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Legislative Coffees Scheduled for Cass County


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with PRIDE (the Progressive Rural Iowa Development group) have announced three legislative coffees have been scheduled for various communities in Cass County for the 2012 Iowa session. Randy Baxter, President of PRIDE, says “These coffees are opportunities to have face-to-face dialogue with our Iowa legislators, Senator Nancy Boettger, and Representatives Clel Baudler and Jack Drake.” Baxter adds that “The legislators always appreciate coming to Cass County because we have such terrific attendance. People here really want to have input into our state government, so they participate when the legislators make time to come to our towns.” 

The first coffee is Saturday, February 11th, at the Legion Hall in Massena, at 10 a.m., with special guest will be Mike Cormack, policy liaison to Jason Glass, director for the Iowa Department of Education and former social studies teacher from Massena. Mike will join Boettger, Baudler and Drake, to discuss education reform, one of the top issues of the current legistlative session.  The second event will be held Saturday, March 10, at the Marne Community Center, at 7:30 a.m.!   The early start time allows the legislators and citizens to attend the coffee, and, be present later in the morning at the county’s political conventions. The final coffee will take place Saturday, April 14, at the Cass County Museum in Griswold at 10 a.m. 

P.R.I.D.E. is the economic development organization that works on behalf of the cities of Cumberland, Griswold, Lewis, and Marne for Cass County development, plus numerous individual members and businesses in Southwest Iowa. For additional information, or to join P.R.I.D.E., please contact Randy Baxter, president, at 781-2395, or Clarke Gerlock, vice-president, at 712-774-5476.

Bank robber threatens western IA clerk with Molotov cocktail


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

VAIL, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in Crawford County are looking for a suspect who they say threatened a teller at the Westside State Bank in Vail with an explosive device before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbery occurred just after 9 a.m. Saturday. Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler said the man, described as white, in his 30s or 40s with a red goatee, threatened a teller with a Molotov cocktail but did not use the homemade bomb. The sheriff says the suspect, who was also wearing sunglasses, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot.  Bank President Matt Lujano declined comment.

Mills County arrests


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a Glenwood man was arrested Thursday on drug and Child Endangerment charges.  35-year-old Clinton Prindle was taken into custody on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Child Endangerment. The Sheriff’s Office reports also,  51-year-old Dale Peters, of Glenwood,  was arrested Tuesday, and 20-year-old Nile Packett, of Glenwood, was arrested last Sunday. Both were charged with Domestic Abuse Assault.

Traffic stop early this (Saturday) morning turns into a drug arrest


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A routine traffic stop early this (Saturday) morning in Shenandoah resulted in the arrest of two people on drug charges. According to the Shenandoah Police Department, Officer Steve Mather stopped a vehicle in the 500 block of south Fremont Street. An investigation resulted in the arrest of Shenandoah residents, 36-year-old William Fuller, on two Page County warrants for contempt of court and possession of drug paraphernalia, and 33-year-old Lisa Moyer, who was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. Fuller was taken to the Page County Jail and is being held on $1,325 bond. Moyer was able to post bond, cited into court, and released.

(Podcast) Saturday’s Area News

News, Podcasts

January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….


State officials say mental health overhaul likely


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State officials are moving ahead with the most fundamental change in the state’s mental health system in more than a century.  Department of Human Services director Chuck Palmer says in an interview with The Associated Press that he expects legislators to approve the change, which will lead to a uniform system rather than services that now vary from county to county. Palmer says that should mean improved services that are available across the state. The five-year cost of the effort is projected to be about $133 million, with a big first-year bill of $47 million. 

Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat who helped devise the new system, says funding should be available, even at a time when lawmakers are face with a tight overall state budget.

West Harrison Superintendent confirms investigation into H.S. Principal’s alleged actions


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The superintendent of the West Harrison Community School District on Friday, released a statement involving one of his principals. Joel Foster confirmed earlier reports that both the district and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Principal & girls basketball coach Mike Loftin’s alleged actions, at the West Harrison High School in Mondamin. The investigation was launched after an incident allegedly took place on January 20th. A 15-year old freshman girl claimed Loftin pulled off her breakaway pants down to her knees in front of fellow students, leaving her exposed in her underwear.  The teen, who is a guard on the West Harrison girls basketball team,  told authorities the incident took place outside of a locker room, just before the team was about to board a bus for a game. The superintendent said once the investigation is complete, the school board will take appropriate action.

Here is the text of Superintendent Joel Foster’s statement to the media:

On Saturday January 21st, 2012, it was brought to my attention that there might have been an incident between a staff member and a student on Friday evening January 20th. I immediately began investigating this incident and the West Harrison Community Schools responded to the allegations in an appropriate manner. This incident continues to be actively investigated by West Harrison Community Schools and the Harrison County Sheriffs Department.At the conclusion of this investigation, the West Harrison Community Schools Board of Education will respond in a manner that is appropriate to the findings of the investigation.

Joel Foster Superintendent, West Harrison Community Schools

Dogs rescued from Sac County face long road to recovery


January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

It’s unlikely the 88 neglected dogs, removed this week from a property in northwest Iowa, will be available for adoption anytime soon. Authorities say the dogs, mostly Cocker Spaniels, were living in filthy conditions with their coats matted in dried feces.

Cocker Spaniel found on Sac Co. property (Photo by ARL of IA)

Employees and volunteers at animal shelters in Carroll, Boone, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City have spent hours grooming the dogs and treating them for tooth decay and skin, ear and bladder infections. Bob Citrullo, executive director of the Cedar Valley Humane Society in Cedar Rapids, says the dogs will remain in the shelters for a while.

“Either the owners of the facility need to turn them over, which is what we would suggest, or if it becomes a legal battle we have to wait for the outcome of that,” Citrullo said. A press release from the Siouxland Humane Society identified the owner of the dogs as Mary Brodersen, of rural Kiron. Officials say Broderson is a non-licensed dog breeder. The release also states five dogs were found dead on the property. Charges in the case are pending. Josh Colvin, with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL), says donations are needed to help improve the dogs’ health.

He said anyone making monetary donations to the ARL can indicate they’d like the money to help the “Sac County dogs.” The ARL also accepts donations of dry dog and puppy food.

Link to ARL: www.arl-iowa.org

(Radio Iowa)

Farmers angry missed dealine causes them to miss out on fed disaster pgm,

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Farmers whose land was damaged by Missouri River flooding expressed frustration Friday that a missed deadline will keep them from sharing in $215 million from one federal disaster program. Farmers and communities had to apply for the aid by June 30th, but many still had land under water then and couldn’t do a required damage assessment. Water didn’t recede from many farms in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri until late September or early October. The money is part of $308 million in funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week. It is distributed through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which requires a sponsor such as a city, county or drainage district. The money is meant to be used to clear drainage ditches, fix levees and structures and reshape eroded banks. Officials couldn’t say Friday how many farmers missed the chance to apply for help.

The flooding started in June when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing massive amounts of water from upstream reservoirs filled by melting snow and heavy rains. The deluge continued for months, overtopping levees and turning farms into lakes. When the water finally receded, farmers found tree limbs, trash and, in some places, a 2- to 3-feet of sand covering their land. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the application deadline set by Congress led to the money being primarily focused on disasters that happened earlier in 2011 but that didn’t mean farmers who suffered later damage wouldn’t get help. The deadline for the next round of funding is Jan. 31, but it’s unclear how much money will be given and whether it will come in time to help farmers and communities make repairs before this spring’s planting season. The farmers’ and communities’ best chance of getting some of the $215 million already allocated will be if other communities don’t use all the money they requested. Unused money is placed in a pot that could be redistributed, and about $452,000 leftover from past storms already has been used to help farmers in northwest Missouri, where 207,000 acres flooded last year.David Sieck, who has about 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans near Glenwood, Iowa, said it really bothered him that an arbitrary deadline was keeping some farmers and communities getting immediate access to the money. About half of land is in river bottoms and about three-fifths of that flooded last year. “Never ever do I remember a prolonged flood for 3 ½ months,” he said.

Missouri and Utah shared the bulk of the $308 million in disaster aid announced last week. Missouri received $50 million, while Utah got $60 million to deal with two rounds of flooding.

Harlan man charged with stalking his Ex


January 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan man was arrested last week on a charge of stalking his ex-wife twice in one week. According to the Harlan Police Department, a complaint was filed against 40-year old Anthony Thraen on January 17th, after he allegedly stalked his ex-wife Rebecca Schaben, by repeatedly parking across the street from her home, following her around town, and driving past her place of employment. On January 20th, Thraen was found to be in violation of a No Contact Order between him and Schaben. He was taken into custody and brought to the Shelby County Jail on a charge of violating the no contact order, and a second charge of stalking.

The H-P.D. says also, 41-year old Troy Gerard Smith, of Harlan, was arrested on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault, after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend at a residence on 5th Steet, January 21st.  That same day, 18-year old Matthew Scheuring, of Harlan, was arrested on a charge of Public Intoxication, after Harlan Police investigated a report of a person beating on a door, in the 2100 block of 8th Street.