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Students help retired Iowa teacher with cleanup

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ROCK BRANCH, Iowa (AP) – Friends and students of a retired teacher have begun helping him recover from tornado damage at his home in northwest Iowa. Nine tornadoes struck northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa on Friday, injuring at least 15 people.

The Sioux City Journal says that on Sunday, two buses carried about 50 students, staff members and parents from Hinton High School to the rural Rock Branch home of Wayne Stadler and his wife, Debbie. One of the twisters had ripped off the roof of their home and destroyed their barn and several sheds. The Stadlers weren’t injured.

Wayne Stadler had taught at the high school for 32 years. The damage was almost overwhelming, but the hard work by his friends and former students gave him a good start on the cleanup.

Red Oak man arrested at the scene of a fire

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One person was arrested early this (Monday) morning after he crossed a barricade at a fire scene and refused to leave. Authorities say 29-year old Matthew Daniel Sloan, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 2-a.m. on a charge of interference with official acts. After he was transported to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, Sloan was allegedly found to be in possession of a controlled substance. He was subsequently charged with introducing a controlled substance/marijuana, into a secure facility. Sloan was being held in the jail on $5,000 cash bond.

Red Oak business fire

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from the Red Oak Fire Dept and surrounding communities are at a working structure fire in Red Oak this morning at 5th and Reed Streets, the site of the old Pit Stop Bar.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County EMA.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County EMA.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman reports the call came in at roughly 12:30am. Mutual aid was immediately requested from Stanton Fire, Elliott Fire & First Responders, Essex Fire & Rescue, and Shenandoah Fire and Clarinda Fire depts provided aerial support.

Crews are still operating at the fire scene and will be for several hours. Hamman asks residents to please avoid the area. The investigation is on going and the State Fire Marshals office has been notified.

Power is out in the area and Mid American Energy is working to restore those that were cut due to the fire.

Iowa News Headlines: Mon., Oct. 7th 2013

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa transportation officials will take on the controversial issue of automated traffic cameras this week with proposed new rules designed to give them control over whether speed and red light cameras are placed on highways and interstates they oversee. The Iowa Department of Transportation on Tuesday will present proposed rules to a legislative committee at the Capitol.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — People in the Des Moines area have been offered unlimited free bus rides for the next several days. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority says people can ride free as part of Try Transit Week. It began on Sunday and runs through Saturday. The offer is good on DART Local, Express, Flex and On Call services.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa high school homecoming dance was interrupted this weekend when a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the back. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports police responded to the incident just before 11 p.m. Saturday and turned Ford Dodge High School’s dance into a crime scene. The boy who was injured was flown to Des Moines for treatment, but his injuries weren’t considered life threatening.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Powerball ticket worth $1 million has been sold at a gas station in northwest Iowa. The Iowa lottery says the winning ticket from Saturday’s drawing was purchased at a Casey’s convenience store in Sheldon.

Schools moving closer to implementing teacher leadership programs

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One of the key components of the state education reform plan is moving closer to being implemented. Ryan Wise, the director of strategic initiatives at the Iowa Department of Education, says districts are in the planning phase of creating teacher leadership positions. The idea is to take the best teachers and use them as mentors for other teachers to raise the quality of education overall. Wise says a lot of the early discussion centered on how to define the roles of the experienced teachers who will lead others.

“I think there are certainly questions out there, and as a department we’re working hard to answer them and to really help facilitate conversations locally where they can answer the questions and develop a model of teacher leadership that works for them,” Wise says. There are some state requirements for the teacher leadership positions, including a minimum salary of 33-thousand-500 dollars, the district is required to “improve entry into the profession for all new teachers.” He says they also have to create multiple leadership roles, have a rigorous selection process for the leadership roles, and finally that they align their professional development plan to the new leadership positions.

The state has three-point-five million dollars to give to districts to help them in the planning process. Wise says the Education Department will send out an application to districts to apply to take part in the leadership program. He says they will also include a scoring system so district know how their application will be scored and they will have until January 31st of 2014 to submit their actual plan. The state will then phase in the leadership plans across the state.

“District serving one-third of the students in Iowa will come in each year — because that’s an important distinction because it may not equal exactly a third of the districts — but it’s a third of the students will come in in each of the first three years of the program,” Wise says. The legislature appropriated 50-million dollars for the implementation of the new plan.

(Radio Iowa)

Don’t blame me for the shutdown, lawmakers plead

News

October 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – State lawmakers and governors are trying to distance themselves from the federal government shutdown in case angry voters decide to hold politicians everywhere responsible. State officials in Michigan, Iowa, Missouri and other states are pointing out how they completed budgets and resolved partisan differences without paralyzing state government. Republican lawmakers were especially outspoken in the Midwest, where the party depends on the support of moderate independent voters.

After the government shutdowns during Bill Clinton’s presidency, many voters blamed Republicans and punished the party in the next election. The shutdown began last week after tea party congressmen tried to block funds for President Obama’s new health care program.    Govs. Rick Snyder in Michigan, Terry Branstad in Iowa and Jay Nixon in Missouri say they resolve conflicts without such tactics.

Teen rolls vehicle after homecoming dance

News

October 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A teen on his way home from a dance in Griswold escaped injury early this (Sunday) morning, after he swerved to miss a deer and rolled the vehicle he was driving. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports Jordan Vetter was behind the wheel of the vehicle owned by Gary Vetter, when a deer appeared on 100th Street just off of Highway 48, at around 12:04-a.m.

The vehicle entered the north ditch and rolled over before coming to rest on its wheels. Authorities say the teen had been traveling at about 45-miles per hour when the vehicle went out of control. It skidded for about 111-feet before entering the ditch, where it traveled another 84-feet before coming to a stop. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $7,000. No citations were issued.

Jamboree whittles down the best school bands in sw Iowa

News

October 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An event held in Clarinda, Saturday, whittled a pool of 50 bands down to one, with the Creston Marching Panther Band being named the “Best Overall Band” at the end of the day. The Panthers took top honors in the 58th Annual Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree.

Tri-Center, Red Oak and Harlan won the middle school divisional competition, while Lenox, Underwood, Creston and Lewis Central took home divisional championships.

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., Oct. 6th 2013

News

October 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An emergency management official says tornadoes destroyed nearly two dozen farmsteads in northwestern Iowa’s Woodbury County, and some 60 more have been damaged. County Emergency Management Director Gary Brown said yesterday that 20 farmsteads were destroyed in Friday night’s powerful storms.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The National Weather Service says as many as nine tornadoes hit an area covering northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa Friday evening. Meteorologist Mike Fuhs in the service’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota office says it appears there were tornadoes north and south of Sioux City, as well as those west and north of Hinton, east of Moville, at Quimby and one south of Cherokee.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office says a man shot in August by Council Bluffs police was attempting suicide by cop. Officers Aaron Gutierrez and Jason Burleigh found 52-year-old Michael Hannum on August 4th in a Wal-Mart construction site bleeding from his hands. They say he brandished a sharp instrument before he was shot.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court is on the road for a visit to Fort Dodge this week where justices will visit area schools and the community college and hear arguments in two cases. On Wednesday evening the court will hold a special session in the new Fort Dodge Middle School auditorium to hear arguments in a case in which the Iowa Farm Bureau is challenging the validity of new water quality regulations in Iowa.

Official: Onslaught of Iowa, Neb. tornadoes rare

News, Weather

October 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A National Weather Service meteorologist says Friday evening’s tornado-spawning storms in northeastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa were unusual for this time of year.  Meteorologist Mike Fuhs in the service’s Sioux Falls, S.D., office says it’s unusual to get “not just this many tornadoes this late, but tornadoes this strong.” As many as nine tornadoes hit the area from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday, and some “were quite powerful,” according to Fuhs.

Fuhs says a couple of the tornadoes are estimated to have been one-quarter to one-half mile wide. He says it’s too early to estimate where the tornadoes will rank on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which ranges from the weak EF0 to the top-of-the-scale EF5.