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Villisca woman arrested on a drug charge Thu. night


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A routine traffic stop late Thursday night in Villisca resulted in the arrest of a local woman on a drug charge. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says 46-year old Claudia Elizabeth Schubert, of Villisca, faces a Possession of a Controlled Substance, charge.

The woman was arrested during the course of a traffic stop at around 11-p.m., after the Montgomery County K9 “Rex” alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from Schubert’s 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser. The vehicle was searched and a controlled substance was found. Schubert was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

2 men arrested in Red Oak on weapon and burglary charges


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two men were arrested Thursday night on separate charges, in Red Oak. Authorities say Red Oak Police arrested 65-year old Steve Lester Delong, of Red Oak, at around 8:05-p.m. , for discharging a firearm within the City limits. Delong was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

And, at around 9:35-p.m., 22-year old Cody Dean Johnson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Felony Burglary in the 2nd Degree. Johnson’s bond was set at $10,000.

3 arrested on burglary and drug charges in Adams County


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three men were arrested Thursday evening on burglary and narcotics charges, in Adams County. Sheriff’s officials say Josh Cooney, Hubert Scherer and Charles Williams, all from Brooks, were taken into custody at around 6:40-p.m., after authorities investigated a reported burglary in Brooks. Narcotics and drug paraphernalia were found during the investigation.

Triple A sees gas prices staying steady or dropping


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

As you start thinking about summer vacation, Triple-A Iowa spokesperson Gail Weinholzer says you might not have to budget as much money for traveling by car. Weinholzer says all signs are pointing for stable or lower gas prices. “The refineries have completely switched over from the winter to the summer grade fuel, gas stations have to do so by May 1st,” Weinholzer says. “And so we have an abundance of crude oil and refined oil available…as a result we expect cost to remain relatively stable, if not decline back toward two dollars by Labor Day.”

The cost of a gallon of gas in Iowa is well below what it was during the last summer driving season. “A year ago the state of Iowa’s average was three-58 and today it is two-37. So, it is a dollar-20 or so below were you were a year ago on this date. And we expect prices to remain very low, at least until we head into the summer, if not through the summer,” according the Weinholzer. She says that’s the fuel cost forecast from what is known right now.

“There’s always some exceptions to that should anything significant happen to the oil fields in the Middle East. One we get into the summer season, of course we always have to keep an eye on the Hurricanes in the Gulf,” Weinholzer says. “But aside from those two things — the increased supply and relatively stable demand will keep prices low.” Weinholzer wouldn’t be surprised if the gas price trend takes a dip.

“There’s no reason to expect any significant increases, and in fact, we may see a slight decrease as we approach two dollars a gallon perhaps, as we head into the summer driving season,” Weinholzer says. Iowa gas prices would be even lower, but the Iowa Legislature passed and the governor signed an increase into law that up the gas tax by 10 cents on March 1st.

(Radio Iowa)

Changes in online search engine could impact businesses


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa businesses that don’t have a mobile-friendly website may be pushed down the list when potential customers search for them on Google, under changes coming this month. The world’s most popular Internet search engine wants to better accommodate people who use smart phones and tablets, according to Rob Rance, president of the digital division of an advertising firm in Omaha-Council Bluffs.

Rance says, “With 50-percent of searches online being conducted on a mobile device, businesses that get business from online are going to be negatively affected if they are not compliant with a mobile-friendly website.” Mobile-friendly means the website is designed to adapt to any screen size. Google is used in seven of every ten searches and with half of all searches being done with a smart phone or tablet, he says it makes sense that mobile-friendly websites take precedence. Google Analytics is a free testing tool that can be used to analyze a website to see if it’s designed to be mobile friendly.

“It will actually tell you for your own business exactly how many mobile searches you’re getting on a monthly basis,” Rance says. “Then, you can see that if you don’t have a responsive site, you can tell exactly how many visitors you’re probably not going to get as a result of this algorithm change.” Google says the changes will go into effect April 21st. Rance, who works for Sleight Advertising, says it’s a good idea for Iowa businesses to make the necessary changes now.

Rance says, “In my experience, it’s probably reasonable to assume that most businesses could take as much as a 30-to-50% dip in their online search traffic by not being responsive.” He notes, about 90-percent of consumers check out a business website before visiting a store or making a purchase.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, April 10th 2015


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Severe weather making its way across eastern Iowa has produced at least one tornado. The National Weather Service confirms that a tornado was located around 5:25 p.m. yesterday in rural Donahue, which is about 15 miles north of Davenport.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of sending a threatening letter that contained white powder to a Des Moines bar has been arrested. The Des Moines Police Department says 49-year-old Eric Reese Wiethorn of Ames was charged yesterday with first-degree harassment in connection with the letter sent to Blazing Saddle, a gay bar. Firefighters closed a street in Des Moines’ East Village on March 27th after an opened the envelope and white powder spilled out.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City teen has pleaded guilty to igniting a fire that damaged a home. The 14-year-old boy entered his plea yesterday in Woodbury County District Court to second-degree arson in connection with an August fire in Sioux City. The plea agreement reduces his charge from first-degree arson, which would mean a fire was intentionally set to an occupied building.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa waste company has paid a $100,000 fine for illegally dumping trash into its landfill in Sheldon. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office said Thursday that the Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency made the payment in a lawsuit filed in 2013 on behalf of the state Department of Natural Resources. A judge approved the payment Wednesday.

NWS: Tornado touched down in eastern Iowa

News, Weather

April 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Severe weather making its way across eastern Iowa has produced at least one tornado. The National Weather Service confirms that a tornado was located around 5:25 p.m. Thursday in rural Donahue, south of DeWitt. It was reportedly moving east at 50 mph toward Clinton but wasn’t expected to continue into Illinois.

Meteorologist John Haase says there have been no reports of structural damage. He says the tornado caused some blown-over semitrucks and uprooted or damaged trees. Hail as large as ping pong balls was predicted in the area. Tornado warnings have been cancelled in Clinton and Scott counties. Several eastern Iowa counties remained under a tornado watch until 8 p.m.

Memorial Services for Audubon County k-9


April 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Law enforcement officers from across Iowa and as far south as Missouri converged on Audubon Thursday evening, to participate in memorial services for a K9 who died from injuries he suffered during an accident while he and his partner were responding to help Cass County Deputies with an incident on Interstate 80.

Audubon County K9 "Harry's" ashes are contained in this special urn.

Audubon County K9 “Harry’s” ashes are contained in this special urn.

About a dozen K9 handlers assembled in the Audubon Memorial Building to paid tribute to K9 “Harry”, a Belgian Tervuren, who was euthanized March 28th.

Everyone in uniform saluted when “Harry’s” urn was brought into the room and placed on the table that held pictures of he and his partner, along with an American flag folded in a triangle. Audubon County Sheriff Todd Johnson acknowledged the presence of Harry’s fellow canine officers and their handlers.

Johnson mentioned the Audubon County Sheriff’s Department’s K9 program started in 1993 with donations from the public.IMG_20150409_161228207_HDR The County has had three K9’s since then, the cost of which has been paid for through drug forfeitures. Harry came to the department in 2010, as a one-year old. Johnson said was exceptional in narcotics detection. He said K9’s have been referred to as a “Well trained pet,” but Johnson said “Harry was no pet.”

He said he was a “Head strong and intelligent K9,” who was responsible for numerous drug busts, the recovery of more than $270,000 in drug money, and numerous arrests. He also had his mischievous side. Johnson said Harry tore up the coat of his handler while he wasn’t looking, and poked holes in Johnson’s winter jacket.

After Cass County Deputy Kyle Quist, himself a K9 trainer/handler, spoke about the way the animals become a part of the deputies’ family, Harry’s partner, Audubon County Deputy Shawn Young, tearfully read from the “K9 Promise.”

Harry's partner, Deputy Shawn Young

Harry’s partner, Deputy Shawn Young

He concluded by calling into Audubon County Dispatch, one final time, that Harry’s tour of duty, had ended. Young radioed “Audubon 5-6….this is the final call for K9 Harry…end of watch..March 28th, 2015…10-42.”

(Left) Cass County Dep. Kyle Quist, his partner Vader, and fellow K9 handlers & their partners.

(Left) Cass County Dep. Kyle Quist, his partner Vader, and fellow K9 handlers & their partners.


Iowa House committee approves broadband legislation


April 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislation aimed at expanding high-speed Internet in Iowa continues to move forward this session, though lawmakers agree there will be some changes to the bill.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously Thursday for a bill that would create a 10-year property tax relief program for service providers that add infrastructure for broadband, also known as high-speed Internet. It now heads to the full House.

The bill would create a grant program funded with federal and private money. It originally had $5 million in state dollars, but that was stripped away earlier in the session after some lawmakers expressed concern about its sustainability.

A similar bill is being considered in the Senate. Lawmakers overseeing both bills say they expect to align the legislation and make changes.


Highway 6 construction updates to be provided weekly


April 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said today (Thursday) the public will be informed each week through the local media, about detours for Highway 6 in Atlantic, once a long-awaited construction project begins in the next few weeks. The road is scheduled to be closed from the intersection of Olive Street and Highway 6 (7th Street) east to just past the entrance to Burger King.

IA DOT District 4 Transportation Planner Scott Suhr and District 4 Assistant District Engineer Don Stevens provided the media with a project update this (Thursday) morning. While the exact start date has not yet been determined because the contractor for the project has not yet signed the documents necessary to begin, Suhr says in the days leading up to construction, orange “Trailblazing” detour signs with the names of each business will be erected, directing people to those local businesses they would normally have access to on 7th Street.

Signs will also be placed at 7th and Olive directing traffic to 10th Street for local, through traffic. Other, non-local or “Global” traffic will take Highway 173, Interstate 80 and U-S Highway 71 into or around Atlantic.

Bid letting on the project took place on March 17th. And, while the exact start date has yet to be determined, construction will start no later than June 6th and be completed in two-to three-months, depending on the weather. In ideal situation, Suhr said construction would start following the last day of school, and be completed before the fall semester begins.

Project updates will be made available to the media for dissemination to the public on Monday afternoons, following meetings with the contractor, once construction begins. The idea is to keep the public informed on progress being made while the project is underway.