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Trucker injured during accident on I-80 near Menlo, Tuesday

News

September 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident Tuesday afternoon near Menlo involving a semi on Interstate 80, resulted in one person being sent to the hospital. The Iowa State Patrol reports 59-year old Andrew Burch, of Huntsville, AL, was driving a 2015 International semi eastbound on I-80 about a two-miles east of the Menlo exit at around 3:15-p.m., when the truck — registered to New Prime, Inc., out of Springfield, MO. — left the road and entered the south ditch before it came to rest. Burch was transported by Stuart Rescue to the Adair County Hospital in Greenfield.

Strong winds tear apart semi trailer near Shelby, Tuesday

News

September 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A strong cross wind caused an accident Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 80 near Shelby. The Iowa State Patrol says 55-year old Douglas Meeder, of Lake Station, IN, was driving a 2010 Freightliner semi eastbound on I-80 just before 6-p.m., when a gust of wind caused the semi trailer’s roof to tear off. As a result, the bed of the trailer collapsed, and broke in-half under the weight of a 42,000 pound load. The semi was registered to Sterling Express, LTS, out of Valparaiso, IN.

Meeder was transported by Shelby Rescue to Myrtue Memorial Hospital, for treatment of undisclosed, possible injuries.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., 9/16/2015

News

September 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated a judge to serve on a U.S. District Court representing Iowa. Obama announced that Rebecca Ebinger would be his nominee to serve as a judge on the court for the southern district of Iowa. Ebinger has served as a state district judge in Iowa since 2012. Prior to that, she served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division of the same U.S. court. She served in a similar role for the U.S. court for the northern district of Iowa from 2009 to 2011.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has scheduled a special election to fill the House District 5 seat left open by the resignation of Chuck Soderberg. Branstad says the election would be held Nov. 3 for the district that includes Plymouth County and part of Woodbury County. Soderberg, a Republican from Le Mars, announced last month that he will resign from the Iowa House to become the executive vice president and general manager of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has issued a disaster proclamation for two counties to respond to recent storms. Branstad announced the declaration for Guthrie and Hamilton counties. The counties were hit by severe storms that started on August 28. Under the declaration, state resources can be used to help the counties recover from the storms. Households that meet certain income requirements also can apply for grants to help pay for expenses related to storm recovery.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An upcoming Iowa Democratic Party dinner will feature appearances by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee. The Democratic presidential candidates will appear at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines on Oct. 24. The candidates are vying for support in the leadoff caucus state.

Massena crash claims 2nd victim

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A head-on crash on Highway 92 last week has now claimed the lives of both drivers. 72-year old Robert Bagshaw, of Massena, died Monday at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, where he was flown following an accident that happened at around 1-p.m. Thursday, west of Massena. The other driver, 67-year old Mary Lou Ranney, also of Massena, died at the scene.

The Iowa State Patrol said Ranney’s car was westbound on 92 when for unknown reasons, it crossed the center line and struck an eastbound pickup driven by Bagshaw. The accident remained under investigation.

Disaster proclamation for Guthrie County

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has issued a disaster proclamation for two counties to respond to recent storms. Branstad announced the declaration for Guthrie and Hamilton counties, Tuesday (today). The counties were hit by severe storms that started on August 28th. Under the declaration, state resources can be used to help the counties recover from the storms.

In addition, households that meet certain income requirements can apply for grants to help pay for expenses related to storm recovery. Those seeking such grants can get more information on the Iowa Department of Human Services’ website.

Pottawattamie County Resident Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in a Sexual Act with a Juvenile

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man was sentenced Monday to 60 months in prison. 25-year old Tyler Lewis Gunderson, of Avoca, was sentenced Monday by Senior United States District Court Judge Robert Pratt on the charge of interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile. Gunderson was also ordered to serve ten years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt said Gunderson entered a guilty plea to the charge on July 2nd, 2015. The guilty plea proceeding established that Gunderson traveled from Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska, to pick-up a juvenile he had met in Omaha, and that Gunderson then drove the juvenile to various locations in and around Council Bluffs, for the purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse.

An investigation in the case was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department, the Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, Resident Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Attorney General’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa said Tuesday (today), 40-year old Daniel Eugene Hannan, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced Monday to serve 120 months in prison on the charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a stolen firearm. Hannan was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

An investigation into the case began as a result of Hannan fleeing from law enforcement. When located, Hannan was found to have a large amount of methamphetamine which Hannan intended to distribute. A subsequent search warrant located additional methamphetamine and a shotgun which had been stolen from a burglary in Red Oak. Hannan entered a guilty plea to the charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a stolen firearm on June 4th, 2015.

The investigation was conducted by the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, the Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department, and the Red Oak, Iowa, Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Atlantic City Council to learn about Code Enforcement

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session beginning 5:30-p.m. Wednesday, at City Hall. During the meeting, the Council will hear from Kris Erickson, a wastewater treatment plant employee who also serves as a part-time City Code Enforcement person. City Administrator John Lund says since Erickson assumed responsibility for Code Enforcement, the process has become “Less bureaucratic, more efficient and much more effective.” Erickson will talk to the Council about the past summer’s code enforcement activities and answer questions the Council may have.

The Council will discuss as well, three applications received for City Attorney. Applications have been submitted by: Clint Fichter, with Fichter Municipal Services and Law; J.C. Van Ginkel, with Van Ginkel Law Offices; and, David Weiderstein, wito Otto, Lawrence and Weiderstein Law Offices. Weiderstein is the Cass County Attorney and former Attorney for the City of Atlantic, who has agreed to step-in temporarily, until the position is filled. The City Attorney’s job became open when Jamie Arnold resigned, in August. The City’s Personnel and Finance Committee does not have a recommendation for the Council with regard to the current applicants, and want the Council to offer input before a motion is made.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will act on setting Sat., Oct. 31st, from 5-until 7-p.m., and the date and times for Halloween trick or treating. Mayor Dave Jones will also act on a proclamation declaring Sept. 17th through the 23rd as “Constitution Week,” marking the 238th Anniversary of drafting of the U-S Constitution, and, the Council will act on an order closing certain City streets for the Oct. 10th 2015 Fireman’s Parade, the route for which remains unchanged from last year. Downtown streets will be closed along the route beginning at 5:30-p.m. Oct. 10th, with the parade line-up beginning on 2nd Street, from Walnut to Linn.

The Council will also hold the second reading of ordinances pertaining to provisions for Mayor and Council Compensation, and Fiscal Management and Accountability. And, prior to adjourning for the evening, the Council will enter into a closed session to discuss strategy with legal counsel over matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent, and where disclosure would likely be prejudice, or a disadvantage to the position of the City.

CCHS Receives Iowa 2015 Top Workplace Award

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC, IOWA – Cass County Health System has been awarded a 2015 Top Workplaces honor by the Des Moines Register. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

TopFBsquare“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

“We are very proud to have been recognized as one of the Iowa 2015 Top Workplaces!” said Todd Hudspeth, CEO. “This honor is particularly meaningful because it comes from our staff, who of course lead the way in making CCHS such a great place to work. It really is a cycle – great people make it a great place to work, which attracts other great people. It truly is a privilege to work with this team of dedicated professionals at every level.”

Sen. Grassley offers bill to reduce college student borrowing, debt

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

While President Obama was in Iowa on Monday talking about how to make college more affordable, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is introducing a bill this week designed to reduce student loans — and debts. Grassley, a Republican, says borrowing too much money on a student loan can turn academic dreams into financial nightmares. He says he based part of the legislation on a successful program at his alma mater.

“The University of Northern Iowa has started out counseling students about how much to borrow and not to get too far into debt,” Grassley says. “The average debt of UNI students has gone down $842 over the last year.” U-N-I’s “Live Like a Student” program includes workshops and courses designed to educate students on the importance of living within their means while they’re in school so they don’t need to live like a student later in life.

A few years ago, Grassley met with then-University of Iowa President Sally Mason to discuss the massive amount of debt students can quickly rack up when they borrow more money than they need for tuition, books and room and board. “The average student graduates from the University of Iowa with about 29-, 30- or maybe now it’s $31,000 of debt,” Grassley says. “She said if they borrowed what it took to actually get the degree based upon the costs that I just mentioned, that it would be about $13,000 less.”

More than 200-thousand Iowans have student loans, or about 72-percent of Iowa’s college graduates, the fourth highest percentage in the country. Grassley says his bill, called the Know Before You Owe Federal Student Loan Act, would make counseling an annual requirement before new loans are handed out, rather than just for first-time borrowers. “It increases the amount of information students receive about federal student loans,” Grassley says. “This includes their potential ability to repay but rather than after signing on to tens of thousands of dollars in debt to Uncle Sam. In other words, if you can’t repay your loan, maybe you better think about whether you ought to take it out in the first place.”

The bill adds several key components to the information colleges would be required to share with students as part of loan counseling, including:
· An estimate of the student’s projected loan debt-to-income ratio upon graduation based on the starting wages for that student’s program of study and the estimated total student loan debt the student will likely take out to complete the program.
· A statement that the student should borrow the minimum amount necessary to cover expenses and that the student does not have to accept the full amount of loans offered.
· A warning that the higher a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is, the more difficulty the borrower is likely to experience in repaying the loan.
· Options for reducing borrowing through scholarships, reduced expenses, work-study or other work opportunities.
· An explanation of the importance of graduating on time to avoid additional borrowing, what course load is necessary to graduate on time, and information on the impact of adding an additional year of study to total indebtedness.

(Radio Iowa)