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Bluffs woman won’t face jail time for encouraging a fight & hitting a kid


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A judge in Pottawattamie County has given a suspended sentence to a woman who encouraged her son to fight another boy, and then hit the other child when her son was being hit. The incident appeared in a video on the internet. The Daily NonPareil says 31-year old Alisha Hazen, of Council Bluffs was arrested in December, on suspicion of felony child endangerment, serious assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for her alleged involvement in a fight that took place at Kreft Elementary School in November. She plead guilty on Tuesday, to simple assault and aggravated misdemeanor child endangerment.

The paper says Fourth District Chief Judge Jeffrey Larson accepted Hazen’s plea agreement in the case, but denied her request for a deferred judgment in the matter. A deferred judgment would have wiped the convictions off Hazen’s record had she successfully completed probation. Larson ordered Hazen to serve a two-year supervised probation and suspended the possible 25-month prison sentence.

According to court records, Hazen followed her 13-year old son from their residence to the school on Nov. 19th, and encouraged the boy to fight with a 12-year old boy. Witnesses said Hazen yelled out instructions to her son to pull the other boys’  hair and to punch him. Witnesses said Hazen didn’t attempt to break up the fight until her son was on the ground being struck in the face and the head. At that point, Hazen pulled the younger child off her son and punched the 12-year-old in the face.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 15th 2013


May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have reached a compromise on the first budget of the legislative session. A joint committee of lawmakers from both parties and chambers settled yesterday on spending $41 million for economic development. The budget is $31 million under what Republican Governor Terry Branstad proposed.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the murder trial of a Mason City man accused of strangling a woman to death. A panel of 32 potential jurors was called in Cerro Gordo County District Court from a pool of more than 50 people. Aaron Harris is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2012 death of Sarah Winters.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — City crews were trying to quickly repair a brick sewer line in Ottumwa that collapsed beneath railroad tracks. The 4-foot brick sewer line collapsed yesterday morning. It forcing the BNSF railroad to close one track and divert trains onto another one. Public Works Superintendent Steve Edgington says the sewer line dates to the late 1880s.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids says it is closely monitoring Cedar River nitrate levels because they have reached one of the highest concentrations ever recorded. Untreated river water is testing at 18.5 milligrams per liter. Drinking water tests at 7.6. City officials must inform residents if it rises above the EPA limit of 10 milligrams.

Vintage train rides being offered in Atlantic and Anita in June


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Anita and Atlantic Volunteer Fire Departments have announced they are once again hosting a very popular family friendly event this summer. Round trip rides on a vintage train, pulled by a steam locomotive, will be available between the two cities on Saturday, June 8th. Three separate round trip tides will originate in each city. The train will depart from Atlantic at 9-am, noon, and 3- pm. The train will depart from Anita at 10:25-am, 1:25-pm and 4:25-pm. Passengers will board from the specific city, at the specific times, for each ride and will return to the point of their original departure.

Atlantic Chief McNees says “Iowa Interstate Railroad asked us if we were interested in partnering with them again this year and we jumped at the chance. The first time we tried this was three years ago and it was a huge success.” Anita Chief Duane Murphy echoed those sentiments. “We had such a tremendous response that we had to add a third ride to the day to accommodate the demand” according to Murphy. The chiefs expect strong sales again and urge everyone to get their tickets early to avoid being shut out as only 400 tickets per city, per ride are available. Both departments are working jointly on this project.

The event gives area residents a chance to relive past history when the passenger trains rolled through the communities. Many others have never had the opportunity in their lives to ride a passenger train, much less a vintage train. Murphy says, “The fact that a steam locomotive is pulling the train is also a big attraction, as the sight and sounds make a big impact on kids and adults alike.”

Iowa Interstate Railroad owns the steam locomotive and have used it in recent years to provide these rides where fire departments are interested in hosting the event. McNees states the tickets are available from any Atlantic or Anita firefighter for their city’s respective rides. Tickets may also be obtained at the Atlantic Fire Station and orders may also be placed by contacting them at 243-2146 for purchase for those traveling from a long distance.

In Anita, tickets may be purchased at Anita Municipal Utilities and at Anita Supply. Tickets must be presented at the time of boarding in order to ride. Tickets are $14 for adults (age 12 and over) and $7 for children. Infants who can ride on their parent’s laps may ride for free. Food and drink available to take upon the ride, but since the cars are vintage, there will be no amenities. Access to the passenger cars will be provided for those needing assistance. The departments are looking forward to providing an activity that takes residents and their communities back to a bygone era.

High temp records shattered across the Midwest Tuesday

News, Weather

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Record high temperatures were shattered across the Midwest, Tuesday. In Atlantic, we hit 97 degrees at 4-p.m. That broke the old record of 96 set in 1915. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says readings in portions of northwest and west central Iowa breached 100-degrees Tuesday. The Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area reached 101-degrees for a new record high. Other records broken include Carroll at 102-degrees, Denison and Harlan hit 100-degrees, and Clarinda at 93. Sioux City was at 106-degrees, with Estherville and Spencer both at 103 by mid-afternoon. The record high in Des Moines was set at 3:10-p.m. when the temperature at the Des Moines International Airport hit 94 degrees. The previous record was 93 in 1988.

Hillaker says this is the earliest occurrence of 106 degrees in Iowa since Sac City hit 108 degrees on May 29th, 1934. Historically, there have been 11 years in Iowa since 1873, where temperatures have reached or exceeded 100 degrees in the month of May.1934saw the most days, with 10 dates reaching the century mark. 1934 also saw the highest May reading on record, with 111 degrees at Inwood, set on May 30th.

Conversely, this month also now marks one of the few times that snow has occurred in the same month at 100-degree heat in Iowa. May 1967 saw 8-inches of snow in Glenwood on the third, with temperatures hitting 100 degrees in Onawa on the 24th, and 104 degrees in Sioux Center on the 25th.

In April 1980, snow fell on several different days early in the month, with temps hitting 100 degrees in Fort Dodge and Waterloo on the 22nd.

Iowa Motorists are being encouraged to “Click It or Ticket”


May 14th, 2013 by admin

As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day Holiday, Iowa law enforcement officials are urging everyone to buckle up. Law enforcement officials will be out in full force as part of the 2013 National “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization cracking down on motorists who are not belted, as well as other traffic violators. While this Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20th through June 2nd, officers are enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

In 2012, Iowa had 364 fatalities and according to Iowa DOT data, 167 of those victims or almost 46%, were unbuckled. For those killed in crashes at night, the percent unbuckled grew another 15.5%.

Iowa has had a seat belt law since July 1st, 1986. Randy Hunefeld, sTep Coordinator with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says “Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many Iowans still ride unbelted, especially at night when the risk of a crash is even greater. We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists-clicking that seat belt, every time day or night.”

For more information on the National Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov or contact: Randy Hunefeld, sTep Coordinator with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau at 515-725-6124 or email at hunefeld@dps.state.ia.us

RAGBRAI town hall meetings to be held in Council Bluffs


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two Town Hall Meetings have been arranged for area residents to learn more about RAGBRAI©, Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride
Across Iowa. Tens of thousands of riders have been confirmed for the event which will begin in Council Bluffs July 20-21, 2013. Barry
Cleaveland, Executive Director of the Council Bluffs RAGBRAI Committee, says  they are scheduling the two opportunities for more information. He says they want residents to be excited, informed, and to volunteer.

The first meeting will be held Tuesday, May 28, 6:30-7:30pm in the Club Room at Hy Vee, located at 2323 W. Broadway  The second meeting (at the same location), is on Wednesday, May 29th, from 6:30-7:30pm.

Officials say volunteers are needed for a variety of duties July 20th and July 21st. In addition, there’s a great need for persons who have a spare bedroom, or deck or backyard for camping to volunteer as well.

Draft FY 2014-2018 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program presented to the Iowa Transportation Commission


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation, Tuesday, presented the Iowa Transportation Commission with the draft Fiscal Year 2014-2018 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program. The Program reflects Iowa’s multi-modal transportation system through inclusion of investments in aviation, transit, railroads, trails and highways. A major component of the Program is the highway program, which documents programmed investments in the Primary Highway System for the next five years.

For FY 2014-2018, approximately $2.6 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction. The highway section was developed to achieve several objectives. The Commission’s primary investment objective remains stewardship (i.e., safety, maintenance, modernization) of Iowa’s existing highway system. More than $1.1 billion is programmed from FY 2014 through FY 2018 for modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features.

The highway section also includes significant interstate investments on Interstate 29 in Sioux City, I-29/80/480 in Council Bluffs, and I-74 in Bettendorf/Davenport. Portions of the investments address stewardship needs. Another highway programming objective is developing and constructing capacity and system enhancement projects.  The multiyear corridor improvement projects include: U.S. 20 Woodbury County from east of Moville to Correctionville , and Iowa 196 Sac County.

The draft Program is posted and available for public comment on the Iowa DOT’s website www.iowadot.gov/program_management/five_year.html. The Commission is currently scheduled to consider approval of the Program at its meeting June 11 in Council Bluffs.

1 injury during two-vehicle accident in Cass County, Tuesday


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Massena man was injured during an accident involving a car and a dump truck this (Tuesday) afternoon, in Massena. According to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, 77-year old George August Kuesel was transported by Massena Rescue to the Adams County Hospital, following the crash that happened at around 12:30-p.m. Officials say Kuesel’s 1993 Olds Cutlass was traveling southbound on 750th Street when it struck the rear of a 2005 International 7000 dump truck, driven by 62-year old Hollis Austin Dodge, of Creston.

Damage from the accident amounted to $5,800. Authorities say Kuesel was cited for Following Too Closely.

Iowa lawmakers set overall budget number


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers say they have an agreement on an overall budget figure, a signal that the end of the legislative session may not be far behind. Legislative leaders say Tuesday that they have a deal to set the state general fund budget at just under $6.5 billion for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Senate and House leaders say votes could start on individual budget bills as early as Wednesday.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen both say they are moving forward on two key issues of the session — education policy and property tax reductions. But they say there has been less progress on whether to expand Medicaid or approve an alternate low-income health plan.

CCMH Board to meet Wed. morning


May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees will hold a regularly schedule meeting Wednesday morning in conference room 1 at the hospital. During the 7:30-a.m. session, the Board will discuss and/or act on, matters pertaining to the FY 2014, and FY 2014-through 2018 Operating budgets; Rehabilitation services. They’re also expected to set the date for a Public Hearing on June 26th.

Following other business, and prior to adjournment, the CCMH Board of Trustees will enter into a closed session under the provisions of Code of Iowa, to discuss strategy with counsel pertaining to matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent, and where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of a governmental body in that litigation.