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Area Roads closed (as of 6:50-a.m., 3/15)

News, Weather

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

According to 511ia.org, the following roads remain closed or are partially open, in the listening area, due to flooding:

  • IA Highway 48 between U-S 59 and County Road J-32 (At Shenandoah) is closed in both directions (detour)
  • U-S Hwy 59 between IA 48 and J-14 (near Shenandoah) is closed in both directions. (Detour)
  • Highway 6 in Pott. County, west of Highway 59, is closed in both directions to the Treynor turn-off. A detour is in-place
  • Highway 59 N. of I-80 is down to one-lane
  • Highway 2 between Shenandoah and Farragut is closed in both directions. (Detour)
  • Highway 333 at Hamburg, is closed between I-29 and Hwy 275 (detour)
  • Highway 30 from Missouri Valley to I-29 is closed in both directions, a detour was established
  • Highway 30 between Dunlap and Logan is closed in both directions.
  • Interstate 29 from Council Bluffs to Missouri Valley is closed in both directions.
  • I-680 from I-29 west into Omaha (The Mormon Bridge) is closed in both directions.
  • Highway 44 westbound between Panora and Dallas Center is closed.
  • U-S Highway 169 between Highway 6 and Hwy 44 near Adel is closed in both directions.

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, March 15, 2019

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A late-winter storm system continues its trek across the Midwest. It will send rain and snow into Minnesota and Illinois on Friday. The storm left quickly rising floods in its wake in parts of eastern Nebraska and Iowa that saw people evacuated from their homes, roads washed out in communities, and farmers worried the water would drown livestock.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A Waterloo man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his wife and set her body on fire in cemetery last year. The Courier reports that 28-year-old Fredrick Williams filed a written plea of not guilty to the Black Hawk County District Court. Williams is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of 40-year-old Lakisha Williams. An autopsy determined she was asphyxiated.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says it is important for the U.S. to confront the truth about how black people have been treated in the country. At a house party Thursday in Iowa, O’Rourke said the U.S. needs to recognize that systematic racism is real. Other Democratic presidential candidates have spoken of the need for the U.S. government to make up for centuries of stolen labor and oppression by offering reparations, but not in the traditional sense of financial renumeration.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed an emergency disaster proclamation that allows state resources to be used to respond to flooding in portions of the state. Reynolds also on Thursday activated Iowa’s State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the response to flooding and help monitor rapidly-evolving conditions. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for some areas and says river flooding will continue through the weekend due to excessive runoff from rain and snow melt.

Bouncing into a pothole could cost you hundreds of dollars

News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Iowa motorists, beware! That big puddle on the roadside may be hiding a massive pothole that could cost you dearly. You’re driving along, minding your own business, and suddenly, wham! Jonna Warner, who manages an auto repair shop in central Iowa, says she’s getting a half dozen customers daily who’ve hit potholes. “We’re replacing wheels, so it’s ruining wheels, blowing tires out, misaligning the vehicle,” Warner says. “A lot of damage can occur.”

Those repairs aren’t cheap, either. “Replacing a wheel and tire combination can run $500 to $600 on some of these newer cars,” she says. And if there’s suspension damage, like to shocks, struts or tie rods, the bill can quickly bounce into the thousand-dollar range. Sometimes you can see the pothole coming, but you’re penned into the lane. If you can slow down quickly and safely, you might be able to just roll over it.

“I’ve seen people do that and I’ve had to do that myself, trying to get over a little more so you’re not hitting it directly on,” Warner says. “There’s some that are in lanes where, if you swerve to miss it, you’re going into the other lane. If there’s a car there, it’s definitely a dangerous situation.” You’ll know if you’ve done some damage if, after hitting a hole, the steering wheel feels wobbly or off-center, you might hear a rattle or the whole car may be shaky.

Warner, who runs Freedom Tire in Des Moines, says to watch out for those stealth potholes, too.  “Be careful and if it’s a pool of water on the road, typically there’s a hole underneath it,” Warner says. “A lot of people will hit them, not seeing them because they’re filled with water.” She says some clients have tried forwarding their pothole repair bill on to the city for reimbursement, but none have had any success.

Senator Ernst talks about family leave proposal, answers criticisms

News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, has unveiled a plan for new parents to use some of their Social Security savings to pay for time off work to be with the new child. The plan does have some critics. “I do receive some push back because there others who would simply just rather throw a tax out there. That’s the easy way to solve all of the worlds’ problems I think for some — to just throw a new tax out there,” Ernst says.

Ernst says it is a starting point in the discussion and gives people another option if their employer doesn’t offer paid family leave. “Parents can choose to take this or not. It is not forced, parents can choose…and what they would be doing is they would be borrowing from Social Security — but repaying that back by deferring when they would start taking their Social Security benefits,” according to Ernst. She is introducing the legislation with Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and calls it the “Cradle Act.”

“There are studies that show that babies that are able to bond with mom and dad — they do better later in life. There are better outcomes for those toddlers and then those teenagers,” Ernst says. “And the long-terms gains of those better outcomes is not even considered in this proposal.” Some critics say the it would undermine Social Security and force seniors to work longer. But Ernst says it is one option that would not add a lot of cost to implement.

“Well certainly we’ve talked about other methods of funding, but what we have with Social Security is an existing infrastructure already in the government. Which with very, very, very minimal additional cost the program could be implemented,” Ernst says. “If we are looking at other funding mechanisms, you would have to create the infrastructure to do that, which would be extremely costly.”

Ernst says here plan would apply to biological and adopted children. Democrats have proposed a different plan that would institute a small payroll tax to provide up to twelve weeks to care for any loved one to use.

Portions of I-680 and I-29 in Western Iowa Reopened while others remain closed

News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Iowa State Patrol, has opened a portion of Interstate 680 and Interstate 29 that was previously closed due to flooding. Officials said Thursday evening…

  • North- and Southbound I-680 is now open between the I-29 interchange (near Loveland) and the I-80 interchange (near Minden).
  • North- and Southbound I-29 is open from Loveland, north to the U.S. 30 interchange (near Missouri Valley).

Longer-term Iowa interstate closures remain in effect for:

  • The southern portion of I-680 between the Nebraska border and the intersection with I-29 (near Crescent, IA)
  • I-29 between N. 25th Street (Council Bluffs) and I-680 (Loveland) See map below for details.

Several roads in the western Iowa and others throughout the state are also being impacted by flood waters creating additional closures. Travelers are urged to check www.511ia.org for current flood-related closures and detour routes.

Fremont County Man Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

A District Court Judge in Council Bluffs, Thursday, sentenced a Fremont County man to 6 1/2-years in prison on drug distribution charges. 50-year old John Tracy Miller received his sentence for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. Miller was sentenced to 78 months in prison, to be followed by a term of supervised release of four years.

In August 2018, Miller was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by a Fremont County Deputy for speeding and a broken headlight. In a search subsequent to the stop, 59.2 grams of methamphetamine was located in Miller’s pocket.

The case was investigated by Fremont County Sheriff’s Department, Omaha Police Department and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Governor Reynolds issues disaster proclamation in response to flooding

News, Weather

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation today for the State of Iowa in response to flooding and severe weather beginning March 13th and continuing. Earlier today, she activated Iowa’s State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the response to Iowa’s flooding.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) along with several state and federal agencies, is monitoring rapidly-evolving conditions at locations throughout the state.

The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather across the entire state and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program for these 21 counties: Butler, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Hancock, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Kossuth, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Pottawattamie, Sioux, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth, and Wright.

The Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $41,560 for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim (April 29, 2019).

Disaster Case Management is a program to address serious needs to overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition. Disaster case managers work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice and referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor’s proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action association or visit www.iowacommunityaction.org.

Residents of counties impacted by the recent severe weather are asked to report damage to help local and state officials better understand the damage sustained. Damage to property, roads, utilities and other storm-related information may be reported. This information will be collected by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and shared with local emergency management agencies.

DNR announces numerous State Parks closures due to flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The current flooding impacting parts of Iowa is also causing some closures at state parks and recreational areas throughout the state.

The rapidly rising flood waters have caused full or partial closings at the following state parks:

  • Walnut Woods State Park, West Des Moines
  • Dolliver Memorial State Park, Lehigh
  • Wilson Island State Recreational Area, Missouri Valley
  • Springbrook State Park, Guthrie Center
  • Wapsipinicon State Park, Anamosa
  • Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park, Indianola
  • Brushy Creek State Recreational Area, Lehigh
  • George Wyth State Park, Waterloo
  • Ledges State Park, Madrid

The safety of park visitors is the number one priority for DNR. Some parks could be closed for several days to allow the water to recede and cleanup efforts to take place before any visitors will be allowed back into the impacted areas.

For the latest list of closures and any updates affecting state parks and recreational areas, visit: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Alerts-and-Closures.

Travel not advised on all secondary roads in Montgomery County

News

March 14th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The East Nishnabotna River continues to rise in Montgomery County. Flood control efforts are ongoing within the City of Red Oak and City of Elliott. The City of Red Oak has 3 large pumps working on the Red Oak creek, at this point it appears those pumping efforts are keeping up with the creek on the city side of the levee. The City of Elliott has trash pumps working and an additional larger pump has been requested by Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Travel is not advised on all secondary roads within Montgomery County due to current and deteriorating conditions. Highway 34 is being actively monitored west of Red Oak. Below is a list of closures that are known as of Thursday afternoon.

NEW – NUMEROUS CLOSURES around W Coolbaugh Street x G Ave south to 210th Street. AVOID THE AREA.

NEW – 100th Street CLOSED between Kirkwood & Lumber Ave north of Elliott due to a stuck semi.

EXPECTED CLOSURE – Kirkwood Ave north out of Elliott to be closed for flood control measures.

FULL HARD CLOSURE on Highway 48 west of Elliott. Detour being established by Iowa DOT. Please check www.511ia.org for more information once available. DO NOT TRAVEL NORTH ON KIRKWOOD AVE.

J Ave between Highway 48 south past the Schildberg quarry drive near 144th street.

250th Street between Evergreen and Railroad Tracks is now CLOSED.

145th Street at Stennett is CLOSED due to water over the roadway. The closure is between 148th St x 150th.

Villisca man arrested for Driving Under Suspension

News

March 14th, 2019 by Chris Parks

The Red Oak Police Department reports the arrest Thursday of 36-year-old George Allen Alfred Wesbrook of Villisca. Wesbrook was arrested at 12:08pm in the 300 block of East Coolbaugh Street in Red Oak for Driving Under Suspension. He was taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $566.25 bond.