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8AM Newscast 05-11-2012

News, Podcasts

May 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 05-11-2012

News, Podcasts

May 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Gasoline prices now NOT expected to hit $4 a gallon by Memorial Day

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Triple-A predicted we’d see gasoline selling in Iowa at four dollars a gallon or higher by Memorial Day, but a new government report is forecasting much cheaper prices. The U-S Energy Information Administration now estimates the national average price this summer will be three-79, even lower in the Hawkeye State. Rose White, at Triple-A-Iowa, says pump prices have been steadily falling for weeks. “As this industry is, it’s very unpredictable, but certainly this latest news is welcome news for all motorists,” White says. “Oil prices are down about 9% in the last six days. In fact, for the last 23 days, retail pump prices have declined.” 

Iowa has one of the lowest gas prices in the country, averaging three-57 a gallon, about 18 cents below the national average. She says prices will still likely rise as the summer approaches, but not as high as they’d first thought. “Based on what we’re seeing now, which is an improvement in supply levels and economic concerns that are driving down crude oil prices, the combination of factors certainly is reversing earlier projections,” White says. “Right now, we’re expecting prices to stay right at that $3.70 level for many of the summer months.”

Between January and April, gas prices nationwide rose a whopping 20-percent. Some politicians blame President Obama for the increase, but White says that’s not a legitimate claim. “It’s hard to put the blame on any one organization, industry or country, certainly not on one person,” White says. “It’s a global issue, based on supply and demand.” Oil prices have dropped about eight-dollars a barrel since early April. Iowa’s current average gas price of three-57 a gallon is down from three-92 a year ago.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Inspection of key dam on Missouri River finds large “void”

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri River fell nearly eight-feet on Wednesday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shut off the flow from Gavins Point Dam near Yankton to inspect the concrete slabs below the spillway gates.

Gavins Point Dam

Three teams used sophisticated radar to survey for damage. Dave Becker, the Corps’ operations manager for the dam, says they’ve seen warning signs develop since last year’s historic flooding across Iowa and Nebraska. “We have a foot and a half of concrete on top and that is on top of a four-foot gravel layer,” Becker says. “Ever since January, we’ve had concerns about that gravel layer. We had a couple of gates open, gates 2 and 3 at this south end, and we saw water coming out of the drain at the north end and we said, ‘That’s not right.’” Becker says the record flows that brought the prolonged, record flooding last summer caused damage under the concrete.

He says, “What we found was that some of the drain grates had been washed off during the flood and some of that water was going straight down the drain holes and into the gravel layer and eroding some of that gravel.” He says the concrete is all fine but there’s at least one large “void” in the gravel. Becker says crews used the low water level on Wednesday to get a closer peek at the problem areas. “The ground-penetrating radar takes a look at the concrete and the gravel area underneath to see what condition it’s in and to see if there are any voids,” he says. “They also drilled holes in the concrete so they can visually just take a look down there and see what they got, they can stick a piece of rebar down there, feel around, see what they got.” Becker says there are no structural issues with the spillway and they are not worried about any leaking. He says they hope to get the spillway repaired before next spring

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, May 11th 2012

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES (AP) — Des Moines Superintendent Nancy Sebring, who’s taking over the top school job in Omaha, has resigned earlier than anticipated. The Des Moines school board accepted Sebring’s resignation after a closed-door meeting on Thursday. Her resignation is effective immediately. School Board Chairwoman Teree Caldwell-Johnson says in a statement that Sebring informed the board that she wanted to change her resignation date. Sebring, who led the Des Moines district for six years, was named Omaha’s superintendent in April. She’s to start that job on July 1st. Sebring had originally said that June 30th would be her last day in Des Moines.

IOWA CITY (AP) — The director of an Iowa City neighborhood center on trial for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse says she didn’t believe the allegations. Susan Freeman-Murdah told the Johnson County jury yesterday that there was no child abuse and she’s confident she never violated the law.

HAMPTON, (AP) — Five teenagers face charges in an incident involving a homemade bomb that exploded near some children, injuring one child, in Hampton earlier this month. Police received a report on May 4th about a plastic bottle exploding on a city street. The bottle was allegedly tossed from a car. One child was treated for injuries as a result of the explosion. Police haven’t released the teens’ names.

WATERLOO (AP) — Authorities say a California man who’s confessed to killing an Iowa couple more than 30 years ago was one of several persons of interest in the case. Sixty-six-year-old Jack Pursel, of South Gate in southern California, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Robert and Goldie Huntbach of Waterloo, on January 12th, 1981. Pursel showed up at the Waterloo Police Department on Tuesday and confessed.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A three-service Public Service Commission approved plans yesterday for a power line that will cross the Mississippi River between Alma and Holmen in western Wisconsin. The line will link to a larger transmission project dubbed CapX2020 to serve Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.

Branstad to Take Action on Dove Hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he plans to take action allowing hunters to shoot doves with lead shot this fall.  Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor will announce his plans during a news conference on Friday. Albrecht didn’t give specific details on what action the governor will take. The Iowa Natural Resources Commission last year passed a rule banning lead shot for dove hunting. The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee then agreed to postpone the rule. This year, the House passed a resolution to nullify the rule and allow lead shot. The measure died in the Senate. Opponents of dove hunting say the pellets contaminate the environment for other animals. Hunting groups says steel shot costs more and doesn’t work as well.

FERTILIZER AND FARM CHEMICALS SPILL NORTH OF ORIENT

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Thursday (today), that an Agriland FS sprayer carrying more than 1,200 gallons of farm chemicals and water accidentally rolled off the north shoulder of County Highway G61 west of Orient Wednesday evening. The mixture contained eight gallons of Harness Extra, 2.6 gallons of Round-Up, 1,272 gallons of 32 percent nitrogen and 80 gallons of water.

About 600 gallons of product were recovered. Some product reached the south side of the highway where tile intakes discharge into Shanghai Creek, a tributary to the East Nodaway River. Field tests this morning 1 mile downstream in Shanghai Creek indicated less than 10 parts per million of ammonia. The creek is full and flowing fast, so either the ammonia is diluted, or it has not reached 1 mile down the creek yet. 

No fish have been killed currently. If residents downstream notice changes in the water, or see dead fish, they should notify the DNR by calling the 24-hour spill number at 515-281-8694. A dam has been constructed in the ditch down gradient to where a culvert crosses the road. The product mixed with water is being pumped out. One Call has been notified, and as soon as One Call has been to the scene, the affected surface will be excavated and land applied.

Consumers could get a break from higher food prices by late fall.

News

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. Agriculture Department predicted Thursday that corn production will total 14.8 billion bushels for the season ending in August 2013. That compares with 12.4 billion bushels a year ago. The government also predicted that corn stockpiles will be higher by the end of this August.  Analysts caution that the growing season is just beginning and many factors could affect production, including a hot, dry summer.  But if the forecast holds true, corn prices will fall and that likely will result in lower supermarket prices for products that use corn. Wheat production is expected to increase but soybean supplies will remain tight.

Melissa Thompson, M.D. Leaving Adair County Health System

News

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Adair County Health System have announced Dr. Melissa Thompson, M.D., will be closing her family practice in Adair County.

Melissa Thompson, M.D. (photo from ACHS website)

The closing is effective on July 24th, 2012. Dr. Thompson released a letter to the public through the Adair County Health System, saying she will not be renewing her contract with ACHS, but will continue to see patients in the Greenfield and Fontanelle locations until July 24th. Thompson says by that time, Cassie Rassmussen, D.O. will be at Adair County and will be accepting patients.

Thompson said in her letter, that the decision to close her practice was not an easy one. She said “When I first came to Adair County in 2001, I was single with cats and dogs waiting at home for me. In the last 11 years, many changes have occurred. I am now married and have 2 young children, and my priorities have changed. My future plans are to concentrate on my family.” Thompson said also, that “It has been a privilege to work with the outstanding staff at Adair County Health System. Each of them have helped and supported me during my time here, and I will miss each of them.”

Adair County Health System will continue to provide quality care for patients in all three of the Adair County Medical Clinics in Greenfield, Stuart, and Fontanelle. If you have any questions please contact Angela Mortoza, CEO at 641-743-2123 or amortoza@adaircountyhealthsystem.org.

Griswold School Board to hold special meeting

News

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold Community School District’s Board of Education will hold a special meeting Friday evening (May 11th), in the Central Office at the Middle School/High School Building. According to Superintendent Dana Kunze, the Board will meet at 5:30-p.m., to hold a public hearing on the awarding of contracts for the re-roofing project.

The hearing will include the reading of a letter of recommendation from Estes Construction, and public input on the project. Following the hearing, the Board will made decisions on Personnel matters, award the Re-roofing contracts, and act on approving the parking lot redesign plan.