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Freezing Rain Advisory Sunday (3-a.m. to Noon), Jan. 27th 2013

News, Weather

January 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES IN THE KJAN LISTENING AREA: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-    DALLAS-MADISON….
335 AM CST SAT JAN 26 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO NOON CST SUNDAY. FREEZING RAIN WILL BEGIN LATE  TONIGHT (SATURDAY) BETWEEN 300 AND 600 AM.  ICE ACCUMULATION WILL LIKELY AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH. SPOTTY AMOUNTS OF UP TO TWO TENTHS  OF AN INCH ARE POSSIBLE.

ROADS WILL LIKELY BECOME SLIPPERY QUICKLY AS THE GROUND TEMPERATURES WILL BE WELL BELOW FREEZING. SURFACE  TEMPERATURES MAY WARM ABOVE FREEZING IN THE MORNING SUNDAY…BUT THE COLD GROUND WILL LIKELY TAKE SEVERAL HOURS LONGER TO WARM.

A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

2 Red Oak residents arrested Friday night

News

January 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest late Friday night of two Red Oak residents. Officials say 21-year old Aaron L. Mellott was taken into custody just before Midnight, on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. At about the same time, 18-year old Kelsey M. Adams, of Red Oak, was arrested on a charge of Possession of Alcohol by a person under the age of 21. Adams was released on a citation, while Mellott was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

2 arrests in Adams County, Friday

News

January 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested Friday night. 30-year old Richard Buchanan-Riley, of Creston, was arrested during a traffic stop at around 9:40-p.m..  Buchanan-Riley faces charges of Driving While Suspended and No proof of insurance. His bond was set at $1,040.

And, at around 6:50-p.m., Friday, Adams County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 25-year old Jessie B. Fitzwater, of Villisca, for allegedly violating the terms of his probation. Fitzwater was being held in the Adams County Jail without bond.

Carroll man arrested on 2009 warrant out of Audubon County

News

January 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Audubon County said Friday that a Carroll man who was wanted on a warrant issued back in June of 2009, was arrested Wednesday by officers with the Audubon Police Department. 28-year-old Anthony John Lesatz was wanted on a bench warrant issued for Failure to Appear on a May 2009 1st offense OWI charge.  Lesatz plead guilty Thursday to an additional charge of Providing False Information to authorities, after attempting to give Law Enforcement Officers a false name to avoid prosecution. His bond on the Failure to Appear charge was set at $2,000. Lesatz, who was being held in the Audubon County Jail, was ordered to appear in court on Monday.

Accident in Page County claims the life of a Coin man Friday afternoon

News

January 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A single-vehicle rollover accident Friday afternoon in Page County resulted in the death of a man from Coin. The Iowa State Patrol says 24-year old Bryan Scott Hull died from injuries he suffered in the crash, located about two-miles east of College Springs. Hull was driving a 1999 Chevy Blazer that went out of control as the vehicle was traveling west on 290th Street, at around 4-p.m.   The SUV left the road, hit a utility pole and rolled once before coming to rest. Officials say Hull was not wearing a seat belt, and at died at the scene.

Homeowners displaced by Montgomery County Fire

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The American Red Cross was assisting a rural Villisca family in finding a place to stay following a residential structure fire Friday morning.

House fire near Villisca (Brian Hamman/MCEMA photo)

According to Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman, his office assisted Villisca Fire and EMS at 104 N. 5th Street, after fire crews were paged shortly after 9:35-a.m.  Hamman says once the initial units arrived on scene, they found a 2 story dwelling with heavy fire throughout the structure.

Mutual aid was requested from Stanton Fire for additional manpower. The American Red Cross was called to provide support for the home owners and additional rehabilitation for the firefighters. Hamman said he appreciates all agencies that helped at the fire scene Friday morning, and thanks Villisca Foods for providing food for the firefighters.

MC-EMA photo/Brian Hamman

2 arrests and 1 accident in Mills County

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested this past week and one accident was investigated. Thursday night, 45-year old Laurie Ann Stephens, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault. She was being held in the Mills County Jail Friday without bond. And, on Wednesday, 26-year old Curtis Lin Harrod, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Pottawattamie County Jail, on a Mills County warrant for revocation of his pre-trial release. Harrod’s bond was set at $10,000.

That same day, authorities in Mills County investigated an accident that happened at around 11:30-a.m., about 7-miles north of Glenwood. Officials say a 2006 Chrysler driven by Theresa Wissing, of Glenwood, was traveling south on 221st Street when a northbound 1996 Lincoln driven by Jeramy Elrod, of Mineola, crossed the center line of the road. After the cars collided, the Chrysler spun around and came to rest in the west ditch. The Lincoln went off the road to the left, went up an embankment and hit a stop sign and roadway sign, before coming to rest in the west ditch. No serious injuries were reported.

Imogene man arrested for alleged assault on a juvenile

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County say an investigation into the assault on Tuesday night of a juvenile, has resulted in an arrest. Sheriff Lyle Palmer says deputies met with the alleged victim and her mother at around 9-p.m. Tuesday at the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, where the victim was being treated for an unrelated medical issue.  On Thursday, 59-year old Terry Lee Hale, of rural Imogene,  arrested on a charge of Assault, in connection with the investigation.  Hale was later released from custody, pending an appearance before a magistrate.

Iowa School bus buying cooperative proposed

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A bill awaiting committee action in the Iowa House would set up a centralized school bus purchasing system for Iowa school districts. Representative Curtis Hanson, a Democrat from Fairfield, is the bill’s sponsor. “This vision is for schools of Iowa to help taxpayers and help schools reduce the cost of their buses. Schools in the past have been purchasing buses one or two or three at a time,” Hanson says. “If we can consolidate that bidding process and bid on 300 or 400 — or maybe 500 or 600 at a time, then we can get a substantial cost reduction.”

Hanson says he got the idea from other states, such as Minnesota, where it has been very successful, and saves both the taxpayers and schools money. The average cost for a standard yellow school bus is 70-thousand dollars. Hanson estimates buying buses in bulk would save at least 500-dollars per bus. Multiply that by 400 buses and that’s 200-thousand dollars. Buses must meet minimum safety standards, but districts do have many options to sort through when buying a bus. Hanson’s bill calls for the centralized purchasing of school buses to be handled by staff in the Iowa Department of Education as well as staff in the Iowa Department of Administrative Services who handle other state purchasing contracts.

“There’s about 300-400 buses in the state of Iowa purchases each year,” Hanson says. “They have a normal recycling plan that every so many thousand miles or every so many years they will renew their bus fleet and so that’s a planned purchase that they need to keep up on and this will help administratively, too, because the changes in requirements and so forth will be centrally located.”

School districts would not be required to join the bus purchasing coop if Hanson’s bill becomes law. The decision to turn over school bus purchasing to state administrators would be voluntary. Hanson’s bill cleared a subcommittee this week and awaits action in the full House Education Committee.

(Radio Iowa)

(Updates w/ Director’s comments) SWITA Audit shows improper data and disbursements

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Southwest Iowa Transit Agency Director Steve Andersen reacted today (Friday), to a report from Auditor of State David Vaudt, with regard to a special investigation of the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency (SWITA), based in Atlantic. The special investigation was requested by the Office of Public Transit within the Department of Transportation (DOT), as a result of concerns regarding Andersen’s compliance with reporting requirements.

Steve Andersen – SWITA Transportation Director (Photo from swipco.org)

Andersen told KJAN News SWITA welcomes Vaudt’s findings and have already implemented methods to correct reporting procedures to the DOT. He says many of the changes were made in advance of the report, which he received Thursday morning. Andersen says their past reports are being amended to accurately reflect the number of charter rides, in particular, those offered in Fiscal Year 2012.

The report covers the period of July 1st, 2011 through June 30th, 2012. Vaudt reported the special investigation identified 8,901 charter riders which were improperly included as public riders on the quarterly charter reports submitted to DOT by SWITA, which does not comply with the Code of Federal Regulations. Because charter services were not properly reported to DOT in fiscal year 2012, SWITA could potentially receive funding in fiscal year 2014 which the agency is not entitled to if the charter riders are not adjustedAndersen says the goal of the audit was to provide corrective action, and that goal is being accomplished through the efforts of SWITA and the Office of Public Transit.

The audit report also identified $300 of improper disbursements for the payment of golf registration fees for employees of the Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO). Andersen says the funds were for two drivers and two office personnel, including himself, to participate in a fundraiser for the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation. He says their participation, which was approved by the previous SWITA executive director, was intended to serve as a “Thank you” to the hospital for their business. Andersen says SWITA’s “…Amended internal policy no longer allows for such expenditures, and it will no longer be an issue.”

The report includes recommendations to strengthen the DOT’s internal controls and overall operations, and it makes recommendations to strengthen SWITA’s internal controls and overall operations. Andersen said he takes full responsibility for any discrepancies in the report, and that he will work to ensure those errors don’t happen again.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Iowa Department of Transportation for consultation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration. A copy of the report is available for review in the Office of Auditor of State and on the Auditor of State’s web site at http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1360-6450-B0P1.pdf.