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Sioux City man faces animal neglect charge

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say the man who owns the reeking Sioux City home where dozens of cats were removed faces 14 counts of animal neglect.  The man was identified as 56-year-old Mark Lanning, of Sioux City.  More than four dozen cats were removed from the home on Monday, and officials found several cat carcasses as well. Cindy Rarrat, of Sioux City Animal Adoption & Rescue Center, says conditions inside the house were unbearable.  The hungry, thirsty cats were taken to the rescue center.  Neighbors say no one has lived in the home for a couple of months.

8AM Newscast 10-04-2012

News, Podcasts

October 4th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Attempted break-in arrest in Red Oak

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Red Oak say a Red Oak man was arrested on a Criminal Mischief charge, following an alleged attempted residential break-in Wednesday afternoon. 47-year old Brian Keefe Ogletree was arrested for 4th degree criminal mischief and interference with official acts, in connection with an incident in the 700 block of East Coolbaugh Street.

Red Oak Police say officers arriving at the scene shortly before 5:30-p.m. found Ogletree with his hand through a broken window in the door. The man allegedly tried resist arrest, when officers confronted him.

Olgetree was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.

Cass County woman takes cancer in “stride”

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County resident and cancer survivor Deanna Spry is on a mission to raise awareness about the importance of having regular mammograms.

Cancer survivor Deana Spry raises money for cancer research. (Photo Courtesy CCMH)

Between managing the Casey’s store in Anita, spending time with her family, and going antiquing with the busy 49-year  almost missed getting a mammogram last December, but a couple of visits to the Cass County Memorial Hospital resulted in a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy.

Spry is organizing a special event scheduled to take place at Lake Anita on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 1 p.m. She calls it “Trailing for TaTas,” and she’s urging people to come and walk the three miles of trails along the lake and take part in a wide variety of fun activities including hayrack rides and entertainment. (For more information or to sign up, visit http://tinyurl.com/8hvzt4q)

Spry says she wants to “Make it a fun get together to create an awareness about breast cancer and provide an opportunity to share stories and support others who have been touched by this disease.” Every dollar raised through Trailing for TaTas will be donated to the American Cancer Society, the nationwide voluntary health organization that, among other things, helps provide funding for research and mammograms.

 

Spry says she tells every woman she sees, to get a mammogram, because “It’s a simple thing. It’s only once a year and it only takes a half-hour.” Spry says she thinks “Everybody’s life is worth that much.”

7AM Newscast 10-04-2012

News, Podcasts

October 4th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Atlantic City Council to Syngenta: Thanks, but no thanks

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council took no action Wednesday on a proposal by Syngenta Crop Products, to develop an advertising campaign with the City, , to promote its “Agrisure Viptera” corn seeds, for local farmers. City Administrator Doug Harris said the company wanted to place advertisements in store front windows, on street lamps, park benches and other such locations. As part of the company’s public relations campaign, Syngenta would have included Atlantic in advertisements targeting local farming communities. The City would have worked with the company to promote town events, living and other attractions, as part of the campaign.

Harris said because the company wants the signs put in-place beginning October 16th (prior to the Council’s next meeting), he said the next meeting would be too late to take action on the proposal, meaning the council would have had to have acted on the request immediately. Harris said the company didn’t come right out and say it would make any donations to the City or local charitable organizations in exchange for the deal. Because of that, and because the City has no policy in place for such an arrangement, he said the Council needed to decide if they should “Shoot from the hip,” and approve the proposal without more information, or politely decline the offer.

Mayor Dave Jones said the “last second,” two-day notice about the offer is not enough time for the council to discuss the matter. Councilman Steve Livengood agreed. Councilperson Kathy Somers said they had received an e-mail from a Syngenta competitor, requesting the Council oppose the offer. Mayor Jones said Chamber Director Megan Roberts informed him the company is looking at four cities in Iowa for its advertising campaign, none of which have offered any kind of response thus far. A couple of those communities, he said, may have been waiting to see what Atlantic’s response would be.

In addition to the Council’s opposition to the short notice of the proposal, City Attorney David Wiederstein recommended they take no action on the offer.

Two fights, two arrests in Page County

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested following two separate fights Tuesday. Sheriff Lyle Palmer says 38-year old Joshua Watkins, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a charge of Simple Assault, following an altercation in the 200 block of east Washington Street in Northboro, at around 4:30-p.m., Tuesday. Watkins was taken into custody following an incident which also involved Kenneth and Elizabeth Rainey. Watkins was brought to the Page County Jail, posted bond, and was released.

A little over two-hours later, Page County deputies arrested 55-year old Eric Knizley, of College Springs, following an altercation between Knizley and 51-year old David Stimson, in Shambaugh. The alleged assault was the result of an earlier incident. Knizley was charged with Serious Assault. He was brought to the Page County Jail and posted a $1,000 bond before being released.

Atlantic Chamber Director: City sees an increase in young families, but needs more & better housing

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Director Megan Roberts says the City’s “Young Professionals” group has seen a period of “extraordinary growth,” recently, with more than 25 people attending each event…up from just a handful at this same time last year. She told the Atlantic City Council Wednesday, that the growth demonstrates an increase in young families coming to Atlantic and becoming involved in the community. They include new teachers, accountants, retail managers, and specialists in other fields. Roberts said while the influx of new and younger residents is great to see, it also points out the dire need for affordable housing in the community.

Roberts said the Chamber has had “Lots of requests” for housing, and it’s one of the biggest struggles young people wanting to move into the community, have. She says the situation isn’t going to improve anytime soon, but there are groups such as the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO), who are working to tackle the problem. Roberts said she hopes the Council continues to support those efforts.

CADCO Housing Committee Chairman Pat McCurdy agreed with Roberts that there is a shortage of “All kinds of housing in this town.” He said there are two ways to improve the situation, one is by making the City more attractive so homes can sell. McCurdy commended the Council and City for approving and enforcing the “Minimum Maintenance Code,” which improves the value of a home and makes the City a more attractive place to live. Toward that end, McCurdy says local youth from eight different church groups are getting involved with CADCO to paint three houses this Saturday, owned by poor or eldery residents. All the materials and paint have been donated.

Another way the City can improve its housing situation, according to McCurdy, is to come up with a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Plan, that is applicable to new housing developments. He said local developer Don Sonntag and others want to build more homes, but “He needs some help,” in the form of a TIF. He said individuals have a hard time to build affordable housing and “Make it cash flow,” without some sort of help, because the rent in Atlantic is not high enough. He said without housing, the young professionals, some of whom work in other, nearby towns, and want to live in Atlantic, cannot afford to live here and raise their families.

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, tabled action on a TIF plan, at the request of Councilman Shawn Shouse, head of a Committee tasked with creating a draft, fair plan for the Council to approve. Shouse requested the delay in discussion because he was made aware of information based on legislation passed earlier this Summer in Iowa, that will need to be incorporated into any policy the City develops. The Council will discuss further, but not take action on the matter, during their meeting on October 17th.

Grant will help provide mental health services to drug courts

News

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Department of Justice is sending Iowa a three-year 810-thousand dollar grant to help pay for mental health services in Iowa’s drug courts. Dale Woolery is the spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “Mental health services are a growing need. They are something that is not always provided,” Woolery says. “Especially in a lot of drug courts where you have offenders who may have a dual diagnosis where they need mental health services as well as drug treatment, they may not be getting the mental health piece of that right now. This grant will help provide those services in those drug courts.” The money will be spread across the state.

“Nine drug courts throughout the state of Iowa, which is most of them…will be benefiting from this grant. These are the drug courts because of that way that they are set up will be benefiting from these grants,” Woolery says. The courts are in Black Hawk, Dubuque, Pottawattamie, Linn, Johnson, Scott, Des Moines, and Wapello counties. The idea behind the courts is to treat the problem to help prevent more problems down the road. “Drug courts generally speaking in Iowa have been showed to be effective in reducing the rate of re-arrest, the rate of relapse, or people who go back to using drugs. And they have shown to be a less costly proposition compared to incarceration,” according to Woolery. “In in general, it looks to be a more efficient way, a more effective way to deal with a lot of drug-addicted offenders.”

Woolery says not everyone who goes to a drug court ends up on the straight an narrow. “But for a lot of drug offenders — especially those who may have a mental health illness as well — it may be a better alternative. We’re hoping that with this grant we’ll learn that if by adding mental health services to drug courts, if they can be an even better investment for Iowa taxpayers,” Woolery says. Iowa Corrections Department director, John Baldwin, estimates about 318 offenders with chemical dependency and mental illness will receive treatment services with the help of the grant.

(Radio Iowa)

Search On for Heroes for Iowa/Nebraska Game

News, Sports

October 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans are encouraged to nominate their hometown heroes for an award, and as a bonus, prime tickets for a college football duel. American Red Cross chapters across Iowa and Nebraska are planning a presentation for two stand-out citizens next month, one from each state. Tina Lebellarte, CEO of the Red Cross chapter based in Omaha, says they’re looking for our towns’ unsung leaders and volunteers. “People who perform an extraordinary act of courage or perhaps have dedicated many hours to special causes,” Lebellarte says. “These are really the unselfish people in our community.” The two winners will be recognized during an on-field ceremony prior to the start of the Iowa-Nebraska football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on November 23rd.

Labellarte says Iowans should nominate someone they really admire who deserves a big pat on the back. She says, “Many people know of someone in their family, someone they work with, perhaps someone from their faith community that they might want to bring to our attention.” She says this honor that will be presented before the Hawkeyes-versus-Huskers game will be a momentous occasion for the winners.

“Often, we find that the heroes who are nominated didn’t even know about it,” Labellarte says, “so they get that exciting phone call.” Nomination forms are available at any Hy-Vee grocery store in the state and at any Red Cross office. The deadline to nominate someone is October 21st.