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Atlantic House Fire caused by hot cell phone (Update 5-p.m.)


March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A house fire in Atlantic Sunday afternoon appears to have been caused by an overheated, charging cell phone. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees told KJAN News the house at 409 Poplar Street was owned by Ryan Paul, but he recently sold it to a dentist next door. The house was slated to be demolished.

McNees said Paul and a female companion were in the process of moving their belongings out of the home and had stopped for a brief nap, when they woke up to find their bed on fire. The couple escaped the home with only minor injuries, but most of their belongings were lost to the flames.

Atlantic Fire arrived on the scene at around 12:30-p.m. Flames were reported to be coming out from under the shingles of the structure when authorities first arrived on the scene. When firefighters punched out the glass on a second story window facing Poplar Street, thick black-gray smoke came pouring out. The fire was declared under control by around 1:50-p.m.

An investigation by McNees and Atlantic Police Officer Paul Wood determined that a cell phone, which was plugged into a portable charger designed to jump start car batteries and provide power to cell phones and other portable devices, over heated and likely exploded. All utilities to the home had been shut-off, according to McNees, which ruled out an electrical or gas-related cause.

McNees said the fact that a cell phone battery can overheat and explode, is a good reason people should not keep the devices on their beds or near flammable materials.

Heavy snow expected in parts of Neb., Iowa

News, Weather

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several inches of snow are expected in parts of Nebraska and Iowa. The National Weather Service says up to six inches of snow could fall Sunday around east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. The heaviest snow is expected in a swath from around David City to Missouri Valley and Onawa. Up to 9 inches of snow could accumulate in some areas. Weather officials say a winter storm warning is in effect until 7 p.m. A blizzard warning is in effect for a smaller swath in south central Nebraska until 4 p.m.

Officials warn that northwest winds with gusts of 35 mph will greatly reduce visibility on roads. They also warn roads could become slick from temperatures dropping below freezing.

Montgomery County YMCA Receives Grant to Improve Pool Access


March 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Family YMCA in Red Oak announced that it has received a $6,467 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The grant will be used towards the first phase of an extensive project to improve indoor swimming pool accessibility with an aquatics chair lift to enable individuals with special needs to independently enter and exit the Montgomery County YMCA’s pool.

Nick Zimmer, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Family YMCA,  stated that without the grant the project would not be possible.

The award was one of 76 grants totaling almost $427,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

The Foundation was created by the late Dana Reeve and has awarded 2,131 grants totaling over $16 million since 1999.

Nebraska, Iowa move to Daylight-Saving Time Sunday


March 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — It’s time to spring forward again, as the country makes the switch to daylight-saving time. Like those in almost all other states, Nebraskans and Iowans will trade an hour of sleep starting Sunday morning for an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. The government expanded daylight-saving time in 2007 in an effort to save energy. It now begins on the second Sunday in March and continues until the first Sunday in November. The official change occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, although people often change their clocks before going to bed Saturday night. Daylight-saving time ends Nov. 3rd.

8AM Newscast 03-09-2013

News, Podcasts

March 9th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Red Oak Man Arrested Friday


March 8th, 2013 by admin

The Red Oak Police Department reports the arrest today (Friday) of 33-year old Travis Lynn Sickels of Red Oak. Sickels was arrested for Contempt of Court, Failure to Appear and Failure to Pay Child Support. His bond has been set at $2,000.

Water summary shows Iowa groundwater levels remain at or near historic lows

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Some much need rain and snow melt is expected around Iowa this weekend. The latest water summary update, released by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, shows poor stream flow conditions and groundwater levels at or near historic lows across the state. Tim Hall, with the DNR, says the good news is Iowa received above normal precipitation in both January and February. “That’s tempered by the fact that January and February are pretty dry months, typically, to begin with,” Hall says. “So, above normal precipitation in a dry month isn’t the greatest thing in the world to shout about.” Sioux, Palo Alto, Osceola and Crawford counties are especially hard hit by low levels of shallow groundwater, according to Hall.

“We’re seeing places in northwest Iowa that were struggling to keep up with demand last summer and they’re going into this year with groundwater levels lower than they were a year ago,” Hall says. “So, they’re starting off in a weaker position.” Across much of northern Iowa, much of the rain and snow melt this weekend will runoff directly in streams, lakes or low lying areas because of concrete frost.

“That involves an ice layer frozen into the upper most part of the soil profile, which prevents rain or snow melt from getting very far down into the ground,” Hall explained. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop across Iowa tonight and into tomorrow (Saturday). A cold front is forecast to move into the state by Sunday and bring a chance of snow.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic man arrested Friday


March 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Friday) morning, of 19-year old Jacob Patrick Sweeney. Sweeney, who’s from Atlantic, was arrested for Driving While Barred. He was brought to the Cass County Jail and later released on his own recognizance.

Malvern man arrested for possessing a weapon as a felon


March 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County say a Malvern man was arrested Tuesday for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon. 45-year old James Lee Conn, Jr., was taken into custody at around 6-p.m. in Malvern. He was booked into the Mills County Jail and posted a $5,000 cash bond on Wednesday. His preliminary hearing is set to take place March 19th.

Authorities in Mills County also report the arrest early Thursday morning, of 30-year old Brian Lee Widman, of Council Bluffs. Widman, who was taken into custody at around 2:45-a.m. in the vicinity of 221st Street and Goode,  faces a Possession with the Intent to Deliver, charge. His bond was set at $50,000.

And, at around 2:20-a.m. Wednesday, deputies in Mills County arrested 22-year old Thomas Patrick Shea Larington, of Omaha, on a charge of OWI/1st offense. His bond was set at $1,000.

Poultry producers meeting Saturday in Westphalia

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A meeting is set for Saturday afternoon in Shelby County to discuss poultry options. The Iowa Food Systems Council is hosting the meeting at the St. Boniface Parish Center in Westphalia from 1 to 5pm. The meeting is for anyone interested in learning more about poultry options. The council is working on a rural business enterprise grant to help producers grow their business with processing and sales along with options for producers and help growers access a broader sales base. The meeting in Westphalia is open to any poultry producer in Shelby County.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)