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Open Burning Ban in Audubon County effective 8/31/13

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State Fire Marshal Raymond Reynolds has ordered a ban on open burning in Audubon County, effective at Noon today (Sat., Aug. 31st).burn ban No one is allowed to engage in open burning in Audubon County, except as specifically permitted by Iowa Code, or until Audubon Fire Chief John Ballou (who represents each fire department in the County), notifies the Fire Marshal that conditions have improved, and no longer threatens life or property.

The burn ban was requested by Ballou, after consulting with fire chiefs in the County, and was made due to the extremely dry nature of brush, grass and timber in the County. If fires start, they can spread rapidly and become out of control.





Omaha man arrested in Montgomery County


August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say a Nebraska man was arrested Friday evening on a charge of Public Intoxication. 37-year old Joe Lewis Welch, of Omaha, was taken into custody at around 7:40-p.m., and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on $300 bond.

Recycling center fire reported in Denison


August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters in Denison fought for two-hours to continue a blaze at a scrap yard, Friday morning. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the blaze at Schau Recycling was reported shortly after 8-a.m. Denison Fire Chief Cory Snowgren told the paper an explosion within the scrap pile was the likely cause of the fire, which resulted in minor injuries to one firefighter who was treated at the Crawford County Memorial Hospital.Snowgren said the fire was close to valuable equipment, which the initial fire teams were able to save. Several citizens provided ice, Gatorade and water. Tires and synthetic material in crushed cars at the site created thick, black smoke.


Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Aug. 31st 2013


August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge will re-elect a mayor this fall for a full term for the first time in 24 years. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that Mayor Matt Bemrich was the only person to file for the mayor’s office by Thursday’s deadline. Since he has no opposition, that will make him the first Fort Dodge mayor elected to a second consecutive full term since 1989.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three men have been charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of a Des Moines man. The Des Moines Register reports Yarvon Russell, James Shorter and Kent Tyler the Third were charged yesterday in Sunday’s slaying of 40-year-old Richard Daughenbaugh. Two of the three 18-year-old men, all of Des Moines, are in custody. A warrant has been issued for Tyler’s arrest.

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A man has been accused of threatening guests at a northwest Iowa motel with a stun gun. The Sioux City Journal reports 29-year-old Richard Porter of Davenport has been accused of arguing with guests at the motel early yesterday in Storm Lake. Porter faces several charges, including going armed with intent, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Scott County are looking for a man they accidentally released from custody. The Quad-City Times reports Dale Blumer was released Thursday on an appeal bond in Scott County District Court. A bench warrant was later issued for him, and he remained free as of Friday afternoon.

VA moving 2 service programs to new spot in Omaha


August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is moving two service programs to another location in Omaha. The Community Resource and Referral Center and the Mental Health Specialty Services Program are moving closer to where they will be more accessible for veterans. The address is 825 Dorcas St., Suite 200. They’ll be open for business on Tuesday. The referral center provides an array of services, including job skills assistance and case management through the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

The center provides access to washers and dryers and showers on a limited basis. And the center operates the VA Pantry, which can provide canned foods, grains, meats and bread to veterans in need. Call 402-995-4010 for more information about the services.

NM man gets 5-years for Possession w/the intent to distribute pot


August 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A judge this week sentenced an Albuquerque, New Mexico man to 5-years in prison for Possession of Marijuana with the intent to distribute. Judge John Jarvey handed down the sentence against 34-year old Oscar Salinas-Olivas in Council Bluffs U-S District Court, on Tuesday. In addition Salinas-Olivas will serve 12 concurrent months for violation of his federal supervised release from New Mexico. The judge also ordered the man to serve six-years of supervised release following his incarceration, when he will be also subject to deportation.

On May 8th, 2013, Salinas-Olivas pled guilty to being in possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, and admitted the violation of the terms of his supervised release. The charge was the result of a traffic stop by the Iowa State Patrol on January 16th, 2013. Salinas-Olivas was driving the vehicle when he was stopped for speeding. A search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of about 320 pounds of marijuana.

Salinas-Olivas was on supervised release from New Mexico at the time of his arrest, for a 2010 conviction of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. The investigation was conducted by the Iowa State Patrol, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and prosecuted by the U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Single vehicle accident in Villisca


August 30th, 2013 by admin

At approximately 2:20-p.m. this (Friday) afternoon the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle property damage accident in Villisca. A red 2010 Chevy Traverse owned and operated by 35-year old Joni Kalkas of Shenandoah was traveling southbound on south 3rd Avenue when she misjudged the entry into the railroad underpass. The right front tire of the vehicle struck the beginning of the concrete barrier wall and the vehicle landed in the roadway several feet down the steep grade of the road. Damage to Kalkas’s vehicle was estimated at $3,000. There was no damage to the barrier wall and no citations were issued.

Danish Villages spotlighted in Denmark TV documentary


August 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Earlier this year, two Danish filmmakers descended upon the tiny towns of Elk Horn and Kimballton in rural western Iowa. The locals of the largest rural settlement of Danes welcomed them cautiously but openly, not knowing if the pair’s intentions were genuine or to poke fun at the little “Denmark on the prairie.”

After making several trips to Elk Horn, culminating with Memorial Day’s annual Tivoli Fest, the pair returned to Denmark but remained in contact with the locals. On Wednesday, August 28 Anders Birch and Jakob Vølver’s documentary Danmark på prærien aired on Denmark’s DR1 station at 8 p.m. local time. Immediately following the presentation (around 2 p.m. Central time) Elk Horn’s local businesses and attractions were flooded with calls, social media messages and e-mails from across the world.

The film and Elk Horn have been received warmly by its Danish viewers. Several Danes say they are planning trips to Elk Horn for next year’s Tivoli Fest. Comments like:

  • “In Denmark, most of us become really proud when we see our country represented in the world because it is so small and we’re used to being unknown. Even though the people of Elk Horn may feel that the Danish culture is disappearing, most of us Danes appreciate that we’re known or even recognized.“
  • “As an immigrant myself it was good to watch how they carry on Danish traditions. We first generation immigrants are so busy trying to become Americans that we let go of our past.”
  • “Seeing how much Denmark seems to mean to your community makes a Danish person better understand what love of country is. Usually for us Danes being Danish is something we take for granted. Members of my family also left Denmark in the beginning of last century for the USA. Unfortunately we lost the connection to their descendants about a generation ago.”
  • “From visiting Elk Horn on several occasions I really enjoyed the program. It was truly genuine, unfiltered and deeply affecting.”

Though comments have been overwhelmingly positive, others were critical of the film including a Danish Immigrant Museum volunteer living in Denmark: “It was exciting and I enjoyed revisiting Elk Horn and the many places I know: The Danish Inn, the windmill, the cemetery, Bedstemors House, Main Street, etc. and it was fun to hear that still a few are speaking Danish. The program left me behind though with a feeling that it missed a lot about the community and especially about the museum. It gave a picture of a small town mostly talking about frikadeller, æbleskiver and medisterpølse, and to my thinking it did not give a fair impression of this charming, special, hardworking community.”

The film prominently featured the decidedly un-Danish custom of eating æbleskiver (pancake balls) with medisterpølse (sausages) for–gasp–breakfast! Æbleskiver are usually reserved for a Christmastime dessert after lunch or dinner, and not regularly eaten as a breakfast option nor with the spicy medisterpølse, as observed in many Danish American communities in the U.S. Danes are having quite a laugh at the American’s bastardized tradition and are readily offering up more suitable recipes from the homeland.

Elk Horn Mayor Stan Jens and resident Jordan Hansen were major storylines in the film and were in Copenhagen for the premiere.  Now local–and “international”–celebrities, the duo is enjoying sudden popularity and conversations with Twitter followers around the world. Charismatic Major Jens has been well-received by the Danish public, even with his pro-gun stance, a hot-button issue on the Danish political scene. One Dane encouraged, “Vote the Mayor of Elk Horn for the next president, he is great!”

From the Danish and American flags on the light poles to red and white flag motifs painted on benches and Mini Coopers, Elk Horn wears its heritage on its sleeve and has done so for several decades since early Danish pioneers settled in the area. Billing itself as the Danish Villages in combination with the town of Kimballton, just a few miles north (and home to a replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue), the rural area is an attraction for family history buffs, tourists and sightseers traveling on I-80.

Elk Horn greets you with its authentic Danish windmill and a vikinghjem. Other attractions include Bedstemor’s House, a 1908 immigrant home and museum on the National Register of Historic Places, The Danish Immigrant Museum four blocks west of the windmill, the Little Mermaid statue, a genealogy library, popular smörgåsbord restaurant The Danish Inn and more. But how long the community can hold true to its Danish roots is a question left up in the air.

“I myself come from a small place like Elk Horn, and I know what it feels like to ‘dream bigger,’ but I also know how important it is to bring some value into the small societies for the people who are living there,” one Danish woman wrote.

With only a few Danish immigrants and first-generation immigrants left in town, the community has seen dwindling numbers for involvement in traditions like Danish folk dancing, and fewer and fewer residents can speak and understand Danish. Local high school students and young professionals in the film expressed the desire to flee the area and its perceived lack of interesting things to do. Steve Rold, a 29-year-old Danish immigrant and former Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton basketball coach was filmed leaving his hometown for a new opportunity in North Carolina.

John Mark Nielsen, Executive Director of The Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn commented on the bittersweet nature of the film, “Although it is exciting to be receiving the public attention that we are, the film brought to light some key issues for struggling rural towns across the country. As we focus on preserving the past, we must also look to the future and cultivate a sustainable model for our communities and shared heritage.”

The hour-long documentary, mostly in English, can be viewed online at http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/danmark-pa-praerien/danmark-pa-praerien/

(Press release from the Danish Immigrant Museum)

Exira teen and an adult male injured in Thursday crash


August 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A teen and an adult were injured during an accident that happened Thursday afternoon,  three-miles west of Brayton, in Audubon County. Sheriff’s officials say a 2004 Dodge driven by 16-year old Morgan Marie Bailey, of Exira, was traveling south on Falcon Avenue, when the vehicle went out of control near the intersection with 320th Street.

The car entered the west ditch and came to rest after hitting an embankment. Bailey, and her passenger, 27-year old William Weston, of Exira, were transported by private vehicle to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, in Atlantic. The Sheriff’s Department wasn’t notified about the crash until around 9:45-p.m.

Bailey was charged with Failure to Maintain Control. The accident caused about $5,500 damage.

Travelers beware of Labor Day weekend road construction projects


August 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Summer is winding down and many travelers will be on Iowa’s highways during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Iowa Department of Transportation and the state’s counties and cities want to remind travelers to use extra caution in work zones now in place to improve our transportation system. In the KJAN listening area…..

Work on Interstate 29 in Pottawattamie County is underway from the I-29/I-80 split from the Missouri River bridge in Council Bluffs, east approximately 3 miles, to the Lake Manawa/South Expressway interchange. The road is being graded and paved. Through traffic is maintained. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.

In Mills County, southbound I-29 from the Mills County line to the Iowa Highway 92 interchange is being reconstructed. Traffic is maintained in a two-lane, two-way operation in the northbound lanes. And, I-29 dual bridges over Iowa Highway 2 and the dual bridges 1.5 miles south of Iowa 2 are being repaired. Traffic is maintained in single lanes for both travel directions.

For traveler information anytime, visit http://www.511ia.org/ or call 511 from any phone.