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Atlantic man dies in Dallas County crash


May 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man is dead following a single-vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon in northeastern Dallas County. According to an obituary release from the Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic, the victim was Dennis Oathoudt, of Atlantic. The Iowa State Patrol has not confirmed the victims’ identity, however.

Dallas County Sheriff’s officials say rescue crews were called to 24572 North Avenue about 1:45 p.m., Tuesday.  Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright said a truck went off the roadway and hit the cinder block wall of a mechanical building on the grounds of the privately owned Husband Field, about three-miles west of Dallas Center.  Authorities are still investigating what happened.

They believe the truck blew a tire before it crashed into the building, and that the driver died on impact with the cinder block wall. His body remained in the truck for several hours, while crews worked to shore up the building to keep it from collapsing.

(Correction) Iowans can fish without a license the weekend of June 6th -8th

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Corrects earlier A-P story version which said the event is this weekend)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowans can fish without a license during an annual free fishing weekend being held June 6th through the 8th.  Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau, says the hope is that people new to fishing will enjoy the activity and want to fish more often.

Early June is a good time to fish because bluegills typically stay close to shore and are aggressive. Larscheid says the best way to catch bluegills is to use small hooks, a bobber and small bait. Those catching their first fish are encouraged to take a photo and send it to the DNR for a first fish award.

Although a license isn’t necessary this weekend, other regulations remain in place.

USDA Rural Development has $11M for home purchases


May 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has $11 million available to help low-income residents in rural Iowa buy homes with no down payments required. The USDA Rural Development program requires homes to be purchased in communities of less than 20,000 residents. In the past year the office helped 2,600 families buy a home.

Bill Menner the program’s Iowa director says a new centralized delivery system for the Direct Home Loan Program in Iowa is designed to provide efficient, predictable and timely loan reviews. Starting May 19 all inquiries, pre-qualifications and applications will go to a centralized location in Des Moines.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 28th 2014


May 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Muscatine police are investigating a stabbing death as a homicide. Police were called to a report of a stabbing just after 7 p.m. Sunday. Officers discovered 45-year-old Timothy Dean Lane had been injured. Efforts to resuscitate Lane were unsuccessful. He was later pronounced dead at Trinity Hospital.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The Webster County agriculture extension office has been closed for a few days because of flooding. The Iowa State University extension office in Fort Dodge has water damage from a storm Monday night. Office manager Ally Zagers says it will take a few days before the damaged items can be repaired.

MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa city has been discharging untreated sewage into the Maple River because of delays to repairs at its wastewater treatment plant. The city of Mapleton began releasing the sewage Tuesday. The city began routing wastewater to ponds on May 15 to allow crews to make repairs to a wall at the treatment plant. After heavy rains on Monday filled the ponds to capacity, workers began discharging the sewage to prevent damage to the ponds.

TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted an Iowa woman of first-degree murder in the death of her daughter-in-law. Jurors took only about two hours Tuesday to convict 57-year-old Ginger Jefferson in the stabbing death of Kerry O’Clair-Jefferson. Authorities say the 32-year-old O’Clair-Jefferson was stabbed twice in the neck Sept. 25 and died in a house in Tama.

Six GOP congressional candidates in third district meet in forum


May 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The half dozen candidates seeking the Republican party’s nomination in Iowa’s third congressional district met in a televised forum Tuesday evening, voicing unanimous support for gun rights and unanimous disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency. Candidate Monte Shaw, who is executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, argued there are few policy differences among the six candidates, so voters should evaluate the “skill set” each candidate would take to Washington.

“I have a track record of finding ways to bring people together and getting real solutions done,” Shaw said. “We can’t just vote no while our economy and our country goes over the cliff. We need real people to come together and turn this so we can have a better future for our kids.” Candidate Robert Cramer, a construction company executive from Johnston, says he “won’t back down on social issues,’ like his opposition to same-sex marriage, but his priority as a member of congress would be to balance the federal budget.

“This election is about jobs, jobs and jobs,” Cramer says, “so I think if we can get this economy turned around and do that by balancing the budget, by eliminating some of these crazy regulations and removing that fog of uncertainty and allowing the private sector to really take off, that’ll help everybody.” Matt Schultz, a former Council Bluffs city councilman who is serving as Iowa’s secretary of state, repeatedly called for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. “And I believe that we should pass the ‘Penny Plan’ to actually pass the budget. That’s cutting a penny from every dollar of federal spending and capping spending at 18 percent of (the Gross Domestic Product),” Schultz said. “We could balance the budget in three years and start paying down the debt after that.” Brad Zaun, a state senator who once served as mayor of Urbandale, argued for term limits.

“I will go out there to do a job, to make tough decisions,” Zaun said. “…There’s too many people out there making careers out of this and worrying about their reelection. We have got to stop this irresponsibility that’s going on in Washington, D.C.” David Young, a former chief of staff to Senator Chuck Grassley, says many of the country’s “biggest problems” need a “bipartisan approach.”

“You can be an honest broker and come to the table and stand your ground and you don’t necessarily have to compromise your conservative principles,” Young said. “…I’ve got my issues with the government. I don’t want to blow it up, but I do want to take a stick and whack it.” Joe Grandanette, a P-E teacher from Des Moines who was the other candidate to participate in last night’s event, joined in criticizing the culture in the nation’s capital.

“The rest of my opponents are political insiders,” Grandanette said. “How’s that working for us in Washington, D.C.?” The forum was sponsored by K-C-C-I T-V in Des Moines, and aired live in prime time, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

(Radio Iowa)

Harlan P-D arrest report


May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports two people were arrested last Wednesday (May 21st), when officers were called to a fight in front of the HyVee Food Store. 35-year old Robert Croghan, of Harlan, was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with simple assault. 25-year old Jerome Wright, of Harlan, was cited for disorderly conduct and released.

On May 20th, Harlan Police arrested 58-year old Jeffrey Stehr, of Harlan, following an investigation. Earlier in the month officers were called to Taylor Quik Pik for someone caught on video shoplifting on three separate occasions. Stehr was cited with 3 counts of theft 5th degree, given a court date and released.

On May 18th, 18-year old Todd Muell, of Panama, was cited by Harlan Police for reckless driving when several persons witnessed Muell “cutting cookies” on the practice field at the high school, causing damage to the field. That same day, officers were called to Bomgaar’s to investigate a theft from that location. Officers were shown a hole that had been cut in the fence and the owners were able to determine that two lawn mowers, a trimmer and a spreader were missing. The estimated value of the stolen items and the fence repair were approximately $1,500.00. The case remains under investigation.

And, on May 11th, 52-year old Susan Hillgartner, of Harlan, was arrested following an investigation into criminal mischief done to a vehicle belonging to Amy McKay, Des Moines. The alleged vandalism was a continuation of a confrontation at the races. The damage done to the McKay vehicle was estimated at just over $1,000.00. A complaint was filed against Hillgartner charging her with criminal mischief, 2nd degree.

Iowa man admits his role in stepbrother’s abuse


May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Council Bluffs man has pleaded guilty to playing a role in his adult stepbrother’s abuse as part of a deal with prosecutors. KETV reports 23-year-old Ryan Smith pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory to a crime. He was originally charged with kidnapping.

Prosecutors say Smith’s mother 46-year-old Rebecca Beyer was convicted earlier this month of abusing her 20-year-old mentally disabled son. She’s awaiting sentencing. The man ran away from home in the spring of 2013. Prosecutors have said he was starved at times, chained with a dog leash and had scars from burns.

Smith was fined $625 and ordered to serve two years of probation. He also received a 180-day suspended jail sentence.

Chamber ads aid momentum for Iowa GOP’s Joni Ernst


May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ads for Republican Joni Ernst from the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce add to the sense of momentum for the state senator, who would be the party’s first woman nominee for U.S. Senate, should she win on June 3.

The ads also mark an uncommon alliance between conservative groups and more traditional pro-business GOP interests. Ernst also is the first U.S. Senate candidate this year to receive the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Senate Conservatives Fund. The latter has endorsed GOP primary challengers and non-establishment Republicans in high-profile Senate primaries this year in Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and elsewhere.

Ernst is the only woman in a five-candidate field, and has led in recent polls. Democratic U.S. House member Bruce Braley is unopposed for his party’s nomination.

Iowa farmers catch up on planting, exceed average

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers, for the first time this season, are ahead of the five-year average for planting corn and soybean acres. Warm temperatures and below normal precipitation allowed soybean planting and crop progress to rapidly advance during the week that ended May 25. The USDA says statewide there were five days suitable for planting.

The report released Tuesday says 96 percent of the expected corn acres have been planted, 13 points ahead of last year and a percentage point better than the average. Soybean planting progress doubled with 80 percent complete. That’s 5 percentage points above average.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says after the extremely late planting last year farmers are excited to get the crop in the ground more timely this year.

Fatality accident – Truck crashes into Dallas Center airport building


May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Update 3:40-a.m., 5/28)

One person is dead following a single vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon in northeastern Dallas County. Sheriff’s officials told KCCI-TV rescue crews were called to 24572 North Avenue about 1:45 p.m.

Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright said a vehicle went off the roadway and hit the cinder block wall of a mechanical building on the grounds of the privately owned Husband Field, about three-miles west of Dallas Center.  Authorities are still investigating what happened. They believe the truck blew a tire before it crashed into the building, and that the driver died on impact with the cinder block wall. His body remained in the truck for several hours, while crews worked to shore up the building to keep it from collapsing.

The driver’s name had not been released as of early Wednesday morning.