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Gov. Branstad launches 43-city “Working Together for a Better Future” tour


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today (Friday), announced that he will embark on a 43-city “Working Together for a Better Future” tour that will take him across the state. The tour will launch Monday, June 6th, following the administration’s weekly press conference.

Branstad says quote — “We have offered a budget reconciliation that improves Iowa’s long-term sustainability, and it will take all of us working together in order to ensure Iowa’s future growth. I look forward to traveling the state to discuss the state’s budget and our plans to restore honest budgeting practices. The tour will provide Iowans information regarding my administration’s plan to build a strong fiscal foundation for the future and create jobs in Iowa.”

The events are free and open to the public. In western Iowa, Branstad will hold his “Working together…” tour at the Council Bluffs Airport terminal building (101 McCandless Lane), on Monday, June 6th, beginning at 11-a.m.

For more information please visit www.governor.iowa.govhttp://www.governor.iowa.gov.

8AM Newscast 06-03-2011

News, Podcasts

June 3rd, 2011 by Chris Parks

News Director Ric Hanson delivers your local news!


7AM Newscast 06-03-2011

News, Podcasts

June 3rd, 2011 by Chris Parks

News Director Ric Hanson delivers local news.


Special meeting called regarding Atlantic Pool rates


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A special meeting will be held on Monday in Atlantic, with regard to fees at the Sunnyside Swimming Pool. The Atlantic Parks and Recreation board says the special session will take place in the Council’s chambers at City Hall, beginning at Noon, Monday.

At Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting, City Administrator Doug Harris tried to dispel rumors the swimming pool fees had doubled. In a memorandum to the Parks and Rec Board Thursday, however, Harris said a miscommunication with former Parks and Rec Director Travis Garrett showed the fees were, in-fact, unintentionally doubled.

The fees for use of the pool have not changed in a while, and are below those of surrounding communities, according to Harris. At the Board’s last meeting, Garrett mistakenly said the 2010 fees were $150 for a seasonal family pass, and $75 for a seasonal single pass. Harris based his statements Wednesday night on those figures, when he said the rates had not doubled.

In fact, the rates adopted by the Parks and Rec Board at their last meeting, did double or nearly double the fees charged. Under the previously approved 2011 schedule, a family pass increased from $75 to $160, the single pass went from $50 to $90, and the daily pass went from two-to four-dollars.

Harris says under a proposed, revised 2011 schedule, the family pass would instead be $105, a single seasonal pass $70, and the daily pass three-dollars. Those are the fees the Parks and Rec Board will discuss during their meeting on Monday.

Doug Harris says “while no one likes to see fees go up, the new fees will only cover about 31% of the total cost of operating the pool, and will be less than the average fees in surrounding communities.”

Fee Schedule comparison:

Family Pass – Atlantic, $105; Avoca $170; Creston $125; Red Oak $100. Average: $125.

Single Pass – Atlantic, $70; Avoca $85; Creston $60; Red Oak $85; Average: $75.

Daily pass – Atlantic, $3; Avoca $5; Corning $4; Creston $3; Red Oak $4. Average: $3.80

Iowa warns of price gouging during flooding


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s top prosecutor says the state’s price gouging rule is now in effect for six counties facing flooding from the Missouri River.

Attorney General Tom Miller says Gov. Branstad’s disaster emergency declaration on Thursday trigged the rule in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties.

Price gouging is considered an unfair practice under the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. It protects people from those who substantially raise prices for needed goods or services without justification. The rule was adopted following the floods of 1993.

It applies during the emergency declaration and a recovery period of up six months.

Branstad comments on Missouri River flooding


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad says all Iowa counties along the Missouri River will be affected by rising water and residents need to get ready because the worst of the flooding is still upriver.

Branstad at a news conference in Sioux City on Thursday says the state is ready to help, including the possibility of calling out the Iowa National Guard. He says there is a concern about Sioux City’s water treatment plant, which the near the river. But Branstad says he’s confident it will be OK.

Des Moines lost its water treatment plant in the 1993 flood, cutting off water for 12 days.

Branstad has issued emergency disaster proclamations for six counties – Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury. It allows state resources to be used for flood efforts.

Assault arrest in Villisca


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Villisca man was arrested Thursday night on an assault charge. 18-year old Austin Bradley Greig, of Villisca, was taken into custody at around 11:50-p.m., and charged with Simple Domestic Assault, following an incident which allegedly occurred in the 100-block of north 5th Street in Villisca.

Greig was being held in jail without bond.

Harlan Police report several drug and alcohol arrests


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harlan report several drug and/or alcohol-related arrested have been made over the past week or so. On May 30th, 17-year old Brett Wilke, of Harlan, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His arrest was the result of a traffic stop. Wilke was later released to the custody of his parents and referred to Juvenile Court Services.

On May 29th, a traffic stop by Harlan Police resulted in the arrest of 24-year old Paul Zimmerman, of Panama. Zimmerman was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Drug Paraphernalia, along with Prohibited Acts.

A day earlier, four Harlan teens were charged with Public Intoxication, after officers investigated a report of youth consuming alcohol. Officials say 16-year old Megan Hunt, 13-year old Tiffany Thompson, 14-year old Barbra Jo Juniper Greve, and 15-year old Marissa Mitchell, all from Harlan, were cited for Public Intox. Hunt was also cited for Possession of Tobacco under legal age. After being brought to the Harlan P-D, all of the girls were later released to the custody of their parents.

That same day, 23-year old Theodore Behrens, of Harlan, was charged with supplying alcohol to persons under the legal age. His arrest followed an investigation by Harlan Police. Separately, 18-year old William Zoellner, of Shelby, and 17-year old Ethan Williams, of Harlan, was arrested following a traffic stop. Zoellner was cited for open container and possession of alcohol by a person under legal age. Williams was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and released to the custody of his parents. His case will be referred to Juvenile Court Services.

On May 27th, police in Harlan arrested 20-year old Anthony Bennett, of Harlan, on a charge of simple assault, following an investigation into an incident which allegedly occurred in the 11-hundred block of Elm Street.

And, on May 24th, 35-year old Amanda Hanover, of Portsmouth, was arrested on charges of OWI, speeding, open container, and child endangerment. The charges followed a traffic stop, where Hanover was the driver of the vehicle. A passenger in the vehicle, 30-year old Daniel Pash, of Earling, was charged with open container. Pash was cited and released, while Hanover was brought to the Shelby County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Council Bluffs man run over by van in hit-and-run


June 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Council Bluffs man is hospitalized after he was struck by a van and run over while trying to cross the street.

Police say 51-year-old Robert Whitmore stepped into the street about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday and was hit by a dark-colored SUV. Visibility at the time was limited because of heavy rain.

Whitmore suffered a broken back and broken ribs. He was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., where a report on his condition is not being released.



June 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources closed all state run boat ramps on the Missouri River Thursday morning and is requesting that the U.S. Coast Guard suspend recreational boating on the river due to dangerous river flows and flooding conditions.

In addition, the DNR has suspended the 14-day maximum length of stay rule for people who had to evacuate their homes from the Missouri River flood and choose to camp at Waubonsie State Park in Fremont County.
“We will look at waiving the maximum length of stay at other state parks in western Iowa if the need arises,” said DNR Director Roger Lande.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is increasing the water release to record levels from the series of federal dams on the Missouri River beginning at Fort Peck in Montana.  Closer to Iowa, the Gavins Point Dam, at Yankton, S.D., will more than double its record flow of 70,000 cubic feet per second to a projected 150,000 CFS by mid June.

“We are expecting to see record flooding along the Missouri River and as a safety measure, we are closing all of our boat ramps and are encouraging our city and county partners to close theirs as well,” said Lande.

The projections from the Corps indicate that ramps could be closed as long as six weeks, or more, depending upon additional precipitation in the watershed.  Once flows return below 70,000 CFS, boat ramps can be reopened after passing inspection.

In addition to boat ramps, the DNR has closed and removed the staff at Wilson Island State Recreation Area, north of Council Bluffs, and is watching the levee separating Lake Manawa State Park from the Missouri River.

“The levee at Lake Manawa has never been tested for this length of time like it will during this flood,” Lande said.  “The levee will be carefully monitored for signs of stress.”