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Gavins Point Dam holding steady, fewer log/projectiles heading downriver

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Gavins Point Dam

Record water flows of about one-point-one million gallons per second are still jetting from Gavins Point Dam into the swollen Missouri River, with no sign of a break ahead for many weeks. Dave Becker, operations manager for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers at Gavins Point, says they are monitoring the structure closely and see no problems.

“We are getting a few less logs and a little less debris which is really a good thing because the first couple of weeks, our crews were pulling in a tremendous amount of wood from the dam,” Becker says. “With our spillway gates open 10 and a half feet, if a tree comes to the spillway, it just goes right through.”

Those logs are a concern as they become projectiles in the swift current that threaten weakened levees downriver. He says heavy equipment is being used in key areas to prevent erosion from the massive water flow.

“Our crews have put a lot of rock on the shorelines below the dam to try and protect our roads and our access points,” Becker says. “I think we might be at a point where we can reduce the amount of work we have to put in to the rip-rap below the dam.”

The gigantic water fall from the spillway has attracted overflow crowds to viewing areas just below the dam and Becker says they are going to close off part of that area. “We are going to rope off part of that fishing wall area,” he says. “It’s just getting to be a splash zone to keep people a safer distance away from that. That’s something we’re going to do this week.”

Becker says they’ve had to devote as many as six Corps of Engineers staff people for directing traffic during busy times on the weekends.

 (Radio Iowa)

Cass/Adair Co. Board of Supervisors meeting previews

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors are set to hold their regular weekly meeting Thursday, in Atlantic. During the session, which begins at 9-a.m., the Board will act on: appointing a member to the County Veteran’s Affairs Commission for a 3-year term; a Resolution calling for the reimbursement of a loan to the local option fund for the Northwest sewer/water extension project, the money for which will come from the sale of General Obligation Bonds; and, an extension of tax credits for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, if the State has sent notification in advance of the meeting.

The Board of Supervisor’s meeting takes place in their Board Room at the Cass County Courthouse.

And, the Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold a Special Session Thursday, beginning at 9-a.m., in Greenfield. At 9:05, the Supervisors will hear from Tom McGovern, Assistant to Cass/Adair County Engineer Charles Marker, with regard to the awarding of a contract to Murphy Heavy Contracting Corporation of Anita, for a Washington Township bridge project.

The Board will also hear a recap and update on the Adair County Jail/Public Safety Project, and handle several administrative matters.

Among the items on their agenda is discussion and/or action on: Fiscal year 2012 wages; election worker rate of pay; Sheriff’s Office FY 2012 salaries; Sheriff’s Reserve hourly rate; FY 2012 Appropriations and Transfer Resolutions; appointments to the Compensation Board and Veterans Affairs Commission, and, an EMS training grant draw down.

9AM Newscast 06-28-2011

News, Podcasts

June 29th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ News Director Ric Hanson

Play

Dirt bike reported stolen

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County are investigating the theft of a dirt bike from Elliott. The theft of a 2007 Yamaha PW-50 from the front porch of a residence at 101 1st Street in Elliott, happened sometime between Tuesday evening and early this (Wednesday) morning.

The cycle is described as being blue and white with a chrome exhaust, and the number 22 on the side and front plates. It’s valued at about $1,500.

If you have information with regard to the theft, call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers.

Grant resident arrested for disorderly conduct

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic say a man from Grant was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, on charges of Disorderly conduct and simple assault. 20-year old Timothy Alan Brown was being held in the Cass County Jail.

Western IA Guardsman’s name to be added to memorial

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sgt. Brent Maher

The name of a western Iowa National Guardsman killed this past Spring in Afghanistan will be unveiled on a memorial granite wall in Council Bluffs on July 4th. Sgt. Brent Maher, of Council Bluffs died April 11th while on a patrol mission in Afghanistan. City and county officials will join Maher’s family for the ceremony, slated to begin at 9-a.m. in the Veterans Plaza at Bayliss Park.

A minister who performed the service for Maher at his funeral on April 22nd, will provide the invocation. Keynote speaker for the unveiling of his name on the wall will be conducted by Major Bill Backus, Commander of the 168th Regiment of the Iowa National Guard.

Maher’s name joins the names of more than 500 service members dating back to the Civil War, who are inscribed on the Veterans Plaza wall on the east side of Bayliss Park, in downtown Council Bluffs.

7AM Newscast 06-29-2011

News, Podcasts

June 29th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ News Director Ric Hanson

Play

Steam engine travels back through Iowa tomorrow (Thursday)

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

No. 844 nose view

Old No. 844 Steam Engine

Officials with the Union-Pacific Railroad have announced their legendary steam locomotive No. 844 will be traveling from Council Bluffs to North Platte, Nebraska, Thursday. On the way, the train will pass through Missouri Valley and Blair, NE. The engine’s final destination is Cheyenne, WY.

The U-P’s Mark Davis says the train is on a tour celebrating local history, railroad heritage, and the Little Rock Express, as part of the U-P’s “Great Excursion Adventure – You Route the Steam Contest.” A Global Positioning System (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the railcars that travels with the train, and that’s been integrated into the Union-Pacific website at www.up.com.

Entering ”Steam” in the search box will enable web users to view a map of the train’s route, along with other information. The data will be updated every 5-minutes.

Report claims House GOP budget would cost Iowa thousands of jobs

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A national nonprofit group is claiming Iowa could lose more than 13,000 jobs as a result of proposed Medicaid cuts in the House Republican budget. Families USA executive director Ron Pollack says his organization’s economic impact study also shows as much as $1.3 billion in state business activity would be placed at risk.

“Cutting Medicaid funds not only hurts seniors, people with disabilities and children – who count on Medicaid as their lifeline, but it also results in fewer jobs and stunts the economic recovery,” Pollack said. The budget proposal passed by the U.S. House calls for cutting federal funding to state

Medicaid programs by five-percent in the first year. Pollack says, in Iowa, that amounts to roughly $111 million. “That would result in more than 2,000 jobs being at risk,” Pollack said. The plan would eventually cut funding to state Medicaid program by 33-percent in 2021.

The Families USA report claims that would put as many as 13,280 jobs “at risk” in Iowa. In addition, Pollack says those job cuts would have a “multiplier effect” on business activity in the state. “Those folks would have less of an ability to purchase consumer goods, whether it’s an television set, a dishwasher or an automobile. In turn, folks who own businesses that sell those goods would have less of an ability to purchase other consumer goods,” Pollack said.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Abortion issue a major stumbling block to adjournment

News

June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A dispute over abortion policy has become a major stumbling block as the Iowa legislature tries to adjourn this week. Iowans who qualify for government-paid Medicaid can obtain a taxpayer-funded abortion at the University of Iowa Hospitals if they’re the victim of rape or incest, if the fetus is profoundly deformed, or if the mother’s health is endangered by the pregnancy. Republicans in the Iowa House want new restrictions that would require rape and incest victims to see an ultrasound and be told about adoption options before an abortion could be performed. Representative Matt Windschitl  is a Republican from Missouri Valley.

“In these traumatic situations it has to be a horrible decision to make, but in the interest of health — not only mentally but physically of a woman in one of these situations — we want to make sure a decision is not made in haste,” Windschitl says, “that the mother understands all options available to her.” Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, called the proposal offensive.  You are talking about a woman who has suffered one of the most cruel crimes that can possibly happen and now you’ re trying to tell her what she needs to know to make her decision as if she is ignorant.”

Windschitl says there are two lives to consider in these cases. “I respect that the mother may not have wanted this to happen,” Windschitl says. “But at the same time, the child didn’t ask to be conceived and we have to respect that. We have to put both lives on the same level because I do believe life is a sacred gift from God.”  Wessel-Kroeschel says rape and incest victims — regardless of their income — should be able to make this decision on their own.

“We can’t continue to revictimize these women,” Wessel-Kroeschel says. Windschitl says giving women information about adoption and a chance to see an ultrasound doesn’t cause “undue harm.”   “Even if it comes through traumatic, unfortunate, horrible circumstances, there is still a life in that womb,” Windschitl says. “And we have to respect both those lives equally, in my opinion.” Wessel-Kroeschell countered…

“I think anyone who believes that a woman makes a decision under any circumstances rashly to terminate a pregnancy is not giving credit to the intelligence and thought process that a woman goes through when she’s in these kinds of situations,” Wessel-Kroeschell says. Democrats have promised to make a counter-proposal on the abortion issue later this morning (Wednesday) at 10:30.

This abortion-related issue is included in a budget bill that outlines state spending for the Departments of Public Health and Human Services. Legislators are trying to strike compromises on a host of spending decisions in order to have a state budget plan in place before the new state fiscal year begins Friday.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)