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No injuries reported during accident in Montgomery County


December 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An accident in Montgomery Couunty early this (Friday) morning caused about $4,000 damage, but no one was injured. The Sheriff’s Department says at around 12:30-a.m., they received word a 2001 Dodge 2500 pickup, operated by 19-year old Timothy Alan Carlson, of Elliott, was involved in a property damage accident near Elliott.

The crash happened when Carlson, who was traveling west on Highway 48, lost control of the pickup when he swerved to miss a deer. Due to icy conditions, the vehicle spun and entered the south ditch before striking an embankment.

No citations were issued.

King Welcomes American Eagle to Sioux City


December 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Western Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King Thursday commented on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision to select American Eagle Airlines to provide essential air service (EAS) at Sioux City. King, a Republican, from Kiron in northwest Iowa, said he was “Pleased that the DOT has granted the City of Sioux City’s request and selected American Eagle as the EAS provider in Sioux City.” 

King added that he’s hopeful that the service will help to increase the air traffic in and out of Sioux City. He acknowledged that “Commercial air service is an important driver of economic development and growth in today’s fast-paced, interconnected, and global economy,” and that “Sioux City has historically done very well to leverage community assets like reliable air service to attract new opportunities.”

He said Thursday’s decision ensures that the City will “Be able to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

IA DNR: Elk killed in Crawford County to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Thursday Wildlife biologists killed an elk Wednesday in Crawford County, near Charter Oak. Testing is being done on the elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD), brucellosis and tuberculosis. The animal was killed to protect the health and welfare of the state’s deer herd and domestic livestock.

Dale Garner, chief of the DNR’s wildlife bureau, said “We don’t like having to kill the animal, but at this time, the most reliable method of testing for CWD is from the brain stem which involves putting the animal down.”  Garner added that the department tests thousands of brain stems each year from harvested deer for the disease.

The animal was located by local deer hunters who contacted the DNR. Officials say the hunters were very helpful in keeping tabs on the animal while notification was made to the State Veterinarian’s office with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to make sure the elk was not an escapee from a local owner.

If the results are negative the meat from the animal will be processed and donated to charitable organizations. Garner said their top concern,  “Is for the health of the state’s deer herd and for domestic livestock. Because once chronic wasting disease (CWD) or bovine tuberculosis (TB) is out there, there is no going back.  For the most part, there will be no happy ending to this situation.”

CWD is a neurological disease affecting cervids, primarily deer and elk. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion that attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions. Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head.

When an elk sighting report comes in, the DNR works with IDALS to determine status of elk and the best available options. If the elk can be returned to the proper owners, then they are.  If not, they then pose a risk to spreading CWD and/or other diseases and are dispatched.  The elk are tested for CWD and if the tests are negative, the meat is donated to local needy families or a food bank.

Garner says “Having these escapees is more than a minor irritation.  The prion linked to CWD does not go away when the infected animal dies.  It stays active in the soil and contaminated soil can infect other animals. Like CWD, TB is extremely difficult to get rid of and could cost billions of dollars to the livestock industry.”

Garner said Iowa does not have the large land areas typically needed to support an elk herd.  Elk are two to three times the size of an Iowa white tail, averaging between 500 to 700 pounds.

Atlantic woman arrested Wed. in Audubon County


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office says an Atlantic woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon, on a charge of Interference with Official Acts. 19-year old Carly Jean Seddon was charged in connection with an incident which occurred during a traffic stop on Highway 71 in Brayton. Seddon was brought to the Audubon County Jail and released after posting bond. The incident remains under investigation and additional charges are pending.

Audubon County drug & child endangerment arrests


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports a man and woman from Brayton were arrested Wednesday night. 22-year old Seth Michael Thompson and 20-year old Krystal Leigh Ann Enloe, both face child endangerment charges. Thompson was also charged with Possession of a Schedule 3 Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The charges against the pair were the result of a search warrant executed at their residence on Broadway Street, in Brayton.

In addition, 54-year old Michael Henry Thompson, of Brayton, turned himself in to the Sheriff’s Office today (Thursday). He was charged with Possession of Marijuana/3rd offense, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, following the execution of a search warrant. Seth and Michael Thompson also had outstanding warrants out of Audubon County, in association with an investigation into an incident at their home, on November 25th.

Seth Thompson was charged with Possession of Marijuana/2nd offense and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Michael Thompson was charged with Possession of Marijuana/3rd offense and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The Thompson’s and Enloe were released from custody after appearing before the magistrate.

US senators seek review of Mo. River flooding


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. senators from seven Missouri River states are asking the Government Accountability Office to examine this summer’s heavy flooding throughout the river basin.The request was supported by 13 senators who are part of the Missouri River Working Group. The group includes senators from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.The senators want the GAO to review several issues, including whether the Army Corps of Engineers followed its master manual for managing the Missouri River and what role meteorological forecasts played. They also want to know if environmental concerns, such as protecting endangered species, influenced flood-control efforts.

Drug arrests reported in Atlantic


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports two drug-related arrests Wednesday. Officials say 34-year old Eric Ostrander, and 20-year old Shelbie Brammann, both of Atlantic, were arrested on warrants charging them with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The pair were booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Wednesday afternoon, in the 400 block of Walnut Street. The A-P.D. says vehicles driven by Alfrieda Johnson Neary, and Diana Schuler, both of Atlantic, collided at around 4:40-p.m., as Schuler was backing out of a parking stall and Neary was traveling north on Walnut Street. Damage from the mishap amounted to $3,700.  Schuler was cited for Moving a vehicle backwards on a highway.

Survey: Many Iowans pessimistic about job security


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average, but that isn’t much comfort to Iowans who are out of a job. Employment analyst Joanie Ruge, says a recent survey finds those who are employed aren’t feeling confident about their job security. Ruge says, “Almost half of the workers surveyed, 48-percent, believe that their companies might be cutting benefits in the new year and also 41-percent believe their companies might lay off some workers.” 

State labor officials say Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady at six-percent in October compared to the national jobless rate at nine-percent. Despite the fears of firings, Ruge says there were signs of optimism in the survey. “This survey shows that 73-percent of workers actually feel very secure in their company and with their jobs,” she says. “This is certainly a great sign to see that number is pretty high.” 

Ruge says there are numerous stable industries in Iowa that are continuing to grow and add employees. “Health care, pharmaceuticals, anything in information technology, engineering, there are job opportunities in these sectors,” Ruge says. “Where we’ve seen more of a struggle has been in automotive over the last few years. The jobs have really gone away from manufacturing even though we have seen some of the jobs come back.” 

Ruge says many people are taking precautions, cutting back on expenses and putting money into savings, just in case a job is lost. For people who are unemployed, she says to stay focused on networking with both your personal and social networks. Make sure you let people know you are looking for work, she adds, as you never know where that next job might appear. 

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Iowa regents to discuss tuition hike, naming rule


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Regents will consider giving final approval to a 3.75 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students.The regents will meet by telephone Thursday to consider the proposal, which would raise tuition at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa by $240. Mandatory fees would go up an additional $50 at Iowa and $45 at UNI.University officials caution the increase could be adjusted upward later depending on how much money lawmakers approve for the universities during budget talks next year.Also Thursday, the board is expected to discuss a plan that would bar state universities from naming academic institutes for current elected officials. The rule comes after criticism of the new center honoring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin at ISU.

Atlantic City Council approves AMU budget


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, approved a resolution accepting the 2012 Budget for the Atlantic Municipal Utilities (AMU), which the Utilities’ Board had adopted earlier this week, following a public hearing. Steve Tjepkes, with AMU, said the proposed budget for the Electric and Water Departments for Calendar Year 2012 totals nearly $10.8-million, which is an increase of almost $665,000, or 6.6%, over the current year re-estimate. The increased cost is being offset with increases in AMU’s retail electric rates.

Tjepkes says the increase, which went into effect in November, varies from 10- to 14-percent, due to the season and cost of energy prices. He says as far as the water distribution system is concerned, this was the first out of nine years AMU actually sold more gallons of water, as compared to previous years. Plans next year call for work on two water towers, which will cost about $175,000.  Tjepkes says there will be NO rate increases for AMU’s water customers in 2012.

The budget he says, includes $1.2-million for other system improvements, as well. That includes the completion of mapping their water distribution facilities via GPS, an energy efficiency program which uses programmable theromstats as a way to control peak usagae of electricty during the Summer months, and, automated meter reading systems, to better help the utlility detect and find outages more quickly.

Tjepkes says AMU’s revenues were down for the third year in a row, due to a decrease in excess energy sales, which he attributed in-part, to the economy. The utility will transfer $360,000 to the City of Atlantic in lieu of paying property taxes, which is a common practice. Their contribution equals about 3.3% of AMU’s annual revenues, and is designed to offset AMU’s utility charges to the City.