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Mills County landfill could be the final resting place for bird carcasses

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A site in Mills County could become the final resting place for millions of chickens, turkeys, and at least one flock of ducks who have been killed for having the H5N2 Avian Bird flu. State Senator Mark Costello and Representative David Sieck, of Glenwood, both told the Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil, the birds could end-up at the Loess Hills Regional Sanitary Landfill, near Malvern. The officials have been in talks with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources about the matter.

At least 20 million chickens, 750,000 turkeys and a herd of ducks are among the dead. Turkeys may be disposed of by letting them decompose in piles inside a barn, which creates heat to kill the virus. Chickens would be placed in bags and heated to about 150-degrees to kill the germs before the birds are buried. Composting the remains is also a possibility, but incinerating all of the birds isn’t possible, according to Sieck, because there isn’t enough equipment for the job.

Four Iowa landfills are in talks with the USDA to handle this responsibility. The Mills County landfill is privately owned, which means it can move faster to execute the operation.The landfill has clay liners and gravel underneath, to prevent the spread of remains from leaking out.

So far, none of the dead birds have been moved from their quarantine zones.

Bluffs man arrested following altercation w/his girlfriend

News

May 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs report one person was arrested following a domestic disturbance Thursday evening. Authorities say officers were dispatched to 1516 Little John Circle, Unit 4, just before 7-p.m. Upon arrival, they met with the alleged victim, 59-year old Dani Lewis, of Council Bluffs, who reported she had an argument with her live-in boyfriend.

Lewis said during the argument, 52-year old Mark Dean Smith, of Council Bluffs, grabbed her by the arm, spun her around, and knocked her to the ground. She suffered several bone fractures as a result of the incident. Smith denied the allegations but, based on the evidence, he was arrested and booked into corrections for Willful Injury causing serious injury. Lewis was treated for her injuries, and released.

Expect a lane closure on US6/7th Street in Atlantic, Monday

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DOT’s District 4 Office in Atlantic reports there will be a lane closure on Monday on US Hwy 6/ 7th Street in Atlantic, so that crews may take soil borings in the roadway. Traffic will be shifted in the area between Cherry Street and Hospital Drive. IA DOT

Motorists will want to use caution and obey the signs directing their travel through this area. The work taking place is preliminary work prior to the construction of US 6/ 7th Street.

Council Bluffs elementary school placed on temporary lock down Thu. morning

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An elementary school in Council Bluffs was placed on “lockdown” status late this (Thursday) morning. According to Council Bluffs Police, shortly after 11-a.m.,the Pottawattamie County 9-1-1 Center received a single call of gunshots being heard in the area of Longfellow Elementary School, 2011 South 10th Street.

As a precaution, the school was notified and was placed into “lockdown.” Several CBPD officers responded and checked the area. Authorities found no evidence of any gunfire in the area. Officers again made contact with the school staff, informing them that normal activities could resume.

The “lockdown” was in effect for approximately 15 minutes.

Hwy 6/7th Street construction project looks to start after Memorial Day

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Scott Suhr, Transportation Planner for the Iowa DOT’s District 4 Office in Atlantic, issued a statement Thursday afternoon clarifying the start date for the Highway 6/7th Street Atlantic Construction Project. Suhr said at the preconstruction meeting held Wednesday, May 6th, the contractor stated that they are shooting for a May 26th start date, however, they are waiting on a sub contractor’s milling machine. That machine may be delayed on another project due to rain. IA DOT

Suhr says at this time, it appears likely the contractor will start work on the road AFTER the Memorial Day weekend. Official information concerning the project will come from the DOT office in Atlantic, and will be conveyed by the media to the public.

(Update) Bluffs accident victims ID’d

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Council Bluffs Police Department have identified the victims of a single-vehicle accident that occurred Wednesday night in Council Bluffs, as two men from Nebraska. The driver and most critically injured occupant of the car was identified as 33-year old Ramon Garcia. His passenger, who suffered minor injuries, was identified as 27-year old Victor Ramirez-Lopez. Both men are from Omaha.

According to Bluffs Police, the accident happened at around 10:30-p.m. off Interstate 29, just north of the 9th Avenue exit. A 2001 Kia Sportage driven by Garcia left the road and collided with a tree.

The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time, due to the seriousness of Garcia’s injuries.

Decomposing turkeys and chickens lead to odors, flies

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of large Iowa farms due to the H5N2 bird flu virus.
Neighbors say they understand the challenge in disposing of more than 20 million bird carcasses, but are eager for quick action, especially as temperatures rise and create more decomposition odor and flies.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources environmental supervisor Ken Hessenius says the state must look at “all methods of disposal” and called the virus a “crisis.” Some of the birds are piled up and covered with dirt or other material, turkeys are often composted inside barns and at least one chicken farm is burying them in trenches. Portable incinerators have been set up and state officials are working with landfills.

Branstad signs address confidentiality program for victims

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to keep their home address private through a mail-forwarding program. Branstad signed the bill Thursday. It takes effect in January.

The law will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to have their mail sent to an address managed by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The mail will then be forwarded to the victim’s home address. The system allows victims to keep their home address confidential from an abuser or potential abuser.

Rep. Dean Fisher, a Republican from Garwin, sponsored the bill. He says it could help between 300 and 500 people in Iowa. More than 30 other states have similar laws.

Iowa lawmakers looking to make education funding deal

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa lawmakers are trying to move toward a compromise deal on education funding that could help them resolve the budget for the next fiscal year. Legislative leaders said Thursday they are talking about education funding, which has been a key sticking point in the budget process. A deal may include a budget increase in basic aid for K-12 schools, as well as a one-time payment.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, said conversations were underway. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said lawmakers were “making progress.”

The potential compromise could work because schools would get the overall funding sought by Democrats but because some of the money is a one-time appropriation, the Republican-controlled House would be sticking to a pledge to contain ongoing costs.

Amber alert issued for sibling of infant found in dumpster

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

LA VISTA, Neb. (AP) – Authorities have issued an Amber alert for the 5-year-old sibling of an infant found in a dumpster near a suburban Omaha apartment complex.
Thursday’s alert says the older child was abducted from Omaha and is believed to be in danger. Omaha police say they think a woman’s body found a little before 8 p.m. Wednesday is that of the boys’ mother, 45-year-old Jesus I. Marinero. Police say they hope to make a positive ID once autopsy results are known.

The boy being sought is Jose Ramirez-Marinero. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt and sweatpants and may be traveling in a silver Jeep Cherokee with Nebraska plates SRH941.  Jose’s brother was wearing only a diaper when he was found in the dumpster Wednesday evening and taken to a hospital.