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Iowa crops needs a good soaking

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Much of Iowa, especially southern Iowa, could use some rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says while weeks of dry weather allowed farmers to finish planting, a lack of significant rain is resulting in poor soybean stands with seeds lying in dry soil. High winds have slowed spraying and dried out the soil. The USDA says in Tuesday’s report that 95 percent of the corn crop has emerged, which is 11 days ahead of normal. The condition of the corn has dipped slightly from a week ago, from 81 percent in good or excellent condition to 77 percent. Farmers have planted 97 percent of the soybean crop, ahead of 83 percent average. Topsoil moisture is 49 percent adequate or surplus, with subsoil moisture at 58 percent adequate or surplus.

Funeral services set for boy killed by falling tree

News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Funeral services will be held next Tuesday afternoon in Fontanelle, for a 3-year old boy who died Sunday afternoon, when a tree fell on him as he was playing hide and seek with his stuffed animals under the tree in his family’s back yard. Nathan “Tader” Hutt died instantly from injuries he suffered when a huge Maple tree fell over and landed on top of him. The accident happened at around 12:45-p.m. His mother Alisha, made the call to 9-1-1.

Fontanelle Police Chief Pat Henry told the Des Moines Register that it had been windy that day. Too windy, for the old tree, which was basically hollow, with only about five inches of wood remaining around the edges of the trunk. Henry said the tree looked fine from the outside, and there was no way to tell it was so internally weak.

Funeral services for Nathan Hutt will be held 3-p.m. Tue., June 5th, at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle. Memorials may be directed to the Nathan Hutt memorial fund in care of the First National Bank, 311 5th Street, Fontanelle, Iowa 50846.

Examining fundraising reports for four Iowa congressional races

News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest campaign disclosure reports show there’s a lop-sided fundraising race between Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell — the two incumbent Iowa congressmen who’re running against one another in November. Republican Congressman Tom Latham had nearly two-million dollars in cash in his campaign account by May 16th. That was a deadline day for reporting fundraising totals. It’s six times more than Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell had. Boswell had about 300-thousand dollars in his campaign account by mid-May.

Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo raised about 100-thousand dollars since April 1st. Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, raised about 13-thousand more than that. But former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, the Democrat who plans to challenge Republican Congressman Steve King in November, raised more than Braley and Loebsack combined. Her haul in the six-week period was 230-thousand dollars.Congressman King, however, is a more aggressive fundraiser than he has been in the past, collecting nearly 373-thousand dollars during that six-week period. King had about a million dollars in his campaign account by mid-May. Vilsack had about 144-thousand less.

Two Republicans face off in June’s primary to win the G-O-P nomination to challenge Braley in November. Loebsack faces a Democratic challenger in the primary who hasn’t set up a campaign website or raised enough money to require disclosing his donors. And two Republicans are running in the second congressional district for the change to run against Loebsack in November.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Weekend accidents in Atlantic result in minor injuries

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports two people suffered only minor injuries during two accidents over the Memorial Day weekend. Friday afternoon, a moped driven by Nicholas Behrens, of Atlantic, collided with a vehicle driven by Brian Farley, of Atlantic, as Behrens was traveling northbound in the alley east of Walnut Street. Officials say Behrens was approaching the 100 block of East 4th Street at around 1:45-p.m., at the same time Farley was traveling east on Walnut. As Farley’s vehicle passed the alley, it was hit in the side by the moped. Behrens complained of minor injuries, but refused transport to the hospital. He was cited following an investigation, for Failure to Yield Upon Entering a thru roadway. Damage from the accident amounted to $1,000.

The second accident happened at around 1-p.m. Saturday, at 5th and Plum Streets in Atlantic. Officials say a vehicle driven by Dana Heidt, of Atlantic, was travel east in the 11-hundred block of East 6th Street, and while proceeding to turn left onto the 500 block of Plum Street, his vehicle was struck in the side by a bicycle. The bike’s rider, Brenda Zimmerman, of Atlantic, complained of minor injuries, and was transported by Heidt to the Cass County Hospital for treatment. No citations were issued. Damage from the accident amounted to $100.

In other news, the Atlantic P.D. reports 21-year old Jesse Leeper, of Audubon, was arrested Saturday on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. Leeper was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Companies to Pay $1M for pipeline spills in Iowa, Kan., Neb.

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Kansas said today (Tuesday) Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC and Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Enterprise), of Houston, Texas, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than $1 million to the United States to settle violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to three natural gasoline pipeline spills near Onawa, Iowa, as well as in Kansas and Nebraska. 

As part of a consent decree lodged today in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Neb., and in addition to paying the $1,042,000 civil penalty, the companies have agreed to undertake various measures aimed at reducing external threats to their pipeline, enhance their reporting of spills, and spend at least $200,000 to identify and prevent external threats to the pipeline involved in the spills. 

MAPCO owns and Enterprise operates the 2,769-mile West Red Pipeline, which transports mixed natural gasoline products between Conway, Kan., and Pine Bend, Minn. The settlement resolves Clean Water Act violations related to three spills, including one which occurred along the pipeline on August 13th, 2011. During the incident, a rupture happened near Onawa, which caused the discharge of approximately 818 barrels of natural gasoline directly into the Missouri River.  

In addition to the proactive inspections and outreach efforts, the settlement also requires MAPCO and Enterprise to spend $200,000 to relocate, cover, lower or replace pipeline segments; install new remote shutoff valves; install new physical protections such as fences or concrete barriers; and install other new equipment, structures or systems to prevent spills from reaching navigable waters. 

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

Atlantic man arrested Sunday

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports an Atlantic man was arrested Sunday, on a district court warrant for Failure to Appear. 20-year old Michael Andrew McConnell, was brought to the Cass County Jail, and later released on $2000 bond.

No injuries following Monday afternoon accident in Anita

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says no injuries were reported following a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon, in Anita. Officials say the accident happened at Linn Street and Highway 83, at around 3:35 p.m., when a  2012 Buick Enclave driven by 25-year old Matthew Quinn Bonnesen, of Anita, was struck from behind. The incident happened as Bonnesen was westbound on Main Street in Anita, and waiting to turn into the Casey’s General Store parking lot. His car was hit by a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by 16-year-old Kolby Dean Hansen, of Anita.  Hansen was ticketed for Failure to Stop within Assured Clear Distance. Damage to Bonnesen’s vehicle is estimated at $2000; damage to Hansen’s vehicle is estimated at $3000.

Additional info. released on Saturday Cass County accident

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office today (Tuesday) released additional details on a rollover accident which occurred Saturday evening near the Cass-Adams County line. Officials say they were notified about the crash on Yankton Road, just east of 630th Street, at around 6:20-p.m. Their report said a 1996 Chevy Corsica driven by 16-year-old Hunter Daine Bechtol was traveling eastbound on Yankton Road when Bechtol lost control of the car, which rolled into the north ditch. Bechtol and three male passengers in the car, ages 13-, 14-, and 15, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Cass County Memorial Hospital for evaluation by Medivac, Griswold Rescue, and Villisca Rescue. All occupants were wearing seatbelts. Bechtol was ticketed for Failure to Maintain Control. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $2,500.

(updated 1-p.m.)Minor injuries during tractor trailer accident

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The driver of a semi tractor-trailer suffered what were described as minor injuries to his shoulder following an accident north of Atlantic late this (Tuesday) morning.

Semi in south ditch off I-80 Eastbound Tuesday morning (Ric Hanson photo)

According to the Iowa State Patrol, 60-year old Russell W. Hays, of Rock Island, IL., was traveling east on Interstate 80 at around 10:50-a.m., about one-quarter of a mile west of the Olive Street, or Exit 57 interchange, when the 2003 Freightliner semi he was driving went out of control, and entered the south ditch. The rig came to rest upright against a drainage ditch.

Hays was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic by Medivac Ambulance, for treatment of his injuries. Officials say he was wearing a seat belt.

(Ric Hanson photo)

ATV accident injures 3 people in Audubon County, driver arrested

News

May 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The operator of an all-terrain vehicle was arrested Sunday in Audubon County, following an investigation into a crash that sent three people to the hospital. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department says 25-year old Cale James Bolick, of Gray, was arrested at around 4-a.m. Sunday on OWI/1st Offense, Reckless Driving and Interference with Official Acts charges, following the crash, which occurred earlier that same morning, northeast of Gray.

Officials say three passengers on the 2006 Artic Cat ATV were injured. 39-year old Brandi Kay Vansickel and 17-year old Megan Boehm, both of Gray, and 18-year old Helena Trusty, of Denison, were transported to the Audubon County Hospital by Audubon Fire and Rescue. Bolick, and another passenger on the ATV, Casey Steven Bolick, of Gray, were not hurt during the crash.

Authorities say the vehicle was traveling north on Goldfinch, when it collided with a bridge railing and went into the east ditch before rolling over. The incident remains under investigation, and additional charges are pending. Damage to the ATV was estimated at $1,500.