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Copper siding stolen from museum in Council Bluffs


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Copper siding has been stolen from a museum in Council Bluffs.  The Daily Nonpareil says police reported the theft on Wednesday. The siding is valued at $1,000. It apparently was taken early Saturday morning from the Western Historic Trails Center.  The museum is owned by the state of Iowa.

(Update) No barn fire – just corn bales


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our story last hour about a reported hoop barn fire near Harlan, Harlan Fire Chief Roger Bissen (Bee’sun) told KJAN News the fire was actually in about a half-dozen bales of corn stored inside the barn, and not so much the structure, contrary to earlier information we received. Tractors were removing the bales from inside the structure, prior to the bales being extinguished. The hoop barn sustained some damage to the canvass-style fabric covering structure.

Several fire departments were dispatched to the scene east of Harlan, including those from Harlan, Irwin, Kimballton, Kirkman and Defiance. The blaze occurred at a farm near the intersection of Highway 44 and Shelby County Road M-47, just before 6-a.m.

No injuries have been reported. Bissen said crews would remain on the scene for another couple of hours.

Fire reported east of Harlan Friday morning


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Several fire departments have been dispatched to a fire east of Harlan this (Friday) morning. Firefighters from Harlan, Irwin, Kimballton, Kirkman and Defiance were called to the scene of the blaze near the intersection of Highway 44 and Shelby County Road M-47, just before 6-a.m.

A Shelby County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher said a hoop barn was on fire at that location, but no other details are currently available.

Deadly drug “krokodil” feared to be enroute to Iowa


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An extremely dangerous homemade narcotic which is being called “the worst drug in the world” is suspected in recent cases in several states and will likely make it to Iowa in the coming weeks. It’s called “krokodil” (crock-ah-dial) and the toxic mix often results in amputations and can dissolve jawbones and teeth, much like methamphetamine, according to registered nurse Tammy Noble at the Iowa Poison Control Center.

“It causes the skin to become kind of scaly, almost like what you’d think of with a crocodile, similar to that, and oftentimes a green appearance,” Noble says, “because it’s eating the body from the inside out where this drug comes into contact with the tissues.” One key ingredient is over-the-counter codeine-based headache pills mixed with iodine, gasoline, paint thinner or alcohol. Krokodil is believed to be behind several recent cases in Arizona, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Noble, the poison center’s education coordinator, fears it will eventually reach Iowa, likely sooner than later.

“It used to be it would take months before we would start seeing it in the Midwest but because of the media, social media, now we are starting to see these drugs of abuse appear much quicker in the Midwest,” Noble says. “It’s only a matter of time before we’re going to start seeing it in our area.” Reports say the drug first appeared in Russia about a decade ago but has quickly gained popularity in the past three years.

“It’s cheaper than people using heroin so some of the users are former heroin users who are now using this as an alternative,” Noble says. “What happens is, when people are using it, it ends up rotting the skin from the inside out.” Krokodil may cost three times less heroin and the high is similar — though much shorter — usually around 90 minutes. Reports say the average life expectancy among krokodil addicts in Russia is two to three years. Noble says anyone with concerns about this drug and other poisons can call the Sioux City-based Iowa Poison Control Center around-the-clock at 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

Villisca man named Farmer of the Year by a non-profit organization

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The non-profit Easter Seals Iowa organization has named a 50-year old Villisca man as its “Farmer of the Year.” The Daily NonPareil reports Russell Boseck received the honor Nov. 19th during the Easter Seals Iowa annual meeting at Camp Sunnyside, in Des Moines. Easter Seals is a group that ensures people with disabilities and special needs have equal opportunities. Russell has farmed for 20 years and utilizes a wheelchair.

Boseck said he overcame a lot of things because of his disability. He was still motivated to do hard work on his father’s farm, which he took over about six years ago. Boseck started a bottle calf program for day-old calves. He cares for about 200 calves each year. He then transports, raises and sells them. A new calf barn also was designed with a steel structure, which allowed small pens to be placed for wheelchair accessibility.

Boseck sells his cattle mostly through Internet sales and livestock auctions. His customers have included those from western Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas City, Mo.

Iowa DOT spending on road construction rises in 2013


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation has spent more money on road construction in 2013 than in past years. Mark Bortle, with the D-O-T, says the department typically spends 400 to 500 million dollars annually, but this year’s projects are a bit bigger. “As of the end of October, we’ve spent $523 million,” Bortle said. Much of the money is being spent on major projects in western Iowa. “Probably the biggest ones are in the Council Bluffs and Sioux City areas as we continue to rebuild and rehabilitate the interstate system in those two areas,” Bortle said. Those two projects are far from being completed.

“Those are multi-year, multi-faceted projects,” Bortle said. “We’re going to be out there for a long time to get that work completed.” The D-O-T will have road crews and equipment off the roads before the first major snowfall, according to Bortle. He said motorists can expect a few delays in their holiday travels due to construction. Details of those projects are available at www.511ia.org.

(Radio Iowa)

Attorney general to distribute $43 million to Iowans scammed in “buying clubs”


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says the state is getting over 40 million dollars in settlements with companies that used “deceptive practices” to enroll consumers in discount and membership buying clubs. “People are cheated out of small amounts of money many, many times,” Miller says.  Miller argues most consumers had no idea they’d been signed up for the clubs after an unrelated transaction with a bank or retailer. Miller says the companies marketed the buying club memberships as free, 30-day trial offers.

“Forty-five days go by, you get the bill and there’s $8 on there,” Miller says. “You think: ‘Well, I don’t remember that, but it’s only $8.’ And again, they focus group it and see what the breaking point is of people not checking — large numbers of people, that is — might be $8 or $10, so you leave it on there and it’s on there for a few months, maybe a year.” Miller’s prosecuting team estimated Americans lost about two-billion dollars a year in these kind of “buying club” schemes.

“And Iowa’s one percent of the population, so we estimated that Iowans lost $20 million a year, so we sued Vertrue, the largest of these companies,” Miller says. After two trials in Polk County District Court, the State of Iowa won — and the court in 2011 ordered the company to pay 28 million dollars. The company appealed the case to the Iowa Supreme Court — which required posting a 32-million dollar bond. Miller says the company filed for bankruptcy before the Supreme Court issued its ruling this past summer.

“The Supreme Court then found for us on basically all the issues, increased the judgment to $40 million,” Miller says. “We won’t get the $40 (million), but we’ll get $32 million that’s on a bond through an insurance company and because we were successful on this case we were able to settle with the other (buying club) operators for another $11 million, so it’s about $43 million that we, over the next year, will be distributing to Iowans.” Companies like Vertrue run multiple discount clubs that offer credit monitoring, discounts on travel and even roadside assistance for a monthly fee.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Nov. 29th 2013


November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City schools soon will begin using a new scanning system to check the identification of visitors. The City Press-Citizen says the Iowa City Community School District has spent about $600 at each school to install the Raptor visitor management system.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge increased a teenage girl’s bond to $500,000 after her murder case was moved to adult court. KCRG reports the 16-year-old girl’s bond was increased on Wednesday. Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden the change was warranted because of the severity of the crime. The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify juveniles charged with crimes.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 22-year-old man convicted of shooting a Sioux City police officer has pleaded not guilty to federal robbery charges in a separate case. Jamal Dean entered his pleas Wednesday to robbery, conspiracy and other charges. Authorities say Dean, his brother, Levon Dean, and Sarah Berg of Sioux City were involved in the gunpoint robbery at a Sioux City home in April. A few days later Dean shot and wounded Sioux City Officer Kevin McCormick during a traffic stop.

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters donned rescue suits and ice cleats to help two deer that had been stranded on slippery Clear Lake in northern Iowa. The Clear Lake Fire Department was notified around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday that the animals were floundering about 400 yards from shore before being rescued.

8AM Newscast 11-28-2013

News, Podcasts

November 28th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowan who shot officer pleads not guilty in heist


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 22-year-old man convicted of shooting a Sioux City police officer has pleaded not guilty to federal robbery charges in a separate case.  Jamal Dean entered his pleas on Wednesday to robbery, conspiracy and other charges. Authorities say Dean, his brother, Levon Dean, and Sarah Berg, of Sioux City, were involved in the gunpoint robbery at a Sioux City home in April.

A few days later Dean shot Sioux City Officer Kevin McCormick during a traffic stop. McCormick returned to work two weeks later. Dean was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Levon Dean and Berg also have pleaded not guilty. The trial for all three is scheduled to begin Feb. 3rd.