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Injury accident in Harlan


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan woman was hospitalized for minor injuries following an accident Wednesday, at 12th and Chatburn, in Harlan. Mollie Wooster suffered a wrist injury during the crash involving her vehicle and a vehicle driven by Richard Joy, of Harlan.

According to Harlan Police, Wooster was traveling west on Chatburn Avenue and had proceeded to turn south onto 12th Street, when her vehicle was struck on the right corner panel by Joy’s vehicle, as he was traveling east on Chatburn.

Police cited Wooster for failure to yield upon left turn. Damage from the accident amounted to $4,000.

Somebody’s been sleeping on my…couch


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan resident found an unwelcome guest in their house last Sunday (May 8th).  According to the police department, 17-year old Cody Schwery was arrested after a resident in the 500 block of Victoria Street in Harlan, awoke to find Schwery asleep on their couch. Schwery was subsequently charged with public intoxication, and later released to the custody of his mother.

Officials say also, 29-year old Bruce Spray, of Harlan, was arrested Monday, following a disturbance in the 800 block of Court Street in Harlan. Spray was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, trespassing and obstruction of emergency communications.

And, a complaint was filed May 6th with Shelby County District Court against 33-year old Lisa Patten, of Harlan. Patten is alleged to have taken an I-Pod Touch belonging to Brandon Allen, of Harlan. The complaint sought a 4th  degree theft charge against Patten, but there is no record of formal charges being filed, on the Iowa Courts On-line website.

Bluffs Police Memorial Service


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Council Bluffs Police Department have announced a Police Memorial Service will take place next Thursday, May 19th, at the Refuge Bible Church in Council Bluffs. The annual event begins with a flag ceremony and laying of a memorial wreath at 6:30-p.m., on the east side of the Pottawattamie County Courthouse.

Memorial services will follow the ceremony, at the church. The service will honor local law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, while serving with the Council Bluffs Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, and the Pott County Sheriff’s Department.

The Council Bluffs Police Department will also recognize its Officer of the Year, and the Citizen Police Academy graduates. The service is open to all members of the community.

Many other law enforcement agencies around Iowa, including the Clarinda Police Department, have memorial events planned for the week of May 15 through the 21st.

This Sunday, May 15th, is National Police Officers’ Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor the 160 law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in the U-S and its territories, in 2010. President Obama and Congress have directed all government and state flags to be flown at half-staff on May 15th.

SW IA Dive Team aides in search for missing girl


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Southwest Iowa Dive Team were called to a lake just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, Tuesday, to search for a 10-year old girl who has been missing since Mother’s Day. Red Oak Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Goldapp says the dive team, which is well respected for their efforts in water recoveries, received a call for assistance at Tuesday morning.

The team, which includes three members from Cass County, as well as personnel from Adams and Ringgold Counties, along with the Red Oak and Clarinda Fire Departments, traveled in separate vehicles and gathered in Nebraska City to coordinate their search efforts for Yessica Lizbet Leon-Beltran.

Although no one actually saw her enter the water, the girl is believed to have drowned in Pawnee Lake, which is about 12-miles west of Lincoln. The search for Yessica began Monday, and involved the use of sonar, divers and a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter. The initial search was called-off at sunset Monday, and resumed Tuesday.

The Southwest Iowa Dive Team arrived on the scene at around 9:30-a.m. Tuesday. Goldapp says they searched the 18-hundred acre, 30-to 60- foot deep lake for about 12-hours without success. He said they returned home at around midnight Tuesday.

Goldapp said the members of the Red Oak diving contingent are worn out, after having searched the lake, fighting a fire early Thursday morning, and attending the funeral today (Friday), for the wife of a former Red Oak fire fighter.

Red Oak boy arrested on arson charge


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County say a 12-year old Red Oak boy was charged with 1st degree arson Thursday, following a residential fire early that same morning in Red Oak. Fire Chief Rick Askey says the juvenile was charged after firefighters responded to the scene of a house fire at 104 West Maple at around 1:45 a.m.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, a heavy fire condition was observed in a second story bedroom, and a great deal of smoke was coming from the front and rear sides of the residence. Askey says they determined the intentionally set fire began with common combustibles, in an upper floor bedroom in the house’s northwest corner.

Six people lived in the home. All were able to escape without injury. Firefighters were able to knock down the blaze in less than two hours. The juvenile was in the house when the fire started, but Askey says the boy wasn’t not the first to recognize that a fire existed, or alert others to the danger.

Most of the damage to the home was confined to the upper floor bedroom. The entire house sustained smoke damage, though, while the bedroom where the fire began, and a living room on the first floor sustained water damage.

After State Fire Marshal John Ticer confirmed Red Oak Fire investigators’ suspicions about the cause of the blaze, the juvenile was questioned and later taken to the Council Bluffs Juvenile Detention Center.

Three injured in Shenandoah chain-reaction crash


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three people were hurt in a three-vehicle chain-reaction collision Thursday evening on the south side of Shenandoah. The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports 50-year old Julie Baxter and 59-year old Patrick Whipple, both of Shenandoah, along with 55-year old Teresa Jackson, of Clarinda, were all transported by Shenandoah Rescue to the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, for treatment of unknown, possible injuries.

Officials say the accident happened at around 4:50-p.m., at the intersection of Highway Two and A-Avenue. According to the Sheriff’s report, a 2008 Toyota Prius driven by Julie Baxter was eastbound on Highway Two and stopped at the intersection with A Avenue waiting to turn north. A 2007 Pontiac Vibe driven by Teresa Jackson pulled up behind Baxter.

The third vehicle, a 2007 Ford Taurus, driven by Whipple was also traveling eastbound on Highway Two. Officials say when Whipple became distracted, he failed to notice the two stopped vehicles in front of him. His car rear-ended Jackson’s vehicle, which was shoved into the rear of Baxter’s car.

Jackson was trapped in her vehicle and had to be extricated by rescue personnel. All three drivers were wearing their seatbelts. Damage from the crash amounted to nearly $15,000. The Sheriff’s report did not indicate if any charges were filed.

Three arrested after shooting incident in Adams County


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three southwest Iowa men are in custody following a chase involving four vehicles and shots fired early this morning in Adams and Union Counties. Adams County Sheriff Alan Johannes says 19-year old Logan Jenkins faces 5-counts of attempted murder and one-count of going armed with intent. His 22-year old brother Trenton and 44-year old father Eric Jenkins, all from Prescott, were both charged with five-counts of Assault While Participating in a Felony, following an incident which began just before 1-a.m. in Adams County, and ended on Highway 34, on the outskirts of Creston.

Johannes says the trio were in three separate vehicles which were chasing another vehicle. During the chase, Logan allegedly fired multiple rounds from a rifle, some of the bullets from which struck the vehicle being chased. That vehicle was occupied by five people, all of whom were under the age of 18. None of persons in the chased vehicle were injured.

The Jenkins’ were being held in the Adams County Jail. The incident remains under investigation.

Scheffler and Boeck arrested again


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two Harlan residents, an adult and a juvenile, were arrested May 6th following an investigation into an alleged assault. Police in Harlan reported Thursday, 17-year old Emily Boeck was charged with assault in connection with an incident allegedly involving Ashley McWilliams, of Harlan. Boeck was cited and released to the custody of her mother.

25-year old Zachary Scheffler was arrested in connection with the incident, and charged with domestic abuse assault, and violation of a no contact order.

If Scheffler and Boeck’s names sound familiar, that’s because last Friday, we told you the were arrested April 30th when police executed a search warrant for Scheffler, at a residence in Harlan. During the course of the search, Boeck was one of five people charged with interference with official acts.

Scheffler was arrested following the search, on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Drug Paraphernalia, interference with official acts, criminal mischief, and on a warrant for domestic abuse, in connection with an incident April 22nd, during which he allegedly vandalized McWilliams’ vehicle.

Four cited for MIP


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports four area teens were cited last weekend for Minor in Possession, of Possession of Alcohol under legal age. The citations and one arrest were made during a patrol of the races at the Shelby County Speedway.

Those cited on Saturday, May 6th, include: 18-year old Amanda Skow, of Atlantic; 17-year old Dezaray Forde, 17-year old Katie Weihs, and 16-year old Sunny Peck, all from Walnut. They were released from custody after being given a citation. Officials say 21-year old Marshall Fischer, of Omaha, was arrested on a Shelby County warrant for theft in the 4th degree.

Pacific Junction Woman & man sentenced on firearms charges


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

U-S Atty. Nicholas Klinefeldt

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa said today (Thursday) two Pacific Junction residents were sentenced Monday, to a total of five-years in prison for being persons prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

U-S Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt say District Court Judge James E. Gritzner sentenced 49-year old Gustine Evelyn Augustine to 24 months of imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and, 36-year old Joseph Lynn Belt, was sentenced to three years probation, to include 180 days of home detention except for maintaining his long-time employment.  Judge Gritzner also ordered Augustine and Belt to pay a $100 fee to the Crime Victim Fund. In addition the defendants were ordered to forfeit of seven rifles and shotguns which were in their possession.

Gustine Augustine remained on pretrial release and supervision pending designation of the Federal Bureau of Prisons facility at which she will serve her sentence. A Federal jury in Council Bluffs found Augustine guilty On February 9th, 2011 of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms. Belt had entered a guilty plea to the charge against him a few days earlier.

On November 10th , 2010, a federal grand jury returned a one-count superseding indictment against both defendants.  In the superseding indictment Defendant Augustine was charged with being a person prohibited from possessing firearms because she was a prior convicted felon and because she was an illegal user of controlled substances.   

In the superseding indictment, Defendant Belt was charged with being an illegal user of controlled substances in possession of firearms.  The charges arose from the exercise of a search warrant by the Mills County Sheriff’s Department on July 23, 2010.  During the search, firearms, ammunition, marijuana and paraphernalia associated with the use of methamphetamine were found and seized. 

The case was investigated by the Mills County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.