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Neola Old Fashioned Christmas


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A town in Pottawattamie County plans to ring in the holiday cheer with an old fashioned Christmas Celebration this weekend. The Neola’s Old Fashioned Christmas is set for Saturday and Sunday and is full of activities, food and fun for the whole family. Penny Christensen, chairperson for the holiday tradition, says it all starts with a cookie walk on Saturday. “We have a cookie walked at St. Pat’s Hall from 4 until the cookies run out. We also have a soup supper there from 4 to 7. We also have a kid’s Christmas shop and games: A dollar each.”

Santa Claus is a part of the Neola Christmas and will set up shop at the Neola Area Community Center from 6 to 8pm. The Neola Christmas features a couple of unique activities. Christensen says one of the activities is a live box auction. We have our great box auction which is about 51 businesses from the area, Minden, Underwood and Neola donating boxes with $50 or more inside. The boxes will get auctioned off with only three clues given and nobody knowing what is inside of it. This usually raises about $6,000 which gets distributed to the food pantry, community center, scholarship, bike trail and other different community things.”

The auction will be held inside the St. Patrick’s Hall as well. The other unique item at the Neola Christmas is the animals showing up on Sunday. “We have a real reindeer caribou and sleigh at the Phoenix Theater from 12 to 3 and is free from the public. Bring your camera so you can take pictures of them.” Other activities at the Neola Christmas include local business open houses, community choir performing on Saturday and Sunday and new this year is the Blast from the Past.

Christensen says “And that will be different things from the past such as a butter churner, record player, an old bath tub and other things kids won’t know what they are. Those are going to be brought by the Montgomery County Museum from Red Oak.” The Blast from the Past will set up inside the Neola Area Community Center on Sunday from noon to 3pm.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Atlantic Elementary School teacher arrested for theft


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Thursday of 60-year old Peggy Jacobs. The Atlantic woman was taken into custody on a charge of 5th degree theft. Jacobs was booked into the Cass County Jail and later released on $300 bond.

Police Chief Steve Green says Jacobs was arrested for allegedly having in her possession a little more than $100 worth of unpaid merchandise taken from the Atlantic Wal-Mart store. Jacobs is a Special Education Resource instructor at the Washington Elementary School.

In a statement to the media, Atlantic Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein  said “At this point the school is conducting their own investigation. No determination in regards to discipline will be made until the schools own investigation is completed.”

(Updated 9:30-a.m.)

8AM Newscast 12-13-2013

News, Podcasts

December 13th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Former Ralston teacher guilty of groping students


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A 59-year-old former Ralston, NE., teacher has been convicted at his second trial for inappropriately touching young students.  On Thursday a Douglas County, NE, District Court jury found Nicholas Richter guilty of three counts of sexual assault of a child. In August Richter’s first trial ended in a hung jury.

Three boys ranging in age from 10 to 12 testified that Richter groped them during classes. A middle-age man also testified that Richter groped him three decades ago, when Richter was teaching in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Richter faces up to five years in prison on each of the three counts.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. Area News/Funeral Announcements, 12/13/13

News, Podcasts

December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

NE man sentenced to 5-years in prison for crimes committed in NE & IA


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska man was sentenced this week to a term of not less than 5-years in prison in connection with incidents that occurred in NE and Iowa in late September. The Omaha World-Herald reports 32-year old Michael A. Beard, of Lincoln, NE., received his punishment from a judge after pleading guilty to a charge of 3rd degree burglary. Four theft charges, two other burglary charges, a criminal mischief charge, an assault charge and an interference with official acts charge have been dismissed.

Beard was arrested after a string of events that began in Lincoln with the theft of a car. The vehicle was later found on fire southeast of Ceresco, NE. Soon afterward, a small pickup parked nearby was stolen. That vehicle was later found in Saunders County, NE, where a nearby electrical company’s truck was stolen. Authorities say at some point, Beard stole a Ford F-150 truck and drove to Iowa. A Harrison County roads crew found him rummaging through a vehicle parked at the county shed south of Modale.

Beard punched a roads crew worker and rammed a vehicle driven by another roads worker before abandoning the F-150 and running off. The next day, the Omaha police helicopter found Beard hiding in a cornfield.

Once Beard has served his time in Iowa, he will be handed over to authorities in Saunders County, Neb., where he faces burglary, theft and possession of stolen property charges. The Lancaster County, NE., Attorney’s office will decide whether to file charges against Beard in the next few weeks.

Red Oak man arrested on an assault charge


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was arrested Wednesday night after he allegedly used a baseball bat in the commission of an assault. 31-year old Bill Joe Gillespie was taken into custody at around 8-p.m., after authorities received a 9-1-1 call from a residence on East Elm Street. Gillespie was being held in the Montgomery County jail on $2,000 bond following his arrest on aggravated assault charges.

An investigation into the incident continues.

Accident in Red Oak Thursday morning


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An accident in Red Oak Thursday morning caused $1,600 damage, but no one was hurt. Red Oak Police report 16-year old Jessie Dean Houston, of Red Oak, was traveling west on East Nuckols Street at around 8-a.m., when he lost control of the 1993 Ford F-150 pickup he was driving on the snow and ice covered road. The pickup crossed the center line and hit a legally parked 1996 GMC Blazer. Houston was cited for Careless Driving.

Council Bluffs & Omaha look to combine efforts to market metro area


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Instead of trying to market individual states, many in the business world are now looking at economic development from a metropolitan perspective. Consultants are working to create a unique joint effort to spark growth that would join forces between a southwest Iowa community and its larger neighbor in Nebraska. Jeff Beals, executive vice president for the World Group in Omaha, explains the goal.

Beals says, “Omaha and Council Bluffs could become the first bi-state metro area in the entire country to truly integrate their economic development efforts.” On the other side of Iowa, there’s a flurry of advertising done by the Quad Cities, to promote Davenport, Bettendorf and their metro neighbors Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. Beals says the Council Bluffs-Omaha effort would be different in its marketing strategy in a way that could benefit the entire region.

“You would be bringing two states to the table,” Beals says. “If one state has better incentives for a certain type of factory, you highlight that place. Meanwhile, the whole metro area benefits because of increased jobs.” Beals says no final decision has been made on launching the project.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., 12/13/13


December 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from the Associated Pres…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor and the state’s entire congressional delegation are asking the Obama administration to hold a hearing in Iowa to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce ethanol production in 2014. The EPA in November proposed cutting production to 2012 levels, prompting outcry by political leaders from both parties who claimed such a move would devastate Iowa’s economy. An Iowa State University economist says the economic impact elected officials claim is overstated. The EPA is taking public comment for 60 days on its recommendation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he has reached a deal with federal authorities to expand low income health care. Branstad announced Thursday that he had an agreement with officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Iowa sought a waiver enabling the state to receive more federal Medicaid money for the proposed Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. State officials said they had reached a compromise on one sticking point in the negotiations. The state wanted to charge small monthly premiums to some plan participants. Under the compromise, the state could charge those with lower incomes, but couldn’t deny benefits for not paying.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A panel of Iowa budget experts is expecting tax revenue to rise in the next fiscal year. The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday to project the state revenue numbers that Governor Terry Branstad will use to craft his next budget plan. The group predicts net state revenue — made up of taxes and other sources — will come in at nearly $7 billion for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1st. That represents an increase of about $300 million over the current year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal authorities in Iowa have charged a Florida man working for a Chinese company with conspiracy to steal patented corn seed trade secrets from two leading U.S. seed developers. U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt announced Thursday that Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, is in custody. He is alleged to have taken corn from fields in Iowa and Illinois with five other men working for a subsidiary of Chinese-based DBN Group. Authorities are searching for the others.

COLFAX, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in central Iowa responded to a vehicle collision involving an empty school bus. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened Thursday afternoon on Highway F48 between Colfax and Newton. Des Moines television station KCCI reports a vehicle that hit the school bus later burst into flames. The station also reports the bus had no students onboard.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials say they’ve begun the adoption process for seven puppies found cold and wet in a storage bin on the side of a street in Mason City. The Humane Society of North Iowa says a good Samaritan brought the puppies to a shelter managed by the Humane Society on December 5th after he spotted a plastic bin on a neighborhood curb that said, “Free Puppies.” The National Weather Service says Mason City reached a high of 15 degrees that day. An official with the Humane Society says the puppies are in good health, but the bitter cold could have caused serious hypothermia or death.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Brynn Williamson scored a career-high 21 points and 17th-ranked Iowa State beat Number 21 Iowa 83-70 Thursday night for its best start in 12 years. Jadda Buckley had 19 points and Hallie Christofferson scored 18 with 14 rebounds for the Cyclones, who are 9-0 for the first time since starting 12-0 in 2001-02. Iowa State also improved to 9-0 at home against the Hawkeyes under coach Bill Fennelly.