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Top Democrat in Iowa senate reacts to big victory

News

November 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The top Democrat in the Iowa Senate says a Democratic victory in an eastern Iowa legislative race highlights the faulty campaign strategy “outsiders” employed. Democrat Liz Mathis finished 12-percentage points ahead of her Republican competitor in the Linn County state senate race, preserving Democrats’ two-seat majority in the senate. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, says voters refused to be distracted by outside groups like the National Organization for Marriage, which argued a Republican victory would oust Gronstal from power. 

 “There were a whole bunch of outsiders that came into this district and tried to make it a referendum on this, or that or the other thing,” Gronstal says. “And in the end, what I kept saying to folks is, ‘This is a referendum on who the people of Senate District 18 think ought to represent them in the Iowa Senate.’” The special election came about because Republican Governor Branstad appointed the Democrat who had held the senate seat to the Iowa Utilities Board. Gronstal says Branstad and his Republican allies miscalculated. “They thought this district was theirs for the taking,” Gronstal says. “That’s why they made the appointment. That’s why they went out there and recruited a candidate. They engaged in this race and now they’re going to try and pretend, ‘Oh, no. We didn’t.’ That’s really nonsense.” 

A day before the election, Governor Branstad said people shouldn’t read too much into special election results, as they’re a reflection of that particular district at that particular time. The candidate Branstad recruited to run in the district didn’t wind up winning the nomination from Linn County Republicans.

(Radio Iowa)

Western Iowa man’s death apparently not crash-related

News

November 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Authorities suspect a medical condition in the death of a western Iowa man involved in a car crash. An Omaha Police Department news release says officers were sent to the accident scene in northeast Omaha just after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. They found that a car had veered off a road and struck a power pole. There was no sign that the driver had tried to stop before hitting the pole. Police say the driver was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as 73-year old James Fisher, of Carter Lake. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Bluffs Company breaks ground for new plant that could create 100 jobs

News

November 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A ground breaking ceremony was held Wednesday in Council Bluffs, for a plant which may generate up to 100 jobs. Plumrose USA broke ground on a 100-thousand square foot, $70-million cold-cut slicing facility, which will be built north of the intersection of South 32nd Street and 21st Avenue. The company already has a plant at 2650 23rd Avenue, in Council Bluffs, but that facility produces products which must be sliced at a different location.

In May, 2011, Plumrose USA was one of three western Iowa companies that were awarded financial incentives packages from the Iowa Economic Development Board. The IEDB approved $520,000 in direct financial assistance from the Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance Program (GIVFAP) and tax incentives, to Plumrose. The new plant is LEED certified, which means its design is environmentally and employee health friendly. Company officials say the facility should be open in about 11-months. Plumrose USA is owned by Denmark-based Danish Crown, a packaged meats company.

The Iowa Economic Development Board last May had also approved Enterprise Zone tax incentives to Menard’s Incorporated, to expand a warehouse at its distribution center in Shelby County, which will allow for a further expansion of its product lines, and $800,000 in direct financial assistance to Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc., for a proposed renovation of its Council Bluffs facility.

Pharmacy robbed Wed. evening in Council Bluffs

News

November 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a man possibly armed with a gun, robbed a pharmacy in Council Bluffs Wednesday evening. The incident at the Medicap Pharmacy located at 2201 West Broadway, happened at around 5:35-p..m.   Officials say a white male walked into the store and told employees he had a gun and demanded an undisclosed amount of prescription medications. No weapon was ever displayed during the incident.

The suspect was described as being white, about 5-feet 10-inches tall, and anywhere from 17- to 25-years of age. He wore a red jersey with “Cyclones” written in white on the front, along with cut-off black pants and black shoes. The suspects face was covered up with a black nylon panty hose.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-328-7867.

Nebraska men arrested on drug charges in Audubon Co.

News

November 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Audubon County say two Nebraska, men were arrested early Tuesday morning on drug charges, following a traffic stop on Highway 71 near Exira. 40-year old Scott Lee Kounovsky & 42-year old William Ray Blackerby, both of Omaha, NE., were taken into custody at around 1:45-a.m., Tuesday.

Kounovsky was charged with Possesson of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possessing Contraband in a Correction Facility. Blackerby was charged with Possession of Meth/2nd offense, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  Both men were being held in the Audubon County Jail on $5,000 bond each.

And, a Webster County man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on drug charges, following a traffic stop which occurred November 1st, in Hamlin. 32-year old Christopher Lee Gordon, of Ft. Dodge, had been wanted on outstanding warrants.  Following an investigation after the traffic stop, Gordon was also charged with Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Cass County, Iowa Utilizing Pictometry(r) Intelligent Images

News

November 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Cass County, IA, announced Wednesday, that the county has implemented the use of Pictometry(r) Intelligent Images in county assessment, GIS and public safety offices. Pictometry imagery is high resolution aerial oblique imagery that is geo-referenced to enable the accurate measurement of structures and land features directly on imagery. With Pictometry’s patented aerial oblique imagery users can see the fronts and sides of locations from multiple perspectives and can measure area, distance, height, elevation, bearing, pitch and more – directly on imagery.

“Pictometry imagery is used by more than one third of the counties in the U.S. because it is an approved and accurate way to do field calculations and dispatch the appropriate first response resources when they are needed most,” said Duane McFadden, County Supervisor. “With Pictometry, counties can re-coup cost of investment within a year and can actually generate county income through significant improvements to work processes and fair and equitable assessment practices.

As of November 1, 2011 Pictometry(r) Online is now available to Cass County entities for one year on a free trial basis. There are 200 seats available with each seat entitled to five users for a total of 1000 users. In addition to being able to view Cass County properties, you will also have access to Montgomery, Pottawattamie and Shelby properties.

For more information please contact Tracey J. Marshall, Cass County Treasurer at tmarshall@casscoia.us, or Mike Kennon, Cass County Emergency Management mkennon@casscoia.us, or Mary Anstey, Deputy Cass County Assessor manesty@casscoia.us

Shenandoah man cited for driving while suspended

News

November 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says a Shenandoah man was cited into court Tuesday, after a deputy familiar with the man’s record observed him driving a vehicle while suspended, on the streets of Clarinda. Brian Heath Davis was cited for Driving Under Suspension, and Failure to Prove Security Against Liability (failure to show proof of insurance). The incident took place at around 9:50-a.m., Tuesday.

Injury accidents reported in Page County

News

November 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports three people suffered possible/unknown injuries during two separate accidents earlier this week. On Tuesday, 57-year old Gae Poole, of Clearmont, MO., was transported to the Clarinda Regional Hospital by private vehicle, following an accident on Highway 71. Poole was traveling north on the highway just north of 240th Street at around 5:30-p.m., when a deer appeared on the road. When the SUV Poole was driving collided with the animal, it sustained $6,000 damage. Poole, who was wearing her seatbelt, went to the hospital to be checked for any possible injuries.

And, on Sunday, 16-year old Sarah Gruhn, of Manning, suffered minor, possible injuries, after she lost control of the car she was driving, causing the vehicle to enter a ditch and roll once before coming to rest on its wheels. The accident happened as the car was rounding a curve near 140th Street and Avenue C, just before 1-p.m., Sunday. A passenger in the car, 16-year old Jamie Stribling, of Shenandoah, also suffered possible/unknown injuries. Both girls were wearing their seatbelts. The teens were transported by ambulance to the Shenandoah Hospital to be checked-out. Sheriff Palmer says Gruhn was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. The vehicle was totalled in the crash.

Auto theft arrest in Pottawattamie County

News

November 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man who authorities say lived at the Residential Corrections Facility (RCF) in Pottawattamie County, was arrested Tuesday morning on a theft charge for allegedly stealing a pickup truck.  Lt. John Reynolds with the Pott County Sheriff’s Department, told KJAN News 27-year Thomas Curtis allegedly stole a vehicle from the Clausen Brothers Trucking Company, in Treynor at around 9:30-a.m., Tuesday. The owner of the truck saw the theft and followed Curtis in another vehicle. Reynolds says deputies caught up with Curtis near Macedonia at about County Road M-16 and G-66 — or Pioneer Trail. The man ditched the vehicle and took off on foot through a corn field, but. With the assistance of the Mills County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa State Patrol, Curtis was captured and charged with Theft in the 2nd degree.

Lt. Reynolds said Curtis was basically, a transient trying to make his way back to Red Oak. Following his arrest, Curtis was booked into the Pott County Jail.

First-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is at 1 PM today (Wednesday)

News

November 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowans will hear something unusual on their radios and TVs at one o’clock this afternoon (Wednesday), the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. John Benson, with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says most folks won’t even realize the scope of the test, which will involve many thousands of broadcast outlets.

“It’s going to sound and behave real similar to what you see happen either on a weekly or monthly basis with the radio stations in terms of them activating the tones and reading a brief message,” Benson says. “It’s going to be the first time they’ve done it on a nationwide basis but for most people, it’s going to appear just like that local or regional one they’re used to hearing.” 

The test will just run 30-seconds but it’ll be heard from coast to coast, and not just on the radio.”It will go into the TV stations and also onto cable TV,” Benson says. “The only place you won’t hear it will be on the National Weather Service radio system because those two systems aren’t tied together yet but that’s something they’re looking at in the future.” 

This test will -not- involve sounding the tornado sirens as it’s only for broadcasters on the radio and TV. Benson says it’s the largest-ever test of the Emergency Alert System. “As they built the system, they want to see if it works on a nationwide basis,” Benson says. “We know it works locally, we know it works regionally, so the next big step is, let’s see if the thing works on a nationwide basis and I would expect that it would.” 

Federal officials say the main goal of the test is to: “assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system and identify improvements to better serve communities in the preservation of life and property.” Benson says Iowans need to be aware. “It’s another good reminder as we’re moving into the winter weather season, to pay attention to those alerts on your TV or radio,” Benson says. “That’s important information. If there was something happening on a nationwide basis, can we make the system work? Obviously, pay attention to it and understand what’s going on.” 

(Radio Iowa)