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Cycle crash in Pott. County leaves Bluffs man in critical condition

News

October 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A motorcycle crash Wednesday evening left a Council Bluffs man in critical condition. According to the sheriff’s department, 31-year old Chad Walker was riding a 2008 Suzuki northbound at a high rate of speed and passing another vehicle on Pott.County Road L-34 near Pin Oak Road, when he missed a curve. The cycle went off the west side of the road and came to rest in a field. Walker was flown by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center, where a hospital spokesperson said he was in critical condition, Thursday.  Walker was cited on suspicion of reckless driving and failure to maintain control of his vehicle.

Biden: Romney changed his position on tax cut

News

October 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney renounced his own tax cut during Wednesday’s presidential debate. While campaigning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Biden said a $5 trillion tax cut is the “centerpiece” of Romney’s campaign for president. But Biden said that during the debate, “We found out he doesn’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I guess he outsourced that to China.” Biden said President Barack Obama was “presidential” and put forward “a clear specific plan” during the debate. But he said Obama had a hard time figuring out Romney’s positions on issues: “You never know what game Gov. Romney is going to come with.” Biden said Romney “either changed his positions on some issues or he doesn’t remember them.”

Panora Bar owner beaten early Sunday morning

News

October 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The owner of a Guthrie County bar was beaten early Sunday morning by three men who had attended a wedding reception. According to the Guthrie County Time and online court records, the attack occurred at around 12:40-a.m. at the Owl’s Nest on Main Street, in Panora. Officials say 40-year old Brian Dean Plowman and 25-year old Nicholas Richter, both of Adair, along with 35-year old Eric Adkins, of Urbandale, each face a felony charge of Assault without intent causing Serious Injury, and Disorderly Conduct, a Serious Misdemeanor. The charges stem from the alleged assault of Owls Nest co-owner Scott Kurtz, following a verbal argument that got out of control. 

According to Panora police, the three men had been attending a wedding reception at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center following a wedding at Adair. They left the reception and went to the Owls Nest. At around 12:40-a.m., authorities received a 911 call informing them about a fight in front of the Owls Nest in which a group of people were beating up on Kurtz, who was transported to a hospital in Des Moines by private vehicle, for treatment of his injuries.

Plowman, Richter and Adkins left the scene before police arrived, but all three were later taken into custody. They have since posted bond and were ordered to appear in court for their preliminary hearings set for later this month. 

Lane restrictions on westbound I-80 in Council Bluffs begin Friday night

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs construction office say lane restrictions will be in place on westbound Interstate 80 over the South Expressway in Council Bluffs, to allow crews to remove and replace the back wall on the South Expressway bridge. Work on the project will begin 7-p.m. Friday, Oct. 5th, and continue until 8- a.m. Monday, Oct. 8th, weather permitting. Work is being scheduled for the weekend to minimize traffic delays on I-80.

Motorists may want to select the South Omaha Bridge Road (U.S. 275) or I-680 to I-29 east of the metro area as alternate routes. Construction work will continue on the weekends for up to four weeks until the project has been completed. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limits and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Rural roundtable to be held in Clarinda, Friday

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Rural Iowans for Obama campaign have announced a rural roundtable will be held in Clarinda, Friday. The event is being held to talk about issues facing rural communities, and will be hosted by Jennifer Herrington, member of the Rural Iowans for Obama Steering Committee and the Page County Democratic Chair.

Participants at the meeting will discuss the need for Congress to pass a farm bill, and matters pertaining to wind energy. The meeting takes place at Down Right Delicious in Clarinda (120 S. 15th St.), beginning at 8:30-a.m., Friday, Oct. 5th.

Former Iowa, Nebraska pastor sentenced

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A former minister convicted of three sexual assault charges in Council Bluffs will be resentenced on one of them, now that the Iowa Appeals Court has lowered the severity of one of his crimes. 57-year-old Efrain Umana had been convicted in January 2011 of second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. Umana, who had led churches in Iowa and Nebraska, was given 35 years in prison. Umana had appealed the convictions, and in its ruling issued Wednesday, the Appeals Court said prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence of specific intent to commit sexual abuse. The court returned the case to district court for resentencing on a reduced assault charge.

IA DNR holding public meetings on fourth batch of stream use designation revisions for IA streams

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The DNR reports public meetings will be held across the state to gather input on proposed water quality standards designated use changes for a fourth batch of select rivers and streams. Officials say the changes help protect aquatic life and recreational uses.

For a list of stream designations being revised in the water quality standards, please refer to the list posted at: www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/RegulatoryWater/WaterQualityStandards/DesignatedUses/UseAssessments.aspx

Locally, a meeting will be held in Atlantic, on Nov. 13th, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Atlantic Rock Island Depot, 102 Chestnut St.

Those not able to attend the meetings may submit written comments or questions through Dec. 10th, to: Rochelle Cardinale, DNR, 502 East Ninth St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; by fax to 515-281-8895; or by email to rochelle.cardinale@dnr.iowa.gov.

State tries to get Iowans to voluntarily pay taxes on internet purchases

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Anytime you buy something online and don’t pay an Iowa sales tax, you’re breaking the law. The Iowa Department of Revenue is launching an educational campaign to get Iowans to start paying “use taxes.” Revenue spokeswoman Victoria Daniels says it’s not fair if main street business collect sales taxes while Amazon and other big online retailers don’t. Daniels says, “So, when you make a purchase on the internet and the sales tax isn’t collected, in effect, you’re putting those small businesses at a disadvantage.”

As part of the campaign, Iowa taxpayers will be urged to go to the Department of Revenue website, then to popular links, then to the consumer use tax page to report your purchases. The application will compute what is owed and accept payment. Daniels says all state employees, especially those at the Department of Revenue, will be expected to pay up. Daniels says, “Mind you, I plan to go through my credit card receipts and look at it and say, ‘Huh, this is a business that is not in Iowa. I owe tax on this.'”

There are two new methods for paying the tax online at the Iowa Department of Revenue website. Daniels says, “Look under the heading ‘Popular Links’ you’ll see ‘New Options to Pay Consumer Use Tax.'” Last year, conscientious Iowa shoppers voluntarily submitted only about 21-thousand dollars for the tax. Millions of dollars in state taxes that are required by law are going uncollected. Besides internet purchases, the rules also apply to catalog sales. Congress may act soon to require all online retailers to collect state sales taxes.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought worsens in some key Midwest farming states

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A weekly drought report shows that conditions have worsened in some key Midwest farming states where the corn harvest is more than halfway completed. The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that 75 percent of Iowa, the nation’s biggest corn producer, is enduring extreme or exceptional drought, which are the two worst classifications. That’s up roughly 10 percentage points from the previous week.

The worse conditions won’t make much difference to Iowa’s already withered corn crop but it could affect crops such as winter wheat. Nearly 98 percent of neighboring Nebraska still falls into the two most severe drought categories.  Overall drought conditions in the lower 48 states remained relatively unchanged.

Sioux City man faces animal neglect charge

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say the man who owns the reeking Sioux City home where dozens of cats were removed faces 14 counts of animal neglect.  The man was identified as 56-year-old Mark Lanning, of Sioux City.  More than four dozen cats were removed from the home on Monday, and officials found several cat carcasses as well. Cindy Rarrat, of Sioux City Animal Adoption & Rescue Center, says conditions inside the house were unbearable.  The hungry, thirsty cats were taken to the rescue center.  Neighbors say no one has lived in the home for a couple of months.