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Police deny any gunfire at once-bloody Omaha mall


November 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Police have knocked down reports about shots fired at an Omaha mall where nine people were killed nearly five years ago.  Officers were called to Westroads Mall around 1 a.m. Friday after shoppers or store employees called 911 to report hearing gunfire.  Other people called Omaha media outlets to say they were hiding in bathrooms and panicking because they’d lost touch with their kids or other shopping companions.

Omaha Officer James Shade says there was a fight between early Black Friday shoppers, but no shots were fired. He says people heard the sound of trash cans being knocked over – not gunfire. One person was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Nineteen-year-old Robert Hawkins fatally shot eight people and himself at the mall’s Von Maur store on Dec. 5, 2007.

Lawsuit aimed at Iowa farm electrical inspections

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A lawsuit filed by three farmers is aimed at ending electrical inspections at Iowa farm facilities. The Carroll County farmers are challenging the state Electrical Examining Board’s authority to require inspections and permits for electrical installations on farm property. The lawsuit says farm property is immune from board regulations and those issued the Iowa Department of Public Safety regarding the permits or inspections.

In defending the state, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office says the board did not err in determining that electrical installations at farm buildings were regulated commercial applications that weren’t exempt.   Court records don’t show a trial date.

1 killed 3 injured in Crawford County crash Thu. night


November 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(corrected to remove semi)

One person was killed and three others were injured Thursday night, during a collision between two cars in Crawford County. The Iowa State Patrol says driver of a 2001 Saturn SC-2, 50-year old Jeffrey Alan Studt, of Vail, died in the crash, which occurred at around 11:30-p.m., northwest of  Vail.  A passenger in his car 42-year old Christina Marie Studt also of Vail, was injured. The driver of the other vehicle, 30-year old Matthew Lee Johnson and his passenger, 27-year old Becky Ann Weller, both of Manilla, were also injured.

Officials say the Saturn was traveling south on 330th about one-half mile south of Avenue J, when it collided with Johnson’s  2001 Chevy Impala. The accident happened at the crest of a hill. Following the crash, both vehicles ended-up in the west ditch. All of the victims were transported to the Crawford County Hospital in Denison, by Vail Rescue. The accident remains under investigation.

Burglary at the Villisca Axe Murders House


November 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Someone has invited bad karma into their lives after breaking into an Adams County home famous for a gruesome murder scene. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a Thanksgiving Day burglary at the Villisca Axe Murder House.

Authorities received a call at around 3-p.m. Thursday reporting the break-in.  After deputies arrived, they found evidence of forced entry and a broken ceramic crock in the kitchen. Other belongings were scattered around the house. The damage was estimated at $350.

The home is the site of the June 10, 1912 murder of Josiah “J.B.” Moore, his wife and four children, and two overnight child guests. The occupants of the residence were bludgeoned with an axe  sometime between midnight and 5:00 a.m., on that date, 100-years ago. The assailant was never identified.

Anyone with information about Thursday’s burglary is asked to call Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 800-432-1001.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Nov. 23rd 2012


November 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Motorists in northwest Iowa could encounter high winds this morning. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for a swath of Iowa stretching from Sioux City to Fort Dodge. The advisory runs through 6 o’clock this morning. Temperatures are also expected to drop by as many as 30 degrees in much of Iowa this morning.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Iowa City are hoping to capitalize on the combination of the Iowa-Nebraska football game and the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy to show off downtown. George Etre, a member of the Iowa City Downtown District marketing committee, says many downtown business owners are anticipating high foot traffic today.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s top elections administrator is vowing to continue to ferret out fraud and to push lawmakers for a voter ID law. Secretary of State Matt Schultz says the voter fraud cases resulting in arrests so far are only the beginning. Schultz says it’s likely more arrests will come as the Iowa Criminal Investigation Division works through a list of more than 1,200 people he believes registered to vote without citizenship.

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — The Clinton City Council has scheduled a discussion on how it will proceed in replacing the ousted city administrator. The council voted November 12th to ask Jeffrey Horne to quit. Horne had been on leave for several weeks for personal reason that have not been explained. Horne has declined to comment.

Iowa City preps for big day

News, Sports

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Officials in Iowa City are hoping to capitalize on the combination of the Iowa-Nebraska football game and the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy to show off downtown.  The Iowa City Press-Citizen says city officials embarked on a marketing push around Friday’s activities that included social media and advertising in the Omaha market.

George Etre, a member of the Iowa City Downtown District marketing committee, says many downtown business owners are anticipating high foot traffic on Friday.  But Etre says the overall effectiveness and impact on downtown businesses is hard to predict.

The Hawkeyes are hosting nearby Nebraska for the first time in 13 years. You can catch the game Friday on KJAN, starting with the pre-game show at 9-a.m.  Kick-off is at 11.

Food banks report dip in donations, increase in demand


November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowa food banks are struggling to keep their pantries stocked as there’s been an increase in demand for their services at the same donations have dropped off. Brian Barks is spokesperson for Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, which provides services to 16 counties in western Iowa and 77 counties in Nebraska.  “Right now, our inventory is as low as I’ve seen it leading up to Thanksgiving,” Barks said. “It’s just been a real tough struggle getting food in our doors. Unfortunately, what we’re having to do is spend a lot more money buying food in order to help those who need it.”

During the last fiscal year, the Food Bank for the Heartland purchased about 16-percent of its inventory. This year, 31-percent of the food they distribute is purchased. Compounding the problem is rising food prices. Barks notes one of their most distributed items is peanut butter. “What we’ve seen, year to date, is a 12-percent increase in the price of peanut butter. That speaks to the fact of how much more food we are having to purchase to keep our inventory at a reasonably adequate level,” Barks said. Although the economy and unemployment rate have been improving, charity providers are seeing more customers.

“What we are finding is there are a lot of people who have gotten back into the job market, but they’re not making the income that they were when they lost their job. So, they’re having to make up that gap somewhere,” Barks said. In 2011, the Food Bank for the Heartland distributed ten-million pounds of food. That marked a 10% increase from 2009.

(Radio Iowa)

ODCP director expecting to find more marijuana from Colorado in Iowa


November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Law enforcement officers are expecting to see more marijuana trafficking in Iowa following the decriminalization of the drug in states like Colorado and Washington. Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Director Steve Lukan says marijuana use in Iowa in on the rise, in part, because more shipments are arriving from out of state. “Any time you see increased access and increased supply, you’re going to see an increase in abuse as well. So, we have some real concerns about that trend,” Lukan said. A report released earlier this month shows marijuana manufacturing, distribution and use are increasing in Iowa. Just over 26-percent of all Iowans screened or admitted for drug treatment last year said marijuana was their primary substance of abuse.

In Colorado, it is now legal for anyone 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It’s also legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores. “One of the things people are looking at real closely right now is how Colorado is going to rectify itself with the federal government,” Lukan said. “We do have the Controlled Substances Act at the federal level, which would still keep marijuana a Schedule One drug. I think there’s going to have to be some reconciliation between state law and the federal government on how that will proceed. That will answer a lot of those questions.”

State Representative Bruce Hunter, a Democrat from Des Moines, recently stated he would introduce a bill that would decriminalize pot possession as long as those caught with it aren’t selling it. Other Iowa lawmakers have expressed support for a medical marijuana measure. However, both bills would like face tough opposition in the legislature next year and Governor Branstad has said he would veto any bill that would legalize marijuana in any capacity.

(Radio Iowa)

Very few, intact “earthlodges” left in western Iowa


November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The preservation of hundreds of historic homes in western Iowa has largely been left to amateurs and volunteers, but the National Park Service is now getting involved in protecting one historic site in Mills County. “The Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site” near Pacific Junction was declared a National Historic Landmark last month. It was discovered in the 1960s by “D.D.” Davis of Glenwood. Dennis Miller of Silver City knew Davis. “Mr. Davis was a renowned hunter and collector,” Miller says. “He spent a lot of time on Pony Creek.” The site used to be in a pasture, but that farm ground is now part of Pony Creek Park and the “earthlodge” that was built a thousand years ago is hidden under several feet of soil.

Miller says there are hundreds of similar “earthlodges” in western Iowa which were home to Native Americans between the years of 900 and 13-hundred. “I’ve discovered quite a few over the years,” he says. “There’s a lot of them right around the Glenwood area, mostly north and west of Glenwood on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River flood plain and along Pony Creek.” According to Miller, “hundreds” of earthlodges have been recorded in the Loess Hills. “Quite a few of them excavated, some by the state, (some) by the Smithsonian,” Miller says. “In years past a lot of amateurs excavated sites. Most of the amateurs were like D.D. Davis or Paul Rowe…They didn’t sell the material. They just liked to collect it.”

Miller says it’s good to have National Park Service involved in coming up with a protection plan for the historic “earthlodge” that earned Historic Landmark status in October. “There’s hundreds of them been found, but a lot of them have been excavated (or) destroyed by roads and farming, so there’s very few intact sites left,” Miller says. The intact “earthlodge” near Pacific Junction that’s now a National Historic Landmark sits under a few feet of soil right now. “D.D.” Davis — the man who discovered that “earthlodge” — helped construct an above-ground replica in Glenwood several years ago. It was recently rebuilt and remains on display across the street from the Mills County Museum.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 11-22-2012

News, Podcasts

November 22nd, 2012 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson