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7AM Newscast 08-31-2012

News, Podcasts

August 31st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Temporary lockdown in Adams County School, Thursday


August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Corning Elementary School was placed on a temporary lockdown Thursday, while authorities investigated a nearby domestic situation. According to Adams County Sheriff Alan Johannes, a person was upset about some issues, and while there were initial reports a weapon may be involved, that turned out not to be the case. Johannes said the person in question was never on school property, but the facility was placed on lockdown for about 30 minutes as a precaution.
The man questioned by authorities was transported to an unspecified care facility. No charges have been filed. No other details are currently available.

(Nick Johansen)

Nominations Certified for Cass County Offices


August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman, Thursday, released the names of persons who have submitted their nominations for various County offices, in advance of the November 6th General Election. There are no contested races for any of the top offices, including the Board of Supervisors, Auditor and Sheriff. All of those running for re-election to those offices are Republicans, including: Duane McFadden, Charles Rieken, and Frank Waters, for the Board of Supervisors; Auditor Dale Sunderman, and Sheriff Darby McLaren.

Candidates for non-partisan offices include:

For Cass County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees/Northwest District -Roger Herring, and Michael J. Collins, both from Atlantic. (6-year term, 1 to be elected); Northeast District – Julie Pollock (6-year term/1 to be elected).

Soil and Water Conservation District  (3 to be elected. 2 cannot be from the same township) – Chase Wheatley, of Massena; Curt Behrends, of Wiota; Clarke Gerlock, of Cumberland; and Norbert Ray Wilson, of Griswold.

Ag Extension Council (4 to be elected) – Marcy Jo Dorsey, of Anita; Darrin Petty, of Atlantic; Julie Aupperle, of Wiota; and Malena Sothman, of Cumberland.

Township Trustees:

Benton Township (4-year term/1 to be elected) – Vicky Sanny, of Atlantic.

Benton Township (to fill remainder of a 4-year term) – Chris Stork, of Atlantic.

Edna Township (1 for a 4-year term) – Keith Nelson, of Massena

Edna Township (to fill remainder of a 4-year term) – Travis Erickson, of Cumberland.

Union Township ( 1 for a 4-year term) – Delmar South, of Cumberland.

Victoria Township (1 for a 4-year term) – Carole McMullen, of Massena.

Township Clerk:

Benton Township (vacancy, 1 for remainder of a 4-year term) – Linda L. Olsen, of Brayton.

Edna Township (vacancy, 1 for remainder of a 4-year term) – Dan Schrier, of Cumberland.

Union Township (vacancy, 1 for remainder of 4-year term) – Bill Gerlock, or Cheryl R. Christiansen, both of Cumberland.

In addition, Public Measures will be on the ballot for those persons residing in the Benton, Edna, Union and Victoria Townships in Cass County, asking them if the Board of Supervisors should “…Fill the offices of Trustees and Clerk in those respective townships by appointment, as the terms of office of the incumbent township officers expire?”

Villisca man arrested on Polk County warrant


August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Montgomery County report a Villisca man was arrested today (Friday), at around 3:45-a.m., on warrants out of Polk County. 27-year old Michael Scott Walton was wanted for Contempt of Court, and Failure to Pay Child Support. Walton was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $2,000 cash bond for Polk County authorities.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Aug. 31st 2012


August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A 14-year-old boy has been taken to an Iowa City hospital after he was injured while driving an all-terrain vehicle. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says Alex Womack Junior was driving the ATV on Wednesday afternoon at the Barrington Lakes subdivision on the west side of Dubuque. The office says Alex was injured when the ATV rolled over on top of him.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A 24-year-old Dubuque man has been hospitalized after shooting himself in a foot. Police say Ira Hatcher Junior accidentally fired a gun that belonged to a friend around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, wounding himself.

SHELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — A fire has damaged the home of a police chief in east-central Iowa. The fire was reported about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the home of Shellsburg Chief Marty Evans. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that authorities say the fire likely started in the garage and spread to the house. The cause is being investigated. Three people in the home at the time escaped without injury.

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) — A new trial is expected to be set for a southwest Iowa man charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse after a mistrial was declared when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. KJAN radio in Atlantic reports a Cass County judge declared a mistrial in the case against 52-year-old Roger Ericksen of Lewis yesterday.

Lane closures at Broadway viaduct (U.S. 6) in Council Bluffs begin Tuesday


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Atlantic construction office says beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4th, motorists should expect delays for the installation of a sculpture as part of the Broadway viaduct (U.S. 6) in Council Bluffs, weather permitting. Lane closures and occasional viaduct closures will be required during the installation. Daytime lane closures will be from 7 a.m. until the day’s work is completed. Signage will route traffic through the work zone.

When the entire viaduct must be closed, these closures will be from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The viaduct will be open to traffic Friday and Saturday evenings during the installation project. For more information about the scheduled work and closures, visit http://www.511ia.org. The installation is scheduled to take approximately 20 days, weather permitting.

Mistrial declared in Roger Ericksen sexual abuse case


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski this (Thursday) afternoon declared a mistrial in the sexual abuse case of 52-year old Roger Allen Ericksen, of Lewis. The decision was made after the jury foreman announced they jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges against Ericksen.

The foreman was asked by the Judge if any further deliberation, taking a recess and coming back on Friday would be helpful for the jury to reach a unanimous decision on the counts against Ericksen, to which the  foreman replied “No, at this time we’re at an impasse.”

The judge thanked the jury for their deliberations, which took almost 6 hours. Ericksen will remain in the Cass County Jail on $250,000 bond. A second trial date has not yet been scheduled.

Ericksen’s Attorney, Theordore Wonio, refused to comment following the ruling. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, who was the Prosecuting Attorney, representing the State of Iowa, said afterward that a mistrial means “It’s as if the current trial did not take place, and the State will have another opportunity to seek to retry the case again.” It’s not clear if the same jury who heard the case this week will be recalled for the second trial, or another jury will assume the role.

Ericksen had been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year old female who lived in his home as a foster child. He was formally charged on December 13th, 2011, with 46-counts of 3rd degree sexual abuse, two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor and two charges of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

The charges were the result of a nearly four and one-half month long investigation that began July 25th, 2011, after authorities received word of the incidents, which reportedly occurred between May 15th, 2011 and July 25th, 2011. The victim claimed she was allegedly sexually assaulted in a swimming pool, the defendant’s car, in her bedroom, and in front of a computer.

During the trial jurors heard from the victim, her step-sister, Department of Human Services and other officials, along with character witnesses for Ericksen, who testified they had no knowledge of any issues in the foster-home run by the man and his wife since 2005. Some of the witnesses characterized the teen as one who told lies to get out of trouble. One even described her as a “drama queen.” Roger Ericksen testified he thought she made up the story in an attempt to get back together with her biological mother.

Evidence presented at the trial included sex toys, at least one of which included the alleged victims’ DNA, but a positive identification could not be made on other DNA found on those same items. And, a nurse who conducted a physical exam of the teen four days after the incidents were reported, said while she found no evidence of a sexual assault, those types of injuries typically heal quickly in a person of that age.

Ericksen’s trial began Tuesday afternoon and concluded Wednesday evening.

Omaha man sentenced to prison for gas card theft


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha man has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison for his unauthorized use of a military-issued gas card.  United States Attorney Deborah Gilg says that 32-year-old Terrell Smith was sentenced Wednesday in Lincoln federal court for use of an unauthorized access device. He must also pay restitution of nearly $23,000.

Federal authorities say the Nebraska Air National Guard noticed in October that the credit card assigned to a National Guard recruiter was being used at gas stations in north Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, to buy large quantities of gas.  The FBI and General Services Administration determined that Smith repeatedly used the card to put $22,882 worth of gas into his car and into the cars of friends.   Smith told authorities he found the card.

Field fire reported south of Wiota


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota were called to the scene of a hay bailer and field fire south of Wiota, this morning. Crews were dispatched to 68284 Jasper Road, just before 10:30-a.m. Fire Chief Duane Murphy said an overheated bearing in the bailer sparked the fire.

Atlantic man arrested


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Wednesday, of 19-year old Mathew Kern, of Atlantic. Kern was taken into custody on a charge of Driving While License Revoked. Kern was brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.