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Multiple car accidents on I-80 between Neb., Iowa

News

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Transportation officials are reporting multiple car accidents along nearly 200 miles of Interstate 80 between Nebraska and Iowa. The Nebraska State Patrol closed the westbound lanes of I-80 Sunday from mile markers between Lincoln and Grand Island after numerous reports of car accidents. The Iowa Department of Transportation says both directions are blocked near Avoca in Iowa. All northbound lanes of Interstate 29 near Little Sioux also are blocked.

Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins says there were several reports of vehicles hitting the median or going into ditches. There is no additional information about how many accidents have been reported. Details about injuries or fatalities were not immediately available. The National Weather Service says up to 8 inches of snow could fall in parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

Travel not advised on I-80 in western Iowa (as of 2:14-p.m. Sunday)

News

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

I-80: Travel is not advised between the Missouri River bridge (Council Bluffs) and Exit 46: County Road M47 (Walnut). Travel is not advised. Towing services are prohibited.

Winter Storm Warning continues for Harrison & Monona Counties

News, Weather

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

MONONA-HARRISON-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ONAWA…MAPLETON…MISSOURI VALLEY…

WOODBINE…LOGAN…DUNLAP

114 PM CDT SUN MAR 10 2013

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT MONDAY…

* TIMING…OCCASIONAL MODERATE SNOW WILL CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING WITH THE STRONG NORTH TO NORTHWEST WINDS CAUSING BLOWING SNOW.

* ACCUMULATION…ADDITIONAL SNOW AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE EXPECTED…BRINGING TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS INTO THE 4 TO 8 INCH RANGE ACROSS HARRISON COUNTY.

* WINDS…NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.

* MAIN IMPACT…SLICK ROADS AND REDUCED VISIBILITIES ARE THE MAIN IMPACTS. VISIBILITIES MAY DROP TO A HALF MILE OR LESS DUE TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Winter Weather Advisory update for western/SW IA

News, Weather

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

1227 PM CDT SUN MAR 10 2013 – All Counties along and south of I-80, including Shelby, Audubon, Crawford and Carroll Counties North of I-80. …WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM CDT MONDAY…

* TIMING…LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW…MIXED WITH LIGHT FREEZING RAIN AT TIMES…IS SPREADING ACROSS THE AREA THIS MORNING AND WILL SWITCH OVER TO ALL SNOW BY THE AFTERNOON. MODERATE SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT. THE SNOW WILL TAPER OFF BY MONDAY MORNING. THERE MAY BE A BRIEF PERIOD OF FREEZING RAIN DURING THE TRANSITION FROM RAIN TO SNOW.

* STORM TOTAL SNOW/ICE ACCUMULATIONS...TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED BY MONDAY MORNING. A LIGHT GLAZING IS ALSO POSSIBLE THIS MORNING.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY…NORTHWEST TO NORTH WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED FROM INTO TONIGHT… RESULTING IN BLOWING SNOW AND REDUCED VISIBILITY OF LESS THAN A HALF MILE AT TIMES.

* IMPACTS...TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY TO RAPIDLY DETERIORATE THIS AFTERNOON AND BECOME VERY HAZARDOUS BY TONIGHT. ROADS MAY BECOME ICY AS INITIALLY THE SNOW MELTS AND REFREEZES. AS SNOW ACCUMULATES ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITY…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Most Iowans applying for gun permits get the OK

News

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The majority of Iowans who have applied for a permit to carry a gun in the past two years have been approved under a new state law. The Des Moines Register reports more than 148,000 people in the state have applied for a permit during that time. Records show 99.6 percent have been approved. Just about 620 permit applications have been denied since a 2011 state law went into effect that requires all sheriffs to follow the same rules when issuing permits.

The newspaper reports some county sheriffs are concerned the new law is hindering their ability to deny permits to people who should not have guns.

(Update 1:14-p.m.) Multi-vehicle accident near Shelby on I-80

News

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One person is trapped and several others injured during a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 westbound, about two-miles east of Shelby in Pottawattamie County. Five semi’s and six cars are involved. The wreck happened at the 36-mile marker. All lanes are blocked on I-80 westbound at that location.  All lanes were also reported blocked on I-80 eastbound opposite the crash scene. Traffic was being rerouted off the interstate at the nearest exits. Visibility was reported to be down to 100 yards at 2-p.m. (updated 2:03-p.m.)

Atlantic House Fire caused by hot cell phone (Update 5-p.m.)

News

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A house fire in Atlantic Sunday afternoon appears to have been caused by an overheated, charging cell phone. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees told KJAN News the house at 409 Poplar Street was owned by Ryan Paul, but he recently sold it to a dentist next door. The house was slated to be demolished.

McNees said Paul and a female companion were in the process of moving their belongings out of the home and had stopped for a brief nap, when they woke up to find their bed on fire. The couple escaped the home with only minor injuries, but most of their belongings were lost to the flames.

Atlantic Fire arrived on the scene at around 12:30-p.m. Flames were reported to be coming out from under the shingles of the structure when authorities first arrived on the scene. When firefighters punched out the glass on a second story window facing Poplar Street, thick black-gray smoke came pouring out. The fire was declared under control by around 1:50-p.m.

An investigation by McNees and Atlantic Police Officer Paul Wood determined that a cell phone, which was plugged into a portable charger designed to jump start car batteries and provide power to cell phones and other portable devices, over heated and likely exploded. All utilities to the home had been shut-off, according to McNees, which ruled out an electrical or gas-related cause.

McNees said the fact that a cell phone battery can overheat and explode, is a good reason people should not keep the devices on their beds or near flammable materials.

Heavy snow expected in parts of Neb., Iowa

News, Weather

March 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several inches of snow are expected in parts of Nebraska and Iowa. The National Weather Service says up to six inches of snow could fall Sunday around east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. The heaviest snow is expected in a swath from around David City to Missouri Valley and Onawa. Up to 9 inches of snow could accumulate in some areas. Weather officials say a winter storm warning is in effect until 7 p.m. A blizzard warning is in effect for a smaller swath in south central Nebraska until 4 p.m.

Officials warn that northwest winds with gusts of 35 mph will greatly reduce visibility on roads. They also warn roads could become slick from temperatures dropping below freezing.

Montgomery County YMCA Receives Grant to Improve Pool Access

News

March 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Family YMCA in Red Oak announced that it has received a $6,467 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The grant will be used towards the first phase of an extensive project to improve indoor swimming pool accessibility with an aquatics chair lift to enable individuals with special needs to independently enter and exit the Montgomery County YMCA’s pool.

Nick Zimmer, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Family YMCA,  stated that without the grant the project would not be possible.

The award was one of 76 grants totaling almost $427,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

The Foundation was created by the late Dana Reeve and has awarded 2,131 grants totaling over $16 million since 1999.

Nebraska, Iowa move to Daylight-Saving Time Sunday

News

March 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — It’s time to spring forward again, as the country makes the switch to daylight-saving time. Like those in almost all other states, Nebraskans and Iowans will trade an hour of sleep starting Sunday morning for an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. The government expanded daylight-saving time in 2007 in an effort to save energy. It now begins on the second Sunday in March and continues until the first Sunday in November. The official change occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, although people often change their clocks before going to bed Saturday night. Daylight-saving time ends Nov. 3rd.