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Walnut VFD to host benefit fundraiser for a longtime volunteer


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Walnut Fire Department say they will be hosting a benefit for Gene Eblen at 5-p.m.  Saturday, May 11th ,  at the Walnut American Legion Hall.

Gene Eblen

Gene has been a member of the Walnut Volunteer Fire Department for 33 years, and is recently a double amputee due to complications with diabetes. He will require extensive physical therapy, and will require a complete remodeling of his home to accommodate for these life changes.

The benefit aims to help raise funds for the home remodeling and addition that Gene will require. There will be a dinner starting at 5. Followed by an auction. All donations are welcome, and 100% of the proceeds will go to help Gene.

If you would like to donate or have questions,  contact  Donnie Bauerkemper (712) 784-3665, Brett Petersen (712) 784-3771, Darrell Stamp (712) 789-0869, or Angie Mitchell (712) 307-0025.

Southwest Iowa News (podcast): Sat., April 13th 2013

News, Podcasts

April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest local and area news (podcast) from KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson…

Montgomery County accidents


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following two separate accidents Friday, in Montgomery County. An accident occurring at 2nd and Oak Streets in Red Oak at around 3:40-p.m., happened when a car driven by 16-year old Erica Sherman, of Red Oak, rear-ended a pickup being driven by 16-year old Kendra Hardy, also of Red Oak.  According to Red Oak Police, the pickup was traveling westbound on Oak Street and had stopped at the intersection with 2nd, and intending to make a left turn. Sherman didn’t notice the truck had come to a compete stop. The resulting collision caused $3,400 damage altogether, with the 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Sherman sustaining the brunt of the damage. No citations were issued.

Earlier in the day, Friday, an accident occurred that involved a 2009 Chevy Cobalt driven by 17-year old Cheryl Hallcock, of Elliott. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the teen was traveling north on County Road M-63 at around 7:45-a.m, when several deer entered the road. When the teen took evasive action in an effort to miss the animals, she lost control of the car, which entered the west ditch, crashed through a field fence, and became stuck in an alfalfa field owned by Judy Sandin.

Damage from the mishap was estimated at $3,000 altogether. No citations were issued.

More reports of stolen copper in Council Bluffs


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating recent incidents of copper theft. Three such incidents this past week resulted in combined $32,000 loss. Authorities say thieves took copper from a business and two empty houses. The theft were reported on Thursday. Glenco Electric reported copper tubing from two air-conditioning units, valued at $10,000, stolen from the 500 block of 10th Street sometime between Wednesday and Thursday. The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported copper wire and line, valued at $12,000, stolen from a vacant home in the 2800 block of Avenue E sometime between April 5 and Thursday. And, officials say Jean Edwards, of Council Bluffs, reported copper wire and pipe, valued at $10,000, stolen from a vacant home in the 2600 block of Eighth Avenue sometime between Wednesday and Thursday.

Back on April 1st, we told you that authorities in Council Bluffs were asking residents to keep an eye out for unusual activity in areas where homes or businesses are vacant or foreclosed, as those are the types of places where thieves target air conditioning units for their copper tubing, and the thefts are happening in broad daylight. Officials had said 34 air conditioning units were reported to have been damaged or stolen, most of them in a concentrated area, since January 1st.

No arrests have been made in connection with any of the incidents.

Glenwood man sentenced in connection with his infant sons’ death


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A district court judge Friday, sentenced a Glenwood man to life in prison for the 2011 death of his infant son. According to The Daily NonPareil, Judge Mark Eveloff handed down the life sentence against 36-year old Jason Curtis, and ruled out the possibility of parole. Curtis was convicted on a charge of 1st degree murder connected to the death of his 5-month-old son, Jackson Curtis, who died July 14, 2011, as a result of head injuries. The jury decided  the boy’s injuries were inflicted by his father. Their verdict was reached in February.

Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Amy Zacharias said the sentence wasn’t a surprise because first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence. During the hearing Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber noted that his office offered a plea deal of child endangerment causing death, which would’ve carried a 50-year sentence with no mandatory minimum, meaning Curtis likely would’ve been out in 11-12 years with good behavior, but Wilber told the paper Curtis wouldn’t take responsibility for his actions, and the verdict, along with the judge’s decision was the consequence.

Curtis pleaded guilty in 2010 to a charge of child endangerment, stemming from injuries his then 4-month-old daughter had suffered. For the plea, he received a deferred judgment, which means the charge would have been erased had he stayed out of trouble.

SW IA woman arrested/indicted for bank robbery


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Fremont County say a Shenandoah woman has been indicted for the “Theft of funds of the United States by a bank employee.” The charge against 39-year old Tiffany Ann Stanley stems from an investigation into a robbery at the Great Western Bank in Riverton, on November 17th, 2012. The indictment handed down in U-S Federal Court for the Southern District of Iowa on March 27th, lists the amount of the theft at $25,716.40. Stanley  was arrested and later released, with orders to appear in court for her trial on June 10th.

The Omaha branch of the FBI assisted the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in conducting the investigation.

Partisan showdown over number of livestock confinement inspectors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Democrats in the Iowa Senate have voted to hire 13 new state employees to inspect large livestock facilities and they warn that without them federal inspectors may step in. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants large-scale confinements inspected once every five years and the E-P-A is in discussions with the state over how many state inspectors it would take to do the job. Senator Dennis Black, a Democrat from Grinnell, says retaining jurisdiction at the state level is important.

“EPA barks once and then they bite and that was advised to me in a phone call. Whether it was intimidation, whether it was fact, anything else — I could care less,” Black says. “Bottom line is the EPA claims to have drawn the line in the sand and stated: ‘Iowa you will clean up your act. You will see to it that your waters are cleaner.'” Republican Governor Terry Branstad and Republicans in the Iowa House want to hire five new inspectors rather than 13.

This is one of hundreds of budget decisions that must be resolved before the 2013 legislative session concludes.

(Radio Iowa)

GOP insider says King, Northey, Reynolds will NOT run for US Senate


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A key Republican Party insider expects three Iowa G-O-P office holders who’ve been mentioned as potential candidates for the U.S. Senate to decide against running. Doug Gross, a former chief of staff for Republican Governor Terry Branstad, talked politics during an appearance on this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television. “I do not expect Steve King to run,” Gross says. “I know he was here last week indicating that he’s analyzing it and usually when I’ve worked with politicians over the years, when they’re analyzing something, they’re usually trying to figure out how not to do it — because usually their gut tells them when they’re going to do it.”

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey have confirmed they’re considering a run for the U.S. Senate, too, but Gross doesn’t think either will. “So I don’t think we know who the candidate’s going to be right now,” Gross says. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin announced in late January that he will not seek re-election in 2014. In early February, Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley announced he would run for the seat. “It’s the first time it’s been open in decades. It’ll be hotly competitive, very competitive in an off-year when Republicans have a very good chance of winning. I think we’ll have a good candidate, I just can’t tell you who it’s going to be yet,” Gross said, with a laugh. “…There are more people eligible to run for senate than those who happen to hold a particular office at a particular time.”

Gross ran for governor in 2002, losing to Democrat Tom Vilsack. His advice to whomever decides to run: be prepared to work hard. “Particularly as a Republican, you need to go to every county. I mean, it isn’t just Chuck Grassley’s schtick. As a Republican, you’ve got votes in every county and you need to go to every county and it’s a big state, so you really have to work it hard, so one thing I am concerned about is I’d like to see our candidates come forward this summer, no later than this summer because people need to get to know them it they’re going to have a good shot at winning,” Gross said. “One of the mistakes I think I made back in 2002 was getting in too late.”

Gross formally announced his candidacy on March 4th of that year, just three months before the primary. Gross went on to narrowly win the primary with nearly 36 percent. Bob Vander Plaats — in the first of his three runs for governor — got just over 32 percent and former state Representative Steve Sukup got nearly 32 percent. Vilsack lost in November to Democrat Tom Vilsack.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat. April 13th 2013


April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say several people at a medical clinic in West Des Moines were affected by fumes from a chemical spill. Workers in protective suits were called yesterday morning to help with the cleanup at Lakeview Family Medicine and Urgent Care. Officials say the people were not seriously injured but were checked as a precaution. The building was evacuated, but most employees and patients returned later.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Unlike ordinary drivers, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled this week that licensed truckers will not be given a break if they’re caught driving with a blood-alcohol concentration barely over the legal limit. The court ruled yesterday that the Department of Transportation can suspend commercial drivers’ licenses without considering the margin of error of breath tests.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Four Girl Scout camps in eastern Iowa will remain open, but with some changes. The council for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois voted Thursday to adopt a plan that calls for developing Camp Conestoga in New Liberty as a resident camp. Camps L-Kee-Ta, Little Cloud and Tihigwa will become outdoor program centers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines area developer has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for defrauding banks out of $2.9 million. John Kline received the 30-month prison sentence yesterday as part of a plea agreement.

Atlantic man arrested on DNR warrant


April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Thursday, of an Atlantic man on a Department of Natural Resources warrant. 42-year old Donald Lee Klindt, was taken into custody on a warrant for Theft 2nd Degree and Obstruction of Justice. Klindt was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is currently being held on $7000 bond.