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Creston convenience store reports theft of gas and merchandise


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A Creston convenience store reported to Police Wednesday morning that sometime between 5-and 5:30-p.m. Tuesday, a customer entered the Casey’s General Store on E. Townline Road, and left without paying for merchandise or gas that was pumped. The loss was estimated at $60.

Tale of two winters in Iowa: 20+ inches of snow in north, only 2 inches in south

News, Weather

January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

We’re several weeks into winter and although it’s been extremely cold and icy at times, many Iowans have yet to see much snow. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says only a few inches of snow have fallen in areas of central and southern Iowa, which typically receives 10 to 12 inches of snow by this point in the season. “Especially when you get down to the southwest corner of Iowa – places like Red Oak, Clarinda, Shenandoah and even down to Lamoni to the east – they’ve only received about two inches of snow so far this winter season,” Hillaker says.

Most of THAT snow fell in December. Sections of northeast Iowa, meanwhile, have been hit with some heavy snow storms. “Several places – Decorah, Osage, Cresco – that part of the state has received around 20 inches or more of snow, which is actually just barely above normal for that corner of the state,” Hillaker says.

Much of north-central and northeast Iowa has had snow cover since December 10. That snow will finally be melting away with the warmer weather that’s expected through the weekend. Hillaker says if it would’ve been a bit colder earlier this week, the rain and ice storm could’ve buried the state in snow.

“If it would’ve been ideal snow conditions with the amount of moisture we had, we probably would’ve seen roughly three to four inches of snow in northwestern Iowa and up to 10 to 12 inches in the southern part of the state,” Hillaker says.

This winter has been slightly COLDER than normal, but that’s about to change. “December ended about one-half-degree cooler than usual and January, up through the first 17 days of the month, is also one-half-degree below the average for the month,” Hillaker says. “But, we certainly have some very mild weather on the way for the rest of this week and maybe a little bit into next week as well.”

High temperatures for the remainder of the work week are expected to range from the mid-30s in northern Iowa to the upper 40s south.

(Radio Iowa)

Next CCHS “Heathy U session….Nutrition: The Simple Truths


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The next session of the Cass County Health System’s “Healthy U” series will be held next  Thursday, January 26th at noon, at CCHS. The presentation this month will be given by Emily Krengel, R.D., L.D., and is entitled, “Nutrition: The Simple Truths.”

Krengel sys “What you hear about nutrition in the media seems to change frequently. “It can be confusing to sort through the fact and fiction about food.”

Healthy U is a free, educational session that is open to the public, and it is held at noon in Conference Room 2 at Cass County Health System. Reservations are needed, as box lunches are provided. To reserve your spot, please call 712-243-7479.

CCHS Registered/Licenses Dietician Emily Krengel.

Judge rejects plea deal in Iowa teen’s sex abuse case


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge has rejected a plea deal for a teenager accused of sexually abusing a mentally disabled woman in suburban Des Moines.  The Des Moines Register reports Judge Robert Blink said Wednesday that the deal wasn’t constitutional because it wasn’t clear Nicholas Fifield was fully advised of his legal options. The judge set an April 24 trial date.

A criminal complaint says Fifield, then a 17-year-old West Des Moines high school student, met the 18-year-old woman online and took her on a date in December 2015. The complaint says they went to his house and had sex, even though the woman said “no” several times.

He entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor assault, meaning he maintained his innocence but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.

13-year-old charged with attempted murder in Fort Dodge


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder for shooting a man just a few blocks from an elementary school in Fort Dodge. The boy was arrested Tuesday. His name isn’t being released because of his age.

Police say 24-year-old Robert Rivers Jr. was shot around 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 28 near Butler Elementary School. He was hospitalized. The school went into a lockdown for about 30 minutes because of the incident.

UPDATED: Veterans groups seek doubling of property tax credit for vets


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

“Veterans Day” events were held Wednesday, at the state Capitol. Organizers say much progress has been made to provide relief to veterans, but the groups involved are pressing for legislative action on a few key issues, like DOUBLING the property tax credit for veterans. “I urge our veterans with us today to locate your elected officials and discuss our legislative initiatives with them.”

That’s Bob Steben, interim director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. He was among more than a dozen speakers at an hour-long event in the statehouse rotunda. Brigadier General Drew DeHaes of the Iowa Air National Guard leads units based in Des Moines, Sioux City and Fort Dodge. “Working together, we can tackle any issue,” DeHaes said.

The veterans groups are asking legislators to waive registration and license fees for the vehicles disabled veterans drive. State officials say there are 37-thousand disabled veterans living in Iowa today. Many of the veterans lobbying at the statehouse were wearing their medals, caps and some even came in their old uniforms. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds called it a “phenomenal turn-out.”

Governor Terry Branstad took a sick day Tuesday, but he was at the event Wednesday to welcome veterans to the capitol. Branstad, a veteran who served stateside during the Vietnam era, did not address the specific agenda items veterans groups are asking lawmakers to enact this year. Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “Having spent 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, I understand that each of us stands here today as free men and women because of the sacrifices of our veterans,” Holt said.

Holt promised to be “tenacious” in addressing veterans issues in the legislature.
Representative Jerry Kearns, a Democrat from Keokuk, served in the Air Force in the 1960s. “I encourage all of our vets here today to contact your legislators on your issues of concern,” Kearns said, “and we’ll try to listen all we can.”Kearns is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, 1/19/2017


January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CST

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City leaders have decided the city won’t help federal officials enforce immigration law. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday for a resolution that says the city _ with few exceptions for public safety _ will take no law enforcement action and won’t spend any city money to aid the feds. The council decided at a previous meeting not to declare itself a “sanctuary city.”

ADEL, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with killing another man in Waukee has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Des Moines Register reports that 44-year-old Brendan Michael McGuinness, of Waukee, had been set to go to trial Jan. 30, but entered his plea Wednesday in Dallas County. He shot 41-year-old Gino Risola at least four times in Risola’s driveway on Nov. 7, 2015.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A beloved Loras College building in Dubuque damaged last year by fire has been demolished. The Telegraph Herald reports that crews began tearing down the north building of the Loras Visitation Complex around 11 a.m. Wednesday. The building was fully razed by early afternoon. A March 16 fire severely damaged the 126-year-old building. Officials initially intended to rebuild, but later determined it would be too expensive.

NEOLA, Iowa (AP) — The former city clerk for Neola in southwest Iowa has pleaded guilty to misconduct after state officials found misspending or mishandling of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports 56-year-old Deb Schierbrock pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pottawattamie County court to three counts of non-felonious misconduct in office.

3 Atlantic Police Officers promoted Wed. night


January 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, Wednesday evening, administered the Oath of Office to three, current Atlantic Police Officers who have moved up in the ranks due a retirement and promotion of Dave Erickson to Chief of Police. The Oaths were administered to Sgt. Paul Wood, Officers Dustin Pieken and Devin Hogue during a regular meeting of the Atlantic City Council.

Sgt. Paul Wood, who has served the City for almost 13 years, was promoted to Lieutenant, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Lt. Jon Parsons. Officer Dustin Pieken, who has served the City for nearly 10-years, was promoted to Sergeant, to fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Paul Wood. And, Officer Devin Hogue was promoted to Lieutenant, to fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Dave Erickson to Police Chief. Hogue has been an Atlantic Police Officer for almost 6-years.


Dustin Pieken

Paul Wood

Property taxes could be going up 1.48% in Atlantic


January 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic’s City Administrator delivered some unwanted news for residential and commercial property owners during Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting. John Lund said while figuring the preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 City Budget, which is expected to be ready by the next City Council meeting, the process by the Iowa Legislature of beginning to de-appropriate the backfill the City receives from the State, will impact property taxes significantly.

The Governor says he wants to maintain the backfill, but the Iowa House says it’s how they want to solve their budget problems right now. That means a potential loss to the City of around $120,000-150,000.

Lund says he’s had to adjust the budget. The General Fund he says, will be okay, but the Employee Benefits Fund and Debt Service Funds would both show a loss. He said also, if the City were to do another bond next year for some final street projects, we can’t afford to use Reserve Balances. Therefore, he proposes increase the tax levies 1.48-percent.

That translates to a tax rate of $13.93 per thousand dollars valuation in residential property tax, and $22.50 on Commercial property. The move he said “Would restore everything to where we need to be, and it would keep things solid, long term.”

Lund says that’s especially true with the Debt Service Fund. The employee benefits fund would end up being fine, and accommodate for growth, even though the City has had a couple of years of using the balance. But the Debt Service would actually end up going into the red in FY 2021. “That can’t happen,” he says we would eventually have to raise tax levies then anyway. “As a City, we can’t default on those.”

He said “If there was any other way to do it, that’s what I would recommend. If we didn’t have a lot of other bond projects coming up, I would just say to your we could try and weather through it but we still have some streets left that need to get done. They’re expensive streets and we’re gonna need to bond. We can’t have our latest financial statements showing losses across the board. It’s not gonna look good.”

He said if the City waits to increase property taxes until next year, it would hit your wallet even harder.

Iowa Bike Expo set for this weekend

News, Sports

January 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who’d like to forget about ice and frigid temperatures for a moment should think ahead to this weekend’s Iowa Bike Expo, one of the largest bicycling shows in the Midwest. Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says the free event in Des Moines should attract some 45-hundred cycling enthusiasts from across the state.

“Saturday is going to be a blast,” Wyatt says. “We have 140 vendor spaces with bikes, gear, events, destinations. We’ll have people shopping for their summer in bicycling.” Whether you’re looking for cycling clothes, a helmet or a complete new two-wheeled ride, he says you’ll be able to find it at the expo.

“We have bike shops from across the state that are going to be there,” Wyatt says. “There’s plenty of things to see and do. We have unique specialty vendors, jewelry and bikes and keepsakes and all kinds of things. It’s a lot of fun.” The Bike Expo runs Saturday from 10 AM to 5:30 PM at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Saturday night, there’s a ticketed event focused around the naming of the RAGBRAI route for this summer’s statewide ride. There will also be educational seminars helping Iowa cyclists get in touch with bike advocacy, find the latest consumer trends and learn about new places to ride.

“We have a conference on fat bikes, we have a conference on kids who walk and bike to school,” Wyatt says. “Thursday night, we’re going to do a program on business, bikes and beer at Peace Tree in Des Moines, and Friday, we have our Bicycle Summit which is an educational conference for planners, engineers and city officials.” That educational conference will cover things like federal highway policies regarding bike trails all the way down to what sort of green paint to use in setting off city bike lanes.

(Radio Iowa)