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Deadly crash postpones Iowa school homecoming


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) – High school officials in northwestern Iowa have postponed homecoming as the community mourns the death of two students in a crash this week. The Sioux City Journal reports  that Sioux Central High School’s homecoming, which has been set to begin Friday, has been rescheduled for the week of Oct. 17th.

The Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Department says 16-year-old Caleb Smith, of Sioux Rapids, and 16-year-old Lexi Rydstrom, of Marathon, Iowa, were killed in the Monday crash. Investigators say the crash occurred on a gravel road when the teens’ car and a pickup collided head-on.

The crash also injured two other teens in the car, as well as the 43-year-old driver and a 49-year-old passenger in the pickup.

Lake Manawa Park, Lake Renovation Meeting Oct. 14

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the public is invited to a discussion pertaining to the latest rendition of the Lake Manawa campground renovation project and lake restoration project. The event takes place 6 p.m. October 14th, at the Western Historic Trails Center, in Council Bluffs.

Wilson Island Rec. Area re-dedication set for Oct. 7th

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will be officially rededicated during a ceremony at 1 p.m., October 7th, at the large riverfront shelter. Speakers include DNR Director Chuck Gipp, State Parks chief Todd Coffelt, and the president of the Wilson Island friends group. The rededication is the culmination of a $2.5-$3 million cleanup and rebuild project that began after the area was damaged in the spring of 2011 by the flooding Missouri River.

Wilson Island’s initial reopening was delayed until Aug. 3 from its planned mid June reopening after a storm battered the area with four inches of rain, baseball sized hail and 80-90 mile per hour winds that knocked down trees and damaged park buildings.

The campground remodel includes eliminating the more flood prone sites and changing the first to flood electric sites to non electric. The number of electrical sites increased by 15 but the total number of campsites has been reduced by 10.

The new Wilson Island has 50 amp service electrical sites, a new shower house, two new dump stations, two new picnic shelters all at higher elevations, and a new park office.


Montgomery County authorities warn of utility payment scam


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County are warning area residents about a possible telephone scam. The Sheriff’s Department says a woman called to report someone claiming to be from Mid-American Energy phoned them to say the resident had not paid her electric bill. The caller said the woman’s power would be shut-off unless she paid her bill. The caller then asked for the woman’s bank information, which she refused to give out.

The woman said she called Mid-America direct immediately afterward. Company officials said the call was in-fact a scam. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office wants area residents to be aware of the scam, and use caution with your bank account information.

If someone calls threatening to cut-off your power or gas, hang-up and call the utility company directly to get information on your account status.

Rainfall report: 10/1/14

News, Weather

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(updated 9:20-a.m.)

24-hour rainfall in Atlantic at the KJAN studios (the Official National Weather Service site for Atlantic) was 2.08″ as of 7-a.m., Wednesday (10/1) . At the Atlantic Airport, the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) measured 2.26″.  Seven-miles n/ne of Atlantic, a spotter observed 2.06″ of rain in their gauge. KJAN’s Lavon Eblen reported 2.5″ of rain at her home north of Atlantic.

If you have a rainfall total to report, e-mail kjannews@metc.net. Please include your location or proximity to the nearest town, the amount of rain that has fallen, and the time your measurement was taken. Feel free to update the total as the day wears on. Thank You!

Other 24-hour rainfall reports we’ve received this morning:

3.90″ 3 miles west of Pacific Junction in Mills County; 3.40″ 3 miles east of Manning; 3.10 in Anita near the golf course (reported by Rosalie Kopp); 3.10″ in Shenandoah (updated total); 3.00″ in Audubon (also, 3.10″ n of the Audubon Airport as of 7:30-a.m.); 2.80″ in Oakland and in Marne; 2.62″ west of Bagley, in Guthrie County; 2.60″ 1.5 miles s. of Avoca; 2.32″ 1 mi. S. of Guthrie Center in Guthrie County; 2.28″ 4 miles e/se of Carroll; 2.20″ south of Bedford (2.4″ reported N of Bedford); 2.18″ in Massena (Ardelle McCunn); 2.04″ 3 miles NE of Yale in Guthrie County; 1.92″ in Harlan; 1.85″ in Emerson; 1.81″ 4-miles north of New Market, in Taylor County; 1.74″ in Clarinda; 1.62″ at Jefferson (as of 5:15-a.m.) – from an NWS Cooperative Observer; 1.61″ northeast of Creston; 1.58″ 2 miles NE of Denison.

September enter weather record books as cooler, wetter than normal

News, Weather

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Despite the recent warm temperatures across Iowa, the month of September was slightly cooler than normal, according to state climatologist Harry Hillaker. The month was highlighted by freezing conditions on September 13. That marked the earliest freeze in the state since 1976. Hillaker says the temperature hit 31-degrees in Mason City, Estherville, Sheldon, Elkader, and Sioux Center. He notes it “wasn’t cold enough, long enough” to do much widespread damage to crops.

The hottest temperature during the month was recorded on September 4. “The highest reading was 94-degrees, which happened in Glenwood, Shenandoah, Sidney, and Donnellson,” Hillaker says. Fall officially arrived on September 22 and Hillaker says the temperature failed to reach triple-digits anywhere in Iowa the entire summer. “In fact, we have a few places in northeastern and far northern Iowa that (haven’t) reached the 90s this year,” Hillaker says. The wetter than normal weather this year continued through the month of September.

It was especially rainy over the first half of the month in parts of southern Iowa. Areas of Warren County received up to 9 inches of rain over the month. “On the other extreme, Estherville was the dry spot in the state with just 1.2 inches of rain during the month,” Hillaker says. The statewide average rainfall total in September was 4.5 inches, about one-inch above normal for the month, according to Hillaker. The statewide average temperature for the month was 62.2 degrees, about one-degree cooler than normal.

(Radio Iowa)

More information expected today on the death of a Bluffs teen involved in a fight


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An announcement from authorities related to the death of an Abraham Lincoln High School junior is expected today. The Daily NonPareil says Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber and Council Bluffs Police Chief Tim Carmody will hold a joint press conference at 3 p.m. today to release the results of the investigation into the death of 17-year old Dakota Escritt, who died over the weekend from severe head injuries he suffered during a fight last Thursday morning Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School.

16-year old Gregary Teer is accused of punching Escritt in the face, which caused him to fall and hit his head. Teer is currently charged with felony assault causing serious injury. He has also been suspended from school. Authorities are expected to announce today whether or not additional charges will be filed.

Bluffs man involved in numerous robberies faces 7-to 25-years in prison


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man authorities say was involved in three robberies and at least two attempted robberies this past summer in Council Bluffs, along with a pair of robberies in Carter Lake and Omaha, faces a minimum of seven-years in prison.The Daily NonPareil reports in an agreement with prosecutors, 24-year old Matthew T. Koval will plead guilty to second-degree robbery, first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct. The first two charges carry a 10-year maximum prison sentence, while ongoing criminal conduct carries at 25-year sentence.

Jon Jacobmeier with the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office said that, as part of an agreement, the theft and robbery charges will run consecutively, with a mandatory minimum to be served of seven years. The 25 years for ongoing criminal conduct will be served concurrently – at the same time. Koval must serve a minimum of seven-years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Police said they’ve also linked Koval to robberies that occurred in late May at area gas stations and hotels. Koval was arrested on June 26 at the Walgreens store on east Broadway in Council Bluffs. He told the court he committed the crimes because of financial trouble.

Bluffs’ Bayliss Park recognized as 1 of 10 “Great Public Spaces” for 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with  The American Planning Association (APA), Tuesday, announced that Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs, has earned the designation as one of the “10 Great Public Spaces” for 2014.   Each October during National Community Planning Month, APA’s Great Places in America program names 30 exemplary streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that add value to communities and foster economic growth and jobs.

Bayliss Park is the geographic and symbolic “town square” for the community. Using four corner entrances, Bayliss Park connects visitors with the surrounding commercial and residential areas of downtown as well as the bike trails that extend 40 miles throughout the community. The park also serves as the preferred site for many arts events, outdoor concert series, outdoor movies, weddings and major annual community events like “Celebrate CB,” and the “Winterfest” lighting display. Over the past 10 years, a citizen steering committee for Bayliss Park has raised nearly $750,000 with the help of over 1,500 community members. The monies will be directed to the park’s rehabilitation and renovation, including the creation of a master plan.

APA’s Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Spaces feature unique and authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders and planners. Since Great Places in America was launched in 2007, APA has designated 230 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces. Places are announced annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.

New this year, APA is seeking input from the public for the “31st Great Place Designee.” Interested citizens can nominate their Great Place by commenting on APA’s Facebook page or via Twitter using hashtag #mygreatplace.  The “31st Great Place Designee” will be announced on Friday, October 31, 2014.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Oct. 1st 2014


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A portion of Interstate 35 in central Iowa has reopened after a crash involving a semitrailer closed it for several hours. West Des Moines police say the crash happened Tuesday morning after a northbound semitrailer struck construction barriers just south of Iowa Highway 5 and overturned. The truck’s fuel tank ruptured and spilled diesel across the highway. Three people were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A fourth person declined medical attention at the scene.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including vehicular homicide in connection to a crash that killed four teenagers in August. Twenty-four-year-old Joseph Connolly, of Holy Cross, also asked for a speedy trial. Connolly faces multiple charges in connection to the crash near Epworth. Connolly’s pickup hit a four-wheeled utility vehicle carrying Sean Kenneally, Mitchell Kluesner, Nicholas Kramer and Bryce Wilwert. They boys, all 14, were killed.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear in Iowa this week at a campaign event with Gov. Terry Branstad and congressional candidate Rod Blum. Branstad’s campaign says Christie will speak at a rally in Cedar Rapids on Friday. Branstad is running for a sixth non-consecutive term. Recent polls have showed him with a sizable lead against Democratic opponent Jack Hatch.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has permanently barred a Law Vegas company from marketing to state residents following allegations of false advertising. The injunction against Au Naturale Health Solutions also requires that the company refund Iowa consumers who request one. Au Naturale Health Solutions sold health and nutrition products in the state, including marine phytoplankton pills and liquid oxygen drops. The company is accused of making false claims about the health benefits of the phytoplankton pills.