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Creston man among 5 sentenced in child porn sharing case

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U-S Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced Wednesday a Creston man was among five people charged and convicted on child pornography charges, following the conclusion of a multi-agency investigation of internet-related child pornography crimes in the Southern District of Iowa. The investigation, spearheaded by Homeland Security Investigations-Des Moines, centered on the trading of child pornography pictures and videos on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

Five defendants were charged and convicted in separate prosecutions and were sentenced to a combined total of more than 43 years in prison. They include: Michael Hanold, of Creston, who will serve 48 months in prison; Francisco Zayas, of Marshalltown (240 months); Monroe Wardlow, of Grinnell (96 months); Enrique Guzman, of Osceola (80 months), and William Trimble, Jr., of Albia, who will serve 60 months.  After serving their terms of imprisonment, each defendant will be required to serve a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and to register as a sex offender.

Other law enforcement agencies assisting with the operation included the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Iowa police departments of Albia, Creston, Grinnell, Marshalltown, and Osceola. The cases were prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office
for the Southern District of Iowa as part of its “Project Safe Childhood” initiative.

Two Arrests in Atlantic Tuesday

News

December 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic Police Department reports two separate arrests on Tuesday (12/17).  18-year-old Bailey Powers of Atlantic was arrested on a Cass County Warrant for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  She was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

Also arrested Tuesday was 22-year-old Jade Nicholson of Atlantic on a Cass County Warrant for Burglary 1st degree.  He was transported to the Cass County Jail and additional charges were filed at the jail for Possessing Contraband and Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine).

Harlan City Council News

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council, Tuesday, approved one of the final projects to the city’s sewer rehabilitation project. In a regular meeting, the council held a public hearing regarding the 2014 Sewer Rehab project and heard no comments. The council then dispensed with the meeting and approved two resolutions concerning the project. The first resolution, No. 2124, was to adopt the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost. The second resolution, No. 2125, was to award the contract to Ace Pipe Cleaning Inc of Kansas City, MO in the amount of $588,516.01. Cox said the piping underground will be complete following the next project.

In Mayor Gene Getty’s report, appointments were made for city positions to a 2 year contract. The appointments were for City Treasurer Wava Bails, City Attorney Todd Argotsinger, City Health Officer Joe Stroeher and Harlan Police Chief Frank Clark. Following the appointments, Harlan City Clerk Debra Sawyer administered the oaths of office to Mayor Gettys, current councilman Aaron Anliker and recently elected Jay Christensen and Mike Kolbe. Christensen is replacing long time Councilman Keith Kaufman and Kolbe was elected to replace Kate Kohorst, who filled in for Orv Roecker since October 2012. Harlan Police Chief Frank Clark and the entire staff from the Harlan PD were in attendance to recognize the services of Kohorst and Kaufman.

Kaufman was on the Harlan City Council for twelve and a half years. Mayor Gene Gettys finished the meeting by giving Kohorst and Kaufman certificates from the City for their time on the Harlan City Council.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

AHST approves draft whole grade sharing agreement with Walnut

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The A-H-S-T school district Board of Education heard the proposed whole grade sharing agreement with Walnut Community School District, Tuesday. Superintendent of the A-H-S-T school district Jesse Ulrich gave the presentation of the draft sharing agreement between the school districts. The agreement states grades seven through twelve Walnut students will attend and be served by A-H-S-T for a minimum of four years as specified during the 2014-2105 school year, up to and including the 2017-2018 school years.

Walnut students will attend all regular educational services and extracurricular programs the same as if the students were residents in the A-H-S-T district. After the end of the four year agreement, the agreement shall continue for additional terms of one year until and unless either party notifies the other in writing to terminate. Resident students in grades kindergarten through 6, of each district, shall be provided for by each district independently.

Also in the draft, Walnut would pay A-H-S-T 80 percent of the per pupil cost for each school year as by the state comptroller plus a proportionate share of Teacher Salary Supplement Funds received by Walnut per Iowa Code. The AHST and Walnut school boards would have joint meetings at least twice a year beginning next school year as well plus a representative from the Walnut School board will on the AHST school board for the district. Superintendent Ulrich explained what’s next.

He said a Public hearing must take place. After the public, the district has to wait a minimum of thirty days before it approves the final agreement, which  will be voted on at the district’s regular meeting in January.  No comments were made from those in attendance during the public hearing. Superintendent Ulrich said a few public comments were received this past Monday at the Walnut Community School District’s Board of Education meeting. Most of those were supportive, while others asked a few questions were asked about input on the curriculum decisions.

Ulrich says AHST will be in control of the curriculum provided. The joint board meetings will be a platform for the boards to have discussions about that. The next meetings for final adoption will be held for Walnut on Monday, January 20th and AHST on Wednesday, January 22nd.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 12-18-2013

News, Podcasts

December 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 12-18-2013

News, Podcasts

December 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Iowa home prices up, sales down, in November

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Home prices in Iowa were up, but overall sales were down in November, compared to a year ago. That’s according to a new report from the Iowa Association of Realtors. The incoming I-A-R president for 2014, Kathy Miller of Sioux City, says the average sale price of an Iowa home increased four-percent to $153,683 last month. The median sale price was also up four-percent, growing from $125,000 in November 2012 to $130,000 this November. The total home sales dipped only slightly, with 2,749 homes sold this November compared to 2,795 in 2012.

In addition to the rising prices, sellers are also benefiting from a drop in the “days on the market” figure — or DOM.  In November 2012, the DOM was 101, while this year the report shows just 81 DOM, a decrease of nearly 20-percent. Miller says it’s still an excellent time for buying a home, as interest rates are averaging around 4.25-percent.

“What I’m seeing…is lower days on the market, low interest rates, and positive growth in prices. It’s a strong housing market for both buyers and sellers,” Miller says. In terms of year-to-date, home sales in Iowa have increased 7.7 percent this year over last.

(Radio Iowa)

Cattle industry expert: profitability returning

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A livestock specialist at Iowa State University says falling corn prices are generating some optimism that cattle farmers can again make money. Historically high corn prices during the last several years drove up the cost of feed and many producers cut herd numbers as drought intensified.

Lee Schulz, a livestock specialist and assistant professor of economics, says producers have been in survival mode but are beginning to talk about expansion. There’s interest in building new facilities and growing herds. Feedlots made money on cattle sold in October, breaking a long streak of monthly losses.

He says it will take several years to build the herd with increased calf crops and increasing cattle supplies because of the time it takes for calves to mature.

U. of Iowa to launch newly designed web site

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa says it will launch a new design for its home web page for the first time since 2008. The university says the changes aim to improve a site that has been visited 11 times by 2.4 million people this year. University official Lin Larson offered a preview of the changes in a university article posted online Tuesday. He says the redesign “isn’t just a facelift, but a fresh start.”

He says the new site should make menus simpler to navigate and work better on mobile devices. Larson says the designers chose to make information for new users one central focus of the page, www.uiowa.edu.

Idle Neb. nuclear plant cleared to restart

News

December 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska nuclear plant that has been idle for nearly three years because of flooding and a series of safety concerns has been cleared to restart. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that the Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is safe to restart. Fort Calhoun, which sits across from Iowa on the Missouri River about 20 miles north of Omaha, has been offline since April 2011.

Fort Calhoun initially shut down for routine maintenance, but significant flooding in 2011, a small fire and a number of violations forced it to remain closed.