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School Bus driver cited following hit-and-run in C. Bluffs


September 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A 40-year old school bus driver from Council Bluffs was cited following a hit-and-run accident in Council Bluffs, Thursday. According to Bluffs Police, Chris Fischer, received a citation for suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident. Witnesses say at around 8:40-a.m., a bus transporting about 30 students to Hoover Elementary School in Council Bluffs struck a parked pickup truck in the 300 block of Benton Street. Afterward, the bus driver allegedly walked the aisle through the students, then went back to the front of the bus and drove off.

After Council Bluffs police located the number 44 bus, Fischer told officers his route didn’t take him on Benton Street, but an investigation resulted in evidence indicating the bus had collided with the pickup. Fischer later admitted to police he’d stopped the bus to discipline a student, forgot to put on the parking brake, and the bus rolled.

King, Vilsack debate “common decency” & role of members of congress


September 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack debated for 50 minutes last night (Thursday) — and it was a feisty affair.  The debate was sponsored by WHO Radio and broadcast live Thursday evening. Vilsack accused King of being more interested in promoting himself than in passing legislation. “He’s on television a lot and he talks a lot, but I hear a lot of talk and no action,” Vilsack said. “And frankly I’d like to say to Congressman King that all that talk — some of it is actually offensive to people in Iowa and, frankly, he’s been a bully and he’s an embarrassment to the people of Iowa when he talks as immigrants as animals and if my mother were here she’d say to Congressman King: ‘Show some common decency.’”

King immediately shot back. “My mother would say, ‘Show some common decency,’ at this point, too,” King replied. “And what makes me stay in office is that I’m driven to protect America from the hard core movement of the left that’s undermining the American dream.” As for that comment Vilsack cited, when King said the best immigrants are like an “aggressive…bird dog” rather than a lazy dog “sleeping in the corner,” King offered this explanation: “We got the cream of the crop of every donor civilization on the planet and people that can take it into a complement and turn it into an insult are not going to be constructive working across the aisle, but that’s what that was and everyone who was there that heard that knows that.”

King said his job as congressman involved “showmanship” and traveling around the country to spread the conservative message and help elect conservatives to congress.  “That is my job. My job is to carry a message,” King said. “…It would be a lot of easier to just simply vote your district, avoid the controversy, stay down below the line of fire, spend all your time trying to get reelected, but that’s my job. My job is to move our Iowa agenda in the nation and what that takes is convincing people outside the district that they need to change their position, maybe change their member of congress.” Vilsack said she’d be a “problem solver” rather than a “partisan fighter.”

“I want to redefine the job of congressperson and I want to make sure that I’m out there every day, talking to people about bringing economic opportunity to the communities of my district,” Vilsack said. “…Congressman King basically said in an interview with The Sioux City Journal that if he only had to deal with the issues of the fourth district that he’d have time to go fishing. I want to make it a full time job.” King later joked that he lacks the patience to go fishing anymore and laughed at some of Vilsack’s statements. King has not debated an opponent for 10 years and canceled on a debate with Vilsack in Ames because sponsors wouldn’t allow it to be a Lincoln-Douglas style affair. A little more than midway through last night’s radio debate, the moderator gave King a chance to ask a question of Vilsack.

“I guess I’ll say that I’m a little surprised here the way things have gone and so I’m just trying to formulate a question. I’m a little caught off balance,” King said. “You know, I don’t even know what to ask you, Christie.” King wound up asking Vilsack to name three issues on which they agree. Vilsack cited two policy issues, including their shared support for building the Keystone X-L Pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, then she added a third area of agreement and it was the only truly lighthearted moment of the debate. “We both have enjoyed the company of good Labrador retrievers,” Vilsack said. King laughed, adding: “And lots of them.” The two are scheduled to debate again Saturday in Spencer.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Neb. officer hurt when he stuns self in training


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

RALSTON, Neb. (AP) — A police officer from a suburban Omaha department hurt himself with a stun gun during a training exercise in Council Bluffs. Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Greg Schultz told the Omaha World-Herald that the Ralston officer was hurt Tuesday during a training exercise. The officer’s name was not released. Schultz says the Ralston officer accidentally shot himself in the hand with a stun gun at the Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Training Facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Schultz says the officer fired his stun gun once and was trying to reload another cartridge into it when the stun gun discharged. One of the weapon’s probes struck the officer’s left hand near where his little finger joins his hand. The officer lost feeling in his finger and was taken to an area hospital.

Iowa opens email account for tips on missing girls


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has set up an email account for tips about two young cousins who disappeared eight weeks ago in Evansdale. Charis Paulson is the assistant director of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation. She told The Des Moines Register  that it’s the first time authorities have set up an account for use in a case like this. She says authorities are doing everything they can to make sure the word is out and to make sure people have an easy way to contact law enforcement. Ten-year-old Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Cook, who has since turned 9, disappeared on July 13. Investigators have found few clues that may lead to the whereabouts. The email address is ourmissingiowagirls(at)dps.state.ia.us

Cherokee man arrested on attempted murder charge


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(update 9/7/12: Corrects charges – most are felonies)

The Atlantic Police Department reports a northwest Iowa man has been arrested on an Attempt to Commit Murder charge, a Class B felony. 38-year old Timothy Russell was also charged with Willful Injury causing serious injury (a Class C felony), Public Intoxication (Simple Misdemeanor), Going Armed with Intent (Class D felony), and Willful Injury causing bodily injury (Class D felony). Russell was being held in Cherokee County Jail in Cherokee, on $100,000 bond, awaiting transport back to Cass County. His preliminary hearing was set for 9-a.m. Sept. 13th, in Cass County District Court.

Atlantic Police Lt. Dave Erickson told KJAN News the charges against Russell stemmed from an altercation that took place at around 1:50-a.m. Monday morning in the 1200 block of Elm Street, where a man was attacked with a shop tool. The unidentified victim was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital before being transported to a hospital in Omaha for surgery.


(update 2:13-p.m.) Fremont, NE man injured during tractor-trailer crash in Cass County


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A truck driver from Fremont, NE was injured this (Thursday) morning, when the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed on Interstate 80 in Cass County.

FCC Transport semi in the north ditch off I-80 westbound (Ric Hanson photo)

The Iowa State Patrol says 55-year old Robert G. Nolan was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic following the crash, which happened at around 10:30-a.m.  on I-80, about one-mile east of the Elk Horn, or Highway 173 exit. The eastbound semi crossed the median and the westbound lanes of traffic and entered the north ditch, where it collided with a tree. Following the impact, the trailer became separated from the tractor and fell onto its side, while tractor came to rest in the north ditch on its right side.

The accident remains under investigation, but State Trooper told KJAN News Nolan may have suffered from a medical problem, such as a diabetic reaction.


Atlantic man & Anita woman arrested on drug charges in Audubon County


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested this week on a drug charge in Audubon County. Sheriff’s officials say 21-year old Kyler Colten Cook was charged with Possession of Marijuana following an investigation that resulted from a traffic stop on August 19th on Highway 71, south of Brayton. Cook appeared before the magistrate this (Thursday) morning, and was released.

And, 24-year old Christina Marie Stevens, of Anita, was arrested this week following an investigation that resulted from a traffic stop near Nighthawk Avenue, on September 1st. Stevens was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Stevens appeared before the magistrate this (Thursday) morning, and was subsequently released from custody.

Despite drought, record net farm income is predicted

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Despite the worst drought in decades, a new federal report predicts net farm income will set a record high this year. Back in January, the U-S-D-A projected income at 92-billion dollars. The new projection is 122-billion. U-S-D-A chief economist Joe Glauber says one reason for the increase is big crop insurance indemnity payments due to disaster and drought losses. He says another reason is higher commodity prices. “We have seen much higher prices than what we were forecasting back in January for the 2012 (season),” Glauber says. “That occurred even before the price increases that we saw since June when the drought started emerging. Since June 1, we’ve seen price projections increase substantially, 30-to-40% for soybeans, corn and wheat.”

Many Iowa corn producers are seeing yields significantly reduced from a year ago. Last year, Iowa’s corn growers hauled in 172-bushels per acre, on average. With harvest just getting underway, some farmers report yields this season of 50 to 60 bushels per acre. While there will be a big increase in crop receipts this year, Glauber says conditions are much worse for livestock producers. “Livestock receipts are down a bit, 166-billion dollars,” he says. “Certainly, expenses are up and they’re largely led by higher feed costs this year. That’s mainly a livestock issue. We’ve had a little bit of increase on fuels, a little bit of increase on fertilizer, but the main increase is coming on the feed side.”

The agency’s early projected feed price increase was 13-percent, but after the drought hit, prices bounded more than 30-percent higher.

(Radio Iowa)

Mills County Sheriff’s Report


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Department today (Thursday) released a cumulative report on arrests and incidents which took place over the past couple of weeks.  Arrests made this week include: On Wednesday…36-year old Markus Eugene Johnson, of Red Oak, for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and altering a VIN. Johnson was arrested at the Hastings Co-Op. His bond was set at $5,300, and, 47-year old Steven Jon Rumussen, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a charge of Domestic Abuse. He was being held in the Mills County Jail without bond.

On Tuesday, authorities in Mills County arrested 35-year old Julia Hong Vogel on a warrant out of Amarillo, TX, for being a Fugitive from Justice/Probation Violation. Vogel was being held without bond. She was taken into custody at an Interstate 29 rest stop in Mills County.

On Labor Day, Mills County deputies arrested 35-year old Orrie Lee Gordon, of Malvern, for Driving While Revoked. His bond was set at $1,000. And, on Sunday, deputies arrested:37-year old Matthew Scott Bessigner, of Omaha, on Public Intoxication and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. His bond was set at $600; 41-year old Daniel Kenneth Vanderpool II, of Malvern, was also arrested Sunday, on OWI/1st offense, Driving Under Suspension, Violation of a Protective Order, and Harassment in the 1st degree charges, as well as on two counts of Child Endangerment, and a charge of Domestic Abuse with Intent to Cause Serious Injury. Vanderpool was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail on the latter charge, while his bond for the other offenses was set at $7,566.

Sheriff’s Deputies also investigated four incidents of theft and/or burglary between August 28th and September 4th, and one incident each of trespassing and fraud.

Pott. Co. Historical Society to hold a program about the steamboat “Bertrand”


September 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

For over one hundred years the Missouri River kept the steamboat Bertrand hidden away.  Last year the raging river almost claimed it a second time.

A model of the Steamboat “Bertrand”

On  Sunday, September 16th, the Historical Society of Pottawattamie county will present “Almost Lost a Second Time: The Rescue of the Bertrand Collection in 2011.”  The audio/visual program examines the evacuation of the Bertrand artifacts during last year’s devastating flood.

Bertrand Museum curator Dean Knudsen will explain plans for the new exhibits and answer questions about the Bertrand.  The presentation will be held at 2pm in the auditorium of the Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs.  The program is free and open to the public.

The steamboat Bertrand was bound for Virginia City, Montana Territory, when it hit a submerged log and sank April 1, 1885.  There were no fatalities but all cargo was lost.  Salvagers located the ship in 1968.  The recovered contents makes up the largest intact collection of Civil War era artifacts in existence today.  The Bertrand Museum at the DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge told the story of the ill-fated steamboat but has been closed since the Missouri River flooded the refuge last summer.

For more information contact the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County at 323-2509 or visit www.TheHistoricalSociety.org.