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Former Western IA woman convicted on murder charge

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa jury has convicted a woman of murder in the 2001 death of her neighbor, rejecting her claim that she shot him in self-defense during a home invasion. Forty-five-year-old Tracey Richter says she shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde to protect herself and her three children after he and another man broke into her home in December 2001. She says the second intruder fled.

But Monday’s verdict supports prosecutors’ claim that there was no home invasion and Richter shot Wehde to keep him quiet about his role in a plot to frame her ex-husband. Richter was involved in a custody battle at the time.

Richter later moved to Omaha, Neb., where she was arrested last summer. She faces life in prison at sentencing.

Rebuild cost of flooded western roads at $50-million

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The director of the Iowa Department of Transportation said today the rush to repair western Iowa roadways has cost millions in man hours and materials. D-O-T director Paul Trombino was at the governor’s weekly meeting with reporters to provide an update, and he says the state will seek to get most of the money from the federal government.  Trombino says the costs right now are close to 50-million dollars, and they are all at this point eligible for federal reimbursement. Crews have been working long hours on a “fast track” system to get the roadways repaired and reopened. Governor Terry Branstad says that’s because the federal government requires the repairs to be made within 180 days of the flood to be eligible for reimbursement.

He says federal officials count from when the flood started, and this flood started in June and the water didn’t go down until September in many places. “So this made it a big challenge,” Branstad says. He says the D-O-T and all the contractors did a great job despite that challenge. Trombino says the 50-million is the total right up to today. Trombino says that’s what they know right now from the start of repairs in June, and it includes the repairs on all the roadways. Trombino says there will be some state costs, as on Highway 175 for example, they took this opportunity to add some protections to the roadways in areas as a precaution against future floods.

He says those improvements are considered betterment under the federal highway rules, but Trombino says they felt it was worthwhile for the long-term preservation of the roadway and the bridge to make additional improvements. Three major river crossings were closed by the Missouri River flood waters, with a total of 77 miles shut down by the flooding. As an example of how fast the repair work was done, the just over three mile section of I-680 was reopened to traffic just 34 days after the waters receded.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

No cause determined for fire in pile of donated goods in Atlantic

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A fire outside of the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Atlantic early this (Monday) morning sent flames shooting above the roof of the building, and destroyed numerous items left for donation in and near a drop box. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said a newspaper carrier reported the fire near the west side of the building located at 716 West 7th Street, at around 2:30-a.m. McNees says there were numerous items piled outside the building during the day, Sunday, including 4 or 5 mattress and box-spring sets, furniture, children’s toys, and clothing. No damage was reported to the building itself. He says the fire was investigated this morning by himself and Atlantic Police Officer Paul Woods. He says it appears the fire was accidental in nature and may have been smoldering for quite some time.

He says a second eyewitness confirmed the belief the fire was accidental. McNees says firefighters knocked down the flames quickly. They were on the scene for about 30-minutes. No injuries were reported.

Pott County chase & arrest: update – names released

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa have released the names of  two people who were arrested Sunday morning following a gas drive-off and high-speed chase.  Lt. John Reynolds with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspects as Jennifer and Norman Burnholm, of Greenville, South Carolina.  The couple was located in a muddy ravine by Pott. County K-9 officer Brian Miller and his partner “Francisco.”

The Iowa State Patrol says the pursuit began Sunday morning on Interstate 29 near Glenwood, when the pair drove off without paying for gas. During the ensuing chase, speeds topped 100 miles an hour. The pickup the suspects were in came to rest in a corn field near 272nd and Juniper Streets, between McClelland and Underwood.  A perimeter was established by the Patrol and Deputies with the Pott County Sheriff’s Office before the suspects were found and taken into custody at around 10:15-a.m.   

The patrol says the vehicle the couple were in had been stolen from South Carolina, where it was involved in a police chase last Tuesday. The Burnholm’s were booked into the Pott County Jail, where they were being held on $10,000 bond, each. Norman Burnholm faces at least 20 charges , including Theft in the 1st Degree, 2 counts of Assault on a Police Officer, Drug Paraphernalia, eluding, Possesion of a weapon, 2nd Degree Robbery, Assault while participating in a Felony, and on a warrant out of South Carolina. Jennifer Burnholm faces charges which include 1st Degree Theft, Robbery in the 2nd Degree, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Preventing or Obstructing Prosecution and being a fugitive from justice, in association with incidents which allegedly occurred in South Carolina.

Community meeting to be held Nov. 14th re:Cumberland Post Office

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Representatives with the U-S Postal service will be in Cumberland next week to discuss the possible closure of the community’s Post Office. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 6-p.m. Mon., Nov. 14th, It will be held in the Cumberland Community Building.  Residents of the community have been signing petitions voicing their objection to the possible closing. The petitions can be found at the Cumberland Telephone Office, 21st Century Co-op, the Cumberland City Hall, and Cumberland Library. In addition, a questionnaire has been mailed to residents of the community. Organizers of the petition are encouraging those who have received the mailing to fill it out and return it as soon as possible. They also encourage you to send letters to Representatives Steve King and Leonard Boswell, along with Senators Grassley and Harkin.

There are nearly 270 small Post Offices around the State which could be on the chopping block. Officials say the Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in its most recent fiscal year, the largest net loss in its history. It began a push in January to close 2,000 post offices nationwide (out of 32,000) in order to save money by any means possible. In July, the USPS announced that it was reviewing the use of 3,700 of its 32,000 offices nationwide, for possible closure.

5 Arrests reported in Fremont County

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports five people were arrested over the past week. On Friday, 32-year old Shonna Shondell Rakes, of Riverside, was arrested for 5th degree theft. Last Thursday, 32-year old Vernon Lee Humphrey, of Omaha, was arrested for Trespassing, and on a U-S Marshall’s warrant. Also arrested Thursday, was 29-year old Aurora Jeanne Campbell, of Council Bluffs, on a charge of Trespassing, and, 38-year old George Anthony Ferrell, of Council Bluffs, who was arrested for Trespassing and 5th degree theft.

On Wednesday, 36-year old Tracie Lou Payne, of Rockport, MO., was arrested on charges of Child Endangerment,  4th degree Criminal Mischief and Reckless Driving.

8AM Newscast 11-07-2011

News, Podcasts

November 7th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 11-07-2011

News, Podcasts

November 7th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Stuart man arrested on multiple drug charges and escape from custody

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Thomas Lee Caldwell (Photo courtesy Adair Co. Sheriff's Office)The Adair County Sheriff’s office reports a Stuart man was arrested Friday on multiple drug charges, following the execution of search warrants at two separate residences in Adair County. Officials say 35-year old Thomas Lee Caldwell, of Stuart, was charged with: Manufacturing methamphetamine; Possession of Lithium as a precursor; Possession of anhydrous ammonia as a precursor; Possession of pseudoephedrine as a precursor; Manufacturing marijuana; Possession of Meth & Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Caldwell was taken into custody, but escaped Saturday afternoon. Officials say at around 12:45-p.m., Adair County’s three inmates were allowed out of their cell to shower and exercise. While in a chain link, fenced-in exercise area attached to the south side of the jail, Caldwell climbed the fence and was somehow able to make his way through the 12-foot high “ceiling” portion of the fence. He fled the area on foot before stealing a 1992 Chevy pickup parked in the 200-block of East Iowa Street, in Greenfield.

Caldwell was captured about 75-minutes later near his residence in the 1800 block of Sheldon Avenue in Adair County. The pickup was recovered near his residence, in a wooded area. Caldwell was being held in the Adair County Jail on $125,000 bond for the drug charges, and on Escape from Custody and Theft of a Motor vehicle charges.  The investigation into his drug activities continues, and additional arrests are expected.

Saturday’s escape from the 108-year old jail in Greenfield was the second in six-years. During the afternoon of January 25th, 2005, 31-year old Nick LeRoy Briner escaped an outside exercise area at the jail. Briner freed himself by wrenching loose part of a chain-link fence and separated the wire at the bottom of fence. He stole two pickup trucks and was eventually arrested in Missouri.

His escape prompted the county to seek voter approval for a new jail and Public Safety Center to replace the facility currently in existence.  A 2.8-million dollar bond referendum was approved by voters in Adair County in May 2010. When complete, the new jail will house the Sheriff’s and Greenfield Police Department offices, and a new E-9-1-1 dispatch center. The facility is expected to open in January 2012.

General election preview – Part 1

News

November 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Voters in the listening area will be heading to their polling places to cast ballots in the General election, Tuesday, November 8th. In most areas, the polls open at Noon and close at 8-p.m. However, in Cass County, the polls will open at different times, depending on where you live. Atlantic polling centers for Wards 1, 4 and 5 will open at Noon and close at 8-p.m., but the polling centers for Atlantic Ward 2/Grove 2 Township and Ward 3, will open at 7-a.m. and close at 9-p.m., because a Special County Election for Supervisor District 2 is being conducted at those two voting centers, along with the regular City election. All other precincts in the County will open at Noon and close at 8-p.m. A list of the polling places in Cass County is available on our website at www.kjan.com. Click on the “Daily Diary” page and scroll down.

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman says there is no candidate for the 4-year Mayoral term in Anita, and three persons running for two, four-year seats on the City Council. They include Jeff Bohnsack, Thomas Harris and Angel Lea McCollough. In Cumberland, Nancy Virginia Couglin is the lone candidate for Mayor, and Sandra Armstrong is a candidate for one of two seats on the City Council. There is no candidate for the other seat.

In Griswold, Victoria Jones is in the running for Mayor, and there are just two candidates for three open seats on the City Council. That includes Lisa Cook and Larry Mundorf. The residents of Griswold will also vote on whether or not to approve the establishment of a Capital Improvements Reserve Fund, which would mean the levying of taxes of up to 67.5-cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation per year, for a maximum of 20-years, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2013. The levy would be used to fund flood mitigation efforts, procedures and strategies in the City of Griswold.

In Lewis, Don Cohrs is running for Mayor. Three people, including incumbent Duane Scott Anderson, Sarah Cohrs, and Bethany Nichols, are running for the three, four-year seats on the City Council. In Marne, incumbent Mayor Randy Baxter is running unopposed for re-election, while six people are running for five open seats on the Council. They include incumbents James Hoffman, Lanny Kite, Dennis Preister and Angela Redler, along with challengers Alan Cranston and Randy Henningsen. In Massena, no candidate has filed to run for Mayor, and three persons have filed for the three seats on the Council, including incumbent Linda Reineke, and newcomers Adam McCunn, along with Gloria Waters. In Wiota, Kathryn Havens is the lone candidate for Mayor, while Erik Johnson, Jon Schwarte, Ray Zellmer and incumbent Lamar Spies are in the running for two seats on the City Council.

In Atlantic, there are two seats open on the City Council because Kern Miller and Pat Simmons opted not to run for re-election. Ashley K. Hayes is unopposed for the 3rd Ward Council seat, and Chris Jimmerson in unopposed for the 1st Ward seat. Atlantic 4th Ward Councilperson Linda Hartkopf and At Large Councilman Dana Halder, are both running for re-election, and are also unopposed. Two women are running for seats on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board. Incumbent Mary Strong seeks re-election, while Jolene Smith looks to fill a seat being vacated by Board Chair Nancy Frederickson.

Five candidates will appear on the ballot for the Cass County District 2 Board of Supervisors seat – which was created by the death of Supervisor Chuck Kinen. The names include Gaylord Schelling, Don Lappe, Pat McCurdy, Jeff Richter, and Kathy Somers.