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9 injured in southern Colorado van crash


May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say nine people were injured — two of them critically — when the family van they were in crashed during a rain and hail storm on La Veta Pass in southern Colorado.

Capt. George Dingfelder with the Colorado State Patrol tells The Gazette the family was traveling from Iowa to Alamosa when their van went off U.S. Highway 160 and rolled Saturday. He says two adults and seven children, ages 1 through 14, were in the vehicle.

Authorities have not released the names of those involved or details about their injuries.

A rundown of Iowa’s primary election races


May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s June 3 primary election will include a number of contested races….


Five Republicans are vying for the nomination to face Democrat Bruce Braley in a race drawing national attention as the GOP seeks the six seats needed to capture the majority. State Sen. Joni Ernst of Red Oak has emerged as the front-runner in a field that includes former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines.

Ernst’s two TV ads have raised eyebrows, dollars and endorsements. In the first ad, she recalled castrating hogs as a farm kid. In the second, the Iowa National Guard colonel fires a handgun. Jacobs has recently begun attacking Ernst for missing votes in the Iowa Senate this year.

Sioux City college professor Sami Clovis has a loyal following, though polls indicate he trails Ernst and Jacobs, as do former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker of Ankeny and Ames businessman Scott Schaben. A candidate must win at least 35 percent of the vote to avoid a nominating convention.


Much of the action is among a crowded Democratic field vying to succeed four-term U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley. State Rep. Patrick Murphy of Dubuque has garnered most of the labor-union endorsements in Iowa’s most industrial congressional district. That may be enough to top Iowa Utilities Board member and former state Sen. Swati Dandekar of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon and state Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic.

Dubuque businessman Ron Blum leads a Republican field that includes Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje, who has run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate and House, and Marshalltown lawyer Gail Boliver.


Four-term Democrat Dave Loebsack of Iowa City has twice fought off Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa. Finding out whether the third time is a charm may depend on turnout in this Democratic-leaning southeast Iowa district. Miller-Meeks, former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, leads the GOP field that also includes state Rep. Matthew Lofgren and Eddyville research technician Matthew Waldren.

The largely rural district includes Democratic-leaning Johnson County, but also counties in southeast Iowa where unemployment has remained above the state average.


Iowa’s 3rd District race has had more drama than any other so far, as 10-year incumbent Rep. Tom Latham’s announcement that he would retire prompted a large primary field. The six Republican candidates will almost certainly force a nominating convention, the results of which will give a strong indication of how competitive this district will be come November. The district includes the Des Moines metro area and rural southwest Iowa.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association President Monte Shaw and David Young, the former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, are more popular in the GOP’s establishment wing. Bob Cramer, who heads a Christian conservative group, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and state Sen. Brad Zaun are considered more conservative, with a following among the tea party movement.

Des Moines Republican activist and former state Rep. Joe Grandanette is also running. The winner will face Ackworth Democrat Staci Appel, a former state senator.


Before the playing field is set for Iowa’s closely divided Legislature, majority House Republicans will have to sort out eight primaries and majority Senate Democrats will have to settle six. A factor in whether the GOP’s current 53-47 control of the House will change is the number of uncontested seats. Republicans haven’t fielded a candidate in 32 of the seats held by Democrats. Likewise, Democrats are not contesting 26 of the 53 districts controlled by Republicans.

It’s similar in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 26-24 edge. Only 11 of the 25 seats on the ballot have the makings of two-party contest in the fall. Eight Democratic seats are uncontested, as are six Republican-held seats.

Candidates can be nominated at special party conventions.

Fatality accident in Page County, Saturday


May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person died, another was injured during a collision between a car and a pickup truck late Saturday morning, in Page County. The Iowa State Patrol reports 53-year old Gary Dean Williams, Sr., of Essex, died from injuries he suffered in the crash, which took place at around 11:18-a.m., about 3-miles north of Essex.

Officials say a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am driven by 51-year old Everett Bart Larson, of Imogene, was traveling west on 110th Street, just east of C Avenue, while a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Williams was traveling south on C Avenue. After the car hit the side of the pickup in the middle of the intersection, both came to rest in the southwest ditch.

Williams was ejected from his pickup during the impact and died at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. Larson, who was wearing a seat belt, was flown by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, for treatment of what were described as non-life threatening injuries.

1 dead, 2 injured in Pott. County crash Saturday


May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A truck driver from Georgia died, and two Council Bluffs residents were injured, when a semi and car collided near Neola  on westbound Interstate 80 near the I-680 interchange Saturday afternoon, in Pottawattamie County. According to the Iowa State Patrol a 1986 Nissan 330ZX driven by 24-year old Cody Schandelmier, of Council Bluffs, came into contact with the front end of a 2011 Freightliner semi driven by 41-year old Harold Salmon, of Alpharetta, GA.

The accident happened at around 4:25-p.m., as the semi was in the left lane and the Nissan was traveling in the right lane of the interstate. Officials say after the impact, both the car and semi left the roadway on the south side of the interstate, went over an embankment and on to I-680 eastbound, below the I-80 bridge. The semi burst into flames after coming to rest.

The truck driver died at the scene. Cody Schandelmier, and his passenger, 27-year old Lisa Rieper, also of Council Bluffs, were transported to Jenny Edmundson Hospital by Neola and Minden Rescue, respectively. Both were wearing their seat belts. A report on their condition is not available


Judge calls for ramped up courthouse security


May 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa district judge is calling on Madison County and other officials to beef up security at county courthouses in the wake of a gun incident in March.

Iowa Fifth Judicial District Chief Judge Arthur Gamble recently told judges from the 16 counties he oversees that they need to start talking with sheriffs and county supervisors about putting deputies in courtrooms when court is in session to protect judges and the public.

The Des Moines Register says the conversations are part of an effort to avoid a situation similar to the March 24 incident in Winterset, when a man pulled a handgun out of his pocket as a deputy tried to handcuff him. The man was captured after briefly escaping.

C. Bluffs among 6 cities awaiting Iowa DOT traffic camera decisions


May 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Six Iowa cities have submitted reports outlining traffic camera use to state transportation officials and now await word on whether they’ll be able to keep their speed and red light cameras on state-run highways and interstates.

The Iowa Department of Transportation implemented rules in February dictating where and why cameras can be installed along state roads and requiring local jurisdictions to submit reports by May 1 justifying camera placement. Steve Gent, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s office of traffic and safety, says the department plans to review the reports in coming weeks.

The cities are Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Muscatine and Sioux City.

Gent says the review process will involve collaboration between DOT and local officials to fully understand why cities believe cameras are needed.

7AM Newscast 05-24-2014

News, Podcasts

May 24th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Public Intox Arrest in Red Oak Saturday Morning


May 24th, 2014 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Red Oak man for Public Intoxication early Saturday (5/24) morning in Red Oak.  At approximately 4:18am Sheriff’s officials arrested 29-year-old Jeremy Ray Dilocker of Red Oak for Public Intoxication following an incident at N 4th and E Coolbaugh Street in Red Oak.  Dilocker was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $300 bond.

Update: Clarinda Academy escapees captured


May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our earlier, posted story, the Clarinda Police Department reports all three escapees from the Clarinda Academy have been captured and returned to the Clarinda Academy. The trip of students escaped from the facility Friday evening, sometime between 7:15- and 8:15-p.m.

The were apprehended about 90 minutes later.

Beware, we’re entering the “100 deadliest days of summer” for teen drivers


May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa parents and teen drivers are being reminded — and warned — about the typical increase in fatal crashes involving teens during the coming few months. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says this holiday weekend marks the start of what her organization refers to as the 100 deadliest days of summer for new drivers. “In Iowa, the statistics are a little bit higher than the national average,” White says. “Looking at the period of 2009 through 2013, we show 39% of all teens that are killed during the course of the year are killed during that period of Memorial Day through Labor Day.”

The Iowa D-O-T reports a total of 22 Iowa teens were killed in crashes last year statewide and ten of those deaths happened between the two holidays — so almost half. A combination of factors can get the blame, she says, including the inexperience of a teen driver as well as all of the distractions of taking a drive during the summertime. “This time of year, we often see teens acquire their driver’s license, they’re very excited about having that new privilege,” White says. “We also know there’s a lot of social driving that takes place. They have a lot of free time on their hands. Many times, if they have passengers in their vehicle, those passengers can be a severe distraction to that novice driver.”

A motor club survey finds drivers who are 16 and 17 are involved in seven times as many crashes per mile driven as drivers in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

(Radio Iowa)