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Fatality accident reported in Mills County

News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The numerous wrecks in western Iowa this evening have claimed one life. According to scanner traffic, one person was killed during a two-vehicle collision in Mills County. The accident happened near Hastings, at about the 19-mile marker, on Highway 34. No other information is available at this time.

Road conditions deteriorating rapidly in western IA!

News, Weather

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Road conditions are deteriorating rapidly this evening. Slow down, expect black ice conditions!

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/wxstory.php?site=dmx

Free Tax Preparation Service Available through VITA

News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Extension Service reminds area residents that free tax preparation services will be available in southwest Iowa for low and moderate income families as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.  For more information, or to make an appointment, call the Cass County Extension Office in Atlantic at 712-243-1132, any time after January 18th.   Other tax sites will also be available in Logan, Harlan, Malvern, Red Oak, Clarinda and Shenandoah.

Services will be provided by IRS trained and certified local volunteers who utilize the Tax Wise software to complete returns.  Only Basic Federal, Iowa and nearby state returns will be processed.  Most returns will be electronically filed and to speed up the refund process participants are encouraged to have a savings or bank account, although it is not required.  Taxpayers can have refunds deposited into more than one account and also purchase Series I US Savings Bonds.

The program is open to Iowa residents in Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Rural Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page Counties.  Participants should have low to moderate income below 200% of poverty.  For example, yearly income should be less than $37,060 for a family of 3, less than $44,700 for a family of 4, less than $52,340 for a family of 5, etc.

In rural southwest Iowa the VITA program is a joint effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowan’s for Social and Economic Development.  The program is financial supported by the Internal Revenue Service and the Iowa Department of Human Services.  For more information about the program contact Mary Beth Kaufman, ISU Extension Program Specialist and VITA Coordinator at 712-755-3104.

Time to brush-off your Winter driving skills!

News, Weather

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Winter driving tips from the Iowa DOT
Fill your vehicle’s gas tank. Before traveling in winter weather, always keep your vehicle’s gas tank nearly full and make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.  Use your vehicle’s safety equipment. Your vehicle’s headlights are a valuable asset when driving in winter weather. Turn them on to see and be seen. Make sure you and your passengers are wearing their seat belts, and any children are in their child safety seats.

Never use cruise control during winter weather. Your vehicle’s cruise control sensors may not work properly if the tires are traveling on packed snow or ice. This can cause your vehicle to increase speed and increase the danger of a crash.

Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. This kit should contain items to help sustain your life and the lives of your passengers should your vehicle become stranded. These items can include: booster cables, candles and matches, a flashlight with fresh batteries, extra blankets and warm clothes, nonperishable food items, a can for melting water, and a snow shovel. Sufficient supplies should be in the kit for all persons traveling in the vehicle.

Use caution when approaching or following a snowplow. Snowplows generally operate at much slower speeds than other traffic. Snowplows can be forced sideways when clearing hard-packed drifts and generate a “snow cloud” that may impair the vision of drivers in nearby vehicles. Remain a safe distance behind the snowplow, pass only when clear; and never continue to drive alongside a plow. Allow plenty of space when passing the snowplow because the wing of the plow blade extends out to the side of the truck. Do not cut back into the lane of traffic too closely in front of a snowplow truck because the blade also extends in front of the truck.

Remember the slogans, “Ice and Snow …Take It Slow” and “Don’t crowd the plow.”

Check on the latest travel conditions. Visit www.511ia.org or call 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide). You can also receive 511 traveler information via Twitter or text message. Visit the 511 website and click on the “Twitter” icon to select your desired Twitter feeds. Feeds are available for six Iowa metropolitan areas (Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Quad Cities, Sioux City and Cedar Falls/Waterloo), each of the state’s 99 counties, all traffic alerts and breaking news.

Multiple accidents reported on I-29 this evening

News, Weather

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

So many accidents are piling-up along Interstate 29 and I-80 in western Iowa, authorities can simply not keep up. Snow and strong, gusty winds have contributed to the accidents along both stretches of road this evening. Scanner traffic indicated anywhere from 20-to 30 vehicles had gone off the road along a stretch of  I-29 from Glenwood north to the I-680 split by 4:30-pm. Most have not resulted in injuries, or minor injuries at best. In one accident, a Glenwood School bus loaded with students reportedly hit an SUV near I-29 northbound and Highway 92. No word yet on any injuries.

The forecast for far western Iowa and extreme eastern Nebraska calls for snow to continue this evening, especially east and south of a line from Seward, NE to Lincoln, NE to Omaha and Onawa, IA. Snowfall amounts thus far have been light, just a few tenths of an inch, however, some of the snow may melt on the roads. When combined with northwest winds of 30-to 45-mph and temperatures falling below freezing, roads have been, and will become slick.

Slow down and use your Winter Weather driving skills. Allow extra time to reach your destination.

2 students charged in connection with hazing incident at Nodaway Valley

News, Sports

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Greenfield said today (Wednesday), two Nodaway Valley High School students have been arrested in connection with an incident related to the Nodaway Valley wrestling team. According to Greenfield Police Chief Austin O’Brien, 18-year-old Mikel Fieck and a 17-year-old juvenile, both from Greenfield, have been charged with 2nd degree Sexual Abuse, in connection with a hazing incident involving a student on the wrestling squad. Feick was booked into the Adair County Jail and later released on $25,000 bond. The 17-year-old juvenile was being held in a juvenile detention facility in Eldora.

Nodaway Valley Superintendent of Schools Casey Berlau would not provide specific details about the students or the arrests, because of student confidentiality.

Cass Supervisors receive Conservation Director’s update

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), received a quarterly update from County Conservation Director Micah Lee. Lee said the weather has really cooperated, and allowed the Conservation Department staff to conduct a lot of tree and shrub, and other necessary cleanup work at the various county parks and recreational areas.

He said also, their Environmental Education Naturalist, Lora Schwendinger, has been busy during the past quarter. Lee says she’s put on 96 programs and visited with 785 persons, from elementary-aged students, to senior citizens. Schwendinger has coordinated several workshops and events designed to educate the public about nature and the environment.

Harlan man dies after falling from a tree stand in Monona County

News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said today (Wednesday), a Harlan man was killed Tuesday evening after falling from a tree stand while hunting deer in Monona County. 21-year old Corey Custer was coming out of his tree stand at approximately 7-p.m. Tuesday, when he fell approximately 18-23 feet while bow hunting for deer southeast of Onawa. Custer suffered head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Atlantic School Board hears Technology proposal

News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Board of Education heard an update Tuesday night from the District Technology Coordinator Roger Warne, with regard to the new ICN (Iowa Communications Network) classroom at the high school. Superintendent MIke Amstein says Warne talked about running a fiber optic line that would complete the fiber optic system connecting the district’s buildings. He says along those lines, the Board approved of Warne negotiating with a vendor for the line, and placing the project out for bid.”)
Currently, the district runs a wireless system between the Atlantic High School and Middle School. And, while that’s ok in the short term, Amstein says the data demands of the high school limits what they can do in transfer data between the schools. He says the current amount of data they can work with, about 25 megabytes with the ICN, causes problems when combined with their wireless network.  Amstein said also, the Board approved on the second reading, a policy pertaining to the use of video cameras on school premises, and discussed the relocation of the Hospital School. Amstein says they had been looking at two sites, but have narrowed that down to one.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to hire part-time deputy

News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Shelby will be getting some extra law enforcement help from Shelby County, through the addition of a part-time Sheriff’s Deputy. The hiring of a deputy was approved last week by the County’s Board of Supervisors. Once hired, the individual will increase protection to the City of Shelby, provide more District Court security, and assisting with the transporting of mental health patients and criminals. The Sheriff’s Office received 11 applications for the position. The next step begins on Friday, with a State required written test for those applicants. Shelby County Sheriff Mark Hervey says he spoke with the Shelby City Council for several months about the need to add a part-time deputy.

Hervey says they City has asked for additional patrols within the City. He says his deputies  currently put in 4-hours per week in addition to the 24-hour coverage. The extra hours are accomplished by those deputies putting in overtime. Hervey says the added patrol in the area is because Shelby has had more calls for law enforcement. The Sheriff says if the applicants who test on Friday score a certain percentage on the written exam, they will perform the agility test that same day, as well. If the applicant passes both the written and physical exam, the top three candidates will be interviewed by Hervey and the Chief Deputy Sheriff. Two finalists will be picked and sent to Des Moines for psychological testing. 

Hervey says as the Sheriff, he does feel added pressure to hire the right candidate for deputy sheriff. He says “Being the deputy sheriff for Shelby County is a great responsibility,” and they always look for the best candidate. Hervey says if they pick a candidate who is not certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, that candidate has to go to Des Moines for several more weeks of training, so it’s quite a process.”  The Sheriff says out of the 11 applicants, two are certified through the Iowa Law Enforcement academy, and will not have to take the written or physical tests. The person ultimately selected for the position will be required to reside in Shelby. The County will split the wages and benefits paid to that individual, subject to wage and benefit increases, with the City of Shelby, and will postpone replacing an existing vehicle until next year.

(Joel McCall/KNOD – Harlan)