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Drought may have impact on Iowans’ electric bills

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Despite recent rains, reservoirs on the Missouri River are dropping as drought persists and low water levels will translate to higher electric rates for some Iowans. The Western Area Power Administration is responsible for selling power from hydroelectric dams on the river and WAPA spokesman Randy Wilkerson says they’re watching water levels carefully. “Right now, we know that water levels in the reservoirs are low and we’re anticipating less than normal generation over the winter and into the coming year,” Wilkerson says.

The agency delivers power to several rural electric co-ops and municipalities in Iowa and in 14 other states. Wilkerson says WAPA easily met its power projections during last year’s historic flooding on the Missouri. “Everybody had more than enough water and we had excess generation that we could actually sell on the open market,” he says. “This year, if we have less than normal generation, we’ll have to be out on the open market purchasing some power in order to make up our contracts.”

Wilkerson says while WAPA will meet its power contract obligations, they will likely come at an added cost. “It gets built into the rates somewhere along the line,” he says. “We do have a drought adder that periodically takes a look at the rates and identifies how much costs are due to drought or low water levels, so absolutely, yes, ultimately, it gets built into the rates.”

Last year, WAPA delivered more than 42-billion kilowatt hours of electricity to its service areas.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak man arrested in connection with an alleged violation of a protective order


October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department says a Red Oak man was arrested Monday, for allegedly violating a protective order. Sheriff’s officials say at around 6:40-p.m., they received word 27-year old Aaron Allen had violated the court order. Officers with the Red Oak P-D located Allen about two-hours later and brought him to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on a warrant charging him with Harassment in the 1st degree.

Allen was being held in the jail on a total of $2,300 bond.

Red Oak man arrested Monday night on warrants


October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say a Red Oak man was arrested Monday night on two valid warrants.  21-year old James Leroy Christensen, Jr. was arrested just before 8-p.m., on a Sheriff’s Department warrant for Contempt of Court/Failure to Pay on a charge of Illegal Resistance to Order of Process, and, a Red Oak Police Department warrant for a Controlled Substance Violation. Christensen, Jr. was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $10,000 bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Oct. 23rd 2012


October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says no charges will be filed against a Van Buren County deputy who shot and killed a man last week. The DCI said yesterday that Deputy Jon Tharp’s actions were justified and no charges will be filed. Authorities say 59-year-old Robert Dooley of Brighton was shot on Iowa Highway 2 near Cantril on October 16th.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say an inmate who failed to return to a work release center in Des Moines is back in custody after she voluntarily came back to the facility. The Iowa Department of Corrections says 24-year-old Tibise Joseph was placed on escape status when she didn’t return to the center as scheduled on Sunday. Authorities say she showed up later that day. She is now being held in the Polk County jail.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney plans to campaign Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, making it a busy day for presidential candidates in the state. The Republican nominee will speak at a rally that night at a Cedar Rapids airport hangar. President Barack Obama will speak at a rally that morning at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport. Iowa is among nine battleground states expected to decide who wins the election.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for a conservative is asking jurors to find that she was a victim of political discrimination at the University of Iowa. Steve Fieweger told jurors yesterday that Teresa Wagner was rejected for positions because of her opposition to abortion rights. Wagner is seeking more than $400,000 in damages.

Lightening suspected in Menlo area fire


October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Lightening is thought to have been the cause of an early morning house fire near Menlo, Monday. According to WOI-TV in Ames, firefighters from Menlo, Guthrie Center, and Casey were on the scene for about three hours. When crews arrived on the scene,  flames were coming through the roof. One person was in the home at the time, but he was able to escape without injury.

IDPH Urges Iowans to Get Influenza Vaccine Because the flu is spreading


October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Monday, issued a Press Release  urges all Iowans over 6 months of age to receive their yearly seasonal influenza vaccine. Surveillance by IDPH influenza sentinel sites and confirmatory testing by the State Hygienic Laboratory shows the flu is circulating in Iowa, and appears to be particularly spreading among children. IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “Children are known as ‘super spreaders’ because they are often in close contact with others at schools or daycare, and when ill, can quickly spread the illness to others.”

Quinlisk says while the flu vaccine is the best defense against getting influenza, it’s also important to take personal actions to help prevent the spread of illness. Remember the 3Cs: Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days.

Influenza may cause severe illness or even death in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions. Influenza is not a ‘reportable disease’ in Iowa, which means doctors are not required to notify IDPH each time a patient tests positive for influenza; however, IDPH conducts year-round influenza surveillance through the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network. The surveillance indicates what types of influenza viruses are circulating and how widespread influenza illness is.

For more information about where and what kind of influenza is in Iowa, go to www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Influenza.aspx?pg=FluHome. Contact your health care provider or local health department to find out where the vaccine is available in your community or use the Flu Vaccine Finder at www.flu.gov.

Teen killed by train was from Missouri


October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Montgomery County have identified the victim of Friday’s train-versus-pedestrian collision. Authorities are awaiting dental records and autopsy results to confirm the victim was 18-year old Jessica Lynn Randolph of Jackson, Missouri. According to Sheriff Joe Sampson, the young woman moved to Stanton in August, and was a senior at Red Oak High School.

Authorities have yet to  determine why she was standing on the railroad tracks just east of the Halland Avenue railroad crossing on the southern edge of Stanton, where she was struck by a Burlington Northern Railroad freight train at around 5:24-p.m., Friday.

Burn Bans lifted in Crawford, Mills and Monona Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County remains the only county in the KJAN listening area with a ban on open burning in place, after three more area counties rescinded their bans Monday. The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the Burn Bans in Crawford, Mills and Monona Counties were cancelled on Monday. The bans in Crawford and Mills Counties had been in place since mid-July, while the Monona County ban was established on October 16th. Conditions across the area have improved with recent rains and high humidity making less likely the possibility of grassland a field fires.

By the end of the day, Monday, only 10 counties in Iowa remained under a Burn Ban. Nine of those counties are in northwest Iowa. Cass County is the lone remaining County elsewhere in the State.

Iowan faces US charges in Nebraska bank robbery


October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (AP) – An Iowa man will face federal charges in a bank robbery, now that Nebraska is dropping its case.  The Sioux City Journal says 67-year-old Max Lafferty, of Sioux City, Iowa, was indicted last week in U.S. District Court in Omaha. Dakota County Attorney Kim Watson filed a motion Friday to dismiss the Nebraska case against Lafferty.

Lafferty is accused of robbing a Bank of the West branch in South Sioux City on Sept. 11. Police say he flashed a steak knife when he demanded cash from a bank worker and left the building with about $1,500. He was arrested about a block away. A Dakota County jailer said Monday that Lafferty has been turned over to federal marshals.

SW IA man sentenced on firearms charge


October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports southwest Iowa man was sentenced October 19th to more than two-years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt says in addition to the 26-month prison term, United States District Court Judge Ronald E. Longstaff also 35-year old Brandon Scott Sutton, of Tabor,to 3 years of supervised release. The Court also ordered Sutton to pay a $100.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund, and, he must forfeit the firearm and ammunition found in his possession at the time of his arrest. Sutton
remains in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Federal Bureau of
Prisons facility at which he will serve his sentence.

Officials say on November 29th, 2011, Sutton was charged in a one-count Indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sutton entered his plea of guilty to the firearms charge on June 1st ,2012, in United States District Court in Council Bluffs. The charges arose from an incident on October 6th, 2011, at a truck stop on Interstate 80, near Underwood. Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call regarding threats of assaultive behavior and found Brandon Scott Sutton in possession of a 9 mm pistol and ammunition. Sutton had previously been convicted of various felony offenses, including an offense relating to assault on a police officer.

The case was investigated by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

(12:40-p.m. News)