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FEMA grants Iowa more time to appeal flood aid


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Iowa’s request for more time to appeal the agency’s decision rejecting flood aid to five counties along the Missouri River. Gov. Terry Branstad says he received word Thursday that the deadline has been extended to Oct. 7. FEMA notified the state on Aug. 4 that activation of the Federal Individual Assistance Program for Fremont, Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties was denied. The program helps homeowners, renters and businesses by providing grants and loans.

Iowa had 30 days to appeal. Branstad asked for an extension because the flood water is slowing recede and more damage will surface.

I-29 interchange reopens in Sioux City


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An interchange on Interstate 29 in Sioux City has reopened, nearly three months after it was closed because of flooding on the Missouri River. The Iowa Department of Transportation says in a news release Thursday that the I-29 and Hamilton Blvd. interchange has fully reopened to traffic. Transportation officials say the roadway has been cleaned and repainted, and all traffic control devices restored. The ramps on the south side of the interchange had been closed since June 4.

CCHS to host Women’s Health Expo


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC – Cass County Health System will be hosting a Women’s Health Expo on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.  The free event is open to the public and will be held in the Cass County Memorial Hospital Atrium from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  Light refreshments will be served, and there will be several doorprize drawings.

Historically, women have been the primary healthcare decision makers for families, but often don’t take time to maintain their own health.  Throughout the country, hospitals are developing women’s health programs to address a broad spectrum of health issues.  The CCHS event will feature over 20 women’s health services, all provided either at CCHS or within the Cass County community.  The event is designed as an open house, so participants can come and go at their own pace. There are two scheduled events during the evening, hospital tours (6:00 and 6:45 pm) and bra fitting demonstrations (5:45 and 6:30 pm).

“Some people don’t realize that we offer most of the major women’s health services right here at home,” noted Diann McLaren, RN, Co-Coordinator for Women’s Health Services.  “We’re working to correct that by providing more community outreach on these important health concerns.”

In an effort to address a wide range of women’s health needs, the CCHS women’s health team has invited several community partners to participate in this event to showcase some of the non-medical services available for women.  “We really are interested in addressing the broad definition of health,” Diann noted.  “It is well known that stress and lifestyle habits affect our physical health, so it is important to look at all aspects of health together.”

Non-injury accident in Atlantic


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police said today (Thursday), no injuries were reported following a two-vehicle collision Wednesday afternoon, near the intersection of 8th and Cedar Streets. Officials say a vehicle driven by William Bennett, of Kimballton, struck the door of a legally parked car registered to Paige Boken, of Atlantic, as Bennett was traveling south on Cedar. The accident happened at around 2:20-p.m.

Damage from the mishap amounted to $7,000. No citations were issued.

Gov. Branstad encourages Postmaster General to consider numerous options to close budget gap


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad today released two letters he has sent to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe regarding the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) plan to close rural post offices and processing centers in Iowa. Gov. Branstad has asked Postmaster General Donahoe to consider numerous options as they seek to overcome financial challenges.

“Under the USPS’s current plan, Iowa would see 17.9 percent of our state’s post offices closed, compared to 11 percent of proposed closures nationally,” said Branstad. “I am concerned that the Postal Service’s current plan is disproportionate and puts too much of the burden on rural Iowans.”  

Branstad suggests there are many options to close the USPS budget shortfall, like having postmasters serve multiple locations, reducing service hours or permitting the Postal Service to sell non-postal products. Many of the rural communities, their citizens and their business owners rely on the services of the Post Offices. Closing the Post Offices would put the communities at an economic disadvantage, stated Branstad.

Gov. Branstad and Lohrville Mayor Donny Hobbs co-wrote a letter to Postmaster General Donahoe requesting a meeting with senior USPS officials. They also encouraged the creation of a commission to reconsider closure recommendations and called for a moratorium on closure of postal facilities.

Additionally, Gov. Branstad co-authored a letter with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn requesting a meeting to explore all cost saving options that both fits the USPS’s business model and serves Iowa and Illinois’ rural citizens.

“I would like to personally thank Iowa’s entire congressional delegation for voicing their constituents’ concerns to federal leaders,” said Branstad. “Iowans understand the need for fiscal discipline and a balanced budget, but they also believe the Postal Service should consider reasonable alternatives suggested by the people and communities affected by the closures.”

For more on information, please visit www.governor.iowa.gov.

Flood closes fuel terminal, raising gas prices & causing outages of some blends


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri River is falling back into its banks after months of flooding, yet the high water is still causing problems. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the flooded waterway has caused the temporary shutdown of an Omaha fuel distribution terminal that provides gasoline to many retailers in the region. White says some gas stations have run out of certain blends and gas prices have jumped up a dime-a-gallon.

“This is expected to be short-term and we’re hoping that the problem will be resolved within the next week,” White says. “In the meantime, they seem to be getting product from other suppliers so it is getting into the metro area as needed.” However, White says those oil tankers are being forced to drive to Des Moines and other locations to get fuel. White says there is no shortage of gas, so hording is not necessary.

“The one thing we do not want to do is create any type of panic situation,” White says. “There is plenty of a supply available so we do encourage all motorists to just buy your supply as needed as you normally do.” Since the gasoline is being transported from more distant locations, White says gas stations in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area may not have some fuel blends available. She says, “Some stations may experience temporary outages of certain blends of fuel due to delivery delays but the problem is not expected to be long-term or widespread.”

Once the terminal in Omaha is running again, White says gas prices should start to drop.
“When the supplies resume back to normal and with the summer travel season coming to an end, the combination of the two will hopefully help to drive down prices,” she says.

The statewide average price for gasoline is now three-63, a penny higher than the national average.

(Radio Iowa)

Audubon Co. woman arrested for theft from a business


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An Exira woman was arrested this (Thursday) morning on a charge of 2nd degree theft, in connection with the theft of more than $5,000 from her employer. Audubon County Sheriff Todd Johnson reports 43-year old Sherri Lynn Jorgensen was taken into custody at around 8:30-a.m.

Johnson says the charges stem from an investigation to money allegedly taken from an unidentified Exira business, where Jorgensen was an employee. The funds were allegedly misappropriated over the course of the past year.

The incident remains under investigation. The sheriff says Jorgensen made an appearance before the magistrate, and was released from custody. Her preliminary hearing was set for September 19th.

Many Hamburg residents may leave after flooding


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) – The town of Hamburg may lose many of its roughly 1,100 residents after the summer-long flood along the Missouri River. Floodwaters have limited access to the town since June, and last month ConAgra Foods announced it would close its microwave popcorn plant and eliminate 95 Hamburg jobs. Several real estate agents say that the number of homes currently on the market is higher than normal. Candy Bradley and her husband are trying to sell because they’re tired of dealing with flooding, which is a chronic problem in Hamburg.

John Sheldon with Green Valley Realty says the number of people wanting to sell is up about 20 percent. Sheldon says it will be important to rebuild Highway 2 into Nebraska.

8AM Newscast 09-01-2011

News, Podcasts

September 1st, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson


Alliant Energy to initiate Appliance Cycling in Iowa today


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Sept 1, 2011 – Interstate Power and Light Co. (IPL), an Alliant Energy company announced today that it will cycle air conditioners for all participating Iowa customers. Weather conditions are such that from 1-7 p.m. today customers enrolled in the Appliance Cycling Program will have their air conditioner cycled in 15 minute intervals to reduce overall energy usage. Today, Alliant Energy will be sending a signal to the switch for the 48,000 participating customers throughout the state. This cycling event is expected to reduce overall electricity demand by 33 megawatts. 

Participating customers have a small control switch placed on or near their central air conditioner. The control switch will cycle the outdoor cooling unit off and on every 15 minutes. The furnace fan will continue to circulate the cooler, drier air already in the home. Alliant Energy pays each participating customer $8 per month from June through September – whether the air conditioner is cycled or not. A similar program for electric water heaters is also included in today’s event.  Customers enrolled in that program receive a $2 per month discount during the same June through September time period. Appliance Cycling events typically occur between May 15 and September 15 on weekdays from 1-7 p.m. They are not initiated on weekends or holidays. Participation in the program is limited.

This marks a record tenth time Alliant Energy has cycled residential customers this year.

(Press Release)