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Iowa federal assistance denied, Branstad vows appeal to FEMA

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) -Governor Branstad was notified late yesterday (Thursday) by Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate ,that Iowa’s request for activation of the Federal Individual Assistance Program for Fremont, Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury Counties has been denied.

“Obviously I am disappointed for the citizens in the impacted counties that my request was denied,” said Gov. Branstad. “However, I intend to appeal this issue with FEMA based on the simple facts that the flood is still occurring and as the waters slowly recede, new damages will be revealed which will have further impacts to Iowans already fighting through this unprecedented flooding event.”

The appeal of the decision by FEMA will be coordinated by the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD). HSEMD Administrator Brigadier General Derek Hill indicated that the Division will be working closely with the local emergency management agencies to determine additional damages and impacts caused by the ongoing flood.

“It is incredibly important to the citizens along the Missouri River that we are successful in this appeal,” said Hill. “The aid provided in the Individual Assistance program is a major piece of the puzzle that is needed to help Iowans recover from this flood.”

The FEMA Individual Assistance Program is made available to homeowners, renters and businesses and can include grants and low interest loans to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs.

7AM Newscast 08-05-2011

News, Podcasts

August 5th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Megabus expands to Omaha, adds routes to Chicago

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The low-fare, high-tech intercity bus service Megabus will add two daily trips to Omaha, Neb. and increase its service to Iowa City and Chicago to four round trips daily. Megabus announced its plans Thursday to add the routes beginning Aug. 17th. The service features a limited number of seats on each bus for as little as $1. It began in the Northeast in 2006 and in Des Moines 16 months ago.

Besides its low fares, Megabus’ main attraction is accommodations that include train-style seats with individual power outlets and Wi-Fi service.

Soundings to being on structures in Missouri floodwater

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

State emergency management division officials say the water being released into the Missouri River from the Gavins Point Dam will be gradually reduced beginning on August 17th. The chief of the division’s Readiness Bureau, Joyce Flinn, says sonar soundings are scheduled to begin before the water goes down to try and identify damage. Flinn says they’ll be looking at bases of towers or bridge abutments. The U-S Geological survey is helping with the soundings and it will help them be prepared to start repairs once they can get to the structures.

She says they are working to identify some critical infrastructure and they will work with the U-S-G-S will work with other federal partners and the counties to do the soundings while the water is coming down. Flinn says the water releases will drop from 150-thousand cubic-feet-per-second (CFPS) now to 90-thousand C-F-P-S by the end of August.

(Radio Iowa)

Sales Tax holiday today & tomorrow in IA

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s annual sales tax holiday gives Iowans a chance do some back-to-school shopping without paying state sales tax. The special days this year are today (Friday) and Saturday.

Qualifying items that cost less than $100 will be exempt from the tax. Those items include clothing and footwear for everyday use, including shirts, pants, socks and shoes.

Items that aren’t tax exempt are computers, backpacks, school supplies, jewelry, and special clothing or footwear designed for sports.

More information on taxable and nontaxable items is available at the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website, www.iowa.gov/tax/educate/holiday1.html .

1 injured during Monona County cycle accident

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A North Dakota woman was injured Thursday evening, when the motorcycle she was riding on went out of control and crashed into a ditch. The accident happened at around 6:10-p.m. in Monona County, on Interstate 29, southbound.

The Iowa State Patrol says 62-year old Terri Lundberg,of Westhope, ND, was injured when a 1999 Honda motorcycle driven by her 63-year old husband Lee, went out of control after the rear tire went flat. The cycle and a small, two-wheeled trailer it was pulling, left the road and entered the west ditch, where it overturned.

Lundberg was transported to Burgess Memorial Hospital, in Onawa. There was no report available on her condition.

Iowans urged to drop off soon-to-be illegal drugs, “no questions asked”

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A state ban on the sale or possession of both the herb Salvia (sal-vee-uh) and so-called “bath salts” will soon take effect and Iowans in possession of such substances are being asked to turn them over now to law enforcement. Salvia is smoked, while “bath salts” – sold under names like “Ivory Wave” and “White Lightning” – can be snorted.

Both products, along with so-called synthetic marijuana, have been under scrutiny nationwide as they can cause hallucinations, paranoia and rapid heart rates. Kevin Frampton, director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, says a collection and disposal program will run from next Monday (August 8) through August 26.

“Individuals who are in possession of (Salvia or bath salts) or retailers who are selling the stuff can anonymously drop those items off at (Iowa State Patrol district offices), no questions asked,” Frampton said. Salvia and “bath salts” will become illegal substances on August 28. Frampton says anyone caught selling or possessing the items will be given a “warning” for the first month the new ban is in place.

Criminal penalties will be enforced beginning September 27. The charge for possession of such “designer drugs” will be a serious misdemeanor under Iowa law. A person who manufactures, delivers or intends to deliver the substances would face an aggravated misdemeanor.

A ban on synthetic marijuana, sold under brand names like K2 and Spice, took effect July 29 as a temporary ban by the Iowa Pharmacy Board was set to expire. In June of 2010, an 18-year-old Indianola boy shot and killed himself after smoking K2.

(Radio Iowa)

National Guard soldiers on leave before transitioning completely back to civilian life

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

It has been almost one week since the final Iowa National Guard units returned from Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Kruse helps soldiers make the transition on their return from active duty. Kruse says the approximately 28-hundred soldiers are still technically on duty, but they are not working.

He says all the soldiers earned a minimum of 30 days leave, so all of the soldiers are on leave or vacation. Soldiers who had been deployed prior to the duty in Afghanistan may have earned up to 78 days leave before returning to their civilian jobs. Kruse says soldiers who have been

Kruse says from what he’s seen, every deployment is a little different, and while some soldiers may know a little more about what to expect, the different type of duty could make readjusting different to handle as well. Kruse says soldiers have several sessions where they learn about

Kruse says they try to make the leadership in the units understand what issues to look for in soldiers, but they really target families and friends because they see the soldiers throughout the month. He says unit leaders only see the soldiers a couple of times a month when they come in for drills. He says the success of a soldier’s transition back to civilian life may not be totally

Kruse says sometimes issues don’t come up until 30, 60 or 90 days after they are back because there is a euphoric reunion and honeymoon period when they get back from a deployment before issues start cropping up. Kruse says the help soldiers get now is much different than back in the 90′s after the Gulf War.

He says soldiers deployed to the Gulf, they returned home and had some medical checkups, but there weren’t a lot of resources available to the soldiers, particularly the reserves at that time.

Kruse says since the beginning of the global war on terror, a lot of resources are not available that soldiers and their families can utilize. Kruse says they encourage family and friends to report any serious changes in behavior in soldiers after they return and settle in. He says they also work with the soldiers to get them to understand the importance of seeking out help if they need it.

(Radio Iowa)

Teen may have been texting before fatal crash

News

August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County say a double-fatal crash July 17th just north of Council Bluffs, may have been caused by the driver texting a message and not paying attention to the road. The driver of the vehicle, 19-year old Elizabeth Chadwick of rural Crescent, and her passenger, 18-year old Jessica Weinfurtner, of Council Bluffs, died in the late night crash with another vehicle.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office showed Chadwick, who was driving a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, was southbound near 19591 Old Lincoln Highway, when her car drifted off the road to the right. When Chadwick over-corrected, the car entered the northbound lane and collided with an airport shuttle van. The accident happened at around 11:15-p.m. Both women died at the scene.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said Chadwick had placed a phone call at 11:10 p.m., and then sent a text message at 11:11 p.m. He says “It appears she was texting around the time the accident occurred.” Danker acknowledges they can’t prove that, but there was nothing else to indicate why the car dropped off the shoulder,  on the passenger side of the road.
Authorities found alcohol in the car at the crash scene, but a toxicology report showed alcohol was not a factor. The report also showed trace amounts of marijuana were in the system of both women.

Breach of Peace arrest

News

August 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was arrested Thursday on a charge of Breach Of Peace. Red Oak Police report 18-year old Tyler L. Gene Coddington was arrested Thursday evening at Dutton Park.

His bond was set at $300.