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Creston woman arrested for eluding and assault

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Creston woman was arrested Thursday evening on charges of eluding and simple assault. According to Creston Police, 31-year old Erin Wallace was taken into custody at around 5:10-p.m. and later released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Will global warming mean an end to Iowa blizzards? Wishful thinking…

News, Weather

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A national report on climate change finds even with global warming, we’ll still have plenty of snow in the winters ahead in Iowa and across much of the country’s northern half. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says climate change is very gradual and snow blowers and shovels will remain necessities. Hillaker says the report from M-I-T didn’t exactly go out on a limb in predicting continued snowy winters for Iowa.

“When you think about it, that’s not really much of a surprise, I guess the basic mechanism on how we get snow is not going to be changing in a warmer world,” Hillaker says. “The number of opportunities may be decreasing but the storms could be just as intense but probably not as frequent as what we’ve been seeing in years past.” The Old Farmers’ Almanac forecasts the winter ahead will be colder than usual, then next summer will be hotter. The publication predicts winter temperatures, precipitation and snowfall will all be below normal, with the coldest period running from early December into the first half of January. Hillaker says it’s an extreme challenge to accurately predict the weather several months in advance.

“Certainly, not very easily and there’s lots of outfits out there like the Farmer’s Almanac and some private forecasters that attempt to do that sort of thing,” Hillaker says. “I don’t know if anyone’s attempted any kind of study of how accurate those prognostications are, but certainly it’s very, very difficult and we’ve got a long ways to go in those longer-range outlooks.” While scientific advancements are making forecasts more on-target, Hillaker says no one can really predict now, at summer’s end, what the weather will be this winter.

“Certainly, the day-by-day forecasts, out a week or two, have gotten far, far better than they used to be just in the last 20 or 30 years, tremendous improvements,” Hillaker says. “On that longer range, say from 30 days on out, there’s some skill there, but still a lot of guess work.” The M-I-T study predicts some regions will see less snowfall, but the snowfall extremes may actually intensify. Hillaker notes, Iowa’s had above-average snowfall in seven of the past eight winters.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Engineer provides road & bridge project report

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker, today (Friday), provided the Board of Supervisors with an update on various county Secondary Roads Department projects. Marker said motorists on Interstate 80 in Cass County can expect to experience some detours in September. He said there was a pre-construction conference with the Iowa DOT earlier this month with regard to the I-80 bridge north of Marne (County Road M-56). A.M. Cohron is the contractor for the project.

Marker says the Interstate will be closed beginning September 8th during the overnight hours, from Sept. 8th through the 11th so the bridge deck surface can be removed. Traffic will simply be rerouted up the off ramp and back down to I-80 via the on-ramp on the other side of M-56 for the duration of the project. Motorists who normally travel north on M-56 to I-80 will need to go one-mile east on Boston Road and then north under the Interstate, and then back west in order to head toward Omaha, or, they may travel to the Walnut or Elk Horn exits to get back on the Interstate.

Other bridge projects include those involving deck patching. DENCO Construction has already completed one of the projects, located by “The Valley” across the Nishnabotna River. One of the nine projects planned has been dropped for now. That’s because the level of repair was more extensive then first thought, so the affected bridge deck is slated for replacement at a later date. Other work is set to begin along County Road N-28. Marker said bid-letting on the Landfill Bridge will take place in October, with work slated to begin Aug. 3rd, 2015.

And, Marker said a twin concrete box culvert north of the Marne Cemetery is finished, with only the dirt finishing work remaining.

7AM Newscast 08-29-2014

News, Podcasts

August 29th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Fountain lady case raised in oversight hearing

News, Sports

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The firing of a Des Moines woman who became an internet sensation for her drunken frolic in a fountain at a Kansas City Royals baseball game last summer has become the center of a dispute over Iowa Workforce Development unemployment judge independence.

Former unemployment appeals judge Bonny Hendricksmeyer says IWD Director Teresa Wahlert pushed her to justify her ruling in awarding the “fountain lady” unemployment benefits. Hendricksmeyer says she felt pressured by Wahlert after concluding Jessica McCoy was acting outside work responsibilities when she drunkenly waded into the Kauffman Stadium fountain a year ago and was later fired.

The issue is important because Wahlert, a political appointee, has taken over supervision of judges that decide unemployment benefit appeals cases. Federal regulations require judges to be insulated from political pressure.

Red Oak man arrested on a Missouri warrant

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak, Thursday night, arrested a man wanted on a warrant out of Missouri. Officers observed 31-year old Bryan David Sapp, Jr., of Red Oak, at around 9-p.m. in the 300 block of north 2nd Street. The officers were aware a warrant for his arrest on a charge of Failure to Appear in court, on an original charge of Obstruction. The warrant was issued in Lees Summitt, MO.

Red Oak police officers made contact with Sapp and validated the warrant before taking him into custody and transporting him to the Montgomery County Jail. Sapp, Jr. was being held without bond, pending extradition to to Missouri.

Rule changes aim to speed civil lawsuits in Iowa

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some lawsuits with less than $75,000 at stake will move through Iowa’s court system faster under new rules designed to cut the time and costs needed to resolve those disputes. The Iowa Supreme Court announced Thursday a set of new rules that will allow plaintiffs in smaller-value disputes to use an expedite process in which cases must be tried within a year. The rules limit the motions that can be filed before trial and give attorneys a maximum of six hours to present the facts of their side of the case to six-member juries.

Other rules pertaining to all civil cases will require litigants to disclose information to each other sooner. Justice Edward Mansfield says “people with valid legal claims were being priced out of our civil justice system.

DOT in final phase of reviewing traffic cameras

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation is in the final phase of determining if traffic cameras in six cities meet the requirements of new state rules that began in February. D-O-T director of traffic and safety, Steve Gent, says they have finished the review of the reports required of the cities and they still have some questions. There’s an issue with the speed cameras in I-380 in Cedar Rapids. “At this point we really just need to gather more information. There appears to possibly be an issue in Cedar Rapids that we need to be dealing with and that came about by looking at their review,” Gent says. “That’s probably the one that’s the biggest concern right at the moment.” He says the issue involves the speed zones near the cameras.

He says they want more information on whether the speed cameras on I-380 are located within one-thousand feet of a lower speed limit. Gent says they also had an issue with the Sioux City report. “Sioux City did not provide us before crash data. Anytime you are looking at a safety enhancement, you always look at the crashes before the enhancement was put into place and then crashes afterward,” Gent says. “And of course that was required by the rule and I am not sure why they didn’t submit that. We need more information.”

Other questions involved the before and after crash data for two cameras in Davenport, questions about crashes and violations for each intersection in Muscatine, and concerns raised about the number of red-light violations for an intersection in Des Moines. Gent says the rules are designed to be sure the cameras are used on state controlled roadways to enhance safety. and that’s what they are trying to determine in the review.

“These traffic cameras are okay as long as they are absolutely — and people have to believe that — they are for safety. If people believe that they are a money-making scheme, then that’s a terrible situation. That’s not about what our government is supposed to do,” Gent says. He hopes to wrap up the issue before the end of the year to determine if all the cameras are in compliance. “The emails were sent out last week for more information and we asked for that information back within a month,” Gent says. “Certainly by the end of the year we will have all of these resolved. When we have issues, we are going to sit down with the cities and make sure we understand all the issues and that they understand all the issues, and we will work together on coming to a resolution.”

Other cities had cameras on state roads, but decided to make changes. Clive decided to shut down its cameras in June. Windsor Heights and Fort Dodge decided to only place their speed cameras on local roadways, which are not covered by D-O-T rules.

(Radio Iowa)

Audit finds more money spent on confidential settlements with former state workers

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A state audit released Thursday shows taxpayers paid nearly $700,000 to cover confidential settlements to former state employees over a four-year period. The dollar figure is roughly $200,000 more than what had been previously reported. On March 24, Governor Branstad signed an executive order ending the use of confidentiality provisions. At the time, his administration identified 24 former state employe

“We identified at total of 37 who had confidentiality clauses and of ones that were settled through court proceedings, we had five, so a total of 42 confidentiality clauses,” Mosiman said. The audit did not reveal any more evidence of so-called “hush money” payments to former state workers in exchange for their silence. Governor Branstad fired Mike Carroll, who was head of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, after a Des Moines Register investigation found his office had paid nearly $300,000 in settlements to a half dozen former workers to keep the details of their firings secret. Mosiman noted in her report that the 42 confidentiality clauses did not violate public records laws.

“None of them violated (section 22.13 of) the Iowa Code, which states these clauses are a matter of public record,” Mosiman said. “It seems the (confidentiality clauses) were intended to impact the behavior of the parties to the agreements, but it did not impact the ability of the public to have access to the document as a public record.” Jack Hatch, the Democrat who is challenging Governor Branstad’s re-election bid, released a statement claiming Branstad has been “dodging the truth and hiding the facts.”

(Radio Iowa)

Flood Warning: Nodaway River at Clarinda

News, Weather

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A FLOOD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE NODAWAY RIVER AT CLARINDA (AFFECTING PAGE COUNTY).

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

DO NOT DRIVE CARS THROUGH AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR VEHICLE TO PASS SAFELY.

* AT 1:15 AM FRIDAY THE STAGE WAS 24.7 FEET…OR 1.7 FEET ABOVE FLOOD STAGE.

* FLOOD STAGE IS 23.0 FEET.

* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.

* FORECAST…THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE RISING TO NEAR 25.8 FEET THIS MORNING. THE RIVER WILL FALL BELOW FLOOD STAGE THIS AFTERNOON.

* IMPACT…AT 24.0 FEET…ADDITIONAL LOWLANDS, SOME FARMLANDS, AND COUNTY ROADS FLOOD.