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Iowa State Patrol Reminds Football Fans to Be Safe This Weekend

News, Sports

September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

This weekend, the largest in-state rivalry between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones will take place at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The Iowa State Patrol reminds all fans traveling to and from the game and parties across the state to be safe.

The Iowa State Patrol offers the following tips for a safe weekend of football fun:

Plan ahead, leave early for your destination.
Slow down and expect heavy traffic delays.
Be patient if you encounter heavy traffic.
Pay attention and avoid any unnecessary distractions.
Obey all directions given by law enforcement officers.
Don’t drink and drive.
Buckle up!
A much higher volume of traffic is expected on Saturday in and around the Iowa City area. Some fans will arrive several hours before kickoff, so traffic congestion can be expected many hours prior to and following the conclusion of the game. Motorists not attending the game are encouraged to find alternate routes.

By following these simple tips, the Iowa State Patrol hopes everyone remains safe while cheering on the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.

Mills County S/O arrest report


September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County released a report on their most recent arrests, Wednesday (today). On Tuesday, 51-year old Joyce Kay Ayers, of Glenwood, was arrested on a warrant for Theft in the 5th degree. Her bond was set at $300. Last Sunday, 37-year old Shane Perry Koglin, of Omaha, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance. His bond was set at $1,000. That same day, 23-year old Vanessa Nicole Miller, of Omaha, was arrested for Driving While Revoked. Her bond was also set at $1,000.

Last Friday, deputies in Mills County arrested 29-year old Brett Allen Coyle, of Glenwood, on charges of Interference with Official Acts and False Reporting. Bond was set at $600. Also on Friday, 58-year old Charles Kent Tochum, of Pacific Junction, was arrested on a warrant for Sexual Assault in the 3rd degree. His bond was set at $10,000.

And last Thursday, 29-year old Kenton Jarvis Schooling, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Pottawattamie County Jail on a Mills County warrant for Failure to Appear on an OWI/1st offense charge. Bond was set at $5,000.

Average price to rent corn, soybean ground in Iowa: $260 an acre

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new government report finds the average price to rent Iowa farmland has gone up slightly this year.
According to the U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Statistics Service, rental rates are averaging 260-dollars per acre in Iowa this year for corn and soybean ground. That’s about five bucks an acre higher than last year. The most expensive farmland in the state is in Grundy County, where the average rental rate is 322 dollars an acre. The cheapest is in Appanoose County, where rent was 149-dollar per acre on average. (A link to the report for all of Iowa’s 99 counties can be found here: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Iowa/Publications/County_Estimates/reports/IA_county%20Cash%20Rent%2013-14.pdf)

The U-S-D-A report concludes the average price to rent pasture land in Iowa is 50 dollars an acre.  An Iowa State University Extension survey released in April concluded farmland rental prices statewide had DECLINED “moderately” from 2013. It was the first reported decrease in rental rates for corn and soybean fields since 1999. A retired I-S-U economist said the decrease was due to lower commodity prices for the crops that will be grown on that rented ground. The I-S-U and U-S-D-A reports did find the SAME average rate of 260-dollars an acre for row crop rentals.

(Radio Iowa)

Heavy rain brings widespread flooding, much colder temps on the way

News, Weather

September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Much of Iowa’s southern half got drenched in heavy thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and evening, pushing rivers and streams well out of their banks and flooding roadways, back yards and basements. Meteorologist Miles Schumacher, at the National Weather Service, says some areas of the state report getting four inches of rain in just 45 minutes.

“Most areas had over two inches, around three inches in Des Moines and we’ve had amounts as high as five to six inches in southwest Iowa, toward Creston,” Schumacher says. “Most areas in the southern two tiers of counties got at least three, three-and-a-half inches.” River banks and storm sewer lines were overwhelmed while Flood Warnings are still in effect for numerous counties this (Wednesday) morning across Iowa’s southern half, almost everything south of Interstate 80.

“There’s just a lot of water and a lot of roads underwater,” Schumacher says. “County officials are quite busy barricading roads and there are some washouts in Union County and Warren County. The rivers are flooding. We’ve got rivers in moderate flood stage.” While there’s a chance for more rain Thursday and Friday, forecasters say it shouldn’t be nearly as bad as this latest storm, while much colder weather will be pushing into the state over the next few days.

“After that, it looks like temperatures will be generally in the 30s across the north and low 40s across the south for Saturday morning,” Schumacher says. “Quite cool for this time of the year. Not quite records but getting close.” See more details on the forecast at weather-dot-gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors receive roads and 9-1-1 Center Updates


September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) received updates on the status of various road projects and the 9-1-1 Communications Center project. In his report to the Board, County Engineer Charles Marker said he would be checking the roads in the county for washouts and damage following Tuesday’s heavy rain, but he hadn’t heard of too many issues at the time of his report.

In other news, Marker said the Interstate 80 bridge northeast of Marne on County Road M-56 was officially closed Monday, and county crews have bladed a detour route. Construction on the bridge deck replacement project takes place at night, so as to keep traffic moving as normal as possible during the day. A concrete box replacement project north of Marne being worked on by Gus Construction is nearly complete, and has a required sand backfill around the box. All the remains, according to Marker, is the placing of dirt on top of the sand, and then rock on top of the road.

Another bridge deck project by DENCO Construction, is underway on County Road N-28 north of Cumberland. There are two other projects to follow once the N-28 work is done. Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert told the Board there were “A couple of issues” with the facility under construction at the former law firm building across the street to the southwest of the Courthouse.

The first was a tiny room under the stoop where a fire extinguishing system is going to be installed. Koppert said there were some “water issues” following recent rains. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said he was aware of the issue, and it was being taken care of. The second issue has to do with a slight sagging of the floor above the dispatch center, where the Cambridge Law Firm has their lobby.

Koppert said they removed three shelving units to make way for the communication center’s equipment and dry wall work. Unknown to the architects or anyone else, those shelves apparent bore some of the weight from above, because when the tenants above or their clients walk on the floor, it has some “bounce.” The issue does not however, constitute a problem with structural rigidity or building safety.

Koppert was instructed to work with the contractor to determine the most cost effective means of adding support to the ceiling without interfering with the Comm. Center’s space. Most of the construction should be finished by mid-November, with the equipment installed by the end of December. The Center should be ready to open no later than June 1st, 2015.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News, 9/10/2014

News, Podcasts

September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, Wed. 9/10/2014

News, Podcasts

September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Voters approve initiatives in 2 out of 3 special s.w. IA elections, Tuesday


September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Voters in southwest Iowa didn’t let the storms and in some cases flood waters stop them from heading to the polls Tuesday to help decide on initiatives in three school district special elections. The Lewis Central, East Mills and Missouri Valley public school districts asked voters to weigh in on voter-initiated funding streams. The Daily NonPareil reports voters said yes to Lewis Central and Missouri Valley, but rejected East Mills’ proposal. Turnout was low in Council Bluffs, where a tax was being renewed, but around 30 percent of voters showed up in Missouri Valley, Malvern and Hastings, where additional taxes were on the ballot.

Kristi Everett, elections deputy for Pott. County, said the instructional support levy was approved by a vote of 227-75. The levy represented about 54 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation in property taxes, based on last year, as well as a 6 percent income surtax. The levy brings in about $1.3 million annually for the district. With Tuesday’s decision, the levy has been renewed for a decade. The Lewis Central Community School District’s existing instructional support levy was set to expire in June 2016.

Voters in the East Mills School District rejected an expanded physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) 403-345, according to unofficial results from the Mills County Auditor’s Office. The East Mills Community School District will not expand its board-approved 33 cent per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The district had asked voters to expand that to a $1.34 levy. Turnout for the election was about 31.4 percent. The levy would have generated an additional nearly $4 million for infrastructure projects.

Approval of the levy was anticipated in the district’s facility plans, which also include a school bond campaign. Superintendent Paul Croghan said he isn’t sure what the next step will be. The school board will have its next meeting Sept. 15, he said.

And in the Missouri Valley School District, voters approved physical plant and equipment levy was approved 704-153, according to unofficial results from the Harrison County Auditor’s Office. About 28.6 percent of registered voters turned out for the contest. Of the 857 votes cast, 66 were cast on absentee ballots.

With the outcome, the Missouri Valley Community School District will double its existing physical plant and equipment levy, which pays for infrastructure needs, to a combined $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The levy is expected to generate $2.9 million to help pay for a $7.5 million investment in the district’s campus, connecting all the schools together and making safety and wellness improvements. The remaining $4.6 in funding would come through state sales tax revenue.

And, voters in the Bedford Community School District approved by a vote of 284-to 249, a 33-cent increase in the district’s PPEL, to $1.67 per thousand dollars valuation. School officials proposed the increase  to cover roughly half the cost of a new heating and air conditioning system in the Bedford K-12 building. Revenues from the district’s local option sales and service tax will cover the remaining half.

Iowa counties likely to revisit security measures following fatal shooting in Jackson County Courthouse


September 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The executive director of the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) expects officials in many of Iowa’s 99 counties will be reevaluating their courthouse security measures following the fatal shooting yesterday (Tuesday) in Jackson County. Bill Peterson says it’s been a few years since the I-S-A-C has surveyed its members on the use of metal detectors or other methods to screen visitors entering county buildings.

“But, I would say the vast majority of counties do not have any security that would evaluate whether or not an individual was bringing a weapon into a county facility, whether it’s the administration building or the county courthouse,” Peterson says.

A Maquoketa man shot himself on Tuesday inside the Jackson County Courthouse. Authorities say 71-year-old Francis Glaser — upset about a property tax assessment — went to a board of supervisors meeting and fired a shot at the county assessor. He missed and was then tackled to the ground. Glaser shot himself in the head, but investigators aren’t sure if he intended to kill himself or if he was trying to shoot others. The Jackson County Courthouse does not have permanent security measures. Peterson says most counties simply can’t afford the necessary machines or manpower.

“I think it does, in many cases, become just a financial decision that they would not provide that,” Peterson says. The Jackson County sheriff said Glaser did not have a permit to purchase or carry a gun. Glaser was the former city manager of Maquoketa.

(Radio Iowa)

Nebraska storms cause flooding, power outages


September 10th, 2014 by Chris Parks

(Updated 6:57-a.m.)

Emergency officials in Madison County report motorists in two separate vehicles had to be rescued early this (Wednesday) morning, when those vehicles became stranded in low spots on the road that were covered with water. The incidents occurred about 8-miles south-southwest of Earlham in the 1700 block of Pitzer Road. No injuries were reported.

Heavy rainfall also caused flooding and power outages in Omaha, with the storms bringing down tree limbs and high waters stranding some motorists.  Omaha firefighters tell the World-Herald a woman and three children had to be rescued from a minivan, which was trapped under a bridge. In some places, manhole covers popped off because the runoff overwhelmed storm sewers. More than 2,100 residents were without electricity Tuesday night. For about half an hour, the Douglas County, NE.,  911 system also wasn’t working properly. Mark Conrey, director of the 911 call center, says he’ll be working to find out what happened.

According to reports, in Shenandoah, a portion of a downtown building slated for demolition collapsed sometime between 4-and 6-pm Tuesday, when a strong thunderstorm swept through the community. As a result of the damage, the Shenandoah City Council voted to block Blossom Street between West Sheridan and the alley north of the street, out of concerns more of the building would collapse.

Union County emergency management coordinator Jo Anne Duckworth says up to 4 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes in the southern side her County. There were road washouts in Ringgold and Clarke Counties, and some bridges damaged. Hail slightly larger than the size of golf balls fell in Adams and Taylor Counties late Tuesday afternoon. Tree limbs blocked some roads in and near Griswold late Tuesday night. There was also some brief flooding of Bull Creek here in Atlantic, according to the Cass County Communications Center.