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Sioux City sued over ordinance banning pit bulls

News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two people have sued Sioux City over its ordinance banning pit bulls. The Sioux City Journal reports the lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. In it, Jennifer Frost and a woman referred to as Jane Doe ask the court to bar the city from enforcing the ordinance and to outlaw it as a violation of their constitutional right to due process.

The lawsuit says the ordinance, passed in 2008, is inconsistent and bans animals that are not harmful. The ban prohibits residents from having dogs that are at least 51 percent pit bull. City officials declined to comment about the lawsuit.

Iowa’s tornado tally is below average in 2016, not that anyone’s complaining

News, Weather

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

It’s a below-average year for tornadoes in Iowa. While they can strike during any month of the year, the peak time for twisters in the state is usually during May and June. Kevin Skow, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in metro Des Moines, says Iowans should not let their guard down as dark clouds could still spawn dangerous, swirling cyclones.

“So far this year, we’ve seen 33 tornadoes across the state and our average number of tornadoes is typically around 48 to 49 in a given year,” Skow says. “However, even though the bulk of our tornado season, the typical climatological peak is past, we can still see late-season outbreaks as was the case last year with our November 11th and even some December tornadoes. We’re certainly not out of the woods quite yet.”

Of the 33 tornadoes confirmed in Iowa this year, 24 of them were rated in the weakest category of E-F-zero, while seven were E-F-ones and only two got big enough to rank as E-F-twos. There have been no E-F-threes, fours or fives. “Most of our tornadoes, generally the vast majority, are weak EF-0,” Skow says. “They’re very short-lived and have path lengths a mile or two at best. Many times, they didn’t impact any structures and again, they’re very weak, which is what we’d like to see.”

The first three confirmed tornadoes this year all touched down on March 15th in Scott and Clinton counties, while the most recent tornado was just last week in Council Bluffs. That twister on Thursday afternoon was a relatively rare “rope” tornado or waterspout that churned up Lake Manawa. Hundreds of people in the metro area saw it and took pictures and video, including one passenger on a jetliner landing at Eppley Airfield in Omaha.

“We were very, very thankful it didn’t move anywhere,” Skow says. “It just sat out over the lake there and didn’t move. It didn’t impact anything. It was just stationary and lasted at least five to ten minutes.” Something else that’s unusual this year, there were two days where five tornadoes were reported on the same day: April 27th saw five twisters in southwestern Iowa and July 17th brought five more in eastern Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA pegs value of Iowa cropland at $8000 an acre, down 2.4 percent from 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Farmland values in Iowa have dipped for the second year in a row according to the U.S.D.A. The U-S-D-A’s National Agricultural Statistics Services estimates the average price for Iowa “cropland” is now eight-thousand dollars ($8,000) an acre. That’s a nearly two-and-a-half percent decline from 2015. Experts say the drop is fueled by low commodity prices. The average price for Iowa land used as pasture for livestock is 34-hundred dollars, unchanged from a year ago.

A spring survey of realtors who sell Iowa farmland indicated a bigger drop in the price for Iowa cropland, of nearly nine percent. The U.S.D.A.’s report concluded the total value for farm real estate in Iowa is 244 TRILLION dollars. That’s the value of all the agland as well as the barns and farmhouses in Iowa.

The RENTAL price for cropland in Iowa averaged 235-dollars ($235) an acre for this growing season. That’s down 15 dollars an acre from a year ago.

(Radio Iowa)

New ‘Anti-Trump’ independent has 10 days to qualify for Iowa ballot

News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An “anti-Trump” Republican plans to run for president as an independent — and he has until Friday, August 19th to collect enough qualifying petition signatures to get his name printed on Iowa’s General Election ballots. Forty-year-old Evan McMullin is a former C.I.A. counter-terrorism operative. He’s left his job as the chief policy director for Republicans in the U.S. House and is running as an independent candidate for president. He’s already missed the filing deadline in two dozen states.

To get his name on Iowa’s 2016 General Election ballot, McMullin and his supporters must do this: They have to circulate nominating petitions and get the signatures of at least 15-hundred Iowa registered voters — and Iowans from at least 10 counties must be represented on those petitions.

In 2004, Ralph Nader’s supporters had to collect petition signatures to get his name printed on the Iowa ballot. A John Kerry supporter challenged some of the signatures, but a three-member panel approved the petitions and Nader was listed as an independent candidate that year. In 1992, Ross Perot’s supporters completed a similar petition process and Perot was listed as the Reform Party candidate on Iowa ballots.

In 1980, former Republican Congressman John Anderson of Illinois ran for president as an independent in every state.

(Radio Iowa)

Phone call prompts another warning about IRS scams

News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowans are being reminded to beware of phone calls from someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service. One of the would-be scammers called a radio station in southwest Iowa recently and the entire call was recorded.  “Sir, the reason behind the call is to inform you there is a lawsuit filed against your name by the IRS regarding the tax evasion,” the caller said. “Are you aware about this lawsuit before?” When the radio station employee said no, the caller began with the scam.

“We came to know there were some miscalculations, some errors in your tax filing,” the caller said. “I’m not blaming on you that you’ve not paid your taxes. I know you pay your tax regularly, but the amount you’re filing as your tax was not correct. You were filing some of the wrong amounts which you actually have to pay to the government as your tax.” The caller didn’t like being questioned.

“I want to notify you that this line are being recorded and monitored by the IRS,” he said. “Please do not interrupt me and listen to me very carefully. Once I complete my part, after that, I will give you time to ask me the question, but until that time, you have to listen to me very carefully.” The scammer claimed the IRS was owed nearly 39-hundred dollars which needed to be paid immediately.

Upon being informed he’d called a radio station and that the conversation was being recorded, he hung up. Iowans are warned to not give this sort of caller any personal information and to just hang up. The I-R-S does not conduct business this sort of business on the phone. It’s done by mail.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., August 10th 2016

News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa side of a pedestrian bridge that connects Omaha, Nebraska, to Council Bluffs has reopened. The Daily Nonpareil reports that the bridge reopened Tuesday morning after closing early Monday for construction work. The Iowa side of the bridge had been scheduled to remain closed until 6 p.m. Tuesday, but officials say work near the entrance at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs was completed early.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police say they’ve arrested a 30-year-old Des Moines mother after finding her toddler alone in his home’s backyard sucking on a frozen chicken breast. Television station KCCI reports that officers went to the home Monday and found the 2-year-old boy alone in a filthy diaper. A small dog was also in the backyard, trying to get the chicken from him. The mother was later arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and drug possession.

MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) — Voters in southeast Iowa’s Lee County will decide whether to end their unique status as the state’s only county with two functioning courthouses. The Hawk Eye in Burlington reports the Lee County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday morning to place a bond referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot seeking funding for a new courthouse estimated to cost $8.5 million. Officials haven’t determined where the courthouse would be located but Supervisor Don Hunold has suggested it be built in Montrose.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — The chief Wapello County prosecutor says two Ottumwa officers were justified in shooting an armed man. The officers were checking a report June 25 about a man shooting a rifle. Police have said the man wouldn’t put down his rifle and pointed it toward one of the officers before they fired, striking him twice.

(Updated 6:10-p.m.) Candidates filing for Cass Co. Gen. Election

News

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Deputy Auditor Sheri Karns this (Tuesday) afternoon, released an updated list of persons who have filed nomination papers to run for County Offices during the November 8th General Election. The candidates whose names will appear on the ballot include:

  • Steve Green, of Atlantic -Republican candidate for the Cass County Board of Supervisors in District 1. (Elect 1)
  • Dana Kunze, of Griswold – Democrat candidate for the Cass County Board of Supervisors in District 4. Kunze will face a challenge from Republican Steve Baier, who’s also from Griswold. (Elect 1)
  • Two candidates have filed to run for the Cass County Board of Supervisors in District 5: Republican Incumbent Frank Waters, of Cumberland, and No Party candidate Randy J. Pollock, of Anita. (Elect 1)
  • Cass County incumbent Republican Auditor Dale Sunderman is currently unopposed in his bid for re-election, as is Cass County Republican incumbent Sheriff, Darby McLaren. (elect 1 for each position)
  • And, three Republicans have filed papers to fun for the County Agricultural Extension Council. They include incumbents: Julie Aupperle, of Wiota, and Darrin Petty, of Atlantic, and Marcy Jo Dorsey, of Anita. (4 seats are open on the Council)
  • Union Township Trustee: Incumbent Republican Delmar South, of Cumberland.

The last day to file, nomination papers is Aug. 31st. Nomination petitions and other election forms are available at the office of the Cass County Auditor, as well as from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office at sos.iowa.gov.

Iowa side of Omaha pedestrian bridge reopens early

News

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa side of a pedestrian bridge that connects Omaha, Nebraska, to Council Bluffs has reopened. The Daily Nonpareil reports that the bridge reopened Tuesday morning after closing early Monday for construction work. The Iowa side of the bridge had been scheduled to remain closed until 6 p.m. Tuesday, but officials say work near the entrance at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs was completed early.

Bridge users were still able to access the Nebraska side of the bridge throughout the construction work.

190th Street to close in Audubon County for 2 weeks due to construction

News

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Audubon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Jensen reports Audubon County Secondary Roads will be closing a one-mile section of 190th Street later this week, due to road surface and culvert work. The work zone is located in the 1000 block of 190th Street, between Yellowwood Road and Bluebird Avenue.image001 The construction project is expected begin Aug. 11th and last about two-weeks, weather permitting. During the project, crews will be repairing culverts, cleaning ditches and re-grading the road.

Audubon EMADuring most of the project, 1012 190th Street will only be accessible from the west. However, the intersection of Yellowwood Road and 190th will also be undergoing some work. Prepare to plan alternate routes for emergency response to nearby residents. If you have any questions, call the Audubon County Engineer’s Office at 712-563-4286.

Harlan Police report (8/9/16)

News

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports 71-year old  Michael Childs, of Harlan, was taken into custody August 2nd, when officers were called to investigate an accident in the 1900 block of 19th Street. The investigation determined a 2014 Mercedes driven by Childs collided with a 2014 Chevrolet truck parked on 19th Street. The truck was registered to Jerod Mathiasen, of Harlan. Damage from the crash amounted to $16,000. Childs was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  Childs was also cited for failure to maintain control.

On August 3rd, an unidentified 17-year old male was cited for a curfew violation when he was observed riding a bicycle in the 700 block of Court Street at approximately 2:30-a.m. Officials say the city has an ordinance that states children under the age of 18 (minor children) must be off the public streets, out of the public parks and otherwise to be at a private residence, between the hours of 12:30-a.m. and 5:00-a.m.  The male subject was cited and released to his mother.

Also on August 3rd, Harlan Police arrested 55-year old Lee Hansen, of Elk Horn, following a traffic stop.  Hansen was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with driving while barred. And, on August 4th, Harlan Police Officers were called to investigate vandalism to a truck in the 1300 block of Grand Avenue.  There are no suspects and the investigation continues.