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$35k worth of stolen property recovered in Shelby County

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into recent thefts in western Iowa and Nebraska has resulted in the arrest of a Shelby County man. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says 28-year old Justin Levell, of Irwin, was arrested at his home Wednesday morning and brought to the Shelby County Jail, where he was charged with Theft in the 1st Degree, a Class-C felony punishable by up to 10-years in prison. His bond was set at $10,000.

Officials say Deputies, Wednesday, found Levell in possession of a 2012 35-foot camper trailer, along with a John Deere 4-wheel Gator. The camper trailer had been reported stolen out of Mills County, and was valued at $20,000. The Gator was stolen from Wahoo, NE., and was valued at $15,000.

Road to be closed in Shelby County for bridge overhaul

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency advises residents and emergency responders, the bridge over Lyons Creek on1700th Street, is set to be closed for an overhaul project, beginning Monday, April 4th. The bridge is located in the 1100 block of 1700th Street, just west of Highway 59.

The road will be closed from April 4th through the end of June, weather permitting. Lyons bridge out

Helping 80 Iowa vets reach their final resting place

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials estimate the cremated remains of as many as 80 deceased veterans are stored in Iowa funeral homes. A bill signed into law by the governor would let a veterans’ organization claim the cremated remains of confirmed veterans who were indigent of homeless when they died. Those veterans will be buried at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.

Iowa Funeral Directors Association president Marty Rieken says he does not have veterans remains in his Oakland funeral home. “But I do know some funeral directors who do and this will give them a chance to give those people a proper burial and everybody deserves a proper burial,” Rieken says.

Giving a veteran full military honors at the burial site is a moving tribute, according to Rieken. “And anybody that’s served our country sure deserves our respect,” Rieken says. “And we should be able to give them a proper burial.”

Under current law, cremated remains may only be claimed by a family members. The new law that goes into effect July 1st lets Iowa funeral directors with unclaimed cremated remains contact the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs six months after they’ve filed the death certificate, to find out if the deceased was a veteran. If he or she was a veteran, the funeral director will keep the cremated remains for another six months, just in case a family member comes forward.

After that, the cremated remains will be released to a veterans organization for transport to the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. Iowa’s new law is similar to laws in other states. In 2007, a national group began an effort to find indigent veterans who had been cremated, but not yet buried. According to the organization’s website, the Missing in America Project has identified the cremated remains of more than three-thousand veterans and interred more than 27-hundred of them.

(Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs woman faces numerous felony charges following Cass County traffic stop

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop on Interstate 80 this (Thursday) morning in Cass County resulted in a Pottawattamie County woman’s arrest on numerous felony drug and other charges. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports 29-year old Melaney Lynn White, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense in conjunction with Iowa Department of Motor Vehicle Enforcement felony charges filed against White for: Possession with Intent to Deliver/Meth; Possession with Intent to Deliver/ Hydrocodone; Possession with Intent to Deliver/Hydromorphone; and three charges of Failure to Affix Drug Tax Stamp.

White faces additional charges that include: Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd Offense/Psilocybin Mushrooms; Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd Offense/ Lorazepam; and Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd Offense/Clonazepam.

The woman was brought to the Cass County Jail where she remains held on $32,000 bond.

Shelby County farmer directs donation to Shelby County 4-H

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County 4-H has received a $2,500 donation from America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund and directed by  local farmer Craig Weber of rural Elk Horn. Officials with the Shelby County Extension Service say the donation will help the organization provide positive youth development opportunities through the 4-H program.

When asked why he chose Shelby County 4-H Weber stated he “I just wanted it to go back to the kids.” Mary Taggs, Extension Educator with ISU Extension & Outreach; Shelby County would like to thank Monsanto and Craig Weber for their generous contribution to the Shelby County 4-H program.  Taggs says “Donations such as this are imperative to the growth of our program.  In a time when more and more parents are working outside of the home, there is an increased need for youth to participate in positive youth development programs such as 4-H.  The goals of 4-H are to create productive citizens, outstanding communicators, effective leaders and successful learners.”Monsanto Photo

For six years, America’s Farmers Grow Communities has collaborated with farmers to donate over $22 million to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America. Winning farmers will direct donations to nonprofits to help fight rural hunger, purchase life saving fire and EMS equipment, support ag youth leadership programs, buy much needed classroom resources, and so much more.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities partners with farmers to support local nonprofit causes that positively impact farming communities across rural America. Grow Communities is one program in the America’s Farmers community outreach effort, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Other programs include America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, which encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 college scholarships to high school and college students pursuing ag-related degrees and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which works with farmers to nominate rural school districts to compete for $10,000 and $25,000 math and science grants.

For more information, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.

Shelby County Fire Danger downgraded to Moderate

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The grassland/field fire danger index in Shelby County has been downgraded from High to “Moderate” for at least the next few days. Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says the recent moisture and humidity has allowed the area to “green up” as is normally the case in the Spring.

And, even though the danger of controlled burns spreading beyond the intended areaModerate Fire Danger rating is reduced for the time being, Seivert asks anyone who is planning to conduct a large controlled burn to contact the EMA. Doing so will reduce the number of dispatches to the area Volunteer Fire Departments for controlled burns that may be perceived as being out of control by concerned citizens.

Shelby County Primary candidates

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The ballot is set for the June 7th Primary in Shelby County. Running for seats on the Shelby County Board of Supervisors are incumbents Steve Kenkel and Charlie Parkhurst. Loren Christensen of Elk Horn is also in the running for a seat on the Board. All the Supervisor candidates are Republicans.

Others running for election June 7th include Republican Neal Gross, for Sheriff, and incumbent Democrat Auditor Marsha Carter. Mark Maxwell, a Republican, is also running for Auditor, in Shelby County.

Cass Supervisors approve $25,000 for CAT grant application

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Thursday) approved a revised request for the commitment of $25,000 from the Local Option Sales Tax in support of an Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s application to Vision Iowa for a Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant. The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department had originally sought $40,000 to help secure a $360,000 grant for proposed improvements and further development of the campground at the Schildberg Recreation Area, and the Pellet Wildlife Refuge Park, but Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring removed $15,000 from the request after the decision was made to eliminate the Pellet Park from the plan.

Herring said he might have pushed too hard to have the Pellet Wildlife Refuge included in the plan, when it was obvious not all the parties involved felt it was necessary at this time. Last week, the Board asked Herring to come up with some figures with regard to how proposed improvements to the campground at the Schildberg Recreation Area, would benefit the county as a whole, and not just Atlantic.

He came up with some numbers that the Board liked, including estimates that the proposed campsite improvements at the Schildberg Rec Area would increase the Local Option Sales Tax revenues by a conservative one-percent, or $6,300 per year, based on a six-month, May through October season. He said 20 camping pads fully used at $15 per night, would generate $300 per day over 180 potential days in the season. Overall, if there were overall 90 days with 50-percent usage, that $300 would turn into $27,000 of gross income.

Herring said based on national statistics, where visitors spend $289 per day for food, entertainment, gasoline and so on, while camping, at least $180,000 would be injected into the local economy. The International Convention and Visitor’s Bureau projects that money will roll over in the local economy, 3 ½ times, or $630,000.

During discussion, Supervisors Frank Waters and Mark Wedemeyer, who were previously opposed to committing $40,000 toward securing the CAT Grant, said the new data swayed them enough to allow a $10,000 commitment, but in the end, a motion for $25,000 was approved by a vote of 3-to-2, with Schelling, McFadden and Rieken in favor, Wedemeyer and Waters opposed. Both men said they were NOT opposed to the project, just the amount of financial commitment from the County, in light of a desire to reduce the debt and focus on bridges and roads.

In other business, the Cass County Board of Supervisors set $9.00 per hour as the rate of compensation for precinct election officials. Previously those persons had been paid the ongoing minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Precinct officials typically put in 15-to 18-hour days during the day of elections.

Creston women injured in Wednesday night collision

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two women were transported to the hospital following an accident Wednesday night, in Crston. Authorities say vehicles driven by 59-year old Lavon Schlapia and 18-year old Bailey Rowan, both of Creston, collided at the intersection of Taylor and Maple Streets at around 9:25-p.m. The women suffered unknown/possible injuries and were transported by ambulance to the Greater Regional Medical Center, in Creston.

Officials say Schlapia was traveling east on Taylor Street and making a left turn onto northbound Maple, but didn’t see the car driven by Rowan that was traveling westbound on Taylor. Damage from the collision amounted to $4,500. Schlapia was cited for Failure to Yield upon left turn.

Nebraska sheriff’s deputy arrested in Iowa casino incident

News

March 31st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Nebraska sheriff’s deputy was arrested after a Council Bluffs casino incident. Court records say 44-year-old Thomas Flynn is charged with public intoxication. Iowa online court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for Flynn. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Flynn is a sheriff’s deputy in Douglas County, which includes Omaha.

A police report says a Council Bluffs officer was sent to help security officers at the Horseshoe Casino on Friday. The report says Flynn was unsteady on his feet and verbally combative. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says Flynn has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation.

Flynn was shot while on duty in 2011. The following year his department named him Deputy of the Year and gave him two medals.