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Missing trucker found dead from natural causes inside his semi, near Shelby


December 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Pottawattamie County says a tractor trailer driver who had been missing, was found dead inside the cab of his semi Monday at a rest stop which is under construction, near Shelby. Corporal Nick Amdor, with the Pott County Sheriff’s Office, says the 58-year-old trucker from Monmouth, Ill., appeared to have died of natural causes, but Amdor declined to release the man’s name until his relatives had been notified.

Amdor says it appears the man died Friday evening or Saturday morning.  His body was found in the cab’s sleeper compartment. The semi was still covered in snow when a co-worker found the truck and the body about 7:15 p.m. Monday. The trucking company he had worked for, out of Burlington, had asked its drivers to be on the lookout for the semi-trailer truck, and had notified law enforcement offices along the driver’s route.

Corporal Amdor says while the rest stop near Shelby is under construction,  truckers are still able to pull in for the night to get some sleep.

Sheriffs’ group: child abuse linked to juvenile crime


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa law enforcement officials are highlighting a connection between juvenile crime and child abuse. The Iowa State Sheriff and Deputies Association released a report today (Monday) in cooperation with a national group called “Fight Crime, Invest in Kids”. Spokeswoman Jessica Fast says children who suffer mistreatment or neglect are almost twice as likely to commit a crime. And in 2009, 13-thousand (13,000) kids were confirmed victims of abuse or neglect in Iowa.

“It puts numbers on a situation that is very, very real in Iowa. And that’s even under reported because a lot of the times those victims don’t get reported to the police or they don’t rise to the level of criminal abuse,” Fast said. There are currently a handful of state-run programs where parents can volunteer to have their home examined to ensure it’s a safe environment for their children. The latest figures show 15-thousand (15,000) Iowa families had a home visit in 2009. Fast hopes the Iowa legislature will protect funding for the programs during the upcoming session. She says national data shows such programs have the ability to reduce the chance of child abuse by 50 percent.

“What we are really asking the state is to make sure those are high quality programs — evidence based, quality programs that really show the desired results of reducing child abuse and neglect which then increases public safety and saves tax payers’ dollars,” Fast said. Investing in children now, Fast said, would go a long way toward decreasing crime in the future.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Authorities investigate car theft & arrest teen for possession of Pot


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County, Monday, were investigating the theft of a car from Villisca. They also report the arrest of a Villisca teen, on drug charges.

The Sheriff’s Department said a 2009 silver, 4-door Chevy Impala was reported stolen from the 200 block of East 5th Street in Villisca, Monday. The car bore Iowa plate number 497 YAM.  Anyone with information on the location of the vehicle or with regard to the theft, is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, at 712-623-5107.

In other news out of Montgomery County, authorities say 13-year-old Ashley Fitzwater, of Villisca, was taken into custody Monday morning, for allegedly being in possession of marijuana.  The teen was later released to the custody of a parent.

Council Bluffs man arrested after 2 state chase


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says a Council Bluffs man was arrested early this (Monday) morning following a chase that wound its way from Iowa into Nebraska, and resulted in a collision with a trooper’s patrol cruiser. Authorities say 41-year old Richard David Poast was trying to elude Trooper James Bullington when Poast lost control of the 1994 Ford Explorer as it was traveling south on North 19st Street in Council Bluffs. The SUV had been reported stolen.

As the SUV went out of control, the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car Bullington was driving collided with the right side of the Explorer,causing only minor damage to the cruiser. The trooper was not injured.  Damage to the SUV was estimated at $3,000.  Following the collision, Poast continued to elude authorities and made his way into Nebraska, where he was eventually taken into custody.

The incident began at around 1:40-a.m., Monday.

Danish Immigrant Musuem receives $158-k grant


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn have announced the awarding of a major grant to the museum from a foundation which provides grants for co-operation and cultural interaction between Denmark and the other Nordic-related countries. A $158,000 grant from the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation in Denmark will be used to digitize and provide global, on-line access to historic Danish-American archival collections.

Danish Immigrant Museum, Elk Horn, IA

The project is a partnership with the Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska, the Danish Immigrant Archive – Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Danish American Heritage Society, Salem, Oregon. The project will also include digitization of forty-nine (49) original scrapbooks of newspaper clippings by the world renowned Danish tenor, Lauritz, Melchior, which he began keeping in 1925.

The clipping have recently come into the possession of The Danish Immigrant Museum and are in a very fragile and deteriorating condition.

Three arrested over the past four days in Audubon County


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports three people were arrested recently, with one of the arrests occuring over the weekend. 19-year old Dilan Seth Olesen, of Audubon, was arrested at around 2-a.m. Saturday on charges of OWI/2nd offense and Driving While Revoked. The charges stem from a traffic stop in Exira. Olesen was brought to the Audubon County Jail and released after posting a $2,000 bond.

Friday morning, 24-year old Randy Travis Kurth, of Audubon, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for Violation of his probation. Kurth posted bond and was released from custody. He was scheduled to appear in court today (Monday). And, 29-year Kenneth James Peel, of Audubon, was also arrested Friday afternoon on an outstanding warrant for Violation of his probation. Peel was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Audubon teen injured during Friday rollover accident


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports a local teen was injured Friday evening during a single-vehicle rollover accident just east of the Audubon City limits. 16-year old Riley Thomas Christensen, of Audubon,  was driving a 1992 Pontiac westbound on 200th Street at around 6:25-p.m. Friday, when he lost control of the car.  The vehicle entered a ditch and rolled an undetermined number of times before hitting a power pole and landing in a field on the north side of the road. Christensen was taken to the Audubon County Memorial Hospital by Audubon Rescue. Damage to the car was estimated at $5,000. The report didn’t indicate if any charges were filed.

Cappel named 2011 “Scrooge,” in Atlantic


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce reports the annual “Elect a Scrooge” contest wrapped up last week, with Janet Cappel taking the title as the 2011 Scrooge, as well as the honor of Grand Marshall in the Chamber Lighted Christmas Parade Saturday night.

Scrooge candidates (from L-R: Peerbolte, Fredrickson, Nelson & Siggins)

Scrooge organizer Eleanor Hoover says “Janet did a great job,” but that all the candidates were winners in her book.” The other nominees included Nancy Fredrickson of Geis Perry Jewelry, Brad Peerbolte of Peerbolte Chiropractic, Aaron Siggins of Hy-Vee, and Karen Smith of Handbag Ranch.

Each nominee had one month to raise funds and non-perishable food items for the Atlantic Food Pantry. The total collaborative effort brought in 15,845 points. One point is equivalent to a single item or $1 in cash donations ($15,845). Food Pantry organizers said they have seen an increase in traffic in the past several months, and the donations help them provide for the community for the entire year.

Chamber Director Megan Roberts said “The contest stirs up a little friendly competition, and each candidate adds their own flavor to help them raise items and funds.”  Roberts said “This year Cappel’s Ace Hardware gave away a lighted Christmas tree to encourage donations.”

Hoover is already starting a list of candidates for the 2012 Scrooge race. Suggestions are welcome by calling the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at 712.243.3017 or emailing Chamber@AtlanticIowa.com.

Annual Atlantic Lighted Parade a success despite snow and rain


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Seventeen businesses and organizations braved the rain and snow Saturday evening in Atlantic, to participate in the Chamber’s Lighted Christmas Parade. Chamber Executive Director Megan Roberts says the Heritage House won the judged portion of the parade, with their custom made Ferris wheel and other carnival rides.

Coming in with a close second place finish in the parade was the Nishna Valley YMCA. Third place went to the First United Methodist Church. Scrooge candidates also participated in the parade with winner Janet Cappel as Grand Marshall.

Fireworks provided by AM Cohron and Son, preceded the parade,  and as has always been the tradition, Santa Claus rode the Atlantic Fire Department’s ladder truck, to bring the evening to a close.

“Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit opens Tuesday in Harlan


December 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A special exhibit will open tomorrow at Veteran’s Auditorium, in Harlan. The exhibit, “Remembering Our Fallen,” will be on display for one week. It’s a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by 76 Iowans killed in the War on Terror while wearing our country’s uniform in a war zone.

Gene Cavenaugh, Shelby County Veteran’s Affair’s Director, says opening ceremonies will begin at 10-a.m. Tuesday. The photo display has traveled around the State of Iowa and is on location for a week at a time. Bill and Evonne Williams of Patriotic Productions in Omaha created the exhibit. Cavenaugh says the couple wanted away to honor the soldiers. Cavenaugh says there’s no charge to view the exhibit.  

Following the opening day, the regular hours for the exhibit during the rest of the week will be from 7-am to 7-pm, at the Harlan Veteran’s Memorial Building.