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Jury finds NJ man guilty in sex trafficking case


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A federal jury in Iowa has found a 28-year-old New Jersey man guilty of running a nationwide sex trafficking and prostitution ring. Jurors in Council Bluffs on Tuesday found Johnelle Bell guilty on 12 counts of sex trafficking and interstate prostitution.

Prosecutors say Bell was a pimp who ran a Little Rock, Ark.-based traveling prostitution venture that operated in states from Texas to Maryland. They say Bell lured troubled young women to join under promises of help and long-lasting relationships that soon evaporated.

Testimony showed Bell severely assaulted one of the workers and forced another to engage in prostitution by threatening to harm her family and young daughter. Prosecutors uncovered the ring after an undercover FBI agent posed as a customer in response to prostitution ads on Backpage.com in Omaha.

Norwalk fruit distributor recalls cherry tomatoes

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa fruit and vegetable distributor is recalling several lots of cherry tomatoes after the grower notified the distributor that Salmonella was found in random sample testing by the Food and Drug Administration. Capital City Fruit Inc., of Norwalk says the recalled cherry tomatoes from Rio Queen Citrus are packaged in one-pint containers as Capital Brand Clamshell Cherry Tomatoes. They were shipped to retail stores from Nov. 14 to Nov.18 and sold in stores in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

No illnesses have been reported. Capital City Fruit on Wednesday says it asked retailers to remove the product from their store shelves. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Iowa man gets more than 17 years on gun charge


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man with an extensive criminal record will spend more than 17 years in federal prison for illegally possessing a gun. Acting U.S. Attorney Sean Berry says 38-year-old Scott Slauter was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison on charges of possessing a stolen gun and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Slauter had pleaded guilty to the charges in August. Berry says Slauter had previously been convicted of three violent felonies, and he has a history of dangerous behavior. For instance, Slauter once robbed a store and shot a clerk in the face.

Last January, Slauter was videotaped burglarizing a home in Sioux City, and he brandished a handgun during the burglary. He took jewelry and a pistol from the home.

IA Natl. Guard send-off for MP’s Dec. 2nd


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A community sendoff ceremony for a Johnston-based Iowa Army National Guard unit will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Freedom Center (Bldg. S70) at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate and the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend the sendoff ceremony.

Approximately 40 Soldiers have been mobilized from the 186th Military Police Company. They will report to their mobilization station at Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training and preparation before assignment to Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras. Joint Task Force-Bravo conducts and supports joint and interagency operations, including countering transnational organized crime, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and building partner capacity in order to enhance regional security, stability, and cooperation.

The 186th Military Police Company provides security and law enforcement support in a theater of operations and was previously mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom (2007-08 and 2003-04), Operation Joint Endeavor (1996), and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield (1990-91).

ALL motorcyclists (drivers and passengers) on Camp Dodge are required by Dept. of Defense policy to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of helmet, eye protection (full-face shield or goggles or sunglasses), gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and over-the-ankle footwear while traveling on Camp Dodge. Motorcyclists without the required PPE may park their motorcycles on Northglenn Dr. (one block east of Camp Dodge off of NW 70th Ave.) and walk to the Freedom Center (approximately three blocks).

Enter Camp Dodge through the main gate at NW 70th Ave., Johnston. Photo identification (a driver’s license is acceptable) is required for admittance to Camp Dodge for individuals 16 years of age and older.

Registration is now open for the annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Atlantic


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says registration is now open for those wanting to participate in the annual Lighted Christmas Parade.

To enter, floats are required to have a Christmas theme, be lighted (music encouraged), and have a sign identifying the group or business. Forms are available at the Chamber office at 102 Chestnut Street M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or by visiting ChristmasInAtlantic.com. The parade begins with a fireworks display at 6 p.m. and ends with the one and only Santa Claus riding the Atlantic Fire Department ladder truck.

The winner receives a two-foot, engraved traveling trophy, and AtlantiCash prizes are awarded to the top three floats. The parade entry form can be completed in advance by visiting www.ChristmasInAtlantic.com or just prior to the parade. Entrants will line up on Walnut Street, with the parade starting at Sixth and Chestnut Streets and ending on Second and Chestnut Streets.

There are several events happening on Chestnut Street leading up to the parade, including Santa’s Cabin and carriage rides from 3-5 p.m. and living window displays, holiday shopping, and warm drinks and food from several vendors. More information can be obtained through the Chamber office at 243-3017 or by emailing chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

VFGA Grants Awarded to 83 rural Iowa Fire Departments


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry Bureau, in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service – State and Private Forestry, has awarded $186,223 in 50 percent cost-share grants to 83 rural fire Iowa departments to aid their efforts in protecting Iowan’s and their property from wildfires.  In the KJAN listening area, the 2012 Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants were provided to the: Creston, Exira, Glenwood, Kirkman, Mapleton, Menlo, Oakland, Onawa, Pacific Junction, and Riverton Fire Departments.

The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, personal protective equipment, and communications equipment.

CCHS remodeling project results in some departmental moves


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System construction and remodeling project is continuing on schedule.  Officials say now that the addition, which houses the Emergency Department, Surgery and Inpatient Services, is complete and those departments are settled in their new areas, work has shifted to remodeling of the existing building.

Several departments have been moved to temporary locations while their permanent homes are being remodeled.  Use the list below to determine the most convenient entrance and parking area for your next trip to Cass County Health System:

  • West Entrance:  Rehabilitation Services (Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies); Wound/Ostomy Continence Care; Diabetes Center; Behavioral Health Inpatient, Cardiac Rehab, Conference Room 2, Cafeteria
  • North Entrance (with the canopy):    Atlantic Medical Center; Eye Associates; Business Office; Outpatient Clinics; Laboratory; Visitors to Inpatient, Emergency or Surgery patients; Other Departments located in the Atrium
  • East Entrance:   Can also be used by Visitors to Inpatient, Emergency or Surgery patients, and Other Departments located in the Atrium (same areas as North Entrance)
  • Emergency Entrance (south side of building):  Emergency Department and Same Day Surgery patients

IA DOT Commission approves TSIP projects


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Transportation Commission said Wednesday, the Commission recently approved the fiscal year 2014 Traffic Safety Improvement Program projects. More than $9.7 million in safety improvements were approved for 50 projects.

In the KJAN listening area, a base widening, shoulder paving w/rumble strips, safety edge and resurfacing project in Crawford County, was approved for a requested $500,000 grant. The project is expected to cost nearly $1.3million. And, in Ringgold County, a Posted Bridge Public Awareness Program was approved for $37,080 in grant funds, which was also the amount requested and the projected cost of the project.

If the total project amount was greater than the grant amount, the recipient of the grants would be responsible to provide additional funding.

Three more accused of illegally voting in 2010


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s top election official says warrants have been issued for a citizen of Bosnia and two Canadian citizens, suspected of illegally voting in Iowa’s 2010 election. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz says the latest cases of suspected voter fraud came from Page and Dallas Counties. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says it issued a citation to appear in court for 28-year old Tehvedin Murgic, of Clive. Officials say he’s a citizen of Bosnia who registered to vote on Nov. 2nd, 2010. Arrest warrants were also issued for 66-year old Laurie McCarroll and 53-year old Leonard Blower, both of Shenandoah.

The DCI says the two Canadian Citizens registered and voted in a school election in Sept. 2011. Officials say the two are no longer living in the United States. Matt Schultz says the state agency in charge of the investigation didn’t publicize the arrests, which came in the week before Election Day. “It was one of those situations where I don’t think the DCI wanted to make a big deal before the election,” Schultz says. “I believe there’ll be other arrests coming here shortly.”

Schultz and his staff combed through records and came up with a list of 12-hundred people suspected of being “non-citizens” and illegally voting in the 2010 election. So far, the single agent from the Division of Criminal Investigation who’s been working his way through that list has identified five cases in which non-citizens are accused of voting. “It’s a slow process,” Schultz says. “I mean, keep in mind this investigator interviews these people individually, one by one. We had 1200 people who potentially may have voted when they weren’t citizens, so it takes time. That’s just the nature of the beast.”

Two other cases involve felons who are accused of illegally voting in the 2010 election. On Monday Schultz announced he would ask legislators to consider requiring “signature verification” for absentee ballots, to curb fraud, since nearly half of all the votes cast in the 2012 election were from absentee ballots. “It’s basically a reader that’s going to read the signature, match it to the signature on file and then flag potential issues,” Schultz says. “If there are, then there’ll be a process for the county auditor’s office to contact those voters.”

Schultz says each county would have to invest in the technology, since voter registration records are kept by the auditors in Iowa’s 99 counties.

(Information from Radio Iowa and the Associated Press)

Salvation Army Store to hold Grand Opening in Atlantic


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Grand Opening Ceremony will take place December 7thin Atlantic, for the new Salvation Army Thrift Store, in the Atlantic Shopping Plaza.

The new Salvation Army Thrift Store in Atlantic. Grand Opening Dec. 7, 2012.

Lawrence McPherson, Administrator for the Omaha, NE Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) says the building, which previously served as the Alco Store, offers a more serviceable and profitable location than their smaller store was on west 7th Street, which closed a little over a month ago. By “profitable,” McPherson refers to the SA’s ability to serve the people of western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska, by supporting their Rehabilitation Center in Omaha.

McPerson says acquiring the building from the Nodell Company is something that’s been in the works for some time. He says they began negotiations with the building’s owner about a year and a-half ago, but he says the Nodell Company was very helpful and cooperative in the process.

He says visitors to the Salvation Army Family Store in Atlantic will be pleasantly surprised at what’s available for purchase, and with the reasonable prices. The store will be open beginning December 7th, Monday through Saturday, from 9-a.m. to 9-p.m.  McPherson says you can also drop-off your “gently used furniture, clothing and appliances at the new location. He says if you can’t drop off your items, they will try to pick them up. Simply call 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

The Salvation Army he says, not only recycles products, clothing, furniture and appliances, they also “recycle lives.” McPherson  says your purchases and donations offer the chance for the Salvation Army to better serve its clients and change the lives of those involved in the ARC program. He says he thinks everyone will enjoy the new store, and they look forward to an enhanced relationship with residents in the area.