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Senate panel likely to continue, broaden inquiry

News

April 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Senate Democratic leaders say their questions about government payments to former workers for secrecy and other issues will continue after the Legislature adjourns for the year.  While lawmakers appear to be on track to end the session within a few weeks, the Senate Government Oversight Committee is likely to keep pursuing the matter.

Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, who chairs the oversight committee, has set the next hearing for Monday afternoon, when two Department of Administrative Services officials who declined to testify last week say they will appear. They are Doug Woodley, the agency’s general services enterprise chief operating officer, and Paul Carlson, the chief resource maximization officer.

Peterson says she wants to know more about settlement agreements and how the state handled layoffs during 2011 restructuring.

Red Oak man injured during motorcycle crash not discovered until Sat.

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Authorities have corrected victims’ name to Thomas Anderson, not Richard Anderson)

In a report released Saturday night, Police in Council Bluffs said a Montgomery County man was injured during a motorcycle accident that happened sometime Thursday night near Council Bluffs City limits. 55-year old Thomas Anderson, of Red Oak, was riding a motorcycle northbound on Interstate 29 when he was cut-off by a semi. The cycle crashed into the ditch east of the interstate at about the 47.2-mile marker. The accident was discovered by a passing motorist Saturday, who called 9-1-1 after he saw the cycle, pulled over to investigate, and found Anderson lying nearby. Officials say the man was not visible from the road.

Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue responded and transported Anderson to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. The man was conscious and breathing and is believed to have suffered non-life threatening injuries. There was no further information available on the semi.

Dead fish found in Iowa after crash, ammonia leak

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa (AP) – Environmental specialists with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are investigating following the crash of ammonia tanks into a western Iowa creek. The department says dead fish were discovered downstream from where two anhydrous ammonia tanks and a tractor fell into Brushy Creek north of Guthrie Center on Friday. The driver of the tractor, 34-year old Michael Haag, of Adair, was transported by Guthrie Center Rescue to the Guthrie County Hospital.

The John Deere 9510R tractor was pulling a disc and the two tanks when an old wooden bridge it was crossing on Oak Avenue, between 200th and 210th Street, collapsed, and the equipment fell into the creek. Investigators determined that the valves of the tanks had been shut off and that there was no fuel leaking from the tractor, but that some ammonia leaked into the water.

Some dead fish and elevated ammonia levels were found as far downstream as Monteith, about five miles southeast of Guthrie Center.

IA State Patrol: No serious injuries in multi-vehicle crash on I-80

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ADAIR, Iowa (AP) – Iowa authorities said a grass fire shut down about a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 80 near Adair.

Close-up pics courtesy Mike Kennon/Cass Co. Emergency Management Agency.

Close-up pics courtesy Mike Kennon/Cass Co. Emergency Management Agency.

truck1 The Iowa Department of Transportation’s road conditions map show that I-80 is closed in both directions between exit 57, east of Walnut, and exit 70, just west of Adair. A detour has been set up.  (As of 11:35, one-lane of I-80 eastbound was re-opened).

Looking west along I-80 eastbound. Ric Hanson/KJAN photo

Looking west along I-80 eastbound. Ric Hanson/KJAN photo

I-80 looking eastbound from 710th St. in Cass Co.

I-80 looking eastbound from 710th St. in Cass Co.

Authorities were cleaning up a crash near the grass fire. Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says there were no serious injuries in the crash, and that officials do not believe the crash and fire are related.

Bright says officials shut down the stretch of I-80 for fear that smoke from the fire could cut visibility and cause collisions.

Local Residents Invited to Discussion on Local Foods and Farmers Markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Coordinators of a grant related to local farmers markets are looking for public input. The Cass County Local Food Policy Council received a USDA grant late last year to support and promote farmers markets as access points for local grown food. The grant committee is in the process of holding community meetings to get ideas and suggestions from interested local residents and businesses.

Organizers have already met with groups in Anita and Massena to discuss support for community farmers markets. The Atlantic community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15th, from 4:30 to 6 PM in the meeting room at the Atlantic Chamber. Anyone interested in supporting or helping with local markets like the “Produce in the Park” project that has happened for the last two summers is welcome to attend to learn more and give their input.

Those who are unable to attend are still welcome to contact organizers LaVon Eblen, Lora Kanning at Cass County Conservation, Teddi Grindberg at the YMCA or Kate Olson at the Cass County Extension Office to share ideas or express interest in being involved with the project.

Traffic blocked for miles on I-80 in Cass and Adair Counties Sat. morning

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Traffic was at a standstill for miles this (Saturday) morning on Interstate 80 between mile markers 60 and 70, both east and westbound, due to a multiple vehicle accident at around 10:15-a.m. on I-80 eastbound at the 67-mile marker. Numerous fire and rescue personnel and law enforcement officers were on the scene directing traffic. A large grass fire near the accident scene was put out by around 11:15-a.m. At least one lane of eastbound I-80 was reopened as of 11:35-a.m.

There’s been no word on any injuries.

Looking onto I-80 from the 710th Street Bridge in Cass County, between Anita and Wiota. Ric Hanson photos.

Looking onto I-80 from the 710th Street Bridge in Cass County, between Anita and Wiota. Ric Hanson photos.

IMG_20140412_105807_647 IMG_20140412_105827_444 IMG_20140412_105844_781

BREAKING NEWS: Multiple vehicle accident on I-80

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

UPDATE 11:15am: Interstate 80 is shut down between the 60 and 70 mile markers due to a multi-vehicle accident and fire in the area.  Please use caution and try to avoid the area.

Several vehicles are reported to have been involved in a crash on Interstate 80 in Cass County Saturday morning. According to dispatch reports, at least 10 vehicles crashed near the 67-miler marker eastbound, between the Wiota and Anita exits. A large fire was also reported between the 62 and 67 mile markers causing traffic to stop on the interstate.

Numerous ambulances have been called to the scene. The number of injuries are unknown. Westbound traffic was in the process of being rerouted at the 70-mile marker and is backed up at least a couple of miles.

The accident was reported at around 10:15-a.m.

No other details are available.

Avoca man sentenced Friday for failing to register as a sex offender

News

April 12th, 2014 by Chris Parks

An Avoca man was sentenced Friday, April 11, 2014 is US District Court for failing to register as a sex offender. 29-year-old Sergio Maldonado-Butler of Avoca was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose to 12 months and 1 day imprisonment for failing to register with the sex offender registry. Judge Rose also ordered Maldonado-Butler to serve a five-year term of supervised release following incarceration.

In August of 2013, law enforcement was called to a disturbance involving Maldonado-Butler, and during the investigation determined that Maldonado-Butler was required to register as a sexual offender based on a 2005 conviction for rape in the State of Oregon. On December 5, 2014, Maldonado-Butler entered a guilty plea to failing to register with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office as required when he began residing in Avoca. Maldonado-Butler had resided in Avoca, Iowa for approximately six months without registering.

The investigation was conducted by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service, and the case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Former Mills County resident sentenced for failing to register as sex offender

News

April 12th, 2014 by Chris Parks

US Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced the sentencing Friday, April 11, 2014, of 37-year-0ld Jeramie L. Reazer of Omaha, Nebraska to 21 months imprisonment for failing to register with the sex offender registry by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose. Judge Rose also ordered Reazer to serve a five-year term of supervised release following incarceration.

In May of 2013, law enforcement determined that Reazer had been residing in Mills County, Iowa, for approximately a month without registering with the Mills County Sheriff’s Office as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Reazer was required to register with the Mills County Sheriff’s Office as a result of a conviction for Sexual Assault in the Third Degree in Douglas County, Nebraska in 2005. On November 25, 2014, Reazer entered a guilty plea to failing to register when he began residing in rural, Mills County.
The investigation was conducted by the Douglas County Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service and the case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Shot fired at home in Hamburg

News

April 12th, 2014 by Chris Parks

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call reporting shots fired at a residence in Hamburg early Saturday morning.  The call was received at approximately 12:37am Saturday morning from a residence at 3048 250th Avenue in Hamburg.

The homeowners said they were sleeping when a bullet was fired from outside their home, entering the bedroom window, and landing at the foot of their bed.  No injuries were reported and a fired bullet was recovered from the home.

Deputies are looking for a Ford Super Duty Extended Cab pickup with cab lights that was seen leaving the scene.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at 712-374-2424.