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Hatch challenges Branstad to back minimum wage hike

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch hosted a rally at the statehouse this morning (Tuesday), challenging Republican Governor Terry Branstad to publicly support an increase in the minimum wage.  “Today’s the 4th of March and March is the only month that is also a command,” Hatch said, “so we’re asking this governor to give the order. Ask the legislature: ‘March forth and raise the minimum wage.'”

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has said the senate won’t debate a bill that would raise the minimum wage, however, unless there are Republicans in the senate who would support it. “They have not responded to our entreaties,” Gronstal says. Gronstal and Hatch were joined at today’s (Tuesday’s) event by about two dozen Democrats from the Iowa House and Senate, including Representative Bruce Hunter of Des Moines.

“For almost 300,000 Iowans, Iowans who work hard, who play by the rules and do what is right, there really isn’t any dignity,” Hunter said. “For those people working at or around Iowa’s current $7.25 minimum wage, there’s only poverty.”

Governor Branstad signed a bill in 1989 that raised Iowa’s minimum wage above the national rate. In 2007, Democratic Governor Chet Culver signed legislation that raised Iowa’s minimum wage to seven-25 ($7.25) an hour — above the national rate, but congress later that year voted to raise the national rate to that level.

(Radio Iowa)

Public hearing in Adair County over road name change

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will be held Wednesday morning in Greenfield, with regard to the possible renaming of a road in Adair County. The hearing and action on the matter will come during the Adair County Board of Supervisor’s meeting which begins at 9-a.m., Wednesday.

Auditor Mindy Schaefer said officials with the White Pole Road Organization would like to rename a portion of the Anita-Adair Road that crosses from Cass into Adair County, as “White Pole Road,” which would be the same designation as Highway 6.

And, the Adair County Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, the expenditures for which amount to $14.719-million dollars. Schaefer says  that is an increase from last year, due primarily to necessary bridge and road work.

Cass Supervisors to hold hearing on proposed budget

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will be held Wednesday morning in Atlantic, with regard to the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 County Budget. The hearing takes place at 8:45-a.m. during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors. Following the hearing, the Board will review the County Compensation Board’s recommendations for elected officers’ salaries, and act on the recommendation.

Later on during the meeting, the Supervisors will act on adopting the FY 2015 Secondary Roads and Cass County Budgets. And, in other business, the Board will act on approving the plans for a Secondary Roads Dept. project that involves the replacement of a concrete box culvert northeast of Marne.

The meeting begins at 8:30-a.m.

8AM Newscast 03-04-2014

News, Podcasts

March 4th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

I-29 & US 275/Hwy 92 interchange reconstruction project meeting to be held March 11

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports a public information meeting will be held Tuesday, March 11th, to discuss the reconstruction of the Interstate 29 and U.S. 275/Iowa 92 interchange in Council Bluffs, which is scheduled to begin June 2014. All interested persons are invited to attend the meeting anytime between 4- and 7-p.m., at the Iowa School for the Deaf’s Community Room, Lied Multipurpose Complex, 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd., in Council Bluffs.Road work

A group question-and-answer session will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a three-minute limit per speaker. The meeting will be conducted utilizing an open forum format. Iowa DOT staff will be present to informally discuss the proposed improvements. No formal presentation will be made.

The project construction area begins on I-29 from 1.3 miles south of U.S. 275 to just north of the U.S. 275 ramps and U.S. 275/Iowa 92 from Metro Mall Drive east to Harry Langdon Boulevard, including the I-29 and U.S. 275/Iowa 92 interchange. Proposed construction consists of new roadway embankments, walking trails, bridge structures, and other features, including the removal and reconstruction of six bridges and removal of portions of the existing roadway embankments.

The reconstruction also involves raising the interstate and U.S. 275 to accommodate the new railroad corridor for the railroad relocation project, which will require ramp closures and two-way traffic, with one lane in each direction, on U.S. 275/Iowa 92 during construction. Travelers may experience traffic delays and detours, which could impact access to businesses, schools, or other properties.

This construction is part of the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program, a streamlined approach to planned construction projects to I-80, I-29, and I-480 in the Council Bluffs/Omaha metropolitan area. The program is the single largest project in the Iowa DOT’s 2014-2018 Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program.

For those who cannot attend the open house, a virtual, online meeting will be available beginning March 11 and can be accessed by visiting the project website at www.CouncilBluffsInterstate.IowaDOT.gov and clicking the online meeting link on the home page.

7AM Newscast 03-04-2014

News, Podcasts

March 4th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Meth, drug paraphernalia & weapons seized from Guthrie Co. residence

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Guthrie County report one person was arrested on drug and numerous other charges, last week, following the execution of a search warrant at a residence in Bagley. A home at 405 Main Street occupied by Dawn Marie Chinberg and 28-year old Dustin Tyler Woody, of Bagley, was searched at around 9:30-p.m. February 27th, during which methamphetamine, weapons and drug paraphernalia were seized.

Woody was arrested and charged with felony Possession with Intent to Deliver more than 5 grams of meth, Child Endangerment, Possession of drug paraphernalia and Interference with Official Acts. Woody appeared before the magistrate on Friday, and was ordered to pay a $100,000 cash or surety bond, prior to being released from the Guthrie County Jail.

Pott. County Dispatcher honored for life-saving work

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A dispatcher for the Pottawattamie County Communications Center received an award Monday afternoon for helping to save the life of a man who had fallen, was unconscious and not breathing.

(from left to right) Council Bluffs Interim Fire Chief Larry Wohlers - Becky Francis - Sheriff Jeff Danker. (Pott. Co. S/O photo)

(from left to right) Council Bluffs Interim Fire Chief Larry Wohlers – Becky Francis – Sheriff Jeff Danker. (Pott. Co. S/O photo)

Operator Becky Francis, who joined the unit in 2009, was honored by the Sheriff’s Office and Council Bluffs Fire Department with a Life Saving Award.

Sheriff’s officials say just before 11-a.m. on June 1st, 2013, Francis answered a 911 call from the son of the unresponsive male. She assisted the son in giving CPR instructions to his father until rescue crews could arrive and assume additional life-saving measures.

The man survived and left the hospital a week later.

Longtime Bluffs company to close – about 250 jobs will be lost

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Council Bluffs has received word a business that has been in the community for years, will be closing its doors in May, leaving about 250 people without jobs. The Omaha World-Herald says Griffin Pipe Products officials notified the Mayor and some members of the Council about the closing, on Monday. The notice, from U.S. Pipe Holdings of Hoover, AL., a subsidiary of U.S. Pipe and Foundry of Birmingham, AL., said Griffin Pipe will close its doors on or about May 3rd.

U.S. Pipe purchased Griffin Pipe early this year, and in mid-February approximately 60 employees at the Council Bluffs plant were let go. At the time of the layoffs, a letter allegedly sent to the affected employees said they could be rehired at a later date if the demand for the company’s ductile iron pipe increased.

NEwoman pleads guilty to stealing $4.1M & spending it at a Bluffs casino

News

March 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A 54-year-old Gretna, NE., woman already serving time for tax evasion has pleaded guilty to stealing the $4.1 million on which she didn’t pay taxes. Caroline Richardson made her plea Monday in Douglas County, NE., District Court in Omaha. Her sentencing is scheduled for March 18th. She faces up to 10 more years in prison. She’s already serving a five-year term.

Prosecutors say Richardson stole from Omaha-based Colombo Candy and Tobacco in 2010 and 2011 while working as company controller. Prosecutors say she used the money to gamble at Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Colombo has sued Ameristar, saying the casino knew about Richardson’s job and her approximate salary and should have known Richardson was gambling with ill-gotten money.