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Iowa News Headlines: Thu., Jan. 2nd 2014

News

January 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s 21 publicly traded companies had a great year in the market. Share prices for all 21 went up in 2013 and all but four of them beat the Dow Jones industrial average, which had its best year since 1995.

POCAHONTAS, Iowa (AP) — An Army Reserve unit in north-central Iowa has been called up for duty in Afghanistan. A deployment ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 18 for the 415th Military Police Detachment (Law and Order). The unit was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

ASHTON, Iowa (AP) — Officials are blaming the cold weather for a train derailment in northwest Iowa. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says more than a dozen cars came off the tracks Tuesday morning along Iowa Highway 60 south of Ashton. National Weather Service records show subzero temperatures have chilled the area in recent days.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State will hold a public visitation to honor former basketball coach Johnny Orr, who died Tuesday at age 86. The doors to Hilton Coliseum in Ames will open at 1 p.m. Thursday for the visitation. Orr led the Cyclones from 1980 until 1994.

Alarm system alerts authorities to residential fire

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An alarm system alerted authorities in Mills County to a residential fire Tuesday night. The Sheriff’s Office says Mills County dispatch received a report at around 9:30-p.m. of an alarm at 16683 Alcorn Avenue in rural Council Bluffs. The call came from a security company. Mills County Deputies and the Iowa State Patrol responded to the scene.

Upon their arrival, officers entered the residence to find it filling with smoke and several alarms being reported by the security company. Law enforcement left the home and called for fire and rescue personnel. Firefighters from Pacific Junction and Glenwood Fire and Rescue, along with personnel from Oak Township and Lewis Township Fire responded to the scene.

The home’s owner, 69-year old Gerald Nibbe, was in Omaha visiting his son at home at the time of the alarm, and arrived at the home he’s lived in since the 1970’s, after being notified by the alarm company. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Two classic cars, which were located in a garage next to the house, were among the items damaged in the blaze.

Iowans warned about new scam that sounds very legit

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Internal Revenue Service is warning Iowans about a sophisticated telephone scam targeting taxpayers. Christopher Miller, the I-R-S spokesman for Iowa, says anyone may be at risk for getting one of these calls, but the con artists are also singling out recent immigrants, who may be easier prey. “The victims are told that they owe money to the IRS and that the money has to be paid promptly through a preloaded debit card or a wire transfer,” Miller says. “If they refuse, they are threatened with arrest or deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.”

The scam is being used on taxpayers in nearly every state in the country — and he says they are calling Iowans. Miller says the agency wants to educate taxpayers so they can protect themselves. “We want everyone to understand that the IRS will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or request prepaid debit card or wire transfer information to settle a tax problem,” Miller says. “That’s not the way it works.” The first I-R-S contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail, he says, not a phone call. Miller says this scam is particularly troubling as the con artists, in many cases, have gone to great lengths to appear legitimate.

“Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers and they may even be able to recite the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, which is scary,” Miller says. “They have even figured out a way of ‘spoofing’ the IRS toll-free number so it shows up on your Caller ID.” Some scammers have sent bogus I-R-S emails to victims to support their bogus calls. Victims may also hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic an I-R-S call site.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the I-R-S and you might owe taxes, Miller says to call the agency at 800-829-1040 to see if there really is an issue. Otherwise, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Co. Supervisors to act on appointments and admin. matters, Thursday

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hold their first meeting of the new year Thursday, beginning at 9-a.m. On their agenda, is a Resolution calling for the appointment of a deputy Recorder, and an increase in the number of deputies from one, to two, along with the approval of an appointment, with regard to a change in classification of an employee in the Recorder’s Office, from Recorder’s Assistant to Deputy Recorder.

The Board will also act on several administrative matters, including the selection of a Board Chair and Vice-Chair for 2014, the first year of wage adjustments, appointment of Board members to serve on committees, and a Resolution for Livestock Facility Construction Evaluation, otherwise known as the “Master Matrix.”

(Podcast) Area & western IA News: Wed., Jan. 1st 2014

News, Podcasts

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

Play

Special Weather Statement: Slick roads possible this morning

News, Weather

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-

636 AM CST WED JAN 1 2014

…LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW WILL PRODUCE SLICK ROADS THIS MORNING…

SNOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS MUCH OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST IOWA THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS. ALTHOUGH THERE HAS YET TO BE MUCH IN THE WAY OF ACCUMULATIONS…ROADS HAVE QUICKLY BECOME JUST SNOW COVERED AND SLICK IN MANY AREAS. SLOW DOWN AND PLAN FOR EXTRA TRAVEL TIME THIS NEW YEARS MORNING. ACCUMULATIONS WILL GENERALLY REACH ONE TO TWO INCHES BY AFTERNOON.

Rollover accident in Atlantic Wed. morning

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Less than 2-hours into the new year, the first rollover accident was reported in Cass County, Wednesday (Today). According to dispatch reports, a call was received about a rollover accident on Buck Creek Road in Atlantic, about one-quarter of a mile north of the compost pile, at around 1:35-a.m. Atlantic Police were first to arrive on the scene. Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance crews also responded.

Officers indicated a male subject was trapped in the vehicle, a black Dodge Dakota pickup. He was extricated and treated for what were described as non-life threatening injuries. Authorities were investigating whether the same vehicle may have been involved in an earlier  property damage hit-and-run incident near Rumor’s Lounge, in the Atlantic Shopping Plaza.

No other details were available early this (Wednesday) morning.

Rules for young drivers change today

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Young drivers will now have to put in a little more learning time before they can take the wheel on their own and drive. D-O-T Motor Vehicle Division director, Mark Lowe, says the law changes with the new year. “In the past you could get an intermediate license after passing driver’s ed and having an instruction permit for six months. And that’s going to increase from six months to 12 months now,” Lowe says. “And the idea behind that is to make sure that young drivers have had more time driving with supervision, more time learning, hopefully more learning experience in all weather conditions.”

There is also another restriction that parents can have put on the young drivers. “During the first six months of driving on an intermediate license the teen driver can’t have more than one unrelated passenger in the vehicle with them. That is a restriction that the parents have to agree to,” Lowe says. He says driver will have to follow the decision parents make on allowing more passengers. “If they chose to accept the restriction, then the restriction will be printed on the license that will indicate that they have a passenger limit,” Lowe says. “If they chose to wave the limit, then it simply won’t have that restriction printed on the license.” Lowe says the passenger limit is designed to limit distractions.

“For teens, that’s another step forward in the driving experience as they start to drive without adult supervision. And that first six months is really some of the most critical and some of the most dangerous time for them as they are gaining that experience. So reducing passengers reduces distractions,” according to Lowe. He says the studies have found new drivers are more responsible without friends in the car. “The presence of other teens sometimes compels drivers to take risks they otherwise wouldn’t, so limiting that during the first six months is another safety strategy to help them gain experience safely,” according to Lowe.

The new law applies to all drivers holding a minor school license, even if the drivers got the license before January.

(Radio Iowa)

Truck pulled from river near Sergeant Bluff

News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) — A truck spotted in the Missouri River southwest of Sergeant Bluff has been removed from the water. The Sioux City Journal reports the truck was pulled out Tuesday after an Iowa Natural Resources Department crew saw the truck roof Monday afternoon. Lt. Tony Wingert with the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says the truck was submerged near a boat ramp at Weedland Access Area off 235th Street. A dive team was called in to help a towing company hook up to the truck for removal.

Officials still don’t know when the truck went into the water. Its registration plates had been removed, but officials located the vehicle identification number and are trying to track down the owner. There were no signs of foul play inside.

Workshops to assist Iowa veterans who want to farm

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Veterans interested in farming will have more opportunities to learn about the trade in 2014. The newly formed Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa will hold four workshops aimed at helping individuals interested in starting a farm business or finding employment in agriculture. The one-day workshops will focus on networking opportunities and education. They follow a statewide conference held Dec. 14 in Des Moines.

The first workshop will be held Feb. 20 in Ottumwa. The others will be held Feb. 22 in Waterloo, March 13 in Red Oak and March 15 in Storm Lake. Coalition chair Ed Cox says veterans are a distinct group of farmers with diverse interests, but they all have a history of service and a desire to provide food to their communities.