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Westbound I-80/29 entrance ramp to Iowa 192 in Council Bluffs to close overnight Sept. 27

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs Construction Office said today (Friday), the entrance ramp from Iowa 192 to westbound Interstate 80/29 will be closed for construction work overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, September 27th and 28th, weather permitting.  The closure is expected to be in place from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Coca-Cola Days in Atlantic Today and Tomorrow

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic is celebrating “125 years of Fun” this weekend, as part of the annual Coca-Cola Days festivities. The community, which is the self-proclaimed “Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa,” will play host to the second largest mini-convention of Coca-Cola collectors in the U-S, second only to Atlanta, Georgia, the home of the popular soft drink.

Meghan Roberts, Executive Director of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, says vendors and collectors alike started rolling into the community earlier this week. Roberts says collectors of Coke memorabilia are well known for their expertise about the product and are excited to share their knowledge with others who may be just getting into the hobby.

The Coca-Cola Days festivities begin today (Friday), with a Tailgate Party at the historic Rock Island Depot, from 5:30-to 7:30-p.m., and a “sneak peek” at the Coke collectibles in the Herring Building at 2nd and Poplar Streets. In addition, the Coca-Cola Center and Museum will be open at its new location at 207 Chestnut Street.

On Saturday, there’s a “Show, Swap and Sell” event from 9-a.m. until 2-p.m. at the Herring Building, along with a Collectors Showcase. The Annual “Coca-Cola Days” parade begins at 4-p.m., and is open to all individuals and groups, but only the children’s entries will be judged and awarded prizes. Each float must have a tie to the Coca-Cola theme.

Long and short-sleeved tee-shirts are available for purchase to commemorate the event, and, there’s a raffle for a collectible Coca-Cola machine. The event runs today and tomorrow. For more information, call 712-243-3017, or log-on to www.atlanticiowa.com.

Plans to erect wind turbines in Guthrie County unchanged, despite changes in ownership

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The players may have changed, but the game plan has not. That’s the word out of Guthrie County, with regard to the “Eclipse” Wind Energy Project. The Guthrie Center Times reports a transfer of deed last August between Clipper Windpower out of Ventura, California, and Mid-American Energy, means Mid-American has purchased the rights to the project, which calls for the construction of 60 wind turbines in southwestern Guthrie County.

Plans for the $206.5-million “Eclipse” Project began in 2006, but Clipper Windpower experienced financial setbacks, and, according to Guthrie County Assessor Rusty Pearson, the company had problems securing affordable transmission lines. The project experienced delays in getting underway, to the point where construction, which was to have begun in early 2010, was expected to start late this year.

Officials with Mid-American Energy told Pearson they intend to move ahead with the project, now that they assumed responsibility for it, and look to have construction bids awarded by late this Fall. The company has an incentive to finish the project sooner, rather than later: if it’s not done by the end of 2012, they stand to lose a large government grant.

Iowa currently has more than 2,500 wind turbines creating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity. Projects that are underway are expected to boost that energy output to 5,000 megawatts by the end of 2012. In December 2010, MidAmerican Energy announced a 593.4-megawatt expansion. That includes 193, 2.3-megawatt turbines, which are currently being erected in east- and southeastern- Cass, northeastern Adams, and southwest Adair counties as part of the “Rolling Hills Wind Project,” which is expected to be finished by the end of the year. Other turbines in the company’s expansion project are being built in Marshall and Calhoun Counties. When complete, approximately 26 percent of MidAmerican Energy’s total generation capacity will come from wind.

Assault and drug arrests in Audubon County

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Audubon County report one person was arrested on drug charges early this (Friday) morning. 31-year old Spencer Reigh Lile, of Kimballton, was taken into custody at around 1-a.m., following a traffic stop in Hamlin. Lile was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $1,000 bond.

And, 31-year old Paul Timothy Wonser, of Kimballton, was arrested Thursday night on a charge of domestic abuse assault. His arrest followed an investigation into an incident which allegedly occurred at his residence in Kimballton. Wonser was being held in the Audubon County Jail.

Carroll County man sentenced to 5-years in jail on Meth charge

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A judge in Guthrie County sentenced a Carroll County man to five-years in prison Monday, for his role in a methamphetamine manufacturing operation. According to the Guthrie Center Times, this past July, a jury found 40-year old Tony Richard Meyers, of Coon Rapids, guilty on a charge of Possession of lithium with the intent to use it in the manufacture of meth, but he was found not guilty on a related charge of conspiracy to manufacture meth. Judge Randy Hefner noted in his decision, that this will be Meyers’ second prison sentence for a drug-related crime.

In a separate jury trial held this past Spring, co-defendant, 21-year old Tylor Meyers, also of Coon Rapids, was found guilty on both possession and conspiracy charges. He received a suspended sentence and ordered to live in a residential correctional facility as part of the terms of his probation.

The charges were the result of an incident which occurred in January, 2010, where a man hiking on shoe shoes at the Whiterock Conservancy near Coon Rapids, stumbled across the Meyers’, who appeared to be in the process of manufacturing meth.

8AM Newscast 09-23-2011

News, Podcasts

September 23rd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Minor accident reported near Atlantic High School

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Rescue personnel were called to the scene of a minor personal injury accident this morning, at the entrance to the Atlantic High School. According to dispatch reports, a passenger in a vehicle suffered a bump to their head when they hit the windshield.

The accident happened at around 7:45-a.m. No other details are currently available.

7AM Newscast 09-23-2011

News, Podcasts

September 23rd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

More information released on crash that killed state trooper

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety Thursday afternoon, released more information about Tuesday’s car crash that killed a State Trooper near Indianola. The information includes two 911 calls placed shortly after the crash at 4:40 p.m. One caller stated, “I just saw a cop go in the ditch and he went in it pretty fast.” Trooper Mark Toney died in the crash as his squad car rolled into a field and burst into flames. The 43-year-old Toney had just started his shift at 4:00 p.m. Witnesses said the car’s emergency lights were flashing when it left the highway, but investigators say there was no communication between State Radio and Trooper Toney indicating his actions just prior to or during the crash. The in-car camera retrieved from Toney’s vehicle did not contain audio or video pertaining to the crash. An autopsy was conducted Wednesday but results are still pending. A press release states the official cause of the crash is still undetermined. It marks the first death of an Iowa State Trooper in the line of duty in 21 years. Toney’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Ankeny.

Some Iowa Guard Soldiers face tough time finding a job after deployment

News

September 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The three thousand Iowa National Guard soldiers who recently returned from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t facing a daily life-or-death mission any more– but many are facing the tough task of trying to find work as civilians when jobs are not plentiful. Becky Coady works with the Department of Defense agency know as the “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.” She says finding a job was an issue for many soldiers before they left for active duty.”There were a significant number 730 of them stated that they were not employed prior to going on the deployment due to the recession,” Coady says.

One Iowa guard member — 22-year-old Joe Carr of Pleasant Hill — said he had only a temporary job when he was called up. “And that was pretty much all I could get, and I had that until I deployed,” Carr said. Temporary positions aren’t covered under the federal law protecting soldiers’ jobs while they are on active duty, so the army private is looking for work. He repaired drone aircraft in Iraq. He says he got back to Iowa on July 15th and says he has not had very much luck in finding a job. “At first I was trying not to be picky, but I feel my skills earn me a little bit, not a minimum wage job,” Carr says, “But its really hard in this economy to find anything.”

Sergeant Clay Chickering deployed with a Denison Iowa Guard unit, and was in the same boat. “I knew before I went on the deployment that when I came back I was going to be unemployed,” Chikering says. His manufacturing job got moved out of state while he was overseas. In Iraq he ran raids on houses suspected of harboring the Taliban. That kind of background makes some civilian jobs less appealing. “I don’t want to be sitting behind a desk doing a telemarketing job,” Chickering says, “It is kind of nerve-racking knowing that there’s a lot of people that are looking for work. Now that I’m off active duty I’m going to go ahead and file for unemployment.”

Iowa Workforce Development is trying to help the soldiers by taking its job search program directly to armories around the state.

(Radio Iowa)