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Travel plans over the Labor Day weekend? Better drive sober.


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Together with agencies across the nation, Iowa’s law enforcement will participate in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP), beginning later this week. The sTEP program is an initiative of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Officials from city, county, and state law enforcement agencies will execute heightened enforcement on Iowa roads from August 23rd through September 5th.

Randy Hunefeld, sTEP Coordinator with the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says their “Work to get the motoring public to buckle up, save lives, and reduce serious injuries continues.” Hunefeld said during the upcoming  sTEP project, law enforcement officers will further focus their attention on removing drunk and impaired drivers from the roadways.  He says “We encourage anyone planning on drinking alcohol this holiday to be responsible and designate a sober driver.  With increased patrols and focused enforcement across Iowa, the odds of a drunk driver getting arrested greatly increase.”

During the July 2-8, 2012 sTEP project, participating agencies reported 295 contacts with alcohol and drug-impaired drivers, 1,172 safety belt violations, 4,660 speeding violations, 274 stop sign and traffic signal violations, and a total of 15,641 enforcement contacts.  Officers assisted 1,184 motorists, apprehended 213 wanted persons, and executed 73 felony and 152 narcotics arrests during that period.  The next sTEP project is scheduled for November 19-25, 2012.

Fire Danger in Shelby County still HIGH

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Manager Bob Seivert said today (Monday), that the Fire Danger level will remain in the “HIGH” category until further notice. Seivert cited the lack of precipitation expected over the next several days.  The Fire Danger rating in Shelby County is based on input from local fire chiefs and the Emergency Manager, and weather factors.

Signs indicating the increased fire threat are located at fire stations within the County, and on the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency’s website, at www.shelbycountyema.com.  Shelby County is currently not included in a ban on open burning.

Anyone who wants to conduct any type of open burning outside, on their property, should contact the Shelby County EMA at 712-755-2124, and inform the on-duty dispatcher of your intentions. The dispatcher will put residents in contact with their local fire chief. Permission for you to conduct an open burn is at the sole discretion of your fire chief.

Ericksen trial set for next week in Atlantic


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Trial is set to take place next week in the case of a Lewis man facing two Aggravated Misdemeanor charges of Assault with the intent to commit Sexual Abuse, two counts of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor (A Serious Misdemeanor), and 46 Class-C felony counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree. 52-year old Roger Allen Ericksen was arrested following an on-going investigation into allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year old female over a two-month period of time in, beginning around May, 2011.

Ericksen was arrested last December, and has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. His trial is set to take place 9:30-a.m. Tuesday, August 28th, in Cass County District Court.

Young Eagles Program free to area youth


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Youth ages 10-15 will have the opportunity to take to the sky Saturday, Sept.8th,  and learn about aviation and get a free orientation flight at the Fly Iowa Aviation Youth Rally. According to committee chair Brenda Nelson, the Young Eagles program exposes youth to the field of aviation. Sessions will be given on careers, airplanes, aerodynamics, airports and navigation.

Nelson says “The program is meant to get kids excited about aviation.” And, with the air show the Saturday after the program, she says they “Hope all the kids will attend both and really get a feel for what’s out there for opportunities for them in their future.”

Nelson said the seats are limited to 45, and registration is required on a first come, first served basis. The event is free and includes the workshop, flight, pizza luncheon and t-shirt. Students will also be invited to attend the Atlantic Fly Iowa Air Show Sept. 15th to get a certificate of completion for the Young Eagles Youth Rally.

“The Fly Iowa event is such an awesome opportunity to bring some out of this world experiences into the community,” according to Nelson. She says “It would be a shame to miss it and we want the kids especially to take advantage through the youth rally and air show event.”

For more information contact the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at 712.243.3017 or email chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Salmonella outbreak sickens at least 6 Iowans

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

At least six Iowans are among more than a hundred people who are sick in a salmonella outbreak that’s spread across 20 other states. Two deaths are reported from the outbreak in Kentucky. Iowa’s chief epidemiologist, Dr. Patty Quinlisk, says the illnesses were first thought to be linked to cantaloupes grown in Indiana, but that may not be the case. Dr. Quinlisk says, “We link people who’ve gotten sick with the exact same bacteria, so we have six people, maybe seven, with the exact same bacteria but as far as we can tell right now, only two of them even ate cantaloupe and we don’t know where that cantaloupe came from yet.”

The cases in Iowa are not from a particular metro area and Quinlisk says they’re scattered across the state. She says all of the Iowans are recovering and none were in life-threatening condition. Nationwide, more than 30 people have been hospitalized. While health officials in Kentucky and Indiana believed they’d traced the exact cause of the outbreak to those cantaloupes, Quinlisk says that’s still a mystery. “Sometimes these bacteria are not that uncommon and there can be multiple places that people can get it from, especially with these more common strains,” Quinlisk says. “That’s what we’re investigating. I don’t know yet quite what’s going on. Sometimes people just don’t remember eating a certain food, but sometimes it’s that they actually didn’t eat that food and they got exposed to that bacteria someplace else.”

Cantaloupes, watermelons and other types of melons lay on the ground as they grow and they’re susceptible to this sort of issue, so Quinlisk says Iowans should follow a strict procedure when preparing them. “The safest way of handling any of these melons is to wash off the surface before you cut it,” she says. “Once you cut it, either eat it immediately or put the part you’re not eating in the refrigerator. You don’t want these sitting out on your counter. The inside of a melon is the perfect place for these bacteria to grow.”

The outbreak comes just a week after a North Carolina-based farm recalled 189-thousand cantaloupes and honeydew melons in ten states due to fears of listeria. A listeria outbreak blamed on cantaloupes grown in Colorado last fall killed at least 34 people. To learn more, call 888-SAFE FOOD or visit the website: “fda.gov

(Radio Iowa)

Thurman man arrested on drug charges


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Fremont County say a Thurman man was arrested last week on drug charges. 18-year old Zane Christian Carter was taken into custody Thursday, on Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. He was also cited for Violation of his restricted driver’s license, and for driving on the wrong side of the road. Carter posted a $100 bond that same day, and was released from custody.

Atlantic Police once again warns about phone scams


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green is once again issuing a reminder to citizens about an old phone scam that’s going around. Green says some residents of the community have received phone calls from people claiming to be a relative who has been taken to jail, and needs money to be released. KJAN has warned you about this scam numerous times in the past couple of years.

The supposed “relative” says they need you to send the money in a certain amount of time, in order to not allow verification the person is actually in jail. And, the caller will usually want you to send a money order for payment. The Chief says jail DO NOT accept money order, so that should be your first “Red Flag.” They also might ask you to send money to another country.

Green says if you receive a similar call, you should first verify the person is actually in jail, by attempting to call the relative who said they’re in trouble, other family members, or by simply calling the jail itself. Green says the only way to get someone out of jail, is for you to appear in-person and pay the bond, or through a reputable bonding company. If you use a bondsman, you will most likely have to meet their representative at the jail to make the payment.

Chief Green says the best thing you can do if you feel like someone is trying to scam you, is to call the police department, and allow THEM to verify the information.

9AM Newscast 08-20-2012

News, Podcasts

August 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


New Superintendent at Stanton Community Schools


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Stanton Community School District Board of Education has selected a new Superintendent for the District. During a special meeting this (Monday) morning, the Board voted unanimously to hire Terry Christie for the top position in the District for the 2012-2013 school year. Christie is a retired Superintendent with 11 years of experience at three different schools. He’s expected to begin his duties in an official capacity, on Tuesday. Christie succeeds retired Superintendent Judd Ashley.

ISU Extension to host Town Hall meetings

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach say they want to hear from Iowans about how Iowa State in partnership with counties can best serve citizens. Five town hall meetings have been scheduled across the state, including a meeting in Atlantic on September 10th. The session takes place at the Cass County ISU Extension and Outreach Office, located at 805 West 10th Street, beginning at 10:30-a.m. Other meetings will take place in Ames, Storm Lake, Oskaloosa and Waterloo.

Cathann Kress, ISU Extension and Outreach vice president, and Terry Maloy, Iowa Association of County Extension Councils executive director, will participate in the conversations with Iowans. Kress says they are committed to listening to Iowans as ISU Extension carries out its mission. She says they want to gather feedback about what they’re doing well, where they need to improve, and what needs to be addressed.  Kress says  “All Iowans – citizens, community leaders, decision makers, partners, staff and extension council members – are welcome” to attend the meetings.

For more information about the town hall meetings or specific locations, please contact the Guthrie County Extension and Outreach Office at 641-747-2276.