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7AM Newscast 07-12-2011

News, Podcasts

July 12th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/  Ric Hanson


Tracey Dyess parole hearing to be held Friday


July 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A 24-year-old Griswold woman convicted of setting a fatal fire when she was 17 is scheduled to have a commutation hearing before the Iowa Board of Parole. Tracey Dyess is serving a 45-year prison sentence for setting fire to the family’s home in Griswold in March 2005.  She told investigators she wanted to kill her stepfather, Brian Street, because of sexual abuse. He was later convicted. The fire killed her two siblings.

Dyess was given 45 years in prison after making a plea deal. The Des Moines Register says her hearing is scheduled for Friday. The board expects to make its recommendation within three weeks to Gov. Terry Branstad, who has three months to decide.

Atlantic School Board to meet this evening


July 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will hold their regular meeting this evening, at the high school. On their agenda are special presentations by School Resource Officer Corey Larsen, with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, and Jerry Purdy, with the architectural firm of Design Alliance.

Action items on the agenda include various administrative matters, such as General- and Special- Education contracts, other contracts and letters of assignment, as well as resignations; the appointment of a Board Secretary and Treasurer; consideration of sealed bids which will be opened a few hours prior to the meeting, for renovations and improvements to the Atlantic Middle School, and a resolution directing the sale of bonds for the project.

The Board is also expected to act on approving: an agreement with the Nishna Valley Family YMCA for sharing facilities, mowing & snow removal; a 5-year Capital Needs plan; and a Memorandum of Understanding with the School Resource Officer for 2011-2012.

The meeting begins at 7:30-p.m., in the high school media center.

Gust of wind from passing semi causes crash in Adair Co.


July 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A gust of wind from a passing semi-tractor trailer contributed to the cause of a rollover accident Sunday night, in Adair County. The Iowa State Patrol says 27-year old Olga Farnsworth, of Logan, Utah, was traveling east on Interstate 80 at around 11:23-p.m., when the accident occurred.

Officials say her 2002 Toyota Tacoma pickup was pulling a U-Haul trailer near the Casey exit when she was passed by a semi. The woman told the investigating officer she could feel the wind created by the semi blow the pickup and trailer.

She then lost control of the vehicle, which entered the median. Both the pickup and the trailer rolled onto their sides, facing west in the median. Farnsworth, who was wearing her seatbelt, was not injured during the mishap, which resulted in her being cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Her pickup was totaled in the crash, while the U-Haul trailer sustained an estimated $200 damage.

Arrests reported in Cass County


July 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports 34-year old Richelle Ann Smith, of Atlantic, was arrested Sunday, on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Smith was taken to the Cass County Jail, and released on her own recognizance later in the day.

And, on Saturday,  Police in Anita arrested 24-year old Matthew Quinn Bonnesen, of Anita, on a charge of Domestic Abuse/Serious Assault. Bonnesen was taken to the Cass County Jail, and also released later that day, on his own recognizance.

Harlan FFA Named as Top Chapter in FFA


July 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan FFA has been voted as a top chapter in their state by area farmers in the FFA Chapter Challenge pilot program, sponsored by Monsanto Company. FFA members in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia and Alabama took this opportunity to make meaningful connections with area farmers, and farmers then voted for their favorite FFA chapter.

John Raines, vice president of Monsanto customer advocacy, said “Monsanto is proud to be a partner with the National FFA and help these local chapters generate new and stronger relationships with their area farmers.” He congratulated the Harlan FFA on their accomplishment and for opening dialogue with the farming community “That billions depend on everyday.”

Twenty-five FFA chapters across Iowa were in the running for the FFA Chapter Challenge Grand Prize, which was made possible through National FFA and Monsanto.
The chapter that received the most votes won a trip to this year’s National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 19-22, for six students and one adviser. The trip is valued at $6,500.

The top 10 chapters in each state were awarded a $1,500 certificate of credit as first prize. The remaining 55 prizes were awarded to the overall top chapters, not
to include those that ranked in the top 10 for their state. The second prize chapters received FFA merchandise gift certificates.  The certificates of credit
can be used with the national office for items such as blue jackets, convention fees and more.

To see a full list of 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge winners, visit

USDA Rural Dev. Director to be in western IA Tuesday


July 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

USDA Rural Development Director, Bill Menner, will be in western Iowa Tuesday, to garner ideas to keep “rural Iowa  alive and vibrant.” Director Menner will at the Elk Horn Town Hall at 9-a.m., at the Greenfield City Hall, beginning at 1-p.m., and at the Pavilion on the Adams County Fair Grounds in Corning, at 3:30-p.m.

For more information about finance programs through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Atlantic at (712) 243-2107 Ext. 4. This office serves  communities, businesses and residents in Adams, Audubon, Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Taylor Counties.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office  locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at

Cass County (IA) Fair King & Queen contestants announced


July 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Eighteen girls will compete for the title of Cass County Fair Queen and seven boys will try for Cass County Fair King during the annual county fair, July 29th through August 5th, 2011.

During a recent preliminary judging of all candidates at the Main Street Grill in Atlantic,  each candidate was interviewed by two judges and then participated in a small group discussion. Judging criteria is based on appearance, personality, poise, charm, awareness, leadership, and citizenship within the community, as well as their ability to discuss openly, honestly, and extemporaneously on current youth issues.

Candidates trying for the title of queen include:

Hannah Ankenbauer, Marybeth Anstey, Alyssa Askeland, Michelle Buboltz, Linnea Casey, Taylor Dorsey, Lauren Fast, Cynthia Freund, Andrea Kuffel, Sarah Jo Masker, Melanie Palmer, Maggie Peck, Tess Peck, Diana Perkins, Erin Steele, Amber Stender, Toni Swanson and Kate Lynn Wheatley.

King candidates include:

Robert Nichols, Justin Aupperle, Ryan Aupperle, J.T. Baker, Dylan Christensen, Mark Jacobsen and Ethan Miller.

Contestants were treated to dinner sponsored by the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, Cass County Farm Bureau & Brocker Karns & Karns. Coordinating the event are Superintendent, Deb Schuler, Assistant, Lana Westphalen, and the 2010 Cass County Fair Queen Victoria Frisbie; Princess, Katelyn Blake, and 2010 Fair King, Ethan Wessling, and Prince, Charles Ankenbauer.

Crowning of the 2011 Fair Queen will take place in front of the grandstand on Sunday, July 29th,  at 8:00 PM.

Latham raises more than $580,000 for 2012 campaign


July 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rep. Tom Latham raised more than $580,000 for his 2012 reelection campaign in the second quarter of 2011, the first reporting period since Iowa’s redistricting plan was implemented.

According to Latham’s campaign, the nine-term congressman has $1.5 million cash on hand as he moves from his current, north-central Iowa district to a southwest Iowa district where he will challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell. The deputy treasurer for Latham’s campaign, Elizabeth Severson, says Latham’s haul is the most his committee has raised in a single quarter.

Boswell hasn’t released his second quarter fundraising numbers. Candidates are required to do so by July 15. Latham is attempting to win a district that is virtually all new terrain, comprised of 16 counties in the southwest and including Des Moines.

Man serving time for sex offenses in Pott. Co. dies in prison


July 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a 74-year-old sex offender has died at the Iowa State Penitentiary medical unit in Fort Madison.

A state news release says Jack Franks was found unresponsive, without a pulse or heartbeat, in his bed at 3:20 a.m. Sunday. The release says that because Franks had signed a do-not-resuscitate order, no attempt to revive him was made.

The release says Franks suffered from several conditions, including coronary artery disease. Franks was serving a 20-year sentence that began in July 2005.

He’d been convicted in Pottawattamie County of four counts of lascivious acts with a child.