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Federal agency will shut down 3 Iowa stream gauges including 1 at Bedford


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Geological Service says it will shut down three stream gauges in Iowa due to federal budget cuts. The agency announced Wednesday it would shut down the gauges on the West Fork Cedar River at Finchford, the Des Moines River at Humboldt and the East Fork 102 River at Bedford. The move was prompted by automatic federal spending cuts that have required reductions by most federal agencies.

The monitors are used to measure stream flows and warn of possible flooding. The USGS says the three gauges were chosen because their shutdown would have limited impacts on other organizations and were least likely to affect public safety.

Forecasters: US midsection could see bad weather

News, Weather

May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say portions of the central United States could see severe weather this weekend and Monday. The Storm Prediction Center at Norman, Okla., said Wednesday a bout of “fairly substantial” bad weather is possible in Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas on Saturday, from Oklahoma to Iowa on Sunday and from Oklahoma to Illinois on Monday.

Storms could become steadily worse through the period — starting with hail and high winds Saturday and evolving into a system with tornadoes possible by Monday in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The bad weather could extend into Tuesday but forecasters said a longer term storm prediction was not possible yet.

Hit and Run Accident in Montgomery County


May 15th, 2013 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports investigating a hit and run accident Wednesday (today) that occurred at Highway 34 and G Avenue west of Red Oak. The victim, Keyla McDougall was in her vehicle which was stationary at the northbound stop sign behind a semi tractor when the tractor and trailer began to back up, making contact with McDougall’s vehicle. The semi then went east bound on Highway 34. Damage to McDougall’s vehicle was estimated at $1,000. No injuries were reported.

Trial moved for Iowan accused of killing mother


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a northwest Iowa man accused of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman has been moved to a courtroom nearly 50 miles away. A judge on Tuesday granted a change of venue request for 21-year-old Kirk Levin’s trial. It will be moved from Sac City in Sac County to Fort Dodge in Webster County. Levin’s attorney requested the change based on extensive media coverage in the county and surrounding counties.

The Sioux City Journal reports Levin’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 3. He is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed Marilyn Schmitt in Early on Jan. 3, then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman. She later escaped. Levin had been released from prison days earlier after serving time for burglary.

Power outages in Harlan blamed on heat and wind


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Harlan Municipal Utilities say hot weather and high winds were responsible for the cause of electrical blinks and outages in Harlan on Tuesday. In a press release, HMU said a transmission line in the southern part of Harlan had excessive sag and the high winds caused the line to strike an adjacent line. The two hot lines kept touching causing the blinks.

HMU crews diagnosed the problem, isolated the line and rerouted power to avoid outages. HMU says crews made permanent repairs today to prevent the incident from happening again.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Glenwood pair arrested on drug charges


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man and woman from Glenwood were arrested Tuesday in Mills County, on drug charges. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office says 59-year old Carl Folke Herrick and 44-year old Julie Darlene Hughes face charges that include Manufacturing marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and failure to affix a drug tax stamp. The duo were taken into custody on Kane Avenue at around 9:15-a.m., Tuesday. Their bond was set at $10,300 each.

The sheriff’s office reports also, no one was injured during a single vehicle accident Monday morning about two-miles southwest of Glenwood. A 2002 Dodge driven by Damian Hoose, of Glenwood, was traveling on Highway 34 and negotiating a right turn onto Ingrum Avenue at around 7:15-a.m., when the vehicle, which was traveling too fast, began to skid. It went off the road and came to rest in a ditch. No citations were issued.

New Director for IWCC in Harlan


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials at Iowa Western Community College have announced a new director has been hired for the Shelby County campus in Harlan. For the past three years, Kelli Klaassen has served as director at IWCC, in Harlan. On April 22nd, the Harlan Community School District hired Klaassen to replace the retiring Terry Cox as Superintendent Secretary and District’s Board of Education Secretary.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Iowa Western announced Lori Stitz as the new director for the Shelby County Campus. Stitz says she has worked at the college for nearly 20 years in the economic and Workforce Development office for 19 of those years. Last September she switched to the continuing education office in Council Bluffs as business coordinator for continuing education.

Stitz will transition from her job in Council Bluffs in June, and hopes to be working full time in Harlan starting in July.

(Joel McCall/KNOD – Harlan)


Branstad to sign expanded DNA sampling bill


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad is set to sign a bill into law that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples.  The bill signing is scheduled for this (Wednesday) afternoon. The measure would require adults convicted of crimes like aggravated misdemeanor assault and theft to submit DNA samples to the federal DNA database.  Currently, only convicted felons and sexual offenders must submit samples.

The Senate changed the bill to exempt deferred judgment cases and misdemeanors related to hazardous waste, agricultural production and gambling. Traffic offenses are also exempt unless a person has three operating while intoxicated convictions in 12 years.

Iowa lawmakers appear close to concluding session


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa lawmakers appear close to concluding the 2013 legislative session, though they may put a health care debate on hold.  Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he expects to start voting on budget bills on Wednesday. He declined to predict a final day for the session, but says legislators were close to deals on education policy and property tax reductions.

Lawmakers have not found a compromise on whether to expand Medicaid or to pass an alternate health care plan offered by Gov. Terry Branstad. One option for the Legislature would be to conclude the session without finishing the debate and to return later on that issue in a special session.

Gronstal says discussions were underway about the best approach on health care because “common ground is elusive.

Cass Supervisors approve abatement for Lewis property


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved the abatement of taxes for a property owned by the City of Lewis, which Auditor Dale Sunderman said was procured in February, and for which taxes were owed. Sunderman said the structure was burned out and the City acquired it through the legal process, but doesn’t want to take care of it. He said when the City receives taxes that are due, they have a choice of whether or not to pay the taxes immediately, or not paying them. If the City chooses not to pay, according to Code, the Board of Supervisors “Shall abate the taxes.”

The taxes on the property were $1,130, but interest and costs through May amount to $1,219, which is the amount the Board voted unanimously to abate for a period of one-year. Sunderman said the City hopes to have a buyer for the property.

The Board also passed a resolution to add a locally funded bridge deck replacement project to the FY 2013 road construction program. The project was not originally in the current program. Engineer Charles Marker explained that his budget does not need to be amended because they are currently “under-run,” and, the County is currently under for the DOT’s budget. 

Marker said because the deck on Jackson Road, leading to the landfill, was badly deteriorated, the bridge was repaired and the deck surface replaced. In order to comply with DOT requirements, the project was moved up from the FY 2014 budget to the current fiscal year. Marker says there area also three local projects in the County’s construction program which the Secondary Roads Dept. will handle, but because they are working on culverts and not able to get to the other projects in the current fiscal year, they are currently under budget.

And, the Supervisors Wednesday voted four-to-one to appoint Atlantic resident Roger Carter to fill a vacancy position on the County Zoning Board of Adjustment. The position was left open by the resignation in March, of former Board member Forrest Teig. Carter, who will fill the remained of Teig’s term through Dec. 21st, 2015, was one of two applicants for the voluntary post. He spoke before the Board Wednesday, about his interest in the job, his civic involvement, and desire to become more involved in local government.

Carter, who has lived in Atlantic since 1984, is a former rehab counselor for Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He retired from that position in June, 2010.