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Cased closed in Atlantic stabbing incident


December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Atlantic said Tuesday they are no longer searching for a suspect in connection with a stabbing incident that occurred Monday night at 4th and Pine Streets. According to Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green, 27-year old Raymond Cassidy, of Atlantic, suffered a single stab wound to the abdomen during the incident, which happened at around 7:40-p.m.

Cassidy was brought to the Cass County Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, for further treatment. Green could not confirm the man inflicted the wound upon himself, due to HIPPA rules, but he did say the incident is no longer under investigation.

Corning man arrested Tuesday afternoon for OWI 3 offense


December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest Tuesday afternoon, of 57-year old Jeff Mendenhall, from Corning. Mendenhall was taken into custody on charges of OWI/3rd offense, and Driving While Revoked. He was arrested at around 3:20-p.m. following a traffic stop and brought to the Adams County Jail, where his bond was set at $6,000.

Jury deliberates in Bluffs’ wrongful conviction case


December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A jury in Des Moines is still trying to decide whether two Omaha, Neb., men should be paid millions of dollars for spending 25 years in prison on murder convictions later overturned. Jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon after 21 days in the courtroom. They spent eight hours Monday and six hours Tuesday working on the case. They must decide whether Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee should be paid by the city of Council Bluffs and two retired police officers who worked to convict them in 1978.

Harrington seeks more than $60 million and McGhee about $50 million. They claim former detectives Dan Larsen and Lyle Brown coerced witnesses into lying and hid evidence from their defense attorneys. The Iowa Supreme Court overturned their life sentences and released them in 2003.

No charges in Shenandoah school spitting incident


December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shenandoah Police Department announced earlier this week, that no criminal charges will be filed against a Shenandoah Elementary school teacher, who allegedly encouraged other students to spit on another student. According to a statement issued by Police Chief Kris Grebert, authorities reviewed the relevant facts in the case and the Page County Attorney’s Office determined the teacher did not have the requisite criminal intent necessary to prove any criminal charges.

Grebert said also, the investigation included interviews with students who were present in the classroom on October 8th, a day in which the music teacher at Shenandoah Elementary allegedly encouraged students to spit on Jaxon Kindopp. The boy was allegedly sticking his tongue out and blubbering to a classmate. The teacher allegedly encouraged other students to spit on the boy as way of teaching him a lesson.

Chief Grebert said Monday, that their investigation into the incident is closed.

Iowa early News headlines: Wed. 12/12/12


December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — An Ankeny man who killed his infant daughter two years ago has been sentenced to life in prison. Ryan Trowbridge was convicted in October after a bench trial of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. Prosecutors say injuries on 4-month-old daughter Rylee were consistent with being grabbed and shaken.

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — An attorney for a man facing charges in a double homicide in Manchester wants part of a police interview kept out of his client’s upcoming trial. Brandon Ahlers’ attorney argued at a hearing Tuesday that police expressed or implied leniency during an interview in return for Ahlers’ statements. Ahlers is charged with aiding and abetting in the killings of Richard and Janet Sweet in May 2011.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified a construction worker in Davenport who was killed after becoming trapped underneath a bulldozer. Thomas McLachlan was operating the machinery Tuesday morning when an embankment he was grading gave way and the equipment tipped over. Hawkeye Paving posted on its website that McLachlan has been the company’s lead operator since 1987.

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former city clerk in Scarville has been given jail time for tampering with city records. The Mason City Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/USuAtp ) reports Jolene Carter was sentenced Tuesday in Winnebago County District Court to 30 days in jail. Prosecutors say Carter issued paychecks to herself totaling nearly $8,000.

(AMES) – The annual survey from Iowa State University shows farmland values increased almost 24-percent over last year for an average cost per acre of eight-thousand-296 dollars. The 23-point-seven-percent increase marks the third straight year the land values have increased by 15-percent or more. The survey notes this is significantly higher than the 18-percent increase reported by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank in October. I-S-U economist, Mike Duffy says the difference in survey estimates could be due to values increasing more rapidly in the past few months than earlier in the year. He says better than expected crop yields and the level of land sale activity due to the proposed changes in land related taxes contributed to the increasing values. O’Brien County had an estimated 12-thousand-862 dollar average value, the highest average county value. O’Brien County also had the highest percentage increase and highest dollar increase in value, 35-point-two percent and three-thousand-348, respectively. Osceola, Dickinson and Lyon counties also saw 35-point-two percent increases. (from Radio Iowa)

Iowa Land values survey shows nearly 24% increase over last year

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The annual survey from Iowa State University shows farmland values increased almost 24-percent over last year to a new record high of an average cost of eight-thousand-296 dollars an acre. I-S-U economist, Mike Duffy compiles the numbers from the survey. “Basically what we found was higher-quality ground moving at a pretty good level, and lower quality ground not increasing so much,” Duffy says. “For example northwest Iowa was up almost 34-percent, where southeast Iowa was up only nine percent.” Duffy says record corn and bean prices are part of the reason for the increase.

“The commodity prices were a primary driver, another driver was the very low interest rates that we have. People also said lack of alternative investments was another reason,” according to Duffy. The faster increase in the price of the better quality ground goes hand-in-hand with the amount of money to be made with the higher commodity prices.  “I think the higher quality ground is going to be less susceptible to weather problems for the most part, it’s a more stable return if you will than some of the lower quality ground. And people are perceiving it to be a better buy than the lower quality,” Duffy says.

O’Brien County had an estimated 12-thousand-862 dollar average value, the highest average county value. O’Brien County also had the highest percentage increase and highest dollar increase in value, 35-point-two percent and three-thousand-348, respectively. The 23-point-seven-percent increase marks the third straight year the land values have increased by 15-percent or more. Duffy doesn’t agree with those who say the high price bubble of ag land is going to eventually burst. “I don’t think that it’s going to be a bubble pop. I think it would either be be more akin to a tire getting a nail in it, where we’ll gradually adjust down. Or it may even be that we don’t adjust down much, but the rate of increase will either slow or slightly go down,” Duffy says.

He does think the double-digit increases in land prices may not last much longer. “I don’t see any way that we can maintain the rate that we’ve had,” Duffy explains. “The last three years we’ve increased almost 64-percent, and that’s just not sustainable.” He says the supply and amount of corn and soybeans that are grown will make an impact on the land prices moving ahead.”The world is already responding by planting more, so we’re going to see adjustments,” Duffy says. “Now all that said though, the drought that we’re experiencing right now is very serious. And what it portends for next year is kind of anybody’s guess right now. But if we don’t get rain, we’re not going to have a crop. So it doesn’t matter how high prices are.”

In Cass County, the value of Ag land increased $1,426 over last year, to $7,984 per acre. In Audubon County, land increased just $25 shy of $2,000 per acre, to $9,215. In Adair County, land prices increased a little more than $1,100, to $6,425. In Adams County, the value of land went up a little more than $800, to $5,094. In Pottawattamie County, the price of land went up $1,600 from last year, to $9,142 per acre. Land went up nearly $1,800 in Shelby County to $9,262. In Guthrie County, the price went up just over $1,600 to $8,220. And, Montgomery County realized a $1,058 dollar price increase, to just over $6,710 per acre.

This is the highest state land value recorded by the survey and the first time county averages have reached levels over 10-thousand dollars an acre.

(Radio Iowa) (more info. at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/article/farmland-value-reaches-historic-8296-statewide-average)

USPS offers $500 reward for Adair County mailbox vandals


December 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The United States Postal Inspection Service said Tuesday, it is offering a reward of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the theft of mail in Adair County, which occurred on December 6th, 2012. As we mentioned last weekend, Adair County Sheriff Brad Newton stated about 40 mailboxes were hit between Greenfield and Stuart, to the northeast late last week.

Investigators believe the thief or thieves are taking all the contents from mailboxes, rifling through them for the items they want, then dumping the rest. Newton says he believes the thieves are looking for Christmas cards with cash in them.  The sheriff said they don’t have a lot to go on, but they’re looking for two white males driving a mid-sized white vehicle.

If you have any information concerning this crime please contact the U. S. Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455 or the Adair County Sheriff’s Department at 641-743-2148.

Neb. man charged with killing ex-girlfriend, man


December 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

EWING, Neb. (AP) — A northeast Nebraska man was denied bail on two counts of first degree murder in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend and the man she was living with. The Norfolk Daily News reports Matthew Hinrichsen of Ewing appeared Tuesday in Antelope County Court. Prosecutors say Hinrichsen killed Victoria Lee of Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Gabino Vargas of Omaha before setting fire to their mobile home last weekend. Court documents say Hinrichsen had been having problems recently with Lee, who was his ex-girlfriend. He also faces firearm charges and an arson charge. Officers arrested Hinrichsen early Saturday morning at his parents’ home after he admitted to his father that he had killed two people.

Cass County arrests


December 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office today (Tuesday) reported three arrests over the past week. On Tue., Dec. 4th, 54-year old Timothy Dayle Meyer,  of Massena, was arrested on a Probation Violation charge. Meyer was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $5000 bond.

On Wed., Dec. 5th, 28-year old Laura Lynn Madden, of Atlantic, turned herself in at the Cass County Jail on a Sheriff’s Office warrant for Aiding and Abetting regarding violation of a no contact order. Madden pled guilty and was released the following day.

And, on Saturday, Dec. 8th, Cass County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 22-year old Clayton Varel Schmidt,  of Massena, on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Schmidt was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released on his own recognizance later that day.

(12-p.m. News 12/11/12)

Shelby County BOS approve dollars for Myrtue Med Center


December 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Board of Supervisors approved to increase Public Health dollars to Myrtue Medical Center. In a board of Supervisors meeting this (Tuesday) morning, CEO of Myrtue Medical Barry Jacobsen approached the board to discuss the recently requested increase by Public Health Director Jennifer Muff. Jacobsen said for the past 18 years, the County has been contracted with the hospital to provide public health services. He told the board the contract amount beginning in 1994 hasn’t matched the expenses for the program.

The fee we have received for the services started at $35,000 in 1994 and increased to $45,000. Two years ago, it went to $57,000. The contract amount hasn’t really come anywhere close to keeping up with the cost to run the program. In fact, the hospital lost $180,000 in 2011 and in 2012 $125,000. That is after we have received the subsidy from the county supervisors.”

Jacobsen went on to say the past increases were inadequate.

We think it needs to go up significantly from where we are right now. We don’t think the increase in the past have been adequate. Basically, we are offering to continue this service until 2013-2014 year for the $100,000 that was requested at the previous meeting.”

After more discussion, supervisor Burmeister made the motion for a 3 year $100,000 annual base going to Myrtue Hospital for Public Health Services. With the new agreement, Myrtue will still have to pay a substantial amount in subsidized money to pay for the services. Jacobsen said the Myrtue Board of Trustees will review the actions at their next meeting. If the hospital and supervisors were unable to make some sort of an agreement, the County would have had to provide the services to the 10,000 people receiving public health services in the county.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)