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Highs early this morning were near 60. Lows tomorrow will be near 0. Oh, and 4-6″ of snow…

News, Weather

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More big changes in the weather are coming. After an ice storm Sunday and an about-face with highs yesterday in the 50s and 60s, thunderstorms rolled over Iowa last night. The daytime high in Atlantic Monday was 47, but overnight, the temperature rose to 57 before falling back to 35 degrees by 5-a.m.  The 24-hour high of 57 was just one-degree shy of tying the record high for Jan. 28th.  The temperature rise overnight caused Red Oak to set a new 24-hour high of 61-degrees.

Forecasters say temperatures will drop today and a Winter Storm Watch is now posted for counties from southwest to central to northeast Iowa. Meteorologist Aubrey Wilkins, at the National Weather Service, says make sure your snowblower is full of gas. There’s the chance of heavy snow, with four to six inches possible across parts of central Iowa. Wilkins says the topsy-turvy weather will continue tomorrow as an arctic blast will make its way toward Iowa.

Wilkins says lows by tomorrow night will be in the single digits or below zero, a turnaround in two days of 60 degrees. High temperatures by the weekend will likely be back in the 20s and 30s, more the norm for the season.

(Radio Iowa & KJAN’s Ric Hanson contributed to this report)

DNR says Iowans may see more cougars in 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowans may see more mountain lions in their back yards and fields this year, as cougar populations are rising in their natural habitats — like Colorado and Oklahoma. Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says cougars are solitary and territorial so a growing population means some are forced to strike out on their own. Some will make it to Iowa, he says, which is how a big cat came to be shot in Des Moines last fall.  “As these young males get kicked out of their home area and they can travel significantly per day to get here,” Gipp says. “How it wound up in the middle of Des Moines is an interesting concept.”

While humans aren’t usually at risk, he says mountain lions prefer to prey on small mammals like rabbits and stray cats. “You’re going to see more and more of these types of things coming to Iowa because we’ve got a food source,” he says. Gipp says the rise of mountain lions in Iowa should balance itself out in the next few years. As more hunters in other states kill mountain lions, fewer shunned young males will wander into Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

No injuries reported following Shenandoah house fire

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Shenandoah say no injuries were reported following a house fire Monday afternoon. According to reports, the fire took place at 106 South Avenue in Shenandoah, at around 4:30-p.m. The home sustained considerable damage and resulted in the family being displaced. Their names were not immediately available. The Red Cross was assisting the family in finding shelter. The cause of the blaze was believed to be faulty wiring.

Western Iowa man pleads not guilty to slaying, kidnapping

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman. The Sioux City Journal reports Kirk Levin submitted a written plea Monday. He faces charges of first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her farmhouse in Early on Jan. 3. They say he then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman who he tied up and put in the trunk of a car. The woman escaped after Levin drove into a ditch.

Levin had been released from prison days earlier after serving time for burglary charges. Gov. Terry Branstad’s spokesman has defended the state’s release of Levin.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Jan. 29th 2013

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in central Iowa say they kept a high school evacuated and briefly placed several other schools on lockdown because they received an unconfirmed threat. The threat yesterday was an unconfirmed report of an intruder at Boone High School. Officials say the threat was received by email.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City mother arrested after her toddler son was found legally drunk has been given a suspended prison sentence of up to 10 years. The sentence means Natasha Kriener will only go to prison if she violates the conditions of her three-year probation term. She has already served 104 days behind bars.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic lawmakers say a survey they sent to superintendents shows many expect teacher layoffs and class size increases if the Legislature doesn’t increase state aid by a March 1 deadline. Sen. Herman Quirmbach and Rep. Sharon Steckman held a news conference yesterday to announce results of a survey sent to 348 school districts.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northeast Iowa say a man was injured when the machinery he was driving was hit by a train. The Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office says Rick Wermerskirchen of Waterloo was driving a county-owned road grader that was crossing railroad tracks yesterday near Jesup. A Canadian National Railroad train then hit the road grader.

Attempted Kidnapping in Council Bluffs

News

January 28th, 2013 by admin

Police in Council Bluffs Police said Monday, one person was arrested in connection with an alleged attempted kidnapping. Authorities say 20-year old Nathan Busse of Council Bluffs allegedly attempted to kidnap an unidentified 10-year old girl. The victim was at Edison School finishing her duty as a crossing guard, when Busse approached her.

Busse reportedly asked the girl  “What’s up,” before grabbing her by the arm and forcing her to start walking with him. Police say the victim struggled while Busse told her “It’s OK.” She was finally able to break free after a brief struggle and ran to a family member who was there to pick her up.

Busse left the area but was located a short distance away by the victim’s father, who was able to detain the man until police arrived. After questioning, Busse was arrested on charges of Kidnapping/3rd Degree, Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, Enticing a minor, and Child stealing. He remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail Monday evening.

Stuart Stabbing Update

News

January 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Stuart Police Department have released additional information on a stabbing incident which occurred Saturday. Authorities say on the morning of January 26th, Stuart Police responded to a report of a male subject that had been stabbed. While investigating the stabbing, officers discovered a stolen handgun and other stolen property. The victim of the stabbing, James Block, was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines with injuries. He later left the hospital before officers could speak with him.

Sean Ward was arrested in connection with the stabbing and felon in possession of a firearm. Wynter Hudson and Sarah Clendaniel who were both present at the stabbing were arrested for possession of stolen property. While investigating the stabbing it was discovered that James Block had poured gasoline on Ward and attempted to light Ward on fire with a lighter before the stabbing had occurred.

Stuart Officers later served search warrants at three separate residences. While searching a residence in Stuart additional items of stolen property were recovered. While searching a residence in Earlham, officers discovered five stolen rifles including an “SKS” assault rifle, a stolen handgun and various other items of stolen property. Cory Daugherty was arrested at the Earlham residence for felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, and drug related charges.

The recovered property and firearms were linked to a home burglary in Stuart on January, 24th, 2013. Officers recovered a total of six rifles, two handguns and various other stolen items. The total value of the items was estimated at over $5,000. Additional charges have been filed in this case relating to the burglary, and trafficking of the stolen firearms.

(Update) Stabbing and Beating in Atlantic Early Monday Morning

News

January 28th, 2013 by admin

In an update to our story early Monday morning, the Atlantic Police Department late Monday afternoon said at around 3:30-a.m., officers with the A-PD responded to an area behind 1011 Birch Street after receiving a call about a fight in progress . Upon arrival, officers found several subjects in the area and fleeing the scene.

Soon thereafter, they discovered 43-year old Robert Leslie of Atlantic suffering from puncture and slashing wounds.  The man was taken to Cass County Hospital for treatment and remained hospitalized Monday evening.

Two suspects were taken into custody at the scene, while a third person was arrested later, following the execution of a search warrant at 900 Hickory Street, in Atlantic. The individuals arrested were identified as  18-year old Bryce Baker, 21-year old Austin Nelson and 23-year old Mykel Thorn, all of Atlantic. Each of the suspects has been charged with Felony willful injury, and going armed with intent. All three have been booked into the Cass County Jail.

The incident remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.

Car Accident Under Investigation

News

January 28th, 2013 by admin

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office responded to an accident on Friday, January 25th around 11:oo P.M. The accident occurred on 320th Street near Goldfinch Avenue. Thirty-six year old Ezra Sedina of Atlantic was traveling westbound on 320th Street when he lost control of his 2007 Chevy Impala and entered the north ditch. Sedina and his passenger, 26-year old Justin Knutsen of Atlantic both refused medical treatment at the scene. Sedina later requested medical treatment and was transported to the Audubon County Memorial Hospital by Audubon Rescue. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $3,000. The accident remains under investigation.

Branstad education plan benefits senior teachers

News

January 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A top education aide to Gov. Terry Branstad says a major cost in the governor’s education plan is providing bonuses to experienced teachers who take on more responsibilities.   Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass said Monday that it will cost the state $46 million to give stipends to senior teachers who take on tasks like mentoring.

Branstad’s education reform plan also raises minimum teacher salaries from $28,000 to $35,000. The Education Department estimates that would likely cost about $5.5 million.      Another $96 million would go to districts to be used for teacher expenses related to the proposal. The money would be allocated on a per-student basis, meaning the most funding would go to the Des Moines Independent School District, the largest in the state.