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7AM Newscast 12-27-2012

News, Podcasts

December 27th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(Update) Bluffs woman faces felony charge following Wed. morning pursuit

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities says a Council Bluffs woman who led police and deputies on a meandering chase early Wednesday morning, faces a felony assault charge for allegedly driving a vehicle that hit a police cruiser. The Council Bluffs NonPareil says 34-year old Dawn Scott was being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail Wednesday, on $5,000 bond. She was charged with felony assault on a police officer, with additional charges pending.

The incident which led to Scott’s arrest began around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a Bellevue, NE, police officer went to check on a 1996 Ford Taurus that had stopped on a highway off-ramp. The officer said the car nearly backed into his cruiser, and then headed north toward Omaha. The chase continued into Omaha and back to Bellevue, where the car stopped several times and sped away whenever officers approached. Scott eventually went to Omaha and then drove east into Council Bluffs, using the westbound lanes of Interstate 80.

She was finally taken into custody a little after 3 a.m., when one of the car’s tires went flat on Second Avenue in Council Bluffs. According to Pott. County Sheriff Jeff Danker,  Scott tried to take off on foot before officers were able to subdue her. She was charged with felony assault on a peace officer for striking the Bellevue officer’s cruiser, and eluding.

3 injured in Pott. County I-80 crash

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An accident on Interstate 80 in Council Bluffs Wednesday afternoon resulted in three people being sent to the hospital. According to Omaha Television station KETV, a vehicle drifted off the interstate near the Lake Manawa exit before striking a guardrail head on. The unidentified female driver and her two passengers were seriously injured, and transported to Mercy Hospital. Authorities say all of the vehicles’ occupants were wearing their seat belts.

Winter Weather Advisory for parts of western/nw Iowa

News, Weather

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES: SAC AND CRAWFORD -

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO NOON CST FRIDAY

LIGHT SNOW MOVE INTO WEST CENTRAL AND NORTH CENTRAL IOWA BY LATE THIS MORNING…AND WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON. THE SNOW WILL PERSIST ACROSS THE AREA TONIGHT…BEFORE TAPERING OFF LATE FRIDAY MORNING.

TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 4 INCHES BY LATE FRIDAY MORNING ARE EXPECTED…WITH SPOTTY 5 INCH AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. .EASTERLY WINDS OF 5 TO 15 MPH ARE EXPECTED. VISIBILITIES WILL BE REDUCED IN SNOW…BUT ARE GENERALLY EXPECTED TO REMAIN ABOVE A MILE.

SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ARE NOT LIKELY…THOUGH ROADS WILL BECOME SLIPPERY WITH THE NEW SNOWFALL.  A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITY…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Getting cars and trucks out of the ditches takes time

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There are still several cars and trucks still stuck in the ditches along the interstate highways following the blizzard last week. Iowa D-O-T maintenance engineer, Bob Younie, says his department works with the state patrol to help get those vehicles pulled out. “When folks drive off the road and they need a wrecker to get their car out — and semis too for that matter — we understand the impatience of getting the vehicle back out and getting it fix or repaired or on the way, whatever has to be done,” Younie says. “But we also have to balance the safety concerns of the traffic backups that are associated with the towing vehicles pulling especially those big trucks out.”

Wednesday was a big travel day after the holiday. “There’s a lot of folks on the road maybe coming back from Christmas, so it’s a little harder to get a closure in place today that doesn’t have large backups than it will be later in time. So, it’s a balance of public mobility and public safety,” Younie says. He says traffic can back up for miles as the wreckers have to close off traffic to pull the bigger trucks out of the ditch. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate-35 was closed to traffic Thursday during the height of the storm as Younie says they tried to prevent more accidents and people sliding into the ditch.

He says I-35 has a set of gates near Ames for northbound traffic and just north of Highway 18 near Clear Lake and Mason City for southbound traffic that they used to close the road after several collisions. “And the system really works well from out standpoint to be able to effectively close off the interstate. And this again was a public safety issue. It wasn’t safe for people to drive out there,” Younie says. Younie says the state patrol monitors the situation determines when it is and isn’t safe to tow vehicles during severe weather.

(Radio Iowa)

Master Gardener Course Registration Deadline Approaching

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

If your New Year’s resolution has something to do with gardening, don’t miss your chance to become a trained Iowa Master Gardener in 2013! Classes start Tuesday, January 15 at the Cass County Extension Office, but you must have your registration form turned in by noon on Monday January 7 to avoid a late fee, according to Extension Program Coordinator, Kate Olson.

“We need to have all our names turned in to campus by January 7 so course materials can be sent out prior to class starting on the 15th,” says Olson. “It is a fantastic program and I would encourage anyone to sign up if they have a love for gardening, a desire to learn more about the world of gardening, and a commitment to being a positive part of their community!”

Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in any type of gardening and have a desire to share their knowledge through education and community involvement. Master Gardener trainees attend 40 hours of classes taught by Iowa State University Extension & Outreach staff and specialists on topics including lawn care, flower and vegetable gardening, ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit crops, and houseplants, insect, disease, and weed control, soil and plant nutrition, and pesticide safety.

In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service in their local communities. The service opportunities are wide-ranging, from public educational activities to assisting with public garden spaces. Master Gardeners speak to local groups, teach youth about gardening, plant/maintain community gardens, staff plant clinics or displays, provide horticulture therapy activities for the elderly, and assist with county fair horticulture activities as judges or project coordinators, to name a few. Cass County also has an active Master Gardener group that meets regularly to coordinate volunteer and educational opportunities for members.

Classes will be held at the Cass County Extension office, located at 805 W. 10th Street in Atlantic. The first session will be Tuesday evening, January 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, and will continue on consecutive Tuesday’s through March 19.  There will also be three Thursday evening sessions held locally, and one Saturday in February spent on the ISU campus for hands-on training in the horticulture department.  The cost for the entire program, including reference materials and all training, is just $150 per person.

Registrations must be in the Cass County Extension office by noon on January 7 to have materials available for the first training session. A $25 late fee will be charged to anyone signing up after this date. Persons interested in becoming a trained Master Gardener in Cass County are encouraged to contact the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/cass for information on signing up for the winter certification classes, or to learn more about Iowa Master Gardeners.

(Press Release/Cass Co. Extension)

Berkshire Hathaway sells 2 short-line railroads

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company has sold off the two short-line railroads it discovered owning this fall to satisfy regulators who might have reviewed Berkshire Hathaway’s 2010 acquisition of the BNSF railroad. Berkshire told the Transportation Department’s Surface Transportation Board earlier this month that it had recently completed the sale of both short-line railroads ahead of schedule.

If Berkshire had reported owning those railroads when it acquired Burlington National Sante Fe Corporation, the Surface Transportation Board would have scrutinized the deal. Berkshire sold the 12-mile-long WCTU railroad that serves an industrial park near Medford, Oregon to RVTR Rail Holdings in December.

The 6-mile-long CBEC railroad that serves one of MidAmerican Energy’s coal plants near Council Bluffs, Iowa, was sold to its two other co-owners in November.

Iowa couple with limousine business helps homeless

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Council Bluffs couple with a limousine business says they want to offer services every year to homeless people in the area. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports Jim Kelley and his wife, Christine, offered party buses to nearly 70 homeless people this month as part of a holiday present. Many of the participants were children. Other local businesses provided dinner and dessert before the buses and a limousine took the participants to a train museum. Guests were then taken on a city tour to view holiday lights.

The couple says it was their first time organizing the service, and they plan to make it an annual event.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Dec. 27th 2012

News

December 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Light snow is expected to hit most of Iowa and parts of Nebraska tonight and tomorrow as both states recover from a powerful storm last week. Temperatures are expected to be in the 20s in both states today.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A powerful storm system that affected the Gulf Coast and parts of the Midwest on Christmas Day could cause some flight delays for people traveling through Iowa and Nebraska for the holidays. Des Moines International Airport reported some cancellations and delays from regions affected by the storm yesterday.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Electric cars often are seen as the future of the U.S. car industry, but their presence in Iowa remains small. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reported yesterday there are only 41 “pure” electrics registered in Iowa. Engineers say the state needs infrastructure like additional battery charging stations that will make the vehicles more available. The newspaper reports there are only 33 public charging stations in Iowa.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Preservationists in Waterloo are hoping to save the 84-year-old Wonder Bread bakery building that closed last month. The Waterloo Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously last week to support the preservation of the historic character and facade of the downtown building. The building has been closed since Texas-based Hostess Brands Incorporated moved ahead in November with plans to sell off its assets in bankruptcy court.

Storm system causes flight delays in Iowa, Neb.

News, Weather

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A powerful storm system that affected the Gulf Coast and parts of the Midwest on Christmas Day could cause some flight delays for people traveling through Iowa and Nebraska for the holidays. The Des Moines Register says Des Moines International Airport has reported some cancellations and delays from regions affected by the storm. Airport workers in Dallas are removing ice as below freezing temperatures forced cancellations. Flights arriving and departing from Denver and Chicago also have been delayed.

Omaha’s Eppley Airfield says some airlines have pushed back a handful of arrival and departure times, but its website shows no cancellations. Post-Christmas travelers are bracing for flight delays and driving warnings after a rare storm brought tornadoes to the South and snow to states like Arkansas and Oklahoma.