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Griswold School Board approves settlement w/certified staff

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold Community School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved a settlement with the district’s certified staff. Superintendent Dana Kunze said the total package agreement was for 4.0% of the base salary. The package includes an insurance increase, and increases to FICA and IPERS. Kunze says the agreement puts the district in-line with what other districts in southwest Iowa are averaging. The Board also held a hearing at 5:30-p.m. with regard to School Board Director Redistricting, District Maps and the method of electing school board members. He says a district patron asked some questions about the process, and the board later voted to approve redistricting, unanimously. That means there will still be seven directors, but four geographical districts instead of seven, with three members elected At Large.

The process of determining Director Redistricting began following the results of the 2010 census. In other business, the Griswold School Board set May 1st at 1-p.m. as the date and time for the sale of just under $3-million in bonds for various current and future projects. The move followed the approval Monday evening of a service agreement with the District’s bonding agent, Piper Jaffrey.  And, the board approved a contract with Bishop Engineering of Des Moines, for the parking lot project.

(9-a.m. News)

8AM Newscast 04-17-2012

News, Podcasts

April 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Volunteers flock to help Thurman recover from twister

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

THURMAN, Iowa (AP) – Hundreds of volunteers have put their lives on hold so they can help people in a tiny western Iowa town recover from a mammoth tornado. The tornado ripped through the town of Thurman on Saturday, damaging most of the town’s homes but causing only a few minor injuries.  The 900 volunteers who showed up Sunday to help the town’s 229 residents were followed by an estimated 270 on Monday. Mayor Rod Humphreys Jr. told The Des Moines Register people will be cleaning up for a week, and “we should be 90 percent done by Wednesday.” Many of the volunteers are people whose homes or businesses were flooded by the Missouri River last summer. More volunteers are expected today (Tuesday), from as far away as Wisconsin and Montana.

7AM Newscast 04-17-2012

News, Podcasts

April 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Community tool kit now available for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to a story we first brought in early February, officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) , on Friday, announced that a community tool kit is now available for use by community groups interested in speaking to their members, about a study being conducted by the DOT, on bringing high speed passenger rail service from Chicago, IL., to Omaha, NE. The study is being conducted in cooperation with the  Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation. The DOT is studying the feasibility of expanding existing passenger rail service and developing a new regional passenger rail service from Chicago to Omaha, Neb., and the purpose of this study is to: Evaluate potential route alternatives; Evaluate levels of service and ridership; Analyze environmental impacts; and, determine a preferred Chicago to Omaha passenger rail route alternative for regional intercity passenger rail service. Officials say the study will be a major step in assessing the viability of a regional intercity passenger rail system serving Iowa and the Midwest through the corridor and public input is a major component of the study.

The FRA and the Iowa and Illinois DOTs have made the community tool kit available online at http://www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha/ under the “resources” tab. Community leaders and others interested in the information can download the following electronic materials related to the study.

  • PowerPoint ® presentation
  • Pocket card with a brief description of the study goals
  • Fact sheet with more in-depth study information
  • Social media Facebook banner for timeline format
  • Social media image that can be used as profile picture on Facebook or Twitter
  • 11-by-17 poster
  • Survey that will also be used at in-person public meetings in early May 2012.

Public comments provide valuable input and contribute to the development of a complete environmental analysis. The Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and planning effort will take approximately 18 months to complete. Comments will be collected throughout the EIS development phase. All comments received will be reviewed and considered. For more information, visit www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha/ or call 800-488-7119.

NWS meteorologist discusses wording of storm warnings

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Forecasters used some unusually strong words and phrases to warn Iowans and others in the Midwest about the potential for severe weather this past weekend. National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Johnson says the Storm Prediction Center, two days prior to storm, stated there was a “high risk” for damaging storms.
“In my career, that’s pretty unprecedented to go with a day two ‘high risk,’ which is a significant outlook,” Johnson said. A warning that a “tornado outbreak” was “likely” was issued on Friday. On Saturday, at least five tornadoes touched down in Iowa – including a couple of EF2 twisters that caused extensive damage in Creston and Thurman in the southwest section of the state. Smaller tornadoes were reported close to Council Bluffs, near the Oskaloosa airport and near New Virginia in south-central Iowa. Johnson said forecasters are trying to encourage people to take weather warnings seriously.

“We’ve had, unfortunately, a lot of bad tornadoes across the United States in the last two years. Some of the findings from our assessments after these storms has been that people are often too optimistic if they’re in the path of the serious storm – thinking the storm is going to hit somebody else,” Johnson said. “Our purpose with all of this is to try to get people to heed the warnings and take cover.” Despite the warnings, many residents of Creston were surprised by the severity of the storm that swept through their town. The twister dropped down so fast that it went undetected on radar and officials were not able to sound tornado sirens. Johnson said the “rain-wrapped” tornado wasn’t spotted until his office started hearing damage reports.

“We had an amateur radio spotter in that area who reported hail at about the time of the tornado. They didn’t mention the tornado because they couldn’t see it,” Johnson said. “Coupled with that, the evidence of (a tornado) on radar was equally weak. It’s one of those cases where it was unfortunate, but that does happen occasionally in this type of an event.” Six people were injured in the Creston tornado, one of them critically. There were no serious injuries in the tiny town of Thurman, although that EF2 twister destroyed at least 14 homes while causing serious damage to 28 other homes.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Red Oak woman arrested on theft charge

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Red Oak woman was arrested Monday afternoon, on a theft charge. 34-year old Julie Crystal Fisher was taken into custody at around 3:45-p.m., on a charge of 4th degree theft. Fisher was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 cash bond.

2 injured during when van is struck by a train in Greene County

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says two people, an adult and child, where injured late Monday night when the van they were in was struck by a train in Jefferson. The names of the victims, ages 27 and 5, have not yet been released. Officials say they were in a van which had apparently experienced mechanical difficulties and stalled on the railroad tracks crossing North Grimmell Road, near West Wall Street , on the northwest side of Jefferson. The 1998 Chevy Venture van was hit by an eastbound Union Pacific locomotive at around 11:30-p.m., Monday

The Patrol says the child was ejected from the van, which ended up on its top in the north ditch. The driver was out of the vehicle when medics arrived on the scene. The driver was flown by LifeNet helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, while the child was flown to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, also by LifeNet.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., April 17, 2012

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Revenue has granted extensions for affected taxpayers in Fremont and Union counties, where tornadoes struck in Thurman and Creston on Saturday. Officials say taxpayers whose principal business or home was affected by the storms will have until June 30th to file quarterly sales and use tax and withholding returns for the first quarter. Affected taxpayers also will have until June 30th to file their 2011 Iowa income taxes, which are normally due on April 30th.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of an 82-year-old woman whose body was found in a burned bedroom of a Des Moines home. The Des Moines Register reported yesterday that she’s been identified as Pat Burton.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say nine children have been removed after abuse and neglect charges were filed against their parents. Police says the investigation began last October with a runaway case involving a 15-year-old girl, which included allegations of physical and sexual abuse by her father. Police arrested the children’s mother yesterday and have issued a warrant for the father’s arrest after he fled out of state.

ALLISON, Iowa (AP) — A Butler County jury has convicted an Iowa man of first-degree murder in the stabbing of his wife. Jurors in Allison returned the verdict yesterday against Thomas Petersen of Greene, after less than an hour of deliberations. Petersen was charged with killing his 36-year-old wife Judy in June 2011.

Extension for filing state tax in 2 Iowa counties

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has granted tax deadlines in two southern Iowa counties hit hard by storms over the weekend. The Iowa Department of Revenue has granted extensions for affected taxpayers in Fremont and Union counties, where tornadoes struck in Thurman and Creston on Saturday. Gov. Terry Branstad has issued disaster areas for both counties. Officials say taxpayers whose principal business or home was affected by the storms will have until June 30 to file quarterly sales and use tax and withholding returns for the first quarter. Affected taxpayers also will have until June 30 to file their 2011 Iowa income taxes, which are normally due on April 30. The department says penalties and interest will be waived.