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(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local/area News – May 16th, 2013

News, Podcasts

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest area news (podcast) from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

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Man, 2-year-old escape Council Bluffs fire

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man and his 2-year-old daughter have escaped unharmed from a Council Bluffs house fire. The Daily Nonpareil reports  that the fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Michael Large told the newspaper that he smelled smoke and then discovered flames on the outside of the house. He says he grabbed his daughter, ran outside and then across the street to safety.   The fire cause is being investigated.

Severe weather possible this weekend

News, Weather

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines says scattered thunderstorms are possible today over far southern and western Iowa. The focus for thunderstorms will shift to northern Iowa overnight before ending on Friday. Saturday will be mostly sunny and warm ahead of a system that will impact the state Sunday and Monday. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop Sunday afternoon into Monday. Large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes will be possible with this activity. Wednesday set the Iowa tornado free consecutive day streak with 356 straight days.

Expanded collection of DNA evidence soon law in Iowa

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Convicts who’re guilty of many aggravated misdemeanors in Iowa will have to submit a D-N-A sample after July 1st. That’s when the bill Governor Terry Branstad signed into law Wednesday goes into effect. “Justice is a balance and I believe that DNA is a valuable tool that can help us both convict people that have committed dangerous crimes and also exonerate people that have been convicted of crimes they didn’t commit,” Branstad told reporters. Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield who is a retired state trooper, has been trying to pass this law since 2003. “I’ve been opposed by the extreme left and the extreme right and this year we kind of whipped ’em,” Baudler says.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller predicts a “significant number of cases” will be solved with the D-N-A evidence that will be collected. “We can look a little bit to New York. It’s a little different state, but it gives us some idea,” Miller says. “Since 2006 when they went into the misdemeanor field, they solved and had matches for 965 cases — 51 of which were murder cases.”  People convicted of third offense drunk driving and aggravated misdemeanors involving assault, drug crimes and burglary will now have to submit a D-N-A sample to authorities. “The experience has been that for some sort of property crimes — larceny crimes — for some reason there is a significant match to violent crimes,” Miller says.

Felons in Iowa’s prison system have been required to submit their D-N-A for years. Supporters of expanding D-N-A collection to those guilty of aggravated misdemeanors say it may help solve some future crimes. Critics call it a violation of civil liberties, as the D-N-A evidence won’t be erased from the database once a criminal has paid his or her debt to society by serving their time, paying their fines to the court and paying restitution to their victims.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa lawmakers approve justice budget

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa legislators have approved a compromise budget plan for the state justice system.  On Wednesday, lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved $547 million in spending that largely goes to prisons and public safety.

The budget plan is an increase over the spending in the current fiscal year. It is more than the $534 million proposed by the House and less than the $560 million pushed by the Senate.  It includes some of the funding sought by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to regionalize state domestic abuse and sexual assault assistance. Miller wants to shut down some domestic abuse shelters and hire more advocates to assist victims. Miller had wanted $6 million and the plan offers nearly $4 million.

Next, the plan moves to the governor’s office.

Light fixture in classroom falls on students at the Atlantic Middle School

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic Middle School student was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, after a light fixture in a recently renovated classroom broke loose and fell from the ceiling at around 9-a.m., Wednesday.

School officials said two students suffered from scratches, while another had a bump on the head. The trio were treated by the school nurse. One was subsequently transported to the hospital for additional examination and treatment. The classroom was evacuated while the general contractor examined the remaining light fixtures to find out how the incident occurred.  

Teen arrested for OWI in Montgomery County

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop late Wednesday night in Montgomery County has resulted in the arrest of a minor female on alcohol charges. Sheriff’s Officials say 17-year old Cheryl Ann Hallcock, of Elliott, was arrested at around 11:10-p.m. on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. The teen was processed at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center before being released to the custody of her mother.

ISU engineers design taller wind turbine towers

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Engineers at Iowa State University are working on a way to make wind turbine towers taller by building them from concrete instead of the steel currently used. Increasing tower height to about 328 feet from the current 260 feet would mean steadier less turbulent wind conditions and longer turbine blades. ISU Professor Sri Sritharan says those changes could increase energy production by 15 percent.

He says the work he’s done with engineering graduate student Grant Schmitz and other engineers at Iowa State shows towers made of precast concrete panels and columns withstand necessary stresses. He says the concrete towers would last longer than steel towers and would be easier to transport. A $109,000 Grow Iowa Values Fund grant from the state helped fund the research which is ongoing.

Elderly couple injured in tractor -vs- car accident in Cass Co.

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured during a car-versus-tractor collision Wednesday night, north of Atlantic. According to dispatch reports, a tractor and a Honda Accord collided about a mile south of Boston Road on Highway 173 (590th St.), at around 9:05-p.m.  An elderly male and female were reportedly suffering from neck pain and other, possible/unknown injuries. Both were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital with what were considered to be non-life threatening injuries. The woman was later flown to an Omaha hospital for additional treatment.

Officials indicated the accident happened as the car hit the tractor from behind as both were traveling south and the tractor, which was pulling a seed carrier, was attempting to pull into a residential driveway. The driver of the tractor was not injured.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 16th 2013

News

May 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $475 million after no tickets matched the winning numbers in the latest drawing. A message early Thursday on Powerball’s website says there were no jackpot winners for Wednesday night’s drawing. The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night: 2, 11, 26, 34, 41 and a Powerball of 32. The next drawing will be held Saturday.

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Officials at Tyson Pet Products say they hope to decide soon whether to expand operations in Independence and add more than 100 full-time jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board awarded tax incentives about a month ago for the proposed project, and the city of Independence gave its official backing of the plan on Monday night.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa drivers will be able to renew their driver’s licenses online under a bill signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad yesterday. It allows drivers between 18 and 72 to renew their driver’s licenses through the state Department of Transportation’s website without passing a vision test. The bill also extends the time licenses are valid from five years to eight years.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has approved a $41 million compromise economic development budget. The House and Senate both easily approved the plan yesterday. The budget next goes to the governor.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa legislators have approved a compromise budget plan for the state justice system. Yesterday lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved $547 million in spending that largely goes to prisons and public safety. The budget plan is an increase over the spending in the current fiscal year. It is more than the $534 million proposed by the House and less than the $560 million pushed by the Senate.