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Update on fatal fire in Council Bluffs Friday morning

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Council Bluffs Fire Department Friday afternoon, released details pertaining to a fatal fire that occurred Friday morning. Authorities say that around 7:18-a.m., firefighters from Council Bluffs were dispatched to a one-story residential structure fire. The fire units to arrive on the scene found heavy smoke and fire emitting from the basement of the home.

When crews began to attack the flames and conduct a search for victims, they found a man in a bedroom. He was transported to Mercy Hospital and was reported to be in stable condition. A female resident in a basement bedroom was found deceased. Officials say she had no means of secondary egress from the basement. An additional male and female who were residing in the home managed to escape prior to the arrival of firefighters.

Crews quickly extinguished the flames, and no other properties were damaged. The damage was primarily confined to the basement, where the fire originated. The rest of the structure sustained only smoke damage.

An investigation was being conducted to determine the origin and cause of the fire. The names of the victims and other information is currently not available.

New Year’s Eve Powerball ticket worth $1 million

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Powerball ticket bought at a Johnston convenience store on new Year’s Eve is worth $1 million. Iowa Lottery officials say the ticket was bought at a Casey’s General Store location and missed the $120 million jackpot by one number. The ticket matches the first five numbers but not the Powerball. It is one of five tickets across the country to hit the first five numbers and win $1 million prize.

The Powerball jackpot grows to $131 million for Saturday’s drawing. Lottery officials say five tickets bought in Iowa in 2014 won $1 million prizes.

Cass County Supervisors hold organizational mtg. Friday

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met Friday morning in Atlantic to take care of administrative and organizational matters for the new year. Following a vote, 2014 Board Chair Frank Water was re-elected as Chair for 2015. The votes for Vice-Chair went to Gaylor Schelling.

The Board then acted on approving the following recommended appointments: Bev Groves, office assistant for Cass County Attorney Dave Wiederstein; Marci Wallingford, as deputy in the Cass County Recorder’s Office. Bethany Nichols as Motor Vehicle Deputy, Julie Symonds as Driver License Deputy, Beth Marcsisak as Deputy, Kate Winston as assistant and Brandi Wittrock as Drive Examiner. All serve in the Cass County Treasurer’s Office.

In addition to various other administrative matters and appointments of Board members to various committees and boards, the Supervisors also agreed to continue to meet weekly on Wednesday’s, beginning at 8:30-a.m., unless otherwise noted. There next regular meeting will take place Jan. 7th.

SW IA man arrested in connection with stolen pickup

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Shenandoah man on charges associated with the theft of a vehicle that took place New Year’s Day. 21-year old Jacob Tacker faces charges that include Operating a motor vehicle without Owner’s Consent, Theft in the 2nd Degree, Trespassing, and Interference with Official Acts.

Tacker, who allegedly took a pickup from Green Plains Renewable Energy, was booked into the Fremont County Jail and later released on $7,600 bond. Deputies were assisted in their investigation by officers with the Shenandoah Police Department.

Defiance man arrested on drug charge in Crawford County

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop Wednesday south of Denison resulted in the arrest of a Shelby County man on drug charges. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office reports 42-year old Shawn Steinkuehler, of Defiance faces  a Possession of Marijuana charge after the vehicle he was in was pulled over on Highway 58.

The Crawford County K9 Bayou was deployed and alerted to the order of narcotics. After an investigation, Steinkuehler was taken into custody.

Soiree With the Swans… CHANGE OF VENUE!

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Conservation Service said Friday (today), there has been a change of venue for Saturday’s  “Soiree with the Swans.” The event, which was to have been held at the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area, will instead take place at the Atlantic Public Library. Cass Co Conservation Board

You’re invited to join Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning for the Soiree with the Swans event in Atlantic, on Saturday, January 3rd. Lora will be giving ten-minute presentations regarding the Trumpeter Swans at the Atlantic Public Library from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. with a light lunch available.

Hot chocolate, cookies, Sandwiches, and other snacks will be provided free of charge with donations being accepted (for swan care).The event is being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.

Iowa gets “F” for campaign finance disclosure laws

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa has received a failing grade for its laws governing disclosure of some of the campaign spending on races for governor and the legislature. The National Institute of Money in State Politics gave Iowa an “F” — and faulted the state for making it difficult for the public to figure out what’s going on. Iowa Campaign Disclosure Board director Megan Tooker says she’s offered legislation in the past to require more disclosure.

“We’ve had trouble getting any traction in that regard,” Tooker says. “…We, of course, are happy to work with any legislators that want to propose legislation to require disclosure.” Tooker is backing other legislation that would scale back some reporting requirements for campaigns, moves that will comply with court orders.

(Radio Iowa)

Groups back Iowa State in sexual misconduct appeal

News, Sports

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Groups representing rape victims and college administrators are asking a court to uphold Iowa State’s decision to kick a basketball player off the team for alleged sexual misconduct. The Victim Rights Law Center and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education say the case of former Cyclone guard Bubu Palo has national significance. Iowa State is asking the Iowa Supreme Court to reverse an August ruling that found there wasn’t evidence that Palo violated its sexual misconduct policy.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday, the national groups say the case could impact students and colleges in Iowa and across the country. They say universities must be able to use internal disciplinary hearings to enforce stricter standards of sexual misconduct than criminal law allows.

Former Lieutenant Governor Art Neu has died

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Arthur Neu has died. Art Neu was Iowa’s lieutenant governor from January of 1973 ’til January of 1979. Steve Roberts was chairman of the Iowa Republican Party at the time. “He was a dedicated public servant, a very caring individual,” Roberts says. “He had a marvelous sense of humor.” Neu, who was born in Carroll, Iowa, got his undergrad and law degrees from Northwestern University. He practiced law in Carroll and served for six years in the Iowa Senate in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

In the 1980s, after his stint as lieutenant governor, Neu was elected mayor of Carroll. Neu served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Board of Regents. It’s a an “amazing” record of public service, according to Roberts. “He got elected as a Republican in Carroll County, which was also Democratic,” Roberts says. “That was also amazing.” Governor Branstad issued a written statement, offering his “deepest condolences” to Neu’s family.

Branstad said he had “the honor” of succeeding Neu as lieutenant governor after Neu decided not to seek reelection in 1978 and Branstad said Neu’s “passion for his home community of Carroll was always evident.” David Oman was serving on Governor Bob Ray’s staff in the 1970s when Neu was Iowa’s lieutenant governor. “Art Neu was a giant, politically, at all levels of government in Iowa, but more importantly he was a wonderful human being,” Oman says, “and he will be missed by a lot of people on both sides of the aisle.”

Oman notes Neu served on several state boards, including the Iowa Board of Corrections as well as the Board of Regents. “Arthur Neu had impact almost every time he said something or wrote something,” Oman says. “He was principled. He was a centrist. He cared deeply about people. He was able to work across party lines, solve problems. He cared deeply about education and the judicial system and he always did his work in a very humble, respectful way. The likes of him don’t come along all the time and he was a wonderful role model. He’ll be missed.”

Neu died this morning (Friday) at a hospital in Des Moines. He was 81.

(Radio Iowa)

1 accident and 2 arrests in Cass County this week

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies responded to one accident and made two arrests this week. No injuries were reported following a two-vehicle collision late Wednesday morning in Massena. Officials say a 2008 Ford F-250 owned and driven by 56-year old Rick Emmert Larsen, of Lewis, was traveling west on Highway 92, when a 2003 Chevy Impala driven by 28-year old Shelby Deann McKinley, of Wiota, attempted to pass.  As she did so, McKinley’s car clipped the left front side of Larsen’s pickup, causing $1,500 damage altogether. McKinley was cited for Unsafe Passing.

The Sheriff’s Dept. says 30-year old Travis Giles Warren, of Council Bluffs, was arrested Tuesday on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Warren was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $10,000 bond.
And on Thursday, Jan. 1st, 43-year old Jason William Sheldahl, of Boone, was arrested in Cass County on a charge of Driving While Revoked. Sheldahl was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.