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7AM Newscast 08-06-2014

News, Podcasts

August 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


IA’s Lt. Gov. recognizes Creston as Certified Connected Community


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, the City of Creston and Connect Iowa officials, Tuesday, recognized the city of Creston as the fifth community to become a Certified Connected Community in the state, and the 21st in the nation. More than 30 residents and community leaders attended the celebration event at the Creston Chamber of Commerce, where results of an assessment and details of the county’s new technology action plan were unveiled. The event also included Union County unveiling its technology action plan, which will make way for greater technology use across the entire county and pave way for a brighter economic future.certifiedconnectedlogo

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds said “Governor Branstad and I launched the ‘Connect Every Iowan’ initiative to increase access, adoption and the use of broadband technology in Iowa.” She added “I commend Creston and Union County on completing the extensive assessment and planning process in order to be recognized as a ‘Certified Connected Community.’ I’m confident that the community will use this designation to increase the robust economic development efforts in Creston and across Union County.”

Connect Iowa’s Connected Community Engagement Program provides a framework that communities can use to work toward Governor Branstad’s goal to Connect Every Iowan. In October 2013, he announced that the Connect Every Iowan initiative would leverage the Connected program to support local broadband planning efforts in communities across the state.

Ellen Gerharz, Creston Chamber of Commerce executive director, said “Creston is extremely proud of being recognized as the fifth Certified Connected Community in the State of Iowa. It is a real testament to our many businesses and broadband providers that Creston has attained this goal.”

The city of Creston and Union County have been working over the past 2 years with Connect Iowa to assess the local broadband landscape, identify gaps, and establish goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the counties. The city of Creston was able to meet the point requirements necessary to achieve the Certified Connected Community status, while Union County continues to work toward certification.

The Connected program is a national model designed by Connect Iowa’s parent organization, Connected Nation, to establish a framework for broadband expansion planning at the community level. The U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA State Broadband Initiative program funds the Connect Iowa initiative. Connect Iowa is working to facilitate the access, adoption, and use of technology throughout the state.

(Press Release)

Adair County Board of Supervisors to discuss tax abatements


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County are set to meet this (Wednesday) morning, in Greenfield. On their agenda is discussion facilitated by County Treasurer Brenda Wallace, with regard to Tax Abatement requests and Resolutions. Judy Schwartz will provide the Board with a Case Management update, and V-A Director Rick Schaecher will provide his annual report.

In other business, the Board will receive and act on agreement s with various contractors from County Engineer Nick Kauffman, for numerous County road projects, most of which are culvert-related. The Adair County Board of Supervisors meeting begins in the boardroom at the courthouse, at 9-a.m.

Iowa libraries and museums using grant money to spur interest in manufacturing


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Fifteen public libraries and museums in Iowa (including the Griswold & Lewis Public Libraries) are splitting a half a million dollar ($500,000) grant, using the money to provide programs for kids that organizers hope will spur interest in high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Iowa companies are working together with community colleges on the project. The project manager, Robyn Ormsby, says she hopes to expose children to the benefits of careers based in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“The wages are fantastic, I mean a lot of times kids coming out of school with a one or two year certificate degree are making $40,000 to $60,000 and they are just going up from there,” Ormsby said. The programs at the libraries and museums will include LEGO building, gaming, and robotics. Most programs will begin towards the end of August and continue for at least one year. Ormsby believes exposing kids to career options early can make an impact.

“When they are thinking of what they want to be when they grow up, they are thinking about their inner circle. You know, what their mom and dad does, they know what their teacher does obviously, maybe what their doctor or dentist does. But beyond that, they are not exposed to a lot of other careers at those early ages,” Ormsby said. More than 6,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa are unfilled, according to Ormsby, and most of the jobs don’t require a four-year degree.

A Grant for a LEGO Club collaboration between Griswold and Lewis Public Libraries is for boys and girls 9-14.

(Radio Iowa)

Assault & drug arrests in Montgomery County


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County report four recent arrests. Early this (Wednesday) morning, 50-year old Tammy Renee Cerven, of Red Oak, was arrested by Red Oak Police, in connection with an incident that occurred earlier. Cerven was charged with Simple Assault, brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) and held on $300 bond pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Tuesday evening, Red Oak Police arrested Christopher Michael Mattingly, of Red Oak, and formerly of Kentucky, on a nationwide warrant for Failure to Pay Child Support. Mattingly was being held in the Montgomery County LEC on $8,000 cash only bond.

Arrested Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County, was 38-year old Michael Lee LaFollette, of Stanton. He was taken into custody on a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine. LaFollette was being the in the jail on $1,000 cash bond. And, 53-year old James Edward Wiese, of Red Oak, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday afternoon, on a Page County warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Bond for the offense was set at $100,000. Wiese was also being held on new drug and PCS charges, along with Possession with the Intent to Deliver, for which bond amounts to $52,000.

Objection! Interrupting lawyer gets rare sanction


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer who angered an Iowa federal judge by repeatedly raising objections has received an unusual punishment: an order to produce a training video that denounces such tactics. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the sanction last week to attorney June Ghezzi, who works in the Chicago office of the law firm Jones Day.

Bennett criticized Ghezzi’s pretrial conduct in a case in which she successfully defended Abbott Laboratories against a lawsuit alleging its infant formula contained a dangerous bacteria that caused a baby to suffer brain damage. He wrote that Ghezzi “proliferated hundreds of unnecessary objections and interruptions” during depositions that coached witnesses and delayed the proceedings.

Bennett says the video must be made available to Jones Day lawyers. Jones Day said it will appeal, arguing Ghezzi acted appropriately.

Iowa DNR offers to help rural fire departments


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are offering grant money to help rural fire departments with their equipment costs. The forestry bureau of the state Department of Natural Resources is coordinating with the U.S. Forest Service to offer grants for hoses, nozzles and adapters, among other things.

Applications are due Oct. 15. A grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for fire equipment. A department can received up to $3,500. Fire departments are encouraged to submit a special report after responding to a wildland fire to receive priority points in the grant application process.

Motorcyclist lucky to be alive after high-speed chase


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa say an Omaha man who crashed an allegedly stolen motorcycle after he led authorities on a high-speed pursuit Monday on Interstate 29 in Pottawattamie County, is lucky to be alive. They also say he had an extensive criminal history. 19-year old James M. Holmes was reported to be in fair condition Tuesday, at an Omaha Hospital. Trooper Scott Miller, of the Iowa State Patrol, told The Daily NonPareil Holmes was “extremely lucky” to have survived the crash because his motorcycle reached speeds of up to 150 mph during the chase.

The pursuit began on I-80 in Council Bluffs, after authorities received a report about a stolen 2005 Honda motorcycle in Council Bluffs. Holmes was seen headed east on I-80, then west on Interstate 680 and eventually south on I-29. He crashed at about 5:45 p.m. on I-29 near Honey Creek. The pursuit lasted about 20 minutes.

Troopers were pursuing Holmes on I-29 when he attempted to pass two semitrailer trucks on the inside shoulder of southbound I-29. Holmes veered into the median and lost control of his motorcycle, which rolled several times. Both Holmes and the motorcycle came to rest in the I-29 median.

Miller said authorities believe Holmes was in possession of a stolen handgun. A Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy found the firearm in a bag that was thrown toward a rest stop during the pursuit. Multiple charges against Holmes are pending, and the investigation remains ongoing.

Officers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Transportation and a Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy – as well as the Omaha Police Department’s helicopter – assisted with the pursuit.

Official urges motorists to be aware of more ATVs, ORVs on Iowa roads

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two tragic accidents this past week involving all-terrain and off-road utility vehicles are refocusing attention on safety as well as efforts to allow utility vehicles on city streets and county roads. David Downing of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says sales of A-T-Vs and O-R-Vs — the short-hand for “off-road utility vehicles” — are growing rapidly. “You’re seeing more and more of those vehicles and as the counties start to open up their roads and city jurisdictions open up their roads for ATVs and ORVs, obviously there’s more interaction with motor vehicles and all kinds of other things,” he says, “so people need to be aware of that.”

On Saturday, four 14-year-old boys were killed when the utility vehicle they were riding in was hit by a pick-up truck that ran a stop sign near Epworth. Two nine-year-old boys died in an A-T-V accident Monday on a farm near Mount Vernon. Representative Curt Hansen, a Democrat from Fairfield who taught driver’s ed for 43 years, urges Iowans to take the safety courses that are available.  “They don’t handle like a vehicle designed for roadway use and so there’s a lot of limitations that people have to realize,” Hansen says.

Downing says his agency offers an A-T-V safety course. “You can take the class online. It’s available 24 hours a day or you can take a hands-on class,” Downing says. “There’s also the ATV Safety Institute, which you get a certificate back from them, the manufacturers, when you purchase an ATV, then you’re able to take the course free of charge.” Downing says A-T-V drivers have to learn how to shift their weight to balance the machine as it moves. Representative Hansen says he worries about the larger, off-road utility vehicles that have bench seats.

“They’re almost golf carts on steroids,” Hansen says. “They’re just very, very fast and the vulnerability increases with the increase in speed.” Four-wheel A-T-Vs may be driven on rural roads and county highways today if they’re being used for farming. Some local city and county ordinances also allow A-T-Vs, golf carts and other off-road utility vehicles on local roads, but the operator has to be a licensed driver, the vehicle can’t go more than 35 miles an hour and the hours of operation are limited to between sunrise and sunset.

A bill that would have allowed A-T-Vs and off-road utility vehicles on every rural road and county highway in Iowa passed the House this spring, but stalled in the Senate. Representative Brian Moore, a Republican from Bellevue who has been pushing for the legislation, says it only would have applied to Iowans who are above the age of 16 and who have a valid drivers license. “Of course, you get stuff out on the road, four-wheelers and ATVs and more traffic out on the road, there’s going to be a risk,” Moore says. “There’s a risk on bicycles. There’s a risk on walking.”

Moore says he doesn’t plan to introduce the bill again in 2014 unless there are major changes in the make-up of the state senate and he determines the bill could pass the the senate.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Aug. 6th 2014


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa driving instructor has been accused of stealing another instructor’s identity to teach a class. Sixty-five-year-old Frederick Donald Bindner, of Mount Pleasant, faces a charge of felony identity theft. Bindner is accused of using the driving instructor’s personal identification information to teach a class over several days in June.

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northeast Iowa have released the name of a Missouri man killed when his motorcycle hit a sport utility vehicle that veered into his path after another collision. The Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office says 54-year-old Mark Hill, of Cameron, Missouri, died in the Friday morning crash near New Hampton, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal disaster declaration has been issued for 22 Iowa counties damaged by severe weather in June and July. The declaration was issued for Audubon, Black Hawk, Butler, Cedar, Des Moines, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Mahaska, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Tama, and Washington counties. This is the third such declaration that Iowa has received this year.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — Officials in the northeast Iowa city of Waverly have approved tax rebates for a planned four-story downtown hotel. Waverly City Council on Monday voted 6 to 1 to approve a development agreement that includes about $700,000 in rebates for the estimated $4.5 million project. Cobblestone Inns and Suites, a Wisconsin-based chain, plans to build the hotel at the site of a home furnishing store.