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House fire west of Atlantic under investigation

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A fire overnight about five-miles west of Atlantic completely destroyed a home and its contents, but no one was injured. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said no one knew it had happened until after sunrise. McNees said Dave Freund, who is a neighbor of Wayne Preister,who was renting the home, both notified the fire department the house had burned. When crews arrived there was nothing left to do but put out some hot spots.

Smoldering remains of the home on Indian Creek St., near Atlantic. (Cass Co. EMA/photo)

Smoldering remains of the home on Indian Creek St., near Atlantic. (Cass Co. EMA/photo)

McNees said his department, along with the Cass County Emergency Management Agency conducted an investigation and notified the State Fire Marshal’s office. The cause of the blaze will be listed as undetermined, because there is so little evidence to go on.  He said it could have been caused by lightening or was the result of an electrical problem, but that’s not official. No one was home at the time. 

The call about the fire came at 56575 Indian Creek Street in at around 7:30-.am. No injuries were reported.

No injuries following accident in Harlan

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan woman was cited for striking an unattended vehicle, recently. The Harlan Police Department reports a 1998 Chevrolet driven by Kristen Hoffman, of Harlan, was traveling south on 9th Street on May 30th, when she noticed a truck owned by David Archibald, of Harlan. Hoffman however, failed to notice a trailer behind the truck, and struck the trailer, forcing it forward, where it collided with the truck. A wrecker had to be called-in to lift Hoffman’s car off the trailer.

Damage from the incident amounted to $7,500.

Avoca man faces a drug charge

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports an Avoca man faces drug charges following a traffic stop June 5th (last Wednesday). 44-year old Stephen Andrew Weber was charged with Possession of drug paraphernalia. Another person, 50-year old Christina Lynn Hansen, of Harlan, was arrested during the same traffic stop, on a charge of driving while barred.

The H-PD says also, they took a report last Thursday (June 6th), of a purse being taken from a car parked on Country Club Parkway. The incident remains under investigation. Officials say they have received many reports of that type of theft, and they remind people to take the keys from your vehicle and lock its doors, when it is not in use.

Walnut H.S. & ISU grad named City Administrator in Clinton

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Walnut High School and Iowa State University graduate has been named City Administrator for the City of Clinton, in eastern Iowa. According to radio station KROS, Jessica Kinser, who has served as the Interim City Administrator for the past five-months, was officially given the job during a meeting Tuesday night of the Clinton City Council. Prior to serving as the Interim Administrator, Jessica was hired as the city’s Finance Director. 

Kinser served as the City Manager in Griswold from Feb. 2010 through October, 2011, before accepting the Finance Director’s job in Clinton. She was also a Financial Analyst for Ottawa County, Michigan and served as a Program Assistant at ISU.  Kinser graduated from ISU with a Masters in Public Administration in 2007. She also has Bachelor of Science Degrees in Political Science and English.

In a statement released to the media, Kinser said “I am honored and humbled to be selected as the City Administrator for the City of Clinton, and would like to thank the Mayor and City Council for the opportunity to serve.  I have worked for the City for a year and a half, and I have seen how quickly things change and opportunities arise, and I am excited for the known and unknown that lies ahead.” 

(Podcast) 7-a.m. Newscast – Wed., June 12th 2013

News, Podcasts

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest area news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

Commander of fabled Apollo 13 moon mission visits Omaha/Council Bluffs

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One of NASA’s best-known astronauts from the moon mission era was in Omaha/Council Bluffs last (Tuesday) night. Jim Lovell was commander of the doomed Apollo 13 flight, which had an oxygen tank explode two days into a trip to the moon, crippling the spacecraft far from home and threatening the lives of the three-man crew. “The odds were against us in the beginning because we didn’t know really what was wrong or what was happening,” Lovell says. “Consequently, we were concerned until we tried to figure out what the story was. There wasn’t an immediate explosion that violated the integrity of the spacecraft so we still had some time to think about it.”

Engineers on the ground were able to instruct the astronauts in how to bring the badly-damaged ship home. The dramatic mission in April of 1970 was the subject of the 1995 film, “Apollo 13,” which starred Tom Hanks as Lovell. The events depicted in the Oscar-winning movie were very accurate, Lovell says, and he was an advisor for the film. Lovell remains a huge supporter of the space program and hopes the U-S will once again be a world leader in space exploration. 

“I think it was one of the greatest inspirations for improving technology in this country and the STEM (science, technology, education, math) education of our young people,” Lovell says. “We won’t be a leader but I have to tell you, there will be other leaders, either Russia or China or even India.”

Lovell was in Omaha to speak at an event sponsored by the Immanuel Foundation. His talk was called, “Apollo 13; A Successful Failure.” At age 85, Lovell still pilots his own airplane but his wife made him promise to get a co-pilot this year — or sell the plane.

(Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs man arrested after being clocked at 120-mph Tuesday

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County arrested a Pottawattamie County man Tuesday evening, after he was caught speeding 120-miles per hour in a 55-mph zone. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, 25-year Skyler Lee Baker, of Council Bluffs, also faces OWI/1st offense, and open container charges, in addition to being cited for having no proof of insurance. Baker was taken into custody following a traffic stop at the intersection of E Avenue and Highway 34, west of Red Oak.

The Montgomery County K-9 unit and Red Oak Police assisted during the incident.

Public meetings scheduled on proposed MidAmerican rate increase request

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Utilities Board begins hosting eight public meetings Thursday on the proposed electric rate increase requested by MidAmerican Energy. I-U-B spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says the first meeting is in Iowa City at the public library. “MidAmerican filed a petition to increase its permanent base rates to generate approximately 135-point-six million dollars additional revenue annually. And they are proposing that that be phased in over three years, and so the board has 10 months — or until March 17th of 2014 I believe — to make a decision that permanent rate proposal,” Hilllesland says. The process allows MidAmerican to start collection a temporary rate pending the approval of the board.

“Temporary rates are approved and then if the final rate decision is a lower amount, customers could be refunded temporary rates plus interest,” Hillesland says. He says the board has three months to make a decision on approving the temporary rate — which would be August 15th of this year. The request for the permanent rate increase is NOT connected to MidAmerican’s decision to refund money to customers that was not used in its study of the feasibility of building a new nuclear power plant. Hillesland says it is also not related to MidAmerican’s announcement that it will lower rates as the company builds new wind power turbines. The upcoming meetings are for comment on this proposed rate increase.

“And customers are also welcome to talk generally about the quality of service that they feel the utility provides to them, or to other customers, or to their business or whatever,” Hillesland says. If you can’t make one of the public meetings, you can provide written comments.You can e-mail comments to customer@iub.iowa.gov or you can leave comments on the I-U-B’s website comment form at:www.iub.iowa.gov. Or you can send regular mail with comments to : Iowa Utilities Board,, Docket No. R-P-U-2013-0004, 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069. All of the public meetings begin at 5:30.

Here are the schedules for some of the other meetings:
Council Bluffs: Monday, June 24, 2013, Council Bluffs Public Library, Room B, 400 Willow Avenue.
Sioux City: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, Briar Cliff University, Stark Student Center, Clare Room, 3303 Rebecca Street.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Wed., June 12th 2013

News

June 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Woodbury County has given its deputies the green light to monitor seven towns. Deputies with the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office will respond to calls for help with dogs at large and other ordinance violations for a $35 per hour fee. The Sioux City Journal says the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors approved a measure yesterday that will add the towns of Cushing and Smithland to a list that already includes Bronson, Danbury, Hornick, Lawton and Pierson.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police say the death of a man found in a Cedar Rapids residence is being investigated as a homicide. The Cedar Rapids Police Department says the man was found dead following a medical call Monday afternoon. It was initially investigated as an unattended death. Authorities have not released the man’s name.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Iowa City say two men face intoxication charges in connection with a potential bomb threat over the weekend. Iowa City police say 58-year-old Tobias Hermann and 44-year-old Maurice Graham were charged with public intoxication for their alleged actions on Sunday as a bomb squad examined a suspicious package.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Rehabilitation specialists say they’re now caring for three young hawks found around downtown Waterloo. Specialists with the Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project say the birds were recently discovered on streets and sidewalks. One hawk was corralled into a coin-operated laundry facility. Another was caught in a cardboard box, and the other was found hanging near a dumpster.

Gov. Branstad to hold Harrison and Monona County town hall meetings

News

June 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad today (Tuesday) announced he will hold town hall meetings in Harrison and Monona counties on Tuesday, June 18th. Branstad plans to discuss 2013 legislative accomplishments including enacting significant property tax reform, transformational education reform and a modernizing of the Medicaid system that focuses on making patients healthier while protection Iowa taxpayers. Both events are open to the public.

The Governor will hold a Harrison County “Our Opportunity. Our Iowa. Our results”  town hall meeting at 2-p.m. June 18th at the Missouri Valley Public Library (420 East Huron St.).  A similar meeting takes place that same day at 3:45-p.m., at the Onawa Public Library (707 Iowa Ave.),  in Monona County.