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Corps of Engineers ready to start rebuilding Hamburg levee


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers say repairs on one of the main levees breached by Missouri River floodwaters this year can begin — as soon as the money is allocated. Corps spokeswoman Monique Farmer says all the preliminary work has been completed to rebuild the levee in the far southwestern Iowa town of Hamburg.  “The Corps of Engineers has pulled funds from other projects to go ahead and jumpstart construction efforts to begin the repair process,” Farmer says. “We are still waiting to find out how much money Congress is going to allocate so that we can continue that repair process.” Many have criticized the Corps for not taking action sooner to prevent the monumental flooding that lasted all summer. Farmer says she’s heard the Corps being blasted for months on the issue.

“There was nothing in our weather forecast that would have given us the indication back in the January-February timeframe or even the March-April timeframe that would have given us that red flag to say that we should increase releases,” she says. When the levee broke this summer, floodwaters rolled over and covered thousands of acres of farmland and destroyed many miles of key roadways, including sections of Interstates 29 and 680. Repairs to just three miles of I-680 are estimated at 19-million dollars.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Atlantic City Council to hold public hearing on City owned property


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Atlantic will hold a public hearing Wednesday, with regard to the disposition of city property. The property consists of 7.6-acres of land located more or less northwest of the intersection of Olive and Commerce Streets in Atlantic. The hearing will be followed by a resolution approving the disposition of that property, and discussion, as well as possible action on the sale of the parcel.

City Administrator Doug Harris says the land was included in a list of City-owned parcels which were advertised for farm leases. John McCurdy, of Atlantic, held a high bid of $300 per acre for the land, but Dave Chase, representing Nishna Valley Trails, informed the Council during their last meeting, that he had been in discussions with Ted Wickman, about getting an easement that would connect the Schildberg Quarry east, to Olive Street.

Chase said Wickman had been farming the 7.6-acre parcel since he gave it to the City in 1986, along with 10-acres of land the City owns just east of Schildberg Recreation Area Lake number 2. Harris says he was unable to find any record of the City being aware of the arrangement. He added, that Wickman didn’t submit a bid for lease of the property, Dave Chase indicated he would interested in buying or leasing it. That would be contingent on Wickman being allowed to farm both City parcels. Given the sensitivity of the matter, the City Council at their last meeting, decided to hold-off on accepting McCurdy’s bid and schedule the public hearing, to allow for discussion on what should be done with the site, and find a fair resolution on the matter.

The Atlantic City Council will also hold the second reading of an ordinance adding a chapter to the City’s Code of Ordinances, with regard to a Minimum Maintenance Code, which is designed to keep properties from deteriorating to the point they become dilapidated and/or dangerous. The ordinance would require property owners to keep structures in reasonably good repair.

The City Council meeting begins at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday. For those unable to attend, it will be broadcast live on local cable channel 18, and rebroadcast at other times during the week.

Explosion destroys Council Bluffs home


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A vacant house in Council Bluffs has been destroyed in an explosion that authorities say moved the house 50 feet off its foundation. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the explosion happened this (Tuesday) afternoon. Debris from the blast was scattered several hundred feet away. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but Fire Chief Alan Byers says it appears a propane tank may have been the cause.

A woman who lives nearby and was outside at the time was taken to a local hospital for a hearing-related injury. No other injuries were reported. Abraham Lincoln High School was also locked down for about 20 minutes following the explosion as a precaution.

Adair County BOS to meet Wednesday morning


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet one-half hour earlier than normal, Wednesday. The meeting, at the courthouse in Greenfield, begins at 8:30-a.m. On their agenda, is action with regard to the signing of contract documents with Herberger Construction Company, Incorporated, for a bridge over county road N-23 in the Walnut Township, and the signing of a new “Empowerment of County Engineer” resolution, as requested by the Iowa DOT, because of a change or correction in wording. Cass-Adair County Engineer Charles Marker will be on-hand to present the contract and resolution, along with a New Hire form, and to present his report on the Secondary Roads Department’s recent activity and Maintenance matters.

The Adair County Supervisors will also discuss and possibly act on: Area 14 on Aging funding, taxable mileage, and allowances and/or disallowances for Homestead and Military credits.

I-680 grand reopening ceremony to be held in Crescent


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Due to forecasted inclement weather, the Interstate 680 grand reopening ceremony being hosted by the Iowa Department of Transportation on Wednesday will be held at the Crescent Fire Station (102 W. Florence Street, just west of Old Lincoln Highway). The public is welcome to attend. I-680 is still scheduled to reopen at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday. Vehicles representing the contractors responsible for the fast-track rebuilding of the highway will lead the way.  Parking will be available at the Pink Poodle Steakhouse, 633 Old Lincoln Highway; limited parking will also be available along Florence Street.

The event will feature formal remarks from: Iowa Governor  Terry E. Branstad & Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds; Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor M. Mendez; Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino III;  Nebraska Department of Roads District 2 Engineer Tim Weander; Mayor of Council Bluffs Tom Hanafan & Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.

There will also be a ceremonial “relinking” of Nebraska and Iowa, and refreshments.

2 arrests in Montgomery County


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested Monday, on unrelated charges. 52-year old Bernard Anton Cerven, of Villisca, was arrested Monday morning on a Magistrate’s warrant for Contempt of Court. Cerven was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $4,000 cash bond. And, 40-year old Keith Allan Currin, of Villisca was arrested Monday afternoon, on a District Court warrent for Violation of his Probation. He was on probation in association with a 3rd degree burglary charge filed against him in August, 2010. Currin appeared before a judge and was released on $1,300 cash bond.

Minor injury accident reported in Montgomery County


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A collision between a van and a deer Sunday evening in Montgomery County resulted in minor injuries to a passenger in the van. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a 2003 Chevy van drive by 42-year old Dana McCormick, of Elliott, was traveling south on Highway 48 at around 6:45-p.m., when a deer ran onto the road. When the van hit the deer, a passenger in the vehicle, 10-year old William McCormick, suffered a possible arm injury, as he complained of pain following the collision.

The accident, which happened about two-miles east of Elliott, caused an estimated $3,000 damage to the van.

4 vehicle vs. deer accidents reported in Page County


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says four vehicle-versus-deer accidents occurred over the past week. None of the collisions resulted in injuries. There were two run-ins with deer reported Monday morning. Officials say just before 7-a.m., vehicles driven by 32-year old Shawn Pappas, of Red Oak, and 60-year old Dianna Drake, of Stanton, collided on westbound Highway 48, when Drake braked hard to avoid a deer which had suddenly appeared on the road. Pappas, who was following the Drake vehicle, was unable to stop in time, and hit the rear of her car, causing it to become disable. The vehicles sustained a combined $6,000 damage. No citations were issued.

Less than a half-hour later, a pickup driven by 17-year old Robert Button, of Shenandoah, hit and killed a deer that appeared on C Avenue. The accident caused $1,700 damage to the pickup, which was towed from the scene.

Late Saturday night, a pickup driven by 18-year old Michael Pittman, of Clarinda, collided with a deer, as Pittman was traveling south on Willow Avenue, in Page County. The vehicle sustained $1,500 damage. And, Friday evening, an SUV driven by 31-year old Stacy Bolton, of Clarinda, hit a deer on O Avenue. The impact caused $2,500 damage.

8AM Newscast 11-01-2011

News, Podcasts

November 1st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Cass County Board of Supervisors hear update on COG/COOP matters


November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Monday were updated on the County’s Continuity of Government (COG), and Continuity of Operations Plans. Rob Koppert, E-9-1-1 Coordinator and Assistant to Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon, explained why those plans are needed. He says both plans would spell out how government functions would continue, should members of the Board of Supervisors be wiped out in a disaster, and/or if any of the county’s physical facilities are destroyed.  The initiative began a number of years ago, according to Koppert, but is only now beginning to take shape across the State.

Koppert says Mike Kennon has been working with the State Planner with regard to the COOP/COG plans, and it appears the Emergency Management Department is ready to move forward with plans to meet with County government officials to discuss those plans.  He says Kennon has a list of functions each entity in the County will need to discuss and prioritize, with regard to the plan. That includes the various County Department heads, who will determine the needs for each department, before a disaster strikes, so those items can quickly be acquired if needed.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken asked if Kennon wasn’t “reinventing the wheel,” when it comes to the COG/COOP Plans, because the State or other agencies have something similar in place. Koppert said there are templates available with which to guide the process, but the COG/COOP Plans for each county, would be County Specific. That would include where the County offices would set up operations if the courthouse were to be destroyed or damaged to the point where normal functions would be impossible.

The County is also required to develop such a plan, according to the Federal initiative ordered by a Presidential directive. The recent purchase and installation this past Spring, of a new 175 kilowatt Emergency Generator, is part of the County’s COG plan.