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Actor Gary Sinise helps raise money for USS Iowa

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Hollywood actor who portrayed a soldier in an academy award-winning movie is helping raise money for a variety of veterans causes, including repair of the U-S-S Iowa.

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise — who played the character Lieutenant Dan in “Forrest Gump” — hosted a fundraiser last night (Thursday aboard the ship, which is now a floating museum in the Los Angeles harbor. Becky Beach of Des Moines, the founder of the “Puppy Jake Foundation”, was there because a portion of last night’s money haul is going to help her group that trains service dogs for veterans.USS IA

“All Lieutenant Dan wanted to do was honor veterans and serve his country well and that’s what he’s trying to do with his Gary Sinise Foundation,” Beach says. “He mixed and mingled with the folks. He very graciously spent quite a bit of time with the Puppy Jake volunteers and the dogs and then, after his remarks, he presented the honorees with their awards and it was quite moving.” Three gravely wounded soldiers and their primary caregivers were honored, including Iowa native Taylor Morris, a Navy sailor who lost both legs, his left arm up to the elbow and his right hand in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. Sinise is a leader in the “Hope for the Warriors” non-profit group and last night’s event raised money for that organization as well. The U-S-S Iowa needs more upgrades and some of the proceeds from last night will help in that effort.

“The battleship is up and running,” Beach says. “We’ve got record attendance, but there are tremendous needs still to be done.” Beach has also worked to raise money to save the ship and make it into a museum. She says the deck, which is made of teak wood, needs to be restored. The ship will soon have running water and restrooms on board. The next goal is to raise enough money for lifts or

“The reason it’s so critical is, as you know, we are losing WWII veterans daily unfortunately and they come to the ship and it’s difficult for them to get on board,” Beach says. “Having said that, the crew makes every arrangement and gets them on board, but we want to make it much easier so people can just simply come and go up an elevator lift and the teak deck plays a role in that because the deck is not even in some places for wheelchairs.” Beach, often seen around Iowa with a puppy she’s training to be a service today, is at Disneyland this afternoon (Friday) with a small group of other “Puppy Jake Foundation” volunteers who are in L-A with eight dogs-in-training. Beach says taking mass transit in L-A and going to public places like Disneyland will help train the dogs to handle the stress of large crowds when they’re matched with a veteran who needs a service dog.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa governor repeats support for renewable fuel

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is renewing a call to maintain the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply, after a report that the Environmental Protection Agency may scale back proposed cuts to renewable fuel production. Branstad issued his statement Friday. An EPA proposal for renewable fuel standards would reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires.

The governor’s comments came after Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said a discussion with a White House official led him to believe the EPA will reduce the cuts. He still expects an overall drop in renewable fuel quotas. Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn that produces lower carbon emissions than gasoline

Rep. King heading to Texas for border discussions

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Congressman Steve King says he’ll travel to Texas this weekend to learn more about a surge in unaccompanied children from other countries who are entering the U.S. King announced he’ll accompany Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann on Friday on a trip to Texas.

They will visit Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo, where they will meet with border patrol authorities and other officials. They will return Monday. More than 57,000 minors have arrived at the border since October. Most are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Accident update

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our noon report on an accident in Atlantic, authorities say a central Iowa man was transported to the hospital, after the vehicle he was driving collided with another vehicle at the intersection of 7th and Chestnut. The accident happened at around 11:10-a.m.IMG_20140725_112057_212

Officials say Robert Lyst, of Urbandale, was traveling west on 7th Street and in the process of turning left onto southbound Chestnut Street when his van struck an eastbound car on the driver’s side. Lyst was transported to Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the car, Steven Christman, of Atlantic, was checked for injuries but refused transportation to the hospital.

Lyst was cited for Failure to Yield Making a Left Turn. Damage from the crash amounted to $19,000.

Iowa mother pleads guilty to drug charges

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — The mother of one of two slain Iowa cousins has pleaded guilty to drug charges. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Misty Cook-Morrissey pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of delivery of methamphetamine in Fayette County District Court. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Authorities say she was arrested in November for selling drugs out of her West Union home.

Morrissey is the mother of Lyric Cook, who disappeared with her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, in Evansdale in July 2012. Their bodies were found in December 2012 in a rural wildlife refuge in Bremer County. No arrests have been made in their deaths.

Lyric Cook’s father, Daniel Morrissey, was sentenced in September up to 90 years in prison on drug charges.

Extension Committee to Nominate Council Candidates in Shelby Co.

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four Shelby County residents have been appointed to the Extension Council Nominating Committee, Julie Klein announced. The committee is charged with nominating candidates for the five vacancies on the council before August 6, 2014. Committee members selected to nominate extension council candidates for the 2014 election are Erin Gaul, Harlan, Cindy Scheuring, Defiance, Chris Schweiso, Harlan and Justin Wagner, Harlan.

By law the nominating committee must include two women and two men, and cannot include any current member of the council. The committee is required to take county geography into consideration when nominating candidates.

“Serving as an extension council member is one way to give back to your community. If you believe local educational opportunities are vital to the community’s well-being, then you should consider running for council,” said Terry Maloy, director for Iowa Association of County Extension Councils. “It is rewarding to know that people are able to improve their lives, farms, businesses and communities because of ISU Extension and Outreach’s education and information.”

Candidates nominated by the committee must submit petitions containing the names of 25 qualified voters to the county election commissioner by 5 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2014. Additionally, individuals may petition to have their names placed on the ballot through a self-nominating process by submitting petitions with 25 names to the election commissioner. Petition forms are available from the election commissioner and at the county extension office.

Voters will cast ballots for the nominees in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election. Successful candidates will serve four-year terms beginning in January 2015.

1 injured in Atlantic accident

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic following a collision between a van and a passenger car late this (Friday) morning, at 7th and Chestnut Streets. The accident happened at around 11:10-a.m. Crash1IMG_20140725_112057_212

No other details are currently available. Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance, along with Atlantic Police, responded to the scene.

Town Hall meeting in Harlan on new Emergency Response Network

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A town hall meeting for emergency responders was held Thursday night in Harlan with information on a new emergency response network. The FirstNet Network town hall meeting took place at the Harlan Fire Hall. The event was hosted by the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, with  Shawn Wagner from the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB) conducting the meeting. Bob Seivert, Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator, says the network is being established to help emergency responders communicate with one another.

“This is the Nation’s answer to interoperability issues between agencies. This project will provide an infrastructure for the sharing of emergency date between emergency response agencies.” He says the current system works in smaller counties but there are issues. “But what we want to be able to do is we want to leverage the technology that you see being developed on smartphones and different vendors such as Verizon and AT&T. We want to be able to use that technology to save lives.”

FirstNet is hoping to partner with local and state governments and private partnerships to build the network out for the entire country. Seivert says the network is in the beginning stages. “The federal government has been looking at this for several years and it is to the point now where the concept and perception is being pushed out to the public so we can gain enough support to tell our legislators this is indeed something that is valuable and they should look at funding.”

Seivert says there is nothing concrete yet but this is a good way for the general public to learn about FirstNet and what it can do for local responders. The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board is continuing to host town hall meetings in the state of Iowa with the goal to hold one in each county. If you would like more information on the FirstNet network, contact your local County Emergency Management Agency.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

HMU CEO search continues

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Municipal Utilities (HMU) Board of Trustees has received an update on the search for a new Chief Executive Officer. HMU had contracted with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) to search for a new CEO. In a board meeting held Thursday, Chairman David Tyrrel said that search yielded candidates but no one was hired by the board. Tyrrel said he spoke with Scott Fry from MyCoff, Fry and Prouse LLC and found out other utilities are in the same position.

“He had several things to say that I thought were quite interesting. What it has turned out to be is there are a number of communities of our size that are in the same position that we are in. The labor pool that has experience in this type of area is quite small. Even if he took us on, he didn’t feel like he was going to get the pool of candidates we are looking for.”

The board decided to go back to the list of candidates gathered from the IAMU before going out and hiring another search firm for candidates. Board member Terry Arentson also stated he had another search firm he could contact in hopes of landing another applicant or two. Tyrrel said it has been a tough process.

“I think when we first started this; our expectations were this was going to be an easier search process than it turned out to be. Hopefully by the time we have another meeting, we will have something more positive to report.”

In other business, the board approved some additions to the service rules on electric utility and going back to one meeting per month.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Lenox man arrested on assault charge

News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Lenox report the arrest Wednesday night of a man suspected of assault.

Michael Hartley

Michael Hartley

Officials say an investigation into an incident at a residence on west Ohio Street resulted in the arrest of 26-year old Michael Hartley, of Lenox, on charges of Domestic Assault causing injury, and Trespass. Hartley was transported to the Taylor County Jail where he was being held without bond pending an appearance before a magistrate.