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Council Bluffs hires firm to assess flood damage

News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Council Bluffs has hired an engineering consulting firm to help assess damage from a summer of flooding along the Missouri River and recommend repairs. The City Council hired the company on Monday. The cost will depend on the amount of damage discovered, but the city won’t spend more than $500,000 unless the council agrees to go higher.

The city will provide an inventory of storm and sanitary sewers, streets and roads and zoning maps.

Public Works Director Greg Reeder says information developed by the company firm will be sent to the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in hopes of obtaining their assistance. Reeder says the corps is interested in the assessment of the city’s levees, while FEMA is interested in everything else.

Company blames Missouri flooding for pipeline leak

News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A company spokesman is blaming Missouri River flooding for a pipeline break that happened earlier this month between Onawa, Iowa, and Decatur,  Nebraska. The break happened Aug. 13 and caused an unknown amount of natural gasoline to pour into the river. Natural gasoline is an unrefined, clear liquid that gets blended with refined gasoline. The underground pipe is operated by Houston-based Enterprise Products, which initially wasn’t sure what caused the break.

Company spokesman Rick Rainey said Wednesday it’s clear that flooding caused erosion, leading to the break. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the break  didn’t cause environmental problems because the fuel was dispersed in the enormous water flow. It’s not clear how much fuel spilled, but the broken section of pipe can hold up to 140,000 gallons.

9AM Newscast 08-24-2011

News, Podcasts

August 24th, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

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FSA Emergency Loan Applications available

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Farm operators in southwest Iowa who have sustained major forage and/or crop production, and/or physical losses due to flooding, may be eligible for an emergency loan. Iowa USDA Executive Director John Whitaker says applications for assistance should be completed at the Cass/Pottawattamie County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, in Atlantic.

Whitaker says the FSA may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers, which will enable them to return to their normal operations, if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster. Applicants must be unable to obtain credit from other, usual sources, in order to qualify for FSA Farm Loan Program assistance. Most of the disaster loans can be for up to seven-years, however, if the loan is secured only on crops, it must be repaid when the next year’s crop income is received.

The deadline for final applications is April 23rd, 2012. For more information, call the Cass/Pott County FSA office, at 712-243-1377.

Harlan woman inducted into Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Barbara Determan, President, 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees; Patti Blum; Chuck Morris, Director, 4-H Youth Development

The Shelby County Extension Service reports a Harlan woman was recently inducted into the 2011 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. Patti Blum received the honor during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, August 21st.

Eighty-eight Iowa counties participated this year and selected 121 inductees for their outstanding service and dedication to 4-H. Inductees or their surviving family members were presented a certificate by the Iowa 4-H Foundation as they were introduced on stage.

Patti has been involved in 4-H for over 30 years.  She served Shelby County as the 4-H Program Assistant for 13 years, working with countless leaders, volunteers and 4-H members during this time to keep the 4-H program strong. She supports 4-H at the state level as well, and was superintendent of the Issues class at the Iowa State Fair for many years. Blum has also served on the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees and headed up the fundraising committee on the Board. Officials say her love of working with youth really comes through in judging, and she continues to be a 4-H judge for communications and static exhibits at many county and state fairs to help youth realize their potential with her positive guidance.

Counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program. The inductees have demonstrated dedication, encouragement, commitment and guidance to Iowa’s 4-H’ers through the years.

14-year old in Lenox charged with sexual abuse

News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Lenox report a 14-year old male has been charged with 2nd degree sexual abuse, following an investigation into an incident which allegedly occurred on or about August 11th. Officials say they received a call on that date with regard to the alleged sexual abuse of a nine-year old boy. The reporting party intervened in the alleged sex act.

Following an investigation and consultation with juvenile authorities, Lenox Police charged the 14-year old, and his case has been referred to juvenile court. The name of the suspect is not being released, due to his age.

No charges to be filed in Bluffs death

News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said today (Wednesday), no charges will be filed in connection with an April 13, 2011 shooting death in Council Bluffs. On Tuesday, a Pott County Grand Jury considered charges against 43-year old Robert Keith Hashberger, with regard to the shooting death of 41-year old John Anthony Rodarte.

The jury returned a “No Bill,” which means they have declined to file charges. The No Bill was filed with the Clerk of Court this (Wednesday) morning, and concludes the Pott County Attorney’s Office involvement in the case.

Hasberger shot Rodarte once in the chest using a 9-millimeter handgun at around 7:35-p.m., following a verbal altercation at the Do Rock Inn, in Council Bluffs. Hashberger, who claimed he was acting in self-defense, was initially charged with 1st degree murder. An investigation and deposition of witnesses however, resulted in the Pott County Attorney’s Office dismissing the charge, which was then taken under consideration by the Grand Jury.

Because the Grand Jury proceedings are secret, Wilber said he could not comment further on the evidence they considered, Tuesday.

7AM Newscast 08-24-2011

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August 24th, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

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Heat Burst hits SW IA Tuesday evening

News, Weather

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

If you noticed it became unusually, and suddenly hot Tuesday evening here in Atlantic, and in the surrounding area, you weren’t imagining things. The National Weather Service in Des Moines says a rare phenomenon known as a “Heat Burst” affected portions of southwest Iowa. A Heat Burst is characterized by a sudden rise in temperature, a drop in humidity, and strong winds that can approach or exceed severe levels. They are associated with high-based decaying thunderstorms with a substantial dry layer between the base of the storm.

As rain from the thunderstorm falls into the underlying dry air, it cools the air immediately around it, which becomes denser than the surrounding air, and begins to sink. As this air sinks, it dries and compresses, resulting in the hot and dry readings recorded with heat bursts.

Here in Atlantic, at the KJAN studios…the official National Weather Service reporting station…our temperatures from 1-to 6-pm were generally in the mid-80’s. The high here at the station reached 97-degrees.

According to the Automated Weather Observation System located at the airport, just before 7-p.m., the winds began to increase from 15- to 30-miles per hour. By 7:15, were gusting upwards of 40-miles per hour, and the temperature jumped from 88-degrees at 6:55-p.m., to 99-degrees at 7:15. The temp maxed out at 102-degrees, 10-minutes later, and by 7:35 had dropped to 91. The air cooled to the mid 80’s by 8-p.m.

The phenomenon also brought some damaging winds to part of the listening area. Officials with the Weather Service say a Heat Burst-related wind event caused a tree to fall on a power line in Bridgewater, at around 6:50-p.m. At 7:05, a tree was observed down on a power line one-mile south of Brayton. Other tree limbs also fell, as winds of up to 40-miles per hour occurred. The temperature in that area also spiked, from 76- to 96-degrees in just a few minutes. There was also a sharp drop in the humidity. And, a 60-mile per hour gust of wind was recorded in Fontanelle at 7:44-p.m., by an automated system.

Corps: flooding risks along Missouri River remain high as water levels drop

News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

While water levels on the flooded Missouri River are dropping, officials want safety awareness to remain high. This week’s rain prompted flash-flooding in southwest Iowa which led to building collapses, evacuations and daring rescues of trapped residents in the Council Bluffs area. Brigadier General John McMahon, of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers, says the public can’t let down its guard.

“I would caution everybody that we have to continue to be very vigilant in so far as the risks associated with this flooding,” General McMahon says. “The water is still high, it’s moving fast and there’s erosion and other effects. We’ve got to be vigilant in terms of how the levees, both the temporary and the permanent ones, are performing. We’re not out of the woods yet.” Releases of water from upriver reservoirs, like Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota, are being cut back daily. That process started last Friday and will continue through month’s end. Still, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (DO-guard) warns that significant danger lurks as the release levels drop. He says the next week or so will be crucial.

“If there is going to be a catastrophic failure of any levee, it probably could occur during that time,” Governor Daugaard says. “We want to urge our citizens not to become complacent, which is easy to do, because they see the end in sight, the light at the end of the tunnel.” Daugaard says residents in all states along the Missouri River need to remain at the ready for potential risks.

“We really have to be careful as the subjacent weight of the water draws away, the super-saturated soils that make up those levees could slough,” he says. “It’s very important that we have vigilance on those levees during this next ten-day period and not allow our citizens to become complacent.” Iowa’s Governor Branstad met in Omaha last week with his counterparts from a half-dozen other Missouri River states to discuss avenues to prevent a repeat of the summer-long flooding. While the water has been high more than two months already, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says it could be October before the flooded waterway returns to normal.

“When you have a system this charged, it’s important for the public to know they always need to be careful,” Governor Nixon says. “We’ve lost a National Guardsman coming back from duty, we’ve lost a trooper that we’re still searching for. It’s a very dangerous river. Everybody out there should be well aware of the danger and the power of this much water moving this quickly. No, this is not over, not until it gets back inside its banks and it’s a long way from getting there.”

Releases from Gavins Point topped out around 160-thousand cubic feet per second (CFS) — or around one-point-one million gallons per second. By month’s end, the releases should be down to 90-thousand C-F-S. Those reductions will halt on September 1st, allowing the Corps to inspect the system’s levees and dams.

(Radio Iowa)