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Traveller’s Note: Interstate 29 in South Dakota closed at noon today (Thursday)


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

State officials in South Dakota report Interstate 29 in southeast South Dakota was closed at noon today (Thursday). Officials say the Big Sioux River is predicted to crest in the morning or early afternoon hours of Friday, June 20 and is expected to send a significant amount of water into low lying areas of southeast South Dakota. As Governor Daugaard outlined in a media briefing on Wednesday, a berm, or levee, is being built across both lanes of interstate 29 at Exit 4. That protective structure will connect with an existing levee on the east side of North Sioux City.

Through traffic on Interstate 29 will be detoured as follows:

  • Southbound I-29 Interstate traffic will be detoured onto I-90 east at Exit 84A at Sioux Falls, SD, then south on I-35 Exit 159A at Des Moines, IA, then west on I-80 at Exit 137A to Council Bluffs, IA, then to I-29 south.
  • Northbound I-29 Interstate traffic will be detoured at Council Bluffs, IA onto I-80 eastbound, then north on I-35 in Iowa to Albert Lea, MN and west on I-90 to Sioux Falls.

Interstate through traffic detour on local roads:

Southbound I-29 traffic in South Dakota will be detoured onto SD 50 West at Exit 26 to Vermillion, then south to SD 19 into Nebraska where it becomes Highway 15, then continue south to Highway 12 east in Nebraska to U.S 20 east in Nebraska, then to Exit 1A for I-29 south at South Sioux City, NE.
Northbound I-29 traffic will exit onto Highway 20 west, then north on Highway 12 and Highway 15 in Nebraska, continuing onto Highway 19 in South Dakota to the Vermillion Exit to SD 50 eastbound to I-29.

At this time, local traffic will be allowed into the area until water is over the road.

Detour maps are available on http://disasterrecovery.sd.gov/flood_info_pubs.aspx.

Motorists are urged to use caution when driving on state and local roads in southeast South Dakota for the next several days and should not drive through rushing or standing water over roadways as the road may be washed out underneath.

Travelers are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or to call 511 to check latest road conditions in their area.

Semi rollover accident in Cass Co. early Thu. morning


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County say no injuries were reported after a semi rolled into the ditch off of Interstate 80 early this (Thursday) morning. The accident was called-in at around 2:04-a.m. Authorities say a 2014 Freightliner semi driven by 33-year old Yousef Mohamed Elghoul, of Dearborn, MI, was traveling west on I-80 and had attempted to pull onto the shoulder about two-miles east of the Wiota Exit, when he pulled over too far. The rig rolled over onto its side. Elghoul was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Additional details released on Tuesday morning chase/crash in Cass Co.


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department today (Thursday), released additional details about a chase and crash that took place early Tuesday morning. As we previously mentioned, just after 2-a.m. Tuesday, the Cass County Communications Center received a report of a white pickup truck stolen from 60379 Airport Road, in Atlantic. Several minutes later Deputy Ben Bartholomew observed the vehicle traveling southwest on White Pole Road between Atlantic and Lewis.

As the deputy initiated the stop, the driver of the vehicle (later identified as 53-year old Stefan Michael Greelis, of Council Bluffs) attempted to elude the deputy, by turning onto 585th Street northeast of Lewis. Greelis — who had been released from the Cass County Jail hours earlier — continued north at a high rate of speed and missed the curve that turns 585th Street into Main Street in Lewis.

The pickup hit a sign and rolled 1 ½ times before coming to rest in the field north of 582nd/Main Street. Greelis was extricated from the vehicle by mechanical means and transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac. He faces charges that include Theft 2nd Degree, Felony Eluding, Driving While Revoked, and Reckless Driving. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the Atlantic Police Department, Lewis Fire Department, Lewis Rescue, and Griswold Rescue.

Unique discussion held during Shelby Supervisor’s session

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Supervisors held a unique drainage hearing as part of their meeting, Tuesday afternoon. The Application for Individual Drainage Right hearing filed by Ag Unlimited, Inc. was held inside the Supervisors’ Chambers. James Hudson, who has represented supervisors, trustees, and landowners in more than half the counties in northern Iowa since 1951, is drainage attorney from Pocahontas. As mediator, he explained to Ag Unlimited, owned by Chris and Joni Larson, and the other party involved Tom and Kay Schechinger, that the supervisors were acting as trustees per Iowa Code because Shelby County does not have a drainage system in place.

The hearing was held after Ag Unlimited requested permission to install a tile line to the west, across Schechinger’s property in Section 18 of Jackson Township in rural Shelby County. Larson explained he and the Schechinger’s attempted to work out an agreement for the tile line but were unsuccessful and he had no alternative other than to file the application. The Schechinger’s believed the drainage plan proposed by Larson was not feasible and had been told by their attorney not to enter into any agreements.

Also in attendance were Dave and Pam Borkowski as an interested party due to the water running from the tile line will eventually end up in their waterway. The Shelby County Supervisors heard from all interested parties on issues including the type of piping used for the tile line, NRCS and DNR regulations and who will pay for all the work. After nearly three hours of discussion, the Supervisors created and approved a resolution on the Individual Drainage Issue, but with several stipulations, including:

  • The tile line to be paid for by Ag Unlimited will go into the road ditch on the east side of County Road M47 as the engineer presented.
  • The largest retention area possible will be built at the top of the hill to help hold back as much water as possible during heavy rains.
  • A 6 inch perforated, corrugated plastic pipe will be used unless the Schechinger’s want that changed to a non-perforated at a cost expense to them. The smaller size piping will help slow down the water flow, which should benefit Borkowski.
  • The pipe will be trenched in, not knifed, a minimum of 36” deep, but as close to 48” as possible.
  • The installation will take place based on NRCS requirements and Ag Unlimited will be responsible for crop damage.
  • Ag Unlimited will be responsible for any damages and normal maintenance to the tile.

Hudson will work with the Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter and draw up the final order.
Ag Unlimited and Schechingers will each be responsible for 50 percent of the County’s attorney fees for the procedure.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)


Atlantic may be in line for housing projects


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Omaha firm has its eyes on Atlantic as the possible site for housing development projects, such as re-purposing older buildings and building low-to-moderate income apartments or duplexes, for senior citizens. City Administrator Doug Harris said Mike Fallesen, Vice President for Affordable Housing Development with the Seldin Company, in Omaha, toured some sites in Atlantic, this past Monday.

Some of the locations include the former Jackson School, property behind the Fareway Store, and other areas. Harris said Fallesen seemed interested in obtaining more information from the City, such as its Housing Study. Harris said Seldin tends to combine their projects with Community Development Block Grants, plus tax credits and other incentives, in order to make it more feasible to build or rehabilitate properties.

The Seldin Company website says the firm specializes in property management, leasing, and development with more than 12,000 apartments units and more than 3.3 million square feet of commercial retail and office space across the central United States. Through the years, Seldin Company has built single-family homes, subdivisions, apartments, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial developments.

(on the web at http://www.seldin.com/)

Atlantic City Council selects auditing firm & approves non-union pay plan


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved the awarding of a contract for City auditing services to Gronewold, Bell, Kyhnn & Co., P.C., of Atlantic. Their decision followed discussion, and a recommendation by the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee. City Administrator Doug Harris said there were three bids for the three-year service (Fiscal Year’s 2014, ’15 and ’16). The other bidders included the State of Iowa Auditor’s Office, and Faller, Kinchloe & Co., PLC, of Des Moines.

Harris said Gronewold, Bell & Kyhnn are well qualified for the job and handle a lot of other municipal accounting jobs. He says their cost was slightly higher for the single audit then the other two firms, but when the cost is average for the three year contract, the cost is actually lower, and, it appears the other firms underestimating how long it would take to complete an audit, and therefore billed for lesser hours in their bid.

G,B & K’s combined bid for three-years of single audits was $42,150, which was just slightly higher than Faller and Kinchloe’s bid, and more than $4,000 less than what the State of Iowa had bid. G B & K’s FY 2014 single audit price was $13,750, and would take 220-hours. As a point of reference, the City’s FY 2013 audit cost $15,480, and took 260 hours to complete, including 28 hours for the single audit at a cost of $1,600.

In other business, the Council approved a 3% increase in compensation for non-union City employees (excluding the Wastewater Superintendent, whose compensation adjustment has already been approved by the Council). Doug Harris explained the 3% increase is the same increase granted to the two unions, and the funding increase for the adjustment was included in the adopted FY 2015 Budget.

Cass Co. authorities ID farm accident victim


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Cass County have identified a man who died during a farming accident Wednesday afternoon, northeast of Massena. Sheriff’s officials say 40-year old Brian Larry Follmann, of Massena, died when he became caught in a hay baler.

The incident was reported at around 2:37-p.m. Follmann died at the scene of the accident, located off of 760th Street, about three-quarters of a mile north of Highway 92.

8AM Newscast 06-19-2014

News, Podcasts

June 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


More severe weather possible today

News, Weather

June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Severe weather is possible across much of Iowa once again today. Already this morning, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for parts of Carroll, Audubon, Guthrie and Greene Counties, with nickel-sized hail having been reported just east of Audubon at around 7:35-a.m.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK., has placed much of Iowa in a slight risk for severe storms. In addition to damaging winds and large hail, heavy rainfall is possible. An additional widespread 1″ to 1.5″ may fall over already rain-soaked locations… including those in the Flash Flood Watch.

Flash Flood Watch (green shaded counties- lower left image).

Flash Flood Watch (green shaded counties- lower left image).

The slight risk area may shift throughout the daytime, so please make sure you stay up to date with the latest weather forecast information…especially if you have travel and/or outdoor plans today!

Ohio man sentenced in death of a Bluffs man


June 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Ohio man convicted this past March in connection with a high speed crash that killed a Council Bluffs man in September, was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum of 10-years in prison for vehicular homicide. The Omaha World-Herald reports 30-year old Eric Shiplett, of Zanesville, OH.,  could be eligible for parole in as little as three-years.

Shiplett was driving a vehicle that left Interstate 480 in Omaha at a high rate of speed on Sept. 6th, 2013. The vehicle careened out of control near the 30th Street exit and rolled several times off to the side of the road. A passenger in the car, 19-year old Matthew Doty, of Council Bluffs, was ejected during the crash, and died at the scene.

Prosecutors said Shiplett’s blood-alcohol level was nearly three-times the legal limit of .08 (Point Oh-eight).