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7AM Newscast 07-27-2013

News, Podcasts

July 27th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Drought concerns return to Iowa, Nebraska

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many Midwest farmers are beginning to worry that last year’s drought could return. The concern is inching closer to reality for a large part of the corn growing region as many states have experienced only spotty rain, with some areas far too dry.

The National Drought Monitor released Thursday says abnormally dry conditions have spread eastward farther into southern Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Portions of Nebraska including the southeast that had May rain are now drying out again.

Rain also seems to have missed southeastern Indiana, which is now listed as abnormally dry after the state had been lifted out of drought. Corn is in the pollination stage, which determines how much grain it will produce, and needs moisture now to fully develop

Red Oak man arrested on Probation Violation in Pott. Co.


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Friday, that a man wanted in their county on a warrant for violation of his probation, in connection with an original charge of Burglary in the 3rd Degree, was arrested in Pottawattamie County, Thursday. 22-year old Michael Lee Chase, of Red Oak, was located by Pott. County authorities and held in the Pott. County Jail, until arrangements were made to transport him back to Montgomery County, where Chase was being held on $10,000 bond.

DCI investigates death in Dallas County Jail


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An autopsy will take place Saturday on the body of a man who died in the Dallas County Jail, Friday, in Adel. Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety report at around 1-p.m., the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office found inmate, 42 year old Leroy Mckinney, Jr., unresponsive in his jail cell.  All attempts to revive Mr. Mckinney were unsuccessful.

Mckinney was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for autopsy. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation, but officials say no foul play is suspected at this time.

NW Iowa man gets life for murder, kidnapping


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa man convicted of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman has been sentenced to life in prison.  A jury found 21-year-old Kirk Levin guilty in June of first-degree murder in the January death of 45-year-old Marilynn Schmitt and third-degree kidnapping in the abduction of a woman he met online. On Friday, Judge Timothy J. Finn gave Levin a life sentence.  Finn also rejected Levin’s request for a new trial.

Levin’s trial was moved to Webster County because of heavy publicity. His attorney argued a second change of venue request should have been granted. The attorney also says Levin’s statements to police after his arrest should have been inadmissible evidence at trial.

Audubon Sheriff’s Dept. warns of scam


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Audubon County Sheriff Todd Johnson is warning residents of the area about a “Microsoft PC Support Scam.” Johnson says an Audubon County citizen reported a caller claiming to be with Microsoft said they may have a virus on their computer. The caller then requests to be logged on to the person’s computer so they can have full access.

They may also ask for personal information to pay for fees to clean up the computer. Residents of the area are urged to never release personal banking or credit card information over the phone. If you have any questions about this type of scam, call the Audubon County Sheriff’s Dept. at 712-563-2631.

Cass County man convicted of sexual abuse back behind bars


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man who plead guilty to a single count of third-degree sexual abuse late last year, finds himself back in jail for violating the terms of his probation. According to online court records, 54-year old Roger Allen Ericksen, of Lewis, was arrested  July 19th, on a warrant. Ericksen was being held in the Cass County Jail on $10,000 bond.  Ericksen allegedly violated the terms of his probation by quitting his job and failing to notify authorities. He has also reported made no effort to find full employment since quitting.

Last December, Ericksen entered a voluntary plea of guilty to felony sexual abuse in the 3rd degree. He was sentenced to serve a maximum of 10-years in prison, but the sentence was suspended and he was instead placed on supervised probation for two-years. The judge ruled Ericksen must register as a sex offender, provide DNA sampling, and to have no contact with the victim for a period of ten-years. He was also ordered to enroll and successfully complete the Sex Offenders Treatment Program.

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner said following Ericksen’s sentencing in December, that if he successfully completes the terms of his probation, the 10-year sentence will no longer be held in reserve. However, if he commits a serious crime, the entire 10-year sentence could be invoked.

IA Governor’s father dies after long illness


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad’s father has died after a long illness. The governor’s press office announced Friday that Edward Branstad died during the morning in Mason City. The news release did not provide a cause of death, but said he was 89 years old and suffered from cancer. Edward Branstad had brain surgery last September to remove a tumor.

In a statement, the governor said his father taught him “the value of hard work,” and said he is “now at peace.” The funeral will be held Monday at Waldorf College in Forest City.

(Update) Shed fire in Atlantic


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(Update 2-p.m.)

A fire that consumed a storage shed in Atlantic this (Friday) afternoon in the alley between 5th and 6th streets and Locust and Cedar Streets, appears to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.004 Atlantic Assistant Fire Chief Tim Cappel said when they arrived shortly after the call was dispatched at 1:20-p.m., the shed was fully engulfed in flames and a used GMC straight truck parked next to the shed was also on fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but both the shed and truck were a total loss.

Cappel said some men were working around the shed, when a discarded cigarette apparently started the dry area on fire.005 The men tried to stomp the flames out, but were unsuccessful. The shed was recently acquired for rental purposes, as was the truck. No injuries were reported. The exact cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

Firefighters were on the scene for almost an hour.

Iowa governor’s trooper receives speeding ticket


July 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Three months after a high-speed pursuit, a trooper who was driving Gov. Terry Branstad has been ticketed for driving 84 in a 65-mph zone. The Hamilton County Clerk of Court said that state trooper Steve Lawrence was issued the ticket Friday. He paid a fine of $181.50 for the ticket, which was written by an Iowa State Patrol major.  Lawrence was driving Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on Highway 20 on April 26 when he was clocked by a deputy traveling 84 mph.

Another trooper, Matt Eimers, eventually caught up to the vehicle but didn’t stop it after seeing it was Lawrence driving the governor’s official vehicle. The Iowa Department of Public Safety launched a review of the speeding incident after audio and video was made public this month.