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Tuesday accident in Harlan


May 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan report an Avoca woman was cited for failure to yield upon making a left turn, following an accident Tuesday that caused $4,500 worth of damage. Officials say a vehicle driven by Cory Bolger, of Harlan, was exiting the Cenex drive and heading east, at the same time a vehicle driven by Janet Schneider, of Avoca, was leaving the Pamida driveway, and turning west.

The vehicles collided left-front to left rear. No injuries were reported.

Drug and assault arrests reported in Atlantic


May 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic reported Thursday two men were arrested this week on separate charges. On Wednesday, 35-year old Thomas Williamson, of Griswold, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

And, on Monday, 21-year old Darnell Coleman, of Atlantic, was arrested for Domestic Assault. Both men were brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

Coleman has a history of run-ins with the law. He was previously charged with Domestic Abuse Assault in September , 2010. His trial on that charge is set to take place next Thursday, May 12th. In addition, Coleman was arrested April 20th on a charge of going armed with intent. His trial on the charge is set to take place July 12th.

Disaster declaration for 6 Iowa counties


May 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration for six western Iowa counties damaged by tornadoes and other severe storms last month.

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley says Thursday that the declaration triggers the release of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to help Iowa recover from the storms on April 9-10. FEMA will provide assistance to Buena Vista, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas and Sac counties.

The agency will help state and local governments, and certain nonprofits. The money could also be used to rebuild damaged roads and bridges and cover the cost of emergency work and debris removal.

Gov. Terry Branstad asked for declaration on April 26.

Iowa Tornado-Disaster Loans – SBA loans available for tornado recovery in Iowa


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

State officials say the Small Business Administration is offering low-interest loans to help homeowners, renters and businesses in 14 Iowa counties recover from a rash of tornadoes that hit the state last month. There were at least 18 twisters in Iowa on April 9, including one that slammed into Mapleton.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s office says Thursday that the SBA has declared a disaster following Branstad’s request, which was originally made for Monona and Pocahontas counties. The declaration also makes assistance available in 12 other counties – Buena Vista, Calhoun, Clay, Crawford, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Sac, Webster and Woodbury.

Disaster loans up available to businesses and homeowners to repair or replace buildings, equipment and homes, and to homeowners and renters to replace personal property.

Manilla Fire Station considered to be a total loss


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters in Manilla didn’t have far to travel to fight a blaze late last night. That’s because it was right next door to the fire station at 533 Main Street, in downtown Manilla. The Irwin Fire Department was one of several area departments which responded to help fight the blaze.

The fire destroyed two buildings and caused extensive damage to the Manilla Fire station, located next door. Irwin Fire Chief Lynn Gaskill said the fire broke out just after 10:30-pm, Wednesday, in a vacant building next to the station.

He says two firefighters were driving through town and saw flames coming from a building next door. They ran into the fire station and grabbed their equipment, moved the trucks and ambulance, and made a call for help. At least seven area fire departments responded.

The abandoned building that caught fire was formerly a blacksmith shop. Gaskill says the shop located next door to the fire station held antiques. A second, nearby structure had served as a residence, but was unoccupied. It was also destroyed by the flames.

Gaskill estimated the fire station was a total loss as well. He says the steel beams in the building were warped, and several pieces of equipment, including the firefighters’ bunker gear, radios and more were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

The State Fire Marshall was in Manilla this morning, assessing the damage. A cause for the fire has not yet been determined. uniforms and some equipment were lost in the blaze, but there were no reports of injuries. Firefighters were kept busy this (Thursday) morning as well, after the smoldering mess re-kindled.

National Police Memorial week – Clarinda services set


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers is inviting the public to attend a memorial service May 18th designed to pay tribute to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. The service will begin at 2-p.m. at the Clarinda Cemetery Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The event is being held in conjunction with National Police Officers’ Memorial Week, May 15th through the 21st. Sunday, May 15th is National Police Officers’ Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor the 160 law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in the U-S and its territories, in 2010. President Obama and Congress have directed all government and state flags to be flown at half-staff on May 15th.

The event being held May 18th in Clarinda, will feature a 21-gun salute performed by the American Legion Sergy Post 98. If there is inclement weather, the ceremony will be canceled.

Boulders Development agreement rescinded by Atlantic CC


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening approved an order to rescind a resolution approving an expired development agreement and tax increment financing with Boulders Inn and Suites. City Administrator Doug Harris says the council agreed to back away from the agreement because Boulders’ officials didn’t make good on their promise to the City.

He says they didn’t meet the requirement of getting the property on the tax roles by January 1st and certification of that agreement, along with the minimum assessment that would be placed on the property. A required landscaping plan was also not signed by company officials. City Attorney Dave Wiedersteen recommend the agreement be rescinded and a new contract drafted.

Harris said there are some new “wrinkes or considerations” that must considered before any agreement is signed by both parties. He says there are proposals for commercial/industrial tax rollbacks which would affect the tax flow on the projects and the City’s ability to fund them.

Last May, the Atlantic City Council approved a package which included $125,000 in an up-front incentive payment (upon completion of the building), and $100,00 in tax rebates…$25,000 per year, for a period of 4-years, for the 1.5-million dollar, 32-room, four-suit hotel. Construction began last Fall. The hotel was expected to be completed and open for business this month.

In other business, the Council passed a resolution setting the date for a public hearing on an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget, for May 18th, and, on a five-to one-vote, they approved their consent agenda which included a resolution authorizing bids for the 2011 Parks Improvement, Hot Melt Asphalt (HMA) and Portland Cement Concrete (or, PCC) paving and storm sewer improvement projects.

The opening date for bids was also set for May 18th.

Second arrest made in connection w/Ringgold & Union County gun Thefts


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Afton report a second arrest has been made in connection with the theft of weapons from residences in Ringgold and Union Counties. According to the Afton Police Department, 17-year old Tanner Jonathon Dean Harvey, of Afton, was taken into custody without incident late Wednesday morning.

Harvey was charged with six-counts of felony Burglary – Class C, and one-count of

Felony burglary – Class D. He was transported to the Central Iowa Detention Center in Eldora, and his case referred to juvenile court.

Union County Sheriff Rick Piel says four of the burglaries occurred Union County. Two were in Ringgold County. About 40 stolen guns were recovered at a farmhouse near Afton.

On Monday, authorities charged 18-year old Eric Kristopher Downey, of Afton, with second-degree burglary. Downey was being held in the Union County Jail.

Downtown blaze damages Manilla fire station


May 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

MANILLA, Iowa (AP) – A fire in Manilla has damaged the fire station. Officials say the fire erupted after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in a vacant building next to the station. Early reports say two structures were reduced to rubble. No injuries were reported.

There’s no word yet on how the fire started.

Friends remember Iowa soldier – SSgt. James Justice


May 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Friends of Staff Sergeant James Justice told of the fallen Iowa National Guard soldier’s love of his family and life during his funeral today (Wednesday) at the I-K-M Manning High School gym in Manning. Hundreds turned out to honor the 33-year-old who died on a mission to rescue downed helicopter pilots in Afghanistan on April 23rd. Jessica Fine worked with Justice’s wife Amanda, and became friends with James too. Fine talked about how Justice would play with his three-year-old daughter Caydence, and the relationship he had with his wife.

“Since James left for Afghanistan, he has sent the cutest love notes to Amanda and Caydence,” Fine said, “He never said much , but just enough that you could tell how much he missed and loved them.” Fine says she was brought to tears as she looked at their Facebook pages and saw the notes they left for each other. Fine says Justice made an impression on her that she will never forget.

She says while she only knew him for a few years, he always made her feel like a special friend. “And I am honored to have known James because of the husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend that he was,” Fine said, “he died serving a country that he loved, and I can’t wait until the day when I can tell Caydence about what a hero and honorable man her daddy really was.” Justice was born in Manning and grew up in Manilla. Jason Erb was a longtime friend of Justice’s and fellow soldier. He said Justice was a die-hard Iowa Hawkeye fan, and had a hard time with it when Erb decided to play football for the Cyclones.

Erb says he would give Justice tickets for the home football games and Justice still wouldn’t root for Iowa State. He says Justice would go out and buy the opposing team’s t-shirt and root against Iowa State while sitting in the Cyclone parents’ section. Jeremy Venick said he had tried to write something down to say about his friend, but ended up with a blank piece of paper. He instead spoke about how his friend would win over others.

“James was one of a kind, and his personality was infectious,” Venick said. He says they’d walk into a bar and when they left, “he’d have 10 new friends, or four new enemies, and it was one way or the other every time.” Venick says usually it was new friends that Justice made, and he said he was not surprised so many people turned out to honor him.

Venick says Justice made so many friends every where he went, and since his death he keeps running into people who he hasn’t seen in 10 years and they start telling stories about Justice. Tyler Christianson told a story of a prank he and Justice pulled on another soldier, and how they laughed when they got caught. He says those are the things he will remember about his friend.

“James was an amazing, husband, son, brother, friend to all,” Christianson said,” I know the reason that we cry is because those times were so great.” Justice lived in Grimes and was a fulltime guard member with the First Squadron 113th Calvary that is stationed at Camp Dodge. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

(Radio Iowa)