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Villisca man arrested on OWI charge Saturday

News

February 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest Saturday evening of 39-year old Eric Michael Huffstutlear, of Villisca. Huffstutlear was taken into custody at around 6:20-p.m., following a traffic stop at the intersection of north 5th Avenue and east 1st Street, in Villisca. He was charged with OWI/3rd offense, and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on $5,000 bond.

More details released about Adair County ice fishing death

News

February 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adair County have released additional details about a fatal ice fishing accident we first told you about Saturday afternoon. Authorities say 62-year old James Alan Wallace, of Casey, died after falling through the ice while fishing on a private farm pond about six-miles southwest of Menlo.  Wallace’ family members had reported him missing to the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office after he failed to return home from ice fishing Friday afternoon.

Following  a search of the area where Wallace was believed to have been fishing, an Adair County Sheriff’s deputy located the man’s vehicle near a farm pond, and shortly thereafter saw Wallace’ body in the water. He was pulled from the pond by rescue personnel and pronounced dead at the scene, by the Adair County Medical Examiner.

Deputies with the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office, officers with the Stuart Police Department Adair County Conservation officers, Menlo Fire and Rescue and the Adair County Ambulance all assisted in the search and recovery efforts.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sunday, Feb. 10th 2013

News

February 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a western Iowa man has died after falling through ice on a private pond. Atlantic radio station KJAN-AM reports that the man from Guthrie County fell through the ice of a gravel pit in northern Adair County on Friday night. His body was recovered Saturday morning. Sansgaard says the man was from Menlo and in his 60s. Officials have not yet released his name.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One person has died and four more are suffering from injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 in West Des Moines. The crash happened around 4:50 p.m. Friday when a car and van collided in the southbound lanes of the interstate. Authorities have not released the names of those involved in the wreck.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa City man accused of crashing his vehicle into a store in a Coralville mall and firing a handgun inside has pleaded not guilty to charges in the case. Twenty-three-year-old Joseph Moreno pleaded not guilty earlier this week to drunken driving, burglary, reckless use of a firearm and three other charges. Moreno was arrested December 29th after police say he crashed through the front door of Scheels around 2:30 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is seeking $6 million from the Legislature as part of changes in how the state helps domestic abuse victims. Miller asked a judiciary subcommittee last week for the money as his agency seeks to reduce its emphasis on shelters seen as underused and expensive.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Devyn Marble broke a lengthy slump with 21 points and Iowa beat Northwestern 71-57 yesterday to snap a two-game losing streak. Josh Oglesby added 10 for the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Marble, Iowa’s second-leading scorer, put together his best scoring night in nearly two months.

House fire southwest of Griswold Sunday morning

News

February 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Griswold were called to the scene of a house fire southwest of there early Sunday morning. Dispatch reports indicated the residence at 69191 540th Street was fully engulfed in flames just after 2-a.m.  Authorities said the home, which was owned by Orlan Cain, was believed to have been unoccupied, and had been the target of recent thefts.

A neighboring residence was safely evacuated as a precaution. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, with the State Fire Marshal’s Office called to assist in determining a cause. Firefighters were on the scene for a little more than two and one-half hours. They returned late Sunday night after authorities were notified about a gas leak, which was initially termed a “very dangerous situation” by Mid American Energy crews on the scene. Authorities were told an evacuation of nearby homes was necessary shortly after the call was received at around 8:45-p.m., but that turned out not to be the case.

Wind Advisory Issued for parts of SW IA Sunday afternoon/Evening

News, Weather

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(updated) 423 AM CST SUN FEB 10 2013

A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM CST THIS EVENING FOR  MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT & PAGE COUNTIES.

BRISK SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH WINDS THIS MORNING WILL SHIFT TO WEST AND NORTHWEST AND INCREASE LATER IN THE AFTERNOON…AND CONTINUE STRONG INTO THE EVENING. WIND SPEEDS OF 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH IN THE MORNING ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH DURING THE AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING HOURS.

THESE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKE DRIVING POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING…ESPECIALLY FOR LIGHT WEIGHT OR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 30 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS BETWEEN 45 TO 57 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

Menlo man dies after fall through the ice in Adair County

News

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from Guthrie County man has died after falling through the ice in a private gravel pit Friday night, in northern Adair County. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Eric Sansgaard told KJAN News the man’s body was recovered early this morning. The unidentified victim, who is from Menlo, was said to have been in his 60’s.

Sansgaard says the tragic event should serve as a reminder to people the ice conditions are unpredictable especially in light of recent warm temperatures and expected warmer temperatures this weekend.

Audubon City Council to review Budget Monday evening

News

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Audubon is set to review the proposed Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget. The review takes place during a regular meeting of the Council, which begins at 7-p.m. Monday. In other business, the Council will discuss an abatement notice, bid results for water tower repairs and improvements, and act on a Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a notice of award and contracts relating to the project. The council will also decide on the color of the water tower, and, discuss and/or possibly act on mowing contracts.

Iowa AG seeks funding for abuse shelter changes

News

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is seeking $6 million from the Legislature as part of changes in how the state helps domestic abuse victims. Miller asked a judiciary subcommittee last week for the money as his agency seeks to reduce its emphasis on shelters seen as underused and expensive.

The attorney general’s office, which oversees domestic abuse and sexual assault programs, wants to close up to 12 of the 20 shelters. Money saved by that move would go toward hiring 98 more advocates, adding to the 271 people who now help victims.  Advocates would focus more on helping people find permanent housing and support.

Some lawmakers and shelter administrators say the change could be hard on women in rural areas, where there are few housing options.

Atlantic City Council to discuss the $10.1-million FY 2014 budget

News

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(updated 2/11/13 to note change of work session location to the Atlantic Public Library)

The Atlantic City Council will hold work sessions to go over the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget this Tuesday and Wednesday beginning at 5:30-p.m. both days (Feb. 12th & 13th), at the Atlantic Public Library’s meeting room. City Administrator Doug Harris says the proposed budgets for all operating funds in FY 2014 total 10-million 184-thousand 194 dollars, which Harris says is a decrease of more than $3.475-million (25.4%) from the total estimated expenditures for the current Fiscal Year (FY 2013). The main reason for the decrease he says, is a reduction of the Wastewater budget, which reflects completion of the treatment plant project in FY 2013. The net increase for all other funds, amounts to $69,475, or One-percent.

In his nearly inch-thick report to the Council, Harris says the General Operating Fund (which supports most of the core municipal services and is funded through the property tax levy capped by the State at $8.10 per $1,000 of taxable value, after rollback), shows a decrease of $216,299, or 7-percent. A shifting of Police vehicles and equipment to the Debt Service Fund accounts for the budget decrease of slightly more than $97,460, but the greatest factor is a $240,000 decrease in the Fire Department, due to a one-time grant it received this year for Cass County emergency communication equipment that passed through the books.

The Debt Service Fund, according to Harris,  has increased in the proposed budget a little more than $671, 265….$450,000 of which reflects how a new accounting system now shows equipment purchased with bond proceeds were paid out of the fund instead of one of the operating funds. The actual increase in the annual debt service cost for the two-year equipment note is only $9,000 says Harris, which is 3.6-percent over the current year. Another big item in the fund is the increase in debt service payments for the new wastewater treatment plant.

Harris says the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) calls for issuing more General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds this Spring, to fund FY 2014 and FY 2015 CIP’s. He says the debt service payments on the new bond will result in a net increase of about $87,000 next year, which will be offset slightly, by the fact that transfers are down $49,000.

Doug Harris says the City’s Employment Benefits Fund is up slightly more than $42,370 (5.3%). The biggest increase comes in the form of Health Insurance Premiums, which are up $20,567 (5.3%). Premiums are also up 15%, but the cost has been largely offset by higher deductibles paid by employees. IPERS rates have increased 5.8%.

The bottom line concerning most citizens, is how the proposed budget will affect their property taxes. Harris says the proposed budget has six funds that have property tax levies. Under the proposed budget for FY 2014, the tax levy for Atlantic would be $17.68, which is an increase of 44-cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation, or 2.5%. The tax rate went from $17.95 in 2005 to $14.76 before steadily moving backup. The new levy Harris says, is just 27-cent less than the levy in 2005. The majority of the increase in the tax rate is due to a 38-cent increase in the Debt Service levy.

Harris says a Citizen Survey conducted in 2o10 indicated widespread dissatisfaction over the condition of the streets, and improving the streets was their highest priority, followed by storm and sanitary sewer, as well as park improvements. 2014 according to Harris, will mark the 4th year the City has embarked on a plan to improve the neglected infrastructure, and significant progress is being made, but “The road to long-term sustainability will still be challenging,” as the City seeks ways to pay for annual street repairs with current revenue, rather than through long-term bond financing, which is no longer a viable option after this year. Harris says the Council needs to “Make some major decisions before FY 2016″ with regard to the infrastructure improvements and how to pay for them.

Stanton man arrested in Red Oak on a FTA warrant

News

February 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest Friday of a man wanted on a warrant out of Clarinda, for Failure To Appear for a Compliance Hearing, on an original charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance/3rd offense. 23-year-old Zachary Allen Colebank, of Stanton, was transported to Page County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.