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Iowa veterans at the Omaha VA can get free holiday gifts for loved ones


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa veterans who are being treated at the V-A Medical Center in Omaha this week are able to take part in a holiday tradition that dates back to the 1930s. V-A spokesman Will Ackerman says the American Legion Auxiliary has opened special store at the hospital where veterans can shop for free.   “The holiday gift shop is for hospitalized veterans who are inpatient, going through dialysis, and those in our recovery center,” Ackerman says. “These veterans are able to select up to four free gifts for their loved ones.” The auxiliary also wraps the gifts at no cost to the veteran.

“These veterans otherwise may not be able to get out and get a gift for their loved ones,” Ackerman says. “This is something the American Legion Auxiliary has done for decades in partnership with the VA.” Auxiliary volunteers also have a portable cart which they wheel around to visit rooms of patients who can’t make it to the shop to select their presents.

“They buy all the gifts and they buy all the wrapping paper and they do all the work and we here at the VA provide them a room to do it in,” Ackerman says. “It’s just a great opportunity to give back to the veterans who have given to us.” The gift shop is open at the Omaha hospital through tomorrow (Wednesday).

(Radio Iowa)

Montgomery County Auditor’s Office issues info. on Special Election


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

On Monday, December 1, Governor Branstad called for a Special Election for State Senate District 12 due to the resignation of State Senator Joni Ernst. State Senate District 12 includes all of Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold and Taylor Counties. Montgomery County Auditor Stephanie Burke says the deadline to Pre-Register to vote for this Special Election is by 5:00 P.M. Friday, Dec. 19th. There is Special Election Day registration, but specific documentation must be provided. If possible, register before the Special Election Day.

The deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot to be mailed is by 5:00 P.M. Wed., Dec. 24th. Absentee Request Forms are available on the County Website at montgomerycountyiowa.com or at your County Auditor’s office. Request forms will have to be completed prior to receiving an absentee ballot. Return your request form as soon as possible and the ballots will be mailed as soon as they are ready.

The Montgomery County Auditor’s office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 25th and 26th, but will be open for Absentee voting on Sat., Dec. 27th, from 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., for Absentee Voting. On Tuesday, Dec. 30th, polls for the Special Election will be open from 7-a.m. until 9-p.m.

Polling Places in Montgomery County include: Red Oak Gold Fair Building, Red Oak Fire Station, Red Oak First Christian Church, Elliott Community Building, Stanton Fire Department, Grant Fire Department and the Villisca Community Building.

The Montgomery County Auditor’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. If anyone has questions about voter registration, absentee ballots, or voting, call the Auditor’s office at 712-623-5127 or visit www.montgomerycountyiowa.com.


Branstad orders flags be lowered to honor Alons


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered that all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff in honor of state Rep. Dwayne Alons. U.S. flags and Iowa flags under the state’s control will be lowered and flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to remember Alons, who died Saturday.

The 68-year-old Alons announced in October that he was battling renal cancer. He was a retired farmer and former Iowa Air National Guard brigadier general. He had represented Iowa House District 4 since 1998.

A memorial service for Alons is scheduled Wednesday morning at First Reformed Church in Hull.

Advocacy group launches campaign for road funding


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Advocates seeking more funding for Iowa’s bridges and roads are launching a new advertising campaign. In a television ad that started airing Monday, a narrator notes the thousands of structurally deficient bridges in Iowa. At the end of the ad, paid for by the Iowa Good Roads Association, the voice of an emergency operator says: “We have a bridge collapse with a bus full of school children.”

David Scott, executive director of the association, says the ad will air across the state for two weeks. Scott says his group, which includes trucking companies and auto dealers, wants to see an increase in dedicated road funding. Gov. Terry Branstad has said he was open to ideas for increasing road construction funding.

Counties sign on to statewide notification system


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The head of Iowa’s Homeland Security division says more than 50 Iowa counties have signed up for a statewide emergency notification system. Mark Schouten, director of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says Tuesday that 57 counties are now participating in Alert Iowa. The system was launched in October. (Click here for a map of those counties with “Alert Iowa“: http://homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/documents/maps/MAP_AlertIowaCounties.pdf )

Residents in counties with the system can sign up for alerts about issues like severe weather. They have a wide range of options for how to receive the information, including phone calls, text messages or through social media. Counties have local control over how they use the system.

Schouten talked about the program during a budget hearing before Gov. Terry Branstad. Schouten is seeking $400,000 to continue to the program in the next budget year.

NE man & IA woman arrested after 2 state pursuit


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Nebraska and a woman from Iowa were arrested Monday night following a two-state pursuit of a vehicle stolen from Papillion, NE. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies assisted Bellevue, NE Police in their pursuit of a vehicle that crossed over the Bellevue Bridge into Iowa Highway 370, at around 10:18-p.m.,  Monday.

Officials say when the 1996 Honda Accord ran out of gas, the occupants, identified as 28-year old Jeremy Jakub, of Union, NE., and 20-year old Brooke Moerker, of Council Bluffs, were quickly apprehended. Both face a felony charge of Theft in the 2nd degree. Moerker was also wanted on warrants out of Council Bluffs, while Jakub had warrants for his arrest issued in Nebraska. Jakub, who faces an additional charge of being a Fugitive from Justice, was awaiting extradition back to Nebraska.

The Iowa State Patrol assisted in the pursuit and arrests.

US DOT denies Harlan reimbursement funds


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation have denied a request from the City of Harlan and metropolitan Area Planning Association for reimbursement of funds for the city’s Pioneer Park trail. A letter was sent in October to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Iowa Division Administrator, asking that the initial funding of $272,400 for the project be granted.

The letter stated that through miscommunication, the project was inadvertently not included in the Regional Planning Transportation Improvement Program even though the project was originally submitted and approved by the association for a Transportation Alternatives Program project. The City of Harlan, believing the project was included in the Transportation Improvement Program, moved on with construction of the project.

The DOT response to the request said not only was the project not listed in the Transportation Improvement Program, but none of the federal regulations were in compliance. And in accordance with rules and regulations, there is no mechanism to grant a waiver for the project.

The City may continue to investigate options for reimbursement for the project from federal and/or state sources.


Iowa man pleads not guilty in house fire case


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to setting a house on fire that had four people inside. Thirty-four-year-old Nathan Toft entered his written plea Monday in Woodbury County District Court on charges of first-degree arson and stalking. His trial is set to start in March.

Toft is accused of setting a pile of wood on fire that was next to a home. The house sustained fire damage as two adults and two children escaped. They were not hurt. The Sioux City Journal reports there were two protection orders on file against Toft at the time of the fire. Court document also say he was not supposed to be near the home. It’s unclear what his relationship is to the four inside the home.

December 2014


December 2nd, 2014 by Stacie Linfor

December 1st:

  • Thatcher Hilyard of Cumberland (Winner)

December 2nd:

  • Margaret Taylor of Cumberland (Winner)
  • Janet Nielsen of Atlantic
  • Leon Vogl of Anita
  • Sandi Lauritsen of Audubon
  • Tamie Madsen of Kimballton

Cass County Supervisors to act on tax abatement & Courthouse HVAC proposal


December 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have a relatively light agenda for their meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. The Board is expected to act on approving a Resolution calling for the abatement of taxes on properties at 404 California Street, in Lewis, and on a mobile home at Sycamore Village, in Atlantic, where, according to the agenda, it is “Impractical to collect [the] tax.”

The Supervisors will also act on a proposal from Excel Mechanical Company, with regard to a Courthouse Heating, Ventilation And Cooling (HVAC) study. The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s meeting begins at 8:30-a.m., Wednesday.