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Atlantic’s Wiederstein among Iowa delegates who were not happy about a late bus in Tampa

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention didn’t make it to the opening of the convention this afternoon. Iowa delegates, alternate delegates and Iowans who have guest passes gathered at noon at their hotel on Treasure Island, Florida, to be bused to downtown Tampa, but the bus was 50 minutes late. Atlantic Attorney Dave Wiederstein, an alternate delegate,  said the delegates “Are helpless when it comes to stuff like this.” He told Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson they could “Wake up at Five in the morning and be ready to go,” but they have to go on a specific bus, for security reasons. Wiederstein said “It makes you a little bit leery of the security of the United States, if these are the same people that are in charge of the security of the President, that let this kind of thing happen.”

Alternate delegate John Bowery, of Shenandoah, is an emergency room doctor. Bowery said “People would die if this is how I ran my ER. I’m really disappointed and I’m verging on angry now, you know, because this our entire state delegation, not just the alternates. I mean, they can do without me. They can’t do without the delegates here. They need to be there and this is the most crucial vote of the week.” Since most of these delegates are Ron Paul supporters and intend to vote for Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney, the group started speculating that there was a plot to keep them away from the convention.

“We being there late is not good enough,” Bowery says. “We need to be there to represent our viewpoints.” A series of rules changes were being decided upon by delegates Tuesday afternoon. Kim Lehman  — Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman — argues the changes would endanger Iowa’s Caucuses and allow presidential candidates of the future to dictate which delegates get to attend future national conventions. “We want to protect Iowa first-in-the-nation (status),” Lehman said Tuesday morning. “We want to protect delegates to be able to be delegates to the convention from the grassroots level, not from the top down.” The majority of Iowa delegates are attending their first-ever national convention and Lehman has urged them to be attentive.

“When you get there, it will seem fun and you’ll want to get out of your seat,” Lehman told the group at the delegation’s morning meeting, “but I would ask to find out if there’s a vote coming up because we need every single vote in their seat.” The start of the convention was delayed by a day. The convention’s opening business session started at one o’clock Iowa time, Tuesday.

Ericksen sex abuse trial continues Wednesday in Atlantic

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Trial in the case of a Lewis man charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year old girl over a period of more than two months in 2011 continues Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. During the proceedings, officials with the Iowa Department of Human Services and child advocates from Project Harmony in Omaha, are expected to take to the witness stand. Day one of testimony Tuesday, lasted for four and one-half hours, and concluded with the alleged victim of the assaults testifying she was molested by her foster parent, 52-year old Roger Ericksen on numerous occasions from May 15th, 2011 until the day before she was removed from his home by social workers, on July 25th, 2011. Ericksen was arrested in December on two Aggravated Misdemeanor charges of Assault with the intent to commit Sexual Abuse, two counts of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor (A Serious Misdemeanor), and 46 Class-C felony counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree.

In opening statements, Ericksen’s attorney, Theodore Wonio, said the alleged victim was someone who had a “rough, rough life.”  He said the girl grew up in an abusive Florida household. Her father died when she was very young, and she moved to Iowa to live with her mother and stepfather only to be caught in yet another abusive household. Wonio said the girl bounced around from foster home to foster home, and ended up in the Ericksen household. He says she desperately wanted a family in her life, and after her half-sister moved out of the home, was worried about losing everyone in her biological family. Wonio says she fabricated a story to get her out of foster care and potentially back to her family. He said also she’s told lots of stories throughout her life.

Representing the State, Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner said there was physical evidence to support the girl’s allegations, including DNA evidence on several sex toys Ericksen allegedly used in some of the assaults.

Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner reads the charges against Ericken to the jury

He called to the stand Cass County Deputy Kyle Quist, who filed the charges against Ericksen after a nearly four and a half-month long investigation. Quist testified he became aware of the allegations on July 25th, after he was contacted by the DHS.

Quist was one of several persons who spoke with the girl about the incidents she claims took place.  He says she “seemed to be pretty stressed,” and she “never broke eye contact” with Quist during the 45-minute long interview. Quist said the girl was able to recall specific details of the incidents. And, while physical evidence in the case such as sex toys were delivered to the DCI Crime lab for analysis, Quist admitted he never took the alleged victim to the hospital to have physical examination using a “rape kit.”

Kristin Baum, DCI DNA Specialist testifies at Ericksen’s trail Tuesday

Kristin Baum, a DNA Specialist with the State DCI Crime Lab in Ankeny, testified some of the sex toys Ericksen allegedly used on the teen didn’t have enough DNA to interpret. She compared it to a grain of salt in bread dough. Another sample “failed to produce a profile,” while the third sample came back with the presence of a mixture of DNA from at least two persons, including the alleged victim. The other DNA she said could have been from fewer than one out of a dozen individuals, and further interpretation and analysis is needed.

When the alleged teenaged victim spoke, she testified the assaults began after her half-sister graduated and left the home. She said they occurred mainly at night, in her bed or Ericksen’s, in a pool, and in his vehicle. They ranged from acts of kissing and fondling, to intercourse and sodomy. The now 15-year old girl was thin, spoke softly and sat mostly expressionless during the hearing. KJAN News has chosen to withhold the girl’s name because she is juvenile.

Peak Water Alert for Council Bluffs Area cancelled

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Council Bluffs said today (Tuesday) a peak water alert issued by the Council Bluffs Water Works on July 24th, for the Council Bluffs area has been cancelled, and a voluntary water conservation request will be lifted effective September 1st, for all customers served by the Council Bluffs Water Works.

Water demand has tapered off in recent weeks with cooler temperatures and recent rain events to the point that voluntary water conservation is no longer necessary. The peak water alert was issued in July due to the excessive temperatures, heat wave and very dry conditions. Council Bluffs Water Works customers set records on July 18 and July 19. July was an all-time record month.

Doug Drummey, General Manager, Council Bluffs Water Works said “Our customers responded to our voluntary water conservation request and we were able to meet all of our customers’ water needs throughout this unusually hot and dry period. The Board of Water Works Trustees appreciates the support and thanks our customers and community for their efforts in reducing water use.”

Shelby County Bridge to close for replacement

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials report the Orange Road bridge just north of the Ron Mosher residence (at 1234 Orange Road/Center Township sections 3 and 4), will be closed effective Wednesday, August 29th. The road will remain closed for about six-to-eight weeks, so that a large pipe can be installed, which will replace the bridge. The affected bridge crosses the West Nishnabotna River.

Emergency crews and others who would normally traverse Orange Road and the affected bridge, are asked to plan alternate routes to respond to emergencies in the area. If you have any questions, call the Shelby County Engineer at 755-5954.

Atlantic man arrested Monday on an assault charge

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports 55-year old Terry Calhoun, of Atlantic, was arrested Monday. Calhoun was taken into custody on charges of Serious Assault and Disorderly Conduct, following an incident that took place Monday evening. He was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

EHK-Exira Boards receive update on Whole Grade Sharing & reorganization

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Elk Horn-Kimballton and Exira Boards of Education held a joint meeting Monday evening, in Elk Horn. Superintendent Dean Schnoes told KJAN News the schools are on the right path towards consolidation, a path that began last year, when the districts entered into a Whole Grade Sharing agreement, and is becoming more likely, because the incentives for having such an agreement are running dry. He said that path includes bringing in consultants from the AEA, community update meetings. Schnoes says the timeline for consolidation or reorganization are being affected by the fact funding districts receive for Whole Grade Sharing will be gone by June 30th, 2014. Schnoes said the next incentive affecting patrons of both districts is tax reductions.

He says reorganization would reduce the tax burden from $5.40 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation to $4.40 per thousand. The rate would gradually increase over the next three-years following consolidation back to $5.40. Schnoes said in addition to the removal a Whole Grade Sharing incentive, there are also no more incentives for districts to share a superintendent, business manager, and other administrative positions. He says both districts had held site visits, and the State has noticed both districts need each other. The unofficial report from the State Department of Education recommends both districts keep moving forward and look at consolidation, to take advantage of much of the incentives the State has to offer for districts considering the move.

In order to move forward, the districts need to stick to a timeline. He says they’d like to have things finalized by no later than June 30, 2014. Schnoes says after they hear from the AEA representatives during their next joint meeting on November 26th in Exira, they’ll hold community meetings, and hopefully have the petitions completed for reorganization, along with a vote to consolidate, sometime early next year. He says the mood seems favorable toward reorganization, but they won’t know for sure until the community meetings take place.

9AM Newscast 08-28-2012

News, Podcasts

August 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Neb., Iowa officials watch for contaminated corn

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Farmers, crop inspectors and grain elevators in Nebraska, Iowa and other corn-producing states are keeping an eye out for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus.  They’re watching for signs of aflatoxins. Experts say aflatoxins are chemicals produced by certain mold fungi and that at high levels aflatoxins are poisonous to humans and animals. They tend to show up during hot, dry summers.

Mark Fulmer of the Lincoln Inspection Service said that during the drought year of 2002, there was a high amount of aflatoxin in the state’s corn. Fulmer says of the corn samples his company has tested this summer, most show little or no contamination. But he says some of the corn has tested out at more than four times the federal threshold.

8AM Newscast 08-28-2012

News, Podcasts

August 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Cows on the road cause $3,500 damage to a car

News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An accident this morning in Montgomery County involving a vehicle and a herd of cattle caused about $3,500 damage, but no one was injured. The Sheriff’s Office said at around 5-a.m.,  William Lalone, of rural Stanton, was traveling north on N Avenue, north of 230th Street, when he came upon about 15 black cows standing on the road. While attempting to avoid the animals, the 2012 Mazda 2 Lalone was driving came into contact with one of the cows, possibly injuring the animal.

The cattle which were on the road fled to the north and east, possibly into a nearby cornfield. The owner of the cows, Richard Kennon, arrived and checked his nearby field, but was unable to determine how many of the animals had strayed from the field, due to the presence of fog in the area, along with the dark conditions.

No citations were issued.