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Snowpack is above average in many areas, spring flooding likely

News, Weather

February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Army Corps of Engineers predicts several waterways in Iowa and elsewhere will flood this spring, based on current snowpack conditions in the Missouri River basin. Hydrologist Kevin Low, in the Corps’ Omaha office, says the upper basin snowpack varies. “The Upper Missouri above Fort Peck is below average, the Yellowstone is above average and both North and South Platte headwaters have above-average snowpack,” Low says. “By this point in the winter, we’d normally have went through a bit over 60% of the seasonal peak snow-water accumulation period, so being over halfway, we still could see significant changes with this mountain snowpack.”

Low says with the condition of the current snowpack, rivers in the region will go over their banks this spring in Iowa, Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas, and the list includes: “The Floyd, Big Sioux and Little Sioux basins in Iowa,” he says.

There has already been some flooding of tributaries due to ice jams. “No significant impacts have been reported to date in connection with these ice jams,” Low says. “Ice jamming is not uncommon in the Missouri basin and we will continue to monitor the rivers for its continued occurrence as we move later into the winter and early spring.”

The Corps’ forecast includes above-average run-off into the Missouri River basin for February, March and April.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic P-D once again partakes in “I-Pledge”


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Dave Erickson reports officers with the Atlantic Police Department have take a pledge to keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of youth in the community. Known as “I-Pledge,” the program is a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD), to educate local retailers and to enforce Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product laws.

Due to a change in Iowa law, alternative nicotine and vapor products are now considered age-restricted products and will be part of the I-PLEDGE program’s compliance initiatives this year. Since the program’s inception in 2000, the statewide tobacco compliance rate has grown to 91%. By participating in the program, the A-PD Office has committed to do its part to increase the compliance rate even more this year.

I-PLEDGE places emphasis on retailer training. Clerks who successfully complete an online training course and then pass an exam will become I-PLEDGE certified. This allows a retail establishment to use an affirm­ative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale. Chief Erickson says “I-PLEDGE’s retailer training is a great way for clerks to prepare themselves to refuse illegal tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product sales. The training also assists retailers to ensure they maintain a compliant and responsible establishment.”

Atlantic Police Officers will be conducting compliance checks on local establishments as part of the I-PLEDGE program. Underage customers, under the supervision of law enforcement officials, will enter establishments and attempt to buy tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products. Clerks who make the illegal sale will be cited on the spot.

Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products to a minor include a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for third and subsequent offenses. However, handing out citations is not the intent of the I-PLEDGE program.

Erickson says “By partnering with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, we hope to educate clerks and maintain a com­pliant retail environment in our community. Moreover, we pledge to help keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of Iowa’s youth.” To take the I-PLEDGE training or search certification records go to www.iowaabd.com.

Snow Emergency declared in Harlan for Thursday


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the City of Harlan report a SNOW EMERGENCY has been declared for Thursday, Feb. 9th. That means NO PARKING on the City’s North/South streets from 8-a.m. until Noon, Thursday. There will also be NO PARKING on the East/West streets in Harlan, from 1-until 5-p.m., Thursday.

Violators of the Ordinance will receive a $25 ticket and risk having their vehicle towed at the owner’s expense.

Macedonia man arrested Tues. night for OWI/2nd offense


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Pottawattamie County Tuesday night on a vehicle with an improper registration plate, resulted in the arrest of a man on an OWI charge. Pott. County Sheriff’s Officials say 55-year old Robert Wayne Henry, of Macedonia, was arrested at around 7:30-p.m. for OWI/2nd offense after a Deputy observed an odor of alcohol. Henry took a standard Field Sobriety Test at the scene, but refused to take a Preliminary Breath Test.

Harlan man wanted for Work Release Escape arrested (Wed.) morning


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports a man from Shelby County who was wanted for failing to report to the Council Bluffs Work Release Facilty on Sunday, was arrested at around 3:30 this (Wednesday) morning at the Casey’s Store, in Avoca. 26-year old Colton Edward Benson-Blaine was detained by Shelby County Deputies until a Pott. County Deputy could arrive on the scene and transported the man to the Pott. County Jail.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, Benson-Blaine was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2011 after being found guilty in Shelby County of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 39-year old Jay Anthony Casali at a home in Harlan.  He was also wanted most recently in Pottawattamie County, for operating a vehicle without consent and escape. He was transferred to work release on January 24th, 2017. The man previously failed to return from Work Release in April 2016 and in Oct. of 2014.

Colton Benson-Blaine

I-80 westbound blocked at Shelby exit


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Interstate 80 westbound is closed between the Shelby and Minden Exits due to a crash involving multiple semi tractor-trailers. The accident happened sometime prior to 7-a.m. (As of 8:20-a.m., the DOT reported traffic was at a “Standstill” at the Avoca Exit on I-80 westbound) Westbound traffic was being routed south on Highway 59 to Highway 6 back to I-80 near Council Bluffs. No other details are available.

Photo submitted

4 arrests & a vehicle theft reported in Creston


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports three people were arrested Tuesday on separate charges, and one person was arrested this (Wednesday) morning. 39-year old Michael Johns, of Creston, was arrested just after 6-a.m. today (Wed.), on a Union County warrant for Violation of Parole. Johns was being held without bond in the jail.

Tuesday night, 57-year old Michael Fry, of Creston, was arrested on a Union County warrant for Failure to Serve his sentence, on an original charge of Driving While Barred. Fry was being held in the Union County Jail until his sentence is served. Tuesday morning, 37-year old Dustin Kilgore and 39-year old John Burgoyne, both of Creston, were arrested. Kilgore was taken into custody for Theft in the 5th Degree. He was subsequently released on a promise to appear in court. Burgoyne was arrested at the Union County LEC on a warrant for Violation of a No Contact/Protective Order. Burgoyne was also released on a Promise to Appear.

And, a Greenfield woman reported to Creston Police Tuesday morning, that sometime around 11:30-p.m. Monday, her 1993 Cadillac DeVille was taken from the 400 block of New York Avenue, in Creston. The car was recovered about nine hours later in the 800 block of W. Adams Street.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, Wednesday, 2/8/2017

News, Podcasts

February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


Bill barring immigrant ‘sanctuaries’ in the state’s public institutions clears committee


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A bill designed to bar Iowa cities and counties as well as schools and universities from providing “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants sparked a statehouse protest Tuesday afternoon. Reverend Russ Melby of Ames was one of the protest’s organizers. “To be supportive of folks who don’t have much of a voice, to be supportive of what our Lord, as a Christian, commands us to be,” Melby says, “namely supportive of those who are, generally speaking, left out.”

The bill would bar any resolution or ordinance that “limits or restricts” enforcement of federal immigration laws. The legislation applies to Iowa’s public schools, community colleges and the three public universities in Iowa as well as private schools that receive state funds. The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee on a party-line vote. Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, says there’s a public safety concern about providing “safe haven” to people who are not in the country legally.  “Now we all know that the vast majority of people who are not in our country legally have just come here for a better life and they’re contributing in a number of ways in our communities,” Holt says, “but there’s also that number that could have and possibly do have a violent, criminal past.”

Holt points to a San Francisco murder committed by an undocumented immigrant who had returned to San Francisco because it was a “sanctuary city.” President Trump has directed the Department of Homeland Security to deport more undocumented immigrants who’ve committed serious crimes here.  “We don’t want Iowans to be harmed as a result of a sanctuary city policy that might encourage someone with that type of past to come to Iowa,” Holt says. The protests over the bill extended the process, but the legislation cleared the committee late Tuesday afternoon. The Des Moines School Board voted unanimously last (Tuesday) night to require that federal immigration officials get permission from the superintendent if they want to talk with students or staff.

Representative Holt says his message to Des Moines school officials is to “respect the rule of law.”  “If we don’t respect the rule of law, we’ve got very serious trouble,” Holt says. “And all this bill is seeking to do is just to instruct the government, state entities in Iowa that you will cooperate in the traditional sense with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of our laws.”

The Des Moines School Board passed another resolution last night that expresses support for the 55-hundred students in the district who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents. So-called “Dreamers” were temporarily protected from deportation by an executive order issued by former President Obama. President Trump has said “Dreamers” will be treated “very compassionately,” but it’s not clear yet what Trump may propose. His focus thus far has been on the deportation of undocumented criminals.

(Radio Iowa)

Juvenile male cited for beer theft & tobacco possession


February 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a juvenile male was cited for Theft in the 5th Degree, Possession of Alcohol under the Age of 21, and Possession of Tobacco/3rd offense. The unnamed youth was detained after officers called to the Dollar General Store in Red Oak at around 6-p.m. Tuesday, investigated the theft from the store, of two beers. The juvenile had left the scene in a vehicle, but officers located the car at the intersection of N. 6th and E. Prospect Streets in Red Oak, a short time later.

The juvenile was in the passenger seat of the car. Authorities say in addition to having the alcohol, the juvenile was found to be in possession of tobacco. He was cited for the offenses and then released to his parents.