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Bluffs Council looks into firing range safety

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

City leaders in Council Bluffs are open to the possibility of having an indoor and outdoor firing range within the community, but they’re approaching the matter with safety foremost on their minds. The Council Bluffs City Council on Monday unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance, that would have a licensed engineer or architect determine the safety of indoor and outdoor firing ranges.

Currently, the issue is the city’s responsibility, City Attorney Richard Wade, who was contacted by another attorney, whose client is considering building an indoor firing range, said he believes the city doesn’t have the necessary expertise necessary to determine how safe such facilities should be.

Under the proposed, new ordinance, before any firing range can open, the owner or operator must submit plans that have been signed by a licensed engineer or architect certifying that the structure or outdoor site has been designed and built in a manner that permits the safe discharge of firearms. There are no specifics in the ordinance on how an indoor firing range is to be built.

Central IA man arrested in SW IA storm fraud case


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in the Taylor County community of Lenox say a central Iowa man was arrested Monday on a warrant associated fraud, and connected to repair work he was contracted to perform following the May 11th tornado that devastated a portion of the town. Officials say 27-year old Joseph Adam Whitehead, of Marshalltown, was arrested on a felony 1st Degree Theft charge, following an ongoing criminal investigation conducted by the Lenox P-D and the fraud division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Whitehead is accused of soliciting work from victims of the May 11th tornado in Lenox, being paid for the work and failing to perform the work. According to Lenox Police Chief Jon Huggins, the charge stems from a single incident in which Whitehead is alleged to have taken $11,000 from a single victim. Chief Huggins said also, that there are at least two known additional people who paid Whitehead for work that was never completed, and additional charges are expected to be filed in those cases as well.

Whitehead is currently being held in the Marion County Jail in Knoxville where he is facing felony theft charges filed by the Pella Police Department. The charges filed in Pella are unrelated to the Lenox charges.

According to Huggins, Whitehead is expected to be held in Marion County until the charges there are resolved and then be brought to Taylor County.

Property owners in Atlantic reminded to “trim your trees!”


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic is issuing a reminder to property owners in the community, that City Ordinance states “All trees on private property and the abutting right of way (normally the area between the sidewalk and street), are the responsibility of the property owner.” The ordinance requires tree limbs to be maintained at a height clearance of seven-feet above the sidewalks, and 14-feet above the street.

The City is currently reviewing hazards to both vehicles and pedestrians from tree limbs, and it encourages property owners to review your trees and make certain they are in compliance. If the City is forced to trim trees on your property or the adjacent right of way, the property owner will be billed for the expense.

City officials say it is less expensive for property owners to have the work handled on their own, or contracted out, then it is for the City to take care of your trees for you.

Vehicles collide in Atlantic, Friday


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A two-vehicle collision Friday afternoon at 4th and Chestnut Streets in Atlantic caused $4,100 damage, but no injuries were reported. According to Atlantic Police, vehicles driven by Heidi Johnson, of Adair, and Mabel Stahl, of Atlantic, collided at around 4-p.m., when Johnson backed out of a parking space from the west side of Chestnut and hit Stahl’s vehicle on the right side, as she was traveling south on Chestnut.

Johnson was given a written warning for “Unsafe backing.”

FEMA expands disaster aid to 6 Iowa counties


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Federal officials have expanded a disaster declaration for six Iowa counties hammered by Missouri River flooding. Gov. Terry Branstad announced the new declaration Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying it would enable local officials to begin permanent repairs to damaged infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. Earlier declarations were focused on initial cleanup. The declaration covers Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties.

FEMA officials approved the declaration after studying damage reports submitted by the state. That agency earlier rejected the state’s request for individual assistance programs in the six counties, designed to help those who saw damage to homes or businesses. Branstad says state officials will continue to press for that aid. FEMA spokesman Bob Josephson says his agency will consider whatever applications the state submits.

Heavy rains force closure of Carter Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

CARTER LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Heavy rainfall has forced the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to close Carter Lake in southwest Iowa to all boaters.

The DNR says in a news release on Monday the heavy rainfalls from storms that moved across the area Sunday night has led the agency to close all boat ramps on Carter Lake until the water level has dropped enough so that docks and the shoreline are protected.

The DNR also says all boat ramps on Carter Lake in Omaha, Neb., are closed.

Scholarship to honor pilot killed at KC air show


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A scholarship will be created to honor the memory of a stunt pilot whose plane crashed during the Kansas City Air Show. Fifty-year-old Bryan Jensen of Ponte Vedra, Fla., and formerly of Atlantic, IA, was performing loops and spirals Saturday afternoon when his biplane failed to pull out of a dive. The plane crashed in flames on grass next to a runway at Wheeler Downtown Airport.

Air show officials announced Monday that a scholarship in Jensen’s honor will be established through the Mid-American Youth Aviation Association. Details will be announced later.  The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. Sunday’s show was dedicated to Jensen and went off without any problems.

Four arrests reported in Atlantic over the weekend


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic said today (Monday), four people were arrested over the weekend. On Friday, 35-year old Brent Beedle, of Oakland, was arrested on a Pottawattamie County warrant for Failure to Comply with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

And, on Sunday, officers with the Atlantic P-D arrested: 54-year old William Schreiber, of Atlantic, & 26-year old Quentin Moses, of Ralston, NE. Both men were charged with 1st offense OWI; and, 49-year old Harry Moses, of Oakland, was arrested Sunday on a Mills County warrant for Civil Contempt.

All four individuals were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Two accidents in Atlantic


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police say two accidents occurred over the weekend, one of which resulted in minor injuries. An accident Sunday afternoon at the intersection of 2nd Street and Sunnyside Lane resulted in the driver and a passenger in one of the vehicles being sent to the Cass County Memorial, for treatment of pain.

Officials say a vehicle driven by Chelsey Leighton, of Griswold, was traveling north on Sunnyside Lane at around 12:50-p.m., and had stopped at the intersection with 2nd Street/Highway 83. A vehicle driven by Judy Miller, of Atlantic, stopped behind the Leighton vehicle.

When Leighton started to pull out into the intersection, followed by Miller, Leighton stopped again, and was hit from behind. Leighton and a passenger in her vehicle suffered minor injuries. No citations were issued. Damage from the accident amounted to $300.

The other accident happened just before 2-p.m. Friday, at the intersection of Linn and Commerce Streets, when vehicles driven by Bruce A. Hansen, and Matthew Prall, both of Atlantic, collided. Officials say Hansen was traveling north on Linn Street and stopped at the stop sign located near the intersection. Prall was traveling west on Commerce, and had swerved to go around a non-contact vehicle, before continuing westbound. Police say Hansen pulled out too soon, and hit the rear of Prall’s vehicle.

Damage from the mishap amounted to $4,200. No injuries were reported, and there were no citations issued.

Branstad & Reynolds to hold roundtable, public discussion regarding Mo. River Flooding


August 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said today (Monday), they will hold a meeting on Friday, September 9th, with public and private sector officials and concerned citizens, to discuss Missouri River flooding and overall river management. The meeting takes place in Council Bluffs, from 1:00 to 3:45 p.m., at Iowa Western Community College’ Looft Hall (2700 College Road).

The administration’s announcement comes on the heels of last Friday’s meeting of government officials from several states affected by the Missouri River flooding. The meeting will consist of an hour long public roundtable discussion with community leaders followed by an hour of open discussion with the general public.

The entire event is free and open to the public.