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PA man arrested on drug charges following traffic stop on I-80 in Pottawattamie County

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says an Pennsylvania man was arrested Friday afternoon on drug charges, following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs. The Sheriff says Deputy Brian Miller stopped a Nissan Altima for speeding on I-80 near the 5-mile marker, at around 1-p.m., Friday. After speaking with the driver, Miller became suspicious the man may have been trafficking drugs. The deputy asked 25-year old Joshua Ampolsk, of Wynnewood, PA, for permission to search the vehicle, but Ampolsk refused.  When Miller conducted a perimeter search of the vehicle using his k-9 partner “Francisco,” the dog alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics in the car, which provided the deputy with probable cause to conduct a search. While searching the car, Miller recovered 61-pounds of marijuana, and 2-pounds of Hashish.

Ampolsk was taken into custody on a felony charge of Possession with the Intent to Deliver/marijuana, Prohibited Acts/distribution of illegal substances, and a drug tax stamp violation. He posted a $5,000 bond that same day, and was released from custody.

Griswold School Board approves transfer of property

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, approved the transfer of school property to the City of Elliott. Action on approving the transfer of five-acres of school property on the north edge of Elliott, to the City of Elliott, for a wetland project was held following a public hearing on the matter. Superintendent Dana Kunze said the marshy land offers an ideal, natural means of filtering nitrates out of the City’s drinking water.

Kunze said also, more work needs to be done before any action can be taken on Re-districting for School Board Districts. He said he will need to hold additional discussions with the AEA and University of Iowa as to how those districts are formed before the process can move forward. He says he thought they were off to a good start, but on second look, he may have to scrap what’s been accomplished so far, and start over. Kunze said there’s still plenty of time to accomplish the task, and the board still wants to head in that direction.

If the Griswold School District were to re-district it’s Board of Education, there would be four geographical districts and three board members elected At-Large, instead of the current seven different districts and one person from each district on the board. Kunze says it gets kind of confusing when redistricting is taken into consideration, as far as who stays on the Board and who has to run for re-election, but that can’t be determined until the districts are actually set. The University of Iowa provides those services to the district under an agreement reached earlier. Basically, it means the process is only in the formulative stages right now.

In other business, the Griswold School Board approved Kunze requesting from their bonding agent a means of maximizing funds for various projects, instead of just paying for the Middle School/High School roofing project alone.  He says he will ask Piper-Jaffrey to put together a bonding scenario which would allow the district to borrow against the penny sales tax revenue into the future, on approximately $2.2-million, so that the money is available for projects now. Kunze says “There’s a long laundry list of things (they) want to do, and unfortunately the list is longer than the money is,” therefore it will still take some determination to figure out which projects are a priority. He says they still have to live within their budget.

Iowa nursing home eyed for elderly sex offenders

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) – Some Iowa legislators say a special nursing home for elderly sex offenders and other criminals may be needed.  State  Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, says the state will need a facility “where these individuals will be contained.” She made her statement when the issue was raised at a Fort Dodge forum on Saturday. 

 A sex offender who was released to a Pomeroy nursing home was accused of sexual contact with a resident there.   Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed a law requiring nursing homes to notify families of residents when a sexual offender moves in. 
 
On Saturday, Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said stronger measures are needed. He says the state might have to buy a nursing home and employ personnel trained to deal with sex offenders.

House fire reported in Stuart

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Stuart are investigating the cause of a house fire which occurred early this morning in Stuart.  Stuart Police Chief Dave Reha told KJAN News the fire took place at a residence in the 600 block of North Western Street. Reha said the home appears to be a total loss. No injuries were reported. Additional details about the blaze are currently not available.

High winds can cause travel hazards on Iowa’s roadways today

News, Weather

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 17, 2012 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising motorists that sustained wind speeds of up to 25 mph are expected across a majority of the state today. Drivers on Iowa roadways should be alert to the effects of these winds on high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers. For road weather information in Iowa, visit Iowa DOT’s website http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/. WeatherView offers helpful information to travelers, including current wind speed, direction and gusts. Information is collected from road and aviation weather observation reporting sites throughout the state.

If you are driving:

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and be prepared to slow down.
  • Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong gusts can push a vehicle or trailer outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van, SUV or recreational vehicle or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • Never cross a downed power line.
  • Approach all intersections with caution. If there is a power outage, the traffic signals may not be operating properly. Remember, nonfunctioning traffic signals are to be treated as a four-way stop.
  • Check the latest weather conditions by accessing the information kiosks located at any of the interstate rest areas.

8AM Newscast 01-17-2012

News, Podcasts

January 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 01-17-2012

News, Podcasts

January 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves Capital Improvement Program Plan

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday evening approved a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) plan for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on July 1st, amounting to about $556,500. The funds would come mostly from bonds and the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), along with other sources, such as grants. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring provided a break-down of the costs and related projects.  The most expensive part of the CIP is a new $246,000, 4,000 square foot Park Maintenance Building, which would tentatively be situated south the of skate park, but the location itself has not been finalized.

Conceptual drawing of the proposed Park & Rec Maintenance Bldg.

The building, according to Herring would be larger than the current building, and last some 20-to 30-years. He said it would not be “luxurious,” but functional and handicapped accessible. He says it would house the Park Director’s office, a uni-sex restroom, a climate-controlled shop, four-garage doors, and storage area. The building would also be connected to water and electricity, which is something the current building does not have. A majority of the funding for the building would come from the Capital Improvements fund (i.e. bonding). Approximately $10,000 would come from the Local Option Sales Tax fund.

Another part of the CIP plan calls for a new fence around the Sunnyside Park softball field, along with fabric for a backstop. That, along with regrading of the infields, would cost about about $23,000 altogether. Herring said there may be opportunities for cost-sharing with Frederickson Foundation, as well.  The CIP plan also includes reconstruction of the tennis courts at Sunnyside Park. Herring says at least two of the courts are “unplayable”, as far as tournament play is concerned, due to hazardous cracks. Herring says he will meet with Atlantic School District officials next week to discuss cost-sharing on the project. The projected cost of the project is $235,00. The City of Atlantic, according to Herring will likely bond for $92,000. He hopes the district is willing to pay an equal share. An additional $50,000 is available from the U-S Tennis Association. The tennis court project would not include work on the restrooms.

Other projects the Park and Rec Board approved as part of their Capital Improvement Plan, include replacement, grading and widening of a full length section of sidewalk in the Atlantic City Park, along Poplar Street, and the repair of a portion of the “spoke” sidewalk from the northwest corner of the park toward the center of the park. The project is expected to cost $25,000, and would be included in the bond package. The CIP also includes work on a walkway and shelter at Holt Park, which is located between 17th and 14th Streets, on Olive Street. The $4,000 pricetag would be paid for using LOST monies.  And finally, Herring said he wants to include in the CIP, the repair and enclosing of the ends to the half-pipe at the Sunnyside Park skateboard area. It’s expected that will cost about $7,000, which will come from the Local Option Sales Tax fund.

The Board will present its CIP to the City Council during its meeting Wednesday evening.  In other business, the Parks and Rec Board approved renewing a contract with the Nishna Valley YMCA, for their various parks and rec programs. The annual fee of $10,300 is unchanged from last year. Part of that money is used to pay the Sunnyside Pool Manager. Speaking of the Sunnyside Pool, Herring said the CIP includes $16,500 for improvements such as new chairs and/or lounge chairs, umbrellas for tables around the pool, and for the life guard stands, new lighting in the shower areas, and upgrades to the locker rooms. Herring says $5,000 would come from bonds to pay for the project, while the remaining $11,500 would come out of the LOST.

Corps of Engineers: Missouri River levees in “critical condition”

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Missouri River levees that were damaged by last year’s floodwaters remain vulnerable, with spring a little over two months away. Congress has appropriated money for emergency repairs and more money is promised. Colonel Robert Ruch, Commander of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District, says they’re focused on repairing the critical sections of levee first.  “Most of those levees held up very well through the flood of 2011,” Colonel Ruch says. “We know where our greatest weaknesses are and that’s where we’re putting our greatest strength.” Floodwaters breeched some levees in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska, damaged others, and put great strain on all the levees downstream. Ruch says it will take months to restore the basin’s levee system to where it was in early 2011.

“We probably need a full year to get things completely restored back to pre-flood conditions,” Ruch says. “We have ideas as to what the critical things are that need to be ready for as early as March 1st, when we consider the runoff season to begin and where we could be in some danger of rising waters.” Kim Thomas, chief of the Corps’ “Readiness Branch” in Omaha, acknowledges the Missouri River levee system remains vulnerable.  “Those levees are definitely in critical condition,” Thomas says. “We’ll get them closed up. We’ll get the bridges closed up. We’ll get all the critical repairs done but there’s still a lot to go there. We have a lot of seepage concerns that we have to go through and get geotech investigation on, do analysis, do design.” Thomas says the first order of business is to repair the sections of levee that are most severely damaged.

“Those pieces will be fixed,” she says. “It’s the under-foundation seepage issues that require extensive analysis and that takes time.” Some estimates indicate it could be late this year or even 2013 before repairs to the levee system are complete.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Fire engulfs semi cab near Atlantic (updated 8:45-pm)

News

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic and Marne Firefighters responded to the scene of a fully engulfed semi-tractor on Highway 173, one-mile south of Interstate 80, Monday night. The call came in at 7:23-p.m. The driver of the 2004 Volvo, 67-year old Sam Hoover, of Atlantic told KJAN News he was traveling south on 173 after having just turned off the interstate on his way home to Atlantic, when he noticed flames in the back of the truck. He said he locked the brakes up, got out of the cab and was going to grab his fire extinguisher, but by then the flames had started to consume the cab and the glass started to blow out.  He said there were flames coming from the engine compartment, also.

Volvo semi tractor, engine compartment, right side view 1-16-12

Hoover said he had just spent $4,000 on his rig in December, and was scheduled to have a wheel seals serviced by Volvo on Tuesday afternoon. Hoover owned the truck, which was contracted to Fremont Carriers, out of Fremont,  Nebraska. It’s not clear what exactly caused the blaze, which completely destroyed the tractor portion of the semi (no trailer was attached). The burned out hulk was still smoldering more than an hour after the first fire crews arrived. No injuries were reported.

Burned out Volvo semi tractor/Driver's side view 1-16-12