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Sioux City home destroyed in afternoon grass fire

News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Sioux City home that contained an exotic bird store was destroyed in an afternoon grass fire. The Sioux City Fire Rescue department says five adults lived in the residence and that only the homeowner was there when the structure caught fire Tuesday. The homeowner escaped safely, and no other injuries were reported.

The Hinton fire chief says he doesn’t have details about the birds but says the owners gave authorities permission to take them to an area pet shelter. The Sioux City Journal reports the grass fire started on the Woodbury County line and spread north into Plymouth County. Firefighters worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire.

1 arrest/2 citations issued overnight in Red Oak

News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak made one arrest and issued two citations overnight Tuesday into early this (Wednesday) morning. Officials say at around 8:25-p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle in the 2000 block of North 4th Street, for having an expired registration tag. A passenger in the vehicle, 44-year old Shelby JoAnn Olivares, of Red Oak, was seen sitting next to an open container of alcohol. The woman admitted the container was hers. She was cited for Open Container and released from the scene.

And, just after midnight, Red Oak Police arrested 27-year old Derek Daniel Bergeson, of Red Oak, for having an Animal At Large, in violation of City Code. Bergeson was cited and released. His court date is pending.

Month of March was 7th driest in 143 years

News, Weather

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The just completed month of March was one of the driest in the state’s history. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the statewide average precipitation for the month amounted to just under six-tenths of an inch. “This ranked as the seventh driest March in 143 years of records,” Hillaker says. “You have to go back 21 years to 1994 for the last time we had a drier month of March in the state.”

The statewide average temperature for the month was 37.5 degrees, which is slightly warmer than normal. In Atlantic, we received just 32-one hundredths of an inch of rain last month (nearly 1/3 of an inch). The statewide average temperature for the month was 37.5 degrees, which is slightly warmer than normal. The average High here in Atlantic was 56.5 degrees. The average Low was 24.6 degrees.

The month of March featured some interesting temperature extremes. We had temperatures down to minus-17 degrees on March 5 in Stanley in northeast Iowa and up to 90-degrees just 11 days later in Sioux City,” Hillaker says. “That was the earliest we’ve hit 90-degrees in the state…it came on March 16.”

The dry spell will be interrupted across much of the state on this first day of April as showers and severe storms are in the forecast. We’ve actually had 10 consecutive wetter-than-normal Aprils, so we’re certainly getting off to a quick start this April as well,” Hillaker says. The months of January, February and March enter the Iowa record books as 12th driest first three months to the start of a year. “About half of what we’ve had this year came in one storm — the big snowstorm we had January 31 into February 1,” Hillaker says. “Otherwise, it’s been quite dry so far.”

(Radio Iowa)

Police chief testifies in 2nd Iowa man’s murder trial

News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa police chief testified Tuesday that a man accused of killing his former roommate in 2009 admitted to the crime during an interview. The second trial of 55-year-old John Green began with opening statements from attorneys and testimony from Sac City Police Chief John Thompsen. Green is charged with first-degree murder in 58-year-old Mark Koster’s death in Sac City.

Green’s first trial was held in Webster County because his attorney argued that pretrial publicity would make it impossible for Green to receive a fair trial in Sac City. The same argument was used against holding the second trial in Fort Dodge. The first ended in a mistrial. Koster was declared missing in 2010. His remains were found in the basement of his home in 2012.

Iowa early News Headlines; Wed., April 1st 2015

News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislation that would have made sweeping changes to Iowa’s gun laws appears to be dead this session, after Senate lawmakers focused on a separate bill with more limited scope. The bill would allow the use of suppressors to silence weapons. It now heads to the House, where lawmakers have a small window to advance it before a procedural deadline Friday.

BOONE, Iowa (AP) —Sac City Police Chief John Thompsen has testified that a man accused of killing his former roommate in 2009 admitted to the crime during an interview. Fifty-five-year-old John Green is charged with first-degree murder in 58-year-old Mark Koster’s death in Sac City. Koster was declared missing in 2010. His remains were found in the basement of his home in 2012.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A man previously deemed guilty of first-degree kidnapping before his conviction and subsequent life term were overturned has now been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on a sexual assault charge. Thirty-seven-year-old Scott R. Robinson was sentenced on one count of third-degree sexual assault. He had been serving life in prison without parole for the 2011 sexual assault of a woman in his Dubuque apartment, but the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously rejected that conviction in February, saying his actions didn’t equate first-degree kidnapping.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — Rudd residents have raised concerns about a hog confinement that will be built less than a half-mile from the city limits. A group of residents met with the Floyd County Board of Supervisors to discuss the confinement that’s set to be built for 2,490 hogs. Several residents are worried about the smell and waste that the confinement may produce.

Strong thunderstorms possible late Wednesday as cold front rolls in

News, Weather

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Forecasters say Iowans may see some severe weather tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon and evening when a cold front arrives and slams into the unseasonably warm air we’re now enjoying. Meteorologist Rod Donavon, at the National Weather Service office in Johnston, says rain showers are being predicted, and that’s not all.

Donavon says, “It’s likely we’re going to have some pretty strong storms, certainly some large hail, up to quarter-size and gusty winds up to 60 or 65 miles per hour, will be the primary severe weather threats with this.” High temperatures during the afternoon tomorrow may climb into the upper 70s and lower 80s. Donavon says tornadoes are also a possibility late tomorrow when the cold front rolls in.

“We do have some low-level what we call turning of the winds,” Donavon says. “Certainly, that could cause maybe some brief spinups but that will be a secondary threat.” By Thursday, calmer weather should be in store, lasting into the weekend, with high temperatures back down in the 50s and 60s statewide.

(Radio Iowa)

Jury seated for 2nd Iowa murder trial of man

News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Attorneys delivered their opening statements today (Tuesday) and testimony is underway in the second Iowa trial of a man accused of killing his former roommate in 2009. The Messenger reports a Boone County jury was seated Monday for the trial of 55-year-old John Green. Green is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Mark Koster in Sac City.

Green’s first trial was held in Webster County because his attorney had argued that pretrial publicity would make it impossible for Green to receive a fair trial in Sac City. The same argument was used against holding the second trial in Fort Dodge. The first trial ended in a mistrial.

Koster was declared missing in 2010. His remains were found in the basement of his Sac City home in 2012.

Iowa Senate passes bill to expand anti-bullying efforts

News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Senate has passed legislation that would give school educators more authority to respond to student bullying in Iowa. The Senate voted 43-7 Tuesday for the bill. It now heads to the House, where lawmakers are considering a similar measure. The bill would give school educators more authority to respond to bullying, including guidelines to respond to bullying off school grounds. It also expands language on cyberbullying to include social media.

The legislation was briefly debated on the Senate floor Monday before the vote Tuesday. Some lawmakers expressed reservation about the bill not having funding for teacher training and a student pilot program. That differs from the House bill, which has a $200,000 appropriation.

Gov. Terry Branstad, who supports anti-bullying efforts, released a statement Tuesday applauding the vote.

Atlantic man arrested on Child Porn charges

News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man was arrested Monday on child pornography charges. Atlantic Police say 54-year old Jimmy Misner, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Federal warrant for Possession of Child Pornography, Receipt of Child Pornography and Forfeiture. Misner was brought to the Cass County Jail and later transferred to an undisclosed facility.

USDA: Record soybean acres expected, corn acres to drop

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Farmers are expected to plant a record number of soybean acres this year, but less corn as that grain’s profit potential remains low due to slumping prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first report of the new crop season says farmers will plant 84.6 million acres in soybeans, up 1 percent from last year’s previous record of 83.7 million acres.

Corn planting will fall to 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. It’s the third year of acreage decline. Soybeans are favored because they cost less to grow and prices haven’t fallen as quickly as corn. The report is based on 84,000 farmer surveys completed in early March.