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Report shows drought lessening in most of Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More drenching rain and heavy snow are pulling most of Iowa out of drought conditions. In a report released Thursday, the state Department of Natural Resources says storms in mid-April largely ended the drought in the eastern half of Iowa. Rain also lessened drought conditions in western Iowa.

Although heavy rain and snow moving through the state Thursday and Friday don’t show up on this report, the DNR noted that conditions would clearly improve due to the precipitation. The report also shows shallow groundwater levels improved in the last two weeks in northwest, southwest and north central Iowa. Stream flows in most rivers were normal, though some in eastern Iowa were above normal.

Pott. Co. man arrested in NE for alleged terroristic threats


May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A report in the Daily NonPareil says a Pottawattamie County man was arrested Thursday in Nebraska, for allegedly making terroristic threats against several agencies. Pott. County Sheriff Jeff Danker told the paper 56-year old Paul Grindstaff, of Crescent, was arrested in Omaha after allegedly sending threatening emails Wednesday. Danker said he believed the emails were a response to a custody dispute Grindstaff was involved in concerning his granddaughter.

The emails were not targeted against anyone specifically, but they allegedly contained statements that alluded to the Sandy Hook school shooting and the shooting rampage of ex-Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Dorner. Danker said the mention of those two events certainly caught law enforcement’s attention.

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said he could not comment on the specifics of the investigation, but he confirmed Grindstaff was apprehended by the Metro Area Task Force Thursday morning and arrested on warrants for suspicion of terroristic threats and first-degree harassment. Wilber told the paper that because Grindstaff was arrested in Omaha, the arrest affidavit will not be released publicly until Grindstaff is returned to Pottawattamie County.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., May 3rd 2013


May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers appear close on a budget deal for the state’s judicial branch. The state House approved a budget yesterday that gives the judiciary a budget of more than $167 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1st. That’s an increase of nearly $6 million over the current year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Republican-majority Iowa House has approved legislation that would change collective bargaining rules. House lawmakers included the provision in a broad spending bill they approved yesterday. State employees would have to pay 20 percent of their health insurance premiums under the proposal.

MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) — A snowstorm has delayed repair on a ruptured propane line in eastern Iowa that caused the evacuation of several homes. Crew and equipment hired to fix the line were delayed in Minnesota by poor road conditions. The strong winds are helping disperse the spewing gas. Authorities say a farmer on a tractor struck the above-ground pipeline Wednesday near Monticello.

CLARKSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — One man has been killed and two others injured in a two-vehicle crash in northern Iowa. The roadway was wet with slush at the time of the accident yesterday on Highway 188 near Clarksville. Edward Eilers died after his northbound SUV was struck by an oncoming van. The accident is being investigated.

Atlantic Fire called to local business after a reported fire Thu. Night


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire and Medivac Ambulance were called to the scene of what was initially thought to be a structure fire at 200 Oak Street. Fire Chief Mark McNees said Atlantic Police Officer Dave Erickson saw flames coming from what he thought was the building, owned by R&B Feeds, at around 9:08-p.m.

Atlantic Fire on the scene at 200 Oak St. Thursday night, near R & B Feeds.

McNees said when the first fire crews arrived, the saw a diesel pickup truck with its engine block plugged in to a core heater, in preparation for use on Friday. He said the electrical cord to the core heater apparently shorted out and caught the engine compartment on fire.

The truck was parked between a delivery truck and some bulk tanks, somewhat hidden from view. McNees credits Officer Erickson for noticing the flames when he did, before the fire spread to the building, approximately four-feet away. McNees said a City of Atlantic Maintenance worker also saw the flames and reported them to 9-1-1, at about the same time. He said when firefighters  first arrived, all the crews could see was a large glow and smoke.  It wasn’t clear at the onset, exactly what was on fire.

Some loud bangs heard shortly after firefighters arrived were the sounds of the front tires of the truck exploding from the heat and flames.The full-sized Ford truck was a total loss.



Griswold firefighters’ home catches fire Thu. afternoon


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Griswold and Elliott were called to the scene of a house fire at 305 4th Street Thursday afternoon. The call came in at around 3:36-p.m.

House fire at 305 4th St. in Griswold. (Ric Hanson/Photo)

Griswold Fire Chief Jim Wyman says he was working in his nearby shop when the call came in. He said he looked out and saw black smoke rising from the house, which was owned by one of his firemen, Severin Ritter. Wyman got to the fire station and told his crews to expedite their arrival.

Wyman said Ritter was standing outside, looking very upset, but there was nothing that could be done expect to try and put out the flames. Wyman said while the cause of the fire remains to be determined, it was clear it had been smoldering for at least three or four hours. The house sustained severe damage, but a dollar amount was not immediately available.

Neither Ritter, nor his wife and twin sons were home at the time, but two family pets, a cat and a dog were inside the home. Ritter, who has been a member of the Griswold  Fire Department for the past four-years, managed to rescue the animals before he went to the fire station. They appeared to be in shock and suffering from smoke inhalation.

Family pets rescued from the home of Griswold Firefighter Severin Ritter.

The cat’s fur was apparently singed as well. None of the fire fighters or anyone else was injured during the blaze. The family was expected to stay with relatives in the area until a more permanent housing situation can be found. Wyman says the house has been undergoing remodeling since it was purchased about four or five-years ago.

Audubon Man Pleads Not Guilty to Multiple Charges


May 2nd, 2013 by admin

Following the investigation into an accident that occurred on March 21st, the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office has charged 19-year old Benjamin Gerard Irlmeier of Audubon with Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, Failure to Report a Personal Injury Accident, Possession of Alcohol, Failure to Maintain Control, and No Inusrance. The accident had occurred on Quail Avenue south of Exira near Littlefield Drive. Irlmeier appeared before the magistrate Thursday, and pled not guilty. A preliminary hearing is set for May 20th.

Public Input Requested for Proposed Improvements of Iowa 92 in Adair and Madison counties


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation is requesting public input on the proposed improvement of Iowa 92 from Iowa 25 in Greenfield east to 1.3 miles east of Madison County Road P-53 in Adair and Madison counties.

The proposed project provides for widening, resurfacing and installing subdrains from Greenfield east to the Adair/Madison county line. From the county line east to 1.3 miles east of Madison County Road P-53, the proposed improvement provides for milling and rubblizing the existing surface, and widening and resurfacing the roadway.

Through traffic on Iowa 92 would be detoured during the construction phase in Madison County using Iowa 25, Interstate 80 and U.S. 169. The project is scheduled to be let in September 2013. For general information or to make a comment regarding the proposed improvements, contact Don Stevens, assistant district engineer, Iowa DOT District 4 Office, 2210 E. Seventh St., Atlantic, Iowa 50022, telephone 712-243-3355 or 800-289-4368, email donald.stevens@dot.iowa.gov.

Comments must be received by May 16th, to be considered.

Storm dumps up to 11 inches of snow in northern Iowa

News, Weather

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The snowstorm that hit the State overnight into early this (Thursday) morning, dumped up to nearly a foot of snow in northern Iowa. In Hancock County, 11-inches fell in the town of Britt, taking out tree branches. Near Whittemore, in Palo Alto County, 7.3-inches of heavy wet snow caused power lines and tree limbs to snap. Seven-inches of snow also fell in Emmet County, but there were no reports of damage.

In western Iowa, snowfall measured up to 6.2-inches over Harrison, and a small portion of northwest Pottawattamie County, while others in that same area saw between four-and five-inches covering the ground. Some surrounding received anywhere from three-to four inches of snow. A little further east, 2.3-inches of snow fell here in Atlantic, at the KJAN Studios, one-inch fell in Massena, while portions of central Iowa received just under one-inch of snow, including at the National Weather Service office in Johnston.

Some communities in our listening area, further to the north, received between three-and four-inches, including Jamaica, in Guthrie County, which reported 3.1-inches of snow. The heavy, slushy snow caused some traffic problems. Minor accidents were reported at some locations, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Award fund now $15,000 for arrest of man accused in shooting of Sioux City Police officer


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The reward fund is growing in Sioux City for information leading to the arrest of 21-year-old Jamal Dean. The reward money is now up to $15,000 after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms added another $5,000 to the fund Thursday. That’s in addition to money contributed by the U.S. Marshall’s Service, Crimestoppers and several local, anonymous donors. Dean is wanted for attempted murder in the Monday afternoon shooting of Sioux City Police Officer Kevin McCormick, who was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop. McCormick has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. The search for Dean has expanded to the tri-state area.

Anyone with information regarding Dean’s whereabouts should call (712) 279-6960.

State Ag Secretary Northey will NOT run for US Senate


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cross another name off the list of potential Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. State Ag Secretary Bill Northey issued a written statement, announcing he has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat. Northey wrote that he feels he can “be more effective serving Iowans as Secretary of Agriculture rather than engaging in a Senate campaign.”

Last week, during an interview with Radio Iowa, Northey indicated his analysis of the political landscape in Iowa suggested to him he had a shot at the senate seat, but personal considerations were a concern. Northey said his family’s been farming the same ground near Spirit Lake since the 1930s and it would be hard for him to turn the operation over to someone else.

In his written statement today, Northey indicated he would endorse Congressman Steve King — IF King decides to run. If King doesn’t, Northey says there are “many qualified and exciting” Republican candidates considering a run. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds announced last week that she had decided against running for the Senate. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin announced in late January that he would not seek reelection in 2014.

Bruce Braley, the Democratic congressman from Waterloo, launched his race for the Senate in early February.

(Radio Iowa)