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Preparation is key to surviving severe weather

News, Weather

March 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week as Iowans are reminded how to prepare for and respond to storms, tornadoes, flooding and more. Meteorologist Ken Podrazek, with the National Weather Service in metro Des Moines, says severe storms typically hit during two times of day, but they can strike at any time. “There’s two different peaks, sometime in the late afternoon between 4 and 6 P-M, and then a secondary peak during the overnight hours around midnight,” Podrazek says. “That’s when we get into the low level jet and get the overnight thunderstorms that race across the state.”

Severe storms are more frequent during the spring and early summer months, but they can strike during any time of the year. There were 55 tornadoes in Iowa last year, seven more than the average of 48. Podrazek says tornado warnings should be taken very seriously.  “Any time there’s a tornado warning issued, you definitely need to take cover,” he says. “Even if you think it might go north or south of you, it’s good practice to always get to safety.” A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday morning. A test tornado watch will be issued at 10 A-M, followed by a test tornado warning. Podrazek says it’s an opportunity to develop plans on where you’d go in the event a real tornado warning is issued.  “This is a great time for local businesses and schools to practice their severe weather preparedness plan and to actually get to safety,” he says.

Another major concern in Iowa is flooding, which is one of the leading weather-related killers. “It’s resulted in 84 deaths per year throughout the United States,” he says. “That’s higher than tornadoes, higher than lightning, higher than winter storms. The only one that’s ahead of it is heat-related fatalities. As far as thunderstorm-related, flooding and flashing flooding, that’s the biggest one that kills people.” More than half those flooding deaths happen in motor vehicles when people try to drive across a water-covered roadway.  “We always say ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ and we absolutely mean it,” Podrazek says. “A lot of times you see water over the road, you don’t know how deep that is, how fast it’s going, if the road is intact. It doesn’t take a whole lot of water to sweep an adult off their feet and it doesn’t take a whole lot of water to move a vehicle either.”

Podrazek says flooded roads are worse at night when your vision is more limited. He notes, just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult, while 12 inches of water can float a smaller car, and if the water is moving, it can carry the car away. Some 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. Learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week at weather-dot-gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Senate GOP leader says tax and spending proposals ‘intertwined’

News

March 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The 2018 Iowa legislative session is entering its 12th week — but Republican lawmakers who control the debate agenda in the House and Senate have not yet revealed a final tax-cutting plan. There have been no public hints about the size of their state spending plan for next year either. Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny says there are other priority issues, but those are the two biggest “It’s all intertwined,” he says. “We have to come to an agreement on what that tax plan will look like at the same time, probably, that we’re setting our budget targets.”

Whitver says Senate Republicans will also meet in private this week to decide whether to advance legislation that would use public money to cover private school tuition. Trish Wilger is executive director of Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education. She says putting state tax money in an “educational savings account” would let parents choose the school that best fits their child. “This doesn’t have to be an us-versus-them issue,” Wilger said last week. “It’s about offering parents access to a variety of the high quality options that are out there.”

Opponents say the four-thousand dollar “vouchers” would divert taxpayer money to religious schools and would hurt public schools. Melissa Peterson is with the Iowa State Education Association. “If we are able to find such resources, I would strongly advocate that those resources be designated to benefit the nearly half million public school students,” she said. In February, Republicans in the Iowa HOUSE tabled a plan that would have given the parents of a NEW private school student five-thousand dollars in state tax money to cover tuition and other expenses

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak man arrested for assault, Sunday night

News

March 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak, Sunday, arrested 55-year old Joseph Olis Loudermilk, of Red Oak, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault. Loudermilk was taken into custody at around 8-p.m. and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held without bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, March 26, 2018

News

March 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A record number of Iowa women are seeking political office, a surge driven by female Democratic candidates who like women across the country appear to be motivated in part by the election of President Donald Trump. Data shows 98 women in Iowa are expected to have their names on the ballot for the June 5 primary. That’s a 44 percent increase from when 68 women ran in the 2016 primary. The data was compiled by 50-50 in 2020, a nonpartisan organization that works to elect more women in Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Demolition of the fire-damaged remains of a Des Moines bowling alley is nearly complete, and the business owners say they’re ready to rebuild. The Des Moines Register reports that a massive fire engulfed the former Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex in Des Moines in December 2017. Fire officials determined the blaze was accidental. Randy Thompson’s father built Plaza Lanes in 1957. Thompson says the soon-to-be cleared site will be home to a new family entertainment center.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities say autopsies indicate an Iowa couple and their two children died from inhaling toxic gas at a rented condo on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, but there was no sign of foul play or suicide. The prosecutors’ office in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said Saturday that the type of gas and its source had not yet been identified. Photos released by the office showed investigators in anti-contamination suits examining gas connections to a stove in the condo in Tulum.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor has announced that she’s fired the director of the Iowa Finance Authority over a sexual harassment complaint. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Saturday in a news release that Dave Jamison has been fired, effective immediately. The written release says Reynolds’ office was made aware Friday night of “credible allegations of sexual harassment against Director Jamison.” Reynolds has named IFA Chief Programs Officer Carolann Jensen as interim director.

City of Atlantic Personnel & Finance Committee mtg. 3/26/18

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Personnel and Finance Committee will meet 5:30-p.m. Monday, in the City Council’s Chambers at City Hall. On their agenda is:

  • A review of the EDR Loan Fund
  • Discussion with regard to Infill Housing and the Housing Policy
  • Discussion and review of Downtown Revitalization, Historic Districts and Business Incentives.
  • An update of Health Insurance Brokers.
  • and discussion with regard to Storm Water Ordinance & Billing.

Atlantic School Board Work Session set for Monday, 3/26/18

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will hold a work session Monday afternoon in the High School Media Center. The session begins at 4:30-p.m.

On their agenda is discussion with regard to the Levy Rate/Debt Service, and 2018-19 Certified Budget. No action is expected on those matters.

Some upcoming dates for Public Hearings:

  • April 11th, 5:30-p.m.: 2018-19 School Calendar
  • April 11th, 5:45-p.m.: 2018-19 Certified Budget

The Public Hearings on April 11th will be followed by the Board’s regular monthly meeting on that date.

Former bowling alley owners to rebuild after Des Moines fire

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Demolition of the fire-damaged remains of a Des Moines bowling alley is nearly complete, and the business’ owners say they’re ready to rebuild. A massive fire engulfed the former Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex in Des Moines in December 2017. Fire officials determined the blaze was accidental.

Randy Thompson’s father built Plaza Lanes in 1957. Thompson told the Des Moines Register that the soon-to-be cleared site will be home to a new family entertainment center, fit with a restored neon sign that’s signature to their former bowling alley. The new center would include such entertainment as an escape room, laser tag, a larger arcade, bowling lanes and a new sports restaurant and bar. It’ll also be placed in a different spot on the property to accommodate more parking, Thompson said.

He wants the new facility to be a place where “people can go and do all kinds of entertainment for hours.” Thompson estimated the fire damage at $7.5 million. The price tag for the new entertainment center could reach $9 million, he said.

Dan DeCarlo, owner of DeCarlo Demolition, said crews first had to remove asbestos before the rest of the building could be torn down. He anticipates several weeks of work left at the site. Thompson said they plan to open their new center by September 2019.

Data: Record number of women in Iowa seek office in 2018

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A record number of Iowa women are seeking political office, a surge driven by female Democratic candidates who like women across the country appear to be motivated in part by the election of President Donald Trump. Data shows 98 women are expected to have their names on the June 5 primary ballot. That’s a 44 percent increase from when 68 women ran in the 2016 primary.

The figures include female incumbents running for re-election. It accounts for women seeking election to the state Legislature, Congress and statewide offices like governor. It was compiled by 50-50 in 2020, a nonpartisan Iowa organization that works to elect more women.

The jump in female candidates is propelled by Democrats. Of the 98 women on the ballot this year, 70 are Democrats. Republicans have 27 women on the ballot, and there is one libertarian.

Shenandoah Police seek Red Oak man in harassment case

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shenandoah Police Department said on their social media page, Sunday (Today), that they are currently looking for 34-year old Kyle William Chase, of Red Oak. He stands about 6-feet tall and weighs 180 pounds.

Kyle Chase

Chase has an active warrant out of Polk County and has allegedly been following teenage girls around and or harassing them while at the library in Shenandoah. Chase is most likely on foot and was last seen wearing a dark hoodie, blue jeans, and a white or gray fanny pack.

If anyone sees Chase, please call 911 immediately or the Shenandoah Police Department at 712-246-3512. Citizens are NOT advised to attempt to apprehend any individuals on their own.

2 arrested in Red Oak early Sunday morning

News

March 25th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report officers arrested 25-year old Dahlton Briggs, of Bellevue, NE., at around 1:30-a.m. today (Sunday). Briggs was taken into custody in the 400 block of E. Reed Street, for Disorderly Conduct, and Public Intoxication. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $300 cash bond. And, at around 1:55-a.m., 24-year old Krystal Justine Briggs, of Red Oak, was arrested at the same location, for Public Intoxication. She was also being held in the Montgomery County Jail, on a $300 cash bond.