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Iowa commission votes to direct $286M to US Highway 20 plan

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Transportation Commission has voted to direct $286.4 million to finish expanding U.S. Highway 20 to four lanes in northwestern Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports the commission voted for the fiscal year 2016-2020 plan at their monthly meeting on Tuesday. The expansion will happen on stretches of the highway in Woodbury, Ida and Sac counties.

The work includes $68.3 million for 12 miles in Woodbury County to be done by 2018, $138.1 million for 17 miles in Ida County for 2016 and $80 million for 11 miles in Sac County in 2017. Highway 20 Association President Shirley Phillips said the improvements will boost economic development and improve safety.

Amber Alert appears to have ended sadly

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Urbandale Police Department has cancelled an Iowa Amber Alert that was issued early this (Wednesday) morning. 

Logan_Habibovic

Logan_Habibovic

Shortly after issuing the Alert concerning 9-month old Logan Habibovic, of Urbandale, and his father – 33-year old Elvis Habibovic, who was the suspect, Urbandale Police were contacted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol regarding the Alert. On Tuesday evening Missouri authorities located a burned vehicle in a conservation area in Harrison County Missouri. This vehicle matched the description of the one issued in the alert. Missouri authorities state the remains of an adult and infant were located within the vehicle.

Elvis_Habibovic

Elvis_Habibovic

The Urbandale Police & Missouri State Highway Patrol believe this vehicle and remains are those sought in the Amber Alert. The Urbandale Police Department is continuing to work with Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators to make positive identifications.

Casey’s General Stores has record fiscal year; CFO discusses expansion plans

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa-based convenience store chain Tuesday, reported a record fiscal year. Bill Walljasper, C-F-O of Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores, says diluted earnings were $4.62 per share in fiscal year 2015, up from $3.62 one year ago. Walljasper said strong fuel sales were one reason for the positive report. “During the fourth quarter, we experienced a favorable fuel environment that caused the margin to rise above our annual goal to 16.9 cents per gallon, compared to 13.1 cents per gallon in the same period a year ago,” Walljasper said.

Motorists who bought gas at Casey’s paid an average of $2.27 a gallon during the company’s fourth quarter. That compared to $3.39 a gallon one year ago. Grocery and merchandise sales in Casey’s stores amounted to $436.6 million in the fourth quarter. “We experienced double-digit total sales growth in nearly every major area of this category, including cigarettes,” Walljasper said.

Casey’s also recorded record earnings in the fourth quarter in the category of prepared food and fountain drinks. “Total sales were up 19.5 percent to $194.7 million for the quarter,” Walljasper said. Casey’s gross profit for the fiscal year that ended April 30th was just over $1.4 billion. The Ankeny-based company is listed 382nd on the most recent Fortune 500 list. That’s up from 389 last year.

Casey’s General Stores will be growing even bigger in the coming year. Bill Walljasper revealed Tuesday that the company plans to build or acquire between 75 and 113 stores in fiscal year 2016. “In addition to these goals, we plan to replace 10 stores and complete 100 major remodels,” Walljasper said. The company currently operates 1,878 stores — mostly around the Midwest. Over the 12 months that ended April 30th, the company acquired 36 stores and opened 45 new stores. Around 100 Casey’s stores will be moved to a 24-hour format in the coming year, according to Walljasper.

“We converted 110 stores to this format in fiscal 2015, bringing our total to about 850 of our stores now open 24-hours,” Walljasper said. In addition to being the 10th largest convenience store chain in the country, Casey’s is the 5th largest pizza chain. In recent years, the company has started offering pizza delivery from stores in larger cities. “Our plan in fiscal 2016 is to convert about 100 more stores to the pizza delivery format,” Walljasper said. “We typically experience a 25-to-30 percent increase in prepared food sales upon the roll-out of a pizza delivery program to a store.”

Casey’s was founded in 1968 and became a publicly traded company in 1983.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., June 10th 2015

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

(IOWA) — Police have issued an AMBER Alert for a nine-month-old boy, who was abducted in Urbandale. Logan Habibovic is described as approximately two feet tall, with blond hair and hazel eyes.  He was wearing a light colored onesie when he was taken. The suspect, the boy’s father Elvis Habibovic, is driving a black 2003 Land Rover Discovery with the Iowa license plate DBG536.  He is possibly heading to Florida.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have called off the search for a man who witnesses say yelled for help in the Des Moines River. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says search and rescue crews ended their work Tuesday afternoon following an extensive search of the river. Searchers in boats were deployed with sonar equipment in the morning just south of Interstate 80 on the northwest side of Des Moines. Authorities responded Monday night to reports from witnesses who say a distressed man was in the river.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The city of Cedar Rapids plans to challenge orders by Iowa’s transportation department to stop using certain traffic enforcement cameras. The Cedar Rapids City Council voted in favor of asking a district court to overturn the recent decision by the state Department of Transportation. It’s unclear when a court may take up the issue.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials are investigating the cause of a small train derailment in northern Iowa. Union Pacific Railroad officials say two locomotives were being moved within a closed storage area in Mason City when they tipped off a track early Tuesday. No injuries were reported. It’s unclear what caused the derailment.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Marion couple have pleaded guilty to enticing a 15-year-old girl into sexual activity. Sentencing hearings have not been set yet for 20-year-old Michael Darling and his wife, 27-year-old Jennifer Darling. Prosecutors say Michael Darling admitted that, between January and March, he persuaded the girl to engage in sexual activity. Prosecutors also say Jennifer Darling admitted enticing the same girl to engage in sexual activity, over the same weeks.

Man fatally shot by Des Moines police after vehicle chase

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man has died after being shot by Des Moines police following a vehicle chase. The Des Moines Register reports the incident happened late Tuesday. Sgt. Jason Halifax said that an officer had pulled over a car for an unrelated traffic stop when another vehicle pulled up alongside so close that the officer couldn’t open the door. Halifax said the driver of that car got out and danced before driving off.

Authorities say the driver did a U-turn after a low-speed pursuit and stopped abruptly. Halifax said the driver got out and began to move toward another officer who had just arrived. The officer opened fire and shot the driver in the torso. The driver was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Halifax said he did not know if the driver was armed.

Amber Alert issued in Iowa (6/10/15)

News

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

UPDATE: Alert cancelled 5:41-a.m. – vehicle and occupants located. No other details immediately available.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has issued an AMBER ALERT for the abduction of a white male, 9-month old Logan Habibovic, from Urbandale.

Elvis_Habibovic

Elvis_Habibovic

Logan_Habibovic

Logan_Habibovic

The suspect in the abduction is a white male, 33-year old Elvis Habibovic. The incident occurred at around 11-p.m. Tuesday. The suspect and child are believed to be traveling in a black 2003 Land Rover Discovery SUV, bearing Iowa license plate number DBG 536. The vehicle may be enroute to Florida.

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery

Logan has blonde hair and hazel eyes. He is about 2-feet tall and weighs about 18-pounds. He was last seen wearing a light colored onesie. Elvis Habibovic has black hair, brown eyes, weighs 180 pounds and stands 6-feet tall. He was last seen wearing a t-shirt. No other clothing information was immediately available. The Amber Alert was issued at 2:09-a.m. Wednesday.

If you see the suspect, child and/or the vehicle, call 9-1-1 or the Urbandale Police Department, at 515-222-3321.

Greenfield hosts world premiere of play set in WWII

News

June 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The town of Greenfield, in Adair County, is hosting the world premiere of a play this weekend to coincide with Flag Day, a play set in Greenfield during World War Two. Des Moines playwright John Busbee was commissioned to write the two-act play called “Bonds of War,” which is centered on the real-life editor of the Adair County Free Press newspaper during that era, a man named Ken Sidey.

“A lot of his editorials are used in this play which really kind of serves as the heart and soul for the content of the show,” Busbee says. “Really, it’s about how a county and a community bonds, thus the name ‘Bonds of War,’ through the war effort.” The play aims to bring the spirit and the challenges of the 1940s era alive again onstage, recreating some of the staples of that time, complete with scrap drives, paper drives and big band music.

“I used two actual characters, K.H. or Ken Sidey, plus I used Mamie Lynam,” Busbee says. “She was a character. She was a hoot. She was a social reporter. The rest are fictionalized characters but I used real places and real events from the time period.” The show will be performed in the recently-dedicated Norman Lear Theater in the Warren Cultural Center.

Lear directed his first movie, “Cold Turkey,” in Greenfield in 1969 and went on to much success in television, producing shows including, “All In The Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” and “Sanford and Son.” Busbee says the 92-year-old Lear autographed posters of the “Bonds of War” play that are being sold to help pay for the production. “He has maintained a rock solid relationship with Greenfield especially but also with Iowa,” Busbee says. “When he was here last December, he did a presentation in Greenfield and the folks at the Warren Cultural Center surprised him by dedicating the stage space as the Norman Lear Theater, and he was truly touched.”

Busbee says it’s possible Lear will be in Greenfield for one or more of this weekend’s performances. A host of other events and activities are being planned in the community through Sunday. The play will be performed three times — Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. For more information, go to
www.warrenculturalcenter.com.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Auditor: Firework permits available

News

June 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports, in accordance with the Code Of Iowa, a permit is required in order for persons to display of fireworks. Applications for display of fireworks are available at the County Courthouse in the office of the Cass County Auditor.

The CODE OF IOWA 727.2 FIREWORKS:
1. The term “fireworks” includes any explosive composition, or combination of explosive substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, or other fireworks of like construction and fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or other device containing any explosive substance. The term “fireworks” does not include goldstar-producing sparklers on wires which contain no magnesium or chlorate or perchlorate, flitter sparklers in paper tubes that do not exceed one-eighth of an inch in diameter, toy snakes which contain no mercury, or caps used in cap pistols.
2. A person, firm, copartnership, or corporation who offers for sale, exposes for sale, sells at retail, or uses or explodes any fireworks, commits a simple misdemeanor. In addition to any other penalties, the punishment imposed for a violation of this section shall include assessment of a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars. However, the council of a city or a county board of supervisors may, upon application in writing, grant a permit for the display of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals approved by the city or the county board of supervisors when the fireworks display will be
handled by a competent operator.

Bluffs man injured and cited following Atlantic accident

News

June 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident Monday afternoon in Atlantic at 9th and Chestnut Streets resulted in possible injuries to the driver of a vehicle that struck a parked car. Atlantic Police says Drew Boger, of Council Bluffs, was cited for Failure to Maintain Control, after his vehicle hit a parked vehicle registered to Michael Updike, of Atlantic. The accident happened at around 2:25-p.m. Boger was transported by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Damage from the collision amounted to $8,500.

(12-p.m. News)

Ambassadors Celebrate Atlantic Business & Professional Women 80 years of service

News

June 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Business and Professional Women (BPW) are celebrating 80 years as a local organization.

Picutred: Christie Boysen, Crystal Christensen, Janice Brown (Past BPW State President), Margaret Sonntag, Ina Ohnmeiss (local President), Sue Muri, Donna Willoughby, Debbie Leistad, Charla Schmid (BPW Red Oak member and Past State President), Nedra Perry, Wonda Schwier, Michelle Heath, Pat McCurdy, Dianne Gipple, Amy Coenen, Jamey Park, BJ Hart, Lana Westphalen, Arlene Drennan, JoAnn Runyan, Kathy Sweeney, Dolly Bergmann, Jamie Arnold, Carol Seddon, Ouida Wymer, Bill Saluk, Keith Leonard D.V.M., Dan Mehmen, Russ Joyce, Donnie Drennan, Kerry Jepsen, Melanie Petty, Dan Rossell.

Picutred: Christie Boysen, Crystal Christensen, Janice Brown (Past BPW State President), Margaret Sonntag, Ina Ohnmeiss (local President), Sue Muri, Donna Willoughby, Debbie Leistad, Charla Schmid (BPW Red Oak member and Past State President), Nedra Perry, Wonda Schwier, Michelle Heath, Pat McCurdy, Dianne Gipple, Amy Coenen, Jamey Park, BJ Hart, Lana Westphalen, Arlene Drennan, JoAnn Runyan, Kathy Sweeney, Dolly Bergmann, Jamie Arnold, Carol Seddon, Ouida Wymer, Bill Saluk, Keith Leonard D.V.M., Dan Mehmen, Russ Joyce, Donnie Drennan, Kerry Jepsen, Melanie Petty, Dan Rossell.

The Atlantic organization currently has 45 members and is the largest BPW organization in the State of Iowa. They give away four annual scholarships. Atlantic BPW are very active within the community, volunteering over 1000 hours the past year. They meet monthly, the third Wednesday of the month and guests are welcome.