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Remains in Sac City home could be ex-homeowner

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sac City police say human remains discovered in the basement of a recently purchased house could be those of the previous homeowner who disappeared in 2009.   Police Chief John Thomsen says “all signs point” to Mark Koster.

Mark Koster

He was last seen with a friend on July 4, 2009. He was 58.  The remains were found on Monday by the new homeowner, who was remodeling the basement.

Police searched the house in 2009. Thomsen says there was no indication of foul play, and it appeared Koster left. He was declared legally dead in October 2011. No one lived in the house after Koster disappeared. Family members sold the house in May.

Copper wire theft under investigation

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County are investigating the theft of copper wire from a cell phone tower. The Sheriff’s Department said today (Wednesday), they received a report indicating someone had stolen 160-feet of copper wiring from the Chat Mobility tower at 1926 Ironwood Avenue, in Red Oak. The wire is valued at $2,000. The theft occurred sometime between October 25th and November 7th. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Gas prices jumped overnight but it has nothing to do with politics, says motor club

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Gasoline prices in some Iowa cities took a big leap last night (Tuesday), in some areas bounding more than a dime a gallon shortly after the polls closed at 9 o’clock. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, maintains gas prices have nothing to do with politics and she says Iowa’s overall average has dropped a long ways in the past month. “We’ve seen prices decline from just under four-dollars a gallon to just over three-dollars a gallon,” Weinholzer says. “In many places, they’re seeing relief anywhere from 60 to 80 cents, which is rather significant.”

Iowa’s average price for gas is three-32 a gallon, that’s fallen from three-38 a week ago and down from three-75 a month ago. She says there are essentially three reasons pump prices have been in a free-fall. “We finished the switch-over from the summer to the winter-grade fuel and as a result, prices declined,” Weinholzer says. “Secondly, crude oil is selling significantly below $100 a barrel, which is where it was at in August. Third, we’re past the summer driving season and as a result, demand has slackened off quite a bit.”

Despite the overnight bounce — like in Des Moines, where prices rose 12 to 14 cents a gallon in one swoop — she says gas prices should continue falling in Iowa for another few weeks. “We continue to see a decline and will until Thanksgiving,” Weinholzer says. “We’ll probably plateau around that time and then perhaps drop again a bit before we get to the holiday season.”

Iowa’s current statewide average price for self-serve unleaded is three-32, that’s 14-cents below the national average.

(Radio Iowa)

Harlan City Council discusses economic merger & tax usage

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council, Tuesday, welcomed a group of Shelby County citizens to discuss the Shelby County DevelopSource and Chamber merger along with the Hotel/Motel tax. During the Council’s regular session, Citizens for Betterment of Shelby County, led by business owners Ruth Ann Grimsley, Teresa Coenen and Judy Schroeder presented the council with a petition signed by current chamber members, non-members and other business owners supporting the merger. Schroeder read the letter to the board, which included comments about the merger.

The letter said the group applauds efforts to combine DevelopSource and Chamber. It said while the two organizations have different short term goals, the long term goal is to grow the county’s economy, and to that end, a pooling of resources and ideas, they said, would result in many positive outcomes on projects that are undertaken. Marty Burchett, another Shelby County business owner and current Chamber board member issued a rebuttal to the council. She said he didn’t think it’s a decision that should be rushed into. Burchett said that’s because DevelopSource has a new person and there are new board members that are not up to speed on the topic. Another reason he said was that “Some of the people that are pushing for this thought it was okay to split it up 10 years ago.”

Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Cundiff reported that the Hotel/Motel Tax was being used for projects such as signage, vision Iowa and brochures. She also said the tourism committee has been working hard. The discussion then drifted from the merger and hotel/motel tax to discussion about Chamber ambassador visits, dues from members and other topics.  At a previous City Council meeting, it was suggested an audit should be completed on the Hotel/Motel tax. Since that time, an audit has been done and will be reported to the council at the next meeting on Tuesday, November 20th.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 11-07-2012

News, Podcasts

November 7th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 11-07-2012

News, Podcasts

November 7th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Local General Election Summary of results – Part 2

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Elsewhere in area election results, Cheryl R. Christensen was selected as the Clerk for the Union Township in Cass County. She received 80 votes to challenger Bill Gerlock’ 31. There were mixed results in the County for four Public Measures. Voters in the Benton and Victoria Townships agreed the Cass County Board of Supervisors should appoint township Trustees and Clerks when the incumbents’ terms expire, while Edna and Union Township voters said they wanted those positions to remain on the ballot. Chase Wheatley, Curt Behrends and Clarke Gerlock were nominated to the Soil and Water Conservation Board, and, Atlantic Parks and Rec Department Director Roger Herring had an overwhelming win over Michael J. Collins, to take the Trustee’s position on the County Public Hospital Board, in the Northwest District.

In Montgomery County, Karen Klock, Michael J. Olson, Carroll Freeman, Timothy Kammerer and Bill Drey were elected to serve on the Agricultural Extension Council. In Guthrie County, Bret Hodges, Karen Kennedy, Carol Cain and Barbara Gigar were elected to serve on the County Agricultural Council. Pamela Chance defeated two other challengers for a vacant seat on the Jamaica City Council, and Michael Moore beat Steve Baker for a vacant seat on the Panora City Council.

You can view other results on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website on a County-by-County basis, at sos.iowa.gov.

2012 Gen. Election – Contested Area Races Summary

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There were very few locally contested races during Tuesday’s General Election. One of the most watched in this area, was in Audubon County, where Sheriff Todd Johnson, a Republican, was re-elected to office, after defeating his challenger, Democrat Blake Asberry. Unofficial results show Johnson garnered 2,374 votes to Asberry’s 1,080. Another race in Audubon County, was for the Board of Supervisor’s, where four men were running for two open seats on the Board. Republican Todd M. Nelson received the most votes, at 1,817. The unofficial tally shows fellow Republican Duane Deist narrowly defeated Democrat Kent Grabill to take the other seat. Deist had 1,550 votes to Grabill’s 1,542. Those numbers aren’t official, however, and the actual race between the second and third-place finisher may change, because, according to the Auditor’s office, 43-absentee ballots remain in the mail system, and two provisional ballots will need to be examined by the absentee board. The board is set to meet at 10:00 a.m.  Friday to count the ballots that are received between now and November 9th. They will also verify the post mark meets the cut-off deadline to be eligible for the count. The final results in Audubon County may not be known for nearly a week.

In Shelby County four people ran for two seats on the Board of Supervisors. Two Republicans, newcomers Charles Parkhurst and Steve Kenkel, defeated their Democrat challengers Jerry Hensheid and LaVon Christensen to earn a spot at the table. Kenkel had the most votes, at 4,191. Parkhurst had the second-highest total, at 3,282. Henschied garnered just over 2,000 votes, while Christensen barely cracked 1,780.

And, Iowa State Representative Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, defeated challenger Kasey Friedrichsen, a Democrat, 64-35 percent. Schultz represents the new District 18, which covers all of Shelby County and portions of Harrison and Crawford counties.

In Pottawattamie County, incumbent Republican Supervisor’s Lynne Grobe and Melvyn Houser easily defeated Brian Lund, who was nominated by petition. And, former deputy and acting Pottawattamie County Treasurer Lea Voss, a Republican, held-off a challenge from Democrat Paula Danker, to remain in office. Voss, who was selected as the acting treasurer after the death of long-time Treasurer Judy Miller, beat Danker by 21,608 votes to 17,915.

In Adams County, Democrat Merlin Dixson beat Republican Jerry Peckham, to take a single seat available on the Board of Supervisors in District 2. Also, Republican Becky Bissell defeated Democrat and Nominated By Petition challengers, and will take the title of Treasurer.

In Guthrie County, Democrat Jerome F. Caraher easily captured the one open seat on the Board of Supervisors in District 1, 585 to 454. And, in District 5, Republican Mike Dixson defeated Democratic challenger David Guisinger, 593 to 507.

The results will not be final, until the all the votes are canvassed.

Madison County turns to photocopied ballots

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A pair of precincts in Madison County in central Iowa ran out of printed ballots Tuesday night and had to resort to photocopies. County elections deputy Lori Belgarde says two of the county’s nine precincts ran out of ballots. One of the precincts photocopied 23 ballots that voters then cast. Belgarde wasn’t certain how many photocopies the other precinct would need. Belgarde says the county had at least 10 percent more ballots on hand than were cast in 2008, an indication of strong voter turnout.

Chad Olsen, a spokesman for Iowa secretary of state Matt Schultz, says other precincts that included some in West Des Moines and Waukee also ran out of ballots. But Olsen says additional ballots were supplied before the original supply ran dry.

Iowa early News Headlines – Wed., Nov. 7th 2012

News

November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa voters have returned two Democrat and two Republican incumbents to Congress. Voters yesterday handed victories to Democrat Reps. Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack, and Republican Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham. The control of the Iowa Senate remains unclear with a few inconclusive races.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has won re-election as his party fights to retain control of its narrow 26-24 majority in the chamber. Gronstal of Council Bluffs defeated Republican Al Ringgenberg yesterday by winning about 55 percent of the vote. Republicans had targeted Gronstal by calling him a roadblock to their plans in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa voters have retained a state Supreme Court justice who faced opposition because he supported a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized gay marriage in Iowa. The vote yesterday in support of David Wiggins’ retention is considered a barometer for the public’s changing views on gay marriage. It’s also seen as a flashpoint in the debate over the role of courts in American life.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama won the battleground state of Iowa as part of his re-election victory. Obama earned the state’s six Electoral College votes last night before defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Obama’s surprising victory in Iowa in the 2008 Iowa caucus helped propel him to the Democratic nomination. The state gave him an easy win in the 2008 general election.