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7AM Newscast 07-07-2011

News, Podcasts

July 7th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Clarinda Cop assaulted while booking a suspect


July 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Clarinda Police officer was treated for minor injuries after he was allegedly assaulted at the jail Sunday by a man who was being booked into the Page County Jail. Police Chief Keith Mehlin said the unidentified officer was struck with a closed fist in the left eye region of his head. The officer was treated at the Clarinda Regional Health Center and released.

Twenty-two year old Dakota Jim Smith, of Gravity, was subsequently charged with felony assault on a peace officer. Smith was originally arrested on charges of public intoxication and simple assault, following a disturbance in the parking lot of a Clarinda apartment complex earlier in the day, Sunday.

Shenandoah man sentenced to probation for deceptive sales practices


July 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A judge has sentenced a Shenandoah man to five-years in prison for selling more than $65,000 in Ag products and inventory that was not his. 28-year old Adam Sandahl had pleaded guilty in May, to selling products last year, that belonged to the Coin Seed and Chemical Company. He was arrested in June 2010 following a six-month long investigation by the Page County Sheriff’s Office.

Page County Attorney Jeremy Peterson said Sandahl’s sentence on Monday was suspended, and the man was placed on probation for two-years. In addition, he must pay the Ag seed dealership $65,405 within a period of two-years.

DOT tries new technology in flood fight


July 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation has been using and learning about new types of technology as it fights the flooding along state highways. D-O-T spokesperson, Dena Gray-Fisher says one of the new things they’ve been using is called “Trapbag.” It’s a large bag that is filled with rock and creates a barrier along the road. She says the Trapbag is a variation of the so-called Hesco barriers.

Gray-Fisher says the Trapbags are bags that are already connected together in a line and they move down the road filling them and can create about 400 feet of barrier in an hour. Gray-Fisher says the Trapbags let them put up a lot of barrier in a short amount of time. She says it allows them to be more efficient, and requires less labor, which she says is helpful when you are under time limits. Gray-Fisher says the new technology is used along with the old to find the best protection for roadways.

Gray-Fisher says they still use the traditional sandbags and barrier walls, and they also look at raising the elevation of the pavement. She says they’ve had plenty of practice in recent years in find ways to protect the highways, and they are getting more education from the western Iowa flooding.

For example, she says they’ve learned to use Trapbags in different ways on different roads to get the best results. Gray-Fisher says lessons learned in the past have served them well, but western Iowa also provides some new challenges.

She says this is very different because the flooding started happening in June and will last well into August, causing more seepage and impact from flowing waters than in past floods. Gray-Fisher says there is a lot of debris in the Missouri River and that can cause damage to roadways as well. She says they will have a lot more to learn from examining roadbeds and bridge structures once the Missouri River floodwaters finally recede.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Mayor announces formation of TIF Committee


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, Wednesday, announced his selection of individuals who will serve on an advisory panel to the Community Development Committee, in formulating a means to implement a fair and balanced Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Policy for the City to follow when it comes to doling out tax incentives to current and prospective business owners who either wish to locate in the community, or expand their operations here.

The advisory panel includes local developer Don Sonntag, the USDA’s Teresa Jorgensen, Greg Williams, Katrina Sonntag, George Howard, and Attorney J-C Van Ginkel. Jones says he had others who were interested in serving on the panel, but he wanted to limit the number to 6. Councilman Kern Miller objected to the selection. Miller said the only people who should be involved in determining with a CDC a TIF policy for the City, is the City Administrator and City Attorney.

Councilman Shaun Shouse, the City’s liaison to the Committee, says the panel will have no authority, implied or otherwise, to establish a TIF policy. It will only offer an opinion on how such a policy should be formulated and implemented.

Miller however continued to voice his objections over the Mayor’s selection to the panel, and insisted it wasn’t need.

Atlantic CC tasks CDC with study on Property Maintenance


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council has given its blessing for the Community Development Committee to study the need for a Minimum Maintenance Code for properties. City Administrator Doug Harris said the Committee will be tasked with finding the simplest means of getting property owners to preserve at least the outside of their structures within the City, and put an end to the proliferation  of dilapidated structures, which are not only dangerous, and an eyesore, but which also adversely affect nearby property values.

He says the structures may become so dangerous, the City is forced to spend time and money enforcing the “Dangerous Structures” provision of the current code of ordinances, and ultimately abatement costs will exceed the value of the property. That means the City acquires it and has to deal with the added cost of demolition and grounds maintenance. Those costs are passed along to the taxpayers.  A Minimum Maintenance Code would be wide ranging in scope, but would not fall under the guise of the International or Uniform Property Maintenance Codes, meant exclusively for existing structure building, plumbing and mechanical requirements.

Harris says a MMC would be one tool to reduce the spread of property blight spreading in a neighborhood. On a related note, Harris said Wednesday the Iowa Department of Economic Development has approved the City’s application for a Community Development Block Grant, to rehab more than a dozen homes. The CDBG application was originally denied by the IDED. The grant application had been approved by the Council on Dec. 1st, 2001. With the IDED’s approval of the application, the City will receive a $484,500 grant, and be required to provide matching funds of $26,000. The funds should be sufficient to rehabilitate 13 homes.

Only those low-to-moderate income homeowners will qualify for a portion of the grant funds.

Water Quality Monitoring Buoys Placed in 16 Iowa Lakes


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES - Iowa State University has begun installing water quality monitoring equipment in 16 Iowa lakes to collect data during the 2011 and 2012 ice-free seasons
that will help identify what factors lead up to harmful algal blooms, which is a major water quality impairment for Iowa lakes.

The study is being conducted in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Hazard buoys mark the location of the equipment, which is beneath the
water surface and officials are asking the public to not disturb the buoys.

The following lakes will be part of the monitoring study.

Arrowhead Lake, Sac
Badger Lake, Webster
Beeds Lake, Franklin
Big Spirit Lake, Dickinson
Black Hawk Lake, Sac
Center Lake, Dickinson
East Lake, Clarke
Five Island Lake, Palo Alto
George Wyth Lake, Black Hawk
Lake Keomah, Mahaska
Lake Orient, Adair
Lower Gar Lake, Dickinson
Rock Creek Lake, Jasper
Silver Lake, Palo Alto
Silver Lake, Dickinson
Springbrook Lake, Guthrie

Minor injuries during ATV accident


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One-person suffered apparent minor injuries during an ATV accident this (Wednesday) morning, near Carson. According to Pottawattamie County dispatch reports, the male victim of the accident suffered shoulder injuries.

The mishap occurred just after 10-a.m. west of Carson, at 39615 Highway 92. Carson Rescue was paged to the scene. No other details are currently available.

Jennifer Arp receives IHERF Scholarship


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Hospital Association’s (IHA) Education and Research Foundation has awarded $96,000 in scholarships to 32 college students from all parts of Iowa.  Jennifer Arp of Massena, a registered nurse at Cass County Memorial Hospital, is one of the outstanding students from across the state who received a $3,000 scholarship. The students, who are all studying in health care fields, will also be eligible for up to $6,000 in assistance from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF) over two years.
Jennifer currently works as the Quality Coordinator at CCMH, and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Phoenix.

IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to remain in the state as they establish their careers.  The first scholarships were awarded in 2005, and now 200 students have benefited from the program.  In exchange for financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award.  Including these latest awards, the scholarship program has provided $600,000 in direct support to students since its inception.

IHA staff, the IHERF Board, hospital leaders and IHA Auxilian/Volunteer Board members from throughout the state evaluated scholarship applications from more than 130 students, who were judged on grade point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference, and extracurricular, community and healthcare-related activities.

This year’s recipients include nurses seeking both graduate and undergraduate degrees as well as students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, ultrasound technology and physician assistant programs.

2011 Iowa Character Award recipients announced


July 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The winners of this year’s Iowa Character Awards have been announced. Amy Smit, with the Character Counts in Iowa program, says 13 award winners were selected from 60 entries. “Every year, I think that they can’t get any better than the last. They always continue to not just surprise me, but our entire selection committee with the great Iowa teachers, students and companies that we have throughout the state,” Smit said.

All of the winners will be recognized at The Iowa Character Awards Banquet on August 5 at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Smit says Harlan High School is the winner of this year’s “School of Character” award. “They’re fairly new to Character Counts, but they’ve really taken it on and made it part of their school culture and climate. So, we’re really happy to recognize them,” Smit said.

Andria Knutson and Zach Moss of Winterset, have been named co-winners in the “Youth Citizen of the Year” category. “These two are known throughout their community for being so service oriented and so caring about other people that our selection committee was really blown away by their dedication to helping others,” Smit said. Character Counts In Iowa is a non-profit organization that was founded by former Governor Robert Ray in 1997.

(Pat Powers/Radio Iowa)