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Biden maintains contact with core group of supporters


September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Vice President Joe Biden’s scheduled appearance at Senator Tom Harkin’s “Steak Fry” this weekend (Sunday) is spurring talk about Biden’s 2016 intentions. Biden’s maintained a core group of supporters in the state for decades. He came to Iowa in 1987 to run for president, then again in 2007. Over the years he’s kept in touch with a broad network of Iowa contacts. Connie Gronstal of Council Bluffs — the wife of Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal — says Biden reached out to the Gronstal’s daughter when Kate Gronstal’s 33-year-old husband died unexpectedly in 2012.

“He called her like the next day and said he was so sorry that her husband died and that he had gone through that and that he would really like to have a private conversation with her, face-to-face, and see what he could do to help her because someone did that for him when his wife died,” Connie Gronstal says, “and he felt he should help other people that have that same situation.”

Connie Gronstal uses the word “genuine” to describe Biden. “You know I’ve been around a lot of politicians,” the wife of the state’s most powerful Democratic legislator says, laughing, “and people are supportive and nice and remember names and details, but they aren’t quite as caring about you as he is.” If Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, some party activists believe others — including Biden — would not, but Representative Jim Lykam of Davenport, who was the first legislator to endorse Biden in 2007, says Biden’s appearance at Sunday’s Steak Fry will “fuel the fire” of speculation.

The Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola has become something of a rite of passage for Democrats contemplating a run for the White House. Barack Obama was the event’s keynote speaker in 2006. Then-Vice President Al Gore was the event’s main draw in 1995 and again in 1999. Biden will be making his first solo appearance at the 2013 Harkin Steak Fry. Biden spoke, along with five other presidential candidates, at the 2007 event which attracted a crowd of 15-thousand. At the 2003 Harkin Steak Fry, about 12-thousand people turned out to see former President Bill Clinton speak after the field of 2004 presidential candidates addressed the crowd.

(Radio Iowa)

Criminal Mischief arrest in Red Oak


September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report the arrest Wednesday evening of 20-year-old Jesse Patrick Beaman, of Red Oak. Beaman was taken into custody in the 100 block of West Reed Street on a charge of 3rd degree criminal mischief.  He was brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on $2,000 cash bond.


Red Oak woman arrested Wed. night


September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest Wednesday night of 22-year old Jamie Elizabeth Gentry, of Red Oak. Gentry was taken into custody at around 9:45-p.m. on a charge of Theft in the 5th Degree. She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 cash bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Sept. 12th 2013


September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they have suspended their search for a Perry man who jumped off a boat into Saylorville Lake, north of Des Moines on Tuesday. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday that authorities utilized all possible efforts and resources to find 22-year-old Luis Cuadra.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University has surpassed the University of Iowa with its fall enrollment for the first time in more than 30 years. ISU said yesterday that more than 33,200 students have enrolled at its Ames campus, a seven percent increase from last fall. The Des Moines Register reports Iowa enrolled just over 31,000 students, down one percent from last fall. UNI reported a decrease of about 100 students at its Cedar Falls campus.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Coralville radio station is protesting a judge’s decision to bar it from covering a trial that would have been open to newspaper and television cameramen. KCJJ owner Steve Soboroff said his station planned to broadcast yesterday’s trial of Jeff Waite on a misdemeanor assault charge in Johnson County.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Treasurer’s Office says a Massachusetts man attempted to claim a deceased Iowa man’s money as his own. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald said in a news release yesterday that Kevin Upshaw was sentenced in July to two years in Massachusetts state prison for trying to pass himself off as the trustee of an Iowa man’s estate in 2011.

‘Green Dot’ Utility Scam Impacts More Iowa Communities


September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Sept. 11, 2013 – MidAmerican Energy Company is warning the public about a telephone scam impacting its Hispanic customers in Iowa. MidAmerican Energy has received reports of suspicious callers posing as utility employees and telling customers that they are behind on their electric bills or need equipment repairs and have a short time to make a payment. The customers are told to purchase a ‘Green Dot’ prepaid debit card and call back with the serial number of the card to avoid having their electricity shut off.

Since mid-August, the scam artists have targeted MidAmerican Energy’s Hispanic customers in Des Moines. This week, the scam artists started making calls in Sioux City and the Quad Cities. The calls show up on caller ID as 888-201-7958 or 888-288-5657. Customers should not return calls to this number or any number provided by the scam artist.

MidAmerican Energy reminds its customers that credit card numbers, account information and personal information should not be provided in response to a suspicious or unsolicited call. If a customer receives a suspicious call or any other unusual contact or offer related to energy services from a person or the company, the customer should end the call immediately and notify local law enforcement. The customer should then contact MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 to report the incident and seek assistance. MidAmerican Energy also urges its customers to tell friends and family about the scam to help increase awareness.

Iowa agrees with EPA to boost farm inspections

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that increases the number of livestock farms routinely inspected, requires more farms to obtain permits, and more strictly enforces violations when manure leaks into rivers.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources signed the work plan Wednesday after years of negotiating with EPA, which had threatened to take over enforcement of federal Clean Water Act rules itself if Iowa didn’t step up.

The agreement requires on-site inspections of farms with more than 1,000 cows or 2,500 hogs. That’s about 3,200 farms in Iowa. Smaller farms also may be inspected if they’ve had recent spills or are near streams or rivers. Environmental groups which have lobbied for stricter enforcement say the plan is a good first step.

Iowa 92 near Massena to close Sept. 18 for bridge construction


September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Creston construction office reports a bridge replacement project on Iowa 92 1 mile west of Iowa 148, near Massena, will require closing the roadway for nine days beginning 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, weather permitting.

The Iowa 92 closure is necessary as work crews remove the existing bridge and slide the new bridge into place. Traffic will be detoured around the construction zone as follows….

Eastbound Iowa 92 traffic will be detoured on Cass County Road N-28 north to Cass County Road G-48, east to Iowa 148, and then back south to Iowa 92.

Westbound Iowa 92 traffic will be detoured north on Iowa 148, west on Cass County Road G-48, and then south on Cass County Road N-28 to Iowa 92.

The new bridge has already been partially constructed just north of the existing bridge. Once the road is closed, the existing bridge will be demolished, new steel piling supports driven into the ground, new concrete abutments placed, and the new bridge slid into place.Additional work to place the new bridge rail, approach paving, and guardrail will be completed before the road is reopened.The work is all part of the Iowa DOT’s accelerated bridge construction (ABC) program.

The $1.3 million project is being constructed by Herberger Construction Co., of Indianola. Work is scheduled to be complete by late fall. Additional information may be found at the Iowa DOT website: www.iowadot.gov/MassenaBridge/index.html

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Atlantic P-D reports 1 arrest & 1 accident


September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report one person was arrested Tuesday on alcohol-related charges, and one person was cited following an accident. Officials say 38-year old Christopher Harper, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a charge of Public Intoxication. He was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

And, a Creston man was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Signal Tuesday morning, following an accident at 7th and Plum Streets. Shamus Brown, of Creston, was traveling east on 7th Street at around 10:05-a.m., when he allegedly ran the red light and was hit by  a vehicle driven by Todd Friesleben, of Atlantic. The accident happened as Friesleben was traveling north on Plum and had the green light. Damage from the accident amounted to $3,250. No injuries were reported.

Cass Co. Supervisors approve grant subcontract and DL examiner status


September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday morning during a brief session that included approval of a subcontract between the County Board of Health and the Nishna Valley YMCA. Auditor Dale Sunderman said the contract with Iowa Department of Human Services is for the continuation of a Community Transformation Grant. The YMCA has been working with the grant for a number of years. The County serves as the flow-through agency for the grant funds.

The Board also approved a change in employment status from part-time County Treasurer’s Office employee/Drivers License Examiner, Brandi Wittrock, to a full-time, retroactive to September 1st. Wittrock has been with the Treasurer’s Office since October 24, 2012. She will receive a nearly $2.30/hour raise plus benefits, for a total package of $37,000 per year.

Treasurer Tracey J. Marshall said the change is needed to an increase in the number of drives the County will be offering as tests for persons seeking their driver’s licenses. Her office currently only offers driving tests on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s, but more opportunities will be made available now that Wittrock is being made a full-time employee. Wittrock will handle other tasks at the office as well, including filling-in for other Treasurer’s Office employees, who are on vacation.

And, in his report to the Board, County Engineer Charles Marker provided updates on various on-going and future roads projects. Marker said deck work was completed last week on the Hoppley Bridge and are currently working on the bridge approaches. Marker said also a culvert pipe has been put in under Yankton Road over Bridge #43 in Edna Township. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said persons who use that road for transporting their harvest are grateful it was done ahead of time (work had been scheduled to take place on the project next year).

And, Marker said work on the M-56 Bridge over Interstate 80 won’t be completed this year as previously announced. Marker said the Iowa DOT discovered they have two projects very close together. That includes a nearby Interstate bridge over Indian Creek. That creates a conflict with the contractors, and the need to postpone the M-56 project until next season. When work does begin on the M-56 bridge, it will only mean a resurfacing of the bridge deck, and not the replacement of the substructure.

8AM Newscast 09-11-2013

News, Podcasts

September 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson