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Wet & stormy weekend in store for Iowa

News, Weather

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines says a wet and stormy Memorial Day Weekend is on tap for the area as showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast from today into next week. The best potential for thunderstorms will be during the nighttime and early morning hours each day, although storms are possible at other times as well. The threat for widespread severe weather is low, but a few severe storms with large hail and damaging winds cannot be ruled out.

Of greater concern is the potential for heavy rainfall, with widespread one to two inch accumulations expected by Monday with locally higher amounts possible. This may lead to additional river flooding and possibly flash flooding in some areas.

New $11M park opens in Council Bluffs with flurry of celebration

News

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After months of renovation and construction, a massive new city park is opening today (Saturday) along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs. Larry Foster, the city’s park and recreation director, says big crowds are expected at River’s Edge Park for the start of a three-day festival called Loessfest, after the region’s rolling Loess Hills, along with another series of celebratory events that will run through June 8th. “Every day, there’s something new that’s being done to be completely ready for the big festivals,” Foster says. “For example, we sodded the entire north grove of trees, that’s all completed.”

The legendary music act, the Beach Boys will open the event tonight (Saturday) with the Omaha Symphony and fireworks Sunday. All events during the three-day Memorial Day weekend are free. There will be many events held in the 11-million-dollar park over the summer including outdoor movies, soccer tournaments and more. Foster says there are still a few finishing touches to be done before the 90-acre park officially opens. The Great Lawn alone covers five acres. “One thing going on is getting the Grand Light Show that is going to be displayed on the Great Lawn working and functional,” he says. “We’re obviously excited about the Beach Boys and the symphony and fireworks and Memorial Day weekend.”

The new River’s Edge Park is located at the base of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge which links Council Bluffs and Omaha. Foster expects many people attending the College World Series will take the short hike over the bridge to enjoy Iowa hospitality. “If you’ve got a break between games, a nice little walk over to River’s Edge Park, go down to the river and enjoy the park and the festivities,” Foster says. “It’s going to be a real asset to the entire metro area. That’s always how we’ve seen it as we’ve been putting it together in Council Bluffs.” A permanent display at the park, entitled Rays, is a half-million dollar installation, an eight-minute light show that repeats on the hour and half-hour.

Decades ago, the area was known at Playland Park. It held an amusement park and a race track that was a hub for activity from the late 1940s through 1970.

(Radio Iowa)

Climatologist: 2013 weather pattern doesn’t bode well for crop production

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The month of May is winding down and weather-wise, it’s been marked by extremes. Elwynn Taylor is climatologist with Iowa State University Extension. He notes the state broke a record from 1947 for May snowfall and also set record high temperatures for the month. “When we get extremes like that, it is not considered a good omen for what will come with the season,” Taylor says. Taylor notes 2013 has mirrored the weather of 1947 – and that doesn’t bode well for corn and soybean production this year.

“1947 is in the category of being one of the six worst years for crop production and that includes the Dust Bowl,” Taylor says. Like this year, 1947 was marked by a very wet spring. “Then, it went hot and dry in the middle of July and August. That’s when the destruction to the corn came in,” Taylor said. With around 25-percent of Iowa’s corn yet to be planted as we approach Memorial Day, Taylor says corn yields will likely be below trend once again this year.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., May 25th 2013

News

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are scaling back their search for a missing Iowa teenager abducted from a rural school bus stop this week. The state Department of Public Safety says trained law enforcement will narrow their search around Dayton today for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. Authorities say they’re focusing on terrain that’s difficult to navigate and requires specialized skills and equipment, so citizen volunteers are not needed this weekend.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a suspicious package that required explosives teams to investigate was actually a cooler with food. The Cedar Rapids Police Department says officers were notified about the package yesterday morning. Authorities closed the street where the package was discovered and called in explosive ordinance device teams from Linn County and Marion police.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says about 49,000 gallons of ethanol leaked from railroad tanker cars after a derailment east of Charles City. The DNR said yesterday this week’s leak into the Little Cedar River was greater than had been previously estimated, but initial monitoring indicates normal oxygen levels in the river. Workers haven’t found any dead or distressed fish downstream so far.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A World War Two veteran has received his high school diploma, albeit 72 years late. North High School in Des Moines gave U.S. Navy veteran Vernon Young an honorary diploma at a graduation ceremony yesterday. He enlisted for service just months before he was scheduled to graduate.

(Update) PA couple arrested for allegedly robbing a bank in Stuart

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Stuart Police Department reports a man and a woman were arrested Friday morning   in Los Angeles, CA in connection to the Monday afternoon (May 20th) robbery of the First State Bank in Stuart. Twenty-Eight year old Wayne Eugene Palmer, Jr., and 19-year old Hannah Elizabeth Reisinger, both of whom are from Carlisle, PA., were taken into custody by the LAPD/FBI Los Angeles Fugitive Task Force. The pair were arrested after Stuart Police officers worked overnight in locating the suspects, using information that was obtained during their investigation.

This past Tuesday, officers from the Stuart Police Department and Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office searched a room at a Super 8 in Adair, and were able to locate evidence from the bank robbery. The evidence obtained from Super 8 linked the two suspects to the crime. Stuart officers then began tracking the suspects and were able to locate them Friday in the Los Angeles area.

A call was made to the FTF. When the Task Force responded to the hotel, officers observed a man and a woman walking towards a car that matched the description given to them by Stuart officers. LAPD Detective Anthony Verret said “We saw a car that matched the description and when the suspects walked up to the car we immediately took them into custody.” Charges against the suspects are currently pending. Both suspects will be extradited to Iowa.

Stuart Police Chief David Reha said “We put a lot of energy and late nights into this investigation. We wanted to make sure that we caught the individuals involved as quickly as possible and allow the citizens of Stuart to feel safe that the individuals involved would not be striking again.”

The incident at the bank occurred at around 3:45-pm, Monday. A subject believed to be a female, who was wearing a bright green dress walked into the bank and handed a teller a note demanding money. The suspect was then seen leaving the bank on foot to the north. A witness later reported to police that the suspect climbed into the trunk of a car which was parked nearby in an alley.

If anyone has further information related to this case, contact the Stuart Police Department at 515-523-1896.

Officials scale back search for abducted Iowa teen

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are scaling back their search for a missing Iowa teenager abducted from a rural school bus stop this week. The state Department of Public Safety says trained law enforcement will narrow their search around Dayton on Saturday for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. Authorities say they’re focusing on terrain that’s difficult to navigate and requires specialized skills and equipment, so citizen volunteers are not needed. Residents are encouraged to check their rural properties for anything suspicious.

Police suspect Michael Klunder took Kathlynn and a 12-year-old girl on Monday to a hog confinement building several miles away. The younger girl managed to escape. Klunder was later found dead of self-inflicted injuries. Authorities will search land between the hog confinement and a location where the girls’ backpacks were found.

Harrison County train-vs-pedestrian victim ID’d

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harrison County today (Friday), released the name of a man who died when he was hit by a train earlier this week. Officials say 59-year old Alan C. Nelson, from  Lawrence, Kansas,was struck Monday afternoon by a train traveling from California to Chicago. The locomotive hauling freight had just crossed the Missouri River into Iowa east of the Blair, NE bridge on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, when Nelson was struck. His death has been ruled a suicide.

CCHS Celebrates National Nurses Month

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

May is National Nurses Month, a time designated to celebrate the contributions and commitments nurses make while educating the public about the significant work they perform.  Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS), say nursing managers recently hosted a luncheon to honor the many nursing caregivers who work throughout the health system, including RNs, LPNs, Certified Nurse Anesthetists, Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, Psychiatric Assistants, and Surgical Technical Assistants.

Some of the nursing staff at Cass County Health System gathered for a photo during National Nurses Month. Left to Right row 1 – Heather Turner, Brittany Thompson, Row 2 – Jeri Orstad, Trudi Nelson, Susan Christofferson, Row 3 – Brenda Euken, Cathie Alff, Jenifer Arp, Row 4 – Linda Hemminger, Lisa Parker, Amber Scott, Row 5 – Diana Krull, Marie Kucera, Kathy Spurr, Row 6 – Crystal Shannon, Tammy Wyman, Row 7 – Kathy Pulido, Tammy Nelson, Nancy Reimer, Sherry Kennon, Row – Jena Waters, Tricia Cook, Brent Goodrich.

CCHS employs over 130 staff in these key caregiver roles.  Their duties range from caring for inpatients, both medical and behavioral health, to working in outpatient clinics, to education, surgery and emergency department care. They care for patients around the clock, 365 days a year.  Some nurses work in administrative roles or manage clinical quality and infection control initiatives. Nursing professionals come from all walks of life, and have varied backgrounds but they all have one thing in common – they take pride in caring for others.

Linda Hemminger, Assistant Administrator of Clinical Services/Chief Nursing Officer, say the nurses at CCHS are truly a group of caring professionals. Hemminger says “National Nurses Month is a great time to have meaningful reflection on the value of nurses’ work to both patients and health care systems. Nurses change lives and save lives!”

A/C units and propane furnace stolen from property in Page County

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County are investigating the theft of two central air conditioning units and propane furnace. The a/c units were less than seven-years old. The theft and associated damage was discovered during the evening of May 2nd, as a Blanchard man was mowing the lawn at 1830 290th Street, between Blanchard and Coin.
Officials say Scott Langley noticed the air conditioning units on the outside of the residence were missing, and there was damage to a shop window. A deputy notified the property owner, Greg Stone, of Garden City, KS. Stone told the deputy he had neither removed the items nor given anyone else permission to do so.
The loss was estimated at $10,550. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Page County Sheriff’s Office at 712-542-5193.

Gun shots in rural Page County result in the arrest of a convicted felon

News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A rural Page County man was arrested Thursday evening for being a felon in possession of firearms, after deputies investigated a report of shots fired. Authorities received word just after 6-p.m. that shots had been heard at 1672 A Avenue, about two-miles north of Shenandoah.
During their investigation, deputies learned 39-year old David Allen Ryan lived at the residence. Ryan is a convicted felon, and had access to the firearms as well as ammunition. He was taken into custody and held in the Page County Jail on $5,000 bond.