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Page County Law Enforcement Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers This Fourth of July Weekend


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Page County, Ia.— July 4th celebrations often include cook-outs, picnics, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks.  But for too many Americans, the nation’s annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities. That’s why the Clarinda, Essex, & Shenandoah Police Departments along with the Page County Sheriff’s Office will be out in force during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers with aggressive Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest enforcement.

Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol. In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009.  Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on our roadways. So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. We want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day.

Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems.  In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States.  That’s an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009. Impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting or killing themselves or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of an alcohol-impaired-driving crash or an arrest can be significant.  Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.

Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. So we will be showing zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested. It’s simply not worth the risk to you or to the thousands of innocent victims who are hurt or killed each year by drunk drivers. So if you are over the limit, you will get busted.

A message from…

Sheriff Lyle Palmer                                                    Chief Keith Brothers

Page County Sheriff’s Office                                     Clarinda Police Department


Chief Kris Grebert                                                      Chief Mike Anderson

Shenandoah Police Department                                 Essex Police Department

C.Bluffs residents advised to move items from basements


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Council Bluffs residents are being urged to move valuables out of basements to higher ground because of the threat of heavy rain over the next few days as flooding continues along the Missouri River. The city says Monday ground saturation levels and stressed storm sewer systems are contributing to wet basements being reported around town. The city says given the rain forecast over the next 36 hours, residents should move valuable items out of the basement.

The city also says workers are monitoring a pumping station, where backup pumps were used last week after two of the three permanent pumps failed. The city says one of the backup pumps failed over the weekend. It was repaired and is operational.

Cong. Steve King seeks Presidential Disaster Declaration for 6 IA Counties Hit by Flooding


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Western Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King today (Monday) sent a letter signed by Iowa’s entire House delegation to President Barack Obama,  asking him to grant Governor Terry Branstad’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for six counties that have been ravaged by Missouri River flooding. If granted, the disaster declaration will trigger the release of federal emergency assistance resources to Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties to aid their response to flooding that began on May 25, 2011 and is continuing. King initiated the congressional letter of support for the state’s request.

King said “Missouri River flooding is doing extensive damage to western Iowa, and I am asking the President to grant the state’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration.”  He added “From Sioux City to Hamburg, this flood is consuming homes, businesses, farmland, and infrastructure, and the damage will continue to mount as the water remains with us over the summer. With the support of Iowa’s House delegation behind the state’s request, the President should not hesitate to issue a disaster declaration that will allow federal resources to strengthen ongoing recovery and relief efforts.”

King’s letter to President Obama notes that Governor Branstad has asked for a Major Disaster Declaration after determining that the ongoing Missouri River flooding “is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.”

Red Cross closes 1 of 2 Iowa 24-hour shelters


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) – The American Red Cross has closed one of its 24-hour shelters for Nebraska and Iowa victims of Missouri River flooding. The Red Cross says there is no current major need for the shelter at Missouri Valley, Iowa.

The two 24-hour Nebraska shelters are at Fort Calhoun High School at Fort Calhoun, north of Omaha, and in southeast Nebraska at Peru State College in Peru. The remaining 24-hour shelter in Iowa is at Sidney High School in Sidney, in the southwest corner of the state.

Other shelters are on standby in Cass, Cedar, Dixon, Douglas, Sarpy and Thurston counties in Nebraska, Pottawattamie County in Iowa.

Storms Monday may worsen Missouri River flooding


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The forecast for rain in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa is worrisome for officials who are already concerned about flooding along the swollen Missouri River. Storms are expected to develop Monday afternoon and again in the evening, and the National Weather Service says there is a moderate risk of severe weather.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesman John Benson says the storms might drop enough rain to cause local flooding problems. Weather Service forecaster Van DeWald says the first round of storms in the afternoon shouldn’t significantly worsen flooding along the Missouri River because the storm will move across the region.

DeWald says the places most likely to have flooding problems Monday are the places that received heavy rain Sunday, such as Fremont, Neb. and Audubon, Iowa.

Three injured during T-bone collision in Page Co.


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says three-people were injured during a two-vehicle accident early Monday morning, near Shenandoah. 31-year old Joshua James Shipp, of Boise, Idaho, suffered incapacitating injuries during the crash, and, 38-year old Daniel J. Crnic, along with his passenger, 40-year old Carol Griencewic, both of Omaha, suffered unknown, possible injuries.

Officials say Shipp was traveling westbound on Highway 2 in a 2008 Chevy van at around 12:40-a.m., when he ran a stop sign at the intersection with Highway 59 and broad-sided Crnic’s 2010 Ford Fusion, as Crnic was headed north on Highway 59.

Both men were transported to the Shenandoah Medical Center, and both vehicles were totaled in the crash. Authorities cited Shipp for failure to stop for a stop sign.

(updated 6-21-11 to add 3rd victim: Griencewic)

Pott County shooting suspect arrested


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Craig Finney (photo provided by authorities in MO.)

A Macedonia man wanted in connection with the shooting of a rural Minden woman late last week was arrested Saturday morning, nearly 350-miles away, in Central Missouri, after authorities in the Ivy Bend area located an allegedly stolen, SUV he driving, and began conducting surveillance on a residence.

According to Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker, 50-year old Craig Finney was taken into custody in Morgan County, Missouri. Finney was wanted in connection with the shooting early Friday morning, of 48-year old Patricia Harker.

Danker says authorities in Morgan County, MO, were about to execute a search warrant at a home in the area, when Finney was observed leaving the residence at around 7-a.m., Saturday.

Finney allegedly broke into Harker’s home at around 2:20-a.m. Friday, and fired his shotgun at another man holed-up in a bathroom, before turning the weapon on Harker and shooting her in the shoulder. He then shot himself, before leaving the scene of the crime. Harker was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs before being transferred to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, where she was recovering from serious injuries. Finney was being treated for his injuries at a facility in Missouri.

Danker says he’s amazed the man managed to make it to central Missouri, given the nature of his injuries.

When he’s eventually returned to Iowa, Finney will face two felony charges of attempted murder and one-felony charge of willful injury. Finney was Harker’s former boyfriend. A restraining order issued against him in July 2004 was rescinded four-months later. He later received a deferred judgment on domestic abuse-aggravated assault charges.

9AM Newscast 06-20-2011

News, Podcasts

June 20th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ News Director Ric Hanson


Iowa nursing home chain fighting tax battles


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa nonprofit nursing home chain wants dozens of its facilities reclassified to residential properties for property tax purposes. If Care Initiatives succeeds in its quest, communities where the facilities are situated would get about half as much tax revenue from the facilities, which mostly are classified as commercial properties.

Care Initiatives has appealed 15 rejections to the Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board. The company cites Iowa law, but several county assessors dispute that nursing homes are used primarily for human habitation.

Care Initiatives owns and operates facilities located locally, in Atlantic, Avoca, Bedford, Corning, Creston and Panora.

Atlantic man arrested again for Public Intox


June 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested twice in one week on Public Intoxication charges. The Police Department reports 54-year old Roy Milczarek was taken into custody Saturday. He was being held in the Cass County Jail pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Milczarek was also arrested last Wednesday, on the same charge.