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Reminder: Freeze, frost advisories issued for parts of Nebraska, Iowa


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Those in Nebraska and Iowa who’ve already planted their spring flora might want to bring them inside or cover them up overnight. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for most parts of northeastern Nebraska and Monona County in western Iowa for Wednesday night into Thursday morning. A freeze warning means overnight low temperatures are forecast to drop as low as 28 degrees, with below-freezing temperatures expected for several hours.

Sensitive outdoor vegetation may be damaged or killed if left unprotected from the freeze. The service has also issued a frost advisory for east-central and southeastern Nebraska and much of southwestern Iowa. A frost advisory means overnight lows are forecast between 32 degree and 36 degrees.

Crawford County Mem. Hospital facing 3 wrongful-death lawsuits


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DENISON, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa hospital is facing a spate of wrongful death lawsuits. The Des Moines Register reports that two of the lawsuits against Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison were filed within the last two weeks. Another was filed last year. The hospital gained attention last year when it unsuccessfully tried to keep a $500,000 wrongful-death settlement from being made public.

One of the three pending lawsuits claims a surgeon ignored warnings that a morbidly obese man could not be safely sedated. Another says a teenage patient who swallowed prescription sedatives died after being sent home. The third says a newborn died after a doctor failed to promptly address a dangerous intestinal growth.

A spokesman told the newspaper that the hospital doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits.

Atlantic School Board approves Panorama woman as Director of Finance


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board, Wednesday evening, acting on a recommendation from incoming Superintendent Steve Barber, approved the hiring of Sarah Sheeder as the District’s Director of Finance to replace Mary Beth Fast, who is resigning at the end of the current school year to take a job in Urbandale. Current Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said an administrative team sat in on interviews with four candidates.

Sarah Sheeder (Panorama School District photo)

Sheeder has served as a School Business Manager/Board Secretary at the Panorama School District for the past seven-years. Prior to that she was working in the private sector. In other business, the Board approved the resignations of: Washington Elementary Kindergarten teacher Taylor Mosier, who has accepted a position in Ankeny; Linda Joyce, Middle School 7th grade science teacher, who has elected to retire at the end of the school year; Michelle McLaren, 8th grade Volleyball coach; Paul Dreager, Maintenance/grounds custodian, who is retiring; and they approved Mike McDermott, as homebound instructor for a Middle School Student.

Japanese beetles are about to emerge in force, threatening crops & gardens

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

With all the fuss about musician Paul McCartney making his first concert stop in Iowa in a dozen years, there’s news of looming trouble with another beetle, the creepy-crawly kind. Entomologist Robert Wright says conditions appear favorable this year for a wider infestation of the Japanese beetle in Iowa and across the region. It can be a threat to Iowa’s top two crops and our gardens.

“It has just one generation a year. Right now, they’re in the soil as immature white grubs feeding on grass roots and plant roots,” Wright says. “The adults will emerge in late June and into July and that’s when we’ll start seeing the adults.” Iowans have likely seen the bug but may not know it’s a Japanese beetle. They’re easy to identify.

“They’re about a half-inch long with a bright metalic green head and shoulders and then the wing covers of the back are a coppery-brown color,” he says. The pests have been in the U-S for nearly a century and here in the Midwest for perhaps 30 years. Not only are they a threat to corn and soybean crops, but they can gobble up our gardens and landscaping.

“Oftentimes when you’re gardening, you may see it attacking roses,” Wright says. “It likes things in the apple family. It’ll feed on crab apples. Linden trees are a favorite plant in terms of feeding on the leaves.” Iowa’s farmers need to be on particular guard for the insect.

“In agricultural settings, it can feed on both corn and soybeans,” Wright says. “It’ll defoliate the leaves in soybeans. It also will feed on the leaves in corn but it really prefers to feed on the silk.” He says the same insecticide used to control white grubs also works well on the beetles.

(Radio Iowa)

Ex-Iowa fire academy manager pleads guilty in test scandal


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa fire academy administrator has pleaded guilty to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony misconduct in office. Judge James Malloy scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 24.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years’ probation, unspecified restitution and community service for McPhee, 49. Malloy could opt for a different sentence for McPhee, who remains free on bond and faces a maximum of five years in prison.

McPhee, who began at the Ames-based academy in 1998, assigned passing scores to exams without checking or correcting them for years. More than 2,400 firefighters and emergency personnel were granted nationally-recognized certifications despite failing tests.

Oakland woman arrested for allegedly supplying alcohol to underage individual


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Pottawattamie County say a woman from Oakland was arrested late Monday night for allegedly supplying alcohol to a person under the legal age. 46-year old Elizabeth Loring also faces a charge of Interference with Official Acts associated with the incident at the Penalties Sports Bar in Carson. A 19-year-old male was issued a citation during the investigation, for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office said also: 23-year-old Edward Taylor, of Avoca, was arrested Tuesday for OWI/1st offense; 18-year old Madison Owen, of Louisville, Nebraska, was arrested Tuesday on warrant for Failure to Appear on the charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance Marijuana 1st Offense; and 38-year old Jody Eugene Biodrowski, of Omaha, was arrested Monday on a warrant for Failure to Comply with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

Delayed accident report from Union County


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office today (Wednesday) issued a report on an injury accident that took place Saturday night. Officials say 15-year old Hailee Trichel, of Corning, was driving a 2001 Dodge pickup northbound in the 1200 block of Green Valley Road, when she swerved to avoid a deer on the road. The pickup went out of control and came to rest in the east ditch, striking a fence. The damage amounted to $4,500 altogether. The accident happened at around 8:45-p.m, Saturday.

Trichel suffered suspected minor/non-incapacitating injuries and was transported by private vehicle to the Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston. No citations were issued.

Union County Sheriff’s report (4/26)


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office reports 37-year old Dustin Ray Kilgore, of Creston, was arrested Monday for Driving While Barred. Kilgore was later released on $2,000 bond. And, a Lorimor woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, that sometime over the past month, someone entered her residence and took a trailer camera, Pampered Chef items, a mirror, clock, audible alarm and other household items. The loss was estimated at $850.

Waspy’s Truck Stop groundbreaking ceremony held


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The groundbreaking ceremony for a new, full-service truck stop south of Audubon was held indoors this (Wednesday) morning, due to expected wet weather. The event was held inside the Audubon County Economic Development Building.

Members of the Handlos family and other local dignitaries.

The Lawrence Handlos family, along with City and County officials, and members of the Audubon County Economic Development Board were on-hand to talk about the $18-million construction project, which is expected to employ about 70 people.

Sarah Gomez, Executive Director of Midwest Partnership Development Corporation, said there are other economic aspects to the project. She says it will create a ripple effect of 12 other jobs, such as child care workers, stock and clerk file orderers, teachers and assistants. The payroll of which will likely amount to $300,000 per year.

Brian Handlos, General Manager/CEO for the property, said there are already two maintenance people hired while construction is underway. The project, he said, encompasses an area roughly the size of two football fields. He said there’s approximately 200,000 yards of dirt to move on the site, or about 11,000 scraper loads. There’s about 250 tons of rebar coming in, 6,850 feet of storm water pipes, 16,000 yards of cement, and 80,000 square feet of buildings under roof.

When complete, Waspy’s Truck Stop will include a convenience store, the Feed Mill Restaurant, a two-story 33-room hotel tentatively called “Bluegrass Inn and Suites,” (although that may change), a  truck & car wash, and a diesel repair shop.

The facility is owned by Lawrence and Doris Handlos, along with their children, Brian and Beth, who are assisting with project development. Work on the project is expected to be finished in less than 18-months.

Search warrant leads to recovery of weapons in Page County


April 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports a search warrant executed Tuesday evening at 614 N. 11th Street, in Clarinda, resulted in the recovery of several firearms that were stolen during a Clarinda residential burglary that took place last month.

Officers also seized a small amount of personal use marijuana. Complaints alleging juvenile delinquency for felony theft by exercising control over stolen property and misdemeanor possession of marijuana are pending against a seventeen-year-old white male who resides at the residence.

All reports have been forwarded to Page County Juvenile Court Services and the juvenile division of the Page County Attorney’s Office.