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Harlan City Council to hold hearing on $2.5-million bond issue

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Harlan will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening on the proposed issuance of Series 2012 bonds, not to exceed $2.5-million. Following the hearing during the Council’s 5:15-p.m. session, a vote will be held to begin the process of taking additional action for the issuance of bonds, and they’ll act on a resolution directing the advertisement for sale of $2.455-million in bonds, along with approving electronic bidding procedures.

Two arrested on drug charges in Audubon County

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two Omaha men were arrested last Friday on drug charges, in Audubon County. Sheriff’s officials say 18-year old Alexander Ward Carter, and 21-year old Alex Thomas Myhre, both of Omaha, were taken into custody at around 8-p.m., following a traffic stop on Southside Drive, near 3rd Avenue, in Audubon. Carter faces a Possession of Marijuana charge, while Myhre was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Driving While Intoxicated (Drug related). The men were transported to the Audubon County Jail, appeared later before a magistrate, and were released.

Lieutenant governor, after tornado damage tour, says SWCC “lucked out”

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Some of the buildings hit by this weekend’s tornado in Creston are state-owned facilities and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says it appears the Area Education Agency office in Creston may wind up being a total loss. Dormitories for students at Southwestern Community College that opened just a couple of years ago were heavily damaged. The governor and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds toured the college campus Sunday.

“We actually got to talk to (SWCC) president Crittenden yesterday. She was on the ground with gloves in hand, a pair of jeans, picking up debris,” Reynolds says. “Right now they were working with hotels in the area so they would have a place for the students.” Southwestern Community College is closed today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday). A campus building where vocational agricultural classes are taught was damaged. The lieutenant governor says all structures on campus were being checked to ensure there wasn’t additional damage.

“They were assessing the college as a whole,” Reynolds says. “I think they might have lucked out.” While it’s not state owned, the facility which sustained major damage in Creston was the hospital. “The damage that we viewed was really breathtaking,” Reynolds says. “It’s sad when you see the amount of devastation, especially as we toured the hospital — a newly-remodeled wing that was scheduled for a grand opening next week.”

As for other public facilities, the bus barn for Creston schools was hit by the tornado, as was Creston’s Y-M-C-A, which is closed today. “As horrific and as devastating as it was, it is just so inspirational to see the neighbors and the people that come together — it is so Iowa — to help in any way that they can. From the Salvation Army to the Red Cross, I had law enforcement there from Clarke County as well as surrounding areas,” Reynolds says, who is from Osceola, in Clarke County. “There were EMT volunteers from Lenox who said, ‘You know, they were helping us when (two tornadoes) hit us a year ago,’ so people just drop everything and were busy just doing everything that they could to volunteer and help out.” Reynolds was unable to join Governor Branstad in touring damage in the small town of Thurman, where a tornado touched down for 10 miles and left a path a damage that was half-a-mile wide.

(Radio Iowa)

Creston man clings to closet door as tornado lifts his feet off the ground

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Creston City Council member Loyal Winborn says he and his family had a very close encounter with Saturday’s tornado as it picked his feet up off the ground and he clung to a closet door for his very life. Winborn took a reporter on a tour of what’s left of his home after it was demolished by the twister — which arrived practically in the blink of an eye. “The kids were in there watching NASCAR and the weather radio went off saying there was 70 mile-an-hour winds about seven miles outside of town,” Winborn says. “We were getting our shoes to go over to the neighbors’ house because they have a basement but then my ears started popping, the barametric pressure changed so fast, I felt the house lower and I screamed for everybody to run to the closet.” He says they only had seconds to react.

“We got the kids in the closet,” he says. “Stacy literally picked up Evan and threw him in. I threw Alexander in. Stacy got in and as I tried to get in behind them, my feet left the ground. I grabbed onto the door and was trying push them down. Some random door flew in and hit me on the back of the head.” Loyal said he suffered a concussion from that blow. He realized quite quickly his house was gone and they needed to get out right away, as it was no longer going to be shelter from the storm.

“I looked up and the roof was peeled off,” Winborn says. “All’s I could see was pure white above, nothing, just horrendous noise and nothing but super-bright white light and then it was all over. The house slammed down. It felt like I was 5,000 pounds when I hit the ground on top of them. We didn’t have much time because then, with no roof, debris just started raining inside the house.” He got the two boys and Stacy to his neighbors’ basement. Among the debris they later found inside the wrecked home was a large birdfeeder mounted on a 4-by-4-inch post on the kitchen floor near the fridge.

(Radio Iowa)

Mayor of Thurman: “little less than 100%” of homes damaged by tornado

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service reports a tornado that passed through the far southwest Iowa town of Thurman packed peak winds of 125 miles per hour. The EF2 twister toppled hundreds of trees and power lines. Thurman Mayor Rod Umphreys says all of the nearly 230 residents of the town were impacted in some way. “Probably a little less than 100-percent of the homes have some damage – from a just a few shingles or siding damage to total loss,” Umphreys said.

At least 14 homes in Thurman were destroyed, while two dozen more were heavily damaged. There were no reports of serious injuries. “There were none, I mean, a few bumps and bruises,” Umphreys said. “It’s amazing, because it was a direct hit on a lot of houses and a direct hit on the town. To not have any fatalities or serious injuries, not even a broken bone, it is amazing.” Umphreys is equally amazed with the flood of volunteers who’ve turned out to help with the cleanup effort.

In addition to Iowans, volunteers have come from the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin and Montana. “We had over 900 volunteers (Sunday) and we’re well over a couple hundred today already, with more on the way,” Umphreys said. “We couldn’t do this without all the volunteer help and the donations of equipment and materials.” The National Weather Service in Omaha reports the tornado that struck Thurman first touched down around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and covered a path of 10.8 miles from northeast of Percival, through Thurman, before lifting one mile south of Tabor. Fremont County authorities said the only people who required hospitalization were four truckers who’s semis were blown over on Interstate 29. 

(Radio Iowa)

Emergency officials explain lack of tornado sirens in Creston

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Tornado sirens did not sound in Creston before Saturday’s twister struck, which injured a half-dozen people and caused heavy damage in the southwest Iowa community. Union County Emergency Manager JoAnn Duckworth says she’d been watching the storm develop on radar and had seen nothing particularly threatening for her area until the EF-2 tornado dropped from the sky.

Car flipped onto its roof in the Creston hospital parking lot (B. Lewis)

Creston tornado damage (Courtesy Brandon Lewis)

“In just a few seconds, the whole situation changed,” Duckworth says. “We weren’t able to get out to sound the sirens, there just was not time. When the storm was coming through, nobody would have heard them.” Strong winds came ahead of the storm, knocking out power and knocking radio stations off the air — so no warnings came on the radio either. Cell phones were also knocked out. Duckworth says residents had been told to be on the lookout for severe weather.

“We knew this system was coming in, we’d been planning on it for 48 hours and we tried to urge people to please be aware and to have those emergency plans in place,” she says. Unfortunately, all the preparing in the world can’t stop the actual storm from coming.”

Structure wiped off its foundation in Creston (Brandon Lewis photo)

Damage in Creston is widespread, including to the town’s only hospital and to Southwestern Community College. Six people were injured in Creston, one critically. The town of Thurman was also slammed by a tornado the same day, causing wide damage to dozens of homes.

(Brandon Lewis/Radio Iowa, Creston)

Western IA feedlot agrees to pay $10k penalty for pollution discharges

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Kansas City, Kansas, office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said today (Monday), a western Iowa beef cattle feedlot company has agreed to pay a large penalty for violations of the Clean  Water Act related to discharges of pollutants into a creek and its tributaries. Petersen-Bubke, LLP, in Monona County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty. By agreeing to the settlement, Petersen-Bubke has certified that it is currently in compliance with the Clean Water Act.  

According to an administrative civil consent agreement and final order filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., EPA personnel conducted a compliance evaluation and inspection of the facility in March 2011 and observed evidence of discharges of process wastewater and pollutants from the facility into Rush creek. Petersen-Bubke was confining approximately 1,050 cattle at the time of the inspection, which made it subject to regulation as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). However, the feedlot did not have a necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, nor had it applied for one, as required by the Clean Water Act. 

EPA Region 7 issued an order to the feedlot in May 2011, directing it to install discharge controls or apply for an NPDES permit. In accordance with the order, Petersen-Bubke has complied with the Clean Water Act by reducing the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold, and by constructing livestock waste controls. Unauthorized and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater and stormwater from concentrated animal feeding operations and their production areas can cause exceedances of water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

Housing needed for displaced Creston residents

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Red Cross and the Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority (SIRHA), are asking landlords in Adair and Guthrie Counties to call SIRHA if you have any housing vacancies. Residences are needed for persons in the Creston area who were displaced by Saturday’s tornado.

SIRHA is working to get families placed in homes as quickly as possible. Only landlords are asked to call if you have properties available. Please call Brenda at SIRHA, 641-782-8585, ext. 10.

Iowa State University installing water monitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Iowa State University is installing water quality monitors 16 Iowa lakes to help find out what causes harmful algal blooms. Some types of blue-green algae, for example, can produce dangerous toxins. Drinking toxin-tainted water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory failure and, rarely, death.

Among the western Iowa lakes that will be part of the monitoring study is: Arrowhead and Black Hawk Lakes in Sac County; Lake Orient, in Adair County; and, Springbrook Lake, in Guthrie County. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is cooperating in the study. The monitoring equipment will be underwater and will be marked by hazard buoys.

8AM Newscast 04-16-2012

News, Podcasts

April 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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