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3rd District convention set for Creston


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republicans will choose a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District at a nominating convention June 21 in Creston. Iowa Republican Party Chairman Danny Carroll announced Wednesday that 513 delegates will gather at Creston High School to select a nominee.

The task is required because none of the six people who sought the GOP nomination topped the 35 percent threshold for votes required by state law. State Sen. Brad Zaun received the most votes but only 25 percent of all votes cast. The nominee will face Democrat Staci Appel, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The 3rd District covers much of southwest Iowa, stretching from Des Moines to Council Bluffs.

Griswold woman arrested Tuesday


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports a Cass County woman was arrested Tuesday. 18-year old Bailey Powers, of Griswold, was arrested in Atlantic on a Cass County warrant for a Probation Violation. Powers was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Miller Warns of Storm-Related Scam Potential; Price gouging rules in effect in Pott. County


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Attorney General Tom Miller Wednesday (today) advised Iowans who were impacted by storm and flood damage to watch for possible scams. “Storm chasers may try to target Iowans who sustained hail, wind or water damage,” Miller said. “If your home or property is damaged, you may be desperate for quick help. Scam artists know that, and may try to take advantage of your misfortune.”

In an April consumer advisory, (“Home Repairs & Home Improvements”), Miller offers tips for consumers who must repair or rebuild their home or business:

Watch for contracting scams. Don’t fall for the contractor who shows up in an unmarked vehicle—particularly with an out of state license plate—claiming you need new shingles or siding, and they “just happen to have materials” at a big discount.

Check references. Before you sign a contract or pay any money, ask around and also take time to talk with the contractor. Ask people you know and trust who they have hired for their projects and whether they were satisfied. Request local references from the contractor and contact them! Check on complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (515-281-5926, or 888-777-4590) and check the Better Business Bureau’s complaint database at www.bbb.org. Be wary of a person or company not listed in the local telephone directory, and be wary of contractor who provides only a post office box address and not a street address. Write down the license plate number on the contractor’s vehicle.

To see if a contractor has been sued or filed a lawsuit (in Iowa’s state courts), go to: www.iowacourts.state.ia.us. To verify a contractor’s registration and bonding (which doesn’t guarantee quality of work or payment of damages if a dispute arises with the contractor), go to: www.iowaworkforce.org/labor. Ask the contractor for a copy of their liability insurance certificate.

Get several written estimates, or bids. Be sure the written estimates include everything you want done, and not more than you want. While low bids are often what people look for, sometimes they can raise red flags. Is the low bidder really qualified for the job? Is the contractor cutting corners through materials or workmanship? Is there a risk the contractor will come back to you later with a story about “unforeseen circumstances” and demand more money?

When you’ve selected a contractor, get the contract in writing, and read it before you sign it. Before work begins, agree on a written contract detailing terms including the work to be done, the brand and/or the specifications of the materials to be used, the price, who is responsible for obtaining permits and scheduling inspections, that all change orders must be in writing, and establish who is responsible for cleanup. Put start and completion dates in writing, and the remedies if the contractor fails to meet them. (Example: the contract could be nullified if the contractor doesn’t start on time.) If you’re filing an insurance claim to cover the costs of damages, negotiate the details with your insurance company directly and not through a contractor. If you sign a contract somewhere other than the contractor’s regular place of business, such as at your home, you have three business days to cancel the contract without penalty.

Avoid paying large sums or the entire job up-front. If you need to make a partial advance payment for materials, make your check out to the supplier and the contractor. Insist on a “mechanic’s lien waiver” in case the contractor fails to pay others for materials or labor. You can search to see who may have claimed the right to place a lien on your house through the Iowa Secretary of State website at: www.sos.iowa.gov/mnlr or by calling (515) 281-5204. Do not pay the contractor in full until you verify that all the parties listed on the website have been paid in full. Try to limit the amount you pay up-front.

Compare your financing options. It’s usually safer and a better deal to obtain financing through your local bank or credit union, rather than a contractor. Do some loan shopping and compare loan terms, and don’t let anyone pressure you into signing a loan document. Don’t deed your property to anyone.

Price Gouging

Now that the Governor has issued a disaster declaration for Pottawattamie County, price gouging rules are in effect in that county. Price gouging is charging very high prices that are not justified, and taking unfair advantage of disaster victims. Go to www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov for more tips on preventing scams, and for more information on hiring contractors, price gouging and donation scams.


If you think someone has broken the law, contact local law enforcement. To file complaints or to ask questions, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Des Moines, IA 50319. Call 888-777-4590 (toll-free outside of the Des Moines area) or 515-281-5926.


Severe storms blast across SW Iowa, plenty of damage


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Chainsaws are buzzing across southwest and south-central Iowa as residents cut apart some of the hundreds of trees that fell in Tuesday’s severe storms. Some areas report wind gusts of 80 to 90 miles an hour along with heavy rain, flash flooding and large hail. Tornado sirens sounded in several counties last night and at least one twister reportedly touched down about 5:15 near Oakland. Longtime school administrator Jan Harris lives near Oakland and described the moment the storm hit his home.

“During the hail, thank goodness we were all down in the basement when this happened and we came upstairs and an evergreen tree that’s probably between 35 and 40 feet tall and stood in front of our house was totally uprooted,” Harris says. “It wasn’t even splintered. It was completely uprooted completely in one piece and laid across the driveway.”

Joyce Isaacson lives in the small town of Wheeler Grove, between Carson and Griswold. Isaacson says a house of worship in town took some heavy hits. “There’s a country church out here and they have tons of great big cedar trees and at least six of those trees that are really huge have toppled over,” Isaacson says, along with a shed and an air conditioning unit that were flipped over. She says there’s plenty of damage in Wheeler Grove.  “Some neighbors had a grain bin go down and a big camper is flipped upsidedown and a shed was destroyed,” Isaacson says. “We drove around the square and there’s trees down everywhere.”

Late Tuesday, Governor Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster for Pottawattamie County as a result of storm damage. The declaration allows the county to utilize state resources to respond to and recover from the storm’s impact. Donnie Willet, the emergency management coordinator for Adams County, says damage spans the entire county. “Lots of tree limbs down, several homes and outbuildings have had tree limbs fall on them,” Willet says. “We’ve had county roads blocked, streets blocked, got power lines down several places in Adams County, also, down around Lenox, we’ve got major power lines down.”

Brian Hamman, Montgomery County’s emergency management coordinator, says the wicked winds caused extensive tree damage. “We have reports of trees on houses in Emerson and Hastings and numerous trees across roads and blockages,” Hamman says. “Also, north in the county, at Brothers and 380th Street, we had water crossing the road, just a deluge of water which made it very dangerous for people on that roadway.”

Flooded roads were also a big concern in Montgomery and Mills counties. Heavy wind damage is reported in Ringgold and Taylor counties. In Fremont County, a semi was reportedly blown off Interstate 29 near the Hamburg exit. In Page County, heavy rain was the main problem. Street flooding was extensive in Shenandoah.

(Mike Peterson/Radio Iowa)

Over a dozen Cass County Bridges are in bad shape according to inspections


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

More than a dozen bridges in Cass County failed to pass a recent inspection, and either must have their maximum weight load lowered and re-posted, or they will need to be closed. That was the word from Assistant County Engineer Rich Hanson, who spoke Wednesday morning before the County Board of Supervisors. Hansen said there are 16 bridges that are in bad enough shape that the posted weight limit needs reduced. Inspectors recommended closing two bridges. One of the bridges, #450, was closed Tuesday. Hansen says that’s the high truss bridge over the Nishnabotna River located near the Schildberg Recreation Area walking path, off of Buck Creek Road.

The other bridge is Bridge #83, known as the Griswold Golf Course bridge. Inspectors cited severe rust as the reason for closing the bridge, but Hansen says the County may keep it open, with a reduced weight limit, instead. It would have a 3-ton weight limit and be restricted to one-lane only. The bridge has a 15-mile per hour speed limit. Hansen said some of the worst beams on the Golf Course bridge are along the west wheel path. He says they’re so badly rusted, you can put your hand through the center part of the beam, but the top and bottom are still intact.

He said they will put a 10×10 curb along the bad section and restrict the lane to a 15-foot width on the east side of the bridge until the replacement project for that bridge is let for bids. Hansen says the bridges have deteriorated since their last inspection in part, due to the salt and calcium on the roads being transferred to the bridges by vehicles passing through them. He said once the rust starts, it’s very hard to stop.

Cass County Supervisors approve 9-1-1 center reconstruction bid


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, today (Wednesday), approved the awarding of a contract to Tbb&m, LLC in Greenfield, for reconstruction of the lower floor of the building at 707 Poplar Street. That portion of the building will be used as a new 9-1-1/Communications Center.

The Board held-off on awarding the contract during their meeting last week, because there was an insufficient breakdown of the costs. Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert presented a revised listing of the costs through the project’s architects, but it still wasn’t to the Supervisors’ satisfaction. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said he understands why the contractor wouldn’t want to provide too much in the line of specifics. he said the general contractor wouldn’t want to do that unless their bid was accepted. Koppert agreed.

What swayed the board to accept the $365,000 bid, was a reduction in the amount the County will have to pay. Koppert said he had “$75,353 worth of good news” where the cost was concerned. He said the County can pay the entire cost of the HVAC installation with 9-1-1 Surcharge money, instead of property tax dollars, which saves the County $41,800. And, since the generator is required by State law, the County can pro-rate what the usage would be, since the machine would power the entire building, and not just the Comm. Center in the event of primary power failure. A pro-rated amount of $33,563 can be paid for the 9-1-1 Surcharge dollars.

That leaves the County to pay $11,187 on the generator portion, for a total bill to the County amounting to $280,647. $75,353 would be paid through 9-1-1 surcharges.

Clarinda men arrested in connection with a burglary


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports two men were arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with a burglary and theft. Officers arrested 32-year old Joshua Jay Martin,  of Clarinda for second degree burglary of an occupied structure and theft in the second degree, for exercising control over stolen property.Also arrested was 55-year old Jeff Dale Veach, of Clarinda, for being an accessory after the fact.

Martin and Veach were arrested at the Parkview Apartment Complex, located at 1001 E. Main Street. Both men were transported to the Page County Jail and held on $15,000 bond, each. A decision with regard to the filing of formal charges is under review by Page County Attorney Jeremy S. Peterson.

8AM Newscast 06-04-2014

News, Podcasts

June 4th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


7AM Newscast 06-04-2014

News, Podcasts

June 4th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Storms dump heavy rain/hail and destructive winds

News, Weather

June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Waves of storms moving through western Iowa Tuesday evening into early this (Wednesday) morning, brought destructive winds, hail and heavy rain. The National Weather Service out of Valley, NE. will send a survey team to the Oakland area this morning to assess damage following a possible tornado that may have been responsible for knocking roofs off grain elevators.

The first wave of storms rolled into western Iowa from Nebraska Tuesday afternoon and evening, knocking out power for several hours to more than 5,100 customers of OPPD in Omaha. Mid American Energy reports 2,677 customers were still without power in Council Bluffs this morning.

Damage reports from around the area include downed trees in Council Bluffs, where there were numerous incidents of streets flooding, and water over the hoods of vehicles. In Corning, numerous homes and outbuildings were damaged by falling tree limbs, which also took out power lines not only in Corning, but elsewhere in Adams County. Large hail shattered some windshields in Corning, and damaged a fire department vehicle.

Montgomery County officials say high winds caused extensive damage in the Red Oak area, where several trees fell on vehicles and there were scattered power outages, but no immediate reports of structural damage. Roads across southwest Iowa were temporarily flooded and/or blocked by flood debris last night. In Cass County, there was debris reported between 550th and Victoria Roads, after flood waters crossed in that area.

Thunderstorm winds estimated at 86 miles per hour whipped through an area northeast of Massena Tuesday evening, while ping-pong ball to egg-sized hail pounding the same area. There were also reports of 2-to 3-foot diameter tree limbs crashing to the ground in Massena as the first wave of storms blew through. Street flooding was reported in Griswold for a time Tuesday evening, with water hubcap deep at times.

For a chronological listing of storm reports and damage, go to the Weather page at KJAN.com and scroll through the warnings and other information to find our Storm report.