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7AM Newscast 10-18-2011

News, Podcasts

October 18th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Atlantic Parks and Rec Board honors Frederickson & talks about Schildberg Campground Project

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Board Monday evening presented a small bouquet of flowers to Chairperson Nancy Frederickson, who, after serving 30-years on the board, has decided not to seek re-election in November. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring commended Frederickson for her service to the community. Frederickson said she’d spent half of her life on the board, and if she had to do it all over again, she would. Herring says the board will always welcome her expertise and involvement in the future.

In other business, the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board heard an update on the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground project. Herring said the Schildberg Committee is excited about the Phase 1 project, which involves establishing 18 gravel pads for the campground. The campground will be located at the southeast corner of the park, at the corner of N. Chestnut and Iowa Avenue. The site is currently a soybean field. Hopes are for modern restroom and shower facilities to be included in the project, at a later date.

Currently all the utilities are in place near the site, including water and electricity. Herring said fundraising efforts are underway to pay for the project, including part of the proceeds from a raffle to be sponsored by the Atlantic Rotary Club. Phase two, the most expensive part of the project, would include the construction of permanent restrooms and shower facilities, within the next couple of years. In the interim, porta-potties will be put in place, when the campgrounds are built over the course of the coming year.

Crash follows chase of stolen motorcycle in Council Bluffs

News

October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was taken to the hospital in critical condition Monday, after the motorcycle he was a passenger on crashed into a car at South 16th Street and 2nd Avenue in Council Bluffs. Sgt. Pat Toscano said 23-year old Eric Brandt was taken to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha following the crash, which happened at around 9:30-p.m., Monday.

Toscano said the driver of the cycle, 30-year old Scott McNeal, of Council Bluffs, suffered serious injuries in the crash. Both of the motorcyclists were wearing their helmets. The driver of the car, Bruce McFadden, of Council Bluffs, suffered minor injuries. McNeal and McFadden were also transported to the hospital.

According to the Police report, McNeal and Brandt were being pursued westbound on 2nd Avenue by a pickup truck. An investigation is underway to determine if shots had been fired by a passenger in the truck during the chase. As the cycle, which had been reported stolen from Council Bluffs in August,  approached the intersection of South 16th Street, it collided with McFadden’s 2000 Ford Taurus, after he stopped at the intersection and proceeded south.

The incident remains under investigation.

Man wanted for questioning in enticement incident

News

October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are looking for a man they say tried to entice a child into his vehicle Monday evening. Bluffs Police Sgt. Dave Dawson says at around 6:30-p.m., a white male about 30-to 50-years of age approached a 9-year old girl who was standing by her bicycle at the intersection of Tipton and Berwick, in Council Bluffs.

The man got out of his pickup and came to within about four-feet of the girl, before kneeling down and stretching out his arms, as if to beckon her to him. The girl however, got on her bike and quickly rode away.

The man was described as being about 5-feet 11-inches tall, weighing 200-pounds. He had brown hair showing through a black ski mask, brown and black long sleeved shirt (possibly plaid or checkered) with a white embroidered name on the chest with blue-green lettering. He was also wearing blue jeans, and black shoes with no laces. The suspect is missing a top right front tooth and bottom left front tooth. He has blue or green eyes, and a possible, visible injury to one of his thumbs.

The suspect’s vehicle was said to have been a red extended cab Chevy pickup with damage to the right rear and a missing wheel cover or aftermarket rim, on the right rear. The truck had gray duct tape on the right rear window, wheel covers or rims with a possible spoke pattern. In addition it’s right front fender may have had some sort of a decal on it, while the rear of the truck had several rock chips or paint scratches. The license plates may have had the numbers 7-4-3, but the exact sequence is unknown.

If you have any information about the vehicle or the suspect, you’re asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-326-2512.

Chronic Wasting disease concerns as deer hunting begins

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Deer hunters are being reminded to take precautions to avoid bringing chronic wasting disease into Iowa. The neurological disease affecting deer and elk is not believed to be a threat to human health, but it is fatal to wildlife. Iowa Department of Natural Resources deer biologist Tom Litchfield says hunters who kill animals such as deer, elk or moose in areas affected by the disease are restricted in what they can bring home.  “If that animal comes from a chronic wasting disease area, then that animal must be butchered in that state and only the boned-out meat, hide and clean skull plate can legally be brought into the state of Iowa,” Litchfield said. The Iowa DNR has tested more than 38,000 deer for chronic wasting disease since 2003, with no positive results in the state. Officials have stepped up monitoring in border areas of Iowa in response to a report of the disease in deer in Minnesota for the first time last fall.

“We sample in every county, but in areas where the disease is likely to expand, we do increased surveillance in those counties,” Litchfield said. The disease also has been confirmed in Illinois and Wisconsin. Iowa’s early muzzleloader deer season opened this past weekend and runs through next Sunday (Oct. 23). The late muzzleloader season is set from December 19 through January 10. The two shotgun deer hunting season run from December 3-7 and December 10-18.

(Radio Iowa)

Missouri River flooding officially over

News

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — This year’s flooding on the Missouri River is officially over. That’s according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which says Monday the river has fallen below flood stages from Fort Peck in Montana to St. Louis and water is off the levee system. Col. Anthony Hofmann, commander of the Kansas City district, says the corps is assessing the damage to the levees and dams to come up with a repair bill. He expects a report by mid-November. So far, $27.7 million has been set aside for repairs. The corps is waiting on funding by Congress for the rest. Early estimates show repairs could top $1 billion. The corps’ announcement follows a meeting of Missouri River governors where there was significant disagreement between Montana and downstream states over flood control.

Governors say Corps should make move now to ease flood threat in 2012

News

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

North Dakota’s governor is suggesting the Army Corps of Engineers take action this fall to lower the level of a federal reservoir in his state, as a preparation for potential flooding along the Missouri River next year. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple unveiled the idea in Omaha during a meeting of the eight governors from states along the Missouri River.  “National Weather Service says we’re going to have more snow…We know that the ground is saturated down through the valley. We know that the levees are at a weakened condition,” Dalrymple says. “That calls for an adjustment.” Dalrymple suggests lowering the level of the reservoir behind Garrison Dam, which is north of Bismarck, North Dakota, by two-and-a-half feet. The idea comes from the state water engineer in North Dakota.

“He’s comfortable that because of the relatively dry fall we can easily move an additional 10,000 cubic feet per second out of that area for 38 days and create some significant additional storage before the river freezes up,” Dalrymple says. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman says this idea could help take some pressure off Missouri River levees. “We’ve gone through this one-in-500-year event. We clearly have more water right outside behind us in the Missouri River than we normally have,” Heineman says. “Our grounds, our lands are saturated, so it’s not going to take as much moisture to get right back to where we are, so we’re all concerned about what additional steps can we take.” According to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, governors up and down the Missouri usually have “sharp opinions” about how to manage the river, but Brownback says this idea has broad support among the governors.

“This is a situation where inches matter and anything we can do to purchase a little bit of insurance, hopefully on the cheap, to provide for a weakened system would be an important thing for us to do,” Brownback says. “And that’s why we’re urging the Corps to do it.” Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says it seems as if the region is in the midst of a “wet cycle” and it’s time to make changes in the Missouri River’s management to address that reality.  “I think we’re in unanimity that we don’t want to have happen again next year what happened this year — a flood of this extent that lasts this long,” Branstad says, “and having more storage as well as repairing the levees as quickly as they can be (repaired), those are important things to do.” The governors in the region want congress to launch an “independent” investigation of the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan for managing the Missouri River basin. The governors also say that plan should make flood control a higher priority.

(Radio Iowa)

Haunted SW Iowa jailhouse is subject of night tours, paranormal investigation

News

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

October is the busiest month of the year for a 19th century jailhouse in southwest Iowa which some believe is haunted. What’s known as the Squirrel Cage Jail was built in Council Bluffs in 1885. Karla Borgaila is the museum coordinator for the Pottawattamie County Historical Society. She says the jail’s a spooky place.  “It got the name of the Squirrel Cage because inside this absolutely gorgeous brick building is a three-story cage that has pie-shaped cells for the men and it would rotate around,” Borgaila says. “It had a water motor for during the night and a hand crank for during the day.” Only 16 jails of this type were built in the U-S and three survive, but the facility in Council Bluffs is the only one that has three tiers of cells. She says it was a very unpopular place for prisoners.

“It even has a solitary confinement area down this long narrow hallway just barely bigger than the width of a gym locker,” Borgaila says. “There’s a standing area the size of a gym locker at the back they could put you in with a cage door for anywhere from one to ten days.” Members of the group Nevermore Paranormal have spent time in the jail and will share what they have documented about ghostly activity in the cages on Sunday at 2 P-M at the Western Trails Center, in Council Bluffs. Borgaila says there will also be evening tours of the jail on October 29th.

“From 6 to 8 P-M, we do spooky tours, evening tours throughout the jail and Nevermore Paranormal will be there,” she says. “The jail’s spooky enough during the day and once the sun goes down, it’s even a little bit creepier.” The Pottawattamie County Historical Society will also hold haunted lantern tours of its rail cars at the RailsWest Railroad Museum on October 28th. Younger kids can stop buy earlier that evening and go railcar-to-railcar trick-or-treating.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic teen sentenced for role in Neb. shooting.

News

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — An 18-year-old Cass County, Iowa man has been sentenced to 4 to 9 years in prison for his role in a deadly shooting of another man in Bellevue. Online court records show Cable Cohrs, of Atlantic, was sentenced on Monday in Sarpy County, NE, District Court after pleading guilty to being an accessory to a felony and aiding consummation of a felony. Cohrs was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Kyle Williams. In exchange for Cohrs’ plea, the murder charge was dropped.

Williams was found injured and unresponsive by his grandfather at their home in March. He died of his injuries. Johnathan Armendariz was sentenced in September to 80 to 100 years in prison on charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in Williams’ death.

Governors at odds over Missouri River management

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

HELENA, Mont. (AP) – Missouri River state governors are clashing with Montana over flood control as federal officials tell them damage from this year’s high water will make them even more vulnerable during next year’s flood season. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer lashed back against a developing notion that downstream flood control should dominate upstream reservoir management. He told the downstream governors Monday such a plan would lead to empty reservoirs in Montana when a drought hits.

Schweitzer called into what was expected to be a private meeting attended by governors from Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota. The host, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, clashed with Schweitzer during the meeting. Schweitzer invited reporters to his office to listen to the meeting. He criticized the others for closing the doors to the public.