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Iowans warned of scam involving power bill payments

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Alliant Energy is warning its customers in Iowa about a new scam. Utility spokesman Justin Foss says a couple of customers in Mason City say they’ve been approached by someone claiming to be with Alliant and saying they had to pay their bill on the spot.  Somebody came to the door and demanded they be paid in cash or that the person go buy a pre-paid debit card and hand that over right away or their electricity would be disconnected. Foss says they do -not- go door-to-door demanding payment. Foss says if you get someone at your door or on the phone demanding immediate payment and it sounds suspicious, it’s likely bogus.

If there’s any time that something doesn’t seem right, just hang up or shut the door and call Alliant. They’ll be able to tell you if the request is legitimate. Foss says if you’ve been conned by a scam like this or you’ve been approached by a con artist, contact law enforcement. He says always call your local police department right away. He says one person reporting it might help police realize if it’s a trend that someone is trying to pull the scam in multiple neighborhoods or communities. Foss says the two Mason City clients who were approached this week didn’t fall for the scam and contacted Alliant to let them know what was taking place.

(Radio Iowa)

Motorgrader knocks over light pole in Page County

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A light pole owned by the State of Iowa sustained $1,000 damage, but no one was injured, when a motorgrader grazed it Thursday morning. The Page County Sheriff’s Office says the 2011 Caterpillar road grader operated by 40-year old Troy Sands, of New Market, was clearing snow from the intersection of Highway 71 and 210th Street just east of Clarinda at around 11:50-a.m., Thursday, when the machine hit the pole, causing it to topple over. The grader was not damaged. No citations were issued.

Glenwood man arrested for OWI

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest today (Friday), of a Glenwood man. 41-year old Donald Dale Elliott was taken into custody on a charge of OWI/2nd offense, following a traffic stop at around 12:35-a.m.  His bond was set at $2,000.

DOT regulations for traffic cameras under review

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Late this morning (Friday) a legislative panel will review Iowa D-O-T rules that would restrict the use of traffic enforcement cameras on state-maintained highways. The rules could spell the end for traffic cameras on Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids, on Interstate 29 in Sioux City and Interstate 235 in Des Moines if local officials cannot convince the D-O-T the cameras improve safety. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal is from Council Bluffs, where traffic enforcement cameras are installed along a busy city street.

“In my community traffic accidents in the past decade because of automated traffic enforcement have gone from 3800 to 700. They’re now back up maybe to 1100, but that’s still a two-thirds reduction in the number of crashes in Council Bluffs,” Gronstal says. Gronstal is hoping the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee votes later today (Friday) to reject the D-O-T’s proposal.

“I think the Department of Transportation has done an over-reach in terms of their rules,” Gronstal says. “I think they go too far.” Gronstal argues legislators should make this decision, although he says in the past few years advocated who wanted to limit the fines from traffic enforcement cameras clashed with those seeking an out-right ban on the cameras. Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, serves on the committee that will review the D-O-T rules. She favors “home rule” rather than the D-O-T’s approach to traffic cameras.

“I understand the need to have some kind of consistency from county-to-county and city-to-city, but it still is a decision up to cities to decide whether or not they believe that is a public safety issue,” Jochum says. D-O-T officials are scheduled to go before the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee at 11: 15 this morning (Friday) to brief the panel on the rules. Legislators will then vote to either approve the rules or they could vote to delay them. That would give the legislature time to pass a bill that would overrule the D-O-T’s approach.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 02-07-2014

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Hamburg School Board to discuss Superintendent’s job

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Following a decision Monday night not to renew the contract of Superintendent Jay Lutt, the Hamburg School Board will gather this evening to discuss their options for hiring a new superintendent. The Board had earlier also vote to stop sharing a superintendent with Farragut. The Omaha World-Herald says in the interim, Lutt will  continue to be Farragut’s superintendent.

The Hamburg and Farragut school districts are in the third year of a four-year whole-grade sharing contract, which created the Nishnabotna school district. About 300 people attended Monday’s meeting. About a dozen addressed the board, including several members of the Farragut school board.

A special meeting is scheduled for this evening at 6:30 in the Hamburg Middle School, and the Hamburg Board will meet Feb. 17th in a joint session with Farragut’s board.

(Podcast) 7-am. News/funeral report, 2/7/14

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Bluffs man pleads guilty in wife’s murder

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man has reached a deal with prosecutors that could result in him being sentenced to 25-years in prison for the death of his wife. The Omaha World-Herald reports 55-year old Darwin Cox, of Council Bluffs, plead guilty Thursday in district court, to charges of voluntary manslaughter, intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent, and going armed with intent. His case had been set to go to trial Feb. 18th.

Darwin Cox was initially charged with first-degree murder following an investigation into the Oct. 15, 2013 shooting of his wife, Millisa, as the woman ran out of their home at 3441 Avenue B. The shooting occurred after an argument that began the night before. Authorities said Darwin Cox fired a handgun from inside the home through a window, striking his wife. He attempted suicide shortly thereafter, shooting himself in the head, and spent time in the hospital before being transferred to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

The first two charges against him each carry a 10-year maximum sentence. The third charge carries a five-year sentence. The intimidation charge includes a weapons enhancement that requires Cox to serve at least five years of the sentence.The prison sentences will be served consecutively as part of the plea deal. As part of the plea agreement, Darwin Cox was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Feb. 7th 2014

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press …

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police are looking for a woman accused of hitting her roommate with a shovel after a dispute over clearing their driveway of snow. The Des Moines Register reports the assault happened Wednesday evening after a woman drove over snow in her driveway. Police say the 55-year-old woman was sitting in her living room when her 46-year-old roommate hit her four times in the head and shoulder with a shovel. The victim got away and drove to a hospital.

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they may never know the identity of the driver whose illegal lane change led to a 31-car pileup on the Interstate 74 bridge in Bettendorf. The Quad-City Times reports the driver abruptly changed lanes to reach an exit ramp on Monday morning, cutting in front of another motorist. The driver then fled the area.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Supreme Court justice issued a stay in the case of a woman who was on the verge of being released from prison decades after her conviction of murder for a 1987 stabbing when she was 17. The Des Moines Register reports Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins issued the stay yesterday.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Samanta Logic had her second first triple-double of the season to lead Iowa to a 73-70 victory last night. Logic had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Iowa which has won six of its last eight conference games.

Newton, Avoca, Guthrie Center join Main Street Iowa program

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A ceremony was held at the State Capitol Thursday as Governor Branstad announced three communities that have been selected to join the Main Street Iowa program. They are Avoca, Guthrie Center, and Newton. The Main Street Iowa initiative was launched 27 years ago as part of a national effort to revitalize downtowns. Cities that are chosen for the program receive expert training and technical support in efforts to preserve historic buildings and improve their local economies.

Guthrie Center officials join Gov. Branstad for the Main Street IA announcement.

Guthrie Center officials join Gov. Branstad for the Main Street IA announcement.

Ken Laughery, president of the Guthrie Center Revitalization Corporation, is also hoping the Main Street designation will eventually encourage more people to move to the town of just over 15-hundred (1,500) residents. “That’s one of the struggles we’ve faced over the years is our shrinking population,” Laughery said. “I think (Main Street) will give us guidance and show us some of the things that have been successful in other communities in the past.” Avoca’s population is similar to Guthrie Center.

City officials from Avoca also joined the Gov., Thursday for the event.

City officials from Avoca also joined the Gov., Thursday for the event.

Avoca’s City Manager Clint Fichter said the Main Street program will help improve the Pottawattamie County town in a number of ways. “The first step for us is we’ve lacked a downtown business organization, so getting the organization up and running, working together better, the joint marketing, and all those things that come with this…and then, planning for the renovation of an historic theater and some other large preservation projects,” Fichter said. The addition of Avoca, Guthrie Center, and Newton brings the total number of Main Street communities in Iowa to 52.
(Radio Iowa)
(for more info. go to www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa)