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Bike and Trails Expo this evening in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Bike and Trails expo is being held this evening, in Atlantic. Dave Chase with the Nishna Valley Trails group says it’s an opportunity for the public to learn about bike trail development in the area, along with the potential for economic development as a result of progress on the trails, and wellness benefits. The evening begins with a guest speaker. Mark Wyatt, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition (http://iowabicyclecoalition.org.) will speak with regard to bike trails throughout the state, and bicycle safety. Chase says Iowa is one of the leading states for mileage of recreational trails in the country, due in large part to the enthusiasm for bicycling, with RAGBRAI sparking a great deal of interest in the sport.

Chase says the Iowa Bicycle Coalition was developed to promote those types of activities, and to establish legislation designed to enhance those types of projects, along with safety education.” He says an update will also be made available during the expo, on the status of extending the bike trail from the Schildberg Recreation Area to the trail head just west of Highway 71, northeast of Atlantic. The public is invited to provide input on those plans, as well. Chase says it’s hoped the expo will reach those persons whose bikes may have been idle for a long time, to show them what trails are available in the area, that they are safe, and how to ride safe. He says they don’t encourage people to ride on the county roads and highways, unless they are experienced riders. Chase says that’s also why it’s important to develop safe routes. 

The expo will feature displays, refreshments, door prizes…including the giveaway of two bikes…and displays of unusual bikes. It takes place at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic, beginning at 7-p.m.  There is no charge for admission.

Hit and run accident under investigation in Red Oak


April 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Red Oak Police and other agencies are investigating a hit-and-run accident which occurred Sunday night. Sheriff’s officials say the incident took place at around 9:30-p.m., near the Red Oak Fire Department on North Broadway. An initial investigation determined a City of Red Oak Fire Department pickup operated by 24-year old Rudee Phillip DeMarce, of Red Oak, was traveling north on Broadway and beginning to turn right into the entrance of Legion Park, when a dark colored sedan hit the pickup on the right side. DeMarce was not injured during the crash.

The car, later identified as a 2006 Chevy Impala, jumped the curb after hitting the pickup, and continued northbound through the Fire Department’s yard, where it hit a sign and sign post before returning to Broadway and taking off at a high rate of speed. While the incident was under investigation, a citizen notified authorities a vehicle matching the hit-and-run suspect’s vehicle had been abandoned at Highway 34 and Eastern Avenue. The car had sustained front end extensive, disabling damage.

The owner of the vehicle was identified as Jack LeRoy Wilson, of Shenandoah. Authorities says it’s not clear though, who was driving the car. Sheriff’s deputies, assisted by a K-9 unit, tried to track down the person or persons who may have been in the vehicle, but their efforts were not successful. Other agencies assisting in the investigation, included the Shenandoah Police Department, Mills County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa State Patrol. The incident remains under investigation.

Damage to the City of Red Oak Fire Department’s 2006 Chevy 2500 pickup was estimated at $2,500, while Wilson’s car sustained approximately $5,000 damage.

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., April 30th 2012


April 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Hawkeyes All-American wrestler Bobby Telford faces a charge of public intoxication after an incident last weekend outside an Iowa City bar. A police report cited by the Iowa City Press-Citizen says the 20-year-old Telford was found leaning against the front of the bar on April 20th. Police say he smelled of alcohol and refused to take a breath test.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An attorney for a suspended Des Moines police officer says a medical problem may be to blame for two crashes involving his patrol car. The attorney says doctors are trying to determine whether 28-year-old Brandon Singleton has narcolepsy or has a stress-related problem brought on by marital troubles or his past Army service. Singleton was suspended and charged Tuesday with hitting an unoccupied vehicle and three drug counts. He’s pleaded not guilty.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A suspect has been arrested in a pair of Cedar Rapids stabbings. Police say 20-year-old Parish Harris of Cedar Rapids, faces two counts of attempted murder following his arrest after 3:00 a.m. yesterday. He is being held in the Linn County jail.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man has been ordered to spend 25 years in prison for the attempted murder of his pregnant girlfriend. The sentence for 21-year-old Thomas Rausch Junior was handed down Friday in Woodbury County District Court. He was convicted in March of attempted murder and willful injury in a January 2011 attack on Kasandra Smith, now 22.

Education reform effort may be faltering


April 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Legislators appear to have reached a standstill at the statehouse, with deep divisions over taxing and spending issues, plus the much-vaunted education reform effort is in jeopardy. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says the 10 lawmakers who’ve been trying to hammer out that education plan are “obviously struggling” to find common ground between the two parties.”I don’t know if they’re able to bridge that gap or get over those hurdles,” Paulsen says. Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames who is involved in the negotiations, admits the impasse may not be resolved. “I would be disappointed at that outcome,” Quirmbach says. “But there are some places that we will not go.” Some Republican lawmakers question whether it is necessary to pass a state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1st, since legislators approved a partial two-year budget last year. That two-year plan would provide most state agencies with half as much as they’ve gotten this year.

Senator Bill Dix of Shell Rock is the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I believe that there are sufficient resources that were allocated a year ago to get to January 1,” Dix says, “in which case the next legislature, after this November election, could make a determination at that point of how to supplementally approve resources for the balance of that year.” Dix says he “promised the taxpayers” he would ensure state spending doesn’t grow beyond available revenue. “That’s why I ran,” Dix says. “That’s why I’m here and that’s why I believe I have the support of people in my district.” But Representative Scott Raecker of Urbandale — the Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee — has not signed onto the idea of walking away now without taking action on the state budget. “If there’s no further action on the budget, then there would be areas of state government that I believe would run out of their cash flow prior to the legislature convening next January,” Raecker says.

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says state agencies would have to make tough choices if legislators don’t come to some agreement soon on the budget. “They cannot presume that next January we would come back and do anything — they cannot presume that — and therefore one-quarter of all people in nursing homes would be thrown out of nursing homes,” Gronstal says. “Schools would lose thousands of teachers. I mean, it’s not really a plan that works.” House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, the top Republican in the legislature, says the budget problems will be solved before July. “We’ll get it sorted out and it’ll all be fine,” Paulsen told reporters. Legislators are still grappling with the issue of property tax reform, too — but no one involved in the behind-the-scenes negotiations is yet willing to declare that issue dead.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Two incidents examples of why you should call before digging


April 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A spokesperson for Iowa One Call says two recent incidents in western Iowa could have been prevented if workers had only called his organization to get help locating underground utilities. An underground natural gas pipeline was hit east of Hinton Wednesday –leading to an explosion and injuries to two workers on a trencher. Last month a fiber optic cable was cut near Orange City and that left thousands of customers in Le Mars without cable, internet and phone services. Iowa Once Call spokesperson, Ben Booth, says their system is set up for “damage prevention, ” and the law requires you to notify Iowa One Call before any digging is done.  “In essence, if you do not call before you dig, you are in violation of this serious law and there are ramifications,” Booth says. He says the state’s top lawyer can take action if you fail to call before digging.

“The Attorney General has the power to investigate and enforce the penalty proceedings under Chapter 480 and that could amount — in a gas line situation — in fines up to a half-a-million dollars. That’s 10-thousand dollars per day, per violation all the way up to half-a-million dollars,” Booth explains. “So you can see, it really is a very, very, serious matter with potentially very serious consequences.” The One Call spokesman says he doesn’t understand why people don’t use the service, especially since it only takes a little pre-planning.  “Here’s the thing, it’s not only a toll-free phone call, the service itself is free. The only thing you have to do is plan 48-hours in advance. You need to notify Iowa Once call at least 48-hours prior to commencing with your excavations or your digging projects. And that does not include Saturdays and Sundays and legal holidays,” according to Booth. He says no one is exempt from the law — from people digging in backyards to backfields — everyone must call before they dig.The number to call is 8-1-1, or 1-800-292-8989.

The Iowa Attorney General’s office says it is looking into the pipeline explosion for possible action. Other recent incidents of people hitting underground utilities while digging, include Saturday morning’s gas line rupture in Red Oak, which occurred during an excavation and forced the evacuation of some residents, and, an incident late last week here in Atlantic, when a contractor hit a gas line while digging just off of Lincoln Drive. For more information on Iowa One-Call, go to www.iowaonecall.com.

(Radio Iowa/KJAN)



Red Oak man arrested for OWI


April 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Red Oak Police Department reports 42-year old Danny Jo Lane, of Red Oak, was arrested early Sunday morning, on an OWI charge. Lane was taken into custody just before 1-a.m. on a charge of OWI/Drugged, and held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Western IA woman sent to Neb. prison for dog dumping


April 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) – An Iowa woman has been ordered to serve 90 days in a Nebraska prison for dumping 23 dead or dying dogs in a cornfield. Hall County District Judge William Wright said during Friday’s sentencing hearing that Denise Withee surrounded herself with animals to help her cope with depression. Wright ordered the prison to evaluate Withee, of Mapleton, Iowa, and report back to him so he can make a final determination on her sentence.
Withee said during her animal cruelty trial that she was taking the dogs someone in Nebraska when she became sick, pulled over and passed out. She said that when she awoke, most of the dogs were dead from the heat. She said she panicked and dumped them near Grand Island.

Cut Gas Line Causes Evacuation in Red Oak


April 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

A gas leak west of Red Oak  forced several residents from their homes for about two and one-half hours, Saturday. Montgomery County emergency management director Brian Hamman said a home owner at 1938 G Avenue cut a one-inch diameter natural gas line while digging in his yard, about 10:20 a.m. Fire crews evacuated four houses and closed roads in the area while crews from Mid-American Energy promptly acted to repair the the line. Residents were allowed to return to their homes about 1 p.m. Saturday. No injuries were reported.

8AM Newscast 04-28-2012

News, Podcasts

April 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Iowa DOT begins traffic information collection in southwest Iowa


April 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said Friday they’ll be working across the state this summer to determine how many cars, trucks and other vehicles are using the state’s roadways. This year’s efforts are concentrated in southwestern Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state.

Many employees will spend peak hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at one location counting the morning, noon and evening traffic. They will count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, tally helmet usage by motorcyclists, and gather other data necessary to plan the future of Iowa’s roadway systems. During off-peak hours when they are not counting vehicles, those same employees may be seen around the community.

The DOT says other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, so their vehicles may be seen at local motels while most of us are going about our regular daytime activities.

Another data collection method involves capturing images of the state highways. The program covers half of the state yearly and utilizes a van with two mounted cameras that collect 200 images per mile. At the same time, precise location information is collected through a global positioning system. That data is stored along with the images on the van’s onboard computer system. The van may be seen operating on the state’s highways in the southern half of Iowa as well as all the interstates this year. Other statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading and maintenance of permanent, automatic traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment.

Officials say all of the work is critical to the future of the state’s transportation system. The information gathered allows transportation officials to better predict traffic trends, and allows them to plan improvements that they say will give Iowans the most benefit for each dollar spent.