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Iowa Among Nation’s Worst for Percentage of Bridges on the Brink


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa has one of the highest percentages in the nation of bridges that are in need of major repairs or upgrades, according to a new report. The analysis was done by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Its chief economist, Alison Black, said the group found that more than 20 percent of Iowa’s bridges, numbering more than 5,000, are structurally deficient.

“A bridge is classified as structurally deficient,” she said, “if one of the key structural elements – and usually that’s either the deck, the super-structure or the substructure – is rated in poor condition or worse.” Black said the challenge in Iowa is that, in addition to some of the more highly traveled bridges in urban areas, there is a large number of smaller, local bridges that are considered structurally deficient.

Black said the bridge problem in Iowa and nationwide could get even worse, since the latest extension of federal highway and transit funding through the Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on May 31, absent congressional action. “This is something that is an issue, funding both at the federal, state and local level,” she said. “It’s something that all levels of government need to address. But the uncertainly over the federal-aid situation is a big issue for state DOTs (departments of transportation) and local governments.”

Nationwide, according to the report, about 61,000 bridges are considered structurally compromised. Many of those are on Interstate highways, which carry the bulk of truck traffic and passenger vehicles. The report is online at slideshare.net.

(Iowa News Service)

Iowa is 8th worst state for hail damage claims in 2014


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa ranks as the eighth worst state for hail damage in 2014, according to an insurance company survey. Ann Avery, spokeswoman for State Farm, says Iowa had more than 12-thousand-800 hail claims last year for home and auto policyholders. Avery says if you’re considering remodeling your home or building a new one, impact-resistant roofing may be a good option.

“This is a product that can be your first line of defense against hail damage,” Avery says. “These are shingles that are designed to withstand hail and perhaps reduce the risk of hail damage. It prolongs the life of your roof. That’s something to consider and ask about if you’re thinking about that.” If the weather forecast calls for the potential of hail, Avery says to take common sense precautions with your vehicle.

“Park your car in a garage or a carport,” Avery says. “Avoid parking under a tree where branches can fall on your vehicle. Also, good tree pruning can prevent a lot of the problems associated with a hail storm. Removing dead, diseased or damaged plant parts can reduce the possibility of future storm damage.”

Nationwide, hail claims cost State Farm more than two-point-four billion dollars in 2014. While Iowa was 8th on the list, Texas was the most expensive state for hail damage with more than 51-thousand claims. Rounding out the top five: Illinois, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)

Frederickson Fund donates $1,000 to Atlantic PTO & $5k to Atlantic Little League


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund has donated $1000 to the Atlantic Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Fund spokesperson Melanie Petty say the money is to help the PTO with their final phase of purchasing new computers for Washington School. PTO

The mini IPads will be used for research, reading skills, Iowa core programs and 21st century programs. The fund also donated $5000 to the Atlantic Little League for a new playground the group is adding this spring.

Petty says “It is our hope that we will be able to continue to donate to worthy projects in the Atlantic area that meet our mission statement.”LL She said also, “The community support of our annual golf tournament makes this a reality every year. We look forward to another huge event this year on August 8th when we hold our 7th Annual TFred Memorial Golf Tournament at Nishna Hills Golf Course.”

One arrest and one accident Thursday, in Creston


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One person was arrested, and one non-injury accident was investigated Thursday, in Creston. Authorities say 25-year old Natasha Campbell, of Creston, was arrested at around 3:20-p.m. at 806 Laurel Street, and charged with Theft in the 4th Degree. Campbell was later released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.

And, an accident that happened at around 11:40-a.m. at the intersection of South Elm and Highway 34 in Creston caused a total of $2,800, but no one was hurt. Officials say vehicle driven by 67-year old Jeannittie Todd, of Maloy, and 16-year old Brooke Hague, of Creston, collided as both drivers were traveling south on S. Elm Street.

When Todd stopped her 2007 Jeep at the intersection, Hague, who authorities say was following too closely, failed to stop her 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix in-time. Her car hit the left rear corner of the Jeep. No citations were issued.

(Podcast) KJAN News & Funeral report, 4/10/15

News, Podcasts

April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. report from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Life in prison for s.w. IA man who killed his girlfriend


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Shenandoah man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison in connection with the July 2009 death of 29-year old Holly Durben, of Shenandoah. The Daily NonPareil says Fourth District Judge Timothy O’Grady also ordered 34-year old Brian Davis to pay court costs in the case, make restitution for his court-appointed attorneys, and pay $150,000 to either the estate of Holly Durben or her heirs. In a February bench trial, O’Grady found Davis guilty of first-degree murder in Durben’s July 18, 2009 death.

Durben was found with a shotgun wound to her head in the couple’s bedroom at the farmhouse where they lived, about four miles south of Shenandoah on U.S. Highway 59. Prosecutors have said Durben’s death was a homicide staged to look like a suicide. Davis’ attorneys maintained that Durben killed herself.

Davis was transported to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale, where he will begin his sentence immediately. Davis has the right to appeal the sentence within 30 days of his sentencing Thursday. Before the sentencing in the Fremont County Courthouse defense attorneys Eric Nelson, Joseph Reedy and Michael Hooper filed a motion for a new trial, which Judge O’Grady denied.

New Superintendent hired for Shen. School District


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shenandoah School Board has found a replacement for their former superintendent who was terminated last November. The Daily NonPareil reports Kerri Nelson will take over from interim superintendent Monte Munsinger. Nelson was selected over Mount Pleasant Superintendent Mike Wells, the other finalist for the position from a field of 19 applicants.  Nelson will begin her duties as superintendent on July 1.

Nelson is currently the superintendent of South Tama Community School District, where she has been since 2008. She is also a representative for Class 3A schools this year on the School Administrators of Iowa’s Executive Leaders Steering Committee, according to the organization’s website.

Nelson replaces Jeff Hiser, who was accused of submitting fraudulent expense requests, giving inaccurate information during an investigation and misusing district property for personal gain, among other reasons offered by the school board for his ousting. Hiser initially challenged the decision, but he decided in January to allow the termination to proceed because of an ongoing medical issue. He had been “medically unable to perform” the job since Oct. 6, 2014, and a medical provider said an administrative law proceeding would aggravate his depression and anxiety.

Villisca woman arrested on a drug charge Thu. night


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A routine traffic stop late Thursday night in Villisca resulted in the arrest of a local woman on a drug charge. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says 46-year old Claudia Elizabeth Schubert, of Villisca, faces a Possession of a Controlled Substance, charge.

The woman was arrested during the course of a traffic stop at around 11-p.m., after the Montgomery County K9 “Rex” alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from Schubert’s 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser. The vehicle was searched and a controlled substance was found. Schubert was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

2 men arrested in Red Oak on weapon and burglary charges


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two men were arrested Thursday night on separate charges, in Red Oak. Authorities say Red Oak Police arrested 65-year old Steve Lester Delong, of Red Oak, at around 8:05-p.m. , for discharging a firearm within the City limits. Delong was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

And, at around 9:35-p.m., 22-year old Cody Dean Johnson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Felony Burglary in the 2nd Degree. Johnson’s bond was set at $10,000.

3 arrested on burglary and drug charges in Adams County


April 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three men were arrested Thursday evening on burglary and narcotics charges, in Adams County. Sheriff’s officials say Josh Cooney, Hubert Scherer and Charles Williams, all from Brooks, were taken into custody at around 6:40-p.m., after authorities investigated a reported burglary in Brooks. Narcotics and drug paraphernalia were found during the investigation.