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Man arrested after chase ends with a crash into a NW IA casino

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has been arrested after officials say he led authorities on a chase that ended when he crashed his car into the WinnaVegas casino in Salix. The Iowa State Patrol says 54-year-old Robert Bechtel, of Cherokee, is charged with drunken driving and numerous traffic violations. His case isn’t on the online court system and it’s not known if he has an attorney.

The patrol says the chase began Monday night when a trooper tried to help a motorist parked on the shoulder of Interstate 29 near Salix. When the trooper stopped, the driver took off. Authorities say the chase ended when Bechtel pulled into the casino’s parking lot, lost control of his car and hit the building.

3 injured during accident in Cass County

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three people suffered what were described by Cass County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Westring, as non-life threatening injuries during a two-vehicle crash this afternoon, southeast of Anita. The accident was reported just after 3:45-p.m., near 76091 Glendale Road. No other details are currently available.

Page County man sentenced to more than 2 dozen years in prison for 2008 robbery

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says a Page County man was sentenced today (Tuesday) to 19 and a-half years in prison for his role in a robbery, and car jacking.  43-year old Tiran Rodez Casteel, of Coin, was also convicted on charges which included obstruction of justice and witness tampering. In addition, Casteel was sentenced to a consecutive term of 84 months in prison for brandishing a firearm during the car jacking, for a total prison term of 26 1/2 years.

United States District Court Judge Robert W. Pratt also ordered Casteel to serve a five year term of supervised release following release from prison, and pay $400 to the Crime Victim Fund. Restitution was ordered to remain open until the value of the stolen coins can be determined.

The case against him revolved around the September 11, 2008, robbery of Darlene Eitzen at her rural Page Countyfarm home. The woman was held at gun point while Casteel and his son, Devan Casteel, robbed Mrs. Eitzen of her rare and valuable coin collection, which she had acquired after her husband’s death.

Federal jurisdiction for the prosecution existed because Casteel had taken Mrs. Eitzen’s car during the robbery, in violation of the federal carjacking statute. While awaiting trial on the federal charges Casteel attempted to have Mrs Eitzen killed so she could not testify at his trial. That resulted in addition charges being filed in federal court for obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

The case was investigated by the Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Division of the United States Department of Justice (ATF), the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Page County Sheriffs Office. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Grassley, Harkin, King & others react to Supercommittee’s failure

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The reaction from Iowa’s two U.S. Senators to the “super committee’s” failure illustrates the divisions that led to the impasse. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin says Republicans doomed the deficit reduction talks by rejecting all tax increases, and even calling for new tax cuts. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the focus needs to be on reducing spending. “Too many people seem to think that tax increases are a solution to this problem, but tax increases aren’t a solution because the money from higher taxes doesn’t seem to get to be used to reduced the deficit,” Grassley says, citing a study from Ohio University. “For the last 65 years, every new dollar in new tax increases has resulted in congress spending not just that $1, but $1.17.”

Grassley says with or without an agreement, federal spending has to be reduced and that includes cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Grassley also blasts President Obama for “blaming Republicans” for the super committee’s failure. “But he doesn’t seem to engage or offer credible solutions for deficit reduction,” Grassley says. From the other side of the partisan divide, Senator Harkin says Republicans “do not care about deficit reduction” and he says the only way to accomplish the goal is trhough “a fair mix of spending cuts and revenue increases.”

Congressman Steve King, though, doubts the 25-percent across-the-board cuts that have been triggered will ever come to pass. “We should remember that they don’t even start until the first day of January in 2013,” King says, “…after we have a presidential election, after a third of the members of the United States Senate are up for reelection and we have all the members of the house are up for reelection.” Some members of congress are already talking about ways to act in 2012 to avoid the deep cuts to defense and other federal programs. King, though, suggests the decisions won’t come ’til 2013 — after the 2012 election results.

“It’ll be a different congress and perhaps a different president that has time, then, to go in and change some of these mandatory cuts,” King says. King made his comments during a meeting in Le Mars yesterday. Congressman Bruce Braley says, “partisan ideology is trumping common sense in Washington.” Congressman Tom Latham says Americans have a right to be frustrated by the “rampant dysfunction in Washington. Congressman Dave Loebsack says the super committee is another example of the kind of “brinksmanship” that led the country “to the edge” this summer when the government’s credit rating was downgraded. Congressman Leonard Boswell calls it “shameful” that the super committee failed to broker a deal.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

3 arrests in Cass County

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports three arrests over the past week. On Saturday, 23-year old Travis Derrick Collins, of Bishop, TX, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Collins was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance. Last Thursday, 31-year old John Oliver Knight, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a charge of Driving While Suspended. Knight was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $300 bond. And, on November 15th, 30-year old Steven Robert Pedersen, of Atlantic, turned himself in on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Pedersen was released later that day on $2000 bond.

Applications being accepted for the Guy Powell Award

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An official with Midwest Partnership says they are currently accepting nominations for the Guy Powell Award- recognizing excellence in leadership and passion for economic development in the Midwest Partnership Development region. Sarah Gomez, Economic Development Coordinator for Midwest Partnership, says businesses and individuals who are members in Midwest Partnership Development Corporation (which serves Adair, Audubon, Greene and Guthrie Counties) are encouraged to nominate individuals who stand out as outstanding leaders in this area of west central Iowa, and who work to make it a more economically vital place to live, work, and play.

The Guy Powell Award was created in honor and memory of Powell, who was the past president of the Midwest Partnership Development Corporation, and an active volunteer on the board of many other area organizations. Gomez says Powell was passionate about local and regional economic development.  He was also a strong believer in the region’s potential.

The Nomination:  

Those submitting nominations should consider: 

  • Vision
  • Leadership
  • Courage
  • Impact 

Information to include in the nomination is as follows: 

  • Name & Address of the Nominee (Person, group or business being nominated.)
  • Name, Address & Phone Number of the Nominator (Person completing the nomination.)
  • A brief statement (500 words or less) on how the nominee has made an impact on their local community and/or region through volunteer service.  

The deadline to submit nominations is January 12th, 2012.  Mail or e-mail nomination form to: 

Monica Cateron, Office Manager
Midwest Partnership Development Corporation
P.O. Box 537
Stuart, IA 50250
mcateron@midwestpartnership.com

8AM Newscast 11-22-2011

News, Podcasts

November 22nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 11-22-2011

News, Podcasts

November 22nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Montgomery Co. Community Foundation grants announced

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Dennis Bloom, Chair of the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF) says 12 nonprofit agencies were recently awarded grants totaling $17,800. Among them was:

  • The Red Oak Public Library, which received $1,300 to provide a virtual learning center (computer & software).
  • The Stanton Senior Center, $400, for the purchase of a new air conditioner.
  • The City of Stanton Public Library, $1,000 for the purchase & implementation of a new automation system.
  • Elliott Volunteer Fire Dept., $500 to replace old pagers.
  • Montgomery County Family YMCA, $3,000 to upgrade the health/wellness fitness center.
  • The Montgomery County History Center, $1,450, to purchase equipment & materials to help research area history & archive it.
  • Red Oak Community School District, $3,000, to renovate “Cage” recreation site for use by the general public.
  • Stanton Child Resource Center, $1,400, for school preschool & toddler programs, supplies & equipment.
  • Stanton Greenbelt, $1,000, to add more handicap-accessible trails for public use.
  • The Wilson Performing Arts Center, $2,000 for equipment.
  • Villisca Community School District, $2,000, to purchase cameras for use with school interactive whiteboards.
  • Villisca Public Library, $750, to provide e-book services & a space for use by young people.

The grant checks were presented to representatives from those nonprofit agencies, last Thursday. The total amount of $17,800 includes $1,000 from the Villisca High School Class of 1977 Endowment Fund, and, $800 from the Stanton Endowment Fund. Over the past 11 years, the Montgomery County Endowment Fund has distributed more than $656,000 to nonprofit agencies in the County.

Man pleads guilty in deadly crash in Nebraska that killed a western IA man

News

November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

PONCA, Neb. (AP) – A northeast Nebraska man has pleaded guilty to two counts of motor vehicular homicide and one count of drunken driving in an accident that killed two Wayne State College students near Emerson. Fifty-five-year-old Robert Mahler, of Hubbard, NE,pleaded guilty Monday in Dixon County District Court. Sentencing is Jan. 23rd. Authorities say Mahler was driving drunk on the night of Sept. 9, on the wrong side of Nebraska Highway 9 and hit an oncoming motorcycle. Two people on the motorcycle were killed – 20-year-old Christopher Oberg, of Mapleton, Iowa, and his passenger, 19-year-old Alexis Calfee, of Bennet, Neb. Authorities say Mahler’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Mahler faces a sentence of one to 50 years in prison on each of the vehicular homicide charges.