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8AM Newscast 12-31-2011

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks

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7AM Newscast 12-31-2011

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks

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Iowans battle tornadoes, flooding and drought in 2011

News, Weather

December 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Mother Nature took Iowans on another wild ride in 2011. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the summer long flooding along the Missouri River certainly topped the year’s weather news, but strong spring storms and drought conditions also garnered headlines. The tornado season started early, with eight twisters touching down on March 22nd. “The biggest outbreak of the season came on April 9,” Hillaker said. “We had 20 tornadoes on that afternoon and evening. The most damaging one hit Mapleton that evening.” Around 100 homes in Mapleton were destroyed while 14 residents were injured. An even 50 tornadoes touched down in Iowa this year – the last one on July 7.

“We had the earliest end to our tornado season since 1962,” Hillaker said. Following four straight years of extremely wet weather, 2011 was marked by a lack of significant rain across much of the state. Hillaker said sections of eastern Iowa had above normal precipitation, but it was very dry elsewhere. “Especially northwestern sections of the state where a pretty big part of Iowa is classified right now as (having) severe drought conditions,” Hillaker said.

On average, Iowa received 32-inches of precipitation in 2011. That’s about three inches below normal. Dubuque recorded the most precipitation over the year with 46 inches. Much of city was pounded with roughly 12 inches of rain in a 24-hour period between July 27 and 28. Ida County in northwest Iowa had the least amount of precipitation over the year with 20 inches, according to Hillaker. The year is ending with a rather unusual December featuring warmer than normal temperatures and just two-and-a-half inches of snow, on average, statewide. Snowfall totals over the previous four Decembers, between 2007 and 2010, have averaged between 13 and 24 inches.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

New Year’s Eve drinkers need to use common sense or just don’t drive

News

December 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who will be whooping it up for New Year’s Eve tonight need to remember that not all alcoholic drinks are created equal. Alcohol counselor John Smith says it isn’t necessarily a good rule of thumb to assume you’re okay to drive if you’ve only had one drink an hour, at least if you want to avoid being nailed for driving drunk. “Certainly, there are things like a Long Island iced tea that might have five shots of different alcohol in them,” Smith says. “You could easily have a drink that has five to seven standard drinks in one drink.” He teaches classes to those convicted of drunk driving and he’s advising people on ways to avoid getting tipsy, like eating a good meal and pacing your drinking. Smith says Iowans should make it a point to watch the alcohol content of their drinks.

Smith says, “A typical, standard drink is a 12-ounce American beer at about 5% alcohol and that’s about the same amount as about an ounce and a half of 80-proof liquor, or about the same as 5-ounces of table wine at 12-percent.” Smith says any one of those drinks would put a man weighing 180-pounds about one-fourth of the way to exceeding the legal limit for driving. On the other hand, he says just one Long Island iced tea could result in a drunk driving charge. Smith says it’s important to keep an eye on just how much booze actually goes into your drink.

He says if you order a double or if a friend tries to make you a special drink with extra booze, it could hit you much harder than just a single, standard drink. The only sure way is to avoid getting charged with drunk driving after a night of drinking, Smith says, is to simply not get behind the wheel.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Drug and Alcohol Related Arrests in Montgomery County

News

December 31st, 2011 by Chris Parks

2 separate arrests were reported by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in the past two days on drug and alcohol related charges.

On Thursday (12/29) at approximately 11:10pm Sheriff’s officials arrested 35-year-old Sean Eugene Hicks of Emerson for possession of Marijuana with the intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphenalia, manner of conveyance, stopping on the paved portion of the roadway, and having no valid driver’s license.  The arrest was made following an incident at 210th St and Boxelder Avenue in rural Red Oak.  Hicks was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $5,000 bond.

On Friday (12/30) evening at around 10:59pm Montgomery County Sheriff’s officials arrested 49-year-0ld John Elsworth Martin of Omaha for OWI 3rd offense at M Avenue and Highway 34 in rural Red Oak. Martin was also charged with open container and driving with no valid driver’s license.  He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Red Oak Teen Arrested on Theft Charge

News

December 31st, 2011 by Chris Parks

Red Oak Police report the arrest of 19-year-old Shealeigh Deann Lambright on Friday (12/30) at 5:43pm on a valid Montgomery County warrant for 5th degree theft.  Police arrested Lambright in the 100 block of West Coolbaugh Street and booked her into the Montgomery County jail on $300 bond.

Carter Lake woman dies in I-480 crash Friday evening, Bluffs man arrested

News

December 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs  say a 52-year-old Carter Lake woman was killed Friday in a two-vehicle crash on eastbound Interstate 480 that tied up traffic for several hours. Police say Linda Steskal, of Carter Lake, died at the scene of the crash.  According to Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Geer, an SUV driven by 45-year old Ronnie Dunbar, of Council Bluffs, was traveling at a high rate of speed at around 3:30-p.m. Friday, when it hit the rear of Steskal’s Chevy Malibu near the Dodge Street exit. Following the collision,the 4-door Malibu bounced off of a guardrail, spewing debris across the roadway. Police had to shut down all four eastbound lanes into Council Bluffs for more than three hours, while eastbound traffic was diverted back into downtown Omaha. Law officers from the Council Bluffs and Omaha police departments, the Iowa State Patrol and Nebraska State Patrol helped reroute traffic.

Steskal’s car sustained heavy front- and rear-end damage before it ended up in a ditch with the back window broken out and the hood folded up. The other vehicle, a Mercury Mountaineer, was on the north shoulder of I-480 east, facing west.  It had heavy damage to the driver’s side, with the back wheel broken. Sgt. Geer told reporters alcohol was found in the SUV, and officials were investigating whether alcohol use was a factor in the accident.

Dunbar fled the scene on foot following the crash, but was taken into custody near the Interstate 29 bridge over Ninth Avenue. He was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license. His passenger, 45-year old Michael Barnett, of Council Bluffs, was injured and taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was treated and released.

2011 will be a blowout…literally, in Iowa…Winds of up to 55mph expected

News, Weather

December 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM SUNDAY FOR MOST OF THE KJAN LISTENING AREA, EXCEPT FOR THE FAR WEST/SW COUNTIES, WHERE THE ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FROM 3-P.M. TODAY UNTIL MIDNIGHT.

The National Weather Services says winds should increase early this (Saturday) evening and remain strong through Sunday. The strongest winds will likely be during the day, Sunday. Northwest winds from 25-to-45 miles per hours can be expected, with gusts up to 55-mph.

The prolonged period of strong winds will impact travel, especially for high profile vehicles over the holiday weekend. MInor property damage is also possible with wind speeds of this magnitude.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 MPH or higher are expected. They can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

For those persons in the northern fringe of our listening area, the National Weather Service has issued  a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for wind and blowing snow, which is in effect from 6-pm today through 3-a.m. Sunday.  The advisory includes Denison, Carroll, Sac City, Storm Lake, Ft. Dodge, Algona and Mason City.

Rain is expected to mix with and change to snow after 6-pm west of I-35, and east of I-35 in northern Iowa, after 9-pm. Total snow/ice accumulations in the advisory area across western and northern Iowa, are expected to range from 1-to 2-inches by early Sunday morning.

Wind Advisory posted for Saturday night through Sunday Night

News, Weather

December 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a Wind Advisory in effect from 6-p.m. Saturday through 6-p.m. Sunday, for the following counties:

CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR and RINGGOLD COUNTIES
Issued 332 PM CST FRI DEC 30 2011

TIMING…WINDS SHOULD INCREASE EARLY SATURDAY EVENING AND REMAIN   STRONG THROUGH SUNDAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL LIKELY BE DURING   THE DAY ON SUNDAY.

WINDS...NORTHWEST WINDS FROM 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS FROM 45 TO   50 MPH.

IMPACTS…THE PROLONGED PERIOD OF STRONG WINDS WILL IMPACT   TRAVEL, ESPECIALLY HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES OVER THE HOLIDAY  WEEKEND. MINOR PROPERTY DAMAGE IS POSSIBLE WITH WIND SPEEDS OF  THIS MAGNITUDE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING  DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

Iowa Rep. King joins Bachmann, but no endorsement

News

December 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — Republican Michele Bachmann’s closest congressional ally has offered kind words for the presidential candidate but stopped short of an outright endorsement that could lift her back-of-the-pack campaign. Bachmann and Iowa Rep. Steve King appeared together Friday at a small-town cafe in his congressional district. King has remained neutral in the race despite attempts by several candidates to land his official support and that of the evangelical voters he tends to attract in his own elections. King called Bachmann “my great friend” but said he still hasn’t reached a personal decision in the GOP race. Bachmann attracted small crowds in two stops Friday. She chalked it up to last-minute scheduling.  The Iowa caucuses are Tuesday.