Suspect turns himself in

SIOUX CITY — A Sioux City man turned himself in Wednesday, hours after the Sioux City Police Department had posted social media images of him using a stolen credit card.

Lesandro Alvizo-Allison, 18, was arrested on charges of forgery, unauthorized use of a credit card and third-degree theft.

He is accused of using a stolen credit card to make purchases at several Sioux City businesses. On Tuesday, the Sioux City Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page, asking for the public’s assistance to identify a person seen using a stolen credit card on surveillance video from Shoe Carnival and the Wal-Mart store on Singing Hills Boulevard.

According to court documents, the victim lost her wallet and contents on Dec. 10 while eating at a Sioux City restaurant. Charges began to appear on her credit card later that day.

After he turned himself in, Alvizo-Allison admitted to police that he received stolen credit cards from a friend and charged a total of $815.08. He also told police he had a methamphetamine problem and that he turned himself in at the urging of a family member, court documents said.

State Park hosts First Day Hike

PONCA, Neb. — Ponca State Park will hold its annual First Day Hike starting at 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

The 1.28-mile guided hike runs on the Overlook Trail, beginning at the Tri-State Overlook. Participants will see views of the tri-state region, search for animal tracks and learn to identify trees in the wintertime.

A valid Nebraska state park permit is required, and hikers are advised to dress for the weather. Snacks, water, cameras and binoculars can be brought along, but the terrain is unsuitable for baby strollers.

For more information, call Ponca State Park at (402)-755-2284.

Iowa to notify families soon about CHIP

DES MOINES — Iowa is preparing to notify families in early February that federal money could run out soon for a health insurance program that covers roughly 60,000 low-income children in the state, though officials are also hopeful congressional action early in the new year will make such contingency plans unnecessary.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has drafted letters that could be mailed out to families about dwindling money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known nationally as CHIP and as hawk-i in the state. The program is aimed at children from families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Iowa officials expect money for hawk-i to run out at the end of March or possibly April without more federal funding, according to DHS spokesman Matt Highland. He said the agency is still reviewing how newly approved short-term federal funding will affect hawk-i’s latest finances. The extra money, which DHS is reviewing, could delay notification to families until March. The state wants to give families 60 days’ notice.

The department also has an internal work group exploring options such as whether to recommend freezing hawk-i enrollment, switching all affected kids to Medicaid or ending hawk-i entirely.

If the state ends hawk-i, about 16,000 children enrolled in the program will be eligible for Iowa’s expansion of Medicaid. But the families of about 44,000 children would need to seek other coverage, such as enrolling kids into the insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

Brenna Smith, press secretary for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, said the governor does not support any of the contingency options being floated by the department. In a statement, Smith added that Reynolds “expects Congress to do the right thing and approve this funding, as they have always done in the past.”

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