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Ericksen sex abuse case to be heard again, in less than 3 months

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A new trial in the case of a Lewis man charged with the sexual abuse of a minor will be held in less than three months. A jury trial for 52-year old Roger Ericksen will take place in Cass County District Court, at 9:30-a.m., December 11th.

Ericksen stands accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year old female who lived in his home as a foster child. The assaults allegedly occurred over a period of two-months during the Summer of 2011. He was formally charged on December 13th, 2011.

Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski declared a mistrial August 30th, after a jury deadlocked in their decision on whether or not to convict Ericksen on 46-counts of 3rd degree sexual abuse, two-counts of lascivious conduct with a minor, and two- counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. The trial last month lasted just two-days. Ericksen remains in the Cass County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Shelby County Speedway break-in reported

News, Sports

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department is requesting the public’s help in finding the person or persons responsible for a break-in at the Shelby County Speedway, in Harlan. The incident happened sometime between Saturday night, September 8th and the morning of Sunday, September 9th. Officials say approximately $15,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from the Speedway. The incident  remains under investigation. If you have any information, contact the Harlan Police Department at 712-755-5151.

Cass Co. Supervisors approve bridge replacement project plans

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved the plans for a bridge replacement project on Lansing Road. Auditor Dale Sunderman said the bridge, on a Farm-to-Market Road, is over the East Nishnabotna River. The bridge is located about 2 ½ miles southwest of Atlantic, near the old Walnut Grove Research Farm. Engineer Charles Marker had signed-off on the project, but the forms needed to be approved by the Board, before being submitted to the Iowa Dept. of Transportation.

Once the plans are submitted to the DOT, the bids will go out for the project, and work will begin, but that isn’t likely to happen until later this year or sometime next year. In other business, Sunderman said he will publish in the various County newspapers, information about the voting precincts for the November 6th General Election, which are essentially the same as they were during the Primary, except there will be numerous versions of the ballots. He says the number of precincts…13…will stay the same, but there will be 16 ballots styles because Townships are combined with cities in some cases.

Edna and Victoria Townships on the east side of the County, for instance, will combined, thereby eliminating the need for voters in Edna Township to travel to the west side of the County. They will instead, be voting in Massena. Some of the changes are due to State and Senatorial district changes, along with Supervisor district changes.

8AM Newscast 09-12-2012

News, Podcasts

September 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Field Fire near I-80 Tuesday evening in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Atlantic, along with tanker support from Brayton, were able to quickly knock down a field fire Tuesday evening. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees says the call about the fire southeast of the Interstate 80/Highway 71 interchange, came in just after 5-p.m., from Delbert Westphalen, who was working the area with his combine. McNees said Westphalen had completed the end rows when he noticed the fire. He used both fire extinguishers on his combine to try and put out the flames, but with the windy conditions, a six-foot circle had burned out of control, quickly.

McNees said they received some assistance in keeping the flames from spreading, not only from the Brayton Fire Department, but from a local farmer. He happened to be passing by, and was flagged down to have his disc implement used to control the spread of fire, along with another disc implement that was on the scene already. McNees said farmers need to have disc equipment standing by in the event a field fire should occur, and it’s wise to take precautions before they begin to harvest the crops.

He says they’ve been telling people to disc around the planned harvest area, so if flames do erupt, it will keep them within that field and not spread to other fields or property. About 4 ½ acres were lost to the flames. McNees said it appears a spark from the implement hitting a rock may have caused the fire.

7AM Newscast 09-12-2012

News, Podcasts

September 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Tax levies approved in Lewis Central & Council Bluffs School Districts

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Voters in the Lewis Central and Council Bluffs Community School District’s, Tuesday, approved tax levies for both districts. The Omaha World-Herald reports 67-percent of the voters who cast ballots in the Council Bluffs Community School District, approved a change in the Instructional Support Levy (ISL) from the current 2.17-percent, to 10-percent. The levy will remain in-place through 2016. The increase in the levy is expected to generate an additional $2.9-million in property tax revenue for instructional and classroom support, only.

Voters in the Lewis Central Community School District approved the renewal of a 10-year Physical Plant and Equipment (PPEL – or, “Peppel”) Levy, which will remain at 50-cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The levy is typically used for building repairs, transportation and technology needs. School officials say they plan to use the levy funds for several planned projects, including heating and air conditioning work, pool deck and track replacements, new buses, and technology.

Nebraska man pleads guilty in Iowa rape case

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are crediting a federal DNA database for nabbing a Nebraska sex offender in a 10-year-old Iowa sexual assault case.   The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports that Mark Sands, a registered sex offender from Omaha, Neb., pleaded guilty to third-degree kidnapping and third-degree sexual assault before his trial in Pottawattamie County was set to begin Tuesday. He had been charged with first- and second-degree kidnapping, burglary, sexual abuse and three assault charges for a 2001 home invasion in which a Council Bluffs mother was raped and beaten and her 16-year-old disabled daughter tied up.  Sands was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.  The 51-year-old Sands was arrested last year after police said the national DNA database identified him as the man who raped the woman in October 2001.

Suicide among top causes of teen deaths in Iowa

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The most recent state records show 369 Iowans took their own lives in 2010. Mark Vander Linden, with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), says the suicide rate among Iowa’s young population is of particular concern. “Iowa’s 14th in the nation for suicide rates among teens and young adults aged 15 to 24 years old. For those who are 15 to 19, it’s the second leading cause of death (in Iowa),” Vander Linden said. This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.

There are several risk factors and warning signs for parents, friends and other to watch for to prevent a loved one from taking their own life. “The most common sign would be making a suicide a plan and the more specific the plan, the higher the risk…statements from somebody about feeling hopeless or what it would be like when they’re gone,” Vander Linden said. Most people who commit suicide have talked about it or given definite warning signs, according to Vander Linden.

This past April, a northwest Iowa teenager who openly admitted to being gay killed himself. His family said he was being bullied on-line and at school.  “Youth who are bullied are definitely at a higher risk,” Vander Linden said. “There’s a recent study by Yale University that found victims of bullying are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.” Governor Branstad has scheduled a “Bullying Prevention Summit” to be held in Des Moines on November 27th.

(Radio Iowa)

Villisca teen arrested for assault

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a Villisca teen was arrested Tuesday afternoon, on an assault charge. 13-year old Wyatt Dean Baldwin was taken into custody at around 3:30-p.m., on a charge of Simple Assault, in connection with an incident which allegedly occurred on Villisca Community School District property, Tuesday. Baldwin was brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, processed, and then released to the custody of a parent.

The Sheriff’s Department reports also, Jeremy Joel Binns was arrested Tuesday night, on two warrants charging him with violation of his probation. Binns was taken into custody without incident at around 8:10-p.m., at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center.