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Burn Ban to be lifted in Montgomery County, Friday

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman reports the Burn Ban which has been in-place in his county since March 19th, will officially end Friday at 8-a.m. Conditions have improved to where it is safe for residents of the county to conduct controlled burns. Burn bans remain in effect for Page, Mills and Monona Counties in western Iowa, until further notice.

Man rescued from grain bin in Shelby County Thursday

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Fire Department along with Medivac Ambulance was called to the scene of a man trapped inside a grain bin late this (Thursday) morning. According to Harlan Fire Chief Roger Bissen, the call came in around 11am to 1135 1300th Street, for a subject that was trapped in the bin. Bissen said the man, whose name was not released, was helping unload the bin when he got caught.

“I’m not exactly sure what he was doing but he got his foot lodged down close to the auger but it never got into the auger, just wedged. He was about waist deep in the grain.” The chief says the fire department trains for such an event and worked hard to get him out. “So our protocol was to get the victim out. We got our equipment out and started to excavate the grain around the individual. We finally had to cut holes in the sides of the grain bin because we couldn’t get far enough down with our hands and equipment to get him unlodged.”

The department opened up the working door by the auger and three other holes to reach the victim. Bissen says Westphalia Fire Department was called to the scene to help and eventually the two departments were able to get the man out. “We did get him out. He was transported by Medivac to Myrtue and it took us about 4 and half hours. He may have some tissue damage to his foot. He was conscious the whole time, talking to us, some of the fire department members and EMTs. So we did start an IV on him and he was oriented and talking. He was actually helping move grain around him to keep his mind occupied.”

Lifeflight helicopter did land at the scene however the EMTs deemed the injuries were small enough to where he did not have to be transported to an Omaha area hospital. Bissen says the dangers of getting into a grain bin are big enough to where farmers need to stay out of the bins if at all possible while an auger is running. A dollar amount of damage was not given but the chief says the farmer will have to replace the door next to the auger and about six to eight sheets on the bin due to cutting them. Bissen says the rescue was a success due to the training of the fire department.

“We train in things all the time. Other specialized training we do is high angle rope rescue, trench rescue, confined space and water and ice rescue. Even though we have a wide variety of calls we go on and there are some of these higher tech rescue calls we very seldom get called on and they are few and far between, we still must be prepared for them. I just want to say that everybody on scene as an emergency responder did a great job.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Previously unreleased recordings of country music legend Hank Williams performing songs on a 1950 radio show will be released next month for download and on vinyl. “The Garden Spot Programs, 1950″ features 24 songs and jingles from a taped show that aired on early country radio stations, sponsored by a Texas plant nursery. Most of the tapes were lost, but one station, KSIB-AM in Creston, Iowa, saved its copies. The recordings were transferred, restored and mastered for release May 20 by Omnivore Records.

The singer’s daughter, Jett Williams, said in a written statement that no one knew these recordings existed. Williams’ biographer, Colin Escott, wrote the liner notes for the album and said the recordings were used to augment live acts on local radio stations.

Board chairman: Branstad staff threatened board

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The chairman of the state’s Public Employment Relations Board says aides to Gov. Terry Branstad pressured the board to hire a friend of the administration in the latest accusation that top government officials pushed to fill government positions with allies. Board Chairman Jim Riordan told the Senate Government Oversight Committee Thursday that Branstad’s former chief of staff, Jeff Boeyink, and current staff attorney, Brenna Findley, threatened the board with budget cuts if it didn’t make the hire. The board hired former Judge Robert Wilson to be an administrative law judge.

Questioned by reporters, Branstad flatly denied the claims and accused Riordan, who hasn’t been reappointed by the governor, of making false accusations. Riordan, a former Democratic state senator, will be replaced by a Republican confirmed Wednesday by the Senate.

Group to study future of annual ISU celebration

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – A task force has been formed to determine if an annual celebration at Iowa State University should continue in the future following a large crowd disturbance near campus. University President Steven Leath announced the 20-member group Thursday. Tom Hill, senior vice president for student affairs, will lead it. The group includes student leaders and staff, as well as the mayor of Ames and the police chief.

Plans for the task force were announced shortly after a crowd disturbance this month near campus. People gathered during the multi-day Veishea celebration are accused of overturning cars and toppling light poles. One student was injured. The disturbance led to Veishea’s suspension this school year. The group will study the celebration’s history and offer recommendations to Leath before the end of June.

Anita man arrested Wednesday

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Wednesday of an Anita man. 36-year old Shawn Joseph Williamson faces a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Williamson was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $300 bond.

Page County accident

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports a Clarinda woman was transported to the hospital following a single-vehicle accident that occurred Tuesday afternoon near Clarinda. 26-year old Kahla Morrison suffered unknown/possible injuries after the 1997 Ford Taurus she was driving went out of control on a curve and slid into a ditch.

The accident happened at around 12:30-p.m., as she was traveling east on 150th Street and attempting to negotiate the curve northbound. Morrison was able to get out of her car and walk about a mile. She denied any pain, but was transported by Clarinda Ambulance to the Clarinda Hospital.

The car sustained $2,500 damage. Morrison was cited for Failure to hold a valid license.

Overall index up in rural Midwest banker survey

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The overall index for an economic survey of bankers in 10 Midwestern and Plains states has risen for a second consecutive month, suggesting more growth in the months ahead.  The Rural Mainstreet Index hit 53.2 in April, compared with 50.1 in March. The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the results indicate that areas highly dependent on agriculture and energy are experiencing slower growth than they were a year ago. But he says recent increases in commodity prices should boost the economy in the months ahead.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Embattled IA Law Enforcement Academy official to retire

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy will retire after facing months of criticism for making inappropriate sexual and threatening remarks to female cadets and colleagues.  A letter released Thursday to The Associated Press shows 71-year-old Michael Quinn will retire June 30. The move comes after Senate Democrats held him up as an example of personnel mismanagement by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration.

Quinn was the subject of reports by the AP last year showing that he was allowed to keep his job despite a state investigation that found he violated anti-discrimination and violence-free workplace policies.

The investigation found that he made remarks to cadets and employees about his testicles and his sex life and told one subordinate that he would “slit your throat” if she acted up.

Iowa commission denies Sioux City casino’s appeal

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has rejected a Sioux City riverboat casino’s challenge to renew its gaming license, and has set July 1 as the deadline for the gambling boat to shut down.  Penn National Gaming, the parent company of the Argosy riverboat casino, had challenged the commission’s decision last year to reject a one-year license renewal.

The commission said it had issue with the Argosy’s dissolving partnership with a nonprofit group. Iowa’s casino gambling laws require casino operators to partner with licensed nonprofit groups that hold the license. Argosy’s operating agreement with its long-standing nonprofit, Missouri River Historical Development, expired in July 2012.

Following the commission’s decision Thursday, Penn National officials released a statement saying they were “beyond dismayed” by the decision.