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8AM Newscast 01-30-2012

News, Podcasts

January 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 01-30-2012

News, Podcasts

January 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Teachers in Council Bluffs & Lewis Central ask for 6 to 8 percent salary increase

News

January 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The chief negotiator for the Council Bluffs Education Association says his union has asked the Council Bluffs School Board for a total package increase of 8.02-percent. Robert Hansen says the CBEA’s membership is mindful that the district has financial issues, but he says his goal to make sure teachers in the district “Dont’t lose money out of pocket.” The education association negotiates on behalf of the 623 teachers employed in Council Bluffs schools.

Last year, the Council Bluffs School Board approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Council Bluffs Education Association that included a total package increase of 2.73 percent. This year the district has counter-offered what would be an increase of about 1.68 percent. Janet Reiners, the executive director of human resources and a negotiator for the district, told the Omaha World-Herald that the district’s counter-offer is to “keep the (pay) base the same at $31,929,” but allow teachers to get the automatic increases scheduled for each year they work for the district. The current agreement means teacher pay ranges from $37,676 to $69,797, depending on experience and education level.

Both Hansen and Reiners expect negotiations to go smoothly.Lewis Central’s Education Association, negotiating on behalf the Lewis Central school district’s 200 teachers, has asked for a total package increase of 6.77 percent this year, while the district has countered with no increase in the base and a smaller district contribution to the insurance package. Superintendent Mark Schweer said the two sides aren’t expected to meet again until they know what the health insurance premiums numbers will be.  Schweer said those numbers could rise by as much as 10 percent.

Pickup truck stolen from Villisca

News

January 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Please see the later version of this story – posted at 9:30-a.m. 1/30/12. The vehicle has been found.)

Authorities in Montgomery County are asking for the public’s help in locating a pickup truck which was reported stolen out of Villisca, Sunday. The white, 2009 Ford Ranger extended cab truck with Iowa license plate 336 WZX, was taken from in front of a home in the 500 block of East 8th Street in Villisca, sometime between 11:30-p.m Saturday, and Noon on Sunday. If you have seen the vehicle or know where it is at, contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at  712-623-5107, or Crimestoppers, at 1-800-432-1001.

Sal Guinta to talk in Omaha, about PTSD

News

January 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa native and medal of honor recipient, Sal Guinta (Joon-tuh), will speak today (Monday) at an event in Omaha on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it impacts soldiers.  “I think everyone has issues because of the (lives) that we were living for those 15 months during that deployment, to come back to normal life is such a drastic change,” he explains. “Everyone goes through moments of feeling as an outsider and trying to adjust back to what is normal. But I think with the proper amount of support and people out there to help, you can overcome that and you can easily pick up with a normal life.”

Guinta says soldiers now receive much support when they return home and the public welcomes them with open arms. That wasn’t the case 50 some years ago when Vietnam veterans returned, and he credits those vets for making it easier for today’s soldiers. Guinta says the Vietnam vets said the way they were treated would never happen again and they are ensuring that. Giunta, a Hiawatha native, was awarded the military’s highest honor for his bravery during combat in Afghanistan. He chose not to re-enlist in the military and is now a student at Colorado State University.

“They have this new thing called the post-9-11 G-I Bill which is essentially going to pay 100 percent of my college tuition, so I think I’m gonna jump on that knowledge bandwagon and ride that as long as I can,” Guinta explained. Guinta will be speaking at the third annual “At Ease Luncheon” at the Century Link Center.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

2 NW IA residents killed, 1 injured in Adair County Crash, Sunday

News

January 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two Sioux City residents died and another was injured during a crash on Interstate 80 Sunday morning about a mile east of Casey, in Adair County. The Iowa State Patrol says 58-year old Cynthia Piester, and her daughter, 38-year old Jennifer Piester, died in the crash. Cynthia’s husband, 60-year old Johnny Piester, who was driving the SUV, was injured, and transported by Stuart Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, where he was listed in fair condition Sunday night.

Officials say Piester’s 2000 Chevy Trail Blazer was traveling east on I-80 at around 10:50-a.m., when, for reasons unknown, the SUV entered the median, went between the bridges of the Middle River, and came into contact with the rock embankment. The vehicle rolled onto its roof, made contact with the west bank of the river, and slid across the river ice before coming to rest partially submerged on the east bank of the river.

All three of the accident victims were wearing their seatbelts. The accident resulted in the east and westbound inside lanes of I-80 being closed. The westbound inside lane was closed for about two hours, while the eastbound inside lane remained closed for a little more than four-hours.

The accident remains under investigation.

Stabbing incident reported in Red Oak

News

January 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are investigating a stabbing incident which occurred late Saturday night. According to authorities, the incident happened in an apartment located on North 8th Street. Officials say when the first officers arrived on the scene, they found that 49-year-old Patrick James Colebank, of Red Oak, had suffered a stab wound to his upper left arm.

Upon further investigation, officers determined 25-year-old Kathi Lehman, of Red Oak, was allegedly involved in a confrontation with Colebank. The confrontation escalated into a stabbing incident. Colebank was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, and later flown by helicpter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.

Lehman was taken into custody for attempted murder, and child endangerment.  She’s being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $25,000 bond. The couple’s children, ages one and two, were inside the apartment at the time the incident took place. They’re currently staying with their maternal grandmother.

The incident remains under investigation.  Red Oak Police officers were assisted at the scene by deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and, Red Oak Rescue.

Iowa and Nebraska target hidden-camera farm videos

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Animal activists who go undercover to videotape abuse on farms and ranches could face criminal charges under proposals from Iowa and Nebraska lawmakers. Legislators say the measures would prevent misleading campaigns that paint entire industries as corrupt. Animal welfare groups say the proposals threaten their free-speech rights and would hinder efforts to expose animal abuse and neglect.
 
Iowa Democratic Senator Joe Seng and Iowa Republican Senator Tim Kapucian introduced the Iowa measure, which would make it illegal to gain access to an animal facility under false pretenses. Nebraska  Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill filed the Nebraska bill. It would require people who suspect animal abuse or neglect to report their suspicion to authorities within 12 hours. They also would have to surrender all video, photo and audio evidence to investigators.

2012 RAGBRAI Route Announced

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The 40th Anniversary ride of RAGBRAI will take more than 10,000 bicycling enthusiasts through a somewhat hilly northern Iowa this year. Officials with the Des Moines Register held a party Saturday night to announced the route for the July 21st through the 28th event. The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa — the world’s oldest, largest and longest tour of its kind — begins this year in Sioux Center and ends 471 miles later in Clinton. In between, riders will stop overnight in Cherokee, Lake View, Webster City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids and Anamosa. Webster City hasn’t hosted RAGBRAI since 1980. Cedar Rapids hasn’t seen riders pass through the community since a 2008 flood inundated the largest overnight town on the list.

There’s been no word yet on whether past Tour de France winners and RAGBRAI participants Lance Armstrong and Greg LaMond will join in, but officials say they expect about 60 percent of the riders to be from places outside Iowa, including some 20 countries. An economic study from the University of Northern Iowa two years ago found the festival brings $24 million in new spending to Iowa, or $3 million for each hosting town.

The event’s theme this year is “Celebrating 40 Years of Iowa,” and its less-intensive route should afford space to pause and reflect: The route is the 18th-shortest in RABRAI history and the 11th-flattest. Only eight routes since the ride’s 1973 inception have been easier. While the precise number of towns that riders will pass through on their river-to-river run won’t be released until March, here’s what’s known about the route: Riders should pace themselves for the stretch between Marshalltown and Cedar Rapids. It will be their hilliest day with a 3,576-foot climb. At 84.8 miles, it will also be the longest. Returning riders should feel confident, though; Despite a shorter distance, last year’s route featured more hill-climbing on day one than this year’s route does in the first three days.

Manning receives $50k HUD Challenge Grant

News

January 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Main Street Manning organization has received a $50,000 HUD Challenge Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. A total of $430,000 in Housing and Urban Development Challenge Grants are being awarded to nine Iowa communities through a fund administered by the Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa.  The funds will be distributed in the form of grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of the nine projects is more than $1.2 million.

Governor Terry E. Branstad and Senator Tom Harkin joined representatives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Main Street Iowa to make the announcement during a special check presentation ceremony held Saturday, at the Des Moines Botanical Center. The grants will benefit local improvement projects such as repair of front and rear façades of downtown buildings, interior rehabilitations; restoration of historic downtown landmarks; accessibility improvements in historic properties and renovation of upper floor living spaces.

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Since the first appropriation in 2002, the program has awarded a total of $4.9 million and has leveraged approximately $36.9 million in local investments.