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Singer Meghan Trainor cancels state fair grandstand show


August 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa State Fair has been left with a big hole in its grandstand entertainment schedule because pop singer Meghan Trainor says she can’t complete her tour due to a vocal cord problem that requires surgery. Trainor, a popular 21-year-old who scored a No. 1 hit last year with “All About That Bass,” says she’s devastated. Fair spokeswoman Mindy Williamson says the fair must find a replacement to fill a key Saturday night grandstand slot on Aug. 22. Trainor’s show had sold 8,500 tickets.

Rockers Def Leppard and country artist Carrie Underwood have sold-out shows. Williamson says shows selling at least 10,000 tickets are considered sold out. Country singer Reba McEntire’s show on Aug. 16 has sold nearly 9,800 tickets so far.

Teen accepts plea bargain in connection w/I-29 pursuit & shots fired


August 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A 17-year-old from northwest Iowa plead guilty this week to two charges associated with a chase earlier this year, during which he fired at the vehicle of an Iowa Department of Transportation officer. The Omaha World-Herald reports Chauncy Jewett of Sioux City plead guilty Monday to a charge of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and to carrying weapons in the May pursuit on Interstate 29 near Missouri Valley. Derek Floerchinger, a motor vehicle enforcement officer whose vehicle was fired at during the pursuit, was uninjured during the incident.

Prosecutors had initially charged Jewett with attempted murder. As part of a plea agreement, Scott Brown, an assistant attorney general who helped prosecute the case, said they are seeking a 12-year sentence — 10 years for the intimidation charge and two for the carrying weapons charge.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Floerchinger found a white Buick Regal parked alongside the southbound lanes of Interstate 29 in Harrison County near Mondamin about 12:35 p.m. on May 18th. He spoke to Jewett, who produced a false Iowa driver’s license. As Floerchinger questioned him, the teen put the Buick in gear and sped off.

Floerchinger pursued the car along with several other agencies. The chase topped 100 mph at times. The State Patrol says shots were fired from Jewett’s car, one of which hit Floerchinger’s vehicle. The chase ended at a rest area north of Missouri Valley, where the Buick crashed. Jewett ran into the woods behind the rest area and was arrested by Missouri Valley police

A passenger in the car, 20-year old Sydney Swanson, has been charged with second-degree theft and interference with official acts in connection with the incident. She has pleaded not guilty. Sentencing for Jewett is scheduled for Sept. 14th. In a separate case, he faces burglary charges in Woodbury County. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.


Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Aug. 12th 2015


August 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new wind energy project in Iowa is still awaiting final approval from the Iowa Utilities Board. The board met to review a proposed settlement agreement for the project from Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy. No decision was made. MidAmerican filed plans earlier this year to build wind farms on two new sites, with a total cost of about $900 million. If approved, the company would start construction in spring of 2016 and conclude by the end of the year.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge is upholding a warrant allowing investigators to search the email account of an indicted political operative who has worked for Rand Paul, Ron Paul and Mitch McConnell. Magistrate Judge Helen Adams rejected a request by Jesse Benton to quash a warrant ordering Google Inc. to turn over the contents of his Gmail account. The decision means the government will get access to thousands of emails that Benton sent and received dating back to 2011.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is marking his record time in office with the publication of a book about his life. Branstad says the authorized biography will be available before the end of the year and coincides with his status this December as the nation’s longest serving governor. Branstad says an Iowa foundation will handle proceeds from the book, and the money will be distributed to causes that Branstad says focus on historic preservation efforts.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An Iowa man accused of robbing a downtown Fargo motel at gunpoint has pleaded not guilty in federal court. Thirty-year-old Eric Webb, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is charged with five counts, including armed robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and possession a firearm by a convicted felon. Webb was shot by a Fargo police officer shortly after the June 4 holdup.

3 new deputies on duty in Guthrie County


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office has three new deputies. Sheriff’s officials report Rod Pavelka (the former Police Chief in Guthrie Center, Steven Henry (a former Deputy in Decatur County), and Blake Michelsen (who formerly served as an officer with the Belmond Police Dept.), all began serving as Guthrie County Deputies, in July.

left to right: Rod Pavelka,Steven Henry, and Blake Michelsen. (Photo courtesy the Guthrie County S/O)

left to right: Rod Pavelka,Steven Henry, and Blake Michelsen. (Photo courtesy the Guthrie County S/O)

Iowa State Fair opens this week, an excellent showcase for Iowa agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One of the state’s top summertime tourist attractions, Thursday marks the start of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Besides the concerts, midway rides and deep-fried foods on a stick, Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says the fair serves as an excellent opportunity to educate consumers about Iowa’s number-one industry: agriculture.

“It is really important,” Northey says. “We have a million people come through there in the 11 days of the fair and an awful lot of those folks don’t have much exposure to agriculture except maybe at the state fair. It’s important to take that opportunity, offer them a taste of it, and maybe even meet somebody who raises some of the food they eat every day.” Northey says there are plenty of examples of animal husbandry and animal welfare seen at the fair, which serves as another form of agricultural education for consumers.

“From the Animal Learning Center where you can see baby calves and chicks and pigs being born, that’s one of the busiest buildings at the fair,” Northey says, “to being able to walk into the exhibitions where you see the showing (of livestock) going on and being able to go into the barns and see animals being cared for and families and kids working together to take care of those animals.” Northey says many commodity organizations distribute information to fair attendees, and the state ag department will feature two exhibit booths, one in the Agriculture Building and the other at the Varied Industries building.

(Radio Iowa)

IA Transportation Commission approves AIP funds for Red Oak & Winterset Airports


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday), approved approximately $5.3 million for the fiscal year 2016 State Aviation Program, which includes several subprograms. The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) will fund $3 million for aviation safety, planning, and airport development projects at 22 airports throughout Iowa. Among the recipients of funds, was the Red Oak Municipal Airport, which receives $75,120 toward the $92,900 cost of constructing taxiways for T-hangars, and the Winterset Municipal Airport, which receives $19,550 toward the $23,000 cost of constructing a taxiline trench drain.

AIP programs are funded with revenue from aircraft registration fees and aviation fuel taxes. Aviation vertical infrastructure programs will provide $2.3 million for projects at 10 general aviation airports and eight commercial service airports throughout Iowa. Vertical infrastructure programs are funded through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF).

The State Aviation Program supplements local and federal funding sources, and seeks to maintain a safe and balanced statewide air transportation system. Details on the FY 2016 State Aviation Program funding can be viewed at: www.iowadot.gov/aviation/managersandsponsors/statefundingprograms.html.

Logan woman charged in connection with burglary & witness tampering


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department has issued a report on arrests and incidents that have taken place since late last month. In the report released today (Tuesday), officials said charges of Burglary in the 3rd degree & Possession of Stolen Property were filed July 23rd with the Shelby County clerk of court, against 30-year old Tiffanie Newcomb, of Logan. Authorities allege Newcomb broke into a vehicle owned by, and the residence of, Mike Vogelzang, of Harlan. Additional charges of tampering with a witness were filed at a later date. 34-year old Wesley Brayman, of Omaha, was also charged with possession of stolen property in connection with the same incident.

On July 24th, Harlan Police arrested 29-year old Zachary Scheffler, and 28-year old Joey Ranney Jr, both from Harlan, after officers were called to the 1000 block of Tarkington for a possible domestic abuse assault in progress. As a result of the investigation and a later traffic stop, Scheffler and Ranney were taken into custody and transported to the Shelby County Jail. Scheffler was charged with domestic abuse assault, for allegedly striking Ashley McWilliams, of Harlan. Scheffler was also charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited acts penalties. Ranney was charged with driving while barred and was later charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited acts penalties. He was also arrested July 30th, for Violating a No Contact Order.

On July 25th, 33-year old Bruce Spray, of Harlan, was taken into custody for allegedly violating a No Contact Order. Spray was transported to the Shelby County Jail. On August 1st, Harlan Police arrested 21-year old Alexis Martin, of Kimballton, on an OWI charge, following a traffic stop. Martin was also cited for speeding. On August 2nd, 23-year old Crystal Oliver, of Harlan, was arrested when officers were called to a public disturbance in the 2300 block of 7th Street. Oliver was taken to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

On August 3rd, 32-year old Justin Henriksen, of Harlan, was taken into custody by Harlan Police when officers were called to investigate a theft of electricity from a neighboring residence. Henriksen was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with theft 5th degree and trespass. That same day, 35-year old Patrick Schmitz was taken into custody after officers were called to investigate burglaries at Touch of Class and Victoria Station. As a result of the investigation Schmitz was charged with two counts of 2nd degree burglary and 2nd degree theft.

The next day (August 4th), 44-year old Jeffrey Ross, of Portsmouth, was arrested after officers were to the Harlan Fareway Store, with regard to a shoplifting incident. Ross was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with 5th degree theft. And on August 7th, 42-year old Kristal Johnston, of Harlan, was taken into custody on an active Shelby County warrant for probation violation. Johnston was transported to the Shelby County Jail.

The Harlan Police Department reports also, on August 4th, officers were called to investigate an incident where several tools and vehicle parts were stolen, and a residence broken into. The estimated value of items stolen was $1,600.00. Their investigation is ongoing.

Shenandoah man arrested on PCS charge in Mills Co.


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Mills County Sheriff’s Office report the arrest Saturday afternoon of a Page County man on drug and other charges. 59-year old Randy Lee Archer, of Shenandoah, faces charges that include OWI/3rd offense, Possession of Controlled Substance and Driving While Revoked. Archer was also cited for Open Container and Operating Non-registered Vehicle. His bond was set at $9,000. Also arrested Saturday afternoon, was 36-year old Nicholas Thomas Rohrberg, of Council Bluffs, who was taken into custody on a warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

On Sunday, deputies in Mills County arrested 19-year old Andrew Chapin Hunt, of Malvern, for OWI/2nd offense. Hunt was also cited for Possession of Alcohol Under the Age of 21 and Failure to Maintain Control. Bond was also set at $2,000. And on Monday, 21-year old Tyler Allen Dittus, of Carson, was arrested in Mills County for Driving While Barred. His Bond was also set at $2,000.

Treynor Superintendent’s license suspended


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Updated 12:15-p.m.)

TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) – State officials have suspended the license of the Treynor schools superintendent for 30 days, saying he should not have let his son work unsupervised as a custodian for the district after the boy was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. The Board of Educational Examiners also ruled last week that a letter of reprimand would be given to Superintendent Kevin Elwood.

Elwood was accused of two violations of Iowa Educational Code, including failing to make reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of students. His attorney didn’t return a call Tuesday.

In September 2013 Elwood’s son, Kreighton Elwood, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and one of false imprisonment. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail, two years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

8-11: reminder to call 8-1-1before you dig


August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

On this 11th day of August, Alliant Energy reminds customers and residents of Iowa to call 811, before any digging on project. It’s important for everyone, from homeowners to professional contractors, to call before you dig all year. Officials hope this date, 8/11, will be a good reminder. 811

Richard Sublett, Senior Manager of Compliance & Operational Performance for Alliant Energy says “Nationally, failure to call before digging results in more than 60,000 unintentional hits of underground utility lines annually. Not only is calling a good idea, it’s the law.”

When you call 811, your state’s One Call center notifies utility companies of the project. Homeowners and contractors should call at least three business days before digging. Professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines for free.

Officials say you should “Dig with CARE,” by:

C – Calling 811 before you dig
A – Allowing two business days for marks to be made
R – Respecting the marks; hand dig within 18 inches
E – Excavating carefully

For additional information, visit alliantenergy.com/call811 or call 811.