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Charges filed in western IA double fatal crash

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports charges have been filed in connection with a double fatal accident that occurred on Highway 44 four-miles east of Kimballton on Sept. 27th, 2013. 42-year old James David Gibson, of Panora, faces charges that include Driving Left of Center (with enhanced penalty), and Speeding 10 miles per hour or less over the limit (with enhanced penalty). Killed in the crash, was 79-year old Doris Akers and 82-year old Harold Akers, both of Exira.

An investigation by the Iowa State Patrol concluded Gibson was traveling west in a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup when the vehicle’s tires made contact with the south fog line and rumble strips in the eastbound lane, before Gibson attempted to return to the westbound lane. The Akers van was traveling east on Highway 44 when the vehicles collided. The Exira couple died at the scene.

Gibson suffered minor injuries during the crash. Officials say neither alcohol, drugs, weather or seat belt use were factors in the crash.

Study: Higher smoking rates in rural Iowa counties

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new study shows higher rates of smoking in rural Iowa counties.  The Des Moines Register reports that the study says some Iowa counties have double the smoking rates of others.  The national report from the University of Washington says Iowa’s Dallas County had the seventh-fastest decline in smoking from 1996 through 2012, when it went from 19.4 percent to 10.9 percent.

The report also shows that all Iowa counties have had declines in smoking. The researchers used data from phone surveys taken for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Car vs. semi in Villisca – no injuries

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a car-versus-semi accident Monday afternoon, in Villisca. According to a report from the Iowa Dept. of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, a 1987 Pontiac Bonneville driven by 42-year old William Barr, of Villisca, was turning north from High Street onto Highway 71 at around 12:25-p.m., when he failed to see an approaching, southbound 2008 Peterbilt semi, driven by 35-year old John Goos, of Omaha. The semi with grain trailer was registered to Cyclone Carriers in Henderson.

Barr’s car crossed the centerline of the road as he looked east. Goos saw the vehicle in his lane and attempted to take to the shoulder to avoid a collision, but was unable to do so. The car’s left front end hit the side of the semi tractor in the center area, causing a total of $7,500 damage.

Barr was cited for failure to yield half of the roadway.

Single vehicle accident near Shelby

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person is believed to have been injured during a single-vehicle accident early this (Tuesday) morning on Interstate 80 near the Shelby exit. According to scanner traffic, a man was unconscious in a vehicle that had entered the ditch off of I-80 eastbound. The accident was reported at around 2:15-a.m.

No other details are currently available.

Atlantic School Board approves personnel recommendations

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Monday night approved several recommendations with regard to changes in school personnel. Superintendent Mike Amstein reported Central Office Secretary to the Superintendent, Melinda McDermott, is retiring effective April 11th. Amstein says after posting the position and looking at the transfers he recommended, and the Board approved, Olivia Newberg, who works as a SAM at the Washington Elementary School, as her successor.

The Board also approved recommendations by Atlantic Activities Director Matt Alexander, which included: Mike McDermott as Head Girls and Boys Tennis Coach; James Northwick was named as a volunteer assistant Tennis Coach; Oran Perkins as assistant Soccer Coach; Shawn Williams as a volunteer assistant boys Soccer Coach.

Amstein reported also near the end of the meeting, that Casey Pelzer has resigned as Atlantic Head Girls Basketball Coach , and High School English Teacher Elizabeth Huggins has resigned. Both are effective at end of the current school year.

Atlantic School Board approves proposed budget

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the proposed 2014-2015 Certified Budget, which increases the amount of money the district receives from property taxes by 54-cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation over the published $14.47 per thousand. The levy is now $14.91 per thousand.

Prior to a vote on approving the budget, Atlantic Middle School Student Advocate Pam Russell asked the Board not to cut the student advocate position, because “There would be services that would not be met in a timely manner or on a consistent basis.”  She said the service impacts the students’ present and future, especially with regard to dropout prevention. Russell even offered to have her pay cut in order to save the position, in order to benefit  the students. She said she already knows of a case where a high school-aged student has dropped-out of school thinking they would get their GED instead.

During action on the budget, Superintendent Mike Amstein reiterated the fact that there are only three places in the budget the board really has an “wiggle room” with, as far as adjustments are concerned. One is the SBRC Cash Reserve, another is the Cash Reserve Levy, and the last is the Management Fund. Amstein said they’ve proposed $964,771 for the SBRC Cash Reserve Levy, $600,000 for the Cash Reserve levy dedicated to the General Fund and a $350,000 levy for the Management Fund, for a total levy of $14.91 per thousand dollars assessed property valuation.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 25th 2014

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a Burlington man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while hunting. The state Department of Natural Resources says 31-year-old Dustin Guernsey was injured Saturday morning in Lee County. He was hunting for snow geese at the time. Officials say Guernsey was carrying equipment and his shotgun as he walked across a field. He stumbled and the weapon discharged into his left foot.

ELK HORN, Iowa (AP) — A Danish museum in western Iowa says a $50,000 grant will help pay for a specialized green roof. The Curatorial Center at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn will be an 8,000-foot addition built into the hillside. It will connect to the museum’s lower level. The Curatorial Center will house traveling exhibits and large artifacts. It’s expected to open this summer.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say there are no signs of foul play in connection to the death of a woman found behind a Waterloo business. Waterloo police say an autopsy was performed Monday on 53-year-old Sharon Creighton. Authorities say the preliminary investigation and autopsy results indicate no signs of foul play.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A small airport in eastern Iowa is increasing its parking rates to help pay for a $10.7 million improvement project. The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids will increase parking rates from $5 to $6 a day for long-term parking. It will jump from $7 to $9 a day for short-term parking. The change is expected to raise an additional $815,000 per year. It’s the airport’s first increase in parking rates since 2001.

Reminder to rural property owners, re: Address Markers

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says as spring cleaning time nears, and you go about cleaning up the yard and sprucing up your buildings, pay close attention to your address marker. It should be bright and clearly visible from the road. Emergency Responders, especially at night, depend on highly visible house numbers, street signs and rural address markers to properly locate you. 911 dispatchers will confirm your location based on your address and map location.

If you question where your house number should be posted, please check with local city authorities. For rural residents, the marker belongs alongside your lane in the fence row. If the fence line is far from the main road, place the marker out of the right of way close enough so that emergency responders can see it.

If your Shelby County rural 911 address marker has been damaged, lost or otherwise is not readable, please call the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency at 712-755-2124. There is no cost for replacement address markers.

Audubon City Council meeting update – No Action on Clerk Termination

News

March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Interim Audubon City Attorney Dave Wiederstein says the Audubon City Council will not take action at the Council meeting tonight (Monday) on agenda items 10 and 11 pertaining to the Order terminating Lora Hansen’s employment with the City of Audubon and appointing Jan Roberts as the interim City Clerk. Wiederstein said in Press Release that attempts will be made prior to the April 14 Council meeting to reach an agreement that avoids the forced termination of Lora’s employment.

Southwest Airlines OKs Omaha to Los Angeles route

News

March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Southwest Airlines will soon start daily, non-stop service from Omaha to Los Angeles. The airline made the announcement Monday. The service begins on June 9. The Boeing 737 aircraft will depart from Eppley Airfield at 2:50 p.m. daily and land in Los Angeles at 4:10 p.m. local time. There will be a different schedule on Saturdays. The plane can seat more than 140 passengers.

The airline originally announced plans for Saturday-only flights from Omaha to Los Angeles. They changed plans due to strong demand.