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Extension Committee to Nominate Council Candidates in Shelby Co.

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four Shelby County residents have been appointed to the Extension Council Nominating Committee, Julie Klein announced. The committee is charged with nominating candidates for the five vacancies on the council before August 6, 2014. Committee members selected to nominate extension council candidates for the 2014 election are Erin Gaul, Harlan, Cindy Scheuring, Defiance, Chris Schweiso, Harlan and Justin Wagner, Harlan.

By law the nominating committee must include two women and two men, and cannot include any current member of the council. The committee is required to take county geography into consideration when nominating candidates.

“Serving as an extension council member is one way to give back to your community. If you believe local educational opportunities are vital to the community’s well-being, then you should consider running for council,” said Terry Maloy, director for Iowa Association of County Extension Councils. “It is rewarding to know that people are able to improve their lives, farms, businesses and communities because of ISU Extension and Outreach’s education and information.”

Candidates nominated by the committee must submit petitions containing the names of 25 qualified voters to the county election commissioner by 5 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2014. Additionally, individuals may petition to have their names placed on the ballot through a self-nominating process by submitting petitions with 25 names to the election commissioner. Petition forms are available from the election commissioner and at the county extension office.

Voters will cast ballots for the nominees in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election. Successful candidates will serve four-year terms beginning in January 2015.

1 injured in Atlantic accident


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic following a collision between a van and a passenger car late this (Friday) morning, at 7th and Chestnut Streets. The accident happened at around 11:10-a.m. Crash1IMG_20140725_112057_212

No other details are currently available. Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance, along with Atlantic Police, responded to the scene.

Town Hall meeting in Harlan on new Emergency Response Network


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A town hall meeting for emergency responders was held Thursday night in Harlan with information on a new emergency response network. The FirstNet Network town hall meeting took place at the Harlan Fire Hall. The event was hosted by the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, with  Shawn Wagner from the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB) conducting the meeting. Bob Seivert, Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator, says the network is being established to help emergency responders communicate with one another.

“This is the Nation’s answer to interoperability issues between agencies. This project will provide an infrastructure for the sharing of emergency date between emergency response agencies.” He says the current system works in smaller counties but there are issues. “But what we want to be able to do is we want to leverage the technology that you see being developed on smartphones and different vendors such as Verizon and AT&T. We want to be able to use that technology to save lives.”

FirstNet is hoping to partner with local and state governments and private partnerships to build the network out for the entire country. Seivert says the network is in the beginning stages. “The federal government has been looking at this for several years and it is to the point now where the concept and perception is being pushed out to the public so we can gain enough support to tell our legislators this is indeed something that is valuable and they should look at funding.”

Seivert says there is nothing concrete yet but this is a good way for the general public to learn about FirstNet and what it can do for local responders. The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board is continuing to host town hall meetings in the state of Iowa with the goal to hold one in each county. If you would like more information on the FirstNet network, contact your local County Emergency Management Agency.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

HMU CEO search continues


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Municipal Utilities (HMU) Board of Trustees has received an update on the search for a new Chief Executive Officer. HMU had contracted with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) to search for a new CEO. In a board meeting held Thursday, Chairman David Tyrrel said that search yielded candidates but no one was hired by the board. Tyrrel said he spoke with Scott Fry from MyCoff, Fry and Prouse LLC and found out other utilities are in the same position.

“He had several things to say that I thought were quite interesting. What it has turned out to be is there are a number of communities of our size that are in the same position that we are in. The labor pool that has experience in this type of area is quite small. Even if he took us on, he didn’t feel like he was going to get the pool of candidates we are looking for.”

The board decided to go back to the list of candidates gathered from the IAMU before going out and hiring another search firm for candidates. Board member Terry Arentson also stated he had another search firm he could contact in hopes of landing another applicant or two. Tyrrel said it has been a tough process.

“I think when we first started this; our expectations were this was going to be an easier search process than it turned out to be. Hopefully by the time we have another meeting, we will have something more positive to report.”

In other business, the board approved some additions to the service rules on electric utility and going back to one meeting per month.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Lenox man arrested on assault charge


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Lenox report the arrest Wednesday night of a man suspected of assault.

Michael Hartley

Michael Hartley

Officials say an investigation into an incident at a residence on west Ohio Street resulted in the arrest of 26-year old Michael Hartley, of Lenox, on charges of Domestic Assault causing injury, and Trespass. Hartley was transported to the Taylor County Jail where he was being held without bond pending an appearance before a magistrate.

Search is on for bank robber in NW Iowa


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A bank in northwest Iowa’s Ida County was held up on Thursday afternoon. Authorities say the United Bank of Iowa in Holstein was robbed at gunpoint about 4:05 p.m. An African-American male entered the bank displaying a firearm and demanded money from the tellers. The suspect left on foot with an undisclosed amount of U-S currency. Law enforcement officials say the male suspect is in his 20’s stands nearly six feet tall, and weighs approximately 180 pounds, and was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt.

The Ida County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on the scene by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Sac County Sheriff’s office and the Storm Lake Police Department. The investigation is ongoing and anyone that has information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Ida County Sheriff’s office.

Central IA man gets 10-years in prison for Child Pornography Offense


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Dallas County man was sentenced this week to prison on child pornography charges. The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports 76-year old Harold “Hal” Holmstrom, of Minburn, was sentenced Wednesday to serve a maximum of 10-years in jail plus a lifetime of supervised released, on federal child pornography charges.

In determining the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Jarvey took into account the fact that Holmstrom had sexually abused five female members of his family decades ago when they were small children, which had gone unreported and therefore unaddressed prior to the federal prosecution. Judge Jarvey described the victim impact statements as among the “most difficult” he has read during his tenure on the bench.

Holmstrom was caught using a computer program to download child pornography from the Internet by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations special agents in 2012. According to HSI, Holmstrom was one of the top ten most active collectors of child pornography on this particular computer program in all of Iowa between 2010 and 2012.

Holmstrom told case agents he had deleted all traces of child pornography from his computer before it was taken from him by law enforcement authorities in August, 2012, but HSI’s computer forensic team was able to recover evidence that he downloaded over 4,800 images of child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported 1,286 images were of known victims from 69 different child pornography series. Images involved children under 12, bestiality, and violence.

Any persons having knowledge of a child being sexually abused are encouraged to call the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Taylor County Sheriff’s Office swamped by false puppy mill imagery


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office is being swamped with calls about a  puppy mill in the county. Authorities says an “Outfit in New Jersey has dug up a photo from several years ago purporting to show a puppy mill in Taylor County and is urging people from across the nation to call and complain.” To counter the rumor mill (again), the Sheriff’s office has issued the following statement:

“The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the matter and has not found any evidence of violations of Iowa Code Chapter 717B, or any other Iowa Statute. The Sheriff’s Office has received multiple telephone calls about the matter based upon Facebook postings. Facebook postings are not evidence upon which we can base a criminal prosecution. If you posses evidence of a current violation of this statute, you need to provide this and we will review. However, evidence does not include dated photographs posted on someone’s Facebook page. We would need evidence of recent acts or omissions which violate the statute and implicate specific persons in the violations. If you cannot provide us with evidence of a crime, then you cannot expect us to be able to prosecute someone for a crime.”

Authorities are asking the public to “Quit buying the propaganda,”  so their deputies and dispatchers  can get back to business serving the needs of Taylor County residents.

7AM Newscast 07-25-2014

News, Podcasts

July 25th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Midwest Consumer Targeted in IRS MoneyPak Scam


July 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Tax season may be over but that has not stopped scammers from continuing to pose as IRS officials and making calls threatening jail time and loss of property. Thousands of calls have been made to individuals nationally with total losses around one million dollars. Officials with the Better Business Bureaus (BBB) report that consumers have received calls and voicemail messages stating they need to contact the IRS immediately or they would face legal consequences. Other calls threatened arrest by U.S. Marshals for failure to pay the correct amount of taxes.

BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa has been notified by a consumer in Hickman Nebraska that she received a message on her answering machine from the IRS on July 15th. The consumer returned the call at 8:15 am on July 16th. The “IRS official” who answered the phone told her that she was delinquent in paying some of her taxes in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and she owed the IRS $2,704.42. She was also notified that this information had been sent to a “high court” in Washington DC, that this was a time-sensitive issue and that she would need to pay a portion of the amount owed immediately or she would be arrested that day.

The caller stayed on the phone with the consumer while she went to her bank, withdrew $500, then drove to the nearest CVS Pharmacy and had the money transferred to a Green Dot MoneyPak as instructed. As soon as she returned to her vehicle, the caller asked her for the numbers on the back of the card. After giving him this information, she told him that she would have to get the rest of the money from her husband. The “IRS official” gave her another phone number to use to let him know when she had the additional funds. The consumer stated, “So I called my husband and then he called BBB, and all things came to a stop.” The man continues trying to contact her on her cell phone, but she does not answer.

BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty says “The IRS never contacts taxpayers by phone requesting money. They also never contact taxpayers by email. If there is an issue with the IRS that requires your response, the contact would be made by U.S. mail.”

The BBB recommends the following tips if you receive one of these scam phone calls:
. Hang Up – Don’t provide any information over the phone. Call the IRS directly using the phone number found on their legitimate website.

. Protect Personal Information – In response to an incoming call, never give out any personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, financial information or any passwords and other identifying information.

. IRS Contacts via U.S. Mail – If a caller claiming to be an IRS agent notifies you of an outstanding tax debt, but you haven’t received official notification from the IRS through the United States Postal Service, it is most likely a scam.

. Look Out for Spoofing – Part of scammers’ sophisticated tactics include ‘spoofing,’ which happens when the caller masks their own number and causes the number of a well-known service, like the IRS, to appear on caller ID.

. Don’t give out the number on the back of a MoneyPak -Avoid requests that require you to purchase a MoneyPak and provide the card number via email or by phone.

. Treat MoneyPak cards like cash – Unlike credit cards, MoneyPak transactions can never be reversed.

. Contact the FTC – File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”. In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam”.

If you or someone you know receives a threatening phone call claiming to be with the US government, report it to BBB by calling 800-649-6814 or email info@bbbinc.org. For more information you can trust, visit bbbinc.org.