Area News Stories
VILCONE ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
An Oskaloosa man has entered a guilty plea in the death of a seven week old infant. 25 year old Brian Vilcone entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to one count of attempt to commit murder and one count of child endangerment resulting in death. Both are class B felonies. Judge Daniel Wilson accepted Vilcone's guilty plea and set sentencing for June 26th.
Vilcone will face a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison for the attempt to commit murder charge and a mandatory sentence of 50 years in prison for the child endangerment resulting in death charge.
Vilcone was arrested and charged on April 23rd with first degree murder in the death of seven week old Raelynn Hart. Hart died on April 21st as a result of abusive head trauma. During an investigation, the baby's mother stated that baby had suffered the injuries while in the care of Brian Vilcone. Vilcone later admitted to shaking the baby several times to get her to stop crying.
TEXAS POLICE OFFICER CHARGED IN DEATH OF IOWAN
Charges have been filed against a Texas police officer relating to the death of a Mahaska County resident. Bill Livezey died on December 11th in Texas of complications of a heart attack. According to witnesses and news reports out of Texas, Livezy was driving a pickup truck when witnesses say that a motorcyclist came upon Livezey and began to attempt to run Livezy off the roadway. Police were dispatched to the scene and upon arrival found Livezey in handcuffs on the side of the road and complaining that he was not feeling well. Livezey was transported to an area hospital where he later died.
The driver of the motorcycle was identified as Ernesto Fierro. Fierro is a police officer for the Malakoff Police Department in Texas. According to news reports, an investigation was conducted by the Texas Rangers as well as other local authorities. After the investigation, the case was turned over to the Navarro County Grand Jury in Texas.
According to documents, the Navarro County Grand Jury indicted Officer Fierro on one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Official Oppression, and three counts of Reckless Driving. He pleaded not guilty on March 21st.
A trial date has not been set for Officer Fierro as of the filing of this story. In addition, request for comment from the Malakoff Police Department have not been returned.
EQUIPMENT REPAIRS TO BLAME FOR NEW SHARON POWER OUTAGES
About 7 a.m. on Monday 4/14/2014 there was an unplanned outage and several pieces of equipment required repair in the New Sharon area; the outage affected customers in the towns of New Sharon, Peoria, Taintor and Barnes City.
FORMER ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY FOUND DECEASED
Former assistant Mahaska county attorney Rich Scott has been found deceased at his
Centerville apartment. According to an Appanoose county sheriffs office press release, Scott was found deceased during a welfare check. The welfare check was ordered after Scott failed to show up to work as
Appanoose county attorney Friday morning. An investigation on the scene determined that Scott died of natural causes, according to the press release.
ROLL-OVER ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF AREA RESIDENT
One person is dead after a single vehicle roll-over accident in Mahaska County
early Sunday morning.
SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSES SCHOOL SAFETY
School security has become a hot button in many districts in Iowa and around the nation. Oskaloosa is no different and the board of education took the first steps to improve the access to the school buildings.
Superintendent Russ Reiter requested the board approve a bid from Strauss Security of Des Moines. Reiter told the board he would like to see the access project divided into two parts, the main campus, which includes the high school, middle school and Daily Auditorium. Reiter said the doors would be monitored from a single server. The current doors are different in each building and this will bring uniformity to them. Cost of the project will be $32,700. The elementary project will be budgeted and done at a later time.
Board member Nik Rule said this is one issue he has heard much concern about since coming onto the board and is glad to see the project begin.
The board agreed to the tentative agreement with the Oskaloosa Education Association. The agreement, which will be voted on the by the association later this week, will be a 3.6 percent increase and includes increases for insurance.
Two new teachers were hired in the special education department at the high school for 2014-15. Both served as student teachers in the district. The teachers, Noelle Hoover and Taya (Tay-Uh) Donovan, will be hired at BA step 1 at $33,615 each.
In other business:
Heard a presentation from YMCA Executive Director Dawn Collins regarding the YMCA annual report. The report is made to the district as part of the organization's report to stakeholders.
Held public hearing and approved the 2014-15 budget. No member of the public was on hand to speak. The district is asking a $14.95 per $1,000 evaluation.
Agreed to purchase two busses from Hogeland Bus Company for $97,488 each
Approved a resolution to support the Oskaloosa Blue Zone Certification
Approved specifications to receive bids for provision of milk
Approved increase of adult lunches by 10 cents to $3.35 for the 2014-15 school year.
Approved agreement with Iowa Education Purchasing for cooperative food purchases.
Approved a resolution to participate in the 2015 hazard mitigation with the multi-jurisdiction plan
Scheduled a public hearing for a budget amendment for current budget year. Hearing will be held on Tuesday May 13 at 7 p.m.
CITY COUNCIL RECEIVES REPORT ON BLUE ZONES PROJECT
The Oskaloosa City Council met in regular session Monday evening with Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt presiding. The main agenda item before the council Monday evening was a presentation on the Oskaloosa Blue Zones Project. Miranda
Cummings and Valin McReynolds presented to the Oskaloosa City Council on the Blue Zones project and highlighted some of the goals that are hoped to be achieved over the next 18 months in Oskaloosa. Cummings, Reynolds, and Spry also fielded questions from the City Council regarding City involvement in the project. A formal kickoff to the Oskaloosa Blue Zones project is planned for next Monday April 14th.
CITY WIDE CLEAN UP SET FOR LAST WEEK OF APRIL
The following guidelines will be used for the pickup:
BUSINESS WASTE IS NOT ACCEPTED THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS OF STORM SIREN PROCEDURES
The Oskaloosa Fire Department wants remind everyone that we are entering warm weather months and severe weather season.
Weather permitting, the storm sirens in Oskaloosa are tested at 2pm on the first Monday of each month from April through September.
The outdoor storm warning sirens will be activated if the national weather service has issued a tornado warning for Mahaska County and the tornado is headed in a direction that would likely affect the city of Oskaloosa. Also, if a trained storm spotter indicates to the 911 center that a severe thunderstorm contains damaging winds and or hail, the sirens can be activated.
CITY OF OTTUMWA TO TAKE BACK UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottumwa Police Department, the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Center Court of the Quincy Place Mall located at 1110 N. Quincy Avenue. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
6TH ANNUAL LIVE UNITED 5K SET FOR APRIL 26TH
March 10, 2014– Oskaloosa, IA – The United Way of Mahaska County is holding its 6th Annual Live United 5K & YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 26th at the Penn Activity Center on the William Penn University campus.