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Iowa News Headlines – Thu., Feb. 9th 2012

News

February 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) — Crews in the southwestern city of Creston were struggling yesterday to reach what appeared to be a plugged sewer line. The state Department of Natural Resources says workers discovered the problem yesterday afternoon in an area about a quarter-mile from a road. Gaining access to the line has been difficult and crews were cutting trees to reach the area last night.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House panel has approved a bill that would limit the growth of local government and slow the projected increase in the taxable value of residential and agricultural properties. The bill backed by Governor Terry Branstad now goes to the full House. Some Senate Democrats say they worry the bill would reduce state revenues.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad and China’s consul general are stressing the importance of trade in advance of a visit to Iowa by China’s vice president. Speaking at a Statehouse news conference yesterday, Consul General Yang Guoqaing noted that China’s relationship with Iowa is vital because the state is an agricultural powerhouse. Branstad said yesterday he’s committed to improving trade relations with China.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says Phil Parker could have left Iowa for a defensive coordinator’s job at another major program more than once. Ferentz also said yesterday that departed offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe’s job will be a tough one to fill after O’Keefe left for the Miami Dolphins.

Wastewater Release in Creston

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON – The city of Creston discovered untreated wastewater bypassing to Hurley Creek on the southwest side of town late Wednesday afternoon. The Union County city is working to determine the cause of the wastewater discharge and to fix the problem. A plugged sewer line is the suspected cause, but the discharge is at least one-fourth mile north of Adams Road, hampering the city’s repairs. The city is cutting trees to provide access to the location.

The Creston Wastewater Superintendent asks city residents to avoid hiking the south end of the popular trail near McKinley Lake until repairs are completed. The city estimates about 20 gallons per minute are being released, but it’s unknown when the discharge began or how much wastewater has been released. The DNR will check McKinley Lake Thursday morning for effects of the discharge.

Pickup rollover injures two men, charges pending

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two men suffered non-life threatening injuries after the pickup truck they were in rolled over early this morning, in Council Bluffs. Authorities say charges are pending completion of a blood-alcohol test on the driver of the truck, 18-year old Kyle Danick, of Red Oak. Danick, and his passenger, 22-year old Tyall Thompson, of Bellevue, NE, were traveling in a 1982 Chevy S-10 pickup when the vehicle went out of control on South Main Street, at around 2-a.m. Witnesses told police the vehicle was traveling south at a high rate of speed when it crossed 16th Avenue and drove through the snow into the Iowa Interstate Railroad yard.

The truck hit the railroad tracks, vaulted into the air and landed on the driver’s side, before flipping onto its roof. Danick and Thompson were able to extricate themselves from the vehicle. The men were transported to Alegent Health/Mercy Hospital for treatment.

Pickup truck burns in Atlantic this morning

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An electrical problem associated with an engine block heater is thought to have been the cause of a fire in Atlantic this morning at 801 Olive Street, that pretty much totaled a pickup truck. The call came in just after 10-a.m. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said a diesel pickup was plugged in for nearly an hour after it had been used earlier this morning, when it caught fire. The flames heavily damaged the engine compartment. The Chief considered the vehicle a total loss. McNees said the 1995 Chevy 2500 was parked inside of a carport. He said after the truck’s owner was notified by a passing motorist about the flames, he used two fire extinguishers to try and put the flames out, but was unsuccessful.  Atlantic Firefighters were on the scene for about a half an-hour. No injuries were reported.

Council Bluffs mayor counts city’s blessings

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The city of Council Bluffs is sitting in a very unique position, according to Mayor Tom Hanafan.  Mayor Hanafan says, “We live in the largest metropolitan area in the state of Iowa and the largest metropolitan area in the state of Nebraska.” While Omaha continues to draw conventions, Hanafan says the same thing is happening in Council Bluffs. He says the reason some groups choose Council Bluffs instead of Omaha is because they are strictly Iowa-based, like the State Bowling Tournament. 

 “It’s 15 weeks,” the mayor says, “and that brings people from all over the state of Iowa that will come to our community and you wouldn’t have that in Omaha.” A long-term expansion of the Council Bluffs freeway system is in the works. Hanafan says the upgrade is needed as the current interstate system was drawn up many years ago and can’t handle the significant upturn in traffic.  “The design of our interstate system is for about 60-thousand cars a day on I-80 and 29,” Hanafan says. “The new build-out is for 145-thousand cars.” Hanafan says the roadways are now taking about 100-thousand cars a day. He says they will need 175-thousand dollars per year for six years to complete the project. Hanafan is starting his second-quarter century as mayor of Council Bluffs.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Dog racing days could be numbered in Iowa

News, Sports

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Bills that would end greyhound racing in Iowa are moving on two tracks at the statehouse. Early this morning (Wednesday), a three-member panel in the Iowa House reviewed a plan that would let the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs and the Mystique Casino in Dubuque stop subsidizing the prizes for dog races, effectively ending greyhound racing at those two facilities. Representative Kevin Koester, a Republican from Ankeny, says there are “clear signals” nationally that the days of dog racing are numbered.  “Having spent time listening to both sides, the issue comes down to not if the dog racing by greyhounds will last forever…it’s a matter of when…it clearly is going to end,” Koester says.

Representative Brian Moore, a Democrat from Zwingle, says this proposal violates the “integrity” of the agreement state officials struck in 1983 when they legalized greyhound racing. “I think we need to honor this business,” Moore says. “There’s too many times that a particular side isn’t making out as well as the other side and then we think we have to yank the rug out from under them.” 

Early this month another bill on the subject cleared an initial hurdle in the Iowa Senate. That legislation would have the casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque pay the state 70-million dollars over seven years in exchange for ending greyhound racing in their facilities. Casino representatives suggest there are often more dogs than people at the greyhound parks in Iowa, while a lobbyist for the greyhound industry says the casinos have stopped promoting the races, making it difficult for patrons to follow the action. According to a casino lobbyist, 27 greyhound tracks around the country have closed in the past five years, leaving just 23 operating today.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Name of Iowa casino fall victim is released

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a Nebraska man who was fatally injured in a fall at a Council Bluffs casino.  He was identified as 62-year-old Robert McIntyre, of Omaha, Neb.  Council Bluffs officials say McIntyre was going from the second floor to the third floor of the Ameristar Casino-Hotel casino on an escalator Friday evening. He stumbled and fell over a railing, dropping 20 to 25 feet to the first floor.  Authorities say McIntyre was taken to an Omaha hospital, where he died.

8AM Newscast 02-08-2012

News, Podcasts

February 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 02-08-2012

News, Podcasts

February 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Slick roads cause numerous minor accidents, Tuesday

News

February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A light dusting of snow and freezing road surfaces contributed to numerous, minor accidents Tuesday evening along Interstate 80 in Cass and Pottawattamie Counties. The accident reports starting coming in to the Cass County Communications Center in Atlantic, at around 5:50-p.m. Within minutes, two separate accidents were reported. Other accidents included a semi that tipped over near on or about exit 54 (The Elk Horn exit). Despite the various mishaps, no injuries were reported. Cass County Sheriff’s deputies transported some of the motorists whose vehicle became stuck, to “The Valley,” at exit 71, where they obtained lodging or were able to seek other assistance.

Snowfall in Atlantic amounted to two-tenths of an inch late Tuesday afternoon and evening. That melted into just One one-hundredth of an inch of liquid precipitation.