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Atlantic Police warn residents to lock their vehicles & residences


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department, Wednesday afternoon, issued a warning to residents of the City to lock the doors on their homes and vehicles. The warning follows two recent residential burglaries which occurred in the City. Officials say the burglaries took place in broad daylight, when people were at work or school. The Atlantic P-D is also asking residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in the area, such as a person or persons who are not normally seen in your neighborhood, or who are acting in a suspicious manner.

Officials say if you should happen to come home and find it has been broken into, immediately exit the residence and call police. Entering the home and tampering with touched objects can result in possible lost evidence, and, there is a chance the suspect or suspects may still be in the residence.

Stun gun used in robbery of Council Bluff store Wed. evening


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs report two men who robbed a store Wednesday evening, used a stun gun to carry out an attack on an employee of the store. The men got away with an undetermined amount of cash, and officials say the robbery is believed to be linked to another robbery at the same store on August 24th.

Authorities say Wednesday’s robbery at the Exotic Gift Store (1409 W. Broadway, in Council Bluffs), occurred at around 7:50-p.m, when two black male suspects entered the store acting at first as if they were patrons. When a male store employee asked to see their identification, one of the suspects pulled out a stun gun and began attacking the employee, while the other suspect went around the store grabbing cash. All the while, the first suspect continued to use the stun gun on the store employee.

The suspect using the stun gun is believed to be the same person involved in the August 24th robbery of the Exotic Gift Store, during which a similar attack was carried out. Both incidents remain under investigation.

(Updated) Red Flag Warning for part of the KJAN listening area today (Thursday)

News, Weather

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Updated for expanded Red Flag Warning)

The National Weather Service has issued a “Red Flag Warning for all counties along and north of Highway 30, from Onawa to Ames.  The warning is in effect until 8-p.m. A Red Flag Warning is issued for extreme fire conditions, in particular: hot, dry air; southwest winds of 15-25 miles per hour, with gusts of 30-to-35; along with very low humidity. Officials say the drying of grasses in the area as well as field crops is underway, and ahead of schedule, given the hot and dry conditions. Any fires that do start, will spread rapidly due to the dry conditions and strong southwesterly winds. The combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and very hot temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.

Candidates for Nov. 5th General Election: Montgomery County


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Deputy Auditor Kevin Norris, Wednesday, released the final list of names of the candidates who have filed to run in the November 6th General Election. The deadline to file nomination papers was 5-p.m. Wednesday. One person whose name won’t appear on the ballot, is Montgomery County Auditor Ted Schoonover, who has accepted a City Administrator’s position in Caledonia, MN. Schoonover’s Chief Deputy, Stephanie Burke has filed a petition to have her name on the ballot. Schoonover is endorsing Burke for the position, saying she would serve the county well for many years to come.

Other positions and candidates’ names for those positions that will appear on the ballot in Montgomery County in November, include:  (the number in parentheses indicated the number of seats available for that position)

Montgomery County Ag Extension (5)

  1. Karen Klocke
  2. Michael J Olson
  3. Sabrina Johnson
  4. Carroll Freeman
  5. Timothy L. Kammerer
  6. William Drey

Montgomery County Auditor (1)

  1. Stephanie Burke (NP)

Montgomery County Sheriff (1)

  1. Joseph Sampson (REP)

Montgomery County Supervisor District #3

  1. Bryant Amos  (REP)

Montgomery County Supervisor District #5

  1.  Donna Robinson (REP)

Montgomery County Hospital Trustees (2) 6 year term

  1. Kathy J Carlson
  2. Kevin Cabbage

Montgomery County Soil & Water 3 (4) year term & 1 (2 year term to fill vacancy)

  1. Kirk Baird
  2. Rick Carlson
  3. Rodney Hart
  4. Gary Querry

Douglas Township Trustee (3) (1 to fill a vacancy) – No candidates have filed

East Township Trustee (2)

  1. Patricia A Victor

Frankfort Township Trustee (2) – No candidates have filed

Garfield Township Trustee (2) – No candidates have filed

Grant Township Trustee (3) (1 to fill a vacancy)

  1. Dennis Carlson
  2. John Sunberg
  3. Dwayne Vennergerg

Lincoln Township Trustee (3) (1 to fill a vacancy) – No candidates have filed

Pilot Grove Township Trustee (2) – No candidates have filed

Red Oak Township Trustee (2)

  1. Howard O Olson
  2. Michael J Olson

Scott Township Trustee (2) – No candidates have filed

Sherman Township Trustee (3) (1 to fill a vacancy) – No candidates have filed

Sherman Township Clerk (1) 2 year term – No candidates have filed

Washington Township Trustee (2)

  1. Lorin Petersen

West Township Trustee (3) (1 to fill a vacancy)

  1. David Gohlinghorst
  2. Larry Heuer

Villisca City Council (1) to fill a vacancy

  1. 1.      Rex Galloway

Ericksen trial wraps up


August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The jury in the Roger Ericksen sex abuse trial went home late Wednesday evening, after hearing testimony and closing arguments that morning and afternoon.

Roger Ericksen testifies at his trial, Wednesday afternoon.

Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski read them their instructions prior to the State’s closing arguments by Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, which lasted just over 45-minutes, and Defense Attorney Theodore Wonio, whose close lasted for just under 10-minutes. Feistner then offered a 10-minute rebuttal before the jurors were sequestered, at around 6-p.m. It didn’t them long to decide that they would resume deliberations at 9-a.m. Thursday, and possibly render a verdict that same day.

During the afternoon session, jurors heard from witnesses for the defense, most of whom basically characterized the 52-year old Lewis man who served as a foster parent to the alleged victim, as being low-key, with a good sense of humor, yet strict in a parental fashion, as he would be with his own children. Those same witnesses portrayed the 14-year old alleged female victim as someone who had a tendency to tell what amounted to “white lies,” with regard to her homework and other issues. One witness even described the girl as a “drama queen,” who makes up stories just to get attention.

The witnesses also claimed they never saw anything improper going on in the Ericksen home, and were shocked to learn of the allegations. A couple of those who testified for the defense, were even incredulous to the fact Ericksen had sex toys in his bedroom, which he claimed were for the pleasure of himself and his wife. Some of those same sex toys were allegedly used as part of the sexual assault of the teenaged girl.

Late Wednesday morning, jurors heard from Lisa Johnson, with Project Harmony, a child advocacy and protection group, in Omaha. Johnson said she performed medical tests on the alleged victim four days after she was removed from the Ericksen home in July of 2011. Johnson testified that there was no evidence of vaginal tearing, scaring or injury that might occur with a rape or sexual assault, but she added that any lack of evidence may be because of the timing of the tests. A fact reiterated during closing arguments by Prosecutor Dan Feistner.

Ericksen, an Elk Horn-Kimballton High School grad and veteran of the U-S Army, took to the stand Wednesday afternoon, and vehemently denied anything to do the allegations brought against him. During cross-examination by Feistner, Ericksen was asked if there was any reason the alleged victim in the case would make claims he sexually assaulted her. He said it’s his belief his foster child was looking for a way to get back home to her biological mother. Ericksen and his wife Deb, who had been licensed foster care providers since 2005, voluntarily surrendered their license once the allegations became known.

Atlantic man arrested for drugs and child endangerment


August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Tuesday, of 21-year old Michael Sherman, of Atlantic. Sherman was taken into custody on warrants charging him with Child Endangerment and Possession of drugs. Sherman was booked into the Cass County Jail. And, 23-year old Justin Patton, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday, on a warrant for violation of his parole. Patton was also booked into the Cass County Jail.

Officials said also, that an accident Tuesday morning at 7th and Olive Streets in Atlantic, caused $5,500 damage, but there were no injuries. The accident happened at around 8:15-a.m., at the intersection of 7th and Olive Streets, as Ben Mahoney, of Atlantic, was westbound on 7th and attempting to turn south onto Olive. As he was doing so, he failed to yield the right of way to a vehicle driven by Angelina Elwess-Just, who was traveling east on 7th. Both drivers had a green light. Mahoney was cited for not yielding while making a left turn.

Heat extremes and explosive fire danger possible Thursday & Friday

News, Weather

August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While the upcoming Labor Day weekend usually means the unofficial end of summer, Iowa’s in for more extreme heat today and tomorrow’s forecast is even steamier. Kenny Podrazik, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says much of the state will be in the 90s today, with triple-digits highs possible tomorrow. Podrazik says there’s a lack of moisture in the air which contributes to a rapid rise in temperatures. Today’s winds will be from the south/southwest, so temps will be shooting up quickly. Parts of six counties in northwest Iowa are under a Red Flag Warning as there is a critical risk of fire due to weather conditions.

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says the County is likely to be included in some sort of enhanced Fire Danger statement Thursday. Kennon reminds residents the County is still under a ban on open burning until further notice. Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says Red Flag warnings may issued for the area Thursday and Friday, and for that reason, will be moving the Shelby County Fire Danger Signs into the “Extreme” category beginning at 7-p.m. Wednesday, and lasting through at least Friday evening, and for all practical purposes, the County will be in a “burn ban” beginning at 7-p.m. Wednesday. Seivert asks area fire departments to be prepared for the “Very serious situation.”

The Weather Services’ Podrazik says the predicted high for Des Moines today is 97-degrees, which is 15-degrees hotter than normal. Tomorrow may be even hotter, he says, with stronger winds up to 40 miles an hour and temps may top 100-degrees.With Hurricane Isaac churning in the Gulf of Mexico, Podrazik says Iowa should at least see more clouds with the possibility of rain Friday and into Saturday.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson-KJAN)

Ericksen Trial – Day 2: Morning session


August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Testimony in the trial for a Lewis man facing charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year old girl in 2011 resumed this (Wednesday) morning, in Atlantic. 52-year old Roger Ericksen was arrested last December on charges of Assault with the intent to commit Sexual Abuse, Lascivious Conduct with a Minor, and 46 Class-C felony counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree.

Jane Lowe, with the Iowa Department of Human Services in Atlantic was one of those who testified during the proceedings this morning.

Jane Lowe, IA DHS Caseworker

Lowe, who oversees Child Welfare Services and works with Children In Need of Assistance (CHINA), told the court she had been involved as a caseworker with the alleged victim of the crime since July, 2010, which is when she was assigned to her case. She said she went to the Ericksen home in Lewis on July 25th, and observed the teen was uncomfortable when Roger Ericksen tried to give hear a “bear hug” from behind as she was about to leave, and told her he “loved her.” She said the girl kind of “squirmed out from under Ericksen and made her way toward the door, as Lowe and the teen were about to leave for dinner. She said she asked the girl if she was okay, and she replied yes, but she said mentioned she didn’t like it when Roger touched her that way.

It was after dinner at a restaurant in Atlantic, that the girl confided in Lowe about what allegedly transpired in the home. The girl also told Lowe that she wanted to remain in the Ericksen home, but that she wanted the “problem” to go away. The teen mentioned the incidents with Roger Ericksen allegedly occurred when Roger’s wife Deb was at work, or late at night, when everyone was asleep. Lowe said there had been no concerns about the Ericksen’s being foster parents prior to the incident she learned of in July, 2011. Under cross examination, Ericksen’s Attorney Theodore Wonio asked Lowe if she was aware of any concerns with the teen “being untruthful” in the past.

She said there was a report the girl had a “History of lying,” but her involvement in the case led her to believe that was because the girl had wanted to “get out of trouble,” and get out of the consequences.”

Dan Dorrance, IA DHS

Dan Dorrance, with the DHS also testified this morning. Dorrance, who works out of the DHS office in Red Oak, said he spoke with Ericksen’s wife and biological children after Roger left the home in July 25th, 2011. He said they claimed to have no knowledge of any inappropriate touching by Roger having occurred in the home. Other testimony received this morning came from “Suzy” Noopur Mistry and Lisa Johnson, both with the child advocacy and protection group “Project Harmony,” in Omaha. A nurse practitioner with the organization conducted a physical exam of the alleged victim on July 29th, 2011.

9AM Newscast 08-29-2012

News, Podcasts

August 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks

8AM Newscast 08-29-2012

News, Podcasts

August 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/Ric Hanson