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Harkin: Tornado-hit towns of Creston & Thurman won’t qualify for FEMA aid

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Damage in southwest Iowa from last weekend’s twin tornadoes is climbing into the many millions of dollars, but the price tag apparently isn’t high enough for two hard-hit communities to qualify for federal aid. Iowa U-S Senator Tom Harkin says it’s an unfortunate fact and the rules are in place for a reason. “We’ve spoken with Homeland Security about this,” Senator Harkin says. “They’ve noted that it’s quite unlikely that Thurman would be eligible for a presidential disaster declaration, given the level of loss and the expected insured rate. The same would be true also, I’ve heard, of Creston.”

In the small town of Thurman, virtually every home had at least some twister damage, while 14 houses were destroyed and 28 more were heavily damaged. In Creston, the hospital and community college were among the larger structures that were hit by the tornado, in addition to a number of homes and other businesses. Governor Terry Branstad has declared Union and Fremont counties as state disaster areas, but Harkin says that’s probably as far as it’ll go.

Harkin says, “What you look at are the uninsured losses and they’re well below the limits that would be required for a presidential declaration at the national level.” It’s not that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is broke, Harkin says. FEMA has the money, he adds, it’s just that Creston and Thurman won’t qualify for it.

“Obviously, budgets are tight,” Harkin says. “We’ll do whatever we can to assist and help but there are pretty set requirements for what is a national disaster and what is a local or state-type of disaster.” Both tornadoes that hit Saturday were classified as E-F-2s, with winds topping out around 125 to 135 miles an hour.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Non-injury accident in Atlantic

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following an accident in Atlantic, Wednesday evening. According to Atlantic Police, a vehicle driven by Patty Hogue, of Atlantic, was traveling north on Olive Street at around 6:35-p.m., when a vehicle driven by Eric Renner, of Atlantic, backed out of a driveway and collided with the Hogue vehicle. The accident happened in the 25-hundred block of Olive. Damage from the mishap amounted to $2,000. There were no citations issued.

8AM Newscast 04-19-2012

News, Podcasts

April 19th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Spray paint vandalism continues in Atlantic

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Arrests made earlier this year in Atlantic haven’t stemmed the tide of spray-paint vandalism being perpetrated on City property and private businesses. City Councilman Dana Halder reported at Wednesday night’s Council meeting, AMU officials are concerned about recent incidents of graffiti having occurred at the water plant. Halder told Mayor Dave Jones it’s not the only location being hit by spray-paint vandals.

He said there are a lot of buildings around town that have been targeted. Halder and Mayor Dave Jones implored citizens to call City Hall if you find incidents of vandalism, and if you see anyone committing the act, to call police.

In January, Police Chief Steve Green reported three juveniles were arrested in connection with a string of spray-paint vandalism incidents in the downtown area, which occurred over a period of several weeks. More than two-dozen buildings sustained damage. The teens were charged with Trespassing, Criminal Mischief in the 2nd degree, and Criminal Gang Participation.

In the Summer of 2010, six people were arrested for vandalism and spray painting incidents at locations which included the downtown City Park, and at downtown businesses. The incidents included a homemade acid bomb which was used at the park shelter and on a monument. At the time, the damage was estimated at $3,000.

7AM Newscast 04-19-2012

News, Podcasts

April 19th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Western IA woman accused of drowning 15-month-old son

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A 25-year-old western Iowa woman has been charged with murdering her 15-month-old son by drowning him. Police say Ashley Cameron, of Onawa, was arrested Wednesday afternoon. Officers had been sent to an Onawa home on Feb. 11 because of a report that a toddler wasn’t breathing.  He later was identified as Markis Dahms, Cameron’s infant son.  An autopsy by the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office determined that the boy had been drowned by someone.  Cameron remains in Monona County Jail, pending $1 million bail. It’s unclear whether she has a lawyer.  Police haven’t released other details about the case.

Corps awards $2M contract for levee repair

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $2 million contract for levee repair work along the Missouri River in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri.  The project includes placing large boulders, known as rip rap, on the river side of new setback levees built near Hamburg, Iowa, and Watson, Mo., following last summer’s historic flooding. The contract also includes installing a filter fabric to help reduce the potential of erosion.  The work should be done by the end of July.  The contract was awarded to Western Contacting Corp. in Sioux City.

New Atlantic treatment plant not ready to come on-line just yet

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic isn’t quite ready to make the switch from the old wastewater treatment plant to its new, $14-million dollar facility, as it was announced two weeks ago. On April 4th, City Administrator Doug Harris told the City Council the new facility would come on-line for testing last Sunday (April 15th), and a switchover to the new plant would be made soon thereafter, once any problems were worked out.  Harris said Mother nature played a role in delaying Sunday’s expected testing process, but a couple of the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant employees were up to the task of making sure additional problems weren’t created.

He says the employees worked diligently when lightening strikes took out some of the controls, on top of having heavy rain which produced a storm surge in the system. In the past, such as surge would have resulted in the facility bypassing the runoff into the East Nishnabotna River, without having been treated first. The employees prevented that from occurring.

Harris said there are some issues with the planned switchover to the new plant, but that “They’re all being handled expeditiously and professionally.” He says the start-up is not expected to occur next Tuesday, April 24th. After it that, it will take at least 10-days altogether before a complete switchover from the old-to-the-new plant is made on May 7th or 8th.

Plans to replace the old wastewater treatment plant began in 2006, after it was determined the current, nearly 70-year old facility could not handle a significant storm water run-off, and, because the D-N-R had required the city to build a million-gallon retention basin, or lagoon. The City opted instead, to build a new, more modern plant.

Iowa early News Headlines, Thu., April 19th 2012

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a measure calling for new restrictions on the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The House backed the measure last night on a 57-37 vote. It would ban public funding of abortions except in cases where the procedure is needed to save the life of the mother.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $2 million contract for levee repair work along the Missouri River in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri. The project includes placing large boulders, known as rip rap, on the river side of new setback levees built near Hamburg, Iowa, and Watson, Missouri following last summer’s historic flooding.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County judge has delayed the trial of a Bettendorf accountant charged in Iowa’s film tax credit case after prosecutors disclosed possible new evidence. Opening statements were expected yesterday in the trial of Chad Witter. He’s charged with fraud, theft and ongoing criminal conduct in an alleged scheme to misuse tax credits aimed in building Iowa’s film industry. The film program was shut down in 2009.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Drake assistant coach Mike Gibson has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of basketball. The 29-year-old Gibson has been an assistant with the Bulldogs for four seasons. But Gibson says his priorities have shifted and he’s decided to pursue a job in the business world.

Iowa House approves bill restricting abortions

News

April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a measure calling for new restrictions on the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The House backed the measure Wednesday night on a 57-37 vote. It would ban public funding of abortions except in cases where the procedure is needed to save the life of the mother. Current law allows taxpayer-funded abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The vote came as the House debated a larger measure paying for human services programs. Critics say the measure is unfair to low-income women but supporters say public money shouldn’t pay for a procedure that many people oppose. The spending measure will go to the Senate, where opposition to the abortion change is expected.