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Man pleads guilty in deadly crash in Nebraska that killed a western IA man


November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

PONCA, Neb. (AP) – A northeast Nebraska man has pleaded guilty to two counts of motor vehicular homicide and one count of drunken driving in an accident that killed two Wayne State College students near Emerson. Fifty-five-year-old Robert Mahler, of Hubbard, NE,pleaded guilty Monday in Dixon County District Court. Sentencing is Jan. 23rd. Authorities say Mahler was driving drunk on the night of Sept. 9, on the wrong side of Nebraska Highway 9 and hit an oncoming motorcycle. Two people on the motorcycle were killed – 20-year-old Christopher Oberg, of Mapleton, Iowa, and his passenger, 19-year-old Alexis Calfee, of Bennet, Neb. Authorities say Mahler’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Mahler faces a sentence of one to 50 years in prison on each of the vehicular homicide charges.

Monona County crash claims the life of a Mapleton Man


November 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One person was killed and another injured during a crash in western Iowa’s Monona County, Monday night. According to the Iowa State Patrol, 29-year old Robert Paris Palmer, of Mapleton died, when the 1969 Oldsmobile 88 he was a passenger in was struck by a truck, in Mapleton.  The driver of the car, 27-year old Lenley Ray Schofield, Jr., of Sioux City, was injured, and transported by Mapleton Rescue to Burgess Hospital, in Onawa. Neither man was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the 2006 Chevy truck, 24-year old Joseph Lee Daggett, of George, was not injured.

Officials say at around 9:40-p.m., the Oldsmobile left the BP gas station in Mapleton, heading south on Highway 141, but the Patrol says Schofield, Jr.,  did not appear to have control of the car, which swerved as he continued south on 141. The vehicle crossed the center of the road and was hit on the passenger side doors by the northbound truck. The force of the impact pushed the car onto the curb at the northeast corner of the intersection with Sioux Street and Highway 141.

Omaha, Council Bluffs mayors place bet on football game for good cause

News, Sports

November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The mayors of Council Bluffs and Omaha have agreed to a friendly wager on Friday’s Iowa/Nebraska football game. Tom Hanafan and Jim Suttle met this morning (Monday) on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, which spans the Missouri River and links the two states. Omaha Mayor Suttle says the winning team will score a victory for a great cause.  “The losing city is going to come across this bridge and build a house for a needy family,” Suttle explained. Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan said it’s a bet he’s happy to make.

“It’s not about the bet as much as it is about Habitat for Humanity and helping people out,” Hanafan said. But, the two mayors are also comfortable with a little trash talking. Hanafan said he’s looking forward to overseeing Mayor Suttle’s workmanship. “I’ll be watching what he does to make sure he does everything right,” Hanafan said. Suttle, meanwhile, isn’t too worried about the Hawkeyes winning in Lincoln.  “I’m feeling confident. So, go Big Red and I think we’ll be in the winners circle,” Suttle told reporters. The home build for Habitat For Humanity will take place in either Council Bluffs or Omaha on Saturday, December 10th.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic School Board to hold work session Tuesday


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will gather in the high school Media Center Tuesday evening, for a work session. During their meeting at 7:30-p.m., the Board will discuss: graduation and drop-out rates; current/new interventions at the Atlantic High School; progress being made at the Cass County Educational Opportunity Center (CCEOC) and Hospital School; and, what’s needed for future planning.

Audubon men arrested on weapons charges, Saturday


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports two Audubon men were arrested Saturday on weapons charges. 24-year old Randy Travis Kurth and 26-year old Rodney Jerald Kurth, both of Audubon, each face two-counts of Carrying Weapons. The charges were the result of a traffic stop at around noon Saturday, on Highway 71, near Hamlin. Both men were brought to the Audubon County Jail and later released after appearing before the magistrate.

Red Cross Offers ‘Top Ten’ Fire Safety Tips as Thanksgiving Nears


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the American Red Cross encourages families to prevent kitchen fires by taking some basic safety measures. In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking.  “We all think of Thanksgiving as a time for family, good food and football, but it’s also prime time for cooking fires,” said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. “Taking a few simple precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday.” 

To keep Thanksgiving fire-free, the public should follow these ten tips: 

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.  
  2. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.  
  3. Be alert. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.  
  4. Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains—away from your stove top.  
  5. Make sure your sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves.   
  6. Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.  
  7. Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.  
  8. Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents. 
  9. Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner. 
  10. Test your smoke alarms by pushing the test button. Replace batteries at least once a year.  

Year-round Safety

In addition to preventing cooking fires, families can stay safe all year by following these additional tips: 

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.                                                     
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep. 

Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
  • At least once a year, replace the batteries in your smoke alarms; every 10 years, replace the entire smoke alarm.   

Make a Fire Escape Plan

  • Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Decide where you will meet outside in case of fire.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire. 

For more information about fire safety and prevention visit www.redcross.org/homefires.

Non-profit agencies in Audubon County receive $28,700 in grants


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Chair of the Audubon County Community Foundation (ACCF) announced today (Monday), that $28,700 in grants were awarded Friday to seven non-profit groups or organizations in the County. Brett Irlmeier said including the latest grant cycle, $762, 746 has been distributed to non-profit organizations and entities within the county, over the past 11years. All grantees met the criteria as Audubon County nonprofit agencies or organizations, and only those groups in Audubon County were eligible for the grants.

Included among them, was:

  • The Audubon Chamber of Commerce, which received $1,000 for lighting, to accent the architectural design of downtown structures.
  • The Audubon County Hospital Foundation, which received a $3,000 grant to purchase equipment for expanded patient care services.
  • The Audubon Stage Committee received a $4,400 grant to build a stage for use by numerous community groups, activities and festivals.
  • A $5,000 grant was awarded to the Exira Public Library, for new furnishings to compliment the expansion and remodeling project.
  • New Opportunties, Inc./Audubon County Mentoring Program received a $4,800 grant for the purchase of new skates for the Agri-Hall.
  • Nishna Valley Trails received a $5,500 grant to erect a sign on the Audubon trail head.
  • And, the Little Mermaid Trail Committee received a $5,000 grant for development of Phase 1 Trail Construction.

The total includes: $2,000 from the Leon and Iva Milliman Endowed Fund, which went to the Exira Public Library; $1,000 from the Charles T. and Kathleen Manatt Endowed Fund for the Audubon Chamber and Stage Committee grants; $500 from the Audubon State Bank/Stephen Garst Endowed Fund, $1,000 from the Audubon Masonic Association Endowed Fund, $470 from the Merle and Norman Petersen Endowed Fund, and $470 from the Fred and Evelyn Nissen Endowed Fund, for the the Audubon Stage Committee grant.

All Audubon County agency representatives received their grant checks on November 18th. For more information about donating or establishing an individual foundation/fund, contact any ACCF board member , or Dennis Nissen, Iowa Program Officer, at 1-800-794-3458.

New Market man arrested on warrant


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Department reports a Taylor County man was arrested Saturday on a warrant for Failure to Appear. Sheriff Lyle Palmer says 19-year old Roberto Hernandez Cruz, of New Market, was arrested in Clarinda by a Page County Deputy. Cruz was unable to post bond and was released to a Taylor County Deputy for transportto the Taylor County Jail, for holding.

Adair County BOS to hold closed session Tuesday morning


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold their regular weekly session Tuesday morning, in Greenfield. On their agenda at 10-a.m., is a closed session to discuss matters in litigation with Iowa Communities Assurance Pool (ICAP) Representative & Attorney Michelle Rodamyer, Cass-Adair County Engineer Charles Marker, and County Attorney Mike Maynes.

The regular session begins at 9-a.m., and will include an update from County Conservationist Kevin Blazek on the Orient Lake Safe House/Shower building, and request for a letter of support.  Cass-Adair County Engineer Charles Marker will also present a road closure resolution for the board to sign, and right of way contracts for bridge replacement projects, along with his regular activities and road maintenance reports.

3 charged in copper theft from power company


November 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three western Iowa residents face theft charges following their arrests Sunday afternoon for copper wire theft in Pottawattamie County. Pott County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Dwayne Richie told KJAN News 27-year old Sara Lindgren, of Mondamin, along with 28-year old Nicholas Day and 23-year old Dane Larsen, both of Little Sioux, were arrested and charged with Theft in the Second Degree and Criminal Trespass. Lindgren faces additional charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Sgt. Richie says at around 2:05-p.m. Sunday, a resident who lives along Whippoorwill Road observed suspicious activity occurring near a tower owned by American Power, out of Bellevue, NE. The witness called authorities and was able to provide them with a license plate of the suspects vehicle, which was described as a KIA Spectra. Two of the suspects, a white female and a male were in the car, which was parked behind the towers. A third person, a white male was observed climbing on a tower.

Richie says a deputy responding to the scene saw a vehicle matching the suspect’s vehicle at around 2:16-p.m., and initiated a traffic stop because he observed copper wiring sticking out of the back of the vehicle.

Lindgren, Day and Larsen were being held in the Pott County Jail on $5,000 bond each. They were scheduled to appear in court, this morning.