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Pickup hits storage building in Villisca, after brakes fail

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after a pickup struck a storage/utility building Sunday, in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say a 1994 Chevy pickup owned and operated by Daniel Larsen, of Villisca, was backing out of the driveway from his residence, when the brakes failed. The truck hit storage-type building, causing an estimated $500 damage. The owner of the structure had not yet been identified, because they weren’t home at the time the accident occurred, and during the subsequent investigation. The accident happened in the alley in the 100 block of East 5th Street, in Villisca. No citations were issued.

Public hearing scheduled over proposed utility increases in Atlantic

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing is set to take place December 3rd in Atlantic, with regard to proposed water and electric rate increases. Officials with Atlantic Municipal Utilities (AMU) are proposing a 7.5-percent increase in electricity rate, and a 10-percent water rate increase. If approved, the rates would add on-average, about seven-dollars per month to AMU residential customers’ bills.

The average monthly increase for residential electric customers in Atlantic would amount to about $4.50, while AMU’s rural electric customers would see a $7.50 increase. Residential water bills would increase by an average of $2.10 per month, under the proposed rate increases. The utilities’ commercial customers would see their electric bills increase $17.25 per month, while the water bill would go up by about $7.20 per month, under the proposal. The proposed rates would go into effect with all customer billings dated Feb. 1st, 2013.

AMU says the proposed increases in electric rates are the result of increased costs the utility pays for wholesale power, 75-percent of which is supplied by AMU’s ownership in a coal-fired power plant in Council Bluffs. 20-percent of their power is Hydro-generate, and derived from the Western Area Power Administration. 5-percent is purchased from a Wholesale energy provider. Costs to run coal-fired power plants have exceeded $5-million dollars, according to AMU, due to Environmental compliance regulations. Additional regulations are expected to result in another $1-million in capital costs for the coal-powered industry over the next three-years. Another factor contributing to the increased cost of wholesale electricity, is increases in costs to transport coal.

AMU says the proposed water rate increases are the result of inadequate cash flow needed to meet aging infrastructure and debt obligation requirements. A public meeting on the proposed changes will take place 5:30-p.m. Monday, Dec. 3rd, in the Atlantic Municipal Utility’s Business Office.

Group: Greyhounds suffered injuries at Council Bluffs and Dubuque tracks

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A national greyhound protection organization says greyhounds sustained 175 injuries while racing at Iowa’s two racetracks between January 2011 and July 2012, and 24 of the dogs had to be euthanized. The Des Moines Register reports that broken legs were the most common reported injury over the 19-month period at the tracks in Council Bluffs and Dubuque. Other common injuries were sprains, tears and other broken bones. The group says several dogs suffered more severe injuries, including a fractured skull and a broken neck.

The report was compiled from records gathered by Grey2K USA, based in Somerville, Mass. The research found that the Council Bluffs track, which has races year-round, had 106 dog injuries, while the Dubuque track, which offers races between April and October, had 69 injuries.

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Nov. 26th 2012

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Hal Trosky Junior, who briefly played in the major leagues and was the son of the late Cleveland Indians great Hal Trosky Senior, has died. He was 76. Mike Trosky, the younger Trosky’s son, says his father died Friday at a hospice house in Hiawatha after being diagnosed with lung cancer in August.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 42-year-old Nebraska man has died after his pickup crashed into a light pole and rolled in western Iowa. Christopher Thacker of Bellevue, Nebraska crashed early Saturday at the intersection of Interstates 29 and 80 in Council Bluffs. Police says Thacker was thrown from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Thacker was the only person in the truck.

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — An historic Fort Madison hotel building has burned to the ground, and the flames claimed two businesses housed in the building. Davenport television station KWQC reports that the fire broke out around 4 a.m. Saturday, and flames quickly engulfed the old Metropolitan Hotel, which housed a book store and a computer repair company.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A national greyhound protection organization says greyhounds sustained 175 injuries while racing at Iowa’s two racetracks between January 2011 and July 2012, and 24 of the dogs had to be euthanized. The Des Moines Register reports that broken legs were the most common reported injury over the 19-month period at the tracks in Council Bluffs and Dubuque.

Farmland sales brisk because of tax law changes

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DENVER, Iowa (AP) — Farmland sales are happening at a brisk pace this fall partly because farmers are worried about the tax increases that may take effect January 1st if Congress can’t address the fiscal cliff. The worries about possible increases in capital gains and estate taxes are adding to the normally busy time for farmland sales after harvest in Iowa and Nebraska. Des Moines lawyer Bill Hannigan of the Davis Brown firm tells the Des Moines Register that anyone thinking of selling farmland should do so before the end of 2012.

Jim Hain, vice president of agricultural sales for Omaha-based Lund Company says his firm is the busiest it has been with farmland sales. He says the possible tax law changes and the current high prices have prompted more people to sell.

Funeral Home releases the name of Creston teen killed in crash Friday morning

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While authorities have declined to release the name of the teen killed in an Adams County crash Friday morning, a local funeral home has identified the victim. The Powers Funeral Home website says 16-year old Dalton Hribal, of Creston,died from injuries he suffered in the crash near Prescott, at around 8-a.m. Friday.

Dalton Hribal (Powers Funeral Home photo)

Hribal was a passenger in a Honda mini-van driven by an as-yet still unidentified 17-year old. The driver was transported to the hospital in Corning. The teens were not wearing their seat belts when the van crested a hill on a gravel road, went out of control and rolled, ejected Hribal, who died at the scene.

The funeral home says Dalton is the son of Christy Ann (Lowe) Hribal and Shane Joseph Hribal. He was educated in Creston School system, where he was active in wrestling and football. His sister MyKenna is in the 7th grade at the Creston Middle School. Dalton also worked at Fareway grocery store in Creston. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at Creston High School Gymnasium in Creston.

(Additional funeral information can be found at: www.powersfh.com)

Cataracts. They’re not just for your grandparents anymore…

News

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A pair of studies done this year and in 2010 found the number of Iowans diagnosed with cataracts rose by five-percent in just those two years. Ophthalmologist Dr. Bonnie An Henderson says she doesn’t think there’s been any sort of outbreak that’s causing the lenses in Iowans’ eyes to cloud over. “People are living longer, they’re healthier, they’re more active,” Dr. Henderson says. “They are noticing that they’re having more symptoms earlier on and they may be having eye exams earlier and therefore, they’re being diagnosed with cataracts. I think the increase in diagnosis is one of the main causes why you’re seeing a higher statistic.”

While many perceive cataracts as being a disease that only afflicts the elderly, it can often appear in people as young as their 40s. Eating carrots or wearing sunglasses won’t have any impact either as there’s no way to prevent it, Henderson says, it’s just a part of aging.  “People worry that if they’re looking at their computer, which, everyone now stares at their computer all day, they’re worried that looking at their computer increases the risk of developing a cataract and that’s just not true,” Henderson says. “Staring at the computer may be hard on your eyes for eye strain or dry eyes or headaches, but it does not cause cataract formation.”

After significant advances over the years, the surgery to have a cloudy, cataract-laden lens removed is now about a ten-minute procedure. Plus, Henderson says, the new lens that’s implanted can be modified to correct a patient’s other vision problems. “That lens actually decreases a patient’s dependence on glasses both for distance and for reading and there’s another lens for people who have astigmatism,” Henderson says. “It’s now become more of a refractive procedure as well as a medical procedure and it really helps the overall functioning and improves the quality of life.”

The survey found 15-percent of Iowans questioned in 2010 had cataracts while the figure rose to 20-percent in 2012. Henderson says the larger study found more than half of all Americans would develop cataracts by the time they’re 80, though she believes the figure is much higher and many people just don’t have the condition diagnosed.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa topsoil impacts summertime temperatures

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University scientist says if this coming spring is dry, record high temperatures are likely for the summer of 2013. Christopher Anderson is the assistant director of Iowa State University’s climate science program.”Our recent history tells us what can be predicted with certainty,” Anderson says. “Iowa’s wet years will become wetter and dry years will become drier (and) hotter.” Anderson says Iowa’s “deep, organic soils” help “modulate” the temperature in the summer — but only if the ground is moist.  “In Iowa, wet springs lead to cool summers. It seems counter intuitive, but the reason is because of our great soils. Recent examples are 2008, 2010 and 2011,” Anderson says.

“In 2012, rainfall was much below normal and we didn’t have floods, but instead July temperatures ranked third highest in the 140-year record.” According to Anderson, the summertime “cooling mechanism” that Iowa’s soil provides when it’s moist may be altered, however, by more frequent springtime floods that sweep away the topsoil. “The clearest trend that we’re seeing in Iowa’s climate records is in the spring rainfall,” Anderson says. “Our spring rainfall is much higher than it has been in the 140-year record and so what happens when there’s more spring rainfall is there’s potential and there is actual soil loss and if we lose our soil, we lose this ability to keep ourselves cool in the summer.”

There are about 450 different types of soil in Iowa. The average depth of topsoil in Iowa is between six and eight inches.

(Radio Iowa)

Post-holiday meetings scheduled in the area

News

November 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A handful of public meetings are scheduled to take place Monday, as we get back to business following the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. In Atlantic, the Cass County Board of Health will gather in CCMH Conference Room #3 for a regularly scheduled session that begins at 12:15-p.m. Later in the evening, the Exira and Elk Horn-Kimballton Boards of Education will hold a joint session in Exira, to discuss and possibly act on matters pertaining to a reorganization of the two districts. The session begins at 7-p.m.  The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education will also meet Monday evening. The 7:30-p.m. work session at the High School Media Center will cover IASB Board and Administrator Training, along with an informal evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein. And, the Audubon City Council is slated to meet at 7-p.m.

During the Cass County Board of Health’s meeting, the Board will receive an Environmental Health Report and review the Public Health Budget. They’ll also discuss Board Member terms, which expire December 31st. The Audubon City Council will hold a public hearing with regard to a Housing Set Aside Grant application, during their session. They’ll also hold discussion pertaining to a Wash Bay, and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds, for the Rec Center.

No Powerball winner; jackpot goes to record $425M

News

November 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery officials say nobody has won the Powerball jackpot and the top prize will now increase to about $425 million for the next drawing, the largest jackpot ever for the game. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said sales were strong over the holiday week for Saturday’s drawing, which was estimated at $325 million before the numbers were picked. That was the fourth-largest jackpot in the game’s history.

Neubauer says the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing could go even higher than the estimated $425 million because sales pick up in the days before record drawings. The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by ConAgra Foods Workers in Lincoln, Neb.

The Powerball numbers for Saturday were 22-32-37-44-50, and the Powerball was 34.