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Former Glenwood Deputy Treasurer released from custody Monday

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The former Mills County Deputy Treasurer arrested Friday afternoon for stealing more than $36,000 in vehicle registration transactions, was released by a judge today (Monday), under a pre-trial agreement. 43-year old Tammy Gammon, of Glenwood, was held over the weekend in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $65,000 bond, on charges which included 5 counts of forgery, ongoing criminal conduct, 1st degree theft and Felonious Misconduct in Office.

A report by State Auditor David Vaudt says the theft dated back to 2005 and included more than 180 transactions. Auditors say Gammon would enter the vehicle registration information into a state database but later void the transactions and pocket the fees. Gammon was fired in April , 2011. The theft was uncovered by the Iowa Department of Transportation as it was reviewing registration data from various counties around the state.

Gammon admitted during an interview with investigators that she did not deposit some fees and kept them instead to pay daily expenses, particularly when a lot of money was in her cash drawer, the report said. She said she believed she took less than $10,000. Auditors say the scheme started to unravel after a routine review by DOT in January 2011 questioned an unusual transaction in which the office reinstated a registration that had been voided months earlier without explanation.

A complete copy of the Special Audit report can be found at: http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1010-0065-BE00.pdf

Names released in connection with double fatal Bluffs crash

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Council Bluffs Police Department Monday afternoon, released the names of the persons who died and were injured in a crash Sunday evening on Interstate 80. Officials say 49-year-old Pamela Mahoney and 19-year-old Colene Mahoney, both of Carter Lake, were killed in the crash which occurred at around 6:15-p.m.

Officials say a pickup truck driven by 46-year old Scott Billings, of Omaha, was traveling west on I-80 when it traveled down an embankment and hit a Ford Escort driven by Pamela Mohoney, as she was traveling south on Interstate 29. Her car had just passed beneath the westbound I-80 overpass, when it was hit by the pickup. Pamela Mahoney died at the scene. Colene Mahoney was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she died from her injuries Monday morning.  Billings and his children, ages 4, 12 and 15, were taken to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.

While the accident remains under investigation, officials say speed and alcohol did not appear to have been factors in the crash. Instead, officials suspect Billings fell asleep at the wheel of his pickup. No charges have been filed at this time.

Street closure planned for Shelby County

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert reports 900th Street, between County Road M-16 and Umbrella Road, will be closed for about 4 weeks, beginning Thursday, July 5th. The road will be closed for culvert repairs in the 2100 block of 900th Street.  Seivert advises emergency crews should be aware the Hog confinement site at 2116 900th St must be accessed from the east only, should there need to be a response to that facility, and those crews should prepare alternate routes to residences in the area, for the same reason.Anyone with questions about the project should call the Shelby County Engineer at 712-755-5954

SD teen cited after Saturday accident in Atlantic

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A teenager from Rapid City, South Dakota was cited following an accident in Atlantic Saturday afternoon. The Atlantic Police Department on Monday, reported 16-year old Alexandra Lynn Spencer was cited for No Proof of Insurance, Driving without a Valid Driver’s License, and Failure to Maintain Control, after the vehicle she was driving collided with another vehicle near the Casey’s east convenience store.

The accident happened at around 4:25-p.m., when a vehicle driven by Carson Heiny, of Massena, was traveling west on 7th Street, and went to make a right hand turn into the Casey’s store driveway. Heiny’s vehicle was struck from behind by the Spencer vehicle, causing a total of $4,400 damage. No injuries were reported.

In other news, Atlantic Police report 23-year old Derek Cooper, of Villisca, was arrested Sunday, for Failure to have SR-22 Insurance. Cooper was brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Midwest ranchers, lawmakers protest EPA flyovers

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of airplanes to scour for signs of improper disposal of livestock waste has angered ranchers and some members of Congress.  The dispute is centered in Nebraska, where ranchers complain the EPA kept its aerial inspections quiet until revealing them at a meeting three months ago.
 
Ranchers complained to their members of Congress, who seem to be nearly as annoyed with the EPA’s sluggish response to their inquiries as they are about the flights themselves.  The EPA says the flights are a cost-effective way to protect waterways from runoff carrying livestock waste.  The EPA says the flights have led to 39 enforcement actions against Iowa livestock farmers and 14 against those in Nebraska.

Des Moines man charged following Audubon County accident

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Des Moines man was charged with Failure to Yield from a stop sign, following a non-injury accident Friday afternoon in Audubon County. Sheriff Todd Johnson reports deputies responded to the scene of the crash at the intersection of Highways 71 and 44 at around 2:30-p.m. The accident happened as 67-year old Dale Edward Gust, of Templeton, was traveling north on Highway 71 in a 1995 Chevy S-10 pickup, and 87-year old Edwin Alvin Pitts, of Des Moines, was traveling east on 44.

The Sheriff says Pitts stopped at the posted stop sign, but after failing to see the approaching pickup, then pullled out to cross Highway 71. As he did so, his 2007 Chevy Cobalt was hit by the pickup. The impact caused the car to spin sideways. Damage to the vehicles was estimated at $3,500 altogether.

More hot weather expected over next 8 days

News, Weather

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans shouldn’t expect any relief from the extreme heat this week. National Weather Service meteorologist Miles Schumacher says it’ll be hotter than usual for the first week of July. “It’s going to remain hot all week with mid 90s (for highs) and temperatures staying in the 70s throughout the night,” Schumacher said. A heat advisory covering northwest Iowa runs from noon today until 7 p.m. on Friday. An additional heat advisory is posted for northeast Iowa from noon until 10 p.m. today only.

“One thing we don’t have that a lot of times we have is the extremely high humidity,” Schumacher said. He credits the mostly dry conditions over the past few months for the lack of humidity. The best chance for rain and slightly cooler conditions won’t arrive until late next weekend. “It’s looking like…Sunday and Monday we’ll see some cooler air and temperatures getting back to normal in the middle 80s for highs. It’s looks like we do have a chance for some much needed rainfall by Sunday and Monday,” Schumacher said.

(Radio Iowa)

Very few tornadoes in Iowa in June

News, Weather

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There’s an up side to all of the hot and steamy weather — far fewer tornadoes. Jeff Johnson, the warning coordination meteorologist for National Weather Service office in Johnston, says June is usually one of the worst months for twisters in Iowa. That wasn’t the case this year. “We really are below normal,” Johnson says. “We haven’t had any so far in the state. That’s unofficial. There could be one out there I’m not aware of but very few tornadoes in June which is our peak month, climatologically speaking. June is when we account for a large percentage of our tornadoes. May and June account for about 70% of our annual total.”

He says Iowa’s seen very few tornadoes in 2012, so far. “Our service area in Des Moines, which is 51 central Iowa counties, I think we’ve had a total of four tornadoes this year, which is really small,” he says. “We had the EF2 that hit Creston on April 14th and that’s been our most significant event but otherwise, very few tornadoes in Iowa this year.”  During 2011, Iowa recorded 50 tornadoes which caused 16 injuries and no deaths. Over the past three decades, Iowa has averaged 47 twisters per year.

(Radio Iowa)

Reminder: Deadline to apply for Nursing Scholarship is Friday, July 6th

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Ann Pross, Center Director for Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic, has issued a reminder to students in the Atlantic area, that this Friday, July 6th, is the deadline to apply for a locally endowed scholarship for those considering a career in nursing, especially those who desire to serve patients with cancer. Pross said the Don & Lois Sonntag Endowment Fund opportunity will provide much-needed financial assistance to those enrolled in nursing prerequisites or the nursing program.

Iowa Western Community College will make decisions on all applications according to need and scholarship criteria.  The amount awarded to each student will depend on the number of qualified applicants.  The scholarships will be for classes starting August 20th, 2012, and students from Atlantic and surrounding area eligible to apply.  All funds from the effort will be used only for students enrolled in nursing prerequisite courses or the nursing program.

For additional information, contact:  Don Sonntag at 712-249-1906 or Ann Pross, Iowa Western Cass County Center Director at 712-243-5527.

Pilot error may have caused crash northwest of Griswold Friday evening

News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Pilot error may have contributed to the crash of an airplane Friday evening northwest of Griswold.

1976 Cessna 172 registered to Elimar Sudmann

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says witnessed described the actions of the planes pilot, 76-year old Elimar Sudmann, of Atlantic. Witnesses told investigators Sudmann may have been coming around too fast, tried to pull up and make another pass. The witnesses thought he was going too slow. The plane basically dropped from the sky and hit the ground. Danker says that’s indicative of an engine stall. After the nose of the plane dug into the soybean field, the aircraft flipped over, landing on its top facing north. 

The accident happened at around 8:30-p.m., Friday. Danker says Sudmann, and a passenger in the 1976 Cessna 172-M, 59-year old Delbert Thurman, of rural Atlantic, were transported by Griswold Rescue to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment.

A medical helicopter later transported Sudmann to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he remained in serious condition, Monday, suffering from a fractured leg and forearm and back injuries. Thurman suffered minor injuries in the crash.