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New All-purpose app for Adair-Guthrie Co. residents

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Residents in Adair and Guthrie County can access a new application for their cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Bob Kempf, Emergency Management Coordinator for Adair and Guthrie Counties, says the new app available through the Google Play Store, allows residents “one-stop location” for all sorts of important information. He says it’s an all-in-one mobile app with information on what to do and expect before, during and after an emergency.Adair-Guthrie App

Kempf acknowledges there are other sources from which persons can glean emergency and weather information, including the NOAA weather radio and the Code Red system for emergency notifications via text and land-lines that covers Adair and Guthrie County, the Adair-Guthrie County Emergency Management Commission wanted a more concise way to reach the mobile user.

The two counties will be the first in the State to offer an app that offers weather, weather alerts, radar, a way to push out emergency notifications such as Boil Orders or evacuations, as well as links to the EMA’s Facebook and Twitter sites, contact information, and how to send a damage report to the Adair-Guthrie EMA if your property is hit by a storm or other disaster.

The system is not affiliated with the “Alert Iowa” program, which is a statewide mass notification and emergency messaging system. Kempf says because the two counties still have a year remaining on their Code Red contract, they won’t be switching over to Alert Iowa until the contract expires. He says if you come home or get in your vehicle and catch the tail end of a weather alert broadcast from your weather radio or local radio station, you can go to the new app on your cell phone and read exactly what the message from the National Weather Service was. You simply open up the app and access the type of information you want.

That includes preparedness information for example on what to do after a power outage. Kempf says the app has been under development since last fall. He says you can find and download it from the Google Play Store by searching for Adair (space) Guthrie (space) EMA, or at the iTunes app store under the iPhone section, not the iPad.

ISU student found dead in dorm room

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The body of an Iowa State University student was discovered Monday afternoon.  A resident of Friley Hall on the Ames campus found her female roommate inside their room. Iowa State University Police and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene. The female was pronounced dead by authorities.

No foul play is suspected in the case. The name of the individual has not been released pending notification of family members.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic School Board sets 2015-16 School calendar/testing dates

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, approved the district’s 2015-16 school calendars. The move followed a public hearing during which no comments were received from the public for or against the proposal. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein recommended the school day and testing calendar be approved, with classes beginning August 24th, in Atlantic.

New teachers will report on August 17th. All teachers and staff will report for duty on August 20th. The last day of school in 2016 will come on May 24th.  Amstein says the first semester will end before Christmas, with the second semester ending before Memorial Day. Spring Break for Atlantic students is being moved one-week later on the new calendar. Curriculum Director and Schuler Principal James Northwick says the break covers the Easter break, which also helps classes get out earlier.

And, the testing calendar which normally shows dates occurring during the winter norm for Iowa Assessments, indicates those tests will be given in late April 2016, because all school districts in Iowa starting next year, will be required to test in the spring to standardize the testing time frame.

Northwick pointed out also, that some changes had been made to teacher Professional Development days. School Board President Kristy Pellett asked Northwick to explain why the district started with “early outs” (early dismissal) the first three days of the year last fall. He said it allows the younger students more time to adjust to the routine by going half-days at the start, and it allows staff to get in more professional development time during the afternoons.

Amstein said in previous calendars, the staff has as much as five days prior to students’ arrival to prepare and receive professional development, but that’s been reduced over the years as much as possible to get students going, while at the same time still allowing for professional development.

Federal board declines request to reopen Buddy Holly crash

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) – The National Transportation Safety Board has declined a request to reopen the investigation of the Iowa plane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The Civil Aeronautics Board ruled in 1959 that the most likely cause of the crash near Clear Lake, was pilot error. Snow was listed as a secondary caused.

In a letter dated April 21, the agency said the evidence presented in a request from pilot L.J. Coon wasn’t sufficient to merit the reconsideration of the findings of the original investigation. Coon had contended that there were other issues involving weight and balance calculations, fuel-gauge readings and more that contributed to the crash.

Western IA JohnDeere dealer lays off 28 people

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Farm equipment dealer AgriVision Inc. of Glenwood, is cutting 28 people from its full-time workforce of 350 because of lagging sales triggered by the downturn in grain prices. The Omaha World-Herald says according to AgriVision CEO Jeremy Ostrander, the John Deere dealership also is offering early retirement plans to staff members over the next three or four months to reduce costs. Workers who lost their jobs — mostly in sales and support positions — are receiving severance pay and help finding new work.

AgriVision’s 13 locations in southern and south-central Iowa have customers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. AgriVision was formed Jan. 1, 2014, by the merger of Barker Implement and A&M Green Power, which trace their history back more than 100 years. During the years of high farm income, grain prices and equipment sales, the company replaced two of its facilities and added on to others.

Ostrander said the company’s parts and service business “is still going strong” and is likely to expand as farmers repair and maintain equipment rather than buying new. He said farmers bought so much new equipment during the high-income years of 2010-13 that their equipment fleet is as new as it has ever been. Much of their old equipment has been exported to other nations.

Last fall, John Deere’s manufacturing plants laid off more than 1,000 employees, including some in Iowa.

 

King seeks to ‘restrain’ federal courts authority on marriage cases

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Congressman Steve King has introduced legislation that seeks to forbid the federal courts from hearing same-sex marriage cases. “I wish our founding fathers might have named that Supreme Court something other than supreme,” King said. King plans to be at the Supreme Court today (Tuesday) as it hears arguments in a case that could make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

“Now we have a Supreme Court that thinks, ‘Oh, it’s no problem. We can redefine marriage,'” King said. “We just do that because we’re the Supreme Court, after all.'” King cites the 1857 Dred Scott decision as evidence the nation’s highest court is sometimes wrong on social issues of the day. “It said that African Americans…could never be citizens of the United States — a Supreme Court decision,” King said. “They decided that congress could not ban slavery.”

King calls his bill the “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015.” King also warns the federal courts were created by congress and they can be abolished by congress, too, with just the U.S. Supreme Court remaining. “Down to the Supreme Court that doesn’t have to be nine judges, seven judges, five judges or three,” King says. “It could be reduced to the chief justice of the supreme court at his own card table, with his own candle, working pro bono. That’s all it takes to have the minimum amount in the Constitution.”

King says the U.S. Supreme Court should not have the “final answer” on marriage and there is “no way” he is going to accept a decision that legalizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states. “Marriage is at stake and the arguments before this court may well determine the future of this country,” King says. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the same-sex marriage case is likely to be released in June. Federal judges have thus far struck down same-sex marriage bans in 22 states. Same-sex marriage bans remain in effect in 13 other states.

Iowa is among the 15 states where same-sex marriage is legal either by a state court’s decision or because state legislators have enacted laws allowing it.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., April 28th 2015

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man who pleaded guilty to robbing two Cedar Rapids banks four separate times has been sentenced to 31 years in federal prison. Twenty-nine-year-old Javon Dockery, of Cedar Rapids, was sentenced on four counts of bank robbery and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. As part of his plea, Dockery admitted to robbing a Cedar Rapids branch of U.S. Bank in April and June 2014. He also admitted to robbing a Cedar Rapids branch of Guaranty Bank twice in May.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The daughter of former NBA player Scottie Pippen has been arrested on allegations that she urinated in an Iowa City hotel lobby. The Iowa City Police Department says 20-year-old Sierra Pippen was arrested about 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel on a charge of public intoxication. A police complaint says an officer reported Pippen smelling of alcohol and having impaired speech and balance in a walkway near the hotel. She refused a preliminary alcohol screening. Pippen is an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with a bank robbery. Twenty-two-year-old Jonathan Birdnecklace was sentenced after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery. He has been ordered to serve a minimum of seven years before he is eligible for parole and pay $200 in restitution to Great Southern Bank in Sioux City.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Mason City cement company has received several citations from a federal agency following safety inspections conducted in March. Lehigh Cement Company in Mason City was issued 24 citations for violations of the Mine Act, which prioritizes the health and safety of employees in coal or other mining industries. Lehigh Cement Company produces cement and construction materials in the U.S. and Canada.

5 probable cases of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in 3 n.w. IA Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say the bird flu virus has been found in a large egg-laying flock in northwest Iowa, plus four more poultry farms. Initial tests indicated the presence of the H5N2 virus on an egg-laying farm with 3.7 million chickens in Sioux County. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said Monday the virus will cost producers about a sixth of Iowa’s 60 million hens.

Northey says other probable cases have been identified at two farms in O’Brien County, one in Osceola County and another in Sioux County. More than 2 million chickens combined were on those farms.

If the final test results are confirmed, all of the birds will be killed to prevent spread of the disease.

 

Sex offender registry compliance check nets 2 arrests

News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Deputies with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by members of the U-S Marshals Service, officers with the 4th Judicial District Adult Probation and Iowa DCI, conducted a Sex Offender Registry Compliance Check last week in Pottawattamie County. During the event which took place April 20th and April 21st, a total of 216 Registered Sex Offenders were checked.

Further investigations into potential criminal charges for failing to update information and/or violations were found on five separate offenders. Of the five investigations, two are not considered criminal, however they will be referred to the Iowa Department of Human Services for follow up. Two arrests were also made.

Officials say 24-year old Andrew Lewis Mallory, and 46-year old Eric Bryan Stites, both of Council Bluffs, were arrested and charged with Failure to Comply with the Sex Offender Registry, after failing to appear for a quarterly verification of relevant information. For Stites, it was his second offense, which is a Class D Felony. A first offense, as in the case of Mallory, is considered an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

2 arrests in Cass County

News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports two arrests. On Friday, 28-year old Andre Philip Sabatine, of Avoca, was arrested on a district court warrant for Probation Violation. Sabatine was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $5,000 bond.
And on Sunday, 44-year old David Joseph Freund, of Wiota, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Freund was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.