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Osky baseball beats Pella

Oskaloosa’s baseball team scored early and often Wednesday night (6/12) against Pella.  The Indians scored five runs in each of the first two innings en route to a 13-1 victory in five innings.  Rian Yates and Noah Van Veldhuizen both hit two-run homers in the first inning for the Indians.  Yates and Van Veldhuizedn both had three rbi on the night, while Cole Kraber went four for four and Tyler Miller had three hits and was the winning pitcher.  Rian Yates says the Indians took a different approach at the plate Wednesday.

“I thought the approach was really good tonight.  It was a lot better than it has been this year.  We weren’t settling for pitchers’ pitches early in the count, we were getting our pitches. And when we got to two strikes, we were still fighting off some tough pitches and just waiting to get ours and then driving it.”

The Indians baseball team is now 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.  The Indians host conference leaders Indianola in a doubleheader Friday night (6/14).  We’ll have both games on KBOE-FM and the No Coast Network.

Groet named NJCAA All-American

Former Oskaloosa High softball player Alexis Groet was named a second team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American for her play this season at Indian Hills Community College.  Groet set an Indian Hills record with 301 strikeouts, while winning 23 games as the Warriors made it to the NJCAA national tournament.  Groet won 23 games at Oskaloosa in her career with ten shutouts.

Cuba Gooding Jr. to plead not guilty to groping woman at bar

By MICHAEL R. SISAK

NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba Gooding Jr. turned himself in to police Thursday and was charged with forcible touching after a woman accused the actor of groping her at a New York City night spot.

The 51-year-old Oscar-winning star of “Jerry Maguire” denies the allegations, and his lawyer said he will plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

Gooding smiled and waved as he walked into the police station, where he was fingerprinted and a mug shot was taken. He was led out in handcuffs in the afternoon and was expected to be arraigned later in the day.

A conviction could put him behind bars for up to a year.

“Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form,” Heller told reporters after the arrest.

“Nothing in the video could even be considered ambiguous, and I frankly am shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted,” he added.

A 29-year-old woman told police that Gooding grabbed her breast while he was intoxicated around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

Heller said he doubted the accuser would show up at court hearings and suggested prosecutors should charge her with perjury if she testified in court and her allegations were contradicted by video.

The NYPD has not identified the accuser.

Heller said that after he and his staff reviewed the two-hour security video, he was hesitant to let Gooding surrender and thought police and prosecutors would drop the case.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not immediately comment.

“I am highly confident that he will be totally exonerated,” Heller said.

Heller also disputed allegations in media reports from a second woman said to have come forward in recent days and told police that Gooding grabbed her buttocks at a New York City restaurant in 2008.

Gooding was not charged on that allegation.

“There is no pattern of conduct,” Heller said in an interview Thursday. “It is not uncommon for people to come out of the woodwork when these things happen.”

Gooding was involved in another bar-related episode in New Orleans in 2012. A bartender said that the actor was agitated with patrons who wanted photos with him and that he pushed her when she asked him to leave.

An arrest warrant was issued, but the bartender declined to press charges.

“I trust the system and will let the process speak for itself,” Gooding said.

Videos posted on social media show Gooding at the Manhattan bar Sunday night singing the Journey hit “Faithfully” and posing for pictures with fans.

The bar, on the roof of the Moxy Hotel south of Times Square, features a mini-golf course and sweeping views of the Empire State Building and other Big Apple landmarks.

Gooding, a Bronx native, rose to fame after starring in “Boyz N the Hood” in 1991.

Six years later, he won an Oscar for his role as a professional football player in “Jerry Maguire.” His character’s signature line, “Show me the money,” became a catchphrase.

Gooding was nominated for an Emmy Award last year for playing O.J. Simpson in the FX series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and recently appeared on Broadway and London’s West End as lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago.”

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Associated Press writer Kiley Armstrong contributed to this report. Follow Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak

Oskaloosa woman sentenced for insurance fraud

An Oskaloosa woman has been sentenced to two years’ probation and ordered to pay more than $14,000 in restitution and penalties for insurance fraud.  The Iowa Insurance Division says 39-year-old Brandy Voss of Oskaloosa received the deferred judgment last Friday (6/7).  Mahaska County investigators say that in February 2018, Voss made an insurance claim with her insurance company stating that she had lost valuable property. A month later, Voss sold that same property for a profit. She admitted to selling the same property on which she had made the insurance claim.

Grinnell edges Ottumwa in softball

Grinnell scored twice in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday night (6/11) to beat the Oskaloosa High softball team 3-2 in Oskaloosa.  Meghan Moorman and Ashley Kindley had two hits apiece for the Indians.  Hayle Hacker took the loss. The Indians are 8-5 overall and 2-4 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.  They’ll play their fourth game in three days Wednesday night (6/12) when they host Pella at 7:30.

Tuesday high school sports

In high school baseball Tuesday (6/11):

Grinnell 13, Chariton 1 (5 innings)
Knoxville 9, Bondurant-Farrar 2
Lynnville-Sully 9, West Marshall 7
Pekin 15, Wapello 4
Murray 4, Twin Cedars 1
Tuesday’s high school softball:
Burlington and EBF split a doubleheader.  Burlington won the first game 3-1, while the Rockets took the second game 5-4 in 8 innings.
Pella 6, Knoxville 5
North Mahaska 12, BGM 0
Montezuma 10, Iowa Mennonite 2
PCM 6, Roland-Story 0
Lynnville-Sully 8, West Marshall 5
Twin Cedars 6, Murray 5 (8 innings)

Chopper crash renews 9/11 worry about rogue aircraft in NYC

By BERNARD CONDON and TOM KRISHER

NEW YORK (AP) — It was an accident, not terrorism, but this week’s helicopter crash on the roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper has raised serious security concerns because of the ease with which the chopper ventured into one of the nation’s most tightly restricted no-fly zones.

Some of the questions being posed are the same ones that bedeviled authorities after 9/11 nearly two decades ago: Are they able to react quickly enough to a rogue aircraft? What can they realistically do? Is scrambling fighter jets and shooting down the intruder really feasible over densely populated city streets?

“If someone had bad intent and they took off from the heliport and made a beeline to Trump Tower, none of the good guys are going to get in the air fast enough to stop him,” said Steven Bucci, a retired Army Special Forces officer who help design the post-9/11 system to guard U.S. airspace.

Ever since President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, a one-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius around Trump Tower has been designated National Defense Airspace, one of the highest-level restrictions, requiring express permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for any flights below 3,000 feet (914 meters) and constant radio communication with air-traffic control.

Pilots who don’t adhere to the restriction, according to the FAA, may be “intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement” and “the United States government may use deadly force … if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”

Investigators say the pilot who died in the crash Monday afternoon just a few blocks from Trump Tower did not seek such permission and didn’t contact air-traffic control because he wasn’t required to do so, given his intended route, which was supposed to take him around Manhattan to the helicopter’s home base in New Jersey.

After taking off from a heliport on Manhattan’s East Side, the chopper instead strayed over midtown in heavy rain and thick fog and slammed into the roof of the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building during an 11-minute flight.

An official who was briefed on the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity because the federal investigation is still going on said that 58-year-old commercial pilot Tim McCormack radioed just before the crash that he was lost and trying to get back to the heliport.

Whether anyone noticed the plane’s intrusion into the no-fly zone before the crash is unclear. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials said that question is under investigation. The New York Police Department has a squadron of helicopters that patrol the city’s airspace, but none were in the air at the time of the crash.

“I think the FAA needs to look at this very carefully,” he said on CNN. “Do they need to toughen up their rules or put more security or monitoring of the situation to make sure something like this couldn’t happen again?”

The airspace over certain areas — key government buildings and defense installations, for example — has long been off-limits to planes and helicopters. The use of temporary flight restrictions, or TFRs, grew rapidly after the Sept. 11 attacks and came to include bans over major sporting events and areas around presidential visits.

Federal and civilian air officials say it is not unusual for pilots to venture into such areas without permission, and normally it is just a mistake by a pilot who has strayed off course. Air traffic controllers try to reach the pilot by radio and tell the person how to safely leave the area and land at an airport, and pilots usually cooperate.

In the rare cases when the pilot doesn’t answer the radio or disobeys a controller’s instructions, the FAA contacts government agencies such as the Air Force or Homeland Security to intercept the offending aircraft and guide it out of the no-fly zone. If that doesn’t work, authorities may take more drastic action.

On Sept. 11, 2001, fighter jets were scrambled from bases in Virginia and Massachusetts to engage the hijacked passenger planes, but the airliners went down before the jets could get close.

No aircraft has been shot down over the U.S. since 9/11, but there have been many cases that came close. Last August, after a ground crew employee at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stole an empty plane and started doing aerobatic stunts, F-15 jets took off but did not fire. The plane crashed on a sparsely populated island, killing just the hijacker.

John Desmarais, operations director for the Civil Air Patrol at its headquarters near Montgomery, Alabama, said the decision to shoot down a plane would be complicated in New York City. Firing a missile over the city of 8 million people and blasting a plane to pieces, causing a shower of flaming debris, would itself be extraordinarily dangerous.

“I would not think that they would do that over the city, but it depends on what the threats are and the needs at the time,” Desmarais said. “Everybody is going to do their best, but in the end, it would be a tough decision to have to make no matter where that is.”

From 2016 to 2018, the North American Aerospace Defense Command says, it has responded to about 500 flights flagged by FAA as entering no-fly zones without permission or displaying “erratic” behavior. Of those, NORAD says, the military or local law enforcement sent aircraft on intercept missions 164 times.

NORAD spokesman Cameron Hillier said he did not have figures for the number of intercepts in New York City. But nearby areas in New Jersey reportedly have had plenty. The North Jersey Record reported that aircraft were sent to intercept violators around Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, 29 times in 2017 alone.

Hillier said air combat stations are “spread throughout the U.S. and Canada and are capable of responding to any aircraft,” but he would not disclose the number of fighter jets in the New York City area.

Jeffrey Price, a pilot and aviation security expert at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said military commanders would need “extraordinary, credible information” about a threat before ordering a plane to be shot down.

“Fortunately since 9/11 we’ve never had to come to that conclusion of shoot or don’t shoot,” he said. “To make that decision, there is going to have to be a lot of evidence to say, ‘This thing is a threat and the only way to solve this problem is to put a missile into it.’”

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Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak in New York and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

3 from Mahaska County charged with sexual abuse

Three men from Mahaska County are charged with felony sex abuse from an incident with an underage girl that happened two years ago.  The alleged assault happened in June 2017 in Kalona.  The woman, who was underage at the time, told law enforcement she and the three men were traveling from a house in rural Washington County to Kalona in a pickup truck.  The victim told investigators forced themselves on her in the back of the pickup.  Court records say the victim was impaired and could not consent.  A DNA test from the girl’s rape kit found evidence that two of the three men had had sex with her.  28-year-old Ryan Montgomery of New Sharon, 21-year-old Lucas Anderson of Rose Hill and 21-year-old Parker Davis of New Sharon are all charged with second degree sexual abuse, which is a B Felony.  All three are in custody in the Washington County Jail with $25,000 bond set for each of the accused.

Biden & Trump campaign in Iowa

Speaking softly, but firmly, former Vice President Joe Biden brought his Presidential campaign to Ottumwa Tuesday (6/11).  The front-runner for the 2020 Democratic nomination spent most of his 30 minute speech criticizing President Donald Trump and his policies.  Saying he “wanted to make America America again”, Biden said the President is an existential threat to America’s core values and went on to say Trump “makes the wrong choices.”

“Iowa farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China. He thinks that being tough is great.  Well, it’s really easy to be tough when someone else absorbs the pain.”

Biden also laughed at the idea that anyone benefited from the Trump tax cuts and went on to say that he would raise taxes, while complaining about tax loopholes.  As for his current lead in the polls for the Democratic nomination, Biden said that means nothing right now.

“Iowa is a critical, critical state.  I see all these polls; they don’t mean a thing right now.  This is a marathon and the marathon is just beginning.  But at the end of the day, if you can’t cross the line in Iowa, you don’t win the marathon.”

Meanwhile, President Trump was also in Iowa Tuesday.  He visited an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs and spoke about his administration’s move to allow year-round sale of E-15, that’s gas with 15 percent ethanol.

“America must never again be held hostage to foreign suppliers of energy as we were under the Obama/Biden….Sleepy Joe…group.  Sleepy Joe.”

Then last night the President spoke at the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual dinner in West Des Moines.

“Make America great again.  (applause)  Keep America great.  (applause)  I tell you, it slightly beats it out, huh?   You know polls don’t mean a damn thing.  We proved that, didn’t we prove that?  Did anybody ever prove it like we proved it?”

Trump said of Biden, “People don’t respect him. Even the people that he’s running against, they’re saying: ‘Where is he? What happened?'”.      

Oskaloosa baseball splits with Norwalk

Switching to baseball, Oskaloosa and Norwalk split a doubleheader Monday night (6/10) in Oskaloosa.  In game one, Norwalk scored three times in the sixth inning to break a 6-all tie and score an eventual 9-6 victory.  Noah Van Veldhuizen had two hits, including a home run for the Indians….Wyatt Krier took the loss.  In game two, senior Rian Yates struck out 11 over six innings as the Indians beat the Warriors 2-1.  Wyatt Krier had two hits for Oskaloosa—both of them doubles.  The Indians baseball team is now 3-3 in the Conference and 6-4 overall.  Oskaloosa hosts Pella Wednesday night (6/12).

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