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Update: Juvenile faces multiple charges in connection with stolen vehicle


March 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

In an update to a story told you about Wednesday here on KJAN.com, Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says a juvenile was arrested on multiple charges, following the chase of a vehicle allegedly stolen out of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. The unnamed male suspect was transported to the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Council Blufs, to be held on charges of 1st degree theft; Felony Eluding; 3rd degree theft; Carrying a Concealed Weapon; Reckless driving; and Failure to have a valid driver’s license.

Danker says the incident began at about 4:40-a.m. Wednesday, when the Washington and Douglas County, NE Sheriff’s Offices and Nebraska State Patrol released a broadcast notifying area law enforcement they were in pursuit of a Ford Escape allegedly stolen in Nebraska. The chase was along Interstate 680 eastbound heading towards Iowa. When the stolen vehicle crossed the State line, Nebraska authorities terminated their pursuit. Danker says his deputies were able to set a perimeter from Hamlet Lane on River Road, north to 130th Street. The suspect was seen by units in the area as he drove across fields and began to follow a fence line south on River Road. He continued south on River Road to the Council Bluffs City limits, in excess of 80-miles per hour.

As the vehicle was being pursued, the suspect drove around a set of spike strips deployed by Council Bluffs Police, by turning west into a field and onto an abandoned set of railroad tracks. The SUV went out of control and slid down an embankment, into a tree, which pinned the driver’s door shut. The suspect was apprehended without injury. No law enforcement officers were injured as a result of the chase.

Danker says a search of the vehicle recovered personal identification items not belonging to the suspect, along with a small caliber handgun and three rounds of ammunition. The gun had not been reported stolen. Items located in the SUV were reported to have been stolen during a burglary which occurred sometime Wednesday morning. Also located in the vehicle was a “Things to do before 3/11/12″ list. The list included check boxes, some of which had been marked. Among items on the check list was “survival-type gear,” “checking the pistol,”  and, “finding places to go.”

Schleswig teen injured during Crawford County rollover crash


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says a Schleswig teen was transported to the Crawford County Hospital following a single-vehicle rollover accident this (Wednesday) morning. Denison-Schleswig Fire and Rescue personnel used the “Jaws of Life” to pry 16-year old McKenzie Weiss from the SUV she was driving, after it went into a ditch and fence line before rolling onto its right side. The accident took place at around 7:15-a.m., as Weiss was traveling south on Highway 59, at the intersection with I Avenue. Officials say the teen lost control of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, after she over corrected when the SUV drifted onto right shoulder of the road. The teen was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. The combined damage to the Jeep and the fence, amounted to $8,500.

Johnny Carson Birthplace Restoration Project in Corning receives $21-k grant


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Vision Iowa Board, Wednesday, awarded $134,642 in grants to the restoration of the Johnny Carson Birthplace home and a trail project in Des Moines. The grants were approved by the Vision Iowa Board at their meeting in Des Moines. In Corning, a $21,100 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant fund was awarded to the Johnny Carson Birthplace Society Home Restoration Project, which is expected to cost $139,100. The grant award, which is the exact amount requested by the restoration group, is contingent upon completion of fundraising within 30 days. The project includes the full restoration of Johnny Carson’s birthplace home. When completed, the home will be permanently maintained as a 1925 period home with memorabilia of Carson’s life and career.

Work is set to begin this summer on restoring the home where the late night television icon was born. Johnny Carson was born in Corning, on October 23, 1925 and lived in a small home there for three years before his family settled in Norfolk, Nebraska. The makeover will make the home appear as it did in 1925. Beth Waddle is with the Johnny Carson Birthplace Society in Corning.  She told Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis  “When we received the home, many alterations had been made on the property from its original style and setting back in 1925 when (Carson) was born there, so, we worked with a historical architect who has developed a plan for restoring it back to that 1925 appearance.”

The home will also include memorabilia from Carson’s life and career. Waddle believes it can become a much bigger tourist attraction. She says “TV Land and Entertainment Weekly did a poll several years ago and Johnny Carson was named the number one TV icon.”  Waddle said she’d like to partner with other nearby attractions to bring more visitors to Corning. She mentioned the John Wayne birthplace home in Winterset and Glen Miller’s birthplace in Clarinda as examples. A Johnny Carson Gallery is located in a museum in Norfolk, Nebraska – where Carson grew up and graduated from high school. Johnny Carson, who hosted the Tonight Show for 30 years, died in January 2005 at the age of 79.

On the web: www.johnnycarsonbirthplace.org 

(Ric Hanson – KJAN/Pat Curtis – Radio Iowa)

Cass County 4-H Pancake Supper a Great Success

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2012 by Jim Field

Participation from community members is critical at the Pancake Supper to ensure the continual success of the Cass County Endowment and 4-H Program. Endowment Committee member Curt Behrends and Youth Action Committee chair Michelle Behrends catch their pancakes.

More than 350 people were served at the 4-H Endowment Pancake Supper, held Tuesday, March 13. The Endowment Committee wishes to thank all of the community members who came out to support this fundraiser which raised more than $2300.  “The current program development fee for each member is 30 dollars and we have more than 250 members so that takes a lot of pancake eating and support from the community,” shared Susan Oliver, Cass County Youth Coordinator.

Proceeds from the 4-H Pancake Supper will directly benefit the Cass County 4-H Program.  This money defrays the cost of the Program Development Fee each year, provides scholarships to send Cass County 4-H’ers to camps and conferences, start up dollars for new programs such as Clover Kids, as well as 4-H program materials and awards.  “With support from the community, the opportunities we can provide are limitless,” says Oliver.

The Cass County 4-H Endowment was established in 2002 as an opportunity for the community to invest in the positive youth development program.  The 4-H Endowment’s sole purpose is to receive and solicit gifts, contributions and bequests on behalf of Cass County 4-H.  The Endowment Committee will accept contributions anytime during the year.

There are a variety of ways community members can contribute to the 4-H Endowment:
*         4-H 400/1000 – A yearly pledge program of $40 to $100 per year for 10 years
*         Memorials – Gifts in memory of family members or friends
*         Tributes – Gifts to honor someone or a special occasion
*         Gifts in Kind – Products of services given to support Cass County 4-H.
*         Life Insurance – Name the 4-H Endowment Fund as a beneficiary and deduct premium costs
*         Securities or Real Estate
*         Charitable Gift Annuity – Transfers assets to the endowment and allows giver to receive continuing income from the assets through his/her lifetime

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Cass County 4-H Endowment may contact Susan M. Oliver, County Extension Youth Coordinator at the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132.  Contributions can be made out to “Cass County 4-H Endowment” and may be sent to the Cass County Extension Office, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic, IA 50022.

Cass Co. Memorial Hospital Foundation receives donation for cancer patient needs


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A recent fundraiser held at the Atlantic Eagles Lodge has resulted in a donation of slightly more than $1,700 to the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Shown making the donation are (front row, left to right): Dawn Marnin, CCMH Foundation Director, Summer Petty, Gracie Olsen, Amanda Christensen, Cherie Petty, Donna Snyder (back row, left to right): Jo Worth, Southwest Iowa Surgery; Lesley Ferguson, CCMH; Cody Christensen, Tabitha Olsen, Brad Herring, Harley Moodie, Sid Petty, Dr. Chad McCance, Southwest Iowa Surgery; Ralph Tilton.

Sid Petty, along with family and friends, presented Dawn Marnin, CCMH Foundation Director, with the monies, which were raised at the “Kick It Cancer Fundraiser” held in Petty’s honor.

Sid Petty is a two-time colon cancer survivor, who wanted to give back to Cass County Health System for the excellent care he has received throughout his treatments. The gift will be divided between patient assistance needs and the CCMH Healing Garden. Kent Gade, President of the CCMH Foundation, said they are currently working to solicit $250,000 in donations, to create the Healing Garden, the concept of which originated from Al and Chris Wernimont and their family, following his medical journey.

The Healing Garden is being designed to serve as a “Peaceful haven for patients, their family members and the hospital staff.” It will feature a fountain, quiet places, benches and a healing Garden of Hope. For more information on how you can make a donation to the CCMH Foundation, call 712-243-7409.



March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has announced two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students entering into or continuing education in the healthcare field. Application forms have been sent to area high schools and can be picked up from the guidance counselor’s office. Forms are also available from the Human Resources office at Cass County Memorial Hospital. The application must be returned to Cass County Memorial Hospital by March 31st. Applications can be dropped off or mailed to: Cass County Memorial Hospital, Attn: Human Resources, 1501 East 10th Street, Atlantic, Iowa 50022.

Rieken files for re-election to Cass Co. Board of Supervisors


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports the last member of the Cass County Board of Supervisors who is eligible to file for re-election prior to the June 5th Primary, has done so. District 4 Supervisor Chuck Rieken, a Republican from Griswold, filed his re-election papers today (Wednesday). Other Republican County officers who have filed for re-election include: Dale Sunderman, of Atlantic; District 1 Supervisor Duane McFadeen, of Atlantic, as well as District 5 Supervisor Frank Waters, of Cumberland; and, Sheriff Darby McLaren. To date, no one has filed to run against those incumbents. The last day to file papers for the Primary, is March 28th.

Audubon businessman named Iowa’s small businessperson of the year


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(AP) – Top small-business men and women from Nebraska, Iowa and every other state will get a chance to visit Washington, D.C., in May when one of them is named national small-business person of the year.  The U.S. Small Business Administration will recognize the winner of the national award during its conference, May 20-22. Timothy Greene, of Audubon, owns Quality Machine of Iowa. He won the Iowa Small-Business person of the Year award, and a chance at the national title.

Outdoor warning system tests begin Friday in Cass Co.

News, Weather

March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says that the communities of Atlantic and Griswold will begin testing their Outdoor Warning Sirens (Tornado warning siren) every Friday at noon, beginning this Friday, March 16th.  Kennon says the siren tests will not occur on days where there is a threat of severe weather.

Iowa House passes school reform bill


March 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has passed an education reform plan would give the state more control over how student progress is measured and how teachers and administrators are evaluated. Those are among just a few aspects of education traditionally handled by local districts but passed on to state officials in the Republican-backed bill.
Under the measure, the Iowa Department of Education would establish new procedures for evaluating teachers and administrators annually. High school students would have to take new tests to determine if they’re prepared for college or a career and third graders not reading at grade level would be held back from fourth grade.
The bill passed 53-46 after lawmakers debated most of Tuesday, ending just before midnight when a drafting error was discovered in the bill.