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Highway 141 Bridge work near Bayard begins Monday


April 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Jefferson Construction Office reports work to replace the bridge carrying Iowa 141 over Willow Creek 2.1 miles west of Iowa 25 near Bayard, will require closing the bridge and detouring traffic beginning at 7-a.m. Monday, April 7, weather permitting.

During ths project, Iowa 141 will be closed and traffic will be detoured using Iowa 25, Greene County Road E-63, and Carroll/Greene/Guthrie County Road N-58. However, local traffic access to Iowa 141 will be maintained.

This project is expected to be completed by mid-October.

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts. For traveler information anytime, visit www.511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter (find links at www.iowadot.com/511/socialmedia.html); or download the free app to your mobile device.

Beware traffic blockages on I-80 in Cass County this morning


April 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Fire Department was called to help with the clean-up of a fuel spill from an overturned semi early this morning on Interstate 80 in Cass County. The call was dispatched just before 4-a.m. to I-80 at the 60-mile marker, or Highway 71 interchange. Traffic control is in-place on I80 eastbound at about the 57-mile marker (Olive Street exit).

Numerous non-injury accidents have been reported in the area. Slow down, and drive with caution as roads are very slick, and winds are strong out of the northwest at 30-to 40 miles per hour (as of 4-a.m.)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., April 4th 2014


April 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Leaders in Johnson County say they won’t pursue a ban on plastic bags, but will instead focus on voluntary measures to decrease their use. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports county officials have been considering a ban for months. It was pushed by the environmental group 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say the northwest Iowa city of Cherokee accidentally released several hundred gallons of wastewater into a storm drain feeding the Little Sioux River. The state Department of Natural Resources says repairs were completed about 2 p.m. yesterday.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A discrimination complaint by a former Mason City Human Rights Commission director filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has been administratively closed. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Perry Buffington, the city’s human resources director, said Wednesday that the closure means the state commission will take no further action on Lionel Foster’s complaint. The 76-year-old Foster had claimed race and age discrimination in his complaint after he was let go last year.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A community group is working toward raising money to reopen a historic theater in central Iowa. The Help Entertain and Restore Organization, also known as HERO, says it’s nearing a major fundraising goal to reopen the Webster Theater in Webster City. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports the theater, which was built in 1906 and opened as the Orpheum Theater in 1909, closed last year.

Iowa evening News Headlines: Thu., April 3rd 2014


April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services says he paid no hush money to workers as part of their settlement agreements with the state. Mike Carroll has told lawmakers he made a mistake in approving confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements but he says no one was paid to keep silent. Three former department employees say the state offered them cash if they didn’t talk about the agreements.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission have visited the proposed site of the Cedar Crossing Casino in Cedar Rapids. Developers are making a final push for the $164 million project that they say would breathe new life into an area ravaged by a flood in 2008.

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have determined that a man killed himself Tuesday after exchanging gunfire with a Maquoketa police officer. The Department of Public Safety says an autopsy shows Aaron Scott died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It also showed he’d been wounded in the leg during the shootout with Sergeant Brendan Zeimet. Zeimet was treated for a wound in the left arm.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for northwest Iowa. Up to three inches of snow are expected by Friday morning, followed by winds of nearly 50 miles per hour. Forecasters say the weekend weather will be more spring-like.

Exira-EHK FFA receives $2,500 from AFGC Progra,

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Monsanto Corporation report that officers with the Exira-EHK FFA were presented with a check last week in the amount of $2,500, from the company’s “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” Program. The award was presented by C. Gene Riley, District Sales Manager for Producers Hybrids, and farmers Alan and Maureen Jensen of Exira, who chose the chapter to receive the award.

Pictured (L-R) Alex Bowlin, Deann Irlmeier, Kristen Rutherford, John Schultes, C. Gene Riley, Chance Lauritsen, Maureen Jensen, Kendall Petersen, Alan Jensen, Austin Moeller, Madison Leader.

Pictured (L-R) Alex Bowlin, Deann Irlmeier, Kristen Rutherford, John Schultes, C. Gene Riley, Chance Lauritsen, Maureen Jensen, Kendall Petersen, Alan Jensen, Austin Moeller, Madison Leader.

The Jensens buy their seed through Producers Hybrids, a Monsanto traits vendor. Therefore, the Jensens were eligible to submit an application, and were selected as one of the winning customers who could choose any community organization to receive the award.

Kristin Rutherford Exira/EHK AG Teacher/FFA Advisor, said she is pleased with the level of  community support that the award represents. Rutherford said “We are so grateful for this money, which will go directly to funding the test plot that the students will be farming this year, and the funding of green house growing activities that help us with additional fundraising efforts,” she explained.

According to their website, each year the “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” program donates over 1200 $2500 awards to rural communities and organizations. The winning farmers are chosen through an application process that closes each November. There is one winner chosen from each eligible county. This is the first award for a Producers Hybrids customer and Exira-EHK FFA.

Adair Boil Order Lifted


April 3rd, 2014 by Jim Field

Officials of the City of Adair have announced that the Boil Advisory has been lifted for the City of Adair, as of 12 noon today, April 3rd.


Lawsuit: Iowa official pursued anti-worker agenda


April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The former chief administrative law judge for unemployment appeals is alleging that Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert repeatedly tried to interfere with judges’ work to favor employers over workers.  Joseph Walsh filed a lawsuit Thursday in Polk County alleging that Wahlert stripped him of his job protections and ultimately laid off him and his wife after he opposed her efforts to exert authority over administrative law judges to pursue an “anti-employee agenda.”

Walsh had been the deputy IWD director under Democratic Gov. Chet Culver. Then he was named to oversee a dozen judges that handle unemployment benefits decisions. The lawsuit claims Wahlert’s decision to lay off Walsh was retaliation for Walsh’s complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor about Wahlert’s actions.

Atlantic man arrested on multiple drug charges


April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green reports an Atlantic man was arrested today (Thursday), on multiple drug charges. 33-year old Steven Pedersen, of Atlantic, was charged with: Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Distribute; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana; Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drug or Device; Possession of a Controlled Substance/3rd offense – Psilocybin mushrooms, and, Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp.

Pedersen has since posted a $10,000 bond and was released pending an upcoming court appearance.

Northwest Iowa expecting snow overnight

News, Weather

April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Residents in northwest Iowa are preparing for another blast of winter-like weather – two weeks into spring.  The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning starting Thursday afternoon into Friday morning for the northwestern corner of Iowa. The agency says rain and snow, possibly mixed with sleet, is expected Thursday afternoon.

Blowing snow is expected Thursday night into Friday, with up to 3 inches of snow and sleet expected. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph are expected Friday with high temperatures in the mid-30s. Winds are expected to diminish by midnight, and skies will clear by Saturday, bringing temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s.

Senate supports audits of settlement agreements


April 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate has passed a Democratic-sponsored amendment to a state spending bill that would require the state auditor to look into confidential settlement agreements with fired state workers during Gov. Terry Branstad’s current term. The amendment authorizes $10,000 for the auditor to conduct the reviews.

Senate Republicans proposed to amend the measure to cover the administrations of Chet Culver and Tom Vilsack, both Democrats, claiming confidential settlements are nothing new. The proposal failed. Democratic Senate Leader Mike Gronstal accused Republicans of politicizing the issue. He says the question of whether Branstad’s administration fired state employees for political reasons needs to be answered.  Republican Sen. Jack Whitver says the issue has been going on for years.

The amendment was tacked onto the Administration and Regulation Budget bill, approved Wednesday 26-21.