NWS weather forecast for Atlantic & the area, 1/30/2015

Weather

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Today: Sunny, with a high near 37. Light and variable wind becoming south southwest 8 to 13 mph in the morning.
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 33. South wind 7 to 10 mph.
Saturday: A chance of snow before noon, then rain likely between noon and 3pm, then rain and snow likely after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 38. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Saturday Night: Snow. Low around 23. East southeast wind 6 to 13 mph becoming north northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Sunday: Snow likely, mainly before noon. Cloudy, with a high near 23. Windy, with a north wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. Blustery.
Monday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 23

Ernst, Grassley vote for Keystone XL pipeline bill

News

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s two Republican senators have voted for legislation that would authorize construction fo the Keystone X-L pipeline. Senator Joni Ernst says she was a “proud co-sponsor” of the bill. “My colleagues and I promised our folks back home that we would govern in a responsible way and that’s what we are doing,” Ernst says. “We are moving legislation that the American people have asked for.” The pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, would not extend through Iowa.

A court ruling earlier this month cleared the way for its passage through neighboring Nebraska. The U.S. State Department estimates 42-thousand people would be employed during the two-year construction phase.  “This will help us create new jobs, invest billions of dollars into our economy and also (build) new energy infrastructure,” Ernst says.

The U.S. House has already passed its version of the bill and Republican leaders in the House have yet to decide whether to pass the slightly different Senate version of the bill or create a conference committee of House and Senate members to hammer out a final draft. The legislation will set up the first official clash with the new Republican-led congress, as President Obama has promised to veto the bill.

Senator Chuck Grassley says the pipeline is “a privately funded, shovel ready infrastructure project that would support a lot of good-paying jobs.” Grassley suggests President Obama is “stuck between the unions that want these jobs and the environmentalists who don’t want any more use of fossil fuels.”

(Radio Iowa)

DHS administrator grilled over proposed closure of MHIs in Clarinda, Mt Pleasant

News

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A panel of legislators grilled the state official who was dispatched to defend Governor Branstad’s proposal to close the state-run Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. Rick Shults, the director of mental health and disability services for the Iowa Department of Human Services, testified before a budget subcommittee on Thursday. “We clearly are having difficulty in recruiting staff,” Shults says. “…The wards are outdated and they’re poorly configured. When I go to those facilities it causes me concern. There are nooks and crannies and they’re not as expansive and there are just some challenges there and there are high costs associated with these facilities.”

Representative Dave Heaton, a Republican from Mount Pleasant, counters the costs for caring for patients with acute mental illness are higher at the Cherokee and Independence Mental Health Institutes which will remain open. “I mean, it’s flying in the face of a lot of things here, Rick…you know?” Heaton said during the 90-minute question-and-answer session with Shults. “I just can’t quite understand,” Heaton says there aren’t enough “psych beds” in private facilities in southern Iowa and closing the two state-run facilities makes things worse.
“Iowa is ranked fourth-worst in the country as far as our mental health services are concerned. We’re at the bottom,” Heaton said, pounding his fist on the table. “…It’s a mess.” Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says he doubts the agency’s claim that many patients who’re now being served in the state’s Mental Health Institutes can easily find care from private providers. “You’re painting this rosy picture about how we’re going to have all these crisis services at the same time we’re ripping money out of the system,” Bolkcom says. “It’s to meet the bean counters’ numbers in the basement, the Department of Management. They’ve got to cut money out of this budget to pay for this historic property tax cut.”

Other legislators say they’re fielding complaints from county sheriffs who are often responsible for transporting patients to the Mental Health Institutes. Representative John Forbes, a Democrat from Urbandale, says it will be a 500-mile round trip for some departments. “What’s the human cost to the families of these patients who are now going to be instead of 20-30 miles away, 250 miles away?” Forbes asked. “These patients need their families close by to help them get through these very difficult times in their lives.”

Shults, the D-H-S administrator, counters that many hospitals around the state provide in-patient treatment for severe mental illness, plus he says the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Broadlawns Hospital in Des Moines will be able to take some patients who would have been sent to the state-run facilities. The D-H-S expects to shift the elderly sex offenders who’re in 24-hour nursing care in Clarinda to private nursing homes.

A court ruling is expected in late February on whether Governor Branstad had the authority to close the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo last year. If that ruling goes against Branstad, legislators say that will dramatically alter the discussion about closing the Mental Health Institutes.

(Radio Iowa)

Area high school basketball scores from Thu., 1/29/15

Sports

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

BOYS BASKETBALL

Clarinda Academy 58, Sidney 52, OT
East Mills 87, South Page, College Springs 27
Heartland Christian 65, Nishnabotna 61
Stanton 73, Essex 55

Western Valley Conference Tournament
First Round

Kingsley-Pierson 48, Westwood, Sloan 36
Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 83, River Valley, Correctionville 29
OA-BCIG 66, Lawton-Bronson 64
Ridge View 57, Siouxland Community Christian 45
West Monona, Onawa 77, Woodbury Central, Moville 66

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Essex 55, Stanton 39
Nishnabotna 58, Heartland Christian 20
Sidney 70, Clarinda Academy 9
South Page, College Springs 42, East Mills 39
Underwood 57, Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson 42

No. 20 Iowa women break record for 3s, beat Northwestern

Sports

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Melissa Dixon scored 29 points, including 9 of 10 3-pointers, as No. 20 Iowa set a Big 10 record with 19 3-pointers in a 102-99 win over Northwestern on Thursday. The Hawkeyes (17-3, 8-1) won their sixth straight by shooting 57 percent, including a blistering 68 percent (19-28) from 3-point range and 17 of 20 from the foul line.

The Wildcats (14-6, 4-5) trailed 58-41 at the half but went 9 of 12 from 3-point range to get back into the game. They finished 13 of 18 behind the arc with the combined 32 treys setting a NCAA record by one.

Ally Disterhoft, who finished with 22 points, gave Iowa a 100-94 lead with a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left. Ashley Deary, who had a career-high 22 points, scored for the Wildcats with 19 seconds left but Dixon, who was 10 of 12 from the field, answered with a layup at 14 seconds. Nia Coffey, who finished with a career-high 35 points, hit a 3 with three seconds left for Northwestern.

Bethany Doolittle had 26 points for Iowa and Whitney Jennings added 16. Dixon had 21 points in the first half as Iowa shot 64 percent, including 14 of 19 3s, to lead by 17.

D-League suspends Iowa teammates Stokes, Lucas over fight

Sports

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA Development League has suspended Iowa Energy forward Jarnell Stokes for three games and teammate Kalin Lucas for two games for fighting on the bench. The league announced the suspensions Thursday. The 6-foot-9 Stokes and 6-1 Lucas were ejected for fighting with 2:29 left in the third quarter of Iowa’s 124-120 win over Rio Grande on Tuesday night. A broadcast of the game showed pushing and shoving near the bench for Iowa, an affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies, during a timeout.

Lucas, a former star at Michigan State, played one game this season for the Grizzlies. Stokes, a rookie out of Tennessee, has split time between Iowa and Memphis. The suspensions were to start Thursday night against Fort Wayne.

Iowa’s White questionable for Wisconsin rematch

Sports

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa star Aaron White remains questionable for Saturday’s game against Number 5 Wisconsin after suffering a stinger in last weekend’s loss at Purdue. White sat out Thursday’s practice in an attempt to heal the injury, which is affecting his right shoulder and neck.

Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery says the coaching staff is unsure of White’s status, adding that White will likely try to practice Friday in an effort to see if he can play against the Badgers. Key substitute Gabe Olaseni rolled his left ankle on Monday. Olaseni says he’ll be ready by Saturday, though his effectiveness won’t be known until tip-off.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Jan. 30th 2015

News

January 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has plans to move 175 jobs out of Des Moines to its Ohio headquarters. Company spokesman Eric Hardgrove tells the Register the company’s home mortgage operations will be relocated to headquarters in Columbus, Ohio by mid-2016. Nationwide employs more than 4,000 people in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has advanced a bill that would let school districts in Iowa decide whether to start classes earlier in August. Members of an education subcommittee voted yesterday in favor of advancing the bill, which would remove authority from the state education department to issue waivers that allow school districts to start early. The department recently released new guidelines for the waivers, which in the past were issued automatically.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Members of a House panel have rejected a bill that would have expanded the ability of children to use a crossbow to hunt deer in Iowa. The natural resources subcommittee tabled the bill yesterday. Bill sponsor Representative Matt Windschitl, a Missouri Valley Republican, says he will work with interested parties to reword the bill for a future session.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA Development League has suspended Iowa Energy forward Jarnell Stokes for three games and teammate Kalin Lucas for two games for fighting on the bench Tuesday night. The league announced the suspensions Thursday.

Villisca Burglary

News

January 29th, 2015 by Mark Saylor

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary of the United Farmers Mercantile Cooperative Elevator in Villisca that took place during the night time hours of Wednesday thru the morning hours of Thursday. Unknown perpetrators gained entry into the building and removed an undetermined amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-434-1001.

Villisca Accident

News

January 29th, 2015 by Mark Saylor

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department investigated a single vehicle property damage accident late Thursday morning. A blue Chevrolet Impala owned and operated by Ashley Colwell of Corning was traveling west on 8th Street from 7th Avenue when she was attempting to adjust her seat belt. Colwell’s vehicle went of the road to the north and went across a driveway striking a trash dumpster owned by Brown Sanitation of Villisca.

Damage is estimated at 15-hundred dollars to the car and 150-dollars to the dumpster. No citations were issued.