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Annual Atlantic Lighted Parade a success despite snow and rain

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Seventeen businesses and organizations braved the rain and snow Saturday evening in Atlantic, to participate in the Chamber’s Lighted Christmas Parade. Chamber Executive Director Megan Roberts says the Heritage House won the judged portion of the parade, with their custom made Ferris wheel and other carnival rides.

Coming in with a close second place finish in the parade was the Nishna Valley YMCA. Third place went to the First United Methodist Church. Scrooge candidates also participated in the parade with winner Janet Cappel as Grand Marshall.

Fireworks provided by AM Cohron and Son, preceded the parade,  and as has always been the tradition, Santa Claus rode the Atlantic Fire Department’s ladder truck, to bring the evening to a close.

“Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit opens Tuesday in Harlan

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A special exhibit will open tomorrow at Veteran’s Auditorium, in Harlan. The exhibit, “Remembering Our Fallen,” will be on display for one week. It’s a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by 76 Iowans killed in the War on Terror while wearing our country’s uniform in a war zone.

Gene Cavenaugh, Shelby County Veteran’s Affair’s Director, says opening ceremonies will begin at 10-a.m. Tuesday. The photo display has traveled around the State of Iowa and is on location for a week at a time. Bill and Evonne Williams of Patriotic Productions in Omaha created the exhibit. Cavenaugh says the couple wanted away to honor the soldiers. Cavenaugh says there’s no charge to view the exhibit.  

Following the opening day, the regular hours for the exhibit during the rest of the week will be from 7-am to 7-pm, at the Harlan Veteran’s Memorial Building.

Richter gets life in prison for NW Iowa killing

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa judge sentenced a woman to life in prison Monday for killing a neighbor in the small northwest Iowa town of Early as part of a plot to frame her ex-husband. Tracey Richter claimed she shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde in her Sac County home in 2001 after he and another man broke in and strangled her with pantyhose. She appeared on national television soon after the shooting, telling how she killed Wehde to protect herself and her three children.

Jurors sided with prosecutors, who said Richter made up the story as part of a convoluted plot to frame her ex-husband. They said Richter then shot Wehde to keep him quiet. Richter was sentenced in Webster County District Court after being convicted of first-degree murder Nov. 7th. The conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole in Iowa, which doesn’t have a death penalty.

Before her trial, Richter lived in Omaha, Neb. Prosecutors had maintained that Richter, now 45, killed Wehde to keep him quiet about his role in a plot to frame her ex-husband. They said Richter lured Wehde to her home in December 2001, had him write in a pink notebook that her ex-husband hired him to kill her and her son, and then shot him nine times with two guns. Richter was involved in a custody fight at the time, and prosecutors said she was trying to gain an advantage before an upcoming hearing to keep from losing her son and $1,000-a-month child support payments.

The prosecution’s star witness was a former family friend who testified Richter told her about the notebook a few months after the shooting and then later told her to forget about it. Investigators testified they had found the notebook in Wehde’s car but kept its existence secret because they believed whoever knew about its contents had committed a crime. The notebook included references to Richter’s first husband, Virginia plastic surgeon John Pitman III, but he testified he never met Wehde and knew nothing about the notebook.

Branstad will recommend all 11th graders & 3rd graders be tested

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says he’ll recommend that the state pay to have all Iowa high school juniors take a college entrance exam, like the A-C-T. “When you look at the whole budget we have for K-12 education, it’s a relatively small amount,” Branstad says. “But we do have some families with financial needs that are not taking the ACT or not taking a college entrance exam and we think this is something the state can pay for and will maybe help some families that otherwise might not have considered it.” Branstad, a Republican, had recommended last year that the state quit paying for preschool for all four-year-olds and, instead, require those who could afford the tuition to pick up the cost. Senate Democrats resisted that, and Branstad is suggesting this latest proposal is tailored to avoid those kind of objections.

“We’re going to pay it for everybody…so we think this will appeal to Senate Democrats. Sorry, I just couldn’t help that,” Branstad said, laughing. “They like this idea: make it free for everybody. So I’m sure they’ll like this.” The proposal is part of Branstad’s education reform package. Branstad is standing by another proposal that would require reading tests for third-graders, and they’d have to repeat the grade if they failed. Some teachers and administrators have suggesting students who can’t read well may be proficient in other subjects and it would be wrong to make them keep studying the same third-grade material in those subjects for another year.

“We need to make sure that we’re providing the extra assistance that’s needed for students that are falling behind in reading, so hopefully that can be achieved,” Branstad says. “But not having social promotion I think is an important part of making sure that people know that we’re seriuos about that and I think it’s a very important message to send to parents.” Branstad’s staff sent a survey to teachers, administrators and others who attended this summer’s Iowa Education Summit. Six-hundred responded to the survey and nearly 56 percent said making students repeat third grade should be decided on a “case-by-case basis.” The survey also found 58 percent believe 11th graders should take a college entrance exam to see if they’re ready for college.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Elderbridge Agency on Aging issues RFP for meal services

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Elderbridge Agency on Aging have put out a Request for Funding Proposals (RFP’s) from nutrition providers in its 20-county service area to provide congregate and home-delivered meal services to Iowans age 60+ for Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013). Nutrition services to be considered for funding include congregate meals and home-delivered meals.  Meal services must include client registration, client screening, service tracking and reporting, nutrition education and nutrition counseling.

 Organizations submitting applications must provide services in one or more of these Elderbridge service area counties: Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Crawford, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, and Wright. Grants can only be made to organizations, not to individuals.

Applications must be received in the Elderbridge Fort Dodge office by Wednesday, January 11, 2012. For more information or to obtain the application package, you may e-mail jharp@elderbridge.org or call the Elderbridge Fort Dodge office at 515-955-5244 –or- 800-543-3280. 

Elderbridge Agency on Aging seeks to enable older Iowans to live with the maximum dignity, well-being and independence. Created under the Older Americans Act, Elderbridge is a private nonprofit that has been meeting the needs of Iowans age 60 years and older and their caregivers for more than 35 years. With offices in Mason City, Fort Dodge and Carroll, Elderbridge serves older Iowans in a 20-county area in North-central Iowa with the goal of providing the necessary information and resources to empower our constituents to manage their lives and the aging process to the best of their and our abilities.

Six persons arrested in Harlan on underage drinking & drug charges

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports today (Monday), that six people were arrested November 26th on drug and/or alcohol charges. The arrests took place after officers received an anonymous tip about a situation involving drug activity and underage drinking. Taken into custody was:

  • 20-year old Joseph Lutz, who was charged with Possession of Alcohol under Legal Age, two-counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, gathering where controlled substance is unlawfully used, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, prohibited acts, and unlawful possession of prescription medication.
  • 21-year old William Brady, who was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Supplying Alcohol to person under legal age, prohibited acts, gathering where controlled substances are unlawfully used, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
  • 18-year old Travis Erwin was faces charges of Possession of Alcohol under the legal age, Possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited acts.
  • 20-year old Alisha Buttry, who was charged with Possession of Alcohol under legal age, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and gathering where controlled substances are unlawfully used.
  • 14-year old Christopher Buttry, was charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and gathering where controlled substance are illegally used.
  • And, 17-year old Lacey Bird was charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and gathering where controlled substances are unlawfully used.

All six of the individuals were from Harlan. Lutz, Brady, Erwin and Alisha Buttry were transported to the Shelby County Jail. Christopher Buttry and Lacey Bird were cited for the offenses and released to the custody of their parents.

8AM Newscast 12-05-2011

News, Podcasts

December 5th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 12-05-2011

News, Podcasts

December 5th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(update 11-a.m.) 4 Iowa hunters shot in deer hunting accidents

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Natural Resources Department says three people were shot during hunting accidents over the weekend, while another was injured today (Monday). All four men are expected to survive their wounds.

The latest incident was reported this (Monday) morning, when a Fort Dodge man suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound while hunting deer in Webster County. 36-year old Michael Ziemann,  was preparing to take a shot at a deer with a .44 magnum handgun when the gun went off and the bullet when down through his right leg.  Zieman was hunting with two other people at the Brushy Creek wildlife area when the incident occurred shortly after 7-a.m. DNR Recreational Safety Officer Jeff Barnes said Ziemann was wearing heavy gloves at the time which caused him to activate the trigger. Barnes warns “Hunters need to be aware, particularly during cold weather, of the effects heavier clothing may have.”

Ziemann was transported to Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge by other members of his hunting party where he was being treated for what was believed to be a non-life threatening injury. The DNR says a Grinnell man shot himself in a foot during a hunt in Page County on Saturday. 35-year old Benjamin Parker‘s gun fired after it got tangled in some bags he was carrying.Parker was taken to a Des Moines hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Also Saturday, an Altoona man was injured in Lucas County. The department says 25-year old Ryan Mills was shot when a deer ran between him and other people in his hunting group. The department says 38-year old Thomas Burns, of Waterloo, was shot on Sunday while hunting in Appanoose County. Burns was shot when another person in his group shot at a running deer.

Sentencing set for former Early woman convicted in 2001 slaying

News

December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – A former western Iowa woman found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2001 shooting death of her 20-year-old neighbor is scheduled to be sentenced today (Monday) in Webster County District Court. A jury found 45-year-old Tracey Richter, of Omaha, guilty of killing Dustin Wehde at her former home in Early, to quiet him in a convoluted plot to kill her husband. The jury returned its verdict on Nov. 7 following a trial in Fort Dodge.

Richter claimed she killed Wehde in self-defense during a home invasion but prosecutors say there was no home invasion and that Richter lured Wehde to her house in early, had him write a notebook that her ex-husband had hired him to kill her and their son and then shot him to keep him quiet.

Richter faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.