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Creston man dies after entering grain bin in southern Iowa


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MURRAY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a farm worker has died after entering a grain bin in southern Iowa. Clarke County Sheriff Bill Kerns says the worker entered the bin Wednesday morning as he and a farm owner were trying to break up a crust that had formed on soybeans inside. The farm owner checked on the man about 10 minutes later and couldn’t see him.

Crews from at least five four departments responded to the bin near Murray, and Kerns says rescuers cut a number of holes into the structure to extract grain while they tried to reach the man.

They were able to retrieve the man’s body about noon. The man, whose name wasn’t released, was from Creston.

Small Business Saturday ‘Selfies for Support’ & ‘Passport to Atlantic’ Winners Announced


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with local businesses for Small Businesses Saturday, November 28th, 2015. New this year, the Chamber introduced “Selfies for Support,” and “Passport to Atlantic,” as part of the Shop Local Campaign.

The winners of Selfies for Support are Cheryl Manneter and Amy Faris. They shopped local at Renew Ag Supply.

"Selfies for Support" winners Cheryl Manneter & Amy Faris. (Photo provided)

“Selfies for Support” winners Cheryl Manneter & Amy Faris. (Photo provided)

They win $25 each in AtlantiCash for their Holiday shopping. Along with Selfies for Support, the Chamber also participated in Passport to Atlantic. For any purchase of $10 or more at participating businesses or restaurants on Small Business Saturday, participants received a stamp. For every six stamps, they were entered in a drawing to win a cash prize.
The winner of the Passport to Atlantic is Jayne Brewer. She received $200 in AtlantiCash for a shopping spree around Atlantic.

Council Bluffs prepares to battle ash tree insect


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Council Bluffs park officials have decided to treat most of the city’s ash trees to protect them from the invading insect known as the emerald ash borer. Parks Director Larry Foster says the emerald ash borer is an inevitable threat to local ash trees and city crews will begin removing 29 of the unhealthiest trees next year. The city plans to spend nearly $59,000 on removing the unhealthy trees.

The Daily Nonpareil reports state officials say 29 counties in Iowa have reported seeing the insects. Foster says that while the city has plans for the trees on public ground, property owners will need to determine their own course of action to deal with the insect.

The holidays may bring an elevated risk of accidental poisonings


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer but certain seasonal items we have in our houses could lead to an accidental poisoning. Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and the education coordinator for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says alcohol poisoning is common in children year round, but the risk increases during the holidays, and not just because you stocked up on beer, wine and liquor for a party.

“Perfumes, colognes and aftershaves have alcohol in them and high concentrations of it,” Noble says. “It doesn’t take much for a child to drink for it to become toxic or be worried about alcohol poisoning.” Button-sized batteries found in toys, music-playing holiday cards and a host of other items could be hazardous if bitten or swallowed. Iowans who plan to decorate their windows using that spray-on snow should also be careful, especially if kids are nearby.

“If they happen to lick the window, it’s really not much of a problem,” Noble says. “We’re more concerned when you’re spraying it and breathing in the fumes, that can be harmful, but once it’s dried on the window, it’s essentially non-toxic.” The bright colors of lamp oils are very attractive to young children. Even if the oil bottles have child safety caps, most lamps that the oils are poured into do not. Lamp oil can get into a child’s lungs if swallowed and can be deadly. Noble says Christmas tree ornaments may also pose as a hazard for kids and pets.

“Some of them are glass or styrofoam or a thin plaster,” Nobel says. “They don’t pose much of a poison risk if you swallow them but they can pose a choking hazard, so be aware of that. If you have antique ornaments that have metalic paints on them, some of those could have high concentrations of lead-based paints in it.”

Eggnog containing raw or undercooked eggs can make you and your guests sick, she says, so use pasteurized egg products or buy ready-made pasteurized eggnog. The Sioux City-based Iowa Poison Control Center is available around-the-clock at 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Engineer says amendment is needed to his budget


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker says a number of factors impacting his current budget will require him to amend his FY 2015-16 budget, and revise his FY 2016-17 budget. Speaking before the County Board of Supervisors Wednesday, Marker said one of the factors requiring him to make the change, he says, is the amount of funding from the Road Use Tax Fund (or, “Gas Tax”). He said one year ago at this time, he didn’t know what the status of the gas tax would be, so he couldn’t include it in his budget. The tax didn’t get passed until late Spring, 2015. Marker said that money is starting to come in now, and it’s being used by the County for various bridge and road projects.

Marker says it’s not unusual to amend the budget, but it’s usually not done until around April or May, and no later than June 1st. The County he says, will receive slightly less than One-half million dollars from the Road Use Tax Fund, some of which will be used to repair four or five bridges, and some of which will be replaced. He says they will have to amend not only his County budget, but the budget he submits to the Iowa Dept. of Transportation, when it comes time to do so.

Marker says there’s no need right now to publish for an amended budget. He simply wanted to make the Board aware of the need to expend more than what is budgeted. He prefers to wait until the April-May time frame to amend it, which is the same time other County budgets are submitted for amendment.

In other business, the Cass County Supervisors approved the leasing of a portion of the Walnut Street Courthouse Annex to the 4th Judicial District’s Department of Correctional Services. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman spelled out the reasons and specifics behind the agreement, prior to its approval.

He said with the 4th Judicial District/DOC has been leasing office space in Atlantic, but that space will no longer be available after Jan. 31st, 2016. The agreement with the County stipulates the Annex office space will be leased for a period of two-years, at $600 per month.

West Central Comm. Action seeks continued funding from Cass County


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Executive Director of West Central Community Action (WCCA), based in Harlan, appeared before the Cass County Board of Supervisors this (Wed.) morning, to present his annual report and request for continued funding. Joel Dirks asked the Supervisors for $4,000 funding in the upcoming Fiscal Year, which is the same amount he asked for last year. The Supervisors took Dirks funding request under advisement. Funds provided by the County provide a local match for some of WCCA’s federal programs and assist in supporting the organizations’ efforts to maintain safe and affordable office space for local outreach centers.

WCCA provides services for Cass and nine other western Iowa Counties. Dirks said in Fiscal Year 2015, WCCA provided more than $1.57-million worth of services to residents in Cass County. Dirks said the report, which covers a period from Oct. 1st, 2014 to Sept. 30th, 2015, shows 516 client households comprised of 1,149 individuals, received services over the past Fiscal Year.

$1.32-million was provided to Cass County by WCCA in the form of direct client program services. And, the organization incurred $250,902 in administrative and program delivery costs, for Cass County.

WCCA operates three Head Start classrooms in Cass County, located in Anita and Atlantic, serving 57 children. And, they coordinate with Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R), to help people who care for and about children, as well. Other services they provide include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 410 households in Cass County received LIHEAP assistance in FY2015, for a total of $184,100. Assistance was also provided in the form of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low income households increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Eight households in Cass County received nearly $69,670 worth of help in that area from WCCA.

Harlan woman arrested on a warrant


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports a woman from Harlan was arrested Monday on an active Shelby County warrant for 5th Degree Theft. 19-year old Cassie Swensen was transported to the Shelby County Jail.

Council Bluffs police officer cleared in shooting of suspect


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A western Iowa prosecutor says a police officer who shot at a fleeing suspect will not face charges and that attempted murder and assault charges levied against the suspect have been dropped. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matthew Wilber tells the Daily Nonpareil that Council Bluffs Officer Ben Lake will face no charges in the case.

Wilber says Lake had arrested Adam Thomas on Oct. 14 at a farm supply store. Wilber says Thomas managed to free himself, them bumped Lake with his truck while trying to flee. Lake fired six shots into the truck, missing Thomas.

Wilber says he dropped the most serious charges against Thomas after seeing surveillance video of the incident. But Thomas still faces a slew of charges, including fraud, fleeing police and possessing stolen items.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 12/16/2015

News, Podcasts

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


More vandalism and thefts, in Creston


December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston are investigating more incidents of vandalism and theft. On Tuesday, a woman residing in the 500 block of N. Division Street, reported to police items she purchased at the Creston Wal-Mart were stolen from her cart by an unknown female. The incident happened Monday, sometime between 2:50-and 3-p.m.  The loss was estimated at nearly $76.

A resident in the 200 block of N. Maple Street in Creston reported Tuesday, that sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, someone damaged the steering column on his 1998 Chevy Blazer parked behind 304 S. Vine Street. The damage was estimated at $300.

Also on Tuesday, a resident in the 700 block of N. Elm Street in Creston, told police sometime between 9-p.m. and 11:15-p.m. Tuesday, someone threw a brick through the window of her vehicle and stole her purse. The incident happened while the vehicle was parked at 403 E. Townline. The loss was estimated at $15. A brick was also thrown through the window of a vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 1000 block of Birch Street in Creston, Tuesday night. A cup of change was taken from the vehicle, also. The loss was estimated at $150.

Also late Tuesday night, a resident in the 1500 block of W. Townline Road reported someone threw a rock through her car window and took a Vape Pen while the vehicle was parked at 301 W. Taylor. The incident, which took place during the evening hours, Tuesday, resulted in a loss estimated at $130.

And, 17-year old Natalie Eslinger, of Creston, was referred Monday by the Union County Law Enforcement Center to Juvenile Authorities, with regard to a 5th Degree Theft charge. The teen was then released to the custody of her grandmother.