALOOSA WOMAN CHARGED WITH NEGLECT OF DEPENDENT PERSON
Charges of neglect of a dependent person and OWI, 3rd offense have been filed against an Oskaloosa woman in regards to a weekend incident. 41 year old Julie Jones was arrested Friday evening, September 26, in Oskaloosa.
According to court documents, around 5:30 pm Friday evening, a caller advised the Mahaska County 911 Center that a vehicle was swerving over Highway 63 and driving on the gravel shoulder. Officers eventually stopped the vehicle in Oskaloosa. During the traffic stop, officers state that they could smell the odor of alcohol on Jones’ breath. Court documents also indicated that during filed sobriety tests, Jones showed signs of intoxication. Documents also indicated that her BAC was tested to be over .080%. During the traffic stop, officers noted that Jones’ 11 year old son was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
A preliminary hearing has been set for October 7th.
As always, a criminal charge is an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
THOMPSON APPOINTED MAHASKA COUNTY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Amber Thompson was appointed Mahaska County attorney yesterday after a two hour meeting of the Mahaska County Magistrate Nominating Commission. The commission voted unanimously to appoint her to the position. Three candidates were interviewed; Amber Thompson of Sigourney, Diane Crookham-Johnson of Oskaloosa, and Misty White-Reinor of Pella. Each interview lasted for approximately 30 minutes.
During her interview, among other things, Thompson stated that she would like to improve courthouse security, more specifically in the Magistrate Courthouse Room. Thompson also said she believed she would be a good magistrate because she can see both sides of an arugment without any preconceived notions.
Thompson was sworn in Tuesday 9/23 at 9 AM. She will attend a class for newly appointed magistrate on October 2nd and 3rd.
Current Magistrate Scott Campbell will retire on October 1st. He has held the position since 1996.
OSKALOOSA SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSES ASSESSMENTS
Oskaloosa School Board members met in special session Tuesday to discuss the comprehensive assessment with consultant Tony VanderZyl. The board met for about 90 minutes asking several pointed questions in evaluating the data released this past spring.
OSKALOOSA RIDES OFFERING FREE FRIDAY RIDES IN OCTOBER
Good news for those looking to get around town this October: Oskaloosa Rides is free of charge on Fridays next month.
Oskaloosa Rides, the new fixed-route bus service, began in July with a goal of meeting transportation needs. Hundreds of people in Oskaloosa don’t have regular access to a vehicle and can struggle to get to places offering healthcare, retail and human services.
“We have a long way to go in making it common place in Oskaloosa,” says Amy Langdon, director of the United Way of Mahaska County and Oskaloosa Rides organizer. “Using public transportation is not something everyone’s 100% comfortable doing just yet. But we’re hoping with Free Fridays and different promotions, we’ll be able to show people just how easy it is to use Oskaloosa Rides.”
The first step is just getting people through the bus door. Langdon says once they trust it to be convenient and reliable, more people will use it to meet their transportation needs.
Free Fridays will run in all five Fridays in October.
OTTUMWA MAN ARRESTED IN STABBING
On Tuesday September 16th, 2014 at approximately 4:35 p.m., the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office responded to 201 E. Main St., Apt. 7, Agency Iowa reference a 911 call of a female subject that had been stabbed. As a result of the investigation deputies arrested Patrick Murray, age 59 of 201 E. Main St., Apt. 7, Agency Iowa for Domestic Abuse with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury and/or Uses or Displays a Dangerous Weapon in Connection with the Assault. The female victim was transported to Ottumwa Regional Health Center where she was treated for her injuries and released. Patrick is currently being held at the Wapello Co. Jail on a $2000.00 cash only bond.
CITY COUNCIL VOTES DOWN FRANCHISE FEES
In a surprising move Monday evening, the Oskaloosa City
Council voted AGAINST the 3rd and final reading of a measure which
would raise the city’s gas and electric franchise fees by 2% each. The vote
ended a nearly two month long debate over city revenue, which included charges
drawn towards the state legislature, among other parties. City Councilor Jason
Van Zetten, who has historically opposed an increase in the fees, again
expressed his belief that this only was being considered because of a funding
request from the YMCA. Van Zetten and other city councilors expressed their
continued belief that now is not the time to raise taxes. At the public
hearing on the matter held back in August, numerous members of the public rose
to speak against the franchise fee increase, with one member of the public
going so far as to call it a tax on the poor. The final vote last night was
4-3 against raising the franchise fee.
In other action, the council:
Unanimously approved the second reading of an alley vacate
request at 701 High Ave West
Approved a site plan located at 1302 and 1320 High Ave West for
a housing development referred to as The Reserves at Ironwood. The site plan
shows development for a new 48 unit apartment complex.
Approved, on a 6-1 vote, the appointments of Mike Vore to the
Oskaloosa Water Board and Sara Tarbell and Dawn Collings to the Planning and
The next meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council will be
October 6th at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers.
EPA: Pipe company had violations at Iowa facility
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Environmental officials say a pipe company must pay $950,000 for air and water violations at its former Council Bluffs facility.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 says Griffin Pipe Products must pay the civil penalty after multiple violations.
The company is accused of illegally discharging untreated process wastewater to the city's wastewater collection system between 2007 and 2008. It is also accused of violating its storm water permit in 2011. The EPA says the company also discharged zinc, lead, copper and other pollutants in violation of its permit levels.
Griffin Pipe Products has ceased production at the Council Bluff facility. It says it is now in compliance with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
A message left for Griffin Pipe Products was not immediately returned Monday.