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Bridge to Landfill Closed

News

October 15th, 2012 by Jim Field

The Cass County Engineers Office reports that a bridge near the Cass County Landfill will be closed for repairs beginning today.  The bridge is located two miles east of highway 71 on the landfill road.  Local residents will be able to reach their homes but there will be no access to the landfill on that road.  The bridge repairs are expected to take two weeks.

Meetings to discuss reorganization of victim services in Iowa begin tonight

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A series of community meetings begin tonight (Monday) for Iowans to offer input on a proposal to reorganize statewide victim services. Janelle Melohn is the director of the Crime Victim Assistance Division within the Iowa Attorney General’s office. She says federal and state funding cuts since 2007 have forced eight programs in Iowa to close. That’s resulted in larger service areas in pockets of the state – with inequitable divisions of both programming and funding. “The map of how services look right now across the state…is not equal at all,” Melohn said. “So, we may have programs in western Iowa that serve up to eight counties while we have a program in eastern Iowa that serves two counties.”

According to Melohn, federal funding for Iowa’s crime victim assistance programs has declined by 18 percent (18%), or nearly $1.5 million, over the past three fiscal years. State appropriations have declined by seven percent (7%), or nearly $214,000, over the same time period. In addition to programs shutting down, other programs are eliminating core services. “It really isn’t acceptable,” Melohn said. “There are some things that we have to have all over the state. There has to be a crisis response to victims who are sitting in a law enforcement office or in a hospital after a crime has been perpetrated against them. There are certain things that have to be met and we have to make sure we are doing that equally for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.”

The reorganization plan would divide the state into six multi-county service areas with the state awarding funding on a competitive basis to programs in each region. Melohn suggests more dollars should be directed toward services that help victims, rather than shelters that aren’t being used. Use of shelters has declined, but those buildings require around-the-clock staffing and expensive upkeep. “Of all the victims that our programs served last year, only 11-percent of those were victims who sought shelter. Yet, we’re allocating almost 40-percent of our resources to shelter services,” Melohn said. “When you look at the huge discrepancy there, it really begs the question – are we using our money in the most efficient manner? I would say no.”

Some domestic violence programs in the state have moved to a “transitional model” by closing a 24/7 shelter and instead housing victims in hotels until more permanent housing options are found. There are 13 public meetings scheduled around the state to discuss the proposed changes.

Locally, meetings will be held Monday 10/22:

1:30 p.m. in Atlantic at Iowa Western Community College (Room 141)
6:00 p.m. in Creston at Southwestern Community College (Instructional Center, Room 180)

(Radio Iowa)

Study: Heating bills will rise this winter

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who heat their homes with natural gas will likely see higher heating bills this winter, compared to last winter, based on a study from the American Gas Association. Bruce McDowell, the organization’s director of policy analysis, says their projections show natural gas consumption by residential customers will rise in the months ahead. “We can expect that they’ll use more because last year was the warmest year on record, so it’s bound to get a little colder than it did last year,” McDowell says. “Prices are lower though, that helps us set that, so we see a slight increase in the customer bills only because they’re going to be using more gas due to the weather, not because of any price increases.”

Iowans are helping to conserve natural gas, he says, which is stretching the supply and keeping the bills low. “In 1970, the house used 40% more than a house uses today,” McDowell says. “That’s what people are enjoying because of the conservation efforts they’ve made such as tighter homes, more efficient furnaces, checking the furnace to make sure it’s operating properly, and making sure that your home is adequately insulated.”

He says domestic natural gas supplies are at an all-time high.  “Everybody agrees there’s an abundance of natural gas out there,” McDowell says. “We have forecast there’s enough gas out there to last a century or more. When I started in this business, it was 60 years of supply, now it’s 100 years of supply, and that goes back 30 years.” The latest survey shows the U-S has the largest storage assets of any country in the world with more than 400 natural gas storage fields. Record underground storage levels were reached in November of 2011 for the third year in a row.

(Radio Iowa)

From “Big Dog” to “The Boss” — campaign gets more intense

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The two presidential campaigns continue their press to win Iowa and the state’s six votes in the Electoral College. Mitt Romney visited Iowa last week. This week, President Obama is due to visit Wednesday. Former President Bill Clinton led a Friday night rally in Sioux City for Christie Vilsack, a Democratic candidates for congress, but Clinton spent a good portion of his speech targeting issues like Medicare that are at the heart of the presidential race.

“I decided in this election I wasn’t going to give a lot of whoop-de-do speeches. I’m trying to explain things to people. I got offered the job of ‘secretary of explaining stuff’ — you may have seen that,” Clinton said, getting whoops from the crowd for that reference to the reaction to his speech at the Democratic National Convention. The presidential campaigns have been bringing in a host of people to try to turn out voters in Iowa.

On Tuesday night, Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, will visit a Republican phone bank in Cedar Rapids. On Thursday, musician Bruce Springsteen will headline an early voting rally in Ames for the Obama campaign.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines – Mon., Oct. 15th 2012

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say three house fires in the Des Moines area were all caused by weekend thunderstorms. The Des Moines Register reports that lightning strikes triggered fires at two homes in Johnston and one in Clive. No one was hurt.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Politics and religion have collided at a Burlington church after a pamphlet encouraging people to vote to remove an Iowa Supreme Court justice surfaced at a Sunday service. A woman who attended the City Church service on September 30th told the pastor it was illegal for the church to display the pamphlets. The Internal Revenue Service could revoke a church’s nonprofit status for promoting candidates or ballot issues. The incident has been reported to the IRS, which declined to comment.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say mechanical problems forced a twin-engine corporate jet to make an emergency landing in eastern Iowa. KWQC-TV in Davenport reports that the plane landed safely at the Quad City International Airport around 7 a.m. yesterday. Six people were on board, and no one was hurt.

SHELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in eastern Iowa are searching for two missing 15-year-old girls. KWWL-TV in Waterloo reports that Skie Floyd and Jazlyn Visek both last made contact with family members on Saturday afternoon. Family members say they left in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee with no license plates. The girls are both from the Shellsburg area.

Harrison County teen dies in vehicle vs. train accident Sunday

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A teenager girl from western Harrison County was killed Sunday, after the vehicle she was in was hit by a train. The Iowa State Patrol says 16-year-old Cailey Marie Berndt, from Little Sioux, was traveling westbound on 125th Street near County Road K-45 around noon Sunday, when she failed to yield to a northbound Union Pacific train. After the 2005 Pontiac G-6 she was driving was hit by the locomotive, it was tossed  into the Harrison/Monona Waterway. Berndt was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she died shortly after arrival. The Patrol says she was not wearing a seat belt. The accident remains under investigation by both the Iowa State Patrol and the Union Pacific Railroad.

Shots fired during domestic incident in Cumberland Monday morning

News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Deputies from Cass and Montgomery County responded to a reported domestic abuse incident with shots fired early this (Monday) morning, in Cumberland. According to scanner traffic at around 1:37-a.m., deputies were looking for a man who fired a round from a shotgun, outside of a home and into the air, in the 200 block of Adams Street. No injuries were reported at the residence. The weapon was found in the yard. The unidentified suspect took off from the home on foot and was not believed to be armed. At least two k-9 units were called-in to search for the man. The search was called-0ff just before 3-a.m.

Additional details are currently unavailable. It’s expected Sheriff’s officials will have more on the incident, later this morning.

Authorities searching for 2 missing Iowa girls – may be with Atlantic area runaways

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SHELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in eastern Iowa are searching for two missing 15-year-old girls.  KWWL-TV in Waterloo reports that Skie Floyd and Jazlyn Visekboth last made contact with family members on Saturday afternoon.

The teens are believed to be traveling in a vehicle similar to this.

Family members say they left in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee with no license plates.

The girls are both from the Shellsburg area.

Austin Boggs

Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth says the girls may be with two runaways from the Atlantic area, 16-year-old Corey Sunderman and 13-year-old Austin Boggs.

Corey Sunderman (photo provided by his family)

Floyd is described as 5’1″ 115 pounds white with blue eyes and blonde hair.

Skie Floyd

She was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark stonewash jeans and boots. Visek is white and has green eyes and brown hair. She’s 5’5″ and weighs 185 pounds.

Jazlyn Visek

She was wearing blue skinny jeans, a gray zip up hooded sweatshirt with word “arrow” on the front and gray and green Nikes. She also has two lip rings.

If you have any information on the teens’ whereabouts, call the Benton County Sheriff’s Department at 319-472-2337.

CAM School Board meeting to be held Monday

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM Community School District’s Board of Education will hold their regular meeting Monday evening, at the CAM High School Media Center. During their 7-p.m. meeting, the Board will discuss and/or take action on: Contracts; a Joint Board meeting with the Adair-Casey Community School District; an FFA ski trip; and, Revisions to Board Policies pertaining to Employee Physical Exams, and Classified Employee’ Vacations, Holiday and Personal Leave.

Prior to the Board reports and adjournment, the CAM Board will enter into a closed session, to discuss the goals of Superintendent Steve Pelzer.

Griswold School Board meeting preview

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School District’s Board of Education will meet Monday evening in the Central Office Board Room at the Middle School/High School Building. On the agenda for the 5:30-p.m. session, is an update on district improvement projects, along with discussion and/or action, on: A Sport Coordinator; Short- and long-term Facilities projects; Various Board policies; the purchase of a wheel chair lift bus; An agreement with the Atlantic School District, with regard to the CCEOC (Cass County Educational Opportunity Center; and a policy pertaining to the publication of student names with school photos.

The Griswold School Board will also hear updates on: Certified Enrollment; the Iowa West grant; and, other Board Policies.