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Fatal fire in Massena ruled accidental


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A fire in Massena during the early morning hours of Nov. 14th has been ruled accidental. The State Fire Marshal’s Office reports the fire that destroyed a mobile home occupied by 53-year old Bruce Neumann at 208 Pine Street, in Massena, was caused by an improperly shielded fire place, the heat and flames from which caused nearby wood and wood paneling to ignite.

Neumann died from smoke inhalation. Officials say there was no smoke detector in the home when the blaze broke out at around 1-a.m. Nov. 14th. The home was a total loss. So far this year, 36 people have died from fire related incidents, in Iowa. In five cases, there was no smoke detector in the home, and five persons died because their smoke detectors were not working or were not equipped with batteries.

DNR seeks public input on plan to reduce lead in Council Bluffs


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Iowa DNR’s Air Quality Bureau is seeking public comments on a draft plan to meet federal air quality standards for lead in the Council Bluffs area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated part of Council Bluffs as a nonattainment area for lead in November 2011, three years after EPA substantially reduced the permissible lead levels allowed in air. The public is invited to submit oral or written comments on the draft plan at a public hearing at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 22 at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave.

The DNR worked with two lead-emitting facilities, Griffin Pipe Products Co. LLC and Alter Metal Recycling, to develop air pollution control measures that will quickly reduce ambient air impacts of lead emissions and meet federal air quality standards in the nonattainment area.

The control strategy will reduce lead emissions from Alter Metal Recycling by nearly 95 percent, primarily through cleaning and sweeping haul roads. Griffin Pipe will use similar practices and continue to operate existing control equipment. The control strategy also provides Griffin Pipe flexibility in their method of operation while maintaining public health protections for lead.

Details of the strategy for the lead nonattainment area in Council Bluffs can be reviewed in the draft state implementation plan (SIP) at the Council Bluffs library, at the DNR-Air Quality Bureau in Windsor Heights or on the DNR’s website under Stakeholder Involvement, Public Input at

Submit written comments on the proposed plan by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 22, to Matthew Johnson, DNR Air Quality Bureau, 7900 Hickman Road, Suite 1, Windsor Heights, IA 50324. Or, fax comments to 515-725-9501 or email Matthew.Johnson@dnr.iowa.gov.

Council Bluffs staff collect birds for winter


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — City staff and volunteers have rounded up more than 10 domesticated birds left at a Council Bluffs park to ensure they can survive the winter. The Daily Nonpareil reports the geese and ducks will be sheltered at a Glenwood farm. The birds, dropped off at Big Lake Park when their owners no longer wanted them, were gathered by animal control officials and volunteers Wednesday.

The city parks department used to collect them and house them over the winter before returning them to the park. But DeAnn Nelson with Animal Control says the money, time and space needed to do so became a burden.

Flags at half-staff over weekend for Pearl Harbor


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered that flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff to mark Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day weekend. Branstad announced Thursday that the flags will be set at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Monday at the State Capitol Complex and other public buildings throughout the state.

The state is encouraging businesses, schools and other public buildings to also fly the flag at half-staff during that time period. Sunday marks the 73rd anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack killed about 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers.

ATV, Snowmobile Registrations Due December 31

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say customers who have snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-road utility vehicles (ORVs), or off road motorcycles (ORMs) registered with the DNR, will need to renew their registrations by December 31st. Registrations can be renewed by any county recorder office or on the DNR’s website at www.iowadnr.gov. User permits can be purchased at any location where hunting licenses are sold including the Iowa DNR website. After December 31 customers can still renew their registration but they will pay a $5 penalty.

Resident Snowmobiles

Iowa residents are required to have and display a current Iowa DNR registration and user permit on their snowmobile in order to lawfully operate on any public land or public ice in Iowa.

Nonresident Snowmobiles

Nonresident snowmobilers are required to have and display a current registration from their home state and display a current Iowa DNR user permit. If a nonresident resides in a state that does not require or offer snowmobile registration, the only requirement is to display an Iowa DNR user permit.

Resident Off-Highway Vehicles

Iowa residents must have and display a current Iowa DNR registration on their ATV, ORV, or ORM to operate on any designated public land or ice in Iowa. Residents are not required to display an Iowa DNR user permit.

Nonresident Off-Highway Vehicles

Non-residents are required to have their machines registered in their home state and display an Iowa DNR user permit.

Kimballton couple arrested on drug charges


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man and woman from Kimballton were arrested Wednesday on drugs charges resulting from an investigation into the search of a home in Audubon on March 13th. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office says 34-year old’s Crystal Ann Richter and Michael David Lollie, both of Kimballton, were taken into custody on outstanding warrants charging them with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Richter was arrested at an Audubon business at around 11-p.m., Wednesday. Lollie later turned himself-in to the Sheriff’s Office. Both have since posted bond and were released. They’re scheduled to appear in front of the magistrate on Dec. 11th.

Red Oak woman injured in Thu. morning accident


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person was injured during an accident this (Thursday) morning, in Red Oak. According to the police report, at around 8:17-a.m., a westbound pickup driven by 71-year old Dennis Reynolds, of Elliott, ran a stop light at the intersection of north Broadway and west Oak Streets. The truck collided with a southbound car driven by 72-year old Bonnie Norris, of Red Oak. Norris suffered minor injuries and was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital.

Damage from the collision amounted to $6,000. Officials say Reynolds was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

Atlantic Chamber Alert!: Lost checks


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce are advising businesses in the area not to take any checks from Alan or Lori Johnson. Their checkbook has been misplaced and they have closed the account.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber.

Atlantic City Council receives recommendation for City Attorney’s position


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Correction on the amount County Attorney is paid 12/5/14)

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, reviewed applications submitted for the position of City Attorney. Current City Attorney Dave Wiederstein was elected Cass County Attorney in November, and will be stepping down from his position with the City, in January. Interim City Administrator John Lund said Wednesday, notices were sent to all local Attorney’s and law firms, with four applications having been returned to his office. On Monday, the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee reviewed those applications.

Applicants for the one-year, renewable contract included: Attorney J-C Van Ginkel; Andrew Knuth; Justin Hockenberry with the Cambridge Law Firm, and the Law Firm of Otto, Lorence and Wiederstein. The person hired would be on a general retainer, with anything outside of normal business falling under “Billable hours.” A clause for Criminal Prosecutions will be decided on at the time the new Attorney is hired.

Wiederstein said if the General/Civil and Criminal retainers are included together in the contract, he would recommend continuing the $15,000 annual salary he is currently paid, for Criminal Prosecutions, above and beyond what is proposed in the General Retainer. Currently, the Cass County Attorney handles Criminal Prosecution cases for the City, while serving as a paid, Assistant City Attorney. At least one of the firms that had expressed interest in the City Attorney position, later indicated they would not have applied if Criminal Law work was included in the job description, while the others indicated they would be agreeable to it.

John Lund said the Personnel and Finance Committee recommended the Council accept the application from the law firm Otto, Lorence and Wiederstein. The firm has hired North Carolina Attorney Jamie Arnold, who, if hired, would handle the duties of City Attorney. The Council Wednesday discussed, but did not take action on a decision in the matter, until they can meet Arnold. That meeting is expected to take place sometime later this month, with a decision on who will be hired to take place in January.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council approved a Resolution for the Calendar Year 2015 Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ budget, which was approved earlier by the AMU Board. AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes had some good news for their customers. He said there are no new water or electric rate increases in the budget this year.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/4/2014

News, Podcasts

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.