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Grass fire near Exira burns 150 acres, multiple dept.’s provide help

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A grass/field fire northeast of Exira Sunday afternoon burned 150 acres, but no one was injured. Exira Fire Chief Mike Bintner told KJAN News the blaze was reported just before 1-p.m., and crews remained on the scene for about 3 ½ hours. Mutual aide was received from the Brayton, Audubon, Coon Rapids, Kimballton and Guthrie Center Fire Departments. No structures were damaged by the fire.

The fire began just north of a residence off of 250th Street and quickly spread to just north 240th Street, where the blaze was brought under control. Bintner says the fire began with a rekindled burn that was initiated on Saturday. He says the resident was burning garbage in a burn pit north of their home Saturday. Sunday’s winds whipped some of the remaining hot items out of the pit and spread them to the nearby field.

Weather conditions today are expected to be dry and very windy. Bintner said anyone planning to burn should take the weather into consideration, and take the necessary precautions regardless of the weather. That includes call the fire station and your local county dispatch center to inform them about any controlled burns He says there is no burn ban yet in Audubon County, but it is being considered. In the meantime, property owners need to be responsible and no start any fires when the weather is dry and windy.

Bintner was grateful for the help his department received from the area firefighters, and said everyone really worked well together. He was also very appreciative of the area farmers, who used their disc implements to help prevent the spread of the fire.

(8-a.m. News)

8AM Newscast 03-31-2014

News, Podcasts

March 31st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

IUB advises you to call utility if you are behind on bills

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The ban that prevents utilities from turning off services to those behind on their bills ends Tuesday (April 1st). The ban only covers those who are signed up for the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Iowa Utilities Board spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says those not in LIHEAP may also be behind on their bills and the best thing to do is to work out a payment agreement. “It’s vital that customers who feel they cannot pay their energy bills contact their local utility for help in avoiding potential service disconnection,” Hillesland says.

The record cold this winter has pushed heating bills up for everyone and led to a record amount of unpaid bills. Hillesland says regulators and the utility companies are trying to help Iowans deal with the bigger bills. “The board has met with representatives of many of the utilities recently and they’re doing extra things this year to try to reach out to customers and communicate that they need to enter into payment arrangements — or find means to try to avoid service disconnections,” Hillesland says.

He says the utility companies across the state would rather work something out than pull the plug. “Disconnection is always the last resort for representatives of utilities,” he says. But, Hillesland says you have to do your part and try to work something out. “One of the large energy utilities serving Iowa reported that it had done an internal study of its customers that had been disconnected recently. And it indicated that a majority of those customers had left options on the table that could have avoided disconnections,” Hillesland explains.

The state can help if you feel you can’t come to an agreement with your utility. “If there’s unresolved issues with their utility, they can call the Iowa Utilities Board customer service staff. There’s a toll free number 1-877-565-4450,” Hillesland says. “The Iowa Utilities Board does have rules that govern when disconnections can occur.”

He says they also have rules governing the payment agreements between customers and utilities. The board report showed that there were just over 243-thousand households in Iowa who had a past-due balance on their utility accounts at the end of February. Those households owed a record of just over 46-million dollars.

(Radio Iowa)

Florida man arrives in Iowa to face murder charge

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Florida man suspected killing a northwest Iowa man in 2009 has been returned to face a murder charge. Authorities say 54-year-old John Green arrived Friday night and is being held without bond in Sac County Jail. He’s scheduled for a hearing next Monday. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer. He was arrested Tuesday at a dog track in Orange Park, Fla.

Green is accused of killing 58-year-old Mark Koster, of Sac City. Police say Green briefly lived with Koster in 2009. Relatives say they last saw Koster that year. Koster was reported missing in 2010. His skeletal remains were found buried in the basement of his Sac city home in 2012.

2 arrested on drug charges in Shenandoah

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested Sunday on drug charges in Shenandoah. According to the Police Department 27-year-old’s James Johnson and Courtney Schlegel, both of Shenandoah were taken into custody. Both were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. They were each cited and released.

7AM Newscast 03-31-2014

News, Podcasts

March 31st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Hotel Greenfield restoration are among Projects Honored by 1000 Friends of Iowa

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In areas once considered beyond saving, new development is emerging and spawning renewal in places such as Des Moines, Iowa City, Greenfield and Ottumwa. Some of those community reinvestment projects are now being honored by 1000 Friends of Iowa. Doug Adamson is a landscape architect in Des Moines who sits on the board for 1000 Friends. He says the awards recognize projects that use what are called smart-growth principles.

“Which is basically a sustainable approach to design. It reduces sprawl. It preserves farmland from sprawl and development and really concentrates on increasing the quality of life.” Adamson says a project that stood above the rest was the restoration of the Hotel Greenfield, originally completed in 1920 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“They could have easily went out to the highway and promoted a developer to develop a standard chain hotel out there on the highway, but instead they connect with the Downtown Development Corp and just did an amazing job and made it successful.”

A building once considered for demolition in Ottumwa a revitalization effort that began with a restaurant and brew pub in 2009. The last phase was completed last year with the addition of four loft apartments. The Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company says the project helped inspire development from other businesses, and is among the winners of the 2013 Best Development Awards from 1000 Friends of Iowa.

The other winners of the 1000 Friends of Iowa development awards were the Historic Packaging and Provision Building in Iowa City and Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines.

(Iowa News Service)

Bluffs man arrested on theft warrant in Red Oak

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest early this (Monday) morning, of a man wanted on a theft warrant. 29-year old Kenton Jarvis Schooling, of Council Bluffs, was taken into custody at around 3-a.m. in the 200 block of North 2nd Street, in Red Oak. Schooling was arrested on a warrant for Theft in the 5th degree, and for Driving Under Suspension. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

2 house fires in Atlantic overnight

News

March 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Fire 3

Fire near 4th and Locust Streets Monday morning. Ric Hanson/photo

(Update 8:57-a.m)

Firefighters in Atlantic responded to two separate house fires overnight Sunday into early this (Monday) morning.

Ric Hanson, photos

Ric Hanson, photos

Fire1 The latest, a fire at 107 W. 4th Street, was reported today (Monday), at 2:23-a.m.  Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees told KJAN News there was heavy black smoke visible upon arrival and flames coming out the back of the single-story home. Search and Rescue entered the house and discovered no-one was home.

McNees said later the home was vacant because the tenant had moved out this past week.

Atlantic Fire Dept. photo (from their FaceBook page) - rear view of the house.

Atlantic Fire Dept. photo (from their FaceBook page) – rear view of the house.

McNees said the cause of the fire remained undetermined early this morning. He said the scene of the fire was in the back porch area, near the kitchen. An electrical box was found in that general vicinity, but it was unclear if that’s where the fire started.

The second fire at 501 Peach Street in the Sycamore Village area, occurred at around 8:35-p.m. Sunday, and remains under investigation.

Red Oak man arrested for Public Intox

News

March 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested one person Sunday evening on a charge of Public Intoxication. 60-year old James Donald Uhlmann, Sr., of Red Oak, was arrested at around 7:15-p.m. in the 2400 block of North 8th Street, and held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.