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Significant Winter Storm affects the region Sunday

News, Weather

February 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

The National Weather Service says “A significant winter storm” will affect the region today and into tonight. A Winter Storm Warning continues until 9-p.m. today (Sunday). Heavy snow will continue to fall across much of Iowa and winds will increase, causing blowing snow and drifting snow that will make travel even more hazardous. The snow will finally end with diminishing winds late this evening. As of 7-a.m. in Atlantic, we had received 5.8-inches of snow, which melted into just over six-tenths of an inch of liquid precipitation. Massena had 6-inches of snow over the same 24-hour period ending at 7-am.

Other snowfall reports as of include: 6.9 inches in Oakland (8:30-a.m) 7 inches in Audubon, Carroll and Guthrie Center; 5.4 inches in Adair; 9.8 inches in Waukee and 7.9 inches in Ames and 7.3 inches in Des Moines.

As of 8-a.m., roads were 100-percent snow and ice covered in the KJAN listening area, and many churches had cancelled services for today. Towing services are prohibited in Cass, Adair, Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont Counties.

Additional snowfalls will be possible in the coming days, especially from Tuesday into Wednesday when some accumulations are expected. Temperatures will be quite a bit colder for most of next week with the fresh deep snow cover in place. The coldest temperatures will come tonight into Monday morning and again from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

2 CA truckers injured during crash on I-80 in Pott County

News

February 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

Two truck drivers from California were injured during a crash early this (Sunday) morning on Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol reports the 2002 Kenworth driven by 62-year old Jesus B. Garcia, of Oxnard, CA, was traveling eastbound on I-80 about a mile west of the Neola Exit, when he lost control of the rig at around 1-a.m.

The semi rolled onto its side and blocked both lanes of travel. Garcia suffered minor injuries. His passenger, 55-year old Rufino V. Murillo, of Carpinteria, CA, was seriously hurt, but listed in stable condition. Both men were transported to Mercy Hospital, in Council Bluffs.

Large turnout for MHI meeting in Clarinda, Saturday

News

February 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

About 250 people gathered at the Clarinda Mental Health Institute Saturday morning to attend a public forum pertaining to the possible closing of the more than 125-year old facility.  The Omaha World-Herald reports Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer faced the fired-up crowd and mental health professionals, including Dr. Marin Broucek, of Omaha, who called for more mental health services, not less.

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer said closing the facility would burden local law enforcement. Having to transport the mentally ill people hundreds of miles could take two deputies or police officers, which would be difficult for smaller agencies. A woman who identified herself as Ruth King and said she was mentally disabled, pointed out that state facilities that would remain open are a long way from Clarinda.

In his remarks, Human Services Director Palmer said mental health care was changing and the way services are being delivered is downsizing. Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed ending funding for both the Clarinda institute and a similar facility in Mount Pleasant, in eastern Iowa, shutting them down on July 1.

The Cherokee Mental Health Institute in northwest Iowa would remain open, as would the Independence Mental Health Institute in eastern Iowa. The state says the move would save nearly $8 million. But Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the closings were not planned to save money, but to serve patients better. Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, said last week that she supports the move to close the two facilities; a more community-based model is better than an institutional model, she said.

But she wants to make sure the savings are put into community-based mental health treatment. Amy Lorentzen McCoy, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, said the plan is for savings to be put into Medicaid and into expanding beds in the facility in Independence. Neither institute targeted for closing is nationally accredited, mostly because of their aging facilities and an inability to attract the psychiatrists needed to prescribe medication, McCoy said.

There is no psychiatrist at Mount Pleasant, and in Clarinda, the full-time psychiatrist is retiring, she said. The number of mental health patients served by Clarinda and Mount Pleasant has been declining for decades, with 24 currently being treated in Clarinda and 47 in Mount Pleasant.

Iowa is spending nearly $7 million to run the Mount Pleasant institution and $8.7 million on the Clarinda location. Both have been around since the 19th century; Mount Pleasant was founded in 1864 and Clarinda in 1888. A consultant hired by Gov. Chet Culver’s administration in 2009 recommended shuttering Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, but the proposal was dropped when local and union officials protested and the Legislature didn’t approve the plan.

During a hearing at the State Capitol last week, Mental Health and Disability Services Division Administrator Rick Shults said the facilities are outdated, costly and serve only a small number of people. Shults said it wasn’t clear how many people would lose their jobs. About 160 people in total work at the facilities, 76 of them in Clarinda, but some could get other positions with the state.

Democrats and Republicans at the meeting raised questions about the proposal. Legislators also asked what would happen to four elderly sex offenders who live at the Clarinda institution. Shults said the state will work to find facilities for them, but it was not clear where that would be. Human Services Director Palmer said Saturday some of those offenders could be placed in nursing homes.

Motel robbery leads to chase and arrest Saturday morning

News

February 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

One person was taken into custody following a motel robbery and chase in Council Bluffs, Saturday morning. Officials says the Days-Inn Motel on south 7th Street in Council Bluffs  was robbed just before 1-a.m. Saturday. The suspect entered the lobby area, pointed a hand gun at the clerk on duty and then removed cash from the register before fleeing on foot. The clerk saw the suspect get into a white SUV with no license plates.

A uniformed officer nearby spotted the vehicle driving with its lights off near 19th Ave and South Expressway. A chase ensued to the dead end area of 1200 block of 19th Ave. as the suspect threw cash and clothes out of vehicle. Police said the suspect then rammed a police cruiser as the pursuit continued to the area of 2700 block of South 6th St. The suspect fled on foot after leaving the vehicle behind.

At 1:11 a.m. the 911 center received a call from a woman who said her husband who had said he was assaulted and his 2011 white Kia Sorrento had been stolen near Casey’s General Store at 23rd Ave. and South Expressway. Officers responded to their residence and arrested Alonzo M. Wright, of Council Bluffs. He’s been charged with first-degree robbery, assault on a peace officer and eluding.

Iowa teacher accused of sex abuse of student resigns

News

February 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A teacher accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student at Thomas Jefferson High School has submitted his resignation, and a second teacher accused of knowing about the relationship has also resigned. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that Council Bluffs Community School District will hold a special school board meeting on Tuesday to accept the resignation of 29-year-old Jeff Daugherty. Another teacher also submitted his resignation, which was effective Friday.

Daugherty is charged with sex abuse, sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation by a school employee and lascivious conduct with a minor. Police say the 15-year-old girl’s mother discovered the relationship when she saw a late-night text message Daugherty had sent the girl. He was arrested on January 8th.

Some Iowans will face premiums for Medicaid expansion

News

February 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Iowa’s modified Medicaid expansion hits the one-year anniversary mark, some enrollees will be asked to pay small monthly premiums because they haven’t completed a physical exam and health questionnaire. For Gov. Terry Branstad, those health requirements were key provisions for expanding Medicaid in Iowa using funding from President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Iowa received federal approval to make modifications to the traditional Medicaid terms, including setting health requirements and charging contributions.

Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor “continues to believe that a critical component of improving the health and wellness of Iowa is having citizens take ownership of their health.” Lydia Mitts, a policy analyst with health care advocacy group Families USA, says such incentives might not work and could hurt people who need health coverage.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., Feb 1st 2015

News

February 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A winter storm raking the Midwest this weekend is expected to dump up to 6 inches of snow on parts of eastern Nebraska and up to 10 inches in parts of southern Iowa. The storm is expected to drop between 5 to 10 inches of snow across Iowa by Sunday night.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque-based insurance broker has announced plans to add 90 jobs over the next three years. Cottingham and Butler President and CEO David Becker tells the Telegraph Herald that it could add as many as 45 jobs this year. The remaining positions would be filled by the end of 2017.

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Centerville firefighter has died after fighting a blaze at a 300,000 square-foot building. Des Moines television station KCCI says the firefighter, who has not been identified by authorities, had been released from the fire scene at Cowan Enterprises on Friday night and had gone home, where he died.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A teacher accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student at Thomas Jefferson High School has submitted his resignation, and a second teacher accused of knowing about the relationship has also resigned. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that Council Bluffs Community School District will hold a special school board meeting on Tuesday to accept the resignation of 29-year-old Jeff Daugherty. Another teacher also submitted his resignation, which was effective Friday.

Ex-Iowa coach pleads not guilty to sex with student

News

January 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former coach and director of a program for at-risk students at Sioux City’s North High School has pleaded not guilty to having sex with a student. The Sioux City Journal reports  that 29-year-old Erick Deleon, of Sioux City, entered the plea Friday in Woodbury County District Court. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee. His trial has been set for May 12.

Court documents say Deleon sent sexually explicit text messages and engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old female student. Authorities say the girl was one of his students. Deleon also was an assistant boys soccer coach at West High School.

Clarinda authorities issue Snow Ordinance reminder

News

January 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With the chance of accumulating snowfall to occur in Clarinda later this weekend the Clarinda Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Clarinda about the emergency snow ordinance. The ordinance states that; no person shall park any motor vehicle or other apparatus upon any street of the city that will obstruct the removal of snow when there has been an accumulation of two (2) inches or more.

Any vehicle left parked on any street in violation of this ordinance may be impounded, and the registered owner of the vehicle will be subject to a $15.00 parking fine, and payment of all applicable towing and storage fees in order for the vehicle to be released.

Winter Storm Warning expanded to most of Iowa

News, Weather

January 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service has expanded the WINTER STORM WARNING for parts of southern and central Iowa to include most of the state. The Warning is in effect from 6-pm Sat. (1/31) until 9-pm Sunday (2/1), for Monona-Harrison-Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties in the KJAN listening area, and from 7-pm Sat. thru 9-pm Sunday for Cass, Adair, Adams, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Sac, Crawford, Carroll, Ringgold, Taylor and Union Counties. In the warned area, 7-to 10-inches of snow are possible by Sunday night.

Counties in pink are in a Winter Storm Warning. Purple indicates Winter Weather Advisory.

Counties in pink are in a Winter Storm Warning. Purple indicates Winter Weather Advisory.

Winds will turn to the northeast early Sunday morning at 10-to 20-mph and gust to near 30-mph by Sunday afternoon. Roads are expected to become snow covered and hazardous. Blowing snow Sunday will reduce visibility and make it difficult for state and county road crews to keep the roads clear. Travel on in the event of an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case you become stranded.

The rain-snow mix has changed over to all snow in western Iowa as of mid-day, Saturday. Heavy snow is possible overnight, with some additional light accumulation on Sunday. In addition to the WINTER STORM WARNING, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for far southwest Iowa from 9-p.m. Saturday until 6-pm Sunday for Fremont and Mills Counties.