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Menlo woman seriously injured in car vs. train accident Wednesday

News

November 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports a Menlo woman was seriously injured Wednesday evening when the car she was driving collided with a train, in Guthrie County. 41-year old Amanda Powell was driving a 2003 Chevy Malibu at around 7:40-p.m., when she became distracted while crossing a set of railroad tracks. Her car hit a set of parked railroad cars, which were being prepared for hook-up to an engine. The rail cars and train are owned by Iowa Interstate Railroad.

The woman was flown from the scene by helicopter to a Des Moines hospital. There was no word on the extent of Powell’s injuries, but officials said while they were serious, the injuries did not appear to be life threatening. Assisting the Iowa State Patrol at the scene of the crash, were personnel from Menlo Fire and Rescue, and the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office.

Pella Corp announced 198 layoffs, including at three western IA plants

News

November 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A company spokesperson for the Pella Corporation announced Wednesday, 198 workers will lose their jobs at the company’s window and doors manufacturing locations in Carroll, Sioux Center, Shenandoah,  as well as at a manufacturing site in Portland, Oregon. The bulk of the workers affected by the layoff, are at the company’s headquarters and factory in Pella. The company cited the prolonged housing economy recession as the reason for the layoffs.  Pella spokesperson Kathy Krafka Harkema said “Low consumer confidence, tighter access to home loans, and the volatile U.S. economy continue to hamper the American housing economy.”

Pella Corporation announced late last month it planned to close its plant in South Carolina and ask workers in its Iowa plants to retire or voluntarily leave. Pella was offering workers incentives to voluntarily leave at its operations in Carroll, Shenandoah, Sioux Center and Pella. Company officials said close to 100 people took that voluntary deal. Harkema said Pella is partnering with state and local officials to assist affected employees in locating new career opportunities, and provide them information on employee assistance programs.

Pella is a privately held company headquartered in Pella, Iowa, and employs about 7,100 people.

AmericInn of Elk Horn Sends 112 Military Care Packages to Overseas Troops as Part of Veterans Day Salute

News

November 16th, 2011 by Jim Field

(Elk Horn, IA) November 16, 2011 – In a special tribute to American military troops, AmericInn of Elk Horn, IA shipped 112 care packages to soldiers serving overseas during a recent community event at the hotel coinciding with Veterans Day. The event was part of a nationwide Veterans Day initiative by AmericInn hotels resulting in the preparation and shipping of several thousand care packages to troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other bases worldwide.

AmericInn of Elk Horn had a great turn out for Operation Care Pack event on November 11th. The hotel packaged 112 boxes to send to the troops. AmericInn staff, Blue Star Mothers, local businesses, local organizations, and church members came to show their support and help with the event. In each box, the hotel packed snacks, hygiene products, soups, magazines, ceareal, and drink boxes.

“The participants in this initiative gave generously of their time, demonstrating inspiring and heartwarming support for members of America’s military,” said Jackie Wright, general manager of AmericInn of Elk Horn, IA. “We are proud to be part of this nationwide program by AmericInn expressing gratitude for the service of military members deployed overseas.”

AmericInn hotels around the country reported that the gift box packing events attracted participation from a broad spectrum of citizens in their communities including many local businesses, student groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, church groups, retirees and even competing hotel employees. The Blue Star Mothers, a national troop support organization, also participated through local chapters.

AmericInn has sponsored several previous care package initiatives to support members of the military as part of an overall “AmericInn Cares” commitment to caring, involvement and patriotism.  AmericInn also offers a national discount to active duty and retired members of the military and their dependents. Military families can receive this discount by requesting the AmericInn Military Rate (rate code: MIL) when they make their reservation at a hotel, AmericInn.com or by calling the toll free telephone number 1-800-634-3444. A military I.D. is also required at check-in.

SW IA Recovery Network Now Accepting Applications for Summer Flood Assistance

News

November 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Southwest Iowa Recovery Network (SWIRN), say thanks to the generosity of the Iowa West Foundation (IWF),  SWIRN is now accepting applications to assist families affected by summer flooding. The additional resource may assist those with unmet human services needs and aid in reducing the suffering caused by the flooding and home displacement.  Eligible families affected by the flood may receive as much as $1,000 to assist with their recovery, although actual amounts will vary according to need.  In addition, applicants may receive valuable information and referral to other agencies and programs that may be able to assist with recovery planning. 

Requests for financial assistance should fall into one of the following categories: housing repairs due to flood damage; temporary housing for relocation after the flood; childcare during the immediate time after the flood due to relocation; personal items lost due to flooding, including transportation replacement or repairs due to flooding; Mental Health Services and items needed to fight household flooding. 

Those interested in assistance should call SWIRN at 712-435-5661 to schedule a phone or face-to-face meeting.  Application, photo ID and proof of disaster address (example: utility bill) and FEMA number will be required.  FEMA registration is required prior to granting financial assistance.  

It’s anticipated that funds will be distributed before the end of the calendar year. This program is funded by the Iowa West Foundation and administered by the American Red Cross, on behalf of SWIRN and supported by local long term recovery committees in the affected counties.

Former Adair City Clerk & her son receive 5-years probation for misappropriation of funds

News

November 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Adair’s former city clerk and her son, a former city street department employee, were sentenced Monday, a little more than one-month after they pled guilty to felony theft charges in connection with the theft of taxpayer funds from the City of Adair.

Court records show 63-year old Linda Nichols and her 41-year old son Terry, received 5-years probation and were ordered to make full restitution amounting to nearly $83, 300, plus nearly $6,000 for the cost of the State audit, court costs and related fees. The amount is higher than the City of Adair’s estimate of $80,000, but is less than the $110,257.26 amount listed as improper in a special investigation report released by the Office of Auditor of State on May 3, 2011. 

Linda and Terry Nichols were also ordered to perform 100-hours of community service and to submit a DNA sample. The pair had been sentenced to no more than 10-years in prison, but the sentence was suspended during Monday’s court proceedings.

On October 3rd, the Nichols’ pleaded guilty in Adair County District Court to Theft in the First Degree, a Class C Felony.  As part of the plea, the charge of Felonious Misconduct in Office, a Class D felony, was dropped.  The Auditor’s report included the city’s losses due to payroll taxes paid to the state, amounts that cannot be proven to have been stolen, and amounts that, after additional investigation, were proven not to be stolen.

The special investigation was requested by City of Adair officials as a result of misappropriation of city funds, and alleged improper and unsupported disbursements and undeposited collections.

Iowa to join in recognizing National Rural Health Day

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa will join dozens of other states in recognizing tomorrow (Thursday) as the first-ever National Rural Health Day. Dr. Deb Romberger is a pulmonologist in Omaha/Council Bluffs who works with rural health issues. “National Rural Health Day is an important day for us to think about health issues in communities, including safety,” Dr. Romberger says. “Rural communities have special challenges, especially around safety related to motor vehicle accidents and to accidents on the farm.” 

Romberger says the day reminds all Iowans, especially those in rural areas and the ag community, about the dangers being faced every day.  She says, “We want to remind people of the kinds of disorders that they might face, things that we can do in terms of protecting ourselves, using protection for our ears and sunscreen for our skin and a mask when we’re going into dusty work environments.” 

Romberger works at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She says the hospital is taking part in National Rural Health Day because it has a close connection with people in the ag sector. “It’s important that we’re partnering with rural communities,” she says. “We are an institution that helps train providers going back to the communities and we need to make sure they’re being trained to address special concerns in rural communities.” 

About 60-million people, or nearly one in five Americans, live in rural or frontier communities. The goal of National Rural Health Day is to increase awareness of health care issues in those areas.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Two accidents in Pottawattamie County, Tuesday

News

November 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol investigated two separate accidents Tuesday afternoon, in Pottawattamie County. The first happened at around 3:20-p.m. on Highway 92 southeast of Council Bluffs. The Patrol says 24-year old Rachel Lammert, of Silver City, suffered minor, possible injuries, after the Pontiac Grand Am she was driving rear-ended an SUV driven by 16-year old Braxton Mittan, of Council Bluffs. The accident happened after an unknown vehicle came to an abrupt stop on eastbound Highway 92 near Hearthstone Drive.

Officials say another vehicle passed the stopped vehicle on the shoulder, to keep from hitting the first vehicle. A separate vehicle managed to stop in-time, and the vehicle driven by Mittan stopped before hitting the second vehicle, but Lammert was unable to stop, and could not take evasive action because of the other vehicles on the roadway and shoulder. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts. Damage from the accident amounted to $8,600. No citations were issued.

The second accident happened about 2-hours later, on Interstate 80 in Council Bluffs. The Patrol says a 2010 Toyota Camry driven by 24-year old Amanda Harding, of Plainfield, IL., was traveling east on I-80 in the center lane crossing into Iowa where I-29 southbound merges with I-80. An unknown semi merging into the first lane collided with the Camry, causing $6,500 damage, but no one was injured. The semi failed to stop, and was never located.

Opening of Iowa Hwy 333 another milestone for fast-track flood recovery effort

News

November 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Nov. 16, 2011 – Over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) restored traffic on Iowa 333 into Hamburg.

Hwy 333 flooding in Sep. 2011

This marked a significant milestone in Iowa’s fast-track flood recovery effort, as this was the last section of state highway to remain closed as a result of the Missouri River flooding.

Iowa 333 was closed in June when a temporary levee was constructed around Hamburg and across the highway to protect the town. Flooding eventually inundated the highway with several feet of water, damaging the roadway and bridge approach.

Fremont County and the city of Hamburg were hard hit as a result of the Missouri River flooding. Flooding took an economic toll on businesses that lost access to the interstate, as well as to the many regional business and recreational travelers the highway brought to the area. Flooding closures significantly impacted local residents by adding miles to their daily commutes.

The Iowa DOT joins the residents of Fremont County in welcoming visitors back to Iowa, and encourages travelers to make a stop in Hamburg (I-29, exit 1) or any one of the other communities easily accessed from Interstate 29.

(DOT Press Release)

8AM Newscast 11-16-2011

News, Podcasts

November 16th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 11-16-2011

News, Podcasts

November 16th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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