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Corps meets deadline in levee repairs

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has met its deadline on the most critical levee repairs on the Missouri River from Omaha and Council Bluffs to just below the Missouri border at Rockport and the levees are ready to handle high water again. The corps says five breaches have been closed and several damaged segments have been repaired from last summer’s historic flooding. The corps’ Bret Budd says work on the last of the five breaches, near Percival and Hamburg in Iowa, was completed Tuesday. The work, which has been ongoing since January, was urgent before the 2012 runoff season begins — even with the mild winter. March 1 is the typical start of the runoff season, when the first significant water from melting snowpack enters the river.

IA DOT offers tips for dealing with high winds today

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising central and west central Iowa motorists that sustained wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts between 50 to 60 mph, are expected across Iowa this afternoon. The rest of the state is expected to experience sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gust of up to 50 mph. Drivers on Iowa roadways should be alert to the effects of these winds on high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning effective until 6 p.m. today for 25 counties in central west central Iowa. A wind advisory is in effect across the remainder of the state. Strong southwesterly winds will continue to strengthen this morning and become westerly during the day. Strong winds are capable of snapping power lines, toppling road signs and blowing debris onto the roadway. Never cross a roadway where downed power lines, poles or transformers are present. Do not try to free lines or remove debris yourself. Call 911 if you observe such items on the roadway so emergency assistance can be provided. For road weather information in Iowa, visit Iowa DOT’s website http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/. Weatherview offers helpful information to travelers, including current wind speed, direction and gusts. Information is collected from road and aviation weather observation reporting sites throughout the state.

If you are driving:

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and be prepared to slow down.
  • Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong gusts can push a vehicle or trailer outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van, SUV or recreational vehicle or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • Never cross a downed power line.
  • Approach all intersections with caution. If there is a power outage, the traffic signals may not be operating properly. Remember, nonfunctioning traffic signals are to be treated as a four-way stop.
  • Check the latest weather conditions by accessing the information kiosks located at any of the interstate rest areas.

Severe Weather Awareness Week preparations

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The changing of the seasons means Iowans need to be prepared for severe weather. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa is April 2nd through the 6th. Leading up to that statewide event are several Severe Storm Spotter training classes, one of which is being held at the Lewis Fire Station March 14th, beginning at 7-p.m. Kennon says anyone interested in becoming a trained Weather Service spotter is welcome to attend, free of charge. 

The main event during Severe Weather Awareness Week, is the Statewide Tornado Drill, on Wednesday, April 4th, beginning at around 10:15-a.m. Kennon says the courthouse will participate in the drill. He says the Cass County Communications Center will be notified, and announce the drill within the courthouse. They’ll also activate tornado sirens in Atlantic. Businesses, schools and all communities in the County are encouraged to participate in the drill, as though an actual tornado were spotted and threatening public safety.

Kennon says the state and National Weather Service might need to look at pushing future Severe Weather Awareness activities week into March,  as recent severe weather events across Iowa and the nation, such as the tornados in Branson, Missouri have shown they can occur anytime,  but are happening with more and more frequency in March, instead of April and May.

For more on Severe Weather Awareness Week, surf to the National Weather Service’ website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

Emergency Preparedness Conference set for next week in Atlantic

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says a conference being held next week will bring officials from across southwest Iowa to Atlantic. The Region 4 Preparedness Conference, which takes place March 6th and 7th at the Cass County Community Center, is being held to build and sustain partnerships among disciplines, meet training and workshop requirements, and identify specific needs, issues and solutions to challenges faced by those who deal with emergency situations. That includes Public Health, Hospital, Emergency Management, Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement officials, the National Guard, Elected Officials and State Partners.

Kennon says the 1st day involves a training and exercise planning workshop for Counties, a working lunch, and a training and exercise planning workshop for regional partners. The second day will feature various presentations and a panel discussion from people in Missouri who had to deal with a devastating tornado. He says representatives with the National Guard will speak about their capabilities in responding to an emergency, and, officials from Joplin, Missouri will speak about their experiences, challenges and hurdles, following last year’s killer tornado. The Joplin panel includes those associated with law enforcement, fire, EMS, elected officials, and others. Meals provided during the conference are free. 

To register, go to www.safeguardiowa.org, click on the “events tab” and then look for the registration link.

Audubon man arrested on assault/weapon charges

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Audubon man was arrested Tuesday in Atlantic, on a charge of Domestic Assault while Displaying a Dangerous Weapon. The Atlantic Police Department reports 29-year old Joseph Zaiger was taken into custody and held in the Cass County Jail pending an appearance before the magistrate. 

The P-D also reports 28-year old Megan Rieck, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of Simple Assault. Rieck was cited for the offense and released. And, 29-year old Bridget Barnholdt, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday as well, for Prescription Fraud or Deceit, and Prescription Fraud by Impersonation. Barnholdt was being held in the Cass County Jail pending a court appearance.

8AM Newscast 02-29-2012

News, Podcasts

February 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 02-29-2012

News, Podcasts

February 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Guthrie County Fatal Crash Trial continued until May

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A former Perry man who was set to stand trial Tuesday in connection with a fatal 2009 crash in Guthrie County, will instead make his appearance in court in May. A judge has continued the trial for 30-year old Thomas Dugan until 9:30-a.m. May 15th in Guthrie County District Court. A Pre-trial conference in the case is set to take place April 30th.

Authorities allege Dugan was behind the wheel of a car that went out of control and crashed in rural Guthrie County on August 24th 2009. The crash killed a passenger in the car, 28-year old Adam Anderson, of Bagley, and resulted in Dugan suffering critical injuries. Both men were ejected from the vehicle, which rolled end-over-end multiple times before coming to rest in a soybean field.

Charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and drunken driving were filed against Dugan in February of 2011, after DNA tests indicated he was the driver of the car. Prior to the test results, authorities couldn’t determine which man was behind the wheel.

When it gets underway in May, Dugan’s trial is expected to last about four days.

A High Wind Warning is now in effect for parts of Western/Central Iowa

News, Weather

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-POLK-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD COUNTIES…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS UPGRADED THE WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FOR THE ABOVE COUNTIES TO A HIGH WIND WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THIS EVENING…

* SHORT TERM TRENDS…STRONG SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS WILL CONTINUE
  TO STRENGTHEN THIS MORNING AND BECOME MORE WESTERLY DURING THE
  DAY.

* WINDS…WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS OF
  50 TO 60 MPH EXPECTED.

* IMPACTS…LOOSE OBJECTS WILL BE BLOWN AROUND. HIGH PROFILE
  VEHICLES WILL HAVE DIFFICULTY DRIVING ESPECIALLY ON NORTH
  SOUTH ROADS AND INTERSTATES. ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES OR TREE
  DAMAGE MAY OCCUR NEAR REGIONS OF PEAK GUSTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED
OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS
OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE.

Hamlin woman arrested on assault charge

News

February 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday, a Hamlin woman was arrested Sunday evening on an assault charge. 32-year old Brooke Marie Hines faces two counts of Assault on a Peace Officer. The charges stem from an investigation into an incident which allegedly occurred in the 1500 block of 200th Street. Hines was brought to the Audubon County Jail and released from custody after appearing before the magistrate.