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Bluffs residents confront burglars Sun. night


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two Council Bluffs residents came home late Sunday night to find a woman and a man had broken into their apartment. According to Bluffs Police, officers responded at 11:50-p.m. to an apartment complex at 35 Bluff Street, following a report an armed subject had just broken into one of the apartments. The victims, 31-year old Anastaschia Hughes, and 50-year old Shannon Hughes, found 26-year old Jennifer Malone, of Council Bluffs, and a male subject, inside the home.

When the residents confronted the two intruders, the male produced a knife and allegedly attempted to slash Shannon Hughes, who was not injured. The two suspects fled area on foot, but Malone was found and arrested on a charge of Burglary in the 1st Degree. The male suspect was not located.

An investigation into the incident continues. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 712-328-4765.

Red Oak man arrested on drug charges this morning


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a local man was arrested on drug charges early this (Monday) morning. 33-year old Anthony David Smith, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 1:30-a.m. at E. Oak and N. 6th Streets. Smith was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His bond was set at $1,000 cash.

About 90-minutes earlier, 47-year old Harry Lee Barnum, Jr., of Red Oak, was arrested near N. 6th and E. Oak Streets. Barnum was taken into custody at around midnight, on a charge of OWI/2nd offense. His cash bond was set at $2,000.

Memorial Day 2015 – area schedule


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Memorial Day observations and ceremonies and related events are slated to take place today across the State and nation. Locally, services are scheduled to begin at 10-a.m. in the commons area at the Atlantic High School (Updated 6:45-a.m.) This is a change of location from the Atlantic Cemetery. KJAN will broadcast the service live.

In Anita, Memorial Day observances will be held at the CAM High School at 10:30am. (Updated 8:10am) This is a change of location from the Anita Evergreen Cemetery.

Audubon’s Memorial Day services will be held at Arlington Cemetery, beginning at 10-a.m.  In Brayton, the service will be held at the Brayton Town Hall beginning at 10-a.m.

In Elk Horn, American Legion Post 322 services will be held beginning at 9:30-a.m., at the Clay Township Cemetery; There will also be a 10-a.m. service at the Monroe Methodist Cemetery, and a church service at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church at 11-a.m. will be followed by a Military service at the cemetery. In Exira, services will take place at 9:45-a.m. in the Rec Center (Updated 9:20-a.m.), with a patriotic interlude by the Exira Community Band.

In Grant, services will be held in the Grant Cemetery at 11-a.m, followed by the Grant United Methodist Church’s annual Memorial Day Dinner from 11:30 am – 1 pm on May 25th for a free-will offering. The menu includes: sloppy joe or ham sandwich, baked beans, assorted salads, pies and desserts, and coffee, tea or lemonade. All money raised by the dinner supports the Grant United Methodist Women and their work for mission projects and the Grant church.

In Kimballton, AMVETS Post 51 will hold services at Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery at Jacksonville, beginning at 9:30-a.m.

In Lewis, there will be a Pancake Breakfast serviced by the Lewis Town & Country Boosters and The Pancake Man. The event takes place at the Lewis Community Center from 7:30-a.m. until 10:30-a.m., with pancakes, sausages, juice and coffee all for your free will donation.

And in Walnut, Memorial Day services will be held in the Layton Township Cemetery beginning at 10-a.m.

Home Base Iowa now a year old


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

It was one year ago on Memorial Day that Governor Terry Branstad signed the “Home Base Iowa” bill into law. The law creates several benefits for veterans in an effort to get them to live in Iowa once they leave the military. Casey’s General Stores C-E-O Bob Myers, and former Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell are the co-chairs of the Home Base Iowa effort. Myers says a lot has happened since the program got going.

“We do know that at this point the number of hires is over 13 hundred,” Myer says. He says in the year since the signing of the legislation, Iowa moved from a “veterans unfriendly state, to a veterans friendly state.” Myers says his company has hired veterans through the program and they have worked out very well. Myers says he is a member of the Iowa Business Council and its 20 members have pledged to hire 25-hundred veterans over the course of the next five years. “So, many of those 13-hundred hires are part of the Iowa Business Council partnership, so we should all be proud of the fact that we’ve hired that many veterans,” according to Myers.

Myers and Boswell are both Vietnam veterans. Boswell says they understand what it means to veterans to be able to get a job and contribute to society once they get out of the military. “The whole idea behind this Home Base Iowa was the fact that 250-thousand or plus men and women are being pushed out of the service. They are there, they are volunteers. The preponderance of those have been there 10 or more years, they are not qualified to retire or do anything like that,” Boswell says. He says the program takes advantage of the skills and training the soldiers got in the military.

“They’ve got a lot of talent, they’ve got a experience, they are motivated, so we extended out this program to bring them to Iowa,” Boswell says. Boswell says the effort is not done. “If it stopped today it would be a success story, but it’s not going to stop, it’s got momentum,” Boswell says. Myer says the cut back in U-S forces continues, and while that may turnaround sometime, he doesn’t see that happening in the immediate future.

“We still have a need if you will, to employ veterans who are leaving the services until that changes,” Myers says. “And it may not change, and it won’t change for the next couple of years. That’s what I see going on right now.” Some of the provisions of the law eliminate state income taxes on military pensions for soldiers and their surviving spouses. It also makes it easier for soldiers to earn academic credit for their military training and experience, if they decide to seek a degree at an Iowa college or university.

In addition, state boards are required to take into account a soldier’s military skills when the soldier applies for a professional license. Those interested in the program can find out more information at: www.homebaseiowa.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Officials hope for a safer year on Iowa’s waterways


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans are spending the Memorial Day holiday on the water and Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials are hoping this boating season is a safer one than last year. Susan Stocker is the DNR’s boating law administrator and education coordinator. She says there were 32 boating “incidents” in Iowa in 2014 with seven fatalities. There have already been two fatal boating mishaps this year and one occurred this weekend.

Lake Okoboji in NW Iowa (File photo)

Lake Okoboji in NW Iowa (File photo)

An Oskaloosa man was killed on Saturday when the boat he was operating overturned, throwing him and a passenger into Rathbun Lake. Fifty-year-old Gregory Williams was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center in Centerville. The passenger was not seriously injured. Investigators say the boat rolled after making a sharp turn. Rough water caused by windy conditions may’ve contributed to the incident. On April 11, a Waldorf College student died when his small kayak overturned in a waterway in Hancock County.

National statistics show more than 8 out of 10 people who die from drowning in a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket. Stocker says even people who consider themselves to be a good swimmer should wear a life jacket. “When you’re in car, you don’t expect to get in a car accident, so we all wear our seatbelts because it’s required. In a boat, you don’t expect to get in a boating accident, but just like in a car, you won’t have time to put on a life jacket…and if you’re unconscious, you’ve got nothing,” Stocker says.

Iowa law requires children who are 12-and-under to wear a life jacket while the boat is in operation. Stocker says boating while intoxicated (BWI) arrests have been steadily declining in Iowa since 2011 when lawmakers lowered the legal limit for drunk boating to a blood-alcohol level of point-oh-eight (.08). “What we’re finding is people do have a designated driver,” Stocker says.

According to Stocker, a person’s senses and judgment are impacted even greater when they’re on a boat and drinking alcohol. “In a boat, you’ve got the wind, the waves and the glare…and the effects of one beer or one alcoholic beverage you might have on land is going to be double or triple when you’re on the water,” Stocker says. Nationally, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. It’s listed as the leading factor in nearly one-fourth of deaths in boat crashes.

(Radio Iowa)

1 boater rescued, another missing near Burlington


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR said late Sunday evening one boater was rescued, but another is missing, after the small jon boat they were in went over the roller dam at Lock and Dam 18 near Burlington. The one boater was in the water holding a log in the Mississippi River when he was rescued by Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officer Paul Kay late Sunday afternoon.

The search for the other missing occupant of the boat will continue on Monday when
there is daylight. The names of the boaters were being withheld pending notification of relatives. The incident remains under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department.

Iowa early News Headlines: Memorial Day (Mon., May 25th 2015)


May 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers who have been dealing with thousands of dead chickens attracting flies for weeks are frustrated with the government’s response to the ongoing bird flu outbreak. The Des Moines Register reports several chicken and turkey farmers expressed their concerns at public meetings in northwest Iowa Saturday. Merlin DeGroot says he’s waiting for government crews to dispose of his dead chickens, but the agencies involved haven’t coordinated plans well.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As budget talks drag on in the state Capitol, educators are growing increasingly frustrated. School funding has been a central point of conflict throughout the legislative session, with the Democratic-led Senate seeking to provide more new dollars than the Republican-controlled House for the 2015 to 2016 academic year. The two sides are about $50 million apart on funding.

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is working his way through small-town Iowa one handshake, bear hug and backslap at a time. The early, hands-on approach from the 2016 presidential prospect contrasts with his failed bid four years ago, when he entered the Republican race relatively late and stumbled in debates.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Council Bluffs have arrested a man after the stolen car he was driving smashed into parked cars and a house. KETV reports the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. Sunday in Council Bluffs. Police say a 22-year-old man’s vehicle hit an oncoming minivan and two parked cars before striking a house.

Some Iowa farmers upset with government’s bird flu response

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers who have been dealing with thousands of dead chickens attracting flies for weeks are frustrated with the government’s response to the ongoing bird flu outbreak. The Des Moines Register reports several chicken and turkey farmers expressed their concerns at public meetings in northwest Iowa Saturday.

Merlin DeGroot says he’s waiting for government crews to dispose of his dead chickens, but the agencies involved haven’t coordinated plans well. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the size of the bird flu outbreak is unprecedented and the government is working to respond.

More than 25 million chickens, turkeys and ducks have been killed in Iowa, and it has taken time to find places to dispose of their carcasses. Two landfills in the state recently agreed to take birds.

McCain, Ernst, et al. to travel to Vietnam & Singapore this week


May 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will lead a Senate delegation visit to Vietnam and Singapore this week at a critical time for U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The delegation visiting Vietnam, which is marking the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations with the United States – an effort in which Senator McCain played a leading role – will include Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK). In Singapore, the delegation will be joined by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

In Vietnam, senators will meet with top government officials and civil society leaders in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to discuss a range of vital security and economic issues. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

In Singapore, senators will participate in the The Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual conclave of Asia-Pacific defense ministers and policy makers, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

4 escape serious injury after going over spillway in eastern IA


May 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MUSCATINE – Four people escaped serious injury when the boat they were in went over the spillway at Lock and Dam 16 near Muscatine late Saturday evening. Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Sunday, the fiberglass runabout boat being operated by 41-year old Kevin Mundt, of Orion, Ill., went over the spillway shortly before 11- p.m. on Saturday at a high rate of speed landing in about two feet of water. Both Mundt and 20-year old Jenna Bundy, also of Orion, Ill., were transported to Trinity Hospital in Muscatine where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The other passengers in the boat, 31-year old Daniel Dick, 31, and 33-year old Amanda Dick, both of LeClaire, were ejected from the boat, but uninjured. None of the occupants of the boat were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident, but did put them on before swimming and wading to shore.

The incident remains under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.