Two recent non-injury accidents in Atlantic


December 8th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic Police Department released details Thursday on two recent accidents in Atlantic.

On Wednesday, December 7th at 12:05pm officers responded to an accident on 5th Street near the intersection with Walnut Street.  A vehicle driven by Jacquelyn Wickey of Atlantic was traveling southbound in the 400 block of the alley between Walnut and Elm Streets coming up to the 10 block of east 5th. Another vehicle driven by Janice Duben of Atlantic was westbound on East 5th Street passing the alley intersection.  Wickey entered the intersection and struck the right side of Duben’s vehicle. No injuries were reported. Wickey was cited for Failure to Yield Entering a Street and her vehicle received $800 damage.  Duben’s vehicle received an estimated $1,000 damage.

On Thursday at 9:28am officers responded to a two vehicle accident at the intersection of 7th Street and Cherry Street in Atlantic.  A vehicle driven by Ruth McMillen of Lewis was westbound on 7th Street and coming to the intersection with Cherry Street. McMillen attempted to get in the turn lane to turn left on Cherry Street and struck a vehicle driven by Megan Santana of Atlantic. No injuries were reported and McMillen was cited for Failure to Yield making a left turn. McMillen’s vehicle sustained an estimated $3,750 damage and Santana’s vehicle sustained an estimated $3,950 damage.

Reynolds speaks as she steps off the plane


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s next governor says she has prepared for the responsibilities ahead. A reporter and photographer for a central Iowa television station staked out the Des Moines airport last (Wednesday) night, catching Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds as she returned from a family vacation in Mexico. Reynolds was interviewed live on the “Local 5 News” at 10 o’clock on W-O-I Television.

“It’s great to be back in Iowa and I’m really, really excited and proud of Governor Branstad — first of all — for this new assignment and this new role,” Reynolds told WOI. Reynolds says no one is more qualified than Branstad to serve as ambassador to China. As for HER new role as Iowa’s first female governor, Reynolds told W-O-I:

“I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Governor Branstad for six years now and I have had the opportunity to learn from the best governor in the nation,” Reynolds told WOI’s reporter. State officials have not announced when the transfer of power from Branstad to Reynolds will occur.

Branstad must win confirmation from the U.S. Senate for his new posting in China. That senate vote would take place sometime AFTER Donald Trump is sworn in as president on January 20th. Both Branstad and Reynolds are expected to appear with Trump tonight (Thursday) at Trump’s “Thank You Tour” rally stop in Des Moines.

(Radio Iowa w/permission from WOI-TV)

Ernst touts mental health care reforms included in ‘Cures Act


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A plan to speed up approval for new drug treatments has cleared congress this week and it includes a proposal from Senator Joni Ernst. Ernst is a co-sponsor of the “Mental Health Reform Act” — and those provisions are now part of the larger piece of legislation that’s headed to the president for approval.

“It focuses on streamlining the many, many different mental health programs that we have in existence in the federal government,” Ernst says. “It focused them, brings them together and makes them much more efficient.” Supporters say it’s the most significant piece of mental health-related legislation since congress passed a bill eight years ago requiring equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health. The new legislation sets up grants for states, to attract psychiatrists and psychologists to rural areas and beef up community-based mental health care resources.

“We are very hopeful with this legislation we’ll be able to prevent problems in the mental health area with our constituents in Iowa,” Ernst says. The bill calls for federal funding of training for local law enforcement who are often the first responders to someone suffering a mental health crisis. On a separate but related issue, Ernst is asking for more information from Veterans Administration officials on two cases in which Iowa vets committed suicide after seeking help from the V-A.

(Radio Iowa)

Firefighters: Child killed in central Iowa house fire


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

PERRY, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters say a child has died in a fire at a rural central Iowa house. The fire was reported around 8 a.m. Thursday in a house northwest of Perry. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that firefighters were told a child was trapped in an upstairs area of the house.

Fire officials say that when crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames. Officials confirmed that a child died in the fire. The identity of the child has not yet been released. The Iowa State Fire Marshall’s office is helping with the investigation. A cause of the fire has not been determined, but fire officials said they do not suspect foul play.

Police release video in shooting that paralyzed Iowa man


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released dashcam video of a traffic stop in which a white Iowa police officer shot and paralyzed an unarmed black motorist. Cedar Rapids officer Lucas Jones shot Jerime Mitchell on Nov. 1. The video was released Thursday after prosecutors announced Tuesday that a grand jury declined to charge Jones.

The county prosecutor defended the jury’s Monday decision, saying Jones fired in self-defense during a scuffle in which Mitchell was trying to drive away. Mitchell’s supporters have criticized the decision because the grand jury never heard testimony from Mitchell, who disputes the officer’s version.

In a statement Wednesday, Mitchell said Jones was combative. Mitchell says he got back in his truck to try to get away from an attacking police dog before Jones jumped on him and shot him.

IEDA approves expansion of Elk Horn Housing Rehab area


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with SWIPCO (Southwest Iowa Planning Council) report the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved expansion of the target area in the city of Elk Horn’s Housing Rehabilitation Community Development Block Grant to include all homes within city limits.

SWIPCO is seeking two more applicants for the housing rehabilitation program.  Up to $24,999 in home repairs per home, with additional money for lead abatement, is available for this five year forgivable loan. Applicants must be income qualified, be the homeowner of record, and live in the residence.  SWIPCO staff is available to help all homeowners through the application, income qualification, and rehabilitation process.SWIPCO

Community Development Director Amber Carcel says “With the expansion of the target area to anyone within city limits we are able to include homeowners who would have been excluded before and hope to have more applicants.”

The funds are made possible by a Community Development Block Grant the City of Elk Horn received from the Iowa Economic Development Authority in 2015.  Elk Horn was awarded $304,000 for the repair of eight homes.  Six homes have been approved and are in the rehabilitation process.

Interested applicants should contact SWIPCO at 712-243-4196 for more information.

RICK DEAN GILSON, 58, of Guthrie Center (12-10-2016)


December 8th, 2016 by Jim Field

RICK DEAN GILSON, 58, of Guthrie Center died Wednesday, December 7th in Des Moines.  Funeral service for RICK DEAN GILSON will be held on Saturday, December 10th at 10:30 am in the First Christian Church in Guthrie Center.  Twigg Funeral Home in Guthrie Center is in charge of arrangements.


Visitation will be held on Friday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the funeral home.

Burial will immediately follow the service at the Union Cemetery in Guthrie Center.

Online condolences may be left at

RICK DEAN GILSON is survived by:

Wife:  Roberta Gilson

Son:  Travis Gilson.

Daughter:  Tara Reed.


Backyard & Beyond 12-8-2016

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

December 8th, 2016 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen talks about Christmas vacations.


Air show at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha canceled


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) – Officials with Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha say the base’s popular annual air show and open house set for next summer has been canceled. The base’s 55th Wing sent a news release Wednesday announcing the cancellation of the 2017 Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show, which had been scheduled for July 1-2. The Navy’s Blue Angels precision fighter jet team was to headline the show.

Col. Marty Reynolds, 55th Wing commander, cited increased demands for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the cancellation. The last time the base canceled the show was in 2015 for runway repairs.

Atlantic School Board reviews Superintendent Search Survey results


December 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education met Wednesday evening at the Middle School Library to review the results of an online Superintendent Survey. Ray and Associates were hired to conduct the survey back in October. Representatives from the firm were on-hand during Wednesday evening’s meeting to go over the results. School Board member Kristy Pellett, who acted as Board Secretary for the meeting, told KJAN News 483 survey forms were filled out and submitted. The submissions she said, came from a wide cross section of the community and school district.

They included 98 teachers, 7 administrators, 35 support staff, 177 parents, 105 students, 42 non-parent community members, 14 “Other” persons, and five Board of Education members.

The surveys revealed there were 33 qualities those persons sought in a new Superintendent. The Board reviewed a matrix of those, along with a recommendation from the search firm. They then selected 10 of the top qualities based on the recommendation.

The next steps in the search process involve sending out search brochures and applications. The Board approved the promotional flier as well as the online application. The deadline for application materials to be submitted by prospective candidates is January 30th. The Board will meet again with the consultants Feb. 13th. The Board hopes to interview the top candidates during the week of Feb. 20th.

The second round of interviews with the finalists will take place the week of February 27th. A final meeting with the consultants is set for March 1st, with hopes an offer will be presented to the finalist soon thereafter.