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Iowa authorities tallying storm damage, injuries

News, Weather

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – Iowa authorities are tallying up the damage and injuries caused by powerful storms that struck the state. The National Weather Service says the storms damaged a number of Iowa towns as gusts neared 90 mph and hail up to an inch in diameter fell on Sunday.

The service says radar data suggested that a tornado struck the southern Iowa city of Ottumwa. City officials told The Ottumwa Courier that several homes were damaged and some residents were injured near Liberty Elementary School on the southwest side of Ottumwa. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Craff says it’s unclear how many people were hurt.

A storm was blamed for a person’s death in the Keokuk County town of Kinross, but a county dispatcher said Monday morning that she couldn’t provide any information.

Palin comes to Iowa to publicly endorse Joni Ernst

News

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was in Iowa Sunday afternoon to deliver her endorsement of U-S Senate candidate Joni Ernst in person. “She’s going to set ’em straight,” Palin said. “She’s a soldier. She’s a hard-working farmer. She’s a pistol-packin’ Harley rider.” Ernst is one of five Republicans vying for the G-O-P’s U.S. Senate nomination and Palin announced a month ago that Ernst was her choice.

Palin told the crowd gathered in West Des Moines Sunday that Ernst would not be “co-opted” by the special interests in D.C. and she urged Ernst supporters to go out and “brag her up.” “Time is short. We don’t need a whole lot of touchy-feely, compassionate, ‘kumbayah’ singing around the campfire when it comes to these campaigns,” Palin said. “We need the fighters. We need you all to fight for the right folks that we need in D.C.”

The newly-decorated Ernst campaign vehicle was parked outside Sunday’s event, featuring the phrase: “honk if you want to make DC squeal.” That continues the theme of a campaign ad in which Ernst talked about castrating pigs as a farm girl. “Coolest campaign bus in the nation. I think it’s gorgeous and it says it all, about castrating those hogs, you know…That ad that she put out, right. That right there,” Palin said, snapping her fingers. “I mean, it got people’s attention because it’s like: ‘Whoa! Nobody’s going to push her around.'”

Ernst thanked Palin for the endorsement, saying she’d be honored to be the first woman Iowa elected to the U.S. congress. Sunday’s event was organized by ShePAC, a political action committee formed in 2012 to help elect conservative Republican women.

(Radio Iowa)

No serious injuries follow I-80 accident in Cass County Sun. night

News

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No serious injuries were reported following a two-vehicle accident Sunday night on Interstate 80 in Cass County. According to dispatch reports, the accident, which temporarily blocked most of the westbound lanes, happened at around 11:24-p.m., near the 68.5-mile marker westbound.

The Iowa State Patrol covered the investigation. Additional details are currently not available.

Fallen workers recognized

News

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Today (Monday) is Worker’s Memorial Day. Sixty-one Iowans who died while on the job were honored at event Friday in front of the Iowa Worforce Development office in Des Moines. Of the 61 who died in Iowa last year, about half were killed in industrial or farming-related accidents. Iowa AFL-CIO president, Ken Seeger, says there’s a problem in Iowa’s workplaces-a lack of safety inspectors. “Some people don’t want regulations on corporate entities and frankly I think that we need a few more — otherwise we wouldn’t have 61 Iowans dying. We can do better, but some people are choosing not to,” Seeger says.

About half of the deaths happened in industrial or farming-related accidents. Fifteen of the victims suffered heart attacks while at work.   “It represents a lot of families who have lost a wage earner, lost a loved one, whose lives have been inalterably changed,” Seeger says. “This is the 21st century, you’d think we could do better. Todd Osborn of Nevada attended the event to honor his brother Justyn Jarnagin, who died over the summer while working at a construction site.

“He’s a really good man, he worked hard, just had a newborn, was full of life and suddenly had it taken away from him. We’re here to honor his memory,” Osborn said. Unions in Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City will host memorial events today (Monday) for those who died last year.

(Radio Iowa)

Trial begins Tues. for Bluffs woman charged in the beating & burning of her stepson

News

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The trial of a Council Bluffs woman accused of beating and burning her stepson is set to begin on Tuesday afternoon. The Daily NonPareil reports 46-year old Rebecca S. Beyer is charged with first-degree kidnapping and willful injury causing serious injury in connection with the alleged abuse of the 20-year-old son of her husband. The victim’s father, 51-year old James W. Beyer,  and his stepson, 22-year old Ryan Smith,  also face charges in the case.

James Beyer is charged with first-degree kidnapping and willful injury causing serious injury, according to Iowa court records. His trial is scheduled to begin on May 20. Smith is charged with first-degree kidnapping and is set to stand trial on May 13. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

In March 2013, the unidentified victim told workers at the Joshua House, a Council Bluffs men’s shelter, that he had been mistreated by his family. Authorities were contacted, with the man telling Council Bluffs police officers that Rebecca Beyer heated spoons and forks on the stove and burned him with them. He also said he had been physically assaulted by his father and that both his parents had threatened to kill him. All three suspects were arrested last June.

Smith has allegedly head-butted, punched and kicked him in the past, according to court documents. Rebecca Beyer has pleaded not guilty to the accusations. The 20-year-old told detectives his father and stepmother “have abused him for years.”

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., 4/28/2014

News

April 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Strong thunderstorms caused damage across Iowa yesterday and at least two tornadoes were spotted in eastern Iowa. The National Weather Service said the storms caused wind damage in a number of Iowa towns as gusts neared 90 miles per hour and hail up to 1-inch in diameter fell. One person was hurt when a barn was blown over near Martinsburg.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature is poised to finish work for the year by Tuesday, a week after their daily expense payments ended and jobs ended for some staffers. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal and Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen say most of what remains is final paperwork and moving remaining budget bills.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Moderate and evangelical Republicans regained most of the leadership positions within the Iowa GOP from libertarians this weekend. Central committee member David Chung of Cedar Rapids tells the Des Moines Register he hopes the change helps build trust and cooperation within the party. Chung says he didn’t like the way the party was run over the past two years after supporters of now retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul took charge.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says U.S. Senate hopeful Joni Ernst would bring Iowa’s values to Washington, D.C . Palin was one of many women in politics to attend the “Heels On, Gloves Off!” rally Sunday in West Des Moines to support Ernst, a Republican state senator.

Atlantic School Board to hold work session Monday

News

April 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will hold a work session Monday evening in the High School Media Center, beginning at 7:30-p.m. During their meeting, the Board will act on approving New Teacher Recommendations, and, they will discuss the Schuler/Washington Schools’ Building Leadership Team (BLT), 2014 Iowa Assessment results, and a report on Superintendent Mike Amstein’s goals.

Prior to adjourning for the evening, the Atlantic School Board will hold an informal evaluation of the Superintendent in a closed session.

Tornado warning issued for southeast Iowa Sunday

News

April 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Severe thunderstorms are causing damage across Iowa Sunday afternoon, and a tornado warning was issued in southeastern Iowa. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Keokuk and Iowa counties at least through 4:30 p.m. Sunday because radar showed a possible tornado. But even before that warning was issued, the storms’ strong winds caused damage in several other Iowa towns.

Wind gusts up to 60 mph were recorded in Wapello Sunday afternoon, and at least one farm near there sustained damage to the roof and porch. South of Udell, several farm buildings were damaged or destroyed as the thunderstorm moved through. Several trees about one-foot in diameter were snapped off.

And the roof was blown off of the Oskaloosa Family Medical Center in Mahaska, Iowa. In southwest Iowa, three-quarter inch diameter hail was reported at around 12:18-p.m., two miles west of Griswold, and thunderstorm winds reached 58-miles per hour at the Shenandoah Airport at around 11:15-a.m.

There were no immediate reports of damage in southwest Iowa Sunday afternoon.

Audubon City Council to meet Monday evening

News

April 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Audubon will hold a regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening at City Hall. During the 7-p.m. session, the Council will receive an update on the Audubon County Economic Development (ACED) Housing Development plan. They’ll also act on approval of a bargaining unit stipulation and an order to authorize the Region 12 Council of Governments (COG) to release the Deed Restriction on the 210 Church Street property.

In other business, the Council will act on scheduling May 12th as the date for a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Code of Ordinances affecting the change in City Council meeting date and times. They’ll also act on a Resolution setting the rules for the Public Forum portion of City Council meetings and discuss the Dangerous Building list and abatement notices.

Severe weather possible Sunday in Nebraska, Iowa

News, Weather

April 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Rain is falling across southeastern Nebraska and western Iowa, and residents are preparing for the possibility of severe weather later on Sunday. The storms moved into southeast Nebraska Sunday morning and spread into Iowa. The National Weather Service says these storms might produce large hail and damaging winds, so residents are being encouraged to monitor the weather.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued Sunday morning for the western Iowa counties of Mills, Page, Montgomery and Fremont. That area may see quarter-size hail and 60 mph winds.

The Weather Service says there is a significant chance that more severe storms will develop in Nebraska and Iowa Sunday afternoon.