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Majority of Iowa roads completely covered with ice and snow

News, Weather

January 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 23, 2012: 7 a.m. – All roadways in Iowa, except those in the far southeast corner of the state, are currently reported as completely covered with ice and snow. High winds are causing drifting, reducing visibility and producing periods of whiteout conditions. 
 
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that covers a large part of the state: extending north of Interstate 80 to the Minnesota state line, east to the Wisconsin/Illinois state lines and west U.S. 59. The advisory remains in effect until noon today. The snow is expected to diminish to flurries this morning from southwest to northeast and end tonight. Gusty northwest winds (up to 36 mph) will cause blowing snow over central and northern Iowa throughout the day. Visibility at times may be reduced to one-half mile or less. 
 

For the latest road conditions, visit www.511ia.org, call 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide), or follow Twitter @statewideia511.

(Update): Riedemann sentenced to 5-years probation

News

January 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Griswold woman who plead guilty last November to a Class C felony charge of Vehicle Homicide by Operating While under the Influence (OWI) in connection with the 2010 death of 44-year old Katrina Christensen, was sentenced today (Monday) in Cass County District Court. Judge James C. Richardson announced his decision after he heard from witnesses who attested to 46-year old Christine Riedemann’s character, and written statements from Christensen’s daughters. Richardson sentenced Riedemann to 10-years in prison, but ordered the sentence suspended. He then placed her on probation for a period of 5-years, and ordered her to pay fines amounting to $1,000 plus surcharges.

Riedemann will be required to reside at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Council Bluffs for the duration of her probation. She’ll begin serving her term at the facility when space becomes available, which the court said will likely be in about 7-to 10-days. She must also meet several conditions while on probation, including: completing a substance abuse evaluation; submitting a DNA sample; making restitution Christensen’s estate in the amount of $150,000 and maintaining full employment or becoming a student in a vocational or academic institution. Her lawyer said Riedemann’s insurance has already paid out $100,000 to Christense’s family, as part of a settlement.

Riedemann was the driver of an SUV that went out of control on June 4th, 2010. The vehicle entered the ditch, and hit a utility pole west of Atlantic. Christensen, who was a passenger in the vehicle, died in the accident. Two separate blood-alcohol tests each indicated Riedemann was above the legal limit to drive. She was also found to have been in possession of marijuana.

Prior to pronouncing the sentence, the judge heard testimony from Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, former Councilman Kern Miller, and realtor Dale Gross, who served as character witnesses. All three men asked for the lenient sentence, in observance of the fact Riedemann had no prior criminal history, and was extremely remorseful about the death of her friend. Riedemann herself said there was no greater punishment she could receive than living with the tragedy that took place on that June day in 2010. She said she was willing to accept the court’s decision in the matter.

The judge also heard written statements from Christensen’s two daughters. One of the statements read by the victims’ family Attorney Andrew J. Knuth, was from  Ashley Wedemeyer.   Wedemeyer said she hoped her mother would be proud of her accomplishments, but was saddened by the fact she’ll never be around to help her through the tough spots in life, nor will she be able to know her grandson, who was born about two-months ago. She said she knows what happened was not intentional, but she said “even accidents have consequences.”

3 killed in Greene County high speed crash Sunday

News

January 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Three people died Sunday afternoon during a crash between a car and a pickup in Greene County. The accident happened at around 1:30-p.m., one-mile east of Rippey, on Greene County Road E-57. The Iowa State Patrol had not identified the victims as of early this (Monday) morning. Officials say a 2002 Pontiac Firebird was traveling east at a high rate of speed, when it went out of control, spun around on the road, crossed the center line, and was hit on the right side by an oncoming Ford F-150 pickup.

Both vehicles then entered the ditch and rolled over, coming to rest on their sides. Both drivers, and a passenger in the Firebird died at the scene of the crash, which remains under investigation.

Monday meetings in the KJAN listening area

News

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A handful of area City Council’s and other organizations will hold their respective meetings, Monday. Included among them:

The Atlantic Community School District’s Certified Collective Bargaining Unit, which will meet at 4-p.m. in the Middle School Board room. The District will present its opening proposal for 2012-2013 negotiations. Last week, the Atlantic Education Association presented its proposal, for a 6.9% total package increase for the 2012-2013 contract salary year.

The Cass County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) will meet in the basement meeting room at the Cass County Courthouse, beginning at 6:30-p.m., following a meeting of the E-9-1-1 Board.

And, the Audubon City Council will gather at their City Hall, for a 7-p.m. session. During the meeting, the Council will hear from Midwest Partnership’s Chad Schreck, with regard to Economic Development, and Aaron Voss, with U-S Water Services. The Council will also discuss with Laurie Gilbert, from the Region 12 Council Of Governments (COG), the demolition of houses and tax sale properties. Discussion items on their agenda include issues pertaining to: ICAP (the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool); Parking in yards; and compensation practices.

Awards handed out at annual Atlantic Chamber Banquet

News

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Numerous awards were handed-out to deserving groups and individuals during Saturday night’s Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet and awards program held at the Cass County Community Center. Included among them:

  • Ambassador of the Year – Bill Saluk, from Meredith Communications
  • Outstanding Chamber Volunteer – Lori Reid, with Airworks (Atlantic Airport)
  • Outstanding Committee Member – Dr. Keith Leonard/Atlantic Animal Health Center
  • Business Betterment – Boulder’s Inn and Suites/local investors
  • Community Service Award – The Atlantic High School Trojan Football team
  • Community Betterment Award – the local Trees Forever organization
  • Community Impact Award – Jay Miller/Brymon’s Home Furnishings, for his work in getting a $65-million dollar grant to bring the Sieman’s/Industrial Technology Program to Iowa Western Community College
  • The Athena Award (Sponsored by Deter Motor Co.) – which went to Wendy Richter, for her work with the Family Crisis Support Network
  • and, the Distinguished Service Award, which was presented to Steve Livengood, for his service to our veterans and their families, along with his work with ARISE (The Atlantic Rock Island Society Enterprise). Livengood is a 24-year veteran of the U-S Army, and and member of the Atlantic City Council.

The Chamber also welcomed its new President for 2012, Debbie Liestad, who takes over the reigns from past President Brian Church, and honored its new board members, including: Steve Andersen (Southwest Iowa Transit); Jeff Jundquist (Atlantic News Telegraph); Becky Mosier (KJAN), and Bill Saluk, along with some returning board members for 2012-through 2014.
The evening’s meal was provided by Atlantic Hy-Vee catering.

Iowa’s Celebrity Hunting Program Criticized

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some question whether Iowa needs to continue giving celebrities easy access to deer hunting in the state, but it appears unlikely that the promotional program will be scrapped. The state program gives 75 celebrities, such as rocker Ted Nugent and former professional athlete Bo Jackson, an opportunity to buy a special out-of-state deer hunting permit each year. Other non-residents might wait years to buy a similar permit. The celebrity program began in 1998 to help promote the state as a top hunting destination. Iowa Bowhunters Association President Randy Taylor tells the Des Moines Register that he’s not sure the state really needs the promotion now because deer hunters nationwide already consider Iowa a top spot to bag a trophy deer.

Van rolls into ditch near HWY 71 in Cass County

News

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Icy roads contributed to several accidents Sunday morning, in Cass County. A van carrying 10 people rolled into a ditch near exit 60 (Hwy 71). The accident happened at around 8:30-a.m.  At least one person suffered serious injuries and was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. Eight people were later turned over to officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Two adult individuals in the van who were initially reported as missing, are believed to have caught a ride to Omaha, and were being sought for questioning.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT: Icy roads this morning

News, Weather

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

723 AM CST SUN JAN 22 2012

Affecting these counties in Iowa: AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-POLK-JASPER-POWESHIEK-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON- WARREN-MARION-MAHASKA-ADAMS-UNION-CLARKE-LUCAS-MONROE-WAPELLO- TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-DECATUR-WAYNE-APPANOOSE-DAVIS…

…FROST DEVELOPMENT ON ROADS CAUSING ICY CONDITIONS…

WARMER AND MOIST AIR STREAMING NORTH INTO IOWA HAS RESULTED IN THE FORMATION OF FROST ON ROAD SURFACES. GROUND TEMPERATURES REMAIN COLD FOLLOWING THE COLD WEATHER OF THE PAST FEW DAYS. AS A RESULT…THE MOISTURE IN THE AIR WAS CONDENSING ON ROAD SURFACES AND CAUSING ICY AREAS. IN ADDITION PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CONTINUE EARLY THIS MORNING. THE DRIZZLE IS EXPECTED TO BE VERY LIGHT FOR THE MOST PART WITH ICE ACCRETION MOST PROMINENTLY ON BRIDGE DECKS. TEMPERATURES JUST BELOW FREEZING ARE EXPECTED TO WARM TO JUST ABOVE FREEZING BY 9 OR 10 AM. PEOPLE TRAVELING THIS MORNING SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY FOR SLICK STREETS AND SIDEWALKS. USE CAUTION WALKING OR DRIVING AND ALLOW FOR A FEW EXTRA MINUTES.

Already some vehicle have slipped off the road in Cass County along interstate 80…no injuries reported. Two trucks are being held-off until the road conditions improve.

Red Oak man arrested on drug & probation violation charges

News

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police Red Oak arrested one-person Saturday afternoon, on drug and other charges. Officers called to the City View Apartments discovered during their investigation into an incident, illegal substances at the residence of 21-year old Corey James Dolph, of Red Oak. Dolph was charged with possession of an illegal substance and taken into custody on a Montgomery County warrant for violation of his probation.  Dolph was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $11,000 bond.

Beware of patchy freezing drizzle this morning (Sunday)

News, Weather

January 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

…PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE SPREADING OVER SOUTHERN IOWA…

PATCHES OF FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD OVER SOUTHERN IOWA EARLY THIS MORNING. THE DRIZZLE IS EXPECTED TO BE VERY LIGHT FOR THE MOST PART WITH ICE ACCRETION MOST PROMINENTLY ON BRIDGE DECKS. TEMPERATURES JUST BELOW FREEZING ARE EXPECTED TO WARM TO JUST ABOVE FREEZING BY 900 AM OR SO.

PEOPLE TRAVELING THIS MORNING SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE POSSUBILITY FOR SLICK SURFACES. USE CAUTION WALKING OR DRIVING AND ALLOW FOR A FEW EXTRA MINUTES.