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Rain-laden northwest Iowa storms topple utility poles, trees


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Spring thunderstorms that dropped more than 2 inches of rain in some parts of northwest Iowa also damaged some homes and knocked down utility poles and trees. Sioux City television station KTIV reports poles were knocked down near Hornick Sunday afternoon and trees were downed in Linn Grove and Aurelia. Quarter-size hail dented several structures in Cherokee and Woodbury counties.

No injuries have been reported. More than 2 inches of rain was recorded in Orange City but less than a quarter inch in Sioux City.

4 arrests in Mills County


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports four arrests. On Sunday, 33-year old Jeffrey Dale Hankins, of Tabor, was arrested for OWI/2nd offense, Speeding, and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle. His bond was set at $2,000. And, 37-year old Lucas Eric Chambers, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Driving Under Suspension. Bond was set at $435.

And, last Thursday, 32-year old Melissa Anne Holt, of Omaha, was arrested on a warrant for Violation of a No Contact Order. Her bond was set at $300. Also, 54-year old Mark Sheaffer Uebele, of Mineola, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault. He was being held without bond, in the Mills County Jail.

Corning man arrested for Probation Violation


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says a man wanted on a warrant for Probation Violation, turned himself-in to the Sheriff’s Office, Saturday evening. 19-year old Kia Jacob Ballinger Knoke, of Corning, subsequently posted a $2000 cash bond, and was released from custody, pending further court proceedings.

Kia Knoke

Kia Knoke

(Updated 9:45-a.m.) – Some animals lost in Stuart Sale Barn fire


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Fire investigators were back on the scene this (Monday) morning, of a blaze that destroyed the Stuart Sale Barn, Sunday evening. Stuart Fire Chief Mike Renslow told KJAN News the call about the fire came in at 6:42-p.m., and in the less than four minutes it took for crews to arrive on the scene, the wood-framed, steel building was fully engulfed in flames.

Stuart Sale Barn (file photo from their Facebook page)

Stuart Sale Barn (file photo from their Facebook page)

Renslow said around a dozen goats perished in the fire. At least seven fire departments responded with mutual aid to fight the fire, including Menlo, Casey, Adair, Dexter, Redfield and Earlham. Law enforcement officers from Stuart, Guthrie County and the Iowa State Patrol helped to divert traffic from the scene. Firefighters were there for about five and one-half hours fighting the flames, with crews from Stuart remaining on the scene until the wee hours of the morning today (Monday), to control any hot spots.

The fire is believed to have started in the back of the barn, in a pen that held the livestock. Brisk winds helped push the fire toward the building. The Stuart Sale Barn (at 523 Front Street) was used for auctions, and often to sell livestock and farming equipment. The facility has been a gathering place for sales for the community and surrounding area since the 1950’s. It’s unclear if the owners plan to rebuild.

A separate fire Sunday evening in Walnut was suspected to have been caused by a lightning strike. The owners told officials they heard a pop at around 6:15-p.m., and soon after smelled smoke. An investigation found wiring had burned through in an attic at 907 North Street,  resulting in some minor flame and smoke damage to the home. No injuries were reported.

IA Gov., Lt. Gov. & DPS officials want Iowans to be vigilant of child abductions


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and officials with the Department of Public Safety took the opportunity to remind Iowans about the importance of being vigilant of child abductions in their communities. The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Iowans to be on the lookout for potential child abductions in spring and summer months and to provide information to law enforcement when they see something that looks unusual.

DPS asks everyone to Speak Up for Children.  Pay attention to unusual activity, and immediately call 911 if you think that a child could be in danger.  The facts that will help law enforcement most:

  • Describe the vehicle:  color, general description, make/model, and if possible, license plate number (even a partial number and a county can help to identify a vehicle)
  • Describe the people involved:  Give the description of the driver and any passengers, as well as the description of the child and any other people in the area who might be witnesses.  The description can include hair color, age, race/ethnicity, glasses, tattoos, features, clothing
  • Time and location of the incident:   If you call 911, the time will be recorded.  Tell the 911 operator the exact location of the incident, if possible – house numbers, mile markers, cross streets.

Thinking in advance about what facts you will notice can help to train your brain to see those things and to remember them in order to provide them to investigators. Sometimes the incident turns out not to be an attempted abduction.  But officials say it is better to report the incident to the police and have the child safe, rather than to avoid calling the police and have the child abducted.  If a child abduction occurs, the first few hours are the most important.  Immediate reporting and an immediate response can make a big difference.

Data collected by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)  show attempted abductions happen more often when a child is going to and from school or school-related activities. The data also found that attempted abductions more often involved children between the ages of 10-14 and happen more often to female children, with suspects more commonly using a vehicle.

The NCMEC Study found there were five most utilized lures during these attempted abductions:

  • Offering the child a ride
  • Offering the child candy
  • Asking the child questions
  • Offering the child money
  • Using an animal

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) houses the Iowa Missing Person Information Clearing house which tracks all missing persons in Iowa. Currently there are 341 missing persons in Iowa; of those, 211 are juveniles, most of those are reported as runaways. To get up-to-date information on missing Iowans, you can visit the Iowa DCI Missing Person Information Clearinghouse Website or the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse Faceboook page.

What should parents tell their children about abduction?   It is not necessary to frighten children about the risk of abduction.  But there are several things that parents can do to keep children safer:

  • When making arrangements to meet, tell the children that Mom or Dad will be there for you, or will tell you who else to look for.
  • Do not get in the car with anyone unless Mom or Dad has told you to go with them.
  • Develop a “code word” that the child will understand – if Mom or Dad has authorized someone to take the child home, they can share the “code word” known only to the family.  If the child does not hear the “code word,” they should run away and scream.
  • Walk with other children, not alone.
  • Be aware of the common tricks used to lure children (free puppies, parent injured, etc.)
  • Speak up if someone makes you feel uncomfortable.  Screaming is okay.
  • Tell children who to call if they feel they need help.  Teach them their own address and phone number.

What else can parents do to protect their children?

  • Know the child’s schedule, and when it changes, practice the new routine
  • Make online safety a priority.
  • Supervising children is expected.
  • Do not leave children alone in a car.
  • Have current pictures of the child, along with their height and weight, and be prepared to describe their clothing.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has several safety educational resources for both parents and children, including a Child ID Kit.

Cass County Primary Election information


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman has issued information with regard to the June 7th Primary Election. He reminds you the Primary Election is the electoral process used to choose who will run as EACH party’s (Republican or Democratic) candidate for a given office to be voted upon in the General Election, in November.  A voter must choose and may vote only one party’s ballot (Republican or Democratic).  The offices of President and Vice President are not on the Iowa Primary Election ballots.

The 2016 Primary Election will be Tuesday, June 7, 2016.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. If a person chooses to vote prior to June 7, that person may request and vote a ballot prior to election day (called Absentee Voting).  A signed absentee ballot request form may be mailed or delivered to the county auditor and an absentee ballot will be mailed to the prospective voter.  Or an absentee ballot may be requested in person at the office of the County Auditor and voted at the auditor’s office immediately on any day the office is open up through the day before election day.  Ballots may not be picked up and taken to a voter.  Absentee ballots must either be mailed to the requestor or the requester may personally appear at the auditor’s office and vote the ballot there.

IF VOTING BY MAIL: A written request on the State required form may be mailed or hand delivered to the County Auditor’s office.  Deadline to request that an absentee ballot be mailed is June 3, 2016 at 5 p.m.  (Absentee request forms are available at the auditor’s office and on the Secretary of State’s web site: sos.iowa.gov).  A ballot along with instructions on how to complete the ballot and a return postage paid envelope will be mailed to the requester.

For the ballot to be counted, the voted ballot sealed in the return envelope must be returned either by personal carrier to the office of County Auditor before the close of polls on election day or returned by mail postmarked no later than the day before the election.  EVERY ABSENTEE BALLOT MUST BE RETURNED even if the voter chose not to vote it.

IF VOTING AT THE COUNTY AUDITOR’S OFFICE: Beginning Thursday, April 28th, the absentee voter may go to the CASS COUNTY COURTHOUSE during the regular office hours of 8 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday thru Friday, up through the day before the election and cast a ballot.  In addition to regular office hours, the office of Cass County Auditor will be open Saturday, May 28, 2016 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

A list of the County candidates for office along with State & Federal candidates, can be found on the pdf links below:

Cass County Candidates 2016

District #1:  Pymosa Township, Brighton Township, Marne, Washington Township, Grove Township (not including that part of Grove Township within the Atlantic city limits), and Atlantic First Ward.

District #4: Cass Township, Lewis, Bear Grove Township, Pleasant Township, Griswold, Noble Township, Edna Township, and Victoria Township.

District #5: Benton Township, Grant Township, Anita, Lincoln Township, Massena Township, Massena, Union Township, Cumberland, Franklin Township and Wiota.


Adair woman arrested on Union County warrant


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County say a woman from Adair was arrested last Friday at the Union County Law Enforcement Center, on a warrant for Probation Violation.  41-year old Virginia Jean Keasey, was being held without bond for Union County, in the Ringgold County Jail, until she appears before a magistrate.

Glenwood woman arrested on prescription drug charge


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Glenwood arrested a woman Sunday for unlawful possession of a prescription drug. 35-year old Crystal McCann, of Glenwood, was being held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Montgomery County Courthouse to close early, Wednesday


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Auditor Stephanie Burke says the Montgomery County Courthouse will be closing at 3-p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, for employee training in what to do in the event of an armed intruder. Staff will be experiencing the active shooter response training known as “A.L.I.C.E.” (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). ALICE teaches individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety.

Burke notes also, that there is a possibility that there will be a quorum of Board of Supervisors on hand for the event.

Cass County Sheriff addresses prescription drug abuse problem in the County


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren issued a statement this (Monday) morning specifically with regard to law enforcement’s battle with prescription drug abuse. McLaren said “When deputies and/or officers are making contact with people for driving infractions, arrests, or any other incident where law enforcement has a reason to search individuals–especially young people–we are finding prescription pills.

Cass County SheriffWhen asked about these drugs, the individuals DO NOT have prescriptions for them. They often claim that they are holding them for a friend or family member. The truth is they are abusing these drugs. These people are being arrested for possession of these prescription drugs and many times for operating a vehicle while impaired by these drugs.”

McLaren goes on to say “Through conversation with the young individuals we have arrested for prescription drug abuse, we have learned of a huge misconception many hold. Many people assume prescription drugs are not as dangerous as the street drugs and that the penalties for abusing them are not as high.

Prescription drug abuse is growing rapidly because of accessibility. Our youth can find these drugs in their own medicine cabinets, and if not there, in the medicine cabinet of a family member. Parents, grandparents, and other family members must be aware of the temptations that exist in their medicine cabinets and be responsible for the prescription itself. That involves taking the drug in its entirety or responsibly ridding of the excess pills.”

The Sheriff says “Our youth know that more often than not, adults will not notice a missing pill or even an old bottle of pills from the cabinet. We have also become aware of the troubling fact that drug dealers are approaching our youth and offering them money to steal a family member’s prescription drugs. Drug dealers and drug seekers are often willing to pay a very large sum of money which is very tempting for young people not to pass up. Drug dealers are aware of people in the community who have recently had surgery, been ill, or take medication for sleeping, anxiety, or attention disorders.”

McLaren says “The drugs we most commonly see abused are painkillers such as Oxycodone or Hydrocodone, stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin, and depressants such as Xanax or Valium.” He added that “The numbers in Cass County reflect the growing problem we are facing. Our officer with specific drug impairment training identified 17 drug-impaired drivers in 2010. That number has consistently increased over the past five years. In 2015, that officer identified 43 drug-impaired drivers. While that number does include drivers impaired by meth and marijuana, since 2010, 204 people have been arrested for drug impaired driving. Forty-four of those drivers were impaired by prescription drugs.”

Sheriff McLaren says “A rural location such as Cass County should not have a deputy with drug impaired OWI statistics higher than large cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, or other college towns in the state.” He said he issued the statement “To alert parents and grandparents, and to motivate you to take notice. Take inventory and monitor the prescription drugs in your homes. Store the drugs in a place where they are not easily accessed. Dispose of your expired or unused prescriptions. The Atlantic Police Department has a box located in its lobby where you can dispose of your prescriptions safely.”

McLaren says “This is a problem in Cass County. Please do your part to minimize it.”