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Red Oak man arrested Tue. evening

News

July 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a man Tuesday evening for Driving While Suspended, and OWI/2nd offense. 37-year old Jeffrey Dale Joiner, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 9-p.m. and taken to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on $2,000 bond.

Big declines in unemployment in Pott. County

News

July 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County had one of the biggest declines in unemployment in southwest Iowa in the past year, according to state figures released Tuesday. The Daily NonPareil reports the county’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent at the end of June, the figures showed, compared to 4.6 percent at the same time in June 2014.

Local officials said low unemployment can be a double-edged sword, in that while there’s good news in the fact people are working, the bad news is it might make it harder for businesses to find skilled workers, which could hurt in recruiting and expansion of those businesses. Other city officials said there remains a need for better paying jobs. Increasing wages was one reason city leaders this year approved a large refrigeration plant near Veterans Memorial Highway and South 24th Street.

Only three of Iowa’s 99 counties – none in the southwest area – didn’t see a decline in unemployment, according to the figures released from the Iowa Workforce Development. In Harrison County, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent from 4.0 percent last year. Shelby County’s rate dropped to 2.7 percent from 3.2 percent last year. Mills County dropped to a 4.4 percent rate from a 4.6 percent rate. Montgomery County saw a drop to 3.4 percent from 4.2 percent. Cass County declined to 3.2 percent from 4.1 percent.

Iowa has the country’s fifth-lowest unemployment rate, the according to figures. The seasonal adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 3.7 percent in June, compared to 4.4 percent at the same time last year, the figures showed. This means 11,300 more jobs have been created since June 2014, the office said. State officials say it’s the fourth time this year, the unemployment rate is down, and as the low unemployment trend continues, encouraging gains are being seen in the retail sector. Approximately 3,000 new jobs in that sector were added in June alone.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 63,700 in June, compared to the June 2014 total of 74,200. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.

Iowa ranks 4th in new Kids Count survey

News

July 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s quest to become the healthiest state in the nation is getting a boost. The latest “Kids Count” survey, which ranks all 50 states for the well being of children, places Iowa near the very top. Laura Speer, a spokeswoman for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says they look at 16 key criteria, including: education, health, economic well being, and family and community conditions. “Iowa was ranked 4th overall in terms of the well being of its children,” Speer says. “Where Iowa is really a shining star is in the area of health. The state is ranked #1 best in the country in terms of the physical health of children.” Minnesota ranked first overall on this year’s Kids Count report, followed by New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with Iowa a close fourth. Speer says Iowa is a clear leader of all states in several categories.

We looked at things like the percent of low birth-weight babies, the percent of children who lack health insurance, the child and teen death rates and the percent of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs,” Speer says. “In those four measures, Iowa is ranked the best in the country.” In last year’s report, Iowa ranked third in the nation overall, so the state’s fourth-place showing this year represents a slight drop. Iowa’s lost a little ground in one category in particular, according to Speer.

“One of the areas that is most disconcerting is the percent of children living in poverty in the state,” Speer says. “It’s about 16% of all children in Iowa who are living below the poverty line in 2013. That’s actually higher than in was in 2008 when it was 14%.” Iowa’s child poverty level is fairly low compared to many other states but Speer says it was still unfortunate to see that figure rise. The lowest-ranked states on the list are: Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi. See the full report at the Annie E. Casey Foundation website: www.aecf.org.

(Radio Iowa)

Nebraska nuke plant shuts down after coolant pump leaks

News

July 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant has been shut down for repairs roughly a month after a planned outage for maintenance and refueling. The Omaha Public Power District shut down the nuclear plant Monday after a water leak was discovered in one of Fort Calhoun’s four reactor coolant pumps after a seal failed.

The utility says the coolant water that leaked was contained inside the plant and treated. A spokeswoman says Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors are monitoring the repairs. Fort Calhoun sits along the Missouri River about 20 miles north of Omaha.

OPPD says the length of this outage will be determined by the repairs. If needed, the utility will buy electricity from other sources to maintain service. OPPD has more than 360,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., July 22nd 2015

News

July 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated a U.S. magistrate to fill an opening on the federal bench in Iowa. Obama nominated U.S. Magistrate Leonard Strand, of Sioux City, to replace U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett for the Northern District of Iowa. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley will consider the nomination of Strand before it goes before the full Senate for its approval. Strand graduated from the University of Iowa law school in 1990 and had a private practice before becoming a magistrate judge in 2012.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the first Iowa turkey farms to get bird flu is getting nearing the time at which birds can be restocked but most of the 77 farms affected are still weeks away from introduction of new flocks. Iowa Department of Agriculture officials say all farms have been cleared of dead chickens and turkeys but disposal of manure, compost and other waste continued at 18 farms. All birds that died or were euthanized have been incinerated, buried or taken to landfills.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say an arrest warrant has been issued for a 21-year-old man suspected in a road rage incident in which a motorist shot another vehicle carrying a couple and their children. Police say a warrant has been issued charging Jamar Cortez Wooten, of Des Moines, with four counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon. His location is unknown. The charges stem from an incident July 9.

Iowa’s governor has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff at sites throughout the state in honor of the five servicemen killed last week in Tennessee. Gov. Terry Branstad called for the state-controlled flags to be lowered from Tuesday through Monday. President Barack Obama has ordered flags flown at federal buildings and grounds to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Saturday. The action honors the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed in a shooting last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

First Iowa farms hit by bird flu nearing restocking time

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the first Iowa turkey farms to get bird flu is getting nearing the time at which birds can be restocked but most of the 77 farms affected are still weeks away from introduction of new flocks. Iowa Department of Agriculture officials said Tuesday all farms have been cleared of dead chickens and turkeys but disposal of manure, compost and other waste continued at 18 farms.

All birds that died or were euthanized have been incinerated, buried or taken to landfills. Iowa lost 34 million chickens and turkeys in the bird flu outbreak that began in mid-April. The last reported case was June 16. One turkey farm in Calhoun County will finish a required 21-day fallow period this week and if tests remain negative may begin restocking.

Branstad orders flags lowered to honor shooting victims

News

July 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff at sites throughout the state in honor of the five servicemen killed last week in Tennessee. Gov. Terry Branstad on Tuesday called for the state-controlled flags to be lowered from Tuesday through Monday. President Barack Obama has ordered flags flown at federal buildings and grounds to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Saturday.

The action honors the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed in a shooting last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The state is encouraging individuals, businesses and local governments to take similar action to show respect for those killed.

Atlantic man arrested Tue. on an assault charge

News

July 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest today (Tuesday), of 23-year old Thomas Dale Mace. The Atlantic man was arrested on a charge of Serious Assault. Mace was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later on his own recognizance.

Iowa sex offender listed as escaped from work facility

News

July 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A man serving a lifetime sex offender special supervision sentence has been listed as escaped from a state work release facility in Sioux City.
The Iowa Corrections Department says 25-year-old Michael Euchner II went on the list Tuesday because he didn’t return from his job.

The department says Euchner was transferred to work release on June 14 to begin his special supervision sentence following discharge of a 10-year sex abuse conviction in Ida County.

Accident reported in Atlantic, Monday

News

July 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Minor injuries were reported following an accident Monday morning in Atlantic, but no one was transported to the hospital. Atlantic Police say vehicles driven by Michelle Flander, of Atlantic, and Curt Mcatlin, of Paton (IA) collided just before Noon, Monday, at 8th and Olive Streets. Both drivers were traveling south on Olive, when Mcatlin stopped to make a left turn onto 8th Street. His vehicle was hit from behind by Flanders’ vehicle, causing a total of $7,000 damage.

Flander, who was injured in the crash, was cited for Failure to reduce speed and/or maintain control of her vehicle.