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Forecasted wintery mix could affect your weekend travel plans

News, Weather

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Dec. 2, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is closely monitoring the forecast and precipitation models as the agency prepares for a wintery mix of rain/freezing rain/snow across the state. Snow, and perhaps a period of freezing rain, is expected across portions of the state tonight into Saturday as a storm system lifts through the Central Plains. There remains some uncertainty regarding the track of this system, but it appears that most of the southern and eastern parts of Iowa will be warm enough to see rain, while areas in the north and west will receive snow. An average of 5 to 6 inches of snow is possible in a diagonal swath across the state that extends from Decorah to Mason City, Fort Dodge, Carroll and Council Bluffs.

Late Saturday and Saturday night, cold air will begin filtering in on the backside of the system, changing the rain to snow from west to east as the system departs the state Saturday night. Some gusty winds Saturday night into Sunday morning may cause some blowing and drifting snow.

Travelers are advised to check out the latest road conditions before making their trips by visiting www.511ia.org or call 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide).

The Iowa DOT will continue to have a presence on all state-maintained highways, as necessary. The department’s goal is to keep all roads passable around-the-clock. The exceptions would be those limited instances when it becomes necessary to close a road for the safety of the traveling public or when snowplows are removed from the roadways because conditions are so severe that it compromises the safety of maintenance personnel. If any of these situations were to occur, the public will be informed.  

Motorists may observe snowplow trucks performing a process called anti-icing prior to a storm, when no snow or ice is present. Applying the salt water brine to the roads makes it easier and quicker to remove snow/ice during and after a storm.

Sanding/deicing/plowing will be performed during and after the storm as needed, with the goal of keeping one lane in each direction passable and providing intermittently bare pavement surface in the main driving lane as soon as possible. Remaining travel lanes and shoulders will be cleared as quickly as possible, as staffing and equipment permit.

(DOT Press Release)

Winter Storm Watch extended to parts of SW IA

News, Weather

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service has extended the number of counties it has included in a Winter Storm Watch, which will be in effect from Saturday morning through Saturday evening. The Watch now includes the following counties: Crawford, Carroll, Monona, Harrison, Shelby, and Pottawattamie.

The Weather Service says rain will change to snow during the day, Saturday, and end before daybreak on Sunday. Snowfall amounts in the Watch area may range from 4-to 7-inches, with the highest amounts of 6-to 7-inches expected to fall along and north of Interstate 80. Winds are forecast to become N-NW at 15-20 mph.

A Winter Storm Watch mean there is a potential for significant snow…sleet..or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

Bald isn’t “Beautiful,” when it comes to your tires

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A study finds about one in ten cars on Iowa’s roads is riding on at least one bald tire, creating a potentially-dangerous hazard when wintery weather arrives. Kim Webber, spokeswoman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, says Iowans should closely inspect their tires for two things — wear and proper inflation.

“Check your tire pressure once a month and before every long trip and don’t forget the spare tire,” Webber says. “Check your tires when they’re cold. To determine how much air should be in the tires, look in the owner’s manual.” There may also be a white sticker on the driver’s side door jam, detailing proper inflation levels. Webber says tires that are out of alignment can wear unevenly and she says you should have your tires rotated by a professional.

“By regularly rotating your tires, we recommend every five- to eight-thousand miles or whatever your owner’s manual says,” Webber says. “By rotating your tires, you will maintain that even tread wear on all four of those tires.” Webber says use a penny to check your tires’ tread. Put the penny in the tire groove head-first and if you can see all of President Lincoln’s profile, it’s time to replace the tire. While replacing worn tires may not be in the budget, Webber says you need to put safety first.

“Bald tires are not being replaced most likely due to the vehicle owner putting off tire replacement due to tough economic times and, in turn, creating more dangers on the road,” she says. An on-line survey shows 64-percent of car owners didn’t know how to check tread depth, while nine-percent never checked their tread depth.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Iowa worker retirement fund faces $5.7B shortfall

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s pension fund for retired public employees is facing a long-term shortfall of nearly $5.7 billion and some officials say they are worried about the sustainability of the fund. The Des Moines Register says a consultant’s report issued Thursday says despite the concerns there are no immediate threats to members’ monthly pension checks. The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System has about 325,000 members.

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, who serves on the fund’s investment board, says he is concerned about the funds sustainability and that the amount owed by taxpayers continues to grow. But Brad Hudson, a lobbyist for the Iowa State Education Association, says changes made by lawmakers last year are a step in the right direction. The changes include increased contributions combined with future benefit reductions.

Shop with the Sheriff to be held Sat., in C. Bluffs

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The annual “Shop with the Sheriff” program will be held tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3rd), in Council Bluffs. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the 13th annual event being held at the Target Store in Council Bluffs, will benefit 28 children this year. The program is funded by donations from individuals and businesses from throughout Pott County and the surrounding areas.

Danker says the names of families selected to benefit from this year’s program were provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Each child will receive $175 to spend for their families. They’re encouraged to use most of the money for clothing, shoes and other necessities, but the purchase of toys is allowed. In addition, each family will receive a food basket.

About 45 employees and families of employees with the Sheriff’s Office volunteer their time to assist with the program. The doors to the Council Bluffs Target Store will open one-hour early Saturday, before the public is allowed in,  to offer the children the chance to shop for their families.

CAM School Board to hold Special Meeting Monday

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM Community School District’s Board of Education will hold a special meeting Monday evening, in Anita. During the 7-p.m. session in the Media Center at the CAM High School, the board will discuss matters pertaining to an Online Charter School. No action will be taken on the issue.

8AM Newscast 12-02-2011

News, Podcasts

December 2nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 12-02-2011

News, Podcasts

December 2nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Corning couple arrest on marijuana charges

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County report a Corning couple was arrested Thursday afternoon on drug charges. 48-year old Miles Cross, Jr., and 49-year old Shelly Cross, were taken into custody on Possession of Marijuana charges, following a traffic stop at around 4:40-p.m.  The drugs were discovered when a Ringgold County K-9 unit conducted a search of the couples’ vehicle. The Cross’ were being held in the Adams County Jail on $1,000 bond each.

And, a Corning man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a Parole Violation. 26-year old Ronald Gilbert was taken into custody at around 1:50-p.m., and was being held in the Adams County Jail on a $5,000 cash only bond.

1 killed in I-29 accident Thursday near Council Bluffs

News

December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says one person died as the result of a single-vehicle rollover accident on Interstate 29 Thursday evening, in Pottawattamie County. 47-year old Eileen J. Walpus, of Glenwood, died after being flown from the scene of the crash near Council Bluffs, to the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. Officials says Walpus was traveling on I-29 at around 5:40-p.m. when her 2005 Dodge Neon left the road and entered a ditch before traveling through a fence and onto Beacon Lane. From there, the car entered another ditch and rolled over before finally coming to rest on its top. The Patrol says Walpus was wearing her seatbelt. The accident remains under investigation.