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Jobless Numbers

News

August 18th, 2014 by admin

Iowa’s jobless rate saw a small uptick in the past month, according to Kerry Koonce at Iowa Workforce Development. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from four-point-four percent in June to four-point-five percent in July. “We did have a slight increase in our unemployment rate for July over June by just a tenth of a percent,” Koonce says. “Although our civilian labor force grow, so did our number of unemployed individuals grew just slightly as well.” The number of unemployed Iowans rose to almost 77-thousand during July, up from about 74-thousand during June. Overall, Koonce says, the total number of working Iowans fell to about one-million 624-thousand in July. “We really saw no change in the non-farm jobs,” Koonce says. “All of the gains that we had in the private sector were offset heavily by government areas and also in the leisure and hospitality areas. Some of the summer stuff starts to slow down.” Education and health services added the most jobs during July, Koonce says, due to gains in both private education services and health care services. She says the state’s workforce is in better shape than it was a year ago. “July of this year, our non-farm numbers are significantly higher,” Koonce says. “We’re 16,500 jobs higher than we were at this time last year, so that’s very good. Plus, our unemployment rate this time last year was at 4.8% so we’ve lost 3/10th of a percent there as well. All in all, our numbers are looking very good compared to this time last year.” Many seasonal jobs are vanishing as summer gives way to fall and back-to-school time, which may contribute to the jobless rate next month. “You’ll see a little bit of that, but you’ll also have teachers and colleges and universities and things like that going back as well so you’ll see an increase in the employment there,” Koonce says. “It usually tends to level out pretty good.” Iowa’s unemployment rate at four-and-a-half percent for July is well below the national jobless rate of six-point-two percent.

Bill & Hillary Clinton will be at 37th & final Harkin Steak Fry

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Bill and Hillary Clinton are the headliners for Senator Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry in September. “This is the last one,” Harkin says, “my 37th and last.” And it may wind up as the biggest ever. Harkin’s annual fall fundraiser has been a proving ground for presidential candidates of the past. This year’s September 14th event will mark Hillary Clinton’s first appearance in Iowa since her 2008 campaign and it will be seen by many in the Democratic Party as a first step for a 2016 campaign. Hillary Clinton’s husband was the final speaker at the 2003 Harkin Steak Fry and over 10-thousand people turned out on a hillside in Indianola that year. It rained most of the day, but the sun came out just before the former president took the stage.

“I’ll never forget it,” Harkin says, laughing. “Bill Clinton.” Harkin ran for president in 1992, but he dropped out of the race in March and endorsed Bill Clinton. In 2008, Harkin did not endorse any of the candidates competing for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, but his wife, Ruth, campaigned extensively for Hillary Clinton. Senator Harkin says Bill and Hillary Clinton are “close friends” who “have contributed so much good, inspiring leadership to this country.” Harkin talked about the upcoming Steak Fry during a recent Radio Iowa interview.

“I hope we have a really good last Steak Fry and I think we will. There’s only one thing left to do: pray for good weather,” Harkin said, with a laugh. This will be Bill Clinton’s fourth appearance at a Harkin Steak Fry. Hillary Clinton spoke at the event in 2007 along with the other Democratic presidential candidates running that year. A farm in rural Madison County was the site of the first-ever Harkin Steak Fry. In 1991, Harkin used the event to launch his own presidential campaign. The 2014 edition of the Harkin Steak Fry will be staged on the balloon field on the east side of Indianola.

(Radio Iowa)

Website: Ames is best college town in U.S.

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An online publication has named Ames, Iowa as the best college town in the nation. The operators of Livability dot com note Ames provides affordable housing and a variety of restaurants, cultural attractions, and parks. Director of Communications at the Ames Chamber of Commerce, Lauren Frandsen, says Ames encourages students to make the city their home. “We’ve been working really hard here at the Chamber and the Ames Economic Development Commission to make sure Ames is a place is not just a place people think of coming to Iowa State and going to school and getting an education, but then a place they really feel connected to and they want to stay after they get their degree,” Frandsen said.

Director of the Campustown Action Association in Ames, Kim Hanna, is thrilled to hear about the rating. She attributes the success of the city to the relationship between the university and local businesses.  “The research park, which is bringing so many young professionals to the community and keeping them there…all of the businesses and start ups and entrepreneurial programs that are coming out of the research park are adding more excitement and vibrancy to the community,” Hanna said.

The website gathered data on housing costs, population of degree holders, and entertainment venues to rank the cities. The town support for the Cyclone football program also contributed to Ames’ top ranking. Logan, Utah came in second, followed by Oxford, Ohio; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Tempe, Arizona.

(Radio Iowa)

2 accidents near Council Bluffs claim 2 lives

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two Council Bluffs men were killed in separate motorcycle crashes Saturday. The Daily Non Pareil reports 66-year old Randy Thompson died at a hospital from head injuries he suffered when his cycle and another motorcycle collided at the intersection of L-34 and Mahogany Road near Underwood,  a little after 1-p.m. Saturday. He was not wearing a helmet . Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told the paper Thompson was at the back of a single-file group of cyclists going south on L34 and approaching a “sharp turn” prior to Mahogany.

Tthe first two bikes were able to slow down with the intention of turning left onto Mahogany, but Thompson was reportedly going too fast around that turn, striking the lead motorcycle, reportedly carrying Mark and Gail Leber, of Council Bluffs. Gail Leber was taken by Neola Rescue to Alegent Creighton Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs with minor injuries, according to Danker.

The second crash happened late Saturday night in rural Council Bluffs. 30-year old Stephen Thompson, of Council Bluffs, died at the scene near 24308 Hunt Ave. after he reportedly lost control of his motorcycle and went into a ditch.Thompson, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head injuries during the crash that happened at 11:29 p.m. Saturday,  as he was traveling east on Hunt Avenue and following a group of four-wheel ATV riders.

While both victims share the same last name, Danker said it was not known whether the two men were related. Both crashes remain under investigation.

SUV fire on I-80

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Atlantic and Marne responded to reported vehicle fire on Interstate 80 this (Monday) afternoon. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon said the incident happened at around 2-p.m. on I-80 eastbound near the Marne exit (Mile marker 51).

Photo courtesy Mike Kennon, Cass Co. EMA

Photo courtesy Mike Kennon, Cass Co. EMA

No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

 

 

Mills County Sheriffs Report 8/18/14

News

August 18th, 2014 by admin

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a Glenwood man was arrested over the weekend on a trio of moving violations. 23-year old Tyler Jason Chambers was arrested for Driving Under Suspension, speeding, and failure to provide proof of insurance. His bond was set at $300.

Sheriff’s officials say 46-year old James Lee Schmitt, of David City, NE, was arrested Friday at the Mills County Jail, for violating a no contact order, and on a warrant for stalking. His bond was set at $5,500. And, 57-year old Timothy John Urban, of Boise, ID, was arrested Friday in Mills County, on a charge of Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

Authorities said also, a man from Kentucky was injured Saturday afternoon, when the semi he was driving turned too sharply as it was leaving a driveway. The trailer entered a ditch and damaged the road. The accident happened about seven-miles north of Glenwood on 189th Street. The driver of the semi, Robert Harris, of Paducah, KY, was transported to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, by Pacific Junction Rescue.

Tornadoes above average

News

August 18th, 2014 by admin

While Iowa is susceptible to tornadoes during any month of the year, the traditional tornado season is now over and the state came out with an above-average number of twisters this year, more than 50. Meteorologist Rod Donavon, at the National Weather Service, says we may still see a tornado in the coming weeks and Iowans should never let down their guard for the risk. “The season’s really never over and the official numbers can’t come out until December 31st, at the end of the year,” Donavon says. “We’re not expecting a lot of tornadoes after this but last year we did have that October event across northwest Iowa and back in 2005, we had a November event, so certainly it’s never over until it’s over.” The recent drought years equated to very few tornadoes touching down in Iowa, but with the drought well behind us, tornado numbers picked right back up this year, especially during May and June. “We are preliminarily up to 52 which is above average,” Donavon says. “A typical year, at least over the last 30-year average, has been around 45 or 46. We’re certainly up quite a bit over the last two years where we had 16 in 2012 and right around 20 last year.” By contrast, a decade ago, Iowa set a tornado record in 2004 with 120 confirmed touch downs. Still, in recent years during the drought, Iowa went from May of 2012 to May of 2013 without a single tornado, four days short of a full calendar year. “A lot of that had to do with the drier years,” Donavon says. “In 2012-2013, we just didn’t have the storms or the storm systems moving across the state and we were near record low numbers. We are much closer to average this year. We had a lot of what we’d consider weaker tornadoes, a lot of EF0s, EF1s, which fortunately didn’t hit much property or any neighborhoods.” There were three tornadoes that registered as EF2s this year, but those were the strongest and none rated in the upper, more-destructive categories of EF3s, 4s and 5s. Two people were killed in tornadoes in Iowa this year. Both died in a twister that hit Keokuk County in April.

(Radio Iowa)

2 injured in Bluffs’ cycle accident

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured just north of Council Bluffs Saturday afternoon during an accident involving two motorcycles. The Daily NonPareil reports the accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at County Road L34 and Mahogany Road near Underwood.

One of the injured parties was given CPR at the scene and then taken by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital. The other person was transported to Alegent Health Mercy Hospital. A condition report on their conditions is currently not available.

 

Call for Blood Donors as Summer Draws to Close

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – With the summer quickly winding down, the need for blood donors in Iowa is up. Nichole Hanger, public relations and marketing specialist with LifeServe Blood Center, said there are generally fewer people who donate over the busy summer months, even though demand generally increases. “A person injured in a car accident can use up to 100 units of blood, so it’s really critical we have an ample supply,” Hanger said. “Not only to help that one patient, but cancer patients, and surgery patients.”

Hanger encouraged people of all blood types to consider donating; especially those with blood types “B-negative” and “O-negative.” “O-negative is the universal blood donor and it’s used most commonly for trauma and accident patients, newborn babies, and those that don’t immediately know their blood type,” said Hanger. “So, it’s critical we have a stable blood supply of ‘O-negative,’ but all blood types are needed throughout the year.”

LifeServe Blood Center provides blood and blood products to more than 100 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Iowa early News Headlines, Mon. Aug. 18th 2014

News

August 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sales of Indian motorcycles are strong enough to support more jobs at the Iowa plant that makes them. The Des Moines Register reports Polaris Industries expects to hire 300 more people at its Spirit Lake plant that already employs more than 700.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines police officer was treated for minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle outside the Iowa State Fair. Police say senior police officer Ben Ihde was directing traffic outside the fairgrounds about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when he was hit by a vehicle that was slowly turning onto another street. Ihde was knocked off balance and fell, striking his head. He was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City officials are considering imposing new taxi cab rules after a driver was charged with several assaults last winter. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine recommended the new rules, which could include city-issued IDs, 24-hour dispatch centers and other changes to the way cab companies operate.

ALTA, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man used 600 golf balls to make a 6-foot-tall statue of a golfer swinging a club. KCAU reports Kevin Pingel’s creation in Alta is an expression of his love for golf. Pingel says he decided to create the statue after collecting hundreds of golf balls from his yard on a golf course.