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8AM Newscast 10-19-2011

News, Podcasts

October 19th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Low-income Iowans reminded to apply for heating bill help

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of Iowans who are turning on their furnaces in response to the dip in temperatures this week are wondering how they’ll afford their heating bills this winter. Last winter, more than 95,000 households received help with those bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – or LIHEAP. Jerry McKim oversees the program at the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

“We’re serving about 45-percent of the eligible population. That means there are still a lot of folks out there who, for whatever reason, don’t sign up for the program,” McKim said. Many people believe they’ll be able to handle the heating bills early in the winter season, but then struggle in later months as the costs keep climbing. McKim notes 28-percent of the people served by LIHEAP are older Iowans and 45-percent are disabled.

“Almost 94-percent households assisted by this program are not on welfare,” McKim said. “So what we’re seeing, particularly over the last few years with the recession, is first time applicants…because of job loss or something like that.” In some cases, LIHEAP recipients also qualify for a weatherizing program that helps improve the energy efficiency of their home. Applications for LIHEAP are accepted from November 1st through the end of next April. McKim says some households can apply now.

Those would include eligible households with an older or disabled person. Low-income residents facing a utility shutoff are also encouraged to apply now. A family of four would likely qualify for LIHEAP if the household family income is below $33,525.

To receive a LIHEAP application on-line, surf to www.dcaa.ia.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

September homes sales up across the state

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The president of the Iowa Association of Realtors, Kurt Schade, says the numbers from the September statewide sales survey show good signs. He says September sales were up 20-point-nine percent in the month with pending sales up eight-point-three percent up from the previous years as well. Schade says the record low interest rates are part of the reason for the bump.

Schade says homeowners are recognizing that if they have the ability to buy, it is a great time to buy a home. The average sales price dropped, and he says people are also capitalizing on that. The average sales price was down one-point-seven percent. Schade says the loan process is still taking some time for buyers to complete the sale. He says the average number of days a home is on the market is up and he says that’s because of new appraisal rules that began in September, and lenders are taking a long look at loans before approving them. Schade says the uptick in September sales is encouraging as home-buying naturally falls off as we head from fall into winter.

Schade says real estate is season in Iowa because of the weather, and the pool of buyers goes down as people can’t see as much of a home when there is snow on the ground. He says some sellers take their homes off the market in the winter to wait for better spring weather. The report showed that 36 of the 44 local boards and reporting sites across Iowa reported increases in the number of sales and 23 boards reported increases in average sale price from September 2010. Fourteen boards showed a decrease in the average number of days on the market.

(Radio Iowa)

7AM Newscast 10-19-2011

News, Podcasts

October 19th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Iowa DOT to remove temporary traffic control devices in Mills and Fremont counties

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said today (Wednesday), that with the recent reopening of Interstate 29 in Fremont and Mills counties, it’s time to remove the temporary traffic control devices put in place on the state highways in western Iowa during the Missouri River flooding.  The DOT says the stop conditions at the New Street and Orange Street intersections with U.S. 275 in Tabor, will be removed and traffic will resume its previous operation, on Nov. 7th.  

And, the stop signs on U.S. 59 at the U.S. 59/Iowa 2 intersection near Shenandoah will be removed Nov. 7th. Normal traffic operations will resume at that time. The stop signs on Iowa 2 at this intersection will remain in place as they existed prior to the flooding. 

Motorists are encouraged to exercise additional caution at these locations as traffic adjusts to the changes.

Vehicle repair shop in Corning damaged by fire

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

It appears a malfunctioning hose on an acetylene (cutting) torch is to blame for a fire Tuesday afternoon, at an automobile repair shop, in Corning. According to Corning Fire Chief Donnie Willet, the blaze broke out at R-and-S Auto on Davis Street. The fire occurred as a torch was being used under a vehicle which was on a hoist.

A mechanic reportedly told Willet that acetylene started burning. The Fire Chief said it appears a hose malfunctioned, causing the fire, which caused some structural and smoke damage to the building. No injuries were reported. Firefighters from Corning, Lenox and Prescott were on the scene, for about 3-hours.

Willet estimated it would be several days before employees will be able to go back to work at the shop.

Remains of missing Brazilian boy found in Mo. River near Council Bluffs

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Officials say the skeletal remains of a 7-year-old Brazilian boy missing for nearly two years and believed to have been killed with his parents in Nebraska has been pulled from the Iowa side of the Missouri River, just south of Council Bluffs. Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced the discovery Tuesday. A dive team pulled Christopher Szczepanik’s remains from the river last Thursday, but it wasn’t until Monday DNA tests confirmed the boys’ identity.

Three men were charged with murder in the family’s deaths, although the bodies hadn’t been found. The parents’ bodies still haven’t been recovered. Investigators say the men worked for the Szczepaniks. The family was living in Omaha while the father worked renovating a former school. They were last heard from in December 2009.

No Headstart Program Today, in Atlantic (Oct. 19th)

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Due to problems with the water supply/flow, there will be no Atlantic Headstart classes or programs today (Wednesday, Oct. 19th),

Minor injuries during rollover accident

News

October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Only minor injuries were reported following a single vehicle, rollover accident Tuesday night, in Cass County. According to dispatch reports, an SUV with a single male occupant rolled into the south ditch off of Interstate 80 eastbound, about two-miles east of the exit to Highway 71, or the 62-mile marker. The accident happened at around 9:45-p.m.

Early reports from the scene indicated the driver was trapped in the vehicle for a time, but was able to become freed before extrication was performed by emergency personnel. No other details are currently available. The accident was under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.

Carroll Man Sentenced On Federal Drug Charges

News

October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports a Carroll man was sentenced Tuesday to just over 14-years in prison on Federal drug charges.  37-year old Duane Russell Conroy was sentenced by Judge John A. Jarvey, after Conroy plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 5 grams of actual methamphetamine, and more than 50 grams of a mixture of substance containing methamphetamine. United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt said the Judge also sentenced Conroy to eight years’ supervised release following imprisonment.

Klinefeldt said Conroy admitted that, on November 21, 2010, in Boone, he possessed with intent to distribute approximately two ounces of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. Conroy, who had four prior state convictions for felony drug offenses, discarded the methamphetamine by throwing it out a car window when he realized he was being followed by law enforcement. Law enforcement recovered the methamphetamine, which was packaged for distribution, and Conroy was taken into custody by the Boone Police Department.
The case was investigated by the Central Iowa Drug Task Force, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Boone Police Department, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.