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Midwest, Plains economic survey index dips

News

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwest and Plains states dropped last month but continues to suggest improving economic growth for the region. The Mid-America Business Conditions index hit 56.8 in April, compared with 58.2 in March.  The confidence index rose to 59.9 last month from 58.2 in March.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the supply managers surveyed “expect the upturn in housing to remain an important ingredient of the economic expansion.”

The survey uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.  The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Family of suspect in Sioux City cop shooting pleads for surrender

News

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The family of the Sioux City man who’s wanted in the shooting of a Sioux City police officer is pleading for him to turn himself in. Lee Dean is the father of 22-year-old Jamal Dean, who is facing an attempted murder charge in Monday’s shooting of Officer Kevin McCormick. He apologized to Officer McCormick and his family for Jamal’s actions, and asked his son to turn himself in safely, “So that nobody else will be hurt.” Lee Dean is also a friend of Sergeant Mike McCormick, the father of the officer who was shot.

Dean’s mother, Mary Hogan, made an emotional plea for her son to surrender, and Jamal’s aunt, Barbara Dean, wants him to know the family is there to help him. The family members are asking Jamal Dean to contact them immediately when he hears their plea.

(Radio Iowa)

Snow in May…in Iowa?

News, Weather

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Snow is forecast across portions of Iowa between late today (Wednesday) and early Friday of this week, with accumulating snow possible especially in the north and west. Snowfall in Iowa in May is unusual, but far from unprecedented. According to data from the State
Climatologist office snow has fallen in May in 59 of the last 125 years, or 47% of the time, but it has only occurred in five of the last 20 years. Most of the events were characterized by isolated flurries with trace amounts at only a couple of reporting stations.
That most recently occurred in 2011 when a trace of snow was reported May 1 at Forest City and May 3 at Lansing.Widespread and measurable snowfall events are more unusual in May. The last measurable May snow reported in Iowa fell on May 1-2, 2005 with traces across about the northern third of the state, 0.1” at Stanley and 0.3” at Cresco. Similar events occurred on May 1, 1997 and on May 5-6, 1989.
Snowfall events producing multiple inches of accumulation are exceedingly rare in Iowa in May, having occurred in only ten years according to the research of the author, Jim Lee.  He says most of these events occurred in the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th century, in fact no station has reported an inch or more of snowfall in Iowa in May since 1967.
Here is a list of the five events producing the highest May snowfall accumulations on record in Iowa:
In 1882, snow fell on May 12 (across southeastern Iowa, with about an inch at Iowa City) and then again on May 23. On the latter date about the southeastern quarter of Iowa received snowfall, with around half an inch at Des Moines and up to 4-6” at Washington.
In 1907, spring was very cold and backward at least partially due to the large eruption of the volcano Ksudach in eastern Russia. Snow fell across all of Iowa (and the Midwest) on May 3, with amounts ranging up to 1.2” at Des Moines and 1.5” at Atlantic and Corning.
Another statewide snow fell on May 15 that was light in most areas but amounted to 5” at Rock Rapids.
In 1945, snow fell across about the northwestern half of Iowa on May 9-10 with most of the area reporting measurable snowfall. Amounts ranged up to an amazing 8” at Denison.
In 1947, one of the most remarkable weather events in Iowa history occurred when snow fell across most of the state on May 28, with measurable snow across the north and west ranging up to an incredible 10” at Le Mars. This is the latest spring snowfall on record in Iowa and also the highest amount ever recorded in the month of May.
In 1967, snow fell across about the southern half of Iowa on May 3, with amounts ranging up to an amazing 8” at Glenwood.

Sioux City chief says officer saved live in shooting by quick action

News

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Sioux City police chief says an officer acted quickly and saved his own life after a known gang member opened fire on him during a routine traffic stop for a seat belt violation. Chief Doug Young says officer Kevin McCormick stopped the car on the city’s west side and then Jamal Dean jumped out of the passenger side of the car and started firing at the officer with a .22 rifle. “A total of eight rounds impacted the windshield of the patrol vehicle,” Young says. “Officer McCormick had not exited his vehicle and was pinned down. The officer’s instincts and training kicked in. Officer McCormick laid down in the front seat of the patrol vehicle — put it in reverse — and floored it to get out of harm’s way.” McCormick was hit with one shot.

“Officer McCormick maintained his composure throughout the ordeal. Even after realizing that he had been hit, he was broadcasting his status and a physical description of the suspect who had fled to the south from the shooting area,” Young says. McCormick is the son of another Sioux City officer and has been on the job about 15 months. Young says he is going to be okay.

“Officer McCormick was transported to Mercy Medical with a wound to the forehead above the right eye. The bullet was surgically removed and officer McCormick will make a full recovery,” Young says. The chief says there were two women in the car and three children ages one, five and six. The children have been turned over to D-H-S. Jamal Dean, who is 22-years-old, is charged with attempted murder and remains at large. Young says Dean has a long record and is a suspect in several shootings. Police are asking anyone with information on Dean’s whereabouts to call the police department.

(Radio Iowa)

Eight senators try, but fail to divert more money to Highway 20 expansion

News

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A handful of state senators tried to divert 25-million more state tax dollars to the Highway 20 expansion project, but 41 of the 50 senators rejected the idea. Senator Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, says finishing Highway 20 as a divided, four-lane roadway all across northern Iowa would be an economic benefit.  “It’s time to fund it,” Bertrand said. “Let’s finish it.” Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the professionals at the Iowa D-O-T should make road-building decisions, not legislators. “Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us could determine where the roads in the state go?” McCoy asked.

Senator Mark Segebart, a Republican from Vail, says only 32 miles of Highway 20 remains two-lane rather than four-lane today in Iowa.  “It deserves to be finished as soon as possible because we know there’s going to be growth that’s going to just bloom all around that highway,” Segebart says. McCoy says it’s a “terribly bad idea” for legislators to start deciding which roads get built. “It would put pork barrel politics back into this legislature,” McCoy says. “…It would forever change the formulas that have been adopted by the DOT Commission.” Bertrand responded: “Senator McCoy, I understand the danger here, but you’re right. When we build this road, the four lanes will be able to ship a lot of pork, a lot of pork on those four lanes — I promise you — a lot quicker.”

U-S Route 20 was one of the first coast-to-coast highways in the United States. Advocates of its expansion have been lobbying for the project since the 1960s. The 32-mile stretch from Early to Movile is the only part of Highway 20 in Iowa that remains two-lane.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 1st 2013

News

May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved $119 million in infrastructure spending that would help maintain state buildings and public land. The House passed a $106 million version of the bill last week, and it now goes to a joint committee for lawmakers to reach a compromise.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — State inspectors say co-owners of a Sioux City massage parlor hired unlicensed employees and some are suspected of giving erotic massages. Hong Chinese Massage owners Shuling Liu and Jingyin Bai had their licenses suspended indefinitely and were each fined $1,000. Both have been charged with five counts, including committing unethical conduct.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Jurors are to resume deliberations today in a government case against a Texas company accused of exploiting mentally disabled workers in Iowa. The federal jury in Davenport deliberated five hours before informing the judge that it would need more time to decide the Henry’s Turkey Service lawsuit case.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say it will take several days to reopen traffic along a bridge on Interstate 35 in Warren County that was damaged when an oversized truck crashed into an overpass. The state Department of Transportation says it expects to reopen northbound lanes of Interstate 35 at mile marker 58-point-5 after midnight Friday.

One-inch diameter hail reported in Adams & Adair Counties Tuesday evening

News, Weather

April 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Des Moines says one-inch diameter hail was reported to have occurred six-miles north of Prescott Tuesday evening, in Adams County. The report was filed at 6:55-p.m.  Adams County Emergency Management reported a few minutes later, that there was a swath of one-inch hail that fell from Lake Icaria northeastward, to the Adams/Adair County line. The hail fell from about 6:35-p.m. until 7:05-p.m, and was also observed in the Adams County town of Carl.  At 7:15-p.m., one-inch diameter hail was also reported to have fallen seven-miles south of Greenfield, in Adair County. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Iowa board: Employees suspected of erotic massages

News

April 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – State inspectors say co-owners of a Sioux City massage parlor hired unlicensed employees, and some of them are suspected of giving erotic massages. The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy announced Tuesday that Shuling Liu and Jingyin Bai, owners of Hong Chinese Massage, had their licenses suspended indefinitely. They also were fined $1,000 each.

Liu and Bai have been charged with five counts, including committing unethical conduct. The board says it received several complaints of unlicensed therapists giving erotic massages. An employee also was arrested for prostitution following an undercover operation by law enforcement.

Records say the parlor advertised its business on several adult and exotic websites.

Red Oak man arrested on drug & other charges

News

April 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest Tuesday evening of a man wanted for a violation of his probation, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 19-year old Devon Ray Briggs, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 5-p.m. in the 400 block of east Market Street, in Red Oak.

Briggs was being held Tuesday in the Montgomery County Jail, on $1,000 cash bond.

Atlantic City Council to vote on Bond resolutions & budget amendment hearing date

News

April 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will act on a couple of resolutions pertaining to the purchase of bonds when they meet Wednesday evening, at City Hall. The bonds amount to nearly $9.8-million dollars, and are designed to help pay for the City’s 2013 Capital Improvement Plan projects, and save money by reducing the amount the City pays in interest.

The Capital Improvement Projects include: Street and storm sewer work; the acquisition of traffic control devices, along with equipment for the Police and Street Departments; Improvements to City Hall, the Municipal salt shed and Senior Center, and, making a grant to Iowa Western Community College for building improvements.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will hear a report from Councilmen Shaun Shouse and Steve Livengood, representing the Cass County Public Safety Committee. Their report is with regard to the County’s exploration of housing for a new communications center. As we reported last week following the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the County would like to know if the City would be interested in considering options for moving any or all of the City’s offices to a joint-use facility, assuming a suitable lot or building could be found.

The Council will also hear a report from John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, with regard to enforcement of the Minimum Maintenance Code. And, they’re expected to act on the setting of May 15th as the date for a Public Hearing on any necessary adjustments and/or amendments to the City’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, as well as a request from the Jaycees, for permission to hold the annual Fireworks display on July 4th, at the Airport. The event is expected to cost $6,000, with the City paying the cost upfront. The Jaycees would reimburse the City for the expense, after July 4th.

The City Council meeting begins at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday, and is normally televised live on Channel 18, in Atlantic.