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Marne July 4th Hogroast and Fireworks


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The annual Marne Community Club July 4th Celebration will take place on Friday, July 4th at the Marne Park. The flag will be raised at 6:00 p.m., with the meal to follow. Fireworks begin at dusk. The Marne July 4th Celebration features delicious roast pork. The Marne Community Club provides Secret Recipe Marne beans, buns, ice tea and lemonade. Please bring  a pot luck side dish, salad or dessert to share, as well as table service for your family. All who attend are asked to give a free will donation to help pay for the fireworks.

The Marne Fire Department will be hosting water fights with area volunteer fire departments earlier in the day. Kids’ water fights will be held that evening during the hog roast. So pile everyone into the car (don’t forget to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets!) and come to Marne for an old-fashioned, small-town 4th of July!

Flooding Impacts Iowa State Parks

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources said Thursday several Iowa state parks have been impacted by recent heavy rainfall and rising rivers. George Wyth State Park in Black Hawk County, will close at noon tomorrow, June 20, through Tuesday, June 24, due to flooding. The park may be closed longer, depending on weekend rains.

The main road through Dolliver State Park, in Webster County, is under water, and the campground and family cabins are closed. The north shelter can be accessed from the north entrance, and the south lodge and the group camp can be accessed from the south entrance. With more rain in the forecast, the main road will likely be closed through this weekend.

Little Paint, Big Paint, Creekside Equestrian and Frontier Equestrian campgrounds at Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County will be closed through Monday, June 23, due to flooding. Also, all horse trails will be closed through Thursday, June 26.

Although scheduled to reopen at the end of this month, Wilson Island State Recreation Area, in Pottawattamie County is predicted to go under 3 to 4 feet of water Saturday morning, delaying the reopening until sometime in July. For updates, call the park office at 712-642-2069. www.iowadnr.gov/Destinations/StateParksRecAreas/IowasStateParks/ParkDetails.aspx?ParkID=610118&idAdminBoundary=221>

The east, west and north entrances of Backbone State Park, in Delaware County, are closed until further notice due to high water in the main part of the park. However, the two campgrounds, beach area and cabins remain open.  Ledges State Park, in Boone County, remains open. However, portions are closed due to flooding.

The canyon road and lower road are currently closed and, with predicted pool levels at Saylorville Lake, will likely remain closed through June 30. Park facilities such as the campground, picnic areas, trails and shelters remain open. Brushy Creek State Recreation Area in Webster County, has temporarily closed equestrian and bike trails due to wet conditions. The 12-mile Lake Trail remains open. Equestrian trails at Elk Rock State Park, in Marion County, are closed due to recent rains. Volga River State Recreation Area, in Fayette County has closed its equestrian trails due to recent rains and downed trees.

High water causes hazardous conditions for river recreation

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Paddling enthusiasts need to evaluate stream levels before heading out to paddle this week. The Iowa DNR says recent heavy rains have created rising water levels across the state and hazardous conditions on many rivers and streams. As rivers rise woody debris, like branches, logs and in some cases entire trees, float downstream lodging at the base of bridge pilings and on the outsides of tight bends. The combination of logjams and high flows create hazardous conditions which can trap and pull tubers and paddlers underwater.

John Wenck, water trails coordinator for the Iowa DNR, says “Logjams can be difficult to avoid at low to normal flows, but at high flows they’re extremely difficult to avoid and can be deadly.”  High water levels demand greater skills to avoid obstacles or hazards. “Tubers are more vulnerable than paddlers because they lack the ability to steer,” he said. “They are at the whim of the current which tends to direct them toward the areas where woody debris has accumulated.”

With increased temperatures and high humidity it might be tempting to throw caution to the wind, but it’s important to be vigilant if you plan to paddle or tube on rivers this summer. Wenck offered the following safety tips for tubing and paddling Iowa rivers:

* Avoid paddling or tubing rivers that are rising: Learn more before you go. Review river heights from the nearest U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ia/nwis/current/?type=flow. On the “Discharge” graph, find the median daily flow triangles. If the current water level reading is more than 50 percent higher than the median in late June to early July, use extra caution.

* Wear your life jacket: Properly fastened and cinched life jackets save lives. Life jackets are mandatory for any child under age 13.

* Always pay attention to what is downstream: If timber and debris are floating down the river or the river is out of its banks or nearly so, don’t launch.

* Develop skills to avoid hazards: Novice paddlers and tubers generally have less control as rivers get swifter, and should be more cautious.

* Avoid logjams or woody debris piles: Most high water accidents involve an obstruction. Downed trees and branches can trap boats and people under water. Bridge piers or boulders can pin people on the upstream side. Low-head dams can re-circulate and trap vessels under water.

* Don’t paddle or tube alone

* Let others know where you’re going and when you plan to return

* Avoid or limit alcohol consumption.

Woman adjusting her radio causes 2 vehicle accident


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Shenandoah woman distracted by her radio caused an accident that sent three people to the hospital, Wednesday. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says 23-year old Ashleigh Sons, of Shenandoah, was traveling north on Highway 59 near the intersection of 110th Street, when she lost control of the 2002 Oldsmobile Alero she was driving.

When the car left the road to the east, Sons over-corrected, causing the car to re-enter the road, where it hit a southbound 2013 Ford Taurus. The Ford, driven by 42-year old Jac Cornet, of Chicago Heights, IL, entered the west ditch and rolled over. Cornet, and a passenger in his car, 44-year old Brian Sharp, of The Colony, TX, were transported by Essex Rescue to the Shenandoah Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Sons was transported by private vehicle to the same hospital, for treatment of similar injuries. She was subsequently cited for Failure to Maintain Control. Fremont County deputies were assisted at the scene by deputies from Page County, and personnel with the Essex Fire and Rescue Dept.

(12-pm news)

Long-time dispatcher in Guthrie County dies suddenly


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office sadly reports one of their veteran Dispatchers died suddenly, Wednesday. 40-year old Darci Fuller collapsed at her home after leaving work early. The Guthrie Center and Panora Ambulance along with the Sheriff’s Department attempted to revive her, but were unsuccessful. Funeral services for Darci Fuller will be held 1:30-p.m. Tue., June 24th, at the 1st Christian Church in Guthrie Center.

Darci was a 15 year veteran dispatcher with Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office. She leaves behind her husband and three young children. A memorial fund for her family has been established to help cover her expenses. You may contribute to the memorial fund at the Guthrie County State Bank (400 State Street, P.O. Box 8, Guthrie Center, IA, 50115).

Fremont County Authorities investigate suspicious vehicle incident


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Fremont County are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a suspicious vehicle. The Sheriff’s Department reports at around 5-pm Wednesday, a vehicle described as possibly being a 1990’s model, blue Honda Odyssey, with a bumper sticker on the rear, approached a female child in Randolph. The driver of van, described as being a white female with a tattoo on her left shoulder, asked the girl to get in the van and help her search for her lost grandchild.

When an adult came out of a nearby residence, the van took off and was last seen driving east out of Randolph on 120th Street. If you have any information about the incident, contact the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at 712-374-2424.

(12-p.m. News)

Traveller’s Note: Interstate 29 in South Dakota closed at noon today (Thursday)


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

State officials in South Dakota report Interstate 29 in southeast South Dakota was closed at noon today (Thursday). Officials say the Big Sioux River is predicted to crest in the morning or early afternoon hours of Friday, June 20 and is expected to send a significant amount of water into low lying areas of southeast South Dakota. As Governor Daugaard outlined in a media briefing on Wednesday, a berm, or levee, is being built across both lanes of interstate 29 at Exit 4. That protective structure will connect with an existing levee on the east side of North Sioux City.

Through traffic on Interstate 29 will be detoured as follows:

  • Southbound I-29 Interstate traffic will be detoured onto I-90 east at Exit 84A at Sioux Falls, SD, then south on I-35 Exit 159A at Des Moines, IA, then west on I-80 at Exit 137A to Council Bluffs, IA, then to I-29 south.
  • Northbound I-29 Interstate traffic will be detoured at Council Bluffs, IA onto I-80 eastbound, then north on I-35 in Iowa to Albert Lea, MN and west on I-90 to Sioux Falls.

Interstate through traffic detour on local roads:

Southbound I-29 traffic in South Dakota will be detoured onto SD 50 West at Exit 26 to Vermillion, then south to SD 19 into Nebraska where it becomes Highway 15, then continue south to Highway 12 east in Nebraska to U.S 20 east in Nebraska, then to Exit 1A for I-29 south at South Sioux City, NE.
Northbound I-29 traffic will exit onto Highway 20 west, then north on Highway 12 and Highway 15 in Nebraska, continuing onto Highway 19 in South Dakota to the Vermillion Exit to SD 50 eastbound to I-29.

At this time, local traffic will be allowed into the area until water is over the road.

Detour maps are available on http://disasterrecovery.sd.gov/flood_info_pubs.aspx.

Motorists are urged to use caution when driving on state and local roads in southeast South Dakota for the next several days and should not drive through rushing or standing water over roadways as the road may be washed out underneath.

Travelers are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or to call 511 to check latest road conditions in their area.

Semi rollover accident in Cass Co. early Thu. morning


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County say no injuries were reported after a semi rolled into the ditch off of Interstate 80 early this (Thursday) morning. The accident was called-in at around 2:04-a.m. Authorities say a 2014 Freightliner semi driven by 33-year old Yousef Mohamed Elghoul, of Dearborn, MI, was traveling west on I-80 and had attempted to pull onto the shoulder about two-miles east of the Wiota Exit, when he pulled over too far. The rig rolled over onto its side. Elghoul was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Additional details released on Tuesday morning chase/crash in Cass Co.


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department today (Thursday), released additional details about a chase and crash that took place early Tuesday morning. As we previously mentioned, just after 2-a.m. Tuesday, the Cass County Communications Center received a report of a white pickup truck stolen from 60379 Airport Road, in Atlantic. Several minutes later Deputy Ben Bartholomew observed the vehicle traveling southwest on White Pole Road between Atlantic and Lewis.

As the deputy initiated the stop, the driver of the vehicle (later identified as 53-year old Stefan Michael Greelis, of Council Bluffs) attempted to elude the deputy, by turning onto 585th Street northeast of Lewis. Greelis — who had been released from the Cass County Jail hours earlier — continued north at a high rate of speed and missed the curve that turns 585th Street into Main Street in Lewis.

The pickup hit a sign and rolled 1 ½ times before coming to rest in the field north of 582nd/Main Street. Greelis was extricated from the vehicle by mechanical means and transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac. He faces charges that include Theft 2nd Degree, Felony Eluding, Driving While Revoked, and Reckless Driving. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the Atlantic Police Department, Lewis Fire Department, Lewis Rescue, and Griswold Rescue.

Unique discussion held during Shelby Supervisor’s session

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Supervisors held a unique drainage hearing as part of their meeting, Tuesday afternoon. The Application for Individual Drainage Right hearing filed by Ag Unlimited, Inc. was held inside the Supervisors’ Chambers. James Hudson, who has represented supervisors, trustees, and landowners in more than half the counties in northern Iowa since 1951, is drainage attorney from Pocahontas. As mediator, he explained to Ag Unlimited, owned by Chris and Joni Larson, and the other party involved Tom and Kay Schechinger, that the supervisors were acting as trustees per Iowa Code because Shelby County does not have a drainage system in place.

The hearing was held after Ag Unlimited requested permission to install a tile line to the west, across Schechinger’s property in Section 18 of Jackson Township in rural Shelby County. Larson explained he and the Schechinger’s attempted to work out an agreement for the tile line but were unsuccessful and he had no alternative other than to file the application. The Schechinger’s believed the drainage plan proposed by Larson was not feasible and had been told by their attorney not to enter into any agreements.

Also in attendance were Dave and Pam Borkowski as an interested party due to the water running from the tile line will eventually end up in their waterway. The Shelby County Supervisors heard from all interested parties on issues including the type of piping used for the tile line, NRCS and DNR regulations and who will pay for all the work. After nearly three hours of discussion, the Supervisors created and approved a resolution on the Individual Drainage Issue, but with several stipulations, including:

  • The tile line to be paid for by Ag Unlimited will go into the road ditch on the east side of County Road M47 as the engineer presented.
  • The largest retention area possible will be built at the top of the hill to help hold back as much water as possible during heavy rains.
  • A 6 inch perforated, corrugated plastic pipe will be used unless the Schechinger’s want that changed to a non-perforated at a cost expense to them. The smaller size piping will help slow down the water flow, which should benefit Borkowski.
  • The pipe will be trenched in, not knifed, a minimum of 36” deep, but as close to 48” as possible.
  • The installation will take place based on NRCS requirements and Ag Unlimited will be responsible for crop damage.
  • Ag Unlimited will be responsible for any damages and normal maintenance to the tile.

Hudson will work with the Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter and draw up the final order.
Ag Unlimited and Schechingers will each be responsible for 50 percent of the County’s attorney fees for the procedure.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)