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I-80 EB near Waukee is now open via detour

News

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Update 6:37-a.m. – All lanes open)

A fatality accident early this morning on Interstate 80 near the Waukee exit blocked both east and westbound traffic for about three-hours. Eastbound traffic was being detoured at Exit 117 as of 5:30, but by 6:30-a.m., all lanes had been re-opened.

No other details concerning the accident are currently available. The original road closure notice was posted at 2:32-a.m.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., March 26th 2016

News

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(WAUKEE) — Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol early this (Saturday) morning, were urging motorists to avoid the area of Interstate 80 at the 117 mile-marker (Waukee exit), as it is closed in both directions as the Iowa State Patrol investigates a fatality crash. Traffic is being detoured off of the interstate in that area. No other details were immediately available. The notice was posted at 2:32-a.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City hospital is warning patients that some of their personal information may have been accessed through a computer virus. An investigation revealed that a computer virus designed to capture personal data had infected some computers in January at Mercy Iowa City and Mercy Clinics. The information may have included patient demographics such as addresses, clinical information such as treatments and medications, health insurance information, and Social Security numbers.

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — State officials say an unknown amount of industrial cleaner has reached Storm Lake. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a pump failure caused a small amount of fluid from the Tyson-Hillshire plant to reach a storm sewer that flows into the Iowa lake.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says suspects from Wisconsin and Illinois who allegedly operated a car insurance fraud ring can be prosecuted in Iowa even though they never set foot in the state. The suspects allegedly staged fake accidents in Chicago, then filed claims with multiple insurers. They were charged in Iowa based on giving false information to a Davenport, Iowa-based employee of Sentry Insurance.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Texas man, accused of helping a former lottery official in Iowa attempt to collect fixed lottery ticket jackpots, has lost an appeal of his extradition to Iowa but continues to fight. Robert Clark Rhodes, of Sugar Land, Texas was charged last year in Iowa with fraud.

CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Gill finished with a season-high 23 points, Mike Tobey came off the bench to score 18, and top-seeded Virginia beat Iowa State 84-71 in the Midwest Region semifinals on Friday night. The Cavaliers (29-7) withstood a second-half push by the fourth-seeded Cyclones (23-12) after grabbing a big lead in the early going and advanced to their first regional final since 1995. Georges Niang had another big game for Iowa State, finishing with 30 points after scoring 28 in each of the first two rounds.

Fatality accident near Waukee on I-80: Public Urged to Avoid Area of Interstate

News

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol early this (Saturday) morning, were urging motorists to avoid the area of Interstate 80 at the 117 milemarker (Waukee exit), as it is closed in both directions as the Iowa State Patrol investigates a fatality crash.

Traffic is being detoured off of the interstate in that area. No other details were immediately available. The notice was posted at 2:32-a.m.

Iowa City hospital reports patient information breach

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City hospital is warning patients that some of their personal information may have been accessed through a computer virus. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports an investigation revealed that a computer virus that is designed to capture personal data had infected some computers in January at Mercy Iowa City and Mercy Clinics.

The potentially stolen information may have included patient demographics such as addresses, clinical information such as treatments and medications or health insurance information. Officials say that in some cases Social Security numbers may have been accessed. There is no evidence that any patient information has been used improperly and hospital officials mailed letters to affected patients Friday.

Mercy continues to investigate the privacy breach with the help of law enforcement.

Pizzaria in Adair wins Iowa’s best pizza challenge!

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A pizzaria in Adair has won a contest for the the Best Pizza in Iowa. Officials with Travel Iowa announced today (Friday), the winner was Zipp’s Pizzaria. The restaurant, owned by Jim and Tammy Zimmerline, made it all the way through Travel Iowa’s three-round online voting in the “Iowa Pizza Madness” contest, that wrapped up at Noon today. They had submitted their Taco Pizza for online judging in the Facebook voter challenge.

The competing pizza restaurants included Zipp’s Pizzaria in Adair, Great Plains Sauce and Dough Company in Ames, Santa Maria Winery in Carroll, Mabe’s Pizza in Decorah, Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines, A & A Pagliai’s Pizza in Iowa City, P’s Pizza House in Le Mars, and Zeno’s Pizza in Marshalltown.

The winning restaurant is expected to provide a $3 off coupon for download, Travel Iowa said.  Check the Travel Iowa Facebook page for details: https://www.facebook.com/IowaTourism/

Mayo clinic rejects Iowa Medicaid managed-care contracts

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa residents with Medicaid health coverage won’t be able to routinely use the Mayo Clinic when the state shifts the $4 billion program to private management next week. The Des Moines Register reports that the three managed-care companies that will run the state’s Medicaid program told lawmakers this week that they haven’t been able to negotiate contracts with Mayo’s well-known hospital system, located just across the border in Rochester, Minnesota.

Amerihealth’s top executive in Iowa, Cheryl Harding, told legislators that her firm has signed contracts with three Mayo-affiliated primary care clinics in Iowa, but not with the main medical center in Rochester. UnitedHealth and Amerigroup also said they haven’t obtained such contracts. The three managed-care companies say they’ll continue trying to persuade Mayo to sign contracts to give routine care for the 560,000 Iowa residents on Medicaid.

Texas man charged in lottery scheme fights Iowa extradition

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Texas man accused of helping a former lottery official in Iowa attempt to collect fixed lottery ticket jackpots has lost an appeal of his extradition to Iowa but continues to fight. Robert Clark Rhodes, of Sugar Land, Texas, was charged last year in Iowa with fraud. A Texas judge ruled Iowa may extradite Rhodes, and a state appeals court on March 8 agreed. On Wednesday, Rhodes asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest appellate court, to review the case.

Iowa prosecutors say Rhodes helped Eddie Tipton attempt to cash a 2010 Hot Lotto ticket for which Tipton fixed the numbers and was convicted of fraud. Tipton faces another trial in July for allegedly fixing lotteries in other states including Wisconsin, where Rhodes claimed a 2007 jackpot.

Six cars of freight train derail this morning in Wright County

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A half-dozen cars from a Union Pacific freight train derailed about 4:30 this (Friday) morning in the Wright County community of Eagle Grove. Calli Hite, spokeswoman for the Omaha-based railroad, says the cause of the derailment is still unclear. “We’re investigating to really understand what happened there,” Hite says. “We had six cars that derailed, a couple are on their side and a couple are still upright. There were no injuries to the crew or to the public, so we’re focused on cleaning up the derailment and figuring out what happened.”

Eagle Grove police and fire departments are on the scene along with a hazmat team from Fort Dodge. Hite says the track should reopen soon. “The expectation is to have normal operations resumed in the area by this afternoon,” she says. “Occasionally, cleanup takes a bit longer, but we can clear the track and start moving trains through the area while we clean up any commodity or anything that is occuring outside of the railroad line.”

The cars that derailed were oil tankers. They were reportedly empty and there are no reports of anything spilled.

(Radio Iowa)

Unemployment rate up slightly for February

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The state unemployment rate moved up two-tenths of a percent in February to three-point-seven percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Courtney Greene, says it has been a long time since the rate went up. “This is the first increase since 2009, and it’s not surprising given the number of recent layoff announcements over recent months. The silver lining for workers experiencing layoffs is, they are finding employment,” Greene says.

The unemployment rate is the same as it was one year ago in February. Greene says almost all segments of the Iowa economy scaled in the month, with the private sector losing five-thousand jobs. “Government was down 12-hundred jobs due to a decline in local government. Private sector losses were largest in leisure and hospitality this month — down 31-hundred — and accommodations and food services experienced most of the decline. Although the loss was large, it is the first since July for this super sector,” Green says. “In addition, professional and business services trended down for the fourth consecutive month, fueled by losses in administrative and support services.”

The Workforce Development report says education and health services added 22-hundred jobs this month and has been steadily climbing due to the demand for health care services. The only other major sector to add jobs this month was financial activities — up 500 jobs in February. Greene says there are more Iowans working compared to last year, despite the February increase in the unemployment rate.

“You know, the number of Iowans working increased to one-million-651-thousand-100 in February, up 19-hundred from January, and we are still up 13-thousand-700 jobs from a year ago,” Greene says. The U-S unemployment rate remained at four-point-nine percent in February.

(Radio Iowa)

NE man arrested for assault and animal abuse in Harrison County

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Harrison County say a man from Nebraska was arrested earlier this week on assault and animal abuse charges. Nicki Wayne Busby, of Columbus, NE., was arrested Tuesday following an investigation into a reported domestic disturbance that allegedly took place west of Missouri Valley.

Busby was subsequently arrested on charges that include aggravated domestic assault, interference with official acts, and animal abuse. A search warrant executed later at his property resulted in two guns being taken as evidence.