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2 arrests in Red Oak, Friday


December 4th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) – Two men were arrested on separate charges, Friday, in Red Oak. According to Red Oak Police, at around 10:20-p.m., 20-year-old Chad Stanley Padilla, of Red Oak, was arrested in the 1600 block of E. Summit Street. He was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and charged with Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree. His cash-only bond was set at $1,000. And, at around 2-p.m., Friday, 55-year-old James Kent Otte, of Red Oak, was arrested in the 1200 block of N. 1st Street, for Driving While Barred. His bond was set at $2,000.

Grower says supply of fresh Christmas trees going fast.


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – One Iowa Christmas tree grower says supplies are already getting short as we enter the first weekend of December. Robin Miller of rural Hawarden owns of T & S Christmas tree farm in Plymouth County. She says the demand for real trees has continued to be high. Because of the high demand in the last few years, I will be closed after this weekend,” Miller says. Miller says a new generation wanting to make family memories has led to an increase in demand for real Christmas trees in recent years. Miller says most people prefer to pick a tree that stands around seven feet tall. She says it takes between eight and ten years to grow a tree at that height.

“The scotch pine is really popular and any of the firs are really popular for a couple of reasons. The Scotch pines have that really full conical look, and the firs are really well known for holding their needles,” she explains.Mill er has a gift shop and says another product has been very popular. “Boy this year we’ve had incredible wreath sales — I think we are up to 700 wreaths we’ve made — probably a 120 left, maybe not even that many,” according to Miller. “And you know, that’s also affected by the shortage of trees that we are seeing. I have a shortage of foliage. I wish I could have all the products I normally do, but I just don’t, due to the lack of access to the foliage.” Miller says the warm weather hasn’t kept people from being in the Christmas spirit, and sales of trees have not suffered.

“Doesn’t hurt me at all. A lot of times I hear people say ‘wow this weather is amazing, I remember that year with four feet of snow, a giant mudhole’, it’s kind of nostalgic in a way when people are reminded of other years when it was not so nice,” according to Miller. The T & S Christmas tree farm is located about 20 miles northwest of Le Mars, and 25 miles north of Sioux City.

2 Council Bluffs men arrested on warrants Friday


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office, Friday, said two Council Bluffs men were arrested Thursday afternoon on warrants. 34-year-old Clayton Shane Clark was arrested in Sarpy County, NE, on two warrants for Domestic Abuse Assault (No Bond), and Violation of Probation ($10,000 bond). And, 25-year-old Devin Brandon Jackson was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office, on two warrants for Violation of Probation, with bond set at $40,000. Both men were taken into custody at around 4:30-p.m.

Strong consumer spending, corporate tax growth in Iowa, but income tax payments flat


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa – There’s been a nearly six percent increase in state tax receipts in the past five months compared to the same period a year ago. Jeff Robinson of the Legislative Services Agency provides a monthly report to lawmakers. “Gains in sales and use tax as well as corporate income tax remain significant,” Robinson says, “while individual income tax growth for the year has been flat.” Corporate income tax payments to the state rose more than 19 percent from July 1st through the end of November. State sales tax collections were up two-and-a-half percent during the period.

“Federal economic stimulus and direct payments continue to support consumer spending,” Robinson says, “while Iowa and national employment levels remain well below pre-pandemic levels.” The Legislative Services Agency estimates nine-point-three BILLION dollars additional federal funding flowed into Iowa through enhanced unemployment benefits, loans and other pandemic-related spending approved during the Trump and Biden Administrations. A three-member panel of financial experts will meet on December 13th to review state tax receipts and give Iowa lawmakers a new estimate of total state tax revenue.

La Nina advisory is posted, Iowa’s winter weather will be impacted


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) The National Climate Prediction Center is issuing a La Nina advisory, indicating Iowa’s winter weather -will- be influenced by the cooling surface of the southern Pacific Ocean. Doug Kluck, the Central Region’s climate service director at the National Weather Service, says this La Nina pattern is predicted to be fairly weak.There is the potential for it to edge up into the strong category,” Kluck says. “One of the things that’s different about this year as opposed to last year is that the atmosphere and the ocean, in the equatorial Pacific, are interacting together — as you would think they should — very well in a La Nina year.” Kluck, who’s based in Kansas City, says forecasters are hoping the La Nina follows its predicted path.

“From a prediction point of view, that’s good because you rely more on that than influencing North America at some point in the future,” he says. While there are some indications the La Nina may gain strength during the approaching winter, Kluck says it’s still unclear how strong it may get.

“We try to put labels, we try to quantify strength of La Nina and El Nino all the time,” Kluck says. “If we could put 100% of prediction into La Nina, that’s the way it would look, more or less, across the U.S.” The winter prediction calls for near-normal temperatures and precipitation across the northern plains, with a chance of colder conditions and more snow in February and March.

Bail reduction request denied for teens accused in Fairfield teacher’s murder


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The two southeast Iowa teenagers charged with killing an educator likely will not be released on bail before trial. Judge Joel Yates has denied the request of two Fairfield teens accused in the November 2nd murder of Nohema Graber, the Fairfield High Spanish teacher. Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, both 16, asked that their $1 million bond be reduced due to their age and lack of criminal history.

The two teens remain in the Jefferson County Jail. A trial date of April 19th has been set in the case.

2 injured in Mills County train derailment Friday morning


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Pacific Junction) — Authorities in Mills County report two people suffered minor injuries and were transported to the hospital following the derailment of a freight train this (Friday) morning, near Pacific Junction. According to reports, emergency responders received a call around 7:05 a.m., about a train derailment just south of Pacific Junction near Interstate-29.

While roughly 12-to-14 rail cars derailed, additional cars believed to be carrying ethanol, remained on the tracks. Railroad crews were in the process of recovering the derailed train cars and effective incident clean-up. The derailment was still under investigation by Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

Mills County EMA Drone pictures via the Mills County EMA Facebook page

Emergency personnel from Oak Township, Silver City, Pacific Junction, Glenwood, Mills County Deputies, the Iowa State Patrol, and railway security assisted at the scene.

Atlantic Area Chamber Ambassadors Celebrate with Community 1st Credit Union


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors were hosted by Community 1st Credit Union on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Nishna Valley Credit Union in Atlantic merged with Community 1st of Ottumwa early this fall, and the merge was brought on when both simultaneously reached out to one another about the idea. Nishna Valley Credit Union was looking to advance their services and technology but were finding that due to their size they were not able to fund these changes. Tim Marcsisak and the Nishna Valley Credit Union Board of Directors began to research other credit unions to partner with and found Community 1st would align with their mission and goals.

Community 1st Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution that prides themselves in helping people and reach their financial goals by offering the lowest interest & borrowing rates while also providing the highest saves rates. Greg Hanshaw, President and CEO or Community First, shared that the organization is passionate about rooting themselves in small communities such as Atlantic and providing a personalized services to their customers while also giving back to the community.

To learn more about Community 1st Credit Union and the services they provide, please contact 712-243-6645 or visit that their website at

Community 1st Credit Union is located at 200 Maple Street in Atlantic.

Atlantic Area Chamber Visit with Iowa Western Community College


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors were hosted by Iowa Western Community College on Thursday, December 1st, 2021. Ambassadors were introduced to Cindy Wetterlind as the new Center Director, along with other new staff. The Ambassadors also learned about a project in which students partnered with Akin Building Center.

Cindy has worked with IWCC for 15 years in a case management program in which she would visit business officials as a company was going out of business. Cindy would offer the staff scholarships and continuing education opportunities through Iowa Western that would allow the staff to acquire new skills to get new jobs. After the program ended, Cindy spent a few months in another position, but applied for the Director position here after learning former Director Ann Pross retired in the summer of this year.

Among the new staff are two part time secretaries, Nancy Gilleland and Grace Kopp, and a new English Comprehension professor Dianna Blake, and Ray McCalla, Psychology and Religion & Ethics professor, also started working full time at the center this summer. The Ambassadors learned about a project led by Brian Church and his students in the Design Technology Department. With the pandemic in 2020 many students were unable to obtain an internship.

The Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors visited the IWCC Cass County Center on Wednesday to welcome new staff and learn about a project to build new tables for the student center.

Brian tasked the students with a design project and the group decided to create wooden tables for the Student Center. The students approached Akin Building Center about partnering on the project, in which Akins donated many of the items used in the project.

Iowa Western has multiple locations throughout southwest Iowa, and the Cass County location has seen a great increase in enrollment which has allowed for more growth and opportunities at the center.

To learn more about Iowa Western, please contact 712-325-3200 or visit that their website at

Iowa Western-Cass County is located at 705 Walnut Street in Atlantic.

Drive-through Mobile Food Pantry to be held in Atlantic December 8


December 3rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – On Wednesday December 8, the Cass County Local Food Policy Council is hosting a mobile  food pantry through the Food Bank for the Heartland at the Cass County Community Center from 4:00 – 6:00 PM, or as supplies last. Anyone in need is welcome to visit the mobile pantry, and no documentation is needed.  People from surrounding towns and communities are welcome.


Food Bank for the Heartland Mobile Food Pantry

  • When: Wednesday, December 8 (4:00-6:00 PM, or until supplies run out).
  • Where: Cass County Community Center (805 West 10th St. Atlantic IA 50022). Traffic will be directed by volunteers.
  • What: A mobile pantry is a traveling food pantry that delivers food directly to families in need for a one-day distribution. The mobile pantry is available free of charge. Visitors are
    asked stay in their vehicles with the trunk open.
  • Who: Anyone in need is welcome. No documentation needed.

For more information on local food, farmers markets, and food access, follow the Cass County Local Food Policy Council’s Facebook page @CassCountyLocalFood.