JOHNSTON — Gun issues were the dominant topic at Republican Senator Joni Ernst’s town hall meeting early Saturday morning in Johnston. Ellie Holland, a teacher in Johnston, was emotional as she told Ernst about going through active shooter training in her school last week.“So my question for you today senator is when can I plan to get back to trainings that simply teach children to read and write?” Holland said and about half the crowd cheered.Ernst answered Holland by emphasizing the need to improve mental health care.“We need to make sure that those that are showing signs of instability are able to received treatment,” Ernst said. “And I would say that across the United States we are short counselors, we are short psychiatrists, we are short psychologists.”Senator Joni Ernst.A man in the crowd then yelled: “We’re short congresspeople to take action.”The hour-long forum often featured Ernst speaking as critics in the crowd reacted or Ernst supporters in the audience cheering and applauding, including one person who occasionally rang a cowbell. Dawn Corrigan of Des Moines thanked Ernst for supporting the National Rifle Association and the right to own a gun.“Let’s punish people for crimes and when some commits a crime, don’t come and take away my right for it,” she said, to cheers.Ernst said Republican senators would review various proposals, but Ernst expressed concerns about ensuring so-called “red flag” laws that let courts order authorities temporarily seize guns include due process rights, to protect the wrongly accused.“What we do have to make sure is those that are law-abiding citizens are still able to purchase weapons. It’s our second amendment right,” Ernst said, to cheers from half the crowd. “And that those that should not be able to gain access to weapons should not have the right, then, to purchase those weapons.”Ernst made it clear she opposes a ban on the kind of rapid-fire guns used in El Paso and Dayton.“Any weapon out there can be used to harm another person,” Ernst told the crowd. “…Who decides what is considered an assault weapon?”Ernst told reporters there’s no law that will “magically” prevent irrational people with “evil intent” from committing murder.
THORNTON — A man who allegedly stole a vehicle in the Twin Cities and was later arrested in Cerro Gordo County has pleaded not guilty. 51-year-old Greggery Kisling was arrested by authorities on January 7th at the Classic Stop convenience store in Thornton. Court documents state that Kisling told law enforcement after his arrest that he was driving the stolen vehicle down to Texas with the intent to sell it. Authorities also allegedly located methamphetamine in the vehicle, hidden in the lid of a container of coffee pouches. Kisling was charged with second-degree theft and possession of meth first offense. Kisling was due in court for his arraignment hearing today, but online court records show that he filed a written plea of not guilty last week in Cerro Gordo County District Court. His trial is scheduled to start on June 2nd.
Crusaders’ Crotty suffered a rib cartilage injury, while Highlanders’ Smith was forced off for a concussion check and did not return during the Super Rugby clash in Christchurch.All Blacks coach Steve Hansen names his squad on June 8, with the Crusaders due to play the Lions in Christchurch next Saturday.Crusaders coach Scott Robertson cast a gloomy prognosis for Crotty shortly after the game.”He’s done a rib cartilage, so I think that Steve Hansen will be tucking into his notebook and thinking who’s next,” Robertson said.The former All Blacks loose forward later rowed back on his initial assessment and said the extent of the injury would not be known until at least Sunday but that Crotty would probably miss “a couple of weeks”.Crotty was the leading contender for one of the positions in the All Blacks’ midfield for the Lions series. The 28-year-old was likely to partner Sonny Bill Williams or Anton Leinert-Brown, depending on what kind of game Hansen wanted to play.Smith did not want to leave the field after he fell heavily in a tackle but was forced off by referee Glen Jackson and did not return to the game.It would mark his second concussion of the season and Highlanders coach Tony Brown said it was too early to determine if he would miss the Lions series, with the first test on June 24.”It’s hard to say at this stage. I haven’t caught up with him or the doctor,” Brown said. “But he was walking around after the game, so he should be all good.”Everyone wants to stay on the field in games like that. But, precautionary, he needs to go off and get checked and he didn’t pass.”The loss of Smith, arguably the world’s best fullback, would be a setback for the All Blacks but with Israel Dagg returning to action for the Crusaders as a second-half substitute on Saturday Hansen has another option at the position.Dagg, who is returning after knee surgery, could slot comfortably back into the number 15 jersey after spending time on the right wing last year. Photo: Photosport Ryan Crotty celebrates his try with team mates TJ Perenara and Ben Smith.
A three-alarm fire caused heavy damage to a Hazel Dell apartment complex before dawn Sunday, as residents rushed to evacuate and alert their neighbors of the danger.At least one person sustained injuries that were not life-threatening from the fire, which broke out in the Bridge Creek Apartment Homes, 9211 N.E. 15th Ave., a multistory complex east of Northeast Highway 99.The fire was reported at 5:12 a.m. in Building M, a three-story block containing 18 apartments. The first firefighters arrived early Sunday morning to find a large fire. They used a ladder to rescue a woman who was trapped on a third-floor balcony, and called for a second alarm. The fire finally grew to a third alarm, making it the biggest fire in Hazel Dell since the Rolling Creek Apartments fire in April 2011.All people and pets were safely evacuated from the burning apartments and it took crews about two hours to extinguish the flames, said Sarah Mitchelson, a spokeswoman for Clark County Fire District 6. One resident suffered blisters and burns to his back and took a private vehicle to an urgent care clinic, she said. The fire appeared to start in a corner unit on the third floor, Mitchelson said. The fire left the entire third floor charred, and the building’s roof had collapsed in some spots. All of the building’s apartments will be uninhabitable until major repairs are made.