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Weather officials confirm 3 tornadoes hit Iowa

News, Weather

July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials have confirmed at least three tornadoes hit Iowa during recent severe weather. The National Weather Service says three tornadoes hit Monday in south central and east central Iowa as severe weather packing heavy rain and hail moved across the state. The first tornado was rated an EF-1, with an estimated peak wind speed of 100-miles per hour.

It started at around 12:40-p.m. Monday about four-miles southeast of Casey and traveled almost 8-miles in an intermittent path before ending about 6-miles south-southwest of Stuart. It was an estimated 200-yards wide and produced its worst damage  southwest of Stuart, where a house and several outbuildings were damaged or destroyed.

A second tornado in Madison County was also rated an EF-1. It also packed winds of up to 100-mph, but was only 75 yards wide and was on the ground for about 1.2-miles.  It formed at around 1:13-p.m. about 6-miles northeast of Winterset and ended shortly thereafter, not far away.  Despite being on the ground for such a short period of time, the twister managed to damage a house and several trees before dissipating in an open field.

The third tornado in Tama County was rated EF-2. Its peak wind was estimated at 120-mph. The twister damaged a house, but as with the other tornadoes, no one was hurt or killed. Officials will continue to investigate other reports of tornadoes in the days ahead.

Public Hearing Wednesday on Atlantic on Revitalization Plan/Tax abatement


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, will hold a public hearing on a proposed Urban Revitalization Plan (URP) for the City of Atlantic. City Administrator Doug Harris said under the Urban Revitalization Act in Chapter 404 of the Code of Iowa, the Council is authorized to designate areas that have a substantial number of deteriorated or deteriorating structures as being qualified for designation as an Urban Revitalization Area (URA).

The objective is to revitalize slums and blighted areas and stop the spread of urban blight. The proposed URP makes a finding of widespread blight, and designates the entire area within the corporate limits of the City as an URA. Harris says the proposed URP would provide 5-year tax exemptions or abatements for all qualified improvements made to residential or commercial real estate that are completed on or before Dec. 31st, 2017.

Confusion he says, lies in the language in the proposed plan, which states abatements “may” be given retroactively. Bob Josten, the City’s legal counsel on these types of issues, has said Iowa Code specifies tax abatements can only be granted for projects that begin AFTER the adoption of an URP. Harris says the Council needs to ask questions and carefully consider the complex public policy, so the URP will effectively achieve objectives, yet be cost effective and not result in unwanted trade-offs or unintended consequences.

In other business, the Council will act on the issuance of a Notice of Violation of the City Ordinance with regard to five violations found after a property owner at 305 Cedar Street made a connection to the City’s Sanitary Sewer main. The Council is required to give official notice of the violations. They will also act on the 3rd and final reading of an Ordinance pertaining to “Airport Land Use and Height Overlay Zoning.” A public hearing on the Ordinance was held June 4th, during which there were no objections. If approved, it deregulates and restricts the height of structures, objects and growth of natural vegetation, as well as land uses within the vicinity of the Atlantic Municipal Airport, as required by the FAA.

The Atlantic City Council meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. Wednesday in their Chambers at City Hall.

TV’s “Shark Tank” to hold auditions in Iowa on July 14th


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The popular T-V show “Shark Tank” will host a casting call in central Iowa later this month. To start off season number six, it’ll be the first time the Emmy-nominated show has held its search for participants in Des Moines. The show has nothing to do with actual sharks. It’s all about business and pitching ideas. Aspiring entrepreneurs appear before a panel of billionaires, venture capitalists and real estate moguls, looking for funding.

The casting call will be held on Monday, July 14th, at the Iowa Events Center. Organizers say the first 500 entrepreneurs in line are guaranteed to be seen.

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad announces appointments to various boards & commisions


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Terry Branstad, Tuesday, announced his selection of appointments to fill Iowa’s boards and commissions. The following individuals’ appointments are effective July 1st, 2014, and are not
subject to Iowa Senate confirmation:

Jennifer Durfey, of Council Bluffs, Kendalyn Powell-Huff, of Greenfield, and Roxanne Cogil, of Jamaica, were appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Brain Injuries; Angela Hance, of Creston, was appointed to the Iowa Council for Early ACCESS; Daniel Rittel, of Stuart was appointed to the Historical Records Advisory Board; appointed to the Council on Homelessness, was Nancy Schulze, of Council Bluffs.

Merrilee Sump, of Clarinda, received an appointment to the Non-public School Advisory Committee; Loren Christensen, of Elk Horn, was appointed to the Preserves Advisory Board; Patrick Pucelik, of Harlan, was appointed by the Governor to the Rural Health and Primary Care Advisory Committee.

Also appointed by Governor Branstad, was: Rebecca Shafer, of Council Bluffs, to the Statewide Independent Living Council; Jerry Mathiasen of Council Bluffs was appointed to the Terrace Hill Commission; and, Dr. Gina Schochenmaier, of Council Bluffs, was appointed to the Volunteer Service Commission.

Farragut women sentenced to prison for Social Security Fraud


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports a Fremont County woman was sentenced Tuesday to jail for committing Social Security Fraud.  51-year old Sharon Jean Manchester,  of Farragut, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge John Jarvey to a year and one day in prison, and three years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

On February 6th, Manchester plead guilty to committing Social Security Fraud from October, 2008, up to July of 2013. In addition to her prison term and period of supervised release, Manchester was ordered to pay restitution amounting to slightly more than $48, 815 to the Social Security Administration.

The charge was the result of an investigation into the payment of funds by the Social Security Administration to Sharon Manchester which were based on Sharon Manchester’s claim that she was not receiving financial support from her husband, co-defendant Andrew Manchester. Investigation showed that during the entire period of time Sharon Manchester claimed to be unsupported by Andrew Manchester, he did provide financial support that made Sharon Manchester ineligible for Social Security benefits.

Co-defendant Andrew Manchester pleaded guilty previously to the charge of possession of a false document, and is awaiting sentencing. The investigation was conducted by the Fremont County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, Page County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for Southern District of Iowa.

Volunteers Needed in Adair for Clean Up


July 1st, 2014 by Jim Field

After Monday’s storms, residents of the City of Adair could use a little help.  Adair-Guthrie County Emergency Management Director Bob Kempf says they are looking for local folks to help clean up some of the yards, cemeteries and community property that were left littered with debris.  Kempf is asking volunteers to show up at the Adair City Hall on Wednesday, July 2nd at 9:00 am armed with rakes to help with the clean up effort. You’ll also need gloves and long pants and hard-soled shoes. Minors must have a permission slip signed by a guardian and be with a group to participate in the clean-up effort.

Kempf said if they get a lot of volunteers it will make the job easier in helping out those who may not be able to do the work themselves.And a reminder: if you see a downed power line, assume it is “hot.”  Call 1-800-397-4821 to report the line down and do not touch it.

For those who have storm damage, Kempf offered these tips:
1. Contact your insurance company prior to clean up if you have not already done so.
2. Be extremely careful of others offering services that you are not sure of.
3. Do not pay for services ahead of time.
4. Take lots of pictures of your damage.

Flood Warning Cancelled for the East Nish at Red Oak

News, Weather

July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

1154 AM CDT TUE JUL 1 2014



Hail causes roughly $5M damage at nuke plant


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) – The hail storm that hit Blair last month caused roughly $5 million damage to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in eastern Nebraska, just across the Missouri River from Iowa. The Omaha Public Power District says that damage estimate could still change because repair bids haven’t been received for some work. The June 3rd storm damaged homes and vehicles with baseball-sized hail and winds stronger than 90 mph.

OPPD spokesman Jeff Hanson says the storm didn’t disrupt the nuclear power plant’s operations. But Hanson says the hail damaged the roof of the administration building, broke some windows and also damaged rooftop air conditioners and other equipment.

The storm also caused significant damage to utility vehicles that were parked at the complex. OPPD has a $2.5 million deductible on its insurance policy the utility will have to pay.

Court: Iowa custody dispute belongs in Nebraska


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A Nebraska appeals court has ruled that an Iowa judge shouldn’t have decided a custody dispute involving two boys from Omaha, even though their mother now lives in Iowa. The three-judge panel of the Nebraska Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a Douglas County judge in Omaha should determine the case.

Court records say Francis M. Zimmerman and Tiffany L. Biggs are the unwed parents of two boys who were born in Omaha, one in 2010 and the other in 2013. Biggs moved to Creston, Iowa, last year, and filed a domestic violence protection order against Zimmerman. An Iowa judge granted the order and awarded her temporary custody of both children.

Zimmerman sought custody in Douglas County, where a judge ruled the Iowa court had already decided the matter.

Damage assessment begins in Shelby County


July 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Engineer Dan Ahart reports crews are assessing damage today (Tuesday) left behind from the storms on Monday. In a Shelby County Board of Supervisors meeting this (Tuesday) morning, Ahart said two bridges on the eastern side of Shelby County were at their peaks.

“The one bridge over by east of Jacksonville, there is a concrete bridge and then a little wooden bridge about another half mile over the hill, was right to the deck yesterday. It does do that but there was quite a bit of scour there. The water over the road in many places but as the guys talked this morning, now you have the opportunity to go look.”

The engineer said no roads were closed in the county due to the storms. The Shelby County Engineer’s Office did not receive damage however; four vehicles were hit by the hail and caused some dents. Ahart said residents are encouraged to contact his office if you had damage to culverts or the road in your area.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)