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It’s official: Audubon County Supervisor’s race goes to Diest


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The results of the November 6th General Election for the Audubon County Supervisors race are now official. Officials say the Election Board in Audubon County canvassed the votes Wednesday afternoon, and determined the winner remained unchanged. The night the elections were held, just  eight votes had separated Republican Duane Deist and Democrat Kent Grabill. Diest received 1,550 votes, while Grabill has 1,542. After all the votes, including Absentee were counted, Deist had a 10-vote victory, and was officially declared the winner, on Wednesday.

Both men were vying for the second seat on the Audubon County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Republican Todd Nelson secured one of the open seats, with more than 18-hundred votes. A fourth candidate, Jerry R. Carter, was out of contention for the seat, with 1,080 votes.

The final results of the vote were left in question, because some Absentee ballots were still being received in the mail, and two provisional ballots had yet to be examined. The post election day count yielded just five more votes for Deist, for a total of 1,555, and three more votes for Grabill, who garnered 1,545.

2 arrested in Montgomery County on various charges


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Thursday) morning, of 18-year old Julia M. Sheler, of Clarinda. Sheler was taken into custody shorty after midnight, on a warrant charging her with Assault with the Intent to Inflict Serious Injury. The charge stems from an incident which allegedly occurred November 4th at the Villisca Foods Store, in Villisca. Sheler was located by authorities in Clarinda and transported to the Montgomery County Jail without incident. Her bond was set at $2,000.

And, late Wednesday night, deputies from Montgomery County arrested 51-year old Gary L. Mattson, of rural Villisca, on a warrant for Contempt of Court/Illegal Resistance to an Order or Process. Mattson was located at his residence and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on a $1,000 cash only bond.

In other news out of Montgomery County, police officials in Red Oak Police report the arrest Wednesday, of 18-year-old Kaylie Louise Hudson, of Red Oak. Hudson was taken into custody at around 8-p.m. for providing false information to a law enforcement officer. The woman was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash only bond.

Company recalls sausage product made in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Pinnacle Foods Group is recalling nearly 91,000 pounds of bourbon barbecue sausage products made at its plant in Fort Madison because they may have been undercooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the company discovered the problem, which it believes was caused by processing time miscalculations. There have been no reports of illnesses.

The product is 5-ounce cans of “Armour Vienna Sausage Bourbon BBQ Flavored.” The cans have an establishment number P-4247 inside the USDA inspection mark. The products were produced on Sept. 7, 2012.

Pinnacle Foods Group is headquartered in Mountain Lakes, N.J., and has over 4,500 workers in 21 sites in North America.

Pott. County Copper Wire Thieves Nabbed


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Pottawattamie County say three people have been nabbed in connection with the theft of copper wiring from a cell phone tower north of Council Bluffs. According to the Sheriff’s Department, 24-year old Jodi R. Huftless,  of Platts­mouth, Neb.,  32-year old April M. Hinman, of Pacific Junction, Iowa, and 31-year old David J. Jay, of Glenwood, Iowa, were arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of stealing copper from a U.S. Cellular phone tower. The trio  were charged with first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Authorities say at around 6-a.m., Saturday, a sheriff’s deputy stopped Dodge Durango SUV for speeding on River Road. The suspects were in the Durango, with Huftless driving. The deputy had also seen the sport utility vehicle enter the U.S. Cellular tower location. While speaking with the vehicle’s passengers, the deputy received an alarm call from the U.S. Cellular site.

A search of the Durango by deputies resulted in the discovery of industrial-sized bolt cutters, smaller bolt cutters and the copper wire. A representative from U.S. Cellular later matched the wire found in the vehicle to the tower site.  Authorities estimated the copper’s worth and damage to the cell tower at $12,000.

Transportation Commission approves money for rail crossing improvements


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved spending over four million dollars for new warning equipment at 24 railroad crossings in the state. Tammy Nicholson with the D-O-T’s rail office says the federal money is designed to improve safety where the rails cross the roadways. “A lot of them right now are just crossbucks, so there’s no flashing lights or anything, it’s all up to the highway driver to really treat it as a yield sign and look up and down the tracks to see if there is a train is coming,” Nicholson says. “What these improvements will do is add active crossing protection at those locations, so there will be flashing lights when a train is approaching and then the gate arms will come down.” In Adams County, the 2014 Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Program means standard “Crossbuck” warning signs will be replaced with signals and gate arms at the BNSF crossing on Chestnut Avenue. The project will receive $200,000 in federal funds. In 2013, Crossbucks along 198th Avenue and 330th Street in Harrison County, will also be replaced with signals and gate arms. The projects will receive a total of $237,000 in federal funds.

Nicholson says the federal program pays for 90-percent of the cost of the improvements and either the railroad or the local government that owns the road pays the rest. The funding ranges from 150 to 200-thousand dollars. They try to target the areas where the signals are most needed. “It’s all based on a benefit-cost analysis..it’s an application-based program where the railroad or the highway jurisdiction applies to the D-O-T for those funds,” Nicholson says. She says they look at how they could reduce accidents at the locations compared to the cost, along with the amount of train and car traffic at the crossings. The upgrades are scheduled for 2014 and will leave about half of the state’s rail crossings without signals.

“We still have over two-thousand-600 at-grade crossings in the state that just have the crossbuck. So this is a program where we are able to address about 20 to 25 of those crossings each year and try to make those actively warning to provide safety,” Nicholson says. The Transportation Commission has also approved some 800-thousand dollars in funds to improve the actual crossing areas on the roadways. In southwest Iowa, the BNSF crossing in Shenandoah at West Valley Avenue receive funds from the feds amounting to $125,000, and in Fremont County, $63,000 was provided through Federal Safety Funds for the BNSF crossing along the Airport Road.

“We have about 900-thousand dollars a year in state funds that we partner with the railroad and the local highway jurisdiction in order to improve those surfaces so they provide a better, smoother and safer running surface for the traveling public,” Nicholson says. The program will pay for the improvement of 12 crossings, with the state paying 60-percent of the cost.

For more information: http://www.iowadot.gov/iowarail/assistance/130/federalaid.htm

(Radio Iowa & Ric Hanson)

Iowa early News Headlines – Thu., Nov. 15th 2012


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The former University of Iowa athletic department official at the center of a sexual harassment investigation was fired from a previous job at a liberal arts college in South Carolina in 1999. Coastal Carolina University released records yesterday to The Associated Press showing Peter Gray was dismissed after working less than a year as its director of advisement and retention. Gray resigned from Iowa last week after an investigation accused him of sexually harassing students. He hasn’t returned messages seeking comment this week.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines woman convicted in the 1998 death of her infant son is out of prison. Fifty-three-year-old Heidi Anfinson was released from the women’s prison in Mitchellville yesterday. The Iowa Board of Parole granted her parole two weeks ago. Anfinson will live her father, Irv Hoffbauer, in West Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three Iowa children will be pitting their memories against around 300 other contestants in the National Bible Bee. The event began yesterday and runs through Saturday in Sevierville, Tennessee. Fifteen-year-old Joshua Bontrager and his 10-year-old brother, Taylor, from Kalona, will compete, as will 13-year-old Andrew Adams of Clive.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Deon Mitchell and Seth Tuttle scored a combined 48 points and Northern Iowa held off Toledo 84-81 in overtime last night. Mitchell was 8 of 11 from the field with 27 points. Tuttle was 6 of 9 from the field, with 21 points in Cedar Falls.

2 injured during Ambulance vs. deer collision in Page County


November 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two people in an ambulance suffered possible/unknown injuries after the vehicle struck a deer Tuesday evening, in Page County. Sheriff’s Officials said Wednesday, that the 2011 Ford F-450 Life-Line Ambulance driven by 53-year old Rodney Riley, of Essex, was traveling north on Highway 71 at around 5:35-p.m., when a deer ran from the east ditch and onto the road, as the ambulance was crossing a bridge. The vehicle struck the animal head-on, causing $15,000 damage. Riley and his front seat passenger, 47-year old Calvin Kinney, of Essex, were transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Regional Health Center to be checked for possible injuries. Both men were wearing their seat belts.


Ag/Outdoor, News

November 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Five Shelby County residents were elected to the County Extension Council following the Nov. 6th general election. They include: Travis Lane, of Shelby; Scott Burchett, of Harlan; Rowly Burton, of Irwin; Julie Klein, of Harlan; and Michele Monson, of Irwin. The new members will replace Lori Peters, from Portsmouth; Dwight Carroll, from Harlan; Sue Nymand, from Elk Horn; and Ron Rosmann, from Harlan.

Carryover council members whose terms expire at the end of 2014 are Laura Freund, Earling; Kay Goshorn, Harlan; Jo Kenkel, Defiance; and Jake Schechinger, Harlan. Council members elected in November will begin their terms in January and the council will meet in early January to elect officers.

The Extension Council is the county governing body for the Cooperative Extension System. Council members hire county staff, manage the county extension budget of approximately $240,000, and help determine programming, said Jo Kenkel, Shelby County extension council chairperson. The county extension office is located at 906 6th St., Harlan.

Iowa Joins National Rural Health Day Recognition

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Wednesday, signed a proclamation designating Thursday, November 15th, as Rural Health Day 2012.

Pat Markham, CEO and Emily Krengel, Food Service Director, of Cass County Memorial Hospital, were part of a group of rural health representatives who gathered in the Iowa Governor’s office to sign a National Rural Health proclamation.

National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to honor small towns, farming communities and rural areas, and also to highlight the unique challenges the individuals who live in these areas face. In Iowa, 90 percent of the land mass is considered rural, and approximately half of Iowans live in an area that is considered rural.

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks says “Iowa’s rural communities are wonderful places to live and work – they are places where people know each other, listen to and respect each other, and work together to benefit the community. However, rural communities face a lack of healthcare providers, an aging population with a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of uninsured or underinsured residents.” Meeks says “It’s important that private and public partnerships continue to tackle these issues while meeting the unique needs of these areas.”

About 21 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but only about 10 percent of all physicians and 11 percent of all pharmacists practice in rural areas. The Iowa rural health workforce reflects much of the national trend; however, in Iowa there are 19.5 physicians per 10,000 persons compared to 25.7 per 10,000 in the U.S.

To get more information on National Rural Health Day, visit http://celebratepowerofrural.org

Iowa Transportation Commission approves additional highway work


November 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission, Tuesday, approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2013-2017 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program that will advance the bid letting of some highway projects into FY 2013 and add new projects to the program. The amendment advanced three interstate stewardship projects to FY 2013. In addition, nine new projects involving investments in non-interstate pavement modernization and safety were added to the program in FY 2013, with construction expected to begin in 2013.

In Mills County a slightly more than $8-million Interstate Stewardship pavement rehabilitation project covers I-29 southbound, from the Mills County line to Highway 92. And, in Page County, a $5-million pavement rehab and widening project will occur next year from Highway 2, from the Middle Tarkio River, to Clarinda.

The projects were chosen because they can be developed and let for construction yet this fiscal year. The program amendment was made possible because additional funding was made available after the program was approved in June. Those funds are the result of favorable construction project lettings, Iowa Department of Transportation budget savings and receipt of federal funding in excess of forecasted amounts.