Branstad requests Presidential Disaster Declaration

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today (Monday) signed a letter to be delivered to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for nine Iowa counties where significant damage was sustained from damaging winds, hail, heavy rains and thunderstorms from June 3, 2014 – June 4, 2014. The request pertains to damages from the June 3 – 4 severe weather event and it is possible more requests will be made for additional counties adversely affected by subsequent severe weather.

Regarding the June 3 – 4 severe weather event, the letter reads, in part, “In response to the situation, I have issued a total of three State of Iowa Proclamations of Disaster Emergency. The first was issued on June 3, 2014, directing the execution of the Iowa Emergency Response Plan in Pottawattamie County.
Succeeding proclamations have resulted in a total of 11 counties to be in a State of Disaster Emergency. These actions were taken pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 and Section 401 of the Stafford Act.

“I determined that the severity of the damage in Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor, and Wayne Counties is so great that Joint Federal, State, and local Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments were required. On June 12, 2014, the State of Iowa first requested a Joint Federal, State, and local Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessment for ten of the most severely impacted counties. These assessments commenced on June 18,
and were concluded on June 21.

“As a result of these Joint assessments, I have determined that the severity of damages in nine counties is such that Federal Assistance is needed.”

(Press Release)

Weather officials confirm 4 tornadoes hit Iowa

News, Weather

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

TRAER, Iowa (AP) — Weather officials have confirmed four tornadoes hit Iowa after severe storms passed through the state. The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down just north of Traer on Sunday and caused extensive tree damage but remained away from populated areas. A farm outbuilding also was damaged.

Officials say it appears to have been an EF-1 tornado with peak wind of 90 miles per hour. Its path was 6.6 miles long and 200 yards wide. The service says it has analyzed pictures and videos from the media and the public and confirmed at least three additional tornadoes near Jewell, Stuart, and in eastern Jasper County. No tree or structural damage was reported from them.

The agency says at least 11 tornadoes were reported Sunday evening by trained storm spotters.

(Update 3-p.m.) Trooper ok after his cruiser is hit by a semi

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State Patrol trooper was treated and released from Atlantic hospital after a wreck on Interstate-80 in western Iowa late Monday morning. According to the accident report, Trooper Todd Granner, of Atlantic, was buckled in his patrol car east of Atlantic, with his vehicle positioned to direct traffic around another accident in the westbound lanes of I-80.

Trooper Todd Granner

Trooper Todd Granner

Authorities say a semi driver reached to retrieve something inside his cab and when he looked back up realized traffic ahead had slowed substantially. The semi veered to avoid the line of traffic and ran into the back of the Granner’s patrol car and then into a guard rail. The trooper was taken to the Atlantic hospital as a precaution. The semi driver was not hurt. He was not identified but was expected to be cited for the incident.

(Radio Iowa)

Flash Flood Watch cancelled for Pottawattamie County

Weather

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

246 PM CDT MON JUL 7 2014

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS CANCELLED…

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF SOUTHWEST IOWA HAS BEEN CANCELLED. ALTHOUGH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS EVENING…RAINFALL IS NO LONGER EXPECTED TO BE SUFFICIENT FOR FLASH FLOODING. THUS THE WATCH HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

THE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE REMAINING COUNTIES SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 80 FROM 7-PM MONDAY UNTIL 7-AM TUESDAY.

Semi rear-ends Patrol car on I-80

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC, Iowa —An Iowa State Patrol trooper is expected to be OK after a semi truck rear ended his cruiser Monday morning. KETV reports the crash happened in western Iowa on Interstate 80 before 11 a.m.

The semi also hit a cable barrier in the median during the crash. The trooper was outside the vehicle directing traffic around another crash at the time. He was taken to Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic.

The crash remains under investigation.

M. JOAN SUNDERMAN, 80, of Griswold & formerly of Atlantic (Svcs. 7/9/14)

Obituaries

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

M. JOAN SUNDERMAN, 80, of Griswold (& formerly of Atlantic), died Sun., July 6th, at the Griswold Care Center. Graveside services for JOAN SUNDERMAN will be held 11-a.m. Wed., July 9th, at St. John’s Cemetery, south of Lyman. Roland Funeral Service in Atlantic has the arrangements.

There is no set family visitation. Friends may call at the funeral home from 8-am to 5-pm Tue., July 8th. Online condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.

JOAN SUNDERMAN is survived by:

Her brother – Sherwin Sunderman, of Griswold.

Stolen car misses a curve near Pacific Junction – ends up in the drink

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County are investigating an accident that ended with a vehicle submerged in a drainage ditch Saturday, about a mile southwest of Pacific Junction. Authorities say a 2007 Mercury, registered to Megan Schmoll, was traveling eastbound on Kelting Avenue and approaching the curve to 210th Street, when it left the road and rolled onto its top in a drainage ditch, where it became submerged.

No driver was found, and no injuries were reported. The vehicle had been reported stolen July 5th.

Drug/indecent exposure and assault-related arrests in Mills County

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested over the weekend, in Mills County. The Sheriff’s Office says 42-year old Patricia Margaret Zastera, of Glenwood, was arrested Friday evening in Pacific Junction. Zastera was charged with Trespassing, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was also wanted on a warrant for Violation of Probation. Bond was set at $3,800.

On Sunday, 47-year old Clinton Jeffrey Moore, of Omaha, was arrested on 195th Street in Mills County. Authorities say he was charged with Indecent Exposure, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession  of Drug Paraphernalia. Moore’s bond was set at $2,300.

And, 54-year old Verner Jay Moore, of Emerson, was arrested in Emerson at around 1:30-p.m., Sunday. He was charged with Domestic Abuse/Assault. Moore was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.

Car goes up in flames in Harlan – minor injuries reported

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A car fire on Highway 59 this (Monday) morning caused minor injuries to the driver and backed up traffic for a little over 30 minutes. According to Defiance Fire Chief Al Wilwerding, the call came in around 7-am for a Pontiac sedan that was on fire between 1700th and 1800th Street.

Defiance and Irwin Fire Departments were on the scene when the car was fully engulfed in flames. Wilwerding says the fire started inside the car. “There were two people, an older couple, in the car and he said he thought it started underneath the driver seat or the driver seat and passenger seat.”

The names of the occupants were not released and the cause of the fire is unknown. The chief says the car was completely destroyed by the fire. The lone injuries were some burns to the drivers’ hands. Wilwerding said he was treated at the scene. A dollar amount on the damage to the vehicle was not given.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s assisted with traffic enforcement for the 45 minutes the departments were extinguishing the fire.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Brad Zaun may run as independent candidate in third congressional district

News

July 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The candidates in Iowa’s third district congressional district may not be set yet. Brad Zaun is the candidate who got the most votes in the June 3rd Republican Primary, but he failed to win the G-O-P nomination that day because he didn’t win at least 35 percent of the vote. Over 500 delegates at a special nominating convention on June 14th selected David Young as the G-O-P candidate to face Democrat Staci Appel this fall. Now, Zaun may run as an independent candidate. Zaun floated the idea on his Facebook page over the holiday weekend, saying Republicans had “lost their way” — and Zaun ended that sentence with an exclamation point.

“To some extent, this smacks of sour grapes,” says Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford. Goldford says Zaun was fine with the rule that a candidate needed 35 percent of the primary vote to win when he first ran for congress four years ago. “There’s something somewhat self-serving about his objections to the rules. The rules are the rules. If you don’t get 35 percent of the vote in a primary — if no one does — it does to a convention,” Goldford says. “In 2010 with a slightly different district he had something like 42 percent of the vote in a multi-candidate race and even though he didn’t have 50 percent-plus-one — a majority — that didn’t seem to bother him in terms of accpeting the nomination back then.”

Zaun, as an independent candidate, could siphon votes away from the Republican nominee in the third congressional district.  “Any time you have a very tight race and the third district may well be a tight race, a feather on the scale can make the difference,” Goldford says. The latest data shows Iowa’s third congressional district has a slight voter registration edge for the G-O-P. There are seven-thousand more registered Republicans than Democrats in the 16-county district. In 2012, however, Barack Obama got more votes than Mitt Romney did in the district.

Shortly after losing the nominating convention, Zaun sent an email message to his supporters, asking them to back David Young’s candidacy. On the 4th of July, though, Zaun posted this message on Facebook: “As we celebrate Independence Day there is several of my friends that are encouraging me to switch to an Independent. What do you think? Very frustrated as Republicans lost their way!” Zaun has not returned phone calls seeking clarification or comment.

(Radio Iowa)