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Break-ins and thefts reported in Clarinda


October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Clarinda are investigating three recent incidents of theft and or attempted break-ins. Officials say on Thursday, a Clarinda resident reported that her apartment on North 16th Street had been burglarized. Cash and electronic items valued at $1,050 were stolen. The incident, which occurred sometime between Oct. 16th and 17th at the Timber Creek Apartments, remains under investigation.

On Tuesday, Clarinda Police received a report of several padlocks on some storage units at 411 east Page Street having been damaged by someone using bolt cutters. At the time of the report, it had not been determined if anything was missing from the storage units owned by Dick Kline, of Clarinda. Damage to the units and padlocks however, was estimated at $50. The incident, which occurred sometime between Oct. 15th and 16th, remains under investigation.

And, on Sunday, Oct. 14th, employees with Randolph Excavation and Electrical reported to police in Clarinda, that someone stole copper from the business at 716 east Garfield Street. The loss was estimated at $900. The theft is believed to have occurred sometime between Oct. 12th and 14th. It also remains under investigation.


Assault arrest reported in Clarinda


October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Clarinda Police Department said Thursday a man from New Market was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges, following an incident that took place at around 4:30-p.m., near the intersection of 15th and Stuart Streets. Authorities say 21-year old Johnny Lee Blake allegedly hit 20-year old Travis Wilson Dunham, of Clarinda, with his fists, causing minor injuries to Dunham. Blake was brought to the Page County Jail and later posted a $325 bond.


Iowa West 3rd Quarter Grant Awards Announced


October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa West Foundation have announced the recipients of the organization’s grants for the third-quarter 2012. The grants amount to more than $3.95-million altogether. The grants will be used to assist 43 non-profit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects. The largest grant, in the amount of $1.274-million, was awarded to Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors’, CITIES program, to help rural communities meet infrastructure needs.

A complete list of the Iowa West Foundation grant recipients and the amounts they received for the third quarter, is listed below:

– American Cancer Society, “Hope Lodge” for Iowa/Nebraska patients in need of lodging during treatment in Omaha area, $150,000

– Ballet Nebraska, planning and marketing project, $5,000

– Bedford, Iowa, Foundation, oral health equipment in new clinic for underserved population, $25,000

– Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, outreach to youth in Council Bluffs by artists-in-residence, $62,500

– Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, community-based mentoring in southwest Iowa for children facing adversity, $40,000

– Bluffs Arts Council, exhibit of Louis Grell mural at Pottawattamie County Courthouse, $1,000

– Center for the Advancement of Self-Sufficiency Inc., technology for training to improve services assisting the disabled in southwest Iowa, $25,000

– City of Avoca, public safety enhancement initiative to increase services, $17,500

– City of Avoca, gateway signage for community, $25,000

– City of Council Bluffs, “First Night,” a New Years Eve family festival, $30,000

– City of Crescent, repair of city tennis court, $12,000

– City of Griswold, new playground equipment at Cocklin Fish Farm Park, $10,000

– City of Griswold, fire and rescue equipment replacement, $2,000

– City of Lenox, new baseball / softball fields for youth, $10,000

– City of Oakland, community project including fitness and senior center, $200,000

– City of Stanton, furnishings for new public library, $30,000

– Council Bluffs Goodfellows, program to assist local families during holiday season, $45,000

– Council Bluffs Public Library, replacement of outdated technology, $44,500

– Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, holiday lights festival, $15,000

– Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs, renovation of buildings for “ReStore” retail center and office space, $500,000

– Heartland Family Service, HEAT 2013 emergency assistance for residents and families in Pottawattamie County, $170,000

– Heartland Family Service, purchase of van for transportation needs of “Family Works” program, $13,000

– HELP Adult Services, health and medical equipment loan program in southwest Iowa, $4,300

– Hitchcock House Advisory Board, “Granary” welcome center at historic site near Lewis, $10,000

– Iowa Lions Foundation, “Kidsight” program in Council Bluffs, $2,500

– Iowa Newspaper Foundation, Western Iowa “Newspapers in Education” program, $18,500

– Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska, expansion of legal services into Pottawattamie County, $20,000

– Keep Council Bluffs Beautiful, strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, and marketing projects, $15,000

– Lied Public Library a/k/a Clarinda Public Library, technology improvements for library users, $1,150

– Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Inc., the Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families, $40,000

– Macedonia Historical Preservation Society, expansion of the Pioneer Trail Museum, $51,025

– Mills County (IA) Public Health, “Family Matters” recovery project, $15,000

– Neighborhood Center of Greater Omaha, evaluation of programs in Council Bluffs / Pottawattamie County, $60,000

– Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, information sharing project for local nonprofits, $12,000

– Oakland Historical Society, renovations at the Nishna Heritage Museum, $37,500

– Omaha Children’s Museum, outreach program to schools in Council Bluffs and Omaha Museum, $40,000

– Omaha Theater Company, Rose Theater renovation project, $50,000

– One World Community Health Centers Inc., expansion of prenatal healthcare services in Omaha metro area, $40,000

– Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, CITIES program to help rural communities meet infrastructure needs, $1,274,059

– Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, CITIES program evaluation, $20,000

– Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, improvements master plan for county parks, $13,300

– Pottawattamie County Firefighters Association, equipment upgrades/replacements for volunteer fire departments, $150,000

– Stephens Center, construction of new homeless shelter in Omaha, $250,000

– The Durham Museum, “Scholars in Residence” education series at Omaha museum, $10,000

– United Way of the Midlands, human services programs in Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, $361,000

– VSA Arts Nebraska, creative arts program at VODEC Center in Council Bluffs, $3,000

– Youth Enhancement Association, youth sports complex in Missouri Valley, $25,000

Funding for the Foundation’s grants comes from investment earning and the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA), which receives contracted fees from casino operators – Ameristar and Harrahs. IWRA distributes funds to the IWF, which is an independent non-profit (501 c 3) organization, under the IRS Code. The Foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.


Semi rolls off I-80 in Pottawattamie County – no injuries


October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after a semi rolled over on Interstate 80 Thursday night in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says a 2012 Peterbilt tractor trailer driven by 41-year old Frank Scott Hofreiter, of Santee, CA, was traveling west on I-80 near the Underwood exit, when for reasons unknown, the rig went out of control and entered the median, before rolling onto its side and spilling its load. The wreckage partially blocked the westbound left lane of the Interstate when the crash occurred, at around 9:40-p.m. The Patrol says it was rainy and windy at the time of the accident, but it’s not clear if that played a role in the crash.

More than 2 dozen people attend a DNR forum held in Harlan Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources held its 12th and statewide park public forum in Shelby County Thursday evening. The forum was held inside the First Baptist Church in Harlan from 6:30 to 8:30pm. A crowd of over 30 people filled the community room inside the church. The event began with a short introduction by Bob Sherbomb, Regional Director of Parks followed by a video on all state parks in Iowa. The audience was then broken down into smaller groups to go over issues they face with state parks.

Kevin Szcodronski, Bureau Chief of State Parks for the Iowa DNR says the forum was to ask the public their top priorities. He said “Tonight we heard loud and clear the lake is important, fishing and a well kept up park.” Szcodronski says overall the public is not asking for big things. “If I had to summarize all 12 meetings it would be, Iowans are pretty traditional users of state parks. They want access. They want them well kept, open, trails to be good and more electricity.”

Other suggestions for Prairie Rose included a year round lodge or community center to hold family reunions or weddings along with a better office for the staff. Szcodronski says now that all the forums are complete, the DNR will compile the information and look for trends. “Then we are going to compare information from the small groups with information from our telephone surveys with general people of Iowa and compare answers. We want to see if there needs are different with current visitors. We will look at that very close and see what we can do in the future.”

All the information will guide the DNR to the 100th year celebration in 2020 to make all the State Parks in good shape when the spotlight shines on them. Szcodronski says the DNR will be releasing information about the public meetings on their website,  “Probably sometime in later November or early December, we will put some things on the website, some overall summaries and what we have heard from each park. It’s going to take us a while. It will be about a month, month and a half. We will post it on our website www.iowadnr.gov and keep track of it on there.” The public forum on Thursday finished with a short question and answer session with Szcodronski.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Iowa early News Headlines – Fri., Oct. 19 2012


October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Recent storms have eased drought conditions in several key Midwest farming states. Yesterday’s Drought Monitor update shows that 63.9 percent of Iowa, the nation’s biggest corn producer, is still in extreme or exceptional drought. But that’s down nearly 12 percentage points from a week earlier.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad is ordering flags at state government buildings and other sites to be flown at half-staff to honor state Senator Pat Ward, who died of breast cancer on Monday. Branstad says flags will be lowered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Ward’s funeral is being held today at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines.

NEW YORK (AP) — Independent groups supporting Republican Mitt Romney have helped him match or even exceed President Barack Obama’s TV ad spending in dozens of media markets nationwide. An Associated Press analysis of presidential campaign advertising data since April found that pro-Romney spending has exceeded pro-Obama ad spending by at least $65 million across Iowa and seven other states expected to decide the election.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a diesel fuel spill in the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines has been traced to a rooftop generator at the Iowa Events Center. The spill was discovered yesterday morning. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says about 2,500 gallons of diesel flowed down a roof drain from a standby generator on the roof of Hy-Vee Hall.

Runaway Iowa teens face charges in Illinois


October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Four Iowa teenagers who ran away together face juvenile charges in Illinois where they found in a vacant house. The teens were found safe in Eureka, Ill., on Tuesday when the owner of the house checked on the property. Two 15-year old Shellsburg girls, Skie Floyd and Jazlyn Visek, along with 16-year-old Corey Sunderman and 13-year-old Austin Boggs, both of Atlantic, had not been seen since Saturday.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette says the teens were in court in Illinois on Wednesday on charges of trespassing and criminal damage to property. The boys also face a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle. Benton County, Iowa, Sheriff Randy Forsyth says one of the girls and one of the boys apparently met through the Xbox video game system that allows users to interact with each other.

Elk Horn man serving with SD Hwy Patrol, has brain surgery after being hit by a car


October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Elk Horn, Iowa, man serving as a Trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, remains in critical condition following successful surgery Thursday, to relieve pressure on his brain. The surgery came as a result of an incident that occurred Wednesday morning, when 34-year old Andrew Steen was struck by a vehicle driven by a female pursuit suspect.

Trooper Andrew Steen (from a Facebook page established for him)

Colonel Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, told the Argus Leader Staff newspaper, that Steen, an eight-year-veteran of the Highway Patrol, was hit by a vehicle in the line of duty following an attempted traffic stop that escalated into a pursuit. Price said also, that Steen’s “Family and the Patrol have been gratified by the outpouring of public support,”  and that they continue to ask for good thoughts and prayers for the trooper, as he continues to recover.

A benefit fund, titled the Trooper Andrew Steen Benefit Fund, has been set up at Wells Fargo. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo institution in the United States. A CaringBridge and Facebook page have been set up for those wishing to offer their support and/or prayers for the family of Andrew Steen.

Those links are here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/AndrewSteen and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Praying-for-Andrew-Steen/217674518363787.

Parent says a Shenandoah Teacher told kids to spit on her son in class


October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Did a teacher with the Shenandoah Community School District tell the students in her class to get in line, and spit on another student? That’s the question parents are asking, and the District is being mum on the matter. According to a report by Omaha television station WOWT-TV, parents say the teacher had almost all of the children in one class spit on a boy one by one last week. Accusations against the teacher have been appeared on Facebook recently, as well.

The Omaha World-Herald says the student’s mother, Alexandria Kindopp, posted on Face­book that her son Jaxon was spit upon at the teacher’s direction because he was sticking his tongue out and blowing “raspberries” at another student. She said the incident happened Oct. 8th. Kindopp said that the teacher called her that same afternoon, admitting that it was an error in judgment,  but said she did not apologize.

Shenandoah Schools Superintendent Jeff Hiser said the teacher has been placed on leave, and that an investigation is underway. In a statement released to the media, Hiser said “The district can not discuss this or any particular incident as it is a confidential personnel and/or student matter. I can say that the safety and well being of students is the District’s first priority and it takes all claims of bullying and harassment seriously and investigates all complaints it receives and responds as the investigation warrants.”

It’s not clear if a report or complaint has been filed with the Shenandoah Police Department.

Rural Issues roundtable discussion to be held in Corning Oct. 25th

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local residents, business owners and community leaders are invited to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa, during a Rural-Issues Roundtable Discussion in Corning, on October 25th. The discussion, featuring USDA Rural Development State Director from Iowa, Bill Menner, will run from 1-to 2:30-p.m. next Thursday, at the Corning Public Library (603 9th St.), in Corning. The meeting is open to the public.