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DNR to meet with Lake Manawa group on park reovations

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports officials will meet with a working group of Lake Manawa State Park area residents and park users on Nov. 12th, to continue discussions on plans to improve the heavily used state park. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the Game and Fish Club, on Lake Manawa.

Responding to feedback from the Oct. 14 meeting on the proposal to move the campground will likely be the focal point of discussion. The DNR has been discussing plans to improve the campground for 14 years.

Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa DNR’s State Parks Bureau, says “Lake Manawa is unique. It has many different types of users, from the sailing club, to mountain bikers, campers, anglers and picnickers. Plus its part of a neighborhood in the largest metro area in Iowa and each one of those constituencies has a different idea of what they want from the park.” What the DNR heard during the October meeting was concerns from local homeowners’ association members about the proposed location of the new campground in relation to the homes, vegetation and water level management for the lake and safety and security issues in the park.

The park draws many visitors from Omaha, as well as from Council Bluffs and the surrounding area. It is attractive to Nebraskans because Iowa parks do not require a park entry permit. Lake Manawa hosts around 1.5 million visitors each year easily ranking as Iowa’s most visited state park and its campground is in the top 10 busiest in the state.

Change of venue request granted – Slauson trial moved to Mills County


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A District Court Judge has granted a request by the defense attorney in the case of 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson, to have her trial moved out of Cass County. The Atlantic woman is accused of faking her daughter’s cancer and endangering her life by administering drugs and a feeding tube. She’s also accused of theft by deception for soliciting funds for her daughter’s treatment. Her trial is now set to begin 9:30-a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18th, in Mills County District Court.

Leatha Slauson enters the courtroom for a hearing 11/10/14 (Ric Hanson/photo)

Leatha Slauson enters the courtroom for a hearing 11/10/14 (Ric Hanson/photo)

In last month’s motion for a Change of Venue, Slauson Attorney Jay Mez said the woman’s trial should be moved for a number of reasons, including extensive media coverage. Mez reiterated those same contentions Monday morning in Cass County District Court.  He said a limited jury pool resulting from the extensive media coverage, and allegations that the community was the victim in this case, make getting a fair and impartial trial in Cass County impossible.

In his ruling, Judge Mark Eveloff agreed, saying if the court tried to pick a jury in Cass County next week and a mistrial is declared, it could be violating Slauson’s Right to a Speedy Trial.  He said there “Was such a degree of prejudice that would exist in Cass County that there would be a substantial likelihood of a fair and impartial trial that could not be preserved with the jury selected in Cass County.”

Eveloff selected Mills County because it is similar in size to Cass County. The Judge said the court will reconsider the conditions of Slauson’s bond next Monday, Nov. 17th at 9-a.m. Attorney Mez has stated he intends to use a defense of “Diminished Responsibility” when Slauson’s case comes before a jury. He said she was competent to stand trial, but unable to tell right from wrong.

Authorities say Slauson lied about her daughter having cancer, inserted a feeding tube into the 5-year-old girl and gave her drugs and cannabis oils. Slauson has pleaded not guilty to 20 counts, including assault, child endangerment and theft by deception.

Page County Recent Accident Report


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports out of five separate, recent accidents, only one resulted in injuries. An accident early last Saturday afternoon occurred as 16-year old Stephanie Sweesy of Clarinda,  was traveling westbound on 150th Street, and lost control of the 2004 Dodge Durango she was operating. The vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled over coming to rest on the passenger side. Sweesy was transported to Clarinda Regional Health Center by Essex Ambulance. The vehicle, which is owned by Shannon Baum, of Clarinda, sustained $10,000 damage.

An accident early Sunday morning happened on Highway 71, when several deer ran out in front of a car driven by 32-year old Leslie D. Wright, of Anchorage, Alaska. The vehicle, a 2012 Dodge Calibre , was traveling northbound on the east side of Shambaugh. At least two of the animals in the deer herd were struck, causing an estimated $9,000 to the car. No injuries were reported.

The remaining three accidents happened last Friday, November 7th. The Page County Sheriff’s Office says at around 2-p.m., 61-year old Steven Richard Olson, of rural Shenandoah, was driving his 1995 Chevrolet S-10 pickup westbound on 190th approximately 1.5-miles east of Shenandoah, when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle entered the north ditch and traveled about 100-feet before hitting a concrete culvert. The pickup continued in the ditch and struck a fence owned by Carl Boylan of Shenandoah. Officials say Olson tried to get out of the ditch by backing the vehicle-up, but it became stuck in the ditch. Olson was cited for Failure to have a valid driver’s license and Failure to maintain control. Damage from the crash amounted to $5,000. No injuries were reported.

Later that evening, 56-year old Paula Marie Hayes, of rural Clarinda, was traveling east on Highway 2, when her 2002 Chevy Trailblazer hit a deer which ran onto the road on the south side of Shenandoah. The animal hit the driver’s side of the SUV, causing $5000 damage. No injuries were reported.

At about that same time, a vehicle driven by 45-year old Darrin Eugene Harvey, of Elmo, Mo., was traveling west on Highway 2 on the south side of Shenandoah, when he struck one of the deer that was laying in the road from the previous accident. His 2012 Chevrolet Cobalt sustained about $1,500 damage. No injuries were reported.

Cass County Recent Arrest Report


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office, today (Monday), released a report on recent arrests and accidents. On Sunday (November 9th), 41-year old John Robert Oathoudt, of Griswold, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Oathoudt was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released on his own recognizance the following day.

Late last Friday morning (Nov. 7th), the Cass County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a two-vehicle accident at Dallas Road and 590th Street. Officials say a 1992 International semi-tractor owned and driven by 55-year old Craig Lynn Weber, of Elk Horn, was westbound on Dallas Road when Weber failed to yield to a southbound 2008 Chevy Impala, driven by 73-year old Donna Louise Jones, of Atlantic. Jones was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Wiota Rescue for treatment of her injuries. Damage from the collision amounted to $19,000. Deputies cited Weber for Failure to Yield.

Following a traffic stop on November 6th, 51-year old Milton Milligan, Jr., of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of Driving While Revoked. 22-year old Brandon Adam Fredericksen, of Atlantic, a passenger in the vehicle, was arrested on charges of Possession of Meth and Possession of Marijuana. Both men were brought to the Cass County Jail. Milligan was released later that day on $1,000 bond. Fredericksen remains held at the Jail on $2,000 bond.

And on November 5th, deputies in Cass County arrested 57-year old John Robert Chestnut, of Memphis, TN, on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Chestnut was taken to the Cass County Jail where he will be held until serving his time.

Operation Blessing to begin Nov. 24th in Clarinda


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports that on Monday, November 24th, the Clarinda Police Department and Clarinda E-911 Communications Center will begin Operation Blessing 2014. This community project embodies the spirit of Christmas by helping to make sure every child in Clarinda receives a gift on Christmas day.

Children may be signed up for involvement in the program by calling the Clarinda Police Department at 712-542-2194. A Clarinda E-911 Communications Specialist will take the child’s name, age, sex, and address and request two gift requests per child. Names of children can be submitted beginning Monday, November 24, 2014 and will be accepted through Friday, December 19th 2014. All information concerning the child is kept strictly confidential.

People wishing to make a charitable contribution to Operation Blessing 2014 may either donate cash or purchase a requested gift item. . Gifts purchased can be dropped off at the Clarinda Police Department along with a note indicating the sex and age of the child the gift is for. Please leave the gift unwrapped. Cash contributions can be dropped off at the Clarinda Police Department or mailed to the Clarinda Police Department, 200 South 15th Street, Clarinda, Iowa 51632. Cash contributions will be used by the Clarinda Police Department to purchase gifts for the children.

Families will be contacted by the Clarinda Police Department when the gift items are ready to be picked up.

Creston man cited following collision Saturday afternoon


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Creston was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device, following an accident Saturday afternoon. The Union County Sheriff’s Office says the collision happened at around 2:35-p.m at the intersection of Highway 34 and Iris Avenue.

Authorities say a 1994 Oldsmobile Cutless driven by 39-year old Maria Dukes, of Afton, was traveling east on Highway 34, at the same time a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 50-year old Colton Dunphy, of Creston, was traveling south on Iris Avenue. When Dunphy failed to obey a traffic control device, his pickup hit the car on its left rear side, causing a total of $6,000 damage.

Dukes suffered possible, unknown injuries, and was transported by ambulance the thee Greater Regional Hospital, in Creston.

Motorcycle vs. deer accident in Montgomery County


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say a Villisca man suffered minor cuts and abrasions to his hands Sunday evening, after the motorcycle he was driving hit a deer on eastbound Highway 34. The accident happened at around 5:25-p.m.

Officials say 50-year old Troy Don Anderson, who was not wearing a helmet, was riding a 2007 Harley Davidson when a deer appeared on the road about a mile west of Stanton. The deer and cycle collided broadside, causing Anderson to lay the bike down on its side. The man refused medical treatment. He was cited for failure to have a valid motorcycle license. Damage to the cycle was estimated at $7,000.

As Iowa Celebrates Veterans Day, Struggles Remain for Some


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Those who served our country will be honored at Veterans Day events across Iowa on Tuesday, but a look behind the scenes shows many returning vets struggle with a myriad of issues. Attorney Todd Schmidt is an advocate for veterans at Iowa Legal Aid, which provides free legal advice and assistance for residents who can’t afford an attorney.

“We’ve had clients that have had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of their experience in Iraq or Afghanistan and that can create a lot of other issues,” says Schmidt. He says the civil legal help they offer can involve veterans benefits, consumer issues, family matters and more.

One common problem is affordable housing. Schmidt says Iowa Legal Aid is among the partners in the state now working with those who are homeless and unstably-housed through the Supportive Services for Veterans and Families program. “We do a legal assessment with each veteran to see if they have any civil legal issues,” says Schmidt. “If they do, we’re able to help them more readily than we would normally be able to as a result of this program.”

In all, Iowa is home to more than 230,000 veterans.

(Iowa News Service)

Creston Police Report, 11/10/2014


November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports two incidents of theft and once incident of vandalism were investigated over the weekend, and one person was taken into custody. 34-year old Brian Lee Rhodes, of Creston, was arrested Friday at the Union County Jail on a charge of Simple Assault. Rhodes was later released on a promised to appear in court.

An elderly Creston resident reported to police on Sunday, that her cell phone had been taken sometime between 2-pm and 7-pm that day. The loss was estimated at $50. On Saturday, a resident on north Birch Street in Creston reported her basement was broken into sometime between Nov. 5th and 8th. Someone stole a toolbox with six drawers, 5 gallons of paint, a bicycle, a space heater, weed eater, an air conditioner, and a chain saw. The loss was estimated at $600.

And a resident on south Division Street in Creston reported Saturday, that someone shot out the windows of a home at 210 south Maple Street. A b-b gun is believed to be the weapon used. Damage was estimated at $125.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 11/10/2014

News, Podcasts

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.