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Unruly man forces Southwest jet to divert flight to Omaha

News

April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door midflight. The airline said the Chicago-to-Sacramento plane landed on Eppley Airfield Sunday to “have an unruly passenger removed” before continuing on to its destination. The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule.

Monique Lawler told KABC-TV after reaching her final destination in Los Angeles, that the man acted strangely during the flight, and that at one point he came out of the bathroom soaking wet. She said when he went to the back of the cabin to try to pry open the door, a flight attendant screamed for help.

Once on the ground, a doctor onboard told KCRA-TV he and two other passengers tackled the man in the back of the cabin and restrained him until air marshals escorted him off the plane. Scott Porter said the man “was going to do bad things to the plane.”

The airline had no further details about the passenger.

Non-injury accident in Red Oak, Saturday

News

April 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say no injuries were reported following a collision Saturday morning, in Red Oak. Officials say a 2003 Chrysler van driven by 83-year old Paul Russell, of Red Oak, was traveling west on East Reed Street at around 8:50-a.m., when it was hit by a 2009 Chevy Impala that was headed north on North 2nd Street. The driver of the car, 23-year old Patrick Hall, of Red Oak, was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

Damage from the crash amounted to $3,300.

I-80 2nd accident report

News

April 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Following the second of two major accidents that occurred Saturday morning on I-80 in Cass County, the Iowa State Patrol says 54-year old Donna Hohnbaum, of  Oregon, WI., was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, in Atlantic.  Hohnbaum was a passenger in a 2009 Subaru Outback that ran into the rear of a 2013 Freightliner semi.

The Patrol says both vehicles were traveling west on I-80 at around 10:12-a.m., when a grass fire on the south side of the Interstate caused heavy smoke to roll across the interstate, and created a multi-vehicle accident. The semi, driven by 53-year old John Wetherell, of Elsinore, UT, began to brake for the accidents ahead, when it was hit by the Subaru, driven by 56-year old Charles Hohnbaum, of Oregon, WI.

Neither driver was injured.

ISP releases Saturday I-80 accident reports

News

April 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol, Sunday, released more information about a multi-vehicle collision that took place Saturday morning on Interstate 80 in Cass County. There were two separate accident reports. Both collisions  occurred at 10:12-a.m., at the 67-mile marker.  The first accident resulted in one person being sent to the hospital.

The Patrol says one of the crashes happened as a 1999 Ford pickup driven by 69-year old Leroy C. Brown, of Leon, KS, was pulling a camper westbound on I-80. When Brown slowed for dense smoke blowing across the interstate from a field fire south of the interstate, his trailer was hit from behind by a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by 19-year old Chyann Smith, of Storm Lake. A 2007 GMC box truck driven by 50-year old Christopher W. Henley, of Brandon, SD, was behind the Grand Prix and was hit by a 2011 International semi driven by 63-year old Thomas Maune, of St. Louis, MO.

The impact sent the GMC truck into the rear of the Grand Prix, which then spun across the median into the eastbound lanes of traffic and back into the median, before it came to rest. The GMC box truck then struck the pickup/camper, causing heavy damage to the camper/trailer. The pickup/Camper/trailer came to rest on the north shoulder of the road, with the trailer partially on the shoulder and partially in the north ditch. The box truck continued into the median and came to rest. Henley was transported by ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital.

The Patrol says after the semi hit the box truck, it slowed and began to pull onto the shoulder, when a 2014 Ford motorhome and towing a vehicle, driven by 75-year old Donald Billings, of Sun City, CA, came upon the crash and swerved to avoid hitting the semi. The motorhome’s right rear side hit the left rear of the semi’s trailer. The impact caused the car-in-tow to break free from the motorhome, which crossed the median and came back into the westbound lanes before coming to rest on the shoulder.

At that point, a 2012 International semi driven by 22-year old John Merritt, of Martinsville, MO., collided with the vehicle that was being towed by the motorhome and the trailer of the 2011 semi. The towed vehicle was pinned to the front of the semi, causing extensive fire damage to the towed vehicle and the semi driven by Merritt. Both semis came to rest on the shoulder of the road, with Merritt’s rig partially blocking the traveled portion of the Interstate.

Westbound traffic was subsequently shut down for roughly 5 hours and detoured off the interstate, while the eastbound lanes were reopened after emergency vehicles left the scene.

Senate panel likely to continue, broaden inquiry

News

April 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Senate Democratic leaders say their questions about government payments to former workers for secrecy and other issues will continue after the Legislature adjourns for the year.  While lawmakers appear to be on track to end the session within a few weeks, the Senate Government Oversight Committee is likely to keep pursuing the matter.

Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, who chairs the oversight committee, has set the next hearing for Monday afternoon, when two Department of Administrative Services officials who declined to testify last week say they will appear. They are Doug Woodley, the agency’s general services enterprise chief operating officer, and Paul Carlson, the chief resource maximization officer.

Peterson says she wants to know more about settlement agreements and how the state handled layoffs during 2011 restructuring.

Red Oak man injured during motorcycle crash not discovered until Sat.

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Authorities have corrected victims’ name to Thomas Anderson, not Richard Anderson)

In a report released Saturday night, Police in Council Bluffs said a Montgomery County man was injured during a motorcycle accident that happened sometime Thursday night near Council Bluffs City limits. 55-year old Thomas Anderson, of Red Oak, was riding a motorcycle northbound on Interstate 29 when he was cut-off by a semi. The cycle crashed into the ditch east of the interstate at about the 47.2-mile marker. The accident was discovered by a passing motorist Saturday, who called 9-1-1 after he saw the cycle, pulled over to investigate, and found Anderson lying nearby. Officials say the man was not visible from the road.

Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue responded and transported Anderson to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. The man was conscious and breathing and is believed to have suffered non-life threatening injuries. There was no further information available on the semi.

Dead fish found in Iowa after crash, ammonia leak

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa (AP) – Environmental specialists with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are investigating following the crash of ammonia tanks into a western Iowa creek. The department says dead fish were discovered downstream from where two anhydrous ammonia tanks and a tractor fell into Brushy Creek north of Guthrie Center on Friday. The driver of the tractor, 34-year old Michael Haag, of Adair, was transported by Guthrie Center Rescue to the Guthrie County Hospital.

The John Deere 9510R tractor was pulling a disc and the two tanks when an old wooden bridge it was crossing on Oak Avenue, between 200th and 210th Street, collapsed, and the equipment fell into the creek. Investigators determined that the valves of the tanks had been shut off and that there was no fuel leaking from the tractor, but that some ammonia leaked into the water.

Some dead fish and elevated ammonia levels were found as far downstream as Monteith, about five miles southeast of Guthrie Center.

IA State Patrol: No serious injuries in multi-vehicle crash on I-80

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ADAIR, Iowa (AP) – Iowa authorities said a grass fire shut down about a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 80 near Adair.

Close-up pics courtesy Mike Kennon/Cass Co. Emergency Management Agency.

Close-up pics courtesy Mike Kennon/Cass Co. Emergency Management Agency.

truck1 The Iowa Department of Transportation’s road conditions map show that I-80 is closed in both directions between exit 57, east of Walnut, and exit 70, just west of Adair. A detour has been set up.  (As of 11:35, one-lane of I-80 eastbound was re-opened).

Looking west along I-80 eastbound. Ric Hanson/KJAN photo

Looking west along I-80 eastbound. Ric Hanson/KJAN photo

I-80 looking eastbound from 710th St. in Cass Co.

I-80 looking eastbound from 710th St. in Cass Co.

Authorities were cleaning up a crash near the grass fire. Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says there were no serious injuries in the crash, and that officials do not believe the crash and fire are related.

Bright says officials shut down the stretch of I-80 for fear that smoke from the fire could cut visibility and cause collisions.

Local Residents Invited to Discussion on Local Foods and Farmers Markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Coordinators of a grant related to local farmers markets are looking for public input. The Cass County Local Food Policy Council received a USDA grant late last year to support and promote farmers markets as access points for local grown food. The grant committee is in the process of holding community meetings to get ideas and suggestions from interested local residents and businesses.

Organizers have already met with groups in Anita and Massena to discuss support for community farmers markets. The Atlantic community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15th, from 4:30 to 6 PM in the meeting room at the Atlantic Chamber. Anyone interested in supporting or helping with local markets like the “Produce in the Park” project that has happened for the last two summers is welcome to attend to learn more and give their input.

Those who are unable to attend are still welcome to contact organizers LaVon Eblen, Lora Kanning at Cass County Conservation, Teddi Grindberg at the YMCA or Kate Olson at the Cass County Extension Office to share ideas or express interest in being involved with the project.

Traffic blocked for miles on I-80 in Cass and Adair Counties Sat. morning

News

April 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Traffic was at a standstill for miles this (Saturday) morning on Interstate 80 between mile markers 60 and 70, both east and westbound, due to a multiple vehicle accident at around 10:15-a.m. on I-80 eastbound at the 67-mile marker. Numerous fire and rescue personnel and law enforcement officers were on the scene directing traffic. A large grass fire near the accident scene was put out by around 11:15-a.m. At least one lane of eastbound I-80 was reopened as of 11:35-a.m.

There’s been no word on any injuries.

Looking onto I-80 from the 710th Street Bridge in Cass County, between Anita and Wiota. Ric Hanson photos.

Looking onto I-80 from the 710th Street Bridge in Cass County, between Anita and Wiota. Ric Hanson photos.

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