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Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Dec. 21st 2012

News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say some drivers have been stuck along parts of Interstate 80 for hours as progress to clear the roadway has slowed due to heavy snowfall. The Iowa State Patrol said last night that drivers in a 10-mile stretch between mile marker 187 and 197 were grid locked in both directions.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —Republicans have nominated a candidate for a special election in a northeast Iowa state House district. A special nominating convention chose Dennis Litterer for the January 22nd special election in House District 52.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police say a Council Bluffs man was shot in the chest while taking a car for a test drive. Twenty-five-year-old Charles Duncan told police he had stopped the car in a Council Bluffs parking lot Wednesday morning. Duncan says when he got out of the car to switch seats with his sister, someone in a black car with Nebraska license plates fired two shots at him. Duncan says he doesn’t know the assailants.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Senator Tom Harkin is refusing to say whether he played a role in securing donations for his namesake university institute from a South Korean businessman and his Iowa-based company. Harkin was asked yesterday on a conference call whether he was involved in obtaining $500,000 in contributions that PMX Industries and CEO Jin Roy Ryu gave to the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University. Harkin would not answer the question Thursday.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY CONTINUES UNTIL 9-M THURSDAY

News, Weather

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR- MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-346 PM CST THU DEC 20 2012 …WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING...

* SHORT TERM TRENDS...FRESH SNOWFALL WILL BE EASILY LOFTED BY STRONG AND GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS. WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 50 MPH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE HALF MILE…ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY…STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AT 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 50 MPH. HOWEVER…WINDS WILL SLOWLY SUBSIDE THROUGH THE EVENING.

* IMPACTS…MANY ROADS REMAIN VERY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. VISIBILITIES IN OPEN AND RURAL AREAS WILL ALSO REMAIN QUITE LOW MAKING TRAVEL DIFFICULT. STRONG WINDS MAY ALSO CAUSE DAMAGE TO SNOW COVERED TREES AND POWER LINES.

2 accidents reported in Page County: Minor injuries

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, says only minor, possible injuries were reported following two separate, weather-related accidents which occurred Tuesday night. An accident that happened at around 7:20-p.m. Tuesday, occurred when a 1996 Ford Escort driven by 42-year old Frank Hill of Easley, SC, began to slide to south as it traveled on Highway 2 just west of Clarinda. Hill over corrected, causing the car to swerve on the slush-covered surface into the westbound lane, where it hit a 1997 Buick LeSabre, nearly head-on. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage during the collision. Hill, and the driver of the Buick, 16-year old Noah Bix, of Coin, were transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Hospital. Hill was subsequently cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

The second accident happened at around 9-p.m. Tuesday, about four-miles northwest of Clarinda. Officials say a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 24-year old Jack Donnelly, of Stanton, was traveling north on O Avenue just south of 170th Street, when the pickup went out of control. The vehicle left the road and crashed through a fence and into a field before traveling over a terrace and coming to rest. Donnelly was transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Hospital. His pickup sustained $5,000 damage. Damage to the fence, owned by Mike Barr, of Villisca, was estimated at $500. Donnelly was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Iowa DOT closes I-35 north of Ames

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced Thursday afternoon, the closure of Interstate 35 from U.S. 30 (Ames) to U.S.18 (Mason City/Clear Lake). The north- and southbound lanes in Iowa will be closed, as well as all entrance ramps to I-35. The closure is due to the hazardous travel conditions and number of crashes. Iowa’s interstate gate closure system is being activated and the I-35 mainline highway will be closed, as well as all entrance ramps to it between Ames and Mason City.

In Minnesota, the southbound I-35 closure will start at Albert Lea at the I-35/I-90 interchange. Northbound I-35 travelers will be required to exit at the Ames interchange and take U.S. 30 east- or westbound. U.S. 18 east- and westbound travelers intending to travel south on I-35 will need to seek shelter in Clear Lake or Mason City. Traveler services such as lodging, food and fuel are available in Albert Lea, Minn., and Ames, Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa.

Persons who were planning to travel north on Interstate 35 from Interstate 80 and are still en route, may want to consider seeking shelter in Des Moines or Ankeny. The interstate is expected to remain closed until conditions improve, which is likely to occur Friday morning. The Iowa DOT will announce when the road reopens to travel.

Interstate 29 reopens at Iowa/Missouri state line

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Interstate 29 southbound at Hamburg has reopened to traffic. I-29 had been closed earlier today (Thursday), by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Department of Transportation from the I-29/I-229 (mile marker 56) junction in St. Joseph, Mo., to the Iowa state line.

IA Guard responds to winter storm: Approximately 80 personnel currently on duty around Iowa

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa National Guard has activated approximately 80 Soldiers from across the state in support of winter storm operations. As a result of adverse traveling conditions across the state of Iowa, the Soldiers have been assigned to 10 Highway Assistance Teams (HATs) on Interstates 35, 80, and 380 in support of the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Among the activated Soldiers, are those from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry from Council Bluffs, and Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry in Council Bluffs.

It is anticipated that these Soldiers will remain on State Active Duty through Dec. 21.

Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 4-p.m. Thursday

News, Weather

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION- TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-
1158 AM CST THU DEC 20 2012

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR LIGHT SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON.

LIGHT FALLING SNOW ALONG WITH SNOW BEING LOFTED BY WINDS OF 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 MPH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE HALF MILE…ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS.

STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AT 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 50 MPH. HOWEVER…WINDS WILL SLOWLY SUBSIDE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.

MANY ROADS REMAIN VERY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. VISIBILITIES IN OPEN AND RURAL AREAS WILL ALSO REMAIN QUITE LOW THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.  USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING…ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS. TRAVEL HOWEVER IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED THROUGH MIDNIGHT!

HWY 44 closed in Guthrie County

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adair/Guthrie County Emergency Management Agency reported at mid-day today (Thursday), that Highway 44 east of Panora was closed due to drifting snow, and a stranded vehicle. Travel is not advised due to drifts and blowing snow. Conditions should improve later this afternoon, until then please stay off the roads so clearing them is easier.

Atlantic City Council approves engineering contract for 2013 Street Improvement Pgm.

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved entering into a contract with Snyder and Associates Engineers, for design, and construction engineering services associated with the City’s 2013 Street Improvement Program. City Administrator Doug Harris said the Design Services will be for a lump sum of $88,800. Bid services will cost $2,500, and construction engineering services will be billed hourly, but not to exceed $78,450. The grand total for the contract package amounts to $169,750. Harris says that represents 9.6% of the estimated construction costs.

Mayor Dave Jones explained why the City didn’t follow the normal course of action, and call for bids on the services needed. He said “Generally, engineering fees are 15-to 18-percent” of the total project cost. Snyder and Associates has agreed to keep their fees at 9.6-percent, which results in a savings to the City for the $2-million dollar street project over the next two-years. He said also low interest rates make this the prime time to get some good bids through Snyders for those projects.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council discussed and agreed to refer for further review to the Community Development Committee, the offering of Tax Abatements and/or rebate programs as a means to inspire home owners to rehabilitate their properties, and revitalize neighborhoods in the City. Mayor Jones said there would be a cap on amount of the abatements, which are designed for the average citizen, and not developers. He says the City has a Minimum Maintenance Code which requires homeowners to fix their properties up, and this is a tool designed to help them do just that, while at the same time getting a break on their taxes “down the road.”

Jones said he’d like to get the process underway in January so the Council has something to approve by April. Councilman Steve Livengood said the City’s bonding attorney answered a lot of questions the Council had about putting together a policy on Tax Abatements, and, Councilman Shaun Shouse said what’s being discussed now is consistent with what the City’s TIF Task Force has recommended.

MO. State Patrol Closes I-29 from St. Joe to Iowa State line

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Department of Transportation have closed Interstate 29 from its junction with I-229 (mile marker 56) in St. Joseph, Mo., to the Iowa State Line. Drivers on I-29 should exit the highway at the next exit where they can find shelter. Continued travel in the area is dangerous.

MoDOT also states that travel in the Northwest Missouri and Kansas City areas is not advised due to severe conditions from this season’s first major winter storm. Because of continuing heavy snowfall in the area, motorists are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

MoDOT crews are out in full force plowing snow off of major highways. Regardless, MoDOT says the winter weather makes travel hazardous and urges motorists stay put until the snow stops and roads are clear.

(This message provided by the Iowa Dept. of Transportation as a courtesy to MoDot and motorists)