Sarah Lewis
2:00pm - 7:00pm
Sarah Lewis
Make A Request
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Latest News Stories

Holiday Season Brings Extra Precautions

(Des Moines)  Firefighters know this time of year. There are additional fire hazards, including dry Christmas trees and greenery, and the use of candles and fire places. State Fire Marshall Ron Humphreys says in addition, there are also a couple other common fire starters.


“There is smoking, along with cooking," says Humphreys.  "Yet again with the holidays, be careful when cooking and make sure to not leave things unattended.”


Humphreys suggest buying a new smoke and/or CO detector for a family member or friend for Christmas. He also recommends people have an emergency plan, so that in the event of a fire, everyone can get out of the residence safely.


Iowa Radio Network

December 22nd, 2014

Judge Overrules Venue Change for Northern Iowa Trial

(Hancock County) A judge in Northern Iowa has denied the prosecution’s request for a change of venue for the trial next month of a former state law maker.


Republican Henry Rayhons of Hancock County is charged with sexual abuse after authorities say he had sex with his wife when she lacked the mental capacity to grant consent. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office sought a change of venue contending media coverage in the area has prejudiced the potential jury pool and makes it unlikely for Rayhons to have a fair trial in Hancock County.


Judge Rustin Davenport has ruled that there was not enough pre-trial publicity to make it too difficult to find a jury. He says “overall, the news reports are not so pervasive or inflammatory that prejudice must be presumed.” The judge also denied the state’s argument that the public would put Rayhons on a pedestal because he was an elected official, noting the public’s perception of elected officials has changed.

Rayhons is set to stand trial in January.


Iowa Radio Network

December 22nd, 2014

Winter Weather Could Prevent Your Travel Plans From Happening This Week

(Des Moines)  If you or someone you know plans to travel out of the state in the next day or so, there may be some rough weather to battle.
Meteorologist Brad Fillbach with the National Weather Service Office in Johnston says snow is falling out west.
"For the Denver area, they are expecting more rain and snow today and tonight, with nicer conditions Tuesday and Wednesday," says Fillbach.
He says down South, towards the Atlanta, Georgia area, rain will be the big issue.
Iowa Radio Network
December 22nd, 2014

Police Department to Purchase Body Cameras

(Knoxville)  Body cameras are coming to a Southeast Iowa Police Department.
"This is an evolving technology and we thought it my be important technology for law enforcement use," says Losada.  "So we've been trying it!  We've tried three or four different styles of camera and found one, finally, that we think is going to work best for us."  
Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says they'll be ordering three cameras around the first of the year, thanks in large part to a donation from a Knoxville family, that will practically cover all of the $2,500 cost.
Iowa Radio Network
December 22nd, 2014

Casey City Hall Fire Remains Under Investigation

(Casey) The Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office continues to investigate the fire that destroyed the Casey City Hall in  August, and it may take weeks or months before they know the results of the investigation.
Contrary to an earlier article, Ron Humphrey, with the State Fire Marshall's Office says arson is a possibility that they are looking into, but they don't know for sure. 
Ron Humphrey with the State Fire Marshall's Office says it is still an open investigation with  federal agencies, the State Auditor's Office as well as the State Fire Marshall's Office.
"Fire investigations are sometimes like a big jig-saw puzzle and we are just waiting for all of the pieces to be completed so we can put it together and come up with the complete picture," stated Humphrey. 
He says they haven't ruled out arson and they haven't determined that is arson either. The City Hall building , that was also shared as a Community Center burned down August 20.
Tom Robinson
December 22, 2014

Cass County OWI Arrests

(Atlantic) Two people were arrested for Operating While Intoxicated in Cass County last week.


The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says 32-year-old Magbeth Contreras-Vazquez, of St. Paul, Minnesota, was charged with OWI 1st Degree on December 15th. 33-year-old Juan Fernandez Polanco, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was charged with Open Container Passenger. Both men were taken to the Cass County Jail. Contreras-Vazquez was released later that day on $1,000 bond. Fernandez Polanco pled guilty and was released later that day.


In a separate incident, 70-year-old Marlin Eugene Rossell, of Lewis, was charged with OWI 1st Offense on December 17th. Rossell was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.


Mandy Billings


UPDATED Cause of Harlan Fire Under Investigation

(Harlan) The cause of the fire that burned a vacant church in Harlan remains under investigation.


The Harlan Fire Department and Medivac Ambulance were dispatched to a report of smoke at 1612 8th Street just before 4:00 Sunday afternoon. The first fire unit on scene reported smoke visible from the windows and roof of the old Catholic Church. Mutual aid was then requested from Westphalia Fire Department. An interior attack was initiated, however, due to rapidly changing fire conditions firefighters were withdrawn and an exterior attack was conducted.


Mutual aid was requested from Denison Fire for a ladder truck. The Kirkman, Defiance, Shelby, Avoca and Walnut Fire Departments were also asked to respond and assist. The Harlan Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic and scene control during firefighting operations. Fire units cleared the scene just before 10:30 p.m.


At the request of the Harlan Fire Chief, the State Fire Marshal has been requested to provide assistance in determining a cause. No estimate of damage is available at this time.


The Harlan Fire Department says Pizza Ranch offered to assist with bringing food and drinks to the scene and wives of several firefighters and members of the Harlan community distributed the food to those working to suppress the fire.


(Photo from Harlan Fire Department Facebook)


Mandy Billings


New App Designed to Cut Drunk Driving

(Des Moines)  All 99 Iowa counties are participating in a nation-wide crackdown on impaired driving.


The latest effort to keep drunk drivers off the road comes in the form of an app for iOS and Android called Safer-Ride; released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Iowa's Governor'sTraffic Safety Bureau's Alcohol Programs Coordinator says the app is as simple as possible, so anyone can use it to help out a potential drunk driver.


"Our owners are probably more apt to use this information and help patrons who don't want to drive because they may have had too much to drink."


The app offers just three options: call a cab, call a friend, or find my location. It's a part of the annual holiday crackdown on impaired driving.


Iowa Radio Network

December 22nd, 2014

Creston Police Report

(Creston) An Osceola man was arrested on a Union County warrant Friday.


The Creston Police Department says 21-year-old Jose Salomon Pascual was arrested at the Law Enforcement Center on a Union County warrant for Violation of Probation – Controlled Substance Violation. He was released from the Union County Jail on $5,000 bond.


In other activity, 35-year-old Nathan Shinn, of Creston, was arrested early Sunday morning on the 200 block of N Sumner and charged with OWI 1st Offense. He was released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.


Mandy Billings


Audubon County Man Charged with Possession of Stolen Property

(Audubon) An Audubon man has been charged with possession of stolen property.


According to the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office, 33-year-old Joshua Lee Larsen, was arrested Friday at around 5:00 p.m. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation and second search warrant executed at Larsen’s residence at 311 South Division Street in Audubon. Larsen was taken to the Audubon County Jail and released after appearing in front of a magistrate. The Audubon Police Department assisted in the search warrant and arrest. The incident remains under investigation.


In other activity; 24-year-old Rhiana Marie Christensen, of Cumberland was arrested Friday on an outstanding Audubon County Bench warrant for failing to appear for a hearing. Christensen was picked up in Monona County and transported to the Audubon County Jail and held on $1,500 cash bond.


The Sheriff’s Office reports three other arrests in separate incidents; 28-year-old Ryan Bryce Nichols, of Gray was charged with driving while suspended, 29-year-old Benjamin Daniel Jones, of Audubon, possession of marijuana, and 25-year-old Matthew Steven Randeris, of Audubon was charged with Second Offense OWI.


Tom Robinson

December 22, 2014

a.m. news 

Fire Fighters respond to Fire at Former Harlan Church

(Harlan) Fire fighters battled a fire at a former Harlan church Sunday afternoon.

According to reports, Firemen from Harlan and at least four other Departments responded to the fire at the former St. Michaels Catholic Church.


Fire fighters from Harlan, Denison, Kirkman and other area Fire Departments responded to the scene of the fire at the vacant building.


More details will be released later.


(photo from the Harlan Fiire Department Facebook)


Tom Robinson

December 22, 2014

a.m. news 

Iowa Heath Officials Report Increased Flu Hospitalizations

(Des Moines) The number of Iowans hospitalized due to flu complication shas more than doubled in recent weeks according to Iowa health officials. 


The Des Moines Register reports senior citizens in Iowa are being hit especiallly hard, reports released Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health claiming more than half of the Iowans being hospitalized for the flu are 65 or older. 


The latest report indicates that thrugh December 13, 65 Iowans were hospitalized for the flu at a set of hospitals monitored by the department. That is up from the 50 of the previous week, and 26 the week before that. 


Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the department's medical director, says the Type A H2N2 is the most common strain of the flu hitting the state. 



Brecklyn Carey


am news

Red Oak Man Charged with OWI Sunday Morning

(Red Oak) A Red Oak man was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated early this morning.


According to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested 43 year old Kip Michael Brower of Red Oak at approximately 2:25am Sunday morning. Brower was charged with OWI 1st offense and was transported to Montgomery County Corrections where he was booked in and held in lieu of $1,000 cash bond.

Brecklyn Carey
am news

National Weather Service issues Special Weather Statement

(Des Moines) Areas of freezing drizzle and very light snow has created icy road conditions this morning.


The National Weather Service has released this special weather statement for the following counties in the KSOM/KS95 listening area; Cass, Crawford, Carroll, Audubon, Guthrie, Adair, Madison, Adams and Union.


Forecasters say take extra precautions if venturing outdoors this morning. The freezing drizzle and very light snow will gradually diminish this morning.


Tom Robinson

December 20, 2014

Carroll County Man arrested on Warrant in Audubon County

(Audubon) A Carroll man faces charges in Audubon County in connection with an accident that occurred earlier this month.


The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Andrew Roland Petersen, was taken into custody Friday on an outstanding warrant for charges of operating while intoxicated, reckless driving, following too close, unsafe passing, failure to maintain control, and driving on the wrong side of a two way highway. The charges stem from a December 1 accident on Highway 71 south of Audubon.


Petersen was transported to the Audubon County Jail and held. He was released after appearing before a magistrate.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.


Tom Robinson

December 20, 2014

a.m news 

125 school districts chosen for teacher leadership system

(Des Moines) Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck today announced the next group of school districts chosen to launch local teacher leadership plans through Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System.


This effort to tap into the expertise of top teachers to improve classroom instruction and raise student achievement is the centerpiece of the state’s landmark education reform package passed by the Legislature in 2013. The system paves the way for more support and greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other instead of operating largely in isolation within their classrooms.  


Buck said 170 school districts from across the state applied to join the teacher leadership system in the second round. Of those, 125 school districts were chosen to put in place local plans – 74 of them during the 2015-16 school year and another 51 during the 2016-17 school year. The school districts serve a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities.


Audubon Superintendent Brett Gibbs was excited to hear Audubon was one of the districts receiving funds.


“This money will be used to hire instructional coaches who will be of course teachers who are currently on the staff and their full time job will then become just that; instructional coaches,” said Gibbs. “They’ll be working with our teachers in small groups, one-on-one, large groups… on what it takes to become a better teacher,” explained Gibbs.


The 125 selected districts join 39 other districts that were chosen to implement the first teacher leadership systems this fall. The goal is to have all Iowa school districts participate in the optional system by 2016-17.


School districts were chosen based on recommendations of the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation, which evaluates the applications.


The selected districts in Southwest Iowa include :


·         Atlantic

·         Audubon

·         Carroll

·         Dallas Center-Grimes

·         Glenwood

·         Lewis Central

·         Nodaway Valley

·         Red Oak



·         Adair-Casey (in collaboration with Guthrie Center)

·         CAM

·         Lenox


Mandy Billings


Tingley Man Arrested on Warrant

(Creston) A Tingley man was arrested on a Union County warrant for Going Armed with Intent and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree. The Creston Police Department arrested 29-year-old Aaron James Mangum Thursday morning at the Law Enforcement Center. He was held in the Union County Jail on $5,000 bond.


Mandy Billings


Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops

(Des Moines) The good news keeps coming on the employment front across the state.


Iowa Workforce Development reported today the state's unemployment rate fell again in November, dropping two tenths of a percent from October to 4.3%.  A year ago it was 4.2%.  73,900 people were considered to be unemployed last month, a drop of almost 3,000. 


Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert says virtually all of the economic indicators showed improvement in November.  The labor force now totals 1,639,800 people which is an all time record.


Areas of the economy with the biggest gains in employment last month were leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and education and health care.  Losses were reported in trade and transportation, construction and manufacturing.


Iowa Radio Network


Trojan Locker Accepts Donations for Families in Need

(Atlantic) An Atlantic resident is taking on a project to try to boost involvement in youth sports.


Rolly Parrott has launched what he calls the “Trojan Sports Locker” in hopes it will give more opportunities to 3rd through 6th graders who might otherwise be watching from the sidelines.


“Today there are just so many families out there that are financially stressed. They may have three kids in the family and it’s really hard for them to put shoes on their kids and then pay the fees for little league, Steeler football, wrestling, etc. and I decided to start making the sports locker where you could donate your sports goods that you aren‘t using any more and then they would be offered free to anyone that wanted to use them.”


Parrott explained often times kids get new shows every year even before the shoes are worn out. Donations of all kinds are always welcome.


“They can donate their used shoes. I‘ve got about 60 pairs of shoes, football, baseball, wrestling. Any sports they have Trojan gear, sweatshirts, Trojan shirts. I just love to give that out because when you are wearing a Trojan shirt you are in the group, you’re in.”


Parrott says the families that donate are very appreciative that their used items can go to a good cause. To find out how to donate or how to receive some items contact the ‘Trojan Sports Locker’ through their Facebook page.


Bennett Blake

Afton Woman Arrested on Warrant

(Afton) An Afton woman was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant for probation violation. The Union County Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Marie Ann Johnson on Thursday. She was released on pretrial release.


Mandy Billings


Iowa Barn Foundation awards Matching Grant to Restore Wooden Elevator in Audubon County

(Ross) The Iowa Barn Foundation has awarded a $25,000 matching grant to Bob and Janet Nelson to help restore the 1880’s wooden elevator in the Audubon County town of Ross.  Janet Nelson says not too many of these elevators exit anymore.  


“We are just trying to restore it so future generations can appreciate it,” stated Nelson.“Because, there aren’t a lot of wooden elevators around anymore.”

Nelson says the elevator and brick scale house are all that remains on the site.


She says there used to be a train depot and tracks from the Northwestern Rail Line on site but they have been removed.


“Now we have this enormous wooden elevator that has all of the running mechanisms still included which really makes it unique because a lot of those were removed,” said Nelson.


Nelson says they are looking for in-kind and monetary donations to complete the renovation project. They have already received some in-kind donations including; a large crane, backhoe, excavator and skid loader.  


An historical grain elevator expert told the Nelson’s that this elevator could quite possibly be the oldest wooden elevator in Iowa. Nelson says the plan is to use it as a museum or a learning project for classrooms to come visit.


Tom Robinson

December 19, 2014

a.m. news  

Texting to 9-1-1 goes into effect in 2015

(Atlantic) A new system that will allow citizens to reach 9-1-1 via a text message will be mandatory in all 9-1-1 Center’s across the nation by the end of 2015. Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert says the new system is called New Generation text messaging.


 “This is a big thing because more importantly the hearing impaired need this and they can be anywhere other than their home to access emergency services,” stated Koppert. 


Plus, Koppert says there are situations where it is probably advantageous to text a 9-1-1 Center, for example domestic situations “where you don’t want to be heard.”


However, Koppert still encourages citizens to make a voice call if at all possible.


“Texting will take a lot more time and it is not as efficient as spoken communication, by any stretch of the imagination,” said Koppert.


Text-to-911 will be handled similarly to wireless 911 and TTY 911 calls. They will be received through the 911 system but without reliable location information. Because of the lack of address information, the operator's priority will be to determine the caller's exact location. Without the location, police and/or fire cannot be sent.


When an operator disconnects the call, an automated message will be sent alerting the caller they've been disconnected and will need to call 911 again or initiate another text message if he/she needs additional assistance.


Tom Robinson

December 19, 2014

a.m. news 

New Cass County 9-1-1 Center set to open Late March

(Atlantic)  Construction of the new Cass County 9-1-1 Communications Center is on schedule to be completed in about three months.  Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert says the new center, located right across the street from the courthouse on the ground floor of 707 Poplar Street, is scheduled to open March 24.


 “All of our 9-1-1 wireless phone calls which account for about 80-percent of our 9-1-1calls are now delivered through the ICN and March 24 is the date that they will be able to connect to this building,” explained Koppert.


The Cass County board of supervisors’ purchased the Cambridge Law Office building for $370,000 and with the renovation, equipment and other expenses the total project cost is about $1.6 million. Koppert says had they done this new, it would have doubled the cost.


“This new center is a monument to the current board of supervisors because we can do this up right for a low tax payer expense,” said Koppert.  


The new 9-1-1 Center is located on the first floor of the building, and the County will rent out the remainder of the facility. Koppert says the building rental will help pay for the mortgage.


He says it comes out to about a 50-50 split between 9-1-1 surcharge dollars and Cass County Tax base dollars to build this Center, which Koppert says is quite a cost savings to the tax payers in Cass County.


Tom Robinson

December 19, 2014

a.m. news 

Mail Thefts in Council Bluffs

(Council Bluffs) Two Council Bluffs men were arrested on theft charges for stealing mail.


The Council Bluffs Police Department was alerted by a citizen today that a white Toyota Sedan was in their neighborhood and the occupants were stealing mail. A short time later, an officer observed a vehicle matching that description and made a traffic stop on the car at the intersection of Bluffs and Willow. The driver of the car, 45-year-old Eric Kriegler, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for several traffic violations. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle contained pieces of mail stolen from three different Council Bluffs residential neighborhoods. Kriegler was additionally charged with four counts of theft. A passenger in the vehicle, 30-year-old James Whitsel, of Council Bluffs, was also charged with four counts of theft.


The Criminal Investigation Division of the Council Bluffs Police Department is continuing to look into this case to see if any additional charges will be added. The U.S. Postal Service Inspector’s Office was also notified of this incident.


The Council Bluffs Police Department would like to express their gratitude to the watchful resident who called 911 when she noticed something unusual taking place in her neighborhood. They would like to remind citizens to always be alert and aware of what is taking place in your neighborhood, especially this holiday season. Putting outgoing mail in the secure USPS collection stations and having incoming packages shipped to a location where people are present, and expecting the delivery, are a couple of tips that can help citizens from being victimized.


Mandy Billings


Iowa Gaming Industry has Positive Impact on the State

(Des Moines) Iowa's 18 commercial casinos generated nearly two-and-a-half billion dollars in direct and indirect economic activity last year, that's according to a new study released by the American Gaming Association this morning. Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association says the findings demonstrate tremendous "return on investment" by his member casinos.


“What gaming has done to the state over the last 23 years it was set out to be a catalyst for economic development, to generate tourism, revenue and to create good jobs. And when you look at it today, we have exceeded that in an extraordinary way,” said Ehrecke.


Ehrecke says the study also shows the Iowa gaming industry supports about 16-thousand jobs and generates over $700-million dollars a year in taxes to local, state and federal governments.


Iowa Radio Network


Iowa Attorney Generals Office Warns of Scam

(Des Moines) The Iowa Attorney Generals’ Office is warning you about another scam trying to get your money.


“Frankly, we’re getting slammed by it now throughout the state,” said Spokesman Geoff Greenwood. “We’re getting dozens of calls per day and we know that local law enforcement is getting the same types of calls we’re getting.”


Greenwood says people report they’re getting calls from someone who claims to be from the IRS or other government entity and threatens jail time unless a debt is paid right away by a prepaid debit card. However, he says if you do pay it in that fashion, you’re money is gone… and it’s a scam.


Greenwood says the best thing to do if you get a call like that is hang up and verify with the government entity that you owe money. In most cases, he says they’re finding its foreign entities that are making the calls and the money is not recoverable.


Iowa Radio Network


Iowa Farmland declines an average $773 an Acre

(Ames) Iowa farmland marks its highest decline since 1986, according to the latest Iowa Land Value Survey released today. The average price of Iowa farmland is $7,493 per acre an 8.9 percent drop from a year ago.  The value of all grades of farmland fell, but high grade farmland took the biggest hit losing 9-percent or $974 per acre.


“The drop in farmland value is due to the drop in commodity prices,” explained Michael Duffy, a retired ISU economics professor and extension farm management economist who conducted this year’s survey. “Commodity prices and farm income are settling back to more expected levels, and I think farm land values will move sideways for a while,” Duffy said. “Many people think this report indicates the beginning of another farm crisis, but land values are still considerably higher than they were just a few years ago.”  


The largest decrease in farmland value was in southwest Iowa, which reported a drop of 13.5 percent.


“Pressure could come if farmers incurred debt in anticipation that commodity prices would continue,” stated Duffy. “ I think all farmers will have a cash flow problem for the next 18-months or so. If farmers still have the equity in their land they should be able to refinance, but farmers who got over extended will be in trouble.”


The average price of farmland in Cass County came in at $7,343, Adams, $5,024, Adair, $5,978, Guthrie, $7,660, Audubon, $8,361, Shelby, $8,561, Pottawattamie, $8,444, Montgomery, $6,311, Page, $5760, Mills, $7,742, and Fremont $6,826.


Tom Robinson

December 18, 2014

a.m. news 

Treynor Superintendent to Appear Before IBEE Next Month

(Treynor) Treynor Superintendent Kevin Elwood is expected to appear before the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners on January 5th and 6th on charges of unethical practice.


The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners told KSOM/KS95 News that Elwood is charged with unethical practice by failing to make reasonable effort to protect the health and safety of the student or creating conditions harmful to student learning. Elwood is also charged with conducting professional business is such a way that the practitioner repeatedly exposes students or other practitioners to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement. On June 20th, the Board found probable cause of a violation of Board rules and ordered a hearing


On January 15, 2014, the Board of Educational Examiners received a complaint against Elwood alleging various violations of the Code of Ethics. Investigation revealed that Elwood became aware of allegations that “Person A” had sexually assaulted a Treynor Community School District student as early as May 21, 2013. Under Elwood’s consent and authority, “Person A” was hired as a custodian for the summer of 2013 and worked on school grounds until July 16, 2013. Evidence indicates that Elwood had failed to appropriately respond to similar allegations in the past.


The notice states that this matter may be resolved by Elwood surrendering his license or agreeing to accept a lesser sanction.


Elwood was hired as the Elementary Principal at Treynor Community School District in August of 1998 and became the Superintendent July 1, 2003.


Mandy Billings


California Residents Sentenced on Drug Charges

(Council Bluffs) Two California residents arrested on drug charges in Cass County have been sentenced.


Mario Ruben Borboa, 38, of Downey, California, was sentenced to 160 months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Borboa must also serve five years of supervised release following imprisonment. Borboa plead guilty to the charge in August.


Melissa Nicole Gallardo, 30, of Lancaster, California, was sentenced to 65 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She must also serve three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Gallardo plead guilty to the charge in July.


Borboa and Gallardo were arrested following a traffic stop on February 27th by the Iowa State Patrol in Cass County. 16-pounds of methamphetamine was located in the trunk of the car during the stop. The investigation showed that the methamphetamine was being transported from California to Waterloo where it was to be distributed. The money received from the sale of the methamphetamine was to be returned to California at a later date.


The investigation was conducted by the Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Mandy Billings


Shenandoah Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Charge

(Council Bluffs) A Shenandoah man was sentenced Tuesday on a child pornography charge.


Anthony Simmons, 30, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for Possession of Child Pornography and must serve 10 years of supervised release following imprisonment. Simmons pleaded guilty on June 5th to the charge. He was charged following an investigation in the spring of 2013 when investigators located sexually explicit pictures of a 15-year-old female on his computer.


The investigation was conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Cyber Crimes Unit. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Mandy Billings


Slauson Sentencing delayed until January

(Atlantic) Sentencing has been continued until January for the Atlantic woman who lied about her daughter’s cancer. Leatha Slauson who entered a guilty plea last month to five counts out of 20 counts will not be sentenced until January.
"This matter was scheduled for sentencing on December 22, however the council for the defendent had petittioned for the continuance because there was either a report and or witness that was going to be unavailable for sentencing on December 22," stated Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner. "So the defense council asked the court to continue the matter to January 20th, 2015 for sentencing."
Leatha Slauson, 30, pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 3; child endangerment, count four; administering harmful substances, count 10; unlawful possession of a prescription drug or device, and an amended charge of count 20 from 1st degree theft to 2nd degree theft. Under this condition, all other charges were dismissed. 
In November When Judge Mark Eveloff asked Slauson about why she faces these charges, she admitted that she had given her 5-year-old daughter Riley cannabis oil and neupogen and did not have a prescription for either. She also admitted that she had received money from fundraising events while claiming Riley had terminal cancer and had put that money in the bank.
Meanwhile, Slauson was in the care of her mother in Hampton, Iowa, subject to pretrial release conditions. Slauson is not allowed to have contact with her husband or her children. And, she must complete a mental health evaluation.
Slauson faces up to 21-years in prison.
Tom Robinson 
December 18, 2014

Theft Reported in Creston

(Creston) The Creston Police Department received a report of a theft incident at Southern Iowa Trolley.


Sometime after 4:00p.m. Wednesday and before 5a.m. today someone had broken into the building by breaking the glass on the front door and stole $10 worth of candy bars. Estimated damage from the broken glass was $200.


Bennett Blake

Holiday's Means Stress for Some

(Atlantic) While the holidays are a happy time for many, the stress associated with family obligations and dynamics can actually cause more stress especially to those that are prone to it.


Dr. John Biglelow Executive Director of the Southwest Iowa Mental Health Center in Atlantic says this time of year brings that out because…there is more stress.


“Be aware of where the sources of stress are coming from is an important first step,” stated Dr. Bigelow, adding that many times it is expectations, whether it is your expectations or expectations from your family that can cause this stress.


“It can be expectations from your kids as far as how many gifts they want to have underneath the tree,” said Bigelow. His advice is to sit down with a spouse or extended family members and clarify just exactly what those financial expectations are.


“For example; am I buying gifts for everybody, all the grand kids?” explained Dr. Bigelow. “Just talk to family members about what the expectations are and you may want to renegotiate. Maybe you have done something every year and this year you don’t want to carry that debt into the New Year. You may have to put your foot down and do something different and for some people that can be very stressful.”


The American Psychological Association says fatigue and stress are the top sources of negative feelings during this time of year.


Tom Robinson

December 18, 2014

a.m. news 

Pottawattamie County Man arrested on a Drug Related Charge in Montgomery County

(Villisca) The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Pottawattamie County man Wednesday evening on drug related charges.


According to the report, 18-year-old Jacob Ballinger-Knoke, of Carson was arrested at around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of East High Street and North 14th Avenue in Villisca for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on a citation following the investigation.


Montgomery County authorities also cited 58-year-old Stanley-Mark Armstrong of Villisca for possession of an open container of alcohol.  


Tom Robinson

December 18, 2014

a.m. news 

Atlantic City Council Passes Sick Leave Policy

(Atlantic) The Atlantic City Council updated its Personnel Policy Manual to include a Sick Leave Donation Policy by unanimous vote at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.


The Policy allows city employees to donate their sick time to another city employee confidentially and with no coercion for the purpose of catastrophic family or individual health situations.


The City Clerk will verify that the employee to receive the sick-leave hours is not drawing unemployment, Workmen’s Compensation or disability payments at the time.


The donors must also obtain an 80 hour minimum bank in their own account.

Sick time may be donated to the employees even if the employee has been employed by the City for a period less than six months. The employees must have exhausted all of his/her paid leave time including sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and compensatory time; or the employee must have a valid FMLA request for filed with the department head.


The Policy is retroactive. October 1, 2014 shall be the effective date of this policy.


Tom Robinson

December 17, 2014

Atlantic Police Officer recognized for Ten Years of Service

(Atlantic) Atlantic Police Sgt. Paul Wood was recognized at the Atlantic City Council meeting Wednesday night for ten years of service in protecting the people of Atlantic.


“He is not a man of many words or a seeker of the spotlight but there is a reason why Atlantic is one of the 20 safest communities in Iowa,” pointed out one city official. “It is because of the professional dedication of Atlantic Police Officers like Sgt. Wood.”


The award to Sgt. Wood and any subsequent award for City Employee service is financed by a private citizen who wishes to remain anonymous.


In other activity the Council approved a solid Wasted Collectors permit for Green Ru, LLC., approved a Class C liquor license for Casey’s southwest and the Casey’s located on Poplar Street.


The Council also approved the appointment of Ted Robinson to the Utility Board of Trustees, and appointed Kevin Weiser to the Community Promotion Commission.


The Council also approved a Tax Abatement Application for 904 Mulberry property.


The 28E agreement between the Atlantic Fire Department and the City of Marne was approved. The Council also passed the second and third reading of an ordinance adding a new Chapter titled “Mowing of Properties.”


Tom Robinson

December 17, 2014

Two Officers on Leave Following Marshalltown Shooting

(Marshalltown) A police shooting in Marshalltown early today has left the suspect dead and two police officers on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


Police Chief Mike Tupper says the officers were on routine patrol in the downtown area at about 3:45 this morning.


“The night before we had an armed robbery at a convenience store about a block away from where this incident happened early this morning and last night one of the things that the officers were trying to do was be proactive with patrols around convenience stores,” said Tupper.


Tupper said when the officers encountered the suspect there was a confrontation and an exchange of gunfire. The suspect later died at the hospital. The investigation has been turned over to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.


Iowa Radio Network


Stolen Truck Found in Nishnabotna River

(Harlan) The Harlan Police Department is investigating the theft of a truck.


Jessica Gaul, of Harlan, reported to officers on Friday that her 2003 Ford truck was taken sometime during the night. The following morning the truck was located in the Nishnabotna River near 1120th Street and Nishna Avenue. The case remains under investigation.


In other activity, Harlan Police arrested 31-year-old Brandon Billings, of Harlan, on Saturday on an active Cass County warrant as a result of a traffic stop. Billings was transported to the Shelby County Jail.




Governor Branstad Working on Better Rural Broadband Access

(Des Moines) The Governor is promising an even "more ambitious" rural broadband package when the legislature reconvenes next month.  Terry Branstad says he was disappointed at the failure to pass his "Connect Every Iowan" bill last session, but, he says he's building a broader coalition to pass an expanded package next year.


“We came close last year. Hopefully in 2015 with the focus on the needed infrastructure for creating the jobs of the future I think we’ve got a good chance to get it done,” said Branstad.


Governor Branstad says lawmakers and the public are becoming increasingly aware of the need for better rural broadband access.  He says universal access will smooth the transition to what's called "precision farming" in Iowa.


Iowa Radio Network


Governor Branstad Listening to all sides on Expanding Medical Marijuana

(Des Moines) The Governor today is sending a message to advocates for expanding Iowa's use of medical marijuana.


“We want to make sure that it’s effective, we want to hear about their concerns and what the problems are, but by the same token we want to avoid unintended consequences,” said Branstad.


Terry Branstad says he will listen to Iowans in favor of expanded medical marijuana use, but, he says he will also listen to drug enforcement and medical professionals lining up on the other side.


And, Governor Branstad says Iowans who are complaining about the implementation of the limited medical cannabinoid law passed last session need to "have patience".  He says the law only went into effect less than six months ago.


Iowa Radio Network


New Riverside School Building Slowly Progressing

(Oakland) Riverside Schools Superintendent Jim Sutton reports construction on the new 7th-12th grade facility is approximately a month an a half behind schedule.


Weather conditions have slowed progress at the site of the new school being built at the intersection of Highway 59 and 6 just south of Oakland.


“It is progressing unfortunately the cold weather has kind of put a slow down on things because a lot of it right now is they should be pouring floors and doing concrete, but because of the cold weather they are kind of holding back.”


Superintendent Jim Sutton says they’ve had to close the building in as much as possible.  The original goal was to move in with students in January of 2016, but that is now in danger of being pushed back to the fall of 2016.


“Now if we get some good weather, if we get a nice spring they will work. I‘ve seen them make up ground through this whole process not just lose ground, but we need some good weather we need an early and a mild spring so we‘ll just keep our fingers crossed.”


Sutton explains decisions on when to move in will be made towards the end of the project. He says when the final decision is made they’ll look at what’s best in the long term.


Bennett Blake

New Charges Against Former Treynor Teacher

(Treynor) New charges have been filed against a former Treynor teacher and coach.


According to court records, 45-year-old Michael Travis was charged last week with two counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. The incidents allegedly occurred in August 2001 and August 2004. A preliminary hearing is set for December 31st.


Travis was charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee earlier this year for incidents that allegedly occurred in May 2002 and May 2006. A jury trial for those charges is tentatively set for January 27th. Travis has pleaded not guilty.


Mandy Billings


Former Florida Governor forms Exploratory Committee

(Des Moines) Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush put his toes in the Republican 2016 Presidential waters, announcing that he’s formed an exploratory committee.


And, GOP Political Consultant David Kochel says that’s good for Iowa. Kochel says Bush’s early move may prompt similar moves by other Republicans and could mean Iowans start shaking hands with GOP Presidential candidates earlier in 2015 than may have been expected.


“We’ll see whether or not he follows up this announcement with a visit in Iowa, but I do think it’s good for the process to have more candidates getting in, creating a debate and discussion so that Iowa Republicans can really start looking at and evaluating these candidates, their positions and where they want to take the country,” said Kochel.


Kochel says Jeb Bush’s announcement puts pressure on the party’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, to decide if he’ll run again, since there are many in the party that want him to try again for the nation’s highest office.


Iowa Radio Network


Community Members pay for Cass County K-9's Vet Bills

(Atlantic) Hall of Fame K-9 Officer Kane passed away about a week and a half ago, and his handler Cass County Deputy Kyle Quist was pleasantly surprised when he went to pay the veterinary bill.


Deputy Quist had posted the news of Kane’s death on his business page, and it went viral. When Deputy Quist went to settle up with the Vet, it was already paid for.


“It was totally unexpected, some members of the community came in and took care of everything, it was awesome,” stated Quist. He doesn’t know who the donors were but he says it was a “great gesture.”


Deputy Quist, who trains K-9’s for several area law enforcement agencies, says K-9 Kane, who was inducted into the “Animal Hall of Fame”,  helped purchase six patrol vehicles with seized money. And, between Kane and Vader, Deputy Quist's current K-9, they have seized $6 million in drug money.


Tom Robinson

December 17, 2014

a.m. news 

Iowa One of the Tops States in the Nation for Volunteerism

(Des Moines) The next time you see a Salvation Army Bell-Ringer or someone helping out at a hospital or school, you’re seeing the people that are making Iowa one of the top states in the nation for volunteering.


Wendy Spencer is C-E-O of the Corporation for National Community Service, and says this state is well above the national average in volunteering


“Iowa is a very special place, because Iowa always ranks in the top ten,” stated Spencer. “Iowa comes in at number seven, and Des Moines in particular, did really well ranking 15 in mid-size cities. So there is lots of good volunteer support going on throughout the state of Iowa.”


Spencer is urging Iowans who haven’t volunteered to make it a family project this holiday season. She says a one-time volunteering project like bell-ringing could lead to other volunteer projects in the future.


If you want to find a way to help out, there is a website… She says it will tell you all the opportunities for community volunteering by zip code.


Iowa Radio Network

December 17, 2014

Drug Use Among Teens Dropping

(Des Moines) A report from the National Institutes of Health on drug use among teens shows the use of marijuana leveling off and other drug use dropping.


Dale Woolery, from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, sees encouraging trends in Iowa as well. Abuse has been dropping and Woolery speculates as to why.


“It’s fair to say it’s a combination of things. It starts in the homes, I think with education there and certainly education in schools… community values as well, a desire for safe communities and healthy living,” said Woolery.


He notes a lot of good work in prevention goes on across the state and it’s borne out by numbers that are often lower than the national average.


A copy of the report can be found at


Iowa Radio Network


Drowning Victim Identified

(Council Bluffs) The Council Bluffs Police Department has released the name of the man who drowned at Lake Manawa State Park Sunday.


Police have identified the victim as 39-year-old Jeremiah Beckmann of Omaha. Beckmann was an active duty member of the United States Air Force and was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Beckmann’s body was recovered from Lake Manawa at around 11:00 Monday morning.


Beckmann and 36-year-old Benjamin Ferguson were canoeing in the southwest area of the lake near Boy Scout Island Sunday when the canoe tipped from areas of ice they were trying to maneuver through. Both men fell into the water. Ferguson was able to swim to shore and was transported to Mercy Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



Mandy Billings


Report Shows Iowans Would Lose Money if Supreme Court Rules Against Subsidies from Federal Exchanges

(Des Moines) There is a report out today showing how much money Iowans with health insurance obtained through federal exchanges would lose if the Supreme Court rules against those exchanges.


A lawsuit will be considered next year on whether tax subsidies can be handed out to participants in Federal exchanges when the law says the subsidies can be paid only to participants in state exchanges. The report from the House Energy and Commerce committee indicates approximately 70,000 Iowans would be affected. It breaks it down by congressional district with the 3rd district of southwest Iowa having the biggest impact at 23,000 people to the 4th district of northwest Iowa the lowest at 11,000.


The report indicates Iowans would lose $337,000 in subsidies if the Supreme Court rules against subsidies from the federal exchanges.


Iowa Radio Network


Griswold School Board approves 2014-2015 School Calendar Despite Governors Letter

(Griswold) The Griswold school board approved the 2014-2015 school calendar at Monday night’s meeting despite the Governor’s letter released last week.  


The letter stated that the Iowa Department of Education will no longer automatically grant start waivers to school districts that want to start classes before Iowa laws allow, which is the first week in September, effective immediately. The only exception will be if the district can show that starting later will have a “significant negative educational impact on the district.”   


“I would just like to ask them why we are the entity that has to prove why we think it is educationally sound to start early, as opposed to them proving that it isn’t,” stated Kunze. “They have dumped it on us to prove our point of view and they haven’t proven theirs. They don’t know that by delaying school starting dates that more families are going to attend the state fair. Because let’s face it, that is what this is all about.”


Kunze says after seeking legal advice the board went ahead and approved the calendar as written, with an August 20th start date.  


Kunze says Griswold is similar to all of the other schools that have tied their calendars to local community colleges and the desire to finish the first semester before Christmas break.


“I don’t think we have heard the last of this is what I guess what I am saying,” stated Kunze.


Tom Robinson

December 16, 2014

Am news 

Ambassadors visit Washington Elementary

(Atlantic) The Chamber Ambassadors visited Washington Elementary School in celebration of American Education Week. Stacey Hornung, Elementary Principal, and JoAnn Runyan, School-to-Work Coordinator, welcomed the group and discussed what’s happening at Washington. Horning talked about the focus on reading and literacy, the strategies used to help struggling readers, and the emphasis on assessments that are part of the Iowa Core curriculum to determine the strengths and weaknesses of students. She stated that the building is crowded with approximately 500 students and that every available space is used for teaching—including a former maintenance closet.

Pictured: Chip Hansen, Lucas Mosier, Kathie Hockenberry, Dianne Gippel, Pat McCurdy, Kerry Jepsen, Doreen Ellsbury, Renee Wilson, Debbie Leistad, Carole Schuler, Dr. Haley Kickland, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte, Bill Saluk, Dr. Jim Kickland, Patty Moss, Melanie Petty, Crystal Christensen, Dan Mehmen, Dave Schwab, Stacey Hornung, JoAnn Runyan, Dolly Bergmann, Arlene and Donnie Drennon, Ouida Wymer, Kate Olsen, Russell Joyce, Sue Muri.

Fire Crews Respond to Structure Fire Northwest of Adair

(Adair) Fire destroyed a garage and damaged a home northwest of Adair this morning.


Adair Fire Chief Jordan Smith said they were called 3025 Union Avenue for a garage fire.


“Upon arrival we saw that it was an attached garage to the house and there was some smoke and flames showing in the house, so we ended up calling Exira and Anita Fire Departments for mutual aid to help extinguish the fire,” said Smith. “Total loss of the garage, there was a vehicle in the garage, it looks like maybe some air compressors and stuff like that. It got into part of the kitchen, a back porch and a little bit up in a couple of bedrooms upstairs.”


Smith said the fire may have been caused by a wood burning stove in the garage, but that is still under investigation. He said they did find multiple electric heaters in the home.


“I just ask everyone out there during these cold months to think smart and be careful with your heating,” stated Smith.


Smith said one person was home at the time of the fire and was able to get out safely with their two dogs.


Mandy Billings


Cass County Sheriffs Office Warns Residents of a Scam

(Atlantic) Scam artists are at it again and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has more information on latest scammers who are trying to bilk money from innocent people.


Here is what’s happening, the reporting party had received a letter claiming to be from Cigna Dental/Health & Life Insurance stating she had won a sweepstakes. The letter also included a check, and a request for the party to put the check in her bank account and send funds back to the sweepstakes to cover the cost of fees. While Cigna is the name of a valid company, this letter is a scam. When a company asks you to send them money in order to receive money, this is always a scam.


In other activity; the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 31-year-old Jeffery Leroy Carpenter, of Atlantic, on December 12, on a District Court warrant for Failure to Serve Jail Time. Carpenter was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held until sentence is served.


In addition, 42-year-old Michael Chad Barnes,  of Atlantic, was taken in custody on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Barnes was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.


Tom Robinson

December 16, 2014

Am. News 

Highway 34 Single Vehicle Accident Sends One to Hospital

(Creston) An Adams County man went on a wild ride after reportedly coughing, choking, and possibly passing out while traveling along Highway 34 in Union County.


45-year-old Rodney Wayne Taylor, of Corning, was westbound on Highway 34 near the intersection of New York Avenue Monday afternoon when his vehicle left the roadway, going up over a curb, through a grassy area and into a parking lot where it continued on at a high rate of speed and hit a curb on the west side of the parking lot launching the vehicle through the air and into the side of a ditch. Taylor reported that he felt fine, but had no idea what happened. He was transported to Greater Regional Medical Center for possible injuries due to chest pain.  His 2005 Pontiac is considered a total loss.


Bennett Blake

Updated: Red Oak School Board Approves Plan to move Students Back into Middle School

(Red Oak) Red Oak school officials received some good news Monday from the State Fire Marshall’s Office.


Red Oak Schools Superintendent Terry Schmidt says all the necessary repairs have been completed to the water damaged Middle School and Monday, following a State Fire Marshall’s inspection, they cleared the building for occupancy immediately.


“It’s actually a very good news day here in Red Oak because we’re getting that school back,” said Schmidt.


 The damage occurred over Labor Day when a valve leaked water into the second level causing sheet rock and electrical damage to the building. School officials were forced to close it indefinitely after the state electrical inspector deemed the building unsafe for occupancy until electrical repairs were completed. The middle school students were moved to the Technology Center and a limited number of them shared classrooms at Red Oak High School.


Monday, the Red Oak School Board approved a plan is to have everything moved back into the building by Monday January 5th.  The staff will use Friday as a professional staff work day, where everyone will get their current classrooms loaded up and packed for the maintenance department to move over the holiday vacation. The goal is to have the classrooms ready for the students when they return following the holiday vacation on January 5th.


 Tom Robinson

December 16, 2014

Am. News 

Red Oak School Board votes 3-2 in Favor of Building Expansion Project

(Red Oak) The Red Oak School Board voted 3-2 Monday night on a $13-million school facility expansion project. The decision is part of the schools long range building plan labeled "Tiger Vision." What this means is that the Middle School students will eventually be moved into the current high school facility and high school students will move into a brand addition that will be built on the current high school campus.

“The school board decided Monday night that they would move ahead with Phase I of “Tiger Vision,” stated Red Oak Schools Superintendent Terry Schmidt. “This means construction will eventually begin on the campus of Red Oak High School. 
The board determined that they would like to use the penny sales tax as its’ primary funding source for the $13 million project, which means there will not be a general obligation bond or vote in order to do the expansion which could take anywhere from 20-to-24 months."

Schmidt says during the public comment part of the meeting last night many district patrons spoke in favor of the project and others spoke in favor of taking it to the voters and perhaps taking a look at the whole thing, but in the end the board voted 3-2 to approve the Phase I option.

The board also gave their approval for Mr. Schmidt to secure the professional contract needed to get the planning started including; contracts for an architect, financial service, bond council, and construction management which is the firm that would actually carry out the building of the project once the bids are secured.

This information is expected to be put in front of the board in January

Tom Robinson
December 16, 2014
am news 

National Weather Service Warning Motorists of Slick Spots on are Roadways

(Area) The National Weather Service has issued a “Special Weather” statement this morning warning motorists of possible slick spots due to a very light mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain.


The Statement has been issued for counties in north central Iowa south to Crawford, Carroll, Audubon, Greene, Guthrie and Dallas Counties.


The light precipitation has deposited just token amounts of precipitation on area roads overnight and may continue briefly early this morning. Even though moisture amounts were quite light, morning commuters should be prepared for scattered slick spots with air and road surface temperatures continuing to drop further below the freezing mark.


Tom Robinson

December 16, 2014

Am. News 

G-O-P Central Committee to decide Fate of Iowa's Straw Poll

(Des Moines) Republicans are going to have to decide in the coming months whether to have a straw poll for candidates leading up to the 2016 precinct caucuses. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad isn’t so sure one with an actual vote is needed.


“Well I think a lot of people like the idea of having an event like we have had in Ames for many years,” stated Branstad. “But, I believe that a number of the candidates have chosen not to participate because they don’t think it’s necessarily representative.”


Branstad says ultimately, the decision must come from the Iowa G-O-P Central Committee.


Iowa Radio Network

December 16, 2014

a.m. news 

Ernst Receives Committee Assignments

(Washington) Republicans in the United States Senate this week announced committee assignments for the coming session of Congress and Iowa’s newest Senator has four assignments.


Joni Ernst will be serving alongside Senator Chuck Grassley on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and she has been tabbed by the Senate leadership to also serve on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.


Iowa’s first woman Senator is also going to be able to put her military background to work in the new Congress. Iowa National Guard Lt. Colonel Ernst has been named to the Armed Services Committee and she will be one of the nine members to serve on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.


The full Senate must still approve all committee assignments but that is usually a foregone conclusion.


(File Photo: Joni Ernst)


Iowa Radio Network

December 16, 2014

a.m. news 

Interviews to be conducted for Assistant Park and Recreation Director

(Atlantic) The Atlantic Park and Recreation Board will be interviewing candidates for the Assistant Park and Recreation Director this week.


Roger Herring, Park and Rec. Director, said they had 30 applicants for the position and the screening committee met last week to narrow down those candidates to five.


“We had all kinds of experience; we had highly qualified people, we had just a tremendous talent pool and candidate pool, so we were very pleased with that,” said Herring.


Herring said once a decision is made, they hope to have an answer from the chosen candidate prior to Christmas.


And, Herring said with the addition of the Assistant Park and Recreation Director the department may have to “tighten their belt” when it comes to the FY2016 budget.


“We need to be very judicious on the labor costs that we have for our men, and so Mr. Lund and I have discussed the fact that we will see if we can try to work with one less seasonal person next year,” explained Herring. “Can we do that? I would say that we probably did that anyway for about two thirds of the summer this summer.”


Atlantic City Administrator John Lund told the Board that he will have some solid budget numbers for them in January.




In other activity, Herring said the city park and courthouse cement pads are completed for the bike hitches. However, due to the weather the actually hitches will not be installed until Spring. The fishing dock at Schildberg remains closed and will stay closed through the winter. And, Sunnyside gates will remain open as long as possible. Herring said he will give 24 hour notice to let the public know when those gates will be closed for the winter.



Mandy Billings


Prepare for Slick Roadways

(Des Moines) Temperatures will drop nearly 30 degrees tonight and mixed with the light precipitation we are getting today, it will cause for some slick roadways around the state. 


Meteorologist Kurt Kotenburg with the National Weather Service Office in Johnston says there's not really a "magic temperature number" when it comes to roadways freezing over.


"It really depends on the road," says Kotenberg.  "More travelled roads like Interstate 35 or Interstate 80, might take a little longer for roads to ice over because the heat generated from cars travelling over them keeps them a little warmer.  But on back highways, especially in Northern and Northwestern Iowa that are not travelled on frequently and exposed to the winds, it can freeze over a little bit quicker."


Tomorrow morning lows will drop to the teens and low 20's for most of the state.


Iowa Radio Network

December 15th, 2014

Governor to let School Administrators know of State Aid Recommendation on Jan 13

(Des Moines) Governor Terry Branstad says he will let school administrators know January 13th what his recommendation is for increasing state aid to public schools for the next two budget years.,


"I intend to do that to give the Legislature the opportunity to go to work on this right away," says Governor Branstad.  "I know schools would love to have this decision made early, so that they may have stability."


The Iowa State Education Association released a study earlier this month indicating it was going to push for a six percent increrase in the coming year.


Iowa Radio Network


EAB Confirmed in Iowa Counties

(Des Moines) The list of counties, where Emerald Ash Borer has been detected, is growing.


EAB has now been positively identified in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, and Monroe Counties, which brings the total to 18 counties with confirmed infestation. The DNR says  a forestry contractor found dead Ash trees with heavy Woodpecker flecking on privately owned woodland in Eastern Lucas County and experts say it appears the infestation has been there for several years. 


Additional larvea was found on public property in Monroe County.  Evidence was also found on state property near Marysville in Marion County and on private property in Eddyville in Mahaska County.


Iowa Radio Network

December 15th, 2014

Atlantic Police Report

(Atlantic) The Atlantic Police Department arrested two individuals on assault charges.


Richard Smith, 37, of Atlantic, was arrested on Friday on a Cass County warrant for Domestic Abuse Assault, choking.


Michael McConnell, 22, of Atlantic, was arrested on Saturday for Assault Causing Bodily Injury, Disorderly Conduct – fighting, and Public Intoxication.


The Atlantic Police Department also reports the arrest of 64-year-old Dean Adams, of Atlantic, for Public Intoxication.


All three individuals were transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.


Mandy Billings


Rainfall Totals Within the Listening Area

Rainfall Totals:


Afton - .25


Atlantic - .26


Creston - .26


Denison - .15


Fontanelle - .13


Glidden - .12


Harlan - .69


Red Oak - .16


Scranton - .12



Missing Council Bluffs Woman Located

(Council Bluffs) The Council Bluffs Police Department has released new information on a missing special needs woman.


Today, 21-year-old Kyla Jones contacted a family member by phone and made arrangements to meet with them. Family members and an officer with the Council Bluffs Police Department met with Jones and confirmed that she was alright. The Council Bluffs Police Department would like to thank everyone for their help in the search for Kyla.


Police had been searching for Jones since November 26th after she jumped from a window at 2065 Nash Blvd and left the area. At that time, Jones was upset with the staff members that were caring for her.



Mandy Billings


Blue Out Raises Over 10 Thousand Dollars

(Harlan)  "No Cyclone Fights Alone" was the theme for the 4th annual Harlan Community Blue Out Friday. 


The event was held in support of Mitch Osborn who is currently fighting Mantle Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Osborn is the seventh through twelfth grade Activities Director and the boy's head basketball coach for Harlan.


"Blue Out" is a Relay for Life: Coaches Versus Cancer event for the American Cancer Society.  This year, all of the different clubs and organizations were able to raise over $10,000 for the cause sponsored by the Harlan Community National Honor Society.


Harlan Community High School Guidance Counselor Paulette Rasmussen says that great presentations were the reasoning behind the amount of money being raised.


"Between games, we had some really great presentations.  Amber and Cole Jipsen were here as special guests.  Amber told her story of Cole and his battle with Leukemia.  And I think following that presentation we did the Bucket Brigade, and that's why we ended up with just so much money from that. You know, people just wanting to help out." 


All of the funds raised will go to the American Cancer Society and the Shelby County Relay for Life.  The school district plans on hosting a "Pink Out," in efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer, in late January.


Anna Hastert & Tom Robinson

December 15th, 2014

Mills County Arrests

(Glenwood) The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports three arrests.


Emilly Nichole Gelvin, 18, of Omaha, was arrested Friday for Fugitive from Justice. She was held on $1,000 bond.


Mitchell Stephen Waller, 20, of Glenwood, was arrested Friday on a warrant for Probation Violation. He was held on $5,000 bond.


Jeremy Lee Booher, 21, of Hamburg, was arrested Sunday for OWI 1st Offense. He was held on $1,000 bond.



Mandy Billings


Red Oak Middle School cleared for Occupancy

(Red Oak) Red Oak school officials received some good news today from the State Fire Marshall’s Office.


The Middle School was closed indefinitely after a valve leaked water into the second level of the building causing sheet rock and electrical damage to the building over the Labor Day weekend.  School officials were forced to close the building indefinitely after the state electrical inspector deemed the building unsafe for occupancy until electrical repairs were completed. The middle school students were moved to the Technology Center and a limited number of them shared classrooms at Red Oak High School.


Red Oak Schools Superintendent Terry Schmidt says all the necessary repairs have been completed and today, following a State Fire Marshall’s inspection, they cleared the building for occupancy immediately.


“It’s actually a very good news day here in Red Oak because we’re getting that school back,” said Schmidt.


Schmidt says pending the Red Oak School Boards approval tonight, the plan is to have everything moved back into that building by Monday January 5th.   Schmidt says he is hoping that the board will support his recommendation tonight that the staff will use this coming Friday as a professional staff work day, where everyone will get their current classrooms loaded up and packed for the maintenance department to move over the holiday vacation. The goal is to have the classrooms ready for the students when they return following the holiday vacation on January 5th.


The school board is also expected to make an important decision tonight in regards to “Tiger Vision”- the district’s long range building plan. The options include Phase I, entails closing the Red Oak Middle School and placing all middle school and high school students at an expanded high school building, or taking the entire plan to voters for a bond issue vote sometime next year.


Tom Robinson

December 15, 2014

One Hurt in Guthrie County Rollover Accident

(Guthrie Center) One person was seriously injured in a single vehicle rollover accident on Highway 25 near Guthrie Center Sunday evening.


Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright says a father and son were traveling home on Highway 25 and encountered a deer in the roadway at around 6:20 p.m. The son, who was driving, swerved to miss the deer and lost control of the vehicle.


“The vehicle went into the east ditch and the passenger was ejected,” stated Arganbright. “The passenger, identified as the drivers father was air-lifted to a Des Moines Hospital.


Arganbright reminds motorists to be prepared for deer because they will come out of nowhere.


“Sometimes you can stop before they hit you or you hit them,” stated Arganbright. “But the main thing is don’t veer for deer, otherwise you can end up in the ditch and roll your vehicle. And injuries like that are never good.”


Sheriff Arganbright is not releasing the names involved in the accident at this time.


Tom Robinson

December 15, 2014

p.m. news 

Body of Missing Man Found

(Council Bluffs) The body of a man reported missing after a canoe capsized Sunday afternoon at Lake Manawa State Park has been found.


The Council Bluffs Police Department says emergency personnel responded to the area of Boy Scout Island at Lake Manawa State Park at around 1:42 p.m. for a subject in distress in the water. When they arrived they learned that two men were canoeing in the southwest area of the lake when the canoe tipped from areas of ice they were trying to maneuver through. Both victims fell into the water.


Authorities say 36-year-old Benjamin Ferguson, of Omaha swam to shore, however the second man, whose name has not been released, tried to hang onto the tipped canoe but slipped under water. Ferguson was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs with non-life threatening injuries and was kept overnight Sunday.


Rescue attempts by the Council Bluffs Fire Department water rescue personnel were unsuccessful and were suspended at around 6:30 Sunday evening because of the darkness. The search resumed this morning and the body of the second victim was found by 11:30 a.m.


No other information has been released.


Mandy Billings


Theft Arrest in Guthrie County

(Stuart) A man was arrested on theft charges in Guthrie County.


The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office says on December 10th, the Stuart Police Department was dispatched to a male subject stealing pop cans from a local collection drive. The subject fled the scene and was located hiding in an apartment in Stuart. The subject was identified as Christopher Grunder and eye witnesses confirmed he was the thief in question. During Grunder’s arrest, officers became aware he was in possession of a set of keys to a vehicle. Officers later determined these keys belonged to a stolen vehicle from Ankeny. Officers located the stolen vehicle a few blocks away in Stuart.


Grunder was arrested and transported to the Guthrie County Jail. He plead guilty to the theft of the pop cans. Grunder was then turned over to Polk County where he faces charges of Theft in the 2nd Degree for the alleged theft of a motor vehicle in Ankeny. Grunder is also the suspect in several other motor vehicle thefts and burglaries in the city of Ankeny.


The Stuart Police Department was assisted in its investigation by the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and the Ankeny Police Department.


Mandy Billings


Audubon City Council Receives Union Proposal

(Audubon) The Audubon City Council held a special meeting Friday to accept the initial proposal from Iowa Council 61 AFSCME Union.


Audubon City Clerk Joe Foran said Representative Rick Eilander went through the summary of the 21 articles.


“Basically some of it is definitions; the other part is just basically a contract showing things based on seniority wages, hours of the work week, overtime, what they’re suggestions are for vacation and everything, which is pretty much all the same,” explained Foran. “They do have a section here that states what they propose the new wages to be, so they propose a hike in wages and also a schedule for increases for longevity, so that we really about it.”


Foran said one council member asked if it was considered that the city pays 100 percent of the employee benefits for health and dental and Eilander said yes, that was considered.


Foran said the city has two week and then they will schedule another special meeting to go into closed session to work out a reply to the proposal.


Mandy Billings


Mail Boxes Stolen in Thayer

(Creston) Several mail boxes have been reported stolen in Union County.


The Union County Sheriff’s Office says the first incident was reported Thursday at 8:50 a.m. that a mail box at 1919 Willow Avenue in Thayer was stolen twice in a short period of time. The estimated value of the mail box was $120.


Mail boxes were also taken sometime Saturday night at 3220 238th Street in Thayer and 2246 Willow Avenue in Thayer.


Mandy Billings


Crawford County Drug Arrest

(Denison) A Dow City man was arrested on drug charges this morning.


The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office says a traffic stop was conducted south of Denison on Highway 59. As a result of the traffic stop, K9 Bayou was deployed and detected the odor of illegal drugs, where Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia were seized.


Paul James Burk, 42, was formally charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bond was set at $1,000.


To date, Crawford County K9 Bayou has been credited with 53 arrests.


Mandy Billings


Creston Police arrest Des Moines Man on Drug related Charges

(Creston) A Polk County man was arrested on drug related charges early Sunday morning.


According to Creston Police, 20-year-old Shawn Douglas Shimer, of Des Moines, was arrested at the Union County Law Enforcement Center at around 2:55 a.m. for possession of marijuana. He was released on $1,000 bond.


In other activity; 20-year-old Shawn Douglas Shimer, of Creston, was arrested for OWI 1st, early Sunday morning. Forty-Six year old Susan Rae Lemon, of Creston was charged with 3rd degree theft, today, and 23-year-old Bryant Lee Mccloud, of Creston was taken into custody Sunday, for driving while suspended.


Creston Police report one arrest on Friday; 40-year-old Virginia Jean Keasey, of Creston was arrested on a Union County Warrant for a probation violation.


In addition, Rodney Carlson, of Creston told Police that a money card belonging to him had been used without his permission between 8:00 am. and 1:00 pm. 


Tom Robinson

December 15, 2014

a.m. news 

Iowa Credit Union League Releases Survey of Iowans Financial Health

(Des Moines) The Iowa Credit Union League has released results of a survey of Iowans, gauging their financial “health” this holiday season.


Spokesman Rich Schneider says 55-percent of consumers say their income hasn’t kept up with rising prices. The study has prompted the Credit Union League to remind Iowans of some “common sense” tips-such as saving a little bit every month, for your Christmas budget.


“Make a list of all the holiday events and expenses such as parties, gifts and traveling,” stated Schneider.


He says their survey of 15-hundred Iowans finds just over half plan to curb spending and travel. Thirty-four percent are working more this season to earn extra money.


Iowa Radio Network

December 15, 2014

a.m. news 

Updated: Search Resumes today at Lake Manawa for possible Drowning

(Council Bluffs) The search will resume this morning at Lake Manawa State Park for a man who was reported missing after a canoe capsized Sunday afternoon. A second man was able to swim to safety.


The Council Bluffs Police Department says emergency personnel responded to the area of Boy Scout Island at Lake Manawa State Park at around 1:42 p.m. for a subject in distress in the water. When they arrived they learned that two men were canoeing in the southwest area of the lake when the canoe tipped from areas of ice they were trying to maneuver through. Both victims fell into the water.


Authorities say 36-year-old Benjamin Ferguson, of Omaha swam to shore, however the second man, whose name has not been released, tried to hang onto the tipped canoe but slipped under water. Ferguson was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs with non-life threatening injuries and was kept overnight Sunday.


Rescue attempts by the Council Bluffs Fire Department water rescue personnel were unsuccessful and were suspended at around 6:30 Sunday evening because of the darkness. The search for the victim will begin at 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Authorities say they know the identity of the missing person, but are not releasing any information until a recovery has been made and family has been properly notified.


The investigation will continue into this incident.


Tom Robinson

December 15, 2014

a.m. news 

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Recovers Stolen Vehicle

(Red Oak) A stolen vehicle was found in rural Montgomery County early this morning.


According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the stolen vehicle, owned by Jessica Cesar, of Red Oak was found on 270th Street just west of Q Avenue at around 1:48 a.m.



The 1997 Chrysler Concorde was reported stolen on December 12. It was towed to Red Oak. And there has been an attempt to notify the owner.


Tom Robinson

December 15, 2014

a.m. news 


2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07