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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., April 2nd 2014

News

April 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate is considering legislation intended to halt the last transfer of state tax credits to a fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa. The bill is meant to prevent Orascom, an Egyptian multinational corporation, from requesting a final $25 million tax credit installment. In 2012, Gov. Terry Branstad promised the company $100 million in investment tax credits, in addition to other federal, state and local incentives, in exchange for the creation of 165 permanent jobs in Iowa.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have identified the body of a man found after a fire damaged a four-unit apartment in the northern Iowa community of Charles City. The Charles City Police Department says the body of 27-year-old Joshua Nelson was found inside one of the apartment units following a fire reported Monday afternoon. He lived in the building.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate have taken a new route to address distracted driving across the state. The Senate approved an appropriation bill for Iowa’s Department of Transportation that would include $200,000 to go toward an educational campaign about the risks associated with distracted driving. The bill now goes to the House.

GARNER, Iowa (AP) – An elementary school employee in northern Iowa faces formal charges in connection to alleged fraudulent Medicaid payments. Court records show 30-year-old Brooke Banse will be arraigned April 8 on two charges of first-degree fraudulent practice and tampering with records. Banse is accused of receiving federal Medicaid payments in excess of $10,000 for services she did not provide.

KIB Awards announced

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Diamond Vogel Paint and “Keep Iowa Beautiful,” have announced the grant awards for the 2014 “Paint Iowa Beautiful” program. The program provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. The program is administered through Keep Iowa Beautiful with the paint provided by the Diamond Vogel Paint Company.

Award winners include: The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, for its Main Street buildings; The Glen Miller Birthplace Society in Clarinda, for painting of Miller’s home; The Farragut Hometown Pride Committee, for the painting of two homes, softball bleachers and Freedom Corner; The Sidney/Fremont County Fair Board, for painting of Fair Grounds buildings, rodeo arena and bleachers; The Hamburg Hometown Pride Committee, for downtown and City Park projects; Missouri Valley Health & Promotion Strategies, for three store-front facades; The City of Orient’s Public Works Dept., for work on the Legion Hall, meal site and information booth, and, the City of Shelby, for “Paint Shelby Beautiful,” the Senior Center garage/storage and City Hall.

Governor Branstad has signed a proclamation designating April as Keep Iowa Beautiful month. Diamond Vogel Vice-President Doug Vogel said the company is pleased to do its part by awarding paint to 63 community projects in Iowa. Gerald Schnepf, Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful said “The Paint Iowa Beautiful program helps us increase our assistance to neighborhoods, communities, historic projects and other public service organizations in improving the attractiveness and beauty of our home areas. These projects definitely improve the beauty of Iowa, its countryside and its communities.”

Keep Iowa Beautiful is a non-profit organization affiliated with Keep America Beautiful. Program efforts include litter reduction, public nuisance abatement and beautification programs.

Atlantic Fire asks residents not to burn & be careful with smoking material

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Fire Department put out a plea on their social media website, asking residents not to do any open burning “Of any type, or discard of any smoking material. This includes burning trash!!”  No OpenRecent and continuing high, sustained winds and dry conditions have contributed to many fires across southwest Iowa. The AFVD says they hope that by spreading the word on open burning and being safe in discarding smoking materials, and will voluntary compliance, authorities will not have to issue a Burn Ban.

Atlantic man arrested on Shoplifting & Intox charges

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Monday of 47-year old Richard Lewis, Sr., of Atlantic. Lewis, Sr. was taken into custody on a 5th Degree Theft/shoplifting charge, and for Public Intoxication. He was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Tyson adding about 140 jobs at Council Bluffs site

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Tyson Fresh Meats will be adding around 140 jobs at a Council Bluffs plant, now that Tyson has won more than $950,000 in Iowa tax credits. As we announced over the weekend on KJAN, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved the credits on Friday.

The company plans to install around $10 million worth of new equipment at the plant in order to serve an unidentified new client. As a condition for the tax credits, Tyson must create at least 139 new jobs, including 22 with a wage of nearly $15 an hour.

Tyson spokesman Dan Fogleman says that the plant packages beef and pork products for retailers. Tyson Fresh Meats also has a pepperoni plant in Council Bluffs. Fogleman says the hiring has begun but declined to say how many people work at each plant.

8AM Newscast 04-01-2014

News, Podcasts

April 1st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Iowans develop “Oh Crap App!”

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A pair of attorneys from central Iowa are getting a lot of attention for creating a phone app that gives motorists advice in the event they’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Bob Rehkemper and Matt Lindholm, both of West Des Moines, are the minds behind the “Oh Crap App!” and Rehkemper says it includes an “emergency button” for the driver to click if they’re stopped by a cop.  “First of all, it activates the phone’s voice recorder, so that any communication with law enforcement is documented and saved,” Rehkemper says. The “Oh Crap!” button also automatically sends an email to a chosen friend or family member, an attorney, and a bail bondsman. Rehkemper estimates that 95-percent of people are unaware of their rights, or what they should or shouldn’t do, when stopped by police.

“A lot of people have misconceptions…and don’t have a very good grasp on those rights,” Rehkemper says. The app has another function, which Rehkemper says is designed to educate people about their basic DUI rights. He says the first thing a motorist should do is “be polite and respectful” with the law officer. “Secondarily, most people don’t know that the field sobriety test — the eye test, the walk and turn, the one leg stand — they don’t have to submit to those,” Rehkemper says. “There is no requirement under the law that they do those. They do have the option of saying, ‘no thank you.'”

As of last week, more than 25-hundred people had downloaded the free app. It also includes a blood-alcohol content (BAC) “calculator” — allowing an individual to determine if they might be over the legal limit to drive. Rehkemper says he and Lindholm do not condone drinking and driving. It gets looked at by some people as, ‘oh, you’re condoning and you’re helping it happen,’ but when you look at the actual app and the information it provides, it’s primarily designed to educate the public on their legal rights, to clear up any ambiguity on what they do have to do and what they don’t have to do. That helps law enforcement and that also helps the individual facing that situation,” Rehkemper says.

The app is available for both iPhones and Android devices. https://www.facebook.com/OhCrapApp

(Radio Iowa)

Cause of City of Atlantic Compost pile fire may have been an old burn

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Updated 10:45-a.m. with suspected cause)

An old fire may have been what caused a new fire that burned furiously Monday night on the north side Atlantic. Alantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said crews responded to the City of Atlantic’s Yard Waste Site on the west side of the Schildberg Recreation Area, at around 8:50-p.m.  He says there was a tremendous amount of flames and embers being blown about from the large pile of burning sticks, wood, and large tree trunks. Some of the embers were flying over to the east side of the Recreation Area, as far as Buck Creek Road.

McNees said the pile will be smoldering for quite some time, even though they poured 13-to 14-thousand gallons of water on the fire. The fear now is that strong winds today will whip up more embers and cause another, separate blaze. McNees said it’s possible the fire could have been accidental or related to spontaneous combustion, but it’s too early to tell. He said City crews were compacting the pile of debris over the past couple of days, but it’s not clear if that had something to do with it.

Late this (Tuesday) morning, McNees said he thinks ashes from a very old pile west of Monday night’s fire was probably stirred-up by the wind and ignited the nearby pile. He said also that City crews have not lit any of the burn piles in quite some time.

Fire fighters were on the scene for a couple of hours. He said if the winds had kept up, the fire could have spread east toward Olive Street.

Officer wounded during eastern Iowa traffic stop

News

April 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Public Safety says a police officer has been wounded during a traffic stop in eastern Iowa.  The department says the Maquoketa officer was shot after making a traffic stop around 2:50 a.m. Tuesday. The shooter fled the scene. No arrest has been reported.

The department says the officer was taken to Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa for treatment of a wound described as non-life-threatening.

7AM Newscast 04-01-2014

News, Podcasts

April 1st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play