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2 hurt in separate Pott. Co. crashes, Sunday evening


December 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured during separate crashes Sunday evening in Pottawattamie County.The Iowa State Patrol says the first crash happened south of McClelland at around 5:20-p.m. on 270th Street, just south of Hickory Road. Officials say 1997 Chevy pickup driven by 29-year old Christopher T. Mahoney, of McClelland, was traveling north on 270th, when Mahoney fell asleep at the wheel. The pickup left the road and hit a utility pole. Mahoney, who was wearing his seat belt, was transported by Treynor Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. The accident remains under investigation.

The second crash happened at around 6:24-p.m. on Highway 59, near the Wings America Truck Stop just north of Avoca. Officials say a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta pulled out of the Wings parking lot onto Highway 59 and was struck by a northbound 2006 Infiniti QX-56. Both vehicles came to rest on the roadway.

The driver of the Infiniti, 43-year old Amber Quist, of Omaha, was transported by Avoca Rescue to Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan. Officials say Quist was wearing her seat belt. The driver of the Jetta, 31-year old Lindsay Holmes of Anita, and a passenger in her car, were not injured.


Carjacking suspect hits woman in Council Bluffs


December 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police are looking for a man who is accused of carjacking a couple in Council Bluffs and then hitting the woman as he drove away. Police say the couple left their vehicle running outside a Bucky’s convenience store shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The couple told police that a man climbed into their car and started to drive off.

Authorities say the woman ran outside to stop the suspect, and he ran into her. The woman was taken to the hospital with lower leg injuries, but is expected to recover. Police in Omaha found the car on fire about an hour later. Authorities are still investigating.

Woodbury Co. official charged with assault


December 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Woodbury County supervisor and jail official is on paid administrative leave after he was arrested this weekend on suspicion of domestic assault. David Tripp is accused of firing a revolver into the air during an argument with his wife at their home on Saturday. No one was injured. The 43-year-old Tripp was charged with aggravated assault, a misdemeanor.

Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says he’s greatly concerned, and a decision on Tripp’s future could come before the criminal investigation is completed. County Board Chairman Larry Clausen says he’s not sure what consequences Tripp could face in his role as a supervisor. Tripp was elected in 2010.

Bluffs residents to take on 6% water rate hike


December 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

It’ll cost more for residents of Council Bluffs to use water supplied by the City, beginning January 1st. The Omaha World-Herald, citing an official with the Council Bluffs Water Works, says residents will see a 6 percent hike in their water bills, which is the first increase since an 8 percent jump in 2012. The Water Works serves 22,000 customers.

Based on calculations, the cost of the average family’s water usage will increase roughly $14.28 per year to $253 from this year’s average annual water cost of $238. That comes out to an additional $2.38 every two months. Most residents are billed every two months.The current cost for taking a daily shower using 25 gallons of water is just a dime. Under the new increase, the cost of that shower will increase just a penny.

Earlier this month, the Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ Board of Trustees approved a 5-percent across the board increase for both electric and water rates beginning January 1st. That means the average household would see an increase of one-dollar per month in their water bill.

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., Dec. 15 2013


December 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An early-morning fire has damaged the National Mississippi River Center Museum and Aquarium. Officials tell the Dubuque Telegraph Herald that the fire appears to have started early Saturday near the tortoise exhibit, causing minor damage. Officials say no humans or animals were injured in the fire.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Police have arrested a man suspected of pulling a gun at Davenport’s North YMCA. The Quad-City Times reports that a 21-year-old Davenport man has been charged with carrying a weapon on school grounds and intimidation with a weapon. Police identified the man as a suspect in the Friday gun incident and obtained a search warrant for his home, where he was arrested later Friday. No one was injured.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Salvation Army official says a woman stole a countertop Red Kettle from a restaurant in Sioux City. Major Von Vandiver, the commanding officer of The Salvation Army of Siouxland, told the Sioux City Journal a surveillance video showed a woman walked into Perkins Restaurant & Bakery about 2 a.m. Tuesday and took the kettle.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — K.C. Ross-Miller scored eight points in the final minute of regulation and added four more in overtime as New Mexico State defeated Drake 81-69 Saturday night. Richard Carter scored a team-high 21 points, Daniels added 18 and Caird 13 to lead the Bulldogs in Des Moines.

Shenandoah man arrested Saturday morning in Red Oak


December 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officers with the Red Oak Police Department arrested a Shenandoah man early this (Saturday) morning. Authorities say 25-year old Michael Dean Wilson was taken into custody at around 2:50-a.m. in the vicinity of West Market and 1st Streets, in Red Oak. Wilson was charged with Driving While Suspended. He was brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on $566 bond.

Monona County auditor resigns after effort to remove her


December 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – The Monona County auditor is resigning after efforts by officials to remove her from office following her arrest on drug charges. The Sioux City Journal reported Friday that Auditor Brooke Kuhlmann submitted a letter of resignation.

At the request of county commissioners, Monona County Attorney Michael Jensen filed a motion last month to remove Kuhlmann from office. The motion noted Kuhlmann hasn’t been coming to work since she was charged last July with buying methamphetamine from an undercover state trooper.

Kuhlmann has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. Her trial is scheduled for February 18th.  Kuhlmann was elected as a Democrat in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

Le Mars official: Don’t do any laundry


December 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – Residents of Le Mars are being cautioned to hold off on their laundry because a water main break has caused rusty water to flow from customers’ taps.  City Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann tells the Le Mars Daily Sentinel it took about 45 minutes to shut down the water main Friday, and during that time pressure in water lines varied greatly. That caused water to scour the lines, releasing rust into the water that reaches most of the city’s residents.

Sitzmann says it’s unclear how long the rust-colored water would remain. Until the water clears, she recommends against doing laundry, especially of white clothes.

No winner in $425M Mega Millions jackpot


December 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – No one has won the $425 million jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery game. Lottery officials say no one matched all of the numbers in the drawing Friday night.  The numbers drawn were: 19-24-26-27-70, Mega Ball: 12.  The jackpot now is expected to reach $550 million for the next drawing on Tuesday. The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was a $656 million jackpot in March 2012.

The Mega Millions underwent a major game revamp in October in an effort to grow bigger jackpots in a shorter amount of time. But it also decreased the odds of a person winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million. It was previously about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds as winning the Powerball jackpot.

Decades old holiday tradition continues at the Jack Baird Farm Saturday


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A holiday tradition that began with a simple Christmas light display more than 40-years ago continues near Red Oak, and features newer technology, this year. Jack Baird and his family have been hard at work preparing for their light and display show for the past couple of months. Speaking on KJAN’s “Heartbeat Today” with Jim Field, Baird said they try to add another element to the show each year, and this year is no different. He said they’re adding a 19-foot tall saluting soldier this year, which has become a daunting task, but one they will have ready by the time the display opens Saturday evening.

The lights will be turned on at the Baird farm northwest of Red Oak, beginning at around 5:30-p.m. Saturday. Jack said there all many different signs on the hills, a church with animated characters and large Nativity Scene, and a more than 20-foot tall lighted ferris wheel. Baird switched the lights from the old incandescent-style to LED’s, which he says proved not only to be brighter and clearer, but a great cost-saver.

As many cities have learned, the use of LED lights could save 90-percent on the cost of electricity. Another advantage, is that they’re tough and will likely last longer.  The 82-year old Baird says the best way to get to the farm from Atlantic, is to take Highway 48 past Elliott, west on H-12 for three-miles, and then south for a little more than a mile. You won’t be able to miss the display, even if you’re still several miles away….just look for a large glow. A star on top of a grain bin is 50-feet in the air, and a Christmas tree on top of a radio tower is about 70-feet high.

The actual physical address is 1233 E Avenue. There is no charge to view the display, but the Baird family does accept donations through a collection box placed near the display. You can view the holiday display every night from this Saturday until New Year’s Day, from dark until 10:30-p.m. Sundays through Fridays, and until 11-p.m. on Saturdays.