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ISU and Iowa DOT work with farm group to find better bridge inspection technology

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A coalition of state soybean associations is working with the Iowa D-O-T and Iowa State University on a project to improve technology used to inspect bridges. Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says bridges are now visually inspected by trained engineers, but their decisions can sometimes be too conservative, leading to expensive repairs, or bridges being closed or load restricted. “The taxpayers, who actually paid for the roads and the bridges in their vicinity, no longer have full access to a system that they paid for,” Steenhoek says. “For a farmer, it can be a real cost. What would normally be a five-mile journey from the farm to the local elevator can easily become a 10- or 20- or 30-mile journey.”

Steenhoek says another problem with visual inspections is they can lead to wasting money for repairs and upkeep. “If you don’t have a clear understanding of the condition of your various bridges in your inventory, that can result in misallocation of scarce taxpayer dollars,” Steenhoek says. “This is a time when the federal government, the state government and the local government are really cash-strapped.” Steenhoek says that’s why the coalition, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa State University are embarking on this project to find ways to do more detailed analysis of bridges using advanced science.

“To actually use technology that is available to evaluate bridges, that provides real data and allows engineers to make accurate decisions about their bridges,” Sheenhoek says. “We’re wanting to see this project replicated in other states like Minnesota and South Dakota and Nebraska.” Steenhoek says a recent bridge collapse in Guthrie County highlights the need for a new inspection system. A farmer driving a tractor pulling two tanks of anhydrous ammonia was on a bridge when it collapsed. He had only minor injuries.

The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of the American Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board and 12 state soybean boards, including the Iowa Soybean Association. The 12 states account for 80% of all soybean production in the U-S.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 05-16-2014

News, Podcasts

May 16th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

“Click it or Ticket” campaign May 19th-June 1st

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is reminding the motoring public, during May 19th – June 1st, Iowa law enforcement agencies will be participating in the National “Click or Ticket” campaign. In an attempt to save lives and reduce serious injury crashes, local, county and state enforcement officers will be out in force making sure everyone is buckled up.

Sergeant Scott Bright, Public Information Officer for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, advises that “The two seconds it takes to buckle up increases your odds by nearly 50% of surviving a crash. There is nothing so simple or easy that can make such a life saving difference. During 2013, there were 317 fatalities in Iowa, a record low but still too many needless deaths. We are continually looking for ways to make a difference,” says Noble.

Last year, during the Memorial Day holiday, Iowa had 3 traffic fatalities, two of which were alcohol related. During the sTEP enforcement wave, there were 31,480 total traffic violations, including 12,450 speed, 2630 seat belt and 530 OWI stops.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau continues to stress to the motoring public the importance of buckling up, slowing down and the need to drive sober to increase the odds of preventing or at least surviving a crash. Buckle up, be safe and enjoy your Memorial Day holiday.

The next sTEP enforcement event will be July 1st – 7th.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, 5/16/2014

News, Podcasts

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Creston pair arrested in Taylor County

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop Wednesday night in Taylor County resulted in the arrest of two Union County residents. According to the Lenox Police Department, 25-year old Colleen Denton and a passenger in her car, 25-year old Benjamin Hoffman, both of Creston, were taken into custody on separate charges.

Denton was arrested for failure to hold a valid driver’s license. In addition, she was wanted on warrants out of Union County for Failure to Appear on original charges of Theft and Assault. Denton was released to authorities in Union County. Hoffman was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, after a drug pipe was located under the passenger seat of the car. He was subsequently released on the citation.

The pair were taken into custody after police in Lenox investigated a report received at around 8:30-p.m., Wednesday, about a vehicle traversing the alleys, and individuals looking into peoples’ windows and around houses.

Accident on loose gravel in Montgomery County

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say no injuries were reported following a rollover accident Thursday afternoon, near Red Oak. According to the Sheriff’s Department, William Linfor, of Shenandoah, was driving a 2009 Hyundai Accent northbound on Evergreen Avenue, when the car went out of control on the loose gravel and entered a ditch before rolling over.

The accident happened at around 4:12-p.m.. No citations were issued. Damage amounted to $8,000.

300+ Korean War vets apply for Honor Flight, money needed for additional planes

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A little over a week ago, Polk County officials awarded $125,000 to the Central and Western Iowa Honor Flight organization to send a plane full of Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C. to see a memorial built in their honor. But, there’s not enough room on the plane for all of the veterans who want to go. Jeff Ballenger of Council Bluffs, who’s organizing the honor flight, says the initial plan called for giving 130 Korean War veterans a free trip to the nation’s capital on September 30. But, as of this Thursday, 318 Korean War veterans from Iowa have applied for the trip.

“One veteran even spent $21.95 to overnight his application to make sure we got it, so that tells you what this program means to our veterans,” Ballenger said. Roughly $250,000 more is needed to cover the expenses for all of the veterans who hope to see the Korean War Memorial. Iowa businesses and individuals, since 2007, have contributed enough money to send roughly 2,300 World War Two veterans to Washington, D.C.

“Iowans are very patriotic by nature and appreciate what our veterans have done for us and the sacrifices made. They’ve usually just stepped right up to the plate,” Ballenger said. He’s hoping they’ll do so again, so one or two more planes can be booked to accommodate the demand. Iowans can learn more about making a tax-deductible donation to the Korean War veterans’ honor flight by calling 712-322-6638 or by visiting the website www.centraliowahonorflight.org

(Radio Iowa)

2 arrests in Montgomery County overnight

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County report an arrest and a citation overnight Thursday into early this (Friday) morning. A traffic stop in Red Oak at around 1:42-a.m. today (Friday) resulted in a citation for 35-year old Benjamin Robert Murphy, of Bedford. Authorities say Murphy was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for an equipment violation in Red Oak. He was cited by Red Oak Police for Possessing an open container of alcohol, and released.

And, at around 9:10-p.m. Thursday, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested Jason  Leon Latham, of Grant. Latham was taken into custody on a valid Nodaway County, Missouri, warrant for Failure to Appear on charges of Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, pending extradition to Missouri.

Bluffs care facility has 5 residents more than 100-years old

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A care facility in Council Bluffs has the unique distinction of being home to nearly a half-dozen  Centenarians, those who are 100 or older. The Omaha World-Herald says the Bethany Lutheran Home has five of them, all of whom are women. Current residents who are 100 or older are Ethel Torneten, 101; Genevieve Winger, 102; Helen Clem, 102; Leota Heinrich, 105; and Alice Steers, 106.

The ladies told the paper hard work, “clean living,” being honest and staying true to their friends are part of their longevity.  One of the women worked until she was 92. Her employment included working in a doctor’s office, and waiting on tables for many years. Another taught at a country school in Hazel Dell Township. One of the ladies say her hobby of antiquing is what kept her going for so long.

None of them complained about their hardships and the fact technology was not as advanced as it is today.

Incentives package may determine fate of Bluffs business

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa economic development officials today are expected to approve tax benefits that will determine whether or not a longtime Council Bluffs business stays on the east side of the Missouri River. The Omaha World-Herald reports in an application for incentives worth more than $4.5 million, Interstate Electric Supply Co. indicated it would move 108 employees from its existing facilities near 35th Street and U.S. Highway 6 to Nebraska if it did not receive adequate financial incentives from the State of Iowa.

With the incentives, Interstate Electric Supply Co. plans to spend about $10.7 million to move its wholesale facility and other operations to a 13-acre parcel at the intersection of 24th Street and U.S. 275/Highway 92 in Council Bluffs. Plans call for 190,000 square feet of warehouse space in addition to a training center and a storage yard for equipment. IES says in its incentives application that it was “strongly considering” a site in Sarpy County, where property taxes on a comparable project would be half of what the company will spend in Iowa.

The Council Bluffs City Council in late April gave unanimous approval to the company’s application for benefits under the High Quality Jobs Program, which is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. That organization’s board meets in Des Moines at 10 a.m. today and is expected to approve the project.

The proposed deal includes a partial property tax abatement worth more than $2.8 million over 15 years in addition to state tax credits including sales tax refunds on building materials and investment tax credits. The company expects to finish the project in spring 2016 and will create eight new jobs.