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Woman suffers heart attack on I-29. Deputy & others work to save her life


April 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Missouri Valley woman suffering from a heart condition this morning on Interstate 29 in Pottawattamie County received help from several sources, include a Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy. Sheriff Jeff Danker says the incident began at around 6:15-a.m., north of the Honey Creek exit.

Danker says woman was driving south on I-29 with her husband in the passenger seat, when the driver had a heart problem and collapsed at the wheel. Her husband was able to get the vehicle stopped, and removed her from the vehicle. After other motorists stopped to offer assistance, a sheriff’s deputy was sent to the scene.

When Sgt. Jim Harvey arrived at the scene, Danker says used his Automatic External Defibrillator to try and save the woman, who was identified as 54-year old Karen Lenz.

He says Lenz shocked the woman three times and stayed on location until paramedics arrived. Lenz was eventually flown by LifeNet helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha.

A report on Lenz’ condition is not currently available. Danker says she and her husband Thomas were on their way to work when the incident occurred.

The Sheriff says AED’s are carried in all of his department’s vehicles, in hopes lives can be saved. He says they’ve had them in those vehicles for at least three-years. He says it’s not something that’s used on an everyday basis, but often times his deputies are the first on the scene, and using the devices can make a difference in keeping someone alive until trained medical personnel can render aid.

Danker says he’s not sure how many times the AED’s have been used, but the incident today (Monday) wasn’t the first time, and it likely won‘t be the last.

Drug arrests in Audubon County


April 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest last week of two men on drug charges. 35-year old Jay Dean Jensen, of Audubon, and 47-year old Lewis Byron Hogue, of Brayton, were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon following a traffic stop in Exira.

Officials say both men were charged with Possession of Marijuana. Jensen faces an additional charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both were transported to the Audubon County Jail, and later posted bond.

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department was assisted in their investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.

Two arrested after pursuit through 2 SW IA Counties


April 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two people from Red Oak were arrested early this morning following the theft of a pickup and trailer and a pursuit in two area counties. According to Red Oak Police, 19-year-old Nathan Allen Aldrich and a 16-year-old male juvenile, both of Red Oak, were arrested for 1st degree theft. Aldrich faces additional charges of eluding and OWI 1st offense.

Both suspects were arrested after Red Oak police officers attempted a traffic stop at the intersection of Highways 34 and 48, at around 3 a.m. Officers became suspicious when they saw the Jayco camper being pulled by a 2006 Nissan pickup. They apparently knew the owner of the camper, and confirmed it had been stolen from Mark Euken, of Red Oak.

The pickup and trailer failed to stop for authorities and continued west on Highway 34, sometimes in the oncoming lanes of traffic, into Mills County. Stopsticks were deployed by Mills County Sheriff’s Deptuies, and the pickup’s tires were punctured, but it continued westbound into Glenwood, where pickup and camper ended up in a ditch.

Aldrich was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $10,000 bond, awaiting an appearance before the magistrate, while the juvenile was booked into the jail and later transported to the Council Bluffs Juvenile Detention Center. 

Officials say items recovered in the stolen trailer indicate the suspects allegedly broke into other vehicles or businesses in the Red Oak area overnight. Residents and business owners were being advised to check their vehicles and businesses for indications of burglary.

If you notice items missing from your vehicle or business, you’re asked to contact Red Oak Police.

Manning native/IKM Grad killed in Afghanistan


April 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sgt. James A. Justice

Spc. Zachary Durham

The Iowa National Guard Sunday night announced a soldier from Grimes, 32-year old Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, was killed by enemy small arms fire during combat operations on Saturday, April 23rd, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan at approximately 10 a.m., local Afghanistan time. Wounded in the attack was Spc. Zachary Durham, age 21, of Des Moines. Both Soldiers were assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, Camp Dodge, Johnston.

The attack happened during rescue operations of a U.S. Army OH-58 helicopter crew who were injured when their aircraft made a hard landing in Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. Justice and Durham responded to the scene as members of a Quick Reaction Force (“QRF”) and came under fire from enemy forces at the crash site. Justice died at the scene and Durham was evacuated to Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan for medical treatment. No additional information is available regarding Durham’s condition or medical status. The cause of the helicopter crash is unknown at this time and under investigation.

James A. Justice was born June 30, 1978 in Manning, Iowa and graduated from Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla High School in 1997. Justice enlisted as an Infantryman in Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, Iowa Army National Guard in September 1998 at Denison. He previously deployed to Operation Desert Spring (Kuwait) in 2001, the Multinational Force Observer peacekeeping mission (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt) in 2003-2004, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006.Prior to his mobilization, he was employed full-time by the Iowa National Guard at Camp Dodge, Johnston.

Justice was part of the approximately 2,800 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. These Iowa Soldiers reported to their mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in July 2010 for additional training and preparation before departing for the Afghanistan theater of operations. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where the Soldiers provide full-spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethal and non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance to humanitarian relief initiatives.

The family of Staff Sgt. James A. Justice issued the following statement:

“James Alan Justice meant many things to every person he encountered. He was the funny best friend named “Juice” that could be counted on when needing to be cheered up; the uncle who always knew just what to say and when to hand out hugs; the son who was his parents’ pride and joy; the father who loved his little girl more than anything in the world and couldn’t wait to have more children; and the husband who loved to put a smile on his wife’s face. One thing James was to everyone was the ultimate soldier. He loved the military and he looked forward to every deployment. While we were stunned and extremely saddened to learn of his tragic death, we all take solace knowing that James died doing what he loved best: serving his country beside the men and women he revered and trusted.
Through his four tours of duty, James had many accomplishments but above all, he made life-long friendships. The outpouring of support and prayers during this time from friends, fellow Soldiers and strangers alike has been astonishing, but proved what we all knew: that James was a one-of-a-kind guy and deeply loved by all who had the opportunity to know him and serve with him. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Iowa National Guard for the opportunities they have provided to James over the past 13 years. Additionally, we would like to acknowledge all of his fellow Iowa National Guard Soldiers both at home and serving overseas. May God be with you always.
We are sure that you can understand and will honor our request for family privacy at this time, as we are focused on working with military officials to return James’ body home for military service and burial. We thank you for your thoughts, prayers and kindness at this extremely difficult time. We are deeply saddened by our loss, but extremely proud of the honorable way he served America as a leader in the U.S. Army. We will remember him, his strength, his infectious sense of humor, his faith in God, and his love for his family, friends and country with great pride.”

Funeral arrangements are pending and details will be provided as they become available.

Two injured during Saturday afternoon accident in Pott County


April 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports a couple from Council Bluffs were injured Saturday afternoon, when the SUV they were in left the road as they were traveling east on Interstate 80 near the Underwood exit.

Officials say 34-year old Suzette Marie Harville and 38-year old Michael Lynn Harville were transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs following the crash which occurred at around 1:55-p.m., Saturday.

According to the Patrol, a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer driven by Suzette Harville, left the road to the right for reasons unknown, and ended-up rolling into the ditch.

The accident remains under investigation.

SW Iowans graduate from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy


April 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Twenty-four men and women were sworn in Friday, as peace officers with the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) at the 35th Academy Graduation ceremony. Those individuals will serve their communities as Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol, and Special Agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Among the graduates from southwest Iowa, was Garrett Clayton, an Iowa State Patrol Trooper from Walnut, Blake Michelsen, a Trooper from Mount Ayr, will serve in District 16 at the Capitol Complex. And, Cole Johannsen from Avoca, as well as Matthew Ross, from Glenwood, both DCI Agents, who will be working in the area of Gaming Enforcement in Lyon County.

All of the officers completed a 22-week training academy designed to prepare them for readiness to serve as law enforcement officers. Elements of their training included the use of firearms, emergency response procedures, first aid and CPR, tactical driving techniques, and courses on Iowa law.

In a written statement Governor Branstad congratulated the new officers and thanked them for serving the people of Iowa.  Each of the officers begin active service in their new assignments effective immediately across the State of Iowa.

Multiple arrests reported in Cass County


April 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s office today (Friday) reports numerous arrests over the past week and a-half, including three people were arrested this week on drug charges. Taken into custody Thursday on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, was 20-year old Cody Allen Canfield, of Oakland.  Canfield was being held at the Cass County Jail on $2500 bond.

And, 26-year old Miles Blake Cooley, and 22-year old Sydney Kay Darling,  both of Anita,  turned themselves in at the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, following a traffic stop. The pair were each charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Darling and Cooley bonded from the Cass County Jail later that day on $5000 bond each.

As a result of an ongoing investigation by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, 41-year old Ann Valentine Butler, of Anita, turned herself in at the Cass County Jail Thursday, on a Cass County warrant for Theft 1st Degree. Butler was released later that day on $10,000 bond.

On April 17th, 2011, the Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 19-year old Jonathan Christian Pilgreen, of Griswold, was taken into custody on a charge of Public Intox. Pilgreen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he pled guilty and was released later that day.

On April 15th, 2011, deputies arrested 22-year old Andrew Gaston Nickum,  of Atlantic, on a Department of Corrections warrant for Parole Violation. Nickum was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held without bond.

On that same day, 42-year old David Lee Jordan,  of Atlantic, was arrested for 5th Degree Theft (Shoplifting). Jordan was taken to the Cass County Jail where he pled guilty the next day and was released.

And, on April 13th, 2011, deputies with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 30-year old Joseph Alan Diamond, of Lewis,  on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Diamond was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released on April 16th, 2011, on $2,500 bond.

Audubon County Selected for Substance Abuse Prevention Grant


April 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports Audubon County was among 23 counties in Iowa, selected to participate in a $10.5 million federal grant to reduce binge drinking and underage drinking, and the problems associated with both. Ringgold, Monona, Sac and Woodbury Counties in western Iowa were included on the list as being identified as “highest need,” with regard to underage alcohol use, and youth and adult binge drinking.

In February, 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) approved Iowa’s plan for the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG), allowing IDPH to implement a county selection process.

Julie Hibben, the project director for the Iowa SPF SIG, says “The counties chosen to participate in this initiative will serve at least 30,000 Iowans and the state as a whole will benefit from the increased health and safety of all Iowans.”

According to data from IDPH, nearly 28 percent of Iowans 12 years of age and older had consumed more than five drinks of alcohol in one sitting during the past month. This is significantly higher than the national rate of 23 percent.

In addition, 36 percent of Iowans felt that five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice a week was a great risk.

Two people injured in Harrison Co. crash


April 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports two-people were injured following a single-vehicle accident early Thursday morning, in Harrison County. 49-year old Phillip G. Berten, of Omaha, and a passenger in his car, 21-year old Dakota J. Beadle, suffered “possible” injuries, and were taken to a hospital in Missouri Valley by Mondamin Rescue, after the car they were in went out of control and hit a bridge guard rail, several times.

Officials say Berten’s 2006 Hyundai Sonata was traveling south on Interstate 29 about two-miles north of Modale, when the accident occurred at around 4:30-a.m., Thursday. Berten was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. The patrol said driver fatigue may have played a role in the crash.

Berten’s car sustained $8,000 damage during the accident.

S. Sioux City, NE man injured in high-speed chase & crash in Monona Co.


April 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says a South Sioux City, Nebraska man was taken to the hospital following a high speed chase that ended in a crash Thursday morning, in western Iowa’s Monona County. 21-year old Bee Vang suffered “non-incapacitating” injuries, after the 2005 Acura he was driving went out of control and drove through several residential yards in Blencoe, before hitting a parked pickup and a tree.

A Trooper clocked Vang’s car at 93-miles per hour in a 70-mile per hour zone on Interstate 29, at around 1:40-a.m., Thursday. After the car left the interstate at the Blencoe exit, Vang turned-off his vehicle’s lights and continued east toward Blencoe.

The Trooper lost sight of the car but eventually attained visual contact in town, on Main Street. Shortly thereafter, Vang lost control of the car. During the crash, his vehicle, and one that was struck were totaled, and a residence was damaged by flying debris from the parked car.

Vang was brought to Burgess Hospital in Onawa by Burgess Rescue. He was released from the facility suffering from a broken nose, and subsequently taken into custody. Vang was charged with Speeding, failure to use headlamps when required and reckless driving.