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Former Denison Fire Chief Charged with Misconduct and Theft


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said today (Wednesday) a complaint was filed in Crawford County charging 41-year old Michael McKinnon with Theft in the First Degree, a Class C Felony, and Felonious Misconduct in Office, a Class D Felony.  McKinnon, is a former Chief of the Denison Fire Department. The criminal charges are the result of a lengthy investigation conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the State Auditor’s Office.  McKinnon is scheduled for an initial appearance on Friday, December 30, 2011 in Crawford County.  The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.

McKinnon served as Chief of the Denison Fire Department from January 18, 1999 to January 3, 2010.  He left his employment as fire chief amid questionable purchases made by him and questionable payments made to him for training and equipment.  It was then that the DCI was contacted to conduct an investigation. McKinnon currently resides in the state of New Mexico.


To view the Criminal Complaint filed against McKinnon, click on the following link:

Criminal Complaint

Oakland & Greenfield women named to Live Healthy Iowa “Dream Team”


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two southwest Iowa women are among 10 people selected to be on the Live Healthy Iowa (LHI) “Dream Team.” The team was formed with the hopes of gaining an inside perspective into the 100 Day Wellness Challenge. The Dream Team was chosen through an application process. Live Healthy Iowa will track the Dream Team’s journey, from their highs and lows, to their successes, struggles and pitfalls, and everything in between.  Among those chosen for the Live Healthy Iowa Dream Team, was Natalie Karas of Oakland, and Sandy Booker, of Greenfield.  To follow the Dream Team through their journey, like LHI’s Facebook page and follow LHI on Twitter. 

LHI Officials say with an overwhelming amount of applications received, it was difficult to narrow the field to just one team. And, another opportunity has been sent to applicants who weren’t chosen, in hopes that they can continue participating in the 100 Day Wellness Challenge with other applicants who weren’t chosen.  

Live Healthy Iowa, formerly Lighten Up Iowa, was created in 2001 by the Iowa Sports Foundation as a strategic health initiative to address the state’s growing obesity problem. Live Healthy Iowa brings together friends, families, businesses and communities in team-based wellness challenges designed to promote positive lifestyle change. In 2011, more than 152,000 adult and youth Iowans took part in a Live Healthy Iowa program.

To find out more information about the 100 Day Wellness Challenge, visit

Shenandoah man arrested on warrant


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department reports a Shenandoah man was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, on a warrant for Probation Violation. 20-year old Shilo Romick was taken into custody by Shenandoah Police at around 3:20-a.m.. Romick was being held in the Montgomery County Jail, pending a court appearance.

No action on Indigent burial policy in Cass County….yet


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will have to wait until next week to approve revisions to the County’s Indigent Burial Policy. The Supervisors today (Wednesday) were set to approve recommend changes set in a final draft of the policy, but discussion revolving around the burial of an indigent persons’ cremains resulted in additional revisions to the policy. County General Relief Coordinator Teresa Kanning and VA Director Mitch Holmes were on hand for the discussion, as were two area funeral home directors. Prior to tweaking the policy for final approval during the Board’s meeting next week in Atlantic, Kanning read the policy as currently written.

It says the County will pay up to $2,000 for a burial or $1,500 for a cremation, which includes the mandatory Medical Examiner’s fee. In addition, up to $550 will be provided for the opening and closing of grave. A revision to the policy was made with regard to the disposition of cremains, whereby a maximum of $200 will be allowed for the burial or other disposition of the cremains, if the family chooses to go that route. 

Work on revising the policy has taken place over the past several weeks. A review of the final policy will be conducted at the end of 2012, to determine if changes need to be made for the years 2013 and beyond.

Cass Co. Salavation Army Bell Ringing efforts tops last year


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Co-chair of the Cass County Salvation Army’s Bell Ringing campaign announced today (Wednesday), that donations so far this year have exceeded last year by more than $1,000. Teresa Kanning told the Board of Supervisors during her report this morning, that the campaign has raised $7,813, and there are still a couple of more days to go before the campaign concludes for the year.

Last year’s campaign raised $5,300. Kanning, and Campaign Chair Duane McFadden remind you there are still opportunities for you to volunteer a couple of hours to help raise funds, by ringing the bell at the Atlantic Hy-Vee, Fareway and Wal-Mart stores. To sign-up for a shift, please call Duane McFadden at 712-249-0939. Saturday will be your last chance to ring the bell, and help the local chapter of the Salvation Army. The funds raised by the campaign stay in Cass County. 

Over the course of past year, the funds were made available for such programs as “Shop with a Cop,” providing gift cards to local schools to assist students in meeting various needs, assisting stranded motorists and transient individuals,  fans for distribution by West Central Community Action Center, and, back packs to be distributed by the administrative staff.

This year the Cass County Salvation Army unit also partnered with the Parents as Teachers Program, to purchase car seats for the program’s use.

USDA Rural Development Funding Had Large Impact in Rural Iowa in 2011


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The State Director of USDA Rural Development in Iowa says funds from USDA Rural Development continue to have a dramatic impact on communities across the State.

Bill Menner, USDA Director of Rural Development in IA

Bill Menner says in 2011, the agency awarded $431 million in direct loans, guaranteed loans and grants to help create and/or retain 1,900 jobs, improve infrastructure and services in 80 communities and assist 2,000 families with home purchases. In addition to generating jobs, Menner says  USDA Rural Development investments are creating ongoing economic opportunities in rural America that will pay benefits for years to come. Funds from the agency’s programs help modernize essential water systems, build clinics and hospitals, support renewable energy systems, energy conservation, and ensure affordable housing for rural residents.

From new hospitals to increased, affordable housing to thriving small businesses, Menner says USDA Rural Development has been a partner in a number of great projects in rural Iowa during the past 12 months including:  

  • The Clarinda Regional Health Center…which has provided health care services in southwest Iowa for more than 70 years…is opening a replacement critical access hospital in January 2012 thanks to a nearly $19 million loan from USDA Rural Development. The project created more than 400 construction jobs over an 18-month period and will ensure continued employment of the 170 hospital staff. 
  • The Hotel Iowana, built in 1920 in Creston, which had been vacant for many years, and was an eyesore in the community’s central business district.  Menner says earlier this month, thanks in part to a $1 million loan from USDA Rural Development, the historic building has new life and re-opened its doors as a senior living apartment complex. Menner says throughout the construction progress there were approximately 60 workers on the site full-time, many of them from areas outside of Creston, creating a tremendous impact on the local economy, both for hotels and for restaurants.

Menner says “Our agency is eager to build on the success of the past and help foster an even brighter future for rural Iowa. If you have an idea on how jobs can be created in rural Iowa, or how a rural community can improve the quality of life experience for their residents, give us a call today.” The number to call is (515) 284-4663. More information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available online, at

Oakland man arrested after high speed chase Tuesday


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested following a high speed chase Tuesday night that began about four-miles west/southwest of Oakland, and ended four-miles west of Griswold. Sheriff Jeff Danker says the driver of the vehicle, 25-year old Gary E. Graham, of Oakland, faces a charge of Aggravated Eluding, while the unidentified passenger was later released.

Danker says the incident that led to Graham’s arrest began at around 10:05-p.m. Tuesday, when a deputy, who was on routine patrol, clocked a 1997 Lincoln Continental at 91-miles per hour near 370th Street and Highway 6. When the deputy stopped the vehicle and attempted to speak with Graham, the car sped off. The enusing pursuit through rural Pott County finally ended when the car’s right front tire fell off, and the vehicle entered a ditch near the intersection of Highway 92 and 500th Street, in Pottawattamie County.

Graham reported told authorities he drove off because he didn’t want to lose his license. He was being held in the Pott County Jail on $2,000 bond.

Last-minute gift ideas for hard-to-buy-for Iowans


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who need to come up with a last-minute gift for that hard-to-buy-for person may be able to find something appropriate at the American Red Cross website. Tammie Pech spokeswoman for the agency’s Siouxland chapter, says they’re offering a host of options for gifts you can give to deployed soldiers or people in need — in honor of anyone you choose. “There are military calling cards, there are disaster comfort kits, there’s blankets, there’s vaccinations for children across the world,” Pech says. “Whatever is near and dear to your heart, they’re going to have something for you.” 

Whether it’s helping American troops overseas or helping victims of a tornado, she says the website “” offers a range of items in a range of prices. The least expensive gifts include a set of three Red Cross blankets for $18, or a phone card for a deployed service member for $20. Plus, she says, you don’t have to worry about mailing anything as you can notify the gift honoree electronically, via email. “When you purchase your gifts on there, you have the option of sending an e-card so even if that person isn’t where you are or you want to send them a note about it, you can certainly print it, wrap it up and give it to them so it feels like they’re opening a gift,” Pech says. “You can also send them the e-card which is a really great way to send something across the country or across the miles and say ‘I really thought about you and this is a really special gift I wanted to give in your name.'” This type of gift is uplifting and can help to save lives, so Pesh says it’s both precious and enduring.

“Ninety-one cents of every dollar that’s donated through the Holiday Giving Catalog and to the American Red Cross goes directly to services,” Pech says. “We feel that’s really important and also, your gift is tax deductible, so that’s a neat thing at year-end that people need to know.” With donations of $100, $200 and $300, gift-givers will also receive gifts ranging from an aluminum water bottle to a messenger bag to a family first aid kit. 

(Radio Iowa)

Defiance woman pleads not guilty to theft and drug charges


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The trial for a Defiance women charged with possession of methamphetamine and felony third-degree burglary, is scheduled to take place next month in Shelby County District Court. 18-year-old Sarah Nicole Caswell is accused of burglarizing a residence on Durant Street in Harlan on June 28th.  While in the home, Caswell also allegedly damaged the residence.  Caswell also faces a Misdemeanor charge for allegedly being in possession of a small baggie of meth, which she allegedly tucked into her pants, and was discovered after Caswell was arrested on an outstanding warrant November 10th

Caswell entered a plea of not guilty to the charges on December 12th. Her pre-trial conference will take place on January 9th, with trial set for January 31st in Shelby County District Court. If convicted, Caswell faces a maximum sentence of six years in jail, with additional fines totaling $6,500.

8AM Newscast 12-21-2011

News, Podcasts

December 21st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson