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NE man arrested on drug charges following traffic stop in Red Oak


October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Red Oak early this (Sunday) morning resulted in a Nebraska man being arrested on drug charges. Red Oak Police say 52-year old Douglas Lee Kuester, of Ralston, NE., was taken into custody at around 1:10-a.m., after the car he was driving was pulled over at the corner of N. 3rd and E. Market Streets.

Following a brief investigation, Kuester was arrested on a felony charge of OWI-drugged/3rd offense, and serious misdemeanor charges that include Possession of a controlled substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving while revoked.

Kuester was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

Step-son of Glenwood H.S. Prinicipal surrenders to authorities


October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Arizona man wanted by authorities for his alleged role in a shooting incident that took place last Sunday evening in Glenwood, has turned himself-in. The Mills County Attorney’s Office said Saturday, 42-year-old Hurl Beechum III has returned from Arizona and surrendered to Mills County authorities, as expected.

Beechum III, of Queen Creek, AZ, faces felony charges that include Intimidation with a dangerous weapon and Going armed with intent, as well as aggravated misdemeanor charges of Assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. He was being held in the Mills County jail on $10,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 25-years in prison.

His arrest followed an investigation into an incident that began with a racial slur allegedly uttered by a person in a group of people who were walking by the home of Beechum’s step-father, Glenwood High School Principal, Richard Hutchinson.

Beechum is alleged to have shot 21-year-old Colton McDaniel with a 9 mm handgun during a fight that erupted a little before 5:45 p.m., Sept. 27th. The Mills County Attorney Tricia McSorley says Beechum claimed he fired the shot in self-defense after being “jumped” by the group. She said the evidence indicates his life was not in danger when he pulled the trigger.

S.W. Iowa bands compete in Clarinda, Saturday


October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Middle- and High School Bands from around southwest Iowa traveled to Clarinda Saturday, to compete in the 60th Annual Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree. The event included a parade around the downtown square in Clarinda, Saturday morning.

In the Middle School Parade competition, the Tri-Center Middle School, under the direction of Paul Hart, took 1st place in Class I, followed by Treynor. Essex and Mount Ayr tied for 3rd place. In the Middle School Class II competition, the Glenwood 7th graders finished 1st, followed by Creston and Underwood. In the Middle School Class III competition, Harlan took 1st place, while the Glenwood 8th grade came in 2nd.

In the High School Parade competition: Class 1A – 1st place went to Wayne, followed by Nishnabotna, Fairfax, Sidney, Bedford, Fremont-Mills, Griswold and Lenox; Class 2A – Treynor placed 1st, followed by Tri-Center. Red Oak was 3rd and Underwood came in 4th; Class 3A – Waverly took 1st place, followed by Savannah, Creston, and Harlan; In the 4A High School competition, Ankeny Centennial finished in 1st place, Papillion LaVista was 2nd, Lewis Central took 3rd, and Thomas Jefferson finished 4th.

The Field Competition for high school-aged students took place at the Clarinda Football field Saturday afternoon: In Class 1A – 1st place went to Nishnabotna, with Bedford taking 2nd; Class 2A – 1st place went to Treynor, while Tri-Center came in 2nd; in Class 3A – Waverly won 1st Place, with Creston coming in 2nd; In Class 4A–  Ankeny Centennial placed 1st, followed by Papillion/LaVista in 2nd.

Ankeny Centennial won a Field Certificate for “Best Overall Band,”  “Best Brass Line,” “Best Woodwind Section,” and “Best Auxiliary Line.”  Lewis Central brought home certificates for “Best Soloist-trombone solo,” while Creston was honored for “Best Drum Line,” and Waverly took the honors for “Best Drum Majors.”

Female seriously injured in Red Oak house fire. Sat. morning


October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County reported Saturday, that one person was seriously hurt in a house fire that morning, in Red Oak. Firefighters were called to 103 E. Oak Street at around 8:10-a.m., and upon arrival saw heavy smoke and residents climbing through through the windows to escape. Flames were also shooting out the front of the home.

Authorities said the tenant, Mandy Knapp, suffered significant burns and was treated by Red Oak Rescue personnel before being flown by LifeNet helicopter to a burn unit. A three-year old child playing with a cigarette lighter is believed to have accidentally started the blaze, when a blanket caught fire and spread to a couch. The child was not hurt.

Official says there were no working smoke detectors inside the home, which was deemed to be a total loss. The house is owned by Michael Roby. Red Oak Fire was on the scene for about two-hours, assisted by crews from the Elliott and Stanton Fire Departments, Essex Rescue, Red Oak Police and deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.

The Red Cross was contacted and was assisting the family as needed.

Sioux City looking to develop riverfront RV campsite

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials are looking to develop a recreational vehicle campsite along the Missouri River in one of two parks on the city’s east side. The Sioux City Journal reports that it would be the first campground of its kind in Sioux City.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said Friday that the project was first identified by the City Council three or four years ago, and his department “is finally getting somewhere to bring that forward.”

On Monday, the City Council will be asked to approve a $72,340 contract with a consulting group to analyze which park — Chris Larsen Park or Bacon Creek Park — would be most suitable for an RV campground.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sunday, Oct. 4th 2015


October 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Alliant Energy is set to break ground next week on a 67,000-square-foot operations center in Mason City. The Globe Gazette reports that the groundbreaking will be held at 2 p.m. Monday on about 20 acres of land at 1035 43rd Street Southwest.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — MidAmerican Energy officials say they believe too much odorant added to a natural gas line caused more than 100 people to reports the smell in their Des Moines homes. The reports were made Friday morning. MidAmerican spokeswoman Ruth Comer says crews were sent out to resolve the issue. She also noted that Friday was likely the first time residents were turning on their furnace for this season.

FAIRFAX, Iowa (AP) — Fire officials say five children safely escaped from a fire that destroyed two homes in the eastern Iowa town of Fairfax. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that the fire began Friday in an occupied home. Fairfax fire chief Mike Sankot says strong wind caused the flames to spread to a nearby house still under construction. None of the children in the first house were hurt.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a house fire in Waterloo severely damaged a home and left the couple who occupied it hospitalized overnight for smoke inhalation. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the fire was reported around 10:30 p.m. Friday. Officials have not released the names of the couple, but say they are in their 50s.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/3/2015

News, Podcasts

October 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 10/3/2015

News, Podcasts

October 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


Stanton man arrested on Cass County warrant


October 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak, Friday night, arrested a Stanton man wanted on a Cass County warrant for Theft in the 3rd Degree. 23-year old Austin Cole Blazic was taken into custody at around 9-p.m., and was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on a $2,000 cash bond.

IWCC President says colleges & universities can never truly prepare for mass casualty incidents


October 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Nothing can truly prepare an institution for what happened to Umpqua Community College on Thursday, according to Iowa Western Community College’s top official. President Dan Kinney told the Daily NonPareil the mass shooting – which left nine people dead and seven others wounded – was a tragedy that cannot be prepared for by community colleges or other schools. Iowa Western has conducted training with the Council Bluffs Police Department for an active shooter situation. College employees are also trained in ALICE, a set of procedures for that sort of situation on campus short for:

Alert others to the danger using plain and specific language.

Lockdown by barricading the room and preparing to take further action.

Inform others of the violent intruders’ location and direction.

Counter using noise, movement, distance and distraction to reduce the ability of the intruder to shoot accurately, but don’t fight the intruder.

Evacuate when safe to do so to leave the danger zone.

Because the college anticipates “quite a few” retirements, Kinney said he expects additional ALICE training will be held next fall. Iowa Western has a team of staff members who plan for emergency response. Two incidents in recent years have provided an opportunity to check that the college’s procedures work.

In April 2014, a shooting on campus – where a 19-year-old was shot in the upper left arm in what apparently was a Craigslist deal gone wrong – prompted notifications and increased security presence on campus. But Kinney said cameras at the college made the difference for law enforcement. Iowa Western didn’t need to make any real changes after that situation, according to Kinney. The college has more than 600 cameras on its Council Bluffs campus, which includes student dormitories and suite-style apartments. The 2014 shooting took place in a parking lot outside of student housing.

The college’s dorms are secured using identification cards that are coded to building locks. Kinney said entrances are logged within one-tenth of a second by a computer, which only allows authorized card-holders access to facilities. In April 2008, a bomb scare at Iowa Western followed a similar incident at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The threat was made by someone writing a specific threat and time in graffiti in a bathroom stall, outside the watch of Iowa Western’s camera network.

Students were notified of the incident using Reiver Alert, an opt-in system where students can also be told about weather closings and similar messages. Kinney said the college has another system that broadcasts notifications to everyone, with no opt-in requirement, for use in an active shooter or similar emergency situation.

The bomb scare showed Iowa Western that it wasn’t prepared for a couple hundred people who wanted to come to campus when news of the potential threat was released. Kinney said the people who could have made the threat were narrowed down to a handful of individuals. Fortunately, it ended up being a hoax, as did the threat at UNO earlier that spring.

Iowa Western’s annual security report, required by federal transparency legislation, shows the campus had only a handful of violent crimes in the past year. The full security report, as well as information on Iowa Western’s safety procedures and policies, can be found on the college’s website at iwcc.edu/security.