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Bluffs man wanted on attempted murder & other charges


October 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs said early this (Thursday) morning, that an arrest warrant has been issued for a man who was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon but escaped and struck a police officer with a vehicle while attempting to flee. 27-year old Adam W. Thomas, of Council Bluffs, is wanted for Attempt to Commit Murder, Theft in the 1st degree, Theft by Deception, and Escape from Custody.

Adam W. Thomas

Adam W. Thomas

Officials say the incident began at around 3:30-p.m. Wednesday. A Council Bluffs Police Officer was at the Bomgaar’s store (2703 E. Kanesville Blvd.) when store staff notified him of a fraud in progress. Through an investigation the officer was able to identify a suspect (Adam Thomas) who was still in the store. With the assistance of a second Council Bluffs Officer Thomas was handcuffed and taken into custody a little before 4-p.m.

Thomas, was placed in a patrol vehicle, but while the officers were continuing with their investigation, Thomas managed to escaped from the patrol car. He returned to the 2007 Chevy pickup he arrived at the store in, and began to drive away. Thomas ignored verbal commands by one of the officers for him to stop, and in the process of leaving, struck one of the officers with the truck. An officer fired several shots in an attempt to stop Thomas, be he was able to flee the scene, heading eastbound. The officer who was hit by the pickup was being treated at a local hospital. The names of the officers involved in this incident are not being released at this time.

The pickup Thomas drove was located at around 9-p.m. Wednesday, abandoned in the Crescent/Underwood area (near 23752 Idlewood Road). The suspect vehicle had been reported stolen on Oct. 13th. The area where the pickup was found was searched by officers with the assistance of the Omaha Police Department Helicopter and K-9 unit as well as the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

As of early this morning, Thomas has not been found. The suspect vehicle was towed to a secure location where a search warrant will be conducted at a later date and time to be determined. Anyone with information of Adam W. Thomas, should contact their local law enforcement agency immediately.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Oct. 15th 2015


October 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former prison guard has admitted that he smuggled cellphones into Iowa’s Anamosa State Penitentiary. Federal court records say 29-year-old Garrett Barton of Anamosa, pleaded guilty on Tuesday. Officials say he smuggled the phones into the prison and extorted money from an inmate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A political action committee that opposes Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid has aired a TV ad showing the grave of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed on Benghazi, Libya. The 30-second ad by the Stop Hillary PAC aired on CNN in selected media markets during Tuesday’s Democratic debate. It also shows photos of Stevens and three other Americans killed during the September 2012 attacks. Democrats on the House Benghazi committee condemned the ad and said Stevens’ image was used without his family’s permission.

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has a new target for his barbs: Democratic contender Bernie Sanders. Trump told thousands of people at a rally at the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia Wednesday evening that Sanders is a “maniac” who is pushing Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to the left.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A report card is out on the Mississippi River basin, and the grade is not good: a D+, with the river’s aging transportation infrastructure topping the list of concerns. America’s Watershed Initiative on Wednesday released details of its report card, which assessed categories such as the abundance of clean water, flood control and risk, and recreation.

Neola bank robbed Wed. afternoon


October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa were still on the lookout late Wednesday evening, for a man suspected of robbing a bank in Pottawattamie County, Wednesday afternoon. Pott. County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Reynolds told the Daily NonPareil, the incident happened at the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in Neola, at around 1-p.m.

Reynolds said a man wearing a mask entered the bank and allegedly told employees and customers to get down on the floor for 30 seconds before he fled the scene. A witness saw the man run to and drive away in a red or maroon late model Ford Explorer. No one was injured during the robbery. It’s unclear if the man had or displayed a weapon, and there was no information available as to how much cash the robber got away with.

Classes at Tri-Center Neola continued as normal during the afternoon, while authorities and staff monitored parking lots and building exteriors. The students were dismissed at their regular time, as well.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (712) 890-2200.

State grants available for rural fire department equipment


October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the deadline for fire departments in rural Iowa to seek state grants to buy equipment to fight fires in farm fields and timber areas. Gail Kantak, the fire supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says this is the time of year over-heated combines start a fire.  “Pay attention to sparks and hot spots especially when you’re out in that tinderbox of fuel in your corn and beans,” Kantak says. “It can lead to a big problem.”

On Monday afternoon, two fire fighters in Scott County were treated for smoke inhalation after two fires swept through about two-thousand acres of eastern Iowa farm ground. Later Monday afternoon in northwest Iowa, a semi was destroyed in a field fire near Fostoria. Kantak says grain bins are unfortunately fertile ground for fires, too, and a lit light bulb touching the grain can spark a fire.

“Also keep in mind that the dust created by the grain as it’s filling is combustible as well,” Kantak says, “so just be really careful with those things and keep the electricity off in the bin as much as you can.” Iowa fire departments that serve communities with a population under 10-thousand are eligible for Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants.

The grants of up to 35-hundred dollars provide matching funds to buy fire fighting equipment “to save lives and protect property in rural areas.” In addition, the fire program staff in the Department of Natural Resources offers courses for volunteer fire fighters in Iowa to teach tactics for putting out fires in fields and other wild lands.

(Radio Iowa)

Lewis man arrested on a felony armed w/intent charge


October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a Lewis man was arrested Tuesday on an Atlantic Police Dept. warrant for Going Armed with Intent, a Class-D felony. 33-year old Bo Wilson was taken to the Cass County Jail and released Wednesday (today), on his own recognizance.

Also arrested Tuesday, was 20-year old Brandan Dwayne Clark, of Atlantic. Deputies arrested Clark on a charge of Failure to Appear. He remains held without bond in the Cass County Jail.

FBI announced sex trafficking arrests in Omaha


October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The FBI says two underage victims have been rescued and three pimps arrested in the Omaha area as part of a nationwide crackdown on human trafficking. In all, the FBI said Tuesday, 21 people were arrested in Omaha as part of the Operation Cross Country IX. The effort was led by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Omaha Police Department, Douglas County,Nebraska Sheriff’s Department, Council Bluffs Police Department, Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mills County Sheriff’s Office are part of the local FBI-led task force.

The FBI says the national sting was conducted in 135 cities. Altogether, authorities rescued 149 minors and arrested 153 pimps.

12 grants awarded to help promote specialty crops in IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Wednesday) announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will be awarding grants to twelve Iowa projects to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa. The Department received slightly more than $296,720 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to support the program.

Included among the grant recipients is Prairie Moonwort Hops Farm, LLC. The business will receive a $9,100 grant to determine the viability of hops plants, within the small plot (less than 10 acre) field common in the Loess Hills region of western Iowa, and to prove the marketability of “locally grown” hops to the emerging craft beer industry.

Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, and producer groups were eligible to apply for funding. The maximum grant award from the Department to sub-grantees is $24,000 and administrative and indirect costs were not allowed.

Grant funds will be used for projects that benefit and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops industry as a whole, and cannot be for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

“Specialty Crops” are eligible under the program include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The funds not passed through will be used by the Department to administer the grant.

The rest of the grant recipients are as follows:

  • Iowa Department of Public Health – WIC – $24,000 to increase the sales of fruit and vegetables at Iowa farmers markets and the consumption of various specialty crops resulting from an advertising campaign promoting the usage of the farmers market checks distributed to WIC participants.
  • Iowa Lakes Community College – $20,000 to educate community youth, adults with disabilities, college students, and community patrons on specialty crop gardening, the nutritional benefits of locally-grown food, the physical benefits of gardening, and the economic resourcefulness of local produce programs.
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa – $24,000 to enhance collaborative on-farm research and farmer to farmer knowledge sharing for successful specialty crops in Iowa.
  • Iowa Food Hub dba Allamakee New Beginnings – $10,500 to enhance the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)/Good Handling Practices (GHP) cost share program for Iowa fruit and vegetable producers.
  • Iowa Honey Producers Association – $8,581 to establish an online searchable bee law website for general public use.
  • Lutheran Services of Iowa – $24,000 to help refugees in Iowa improve their production of specialty crops and increase the availability of their produce to the public and to begin to transition their specialty crop businesses to independent operations.
  • Iowa City Parks and Rec – $23,990 to create and teach within edible classrooms in order to promote specialty crops in Iowa City for community involvement at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center.
  • New Hope Community, Inc. – $22,643 to establish and create the Mahaska County season extension demonstration project for specialty crop production.
  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Farm to School Program – $14,900 to teach students through hands-on lessons about all aspects of gardening and healthy environmental alternatives to composting in a specialty crop environment.
  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – $46,693 to conduct the Iowa commercial horticulture food crops survey and economic impact study.
  • The Iowa Wine Trail – $24,000 to increase awareness of specialty grape crops in Iowa through a marketing campaign.

USDA awards contracts to 2 companies for bird flu vaccines

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal agency has awarded contracts to two companies to manufacture a bird flu vaccine. But officials haven’t decided whether to give the doses to poultry to protect against a disease that led to the destruction of 48 million chickens and turkeys this spring. The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it had awarded contracts to Harrisvaccines of Ames, Iowa, and Ceva, a company based in France. The USDA didn’t release the cost of the contracts.

As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to manufacture an unspecified number of doses, store them for up to five years and deliver them throughout the U.S. within 10 days. The USDA says it would need to decide whether the treatment would be effective and weigh potential trade effects before using any vaccine.

Southwest Iowa lagging behind in harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The latest U-S-D-A crop report shows the harvest is 12 days ahead of last year for corn and 10 days ahead for soybeans, but one section of the state is lagging well behind those numbers. Iowa State University agronomist Aaron Saeugling monitors 12-southwest Iowa counties.  “In southwest Iowa it’s going to be a long fall,” Saeugling says.

That’s because constant rains, some often several inches, delayed planting and kept some fields from being planted. That makes for a lot of different scenarios in the fields. ”I’ve got producers who are wrapping up soybeans and I’ve got producers that haven’t started,” according to Saeugling.

It’s not all of southwest Iowa — not even all of some farms. “So for those guys it’s kind of bittersweet,” Saeugling says, “they’ve got fields that are yielding better than they ever dreamed of. They’ve got fields they won’t harvest.” Either way, the area is well behind the statewide average for corn of 20 percent harvested and 65 percent for soybeans. “If I had to average — probably pushing really close to fifty-percent on beans. Corn right now, maybe twenty percent,” Saeugling estimates.

In contrast, in northwest Iowa where things were drier, an agronomist reports two-thirds of the corn and nearly all of the soybeans are already harvested.

(Radio Iowa)

Weather allows work to continue on Cass County bridge projects


October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors had a brief meeting this (Wednesday) morning, here in Atlantic. The Board approved the final plans for Bridge #20 (Whistler’s Bridge), located about 2-miles south of Cumberland on 690th Street. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said work on the project involves replacing the culvert under the bridge. The bridge is currently down to one lane because of the condition of the structure underneath it. A box culvert will be installed.

The culvert will have two, “shotgun-style” openings, or three, side-by-side, depending on the flow capacity needed. Bids for the project will be let later this fall. Marker said also, a meeting was scheduled to take place today (Wednesday) with the contractor pertaining to the bridge on Highway 83 near the Griswold Golf Course, with the plan being to pour concrete for the project Thursday morning.

Marker also planned to meet with the contractor for Bridge 247 located south of Anita. He said the contractor would like to start work on the pony truss bridge Thursday, as well. The bridge is being replaced because it is limited to the amount of weight it can handle.

And, the Board presented the County’s initial Collective Bargaining proposal to the Union representing the Deputies and Jailers. The Union last week had presented its proposal to the County for the FY 2017-through ’19 contract.