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Sioux City building built in 1930s damaged by fire

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The owners of a historic Sioux City building that dates to the 1930s are trying to determine how much can be salvaged after a weekend fire. The Sioux City Journal reports  the distinctive Normandy building sustained significant damage Saturday.

Fire officials haven’t been able to determine what caused the fire partly because it hasn’t been safe for inspectors to enter the building. Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph says the roof will have to be removed before investigators can enter.

The white building with cone-shaped turrets was the longtime home of the Normandy Restaurant. It has also housed other businesses and in recent years, several art studios.

Cass County deputies & others take the “Plunge for Landon”

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(7-p.m.: corrects name in 2nd graph to Tiffani Burks)

Several groups and individuals took the polar “Plunge for Landon” Sunday afternoon, at the Schildberg Recreation Area in Atlantic. Last Friday morning, members of the Atlantic Police Department took “Plunge,” to show support for 5 month old Landon Shaw from Tarkio, Missouri. Landon is battling cancer, and the Tarkio community came up with the “Plunge Challenge” as a way to show support and raise funds to help the family.

The first group gets ready to jump in.

The first group gets ready to jump in.

At around 3:30-p.m. Sunday, Tiffani Burks from Anita was challenged by her employees at REM Iowa Community Services, to take the plunge. Burks will donate $5 for each of the employees who takes the plunge where she works. Amy Nelson from Griswold also took plunge, promised to donate $5 for each of the Griswold Fire Department members who take the plunge, and, Charlie and Lisa Mills, from Massena challenged their son Ted Mills and staff at the Cumberland Fire Department to take the challenge and raise funds for Landon.plunge 003

Then it was time for members of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office to accept the challenge from the A-PD’s Devin Hogue. Taking the plunge Saturday was Deputy Josh McLaren, who issued his own challenge to the Ft. Dodge Police Department and a local radio station. McLaren said he would donate $10 for Landon for each group that completes the plunge.

Cass County Deputies McLaren, Shields and Quist get ready to take the plunge.

Cass County Deputies McLaren, Shields and Quist get ready to take the plunge.

Deputy Tyler Shiels issued a similar challenge to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office. Cass County Deputy Kyle Quist and his partner Vader took the plunge as well. He was challenged by the A-PD and the Nodaway County, MO. K-9 Dept. to take the challenge. Quist in-turn issued a challenge to Guthrie County K-9 officer Kent Gries, Cass County Deputy Ryan Johnson, and IA DOT Officer Brian Rink.

Once the soggy trio of McLaren, Shiels and Quist emerged from the lake, Cass County E-911 Director Rob Koppert and 9-1-1 Dispatcher Shawn Page ran into the lake. Koppert was challenged to take the plunge by Montgomery County 9-1-1. He pledged $10 and is issued a challenge to Pottawattamie County Communications and their Director Bob Anderson, Tom Ling and the Mills County 9-1-1 staff.plunge 006 Page challenged Atlantic Boy Scout Troop 54 and Pack 53.

Rob Koppert & Shawn Page

Rob Koppert & Shawn Page

Rob-Shawn 2The Atlantic Fire Dept. was set to take the plunge at the fire station, at 5-p.m.

Red Oak couple arrested Sunday morning

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two Red Oak residents were arrested early Sunday morning as authorities were executing a search warrant at a location near Highway 48 and E. Ratliff Road. Red Oak Police say 52-year old Jack Ray Steinspring was taken into custody at around 3:50-a.m. on a warrant for Failure to comply with the Sex Offender Registry/5th offense. During the incident, 34-year old Becky Jo Hegarty was arrested for Interference with Official Acts. Both Red Oak residents were brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where Steinspring was being held on $5 ,000 cash bond. Hegarty’s bond was set at $300.

ATF: Des Moines fire doesn’t appear intentional

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal experts have wrapped up their investigation of a downtown Des Moines fire without determining the cause. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Sunday there is no sign the March 29 fire in the former Younkers building was set intentionally. But it’s not yet clear what caused the fire at the building built in 1899 that was being renovated into apartments at the time.

Control of the devastated building will be turned over to the developer. City officials will now work to determine what development might be done on the block after the fire.

Update: Victims in Thu. afternoon fatal crash in Woodbury Co. ID’d

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has identified the victims of a snow-storm related crash that happened Thursday afternoon in Woodbury County. As we reported on Friday, the fatal crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 29 near Salix, when a northbound vehicle towing a flatbed trailer crossed the median and hit a southbound vehicle. The crash killed a passenger in the northbound vehicle and sent the driver to a Sioux City hospital.

Officials say 71-year old Allen J. Lueck, of Rosendale, WI...a passenger in 2004 Ford driven by 69-year old Gary C. Schwantes, of New Holstein, WI…died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City from injuries he suffered in the crash. Schwantes, along with the driver of a 2004 Pontiac, 25-year old Desiree Lhotka, of Onawa, and the other driver, 38-year old Kevin Johnson, of Sioux City, as well as 70-year old Michael Fuller, of East St. Paul, Manitoba, Canada, were injured in the crash. Each of the injured were transported to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says the biggest contributing factors in Thursday’s crashes were accumulated slush on roads and vehicles going too fast for road conditions.

Capitol focus on settlement agreements continues

News

April 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Settlement agreements are likely to continue to dominate the agenda at the Iowa Capitol this week as some lawmakers remain unsatisfied with discrepancies in testimony and answers they received during hearings last week.

Former employees testified at a Government Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday they were treated badly when fired in 2011 and were offered money to keep quiet about their dismissals. Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll denied those allegations on Thursday in testimony to the committee that completely contradicted the workers.

Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, chair of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, says she plans to ask state department heads and human resources officials to come before the committee. She’s waiting for the Department of Administrative Services to provide numerous documents about state contracts and hiring practices.

2 men arrested in Red Oak

News

April 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest of two men on separate charges Friday night. 45-year old Kevin LaRoy Vanderhoof, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 11:05-p.m. in the 1100 block of Boundary Street, after authorities received a call about a physical altercation having allegedly taken place in the 400 block of E. Reed Street. Following an investigation, Vanderhoof was arrested on Criminal Mischief in the 3rd degree and Disorderly conduct charges. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 cash bond.

And, just before 11-p.m., Friday, officers with the Red Oak P-D arrested 45-year old Allen Glen Hale, of Red Oak. Hale was charged with Disorderly Conduct, and booked into the Montgomery County Jail. His bond was set at $300.

Job fair for Griffin Pipe workers in Iowa

News

April 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – An estimated 250 workers affected by the closure of Griffin Pipe in Council Bluffs will have an opportunity to find new work next week during a job fair at the Mid-America Center.  The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the job fair, being sponsored by the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce and Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, will be held April 10.  About 40 to 50 area employers, who are actively hiring, will have booths at the fair.

Council Bluffs officials received notification last month from U.S. Pipe Holdings in Hoover, Ala., that the Griffin Pipe Products plant would be closing in early May. U.S. Pipe Holdings is a subsidiary U.S. Pipe and Foundry, Birmingham, Ala.

U.S. Pipe acquired a majority interest in Griffin Pipe earlier this year.

Husband cleared in Iowa prescription pad theft

News

April 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

UNDERWOOD, Iowa (AP) — Charges have been dropped against an Underwood teacher accused of stealing prescription pads to obtain pain medication, but charges against his wife remain. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that a judge on Friday dismissed charged against Heath Telleen, who teaches at Underwood High School. His wife, Samantha Telleen, faces up to 90 years in prison if she’s convicted of the nine counts against her.

Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Shelly Sedlak says an investigation revealed Samantha Telleen — not her husband — took prescription pads from Underwood Family Practice. Prosecutors say Samantha Telleen was given the key to the building last year to check mail and faxes while the owners were away.

Samantha Telleen is a special education teacher at Underwood Middle School. She is on paid leave.

New IA DOT construction website online

News

April 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Just in time for National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Iowa Department of Transportation is launching a new website to keep motorists better informed on the location of major Iowa DOT construction projects that may impact travel. The site, www.iowadot.gov/travel.html#/highwayconstruction, lists interstate and state highway construction projects’ details.

For calendar year 2014, the Iowa Department of Transportation is anticipating approximately $700 million in repairs to Iowa’s state highway system. Cities and counties across the state will have numerous projects underway as well. Remember, in a work zone, a flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.

Mark Bortle, the Iowa DOT’s traffic safety field engineer, says “We’re excited about the new website for a number of reasons. First, it will help the public get the information they need any time of the day or night. Of course, they can always call one of our offices, but sometimes that isn’t as convenient as just logging on. Launching the site just in time for Work Zone Awareness Week is just another reminder to keep an eye out for the many family members, friends, and neighbors out working on the roads. The work is being done to improve safety for all of us.”

Basic travel can also be found at www.511ia.org or call 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide).