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Preliminary Autopsy results released in Sac County death investigation


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety have released additional details about the death of a Sac County woman whose body was found in a home during an investigation into a kidnapping and assault. Authorities say preliminary autopsy findings from the State Medical Examiner’s Office show that 45-year old Marilyn Schmitt died of sharp force injuries. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Schmitt was found dead by law enforcement officials in an upstairs bedroom at her home located at 2242 Ira, Ave., Early, on Thursday afternoon, January 3rd, 2013. Preliminary investigative findings indicate Schmitt died earlier that morning. Schmitt’s son, 21-year old Kirk Riley Levin faces a felony charge of Murder in the 1st degree. Kirk Levin was arrested on January 3rd on charges unrelated to Schmitt’s death.

Levin allegedly admitted to authorities he was the only one who could have killed his mother, and that his choking her would have resulted in her death. The complaint filed against him alleges Levin stabbed his mother between the hours of 1:30-a.m. and 5:45-a.m. Jan. 3rd, in her upstairs bedroom. Levin is currently being held in the Sac County Jail.

The investigation is being conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Sac County Sheriff’s Office.

Mills County arrest report


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Mills County report the arrest on Friday, of 22-year old Shane Michael Murley, from Red Oak.  Murley was taken into custody at around 1-p.m. at the Mills County Jail, on a Warrant for Probation Violation. His bond was set at $10,000.00.  And, on Saturday, 25-year old Shawn Joseph Adams, of Grand Fork, ND, was arrested at around 11-a.m., at a rest area off of I-29.  Adams was charged with Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

A-PD says donations to their Christmas programs netted $10-k


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green reports thanks to donations from local citizens and businesses, over $10,000 was spent this past Christmas through two programs designed to serve families and children in need.  Green says the donations enabled the Police Department’s annual programs to serve more than 45-children and 14 adults. Those persons were able to have a Christmas that was otherwise not going to happen.

The A-PD’s Officers and Reserve  Officers offer their thanks and blessings on everyone who made a contribution to their Christmas programs, regardless of the amount you contributed. The Christmas programs have been offered for many years, and evolved from just a few Reserve Officers repairing bicycles for children, during the 1980’s.

Chief Green says both of the department’s programs are sustained through the generosity of the citizens of Atlantic, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, and local business partners.

Adult arrested for assaulting a minor


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports an adult was arrested Sunday evening for allegedly assaulting a person under the age of 18. 40-year old Steven Dean Lundvall, of College Springs, was charged with Simple Assault, after deputies investigated a disturbance at 712 Iowa Avenue, in College Springs. The name of the victim was not released by authorities. Lundvall posted a $300 bond and was released pending a court appearance.

The Sheriff’s Department reports also, the arrest Saturday evening of a Clarinda man. 27-year old Chris Dean Johnson was charged with Driving Under Suspension, following a traffic stop on Highway 2, at around 6:55-p.m.  Johnson was brought to the Page County Jail and later posted a $300 bond. He was released pending a court appearance.

Animal Neglect case under investigation in Page County

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of animal neglect involving cattle. According to Sheriff Lyle Palmer, his office received a complaint Saturday with regard to the condition of cattle in Section 7 of Colfax Township. When deputies went to investigate, they observed the animals and made contact with the person who was responsible for their care. The deputies were advised that cattle were being moved the following day, and that a veterinarian was coming to look at the cattle today (Monday).

The deputies confirmed the cattle were moved on Sunday to another location in Page County, where they could be more closely monitored by their care taker. No citations have been issued in connection with the incident, and Palmer says deputies will continue to monitor the situation. The investigation remains on-going.

Pickup and car collided in Massena Saturday – no injuries


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a collision Saturday morning in Massena, between a pickup and a car. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened at around 8:20-a.m., at Main and 5th Streets in Massena.

Officials say a 2006 Ford F350 pickup owned and driven by 38-year old Tammi Jo Schulz, of Elk Horn, was backing southbound on Main Street when her vehicle was hit by a 2009 Ford Taurus owned and driven by 68-year old Nancy Kaye Erickson, of Massena. The accident happened as Erickson was attempting a right turn onto Main Street,  and failed to see Schulz backing up.

Damage from the accident amounted to $3,500.  No citations were issued.

Lewis man arrested Sunday


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Sunday, of 25-year old Jesse Cavin Meier, from  Lewis. Meier was taken into custody on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense, and was being held in the Cass County Jail on $2,500 bond.

Iowa offers tax credit program to some home buyers


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some Iowa home buyers may be eligible for a program that will reduce their federal tax burden.  Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday the state is offering a mortgage credit certificate program that will reduce federal income taxes for qualifying home buyers. The relief could be as much as $2,000 a year for the duration of the mortgage.

The program is available to first time homebuyers, those buying in certain targeted areas and some military veterans. It is funded through federal bonds and the state expects to provide relief to about 1,000 home buyers.  A spokeswoman for the Iowa Finance Authority, which is administering the program, says this tax program has not been offered to Iowans since the mid-1990s.

Iowa’s “Antique City” to be featured on PBS Program tonight (Monday)


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The “Antique City” of Walnut will be prominently featured during a nationally aired program this (Monday) evening on Public Television. Dave Bradley, Owner of Corn Country Antiques in Walnut, says the producers and crew with the “Market Warriors” program on PBS paid a visit to Walnut last June, during the annual AMVET’s Antique Walk.

The “Market Warriors” antique experts come to Walnut for a taping of the show.

The one-hour program features four experts on antiques who criss-cross the country, in search of items to buy at flea markets and antique shows, and then sell everything at auction. Bradley says their goal, is to score the biggest profit in each show’s final auction segment. He says they have a certain amount of dollars to spend, and target items to try and find…kind of like a scavenger hunt.

The experts don’t actually “pocket” the profits. Instead, it just goes back into the production efforts of the program. Bradley says it also shows “No matter how smart you are, you don’t always make money,” when it comes to buying and selling antiques.

The experts filmed a segment of the show in his store. The piece was about an 1830’s clock. Bradley says he won’t know for sure whether the piece made to final editing until the show airs.

There’s a preview of tonight’s program on the web at www.pbs.org. You can also watch the show later, if you miss the episode of Market Warriors, tonight. Bradley says the producers selected Walnut because of their AMVETS show. He says the AMVETS show is one of the best in the country. They do an excellent job of filtering out the non-antique items, which is something the “purists” enjoy and appreciate.

Bradley says the City, businesses and organizations worked to make sure the cast and crew had everything they needed in-place, before they arrived and started shooting the show, including location, power and food. Bradley says PBS brought about 25 people to the town for the program, along with numerous pieces of production-related equipment. He says there was no pre-production public announcement of the shoot, to try and keep things as normal as possible. Bradley says they taped tonight’s show with four crews, each of whom spent 10- to 12-hours in the community.

Tonight’s program featuring Walnut airs at 8-p.m. local time, right after the “Antiques Roadshow.”

Audubon Chamber/ACED Banquet and Awards


January 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon Chamber of Commerce and Audubon County Economic Development (ACED) groups held their joint banquet and recognition program, Saturday evening, in Audubon. During the event, which was held at the St. Patrick’s Parish Center, the gavel was passed from Chamber President Carrie Hansen to the former Vice-President, and current President Elect, Trish Nielsen, and, new directors were named for 2013. They include Dr. Tom Hansen, Tracey Armentrout, Shelby Jensen, and Val Chambers.

During the awards and recognition portion of the evening, the Citizen of the Year award went to Patricia “Pat” Curtis, who returned to Audubon after a long career of teaching, and has been a business owner in Audubon, since 1991. Curtis was lauded for her efforts at writing and co-writing lucrative grants for the City Park Stage, Albert the Bull, Trees Forever and many more projects. She’s been described by many, as the “Ambassador of Audubon.”

Audubon’s Junior Citizen of the Year award was presented to Andrew Hoffman, a Senior at the Audubon High School. Andrew was said to be an outstanding student and student leader, very active in his community, sports, and academic activities. In addition, the Audubon Community School District received the 2012 Community Appreciation Award, for being recognized as One of the Top Small Employers in Iowa, by the Des Moines Register.

The award recognition came after Workplace Dynamics conducted a survey of employees at various places of work in Iowa, where there were 35 employees or more. The results were published in the Sept. 23rd, 2012 edition of the Register, with the Audubon Community Schools ranked 24th in the small employers division (35-to 149 employees). The district was founded in 1900 and has 70 employees, with two new staffers hired last year.

The ACED also recognized numerous businesses in the County during the Saturday evening event.