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House fire near Villisca late Monday night


November 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Grant, Elliott and Griswold were called to battle a structure fire at a two-story residence in rural northeast Montgomery County, late Monday night.

Photo courtesy Cass Co. Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Johnson.

Photo courtesy Cass Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Johnson.

Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman said everyone was able get out of the home without injury. The fire, which started just before 9-p.m., Monday, was brought under control a few hours later. An investigation into the cause pointed to the area where electrical power enters the house.

The owners had reported a loss of some lights before the entire power went out. When they got out, they saw flames near the main fuse box. The house is considered a total loss.

Photo by Montgomery Co. Emergency Manager Brian Hamman.

Photo by Montgomery Co. Emergency Manager Brian Hamman.


Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 18th 2014


November 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man who drove around a Des Moines suburb and randomly opened fire is charged with attempted murder. Thirty-two-year-old Pete Jason Polson faces several charges stemming from Monday morning’s shootings, including two counts of attempted murder. Two men have been hospitalized. Polson has been linked to three shootings within a 12-minute span. A third man was fired at but was not hurt. The victims appear to have been randomly targeted.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an Iowa man under the state’s work release program has escaped. Twenty-three-year-old Alan Nigel Archibald, Jr. was placed on escape status Monday after he didn’t return to the Fort Des Moines work release facility from a job assignment. Since January 2011, Archibald has been serving a 10-year sentence for willful injury causing serious injury. He was transferred to the work release program in June.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Des Moines say a high school, a middle school and an elementary school were briefly locked down because of a nearby shooting. Des Moines Public Schools says East High School, Hiatt Middle School and Carver Community School were put on a partial lockdown Monday morning following reports of a nearby shooting. The lockdown was later lifted. No suspects have been identified in the shooting, which police believe involved a dispute between several people. No injuries have been reported.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The board meant to promote openness in Iowa government has named a government lawyer with experience in election and campaign law as its next executive director. The Iowa Public Information Board says Charlie Smithson would succeed Keith Luchtel on Dec. 1.

Red Oak Police Arrest


November 17th, 2014 by admin

Red Oak Police arrested an area man Monday afternoon. Joseph Earl Smith of Red Oak was charged with driving while suspended and no proof of insurance after he was stopped at the corner of Broadway and Walnut Streets in Red Oak.

Iowa home sales and prices rise in October compared to a year ago


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

There were more homes sold across the state in October compared to the same month a year ago. The Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR) reports 3,349 homes were sold last month. That’s an increase of three-percent (3%) from October 2013 (3,251 homes sold). IAR President Jon Yocum of Davenport says the number of pending sales also increased from year-to-year. “I think the low interest rates have a lot to do with that,” Yocum said. “We’re also finishing up our summer market, so people who made offers in August and September were closing in October.”

Interest rates have been hovering between 3.25 and 4 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Yocum. The average sale price of a home sold last month in Iowa was $157,231. That’s up slightly (less than $100) from a year ago. Meanwhile, the state’s home inventory decreased 1.2 percent compared to October of 2013. “Our sales prices are up, but our sales volume is down over a year ago,” Yocum confirmed. The IAR report also shows the average days on the market for a home sold in Iowa was 85 days in October 2014, compared to 78 days in October 2013.

“All in all, across the state of Iowa, things are looking very good,” Yocum said. Yocum was just recently installed as the new president of the Iowa Association of Realtors. He’s worked as a Realtor in Iowa for over 26 years and has been with Mel Foster Company in the Davenport area since 1996.

(Radio Iowa)

Navigators Ready to Assist Medicaid & Marketplace Consumers at CCHS


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Enrollment for Medicaid and Healthcare Marketplace Exchange consumers is now open, and help is available through regional Healthcare.gov Navigators. Susan Daniels, Chief Financial Officer for the Cass County Health System (CCHS) says “The Healthcare.gov Navigators will work one-on-one with you to help you complete your enrollment, weigh your options, and answer your questions.” Daniels say they “Are happy to host the Navigators at CCHS, and [we] encourage Medicaid and Marketplace customers to make an appointment as soon as possible.”

All prior-year enrollees, for both Medicaid and the Marketplace, will need to be enrolled by December 15, 2014 to have coverage in effect by January 1, 2015. All meetings with the Navigators are by appointment, and they are private. Consumers are asked to bring important information with them, such as addresses, social security numbers, income information, and policy numbers for any current health insurance plans.

The private appointments will be held at Cass County Health System in Conference Room 6, which is accessible from Parking Lot C. A limited number of appointments are also available at the Anita, Griswold, and Massena Medical Centers. For more information or to make an appointment, please call either Melissa Namanny at 712-243-2850 ext. 4111 or Nancy Templeman at 712-243-3250 ext. 3411.

Atlantic Chamber extends “Angels of Christmas” deadline


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, Monday, announced the deadline to file nominations for the annual “Angels of Christmas” award has been extended to this Friday, Nov. 21st. Nominations may be submitted hard copy to the chamber at 102 Chestnut Street or via email chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

The Angels of Christmas is a tradition in Atlantic that allows for the recognition and thanking of area residents who symbolize the true meaning of the season. Angels exemplify the true holiday spirit all year long and putting others first, spreading generosity and sharing the holiday spirit with everyone they meet.

This year, the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce and Cass County Health System (CCHS) will honor an Angel of Christmas at our local Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 7th.  The honored Angels of Christmas will receive a gift of AtlanticCash and an angel figurine in appreciation for their spirit of giving and serving others.  CCHS CEO Todd Hudspeth says “We are very pleased to sponsor the Angels of Christmas award this year.  As a healthcare provider, we have many opportunities to see the generous nature of our community all year long.  It’s our privilege to assist in recognizing individuals who truly carry the angel spirit with them every day.”

For more information, contact the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at 712-243-3017.

Podiatrist Relocates Practice to Cass County Health System


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS) in Atlantic, say Dr. Roger Drown, D.P.M. will relocate his podiatry practice to Cass County Health System this month. Dr. Drown began providing podiatric care for area residents as a visiting specialist in the CCMH Outpatient Clinics in July of 2013. Since that time, he has decided to make Cass County Health System his only practice location. The doctor says he’s excited to relocate his practice to Atlantic, and that “During [his] time at CCHS, [he] have been very impressed with the physicians, staff and facilities.”

Dr. Roger Drown, D.P.M.

Dr. Roger Drown, D.P.M.

Effective Tuesday, November 18th, Dr. Drown will provide care in Atlantic three days each week—Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The office will remain in its current location within the hospital’s Outpatient Clinics.

Dr. Drown received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Des Moines University in 2009. He completed his residency in foot and ankle surgery at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in 2012. Since that time he has practiced with East Village Foot and Ankle Surgeons in Des Moines. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Drown, please call 712-243-7590. No referral is necessary.

Syngenta faces dozens of lawsuits over GMO seed

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More farmers are filing lawsuits against agrochemicals giant Syngenta in a legal battle tied to the sale of a genetically modified corn seed. Agrisure Viptera is genetically altered to kill corn-eating bugs and is approved by the United States. It was marketed to farmers in 2011.

But China, a major corn market that refuses to buy genetically modified crops it hasn’t tested, had not agreed to import it. It began rejecting U.S. corn last year when Viptera was detected. More than 50 lawsuits have been filed and hundreds more are being prepared. The lawsuits say losing China as a buyer has cost corn farmers more than $1 billion.

Syngenta says the lawsuits are without merit and upholds the right of farmers to use approved new technologies.

Audubon County Community Foundation awards grants


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Community Foundation, Friday, awarded $39, 770 in grants to four non-profit agencies. ACCF Chair Brett Irlmeier says with this most recent round of grants, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.2-million in grants and scholarships over the last 14-years.

Among the grant recipients is: The Audubon Downtown Stage Revitalization Committee, which received $5,000 for handicap access, signage and other components for the John James Audubon City Park stage structure; The Audubon Recreation Foundation – $15,000, for a Recreation Center project; The Exira Community Club received $5,000 for the Little League Splash Pad, and the Exira Public Library received $14,770 to complete their current construction project.

Of the $39,770: about $2,500 is from the Leon and Iva Milliman Endowed Fund, for the Exira Public Library; $2,800 is from the Charles T. and Kathleen K. Manatt Endowed Fund, $690 came from the Audubon State Bank/Stephen Garst Endowed Fund, and $1,200 came from the Audubon Masonic Association, which was directed to the Audubon Recreation Fund. In addition, $490 was from the Fred and Evelyn Nissen Endowed Fund for Audubon, and $490 from the Merle and Norma Petersen Endowed Fund for the Audubon Downtown Revitalization Stage Committee.

All grantees submitted their grant applications by the September 1st deadline, and met the criteria as Audubon  County non-profit agencies or organizations with charitable missions in the areas of civic, cultural, health, education and social services. Only those organizations providing services in Audubon County were eligible.

For more information about donating or establishing an individual foundation or fund, contact Iowa Foundations Director Dennis Nissen, at 1-800-794-3458.


Slauson pleads guilty to 5 out of 20 charges


November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic woman who lied about her daughter having cancer and solicited funds for her treatment, has pleaded guilty to 5 out of 20 counts against her, including four felonies and one serious misdemeanor charge. 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson faces up to 21-years in jail when she is sentenced on Dec. 22nd in Cass County District Court.

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff's Office photo)

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office photo)

In her plea bargain, Slauson agreed to plead guilty to Class D felony charges that include two counts of Child Endangerment/Bodily Injury, with regard to the administering of Cannabis Oil and Neupogen to her daughter Riley, as well as a count of Administering Harmful Substances. She also plead guilty to a Serious Misdemeanor charge of Unlawful Possession of a prescription drug/Neupogen, and a reduced felony charge of Theft in the second degree, also a Class D- felony. She was originally charged with Theft in the 1st degree, a Class C felony.

Slauson will be released from custody and allowed to live with her mother in Hampton, Iowa. She is not allowed to have contact with her children or her husband, and must complete a mental health evaluation prior to her sentencing. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner answered a question many people have with regard to the money.

He said at least $13,000 of the money Slauson garnered from various fund raising activities for her daughter’s supposed cancer treatment has been frozen at a local bank. Another nearly $13,000 was spent by Slauson. The remaining funds are not officially accounted for, but she will likely be required to make restitution. But when and how much she must repay has yet to be determined.

Slauson attorney Jay Mez said overall, he’s pleased with the agreement.