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Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Dinner


January 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce will host its Annual Dinner Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 at the Cass County Community Center. Chamber Executive Director Ouida Hargens said she always look forward to the Annual Dinner, adding that ”It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, look forward to what we will accomplish and most of all, highlight all of our volunteers and Chamber Members that have invested their time and money back into our organization and our community.”

Dinner will be catered by the Atlantic Hy-Vee and is open to the entire community. Tickets are available for purchase at the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce for $25 per person, or $200 for a table. The Chamber will be talking about accomplishments of not only the Chamber, but the community in 2015. For the upcoming new year, goals and the campaign “Explore, Discover, Share” for 2016 will also be introduced.

Bailey Smith, Community Marketing Associate with the Chamber, says “The theme for 2016, “Explore Discover, Share”, is something we are so excited to introduce.” She says “This campaign is going to encourage community members all over Cass County to get out and explore an attraction or business they may have never been to, discover something new and share it with others. This campaign is really exciting because we get to interact with the entire county and create something fun for the whole family to enjoy.” Further details regarding the campaign will be revealed at the Annual Dinner.

The Chamber will be honoring successful businesses, organizations and individual leaders in the community during the event, as well. And, awards will be given for Business of the Year, Community Betterment, Distinguished Service Award, Ambassador of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Educator of the Year. The Chamber will also be recognizing the new Board Members for the 2016 year: Dan Mehmen, Scott Bennet and Jennifer Miller.

The Annual Dinner is sponsored by Deter Motors and will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a social followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Madison County Jail inmate’s death ruled suicide


January 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) – The death of a 33-year-old Madison County Jail inmate has been ruled a suicide. The State Medical Examiner’s Office says Joshua Barker’s death Jan. 6 was caused by a self-inflicted hanging. Barker’s cellmates found him hanging by a towel around 12:30 p.m. Jail officials began CPR, and Barker was taken to a hospital in Winterset, where he later died.

Madison County Sheriff Jason Barnes says he hopes to release records related to the death, but that the office is still waiting for Barker’s toxicology results. Barker was arrested during a traffic stop Jan. 3, when officers seized more than 200 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from his car.

Gov. Branstad’s budget proposal leaves out bullying office


January 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad’s budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year leave out direct funds for a bullying prevention office he created months ago via executive order. Branstad didn’t direct general fund money to the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa in his recent budget proposal. The center, which requested $250,000, was tasked with managing the Governor’s Office for Bullying Prevention.

A Branstad spokesman says the governor expects the center to be funded under his proposed $8 million request of new money for the Board of Regents, which oversees Iowa’s three public universities. The schools sought a combined $20 million in new funding, separate from the bullying office.

A UNI spokesman declined to comment on whether UNI would use some of that funding for the bullying office.


Weather patterns may be changing for the worse, especially for farmers

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s corn crop and many other key commodities would be threatened by hot, dry conditions if certain weather patterns continue to develop. U-S-D-A meteorologist Brad Rippey says even though the El Nino pattern is still strong over the entire country right now, there are likely changes on the horizon.

“If you look at all of the moderate-to-strong El Ninos we’ve had over the last 75 years or so, they are almost always followed by a fairly quick transition to La Nina,” Rippey says. “It’s almost like there’s a boomerang effect.” We’re now experiencing the third “super El Nino” weather pattern since the early 1980s and if the pattern holds, a La Nina pattern could emerge soon and bring drought conditions.

“We’re pretty confident and even the two-dozen or so models that try to forecast the ocean and atmospheric states looking ahead to the summer,” he says, “we’ll be in either neutral or La Nina conditions by the latter part of 2016.” Rippey says the La Nina pattern in 1998 never reached Iowa or other Midwestern states but it had an impact on the southern tier of states, bringing very dry conditions that had a major impact on crops. Signs point to a repeat, according to Rippey.

“In 1983, we saw a very wet spring nearly coast-to-coast, but in July and August, as we quickly transitioned into La Nina, we saw a very hot, dry weather pattern develop across the Midwest,” he says. “It led to significant yield declines in crops, including corn.” It’s still too early to pinpoint exactly where the hot, dry conditions will land but he says farmers need to be aware.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, 1/18/16


January 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

BOXHOLM, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the mother and three children killed a house fire in the central Iowa town of Boxholm. Rick Lampe with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department says 27-year-old Amber Sorenson, 9-year-old Riley Sorenson, 6-year-old Autumn Sorenson and 4-year-old Brayden Sorenson all died in the fire. The fire was reported around 12:45 a.m. Sunday when the temperature was 6 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in the town of about 200.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa inmate serving a life sentence for a 1979 murder has died in prison at age 69 after battling skin cancer. The state Department of Corrections says Robert Lee Kern died Saturday at the Iowa State Penitentiary. Officials said Kern died of natural causes.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities have identified the 41-year-old man who was wounded during a confrontation with police. The state Division of Criminal Investigation says Timothy Seefeldt is expected to recover from a gunshot wound in his upper body. The incident began after a large SUV was stolen from a Muscatine restaurant parking lot.

HOLLIS, New Hampshire (AP) — After months of predicting a comeback for their preferred candidates, Republican establishment leaders now concede the first two contests on the presidential election calendar are Donald Trump’s and Ted Cruz’s to lose. Many GOP traditionalists fear that each candidate would be a disaster in the November general election.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board to meet Monday evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors will meet Monday evening in the City Council’s Chambers at City Hall, beginning at 5:15.

On the agenda are updates on: the 2017 Budget proposal; the Kiddie Korral at SunnysidePark; Boat ramp project near the Schildberg Rec Area; The Bull Creek/Schuler Elementary School Trail; A Transportation Alternatives Program grant for Lake #2 at the Schildberg Rec Area; a Cass County Community Foundation grant request; Vision Iowa grant; and an update on On-line Shelter Reservations.

Old business will cover an update on the Nishna Valley Connector Trail. And, in his report to the Board, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring is expected to talk about the parking lot installation at the Dog Park in the Schildberg Rec Area, as well as remind the public Sunnyside Park remains open to sledding, disc golf and walking. The gates to the park remain closed to vehicle traffic, however.

NE man arrested in Council Bluffs after several failed alleged burglary attempts


January 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs arrested a Nebraska man Sunday after three botched, alleged burglary attempts. 22-year old Christopher Cozen, of Omaha, faces charges that include two counts of Burglary in the 3rd degree and one count of Attempted Burglary in the 2nd degree. Cozen was being held Sunday afternoon in the Pottawattamie County Jail.

His arrest followed an investigation that began at around 9:23-a.m. Sunday, when Bluffs Police were dispatched to 3515 5th Avenue, in reference a burglary in progress. The victim discovering a white male subject in his 1997 Ford F-150 that was parked in the driveway. When the resident confronted the suspect the suspect fled the area. It was discovered that the ignition to vehicle was damaged by the suspect who was apparently trying to steal the pickup.

At approximately 10:30-a.m., officers responded to 522 S.34th St., in reference to an attempted burglary to the residence. Officers responded and determined that a neighbor observed a white male suspect pry open the victim’s basement window. When the suspect noticed the witness he again fled the area.

Then, at approximately 10:38-a.m., officers were dispatched to 3312 11th Ave in reference to a burglary in progress to a 1990 Chevrolet pickup that was parked in the driveway of the residence. Officers responded to the scene and located the suspect (subsequently identified as Cozen), still inside the vehicle. The ignition to the vehicle was also damaged.

Officers were able to establish probable cause implicating Cozen in all three Burglaries.

4 die in Central IA Sunday morning fire


January 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Updated) —

BOXHOLM, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have identified the mother and three children killed a house fire in the central Iowa town of Boxholm. Rick Lampe with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department says 27-year-old Amber Sorenson, 9-year-old Riley Sorenson, 6-year-old Autumn Sorenson and 4-year-old Brayden Sorenson all died in the fire. The fire in Boone County created challenges for firefighters because of frigid conditions.

The fire was reported around 12:45 a.m. Sunday when the temperature was 6 degrees below zero in the town of about 200. The victims’ bodies were recovered around 2:15 a.m.

Arrest made in Bayard break-in and burglary


January 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Guthrie County report an arrest has been made in connection with a recent break-in and burglary, in Bayard. Authorities say on Friday (January 15th) deputies arrested 23-year old Alicia M. Crawford, of rural Guthrie Center, on felony charges of Burglary 3rd Degree and Theft 2nd Degree. The charges follow a detailed investigation conducted by the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office after a break in at the Bayard Sparky’s on January 10th.

Alicia M. Crawford booking photo. (Guthrie Co. S/O photo)

Alicia M. Crawford booking photo. (Guthrie Co. S/O photo)

A search warrant executed at Crawford’s residence, Friday, resulted in the recovery of currency and products from the Sparky’s store. The theft had been reported at around 12:15-a.m. on Jan. 10th, after it was observed glass had been broken one of the business’ doors. A safe inside the business had been accessed and money was missing. Also missing was several carton of cigarettes. The loss was estimated at $4,000.

Fiorina and Sanders to visit S.W. IA Tuesdy


January 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two more presidential hopefuls will be in southwest Iowa on Tuesday, Jan. 19th. According to the Omaha World-Herald, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina will host a meet and greet in Avoca. The event will run from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Embers Restaurant. It is open to the public. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders will be in Underwood. He will speak at 3 p.m. at UMBA Hall. Doors open at 2 p.m.