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Iowa News Headlines, Tue. Feb. 21, 2012

News

February 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City woman has been arrested after police say her 22-month-old child was legally drunk. Twenty-six-year-old Natasha Kriener was charged last week with child endangerment resulting in bodily injury. Police records show the toddler’s father took the child to the hospital. Doctors found the child had a blood-alcohol level of .09 percent.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a woman whose 3-year-old son was the subject of an Amber Alert has been arrested in Des Moines. Twenty-two-year-old Melanie Stout was taken into custody yesterday and was wanted for violating a custodial order and escaping from a correctional facility. Last Thursday, Stout’s son was not returned to his custodial guardian. The boy was found later in the day.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa senator has introduced a resolution urging Congress to extend tax cuts. Senator Bill Dix from Shell Rock says families depend on the cuts which were approved under former President George W. Bush. They are set to expire this year after President Barack Obama successfully pushed a two-year extension.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state Senate panel endorses a measure to legalize Internet poker in Iowa in the state’s casinos and racetracks. Projections show it could generate between $3 million and $13 million for Iowa. The full Senate State Government Committee is expected to debate the measure later this week.

Adair man claims $1 million Powerball prize

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A western Iowa man was desperately searching for a place to eat Saturday afternoon when he finally settled on pizza from a convenience store in Guthrie Center. While there, Steve Petty bought a Powerball ticket and ended up winning a one-million dollar prize.

Steve Petty (left) & IA Lottery CEO Terry Rich

He had previously stopped at three restaurants – which were all closed. “If one of those restaurants had been open, I may not have bought a ticket,” Petty said. He claimed his prize today (Monday) at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines. The 58-year-old Petty, who lives in Adair, works as a tax preparer and is the organist for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on the east side of Des Moines.

 

“You can imagine driving from where I live to the east side of Des Moines, you put miles on your car quickly,” Petty said. “My 2004 Prius is at the 199,000 mile stage and I’m not sure how much longer it will go, so a new car will come in handy in the near future.” Petty also plans to set aside some money for retirement and fix up his home to help care for his 95-year-old mother. She landed in the hospital last Thursday after taking a bad fall. Petty said his mother was “minimally responsive” Friday morning, but her condition has since improved. Petty was at the hospital Sunday when he informed his neighbors of his good fortune. “They came to the hospital and they said ‘have you validated your ticket?’ I said, ‘What does that mean?’ They had me sign my ticket and took me to the convenience store. They put the ticket in the machine…and it was indeed a one-million dollar winning ticket. I was overjoyed,” Petty said. Petty is an infrequent customer of the Iowa Lottery.

“I think this million dollar ticket came on a return of 22 to 28 dollars,” Petty said. After taxes, Petty is collecting $700,000.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Documentary tells the story of the underground railroad

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A new documentary film and book tells the story of the Underground Railroad which slaves followed through Iowa to find freedom in the mid-1800s. Filmmaker Gary Jenkins of Kansas City says he was reluctant to tell the story until a friend and a descendant of a slave urged him to see the remains of an underground railroad stop in Quindaro, Kansas. Jenkins says he saw where runaway slaves hid in cellars, wells and secret rooms. “I didn’t really want to do it and one day I rode my motorcycle over to Quindaro and found it and walked down in and looked at the ruins,” Jenkins says. “I was inspired standing there in the actual place where I knew Jimmy’s great-grandfather, George Washington, had come across the frozen Missouri River, had gotten help, got into the Union Army and lived out a full life.” That stretch of the Underground Railroad along the Missouri-Kansas border was considered one of the most dangerous escape routes. To reach Canada, freedom seekers had to dodge professional slave catchers, federal marshals, and Missouri slave holders. Jenkins says it was a region-wide effort.

He says, “They had this cadre, this organized group of Kansans and Iowans and Nebraskans who banded together and helped people escaping out of Missouri and got them on this kind of complicated, over a-thousand mile journey to at least Chicago where there was a large free black population, and some of them went around to Ontario, Canada, through Detroit.” The escape routes began along the Missouri/Kansas border, north to Nebraska City, Nebraska, east across the Missouri River through Tabor, Iowa, then east into Illinois and north to Chicago. The 75-minute documentary film is called: “Freedom Seekers: Stories from the Western Underground Railroad.” It premiered last week in Kansas City. The companion book is “John Brown and the Last Train.”

Learn more at the website: “http://lifedocumentaries.com”

(by Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Cass Co. Memorial Hospital Construction Update

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic say their construction and renovation project is proceeding on schedule, with occupancy of the new two-story addition expected late this summer.  One phase of the 30-month project has already been completed – the expansion and remodeling of the Atlantic Medical Center.  A 1,240 square foot addition housing exam rooms and office space for Dr. James Brown’s obstetric and gynecology clinic opened in October 2011.  Internal remodeling to create four additional family medicine exam rooms, nurses station, clinical offices and a new blood draw station were completed the first week of February 2012. Pat Markham, CCMH CEO says “We are very pleased with the progress of construction and quality of work being done,” said Pat Markham, CEO.  “Our contractors have been diligent about staying on schedule, and the mild winter has certainly helped them accomplish that goal.”

Construction on the 41,690 sq. ft. addition to the east side of the hospital began in March 2011.  The first floor of the addition will house a new Emergency Department, surgical suites and same day surgery area.  Crews are currently installing millwork and finishing the wallpaper and paint in these areas.  Gridwork for the acoustical ceiling tiles is being hung, and three elevators are being installed.

The second floor of the addition will house the medical/surgical, obstetric, and intensive care inpatient units.  Progress on the second floor is about three weeks behind the first, as crews work their way through the project.  The east half of the second floor is currently being dry walled and some wall finishes have begun.  Wall units in the patient rooms are being installed, which anchor furnishings and house medical equipment connections including oxygen supplies and patient monitors.  The west half of the second floor is being sheet rocked, and crews are finishing up the mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins.

The addition is expected to open for patient care late this summer.  As departments relocate to the new area, remodeling will begin on the vacated space in the existing hospital building.

Change of venue for Atlantic Parks & Rec Board mtg tonight

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There’s been a change of venue for this evening’s meeting of the City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring says the meeting, which had been scheduled to take place at 5:15-p.m. in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall, will instead be held in the meeting room at the Atlantic Senior Center, located adjacent to the City Hall/Police Department building. The change was necessary, because the City Council is holding a work session in the Council’s chambers this evening. 

Action items and/or New Business on their agenda includes: an update on the Parks & Rec’s Capital Improvement Projects; discussion with regard to the Summer Recreation Programs, including – the playground, a Special Needs playground, Swim Team, Tennis and Softball programs; a review of the Little League Board meeting; a status report on vandalism perpetrated on Sunnyside park; and much more.

8AM Newscast 02-20-2012

News, Podcasts

February 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

More details released on fatal SW IA plane crash

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A 53-year-old Clarinda man was killed in a plane crash in southwest Iowa’s Page County. Jac Crain, the owner of Crain Construction, left the Clarinda airport around 1:25 Sunday afternoon. The Clarinda 911 center got a call about a crash two miles southwest of Clarinda around 1:33 p.m. Upon arrival, officers determined that Crain was the only occupant of the crashed aircraft. Clarinda Airport Manager Milo Beery said the accident appears to have been a “stall-spin” mishap. 

The FAA has been called to investigate and Beery says while it is too early to tell, he believes something other than pilot error will be ruled as the cause of the crash. Crain, who has been a licensed pilot for “15-20″ years according to Beery, has owned the BD4 airplane for about 5 years now. However, Beery says the BD4 has only been in the Clarinda hangar for about the last six months. 

Beery says the plane was considered to be an experimental aircraft because it was not factory built, but rather built by an aviation enthusiast.

(Chuck Morris/Radio Iowa, Shenandoah)

7AM Newscast 02-20-2012

News, Podcasts

February 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Nominations sought for Iowa’s “Best Burger”

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An annual competition is under way to find Iowa’s best burger. Nominations are being accepted in the contest sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Beef Council spokesperson Michelle Baumhover says although hamburgers are included on most restaurant menus, the top burgers usually feature a unique twist on the all-American classic. “That is the great thing about a burger – it’s just a blank palette and people can put on the toppings and different condiments that appeal to a wide variety of tastes,” Baumhover said. “We’ve had burgers with peanut butter on them or eggs on them…all kinds of really creative and unique burgers.” The winner of the 2011 Iowa’s Best Burger Contest was the Bacon Cheeseburger at the Rusty Duck in Dexter.

Best Burger 2011 - Rusty Duck/ Dexter, IA

The winner of the inaugural contest in 2010 was the Mushroom Swiss Burger at the Sac County Cattle Company in Sac City. One of the restaurants in the competition, is the Farmer’s Kitchen, in Atlantic. 

There are only a few contest rules, including all entries must be burgers made from 100% beef. “Any burger, as long as it’s a patty, can qualify…and it can have any type of condiment or bun. It has to be an Iowa restaurant and it needs to be open at the time of the contest,” Baumhover said. Nominations will be accepted through March 16 and can be submitted through the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s website or Facebook page. Last year, 275 restaurants were named by roughly 35-hundred (3,500) nominations. Judges narrowed the list to a “top 10″ and later selected the Rusty Duck as the winner. This year’s winner will be announced the first week of May to kickoff “Beef Month.”
(by Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

LINKS:

http://www.iabeef.org/bestburgercontest.aspx

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Iowa-Beef-Council/120521031367367

Taxing, spending agreements elusive at statehouse

News

February 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Fundamental disagreements over taxing and spending policies continue to divide the two political parties in the Iowa legislature — and the disputes threat to derail key initiatives. Iowa’s Republican governor is even at odds with his fellow Republicans on some key spending priorities, like a 25-million dollar state grant program for businesses that promise to expand in Iowa. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha, the top Republican in the Iowa House, says that money is not included in the House G-O-P’s budget plan. “It’s not a hard no,” Paulsen says. “But we’re going to have to get some more detail on it.” Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal suggests it’s not a new concept to set aside state tax money for direct grants to businesses.

“If you look at our state, over the last 30 years we have provided somewhere between $15 and $50 million every year for job creation,” Gronstal says, “though Democratic administrations, through Republican administration.” Gronstal says it would be a “disaster” to discontinue that program as House Republicans suggest. “While some might say we shouldn’t be engaged in that game, I think to unilaterally disarm…when 49 other states have those kind of programs, I think that is foolhardy,” Gronstal says. The top Republican in the House, meanwhile, is critical of Gronstal and his fellow Democrats for not considering the property tax reform plan House Republicans have crafted.

“Unquestionably there is tax relief in that bill for every single taxpayer in the state of Iowa,” Paulsen says. “Over $400 million for homeowners and you can try to slice it up any way you want, but at the end of the day, that’s just simple facts.” The Democratic leader in the Senate disputes those numbers and Paulsen says voters in November may have to decide which party has the right answer, as legislators may not be able to come to an agreement on property tax reform.

(by O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)