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1 injury reported following Tue. morning accident in Villisca


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A passenger in a car that was struck by a pickup truck Tuesday morning in Villisca, was sent to the hospital for treatment of possible injuries. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 43-year old Keith Currin, of Villisca, was transported by Villisca Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital following the crash, which occurred at around 8:50-a.m., at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 1st Street, in Villisca.

Authorities say a 2006 Buick owned and operated by 77-year old Phillip Currin, of Villisca, was headed north on 3rd Aveneue, and had stopped at the intersection. A 2011 GMC pickup owned and operate by 62-year old Donald Myers, of Villisca, was traveling east on 1st Street, and also stopped at the intersection. Myers failed to see the Currin vehicle, and proceeded into the intersection, hitting the car on its left rear side, and causing it to veer to the left before the Buick hit a fire hydrant.

Damage from the crash was estimated at $4,500 altogether. The City of Villisca’s fire hydrant appeared to be undamaged, according to officials. Myers was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign. Deputies were assisted at the scene by personnel with the Villisca and Red Oak Fire and Rescue Departments.

Treynor resident donates $2,500 to the local Fire Dept. through AFGC Program


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Treynor woman who has used the services of the Treynor Volunteer Fire Department over the years has expressed her gratitude through a donation of $2,500. The Daily NonPareil reports Jolene Lammert‘s home caught fire twice over the years, and just a few years ago, her father-in-law was involved in a tractor accident. But every time, volunteer firefighters came to her aid. The 55-year-old woman still lives in that house, and her father is currently in good health.

On Monday, Jolene and her husband, Ron, donated $2,500 to the fire department to help pay for new hydraulic rescue tools. Lammert received the money when she was chosen by America’s Farmers Grow Communities as a winner for Pottawattamie County. The group works with farmers to support rural communities. Lammert entered the contest and, upon winning, was allowed to donate her prize to the organization of her choosing.

Fire Chief Russ Maguire said the funds will be used toward the $24,000 needed to replace the department’s aging rescue tools. Fire officials are looking to obtain a $10,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to assist with the equipment. The department will pay the difference.

Pott. County Board considers sale of a park in Hancock


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors is considering whether to sell a portion of a county-owned park in Hancock to an adjacent grain storage company for an expansion. The Daily NonPareil reports the Scoular Co., which has a grain storage facility in Hancock, would like to purchase approximately 2.8 acres of land in Botna Bend Park, located alongside the facility. A Scoular official has said the land was in an unused portion of the park.

Botna Bend is a 119-acre park featuring a campground, playground, hiking trails and basketball and volleyball courts. The Scoular representative told the paper the campground area is still 400 to 500 feet away from the planned expansion site. A proposed new storage building on that ground would be 70 feet high, 180 feet in width and 420 feet in length.

Scoular reportedly will invest up to $4.5 million in this expansion,with $40,000 in additional tax revenue for the community. The purchase agreement calls for the company to pay $50,000 for the property and agree to pay an additional $50,000 for park improvements where needed. The new structure would be considered an “overflow” type of storage facility, especially during fall harvest time when current storage buildings reached their own capacities.

The five-member board of supervisors, before officially voting on the matter, requested the company and the county’s conservation office work out an agreeable plan for drainage issues. Also at Tuesday’s board meeting, the board set a public hearing on the 2015 fiscal year county operating budget for March 17 at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors room.

NE man found guilty in Mills Co. sex abuse case


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Omaha World-Herald reports a Nebraska man was found guilty Tuesday in the case of two Mills County girls who were sexually abused last September. The girls were eight- and nine-years old. 64-year old John R. Schondelmeyer, of Bellevue, NE., was convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child. A  jury issued its verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.

Schondelmeyer faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison on each sexual abuse count and a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the lascivious acts counts. He’s scheduled to be sentenced April 14th.

Schondelmeyer may still face charges in Sarpy County, NE.  However, it’s not clear what direction officials will take the case.

Creating a statewide “reverse 911” system


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would create a new state fund to help finance a statewide emergency messaging system. Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the goal is to ensure the latest technology is in place to be used in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. “Currently 53 counties use some form of mass notification and emergency messaging systems,” Petersen says. “…The cost of the 53 systems is more than $600,000 per year.” The other 46 Iowa counties have no electronic warning system in place, relying on local broadcasters and weather radios to spread emergency messages.

The estimated cost of a statewide emergency messaging system is about 400-thousand dollars a year and the governor has included that figure in his state budget outline. “The system would be an ‘opt in’ system for local governments. It’s not a mandate and administration of the system would occur at the local level through emergency management commissions,” Petersen says.

Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, says by pooling resources, this will help some Iowa communities save money on these so-called “reverse 9-1-1” systems. “And take advantage of all the wonderful, new technologies that we use in many ways for leisure and entertainment, but this could also be used for public safety good — Facebook, Twitter and all the other forms of social media,” Danielson says.

The cell numbers, web addresses and Twitter handles used in these emergency notification systems are to be kept confidential by the state and local governments, plus the bill offers an even more specific protection, saying all that information “shall not be sold” to anyone.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 26th 2014


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Consultants hired by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to analyze the saturation level of gambling in Iowa say new casinos proposed for Cedar Rapids and Jefferson would get most of their money by drawing revenue from already existing casinos. The Des Moines Register reports that Union Gaming Analytics and Marquette Advisors were hired to conduct independent evaluations of gambling in Iowa, which has 18 state-regulated casinos.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former Dallas Center man has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison on child pornography charges, a sentence enhanced because a judge said the man lied in court. Thirty-six-year-old Benjaman Shelabarger must also serve five years of supervised release once he’s out of prison.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A West Des Moines nonprofit insurance provider set up to sell insurance under nation’s new health care overhaul plan says it has surpassed 50,000 individual and group members, a milestone that wasn’t expected for at least two years. CoOportunity Health sells health care insurance in Iowa and Nebraska. It is one of 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans set up nationwide. The cooperatives were designed to assure competition in insurance plans and provide consumers choices.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Rockwell City police officer will undergo a psychiatric competency evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports a judge has ordered the proceedings in the trial of Corey Trott to be suspended until it is determined whether he can stand trial.

FBI director ready to hire, restart training


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — FBI Director James Comey says he’s authorized new hiring and is ready to order resumption of training new agents following last month’s passage of a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill. The spending measure also scaled back automatic spending cuts that had led the FBI to eliminate more than 2,000 positions, institute a hiring freeze and suspended training of new agents at its academy at Quantico, Va.

Comey said Tuesday at a visit to the FBI’s Omaha field office that he has already signed off on opening 700 positions within the agency’s field offices across the country. The Omaha field office covers Nebraska and Iowa. Comey, who took over the FBI in September, plans to visit all of the agency’s 56 field offices in the coming weeks.

Iowa lawmakers back kidnapping legislation


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bills increasing the penalties for child kidnapping have been easily approved in the Iowa Senate and House. Lawmakers backed the bills Tuesday. Both were drafted in response to the kidnapping and killing of teenager Kathlynn Shepard last year.

The Senate legislation would increase criminal penalties in cases involving children 17 and younger and cases in which the person convicted had previously been convicted of kidnapping. The House bill increases penalties in cases involving children 15 and under and would prevent those convicted of certain crimes from reducing sentences through good behavior.

Fifteen-year-old Kathlynn is believed to have been killed by a registered sex offender who had been released from prison after serving a reduced sentence. He killed himself after the incident.

Guthrie Center man arrested for grocery store burglary


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into the break-in of a grocery store in Guthrie Center has resulted in an arrest, after the suspect was injured and found at a hospital. Officials with the Guthrie Center Police Department report 18-year old David Paul Dawson, of Guthrie Center, was arrested at the Guthrie County Hospital today (Tuesday), at around 5:15-a.m.  Dawson was being seen at the hospital for a laceration to his wrist and was receiving sutures. He’s been charged with Burglary 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief 2nd degree, both “D” Felonies and one count of Trespassing, a simple misdemeanor. Officials say Dawson was being held on $5000 bond in the Guthrie County Jail, pending his appearance in front of the Magistrate.

Dawson was arrested after police investigated a report that there was a broken front window at Hometown Foods. The investigation revealed that someone had broken into the store through one of the 4-foot by 8-foot double pane glass windows. An undetermined amount of cigarettes and bottled liquor were taken from the store. Don Reinhart (Store Owner) and Eric Grove (Store Employee) were called to assist the Police Department with their video surveillance system. From that video surveillance, the Police Department was able to identify a suspect.

The Guthrie Center Police Department received assistance from the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and also from Panora Police Department.

3 OWI arrests in Cass County


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(12-p.m. News)

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County report three OWI-related arrests over the past few days. On Monday, 30-year old Trent Matthew Suhr, of Walnut, was arrested on charges of OWI 4th Offense, Driving While Barred, two counts of Driving While Revoked, and one count of Driving Under Suspension. Suhr was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $5000 bond.

Last Saturday,31-year old Jonathan David Hart, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Hart was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

And on Friday, 39-year old  Kerri Kay Towne, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense. Towne was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on her own recognizance.