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Economist says more Midwest industries in recovery

News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An economist who oversees a monthly economic survey of nine states in the Midwest and Plains says the economic recovery has spread to more industries. The Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose last month to 58.4 from 55.9 in January. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the region’s growth had been limited to agriculture and energy sectors. He says the February survey indicates the growth has spread to most industries, except construction.
 
The survey of supply managers and executives uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say that any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor. The states are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Montgomery County Accident Under Investigation

News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County are investigating a non-injury accident that took place Wednesday morning, just west of Red Oak. Officials say a semi driven by David Ficke, of Pleasant Dale, NE, was attempting to make a left-hand turn off of Highway 34 onto Boxelder Avenue, at the same time a car driven by Martha Morton, of Hopkins, MO, was attempting to pass the semi.

As the 2003 Peterbilt semi driven by Ficke turned onto Boxelder, it came into contact with Morton’s 2004 Pontiac Grand Am. Both vehicle came to rest in the intersection. The accident happened at around 10:30-a.m., Wednesday.

Iowa News Headlines: Thu., March 1st, 2012

News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved two gun-rights measures that sparked Democrats to stage a walkout earlier in the day, stalling action for six hours. One bill would allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves and the other called for writing gun rights protections into the Iowa Constitution. The second measure would have to be approved by another legislative assembly next year and then be referred to voters.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an Iowa State Patrol trooper was injured when a semitrailer hit his patrol car while the trooper was assisting in another crash in north central Iowa. Trooper Jeremy Schaffer was injured yesterday afternoon on an entrance ramp from U.S. Highway 20 onto Interstate 35 in Hamilton County. The road was slush-covered and high winds and blowing snow created poor visibility at the time.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The trial of two cousins accused in a deadly shooting in Cedar Rapids has been delayed from March until July. Eighteen-year-old Justin Ross of Cedar Rapids, and 19-year-old Donovan Ross of Hiawatha are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Andre Herron. He was shot on a city street on November 26th.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A famed Jackson Pollock painting that’s owned by the University of Iowa is coming to the Des Moines Art Center. The Des Moines Register reports the art center announced yesterday that it will display Pollock’s “Mural” from April 5th to July 15th.

Sioux City won’t show bullying film

News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Students in Sioux City public schools won’t be seeing a documentary on bullying because of the film’s R rating for foul language. The Sioux City Journal says Superintendent Paul Gausman says the district doesn’t show movies with foul language or graphic material, meaning “The Bully Project” won’t be used an educational film. He also says at 94 minutes, the film is too long to show. Parts of the documentary were filmed in a local elementary school, and one of the students featured is a former Sioux City student. The Motion Picture Association of America has voted to uphold the film’s R rating, sparking a backlash from those who believe it will prevent the film from being shown to students to demonstrate the impact of bullying.

Another gun-related proposal clears Iowa House Wed. Night

News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Republicans in the Iowa House and that lone Democrat also voted for a bill that would give Iowans the right to use “reasonable force” to stop a crime in a public place. Representative Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, is the chief sponsor of that bill.
“The basic intent is to provide Iowans the upper hand in their own self-defense,” Windschitl said.

Under current law, Iowans may use “reasonable force” — even “deadly force” to defend themselves in their home or place of business. This bill would extend those legal protections to a person’s vehicle when it comes to using a weapon as self-defense or to prevent a crime. Critics like House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy suggest the proposal would make Iowa the “wild, wild west” again. “Maybe loading groceries in the back of a car in the Walmart parking lot, you look over, somebody’s taking a sack out — boom!” McCarthy said during debate, yelling that last word to signify a gunshot. A couple of hours later, Windschitl responded.

“I trust Iowans,” he said. “I believe in them. Let’s give them an opportunity to defend themselves without the fear of frivolous prosecution.” This bill and the proposal for a constitutional amendment focused on gun rights now go to the Senate, where passage is not likely.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

4-H to Host Annual Mardi Gras Carnival for All Cass County Families

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County ISU Extension service say the Annual 4-H Mardi Gras event in Atlantic is scheduled to take place March 11th, from 2:00PM-4:00PM, at the Cass County Community Center.  All families are invited to attend this low cost, high energy event for youth.

Susan Oliver, Cass County Youth Coordinator says the Sunday event includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The cost of admission for the family-friendly event is just 50 cents.  Each game ticket is ten cents.  Clubs set their own rate per game.  Most games are two to five tickets in cost.  There will be 13 club booths including; horseshoes, handmade “Color Wheel of Fortune”, ski ball, target practice with the Safety Education in Shooting Sports (SESS) program, ball toss and more.  There is also a club foodstand.

Cass County 4-H started the Mardi Gras event several years ago, to provide a budget friendly event for families in the community.  It also provides the various County 4-H clubs an opportunity to have fun together while planning and handling the booths.  In addition, the event raises funds for the individual clubs and the overall 4-H program.

To learn more about the 4-H program visit: www.extension.iastate.edu/4h and for detailed local program information at:
www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Guilty Plea entered in Lenox Tornado repair scam

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Lenox Police Chief Jon Huggins reports a Lenox man, Joseph Adam Whitehead, pled guilty Tuesday in Taylor County District Court, to a charge of 2nd degree theft, in connection with an investigation into complaints he was paid but failed to perform work on, structures damaged during the May 11, 2011 tornado in Lenox. Whitehead was sentenced serve a term not to exceed 5 years confinement in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

In addition he’s required to pay restitution to the victims, fines, court and other costs related to the investigation, amounting to more than $15,470.  Whitehead must also provide a DNA sample to the Department of Corrections, and is prohibitted from owning firearms or ammunition for the rest of his life.

Strong winds topple semi Shelby County

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Winds gusting in excess of 45-miles per hour caused an accident this (Wednesday) morning in Shelby County. According to the Sheriff’s Office, 37-year old William Haneline, of Ida Grove, was traveling north on Highway 59 at around 9-a.m., when a gust of wind caught the empty trailer, causing it to topple onto its side. Haneline was not hurt in the mishap, but both the semi tractor and trailer were considered to be a total loss. The road was closed for about one-half hour while crews worked to remove the wreck.

Corps meets deadline in levee repairs

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has met its deadline on the most critical levee repairs on the Missouri River from Omaha and Council Bluffs to just below the Missouri border at Rockport and the levees are ready to handle high water again. The corps says five breaches have been closed and several damaged segments have been repaired from last summer’s historic flooding. The corps’ Bret Budd says work on the last of the five breaches, near Percival and Hamburg in Iowa, was completed Tuesday. The work, which has been ongoing since January, was urgent before the 2012 runoff season begins — even with the mild winter. March 1 is the typical start of the runoff season, when the first significant water from melting snowpack enters the river.

IA DOT offers tips for dealing with high winds today

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising central and west central Iowa motorists that sustained wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts between 50 to 60 mph, are expected across Iowa this afternoon. The rest of the state is expected to experience sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gust of up to 50 mph. Drivers on Iowa roadways should be alert to the effects of these winds on high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning effective until 6 p.m. today for 25 counties in central west central Iowa. A wind advisory is in effect across the remainder of the state. Strong southwesterly winds will continue to strengthen this morning and become westerly during the day. Strong winds are capable of snapping power lines, toppling road signs and blowing debris onto the roadway. Never cross a roadway where downed power lines, poles or transformers are present. Do not try to free lines or remove debris yourself. Call 911 if you observe such items on the roadway so emergency assistance can be provided. For road weather information in Iowa, visit Iowa DOT’s website http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/. Weatherview offers helpful information to travelers, including current wind speed, direction and gusts. Information is collected from road and aviation weather observation reporting sites throughout the state.

If you are driving:

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and be prepared to slow down.
  • Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong gusts can push a vehicle or trailer outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van, SUV or recreational vehicle or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • Never cross a downed power line.
  • Approach all intersections with caution. If there is a power outage, the traffic signals may not be operating properly. Remember, nonfunctioning traffic signals are to be treated as a four-way stop.
  • Check the latest weather conditions by accessing the information kiosks located at any of the interstate rest areas.