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Another gun-related proposal clears Iowa House Wed. Night


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Republicans in the Iowa House and that lone Democrat also voted for a bill that would give Iowans the right to use “reasonable force” to stop a crime in a public place. Representative Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, is the chief sponsor of that bill.
“The basic intent is to provide Iowans the upper hand in their own self-defense,” Windschitl said.

Under current law, Iowans may use “reasonable force” — even “deadly force” to defend themselves in their home or place of business. This bill would extend those legal protections to a person’s vehicle when it comes to using a weapon as self-defense or to prevent a crime. Critics like House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy suggest the proposal would make Iowa the “wild, wild west” again. “Maybe loading groceries in the back of a car in the Walmart parking lot, you look over, somebody’s taking a sack out — boom!” McCarthy said during debate, yelling that last word to signify a gunshot. A couple of hours later, Windschitl responded.

“I trust Iowans,” he said. “I believe in them. Let’s give them an opportunity to defend themselves without the fear of frivolous prosecution.” This bill and the proposal for a constitutional amendment focused on gun rights now go to the Senate, where passage is not likely.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

4-H to Host Annual Mardi Gras Carnival for All Cass County Families


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County ISU Extension service say the Annual 4-H Mardi Gras event in Atlantic is scheduled to take place March 11th, from 2:00PM-4:00PM, at the Cass County Community Center.  All families are invited to attend this low cost, high energy event for youth.

Susan Oliver, Cass County Youth Coordinator says the Sunday event includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The cost of admission for the family-friendly event is just 50 cents.  Each game ticket is ten cents.  Clubs set their own rate per game.  Most games are two to five tickets in cost.  There will be 13 club booths including; horseshoes, handmade “Color Wheel of Fortune”, ski ball, target practice with the Safety Education in Shooting Sports (SESS) program, ball toss and more.  There is also a club foodstand.

Cass County 4-H started the Mardi Gras event several years ago, to provide a budget friendly event for families in the community.  It also provides the various County 4-H clubs an opportunity to have fun together while planning and handling the booths.  In addition, the event raises funds for the individual clubs and the overall 4-H program.

To learn more about the 4-H program visit: www.extension.iastate.edu/4h and for detailed local program information at:

Guilty Plea entered in Lenox Tornado repair scam


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Lenox Police Chief Jon Huggins reports a Lenox man, Joseph Adam Whitehead, pled guilty Tuesday in Taylor County District Court, to a charge of 2nd degree theft, in connection with an investigation into complaints he was paid but failed to perform work on, structures damaged during the May 11, 2011 tornado in Lenox. Whitehead was sentenced serve a term not to exceed 5 years confinement in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

In addition he’s required to pay restitution to the victims, fines, court and other costs related to the investigation, amounting to more than $15,470.  Whitehead must also provide a DNA sample to the Department of Corrections, and is prohibitted from owning firearms or ammunition for the rest of his life.

Strong winds topple semi Shelby County


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Winds gusting in excess of 45-miles per hour caused an accident this (Wednesday) morning in Shelby County. According to the Sheriff’s Office, 37-year old William Haneline, of Ida Grove, was traveling north on Highway 59 at around 9-a.m., when a gust of wind caught the empty trailer, causing it to topple onto its side. Haneline was not hurt in the mishap, but both the semi tractor and trailer were considered to be a total loss. The road was closed for about one-half hour while crews worked to remove the wreck.

Corps meets deadline in levee repairs


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has met its deadline on the most critical levee repairs on the Missouri River from Omaha and Council Bluffs to just below the Missouri border at Rockport and the levees are ready to handle high water again. The corps says five breaches have been closed and several damaged segments have been repaired from last summer’s historic flooding. The corps’ Bret Budd says work on the last of the five breaches, near Percival and Hamburg in Iowa, was completed Tuesday. The work, which has been ongoing since January, was urgent before the 2012 runoff season begins — even with the mild winter. March 1 is the typical start of the runoff season, when the first significant water from melting snowpack enters the river.

IA DOT offers tips for dealing with high winds today

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising central and west central Iowa motorists that sustained wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts between 50 to 60 mph, are expected across Iowa this afternoon. The rest of the state is expected to experience sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gust of up to 50 mph. Drivers on Iowa roadways should be alert to the effects of these winds on high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning effective until 6 p.m. today for 25 counties in central west central Iowa. A wind advisory is in effect across the remainder of the state. Strong southwesterly winds will continue to strengthen this morning and become westerly during the day. Strong winds are capable of snapping power lines, toppling road signs and blowing debris onto the roadway. Never cross a roadway where downed power lines, poles or transformers are present. Do not try to free lines or remove debris yourself. Call 911 if you observe such items on the roadway so emergency assistance can be provided. For road weather information in Iowa, visit Iowa DOT’s website http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/. Weatherview offers helpful information to travelers, including current wind speed, direction and gusts. Information is collected from road and aviation weather observation reporting sites throughout the state.

If you are driving:

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and be prepared to slow down.
  • Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong gusts can push a vehicle or trailer outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van, SUV or recreational vehicle or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • Never cross a downed power line.
  • Approach all intersections with caution. If there is a power outage, the traffic signals may not be operating properly. Remember, nonfunctioning traffic signals are to be treated as a four-way stop.
  • Check the latest weather conditions by accessing the information kiosks located at any of the interstate rest areas.

Severe Weather Awareness Week preparations

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The changing of the seasons means Iowans need to be prepared for severe weather. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa is April 2nd through the 6th. Leading up to that statewide event are several Severe Storm Spotter training classes, one of which is being held at the Lewis Fire Station March 14th, beginning at 7-p.m. Kennon says anyone interested in becoming a trained Weather Service spotter is welcome to attend, free of charge. 

The main event during Severe Weather Awareness Week, is the Statewide Tornado Drill, on Wednesday, April 4th, beginning at around 10:15-a.m. Kennon says the courthouse will participate in the drill. He says the Cass County Communications Center will be notified, and announce the drill within the courthouse. They’ll also activate tornado sirens in Atlantic. Businesses, schools and all communities in the County are encouraged to participate in the drill, as though an actual tornado were spotted and threatening public safety.

Kennon says the state and National Weather Service might need to look at pushing future Severe Weather Awareness activities week into March,  as recent severe weather events across Iowa and the nation, such as the tornados in Branson, Missouri have shown they can occur anytime,  but are happening with more and more frequency in March, instead of April and May.

For more on Severe Weather Awareness Week, surf to the National Weather Service’ website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

Emergency Preparedness Conference set for next week in Atlantic


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says a conference being held next week will bring officials from across southwest Iowa to Atlantic. The Region 4 Preparedness Conference, which takes place March 6th and 7th at the Cass County Community Center, is being held to build and sustain partnerships among disciplines, meet training and workshop requirements, and identify specific needs, issues and solutions to challenges faced by those who deal with emergency situations. That includes Public Health, Hospital, Emergency Management, Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement officials, the National Guard, Elected Officials and State Partners.

Kennon says the 1st day involves a training and exercise planning workshop for Counties, a working lunch, and a training and exercise planning workshop for regional partners. The second day will feature various presentations and a panel discussion from people in Missouri who had to deal with a devastating tornado. He says representatives with the National Guard will speak about their capabilities in responding to an emergency, and, officials from Joplin, Missouri will speak about their experiences, challenges and hurdles, following last year’s killer tornado. The Joplin panel includes those associated with law enforcement, fire, EMS, elected officials, and others. Meals provided during the conference are free. 

To register, go to www.safeguardiowa.org, click on the “events tab” and then look for the registration link.

Audubon man arrested on assault/weapon charges


February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Audubon man was arrested Tuesday in Atlantic, on a charge of Domestic Assault while Displaying a Dangerous Weapon. The Atlantic Police Department reports 29-year old Joseph Zaiger was taken into custody and held in the Cass County Jail pending an appearance before the magistrate. 

The P-D also reports 28-year old Megan Rieck, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of Simple Assault. Rieck was cited for the offense and released. And, 29-year old Bridget Barnholdt, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday as well, for Prescription Fraud or Deceit, and Prescription Fraud by Impersonation. Barnholdt was being held in the Cass County Jail pending a court appearance.

8AM Newscast 02-29-2012

News, Podcasts

February 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson