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Man dies after rollover crash in northwest Iowa

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A man has died following a single-vehicle rollover crash in northwest Iowa. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 20. The driver was traveling eastbound when his car left the roadway, entered a ditch and rolled.

The name of the driver has not been released. The crash remains under investigation.

Iowa man pleads not guilty in fondling case

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man accused of fondling an 8-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty.
The Sioux City Journal reports 45-year-old David Winne entered his plea Wednesday in Woodbury County District Court to one count of indecent contact with a child.

Winne is accused of touching the girl over her clothes while she was sitting on his lap at his home last year. A complaint in the case says Winne also asked the girl to touch herself. Court documents say Winne told authorities he did not remember the incident.

Expect issues with travel this weekend as snow, wind & cold air impact the area

News, Weather

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines reports significant travel concerns are expected Saturday evening into Sunday morning over much of central Iowa. A two part system, with the first looking to pass over Missouri overnight tonight into Saturday will provide the potential for a wintry mix over south-central to southeast Iowa Saturday morning. The second and stronger piece of energy will bring the main snow band across central Iowa late Saturday afternoon and into Saturday evening.trav1

With the sharp cold front Saturday evening, strong northwest winds combined with falling snow will likely lead to areas of blowing snow and visibility restrictions late Saturday evening into Sunday morning. Temperatures are forecast to quickly plummet with the strong push of cold air Saturday night and may result in roads becoming icy and causing significant travel concerns. Generally 1 to 4 inches of snow is forecast over central Iowa by late Saturday night with the higher amounts along and south of Interstate 80 and east of Interstate 35.

Again, the snow amounts are not the major concern, it is the falling snow coupled with the very strong winds Saturday night into Sunday morning. Bitter cold temperatures and wind chills are expected all day Sunday into Sunday night and the cold will persist through much of the work week. Another clipper system looks to bring accumulating light snow to northern Iowa Monday night into Tuesday.

US Ag Secretary discusses challenges, accomplishments for farmers in 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is describing 2014 as a year of big challenges, big issues and big accomplishments for farming. The former Iowa governor says one of the biggest challenges for farmers and ranchers was the effect of supply and demand on markets and prices. A smaller supply of pork and beef led to higher prices and some consumers turning to other food choices.  “And a bumper crop of other commodities brought the prices from fairly high levels down to levels that could potentially trigger some of the safety net programs at USDA in terms of the Farm Bill,” Vilsack said.

Those other commodities that dropped in price included two of the biggest crops in Iowa — corn and soybeans. One of the bigger accomplishments and challenges of 2014 was implementing the new Farm Bill. Vilsack believes the USDA did a remarkable job of instituting so many of the complex provisions of the new law.  “Starting with the Disaster Assistance Program….now 465,000 producers receiving over 4.2 billion dollars of assistance. The development of the dairy margin protection program. The new safety net programs. The agricultural risk coverage program. New crop insurance opportunities for specialty crops,” Vilsack said.

One of the good things about the Farm Bill, according to Vilsack, was the way it got passed. “It underscores what can happen when people are willing to compromise, when people are willing to find middle ground as we were able to work with Republicans and Democrats on both sides in the House and in the Senate to try to ultimately get this bill done and the President signed the bill in February of 2014,” Vilsack said.

The Ag Secretary believes President Obama’s executive action on immigration this past November could help farmers keep the workers they need. Vilsack estimates it will impact up to 400 thousand individuals who are working in agriculture. As for 2015, Vilsack says trade will be critically important for creating new and expanded opportunities for U.S. agriculture and rural America. Those opportunities include, Vilsack says, gaining access to huge, growing and lucrative Asian markets that represent one third of all world trade.

(Radio Iowa)

Thieves yank ATM out of bar in Van Meter

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

VAN METER, Iowa (AP) – Thieves have emptied an ATM they yanked out of a bar in Van Meter. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that the owner of Legends Field House discovered the crime on Wednesday morning when he found a broken window, glass on the floor and an empty space where the ATM had stood.

Police say an item had been thrown through the window so two men could get inside. A security recording showed them hooking a tow strap to the ATM before it was pulled off its mounts and out a door.
The empty ATM was found Wednesday afternoon near the spillway at Saylorville Lake.

Mediator to handle Nishnabotna School District disagreement

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Disagreements between the residents of the Hamburg and Farragut school districts will require intervention from the Green Hills Area Education Agency. The Omaha World-Herald reports a mediator will help the districts reach an agreement on whole-grade sharing, which is linked to their facility plans. The districts have indicated that buildings will need to be closed next year.

About 40 parents, students and residents attended an emotional joint school board meeting last week. Hamburg Superintendent Terry Kenealy told the paper several speakers supported the current grade-sharing deal, while several wanted to change the configuration. But school board members were unable to arrive at a resolution for both boards to consider, so the issue will be referred to the Green Hills agency for mediation.

The two districts tried to reorganize in December, but the effort failed by seven votes in Hamburg despite passing in Farragut. Both districts also face accreditation and financial concerns, leaving further uncertainty about the future. They must go before the School Budget Review Committee this month and the Iowa Department of Education in February.

The outcome of those meetings will decide whether the Farragut and Hamburg districts will continue or be dissolved. If they continue to operate, the districts have suggested that Marnie Simons Elementary School in Hamburg and the shared Nishnabotna High School in Farragut will be their remaining open buildings.

Burglary & theft reported in Red Oak

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak resident reported to police Thursday, that someone had kicked-in the front door of her residence on East Market Street, and stole items valued at $50. The incident happened sometime over the course of the two previous day. The victim reported the loss of a Harley Davidson collectible sign and cell phone, in addition to damage to the door, which was estimated at $100.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Red Oak Police at 712-623-6500, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Adair County BOS to meet Friday morning

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold their first regular meeting of the year today (Friday), in Greenfield. Their meeting begins at 9-a.m. The Board will take care of several administrative matters, including: Electing a Board Chair and Vice-Chair; Approve Deputy/Assistant/Clerk appointments by County Recorder, Treasurer and Attorney. They’ll also act on: a travel policy resolution; Master Matrix resolution and the appointment of Supervisors to area board and commissions.

The Adair County Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing at 9:30-a.m. with regard to a FY 2015 Budget Amendment, along with resolutions approving the amendment and appropriations. At 10-a.m, they’re expected to receive a Compensation Board FY 2016 recommendation for Elected Officials, which they will take under consideration, along with the FY 2016 hourly wage increases for full- and part-time County employees.

And then at 10:15, County Engineer Nick Kauffman will address the Board with regard to various administrative and other departmental matters.

Iowa’s “special schools” for blind & deaf serving over 1000 children & adults

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials at the state’s so-called “special schools” are aiming to improve their students’ math and reading proficiency by 15 percent. Steven Gettel, the superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Educational Services for the Blind, says the goal is within reach.

“In the first four years with the Iowa Educational Services for the Blind students’ proficiencies increased by 13.3 percent in reading and 13.6 percent in math and at the Iowa School for the Deaf the achievements were 12.3 percent in reading and 13.3 percent in math, so we’ve nearly achieved our goals there,” Gettel says. “It shows what you can do when you consolidate your efforts and your resources around improving instruction and understanding the needs and the that our kids have.”

There are 109 students enrolled at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs this year. Students no longer attend the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton. Instead, teachers are sent around to Iowa school districts to teach 562 students who are blind or visually impaired. “And we’re providing sign language instruction across the state to between 400-500 adults and children,” Gettel says. Those sign language classes are conducted online. About a dozen students who graduated from the Iowa School for the Deaf are also enrolled in what Gettel calls the “Four-Plus” program.

“Brings students back who finished their high school credit requirements, but they still need additional training and education around the areas of literacy, math skills, pre-vocational skills and independent living skills,” Gettel says. In total, the state’s “special schools” for deaf and blind Iowans are providing services to more than a thousand children and adults in the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Jan. 2nd 2015

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa has been scrambling to pay about 2,400 employees after a computer problem caused a delay in direct deposits to their bank accounts. A university vice president, Michael Hager, wrote in an email to the employees on New Year’s Eve that paper checks would be delivered to “as many of our employees’ financial institutions as possible” before the end of business on Wednesday.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque nurse has fulfilled her dream, spending more than 60 years caring for ailing babies and their families. The Telegraph Herald Weber reports Betty Weber retired Wednesday from her work at Mercy Birth Center in Dubuque.

FARLEY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa couple has been credited with helping a man get out of his wrecked vehicle before it caught fire. Peosta Police Department Sergeant Nicole Minnihan says the couple was traveling westbound Tuesday on U.S. 20 in northeast Iowa when another vehicle driven by 65-year-old Mark Schuster went off the roadway. The Telegraph Herald reports Sandy Gassman, along with her husband, Tom, pulled over to help. Sandy Gassman put Schuster’s arm over her shoulder and they walked away from the wreck. Tom Gassman called 911.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Des Moines man who fatally stabbed an intruder in self-defense likely won’t be prosecuted. Police Sergeant Jason Halifax says 35-year-old Christopher Bear killed 34-year-old Jahron Parker after Parker attacked Bear at a house on Amos Avenue early Wednesday morning.