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Iowa inmate convicted of killing 2 in Pott. County, dies at hospital


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Corrections Department says a Fort Dodge prison inmate serving two life sentences for the death of two western Iowa residents, has died at a local hospital.  A department news release says 62-year-old Jerimiah Connolly died Saturday of end stage emphysema. He was being taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City when he was diverted to the local hospital.
He had been serving his sentence at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility.

The life sentences stem from two convictions for first-degree murder in Pottawattamie County. In November 1980 he was arrested and charged with killing 80-year-old Alanson Beach and 83-year-old Mina Beach. Connolly began the sentences on Nov. 3, 1981.

Greenfield man arrested in Creston


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Adair County was arrested Tuesday evening in Creston. Creston Police say 26-year old Zachary McNeeley, of Greenfield, was arrested in the Highway 34/Industrial Parkway area, for OWI/2nd offense and Driving While Suspended. McNeeley was being held in the Union County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

Huckabee raps Obama Administration RFS decision


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee visited a biorefinery in Corning Tuesday to highlight his support of the Renewable Fuels Standard — and his criticism of the Obama Administration’s decision to scale back ethanol production levels. “The government says they’re going to implement standards, implement a plan. They need to stick with it not only because there are thousands of jobs at stake, but also because they were the ones that created the mandate causing people to make huge investments,” Huckabee says. “They’ve made those investments and they shouldn’t have the government now pull the rug out from under them.”

The Environmental Protection Agency’s guideline for 2016 ethanol production is below 2007 levels. Huckabee says billions of dollars has been invested in the ethanol industry and it’s working. “Fuel costs for the average American are down by 16 percent due to the Renewable Fuel Standards. The enviromental impact has been significantly improved because of RFS,” Huckabee says. “Now you have the very government that urged people to get into renewable fuels trying to dial the whole program back. That, frankly, makes no sense.”

Huckabee is also questioning President Obama’s focus on climate change. Huckabee says the country “needs a commander-in-chief, not a weather-obsessed meteorologist.” Huckabee says Obama might take ISIS more seriously if he learned “they didn’t recycle.”

(Radio Iowa)

2 men arrested Wed. morning on drug charges in Villisca


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Villisca at around 2:15-a.m. today (Wednesday), resulted in the arrest of two men on drug charges. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says 45-year old John Leon Lynn Bowen, of Villisca, faces a felony, Possession of Methamphetamine charge, while 36-year old Joshua Duane Mohn, of Red Oak, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Sheriff’s deputies were assisted in conducting the stop by Montgomery County K9 “Rush.”

Stolen property & drug paraphernalia found in Pacific Junction


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into several Fremont County burglaries that occurred Nov. 29th, resulted in the arrest of two people, Tuesday. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says the burglaries occurred at a farm residence near Sidney. Among the items taken was at least one firearm. A search warrant executed by Fremont and Mills County deputies in Pacific Junction, Tuesday, resulted in the recovery of several pieces of stolen property, as well as drug paraphernalia.

Taken into custody for Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, was 35-year old Leo Alan Edwards, of Pacific Junction, who was brought to the Mills County Jail. Charges against Edwards are currently pending in Fremont County. 25-year old Sonia Danielle Smith, of Hamburg, was arrested in Glenwood. Smith was charged with Burglary in the 3rd Degree, Theft in the 2nd Degree, and Possession of Contraband in a Correctional Institution. Additional charges are pending. Smith was being in the Fremont County Jail on a $15,000 cash only bond.

Authorities are looking for anyone who may have purchased items over the past few weeks from either Smith or Edwards. Officials believe items may have been sold through Craigslist in either Council Bluffs or the Clarinda areas.

Person of interest in Des Moines murders arrested following stand-off w/law enforcement


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man Des Moines Police said was a “Person of Interest” in a double homicide investigation was arrested late Tuesday night in northern Dallas County, after a four-hour stand-off with authorities. According to Perry radio station KDLS, 39-year old Michael Wanchanic surrendered and was taken into custody near Bouton.  Wanchanic was wanted for questioning in the murders of 36-year-old Bryon Howard and 31-year-old Heather Belieu, who were found dead inside a home on Des Moines’ west side Monday afternoon. Police are not saying how they died. Wanchanic reportedly lived in the couples’ home, along with several other persons, including children.

Authorities received a tip at around 6:15-p.m. Tuesday, that Wanchanic was possibly in Woodward. Woodward Police Chief Joe Cox saw the man at a local convenience store and pursued the subject’s van until the vehicle died on Highway 141, near Bouton. Wanchanic remained in van for hours as law enforcement agencies from the Dallas County Sheriff’s office, Woodward Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Boone County Sheriff’s office and Suburban Emergency Response Team attempted to negotiate with him.

The man reportedly told authorities during the incident, that he had a 9 millimeter gun with him, and he wanted a cigarette. He never directly threatened officers at the scene but he did threaten to harm himself and commit suicide. Wanchanic was processed by the Des Moines Police Department and taken to the Polk County jail.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 2nd 2015


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa state senator and congressional candidate is being criticized by Republicans and Democrats after he said he supports executing immigrant felons who seek to re-enter the U.S. illegally after being deported. Republican Mark Chelgren is running for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Chelgren told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his comments came during a conversation about terrorism and border control. Chelgren stressed he was talking specifically about immigrants with felony convictions trying to re-enter the U.S. illegally.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa’s governing body is withholding details of a plan to rename a campus building, which is scheduled to be announced and approved within a matter of hours Wednesday. Iowa Board of Regents spokesman Josh Lehman says the details of the proposal will be released at Wednesday’s board meeting, where regents are scheduled to vote on it in the afternoon.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Jeb Bush and his super PAC have put roughly three times as much money into television advertising as any of his Republican presidential rivals. But the former Florida governor appears to have made little progress in a race that continues to be dominated by political novices like real estate mogul Donald Trump. Bush’s poll numbers are in the single digits nationally and in New Hampshire, the second-to-vote state where he has concentrated its efforts.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The presidents of two public universities in Iowa say they want more state dollars to add faculty and increase salaries. University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld says he’s requesting more than $5 million in additional funds for the upcoming fiscal year to help increase the salaries of some faculty. He says the money would keep the university competitive.

Rollover accident west of Atlantic Tue. night


December 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a rollover accident west of Atlantic, Tuesday night. According to dispatch reports, a vehicle was on its side in the ditch just off 570th Street between Galveston and Fayette Road.

Photo courtesy Cass County Emergency Mgmt Coordinator Mike Kennon

Photo courtesy Cass County Emergency Mgmt Coordinator Mike Kennon.

The driver was trapped in the vehicle but was otherwise said to have been uninjured. Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance responded to the scene at around 6:12-p.m. Roads in the area were said to have been icy.

No other details are currently available.

November 2015 = 8th wettest, 10th warmest

News, Weather

December 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The just ended month of November is entering the records books as unusually warm and wet. Harry Hillaker is the state climatologist. He says preliminary figure show last month was the 8th wettest and 10th warmest November in Iowa over 143 years of record keeping. The statewide average temperature for the month was 41.7 degrees, 5.1 degrees warmer than normal. The warmest temperatures were recorded on November 2nd.

Weather records for Atlantic compiled at the KJAN studios (The official National Weather Service reporting site for Atlantic), indicate the month of November was wetter and warmer than normal, as well. We received 4.1-inches of precipitation last month, which was 2.25″ inches more than the average 1.85.  Snowfall and mixed precipitation accounted for 1.8 inches of the total liquid precip. value.

The average High last month was 52.8 degrees, which was 2.5 degrees warmer than normal, while the average Low was 31.4, and that was 4.9 degrees warmer than normal. The warmest day of the month was on Nov. 2nd, when we reached 77 degrees. The coldest day was on the 26th, when the thermometer bottomed out at 21.

“Des Moines, Glenwood, and Shenandoah all reached 79 degrees,” Hillaker said. “On the cold end of things, we had a couple of dates where we got down below zero. Spencer was the first to do that, minus-four degrees on the 21st. On the very next morning, Waterloo and Stanley…got down to minus-five degrees.” The first 10 days of November were extremely dry, but the remainder of the month involved a lot of rain and snow.

The statewide average snowfall total for the month was 6.1 inches, more than double usual amount for November. Last month enters the record books as Iowa’s 13th snowiest November. “In fact, that one big storm we had on November 20-21 brought more snow than any other single November back to 1991,” Hillaker said. Rock Rapids, in far northwest Iowa, received over 15 inches of snow in that storm. The other unusual weather event during the month involved 13 tornadoes touching down across south-central and southeast Iowa on Veteran’s Day.

“If those numbers hold up, that looks to be a record for the month of November,” Hillaker said. “Ten years ago, in 2005, we had 12 tornadoes recorded on almost the same day, November 12.”

(Radio Iowa/KJAN)



December 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says more than $173,000 in 50 percent cost-share grants have recently been awarded to 74 of Iowa’s rural fire departments to aid their efforts in protecting Iowan’s and their property from wildfires. The grants offer valuable funding assistance for wildfire suppression, personal protective and communications equipment.

Among the fire departments that have received or will receive 2015 VFA grants, are those in: Creston, Elk Horn, Harlan, Irwin, Menlo, Onawa, Sidney, Stanton, and Stuart. The grants are made possible through the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau, in cooperation with US Forest Service – State and Private Forestry.

Gail Kantak, fire supervisor with the DNR’s Forestry Bureau, reminds all fire departments of the importance of submitting Wildland Fire Reports whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire. Wildland fire reporting forms are available at www.iowadnr.gov/fire.

Departments returning the reports receive priority points when the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant applications are scored. The wildland fire reports are compiled locally and nationally and are reported to Congress.