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Clarinda woman arrested Friday

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Friday of 27-year old Megan Diana Reynolds, of Clarinda. Reynolds was taken into custody at around 11:35-a.m., on charges of Driving While Suspended and Failure to Prove Security Against Liability (Proof of insurance). Reynolds was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $300 cash bond.

The future of a Bluffs foundry remains uncertain

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Reports of layoffs following the recent purchase of a long-time Council Bluffs manufacturing plant, has City officials scrambling to keep the company open and its employees retained. The Omaha World-Herald says three employees of Griffin Pipe Products who declined to give their names, said they were placed on layoff status, Friday.

It was announced earlier in the week that U.S. Pipe and Foundry of Birmingham, Alabama had acquired a majority financial interest in Griffin Pipe. Griffin is a leading manufacturer of water transmission products for North American distributors, contractors, and municipalities. Mike Tuttle, human resources manager at the Council Bluffs plant, declined to comment.

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said city officials will do everything possible to keep the Griffin Pipe Products Co. open and fully employed. Walsh estimated that about 250 people work at the local plant.

Bridge linking Pott Co. to Harrison County to reopen next week

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A bridge in northwestern Pottawattamie County that links motorists to Beebeetown and Harrison County will re-open next week, after being closed last August, with little warning. The Potato Creek bridge, located a few miles south of Interstate 680 on County Road L-34 in Pott. County, will be open with reduced speed limits, but it will be closed again in April, so crews can finish work on the structure.The Iowa DOT says the project will cost an estimated $700,000.

Having the bridge open should save commuters in the area around 10-to 15-minutes, and a detour of more than a dozen miles.

Fire in Council Bluffs motel leads to the arrest of a NE woman

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska woman angry at the management of a Council Bluffs motel allegedly ripped out the pages of a bible and set them on fire in a trash can, Thursday night. The Omaha World-Herald reports 43-year old Carolettia R. Looney, of Omaha, was taken into custody after the incident at the American Inn motel on S. 24th Street, in Council Bluffs.

Police say Meyers admitted to having set the fire at around 8:30-p.m., Thursday. Sgt. Chad Meyers told the paper Looney was angry at the motel management because she’d told them she prepaid enough to cover four days of rent, which was disputed. A security guard extinguished the fire.

Authorities arrested Looney on suspicion of first-degree arson. Police said Looney was under the influence of alcohol at the time of her arrest. Looney remains at the Pottawattamie County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

Bill to deregulate more phone service in Iowa stalls in legislature

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A bill that would further deregulate telephone service in Iowa stalled at the statehouse this past week. More than two dozen lobbyists crowded into a committee room to argue about the bill, which would affect phone companies that use the Internet as the link between a call from one landline to the landline the caller’s trying to reach. Some giant phone companies say this new internet-based phone service will be slowed if they can’t get out from under the oversight of the Iowa Utilities Board. Michael Sadler is an executive with CenturyLink.

“My company is going to be investing billions of dollars in IP technology moving forward,” Sadler told legislators. CenturyLink, Verizon, and AT&T all want the service to be regulated by the Federal Communications Commission — like cellphones are. Critics say that would mean unhappy customers could no longer go to the Iowa Utilities Board for relief. Kerri Johannsen, a spokesman for the board, says recent complaints include dropped calls.

“We’re dealing with issues in consumer protection, especially in rural call completion,” she says. Rural phone providers oppose the bill. So do telecommunications giants Sprint and U.S. Cellular who worry how it will affect their connections with the other providers. Lawmakers say the issue needs more study and they’ve tabled the proposal.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Sat., Feb. 8, 2014

News

February 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has asked the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a district court order to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home. Branstad announced his plans on Friday. Branstad says the children residing at the home in Toledo were not receiving the education and care they needed.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Wisconsin infant who was abducted and left out in the cold in Iowa has been reunited with his parents and is on his way home. Kayden Powell’s mother discovered him missing early Thursday morning from his bassinet in a Town of Beloit home. Police found him tucked in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures more than 24 hours later.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids police say they do not suspect a crime is involved in the death of a man whose body was found in a gazebo at a cemetery. Police spokesman Greg Buelow said yesterday that 64-year-old Stuart Smith-Dromey had been reported missing on Wednesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a jury verdict that found a Cedar Falls woman was not negligent when she rear-ended a pickup truck stopped at a red light in 2008 because she had suffered a stroke just before the crash. Betty Schmidt, who was 75 in November 2008, was returning from grocery shopping when she rear-ended Dennis Hagenow’s truck. It was her first accident ever.

Branstad seeks to overturn Juvenile Home ruling

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has asked the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a district court order to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home. Branstad announced his plans Friday. He is being represented by the Iowa Attorney General. In a press release, Branstad says the children residing at the home in Toledo were not receiving the education and care they needed.

Branstad closed the home in January following allegations that teens were improperly treated and denied a proper education. Four lawmakers then sued Branstad to keep the home open. A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the home and use funds the Legislature approved to operate it. The 21 girls who had been living at the home now live elsewhere.

Northey to visit Griswold & Red Oak, Monday

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that he will be visiting Griswold and Red Oak on Monday, February 10th. Northey will tour Schuler Manufacturing in Griswold and then speak to an Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting in Red Oak.

His tour begins 10:30-a.m. Monday  at Schuler Manufacturing in Griswold, and continues in  Red Oak at 12:30-p.m., with an  address to the Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting at the Red Coach Inn.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.

New rules coming for red light, speeding cameras

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New rules will soon go into effect that give state transportation officials control over whether speed and red light cameras are placed by cities and counties on state-supervised highways and interstates. The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, a group of five Democrats and five Republicans, did not vote on the rules Friday. That means the regulations will go into effect Feb. 12.

The rules will require local agencies to show cameras are targeting “high-crash or high-risk locations.” They will have to justify renewal every year. Local officials have criticized the rules, saying the state is taking away local control.

Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City have cameras on interstates that would be regulated by the new rules. The state has no laws governing their use.

Sioux City hospitals require masks to fight flu

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City hospitals are requiring health care workers who haven’t received a flu shot to wear masks when consulting with patients.  Mercy Medical Center Sioux City and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s want anyone who comes in contact with patients to be immunized or wear a mask if they opt out for medical or religious reasons. The hospitals’ policies aren’t mandated by the state.

The Sioux City Journal reports the state Department of Public Health has upgraded influenza activity in Iowa from regional to widespread. Officials have confirmed more than 500 cases of the virus. Hospital officials say catching the flu while being hospitalized with another medical condition can be dangerous. It could lead to longer hospital stays or cause death.