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Iowa man pleads not guilty to theft charges

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the theft of farm and construction equipment. Michael Block, of Sibley, entered his written plea Thursday in Osceola County District Court. He faces seven counts of first-degree theft, 10 counts of second-degree theft and one count each of third- and fourth-degree theft.

The Sioux City Journal reports Block is accused of stealing farm and construction equipment that was reported missing in four Iowa counties. The equipment is valued at more than $200,000. Block turned himself in to authorities in April, after Osceola County sheriff’s deputies served warrants on his property and found items that had been reported stolen.

Sankt Hans Aften set for June 21st

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sankt Hans Aften (St. John’s Eve) is the annual summer solstice event that has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings. Although it is traditionally held on June 23 in Denmark, the Museum of Danish America marks the occasion annually on the Saturday before. This year, the celebration will occur on Saturday, June 21 at the museum (2212 Washington Street, Elk Horn, Iowa).

Museum of Danish America

Museum of Danish America

The atmosphere of friends gathering together makes this one “hyggeligt” (or, cozy) event. Some of the highlights include:

· A roast-your-own hot dog meal that’s available for your free will donation beginning at 6 p.m. in the large Council Ring, and throughout the evening as supplies last. Danish-style toppings will be provided.

· 7 p.m. Ringriding on bicycles for kids and adults – BYOB (Bring Your Own Bicycle). This event was such a hit at Tivoli Fest that it will be continued for children AND adults at Sankt Hans Aften.

· 7:30 p.m. Showing of the new documentary film “Jens Jensen The Living Green” about the park’s namesake who rose from street sweeper to “dean of landscape architects” to pioneering conservationist. The film will be shown inside the museum in the Bro Dining Room. Find out more about this award-winning film at http://www.jensjensenthelivinggreen.org/

Then, have your chairs and blankets handy for:

· 8 p.m. Live old-time country music for maximum “hygge.”

· Sunset (around 9 p.m.) marks the beginning of the traditional Sankt Hans Aften bonfire.

All elements of the celebration are a “Free Will Donation” to the Museum of Danish America, a 501(c)3 non-profit. This year’s event is also sponsored by the Danish Brotherhood in America Lodge #15 (Des Moines, Iowa), Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company, Shelby County State Bank, and the Heartland Chapter of the Rebild National Park Society.

MidAmerican Energy Performs Tree Maintenance to Ensure Safety & Service Reliability

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with MidAmerican Energy Company said Friday (today) tree maintenance crews have been working to maintain vegetation around MidAmerican Energy’s facilities throughout its service territory, including  (locally) those in Avoca, Charter Oak, Clarinda and Council Bluffs.Tree Pruning

MidAmerican Energy contracts with companies that specialize in tree trimming to perform the work and crews are supervised by International Society of Arboriculture certified arborists. Customers are notified by mail approximately three weeks before services are scheduled in their neighborhood. There is no service charge assessed to perform the work.

Fallen trees or debris from trees cause seven to 10 percent of electric outages and create hazardous situations when they knock down electrical wires and poles. Trees must be pruned or removed to alleviate safety hazards and improve service reliability.

Property owners should contact MidAmerican Energy before choosing to care for landscaping near power lines. If you, your equipment, or the branches you touch come into contact with energized lines, you could be seriously injured, if not killed. If you are concerned about trees near power lines on your property, contact MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 or trees@midamerican.com.

 

 

3 Atlantic residents arrested on drug & other charges

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three Atlantic residents were arrested Thursday night on drug and other charges. According to the Atlantic Police Department,

Mary Nowatzke (Cass Co. S/O booking photo)

Mary Nowatzke (Cass Co. S/O booking photo)

27-year old Mary Nowatzke was charged with: Possession of a Controlled Substance, 2 counts of Child Endangerment, & Gathering where controlled substances were used.

28-year old Derek McDermott was charged with: Possession with Intent to Deliver; Gathering where Controlled Substances are unlawfully used; 2 counts of Child Endangerment and Delivery of a Controlled substance.

Derek McDermott (Cass Co. S/O photo)

Derek McDermott (Cass Co. S/O photo)

And, 30-year old Cody Hanson faces charges that include Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine and Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, 2nd offense.

All three Atlantic residents were taken into custody at 505 Cedar St., Apt. #2, and booked into the Cass County Jail.

Cody Hanson booking photo

Cody Hanson booking photo

5 Watershed Demonstration Projects selected to receive $1.7-million in funding

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Friday) announced that five watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.7 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years. In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will provide an additional $2.2 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. The five projects are within the large priority watersheds prioritized by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC), which include the East and West Nishnabotna, Floyd, and Skunk watersheds.

Locally, the Bluegrass & Crabapple – East Nishnabotna Watershed Project received a $325,000 grant for a $1.2-million dollar project, where the Audubon Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will expand on existing partnerships and foster a peer-to-peer network to help promote and spread adoption of nutrient reduction practices in the Bluegrass and Crabapple watersheds. An advisory group made up of partners and farmers has helped develop this project and help shape watershed-wide demonstrations.

And, the Walnut Creek Watershed Project – Subwatershed of the Nishnatbotna River Water Quality Initiative (WQI), received a $480,000 grant toward the $1.082-million project cost, to build a network of producers, local agribusiness representatives, and agencies to promote and demonstrate conservation practices detailed in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Thee partnerships – lead by the Montgomery County SWCD – will ensure the best information is used to help present a regional focus on management and implementation of these practices.

In all, the demonstration watersheds selected cover 345,449 acres. The projects will implement and demonstrate the effectiveness and adaptability of a host of conservation practices including, but not limited to: cover crops, nutrient management, wetlands, terraces, bioreactors, buffer strips, no-till, strip-till, nitrogen inhibitors, extended rotations, conservation cover, drainage water management and manure management.

Another round of funding for new watershed demonstration projects may be available later this year depending on funding availability.

Romney hopes to stamp Iowa’s Ernst nationally

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is aiming to boost Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s appeal to mainstream Republicans with a public endorsement in Cedar Rapids in the last days of the competitive primary.

Ernst has built a lead in the five-way primary on catchy ads and a diverse background as a Iowa farmer, military veteran and rural Iowa state senator. The combination has helped draw endorsements from across the political spectrum, including outside groups that have been at odds in Republican primaries in Nebraska, Kentucky and Mississippi.

But Ernst has the backing of mainstream Republicans such as Iowa Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds, and the quiet backing of longtime Gov. Terry Branstad, as well as tea party favorites such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Injury accident Fri. morning on I-80 in Cass County

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured, one of them seriously, during an accident this (Friday) morning on Interstate 80 in Cass County. According to dispatch reports, the accident happened at around  7:20-a.m. on I-80 westbound at the 50.56-mile marker, in the construction zone just before the Marne exit. According to reports the vehicle struck two unoccupied construction vehicle in the work zone. Atlantic Medivac and Marne as well as Atlantic Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

50.56-mm I-80 Westbound accident scene. Mike Kennon/Cass Co. EMA Director – photo

The driver and a passenger in the vehicle suffered cuts and bruises. One of the victims, a female, was unconscious but breathing. The accident remains under investigation.

Fire destroys Iowa feed, milling company

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

PERRY, Iowa (AP) – Fire officials are on the scene of an overnight fire in central Iowa that destroyed a feed and milling business. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Whiton’s Feed and Milling Company in Perry caught fire just before 11 p.m. Thursday.

KCCI says fire crews were still on the scene of the fire Friday morning. Fire officials say they are still looking into what started the fire.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, 5/30/2014

News, Podcasts

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

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Ex-Western IA Fire Chief released from prison after only 3 months out of 10-years

News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three months into his 10-year prison sentence on a theft charge, former Denison Fire Chief Todd McKinnon was released last week, and is currently free on probation. The Omaha World-Herald reports the 43-year old McKinnon’s sentence and fine was suspended, and he was instead placed on three years probation. McKinnon is still required to pay the City of Denison restitution amounting to just over $10,265. He also owes the Crawford County EMS Association slightly more than $8,265.

McKinnon was charged with theft in December 2011, following an investigation that uncovered nearly $96,000 in questionable Fire Department spending from 2005-2010. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2013. He lost an appeal of his sentence in January.

McKinnon served as Denison’s first paid fire chief from January 18th, 1999, to January 3rd, 2010.