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Funeral for Iowa trooper killed in car crash

News

September 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – Funeral services are being held today (Saturday), for an Iowa State Patrol trooper who died in a fiery crash south of Indianola. Forty-three-year-old Mark Toney died when his patrol car left U.S. Highway 65, landed in a field and burst into flames on Tuesday. The crash remains under investigation. Toney was born in Murphysboro, Ill., and grew up in Ankeny. His funeral is at 10 a.m., at the Northview Middle School in Ankeny. Burial will be at Ankeny Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Toney’s death was the first in the line of duty for the patrol in almost 21 years.

Another public worker, Shelby firefighter Michael Collins, of Minden, was killed last Sunday when he was hit by a car while directing traffic on Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County.Services for Mike Collins were held Friday, during which the 41-year old father of two was remembered as a dedicated volunteer fire fighter, who always put himself before others.

New Census data shows more poverty in Iowa, but fewer kids going without health insurance

News

September 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

More Iowa families are living in poverty, but more Iowa children have health insurance according to new data from the 2010 census. Noga O’Connor, a researcher with the Iowa Policy Project, reviewed the data – which shows just four percent of Iowa’s kids are without health insurance.  “More children in 2010 were covered than in ’09 and ’08. The data here doesn’t tell us exactly the cause behind the improvement, but it’s just good to know there are fewer children in Iowa who do not have health insurance,” O’Connor said. Child poverty rates are up, but O’Connor believes more parents know about public insurance programs, which could help explain the increase in children with health insurance. Just five states have better child coverage rates than Iowa. Overall, nearly 1 in 11 Iowans were without insurance in 2010. The census data also shows Iowa’s poverty rate rose to 12.6 percent from 11.6 percent two years earlier. Median household income in Iowa dropped to $47,961 from $49,454 in 2008. The numbers are even bleaker for many of Iowa’s neighboring states. “But that’s only partial consolation, since the fact that we’re doing better than other states doesn’t completely overshadow the fact that the state is struggling today financially,” O’Connor said. Iowa’s poverty rate for 2010 was the second lowest in the region – only Minnesota’s was lower.

Candidates on file for Nov. 8th elections in Cass County

News

September 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The final list of names of the candidates appearing on the November 8th ballot for both City and County government positions in Cass County have been announced. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman says there is no candidate for the 4-year Mayoral term in Anita, and three persons running for two, four-year seats on the City Council. They include Jeff Bohnsack, Thomas Harris and Angel Lea McCollough.

In Cumberland, Nancy Virginia Couglin is the lone candidate for Mayor, and Sandra Armstrong is a candidate for one of two seats on the City Council. There is no candidate for the other seat. In Griswold, Victoria Jones is in the running for Mayor, and there are just two candidates for three open seats on the City Council. That includes Lisa Cook and Larry Mundorf. The residents of Griswold will also vote on whether or not to approve the establishment of a Capital Improvements Reserve Fund, which would mean the levying of taxes of up to 67.5-cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation per year, for a maximum of 20-years, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2013. The levy would be used to fund flood mitigation efforts, procedures and strategies in the City of Griswold.

In Lewis, Don Cohrs is running for Mayor. Three people, including incumbent Duane Scott Anderson, Sarah Cohrs, and Bethany Nichols, are running for the three, four-year seats on the City Council. In Marne, incumbent Mayor Randy Baxter is running unopposed for re-election, while six people are running for five open seats on the Council. They include incumbents James Hoffman, Lanny Kite, Dennis Preister and Angela Redler, along with challengers Alan Cranston and Randy Henningsen. In Massena, no candidate has filed to run for Mayor, and three persons have filed for the three seats on the Council, including incumbent Linda Reineke, and newcomers Adam McCunn, along with Gloria Waters. In Wiota, Kathryn Havens is the lone candidate for Mayor, while Erik Johnson, Jon Schwarte, Ray Zellmer and incumbent Lamar Spies are in the running for two seats on the City Council.

In Atlantic, two City Councilpersons will not be running for re-election on November 8th. According to City Clerk Deb Wheatley-Field, four-term Councilperson Pat Simmons has decided not to seek re-election to her 3rd Ward Seat.  Ashley K. Hayes faces no challengers for the seat being vacated by Simmons, who has served a total of 16-years on the City Council. And, Councilman Kern Miller has decided not to seek re-election in the 1st Ward. Miller served three consecutive terms on the council. Running unopposed for Miller’s seat, is Chris Jimmerson. Atlantic 4th Ward Councilperson Linda Hartkopf and At Large Councilman Dana Halder, are both running for re-election in November, and are unopposed for their seats. Two women are running for seats on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board. Incumbent Mary Strong seeks re-election, while Jolene Smith looks to fill a seat being vacated by Board Chair Nancy Frederickson, who will not be running for re-election.

The list of candidates who will appear on the November 8th ballot for the Cass County District 2 Board of Supervisors seat – which was created by the death of Supervisor Chuck Kinen – includes Gaylord Schelling, who was nominated by convention, and, Don Lappe, Pat McCurdy, Jeff Richter, and Kathy Somers, all of who were nominated by petition.

Minor injuries reported when semi rolls near Marne on I-80

News

September 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Only minor injuries were reported following a semi-tractor trailer rollover accident just before 1-a.m. Saturday, in Cass County. According to dispatch reports, the accident happened off Interstate 80 westbound, between the interstate and the Marne exit.  The semi had apparently rolled onto its side into the ditch. Its driver complained of minor back pain, but otherwise appeared to have been uninjured.

Marne Fire and Rescue along with Medivac Ambulance crews, responded to the scene. No other details are currently available.

I-29 to reopen this evening between Council Bluffs and Loveland

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing that it plans to reopen Interstate 29 from milepost 55 in Council Bluffs to milepost 71 near Loveland (I-680 interchange) at 7 p.m. today (Friday). The 16-mile stretch of interstate has been closed since June 9 due to the Missouri River flooding.

The DOT says significant work has been accomplished over the last few weeks to quickly reopen the road, including removal of tons of debris and hazardous materials, scraping the sludge from the roadway surface and hauling it away, power washing the pavement, testing the subsoil for stability, checking for voids under the pavement, and making repairs.

Oklahoma Fugitive Arrested in Mills County

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a man wanted as a fugitive from justice in Oklahoma was arrested Thursday in Glenwood. 26-year old Terry Wayne Goodpaster, of Greenville, Oklahoma was taken into custody at around 5-p.m. and booked into the Mills County Jail, where he was being held on nearly $24,000 bond. Goodpaster faces multiple charges, including: Eluding, Carrying a Weapon, Possession of Ammunition by a Felon, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Speeding, failure to hold a Valid Driver’s License, Reckless Driving, Possession of Stolen Property, and for being Fugitive from Justice.

Vehicle odometer tampering suspect arrested

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division have issued an alert about a man who sold vehicles with their odometers allegedly rolled-back.  On Wednesday September 21st, investigators with the DOT arrested 49-year old Gerald Magee in Des Moines, on a warrant for eight counts of fraudulent practice in the second degree, a Class D Felony.  A Class D Felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $7,500 in fines.
Magee is accused of tampering with and reducing the mileage on the odometers of eight motor vehicles that were sold to unsuspecting buyers. Anyone who purchased a vehicle from Magee and suspects the mileage of the vehicle may have been altered, please contact the Iowa DOT’s Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement at 866-908-4636 or at invmve@dot.iowa.gov.

The investigation into Magee’s alleged activities was conducted with the assistance of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division.

Two Atlantic City Council Persons will not run for re-election

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The deadline to file nomination papers for City government positions in Atlantic has passed, and two City Councilpersons will not be running for re-election on November 8th. According to City Clerk Deb Wheatley Field, four-term Councilperson Pat Simmons has decided not to seek re-election to her 3rd Ward Seat.  Ashley Hayes faces no challengers for the seat being vacated by Simmons, who has served a total of 16-years on the City Council. And, Councilman Kern Miller has decided not to seek re-election in the 1st Ward. Miller served three consecutive terms on the council. Running unopposed for Miller’s seat, is Chris Jimmerson.
Atlantic 4th Ward Councilperson Linda Hartkopf and At Large Councilman Dana Halder, are both running for re-election in November, and are unopposed for their seats. Two women are running for seats on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board. Incumbent Mary Strong seeks re-election, while Jolene Smith looks to fill a seat being vacated by Board Chair Nancy Frederickson, who will not be running for re-election.

TrapBag removal project in Harrison County begins Monday, Sept. 26

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Sept. 23, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reporting that the TrapBag removal project along Interstate 29 in Harrison County, just north of Missouri Valley (milepost 77.8 to 78.25), will begin Monday, Sept. 26th. The work is scheduled to be completed Oct. 11th. The TrapBags formed a protective barrier wall from potential flooding from the Missouri River. During the removal process, one lane of both north- and southbound I-29, between exit 75 (U.S. 30) and exit 82 (Harrison County Road F-50 near Missouri Valley), will be closed.

Charges pending after car hits Clarinda School Bus

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Police Chief in Clarinda says charges are pending against the driver of a car which collided with a school bus this (Friday) morning. Chief Keith Brothers says no serious injuries were reported after a car driven by 18-year old Taylor Dukes, of Clarinda, broadsided a Clarinda School District bus at the intersection of 22nd and State Streets, in Clarinda. The accident happened at around 7:50-a.m.    According to Brothers, a bus driven by 50-year-old Serle Kirshner, of Clarinda, was traveling east on State Street and was entering the intersection, when it was hit by Dukes’ car, as it was pulling away from a stop sign at the intersection. Kirshner was not injured, but Dukes was transported by ambulance after complaining of unknown, possible injuries. None of the students on-board the bus were injured, but the were taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.  An investigation into the accident was on-going, with charges pending completion of the investigation.