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States included in Michael Foods egg recall

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) – Michael Foods, of Minnetonka, Minn., is recalling hard-cooked eggs in brine sold in 10- and 25-pound pails to food distributors and manufacturers for institutional use in 34 states, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Several agencies meet today to discuss Missouri River flood recovery

News

February 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An update on flood recovery efforts in western Iowa is on the agenda as the State Interagency Missouri River Authority meets today (Friday) in Des Moines. Chuck Gipp, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says the process of cleaning up all of the damage and rebuilding after last year’s summer-long flood is far from over. Gipp says, “It’s how you help people recover from that event is the biggest struggle that we have and also to see if there’s anything we can do to avoid a repeat of that in the future.” The authority makes recommendations on policies affecting the Missouri River.

Besides the DNR, groups involved include the state departments of Homeland Security and Agriculture as well as federal agencies, like FEMA and the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. Gipp says making repairs to the damaged floodwalls all along the river is a high priority. “The levees are an important part of that because people were accustomed to going behind the levees,” Gipp says. “They were told, initially, that what’s going to occur after the six major dam and reservoirs were built upstream. I guess that Mother Nature told us that you can maybe delay it but you can’t get rid of the flooding aspect.”

Gipp says much of the DNR’s role is to help state and federal agencies coordinate during the recovery process.  “A lot of what we do, especially when it comes to levee issues, flood plain issues, is depending on the Corps and FEMA and the reimbursement for that,” Gipp says. “I think there’s a good coordination. Some of that was learned simply because of the experiences on the east side of the state in 2008.” He says the panel will also discuss current and potential hydrologist roles and responsibilities in the state.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Red Oak man arrested on an assault charge

News

February 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say 41-year old Donald Evan McFarland, of Red Oak, was arrested Thursday afternoon on an assault charge. McFarland was taken into custody in the 1200 Block of East Summit Street, on a charge of Serious Assault, at around 4:35-p.m.  He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.

Arrest made in connection with Thursday SUV chase and fire

News

February 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports a Missouri man was arrested Thursday on drug and other charges, following the chase of a stolen SUV, which later crashed and burst into flames. 37-year old Sean Christopher Schmidt, of St. Joseph, MO, was being held in the Fremont County Jail on pending charges of Conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance, Unauthorized transportation of anhydrous ammonia, Theft in the 2nd degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Precursor.

Officials say Schmidt was one of two people who escaped on foot after a 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe was stolen out of northwest Missouri Thursday morning, crashed into a levee just south of 270th Street and 300th Avenue, south of Sidney. The SUV burst into flames following the crash, and was a total loss.

The chase began when Fremont County authorities were notified by the Missouri Highway Patrol, that the stolen SUV was headed into the county. Deputies, along with DOT personnel began a search for the vehicle, which was observed by a female DOT officer on northbound Interstate 29. It left the interstate at Exit 20, and proceeded east towards Thurman. From there, the driver of the SUV tried to elude the officer. Several other officers joined in the pursuit, but they lost contact with the vehicle.

After it crashed and the occupants escaped, a report was received several hours later that a subject was seen running south on the West Nishnabotna levee. Deputies responded and took Schmidt into custody. The other suspect in the incident remains at large.

Man who drove 188-mph in 2009 on I-29, found guilty of eluding. Will be sentenced in March.

News

February 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man who the State Patrol says likely set a state record for speed on a public highway when he reached 188 mph on his motorcycle while fleeing from authorities in 2009, was found guilty Wednesday by a jury in Pottawattamie County, of eluding a peace officer. A pilot who tracked 39-year old James Foldenauer said Thursday, that Foldenauer drove on shoulders and the centerline to pass traffic.

James Foldenauer (Pott. Co. Jail photo)

District Associate Judge Craig Dreismeier convicted Foldenauer for excessive speed for driving 188 mph in a 70-mph zone. The man is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8th.  Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Tom Nelson said he will likely seek the maximum penalty, which is two years in prison for the eluding charge, an aggravated misdemeanor.

The chase started after a trooper clocked Foldenauer and another motorcyclist traveling at 89 mph in a construction zone on Interstate Highway 29 near Missouri Valley, on August 5th, 2009.  Trooper Bryan Michelsen with the Iowa State Patrol, said the other motorcyclist, a woman, stopped, but Foldenauer accelerated and reached 188 near, Honey Creek.  He was driving a 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa. Two Iowa State Patrol officers on the ground and one in the air pursued Foldenauer, but neither of the police cars could keep up with the cycle.

While the Troopers on the ground couldn’t keep up with the cycle, Iowa State Patrol pilot Pigsley followed it by air to an Omaha residence, where Foldenauer was arrested by Omaha police. Foldenauer’s lawyer, Michael Murphy, says that the motorcyclist the Iowa State Patrol tracked that day was not Foldenauer. He told the jury Foldenauer’s motorcycle was “An orange motorcycle, kind of a bright orange.” He said the witnesses identified a red motorcycle as being involved in the chase, but the jury didn’t buy it.  Murphy said that as of Thursday, Foldenauer still had his driver’s license, but Dena Gray-Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said that Foldenauer’s license will be revoked one year for excessive speeding, and that he can request a work permit. Online court records show Foldenauer has been cited for previous, less serious traffic offenses.

Trooper Michelsen said no one knows for sure why Foldenauer didn’t stop, and the man hasn’t confessed to the incident. Michelsen said he thought the speed the motorcyclist reached that day was a state record and possibly a national record, although Iowa Department of Transportation officials could not confirm that. The closest record he says he could find, was the Minnesota Highway Patrol clocking a motorcycle at 205 mph. The manager of a Des Moines Suzuki dealership told the Des Moines Register that  188 mph is about as fast as a Hayabusa could reach, but an owner could modify one to go even faster. The bike retails for about $14,000.

(Update) Search called-off for SUV thieves

News

February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Stolen, burned-out Hyundai Sante Fe (photo courtesy IA State Patrol)

Authorities in southwest Iowa have reportedly called-off their search for two people who stole an SUV from Missouri and led law enforcement on a chase throughout several southwest Iowa counties. The chase ended when the 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe, which was stolen from a residence this (Thursday) morning, in Burlington Junction, MO., crashed into a levee south of Sidney, and burst into flames. The two male suspects fled on foot, and remain at large. During the chase, the Iowa State Patrol set-up a roadblock on Interstate 29 near Nebraska City, NE. The Patrol said that’s where a Fremont County sheriff’s deputy fired two shots at the vehicle’s tires to try to stop the suspects. The vehicle was being tracked by GPS, but the signal was lost at around 10-a.m. 

Officials said a short time later, a farmer in Fremont County saw the SUV drive through one of his fields. He engaged in his own pursuit, and watched as the vehicle crashed into a levee near a gravel road off of Highway 275, and catch fire. The Iowa State Patrol said two of its cruisers were disabled during the chase: one blew an engine, while the other had cooling issues associated with the radiator.

Duplex fire in Atlantic

News

February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters in Atlantic were called to the scene of a residential fire this (Thursday) afternoon, in a duplex located at 2101 Chestnut Street.

South side of 2101 Chesnut Street in Atlantic

 Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said the fire was called in by a person living on one side of the home. He says the resident was awoken by smoke and tried to find her neighbors, but they were already gone. The chief says the house was fully engulfed in flames along the south, or back side of the structure, when fire fighters arrived. He says after speaking with the owners, it appears discarded smoking materials on the deck fanned by winds created the sparks that caused the fire.

McNees said they were still trying to determine exactly where the flames started, but he thought it might have been on some patio furniture.

Fire at 2101 Chesnut, closer view (Ric Hanson photo)

 The house sustained severe fire and smoke damage and will likely be declared a total loss. A single female lived in one half of the duplex. McNees says he believes a couple and their child lived on the other side. No injuries were reported.

Manhunt underway in Fremont Co. for SUV theft suspects

News

February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in southwest Iowa were on the lookout this afternoon for two suspects involved in the theft of an SUV. According to reports,  two people in an SUV stolen out of Nodaway County, MO., led law enforcement through several southwest Iowa counties before the vehicle crashed along a levee south of Sidney. The SUV caught fire  and the suspects escaped on foot. Unconfirmed reports said shots may have been fired during the chase. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office has asked the Marnie Simons Elementary School and Nishnabotna Middle School to be on lock down, while an is underway north of Hamburg. School officials said that students are not in danger, and they ask that no one visit the schools until the sheriff’s office has given the all-clear.

Iowa House OKs plan to overturn lead shot ban

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has approved a resolution that would overturn a ban on the use of lead shot when hunting doves.  Backers of the resolution say the Natural Resources Commission overstepped its authority when writing rules governing the hunting of doves. That hunting was legalized by the Legislature last year. The House approved the resolution on a 68-27 vote Thursday, and the issue now goes to the Senate, where approval is likely.  Backers of the ban on lead shot say other animals can eat the lead and that can lead to sickness or death.  Opponents of the ban say lawmakers discussed the issue last year and decided not to ban lead shot. They argue regulators shouldn’t overturn that decision.

SW IA Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC to Pay $10,150 for Risk Management Plan Violations

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Kansas City office report Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC, has agreed to pay a $10,150 civil penalty and spend at least $38,729 on a supplemental environmental project for failing to file a risk management plan and implement risk management regulations at its dry-mill ethanol plant in Council Bluffs.  According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., an inspection of the ethanol plant in January 2010 found that the company had not filed a risk management plan for the facility, as required by the federal Clean Air Act. 

Under the Clean Air Act, the Council Bluffs facility was required to file a risk management plan because it had exceeded the 10,000-pound threshold for anhydrous ammonia, an extremely hazardous chemical. Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy was storing approximately 28,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at the time of the EPA inspection. As part of its settlement with EPA, Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project, through which it will spend at least $38,729 to purchase emergency response equipment for the Council Bluffs and Lewis Township fire departments. By agreeing to the settlement, the company has certified that the Council Bluffs ethanol plant is now in compliance with federal Risk Management Program regulations.