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Iowa police arrest man after shooting threat

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

HOSPERS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northwest Iowa say they have arrested a man after he made a threat on Facebook about shooting people. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested the man Monday afternoon after receiving a report that he had threatened to shoot people in Hospers, which is located about 50 miles north of Sioux City. The threat caused a precautionary lockdown of schools in the MOC-Floyd Valley school district. It was lifted less than an hour later. Authorities did not release the man’s name Monday afternoon.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Dec. 18th 2012

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Snow and wind gusts are in the forecast for western Iowa and eastern Nebraska tomorrow. The National Weather Service says a large winter storm is expected to hit Nebraska midday Wednesday and move eastward into Iowa by Wednesday afternoon.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The parents of four missing or killed Iowa children say they want lawmakers to reinstate the death penalty. The Des Moines Register reports the parents met with Governor Terry Branstad yesterday. Those in attendance included Heather and Drew Collins. The body of their daughter, Elizabeth Collins, was recently discovered in a wooded area along with her cousin, Lyric Cook. Iowa hasn’t had a death penalty since the 1960s.

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they’re evaluating a 154-year-old courthouse in northeast Iowa that was shut down earlier this year. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports supervisors in Mitchell County approved a contract this week with firm FEH Associates of Des Moines. The company is expected to look into preserving the aging structure, which was built in 1858 and was shut down because of safety concerns.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State junior Melvin Ejim is the Big 12’s player of the week after leading the Cyclones past Drake on Saturday. Ejim scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Iowa State beat the Bulldogs 86-77 in Des Moines. It was the fourth double-double of the season for Ejim. Iowa State plays at Missouri-Kansas City tomorrow.

Snow, high winds expected Wed. in Nebraska, Iowa

News, Weather

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Residents across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa should prepare for the season’s first significant snow later this week, with weather forecasters calling for up to half a foot of snow and gusty winds. The National Weather Service says a large winter storm is expected to hit Nebraska midday Wednesday and move into Iowa by Wednesday afternoon.

Service meteorologist Van DeWald, based in Valley just east of Omaha, says heavy snow coupled with 15 to 30 mile per hour winds could make travel in those areas dangerous. DeWald says eastern Nebraska can expect several inches of snow, while western Iowa could see up to six inches of snow.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board receives $2,500 from local developer

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board Monday evening received a check from local developer Don Sonntag.

Developer Don Sonntag addresses the Atlantic Parks & Rec Board.

The check, in the amount of $2,500 was part of Sonntag’s commitment to develop the East Ridge Park area over the course of 10-years. The City committed to maintaining the park through mowing and other activities. Sonntag said in the future, he’d like to see a source of water for the park, for the planting and annual maintenance of flowers.

In other business, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring provided the Board with an update on the development of the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground.  He said the City’s Street Department has been hard at work grading and prepping the area for a gravel roadway and camping pads. He said also, the crews have done as much as they can do for now, with four-inches of gravel laid-down for the roadway and 12 out 18 camping pads. Work will resume on that activity, in the Spring.

In addition, Herring says talks have been underway with Atlantic Municipal Utilities to have water and electric installed for the camping pads sometime next Spring, and a local manufacturer has expressed interest in that part of the project. Herring says Owner Revolution/Plastic Professionals is working on plans to install camp-pad pods, which are roto-molded plastic structures designed to house water and electricity for each of the camping pads.

He says also, plans for a dog park at the Schildberg Recreation Area are continuing. The Board approved a request from Herring to ask the Atlantic City Council on Wednesday, for permission to release a section of City-owned land near the park. The site across Buck Creek Road next to the recreation area is City property which has not been identified as a park. The Park Board also approved the Dog Park Committee’s request to begin a fundraising program that would help pay for development of the dog park, primarily for fencing, which is expected to run about $10,500, but also for benches and other amenities at the dog park, such as equipment for the dogs to play on. Herring says while the focus currently is on a dog park at the Schildberg Recreation Area, it doesn’t exclude the possibility of one being located in-town, perhaps at the Sunnyside Park.

Grassley, Reid, Manchin: Let’s debate gun violence

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as most Republicans played it safe and initially said little about the politically treacherous issue of gun control, a senior GOP senator has called for a study of both gun violence and mental health issues. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley made his suggestion as formerly pro-gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday it’s now time to place gun control on the table. And National Rifle Association member Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, agreed it’s time to debate gun legislation.

It’s too early to say what could emerge next year in Congress, but the comments of Grassley, Reid and Manchin are significant. Grassley is senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Reid sets the Senate schedule. And Manchin defied the NRA.

Don’t worry about the snow…worry about the wind!

News, Weather

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines says it seems like a lot of people are focusing only on the snow amounts with the storm system that is expected to hit Wednesday and Thursday. Officials say with the fresh snow pack, regardless of the amounts, wind gusts over 35 mph beginning early Thursday morning will create the potential for blizzard conditions throughout the day Thursday.

Be prepared for blizzard-like conditions Wednesday night and Thursday!

A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect beginning from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon for the KJAN listening area. The latest computer models show snowfall amounts will range from 5-to 8-inches across western Iowa, with some locations receiving up to 10-inches.

Of more concern to the Weather Service and Emergency Management Officials, is the winds. The Weather Service says winds will become very strong Wednesday nights from the north-to northwest, with sustained wind speeds of 20-to 30-miles per hour expected, along with occasional gusts to over 35. The strongest winds are expected at around daybreak, Thursday. Blizzard or near blizzard conditions are possible at that time, with visibilities reduced to less than one-quarter of a mile.

Very dangerous conditions are expected to develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Be prepared for very difficult travel and near blizzard conditions. Keep a weather radio handy, and if you plan on traveling, keep a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. The weather service has a list of items you should keep in your kit, along with other tips on how to prepare and survive a Winter Storm in your home or vehicle, at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/?n=preparewintersafety.

Bluffs man sentenced to 1-year in prison for possessing a firearm as a felon

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced Wednesday to one-year in prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Judge James Gritzner also ordered 21-year old Dakota Allen Culbertson to serve a three year term of supervised release following his incarceration. In February of 2010, Culbertson was convicted of a felony offense of burglary in Pottawattamie CountyDistrict Court. On February 9th, 2012, during a visit by Iowa Probation Officers, Culbertson was found in possession of a .410 gauge shotgun.

The investigation which led to his arrest was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department, the Iowa Fourth Judicial District Probation Office, the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Winter Storm Watch Expanded to cover ALL of western, central and eastern Iowa

News, Weather

December 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR- MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

401 PM CST MON DEC 17 2012 …WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

* TIMING…PRECIPITATION WILL OVERSPREAD CENTRAL IOWA ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. SNOW IS EXPECTED ALONG AND NORTH OF AN ATLANTIC THROUGH BOONE TO WATERLOO LINE. RAIN IS EXPECTED IN SOUTHERN IOWA SOUTH OF A BEDFORD TO OSKALOOSA LINE. IN BETWEEN…A RAIN AND SNOW MIX IS EXPECTED. THIS PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT BEFORE ENDING ON THURSDAY MORNING.

* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION…5 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED IN THE WATCH AREA. LOCAL AMOUNTS OF UP TO 10 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY…WINDS WILL BECOME VERY STRONG ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT FROM THE NORTH TO NORTHWEST. SUSTAINED WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH GUSTS OVER 35 MPH POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED AROUND DAYBREAK ON THURSDAY WITH NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS POSSIBLE WITH VISIBILITIES REDUCED BELOW ONE QUARTER OF A MILE FROM TIME TO TIME.

* IMPACTS…VERY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING. BE PREPARED FOR VERY DIFFICULT TRAVEL AND NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Winter Storm Watch issued for Wed. afternoon through late Wed. night

News, Weather

December 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES IN WESTERN IOWA: MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-PAGE-331 PM CST MON DEC 17 2012

WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. SNOW WILL BEGIN BY AROUND MIDDAY ON WEDNESDAY IN EASTERN NEBRASKA…SPREADING INTO WESTERN IOWA BY MID AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION MAY BEGIN AS A WINTRY MIX ALONG AND SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 80…BUT ALL AREAS SHOULD CHANGE TO SNOW THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EARLY WEDNESDAY EVENING.

SNOWFALL OF NEAR OR ABOVE SIX INCHES IS POSSIBLE IN THE HEAVIEST BAND…THOUGH THE LOCATION AND POTENTIAL HIGHEST AMOUNTS MAY CHANGE AS THE RAIN-SNOW LINE FLUCTUATES. GUSTY NORTH WINDS WILL CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ON WEDNESDAY EVENING AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT…WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS POSSIBLE.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Families of murder victims unite, to push for death penalty in Iowa

News

December 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The parents of three children who were kidnapped, then murdered in Iowa met with Governor Branstad today (Monday) to talk about reinstating capital punishment in Iowa. Drew Collins is the father of Elizabeth Collins, the girl who went missing this summer in Evansdale. Her body was found by hunters earlier this month. “Every time it happens, we hear it on the news and we just go, ‘Oh, that’s too bad. That’s terrible,’ but we’ve done nothing to change what’s happening,” Collins says. “To me, it’s criminal that we don’t protect our children. I mean, if we don’t protect our children, I mean, what are we as a society?” Collins says he’s always supported the death penalty. His wife, Heather, used to oppose capital punishment, but her daughter’s brutal death has changed her mind.

Donnisha Hill of Waterloo was kidnapped and murderd in 2006. Her father, Adonnis (uh-DON-iss) Hill, says he wants to try to save other parents from the pain he’s gone through. “I have those pictures of my daughter etched in my brain and the brutality of it is overwhelming,” Hill says. Andrew Christie’s daughter, Evelyn Miller, was kidnapped from her home near Floyd — in north central Iowa — and killed in 2005. Authorities this fall arrested a suspect. Christie sees the death penalty as justice.

Noreen Goschis the mother of Johnny Gosch, a 12-year-old West Des Moines paper boy who was kidnapped in 1982 and has never been found. She joined the other parents in talking with Branstad, then talking with reporters. “I have been in support of the death penalty, but we’re now going to be calling it capital justice,” Gosch said. State Senator Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, has pledged to be the primary sponsor of a bill that would impose the death penalty in cases of kidnapping and murder, plus impose new restrictions on sex offenders.

“From the short period of June of 2012 to October of 2012, there was 42 attempted abductions in Iowa. That’s just insane that we’re living in a society like that,” Sorenson says. ” Obviously, what we’re doing in the state is not working. We need to look at legislation to improve the quality of life for our children, their safety and I’m willing to have that fight. I’m willing to have that discussion.” Sorenson plans to hold another news conference in January, with the families, to announce details of the legislation once it’s drafted. Sorenson acknowledges it will be an “uphill fight” to even get the bill considered in the senate.

Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, will lead the Senate Judiciary Committee in January and Hogg does not plan to bring a death penalty bill up for debate. “Unfortunely right now in the case of the two, Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, I think it’s a real distraction to be having this debate about the death penalty when the perpetrator or the perpetrators of those murders have not even been caught yet,” Hogg says. “Every resource of state government should be deployed on catching the perpetrator of those murders.” Hogg opposes the death penalty.

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, the man who decides which bills will be debated in the senate, will not bring a death penalty bill up for debate. “Every time there’s a particularly tragic and heinous murder, people come back and start talking about the death penalty,” Gronstal said today during an interview with Radio Iowa. “I think the death penalty’s immoral. I’m not going to move a death penalty bill in the senate.” For about 30 years Governor Branstad has supported reinstating a limited form of capital punishment in Iowa, applicable in cases of kidnapping and murder, but Branstad acknowledges the “political reality” is the bill won’t pass the senate.

(Radio Iowa)