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Three charged after cats and dogs taken from Storm Lake home


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Three people have now been charged after several animals said to be in poor condition were removed from a Storm Lake residence last Friday.

Officers captured and removed 50 cats and two dogs from the home, and they were transported to a local animal hospital for evaluation and treatment. Some of them had to be euthanized due to illness.

Animal being removed from Storm Lake home. (Storm Lake Radio photo)

Sixty-one-year-old Juana Munoz, 31-year-old Veronica Lopez Munoz, and 25-year-old Mayra Lopez Munoz have all been charged with two counts of animal neglect causing injury or death, .and one count of animal neglect without serious injury.”

Realtors Association president says housing market is slowing


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The president of the Iowa Association of Realtors says the record-setting housing market has slowed some — but it is far from hitting a full stop. Byron Menke, of Treynor, says the nearly eight percent drop in homes sales in May was the signal of a slowdown that he says was not unexpected. “The demand is still extremely high, a lot of buyers still out there, you know, inventory continues to be short. And so that just kind of tempering this market a little bit,” Menke says. Menke says it has helped make things a little more manageable.

“It’s slowed. I mean, I’m not gonna say that it hasn’t slowed. But it’s I’ve told people I feel like it would be kind of common to say, instead of doing 100 miles an hour on the freeway, we’re getting close to doing the speed limit again here,” according to Menke. The median sale price in May was up nearly 13 percent — showing the impact of the high demand, and low supply.

Byron Menke. (Photo from Menke Realty.)

“You never want to see the market slow up and sell less homes were in the market to sell. But I think it was something that, you know, probably needed to happen, it was the market had gotten so fast and furious,” Menke says, “and it was extremely hard for a lot of buyers to even, you know, get into the market, just because a lot of the cash buyers just came in and sucked things up. If they weren’t cash buyers, you know, the beginning buyer, it made it extremely hard for them.”

He says some buyers have kind of stepped off to the sidelines for now. “Interest rates have doubled since the beginning of the year. And I know that’s got some people, looking hard, you know, what do we do now. You know, do we come in,?” he says. “I think you’re starting to see people go back to things that we haven’t heard of for a while adjustable-rate mortgages, those type of things.” Menke says there are still people out looking for homes and with the inventory still tight — it will remain a very competitive market for those looking to buy. He says interest rates will continue to be a brake for some.

“It’s going to I think continue to slow things down. It’s just anytime you have that much of a jump of interest rates and with the outlook of more interest rate increases coming,” he says. Menke says there’s always people relocating and he doesn’t see things completely slowing down right now.

Complaints from Iowans sharply rise about solar energy companies


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The consumer protection division of the Iowa Attorney General’s office is seeing a dramatic upturn in complaints about solar energy companies in recent months. A-G’s spokesman Lynn Hicks says people go into the endeavor hoping to lower their energy bills, but some are finding more costs and headaches with solar than they’d expected. “We’re getting complaints about the delays in getting panels installed,” Hicks says. “We’re hearing that there are all kinds of promises and representations made, exaggeration of how much savings in energy costs. You may be told that you’re going to get a tax credit.”

From 2019 through 2021, the division received 15 total complaints over the three years regarding solar energy systems. So far in 2022, the division has already received 40 complaints.  “You may be promised that the utility will buy back power,” Hicks says. “We’ve heard of problems with financing. We’ve heard about problems in the actual installation, defects in the panels, complaints over warranties, somebody saying we’ll give you a refund and then they never do.”

In some cases, Hicks says consumers who started the process of purchasing solar panels have spent thousands of dollars — or tens of thousands — on the systems. Solar energy can lower your carbon footprint while powering your home with clean energy, but Hicks says it’s not for everyone and before signing a contract, you absolutely need to do your homework.  “That includes just looking at your utility bill and getting a very good idea of how much you could actually save,” Hicks says. “Then consider things like how long am I going to stay in this home? How big of a system will I need? Look at your house itself. Where is it located? How much sun do you get?”

While the average solar lease may save consumers money, he notes that if the homeowner changes their mind, moves, or the system experiences production issues, it can quickly become very costly. To contact the Iowa Attorney General’s consumer protection division, visit iowaattorneygeneral.gov or call 888-777-4590.

Glenwood Police report, 6/28/22


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports two arrests took place Monday, and one person was arrested today (Tuesday). On the 27th, 34-year-old Jeffrey Neppl, of Glenwood, was arrested for public intoxication (bond set at $300 cash or surety); and, 33-year-old Amanda Elrod, of Glenwood, was arrested for driving while barred. (bond set at $2,000 c/s).

On the 28th, 43-year-old Rebecca Leeper, of Glenwood, was arrested on a Mills County Warrant for Fraudulent Practice 2nd degree and Ongoing criminal conduct. Her total bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

Fourth of July weekend looking good for state park visitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Iowa DNR News) – Iowa State Parks are gearing up for the Fourth of July weekend as thousands of campers, cabin renters, picnickers and outdoor enthusiasts get ready to enjoy the long weekend. “State Parks are great destinations for summer holidays,” says Sherry Arntzen DNR State Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau chief. “Whether you are staying for a week or making a day trip, our parks and forests provide great opportunities for families and friends to make memories.”

Last-minute campers can take their chances with walk-in campsites, as 25 percent of all state park campsites are first-come, first-served, except at Lake Manawa, Maquoketa Caves, and Walnut Woods state parks, which are 100 percent reservable. Most of the sites available are non-electric; realistically, most will be occupied by this Thursday. The best chances to secure a site will be at smaller, more remote parks. Visit https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks for a list of parks and amenities.

Here are additional tips for an enjoyable and safe visit to Iowa state parks this holiday:

Parking: Expect large crowds, be patient and plan accordingly. Consider coming early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Parking is not allowed on roadways (only in designated areas). Please follow all road signs, especially speed limits, to keep everyone safe.

Fireworks: Individuals are allowed to use “novelties,” which include party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes, glow worms, wire sparklers and dipped sticks. All other fireworks are banned in state parks without a special event “fireworks” permit.

Water safety: Park beaches will be very popular. Be aware of surroundings, stay in designated swimming areas, and keep your eyes at all times on members of your group who are swimming. Most state park beaches do not have lifeguards, so be vigilant. Consider life jackets for any children who may not be able to swim.

Stay cool: Heat and crowds can take their toll. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and avoid excessive alcohol use.

Be a good neighbor: Everyone wants to have a good time. Be courteous, pick up trash and be patient with other visitors. If you need assistance or see something concerning, please contact the park office. In case of emergency, call 911.

Alerts and closure information is posted on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/parks and the parks reservation system at http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com. Current information is also available by calling individual park offices directly.

Update from Cass County Treasurer’s Office


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – Cass County Treasurer Tracey J. Marshall, today (Tuesday), said her office remains closed until further notice. According to Marshall…


Lake Manawa State Park opens new campground

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS – The new campground at Lake Manawa State Park has opened. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, tghe 40-campsite campground features modern amenities including full hook-up campsites, a shower house, and a paved walking trail connecting the campground to the beach and Dreamland Playground. It also features a gated entrance for campers to access the campground. A registration building at the campground gate provides online and telephone reservation information for those who come to the park looking for a site. Campers will receive a four-digit access code to open the gate and enter the campground.

All 40 campsites are available for online reservations; walk-in sites will not be an option. “Lake Manawa is the third Iowa state park to offer 100 percent reservable campsites,” said Sherry Arntzen, chief of the Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau. “Campers have been pleased with the flexibility and convenience it provides and we are excited to offer this feature and for campers to enjoy this beautiful new campground.”

With 100-percent reservable sites, availability is known in real time. Campers can search and book sites online before leaving home, on the way to the park, or at the campground. Reservations can be made from April 15 to October 15 until 9 p.m. CST the day of arrival online at https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/ or by calling the reservation call center at (877) 427-2757 Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the call center is closed on Sundays.

Customers will no longer need to fill out the paper walk-in registration forms or pay with cash or check; all reservations will require a credit card payment online or over the phone. Customers can still pay by check if the reservation is made through the call center and made at least 21 days in advance.  Construction began on the campground in fall 2020. It officially opened on June 1st.
Out-of-state user permits required for Lake Manawa, Waubonsie state parks

The Iowa Legislature has extended the out-of-state user permit requirement for Lake Manawa and Waubonsie state parks through December 31, 2025. The law also changes the expiration date for annual permits from one year from the date of purchase, to the end of the calendar year. Annual permits purchased January 1 – June 30, 2022 will be honored into 2023, expiring one year from purchase date.  Annual permits purchased starting July 1, 2022 will be valid until the end of 2022. The daily permit for out-of-state visitors costs $5 and an annual permit is $40. Daily passes can be purchased at pay stations throughout the park. More information can be found at: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/Nonresident-Vehicle-Entrance-Permits

Mills County Sheriff’s report, 6/28/22


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Glenwood, Iowa) – The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two recent arrests: 41-year-old Deann Marie Kuhl, of Glenwood, was arrested Sunday afternoon, for Obstruction of Prosecution or Defense, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Poss. of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Under Suspension. She was taken into custody on I-29 at mile marker 38, and held on a $3,600 bond. And, at around 11:24-p.m. Saturday, 41-year-old Sean Michael Cooney, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Violation of a No Contact Order. Cooney was taken into custody on I-29 at mile marker 32, and held without bond in the Mills County Jail.

One person was flown by LifeNet helicopter to the UNMC following an ATV rollover accident at around 11:05-p.m., June 19th. Authorities say 21-year-old Oscar Lupercia-Castaned, of Tabor, was driving an ATV on Raleigh Avenue (A dirt road), when the left front tire hit a rut in the road, causing it to flip-over. A passenger on the ATV was ejected and injured. Their name was not released. An investigation was made on the scene, during which Lupercia-Castaned admitted to drinking, but was under the legal limit.


(Update) Produce in the Park June 30: Thai Food Truck and Bounce Houses


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC, IA – Produce in the Park Market Manager Brigham Hoegh said she is thrilled to report the event will be hosting Pim’s Thai Food Truck at the Atlantic City Park on June 30 from 4:30-6:30. Pim’s Thai has been requested by multiple people in the community and comes recommended with rave reviews. Pim’s Thai Food Truck menu includes entrees such as crispy chicken, curry, fried rice, and pad Thai (a delicious stir-fry noodle-based dish), in addition to appetizers such as crab rangoon and dumplings. The food truck also sells fabulous cold drinks including fruit chillers in flavors mango and tropical punch and boba tea, wildly popular cold teas that are easy to identify from their black tapioca balls.

Pim’s fruit chillers in flavors mango and tropical punch and boba tea

In addition to Pim’s Thai, visitors to the park on June 30 will want to check out the bounce houses. The bounce houses have been at the park throughout the month of June thanks to Nishna Valley Family YMCA, the June sponsor for the market. June 30 is the last day the bounce houses will be at the park. Other attractions at the park on June 30 include yard games with Atlantic Parks & Recreation, live music by Sarah Selders, and nearly 20 vendors selling everything from fresh produce and local meats to jewelry and soaps.

As for free taste tests and recipe ideas, it’s herbs week at Produce in the Park! Taste test fresh herbs and herb butter, buy fresh herbs and herb plants from various vendors, and visit the Grow Another Row Cass County table to learn about donating herbs.

Special thanks: Produce in the Park invites the community to celebrate LaVon Eblen of KJAN’s Backyard and Beyond. After 25 years on the air, LaVon is retiring. Backyard and Beyond has been a great program on KJAN that has covered Produce in the Park many times. LaVon was also a founding mother of Produce in the Park. LaVon will be at Produce in the Park on June 30. The community is invited to come thank her for all she’s done.

Iowa Air National guard members train in Georgia


June 28th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – A group of clinicians from Sioux City’s Air National Guard 185th refueling wing has been training together at the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, Georgia this past week. First Lieutenant Amber Franco says it’s the first time since 2019 that the large group from the 185th medical group has been able to get together to knock out a good portion of their annual training requirements.

The pandemic, along with worldwide deployments and financial constraints has kept the Iowa Air National Guard clinicians from training together as a group for more than three years. The training in Georgia provided a variety of scenarios.

During the past few years, 185th clinicians have volunteered for various duties like helping at state covid-19 testing centers. Others have recently deployed to the middle-east. The 185th members also helped with resettlement efforts after the U-S pullout from Afghanistan earlier this year.