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Lane closures at Broadway viaduct (U.S. 6) in Council Bluffs begin Tuesday

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Atlantic construction office says beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4th, motorists should expect delays for the installation of a sculpture as part of the Broadway viaduct (U.S. 6) in Council Bluffs, weather permitting. Lane closures and occasional viaduct closures will be required during the installation. Daytime lane closures will be from 7 a.m. until the day’s work is completed. Signage will route traffic through the work zone.

When the entire viaduct must be closed, these closures will be from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The viaduct will be open to traffic Friday and Saturday evenings during the installation project. For more information about the scheduled work and closures, visit http://www.511ia.org. The installation is scheduled to take approximately 20 days, weather permitting.

Mistrial declared in Roger Ericksen sexual abuse case

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski this (Thursday) afternoon declared a mistrial in the sexual abuse case of 52-year old Roger Allen Ericksen, of Lewis. The decision was made after the jury foreman announced they jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges against Ericksen.

The foreman was asked by the Judge if any further deliberation, taking a recess and coming back on Friday would be helpful for the jury to reach a unanimous decision on the counts against Ericksen, to which the  foreman replied “No, at this time we’re at an impasse.”

The judge thanked the jury for their deliberations, which took almost 6 hours. Ericksen will remain in the Cass County Jail on $250,000 bond. A second trial date has not yet been scheduled.

Ericksen’s Attorney, Theordore Wonio, refused to comment following the ruling. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, who was the Prosecuting Attorney, representing the State of Iowa, said afterward that a mistrial means “It’s as if the current trial did not take place, and the State will have another opportunity to seek to retry the case again.” It’s not clear if the same jury who heard the case this week will be recalled for the second trial, or another jury will assume the role.

Ericksen had been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year old female who lived in his home as a foster child. He was formally charged on December 13th, 2011, with 46-counts of 3rd degree sexual abuse, two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor and two charges of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

The charges were the result of a nearly four and one-half month long investigation that began July 25th, 2011, after authorities received word of the incidents, which reportedly occurred between May 15th, 2011 and July 25th, 2011. The victim claimed she was allegedly sexually assaulted in a swimming pool, the defendant’s car, in her bedroom, and in front of a computer.

During the trial jurors heard from the victim, her step-sister, Department of Human Services and other officials, along with character witnesses for Ericksen, who testified they had no knowledge of any issues in the foster-home run by the man and his wife since 2005. Some of the witnesses characterized the teen as one who told lies to get out of trouble. One even described her as a “drama queen.” Roger Ericksen testified he thought she made up the story in an attempt to get back together with her biological mother.

Evidence presented at the trial included sex toys, at least one of which included the alleged victims’ DNA, but a positive identification could not be made on other DNA found on those same items. And, a nurse who conducted a physical exam of the teen four days after the incidents were reported, said while she found no evidence of a sexual assault, those types of injuries typically heal quickly in a person of that age.

Ericksen’s trial began Tuesday afternoon and concluded Wednesday evening.

Omaha man sentenced to prison for gas card theft

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha man has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison for his unauthorized use of a military-issued gas card.  United States Attorney Deborah Gilg says that 32-year-old Terrell Smith was sentenced Wednesday in Lincoln federal court for use of an unauthorized access device. He must also pay restitution of nearly $23,000.

Federal authorities say the Nebraska Air National Guard noticed in October that the credit card assigned to a National Guard recruiter was being used at gas stations in north Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, to buy large quantities of gas.  The FBI and General Services Administration determined that Smith repeatedly used the card to put $22,882 worth of gas into his car and into the cars of friends.   Smith told authorities he found the card.

Field fire reported south of Wiota

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota were called to the scene of a hay bailer and field fire south of Wiota, this morning. Crews were dispatched to 68284 Jasper Road, just before 10:30-a.m. Fire Chief Duane Murphy said an overheated bearing in the bailer sparked the fire.

Atlantic man arrested

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Wednesday, of 19-year old Mathew Kern, of Atlantic. Kern was taken into custody on a charge of Driving While License Revoked. Kern was brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Cass Co. Supervisors to act on temporary road closure

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday morning, in Atlantic. During their 9-a.m. session at the courthouse, the Board will receive a report from Public Safety Committee Chair Steve Livengood, with regard to relocation of the Public Safety/Communications Center. Last October, the Supervisors gave permission for Livengood to begin a fact-finding mission in advance of a possible, future expansion and/or relocation of the County Communications Center.

Livengood said the reason the Commission wants to explore all the options, is because the Comm Center…located in the basement of the Courthouse, is beginning to run out of room, and future equipment needs are likely to press the space to the limit. In other business, the Cass County Board of Supervisors will discuss and possibly act on the temporary closure of roads near the Atlantic Municipal Airport, in preparation for the September 15th “Fly Iowa Heritage and Homecoming Show.”

The Board will also act on authoring Board Chair Duane McFadden to sign the final Iowa DOT contract construction voucher with Henningsen Construction, as it pertains to a resurfacing project on County road M-56, north of Marne. They’ll also act on a resolution for a public hearing on the vacating of a portion of 662nd Lane (Benton Township/Section 7), and, act on appointing a member and alternate to the Southwest Iowa Mental Health Planning Committee.

At 10:30-a.m., the Board will discuss an economic development project in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, with guest Kathy Schowalter, from Planscape Partners.

8AM Newscast 08-30-2012

News, Podcasts

August 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 08-30-2012

News, Podcasts

August 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Bluffs man injured and arrested following cycle chash this morning

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was injured and taken into custody early this (Thursday) morning, following a chase and crash. The Iowa State Patrol says 18-year old Jaramiah Michael Droescher, of Council Bluffs, lost control of the 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle he was driving at around 3:10-a.m., while he was being pursued for speeding. The bike crashed near the intersection of 23rd Avenue and south 35th Street in Council Bluffs. Droescher suffered minor injuries, and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs for treatment, before being booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail felony charges. The Patrol says the cycle he was driving, had been reported stolen.

Atlantic Police warn residents to lock their vehicles & residences

News

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department, Wednesday afternoon, issued a warning to residents of the City to lock the doors on their homes and vehicles. The warning follows two recent residential burglaries which occurred in the City. Officials say the burglaries took place in broad daylight, when people were at work or school. The Atlantic P-D is also asking residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in the area, such as a person or persons who are not normally seen in your neighborhood, or who are acting in a suspicious manner.

Officials say if you should happen to come home and find it has been broken into, immediately exit the residence and call police. Entering the home and tampering with touched objects can result in possible lost evidence, and, there is a chance the suspect or suspects may still be in the residence.