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7AM Newscast 04-18-2013

News, Podcasts

April 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Woman arrested for alleged assault on a Red Oak P.D. officer


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report a woman was arrested late Wednesday evening for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an altercation. Officials say in addition to the Assault on a Peace Officer charge, 33-year-old Becky Jo Hegarty, of Red Oak, was charged with breach of peace. The charges stem from an incident which allegedly occurred in the 100 block of Ratliff Road.

Hegarty was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond.

2 people injured during an accident in Mills County Wed. night


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were sent to the hospital to be checked for possible injuries, following a single-vehicle accident Wednesday night northwest of Malvern, in Mills County. According to the Iowa State Patrol, a 1997 Nissan 200SX driven by 21-year old Kevin Junior Booher, of Council Bluffs, was traveling east on Highway 34 and distracted by his phone, when his passenger yelled about an animal in the roadway. When Booher swerved to miss the creature, his car hit a bridge and guardrail near 295th Street before coming to rest against the guardrail. The accident happened at around 10:55-p.m.

Booher, and his passenger, 20-year old Megan Nicole Beckstrom, of Red Oak, were transported by Malvern Rescue to Creighton Hospital in Omaha. The Patrol says both were wearing their seat belts.  Deputies with the Mills County Sheriff’s Office, along with Malvern Fire and Rescue, assisted at the scene.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., April 18th 2013


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Republican-controlled Iowa House has approved a version of Governor Terry Branstad’s plan to cut commercial property taxes, setting up a battle with the Democratic-majority Senate which favors an alternate proposal. In a 54-45 vote yesterday the House approved a plan to amend a Senate tax bill to include key items from Branstad’s proposal.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Social service agencies in southeast Iowa say they’re concerned about the future of a homeless shelter that appears to have suddenly closed. Local representatives for The Salvation Army and Community Action say the doors are locked tight at Burlington Area Homeless Shelter. A message left through the shelter’s voicemail system was not immediately returned yesterday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines couple lauded for their adoption of four children have been charged with child endangerment. Thirty-eight-year-old Damien Stovall and 37-year-old Allonna Stovall are accused of using a belt or wooden spoon to punish two of their children, ages 6 and 7. The couple’s seven children were removed from their custody. Court records say a trial is scheduled for June 12th.

MIDDLETON, Iowa (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources says a munitions plant in southeast Iowa has discharged about 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into a tributary of the Skunk River. The DNR said yesterday the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant began discharging the wastewater Monday afternoon when a pump at a treatment plan failed. Plant operators fixed the pump and stopped the discharge yesterday morning.

IWCC Design Tech Program’s inaugural class to graduate this Spring


April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The number of students enrolled in the Design Technology Program at Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic, continues to grow. When the idea for the first-of-its kind program for a two-year college was proposed, the City of Atlantic and Cass County Board of Supervisors pledged $100,000 each to assist with the infrastructure necessary to make it possible. The first classes began in Sept., 2011.

Joseph Vanstrom, Design Technology Program Chair at IWCC in Atlantic, speaks to the Board of Supervisors on April 17th, 2013.

During a report to the Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday morning, Design Technology Program Chair Joseph Vanstrom said the first students in the two-year program are set to graduate next month, and their future looks very bright.  Four students will be graduating in May. 13 students are currently enrolled in the program. There are also four internships within Cass County, with four more in development, for the new class of students. Two internships have led to part-time employment after the summer. In the case of the other two internships, students in the class were already working for those employers. Vanstrom says those same companies have expressed interest in hiring the interns, or part-time students, as full-time employees, upon graduation.

He says upon graduation all four students from the first DT class will have full-time employment within Cass County. Four students have moved to the County since the program began two-years ago: one for the first class, and three for the second. One of the students have purchased a home within the County. 10 students enrolled in the program the first year it was offered, but only four will graduate in May. Vanstrom says that’s because they weren’t prepared for the rigorous amount of study the program requires.  He said they had a lack of the necessary math skills. To counteract that deficiency, Vanstrom says they are trying to get to students in the lower grades, and stress the importance of being proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM – especially if they want a job in the highly skilled and educated world of Design Technology.

Vanstrom says 30 students are enrolled in the third, two-year course which begins this Fall. Those students and the ones currently enrolled, will be able to work with a new piece of virtual design equipment the college is purchasing for the department.
It’s a laser mapping system that enables a product to replicated, in coordination with a 3-D printer.  He says three companies in partnership with the college plan to purchase 3-D printer systems to expand their Research and Design (R&D) abilities. The students in the Design Tech program at IWCC have already used the 3-D system to create functional objects as part of their curriculum.

An expansion of the Cass County Center made possible by a $22.5-million bond referendum approved by the voters in 13 southwest Iowa counties last December, will be complete in Summer of 2014. It means more room for the Design Technology Department, and a commons area for the students to enjoy.

Atlantic’s Mayor issues a statement on Personnel & Finance Committee meeting


April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones Wednesday night, tried to “Clear up the muddy waters,” with regard to a meeting of the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee. The unpublicized and unannounced meeting was held less than a week before the City Council was to have held a closed session to discuss a personnel matter, which as we learned, pertained to City Administrator Doug Harris. Jones denied the P&F Committee’s meeting was with regard to Harris.

He said “The Personnel and Finance meeting on March 28th was held to discuss personnel matters. I do not believe items discussed during this meeting should be discussed in a public forum. But, I will tell you what the Committee did not do: The Committee did not say…did not discuss what Don Sonntag’s statement was during that meeting. We did not discuss anything about firing Doug Harris.”

On March 20th, local developer Don Sonntag pulled his application for $250,000 in Tax Increment Financing funds from the City, which he said would have helped to bankroll a $2.1-million housing development on the City’s southern edge. He claimed Harris had been working behind the scenes, to “Derail the project.”

Jones, and Councilman Steve Livengood attended the Personnel and Finance Committee meeting on March 28th. Livengood is the Council’s representative on the committee. He emphatically agreed with Jones on a couple of points: that they did not discuss Don Sonntag or the issue of TIFs.  Livengood said while “It was difficult getting everybody focused again, because everybody wanted to talk…that’s like…it’s not what we’re gonna talk about….we didn’t talk about it.” Livengood didn’t mention however, whether the topic of Harris ever came up at the meeting.

Jones said in an interview with KJAN news on April 12th, that he and City Attorney Dave Weidersteen agreed any “Closed-session discussions over personnel matters should be limited to annual performance evaluations or disciplinary matters.” Jones said Weidersteen thought it was appropriate for himself and Jones to personally discuss with Harris the employment issue, and that “A statement could be placed in the personnel file.” Therefore, there would  “Be no need for a public or closed discussion on the matter.”

NW Iowa couple gets prison time in bank robberies


April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man who asked for mercy in his sentencing for robbing banks has been given 15 years in federal prison.Jeffrey Schoon was sentenced Wednesday in Sioux City. His wife, Roxena, was given more than two years in prison. The couple pleaded guilty to robbing four banks within 20 miles of their Wall Lake home in December 2011 and January 2012.

Jeffrey Schoon asked the judge for the 15-year sentence required by a plea agreement in the hopes of seeing his teenage children again. He told the judge in a letter that he’s raised an 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son who has cystic fibrosis. He says the average life span of someone with cystic fibrosis is 30, and the deal gives hope his family someday will be reunited.

Grant Woman Arrested on Warrant


April 17th, 2013 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Wednesday) morning of 18-year old Abigail Caitlin Varilek of Grant. Varilek was arrested on a magistrate’s warrant for domestic assault (simple misdemeanor). She was taken in front of the magistrate and has been released.

Villisca man arrested on explosives charge


April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) – A college student from southwest Iowa has been accused of making a homemade explosive device that detonated at his university campus in northwest Iowa. Authorities say no one was injured. The Storm Lake Police Department arrested 21 year-old Matthew Hanson, of Villisca, on Tuesday after the device detonated Monday night at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.

Police allege Hanson made the device with a flameless heater and glass bottle. The device detonated about 10 feet from a residence hall. Officials say the incident is not linked to explosions Monday at the Boston Marathon.

Hanson is charged with possession of an explosive device and reckless use of an explosive device. He is being held at the Buena Vista County Jail on a $3,000 bond.

Drug dog fundraiser


April 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A fundraiser will be held this weekend to help the Harlan Police Department purchase a new drug dog. A group called “First Shot Iowa,” is holding a concealed carry permit class at the Harlan Fire Hall from 8-am to noon on Saturday. The cost is $50, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the purchase of a new drug dog.

Brent Soll, with First Shot Iowa, says the Department’s current dog has vision problems. Soll said the dog “Is going blind, so the Police Department has a new dog picked out. They are trying to raise money for the purchase of the dog and the training the dog and officer have to go through.”

He says the drug dog doesn’t just serve the City of Harlan. Soll says “It is extremely important not just the city of Harlan but surrounding communities as well because officer Tim Peterson gets called out by the Shelby County Sheriff’s and other police departments for search warrants. It’s a good investigative tool to have on hand.”

To register for the concealed weapons carrying permit class, log on to firstshotiowa.com or call 712-579-0869. The concealed weapons class isn’t the only fundraiser on Saturday, “Locked and Loaded Outfitters” is having a free will donation pork loin luncheon from 11 to 2 with all proceeds going to the K-9 fund. Locked and Loaded Outfitters is located at 422 Market Street in Harlan.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)