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Public Hearing tonight on the rezoning of a subdivision in Atlantic


January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Public Hearing this evening (Tuesday) at City Hall, with regard to a proposed rezoning of the Southern Heights 2 housing subdivision, between 22nd and 19th Streets, west of Redwood Drive. The developer wants the area re-zoned to accommodate multi-family housing. The Commission discussed the proposal during their meeting on Jan. 8th.

The discussion included the future of Plum Street, versus Southern Heights Drive, along with storm water runoff and drainage issues. City Councilman Shaun Shouse said the developer provided ample information about why the developer thought the project was needed, and representatives from the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) were on-hand to offer their support.

Shouse said some residents in the area also offered their input, which included their support for the project, and concerns about traffic flow from 19th to 22nd.   During this evening’s meeting of the P-and-Z, the Commission will hear a report on issues concerning 19th Street, prior to holding a public hearing on the rezoning. After the hearing, the Commission will vote on the Conformance to the Comprehensive Plan, and on forwarding their recommendation to the City Council, for or against rezoning.

The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m.

7AM Newscast 01-29-2013

News, Podcasts

January 29th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Highs early this morning were near 60. Lows tomorrow will be near 0. Oh, and 4-6″ of snow…

News, Weather

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More big changes in the weather are coming. After an ice storm Sunday and an about-face with highs yesterday in the 50s and 60s, thunderstorms rolled over Iowa last night. The daytime high in Atlantic Monday was 47, but overnight, the temperature rose to 57 before falling back to 35 degrees by 5-a.m.  The 24-hour high of 57 was just one-degree shy of tying the record high for Jan. 28th.  The temperature rise overnight caused Red Oak to set a new 24-hour high of 61-degrees.

Forecasters say temperatures will drop today and a Winter Storm Watch is now posted for counties from southwest to central to northeast Iowa. Meteorologist Aubrey Wilkins, at the National Weather Service, says make sure your snowblower is full of gas. There’s the chance of heavy snow, with four to six inches possible across parts of central Iowa. Wilkins says the topsy-turvy weather will continue tomorrow as an arctic blast will make its way toward Iowa.

Wilkins says lows by tomorrow night will be in the single digits or below zero, a turnaround in two days of 60 degrees. High temperatures by the weekend will likely be back in the 20s and 30s, more the norm for the season.

(Radio Iowa & KJAN’s Ric Hanson contributed to this report)

DNR says Iowans may see more cougars in 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowans may see more mountain lions in their back yards and fields this year, as cougar populations are rising in their natural habitats — like Colorado and Oklahoma. Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says cougars are solitary and territorial so a growing population means some are forced to strike out on their own. Some will make it to Iowa, he says, which is how a big cat came to be shot in Des Moines last fall.  “As these young males get kicked out of their home area and they can travel significantly per day to get here,” Gipp says. “How it wound up in the middle of Des Moines is an interesting concept.”

While humans aren’t usually at risk, he says mountain lions prefer to prey on small mammals like rabbits and stray cats. “You’re going to see more and more of these types of things coming to Iowa because we’ve got a food source,” he says. Gipp says the rise of mountain lions in Iowa should balance itself out in the next few years. As more hunters in other states kill mountain lions, fewer shunned young males will wander into Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

No injuries reported following Shenandoah house fire


January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Shenandoah say no injuries were reported following a house fire Monday afternoon. According to reports, the fire took place at 106 South Avenue in Shenandoah, at around 4:30-p.m. The home sustained considerable damage and resulted in the family being displaced. Their names were not immediately available. The Red Cross was assisting the family in finding shelter. The cause of the blaze was believed to be faulty wiring.

Western Iowa man pleads not guilty to slaying, kidnapping


January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman. The Sioux City Journal reports Kirk Levin submitted a written plea Monday. He faces charges of first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her farmhouse in Early on Jan. 3. They say he then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman who he tied up and put in the trunk of a car. The woman escaped after Levin drove into a ditch.

Levin had been released from prison days earlier after serving time for burglary charges. Gov. Terry Branstad’s spokesman has defended the state’s release of Levin.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Jan. 29th 2013


January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in central Iowa say they kept a high school evacuated and briefly placed several other schools on lockdown because they received an unconfirmed threat. The threat yesterday was an unconfirmed report of an intruder at Boone High School. Officials say the threat was received by email.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City mother arrested after her toddler son was found legally drunk has been given a suspended prison sentence of up to 10 years. The sentence means Natasha Kriener will only go to prison if she violates the conditions of her three-year probation term. She has already served 104 days behind bars.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic lawmakers say a survey they sent to superintendents shows many expect teacher layoffs and class size increases if the Legislature doesn’t increase state aid by a March 1 deadline. Sen. Herman Quirmbach and Rep. Sharon Steckman held a news conference yesterday to announce results of a survey sent to 348 school districts.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northeast Iowa say a man was injured when the machinery he was driving was hit by a train. The Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office says Rick Wermerskirchen of Waterloo was driving a county-owned road grader that was crossing railroad tracks yesterday near Jesup. A Canadian National Railroad train then hit the road grader.

Attempted Kidnapping in Council Bluffs


January 28th, 2013 by admin

Police in Council Bluffs Police said Monday, one person was arrested in connection with an alleged attempted kidnapping. Authorities say 20-year old Nathan Busse of Council Bluffs allegedly attempted to kidnap an unidentified 10-year old girl. The victim was at Edison School finishing her duty as a crossing guard, when Busse approached her.

Busse reportedly asked the girl  “What’s up,” before grabbing her by the arm and forcing her to start walking with him. Police say the victim struggled while Busse told her “It’s OK.” She was finally able to break free after a brief struggle and ran to a family member who was there to pick her up.

Busse left the area but was located a short distance away by the victim’s father, who was able to detain the man until police arrived. After questioning, Busse was arrested on charges of Kidnapping/3rd Degree, Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, Enticing a minor, and Child stealing. He remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail Monday evening.

Stuart Stabbing Update


January 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Stuart Police Department have released additional information on a stabbing incident which occurred Saturday. Authorities say on the morning of January 26th, Stuart Police responded to a report of a male subject that had been stabbed. While investigating the stabbing, officers discovered a stolen handgun and other stolen property. The victim of the stabbing, James Block, was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines with injuries. He later left the hospital before officers could speak with him.

Sean Ward was arrested in connection with the stabbing and felon in possession of a firearm. Wynter Hudson and Sarah Clendaniel who were both present at the stabbing were arrested for possession of stolen property. While investigating the stabbing it was discovered that James Block had poured gasoline on Ward and attempted to light Ward on fire with a lighter before the stabbing had occurred.

Stuart Officers later served search warrants at three separate residences. While searching a residence in Stuart additional items of stolen property were recovered. While searching a residence in Earlham, officers discovered five stolen rifles including an “SKS” assault rifle, a stolen handgun and various other items of stolen property. Cory Daugherty was arrested at the Earlham residence for felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, and drug related charges.

The recovered property and firearms were linked to a home burglary in Stuart on January, 24th, 2013. Officers recovered a total of six rifles, two handguns and various other stolen items. The total value of the items was estimated at over $5,000. Additional charges have been filed in this case relating to the burglary, and trafficking of the stolen firearms.

(Update) Stabbing and Beating in Atlantic Early Monday Morning


January 28th, 2013 by admin

In an update to our story early Monday morning, the Atlantic Police Department late Monday afternoon said at around 3:30-a.m., officers with the A-PD responded to an area behind 1011 Birch Street after receiving a call about a fight in progress . Upon arrival, officers found several subjects in the area and fleeing the scene.

Soon thereafter, they discovered 43-year old Robert Leslie of Atlantic suffering from puncture and slashing wounds.  The man was taken to Cass County Hospital for treatment and remained hospitalized Monday evening.

Two suspects were taken into custody at the scene, while a third person was arrested later, following the execution of a search warrant at 900 Hickory Street, in Atlantic. The individuals arrested were identified as  18-year old Bryce Baker, 21-year old Austin Nelson and 23-year old Mykel Thorn, all of Atlantic. Each of the suspects has been charged with Felony willful injury, and going armed with intent. All three have been booked into the Cass County Jail.

The incident remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.