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Iowa tests system that determines safer speeds on icy roads

News, Weather

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Transportation Department is testing a new system that could help motorists drive more safely on icy roadways. Des Moines television station KCCI says the testing is underway on an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 35 north of Des Moines. During and after storms, some drivers go too fast, some too slow.

The system being tested comes up with a limit that, if observed, would smooth out traffic flow and make travel safer. The system includes sensors that use lasers to detect the ice, snow or slush on the pavement. Engineer Willy Sorenson says the system uses the data to determine what he calls an “advised” lower speed limit. That safer speed limit is sent to four digital speed limit signs along the roadway.

Atlantic man big winner in IA Lottery Scratch Ticket game

News

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Lottery players continue to win large prizes across the state. Officials with the Lottery say an Atlantic man is the latest, big instant-scratch game winner, in Cass County during calendar year 2014. Douglas Holtz won $5,000 in the “SUPER CROSSWORD” game with a ticket purchased at Caseys in Atlantic. Carolyn Johnson, also of Atlantic, was the county’s latest and biggest lotto winner during the same period, winning $30,000 in the HOT LOTTO game with a ticket purchased at Caseys in Atlantic.

Iowa Lottery players won a total of $186.9 million in prizes in fiscal year 2014, the latest complete year for which the lottery has records. However, there are a significant number of prizes that expire each year without being claimed. The lottery reminds its players to double-check their tickets. In fiscal year 2014, nearly $1.4 million in lotto prizes expired in Iowa without being claimed.

Prize money left unclaimed after redemption deadlines goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions. On the lottery’s website at www.ialottery.com, there is a current list of unclaimed lotto prizes of $10,000 or more.

Record high temperatures likely across Iowa on Wednesday

News, Weather

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

It’s feeling more like March, rather than late January, across much of Iowa this week. National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Cogill says today (Wednesday) will be even warmer with many locations likely to break record highs for January 28. “Forecast highs around Des Moines are for the mid to upper 50s, so it certainly looks possible that we break a record — with the old record being 56-degrees back in 1931,” Cogill said. Some sections of western Iowa are expected to post temperatures in the 60’s. More winter-like weather will return to the state soon, as a cold front pushes in tomorrow night and snow could be falling this weekend.

“We’ll have cooler temperatures Thursday and Friday, but still above normal for this time of year, with highs in the 30s for much of the state,” Cogill said. “Into the weekend, we’re going to see a storm system move up from the Southwestern United States with a good chance of snow especially over central and southern Iowa with a few inches of snow possible by Sunday.”

(Radio Iowa)

Bill would expand strip search law

News

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bill in the Iowa Legislature would allow more strip searches of inmates in city and county jails, in accordance with a U-S Supreme Court ruling. Under the bill, people arrested for simple misdemeanors such as public intoxication or possession of drug paraphernalia could be searched for contraband even without probable cause. Lisa Davis Cook with the Iowa Association for Justice objects. “It’s still taking their clothes off. You still have people taking their clothes off and to make people take their clothes off you should have probable cause for something such as that,” Davis Cook says. Iowa law already allows so-called visual searches without probably cause for more serious offenses. A-C-L-U attorney Pete McRoberts says the bill should only cover violent offenders.

“And leave the college student who is arrested for public intoxication out of this list,” McRoberts says. Marshall County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy, Steve Hoffman, says that could pose a threat to officers. The college student who is arrested for public intoxication, well perhaps he’s also carrying a weapon on him,” Hoffman says. Law enforcement officers say those arrested for minor crimes can still carry weapons into jails, sometimes at the urging of accused felons temporarily housed at the jail. The bill cleared a three-member House committee after skeptics insisted on exempting those who are in custody for a short time and don’t end up in the jail’s general population.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa admissions change affects students without class rank

News

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s three public universities may soon have a more uniform admissions policy for students from the growing number of high schools that do not provide class rankings. The Iowa Board of Regents will consider a new formula next week that would affect students from roughly 40 public and private high schools that don’t rank students.

Students from those schools would be automatically admitted if they score above a 245 on a mathematical formula, which is based on ACT scores, grade point average and number of core courses completed. Students who fall below that number would be subject to individual reviews.

The change addresses inconsistencies in how students without class rankings have been scored for admissions by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 28th 2015

News

January 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) — Officials have identified two people who were found dead in a vehicle in Osceola. The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner says the bodies found are those of 22-year-old Erick Reyna and 27-year-old Noe Flores Rascon. Autopsy results confirm their deaths as homicides. Authorities charged 38-year-old Richard Ryan Lamb Carson with two counts of first-degree murder. They also charged 47-year-old Lynn Ranean Sutton, 43-year-old Tracy Kay Johnson and 42-year-old Christopher Martin Elben with one count of accessory after the fact.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol says it didn’t reduce the speed on a citation given to a high-ranking officer. Capt. Ken Clary was cited for driving 92 in a 70-mph zone this month, following an investigation into a November off-duty incident in which he was pulled over and quickly let go by a trooper. Video doesn’t show the speed clocked on radar and no police report was filed. A patrol spokesman had said he didn’t know whether Clary’s speed was reduced on the citation, which can be done at an officer’s discretion. That’s significant because the penalty for driving 25 over the limit is a license suspension.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democrats in the Senate say a bill aimed at curtailing wage theft in Iowa would require businesses to be more direct with workers about employment terms. Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, is co-sponsor of a bill that would require employers to share a written record of employment terms with an employee at the start of a job. The measure would also define penalty terms and expand protection for whistleblowers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is out of the hospital but won’t have any more public appearances for the rest of the week. Branstad was rushed to the hospital Monday and treated for what his doctor says is a mild case of the flu and dehydration.

City of Shelby fires its volunteer firefighters: calls go to Avoca & Minden

News

January 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An apparent, ongoing dispute over who has control of monies raised for the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department has resulted in the City firing all of its volunteer fire fighters and relying on help instead from nearby crews from Avoca and Minden, and other help from within Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties. WOWT Channel 6 in Omaha reported Tuesday the fire department’s building and equipment remain, but only the fire chief was retained.

Mayor Pro Tem, Bob Richmond, wouldn’t comment on the reason the volunteers were fired, but he said the City wants to rebuild the department with volunteers who are willing to work within the accountability of the city. There’s no set date for when the city hopes to have the fire department back together.

Officials with the City of Shelby say anyone can submit an application to the Fire Chief, including those who were fired, but Richmond said they will have to discuss the current situation with the applicants, regardless of whether they are new or former members of the department.

Montgomery County Extension Council Elects Officers

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Four officers were elected during the Montgomery County Extension Council organizational meeting January 19. The nine-member council annually elects officers to comply with Iowa law. Joseph Jardon of Red Oak is the newly re-elected chairperson. Jardon will preside at all meetings of the extension council, have authority to call special meetings and perform duties performed and exercised by a chairperson of a board of directors of a corporation. Mike Olson of Red Oak was elected vice chairperson.ISU Extension

Karen Klocke of Nodaway was -re-elected secretary; and has the responsibility of keeping the minutes of all extension council meetings and signing required papers for the council. The council re-elected Lori DeKay of Stanton to the treasurer position. The treasurer receives, deposits, has charge of all of the funds of the extension council, and pays and disburses funds. The treasurer insures an accurate record of receipts and disbursements and submits reports to the extension council.

The council is the county governing body of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The council hires county staff, manages the county extension budget of approximately $454,000, and helps determine programming. In partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the council provides educational opportunities that bring university resources to the needs of
the county and region. Local extension programs include 4-H, Master Gardeners, youth summer camps, child care provider trainings and ServSafe for food service professionals.

State Fire Marshal Distributes Smoke Alarms

News

January 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Des Moines, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $250,000.smokedetectors  With this grant, the State Fire Marshal Division was able to purchase 10,000 smoke detectors and 10,000 ten-year lithium batteries. To date, the State Fire Marshal Division has already received 5,000 of those smoke detectors–2,500 of those smoke detectors have already been picked up from numerous fire departments from across the state.

On January 26, 2015, the State Fire Marshal Division received the second portion of the initial shipment of 5,000 smoke detectors was delivered to the State Fire Marshal Division Headquarters in Des Moines.  Those 2,500 smoke detectors have already been spoken for by numerous other fire departments across the state. Another shipment of 2,500 smoke detectors will be delivered in March and all of that shipment has been spoken for also.

The final shipment of 2,500 smoke detectors, that will fulfill the 10,000 smoke detectors purchase, will arrive this summer and have not been spoken for by any fire departments. Once all 10,000 of these smoke detectors are installed, a total of approximately 35,000 smoke detectors will have been installed across the state since this program started in 2010.

Des Moines man arrested on Union County warrant

News

January 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County say a Des Moines man, 25-year old Cody John Courtney, was arrested Monday night at the Law Enforcement Center in Creston, on a Union County Warrant for probation violation. Courtney is being held in the Union County Jail awaiting an appearance before the Magistrate.