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7AM Newscast 04-04-2013

News, Podcasts

April 4th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Midland University to acquire former Dana campus


April 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) – Midland University in Fremont, NE, has announced it will acquire the former Dana College campus in Blair, NE, just across the Missouri River, not far from Missouri Valley.  Midland announced the plan today (Thursday), saying in a news release that its growing enrollment in the last four years has necessitated expansion of its campus.

Dana and Midland had shared Lutheran affiliations – and served as athletic rivals – in eastern Nebraska for decades before the Blair school closed its doors in 2010 following years of financial struggles and the loss of its accreditation.

More than half of Dana’s 600 students transferred to Midland, sending the Fremont school’s 2010 enrollment from 643 to 962. Midland has continued to see enrollment growth, and currently has more than 1,000 students.  Midland officials did not disclose how much it plans to bid for the Dana campus.

Villisca man arrested Thu. morning on a sex abuse charge


April 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest at around 3:15-a.m. today (Thursday), of a Villisca man. 74-year old Carter Levi Bennett was charged with Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree. The charge is the result of an investigation into allegations Bennett had inappropriate contact with children on different occasions. Bennett was taken into custody at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, without incident.

An investigation into his alleged activities is ongoing. Authorities say additional charges are anticipated. Bennett remained in the Montgomery County Jail early this (Thursday) morning, on $25,000 bond.

Red Oak man injured in motorcycle crash


April 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a motorcycle accident Wednesday evening resulted in one person being flown to an Omaha hospital for treatment of serious, unknown injuries. 38-year old David Aaron Fillmore, of Red Oak, was traveling east on Highway 34 just before 8-p.m., when he lost control of the 2011 Ducati motorcycle he was riding, as the bike was maneuvering a curve and merging onto Highway 48 southbound.

The Ducati hit an area of sand/gravel before sliding partially out of control and hitting a curb of the median. Fillmore then lost complete control of the cycle, which toppled onto  its right side. He was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Hospital before being flown by Mercy One helicopter to a medical facility in Omaha.

The motorcycle sustained $500 damage during the crash. Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies and Red and Fire and Rescue assisted Red Oak P-D at the scene.

Iowa State Fair hosts contest for ribbon designs

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are encouraging people to submit designs that can be used for concrete ribbons on display throughout the fair grounds. The contest celebrates the fair’s blue ribbon winners. The painted concrete ribbons will be 3 ½ feet tall. Participants can be individuals, clubs and companies. Entries must be submitted by May 15, and must include a description and detailed drawing of the paint design. Selected applicants will be contacted by June.

A panel of judges will award prizes on originality, creativeness and overall look. There will be a novice and professional division, for individuals working in graphic design or an artistry-related field. Winners will receive other goodies including a state fair plaque and admission tickets. The Iowa State Fair will be held Aug. 8-18.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., April 4th 2013


April 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House Judiciary Committee chairman has blocked legislation that would put tougher safety restrictions on windows in new buildings to prevent children from falling out. The Senate had approved the bill, which was passed by a House subcommittee Monday, but Republican Representative Chip Baltimore of Boone announced yesterday he wouldn’t let the full Judiciary Committee take up the proposal.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A financially struggling central Iowa rural water supplier has reached a debt repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and bondholders to keep it operating while it restructures debt. The Xenia Rural Water District, based in Bouton distributes water to 9,400 customers in 11 counties west of Des Moines. It has $45 million of debt owed to the USDA and private bondholders.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A museum in Iowa says someone has stolen an 18-pound African leopard tortoise. Staff at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque discovered the tortoise named Cashew was missing Tuesday. The staff believes Cashew was taken between Sunday afternoon and Monday night.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Nebraska stripper accused of fatally stabbing her client at his Des Moines home has reached a plea deal in the case. Court documents filed yesterday show Andrea Morris pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 1999 death of 43-year-old Patrick McRae. She also pleaded guilty to willful injury and first-degree theft.

Animal Welfare Advocates ask for jail time in the shooting death of a dog in Cass County


April 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Saying “It’s time for the courts to take animal abuse seriously,” animal welfare advocates have written a letter to the Cass County Attorney, asking him to prosecute to the full extent of the law, a Marne man charged in the shooting of a dog that strayed onto his property last year. Lin Sorenson and Becky Fetters of the Des Moines based St. Francis Foundation for Pets have requested that Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner recommend to the judge that he enforce the law and sentence 56-year old Charles Collins Cutler to a minimum of 30 days in jail, and for him to pay $6,250 in fines , along with restitution to the pet’s owner.

Cutler faces an Aggravated Serious Misdemeanor charge of Animal Abuse, and a Serious Misdemeanor charge of a Reckless Use of a Firearm, in connection with the shooting of a dog which strayed onto his property on December 24th, 2012. Cutler pleaded not guilty to both charges. His trial, which was to have been held last month, was instead continued until April 16th, and will be held in Cass County District Court. Cutler’s request for a change of venue, was denied.

According to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began when a dog owned by 23-year old Stacy Ernat from Denver, CO, was shot when it strayed onto Cutler’s property. Ernat told authorities her chocolate Labrador “Wrigley,” was playing with a relative’s dog in the church lot adjacent to Cutler’s residence, when the dog ran onto his property and was wounded by a shotgun blast fired from a distance of 30-to 40-feet. The dog was treated, but succumbed to injuries, at the Atlantic Animal Health Center.

The animal welfare group says “It is time for the prosecuting attorney and the judge to demonstrate how serious the courts take animal abuse and to let other animal abusers know that this behavior has severe consequences.” 

Iowa DOT Kicks Off Construction Season


April 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With the weather changing from winter to spring, the Iowa Department of Transportation says it’s gearing-up for the road construction season.  The DOT says it’s poised to tackle construction work in every corner of the state. Depending on the remaining outcomes of bid lettings through June, officials say the Iowa DOT will have let out to bid approximately $600 million in Primary Highway System construction work during the 2013 calendar year. Iowa’s counties and cities will also be setting up work zones in many areas in an effort to improve Iowa’s transportation system.

In the KJAN listening area, there are numerous projects that will be getting underway. They include…

Interstate 29 in Pottawattamie County

  • Where I-29/I-80 from the Missouri River bridge in Council Bluffs,  eastward  approximately 3 miles, to the Lake Manawa/South Expressway interchange will undergo grading, paving and bridge construction work. Through traffic will be maintained. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.
  • I-29 from north of Council Bluffs to the Missouri Valley (U.S. 30) interchange will be resurfaced at several locations. Through traffic will be maintained in a single lane.
  • I-29 will be reconstructed from south of Council Bluffs to the Mills County line. One direction of travel will be constructed at a time, with traffic maintained in a two-way, two-lane operation.

Interstate 80 in Cass County

  • The eastbound I-80 bridge over Indian Creek at milepost 50 (west of the Marne interchange) will be replaced. Traffic will be maintained in a two-lane, two-way operation in the westbound lanes.

Interstate 80 in Adair County

  • The eastbound I-80 bridge over Middle River at milepost 85 (west of the Greenfield interchange) will be replaced. Traffic will be maintained in a two-lane, two-way operation in the westbound lanes.

Atlantic City Council tables closed session on a personnel matter


April 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday night tabled a motion to enter into a closed session after the legality of the session was questioned, and a group of citizens spoke out on the matter. At issue, was the perceived notion the closed session would be with regard to City Administrator Doug Harris. Harris came under fire during a council meeting held March 20th, during which local developer Don Sonntag claimed Harris intentionally worked behind the scenes to derail a housing development project.

Sonntag had sought the Council’s approval of an application for $250,000 in Tax Increment Financing funds from the City, which he said would have helped to bankroll a $2.1-million housing development on the City’s southern edge, but he pulled his application at the March 20th meeting. During tonight’s (April 3rd) City Council  meeting, prior to the public forum, Mayor Dave Jones said an editorial in the local paper that the closed session would be with regard to Harris’ future with the City, was only speculation, and “not quite right.”

When asked whether the person who was the perceived target of the closed session had asked for the session, as required under the Iowa Open Meetings Law, Mayor Jones said the individual had not done so. City Attorney Dave Weidersteen then recommended the closed session be tabled. That was because a member of the media in attendance at the meeting provided Weidersteen with a copy of the Law, which specifically states an employee whose performance is being discussed must request a closed session.

Councilman Dana Halder was not happy with the fact the closed session was tabled because of media and public speculation on the intent of the session. He said “It’s funny that everybody knows what this is supposed to be about. I’m the City Councilman, and I don’t.” Assuming the closed session would have been about Doug Harris, a number of members of the community spoke during a public forum, in support of Harris, including business owner and Atlantic resident Barb Jorgensen, who said Harris has been a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City, and the Council should not be out to get him. Councilman Halder said “I don’t think anybody has implied or said that Doug Harris’ job is in jeopardy.” Jorgensen said “It very much shouldn’t be,” because “he’s doing a bang-up job.” Halder agreed.

Mayor Jones indicated the council would hold a closed session at its next regular meeting in two weeks to address any issues it may have, with Harris.

Free screening of the movie “Dirt!” to take place in Corning May 3rd

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) reports a free screening of the movie “Dirt!” will be held in May, in Corning. The movie, which was inspired by William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, “Dirt!,” The Movie, takes a humorous and substantial look into the history and current state of the living organic matter that we come from and will later return to. It takes place at 7:30-p.m. May 3rd, in the Corning Opera House (800 Davis Ave, Corning, IA).

According to SWCD Technician Blake Anderson, the movie will be held in celebration of Soil & Water Conservation Week, and is hosted by the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Adams County Rural Development Committee, Conservation Districts of Iowa, and the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee.

Concessions will be available.  If you need accommodation, please contact Blake Anderson, by calling 641-322-3116.