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Eagle Grove P.D. investigate shooting incident


February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

Adair County & Guthrie County Implements Burning Ban

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Guthrie Center, Iowa) – A burning ban will be in place for Adair County and Guthrie County starting Saturday February 24, 2024. The ban prohibits open burning in Adair County and Guthrie County, including all the cities within the counties.
The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout Adair and Guthrie County. As dry conditions and winds persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly.

Adair County Burn Ban Proclamation 02-24-2024

Guthrie County Burn Ban Proclamation 02-24-2024

Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Jeremy Cooper says “Adair and Guthrie County Fire Departments have seen the effects of fires in extreme conditions, and they want to do everything they can to help mitigate life threatening incidents from occurring. These Fire Departments are volunteer departments and are responding to calls that pull them from their everyday life and work and becomes very taxing on those volunteers. We have been in a drought for over 4 years and conditions just have not been improving much. We have experienced an abnormal winter with really only one major snow event that really didn’t help with the overall moisture levels. Hopefully in the coming weeks things will improve and start greening up, it’s just not common to have a Burn Ban this time of year.”

During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational campfires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fireplace of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any campfire not in an outdoor fireplace or left unattended is prohibited. Fire Departments will still be able to proceed with their scheduled controlled burns of CRP land and citizens can also obtain a burn permit from their local Fire Chief, if the Chief approves such a request and signs the permit.

Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban. For more information on burn bans and the law or to check the current status of burn bans statewide on the State Fire Marshal’s statewide burn ban website: https://dps.iowa.gov/divisions/state-fire-marshal/burn-bans.

Another field fire reported in Montgomery County


February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) – Officials with the Red Oak Fire Department report, that at around 4-p.m. Friday, Red Oak Fire was dispatched to the area of 160th x L Ave for a reported field on fire. Automatic mutual aid was requested from the Stanton and Elliott Fire Departments. The first crews on the scene found flames moving slowly through several grazed pasture fields as well as fence lines and several small brush piles. The fire was quickly contained. Crews remained on scene for roughly 90 minutes putting out smoldering trees and brush piles. Approximately 25 acres was consumed in fire. The cause of fire is undetermined at this time.
At the same time of the initial call and while fire crews were enroute to the 160th x L Ave fire call, fire crews witnessed smoke coming from the Anderson Conservation area. Additional fire crews were redirected and responded to find a small rekindle within the area of the previous burn from Wednesday afternoon. That fire was also quickly contained with no further incident.
Agencies assisted in handling the incident include the aforementioned Stanton and Elliott Fire Departments, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies and Montgomery County 911, along with the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency. (Photos from the Red Oak FD Facebook page)

Creston man injured in a motorcycle accident


February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Creston, Iowa) – One person was transported to the hospital in Creston, Friday night, following a motorcycle accident. Creston Police say 76-year-old Michel Joseph Spaulding, of Creston, was operating a 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle northbound on Cherry Street south of Mills St, at around 10:20-p.m., when the machine struck a curb. The cycle scraped along a yard and a road before coming to rest. Police found Spaulding sitting next to his motorcycle, alert and conscious, but bleeding from the head.

The man admitted to officers that he had consumed alcohol. He was transported by EMS to the Greater Regional Hospital in Creston. The motorcycle sustained an estimated $7,000 damage. No citations were issued.

Barn destroyed by fire near Menlo


February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Stuart, Iowa)  – Officials with the Stuart Fire Department report crews from the department along with Menlo fire, were dispatched to a barn fire at around 8:35-a.m., Friday. The first crews arriving on the scene from Stuart advised all other responding units that the barn was fully involved. Around that same time Dexter fire was requested for mutual aid (for personnel & water). Firefighters battled the wind and got the fire under control.

Guthrie County REC crews were requested to remove an overhead power line, to ensure the safety of the fire personnel on the ground. Authorities say the barn sustained significant damage, and collapsed. It was deemed a total loss. No injuries were reported.

Stuart FD Facebook post photo

Stuart Fire thanks Menlo fire, Dexter fire, Guthrie county REC, Guthrie county Dispatch, and Stuart Rescue for their support at the scene.

Gray wolf found dead on the northwest edge of Davenport


February 24th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Iowa DNR News)  – A large canine found lying in the median of I-80 in Scott County Monday morning has been identified as a young adult male gray wolf. The animal, estimated to be around two years old, was seen laying in the I-80 median near the interchange with I-280 by State Conservation Officer Brooks VanDerBeek who collected it for examination.

The wolf was taken to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Ames, and received a full necropsy on Wednesday to confirm cause of death and assess overall health. The DNR is planning to send tissue samples for DNA testing to verify if it’s a true wolf or hybrid, and its population of origin.

Based on the examination, state furbearer biologist Vince Evelsizer and state wildlife veterinarian Dr. Rachel Ruden are confident it is a gray wolf. “He was in fair shape physically, with not much fat under the hide but a good amount of fat internally,” Ruden said. “He was also moderately parasitized by tapeworms, including Echinococcus, which is not unexpected as wild canids are the definitive host. However, this particular parasite can infect people through the ingestion of eggs in feces, so this serves as a good reminder for our hunters, trappers and wildlife rehabilitators to take care when handling coyotes and foxes.”

This wolf likely originated from the Great Lakes population in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Evelsizer said. “Wolves have a complex social structure and will naturally disperse, typically in the fall or winter, not necessarily associated with breeding. We received a quality daylight photo of a gray wolf from a trail camera in Delaware County in November, and this wolf appears to have similar coloring, but we don’t know for sure it’s the same animal or not,” said Evelsizer. “We are thankful Officer VanDerBeek spotted this animal and picked it up.”

The Great Lakes wolf population has been steady to slightly increasing in recent years and is the closest population to Iowa. Over the last five years, Iowa averages from one to five wolves roaming through. Iowa does not have a breeding population of wolves. “While it is rare for wolves to be in Iowa, this serves as a reminder to coyote hunters to be very sure of your target before pulling the trigger,” Evelsizer said.

Coyotes typically weigh 25-40 pounds whereas wolves typically weigh 70-110 pounds. For comparison, this wolf weighed 77.5 pounds, and measured 62 inches long from nose to tip of the tail. Wolves are protected in Iowa and there is no open season.

Council Bluffs man sentenced for possession of a homemade gun while in a casino


February 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) –  A man from western Iowa who was found in possession of a homemade large-caliber pistol in the Meskwaki Casino in 2022, was sentenced Thursday (February 22, 2024) in Cedar Rapids U-S District Court, to five years in federal prison. The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, said Friday (today), 56-year-old Som Boun Cam, from Council Bluffs, received the prison term after a September 18, 2023 guilty plea to possessing a smooth bore, .410 gauge pistol, which was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

In addition to the 60-month sentence, Cam must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. He is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

In a plea agreement, Cam admitted that on April 14, 2022, he was in the Meskwaki Casino hotel when he was involved in a scuffle with another guest and misplaced his backpack. Hotel staff subsequently found the backpack, and when they looked in it on April 18, 2022, they found methamphetamine and a homemade smooth bore .410 gauge pistol. On April 19, 2022, Cam returned to the hotel to claim his property. Cam admitted he had manufactured the firearm. This was a firearm that was required to be registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, but it was not registered to him. Cam has a 1995 felony conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and methamphetamine, a 2017 felony conviction for possessing a firearm as a felon, and multiple assault convictions.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and was investigated by the Meskwaki Nation Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Report finds a majority of rural Iowa hospitals don’t deliver babies


February 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – A report by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform finds 61 percent of Iowa’s rural hospitals no longer deliver babies. The report analyzed federal data and also found that of the 36 rural hospitals still providing the care, 58 percent reported losing money on the service. The C-E-O of the non-profit, Harold Miller, says insurance companies and Medicaid need to reimburse hospitals more for the cost of births.

“We’ve suggested that they also need to pay differently. Rather than simply paying for each birth, they need to be paying the hospital to be able to support the availability of the appropriate staff to do that,” he says. Miller says it’s really hard to reopen the birthing units once they close.

“So it’s really important to try to prevent more of them from closing now. And with the warning signs that this indicates that this problem is growing right now,” Miller says. Miller says policymakers also need to find ways to recruit and train more people to work in rural health care.

Deadline nears to nominate Iowans of character for awards


February 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Iowans who know someone who lives by the six pillars of character are invited to nominate someone, a business or organization for this year’s Iowa Character Awards. Those pillars are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

Cheri McDaniel, spokeswoman for the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University in Des Moines, says they’re looking for Iowans who go above and beyond. “We collect nominations from across the state,” McDaniel says, “and we just want to recognize Iowans that are doing wonderful things.” There have been more than 200 Iowa Character awards presented since 2005. There are multiple categories for the awards, including for sports teams and student organizations.

“Annually, we give out awards to the Citizen of Character, both at the youth level and at the adult level,” McDaniel says. “We have the Educator of Character Award, which can be given out to teachers, administration, anyone working within the schools. There’s the Business of Character, which is any business organization.”

Character Pillars (Robert D. and Billie Ray Center image)

The nomination deadline is May 1st and she says it’s easy to submit a name. “You can go to Iowa Character Awards and there is going to be a red box on the page that just says 2024 Nomination Form,” she says. “You click that and it’ll take you to a page and you can add all the information and upload whatever supporting documentation you might have.”

The winners will be announced in June and will be recognized this summer with a date to be announced.

ARL of Iowa rescues 24 cats from ‘deplorable’ conditions


February 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Two dozen cats were removed from a house in Des Moines this week. A news release from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa says the 24 cats were everywhere in the house, and their droppings and garbage covered the floors.

The ARL says all of the animals were dehydrated with upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, ear mites, fleas, and eyes matted shut. They’re all now being treated by the ARL’s Miracle Medical Team though CEO Tom Colvin says their recovery will be a long journey.

ARL of Iowa image

There’s no word yet on the owner’s name or whether any charges are being filed. To make a donation to the ARL, click here.