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Chase suspect arrested on Audubon County warrant


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Des Moines man who led authorities on a high-speed chase last weekend from Atlantic to Audubon, was arrested Thursday afternoon, on an outstanding warrant out of Audubon County filed by a Cass County Deputy. Audubon County Sheriff Todd Johnson says 40-year old Richard Randall Eatwell has been charged with Felony Eluding, Operating While Under the Influence of Drugs, Reckless Driving, Unsafe Passing and Passing on the Wrong Side.

The charges stem from a pursuit that began on the northern outskirts of Atlantic Sunday evening and ended with Eatwell’s arrest about 30-minutes later on the north side of Audubon. During the chase, speeds topped 120-miles per hour. Eatwell faces charges in Cass County that include OWI/Narcotics-related, Reckless Driving and Eluding.

Following his arrest on Thursday, Eatwell was transported from Cass to Audubon County, where he was seen by a magistrate. His preliminary hearing is set for April 3rd. Eatwell is being held in jail awaiting transportation to Polk County where he was wanted on a warrant for a parole violation.

2014 precipitation below normal

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports precipitation for Iowa is below normal so far in 2014, receiving an average of 2.2 inches instead of the normal 2.6 inches by this time. The wettest area of the state is extreme southeast Iowa with 5 inches of moisture, and the driest areas are portions of the I-29 corridor which have received only about an inch.mapjpg

Stream flows are normal across the state for this time of year, except in the Iowa River watersheds, which are above normal.The area of extreme drought in Iowa has reduced in size from 20 percent of the state to 7 percent since the beginning of the year.

For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends January 1 through March 12, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.


Mills County arrest report


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County have released a report on recent arrests. Authorities say21-year old Kenzie Marie Annin, of Council Bluffs, was arrested early this (Friday) morning following a traffic stop on Interstate 29.  Annin was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond.

51-year old Stuart B. Starks, of Omaha, was arrested Thursday at the Sheriff’s Office on a warrant for Forgery and Theft in the 4th degree. His bond was set at $6,000. On Wednesday, 22-year old Gary Allen Schultz, of Bellevue, NE.,  was arrested on a Pottawattamie County warrant for Failure to Appear. His bond was set at $1,000. And on Monday, deputies in Mills County arrested 30-year old Joseph Michael Barnes, of Council Bluffs, for Theft in the 5th degree. His bond was set at $300.

Company moving office to Council Bluffs from Omaha


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A truck leasing company has plans to move its corporate office to Council Bluffs from neighboring Omaha in Nebraska.  The Daily Nonpareil says the Council Bluffs Planning Commission has approved a rezoning request by Wayne Hoovestol to build a 24,000-square-foot building along with an attached shop and nearby warehouse.

Hoovestol told the newspaper that the construction will allow him to move his 55-person Cresco Capital operation from Omaha and consolidate it with his Lone Mountain Truck Leasing operation, which has 15 employees who would move from Pacific Junction. Cresco is the corporate and financial portion of Hoovestol’s lease-to-own truck business.

He says the consolidated site will have an initial total payroll of $3.5 million. And he says he expects to add positions.

8AM Newscast 03-14-2014

News, Podcasts

March 14th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Think Spring! Cass Co. Garden Seminar set for March 22nd

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Think Spring! The Cass County Master Gardeners and Cass County Extension are helping local gardeners gear up for warmer weather this month, with the 16th Annual Atlantic Spring Garden Seminar on Saturday March 22nd. This full day event, held at the Atlantic High School, features garden experts from across the Midwest sharing the latest information on gardening methods and plant varieties.CommunityGarden1 The seminar is open to all interested gardeners no matter the level of experience. Participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, but Master Gardeners who attend the full day will be given 5 credit hours toward their continuing education requirements.

The day starts with registration and refreshments at 8:30 AM. The program begins at 9 AM, when freelance garden writer Susan Appleget-Hurst will discuss “Dream Garden Design”, sharing practical tips for bringing inspiration to your home garden. The first of two breakout sessions for the day is next, and attendees will have 10 different topics to choose from, covering everything from starting seeds to native plants, and creating garden totems to focusing on care for specific plants. Before lunch, attendees will gather back in the auditorium to hear about tree selection for Iowa from ISU Extension Forestry Specialist Jesse Randall.

Over the lunch break, participants can browse the vendor/exhibitor booths in the high school gym, visit a Q & A booth to chat with some of our expert presenters, and enjoy lunch while chatting with friends or making new acquaintances.

The final group session for the day features Deb Groth of Groth Gardens in Winterset discussing tips and trick for growing “wow-worthy” containers. Before attendees head home, they will attend one more breakout session where they can pick from a list of 9 different topics to round out their day. The final session will wrap up by 3:20 PM.

The cost for this day of fun and learning is $35, including all meals and session materials. A full list of all breakout sessions, a schedule for the day and printable registration form are all available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass or can be picked up at the Cass County Extension Office. Brochures are also available at many local businesses with the schedule and registration form.

Registrations are welcome up to the day of the Garden Seminar, including walk-in registrations at the door. For more information on the Spring Garden Seminar or the Cass County Master Gardener Program, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.

Area law enforcement agencies are steping-up patrols this weekend


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

St. Patrick’s Day is an all-day celebration for many and, for some, it includes alcohol.  The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) reminds you to celebrate responsibly.  Police will be working overtime this weekend (March 14th-17th) strictly enforcing all motor vehicle laws as part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau program. Remember “Click It or Ticket” & “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”. Watch your speed & stop at all stop signs.Drive sober

Iowa law enforcement will step up patrols this holiday weekend to prevent alcohol-related crashes.  Drunk driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver license, higher insurance rates and other expenses including attorney fees, court costs, vehicle towing or repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.  An average OWI can cost close to $10,000.  A phone call or taxi is a less costly and a safer alternative.

The GTSB recommends you designate a sober driver before your party begins.  In recent years, two of every five traffic deaths that occurred on this holiday involved a drunk driver.  In Iowa, eight people lost their lives last March in an alcohol-related traffic crash with a double fatality during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Don’t push your luck this St. Patrick’s Day.  Celebrate smart and stay safe.  To prevent a tragedy and possibly save a life, the Iowa GTSB says to follow these steps for a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.

  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program.

  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as driving.

  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.

  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive while impaired, help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.

Study examines at Iowa’s “childcare cliff”


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new report from an Iowa City based research organization claims low-wage working parents in the state would be better served if reforms were made to Iowa’s Child Care Assistance program. Iowa Policy Project (IPP) Research Director Peter Fisher says Iowa’s eligibility ceiling for participation in the program is 145 percent of the federal poverty guideline.  “There are only seven states that have a lower ceiling than Iowa. Thirty states have a ceiling of 165 percent or higher and quite a few states are at 200 percent of poverty, so we’re well below the norm,” Fisher says.

Current rules provide a disincentive to families to earn more money, according to Fisher, because the loss of child care assistance can outweigh the increased income. “A single parent with one child, under the current program, is going to lose $4,890 in benefits when they hit that ceiling. A married couple, both working, with two children in child care will lose almost $9,000,” Fisher said. “That’s a pretty big hit and it happens all at once.” Fisher suggests lawmakers look at ways to reduce what has become a “financial cliff” for families, where the more they make, the further they fall behind because of the staggering cost of child care.

“There are other programs, the Earned Income Tax Credit and food assistance, where you don’t see a cliff. The reason is they do what we’re recommending here, which is tapering the benefits gradually, rather than cutting them all off at once,” Fisher said. Part of the problem, according to Fisher, is that federal poverty guidelines do not take into account the cost of childcare, which can become a severe strain on family budgets. The analysis recommends a graduated pay rate based on income, or raising the amount a working parent can make and still qualify for Child Care Assistance. Iowa’s Child Care Assistance program serves about 23-thousand (23,000) children each month.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) 7-a.m. News & funeral report, Fri., 3/14/2014

News, Podcasts

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A podcast for some of the latest area news with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Guilty plea entered in NW IA bus records tampering


March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

HOLSTEIN, Iowa (AP) – A former transportation director of a northwest Iowa school district has pleaded guilty to tampering with bus records. Fifty-two-year-old Douglas Wessling filed his plea earlier this week. Sioux City television station KCAU says Wessling will receive two years of probation and an order to pay a $1,000 fine.

Wessling was put on leave last fall and then lost his job as transportation director for the Galva-Holstein Community School District after an investigation by the Iowa State Patrol. District Superintendent Dave Kwikkel has said three district buses were taken out of service because of damage. Kwikkel said Wessling put one of them back into use before it had been repaired. Authorities say he also falsified repair records on at least three buses.