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Corps: Repeat of 2011 Missouri River flooding is “highly unlikely”

News, Weather

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The experts say major flooding on the Missouri River is NOT likely this year, but the runoff forecast in the basin above Sioux City has risen to 121-percent of normal, according to the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division in Omaha, says while mountain snowpack is above average, they don’t expect a repeat of the widespread flooding of 2011.

“Runoff in the Missouri basin comes from three sources: plains snowpack, mountain snowpack and rainfall,” Farhat says. “It’s important to remember that the 2011 flood was the result of high runoff from all three of these sources. Currently, only one of those three conditions exists today, the above-normal mountain snowpack, so a repeat of the 2011 flood is highly unlikely.” Farhat says there is better communication now compared to three years ago.

“We do a lot more coordination now with the other federal agencies, the state climatologists and local folks on developing our runoff forecast and that’s a pretty significant change,” Farhat says. “We’re working with all of the folks that are gathering data and making sure that we’re all singing of the same sheet of music.” Dennis Todey, the South Dakota state climatologist who works with the Corps on forecasting, says the heavy rain storms that kicked off the massive 2011 flooding were very unusual.

“We can’t give any kind of a long-range outlook to say that something like that kind of storm in Montana in 2011 could or couldn’t happen again, but from a climatological perspective, that was a freakishly large storm where you had 50% of your annual rainfall in one event,” Todey says. “People need to understand that about how bizarre that precipitation event really was.” Farhat says the only areas that may see some minor flooding this year are downstream in Kansas and Missouri.

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service released its annual report on spring flooding risks in eastern Iowa. It said the flood risk for the Mississippi River from Dubuque to Burlington is above normal, the risk for the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids is normal, and the flood risk for the Iowa River at Iowa City is below-normal.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 03-13-2014

News, Podcasts

March 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Man pleads guilty to Glenwood woman’s slaying

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – A 24-year-old Council Bluffs man is scheduled to be sentenced later this month for killing a woman in Glenwood.  Online court records say Chad Fortner pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter and two-counts of willful injury causing bodily injury, after prosecutors dropped a charge of second-degree murder. His sentencing hearing is set for March 31st.

Authorities say Fortner killed 47-year-old Carol Meston. She was found unconscious in her Glenwood home on Oct. 12th. She died the next day. Fortner, who was staying with Meston, originally told authorities he was involved in an altercation at the home with a male acquaintance. He’d said Meston was knocked down during the altercation, hitting her head on a piece of furniture.

7AM Newscast 03-13-2014

News, Podcasts

March 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Iowa fair food vendors being asked to accept cards

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State Fair officials want food vendors to accept credit and debit cards at their stands this summer, in addition to cash.  The Des Moines Register says letters to that effect will be sent to vendors as officials try to meet demands from fairgoers who prefer using plastic.

State Fair board member Jerry Parkin said at Wednesday’s board meeting that the goal was to make the transactions more convenient for fairgoers. A plan to implement a cashless payment system using tickets was scrapped in January after public criticism.

This year’s fair runs from Aug. 7 to 17.

Councilman warns residents about unlicensed vendors

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A recent alleged incident involving a door-to-door salesman in Atlantic, has one Atlantic City Councilman warning residents to make sure vendors have a valid Solicitor’s, Peddler’s or Transient Merchant License. During Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting, Councilman Chris Jimerson said he saw a posting by a resident on Facebook about the alleged incident, during which the vendor was said to have been “Extremely rude.”

He says he had the City Clerk’s Office look into whether the vendor, who was selling steaks door-to-door, had a valid license to do so. It turns out they didn’t. Scouts or other such non-profit groups don’t need a permit, according to Jimerson. He says if someone comes to your door and they do not have a permit, call the Police Department so they can handle the situation.

According to City Code Chapter 122, any person engaging in peddling, soliciting or in the business of a transient manner in the City without first obtaining a license (by paying a $50 fee), is in violating of the law. Exemptions include: Newspaper subscription collectors, members of local civic groups or service organizations, farmers or gardeners who sell their products they have grown, students, and route salespersons.

Councilman Dana Halder said he received a scam phone call recently, and people need to be aware of something sounds suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is, and you should notify authorities, especially if the caller is harassing or threatening you.

Atlantic City Council approves proposed FY 2015 budget

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 $9.37-million Municipal Budget. The action came during a meeting at the Senior Center, during which there were no written or spoken objections.  The proposed budget will require a tax increase of 1.8-percent in the City portion of the tax levy, or a seven-tenths (0.7)-percent increase in the total property tax levy, which means a 32-cent increase per $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Taxes in Atlantic have gone up in each year since 2010, which, at $14.76/$1,000, marked the lowest rate taxpayers have paid since 2005. City Administrator Doug Harris said property tax legislation passed by the State last year will continue to contribute to the upward pressure on property tax rates and the gradual shifting of the tax burden onto residential tax payers.

The new legislation he says, rolls back the assessed values of commercial and industrial properties and reclassifies multiplex apartment buildings from commercial to residential. The change in assessment practices will constrict tax revenues in the City’s General Operating Fund and increase taxes on residential payers. The only good news is that the State will backfill those losses for a few years, so the actual loss to the G-O Fund may be more gradual, according to Harris. The result will be a gradual shifting of the tax burden to residential customers.

A public hearing will be held during the Council’s next meeting on April 2nd, with regard to expected amendments to the current budget (FY 2014). During the meeting, the Council may reduce the budget, but it cannot increase it.

Red Oak man arrested for Possession of Pot

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Updated w/OWI charge 7:38-a.m.)

A Red Oak man arrested on an OWI/1st offense charge late Wednesday night, was also charged with Possession of Contraband and Possession of Marijuana, after he was brought to the  Montgomery County Jail. Red Oak Police say 63-year old Marvin Craig Otte was originally taken into custody on Suspicion of OWI, after the car he was driving struck two parked vehicles.

Officers were called to the 1000 block of north 4th Street in Red Oak, at around 10:30-p.m., Wednesday, following a report of a person driving a vehicle in an erratic, reckless or careless manner. An investigation revealed Otte’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix struck legally parked vehicles registered to Brenda Gaytan, of Griswold, and Kristie Jo Hilding, of Red Oak. Damage to Gaytan’s 2006 Ford Explorer and Hilding’s 1998 Dodge Stratus amounted to $6,600 altogether. Otte’s car sustained $5,000 damage.

Otte was taken into custody at around 10:40-p.m., and subsequently charged with Possession of Contraband and Possession of Marijuana. Otte was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and held on $5,000 bond.

Iowa News Headlines: Thu., March 13th 2014

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The unlawful use of drones would be included in Iowa’s trespassing code under a bill revised and approved by a legislative panel. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 yesterday to approve the measure, with Democratic Senator Steve Sodders abstaining. It is now eligible for debate on the Senate floor.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa House committee is moving forward with a bill that significantly weakens any attempt to require schools to test for radon gas. The bill was approved by the House Local Government Committee and is eligible for floor debate. The bill requires the districts to report to the state by Dec. 1 whether they’ve tested for radon. The information is to be sent to the Legislature by January 1st, 2015.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Minors would no longer be able to buy or use e-cigarettes in Iowa under a bill approved by a legislative panel. The Senate Human Resource Committee unanimously voted yesterday in favor of the measure, which is now up for debate on the Senate floor.

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — The small Iowa city of Dayton in Webster County has lifted a boil advisory. The state Department of Natural Resources said in a news release yesterday that the advisory issued March 5th was lifted Wednesday because water samples came back clean.

House committee passes radon bill with no testing

News

March 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa House committee is moving forward with a bill that significantly weakens any attempt to require schools to test for radon gas. The bill was approved by the House Local Government Committee and is eligible for floor debate. The bill requires the districts to report to the state by Dec. 1 whether they’ve tested for radon. The information is to be sent to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2015.

Democrats had been pushing for a bill that would require testing in schools and a plan to reduce radon if the gas was found to exceed recommended safe levels. Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Missouri Valley Republican, says there’s concern required testing would open up the districts and the state to liability and expensive repairs.