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(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local/State News – Sat., Nov. 17th 2012

News, Podcasts

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest area News Podcast from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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Reminder to buckle up and drive safe Thanksgiving week

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists planning on traveling during this upcoming week that most of the state’s police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and Department of Transportation (DOT) officers will participate in a Thanksgiving holiday enforcement effort aimed at encouraging everyone to buckle up.

This one-week enhanced enforcement period, spanning November 19–25, 2012, is another wave of Iowa’s special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP). The goal is to convince all motorists of the importance of buckling up.  In addition to safety belt violations, officers will also be watching for impaired drivers and other moving violations.

Although 92 percent of Iowa motorists are using safety belts during daytime hours, there are plenty of other drivers and passengers who aren’t, especially in rural communities.  As of November 1st, 2012, over 37 percent of the year’s 299 fatalities were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash which claimed their life.

Among the many law enforcement agencies participating in this years Governor’s Special Traffic Enforcement Program , is the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department, which has applied for and received a grant to provide extra traffic enforcement in five phases starting the week of Thanksgiving 2012.

State financial assistance awarded to 7 business projects

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board on Friday awarded financial assistance to seven business projects in the state that are expected to create 120 new jobs. IEDA spokesperson Tina Hoffman says the biggest project involves an expansion by DuPont Pioneer in Johnston. “They’re going to make a $13 million capital investment and create 100 additional jobs. That’ll involve the construction of office space and greenhouse space,” Hoffman said. The new jobs are expected to pay an annual salary of nearly $88,000.

The state will provide DuPont Pioneer with up to $4.4 million in tax credits. Part of the project involves moving some operations and jobs now in Ankeny to Johnston. Excel Engineering, located in the small southwest Iowa town of Diagonal, was awarded nearly $86,000 in tax credits. The engine testing and natural gas engine design firm is planning an expansion that’ll create 10 new jobs. Grain Millers, Incorporated – located in St. Ansgar – is also planning an expansion that’ll create 10 jobs.

“They’re going to be constructing a new facility, improving an processing line, adding a packaging line and purchasing equipment,” Hoffman said. Grain Millers was award $550,000 in tax credits. The IEDA Board also approved awards to “start up” companies located in Fairfield, Esterville, Urbandale and Iowa City.

Celebration planned next week to open new 4-lane stretch of Hwy 20 in NW IA

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Thanksgiving is coming a little early for motorists who routinely traverse northwest Iowa. One of the final segments of the Highway 20 widening project will open next week. Shirley Phillips, president of the U-S 20 Association, says this summer’s long dry spell helped crews finish their work much earlier than planned. There’s a grand opening celebration and dedication planned on Wednesday at 10-AM just east of the Highway 20/71 intersection. It marks the opening of the 26-mile stretch of four-lane highway which is being completed a full year ahead of schedule. Phillips says there’s a big line-up of dignitaries who will be there.

Attendees include: Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Congressman Steve King, the director of the Iowa DOT and several other state, county and local officials. Phillips says there remains a single gap to complete the four-lane roadway. That gap cuts across parts of Woodbury, Ida and Sac counties.

That stretch is about 30 miles and it will cost $374-million to complete. She says the acquisition for the continued expansion of Highway 20 in Woodbury County between Moville and Correctionville is underway. Grading work is to begin in the near future.

(Radio Iowa)

Transient death investigation in Council Bluffs

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs are investigating the death of a transient. According to Council Bluffs Police, the body of a 34-year old white male transient was discovered Friday in a hole he was digging in a wooded area just east of the 1600 block of North 15th Street. Officials say it appears the man was digging a hole for shelter or storage of his belongings, when he fell in and became trapped.

An autopsy was scheduled as part of the investigation, but officials say foul play is not suspected. Investigators are withholding the man’s name pending notification of family.

OWI arrest in Montgomery County

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Shenandoah man was arrested Friday night in a rural part of the county. 28-year old Kyle Elliott Smith was arrested at 270th Street and K Avenue at around 8:12-p.m., on a charge of Operating a motor vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI)/3rd offense. Smith was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000. bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Nov. 17th 2012

News

November 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The decision by North Texas-based Hostess Brands to go out of business is being felt in Waterloo. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks, announced yesterday it would close in response to a nationwide strike. It means the loss of about 18,500 jobs. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the closure affects 59 workers at the Waterloo plant and about 30 truck drivers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Google is investing another $200 million in its Council Bluffs data center operations as it invests $75 million in a wind farm in central Iowa. The Des Moines Register says Google announced the additional investment in the data center yesterday at a Statehouse news conference. Google’s investment in Iowa now stands at $1.1 billion.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa economic development officials have approved financial assistance to DuPont Chemical Company/Pioneer for a $50 million expansion project. The Iowa Economic Development Board on Friday agreed to provide the company up to $4.4 million in tax credits. The project will move into Johnston some operations and 100 jobs now in Ankeny. Pioneer will also create 100 new jobs.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Paul Brown ran for one touchdown and passed for another and Spirit Lake survived five turnovers to beat Mediapolis 17-15 yesterday and win the Class 2A state championship. Brown’s 3-yard TD run gave the Indians a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter and they held on in Cedar Falls.

Google announces additional major investments in Iowa Total Iowa

News

November 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Google is investing another $200 million in its Council Bluffs data center operations as it invests $75 million in a wind farm in central Iowa. Google announced the additional investment in the data center on Friday at a Statehouse news conference. The Mountain View-Calif.-based tech giant has an existing $600 million data center it announced in 2007. In April, Google said it would build a $300 million data center near the existing campus. Friday’s announcement would add $200 million to that new site.

Google said Thursday it was investing $75 million in the Rippey Wind Farm in Greene County as part of its effort to encourage development of cleaner energy sources. Google’s investment in Iowa now stands at $1.1 billion.

Daoust receives Teacher of the Year award

News

November 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man with ties to Atlantic has received the 2012 Teacher of the Year award from the Shenandoah Community School District. Brian Daoust, graduated from the Atlantic High School in 1995. He received his degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and has been teaching Social Studies and Broadcasting at the Middle School in Shenandoah, for the past four or five years. Prior to that, he taught at Central Lyon Community School District.

The award was presented to Daoust during the annual American Education Week reception, held Wednesday, at the Shenandoah Middle School. In a form nominating him for the award, it was noted “Brian is the type of teacher and coach who goes above and beyond the call of duty.” He is said to be “…Innovative, and willing to go to great lengths to get things done to make programs work.”

Daoust created a broadcasting class several years ago at the school. His idea, coupled with community support, allowed a broadcasting booth to be built in the back corner of his classroom. Several of his broadcasting students have won state recognition. It was also noted that Daoust is a dedicated father and husband, with high moral values.

Brian Daoust is the son of Mark Daoust, in Atlantic.

Cell tower copper theft reported

News

November 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County are investigating the theft of copper wiring from a cell phone tower. Officials say Sean Monahan, of Essex, reported Monday that someone climbed the Chat Mobility tower at 404 Howland Street in Emerson, and removed about 160-feet of two-watt stranded copper cable. The cable was valued at $1,200. The incident happened sometime between October 27th and November 12th.

You may recall we told you last week, that another Chat Mobility cell phone tower had been hit during the same time frame. Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County reported that sometime between October 25th and November 7th, someone cut and stole 160-feet of copper wiring from the Chat Mobility tower at 1926 Ironwood Avenue, in Red Oak. They also took copper wire from a radio station tower in the area. The combined replacement cost of the wire was estimated at around $3,000.