Don and Esther Neunaber 2000.tif

Community mourns loss of lifelong members as investigators search for answers

Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

There are not enough words to explain the horrible scene authorities found at 17279 180th St. in rural Akron, the evening of July 9.

The bodies of Donald John Neunaber, 83, and his wife, Esther Grace, 80, were found along with evidence of a violent ending to their lives. And their son, Jonathan Donald Neunaber, 44, was missing.

As the Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputies began trying to piece this mystery together, they received assistance from the Akron Police Department, Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Plymouth County Medical Examiner’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and other local police departments.

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    Fourth of July holiday – lots of activities in the area

    The Akron City Park was full of campers over the holiday weekend. Campers came in for Fourth of July gatherings, reunions, and more. July 4 was nice weather for festivities around the area – slightly cool with a light breeze to keep the bugs away. However Sunday was a different story as temperatures soared into the 90s and in some places hit three digits.

    Wyatt Johnson (l) helps five-year-old Kade Kaskie, both of Hawarden, with a

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    Steve King.psd

    King, Anderson visit Akron to view flood damage

    by Dodie Hook

    After touring flood damage in Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Hawarden, U.S. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Iowa State Senator Bill Anderson (R Senate District 3) stopped in Akron to discuss flood issues with city officials. City officials present included City Administrator Gary Horton, Mayor Harold Higman, and Councilperson Bob Frerichs.

    “I’ve been trapped in my locked in schedule on the east side of the country so this was really

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    Clean-up begins

    With the Big Sioux River receding quickly, work on the clean up begins. As of Monday, the river stage was at 14.87’ at 3 p.m., finally below flood stage of 16’.

    “We should have everything wrapped up this week. We’re assisting some of the property owners on River Road with basement clean-up. Some walls will have to be redone with the sheet rock removed and a structural engineer will have to inspect them,” said Akron City Administrator Gary Horton on June 27, 10 days after

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    Government officials visit Union County to survey water damage in homes

    by Dodie Hook

    Officials from FEMA, Union County, State of South Dakota, and Small Business Administration visited Union County June 26 and 27 to gather information on flood damage in homes. Among the officials were Raymond Roggow, Union County Emergency Management Administrator and James Taylor, FEMA Individualist Assistance Program Specialist from Denver.

    FEMA has disaster grants up to $32,400 for inside damage to homes and businesses. SBA also has low interest loans available for homeowners and business owners

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    Akron chosen to be part of 2014 Visioning Communities

    by Dodie Hook

    Akron was one of 10 communities selected to participate in the 2014 Community Visioning Program which entails transportation enhancement planning. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture Extension and Trees Forever. A team came to Akron June 28 to meet with residents.

    To qualify for the visioning program, a community must have a population of fewer than 10,000, existing

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    Double rainbow

    This double rainbow was spotted over the flood waters in Union County. Like most double rainbows, the primary rainbow is brighter and the secondary rainbow has reversed colors and is more faint.


    Big Sioux River breaks record; lots of flooding

    by Dodie Hook and

    Steve Peterson

    What happens when a dam breaks in Minnesota due to lots of rain and breaks a dam almost emptying a lake? We in Akron have a record breaking flood that’s what. The river stage in Akron crested at 25.58’ Wednesday, 9.58’ over the flood stage of 16’. The record was 23.38’ in 2001.

    More than seven inches of rain fell

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    Flooded roadways to open soon

    At 11:30 a.m., June 24 (today) Union County Highway Department Supervisor – Emergency Management Administrator Raymond Roggow gave commissioners an update on the Big Sioux River Flood of 2014.

    The county’s County Road 17 flood repair work and preventive measures, completed in 2012, are gone. The county had raised County Road No. 17, which is also known as 481st Avenue south of S.D. Highway 48, to withstand a 20 feet river flood stage but decided not to install a concrete low-water spillway as originally planned.

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    S.D. Flood assistance available Call 877-377-0941

    Homeowners and business owners who have flood damage in Union County, S.D., are encouraged to call the county’s Flood of 2014 Hot Line at 877-377-0941.

    There are two programs that they may be eligible to receive disaster aid.

    First, is a grant program for those needing individual assistance. Anyone who has flood damage in their homes or businesses and meets the following criteria is eligible for assistance:

    • Flood

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