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Alcohol related arrests in Stanton


July 2nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of three individuals early Saturday (7/2) morning in Stanton.  At approximately 1:29am a gray Kia Sportage was stopped at the parking lot of the Stanton School for having no headlamps on.  After further investigation arrests were made on alcohol related charges. 

The driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Justin D. Williams of Stanton, was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated First Offense.  The two passengers, 20-year-old Kristopher A. Maley of Stanton and 19-year-old Jordan D. Williams also of Stanton, were arrested for Possession of Alcohol Under 21.  Maley and Jordan Williams were processed and released on citation, while Justin Williams was held on $1,000 bond.  All of the arrests occurred without incident or injury.

Chase ends in Council Bluffs


July 2nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

The Council Bluffs Police department assisted the Omaha Police Department in a vehicle pursuit on Friday evening.  Officers from the Omaha Police department were actively pursuing two armed suspects in what was believed to be a stolen vehicle, when officers from the Council Bluffs Police Department joined the chase at 8:50pm.  During the pursuit the vehicle struck a parked vehicle in the area of South 35th Street and 8th Avenue, but continued to flee. 

Eventually the suspects crashed in the 10th block of South 31st Street and both suspects were taken into custody as the vehicle caught fire as a result of the crash.  Members of the Council Bluffs Fire Department were able to extinguish the blaze and the vehicle was confirmed stolen from Omaha.  The driver of the vehicle was identified as 21-year-old Eric Lozano who was arrested for previous valid warrants and also charged with Theft in the 2nd Degree and Felony Eluding.  The passenger in the vehicle was 18-year-old Aleazar Rodriguez who was charged as a material witness in a felony assault of police officers in Omaha, Theft in the 2nd Degree and Eluding.  Both suspects were held pending a court appearance.

Intentional Levee Breach investigated in Harrison County


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The following is a statement issued at 12:50-p.m.,  from Doug Reed, with Pott. Co Emergency Mgmt.:


Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Theulen received a telephone call at approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning from Harrison County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Oliver. The purpose of that call was for Mr. Oliver to notify us that the Vanmann #30 Levee near Loveland, may be in the process of being intentionally breached via explosives. The timing of the detonation was alleged to be at 10:00 a.m.

At approximately 10:10 a.m., the Pottawattamie County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) received a complaint call from a private citizen who had apparently witnessed the explosion and wanted to know why “we” were blowing up levees. Pottawattamie County did not participate in this intentional levee breach. It is our understanding that neither the State of Iowa, nor the Army Corps of Engineers, nor any other governmental entity, had anything to do with the detonation.

Multiple calls to the Pottawattamie County EOC from concerned citizens regarding this event have followed. In late May, shortly after the release of the inundation maps by the Army Corps of Engineers, a group of private citizens began work on the Vanmann #30 Levee to raise it to a level which would allow it to withstand the anticipated river flow.

On Saturday, June 25th, this levee was naturally breached in Harrison County near DeSoto Bend. A considerable amount of water flowed south and pooled behind the portion of the Vanmann #30 Levee in question. Pottawattamie County was first notified that a group of citizens wanted to breach this levee on Sunday, June 26th. The purpose of this breach was to lower the Vanmann #30 Levee to the prior level to allow the pooling water to flow back into the Missouri River.

EMA Coordinator Theulen met with the group that evening and informed them that they would likely need the permission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, before such an activity could take place. These individuals were also cautioned that any activity undertaken by them which affected the flow of water would be at their own risk should the lives and/or property of others be impacted.

On Tuesday, June 28th, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources determined that it did not have authority to regulate the levee in question because it was put into place prior to their statutory authority. The Corps initially indicated that they would not be approving the breaching of the Vanmann #30 Levee. This morning, however, the Army Corps of Engineers indicated that it also had no authority to regulate the levee in question as it is not a federal levee and is outside of federal jurisdiction.

As of this writing, Pottawattamie County is still gathering information about the activities at the Vanmann #30 Levee. We received no advance notification from any individuals involved of with the imminent intention to breach the levee. A member of the Vanmann #30 Levee District was contacted by a representative of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office late this morning. That individual confirmed that a half mile stretch of the Vanmann #30 Levee (from approximately river mile marker 637 to 637.5) was mechanically excavated. He further confirmed that further lowering of the levee was accomplished via use of explosives.

Obviously, we will be monitoring this situation very closely – both in terms of observing the effect that this breach has on water flow and river levels, and in terms of tracking potential damage to critical infrastructure and private property elsewhere downstream. Furthermore, we are very disappointed in the decision to go forward with the breaching of the Vanmann #30 Levee without notifying any authorities in Pottawattamie County.

There are tens of thousands of citizens on both sides of the river who are affected by the flooding on the Missouri River and private activities such as this which have the potential to affect those lives should not be undertaken without a full consideration of the consequences.

Finally, we are presuming that the explosives detonation on the Vanmann #30 Levee was accomplished by a properly licensed and permitted commercial user of explosives who was using the explosives in accordance with the conditions of that permit. Any use outside the legally mandated process would be a Class C Felony under Iowa law, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A full investigation of these activities will be accomplished as soon as possible.

Grassley staffers to visit western IA next week


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Because the U-S Senate will remain in-session during the week of July 4th, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is unable to attend previously planned town hall meetings in the state. The Senate will continue negotiations over how to achieve $2.4-trillion in savings in the federal budget, in order to offset an increase in the amount of debt the government can legal borrow. The deadline for an agreement on raising the debt ceiling is August 2nd.

And, while Grassley will be attending to business in Washington, D-C, two members of his staff will represent him at the 12 town meetings in Iowa Grassley had planned to hold.

In his Grassley’s place, Regional Director Donna Barry and Legislative Aide Sherry Kuntz will conduct town meetings in Adams, Audubon, Carroll, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Taylor counties.

Grassley’s scheduled appearances at the Atlantic and Denison Rotary meetings on July 5 and July 7 have been postponed. Grassley said he will reschedule constituent meetings in all of these counties. Meetings with Grassley staffers will take place:

On Tuesday, July 5th

From 8 – 9 a.m. at the New Hope Village, Activity Center Gymnasium, in Carroll.

From 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. at the Audubon County Economic Development (ACED), Community Room, in Audubon.

From 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. at the Corning Community Building, in Corning.

And, from 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. at the Taylor County Farm Bureau‘s meeting Room, in Bedford.

On Wednesday, July 6th

From 8 – 9 a.m. at the Shenandoah Medical Center, in Shenandoah.

From 10 – 11 a.m. at The Gathering Place, Corner of Cass and Ohio Streets, in Sidney.

From Noon – 1 p.m. at the Glenwood Senior Center, in Glenwood.

From 2 – 3 p.m. at the Montgomery County Family YMCA, in Red Oak.

And, from 4 – 5 p.m. at the Oakland Community Building, in Oakland.

And, on Thursday, July 7th

From 7 – 8 a.m. at the United Western Coop, in Missouri Valley.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. at the Onawa Community Center, 320 in Onawa.

And, from 2 – 3 p.m. at the Harlan Public Library, in Harlan.

Statewide holiday traffic enforcement project underway


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A beefed up law enforcement effort is underway around the state for the Independence Day weekend. Iowa State Patrol Trooper Mark Domino says they’ll be looking for speeders, drunk drivers and those who are texting while driving. He’s also reminding motorists to buckle-up, but he’s noticed most Iowans are obeying the seat belt law.

“I believe we’re up to 93-percent (compliance). I travel the interstates and the four-lanes a lot and to try and find somebody not wearing their seat belt is really tough,” Domino said. The Iowa Department of Public Safety reports 214 agencies participated in the Fourth of July traffic enforcement project last year and officers stopped 4,592 drivers for speeding. Domino, who’s based in Mason City, says his patrol post has enlisted the help of an aircraft to catch speeders this year.

“He’s going to be on the four lanes probably, but he could be on the two lanes, we never know when we get assigned to the aircraft,” Domino said. “We’re going to be using the LIDAR, which is a laser type radar…so we’re going to use the tools which the state has given us.”

During last year’s holiday enforcement project, officers had contact with 353 impaired drivers, over 1,000 seat belt violators and apprehended 107 wanted persons. Five fatalities were recorded in Iowa during the 2010 Fourth of July weekend.

(Bob Fisher/Radio Iowa)

Record of 2011 Iowa legislature


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Property tax reform is at the top of the list of topics discussed but later tabled by the 2011 Iowa Legislature. The governor and leaders of both political parties began 2011 agreeing that property tax reform was at the top of the legislature’s agenda. Six months later, nothing was accomplished because of split control at the statehouse. Iowans elected a Republican governor last fall and Republicans hold a 20-seat advantage over Democrats in the Iowa House. But the Iowa Senate is still controlled by Democrats, who hold a two-seat advantage there. The two parties in the legislature had different approaches on the issue and the governor had another. In the end, a compromise was elusive. Governor Branstad hasn’t ruled out the idea of calling legislators back to Des Moines later this year for a “special session” to deal with the property tax issue.

Lawmakers debated establishing limits or even banning so-called “red light” cameras, but shelved that topic as well. Senator Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale, says he’s fielded hundreds of complaints about the cameras — and the very pricey tickets. Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, suggests the cameras are working to reduce speeds and curb red-light-runners.

The top policy accomplishment of the General Assembly was approval of a massive plan that reconfigures legislative and congressional district lines. The redistricting plan is based on the new data from the 2010 Census. The 2011 legislature made dove hunting legal in Iowa, too. Opponents legislators rushed the bill through in less than 24 hours, giving critics little time to mount a campaign to defeat the bill.

(O.Kay Henderson/ Radio Iowa)

Brace for what may be the hottest day of 2011 (Heat index of 137? Really?)

News, Weather

July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

At least three Iowa cities hit high temps of 99 degrees on Thursday — in Atlantic (at the airport. Here at the KJAN studios, the official weather reporting station, we topped at 93-degrees), in Perry, and in Knoxville. Forecasters say today (Friday) promises to be even hotter….in fact, they say this could be the hottest day of the year, so far. Jacob Beitlich, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says most of Iowa will be in the mid to upper-90s today with a few 100s possible.

“With the humidity and the warm temperatures, we could see heat index readings of 105 to 110 degrees with a few isolated higher readings in eastern Iowa,” Beitlich says. “That’s just going to lead to uncomfortable conditions, potentially dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions of taking breaks, finding some A/C if you have to work outside and drinking plenty of fluids.”

Eddyville had an unofficial heat index on Thursday of 137 degrees. A Heat Advisory is posted for all of eastern and central Iowa through 7 P-M. Beitlich says a slight cool-off is coming. A cold front is expected later today and overnight, taking away some of the heat and humidity, bringing much of the state closer to the average July temps in the mid to upper 80s.

(Pat Powers/Ric Hanson – Radio IA)

9AM Newscast 07-01-2011

News, Podcasts

July 1st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ News Director Ric Hanson


Shelby County accidents


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two accidents occurred in the same area of Shelby County, Thursday, with only minor injuries reported. The Sheriff’s Office says the first accident happened at around 2:45-p.m., on northbound Highway 59 near the intersection with County Road F-32.

A vehicle driven by Caryn Gekas, of Lincoln, NE, was stopped on the road waiting for a semi-tractor trailer hauling wind turbine parts to pass, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Jennifer Rogers, of Lincoln, NE. Official say Rogers was unable to stop prior to the collision.

The accident caused extensive damage to both vehicles, and resulted in injuries to both drivers and a young female passenger in one of the vehicles. All three persons were transported to Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan for treatment of their injuries.

The second accident happened about 35-minutes later. As traffic was stopped on Highway 59 waiting for the first accident scene to be cleaned-up, a vehicle driven by Juan Tercero, of Denison, was hit from behind by a car being driven by Joshua Roberts, of Denison. Officials say Roberts failed to notice traffic in front of him had come to a halt.

He was cited for Failure to Stop in an Assured Clear Distance.

HCHS to receive “Character Counts” award


July 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District will receive a 2011 Iowa Character Counts Award from “Character Counts in Iowa,” next month. The award annually honors individuals, schools and organizations that consistently demonstrate and promote the six pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Paulette Rasmussen, who nominated the school, said, “Staff, students and community members of Harlan are all very involved and supportive of the character counts initiative.” Character Counts in Iowa is a non-profit organization that promotes civility and good character in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

Harlan High School representatives will be honored along with 12 other Iowa award recipients at the 2011 Character Counts Awards banquet on August 5th. All 13 award recipients were chosen by a volunteer selection committee made up of more than 50 Iowans.