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U.S. 30 flood mitigation work will begin Wednesday, July 6


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – July 5, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reporting that installation of the flood barrier wall along portions of the north side of U.S. 30 from the Missouri River crossing (at Blair, Neb.) to Interstate 29 (near Missouri Valley) will begin Wednesday, July 6. The road will close at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Work will be performed around-the-clock and will take approximately 48 hours.

The Iowa portion of the detour, established for persons traveling from Missouri Valley, Iowa, to Blair, Neb., is: I-29 south to I-680E, take I-680E to I-80W, and then take I-80W to the Iowa/Nebraska state line at Council Bluffs/Omaha. The public will be notified when the roadway is reopened to travel. 

As a reminder, flood mitigation work being performed at this site is intended to address a specific scenario – breaches that occur south or downstream of U.S. 30. This site remains on the Iowa DOT’s list of roadways at “high-risk of closure due to flooding” because of its continued vulnerability to a levee breach north or upstream of U.S. 30. The duration and severity of the flooding is putting tremendous pressure on the levee systems. Placement of the TrapBags® on both sides of the roadway in lower-lying areas does not prevent an inundation of U.S. 30 should a breach occur in the agricultural levee north of the highway. Due to the characteristics of this site, no mitigation strategies were feasible for a northern breach.

Gov. Branstad announces appointees to Iowa’s boards and commissions


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad today (Tuesday) announced the names of the individuals he has appointed to Iowa’s boards and commissions. They include, from western Iowa:

James Graham, of Council Bluffs, to the Iowa Arts Council

Angela Hance, of Creston, to the Early Access Council for Children and Families

Daniel Rittel, of Stuart, to the State Historical Records Advisory Board

Frank Hermsen, of Carroll, to the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees

Wayne Phipps, of Glenwood, to the Preserves Advisory Board

Jerry Mathiasen, of Council Bluffs, to the Terrace Hill Commission

Sherri Clark, of Red Oak, to the Vocational Rehabilitation Council

And Gina Schochenmaier, of Council Bluffs, to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. 

The members of Iowa’s boards and commissions are appointed by the governor. State law requires most boards and commissions to be balanced by gender, political affiliation. Geographic location and diversity is considered.

Data mistakes almost cost Iowa Medicaid millions


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A federal report says data entry errors nearly caused the Iowa Medicaid program to overpay doctors by $9.2 million, but the mistakes were caught before the checks were cashed. An audit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made public last week says the mistakes in 2009 involved employees who copied and pasted the wrong numbers into the amount to pay. The errors resulted in two doctors receiving checks for $9.2 million more than they should have for the procedures they performed.

The audit says the state was fortunate to catch the mistakes and cancel the payments following a special review of old checks that had not been cashed. Iowa Medicaid officials say they’ve prohibited employees from using the “copy and paste” function during data entry.

Branstad doesn’t plan special session on education


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad says he no longer plans to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with recommendations from an education summit being held later this month. The governor told reporters Tuesday that any major reforms of the state education system will require time to build political support and he will make the issue a top priority of the Legislature convening next January.

When he announced plans for the summit earlier in the year, the governor called for a special session to enact recommended education reforms. But that was before this year’s session stretched until the end of June, making it one of the longest sessions in Iowa history.

Branstad says he also intends to seek public pension reforms in the next session.

Clarinda High School burglarized over the weekend


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Clarinda are investigating a burglary that took place over the weekend at the Clarinda High School. Police Chief Keith Brothers says his department was informed about the incident when it was discovered early Saturday morning.

Responding officers confirmed someone forced their way into the building through a door on the west side of the school. The person or persons involved in the incident gained entry to the building by breaking the glass on a door. Once inside, they broke into several classrooms and stole an undetermined number of items. School officials were working to conduct an inventory in an attempt to determine what was missing.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Clarinda Police Department at 542-2194. Your anonymous tip may make you eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime.

Drug charges filed against an Anita man


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports an Anita man has been charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The charges filed against 27-year old Robbie Troy Metheny stem from a traffic stop on Sunday, July 3rd. Metheny is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

And, 36-year old Angela Marie Weaver, of Exira, was arrested Saturday evening following a traffic stop on Highway 71, near 310th Street. The Sheriff’s Department says Weaver was charged with OWI, 1st offense. She posted a $1,000 cash bond and was released from custody. Weaver is scheduled to appear in court, on Thursday.

Corps of Engineers seeking land along Mo. River


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers has sent letters to landowners in Missouri and Iowa asking if they wanted to sell land in the Missouri River basin after flooding began along the river. David Kolarik, corps spokesman in Kansas City, said the timing of the letter was a coincidence, and a mistake. He said most of the letters went out before the flooding began in May.  The St. Joseph News-Press reports that some of the letters, however, went out June 6, after the flooding began.

The Missouri River has been flooding for weeks since the corps began releasing historic amounts of water to relieve bloated upstream reservoirs. The corps said the proposal to buy the land had nothing to do with the flooding, and that it’s seeking land to rebuild wildlife habitats.

Iowa casino rescue crew pulls man from Missouri


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A man who rode his bicycle into the Missouri River at South Sioux City, Neb., has been rescued from the fast-moving water. Sioux City television station KCAU reports that the man was riding his bicycle toward the river around 2:30 p.m. Monday on the Nebraska side of the river. Witnesses say he apparently lost control and fell into the river.

Security at the Argosy Casino on the Iowa side of the river launched a rescue boat and picked the man up in just minutes. The man was taken away in an ambulance, but he appeared to be in good condition.

Cass & Adair County Board of Sup.’s mtg preview


July 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass and Adair County Boards of Supervisors will hold their regular weekly meetings Wednesday morning in Atlantic, and Greenfield, respectively.

In Atlantic, the Supervisors are schedule to hear at presentation at 9:30, from a representative with Group Benefit Limited, with regard to medical insurance.

And, in Greenfield, the Board will discuss and possibly act on proposed Vision rates for FY 2012, from Dr. Weiland (why’lund). They’re also scheduled to receive an update on the Adair County Public Safety Center, from John Hansen, with Midwest Construction Consultants. Hansen will discuss change orders and furniture bids.

Both meetings are set to begin at 9-a.m.

8AM Newscast 07-05-2011

News, Podcasts

July 5th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ News Director Ric Hanson