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Bluffs Police investigate convenience store robbery

News

April 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating the armed robbery early this (Thursday) morning, of a convenience store. Officials say at around 12:05-a.m., two black men entered the Kwik Shop at 1602 Avenue G in Council Bluffs. One of the men displayed a black handgun and demanded money. Both suspects’ faces were covered as the entered the business. They were able to escape with an undetermined amount of cash. No injuries were reported.

The first suspect was described as being 5-feet 10-inches tall. He was approximately 18-to 25-years of age and weighed about 175-pounds. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. The second suspect was also 18-to 25-years of age, about 5-feet seven-inches tall, and weighing about 150-pounds. He wore a royal blue hooded sweatshirt with a red symbol and white writing on the upper left chest area.

The incident remains under investigation by the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Public hearing this evening in Walnut on development agreement

News

April 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Walnut will hold a public hearing during their meeting this evening, with regard to a development agreement between the City and Lynn Driver, who has plans to add on to a new restaurant on the site of the old Villager Restaurant, near the interstate. The Council has been talking about providing Driver with Tax Increment payments as an incentive to build “Emma Jean’s” Restaurant. The restaurant is currently open and serves pizza and sandwiches, but Driver wants to expand so it becomes a full-service business and bigger menu. Following the hearing, the council will consider action on adopting a resolution approving the development agreement.

In other business, the Walnut City Council will hear the results of a youth survey, discuss nuisances, the possible development of a sand volleyball court at Fireman’s Park, and, review and update the City’s Infrastructure Needs Study and Strategic Plan.

Their meeting begins in the Council’s Chambers, at 5-p.m.

Atlantic City Council tables action on two issues; Mayor issues “Keep Atlantic Beautiful” proclamation

News

April 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday tabled two of the items on their agenda for last night’s meeting. That included the first reading of an ordinance which would have added a Chapter to the City Code with regard to bow hunting of antlerless deer within the City limits. The Council wanted more input and information on the ordinance, as drafted, before it’s put back on the table. They also tabled a resolution to amend the City’s Personnel Policy with regard to employee safety, and loss control measures. The amendments would have required City employees to wear seat belts, and it would require the City to: have a designated physician for on the job injuries, and a return to work policy.

City Administrator Doug Harris said the recommendations followed a site visit from Ed Morrison, Loss Control Representative for the Iowa Municipalities Worker’s Compensation Association (IMWCA). The Council tabled action on the policy, because they still had several questions on some of the guidelines and specifications the IMWCA has proposed its member cities adopt in their ordinances. Instead of acting on the resolution, the Council chose instead to refer it to the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee for further review and clarification.

In other business, the Council passed a resolution accepting and approving the acquisition of property located at 400 Hickory Street, 300 Cedar, and 302 1/2 Cedar. The properties have been deemed abandoned and unsafe for human occupation. With the possible exception of one structure, the other structures are likely to be demolished, and the lots sold to the public.
In his report to the Council, City Administrator Doug Harris said the City’s new, $14-million wastewater treatment plant is scheduled to come on line during the early morning hours of Sunday, April 15th.

Harris says once any “bugs” are worked out of the new system and the plant is fully operational, the old wastewater treatment plant will be demolished, most likely around the first of May. Plans to replace the old wastewater treatment plant began in 2006, after it was determined the current, nearly 70-year old facility could not handle a significant storm water run-off, and, because the D-N-R had required the city to build a million-gallon retention basin, or lagoon. The City opted instead, to build a new, more modern plant.

Also during Wednesday night’s meeting, Mayor Dave Jones issued a proclamation designating April 2012 as “Keep Atlantic Beautiful” month. The proclamation encourages every family, business and organization within the community to keep the town litter-free and “more beautiful.” Jones says citizens should “Look for opportunities to pick-up, clean-up, paint-up, fix-up and plant-up, to see what a difference we can make altogether.”

Prairie Chicken Festival April 6th & 7th in Ringgold County

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say the 2012 Annual Prairie Chicken Festival will be this Friday and Saturday, April 6th & 7th, in Ringgold County.

A Prairie Chicken (photo at iowabirds.org.)

The event will kick off at the Ringgold County Courthouse auditorium in Mount Ayr with a celebration Friday evening from 5:30- to 7:30- p.m. The evening will include a presentation by Chief Blue Star Eagle, Sherwyn Zephier, and his wife Estellene on prairie chickens in the Yankton Sioux culture, including an authentic prairie chicken dance. Additional presentations will be made by Iowa Audubon, Blank Park Zoo and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

This Saturday, prairie chicken viewing will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Kellerton Grassland Bird Conservation, two miles west of Kellerton on Hwy. 2, and one mile south.  Participants will be able to view prairie chickens on their booming ground, or lek. Spotting scopes will be provided and naturalists will be on hand to answer questions. In addition to prairie chickens, an extensive list of grassland nesting birds including upland sandpipers, Henslow’s sparrows and northern harriers will be prevalent. A second program will be presented by Chief Blue Star Eagle at the site at approximately 8:30 a.m.

A medium-sized grouse, prairie chickens were abundant in tallgrass prairies in the eastern and central United States at the time of European settlement. Their numbers began to decline in the late 1800s because of habitat loss and market hunting. The last known nesting in Iowa occurred in Appanoose County in 1952.  Today, most of greater prairie chickens are found in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, with small populations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and North Dakota. The Kellerton population of prairie chickens is a result of reintroduction efforts by the DNR in the 1980s.

Visit www.iowadnr.gov to read more on the prairie chicken.

Persia, IA man sentenced to prison for Omaha murder

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Iowa man who pleaded guilty to killing an Omaha man has been sentenced to 60 to 80 years in prison. A Douglas County judge on Wednesday sentenced 29-year-old Justin Reinders, of Persia, Iowa, to 50 to 60 years for second-degree murder and 10 to 20 years on a weapons charge. Reinders was charged with fatally shooting Milton Jackson at a lubrication business in Omaha in January 2011. Reinders, who had been charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty earlier this year in a deal with prosecutors. Questions had been raised about Reinders’ sanity at the time of the shooting. A judge ruled earlier that Reinders was not insane and was competent to stand trial.

Harrison Co. murderer dies in prison

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man convicted of killing his wife in western Iowa in 1982 has died in prison. The corrections department says 70-year-old Roy Bales died Tuesday at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says Bales died as result of several health problems, including congestive heart failure. Bales was convicted of first-degree murder in Harrison County in August 1982 and sentenced to life in prison. Assistant County Attorney Judson Frisk says Bales was found guilty of killing his wife, Darlene. Frisk, who was county attorney at the time, says Bales beat up his wife and drove her to a country road where he stabbed her and hid the body in a tube under a gravel road.

Mom in Iowa western IA murder case wrote to Wis. sex offender

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor says a mother convicted of a high-profile western Iowa murder wrote a letter detailing the crime scene to a Wisconsin sex offender in an attempt to solicit testimony to back up her self-defense claims. Tracey Richter has claimed her 2001 shooting of Dustin Wehde, was self-defense during a home invasion in the Sac County community of Early. But jurors in November sided with prosecutors, who argued that Richter killed Wehde in a plot to implicate her first husband in a murder-for-hire scheme.
 
Jailers copied one letter Richter wrote to Wisconsin inmate James Landa that showed diagrams of the home where the shooting happened and a car where evidence was found. The letter included information about the victim and others Richter claims was involved. Prosecutor Ben Smith said Richter was seeking testimony to win a new trial.

Massena man arrested Tuesday night was pepper sprayed into compliance

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Massena man was hit with pepper spray and taken into custody after he was pulled over Tuesday night for Driving Under Suspension. Cass County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Westering says Deputy Josh McLaren attempted to stop 52-year old Barry Dean Schmidt, of Massena, at around 7:35-p.m., near 700th and Richland Road. Schmidt, who was driving a pickup truck failed to comply and was pursued by the deputy until the truck stopped near the County shed at about 720th and Richland.

Westering said Schmidt refused numerous instructions by McLaren to “Show his hands” once the vehicle was stopped. Several surrounding law enforcement agencies were called to provide backup, including the Iowa State Patrol, and Adair County Sheriff’s Deputies. Eventually, McLaren deployed pepper spray and Schmidt was taken into custody. He was also treated at the scene for exposure to the chemical ingrediants in pepper spray.

Schmidt faces charges which include Interference with Official Acts, Eluding, Driving Under Suspension, and 3rd Offense OWI. Schmidt appeared before the magistrate this (Wednesday) morning, and was initially unable to post $6,000 bond. He was being held in the Cass County Jail, pending payment of the bond.

Benefits of Iowa’s Universities to be the topic of an event in Atlantic

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A student-led movement to create awareness of the value Iowa’s public universities deliver throughout the state, is coming to Atlantic next week. Universities for a Better Iowa, will bring its campaign to the community on April 12th. During the event, alumni and friends of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa, along with student leaders at those institutions, will be at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic, from 5 until 6:30-p.m.

Presentations will be made during the free event, to demonstrate the benefits to all Iowans investments in Iowa’s Public Universities have made. Light snacks and refreshments will also be served.

Arrests reported in Atlantic this week

News

April 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports three people were arrested this week. On Tuesday, 28-year old Cheryl Knight was arrested for OWI and Eluding, and 29-year old William Ancherson was arrested for Driving While Suspended. On Monday, 27-year old Jill Hanselman was also arrested for Driving While Suspended. All three are from Atlantic.

Hanselman and Ancherson were cited for their alleged offenses, and released. Knight was booked into the Cass County Jail.