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Iowa, Neb. competing for $1.2 billion data center

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state economic development official says Iowa is competing with Nebraska to attract a $1.2 billion data center.  Debi Durham, director of the state Partnership for Economic Progress, says Thursday she can’t name the company due to a confidentiality agreement. But she said it’s not Google, Microsoft or IBM, all of which already have operations in Iowa.
 
Durham says the company is considering two locations in Iowa and one in Nebraska. She expects the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board to hear the plan and consider incentives to attract the business at a March meeting.

Iowa has a law aimed at attracting high-tech projects that includes a potential sales tax break on electricity used at those operations. Nebraska is considering similar legislation.  The company hopes to begin construction in May.

Vilsack tops $1 million in 4th District race

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democrat Christie Vilsack is mounting a serious financial challenge to veteran Republican Rep. Steve King in western Iowa’s new 4th District, but she still faces big hurdles in the GOP-leaning district. New financial disclosures show Vilsack has raised nearly $1.2 million for her campaign, far more than the $817,000 King has raised.
 
Her challenge will be running in a district where new registration numbers show there are more than 179,000 registered Republicans, compared to about 132,000 registered Democrats. That makes it the most heavily Republican of the state’s four congressional districts.  There are 179,133 registered voters not affiliated with either party.

Vilsack is the wife of Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor now serving as U.S. agriculture secretary.

$25-million mortage settlement announced

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  After leading a 16-month nationwide investigation and settlement negotiations involving the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, Attorney General Tom Miller Wednesday announced a landmark $25 billion national joint federal-state accord over mortgage foreclosure abuses and fraud, and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. The proposed agreement provides an estimated $40 million in direct relief to Iowa homeowners and addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general announced the settlement at a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. 

“This agreement is very significant in how it addresses the fraud that these banks committed against many homeowners across Iowa,” said Miller.  “This agreement not only provides badly needed relief to Iowa borrowers, but it also puts a stop to many of the bad behaviors that contributed to the mortgage mess throughout Iowa and across the country.  This agreement will protect homeowners and ensure they’re treated fairly.” 

Iowa’s estimated share of the settlement is $40,235,321.

  • Iowa borrowers will receive an estimated $5,899,449 in benefits from loan term changes.
  • Iowa borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 and encountered servicing abuse would qualify for $7,402,512 in payments to borrowers.
  • The value of refinanced loans to Iowa’s underwater borrowers would be an estimated $11,602,880.
  • The state will receive a direct payment of $15,330,480. 

The unprecedented joint state-federal settlement began with a massive civil law enforcement investigation that included state attorneys general and state banking regulators across the country, and several federal agencies.  The settlement holds banks accountable for past mortgage servicing and foreclosure fraud and abuses and provides significant relief to homeowners.  With the backing of a federal court order and the oversight of an independent monitor, the settlement stops future fraud and abuse. 

Under the agreement, the five servicers have agreed to a $25 billion penalty under a joint state-national settlement structure. The settlement does not grant any immunity from criminal offenses and will not affect criminal prosecutions.  The agreement does not prevent homeowners or investors from pursuing individual, institutional or class action civil cases against the five servicers.  The pact also enables state attorneys general and federal agencies to investigate and pursue other aspects of the mortgage crisis, including securities cases.

For more information on the proposed agreement: 

www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov

www.NationalForeclosureSettlement.com

www.HUD.gov

www.DOJ.gov

Kuemper Catholic wins ACT award for achievement

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the college entrance exam organization ACT have recognized the Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll as a “Legacy Red Quill” award winner. Nearly fifty high schools across the Midwest have received recognition for their achievements to better prepare students for college and career readiness. The high-achieving schools are being honored for 2011-2012 , through both the ACT’s Red Quill, and Red Quill Legacy Awards.

ACT recognizes those schools and districts with demonstrated commitment over several years through the Red Quill Legacy Award. This year’s Legacy Award winners include 17 schools in six states, all of which are experiencing sustained improvement in student achievement.

Fewer than one quarter of schools that apply are awarded the Red Quill, which recognizes schools in the Midwest that take innovative approaches to improve their curriculum, teaching practices, and academic counseling. The winners also effectively use ACT assessment data-EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT exam-to benefit student achievement. EXPLORE, normally an eighth grade assessment, PLAN, normally a tenth-grade assessment, and the ACT test, normally taken by eleventh and twelfth graders, all measure whether students are on track for success in college and career. 

Red Quill and Red Quill Legacy Award recipients are recognized at each of the Midwest region’s ACT State Organization Annual Conferences.

Woman injured in Feb. 1st crash has died

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A western Iowa woman who was injured during a crash earlier this month near Missouri Valley, has died. Harrison County Sheriff Patrick Sears says 54-year old Jennette McGrew, of Magnolia, died February 4th, three-days after her car was struck head-on by another vehicle on Highway 30, about two-miles east of Missouri Valley.

McGrew was traveling west on the highway when an eastbound vehicle driven by 31-year old Kerri Collier, of Woodbine, crossed the center line of the road and the vehicles collided Feb. 1st. McGrew died from her injuries at Creighton University Medical Center. Collier was treated for her injuries at the hospital in Missouri Valley, and released. No charges have been filed, but the accident remains under investigation.

8AM Newscast 02-09-2012

News, Podcasts

February 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 02-09-2012

News, Podcasts

February 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Two arrests reported Wed., in Red Oak

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Police Department say two men were arrested Wednesday, on separate charges. Officers with the Red Oak P-D, assisted by Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol, deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and a K-9 unit, apprehended 33-year old Michael Edward Irvine, of Red Oak.  Irvine, who was wanted on a Page County warrant for Child Neglect,  was booked into the Page County jail, in Clarinda.

Red Oak Police also arrested 24-year-old Timothy James Stewart, of Red Oak, for allegedly violating the terms of his probation. Stewart was being held in the Montgomery County jail on a $10,000 bond.

Corning woman arrested Wed. night after she hits a judges’ car

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County didn’t have to go far to make an arrest Wednesday night. Authorities say they arrested 41-year old Jodie Hastings, of Corning, outside of the Sheriff’s Office in Corning, after Hastings crashed her vehicle into two vehicles on Davis Avenue, just after 10-p.m.  The vehicles were legally parked in front of the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the vehicles belonged to a magistrate, the other to an Adams County dispatcher. Hastings was taken into custody for Operating a motor vehicle While Intoxicated, and Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. She was booked into the Adams County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

Water watchers are changing what prompts a flood warning in Iowa

News, Weather

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service is changing how it measures the depths of Iowa’s waterways, which also means a change in how much water will be needed to prompt the issuing of flood warnings. Senior hydrologist Jeff Zogg says they’re shifting 44 of the 47 river forecast points across the state’s mid-section. “The reason we’re changing the flood stages and the flood categories across central Iowa is to give our flood warnings more meaning,” Zogg says. “We want to be sure that when we issue a river flood warning for a given location, that it actually means that something is going to occur.” The National Weather Service office in Johnston serves 51 counties in central Iowa. He says the changes will impact about 30 rivers and streams across that area. 

“Over the years, due to mitigation activities, locations that may have been affected at a given stage are no longer impacted,” Zogg says. “That requires us to raise the flood stage and the flood categories.” Almost all of the changes in river forecasting markers are being moved upward, meaning, a warning won’t be issued now until floodwaters reach a higher point.  “Many people have probably become used to us issuing river flood warnings for levels that don’t have much impact,” Zogg says. “Going forward, the flood warnings we do issue will definitely have more impact. They’re keyed in to impacts to life and property in the locations we do flood warnings for, so, they definitely need to pay attention to these flood warnings.” Zogg anticipates the changes will mean a 50-percent reduction in the number of flood warnings the office issues this next year, versus previous years. The National Weather Service is scheduled to release its annual flood forecast for Iowa next Thursday, February 16th. Learn more about the changes at www.weather.gov/dmx.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)