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(Update) 1 person critically injured in C. Bluffs ethanol plant incident

News

October 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a tanker truck explosion and fire at a Council Bluffs Ethanol plant, Friday afternoon. The fire occurred at 10868 189th Street, the site of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (or, SIRE) just west of Interstate 29 at Exit 42. The exit was blocked for several hours while emergency crews remained on the scene.

KMTV Channel 3 in Omaha says according to Council Bluffs Fire Department officials, a worker was loading the tanker truck with ethanol when it exploded in flames.

Photo courtesy Kristi Engel Beebe

Photos courtesy Kristi Engel Beebe

kristi2 kristi3 Officials with Nebraska Medicine told the news station that one person suffered burns over 90-percent of their body. The victim was transported by helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The fire happened at around 3:30-p.m., with the smoke was visible from Omaha. Firefighters used a special foam to fight the blaze, which was knocked-down within about 45-minutes to an hour. Crews remained on the scene for several hours, though, putting out hot spots and conducting mop-up operations.

The SIRE plant produces 110 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol every year. It also produces distiller’s grain and corn oil.

Former worker accused of sexually abusing residents

News

October 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Sioux City man who had worked a special needs center has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing two center residents. Police say the man had worked at Opportunities Unlimited, helping patients with brain injuries. Investigators say he abused the two residents on multiple occasions.

Police and Woodbury County Jail officials have listed different surnames for the man and could not (on Friday,) account for the discrepancy. The man is being held on $25,000 bond for two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. He’s set to appear in court on Oct. 17th.

Iowa early News Headlines: Saturday, Oct. 8th 2016

News

October 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 4:00 a.m. CDT

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State University President Steven Leath has told the Iowa State Daily student newspaper that he received personal flight lessons from a former Republican lawmaker who was appointed around the same time into a high-paying university job without a search. The timing of the hiring of former ISU associate dean and accounting professor Jim Kurtenbach is another layer to the scandal surrounding Leath’s use of university planes for a mix of official duties and personal business.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -€” The death of a University of Northern Iowa student whose body was pulled from the Iowa River last month has been ruled an accidental drowning. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports Friday that autopsy results show 20-year-old Nathan Twedt drowned. The autopsy also cites over-consumption of alcohol as a contributing factor to the drowning.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -€” Bail has been set at $1 million for a 20-year-old Davenport man accused of fatally shooting his parents in their home earlier this week. The bond hearing Thursday was Sean Michael Freese’s first court appearance in the case. The Quad-City Times says Freese is expected back in Scott County District Court on Wednesday for his preliminary hearing on two counts of first-degree murder in the Wednesday deaths of 58-year-old Kevin Freese and 57-year-old Donna Freese.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -€” Sentencing has been delayed for an Iowa man in a sex abuse case involving a mentally disabled woman. Sentencing for 18-year-old Nicholas Fifield is now set for Nov. 21. He entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor assault, which means he maintains innocence but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence for conviction.

2 men from NE arrested on drug charges w/bonds set at $100k+

News

October 8th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A recent traffic stop in Fremont County resulted in the arrest of two Nebraska men on drug charges. Sheriff Kevin Aistrope reports that the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit was conducting an investigation into drug trafficking in Fremont County, and during the investigation, deputies stopped a 2008 F-150 pickup occupied by 34-year old Bryce Hutton and 32-year old Jared Kirkendall, both of Lincoln NE.

During the stop deputies found multiple bags of methamphetamine, U.S. currency, and numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia. Hutton and Kirkendall were both transported to the Fremont County Law Enforcement Center, where Hutton was being held on $100,000 bond, and Kirkendall was being held on $150,000 bond.

Patty Judge opposes balanced budget amendment

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Patty Judge, the Democrat running against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, opposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced federal budget. (click on the left side of the audio bars to listen)

Judge served four years as Iowa’s lieutenant governor and eight years as a state senator. The State of Iowa has a balanced budget REQUIREMENT, but Judge says it’s not needed.

Judge made her comments during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that airs tonight (Friday) on Iowa Public Television. A spokesman for Grassley says Judge “shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near” the U.S. Senate because of the way she and Governor Chet Culver managed the state budget. Grassley campaign manager Bob Haus says Judge and Culver approved too much state borrowing and too much state spending and that’s why they were “kicked out of office” when Culver and Judge sought reelection in 2010.

(Radio Iowa)

2 vehicle injury accident in Atlantic Friday evening

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Three people was transported by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital Friday evening, following an accident across from the east entrance to the Wal-Mart Store. The crash took place on Highway 71 at around 5:30-p.m., when one vehicle rear-ended another, causing the airbags on the second vehicle to deploy. One of the accident victims was a woman about 32-years of age, who suffered was what described during dispatch reports as a head injury.

Atlantic Police, the Iowa State Patrol and Cass County Sheriff’s Office along with Atlantic Fire and Rescue, responded to the scene. No other details were immediately available.

Ric Hanson photos

Ric Hanson photos

accident-oct7-002

Tanker fire at Council Bluffs ethanol plant

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a tanker truck explosion and fire at a Council Bluffs Ethanol plant, Friday afternoon. The fire is at 10868 189th Street, the site of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy. The plant, which is near Interstate 29, produces 110 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol every year. It also produces distiller’s grain and corn oil.

Photo courtesy Kristi Engel Beebe

All photos courtesy Kristi Engel Beebe.

The fire was reported at around 3:30-p.m. Smoke was visible from Omaha. One person was injured and flown from the scene to an Omaha hospital. Fire fighting foam was applied to control the flames. The 189th Street off-ramp from I-29 was closed as of 4:15-p.m. kristi2 kristi3

No other details are currently available.

Atlantic native weathers the hurricane in Florida

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A native of Atlantic is weathering Hurricane Matthew, in Florida. Josh Morenz, who lives in Orlando, which is about 45-to 50 miles away from the coast, told KJAN News he hasn’t experienced much of the storm since it rolled it at around 2-a.m local time today (Friday). (click on the left side of the separate audio bars to listen)

Josh is the son of Jeff and JoAnne Morenz, of Atlantic. The 27-year old, who graduated from Atlantic in 2007 and has gone to college, lived and worked in Orlando for a total of 8-to 9-years, says he didn’t have to evacuate the city like residents in many other locations were strongly encouraged to do. He said he’s safe and secure and so are most of his friends in Florida.

Morenz says he has power where he’s at, but other areas aren’t so fortunate.

He said many people were out Wednesday and Thursday night preparing for the storm.

As for those who stayed behind in the danger zone, he says they’re just being stubborn Floridians, most of whom have experienced hurricanes before. But he hasn’t heard of anyone he knows who’ve taken the risk.

Creston man reports theft of $1,600 worth of property

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says a rural Creston man recently reported the theft of property valued at $1,600. The incident happened sometime during the night of Oct. 1st-or 2nd.

Among the items taken was:  Torx screws, a combination square, hammers, crow bars, a tool belt, tape measures, a 5 gal bucket tool bag, a tool box, tin snips, a Bosch Jig saw and blades, a Milwaukee circular saw and blades, a DeWalt angle grinder, a trickle charger, a 12v charger, electric drills, 250 feet of 14-2 Romax wire, drill bits, a DeWalt driver DC825 & charger, a radio, and Rotella diesel oil.

Walnut woman arrested for Trespassing; Oakland woman arrested for assault

News

October 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports three recent arrests. At around 5:30 this (Friday) morning, 36-year old Charity Nicole Dresen, of Walnut, was arrested for Trespassing and Driving While Barred, after a deputy investigated a reported domestic disturbance involving her ex-husband, in Walnut.

At around 9-p.m. Thursday, a Pott. County Deputy arrested 28-year old Rachel Ann Johnk, of Oakland, for Aggravated Domestic Assault with Injury. According to the sheriff’s report, Johnk’s roommate, 21-year old Ashley Hansen, of Oakland, called to report she had been assaulted. An investigation determined both women suffered apparently minor injuries in the altercation.

And, 33-year old Anthony Frank Trovoto, of Missouri Valley, was arrested Thursday night for having a concealed weapon, driving while barred, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. A Pott. County Sheriff’s Deputy driving on Highway 6 just east of Interstate 80 noticed a truck on the side of the road with its blinker on.

When he stopped to check on the vehicle which was still running, the Deputy found Trovoto inside slumped forward against the steering wheel, and a dog in the passenger seat. An investigation determined drugs and paraphernalia were in the truck, along with two knives (one was 6-inches long, the other 8-inches). Also inside the vehicle was a baggie which field tested positive for meth, a glass meth pipe, a wooden box with marijuana and a straw.