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Council Bluffs Fire Department seeks to repair historic bell


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The Council Bluffs Fire Department is working to restore a bell that once rang throughout the city for more than 100 years. Fire Chief Justin James says the fire station bell, forged in 1876, once tolled for fire calls and firefighter funerals at several Council Bluffs stations. The bell had been relocated to a city storage facility for three years during station construction, and the department now wants it back in action.

James tells the Council Bluffs Nonpareil plans include erecting a tower outside the department’s new headquarters station. He says the tower would feature pictures and plaques depicting the history of the department. The department estimates the project will cost between $80,000 and $120,000. James says donations and grants will likely fund its construction.

Iowa to pay $390K to campers who were injured by fallen tree at Lake Manawa


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa judge has approved a $390,000 state payment to a couple and their child who were seriously injured when a large tree fell on their tent at a state park. The payment will settle a lawsuit alleging the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was negligent in failing to remove the diseased, 98-foot cottonwood tree at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs.

Heavy winds caused the tree to fall on a tent where 23-year-old Alecia Nichols, 25-year-old Timothy Hiers, Jr., and 3-year-old Timothy Hiers III were sleeping in May 2012. Nichols suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage, a crushed pelvis and several fractured vertebrae. She lost hearing in one ear and has undergone multiple surgeries. Her boyfriend and child suffered lacerated spleens and other injuries.

Pott. County Sheriff advises you to check road conditions


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office is advising persons needing to travel today to be sure to check road conditions before you venture out. Highway 6 is still closed from near Atlantic to Council Bluffs, primarily due to vehicles that opted to travel an impassable road getting stuck that is now preventing plows from being able to clear the roads.

Local reports advise Hwy 92 east of Treynor still 100% covered. If you’re traveling today, give yourself plenty of time and don’t risk traveling roads with travel warnings.

Gas theft reported in Union County; 2 cows & a calf hit and killed


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says officials with the City of Lorimor reported Sunday morning that sometime between 4-a.m. and 6-a.m., Sunday, someone cut locks off of their gas barrel and took approximately 20-30 gallons of gasoline. A dollar amount of the loss was not available.

And, the sheriff’s office took three reports of two cows and a calf being killed when they were struck by vehicles on Highway 34 early Friday morning, near Thayer. Two cows and a calf owned by Joseph Waigand, of Thayer, died, when they were hit by a semi driven by 58-year old Carol Black, of Hancock, a Toyota Prius driven by 63-year old Jerrod Abell, and a Pontiac Grand Am driven by 59-year old John Onstank, both of Creston.

The accidents happened at around 1:20-a.m. Friday on Highway 34, at about mile marker 98. Damage to the vehicles was estimated at $25,000 altogether. The cows were valued at $7,500. None of the drivers was injured.

No injuries reported following accident in Montgomery Co., Friday


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say no injuries were reported following a two-vehicle accident Friday morning on Highway 34.  Officials say a 2008 Chevy Malibu driven by Austin Doughtery, of Red Oak, was traveling east on Highway 34 about one-quarter of a mile east of Nature Avenue at around 7:30-a.m., when Dougherty attempted to make a U-turn on the hill.

Thad Bruning, of Red Oak, was traveling east on 34 in a 2003 Buick Lesabre, and tried to avoid a collision with the Chevy, but his car struck Doughtery’s vehicle on the left front corner. Both vehicle came to rest on the road, with Bruning’s vehicle a total loss. Damage amounted to $11,500.

Authorities cited Doughtery for making a U-turn on a hill, and for having No insurance.

(9-a.m. News)

Parts of Iowa report more than 14″ of snow from weekend storm

News, Weather

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Snowblowers are droning and shovels are scraping concrete as most Iowans are digging out from a weekend that brought heavy snow to much of the state. Winter Storm Warnings were issued from Saturday afternoon into Sunday night as the steady rain changed to heavy snow. Meteorologist Brad Small, at the National Weather Service in Johnston, says virtually all of Iowa got at least some snow and many cities got more than a foot.

“Really, the worst-hit areas were from southwest Iowa through the northern Des Moines metro area,” Small says. “We had, here at the office, 14.2 inches and amounts from 8-to-13 inches were pretty common…through the Cedar Rapids area to just north of the Quad Cities. There’s about a third of the state saw better than ten inches.”

Many churches across the state cancelled worship services on Sunday and some flights were cancelled at Des Moines International Airport, while today (Monday), schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dubuque and other districts have canceled classes and Mason City and Ames, among others, started late. Meteorologist Jim Lee, at the National Weather Service, says the most remarkable aspect of the storm was the precipitation amounts. Lee says, “When you took the total of the rain and melted snow, some areas got more precipitation in 24 hours than they normally see in the entire month of January.”

A week ago, a warm-up washed over Iowa and brought high temperatures in the 50s and 60s to many areas. That’s long gone, though, and Lee says this snow will be sticking around for a while. “The first chance to even get above freezing in most areas is around Friday and that won’t be by much,” Lee says. “So, we may see just a little bit of melting and certainly some compaction but no significant warmups or melting on the horizon.”

Highways in southwestern, central and eastern Iowa are still covered with snow according to Iowa Department of Transportation road conditions website. A 48-mile stretch of Highway 6 in southwest Iowa, between Council Bluffs and Griswold, was declared “impassible” due to drifting and blowing snow bringing white-out conditions.

(Radio Iowa)

Rollover accident reported near I-80 Wiota exit


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident near Wiota on Interstate 80 this morning has resulted in possible, minor injuries to one individual. According to scanner reports, the accident happened at around 8-a.m. on I-80 westbound, near the 63-mile marker.

Reports indicated two vehicles were involved, with one rolled over. The occupants were said to have been out of the vehicles and talking with authorities. No other details are currently available.

The road remains partially covered with snow and ice, and travelers are advised to drive with caution. Numerous other vehicles have spun-off I-80 in western Iowa, but no injuries have been reported in those incidents.

Massive drifts, bone-chilling cold greet Nebraskans, Iowans


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – People are confronting slick roads, massive snowdrifts and bone-chilling cold in much of Nebraska and Iowa as the region continues digging out from a massive winter storm. Dozens of districts in both states canceled or planned a late start to classes on Monday.

In Nebraska, Omaha Public Power District officials say nearly 250 customers remained without electricity by 7:30 a.m. At the peak of the outages, more than district 19,700 customers had no power.
Wind chills down to minus 15 were reported for Omaha overnight. On Monday morning in Sioux City, Iowa, the wind chill dipped to minus 22.

In Johnson County, Iowa, a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old son were rescued by snowmobile after becoming stuck in their vehicle near Hills on Sunday evening.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 2/2/2015

News, Podcasts

February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.


2 arrests in Creston over the weekend


February 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested over the weekend, in Creston. According to the police department, 48-year old Joel Alan Weeks, of Creston, was arrested Sunday afternoon for Driving While Barred. He was later released on $2,000 bond. And early Friday morning, 38-year old Sara Nicole Exline, of Afton, was arrested in Creston on a Union County warrant for Burglary in the 2nd degree. She was later released on $5,000 bond.

And the Creston P-D says a resident on north Walnut Street reported that sometime between Jan. 26th and 30th, someone entered his vehicle while it was parked at 401 N. Walnut. Taken from the vehicle was a black, Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun and a camouflage gun case. The loss was estimated at $320.