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NE man cited following Saturday accident SW of Atlantic

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County say a truck driver from Nebraska was cited following an accident Saturday morning southwest of Atlantic.33-year old Tommy Jo Mannheim, of Bellevue, NE, was cited for Failure to Maintain Control, after the 2011 Freightliner straight truck he was driving went out of control on eastbound Highway 6 near Lansing Road.

photo bu KJAN's Chris Parks.

photo bu KJAN’s Chris Parks.

The truck overturned onto the roadway during the crash, which happened at around 9:20-a.m. No injuries were reported. Damage to the truck was estimated at $7,000.

Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Atlantic Police along with deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the scene.

Slauson arraignment set for Sept. 22nd

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Arraignment is set for Monday, Sept. 22nd, in the case of an Atlantic woman facing a multitude of charges in connection with scheme to make her 5-year old daughter appear to be sick with cancer, and solicit money for treatment never rendered.

30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson is charged with: one count of drug distribution to a person under 18, two counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury, two counts of administering harmful substances, two counts of assault while committing a felony, two counts of domestic abuse and 10 counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, and one count of Theft in the 1st degree. Online records say the alleged offenses date back to September 2013.

In an arraignment hearing, the defendant hears the formal charges against them, and enters a plea in response. Slauson’s Pre-Trial Conference is still set for October 13th, while her trial is slated to begin November 12th, unless she pleads guilty to the charges, in which case a sentencing date would be set.

Iowa birth rate sluggish despite better economy

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Even though Iowa’s economy is improving, the state’s birth rate isn’t keeping pace. Iowa Department of Public Health figures show the state’s birth rate for 2013 is up less than 1 percent over 2012, The Des Moines Register reported. The 2013 numbers are still nearly 5 percent lower than the birth rate in 2007, before the economy slumped. There were 39,013 babies born in 2013, compared with 38,686 in 2012 and 40,835 in 2007.

Similar numbers are being reported elsewhere in the country, which experts say is typical during recessions. People apparently have fewer babies because they’re less confident they can support growing families.

Birth rates tend to rebound eventually, but how long it will take is tough to pinpoint, said Gretchen Livingston of the Pew Research Center. The nation’s fertility rate, the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, was at an all-time low in 2013, though it was a bit higher in Iowa than the nation as a whole.

The decline in Iowa births includes a decrease in the number of babies born to teen mothers, which state public health officials say is a victory.  University of Iowa economics professor Alice Schoonbroodt suspects the birth rate will increase more soon, but she’s less confident than she was a year or two ago.  “The longer we go with no change, the more we’re led to believe it’s something permanent,” she said.

Iowa officials seek to improve financial teaching

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa students should be learning how to make informed financial choices as part of their education, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday, as he accepted a series of recommendations from a group charged with reviewing financial literacy teaching in the state.

Iowa school districts are expected to teach certain financial lessons to K-12 students. The group was formed by the state Department of Education to assess the current offerings and provide recommendations for improvement.  Those recommendations include revising the current standards to provide more clarity to districts and establishing ways to measure if school districts are meeting the goals.

“Financial skills are essential. Which is why they are included in Iowa’s academic standards,” Branstad said. “We know our children need to be financially literate in order to have a bright and successful future.”

Department of Education Director Brad Buck said school districts will continue to have flexibility over how they meet these standards. The department has assigned a staff member to oversee the issue of financial literacy and will try to provide resources for teachers and administrators, he said.

Fall giving opportunities

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As harvest season approaches, the Cass County Health System Foundation would like to remind area farmers that they can choose to donate a portion of their stored or harvested crops to benefit our friends and neighbors by enhancing healthcare services and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

There are a number of advantages to donating crops instead of cash. Not only is the value of the grain excluded from income, which results in lower taxation in federal, state and self-employment taxes, but the grain production costs are deductible as well. CassCounty-HS-2c-logo (3)

The Cass County Health System Foundation is the development arm for Cass County Health System. All monies raised are used for equipment, education and services for Cass County Health System. The Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a qualified 501(C)3 organization, which means gifts to the organization are tax deductible.

Contact Dawn Marnin, CCHS Foundation Director at 712.243.7409, or email her at mardd@casshealth.org, for more information.

2 arrests in Mills County

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a Pacific Junction man was arrested Friday on drug charges. 42-year old Daniel Dustin Sampson was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. He was taken into custody at around 7:30-p.m. and held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond.

On Saturday, Mills County deputies arrested 48-year old Annie Christine Gardner, of Glenwood. Gardner was charged with OWI/1st offense after being stopped near the intersection of Highway 34 and Interstate 29 at around 11:10-p.m.

Her bond was also set at $1,000.

Wiota man arrested on drug charges

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a Wiota man was arrested on drug charges, Saturday. 19-year old Bryant Kenney Mitchell faces Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. Mitchell was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.This morning (Monday) Cass County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 52-year old Russell Alan Shearer, of Elliott,  on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Shearer was taken to the Cass County Jail, pled guilty  and was released.

Iowa farming officials seek punishment for thieves

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farm officials are seeking to enforce a mandatory minimum sentence for the felony theft of livestock and crops. Delegates of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation met last week to discuss proper punishment for people who steal cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans and other farm property, the Des Moines Register reported.

Some states are seeing an increase of cattle thefts since the price of the animals have reached record highs. The problem could soon make its way to Iowa, experts say, since the state is expected to raise more cattle in light of low corn prices and a drought in Texas, the leading producer of cattle in the U.S.

Iowa is the top corn-producing state with nearly 2.2 billion bushels last year, and is ranked sixth nationally for cattle. Corey Schultz is a region executive officer for the Livestock Marketing Association and works with livestock auctions in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. “The rise in cattle numbers, the rise in prices, you could definitely see a rise in cattle thefts,” Schultz said.

Novice thieves usually don’t steal livestock, according to Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. “Anyone can kick down the door to a house and steal a flat screen TV,” he said. “But to steal cattle – first you have to have the ability to transport those cattle. Then you have to have the knowledge to market the cattle. You can’t run down to the local pawn store and get some money for them.”

Reminder: IA DOT open house meeting in C. Bluffs this Thursday

News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A reminder from the Iowa Department of Transportation, that a meeting will be held this Thursday (Sept. 18th) in Council Bluffs, with regard to the Iowa Park and Ride System plan. The meeting is one of  seven planned for around the state, the DOT will use to develop its plan to identify ideal locations for park and ride facilities to serve commuters in the state. The public input meeting Sept. 18th in Council Bluffs  takes place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus, Salvation Army Building ( 715 N. 16th St).

At each meeting, a presentation will be made and Iowa DOT personnel will be available to individually discuss the plan. The Iowa DOT will be accepting public comments on the plan through Oct. 16th, 2014.

There are several ways to provide your input on the plan. You can provide input via the open-house meetings, the online survey (www.surveymonkey.com/s/ParkAndRide2014), or both. You can view the plan online at: www.iowadot.gov/iowainmotion/park_ride.html.

Some Iowa farmers donate grain to charities instead of cash

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As harvest season approaches, many charitable organizations statewide are preparing to get gifts of grain from Iowa’s farmers. Those farmers can choose to donate a portion of their stored or harvested crops and get a tax deduction at the same time. John Syverson, a certified financial planner in West Des Moines, says there are a number of advantages to donating crops instead of cash. Syverson says, “Not only do you exclude from income the amount of the value of the grain, which works better on your tax return and gets you lower taxation in federal, state and self-employment taxes, but you also get to deduct the cost of production of that grain because you had to pay for the input.”

Syverson says rather than contacting the non-profit group or grain elevator directly, it’s usually more efficient to go to a local Community Foundation. He says most are set up to help make the donation a smooth transaction. “Instead of talking to your local Boy Scout troop, I would go talk to your Community Foundation,” Syverson says.

Just ask if they take gifts of grain and if they do, you can quickly set up an account and tell them where you want the grain dispersed. More Iowa farmers may be choosing the option this fall as many commodity prices are dropping.

(Radio Iowa)