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Lane closure on northbound Iowa 192/South Expressway in place for three weeks


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs Interstate Improvement Office has announced that traffic on northbound Iowa 192/South Expressway between Interstate 80/I-29 and 23rd Avenue was restricted to one lane near the interstate on Monday, Aug. 4, and will continue for three weeks. Interstate access is not affected.

The lane closure is needed while a utility company relocates a segment of a gas distribution line. The relocated gas line will allow new stormwater pipes to be installed that will help manage stormwater from the interstate reconstruction projects.

Construction projects in this area are part of the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program, which is a large scale modernization and rehabilitation of the interstate system. The Iowa DOT is committed to completing the interstate improvements with minimal inconvenience to the public.

BBB warns about a new kind of fraud involving the hacking of voice mail systems


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is warning about a relatively new kind of voice mail fraud that allows hackers to use a voice mail system and the default password to accept calls without the knowledge or permission of the business or the consumer.

An Omaha company told BBB that they received a call from the fraud department of their phone service provider. The business owner was informed that international calls had been made from their phone. This came as a surprise because the company does not make international calls and could not believe that this was a legitimate notification from their phone company. The owner called the phone company back, and it was confirmed that there were international calls charged to their account. To stop this, the business placed an “international call hold” on their phone system.

Approximately three weeks after the fraud notification, the business got its phone bill and found a charge of $300 for international calls that were placed the day before they were notified of fraud on their account. By researching this situation, the company found that the phone line had been accessed through their conferencing phone feature. They also learned that the service provider is not responsible, and the changes had to be paid by the customer.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this scam is carried out by hackers who call into a voice mail system and search for voice mailboxes that still have the default passwords active or have passwords with easily guessed combinations like 1-2-3-4, 1-1-1-1 or the last four digits of the local phone number.

“Hackers know these common default passwords and keep trying them until they are able to break into the phone system,” stated BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “They can tell what voice mail system is being used by listening to the prompting pattern. After finding the default password, the hackers look for a mailbox they can access. Once connected, the hacker uses the connection to make multiple international calls.”

Although this fraud usually occurs on business voice mail systems, consumers with residential voice mail could also be targeted. FCC reports that this kind of fraud frequently originates in and/or routed through the Philippines or Saudi Arabia, and they usually occur during holidays or on weekends, when a business is closed so the changing of the outgoing message goes unnoticed.

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, the FCC recommends voice mail users to:

. Always change the default password from the one provided by the voice mail vendor.

. Choose a complex voicemail password of at least six digits, making it more difficult for hackers to detect.

. Change your voice mail password frequently.

. Don’t use obvious passwords such as an addresses, birth dates, phone numbers or repetitive or successive numbers.

. Check your recorded announcement frequently to make sure that the greeting is yours.

. If possible, consider blocking international calls.

. Consider disabling the remote notification, auto-attendant, call-forwarding and out-paging capabilities of voice mail if these features are not used.

Boil Advisory extended to Grant, Carbon & Brooks in s.w. Iowa


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with SIRWA (The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association), have expanded the Boil Water Advisory issued Monday for southeastern Cass County. The Advisory now includes customers in northwestern Adams, Montgomery, and southeastern Cass Counties, including the Cities of Grant, Carbon, Brooks, Bridgewater and Lyman. It affects customers with account numbers that begin with 047, 048, 081, 082, 084 and 005.

SIRWA says they are not getting the proper chlorine residual from their water supplier. Due to the potential for bacterial contamination, it is being recommended that the water be boiled before using for drinking or cooking or that an alternative source be used. The chlorine residual has been below acceptable tolerances in the Bridgewater and Lyman areas, since Saturday night. Due to the potential for bacterial contamination, it is being recommended that the water be boiled before using for drinking or cooking or that an alternative source be used.

IT IS RECOMMENDED NOT TO DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. The water may be used for bathing and other similar purposes.

The system is being chlorinated and flushed to restore the residual needed. Pending results of tests taken Tuesday and again today (Wednesday), the advisory will be lifted Thursday morning, Aug. 7th.

This advisory is a precaution until bacterial sample results are available. You will be notified when the results are available and the advisory is lifted. SIRWA is working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to resolve the situation as quickly as possible in order to restore water service and lift the advisory.

Drugs, paraphernalia cash & more seized during a raid in Dow City


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Corrects City to Dow City – not Denison)

A search warrant executed in Dow City early this (Wednesday) morning netted authorities numerous drug-related items and resulted in the arrest of one person. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office says at around 5:15 am, a search warrant was executed by deputies with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Denison Police Department.During the search at 105 North Howard Street, in Dow City, evidence that was seized included: Methamphetamine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Drug Paraphernalia, Packaging Material, US Currency, and a Digital Scale. 40-year old Billie Jo Thompson, of Dow City, was arrested. She faces felony charges that include Delivery of Methamphetamine, Possession w/ Intent to Deliver less than 5 Grams Methamphetamine, and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp. Other charges include Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (A Serious Misdemeanor), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (A Simple Misdemeanor).(8-a.m. News)

7AM Newscast 08-06-2014

News, Podcasts

August 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


IA’s Lt. Gov. recognizes Creston as Certified Connected Community


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, the City of Creston and Connect Iowa officials, Tuesday, recognized the city of Creston as the fifth community to become a Certified Connected Community in the state, and the 21st in the nation. More than 30 residents and community leaders attended the celebration event at the Creston Chamber of Commerce, where results of an assessment and details of the county’s new technology action plan were unveiled. The event also included Union County unveiling its technology action plan, which will make way for greater technology use across the entire county and pave way for a brighter economic future.certifiedconnectedlogo

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds said “Governor Branstad and I launched the ‘Connect Every Iowan’ initiative to increase access, adoption and the use of broadband technology in Iowa.” She added “I commend Creston and Union County on completing the extensive assessment and planning process in order to be recognized as a ‘Certified Connected Community.’ I’m confident that the community will use this designation to increase the robust economic development efforts in Creston and across Union County.”

Connect Iowa’s Connected Community Engagement Program provides a framework that communities can use to work toward Governor Branstad’s goal to Connect Every Iowan. In October 2013, he announced that the Connect Every Iowan initiative would leverage the Connected program to support local broadband planning efforts in communities across the state.

Ellen Gerharz, Creston Chamber of Commerce executive director, said “Creston is extremely proud of being recognized as the fifth Certified Connected Community in the State of Iowa. It is a real testament to our many businesses and broadband providers that Creston has attained this goal.”

The city of Creston and Union County have been working over the past 2 years with Connect Iowa to assess the local broadband landscape, identify gaps, and establish goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the counties. The city of Creston was able to meet the point requirements necessary to achieve the Certified Connected Community status, while Union County continues to work toward certification.

The Connected program is a national model designed by Connect Iowa’s parent organization, Connected Nation, to establish a framework for broadband expansion planning at the community level. The U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA State Broadband Initiative program funds the Connect Iowa initiative. Connect Iowa is working to facilitate the access, adoption, and use of technology throughout the state.

(Press Release)

Adair County Board of Supervisors to discuss tax abatements


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County are set to meet this (Wednesday) morning, in Greenfield. On their agenda is discussion facilitated by County Treasurer Brenda Wallace, with regard to Tax Abatement requests and Resolutions. Judy Schwartz will provide the Board with a Case Management update, and V-A Director Rick Schaecher will provide his annual report.

In other business, the Board will receive and act on agreement s with various contractors from County Engineer Nick Kauffman, for numerous County road projects, most of which are culvert-related. The Adair County Board of Supervisors meeting begins in the boardroom at the courthouse, at 9-a.m.

Iowa libraries and museums using grant money to spur interest in manufacturing


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Fifteen public libraries and museums in Iowa (including the Griswold & Lewis Public Libraries) are splitting a half a million dollar ($500,000) grant, using the money to provide programs for kids that organizers hope will spur interest in high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Iowa companies are working together with community colleges on the project. The project manager, Robyn Ormsby, says she hopes to expose children to the benefits of careers based in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“The wages are fantastic, I mean a lot of times kids coming out of school with a one or two year certificate degree are making $40,000 to $60,000 and they are just going up from there,” Ormsby said. The programs at the libraries and museums will include LEGO building, gaming, and robotics. Most programs will begin towards the end of August and continue for at least one year. Ormsby believes exposing kids to career options early can make an impact.

“When they are thinking of what they want to be when they grow up, they are thinking about their inner circle. You know, what their mom and dad does, they know what their teacher does obviously, maybe what their doctor or dentist does. But beyond that, they are not exposed to a lot of other careers at those early ages,” Ormsby said. More than 6,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa are unfilled, according to Ormsby, and most of the jobs don’t require a four-year degree.

A Grant for a LEGO Club collaboration between Griswold and Lewis Public Libraries is for boys and girls 9-14.

(Radio Iowa)

Assault & drug arrests in Montgomery County


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County report four recent arrests. Early this (Wednesday) morning, 50-year old Tammy Renee Cerven, of Red Oak, was arrested by Red Oak Police, in connection with an incident that occurred earlier. Cerven was charged with Simple Assault, brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) and held on $300 bond pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Tuesday evening, Red Oak Police arrested Christopher Michael Mattingly, of Red Oak, and formerly of Kentucky, on a nationwide warrant for Failure to Pay Child Support. Mattingly was being held in the Montgomery County LEC on $8,000 cash only bond.

Arrested Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County, was 38-year old Michael Lee LaFollette, of Stanton. He was taken into custody on a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine. LaFollette was being the in the jail on $1,000 cash bond. And, 53-year old James Edward Wiese, of Red Oak, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday afternoon, on a Page County warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Bond for the offense was set at $100,000. Wiese was also being held on new drug and PCS charges, along with Possession with the Intent to Deliver, for which bond amounts to $52,000.

Objection! Interrupting lawyer gets rare sanction


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer who angered an Iowa federal judge by repeatedly raising objections has received an unusual punishment: an order to produce a training video that denounces such tactics. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the sanction last week to attorney June Ghezzi, who works in the Chicago office of the law firm Jones Day.

Bennett criticized Ghezzi’s pretrial conduct in a case in which she successfully defended Abbott Laboratories against a lawsuit alleging its infant formula contained a dangerous bacteria that caused a baby to suffer brain damage. He wrote that Ghezzi “proliferated hundreds of unnecessary objections and interruptions” during depositions that coached witnesses and delayed the proceedings.

Bennett says the video must be made available to Jones Day lawyers. Jones Day said it will appeal, arguing Ghezzi acted appropriately.