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OPPD pledges to improve Fort Calhoun nuke plant


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Omaha Public Power District says it is already working to improve operations at its Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. OPPD CEO Gary Gates says the utility is taking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s concerns seriously. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that Fort Calhoun will receive more oversight as a result of the regulatory violations found in the past couple years. Both OPPD and the NRC said the concerns at Fort Calhoun don’t represent a threat to public safety. A team of OPPD officials starting looking for ways to improve Fort Calhoun’s operations earlier this year. The utility said some of those changes have already been made, but some measures have been delayed while the plant was shut down this summer because of flooding.

Iowa DOT News – Atlantic office


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Troy Jerman

The Iowa Department of Transportation District 4 Office in Atlantic is pleased to announce the appointment of Troy Jerman to District 4 Engineer.  Troy replaces John Selmer who took a position in the Central office in Ames.

Troy grew up in Anthon, Iowa graduating from Anthon-Oto Community School.  He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.  He began his career with the Iowa Department of Transportation as a COOP student in the Sioux City RCE office in 1989 and then in the office of design in Ames.  Troy spent 3 years at the Cherokee RCE office from 1994-1997.  He then spent 6 years in the office of design in the consultant coordination section as the Field Exam Engineer from 1997-2003.  He then became a Senior Transportation Engineer in the office of Traffic and Safety and spent 7 years in that position from 2003-2010 until he was appointed the Assistant District Engineer and Interim District Engineer in District 5 which he has served for the past year.

Troy will officially begin on September 16th.

Two arrests Saturday, in Atlantic


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green reports two people were arrested Saturday, on unrelated charges. 36-year old Julius Kieki, of Atlantic, was arrested for Driving While Revoked. And, 33-year old Nicholas Pelzer, of Atlantic, was arrested for 1st offense OWI.

Both men were brought to the Cass County Jail and held.

Cass County Courthouse to close for funeral Wednesday


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman has announced the courthouse in Atlantic will be closed for two and one-half hours Wednesday, so that county employees may attend the funeral of Chuck Kinen. Kinen, who was serving his fourth term as a member of the Board of Supervisors, died Saturday, from pancreatic cancer.

Sunderman says all County offices at the Cass County Courthouse will be closed from 11:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M., Wednesday.

NE woman hurt when her car hits bridge in Adams County


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One person was injured during a single-vehicle accident Monday afternoon southwest of Corning. The Adams County Sheriff’s office reports 72-year old Karen Melton, of Omaha, NE., was transported to Mercy Hospital by Adams County Rescue, after the 2006 Buick she was driving eastbound on Highway 34, swerved to the left and hit a railroad bridge railing.

The car bounced off the railing on the opposite side of the bridge and then back to the left and struck the rail again, before coming to rest against the north bridge railing. The accident happened at around 1:25-p.m., Monday.

Officials say the vehicles’ drivers side airbag deployed upon impact.

Child dies in NW IA after being struck by lawn tractor


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

RUTHVEN, Iowa (AP) – A 2 1/2- year-old boy has died after being hit by a riding lawn mower operated by his father on a farm near Ruthven in northwest Iowa. The accident happened Friday afternoon. Rescue crews discovered the child, Kenneth Henningsen, dead at the scene. His father Curtis Henningsen, was operating the mower. No other information was immediately available. The accident remains under investigation.

9AM Newscast 09-06-2011

News, Podcasts

September 6th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Update on closure of Missouri River bridge near Decatur, Neb. (Monona County, IA)


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Sept. 6, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is continuing to closely monitor the Missouri River flooding situation at the Iowa 175 bridge crossing near Decatur, Nebr., and is working behind the scenes so that it is prepared to begin repair work just as soon as conditions permit.

Preliminary inspection work has revealed a deepening of the river channel around the bridge pier by as much as 42 feet, and serious scour and loss of embankment near the bridge abutment on the Iowa side has occurred.

Emergency work to prevent further loss of the embankment and roadway itself was completed earlier. Since then, the stability of the embankment has deteriorated further, preventing additional work from being performed adjacent to the bridge at this time. 

The Missouri River level has been dropping as the releases from the Gavins Point Dam have decreased, but the land adjacent to the roadway remains inundated with flood waters, leaving the road extending out into the widened river channel like a long boat pier. See the latest images of this area.

The next step that must be taken to restore travel on the bridge is to fill the void that exists around the pier so that it is stable and safe enough to support traffic. This will require placement of a large volume of material in the river bottom. Attempting to place material in the river at this point would not be successful because the flood waters are too deep and fast, and would cause the material to simply wash down the river. This work will begin as soon as conditions allow.

Meanwhile, the Iowa DOT is working with the Burt County Bridge Commission and Nebraska Department of Roads to finalize reconstruction plans. A meeting is also being scheduled with several contractors that are experienced with dredging and hydraulic pumping work to evaluate various concepts for making the repairs. Site conditions make this a very unusual and challenging project; and working with the private sector will help determine the feasibility of the reconstruction concepts.

The Iowa DOT recognizes the inconvenience for travelers due to this closure and is doing everything possible to expedite the recovery work by having all emergency contracts in place to begin work when conditions permit. A team of individuals is dedicated to evaluating all options, including nontraditional approaches and innovative ideas, to get traffic moving again in western Iowa as quickly as possible.

For regular updates on the Iowa DOT’s flood recovery progress, visit: http://www.iowadot.gov/floods/index.html

1 injured when bicycle & SUV collided in Shelby County (corrected age of victim)


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan man suffered possible, unknown injuries Saturday afternoon, when the bicycle he was riding was hit by an SUV, south of Panama, in Shelby County. The Shelby County Sheriff’s office says 43-year old Craig Daniel Bieker, of Harlan, was transported by Panama Rescue to Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, before being transferred by helicopter to a hospital in Omaha for further treatment.

Authorities say Bieker was traveling north on Highway 191, when a 1999 Chevy Suburban stopped as it was traveling west on County road F-32, but then failed to yield to the bicycle. The accident happened at around 4:15-p.m., Saturday.

The driver of the SUV was identified as 43-year old Daniel Lee Owens, of Woodbine. Owens was cited for Failure to Yield and Failure to provide proof of insurance. Owens’ vehicle sustained $1,000 damage during the collision, while the bicycle, was destroyed.

NE man seriously injured in Saturday accident near Corley


September 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Shelby County say a Nebraska man suffered incapacitating injuries early Saturday morning, when the pickup he was driving rolled several times into a field west of Corley. 19-year old Joshua Klassen, of Papillion, NE, was traveling north on Highway 59, when he fell asleep at the wheel of the 2000 Ford Ranger pickup he was driving at around 3-a.m.

When the pickup truck crossed the center line of the road, an oncoming semi-truck driver was forced to take to the shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. When Klassen woke up, he took evasive action, but lost control of the pickup, which skidded sideways on Highway 59 before crossing Shelby County Road F-58 and entering a ditch at the northeast corner of the intersection.

As the pickup rolled multiple times, it hit a Stop, a No Passing-, and street- signs before coming to rest on its wheels. Klassen was extricated from the vehicle by Harlan Fire and Rescue, and transported by ambulance to Myrtue Memorial Hospital, before being flown by helicopter to a hospital in Omaha. Officials say he suffered from rib, and possible internal injuries, along with lacerations to his head.

The pickup was totaled in the crash.