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7AM Newscast 10-25-2012

News, Podcasts

October 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Cass County Library Directors report to Supervisors & request funding


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Directors of the Cass County Library Association presented their annual (Fiscal Year 2012) report to the County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday morning. The Directors also requested funding for fiscal year 2014 in the amount of $60,600, which is unchanged from the past two fiscal years. The funds, if approved during the budgeting process, would be divided among the County’s six libraries.  Griswold Library Director Cindy Miller told the Board that while the overall circulation numbers are down, that’s in-part because of changes in the way libraries are being used, and the increased use of technology.

The numbers show the libraries are keeping busy in many ways, with people using other services within the facilities, other than to check-out books and materials. Much of the focus has been on using technology to search for employment, update their resumes, conducting research for education and other, similar purposes. The level of service she says is nearly equal among the six libraries in the County, only the atmosphere and offerings differs. Miller said the challenge they face is keeping up with technology. So far, she says, they’ve able to do so. She said going digital has been a huge transformation for the since there is a demand for both printed and digital materials, so the libraries are doing their best to broaden technology to keep up with that demand.

Among the changes visitors to the area libraries will notice, is: In Atlantic, a digitization of the Genealogical records and related collections. In Addition, Library Director Carol Stanger is retiring, and will be succeeded by Meredith Scherb; In Cumberland, there’s a new addition to the library, with a new children’s and activity room; There’s a brand new library in Lewis. An open house will be held for the facility on November 3rd, beginning at 1-p.,m.; In Massena, where there is also a nearly new building, they’ve been working on landscaping and the entryway. In Griswold, work has started on a new addition. It should be finished by the 1st of next year. They’ve also installed new technology, with the aid of grants, and from donations.

Bluffs man in critical condition following house fire Wednesday


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Council Bluffs say one person was listed in critical condition following a house fire Wednesday morning. Fire Chief Alan Byers says 77-year old James L. Rayburn, of Council Bluffs, accidentally started the fire at 3126 Avenue E, when he carelessly discarded smoking materials. Crews were dispatched to the home at around 10:17-a.m.  Byers says the first fire department units on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from the single-story structure. Rayburn, who had attempted to extinguish the flames before becoming overcome by the smoke, was found just inside an exterior door to the home. He was transported to Alegent-Creighton Health Medical Center by Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue. He was later transferred to the burn unit at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. Assistant Fire Chief Larry Wohlers said Rayburn suffered burns on his face, scalp and left arm.

Chief Byers said neighbors who saw smoke coming from the home called 911 and used a garden hose on the flames from outside the structure. Council Bluffs Police Officer Dean Sharp was the first responder to the scene. Sharp and the man who tried to fight the fire, tried to enter the home by breaking out some door glass, but Rayburn’s body blocked their entry. By that time, firefighters had arrived on the scene.

Fire Chief Alan Byers said the incident should serve as as reminder to people not to try to put out a fire on their own. He said “We ask that everyone be reminded of the need to evacuate when you have a fire and to call 911 from a safe place.” Byers said also, that there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Council Bluffs residents who wish to have a smoke detector checked or have detectors installed can call the Fire Department at (712) 328-4672. Byers said detectors will be installed free of charge.

Mills County arrest report


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday, numerous people had been arrested during the past week. On Monday, a homeless man, 52-year old Joseph Holeton, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held in the Mills County Jail on $300 bond. And, 40-year old Kenneth B. McDonald, of Glenwood, was arrested for Violation of his Probation. His bond was set at $10,000.

On Sunday, deputies in Mills County arrested 36-year old Lee Alfred Miles, of Glenwood, on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. Bond was ste at $1,000. Taken into custody last Saturday, was: 38-year old Kevin Dewitte Booker, who was arrested on a warrant for Probation Violation. His bond was set at $500; and, 23-year old John Bradley Fitch, of Omaha, who was arrested on Possession of a Controlled Substance and Poss. of Drug Paraphernalia charges. His bond was set at $1,300.

And, two men were taken into custody last Friday in Mills County. Officials say 40-year old Nathan Jacob Morris, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a warrant charging him with 5 counts of Burglary in the 3rd degree. Bond was set at $25,000. Also arrested was 18-year old Robert James Bailey, of Omaha, for being a Fugitive From Justice. He was being held in the Mills County Jail without bond.

King, Latham warn country’s future endangered by Democrats


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Republican Party held its annual fall fundraising dinner last night (Wednesday) on the state fairgrounds, with dire warnings from Iowa’s two Republican congressmen about the country’s future should Democrats win in November. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, told the crowd the country is “under siege” from the left.  “They will float us off the fiscal waterfall into the situation like Greece without any reservations whatsoever because they believe they will get power in the chaos that would ensue from an American economic collapse,” King said. “That’s why. They’re about power.”

Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Clive, made a similar pitch to the G-O-P crowd. “Do all of you believe, like I do, in your heart and your mind and your soul that if we don’t have change we are going to lose this country?” Latham asked, and the crowd applauded. “Our very freedoms, our liberties are at stake.” Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus agreed that Republicans are worried “for the future of this country” if President Obama wins a second term. “I don’t know about you, but are you ready to fire Barack Obama and save America?” Priebus asked the crowd. “Are you ready to win?” The crowd responded in unison with a “yes.”

The evening’s keynote speaker was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who reminded the audience that both Iowa and Virginia are now among the seven so-called “swing” states that could determine the outcome of the presidential race. He urged the party activists to write one more check and make one more phone call than they’d planned, to help push Romney across the finish line ahead of Obama. “So here’s the deal: You win Iowa. I win Virginia and we’ll have a celebration on November 6th,” McDonnell said. “Deal?” Iowa’s governor, Republican Terry Branstad, did not attend last night’s Iowa G-O-P fundraiser in Des Moines, choosing to attend Romney’s rally in Cedar Rapids instead.

(Radio Iowa)

2 injured during separate crashes in Pott. County, Wednesday


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The drivers of two vehicles were injured during separate crashes Wednesday evening, in Pottawattamie County. According to the Iowa State Patrol, at around 6:15-p.m., a 1986 Chevy Camaro driven by 52-year old Curtis Lee Fletcher, of Council Bluffs, was traveling east on Interstate 680. As the vehicle was about to enter I-29, it went off onto the shoulder and into the gravel. When Fletcher over corrected, the car came back onto the road and went out of control. It skidded sideways into the west ditch before rolling onto its top. Fletcher, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected from the car, but remained trapped, and had to be freed by mechanical means. He was transported by Crescent Rescue to Creighton Hospital in Omaha, for treatment of a broken neck and ribs. The Patrol says although alcohol was found in the car, Fletcher refused a chemical test for OWI.

The second accident happened at around 7-p.m. Wednesday, on I-29, near Council Bluffs. The State Patrol says 64-year old Patricia Chillingworth, of Fremont, NE, was traveling southbound, when the 2003 Chevy Tracker she was driving hit a large, unidentified object on the road. Chillingworth was injured during the incident, and transported by Council Bluffs Rescue to Mercy Hospital. A passenger in her car was not injured, and refused medical treatment.

Iowa early News Headlines – Thu., Oct. 25th 2012


October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will return to Iowa tomorrow as he and President Barack Obama scramble for votes in battleground states as the election nears. Romney’s campaign says he will speak at noon Friday at Kinzler Construction Services in Ames. The Ames stop will come two days after Romney held an event yesterday in Cedar Rapids.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Early voting for the November election is expected to set an Iowa record, as presidential candidates seek to lock-in votes. Iowa Secretary of State spokesman Chad Olsen says the state is on pace for a higher percentage of early votes than in 2008, when more than one-third of the 1.5 million votes were cast early.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A 68-year-old Des Moines man fired from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage over a minor crime 50 years ago says he won’t accept an offer to return to work unless the company changes its background checks policy. Richard Eggers says the policy discriminates against low-level workers. He was fired in July for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine at a Laundromat in 1963.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg has had one of the most surprisingly miserable senior seasons anyone could imagine. But it’s not going to cost him his job. Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz reiterated on Tuesday that Vandenberg is his starter for Saturday’s game at Northwestern.

Survey outlines Iowans’ use of state parks and desired improvements

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The results of a statewide survey released today (Wednesday) will be used to devise a plan to make improvements to Iowa’s 87 state parks. The Iowa Parks Foundation (IPF), using private donations, financed the survey and will also pay for development of the strategic plan. Joe Gunderson, Secretary of the IPF Board, said the survey makes it clear that state parks are important to Iowans. “Almost 80-percent of Iowans use Iowa State Parks,” Gunderson said. “It is the single greatest, most used Iowa state asset. Nothing else is used like our state park system.” More than 12-hundred (1,200) Iowans completed surveys. Two-thirds of the respondents indicated it’s “very important” to maintain and improve state park trails and lakes.

Gunderson said the next step involves the development of a strategic plan to implement the desired improvements. “We hope to stand here in front of you a year from now and show you those results,” Gunderson said at a statehouse news conference. He was joined by IPF Treasurer Mark Doll. “We’re going to go through a thorough planning process and we are going to raise money for that,” Doll said. “That’s going to be 100-percent funded by this group again – by individuals, corporations and families. That’s the next piece. We’ve got the survey done and now we’ll do the strategic plan to be sure we know where we’re going next.”

Governor Terry Branstad and former Congressman Neal Smith founded the IPF in 2008. Branstad believes improvements to Iowa’s State Parks can be paid for with both private and public dollars. “I think if you want to look at how things like this can be accomplished – look at the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and how that was so successful in getting private sector support and legislative support, making sure we had an effective partnership that’s led to the revitalization of the Fairgrounds,” Branstad said. The governor doubts Iowans would support a “park user fee” as a way to cover the costs of fixing up the state parks.

“We tried that once and it was not a good experience,” Branstad said. “A lot of time was spent trying to collect a relatively small amount of money and it drove down the participation and use of our parks.” The survey found nearly four out of five Iowa households have been to an Iowa State Park in the past two years. Branstad is hoping many of the improvements to the parks can be completed by 2020, which will mark the centennial of the founding the Iowa Parks System.

(Radio Iowa)

Trailways Bus searched for homicide suspect in Cass County – false alarm


October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Deputies from Cass and Pottawattamie County, along with Iowa State Patrol Troopers coordinated efforts to stop a Trailways Bus Tuesday night on Interstate 80 in western Iowa. Cass County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Westering told KJAN News the bus was on its way from Omaha to points east when authorities received word at around 10:40-p.m. a “homicide suspect” from Omaha was on the coach.

Westring says the report indicated there was a warrant for the suspect. The bus was stopped at the Highway 71/Atlantic interchange – Exit 60 – but were unable to located the subject of the search. The bus and its passengers were detained for about 50-minutes before they were allowed to continue on their way. It’s not clear he said, if it was a false report from a tip to authorities, or incorrect information.

Omaha couple arrested for 2010 arson fire in Atlantic


October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Wednesday, that a couple from Omaha, NE, were arrested this week in connection with a December 14, 2010 arson fire in Atlantic. 29-year old Elizabeth Kautter and 27-year old William Kautter, were both charged with Arson in the 1st Degree, a Class-B felony. William Kautter was also charged with six counts of Attempt to Commit Murder, which is also a Class-B felony.

Officials say at around 8:50-p.m. December 14th, firefighters were called to a fire at a single-family home located at 601 East 6th Street in Atlantic. Upon arrival, firefighters observed a fire had ignited on the porch and quickly spread into the home’s main entrance. The homeowners, Myron and Jolynne Gill, along with one of their adult children and three juveniles, were in the home at the time, but all escaped without injury.

An investigation conducted by the Atlantic Police Department, Atlantic Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, indicated the blaze was caused by gasoline being poured across the front door and porch before being ignited. Complaints and Affidavits filed in coordination with the arrest of William and Elizabeth Kautter said prior to the fire, William Kautter had made several harassing phone calls, threatened physical harm and death to the Gill family.

In addition, cell phone records showed the Kautter’s had traveled to Iowa from Omaha the night of the fire, and, Elizabeth Kautter was seen purchasing gasoline at an Atlantic area gas station on December 14th, 2010. William Kautter was arrested and charged in May 2012, for making terroristic threats. In August 2012, he plead guilty to a lesser charge.