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Western Iowa man convicted of murdering infant son

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted a 36-year-old Glenwood man of murdering his 5-month-old son. Jason Curtis was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. Officials say Curtis called for help on July 14, 2011, because his son was barely breathing. When emergency crews arrived they found the child unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a Council Bluffs hospital. An autopsy showed Jackson died of head trauma. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for April 3rd.

Atlantic man arrested on burglary charge for vehicle break-ins

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Monday on a burglary charge. The Atlantic Police Department reports 45-year old Darryl Benson was taken into custody for Burglary in the 3rd degree, in association with the break-in’s of some vehicles located along Poplar Street early Monday morning. Benson was being held in the Cass County Jail pending a court appearance.

 

Pilot in Dec. 2012 NW Iowa plane crash dies in Nebraska hospital

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) – The pilot of a plane that crashed in northwest Iowa, killing two passengers, has died in a Nebraska hospital.  The Sioux City Journal reports 70-year-old Gaylen Knaack, of Correctionville, died Monday. The Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home in Correctionville says Knaack died at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb., where he’d been taken after the Dec. 1st, 2012 crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Beech P35 took off from Correctionville that morning and flew to Grand Island, Neb., to pick up one of the passengers. The plane hit some trees before crashing that evening in foggy conditions short of a grass airstrip near Correctionville.

Two passengers died in the crash. They were 53-year-old Lee Schroeder, of Oto, and 55-year-old James Smith, of Correctionville.

Machine shed destroyed in a fire, Monday

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A machine shed and a tractor stored inside were declared a total loss Monday, after a fire consumed the building. Firefighters from Harlan and Avoca responded to the blaze, which was reported at around 7:45-p.m. Monday, from a farm at 74- Maple Road, south of Harlan.

No injuries were reported. A dollar amount of the loss was not immediately available. Firefighters were on the scene for about 2 and half hours.  Harlan Fire Chief Roger Bissen said the cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation was ongoing.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

(Update) 2 subjects detained in Harlan in connection w/Bluffs shooting

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say two people were being detained this (Tuesday) morning in Harlan, in connection with the shooting of a Council Bluffs woman and her child. Officials say 22-year old Heather Wilson and her 19-month old son Tyson Underwood, were being treated at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha for gunshot wounds, and are expected to fully recover.

The incident which resulted in their hospitalization began at around 5:40-a.m., when authorities received a report about shots fired at 1544 McPherson Avenue, in east Council Bluffs. Officers arriving on the scene found Wilson lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Two of her children were also outside at the time of the shooting. Tyson Underwood suffered a gunshot wound to his lower right arm. The other child was not hurt.

Two, unidentified  subjects are being questioned about the incident by detectives from the Council Bluffs Police Department. Since they have not been charged, officials have withheld their names.

Cass Supervisors to hold hearing on Ordinance affecting gun sales

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The first of two public hearings will be held Wednesday morning at the courthouse in Atlantic, with regard to a proposed amendment to the County’s zoning ordinance that would allow for the creation of businesses that allow gun sales and service, along with an indoor shooting range. A local man has proposed establishing a gun sales/repair and indoor shooting range business, near Massena.

Under the current zoning ordinance, such businesses are not allowed. The County’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the proposed amendment during its meeting Jan. 24th, and forwarded its recommendation on to the Cass County Board of Supervisors for approval. A hearing on the proposal is set to begin shortly after 9-a.m.  during the Supervisors’ regular meeting. Following the hearing, the Board will hold the first of two votes on the matter. The second hearing and vote will take place Feb. 20th.

In other business, the Supervisors, Wednesday, are scheduled to receive a report from OSDI Midwest, in Omaha, with regard to a possible renovation of the courthouse basement storage room. And, at 10-a.m. they’re scheduled to receive a review from Solutions Incorporated, from  Spencer, with regard to services associated with Information Technology and the G-I-S (Geographic Information System).

Homeless man arrested in Mills County for probation violation

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Mills County say a homeless man wanted on a warrant for a probation violation was arrested Monday evening at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office. 41-year old Kenneth Benjamin McDonald was being held in the Mills County Jail on $50,000 bond.  The Sheriff’s Office reports also the arrest Saturday (Feb. 9th) in Malvern, of 38-year old Ryan Daniel McMullen, of Malvern. McMullen was taken into custody for Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His bond was set at $1,300.

Deputies in Mills County are also investigating several incidents of theft and/or burglary. Three of the incidents were reported Monday, including: an Omaha man, who said a theft occurred at a location off of Peas Road in Glenwood; a California woman, who said a theft occurred at a location on Depot Street in Pacific Junction, and a Glenwood man, who reported a theft from a location along Gaston Road, in Glenwood.  Another Glenwood resident reported an incident of burglary, on Saturday. The incident happened at a location along Jabber Road. That same day, an Emerson resident reported a burglary had occurred at a location along King Street, in Emerson.

Cherokee man prison sentenced to max. of 25-years for Atlantic stabbing incident

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Additional details were released this (Tuesday) morning with regard to the sentence for a Cherokee man who plead guilty Monday, to several charges associated with a stabbing incident in Atlantic last September. According to online court records, 38-year old Timothy Leigh Russell faces a maximum of 25-years in prison.

In a voluntary plea agreement reached Monday, a felony charge of Attempted Murder was dropped. Russell agreed to plead Guilty to two felony counts of Willful Injury as enhanced by the use of a dangerous weapon, and one count of Going Armed with Intent. The combined prison terms for the offenses amounted to 25-years. He was given credit for time already served. Russell was also assessed fines totaling $2,750, plus the payment of court costs associated with his case. Judge Kathleen Kilnoski exonerated Russell’s bond.

Russell’s trial on Attempted Murder and the other charges was to have begun today (Tuesday),  in connection with a September 3rd 2012 incident in Atlantic, during which the unidentified victim of the attack suffered serious injuries after being stabbed by Russell with a shop tool, which was reportedly a screwdriver.

 

Toddler, mom shot at Council Bluffs apartments

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A mother and her 2-year-old child have been wounded in a shooting at an apartment complex on the east side of Council Bluffs. Authorities say the woman was putting her child into a car just before 6 a.m. Tuesday when the gunfire erupted. The woman was hit several times, and her child was hit in an arm.  It’s unclear whether the woman knew the shooter. No arrest has been reported. The woman, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to an Omaha, Neb., hospital for treatment.

Senate hearing airs debate over expanded passenger rail service through central Iowa

News

February 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Advocates of expanding passenger rail service from Iowa to Chicago say there could be a side-benefit for trains that haul freight. Jeff Kurtz is with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. “If we do the infrastructure improvements necessary where passenger trains and freight can go-exist, we won’t have to worry about clearing slow-moving trains,” Kurtz says. “Delays cost money…Hopefully as a state we will move in that direction as we move to invest in rail.” Kurtz is among seven people who testified before the Senate Transportation Committee late Monday afternoon to tout the idea of expanding passenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities, Iowa City, Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

Grinnell Mayor Gordon Canfield is also president of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers. “As our interstate highway system becomes increasingly clogged with heavy traffic or when the roadways are slick with snow and ice, many people would prefer the safety and convenience of trains to go to Chicago or Omaha and beyond,” Canfield said. Geoff Fruin, the assistant city manager of Iowa City, used to work in Normal, Illinois, a city where he said passenger rail service had been an “economic game-changer.”

“If you study the Amtrak ridership numbers, they’ve set records in nine of the past 10 years. If you dig down further and you look at the university communities in the Midwest, their ridership has grown even three or four times faster than the national level,” Fruin said. “Now, that tells me one thing, it’s that the younger generation really values passenger rail and the productivity of time and the access that it provides.”

In October of 2010, Iowa and Illinois won a 230-million dollar federal grant to expand passenger rail service, with the ultimate goal of a 110-mile-per-hour train running between Chicago and Omaha, the route for which could pass through Atlantic. However, when Republican Governor Terry Branstad took office in 2011, he raised concerns the state would have to sink too much money into the rail line. Iowa Department of Transportation staff are in the process of drafting a cost-benefit analysis. Republican legislators have also raised cost concerns, suggesting a private railroad company would already be running passenger trains through central Iowa if it were profitable.