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Man arrested for waving a gun at kids in Corning


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department reports a Corning man was arrested late Friday night after authorities received word a man was waving a gun at kids, at the bottom of Davis Avenue. Sheriff’s officials say when officers arrived on the scene, they observed 58-year old Joseph Johnson hiding a weapon from them. Johnson was arrested at around 10:30-p.m. on Public Intoxication, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Going Armed with Intent and Disorderly Conduct charges.  He was being held in the Adam County Jail Saturday on $5,900 cash bond.

(updated 5:05-p.m.) Plane crashes at air show in eastern Iowa


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A plane that was part of an air show in eastern Iowa has crashed, and authorities say the pilot was killed. The Quad-Cities Times reports that the Soviet-era retired military jet was performing with the Quad-City Air Show in Davenport. Authorities say the jet was flying in formation with other jets when it failed to pull out of a 45-degree bank and crashed into a field north of Interstate 80 around 1:25 p.m. Saturday. Nobody on the ground was hurt, but crowds watching the show saw the plane go down and erupt in flames. Davenport police and federal investigators planned to comb the field Saturday for widely-scattered wreckage from the plane. Assistant Davenport Police Chief Don Schaeffer did not identify the pilot, but said he was not from Davenport.

Two-vehicle accident north of Atlantic, Saturday


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

One person suffered minor injuries during a collision between a car and a pickup truck this (Saturday) morning, north of Atlantic.

Mazda Protege in the north ditch off of Boston Road (Ric Hanson photo)

The crash between a Mazda Protege driven by Mike Anderson, of rural Atlantic, and a Ford F-350 pickup driven by Rick McDermott and owned by Smith Farms, of Atlantic, happened at around 10:30-a.m., about one-quarter of a mile west of Olive Street, on Boston Road. Cass County Chief Deputy Sheriff Bill Ayers told KJAN News the car was traveling west on Boston Road,  which he described as being like a washboard. As Anderson tried to move away from the side of the road and was left of the center, the eastbound truck topped the hill and the vehicles collided, despite efforts by both drivers to avoid the collision.

Accident scene (east to west view) – Ric Hanson photo

Following the collision, the car rolled onto its top into the north ditch, while the truck came to rest on the gravel road. Anderson was treated for cuts and abrasions, but did not require transport to the hospital. Chief Deputy Ayers said Anderson was cited for Failure to Yield half of the roadway.

The car being loaded onto a wrecker.

While the scene was under investigation, the unoccupied pickup apparently popped out of gear and rolled on its flat left front tire, into the north ditch.

The pickup rolled into the ditch about 30-minutes after the collision.

Cass Supervisors appoint Mental Health Committee member


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors on Friday, acted to appoint one of their members to the Southwest Iowa Mental Health Regional Planning Committee. General Relief/Mental Health Coordinator Teresa Kanning told the Board there has been interest in the community regarding the appointment. The Board voted to appoint Supervisor Frank Waters as a member of the committee, and Supervisor Gaylord Schelling as the alternate.

The  Supervisors in June signed a letter of intent to join with other counties in a 28-E agreement for Mental Health services. In May, Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation that reform’s the state’s mental health system. It shakes up the current county-based format in favor of one based on “regions.”

Domestic disturbance results in arrest


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A domestic situation in Red Oak early this (Saturday) morning, resulted in an arrest. Red Oak Police report 27-year old Aaron Lucas Allen, of Red Oak, was arrested after allegedly causing damage to an apartment in the 1800 block of East Summit Street. Allen, who was found behind the property, allegedly resisted arrest. He faces a charge of  3rd degree criminal mischief. Allen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,300 bond.

Cass Supervisors discuss relocation of 9-1-1 Center & road closures


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Friday, decided to take under advisement a recommendation by the County Public Safety Commission, to relocate the 9-1-1 Center from the basement of the courthouse, to the third-floor, where the County Emergency Management Office is currently located. CPC Chairman Steve Livengood said the 3rd floor is the most logical place for the 9-1-1 Center, which has outgrown its current space. Livengood said consolidating with the Iowa State Patrol Communications Center in a new, separate building may still happen somewhere down the road, but it’s not in the scope of vision for the immediate future, because of the current “political climate,” and the lack of funds available. Livengood says they need more information on what types are funding are needed before any equipment is moved to the 3rd floor.

One of the concerns the Supervisors had with moving the 9-1-1 Center to the 3rd floor is, where will the voting machines on the floor go to? The machines require a climate-controlled environment and security. There is not enough room in the Comm Center for the voting machines and EMA offices. Supervisor Chuck Rieken he couldn’t give the CPC his blessing to move forward with relocating the Comm Center until some important questions are answered.

In other business, the Board of Supervisors, Friday, approved the setting of October 17th at 9:05-a.m. as the date and time for a public hearing on the proposed vacation of a portion of 662nd Lane (Benton Township, Section 7). The road was originally established in July of 1895. And, they approved the closure of certain roads on Saturday, Sept. 15th, as part of the “Fly Iowa 2012” airshow at the Atlantic Airport.

Gary Maas, Flight Boss for the show says since part of the show’s flight activity will be over Secondary roadways, those roads must be closed, and the FAA requires an “Air Box” to be established for the air show performers, that they must adhere to for safety reasons. The box has vertical and horizontal spatial limitations, that extend to the ground and cover a couple of local roads, which again, must be blocked-off during the show.

Airshow Chairman Gary Pellett has spoken with the affected farmers, property owners and the Iowa Interstate Railroad about the temporary changes, all of whom are agreeable to the restrictions. Maas says there’s been tremendous community support and cooperation for the free air show. You can find out more about it by surfing to the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce’ website at www.atlanticiowa.com, or by using this direct link: http://www.atlanticiowa.com/visiting-atlantic/atlantic-municipal-airport

(Podcast) Saturday Local/State News – Sept. 1st 2012

News, Podcasts

September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Podcast of the 7:06-a.m. Newscast, with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Motorists reminded of heightened law enforcement effort over holiday


September 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans will be hitting the road over the Labor Day weekend and they’re being reminded to buckle up, obey the speed limit and play it safe. Randy Hunefeld with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says the last holiday weekend of the summer can be a dangerous one on Iowa’s roads because too many people are driving drunk. Last year, there were four traffic fatalities in Iowa over the Labor Day weekend. “Two of those were alcohol related,” Hunefeld said. “Even though our (fatality) numbers are good, unless we have zero, they’re not good enough.”

Hunefeld is coordinator of bureau’s special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP). The agency is conducting a sTEP wave that started August 23 and run through next Wednesday. Hunefeld warns that the heightened enforcement effort means motorists will have a better chance of getting caught if they’re breaking traffic laws.  “The most important thing is be cautious of other drivers, make sure you’re buckled up and driving the speed limit,” Hunefeld said. “And if you do decide to go out drinking over the Labor Day weekend, be responsible, because there will be plenty of law enforcement officers out looking for ya.” During Iowa’s last sTEP project, over the July 4 holiday, law officers made contact with more than 15,600 motorists. That included 295 contacts with alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.

(Radio Iowa)

Cellulosic Ethanol Plant may be in store for Atlantic


August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Prospects for an ethanol plant project in Atlantic may be renewed thanks to a client of PlanScape Partners in Clear Lake, who is interested in building a 25-million gallon second-generation ethanol production facility in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area.

Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners explains the Cellulosic Ethanol plant project proposal.

Kathy Schowalter of PlanScape Partners made a presentation Friday morning to the Cass County Board of Supervisors on behalf of Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, for a Cellulosic ethanol plant.

Schowalter said no commercial cellulosic ethanol plants currently exist anywhere in the country, and there are only a trio of smaller projects in the works. If a cellulosic ethanol plant is eventually built in Atlantic, it would using corn stover. The by-poducts would be Lignin, which is a corn starch, and of course, ethanol. Schowalter says the end product is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel. She said stover for the plant would be collected from suppliers in a 50-to75-mile radius of Atlantic, and it would also be a boon to Cass County by bringing in younger workers, more families and quality jobs, and extra revenue for farmers.

Schowalter says it needs 350,000 tons of corn stover. It will cost about $250-million dollars to build, and create a conservative $25-million in new property tax revenue. She says the plant could also create some spin-off industries and make a positive impact on current businesses. It could employ 40 to 45-people, with a payroll of $1.8-million. Schowalter said in order for the project to be competitive with State and Federal incentives given to other ethanol plant projects…the funds for which she says are drying-up…there has to be a local contract for assistance.

Schowalter asked the Board of Supervisors to consider local assistance in the form of: a property tax exemption until production begins; 50% property tax exemption/rebate for ten years after production begins; and assistance with applications for State and Federal incentives. Even with an agreement in-place, the permitting process she says will take up to a year once investors are secured, construction on the plant itself would take 18-to 24-months. The Board took the proposal under advisement, and will render a decision by October 10th.


Ag/Outdoor, News

August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say unseasonably warm weather and water temperatures have prompted concerns about microcystin, a product of blue-green algae. There are currently advisories for total microcystins for the beaches on Big Creek Lake near Saylorville, Green Valley Lake north of Creston, and Rock Creek Lake near Kellogg.  Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight – conditions that have been prevalent throughout the state this summer. Because the conditions are conducive to blue-green algae growth, people and pets should not be in contact with water that has a poor appearance.

The appearance can be a pea-green or blue-green color, but also a reddish-brown. It may appear with scum, foam or as a thick mat on the water surface. Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight. The main risk to humans from microcystin is skin irritations and rashes, but if the water is swallowed or airborne droplets are inhaled during swimming, bathing or showering, symptoms could be worse. Those would include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, seizures, liver injury and respiratory problems.

Precautions that should be taken to prevent health-related problems due to harmful algal blooms include:  Don’t swim, water ski or boat in areas where the water is discolored or if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water;  If you come in contact with water that might have a harmful algal bloom, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible; Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from areas where water is discolored, of if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water; Don’t let pets (especially dogs) lick the algae off their fur after swimming in scummy water; Don’t irrigate lawns or golf courses with pond water that looks scummy or has a bad odor; Don’t drink the water. Boiling the water will not make it safe to drink.