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7AM Newscast 05-24-2013

News, Podcasts

May 24th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Clarinda woman arrested on a drug charge


May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Montgomery County report the arrest early this (Friday) morning, of a Clarinda woman on a drug charge. 29-year old Lacey Jo Smalley was taken into custody just before 2-a.m., on a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge. Smalley was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $300 cash bond.

Spring rain, no frost could mean big Iowa harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says growers are hopeful for a bountiful crop of spring produce that could begin showing up at farmers markets soon. Northey says a cool spring delayed the crop a bit, but the weather has improved and timely spring rain and the lack of a killing frost could produce a big harvest.

Produce such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb is beginning to become available, and later crops such as radishes, carrots, green beans and leafy greens should be harvested soon. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website lists the state’s farmers markets as well as farm stands and many farms where people can buy produce. Go to www.IowaAgriculture.gov , and click on Data Searches and Directories on the bottom right side of the page.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., May 24th 2013


May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Flooding from the Cedar River will keep a state park in northeast Iowa closed through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The state Department of Natural Resources says the George Wyth State Park could potentially reopen for day use activities on Monday if there is no additional rainfall in the Cedar River watershed.

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — A 12-year-old Iowa girl says she and a friend were kidnapped after being lured into a stranger’s truck while walking home from school. The girl escaped Monday’s abduction, but her 15-year-old friend, Kathlynn Shepard, is still missing. Investigators say the kidnapper was registered sex offender Michael Klunder, who killed himself Monday night.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An online petition is calling for the mayor of Sioux City to resign over his role in replacing the Argosy riverboat casino with a Hard Rock-branded facility. The Sioux City Journal reports the petition at Change DOT org questions the impartiality of Mayor Bob Scott and other city officials during the selection of a land-based casino to replace the riverboat property.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say three ethanol cars have been removed from the Little Cedar River following a train derailment east of Charles City. The state Department of Natural Resources said yesterday the cars were being analyzed to determine how much ethanol went into the river. Officials said earlier that ethanol was leaking from at least two cars.

Iowa Hawkeyes legendary Sports Broadcaster Zabel dead at 91

News, Sports

May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Longtime Iowa Hawkeye sports broadcaster Jim Zabel has died at the age of 91. KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported late Thursday night that Zabel had been in the hospital recently for health problems, but was at home Thursday preparing for his Sunday radio program on WHO, when he died. His wife and WHO Radio General Manager have confirmed Zabel’s passing.

Zabel broadcast Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball games on WHO Radio in Des Moines for 49 years.  He was inducted into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He was known for his signature call “I love it, I love it, I love it!” whenever the Hawks did well on the field or the court.  He retired from play-by-play in 1996 but continued doing regular sports broadcasts on the radio.

Investigator: Missing Iowa girl’s blood found


May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa investigators say the discovery of blood of a missing 15-year-old girl has diminished hope of finding her alive. Bill Kietzman of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Thursday that DNA tests confirm that blood found on the ground around a hog confinement facility where Kathlynn Shepard was taken after being kidnapped belonged to the girl. He says her blood also was found on the tailgate of the suspect’s truck.

Kietzman says the blood was enough to show “that she probably sustained some injuries.” He said the search continues for the teen, but that hopes of finding her alive are now less promising. Investigators say Kathlynn and her 12-year-old friend were kidnapped Monday by Michael Klunder, who later committed suicide. The younger girl was able to escape.

Iowa kidnapping suspect probed in cousins’ deaths


May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa police chief says a dozen investigators are looking into whether the suspect in Monday’s kidnapping of two girls is connected to last year’s slaying of two cousins who vanished 90 miles away. Authorities believe Michael Klunder kidnapped 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard and her 12-year-old friend as they walked home from school. The 12-year-old was able to escape, but Kathlynn is still missing. Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said Thursday that investigators are now scrutinizing Klunder in connection with the deaths of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins because of similarities in the cases. The cousins were 10 and 8 when they disappeared while riding bikes last July. Their bodies were discovered in December.  Smock says investigators are “exploring anything and everything” about Klunder, who was found dead earlier this week.

Branstad requests federal help for Iowa counties


May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has requested a presidential disaster declaration to help 19 Iowa counties affected by severe weather last month. Branstad wants to use public assistance funds to rebuild roads, bridges and other damaged infrastructure affected by heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding between April 17 and April 30. The money also can be used to cover emergency work and debris removal.

Branstad signed a letter Thursday that will be delivered to President Barack Obama. It requests the declaration for areas along a swath of central, eastern and southern Iowa, including Ringgold, Appanoose, Cedar and Warren counties. Officials say the 19 counties sustained an estimated $8.9 million in damage that could be eligible for public assistance funds.

Local Community and Economic Leaders Encouraged to Participate in Conversation


May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, visits Atlantic on Wednesday, June 5th. A rural-issues roundtable discussion will take place starting at 10 a.m. at the Rowe Conference Room, Rock Island Depot, 102 Chestnut Street, Atlantic.

USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2.5 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state’s communities have fewer than 500 residents.

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure. For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Atlantic at (712) 546-5149 Ext. 4. The office serves communities, businesses and residents in Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Fremont, Page and Taylor Counties.

Massena man involved in 2 separate accidents on the same day in the same place


May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man had a string of bad luck today (Thursday). The Sheriff’s Office says 54-year old Robert John Rasmussen, of Massena was involved in an accident just before 9-a.m. one-half mile south of Cumberland, on 690th Street, at the intersection with Richland Road. Officials say a 1996 Buick Century owned and driven by Rasmussen, was westbound on Richland Road, when Rasmussen attempted to make a right turn onto 690th Street. The car went out of control and entered the ditch on the west side of 690th, striking an embankment. Rasmussen had minor injuries but refused medical treatment. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $1500. Rasmussen was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

A little over three-hours later, Rasmussen’s car was involved in another accident, near the exact same location. Sheriff’s officials say Rasmussen was stopped at a stop sign on 690th Street southbound, and pulled away from the stop sign onto Richland Road and ran into the rear of a 2005 belly-dump truck, as the truck was traveling west on Richland Road. The truck was being driven by 56-year old Mark Edward Polzin, of Des Moines. No injuries were reported. Damage to Rasmussen’s vehicle was estimated at $3000. The dump truck sustained no apparent damage. Rasmussen was cited for Failure to Yield at a Stop Sign. The case remains under investigation.