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Early morning pursuit in Pott. County


June 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County arrested a motorist early this (Wednesday) morning, following a two-state pursuit that ended south of Council Bluffs. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the chase began about 2:40-a.m. in west Omaha, around 120th Street and West Dodge Road. That’s where an unidentified motorist failed to maintain control of a Dodge Durango SUV in his lane.

The driver failed to pull over after Omaha police attempted to make a traffic stop, Douglas County emergency 911 dispatchers said the motorist led police to the Missouri River on Interstate 80. Once the pursuit crossed into Iowa, authorities here picked up chase in Council Bluffs.

The motorist finally pulled over and was taken into custody at around 3:10-a.m. on southbound Interstate 29 just south of Council Bluffs. No injuries were reported. The chase involved Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol, Council Bluffs Police and deputies with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department.


More road construction in western Iowa


June 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Persons who travel through the Oakland area should be prepared for road construction. The Daily NonPareil reports work should start next month on a $5 million road improvement project in rural Pottawattamie County. The project covers an 8.5-mile stretch of County Road M16/G42. County Road M16 stretches for 3.5 miles west of Oakland before it turns north, becoming County Road G42. The project will continue on for 5 more miles until its intersection with County Road G30.

The Pott. County Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, awarded the work to Western Engineering Co., out of Harlan, based on its bid of $5,292,327. Approximately $4.2 million will come from the county’s Secondary Roads budget, with the remainder coming from the state’s Farm to Market Fund generated by road use tax revenue.

The project calls for the removal of the current asphalt surface followed by concrete improvements below that. Finally, six-inches of new asphalt will be applied on top to provide additional strength, with the existing surface to be recycled. Drainage improvements alongside the road will allow for better water runoff, as well.

Work should start in mid- to late July and be completed by mid-fall, weather permitting Detours will be required during this project except for local traffic.

Carroll woman injured in Greene County accident


June 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Carroll County was injured during a collision between her car and a semi, Tuesday afternoon, in central Iowa’s Greene County. The Iowa State Patrol reports 58-year old Patricia Peters, of Carroll, was traveling west on Highway 30 at around 1:50-p.m., when for reasons unknown, her 2008 Chevy Impala crossed the center line and hit the front, driver’s side of an eastbound 2014 Peterbilt semi, driven by 52-year old William Moffett, of Crane, MO. Following the collision, the Impala came to rest on the north shoulder of the road, while the semi stopped in a corn field, north of Highway 30.

A 2001 Chevy Tahoe traveling behind Peters’ car swerved to avoid the collision, entered the north ditch and rolled over. The driver, 27-year old Paul Daggett, of Minburn, was not hurt. Patricia Peters, who was wearing her seat belt, was transported by Jefferson Rescue to the Greene County Hospital. The driver of the semi was not hurt.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., June 17th 2015


June 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a six-day break with no new bird flu cases, the Iowa Department of Agriculture says another egg-laying chicken farm has tested positive. A farm in Wright County with 1 million chickens has experienced increased deaths among the flock and a preliminary test indicates the presence of the bird flu virus. Iowa’s last reported case was June 9.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Three relatives charged in a conspiracy to ship weapons from Iowa to Lebanon are pleading not guilty. Ali Herz; his brother, Bassem Herz; and Bassem Herz’s wife, Sarah Zeaiter, entered the pleas Tuesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. The fourth suspect, Ali Herz’s son, Adam Herz, is expected to follow suit during an arraignment hearing Wednesday. The four were arrested last month after agents intercepted shipping containers headed from Cedar Rapids to Beirut that had many guns and rounds of ammunition hidden inside construction equipment.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — All new homes built in Waterloo must include garages under a plan approved by the City Council. The council voted to change a zoning ordinance and require all new single or two-family homes built after July 1 to have a garage. Habitat for Humanity has built many homes without garages, but officials say the group was consulted and supported the requirement.

GARWIN, Iowa (AP) — An investigation by the state auditor has found more than $500,000 in improper and unsupported spending by the eastern Iowa city of Garwin. Auditor Mary Mosiman says an audit requested by city officials found $562,089 of improper and unsupported spending. That includes 203 payments traced by credit card statements to former City Clerk Anna Lori Leytham. Payments on those credit card accounts date from December 2000 to September 2013.

Atlantic City Council to honor former Councilwoman & SWITA


June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will hold a regularly scheduled session Wednesday evening, at City Hall. During the meeting, which begins at 5:30-p.m., Mayor Dave Jones is expected to sign a proclamation declaring June 15th-through the 19th as “Ride SWITA Transit Week.” The Southwest Iowa Transit Agency serves as the public transportation system for Atlantic and the surrounding region, operating under the umbrella of the Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO). SWITA provides rides to school, work, shopping and medical appointments for local citizens.

The Mayor and Council will also recognize former 5th Ward Councilperson Lori Stuart, for her contributions to the community. Stuart resigned last month and her family moved to Cedar Rapids. The Council approved the appointment of Richard “Dick” Casady to fill her seat on June 4th. Casady hold the position until at least the November General Election.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will act on an order for the Mayor to enter into a marketing agreement with Utility Service Partners, Inc., for the Service Line Warranty Program. The Council has stipulated the company should use local contractors for any repairs or warrant work, as much as possible. City Administrator John Lund has contacted three other communities in Iowa to get their opinion on the value of the service USP provides. According to his report, no complaints have been received from the citizens of those communities, but two of the three Public Works officials contacted strongly suggested an informational media campaign be conducted to make the public aware of the optional warranty service.

And, the Council will act on passing a Resolution that repeals and replaces a section of the City’s Personnel Policy manual, with regard to longevity pay. The pay scale section of the Personnel Policy, according to Lund, has not been updated since 1997. Salaried employees and Union members will not be affected by the adjustments, which pertain to 11 employees, and would cost to the City just under $3,800.

Finally, Mayor Dave Jones, Wednesday, will make a proclamation calling for “No Parking on the entire length of 22nd Street and west of the 900 block of Olive Street.”

Bird flu leads to cheaper chicken in US

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bird flu outbreak in the Midwest has actually resulted in cheaper chicken meat in the U.S. because exports have been restricted, leaving a plentiful domestic supply. In a monthly poultry market report published Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says importers halted shipments even though chickens remain unaffected by bird flu. Wholesale prices in the Northeast are 32 percent lower than a year earlier. Drumsticks are down 33 percent.

The bird flu outbreak did cause egg prices to increase. Egg prices more than doubled from pre-bird flu prices but in recent days have fallen. Roasting turkey prices are 3 percent higher than a year ago and may increase a little more toward Thanksgiving.

After a 6-day break Iowa reports an egg farm with bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a six-day break with no new bird flu cases, the Iowa Department of Agriculture says another egg-laying chicken farm has tested positive. A farm in Wright County with 1 million chickens has experienced increased deaths among the flock and a preliminary test indicates the presence of the bird flu virus.

The frequency of new cases has slowed dramatically with no new cases in Minnesota in 11 days. Iowa’s last reported case was June 9. The bird flu has cost Minnesota, the leading turkey producer, 9 million birds. Egg farms in Iowa, the nation’s leading producer, have lost over 25 million laying hens.

State officials say all 76 previously affected farms have removed the 32 million birds that already died or were euthanized. Disposal of the dead birds continues.

Iowa dad rejects plea deal, faces trial in death of baby boy


June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor says a 27-year-old Sioux City man has rejected another plea offer and will proceed to trial for the death of his 2-month-old son. Michael Williams is charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent person, a count of child endangerment resulting in death and one of child endangerment resulting in injury. His trial is scheduled to begin July 7.

The Sioux City Journal reported Tuesday that County Attorney Patrick Jennings declined to discuss details of the plea deal. Williams also rejected a deal in October. Authorities have said little Leonard Williams was taken to an emergency room on April 29 last year. An autopsy later showed he died of malnutrition and dehydration.

The trial of his mother, 24-year-old Rebekah Williams-McCarthy, is scheduled to begin Aug. 4th.

2 workers at wastewater plant no longer Sioux City employees


June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two workers at Sioux City’s wastewater treatment plant are no longer employed by the city.  Human Resources Director Bridey Hayes confirmed to KTIV-TV that superintendent Jay Niday and operations supervisor Pat Schwarte no longer work for the city. Hayes said she couldn’t comment further about their departure.

It’s unclear if the employees’ departure is connected to an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The agency is investigating whether an employee changed chlorine levels in wastewater samples to meet standards outlined in a state-issued permit that allows treated wastewater to be discharged into the Missouri River. City officials have said they are cooperating with the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Weirich unveils Lewis Festival art work


June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A unique sculpture created by the owner of a local iron works company will be featured during the parade for the Lewis Day Festival on June 27th, and in an international art competition. Duane Weirich, of Weirich Welding, in Lewis, said he started working on a steel sculpture of an Eagle, in January. He later learned of a contest that’s held in Grand Rapids Michigan called “Art Prize Seven,” (www.artprize.org/) which runs from Sept. 23rd through Oct. 11th. Wierich entered his project April 20th, and has a venue lined-up to display the piece, which is made entirely out of scrap iron.

The Eagle is 12-feet from wing-tip to wing-tip, eight-feet tall, and weighs roughly 400-pounds. The base alone weighs 2,200 pounds. When finished, it will sit on top of a metal globe that turns. The project is entitled “America, Come Together.” Weirich says the eagle will be clamped to a U-S map on top of a globe.

He says he has about 200 hours into the project so far. The Eagle has 2,000 individual pieces of metal that comprise the feathers.  Wierich says he will travel with the eagle this fall to Michigan for the contest Art Prize contest. Billed as the World’s Largest Art Competition, there were 1,500 entries from 46 countries and 41 U-S States.

The awards are based on “People’s Choice, and by professional judges. There are cash prizes for the top ten finishers. When the contest is over, the Eagle will be sold. Weirich says he already has two people interested in purchasing it.

The parade in which the eagle will be featured on June 27th in Lewis, is military-themed, and features members of last year’s Cass County Honor Flight, along with many other area veterans. Grand Marshall’s for the parade are Dula Thompson and John Robinson, two of the oldest residents of Cass County.

A ceremony dedicating the Cass County Freedom Rock at Pioneer Park in Lewis gets underway at 4-p.m. The Rock was painted by Ray “Bubba Sorensen,” of Greenfield. A salute to Veterans fireworks display rounds out the activities, at dusk.