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Western Iowa drug court to be shut down for lack of money

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Budget concerns have led officials in western Iowa to announce a plan to shut down the region’s drug court. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that Fourth Judicial District drug court will shut down on Oct. 1st.

Drug court started in January 2000. It offers people who are convicted of drug felonies a chance to complete a rehabilitation program instead of going to jail. If they are successful, the charges can be wiped from their records.  District director Kip Shanks says there are about 40 offenders in the program, which is no longer accepting applications. Shanks says the program cost $250,000 a year to run, but funds allocated to his department for 2016 did not cover both drug court costs and employee raises.

2 arrests in Audubon

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon Police Department reports two people were arrested, Tuesday. 27-year old Ashlie Renee Kluver of Audubon, was taken into custody on charges that include: Driving While Revoked, Possession of Marijuana –2nd or subsequent offense; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Child Endangerment. Kluver was taken to the Audubon County Jail where she was being held pending an appearance before a magistrate. The incident remains under investigation.

And, 41-year old Kip Wylie Spencer of Audubon, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of  Burglary in the 1st Degree. Spencer was being held in the Audubon County Jail pending an appearance before a magistrate.

(12-p.m. News)

Some economic growth likely in rural parts of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey suggests modest economic growth ahead in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but the predicted decline in farm income this year remains a concern. The overall Rural Mainstreet economic index inched into positive territory in July at 53.4. In June the index registered a neutral score of 50.

The index has risen for four months. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the trend is encouraging, but the bankers surveyed still aren’t very optimistic. The confidence index remained in negative territory at 46.6 after improving from June’s 45.9.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Iowa DNE agents finding more heroin

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Law enforcement officers around Iowa are reporting a dramatic rise in the use and distribution of one of the most dangerous and addictive illegal drugs – heroin.

Paul Feddersen

Paul Feddersen

Paul Feddersen, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE), says heroin seizures rose from less than 500 grams in 2013 to over 200,000 grams in 2014. DNE agents believe much of the heroin is coming to Iowa from Chicago.

“Most of the seizures are in eastern Iowa,” Feddersen said. “The main counties are Johnson, Linn and Scott Counties. So, heroin is coming to Iowa, it is here.” The rise in the abuse of prescription painkillers is tied to the rise in heroin use, according to Feddersen. “Many people start out with prescription drugs, then eventually move on to heroin because heroin is cheaper, more available and it’s a better high,” Feddersen said.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports there were 20 heroin-related overdose deaths in the state last year. That’s more than double the amount in any previous year over the past decade. Overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, have also been rising in Iowa – with 77 such deaths in 2014.

(Radio Iowa)

Husband of slain police officer could become US citizen faster, under legislation

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa man whose police officer wife was shot and killed this spring may find himself on the fast-track to getting U-S citizenship. Hector Orozco, of Council Bluffs, is an immigrant from Mexico and has legal status. His wife, Kerrie Orozco was a Walnut, Iowa, native and an Omaha police officer who was fatally shot in May while serving an arrest warrant. A bill being introduced in Congress would allow the surviving spouses of first-responders killed in the line of duty to more easily gain citizenship. Nebraska Congressman Brad Ashford, of Omaha, is sponsoring the measure and says it’s getting a good response.

“We just have to reach out and do our work. That’s what legislating is all about,” Ashford says. “We’ll take what time it takes to get a good number, hopefully, of members to sign on to the bill and then move forward.” The legislation is based on current American policy for the surviving spouses of military personnel killed in combat. It allows those spouses to apply for expedited citizenship. Congressman Ashford says he’s hoping to offer the bill in the U-S House within a week or two.

“The next step is to get signatories on the bill and introduce it before the recess on August 1st,” Ashford says. “Then, it would go to a committee, probably the Judiciary Committee. I think the more signatories we get on the bill, the better chance we have of getting it out this year and that would be the goal.” Hector left Mexico in 1999, at the age of 17, and now works as a supervisor for a lawn care company in Omaha. He married Kerrie in 2011.

He has applied for citizenship, but the wait could stretch to six years. Hector has two children from a previous marriage, while he and Kerrie also had a child, Olivia, born in February three months premature. Kerrie was to begin maternity leave the day after she was fatally shot. The suspect in the shooting was also killed.

(Radio Iowa)

2 Logan residents & an Atlantic man arrested in Cass County for probation violation

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two Harrison County residents were arrested last Saturday in Cass County. The Sheriff’s Office reports 20-year old Heidi Lynn Murphy, and 23-year old Drew Ashton Gagnon, both of Logan, were arrested on District Court warrants for Probation Violation. Both remain held at the Cass County Jail on $1000 bond each.

And, on Tuesday, an Atlantic man, 19-year old Blake Michael Zweck, turned himself in to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Zweck remains held at the Cass County Jail on $10,000 bond.

2 arrested on Burglary/Theft charges in Cass County

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Tuesday (July 14th), of 45-year old Philip Jesse Gehling, of Atlantic. Gehling turned himself in at the Cass County Jail on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for (felony) Burglary in the 1st Degree, (felony) Going Armed With Intent, Domestic Abuse Assault, and Carrying Weapons. He was booked in at the Cass County Jail and later released on $20,000 bond.

That same day, 28-year old Nicole Amaris Bittner, of Avoca, was arrested on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for felony Theft 1st Degree. Bittner was taken to the Cass County Jail, and released Wednesday on her own recognizance to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.

NE man arrested after incident outside an Anita bar Thu. morning

News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies responded early this (Thursday) to a reported stabbing incident and shots fired, in Anita. The call came in just before 1-a.m.  When authorities arrived on the scene outside of Huffy’s Bar in Anita, it was determined no stabbing actually occurred, but a firearm was discharged outside the bar.

31-year old Erich S. Johnson, of West Point, NE, was taken into custody on a felony charge of Possession and Control of Firearms with a (prior) Domestic Assault Conviction, an aggravated misdemeanor charge of Carrying Weapons, and Reckless Use of a Firearm (a simple misdemeanor). Johnson was brought to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $5000 bond. The Adair County Sheriff’s Office assisted Cass County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

Commodity Carnival at Shelby County Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Persons attending the Shelby County Fair have a chance to partake in the Commodity Carnival. Brought to you through a partnership between CME Group and the National 4-H Council, the Commodity Carnival – now in its third year – is an interactive, educational fair experience that allows young fairgoers to play games that teach them about managing the risks and costs associated with producing and bringing animals to market. The Commodity Carnival booth will be at the Shelby County Fair from July 16th through the 18th, and fairgoers can even take the newest “Risk Ranch” game home with them on their mobile device.

To see Risk Ranch in action, you can download the game for iOS or Android, or to find out more information, go to http://www.cmegroup.com/education/4-h.html. The app launched last year and now allows you to raise both a hog and a steer while learning about commodities.

Curtains of rain fell on S.W. IA overnight

News, Weather

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Storms that pounded southwestern Iowa overnight into early this (Thursday) morning caused flash flooding in Clarinda and Shenandoah. The National Weather Service reports Clarinda had 5.27-inches of rain, with as much as two-inches of water covering the roads at times. Some locations near Clarinda reported 5.5-inches of rain.

Shenandoah also reported flash flooding on Highway 48 and other roads at around 5:15-a.m., after 4.64-inches of rain fell on the community. Bedford reported 4.22-inches, Villisca reported 3.50-inches. Three-miles west of Pacific Junction, a spotter reported 3.2-inches of rain. Three-miles northeast of Essex, 3-inches was reported. Emerson had 2.85-inches. In the Taylor County community of Blockton, 2.48-inches of rain had fallen as last report.

Treynor had 1.8-inches, Red Oak, 1.5-inches, and Massena recorded 1.69-inches of rain, while here in Atlantic at KJAN, we picked up 1.6-inches of rain. 1.25-inches of rain was reported, in Audubon.