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Escapee reported from Council Bluffs facility

News

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man serving a seven-year sentence for Willful Injury Causing Bodily Injury, Assault with a weapon and Assault Causing Serious Injury, has escaped from a work release facility in Council Bluffs. Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Corrections say 21-year old Joseph Cias Smith Junior was reported missing, Sunday.

Joseph Cias Smith, Jr.

Joseph Cias Smith, Jr.

Smith was transferred to the Council Bluffs Work Release Facility after being granted a work release by the Iowa Board of Parole. His parole was revoked on March 12 2015, and his sentence began on March 28th.

Smith is described as being a white male, 5-10, and 198 pounds, with brown hair, Hazel eyes and tattoos on his upper right arm, forearm, left hand, and left thigh. If you have any information about his location, call the Council Bluffs Police Department at (712) 328-4701 or the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department at (712) 890-2200.

RED FLAG WARNING EXPANDED to include the western 1/2 of Iowa

News, Weather

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

414 AM CDT MON MAR 30 2015

A RED FLAG WARNING is IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY UNTIL 7- PM FOR THE ENTIRE WESTERN HALF OF IOWA, INCLUDING ALL COUNTIES IN THE KJAN LISTENING AREA. THE RED FLAG WARNING IS FOR EXTREME FIRE CONDITIONS.

Red Flag Warning for counties shaded in pinkish-red.

Red Flag Warning for counties shaded in pinkish-red.

* WIND…SOUTHWEST TO WEST WINDS AT 20 TO 25 MPH WITH FREQUENT GUSTS TO 30 MPH.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…HUMIDITY VALUES WILL DROP TO AROUND 20 PERCENT THIS AFTERNOON.

* FUEL…GRASSES REMAIN NEARLY 100 PERCENT CURED ACROSS THE WARNING AREA.

* IMPACTS…ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO SPREAD VERY RAPIDLY DUE TO WINDY AND DRY CONDITIONS. ANY OUTDOOR BURNING IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED TODAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

Arrest made in Red Oak assault

News

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a man early this (Monday) morning, on an assault charge. 19-year old Bryson Lee Powell, of Red Oak, was taken into custody for Domestic Abuse Assault, at around 12:20-a.m., in the 500 block of East Coolbaugh Street. Powell was being held without bond, in the Montgomery County Jail.

RED FLAG WARNING Monday afternoon-evening for western IA Counties

News, Weather

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT- PAGE COUNTIES…354 AM CDT MON MAR 30 2015 …

RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING DUE TO WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY FOR EASTERN NEBRASKA AND SOUTHWEST IOWA

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING DUE TO WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

* WINDS…WEST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 30 MPH. * RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 16 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS…CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR WITH A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR OUT OF CONTROL BURNS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY.

Field fires keep area firefighters busy Sunday

News

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Several area fire departments responded to field or grass fires Sunday: Massena Fire was called to a field fire at around 1:50-p.m., near 61040 765th Street;  Crews from Brayton, Audubon and Exira fought a field fire southeast of Exira, just east of 2268 300th Street, at around 4:40-p.m.; Kirkman Fire was called to the scene of a tractor fire at 1417 Woodland, at around 5:40-p.m.; and, another fire was reported to have taken place at around 2:30-p.m. Sunday, across the road from the Audubon County Landfill. No other details are available.

In other activity, rescue crews from Cumberland were called to the scene of a go-cart accident at around 5:15-p.m., Sunday. The accident took place near 207 Jackson Street, in Cumberland, where a 37-year old female reportedly suffered from non-life threatening head, arm and leg injuries. The woman was transported to the hospital and released late Sunday evening. She reported later on her social media page that she was “banged-up and bruised,” but nothing was broken. Her name was not officially released by the Sheriff’s Department.

Accidental shooting in Council Bluffs, Sunday

News

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Carter Lake man was treated for an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to his hand, Sunday. According to Council Bluffs Police, 21-year old Marvin Naggatz arrived at around 4:30-p.m. at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Naggatz reported that he was in a parking lot in the 2300 block of West Broadway when he attempted to adjust his holster. In the course of the adjustment, the 40-caliber handgun discharged, striking Naggatz in the hand. His injury is not life threatening. Naggatz possesses a permit to carry weapons. No charges have been filed at this time.

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., March 30th 2015

News

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police officers shot and wounded a man at the end of a chase in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids police say the chase began shortly after 2 a.m. yesterday when officers noticed an orange BMW driving recklessly. The BMW drove the wrong way down a street and turned into an alley before crashing into a telephone pole. The two officers involved were not hurt.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The construction of a giant $2 billion fertilizer plant remains on schedule in northwest Iowa, but the project is nearing its busiest phase when roughly 2,200 workers will be employed on the job. The Sioux City Journal reports construction of the new CF Industries plant is entering its second year, but it remains on track for completion in 2016. Two dozen cranes are in use at the site this month.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The new set of standards for what is taught in Iowa science classrooms could prove divisive because of the sections on evolution and climate change. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports several members of the State Board of Education and some members of the public expressed concerns about those subjects.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Potential Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley says the country needs new perspectives, and he’s criticizing the prospects of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush seeking the White House. The former Maryland governor told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that the presidency is “not some crown to be passed between two families.”

Iowa officials worry new science standards may be divisive

News

March 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The new set of standards for what is taught in Iowa science classrooms could prove divisive because of the sections on evolution and climate change. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports several members of the State Board of Education and some members of the public expressed concerns about those subjects.

Board members Michael Knedler and Mike May said at a meeting last week that they worry that including evolution and climate change could make it difficult to implement the standards statewide. A team of experts is reviewing a set of model science standards. They will make a recommendation to the state board later.

Getting ready for some major road construction projects in the Bluffs area

News

March 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Some major road construction projects in the Council Bluffs metro area are on the horizon that will impact businesses and travelers at interchanges along the interstate. The Daily NonPareil reports a public information meeting will be held on April 9th to discuss this year’s construction project on the Council Bluffs Interstate System. The meeting will be held between 4- and 6- p.m. at the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program’s office located at the Mall of the Bluffs, 1751 Madison Ave., Suite 750, in Council Bluffs.

A short formal presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. Staff from the Iowa Department of Transportation will be on hand during this two-hour meeting to discuss future projects and their schedules. Changes to projects that began during the 2014 construction seasons will be discussed, including ramp closure schedules on U.S. Highway 275/Iowa Highway 92 and Interstate 29 near the Metro Crossing Shopping Center.

Construction projects for this year will also be presented, including:

• I-29 and U.S. 275/Iowa 92 interchange.

• East system interchange of I-80/I-29.

• West system interchange of I-80/I-29.

• Consolidating railroad operations west of Mosquito Creek under I-29 and Iowa 92.

The Council Bluffs interstate upgrading project is the largest in the Iowa DOT’s fiscal year 2014-2018 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program. The meeting space is accessible for persons with disabilities. However, for those who require special accommodations at the meeting, please notify the Iowa DOT contact listed below by April 2nd.

For those who cannot attend the open house, a virtual, online meeting will be available beginning March 26 and can be accessed by visiting the project website, www.CouncilBluffsInterstate.IowaDOT.gov, and clicking on the online meeting link on the home page. For general information regarding the proposed improvements or public meeting, contact Scott Suhr, district transportation planner, Iowa DOT District 4 Office in Atlantic, at 712-243-3355 or 800-289-4368, or email Scott.Suhr@dot.iowa.gov.

Visit the Iowa DOT’s project-related public involvement event website at www.iowadot.gov/pim for information about scheduled public meetings and hearings, and opportunities to offer input to the Iowa DOT during the development of certain projects.

Will lawmakers start making health care contributions?

News

March 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With many state workers poised to soon make monthly health care contributions for the first time, will Iowa lawmakers follow suit? Under a recent arbitration award, workers in the largest state employees’ union will have to start making a monthly contribution of at least $20 to their health benefits starting in January. This will be a shift for the majority of the 19,000 state workers represented by Local 61 the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Lawmakers in the part-time General Assembly can get plans that don’t require a monthly payment. Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he’d like to change that. But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal was less forthcoming on whether he will consider such a change.