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Blood donors desperately needed in western Iowa


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The American Red Cross is asking you to roll-up your sleeve and give blood…the gift of life. Midwest Region Red Cross spokesperson April Oppliger, says blood donations were way down in May and June not only locally, but across the country. She says during those months, the American Red Cross saw 6 percent fewer donors than during the same period in past years.

April donations in the Midwest Region of the American Red Cross weren’t down as far as in other parts of the country, and the area is a little better off, because there is a dedicated corps of donors. She says the thing to remember is that the blood inventory is a national issue. The Midwest Region serves more than 80 hospitals in Nebraska, southwest Iowa and parts of Kansas and Colorado.

Oppliger says blood-donation numbers typically dip everywhere in the summer, because schools are out, and people are on vacation or enjoying other activities. This summer’s Missouri River flooding also has caused some complications for the Red Cross, because their blood mobiles couldn’t get to some of the places where they would normally would hold blood drives.

She says the need for blood knows no end. Every two seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion. That adds up to 5 million patients every year. The Red Cross must recruit enough donors each day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, people undergoing surgery, children with blood disorders and others. That amounts to more than 22,000 blood donations each weekday and about 15,000 each weekend. Yet less than 38 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood.

Oppliger said that if the downward trend in donor numbers continues, they‘re going to be in a bad situation.” Eligible blood donors are asked to call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to find a blood drive and make an appointment.

The Red Cross Blood Mobile will be: in Atlantic Thursday, July 21st, from Noon until 6-p.m., at the Catholic Parish Center; in Avoca on July 30th, from 8:30-a.m. to 1:30-p.m. at the American Legion Building; On August 10th, at Mahle components in Atlantic, from Noon to 4-p.m.; and in Harlan on August 11th, from 8am-2pm, at Myrtue Medical Center.

Sentencing expected later this month in Caceres death


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man is expected to appear in court later this month for sentencing, in connection with the alcohol-related death of a Harlan teen. 27-year old Dustin Thomas pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of supplying alcohol to an underage person.

Thomas had been accused of supplying booze to minors at a party in Harlan last October, that lead to the death of 17-year old Julio Caceres. Caceres died at an Omaha hospital on October 11th, after he was found unconscious at a home in Harlan. Thomas admitted to investigators he brought a bottle of whiskey Caceres consumed, to the party.

He was arrested in February, following an investigation conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and faces up to 5 years in prison. He remains free on $5000 bond until he‘s sentenced in Shelby County District Court, on July 29th.

9AM Newscast 07-13-2011

News, Podcasts

July 13th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Western IA teen dies in Carroll County rollover


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports a Lake City woman died and two passengers in her vehicle were injured, during a rollover accident early Monday morning in Carroll County. 19-year old Janelle Marie Woods died when she was ejected from the 1999 Ford Expedition she was driving, as it rolled several times in a high speed crash. The Patrol says she was wearing her seatbelt.

Officials say the SUV was westbound on 170th Street at around 12:34-a.m. Monday, and traveling at a high rate of speed, when the vehicle went off onto the right shoulder of the road. When Woods steered hard to the left, the Expedition went out of control and rolled over. Woods died from her injuries.

The passengers in her vehicle, 28-year old Roger Hickerson, and 27-year old Ashley Hahn, were injured. The Patrol’s report didn’t indicate where they were from. Hickerson was also ejected, and suffered serious, incapacitating injuries. He was flown by helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. A report on his condition was not available. Hickerson was not wearing a seatbelt. Hahn was also not wearing a seatbelt. She suffered serious, non-incapacitating injuries, and was transported by ambulance to the Carroll Hospital.

Officials at the hospital administered a blood test on Woods to test for alcohol or drugs, but the results of those tests are not yet available. The SUV sustained $8,000 damage during the crash.

7AM Newscast 07-13-2011

News, Podcasts

July 13th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Atlantic School Board approves sale of $7.66-m bonds


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Tuesday, adopted a resolution directing the sale of 7.66-million dollars in school infrastructure, sales, services and use tax bonds, series 2012.

Hutchinson-Shockey-Erley & Company of Chicago, IL, was the winning bidder for the marketing of the bonds.

HSE had the lowest interest rate of 3.74%, which was about one-half percent lower than what was expected when the district began to look at financing earlier this Spring. Piper Jaffrey’s Travis Squires said that will save the district about $500,000 in interest. The bonds will be used to finance construction and renovation at the Atlantic Middle School.

Squires said there were four bidders for the bonds. In addition to the Illinois firm, the other three were located in Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York. All of the bids were received electronically, through a parity on-line bidding system, which is common practice these days.

Squires had some good news for the board Tuesday night. He said during past month, the company finalized the rating cull for the Standard and Poor’s rating agency. He says the Atlantic Community School District received an “A-plus” bond rating, which, he says, is “very good.”

He says that’s based essentially on the fact the district’s enrollment is fairly stable, and because it has sufficient bond coverage on the existing debt. Squires says the district has almost double the amount of revenues needed to make the bond payments.

Arrest made in connection with vandalism to popular bike destination


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

High Trestle trail

Spener Michael Sisco

Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the vandalism of a popular new tourist attraction in central Iowa. People have been stealing the expensive L-E-D lights installed on the High Trestle Trail Bridge near Madrid. Sergeant Kenny Kendall, with the Boone County Sheriff’s office, says tips from the public this week led them to 22-year-old Spencer Sisco of Boone.

Sisco admitted taking four of the lights. He’s facing charges of theft and criminal mischief. Kendall says Sisco hasn’t been the only one swiping the lights.
“They cost $420 a piece…I guess it was just kind of a novel thing for him to try and do. We’ve got about 15 of those lights now missing,” Kendall said. Other lights on the bridge have been damaged.

“It’s just one of those things – you have something nice and people don’t respect it,” Kendall said. The High Trestle Bridge opened in late April. It’s a 13 story high, half-mile long structure that spans the Des Moines River. The bridge is part of a $15 million bike trail that runs from Ankeny to Woodward and passes through Slater, Sheldahl and Madrid. Kendall says plans are being made to increase security on the bridge.

“Our office does regularly patrol the area and we’re working with the Boone County Conservation Board in an effort to get some security cameras installed,” Kendall said. “But, unfortunately there again, we have to make sure the cameras aren’t in such a place as they can be vandalized.” The entire 25 mile long bike trail, including the bridge, follows a former railroad line once owned by Union Pacific.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

FEMA awards funding for tornado safe rooms in Iowa


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Three school districts in Iowa are set to receive federal funding for safe rooms in the event of a tornado.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has approved nearly $3.3 million in funding for projects in Creston, Lenox and West Des Moines over the past three months.

The safe rooms will be designed to withstand winds of 250 miles per hour. They typically shelter an entire building’s population and are often used as gyms, cafeterias and libraries on a daily basis.

5 injured in Montgomery County rollover


July 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Five people were injured during a single-vehicle rollover accident Tuesday night, southeast of Red Oak. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of a 2008 Ford Fusion, 16-year old Eligah Cole Ryan Newkirk, of Nodaway, and four passengers in the vehicle, were transported to the Montgomery County Hospital for treatment and observation of non-life threatening injuries.

Officials say the car was traveling southbound on J Avenue and approaching the intersection with 230th Street, when a deer appeared on the road. Newkirk told authorities when he swerved to miss the animal, he lost control of the vehicle, which entered the southeast ditch at the intersection, and rolled over before coming to rest on its top.

The accident happened at around 10:10-p.m., Tuesday. The car, registered to 73-year old Goldie Ann Adams, of Red Oak, was a total loss.

Atlantic Board of Ed approves SRO agreement & k-9 search


July 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education, Tuesday night, approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the district’s School Resource Officer (SRO), Corey Larsen. Larsen is a K-9 Deputy with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and this upcoming school year will be his third as SRO.  The only change to his contract was with regard to language that recognizes the reorganized CAM Community School District. The prior agreement had indicated C & M and Anita were separate entities.

During his report to the board, Larsen asked for and received permission to conduct an unannounced search of students’ lockers and other school areas in the high school and Middle School with his K-9 partner Maylo, and one or two other K-9 units. Larsen requested the search because he says, there were some problems this past year with drugs in the high school. He says High School Principal Heather McKay has agreed to the search sometime within the first two-weeks of school.

McKay says the faculty has requested the district take a similar course of action over the past five- or six-years because of the proliferation of drugs and other, illegal activities. Larsen says while a search is conducted, the school is typically on a “lockdown” status. The kids will remain in their classrooms and their book bags left in the hallways during the search. The k-9 unit will search various parts of the school, including the teacher’s lounge, at the administration’s discretion. Larsen said the search can also include the bathrooms, because that’s where a lot of the drug dealing takes place.  A search of vehicles in the parking lot would be conducted separately, and on a different day.

McKay says an attorney she’s spoken with has suggested the district practice a “lockdown” situation, regardless of the scenario, because it familiarizes both the students and faculty on how they should react, and what to expect.  Deputy Larsen says the search typically takes about an hour. McKay says the last time a full search was conducted by a k-9 unit was about 12-years ago, during the 1999-2000 school year.

Larsen says there is a protocol that is followed, if contraband is found by the dogs. He says school officials will search the students’ book bag and the student, not the K-9 officer. That’s because of a Supreme Court decision.  If someone is found to have drugs or other contraband in their possession or on their person, a citation may be issued to the student, or, they may be placed under arrest. The contraband will be seized, and the parents notified.

The student and their belongings will be brought into the Principal’s Office and searched by school officials. That too, is because of an incident in the Harlan Community School District, whereby a Reserve Officer assisted with the search of a student. The judge threw the case out, because that officer was involved in the search.

Larsen reported to the board also, that he will continue to work on  student truancy issues. He says he’s visited two-or three-homes this past year multiple times, because a student missed school.  He says for the upcoming school year, if he has to visit a home more than twice, the parents and student will go to court, rather than receive a citiation for each offense. He says also an anonymous tip line he instituted when he first became the SRO, has resulted in 20 Minor in Possession citations. Larsen says students simply call or text their tip to either himself, or Sheriff Darby McLaren. They typically provide  the names of the persons involved in parties, and information on adults involved, or who may be drinking and driving.