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Carter Lake man gets prison term in Nebraska prostitution case

News

November 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An Iowa man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in a prostitution case in Nebraska. The U.S. attorney’s office in Omaha says 45-year-old Richard Costanzo, of Carter Lake, was sentenced last week after pleaded guilty to several crimes that happened between 1997 and 2009. They stemmed from the operation of an escort service in Omaha. Costanzo also was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to witness tampering in a related case. That sentence is to run at the same time as his sentence for the prostitution and other convictions.

Essex woman sentenced to 2 concurrent prison terms for fatal crash

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An Essex woman who had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide in connection with the deaths of two Cumberland boys was sentenced today (Monday) to serve two 10-year prison terms. 19-year old Karli Jo Brown,  will serve the sentences concurrently (at the same time).  She also was ordered to pay a yet-undetermined amount of restitution. Brown was the driver of a car that passed other vehicles in a no-passing zone on a hill and collided head-on with another vehicle, on November 28th, 2010. She driving almost 25-miles over the posted speed limit and texting her boyfriend when the crash occurred.

Two children in the other vehicle driven, by Nina McNeese, of Cumberland, died.  Five-year old Maliki and 4-year old Alex McNeese were properly buckled in, but died at the scene of the crash on Highway 48.  Brown and Nina McNeese were injured in the crash.

In April, Brown was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of causing serious injury by motor vehicle. In return for a guilty plea, prosecutors later dropped the charge of causing serious injury by motor vehicle. The county attorney says the deal allowed Nina McNeese, to avoid the pain of a trial.

3 arrests in Atlantic over the weekend

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green reports three people were arrested over the weekend. On Friday, 24-year old Kelsey Swinnerton, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI/1st offense. Saturday, officers arrested 27-year old Laura Madden, of Atlantic, on a charges of Burglary in the 3rd degree, Domestic Abuse & Assault, and Assault while participating in a felony. Any, on Sunday, 30-year old Steve Pedersen, of Atlantic, was arrested on a warrant for Domestic Abuse Assault.

All three of those individuals were booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Three injured in Cass County rollover accident

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports three people suffered minor injuries during a rollover accident Friday northwest of Atlantic. Authorities say a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by 16-year old Cal Jeffrey Heuton, of Atlantic, was traveling east on Glacier Road when Heuton failed to stop at the controlled intersection with Buck Creek Road. The car left the road and overturned. Heuton was treated at the scene for minor injuries. One passenger in the car suffered minor injuries, while a second passenger was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by ambulance for treatment of leg injuries. The names of the passengers were not released. Heuton was cited for Failure to Maintain Control and Failure to Obey a Stop Sign. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $5,500.

And, officials say no injuries were reported following an accident Saturday, on Tucson Road. A 2005 Pontiac Grand Am driven by 18-year old Chelsey Noel Nicklaus, of Griswold, was westbound on Tucson Road between 670th and 680th Streets,  when the woman lost control of the car, which slid into the north ditch and rolled through a fence. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $10,000.

Former Western IA woman convicted on murder charge

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa jury has convicted a woman of murder in the 2001 death of her neighbor, rejecting her claim that she shot him in self-defense during a home invasion. Forty-five-year-old Tracey Richter says she shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde to protect herself and her three children after he and another man broke into her home in December 2001. She says the second intruder fled.

But Monday’s verdict supports prosecutors’ claim that there was no home invasion and Richter shot Wehde to keep him quiet about his role in a plot to frame her ex-husband. Richter was involved in a custody battle at the time.

Richter later moved to Omaha, Neb., where she was arrested last summer. She faces life in prison at sentencing.

Rebuild cost of flooded western roads at $50-million

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The director of the Iowa Department of Transportation said today the rush to repair western Iowa roadways has cost millions in man hours and materials. D-O-T director Paul Trombino was at the governor’s weekly meeting with reporters to provide an update, and he says the state will seek to get most of the money from the federal government.  Trombino says the costs right now are close to 50-million dollars, and they are all at this point eligible for federal reimbursement. Crews have been working long hours on a “fast track” system to get the roadways repaired and reopened. Governor Terry Branstad says that’s because the federal government requires the repairs to be made within 180 days of the flood to be eligible for reimbursement.

He says federal officials count from when the flood started, and this flood started in June and the water didn’t go down until September in many places. “So this made it a big challenge,” Branstad says. He says the D-O-T and all the contractors did a great job despite that challenge. Trombino says the 50-million is the total right up to today. Trombino says that’s what they know right now from the start of repairs in June, and it includes the repairs on all the roadways. Trombino says there will be some state costs, as on Highway 175 for example, they took this opportunity to add some protections to the roadways in areas as a precaution against future floods.

He says those improvements are considered betterment under the federal highway rules, but Trombino says they felt it was worthwhile for the long-term preservation of the roadway and the bridge to make additional improvements. Three major river crossings were closed by the Missouri River flood waters, with a total of 77 miles shut down by the flooding. As an example of how fast the repair work was done, the just over three mile section of I-680 was reopened to traffic just 34 days after the waters receded.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

No cause determined for fire in pile of donated goods in Atlantic

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A fire outside of the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Atlantic early this (Monday) morning sent flames shooting above the roof of the building, and destroyed numerous items left for donation in and near a drop box. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said a newspaper carrier reported the fire near the west side of the building located at 716 West 7th Street, at around 2:30-a.m. McNees says there were numerous items piled outside the building during the day, Sunday, including 4 or 5 mattress and box-spring sets, furniture, children’s toys, and clothing. No damage was reported to the building itself. He says the fire was investigated this morning by himself and Atlantic Police Officer Paul Woods. He says it appears the fire was accidental in nature and may have been smoldering for quite some time.

He says a second eyewitness confirmed the belief the fire was accidental. McNees says firefighters knocked down the flames quickly. They were on the scene for about 30-minutes. No injuries were reported.

Pott County chase & arrest: update – names released

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa have released the names of  two people who were arrested Sunday morning following a gas drive-off and high-speed chase.  Lt. John Reynolds with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspects as Jennifer and Norman Burnholm, of Greenville, South Carolina.  The couple was located in a muddy ravine by Pott. County K-9 officer Brian Miller and his partner “Francisco.”

The Iowa State Patrol says the pursuit began Sunday morning on Interstate 29 near Glenwood, when the pair drove off without paying for gas. During the ensuing chase, speeds topped 100 miles an hour. The pickup the suspects were in came to rest in a corn field near 272nd and Juniper Streets, between McClelland and Underwood.  A perimeter was established by the Patrol and Deputies with the Pott County Sheriff’s Office before the suspects were found and taken into custody at around 10:15-a.m.   

The patrol says the vehicle the couple were in had been stolen from South Carolina, where it was involved in a police chase last Tuesday. The Burnholm’s were booked into the Pott County Jail, where they were being held on $10,000 bond, each. Norman Burnholm faces at least 20 charges , including Theft in the 1st Degree, 2 counts of Assault on a Police Officer, Drug Paraphernalia, eluding, Possesion of a weapon, 2nd Degree Robbery, Assault while participating in a Felony, and on a warrant out of South Carolina. Jennifer Burnholm faces charges which include 1st Degree Theft, Robbery in the 2nd Degree, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Preventing or Obstructing Prosecution and being a fugitive from justice, in association with incidents which allegedly occurred in South Carolina.

Community meeting to be held Nov. 14th re:Cumberland Post Office

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Representatives with the U-S Postal service will be in Cumberland next week to discuss the possible closure of the community’s Post Office. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 6-p.m. Mon., Nov. 14th, It will be held in the Cumberland Community Building.  Residents of the community have been signing petitions voicing their objection to the possible closing. The petitions can be found at the Cumberland Telephone Office, 21st Century Co-op, the Cumberland City Hall, and Cumberland Library. In addition, a questionnaire has been mailed to residents of the community. Organizers of the petition are encouraging those who have received the mailing to fill it out and return it as soon as possible. They also encourage you to send letters to Representatives Steve King and Leonard Boswell, along with Senators Grassley and Harkin.

There are nearly 270 small Post Offices around the State which could be on the chopping block. Officials say the Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in its most recent fiscal year, the largest net loss in its history. It began a push in January to close 2,000 post offices nationwide (out of 32,000) in order to save money by any means possible. In July, the USPS announced that it was reviewing the use of 3,700 of its 32,000 offices nationwide, for possible closure.

5 Arrests reported in Fremont County

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports five people were arrested over the past week. On Friday, 32-year old Shonna Shondell Rakes, of Riverside, was arrested for 5th degree theft. Last Thursday, 32-year old Vernon Lee Humphrey, of Omaha, was arrested for Trespassing, and on a U-S Marshall’s warrant. Also arrested Thursday, was 29-year old Aurora Jeanne Campbell, of Council Bluffs, on a charge of Trespassing, and, 38-year old George Anthony Ferrell, of Council Bluffs, who was arrested for Trespassing and 5th degree theft.

On Wednesday, 36-year old Tracie Lou Payne, of Rockport, MO., was arrested on charges of Child Endangerment,  4th degree Criminal Mischief and Reckless Driving.