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UnitedHealthcare leaving Iowa online marketplace


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The nation’s largest health insurance carrier says it will leave the Iowa marketplace for subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Iowa regulator said Monday that UnitedHealthcare‘s decision will affect about 9,000 consumers. The company says it’s lost millions of dollars by selling on the marketplaces.

The Des Moines Register reports that people who bought UnitedHealthcare policies on the Iowa exchange will be covered through 2016. And they will have a new option for 2017: Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Wellmark is the state’s dominant insurance carrier but had previously opted not to become part of the Care Act exchange for Iowa. It announced in October that it would be joining the exchange for the 2017 calendar year, however.

No injuries reported after two vehicle accident in I-80 in Cass County Tue. morning


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a two vehicle accident that happened at around 5:09-a.m. today on Interstate 80, between the Anita and Wiota exits. The collision occurred near the 68 mile marker eastbound. One vehicle was partially blocking the road on the westbound side, the other was in  the median.

No other details are currently available.

Adair woman arrested on a drug charge in Montgomery County


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says a woman from Adair was arrested on a drug charge Monday evening following a traffic stop, west of Red Oak. 20-year old Anna Esperanza Plank was pulled over near the intersection of Highway 34 and Evergreen Avenue, at around 6:25-p.m.  Plank was subsequently charged with Possession of Marijuana. She was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.

And, Red Oak Police arrested 45-year old Joshua Norman Fuller, of Red Oak, early this (Tuesday) morning, on a Driving While Suspended charge. Fuller was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Marshall trial set to begin today in Atlantic


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Trial for a Harrison County man charged in connection with a fatal crash on Interstate 80 in Cass County last year, is set to begin today with jury selection, here in Atlantic.The trial for 50-year old Paul Marshall, of Modale, is expected to last at least a couple of days. Marshall is charged with Vehicular Homicide by Operating Under the Influence, in connection with a crash that happened in May 2015 on I-80 near the 54-mile marker off-ramp, in Cass County.

Authorities said Marshall was driving his pickup westbound in the eastbound lane when the vehicle collided with an eastbound car driven by University of Nebraska/Lincoln Women’s soccer coach Peter Underwood, of Lincoln, NE., who was traveling on a recruiting trip. Marshall faces up to 25-years in prison if convicted.

On Friday, 4th District Court Judge Susan Christensen sustained an objection by am attorney for the Underwood family to have testimony from a female member of the family excluded from expanded media coverage of the case.

Reckless driving leads to drug arrest in Pott. County


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A man witnesses said was recklessly driving in-and-out of a ditch and all over the road early Saturday morning in Pottawattamie County, was arrested on drug and other charges.

According to officials with the Sheriff’s Department, 20-year old Kyle Steiner, of Macedonia, faces a felony Possession of Marijuana with the intent to deliver charge, after he was stopped on Highway 92 near 320th Street, at around 1:25-a.m.. Inside his pickup truck, deputies found nearly 177 grams (about 6.2 ounces) of marijuana.

Steiner has since posted bond in the amount of $10,000, and was released. If he’s convicted on the charge, he faces a maximum of 10-years in prison.

Penny-per-gallon gas surcharge would end January 1 under House bill


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A long-standing surcharge on gasoline may end January 1st. The penny-per-gallon fee was established in 1989 to finance clean up of underground storage tanks that were leaking gasoline, diesel or oil. Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, says the clean-up of all those pre-1990 tanks is done, but lawmakers are leaving 42 million dollars in a fund for any tanks that may start leaking again.

“Or they might find what they call an orphaned tank somewhere,” Rogers says, “like a Dairy Queen somewhere, there was a tank underneath that they didn’t know about, that was pre-1990, so those potentially have to be taken care of.” The fee was charged to petroleum wholesalers, but Rogers and other legislators hope consumers see a tiny dip at the gas pump.

“You hopefully will save a penny January 1,” he says. Three separate House committees unanimously approved the bill. It cleared the full, 100-member House last night on a 94 to zero vote. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

(Radio Iowa)

Storms today (Tuesday) could bring powerful tornadoes to Plains

News, Weather

April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — School districts and authorities are bracing for the possibility of a severe weather outbreak that could bring powerful, long-track tornadoes and large hail to the Great Plains. The weather today (Tuesday) could include heavy winds, tornadoes and hail as large as baseballs or softballs. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says the most dangerous weather will likely take aim at an approximately 70,000-square-mile area stretching from southern Oklahoma to southern Nebraska.

In all, nearly 37 million people from the Rio Grande River in South Texas to Omaha, Nebraska, and the western regions of Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa are at a slight risk or higher of experiencing severe weather Tuesday.

In the east, a separate storm system could bring thunderstorms, strong winds and hail to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., but the risk of severe outbreaks is low.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., April 26th 2016


April 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill that would have expanded Iowa’s medical marijuana law has failed in the Republican-controlled House. The chamber voted 31-63 Monday night to turn down legislation that would have expanded the list of medical conditions eligible for possession of cannabis oil. The measure faced an uncertain future in the Democratic-majority Senate, where there had been support for a more comprehensive system.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved legislation that would allow specially trained psychologists to prescribe medication to mentally ill people in the state. The Republican-majority chamber voted 72-22 Monday for the legislation, which would allow licensed psychologists to complete additional coursework and training to prescribe medication typically offered by psychiatrists and others.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Forecasters say a severe weather outbreak with powerful, long-track tornadoes and enormous hail is possible Tuesday in the Great Plains. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says the most dangerous weather is predicted for an approximately 70,000-square-mile area stretching from southern Oklahoma to southern Nebraska, including the Oklahoma City area. In all, nearly 37 million people are at a slight risk or higher of seeing severe weather on Tuesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have passed legislation to create a tax rebate program that could benefit construction at the “Field of Dreams” movie site. The Republican-controlled House voted 77-18 Monday for legislation that would provide sales tax rebates to owners who spend at least $10 million on a baseball and softball complex. There’s $5 million available in total and a single recipient could receive up to $2.5 million. The Senate already passed the bill and it now heads to Gov. Terry Branstad.

Breaking News: Juvenile deemed responsible for Stuart Sale Barn Fire


April 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A juvenile is being blamed for a fire that destroyed the Stuart Sale Barn Sunday night. Stuart Police late Monday afternoon said their investigation determined that a juvenile entered the structure at some time prior to the fire. The juvenile used a cigarette lighter to ignite a bale of hay. The juvenile then attempted to extinguish the fire but was un-successful. The fire was never reported to authorities by the juvenile. Evidence located at the scene and statements from witnesses and the suspect have been corroborated. The juvenile has been identified and is cooperating with officers.
Due to the suspect’s age, the case will be referred to juvenile court for any criminal charges and the name and information related to the juvenile will not be released to the public.

The incident began to unfold at around 6:41-p.m. Sunday, when two Stuart Police Officers received a report of smoke coming from the Stuart Sale Barn at 523 E. Front St. Officers requested that the Stuart Fire Department be dispatched while they were in route to investigate the smoke. Upon arrival Officers discovered a fully involved structure fire, with flames and smoke visible to approximately ¾ of the building.

Officers checked the windows and doors to determine if the structure was occupied and then began traffic control on Highway 6, which is directly in front of the building.
The Stuart Fire Department arrived approximately 4 minutes later and began fire suppression operations. Fire Departments from several surrounding communities were called in to assist. Unfortunately due to the size of the fire, the responding departments were unable to stop the spread of the fire to the remaining parts of the structure. The fire department remained on scene until approximately 10:10-p.m

Due to the suspicious nature of the fire, the Stuart Police Department and Stuart Fire Department requested that the Iowa State Fire Marshall’s Office be notified.
At approximately 8-a.m. Monday, Iowa State Fire Marshall Investigators arrived and began an investigation of the scene. The Stuart Police Department then took lead of the investigation.

Stuart Fire Chief Mark Renslow told KJAN News about a dozen or so goats died in the blaze. The owner of the building has said he will rebuild, and that until that happens, a tent will be erected in the parking lot for upcoming sales.

Driving Under Suspension stop leads to further charges in Adams County


April 25th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest Monday of 24-year-old Shanda Kile of Corning after a traffic stop.  Kile was initially stopped for Driving Under Suspension but a search of the vehicle resulted in other charges.  Kile was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Child Endangerment.  No other details were given at this time.