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2 arrested overnight on contempt & drug charges in Montgomery County

News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested in Montgomery County, and a burglary was investigated, overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. The Sheriff’s Office reports at around 1:45-a.m today (Wednesday), 62-year old Jackie Douglas Kendrick, of New Market, was arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Deliver, and a Drug Tax Stamp violation. His arrest was the result of a traffic stop at 260th & Vine Avenue, east of Villisca. During the stop, Kendrick was found to the in possession of more than 14 grams of Meth. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $100,000 bond.

At around 11:15-p.m. Tuesday, deputies in Montgomery County investigated a residential burglary at 2791 V Avenue, south of Villisca. Officials say sometime between Dec. 29th and 30th, a person or persons unknown took multiple items from the residence. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

The sheriff’s department reports also, the arrest at around 10:20-p.m. Tuesday, of a Pleasantville man. 48-year old James Edward Stone was arrested on two warrants pertaining to Contempt of Court. Stone was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond.

AG files 7 lawsuits in 6 counties over One Call violations

News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s Attorney General announced seven lawsuits in six counties in cases where construction started without a call to check for underground utility lines. A-G spokesman, Geoff Greenwood, says the complaints involve natural gas lines. “In all of these cases, they either hit a natural gas line or they got very close to hitting one,” Greenwood says. The suits involve companies or individuals in Linn, Palo Alto, Jasper, Woodbury, Franklin, and Pottawattamie counties. Anyone who digs is supposed to dial up the Iowa One Call Center, at 1-800-292-8989, or 811, to have them come and mark underground lines.

“In these cases, nobody was injured…no explosions, fires anything like that, but we’ve had cases before where people have been hurt, we’ve had explosions, we’ve had situations where power has been knocked out or emergency communications lines have been knocked out,” Greenwood says. “If an excavator doesn’t call One Call before they dig, they are threatening themselves and they are threatening the public. We take these cases very seriously.” The law has been in place for over two decades.

Greenwood says anyone who digs has been required to make the call since 1993. Even with years of promoting the call-in number and high-profile cases, Greenwood doesn’t know why people still dig without taking the time to call. “It’s hard to say, and there may be various reasons why they didn’t call. But one reason is not cutting costs, it’s a free call. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t call,” according to Greenwood. “We think that in some cases it’s possible that it was a case of poor planning. A company moved up a dig order or moved up a project and didn’t do so in time to call.”

The call center is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The people in these seven cases face fines from 35-hundred dollars up to five-thousand. “We handle these on a case-by-case basis. There are a situations where we have filed cases that resulted in a major threat to the public — there was a large explosion, there was a power outage, there was a communications outage. In other cases it was nothing more than the excavator got very close to a line and we still file cases,” Greenwood says. Violators are subject to a civil penalty of up to 10-thousand dollars each day for violations related to natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, and up to one-thousand dollars each day involving other underground facilities.

In a Pottawattmie County case, District Court Judge Timothy O’Grady, Monday, ordered that Wes Casson & Son LLC, of McClelland, pay a $5,000 civil penalty and permanently enjoined the company from violating the One Call law.

According to Miller’s lawsuit on November 11, 2013, the company conducted an excavation to install drainage tile and terraces in rural Pottawattamie County, without first contacting the Iowa One Call notification center and, thereby, failed to provide notice to operators of underground facilities. During the excavation, the company’s tiling equipment came to within seven feet of an eight-inch diameter natural gas pipeline, and during terracing went directly over the pipeline.

(Radio Iowa)

Costello wins nearly 74 percent of vote in special election for state senate seat

News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Voters in a state senate district in southwest Iowa have selected a farmer from Imogene to replace Joni Ernst. Ernst resigned from the seat in late November, after Iowa voters elected her as the next U.S. Senator from Iowa. Republican Mark Costello won Tuesday’s special election and will be sworn in a state senator in January. “I just kind of want to keep just quietly doing my job,” Costello says. “That’s my goal.”

Costello won a seat in the Iowa House in 2012 and he was reelected to the House in November. Now Costello will represent the six southwest Iowa counties of Senate District 12. Turnout in Tuesday’s election was sparse, but Costello was the overwhelming selection of those who did cast ballots.  “I’m so grateful to them for supporting me like this,” Costello says. “I love it that they show that confidence in me. It makes me feel really good.” Over 41-hundred ballots were cast in Tuesday’s special election and Costello got almost 74 percent of the vote.

Republicans held a majority of seats in the Iowa House in the past two years Costello has served there, giving the G-O-P the ability to control the debate agenda, but Democrats control the state senate. Costello will join 23 other Republicans in the state senate and be in the minority. He considers the senate a “good opportunity” to “affect legislation.”

“I’m looking forward to being a part of that team for the next two years,” Costello says. “I’m always optimistic. I’m hopeful that my side will take control in a couple of years.” Costello is a graduate of Nishna Valley High School. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1984 and work for five years as a computer programmer for Garst Seed before returning to his family’s farm. Costello and his wife, Rachel, have five children. The family raises corn, soybeans and registered Simmental cattle on their farm near Imogene.

(Radio Iowa)

Dallas County man killed in Guthrie Co. crash Tue. night

News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from western Dallas County died in a high speed, rollover crash east of Stuart, Tuesday night. The Iowa State Patrol identified the victim as 64-year old Andrew Gail Soroka, of Dexter. Officials say he was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee eastbound on White Pole Road at around 10:30-p.m., when the SUV went straight off the road at a curve.

The vehicle went down the south ditch and hit a “Curve” sign before continuing east in the ditch and hitting a log. The SUV rolled over, landed beside the railroad tracks and rolled down a hill before coming to rest on its wheels.

Soroka, who was wearing his seat belt, was partially ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. He died at the scene. His body was transported to the DCI Lab in Ankeny, for autopsy.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 31st 2014

News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat at a county courthouse in central Iowa. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says 39-year-old Martin Real Meloche, of Newton, faces two counts of false report of the placement of explosives devices. Court records do not list an attorney. Authorities say Meloche called in two threats Monday morning about a bomb at the Jasper County Courthouse. The building was briefly evacuated. No devices were found.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — A Marshalltown man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the death of a Tama man. Eighteen-year-old James Head faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a felony in connection with the death of Adam Garrett. Garret was found dead inside a Marshalltown residence on Dec. 6. Additional information about the death is not available, but the state medical examiner’s office classified it as a homicide.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a roughly $2 million renovation of the Scott County Courthouse will accommodate more people in magistrate court. Director Dave Donovan of facilities and support services says the construction work on the courthouse’s first floor is expected to finish by next summer. The work is being done by Precision Builders, which was the project’s lowest bidder at around $1.93 million.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says it will hear an appeal in a lawsuit filed by a former state criminal investigator. At issue in Larry Hedlund’s case is whether Iowa should have a policy that protects police officers from losing their jobs for trying to enforce the law. Hedlund was fired after reporting Governor Terry Branstad’s speeding SUV.

Education Department asks for funding for third grade reading program

News

December 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Education is asking for nearly 14 million dollars to cover the costs of a new state program to make sure kids can read by third grade. Education Department director, Brad Buck, says the program begins with schools keeping an eye on this year’s first graders who might be struggling.

“Through that early warning system we’re letting first grade parents and kindergarten parents know that their child isn’t where they ought to be in reading and then we’re delivering services to those kids,” Buck says. Buck says the idea is to intervene now before those first graders reach third grade. “One component of implementation of that particular law is, if a child is still substantially deficient at the end of third grade one of the considerations is a high-quality summer program,” Buck says.

If the student doesn’t enter a summer program to catch upon their reading skills, they can be held back. That 14 million dollars the department is requesting would cover designing the summer programs, as well as the early warning system that lets parents know if their kids are struggling.

(Radio Iowa)

Fire destroys structures at rural Iowa property

News

December 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ANTHON, Iowa (AP) – A fire at a rural northwest Iowa property has destroyed several structures and hundreds of bales. Chief Ryan Baldwin with the Anthon Volunteer Fire Department says the fire started Sunday inside a machine shed, which destroyed a tractor and a feed wagon. The fire spread to a cattle shed, garage and hay shed.

The Sioux City Journal reports 300 cornstalk bales were destroyed. Authorities were able to extinguish the fire before it damaged another set of bales. Firefighters were on scene for about 18 hours. The fire, which remains under investigation, did not spread to the property owners’ home.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

News

December 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Do you help take care of an older family member or friend? If so, you are not alone. Over 65 million family caregivers in America provide a vast array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking and other services on a daily or on an intermittent basis.  Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series designed to provide tools you need to take care of yourself. If you take good care of yourself, you will be better prepared to take good care of your loved one. As a participant you will learn how to: reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate your feelings, balance your life, increase ability to make tough decisions and locate helpful resources.ISU Extension

Iowa State University Extension is sponsoring Powerful Tools for Caregivers in Guthrie County starting on January 14th. This program has been tested and evaluated through a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging. Classes consist of six, 2 ½ hour sessions held once a week. Staff from the Audubon & Guthrie County Extension offices, Tonya Vetter, and Mary Ebert, will be conducting each class. Interactive lessons, discussions and brainstorming help you take the “tools” you choose and put them into action for your life.

Sessions are scheduled every Wednesday for six weeks and begin on January 14th. Classes will be held at the Guthrie County Extension & Outreach Office from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. There is a $10 fee for the program. Scholarships are available, & the application can be obtained by contacting one of the two class facilitators. For more information or to register, contact the Guthrie County Extension & Outreach Office at (641) 747-2276.

(Press Release)

Accident in Atlantic early Monday afternoon

News

December 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic woman suffered possible, unknown injuries during an accident Monday afternoon. Atlantic Police report vehicles driven by Tammy Wyman, of Atlantic, and Nathaniel Johnson, of Griswold, were both northbound on Olive Street approaching 5th, when Wyman slowed to make a left turn onto 5th Street.

Johnson was unable to stop his vehicle in time due to the slick street conditions. His vehicle hit the Wyman vehicle in the rear, causing a total of $5,800 damage. The accident happened at around 12:10-p.m.

Wyman reported some pain following the crash, but refused transport to the hospital. There were no citations issued.

Cass County Supervisors to meet Wed. morning

News

December 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The final meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors scheduled for 2014 will take place Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. During their 8:30-a.m. session, the Board will hear from Kipp Harris, with regard to the County’s current Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance. They’ll also receive a presentation and/or report from Jill Christophersen, with the Audubon County Dept. of Human Services/Case Management.

Other, regular reports are expected as well, from the County Engineer and Mental Health/General Assistance, departments.