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July 4th News

News, Podcasts

July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

podcast from News Director Ric Hanson


3 injured in July 4th crash (updated 7-5-11)


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County report three-people were injured during a single-vehicle accident early this (Monday) morning, six-miles southwest of Red Oak.  Officials say 40-year Martha Anngeline Oltmanns, of Villisca was traveling north on Forest Avenue at around 3:55-a.m., when she failed to negotiate a turn at Fernwood Avenue.

The 2003 Ford Taurus she was driving went straight off the road and into a ditch before hitting a driveway ditch at 2796 Fernwood. The car flew over the driveway before coming to rest in a flower garden belonging to Raymond Cooper the 2nd, of rural red Oak. The accident caused the vehicles’ airbags to deploy.

Oltmanns, and two passengers in the car, 40-year old Jennifer Fitzwater, of Princeton, MO, and 41-year old Scott Gibbons, of Villisca, complained of injuries. The trio was transported to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital by Red Oak Rescue. A third passenger in the vehicle, 34-year old Jay Lininger, of Villisca, was not hurt.

Damage to the car, which is registered to Bruce Fitzwater, of Villisca, was estimated at $6,500, while Cooper’s property sustained approximately $1,000 damage. Martha Oltmann was cited for Driving While Suspended, Failure to Maintain Control, and for failure to have insurance. An additional charge of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is pending completion of the accident investigation.

(Updated 7-5-11 5-a.m. with corrected name of Gibbons, per Sheriff’s officials)

Safety expert: Kids on ATVs can be a deadly combination


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

All-terrain vehicles used to be just for farmers, but more recreational A-T-V users are appearing in Iowa and more kids are taking the handlebars and getting hurt or killed. Pam Hoogerwerf, injury prevention coordinator at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, says too many parents are turning their untrained children loose on these powerful, dangerous three- and four-wheelers.

“They need to be riding the correct-sized machine,” Hoogerwerf says. “We’ve got way too small and young age of kids driving huge machines that they have no business trying to operate just because they’re heavier and they’re harder to manipulate.” Many of recent A-T-V crashes that resulted in serious or fatal injuries involved kids that weren’t wearing helmets. Hoogerwerf says helmets are a must, as are hard-soled shoes or boots.

“Even though summertime isn’t the most comfortable time to wear long sleeves and long pants, they really should be doing that because we see a lot of lacerations either from brush or barbed wire fences,” she says. Many accidents occur when two kids are on one machine and it hits a bump or rounds a sharp corner and the passenger falls off.

“The seats look like they can accommodate more than one child on them but that’s absolutely not the case,” Hoogerwerf says. “ATVs are made for one person and for one person only because the machine is so rider-active and that’s where we’re seeing a lot of problems with kids putting more than one on there.” She notes, A-T-Vs are not toys. Kids need to ride on age-appropriate machines and anyone under 16 should be closely supervised. For more tips, visit: atvsafety.org

(Radio Iowa)

Bachmann to Tea Party: time to draw a line in the sand


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is wrapping up a three-day campaign swing through Iowa on this Independence Day. Bachmann’s bus pulled up at the statehouse late Saturday afternoon, as Bachmann was the closer for the three-week-long “Tea Party Bus Tour” that had attracted a handful of the G-O-P presidential candidates. When Bachmann took the stage, nearly all of the folks in the Tea Party crowd got to their feet and never sat back down during her 25-minute speech.

“The Tea Party gets it. It’s not a political party. It’s an idea and it’s an idea that has captured the hearts and minds of the American people and it’s lit a flame all across the United States, so much so that I know without a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama will be a one-term president,” Bachmann said, the crowd joining in to repeat that last phrase about Obama, which has become a signature line in Bachmann’s campaign speeches. Bachmann, in the midst of her third term in congress, told the crowd she had never voted to raise the debt ceiling and did not intend to do so even if Republican leaders in congress strike a deal with President Obama.

“We’ve got a message not only for Iowa, but for the United States of America. We’ve got a message for all the politicians in Washington, D.C. We’ve got a message for the president of the United States,” Bachmann said of herself and the Tea Party. “Enough is enough. Stop spending more than you take in.” Bachmann, who started the “Tea Party Caucus” on congress, told the Iowa crowd she has been the Tea Party “voice” in Washington, D.C. “And the politicians started waking up in the halls of congress. They know you’re here,” Bachmann said. “They’re listening to you. They’re paying attention to you.” Bachmann said it was time for the Tea Party to help “draw a line in the sand” on a variety of financial issues, from future federal bail-outs of failing industries to greater public scrutiny of the Federal Reserve.
Bachmann is one of two Republican presidential candidates who plan to walk in the Clear Lake 4th of July parade today. Newt Gingrich is the other. And third G-O-P candidate plans to be in three other parades. Rick Santorum will walk in parades in Urbandale, Pella and Iowa Falls today (Monday). During the last Iowa Caucus campaign, Hillary and Bill Clinton walked the 2007 Clear Lake 4th of July parade route together. Republican candidate Mitt Romney was in the same parade.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Iowa Flood Center studying western Iowa floods


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Researchers at the Iowa Flood Center are studying the western Iowa flooding from above to help them in developing floodplain maps for the state. Iowa Flood Center Director Witold (Vee-told) Krajewski says they are working with other University of Iowa researchers to get pictures of the flooding. He says they are taking high-resolution pictures of the river flying on both sides along the edge of the water. Krajewski says the pictures are important as they move ahead with the work they’re doing.

Krajewski says they’ll use the photos as a reference in their numerical model development of the floodplains. He says they can they will use the photos along with the terrain information that’s available to develop the floodplain map.  He says the state has very detailed terrain data from flights commissioned by the state a few years ago. Krajewski says in the case of the western Iowa flooding, they pretty much know how much water is flowing from upstream. Krajewski says they’ll be able to use the photo and terrain data to set the boundaries of the floodwaters and then compare them with existing floodplain maps. They then can update the maps to reflect the new information. The state flood center has been in operation for two years and there is now a proposal for a national flood center. Krajewski thinks it’s a good idea to get all agencies working together on the issue.

Krajewski says the agencies come together when something is happening, but he thinks the most important time to make progress is between the floods. He says the national center could work on this and be ready to apply what they have learned when there is a flood event. The proposal by Representative Tom Latham of Iowa would create a National Flood Research and Education Consortium including many federal, state and local organizations under the leadership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as a National Flood Center.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Programs can help flood victims struggling with finances


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The flooding along the Missouri River is putting a financial strain on people whose homes or farms are under water, but some help is available.

Officials predict the river will remain high until at least August, so some people who have had to evacuate could be out of their homes or businesses for months.

Iowa officials say homeowners who have been displaced by the flood and are struggling to keep up with their mortgages should call the state mortgage help line at 877-622-4866.

Iowa community halts siren tests during flooding


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Council Bluffs has halted testing of its tornado sirens amid Missouri River flooding.

The city’s public information officer, Don Gross, says the sirens were to have been tested July 10 but officials decided to hold off. He says there’s concern residents would think there was a flood-related emergency, such as a levee break or forced evacuations.

The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing massive amounts of water into the river from dams upstream. Those releases will keep the river above flood stage in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska at least into August.

Council Bluffs officials are urging residents to prepare for widespread flooding should a levee fail.



July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Capt. Matthew Nielson

The Department of Defense regrets to announce the death of Capt. Matthew Gunnar Nielson, 27, a Jefferson, Iowa native serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, who died June 29, in Badrah, Iraq. Nielson was killed during an indirect fire attack by insurgents on Contingency Operating Logistics base Shocker while deployed to Iraq for Operation New Dawn (formerly known as Operation Iraqi Freedom). Also killed in the attack were Capt. David E. Van Camp, 29, of Wheeling, W.Va., and Spc. Robert G. Tenney, Jr., 29, of Warner Robins, Ga. All three Soldiers were assigned to 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army, Fort Hood, Texas. The attack is under investigation.

Nielson was born February 1, 1984 in Omaha, Neb. and raised in Lincoln, Neb., Ogden, Iowa, and Jefferson, Iowa, where he was homeschooled. Nielson worked for the Fareway Store in Jefferson during and after high school, eventually being promoted to produce manager. He attended the University of Northern Iowa, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2008 and received a commission into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant (Armor branch) through the UNI Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in May 2008. While at UNI, he received the Gen. George C. Marshall Leadership Award and the American Legion Gold Scholastic Award. Nielson was also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Academic Honor Society, UNI Ultimate Frisbee Team and the UNI Alumni Association.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge, and Combat Action Badge.
Nielson is survived by his mother and father, Christine and Roger Nielson of Jefferson; brothers Nathanael, Jakob, and Luke; and sisters Heather, Kirsten, Teddi, and Emily.
The family of Capt. Matthew Nielson issued the following statement:

“Since Matt was a small boy he loved anything military, so he died doing what he loved best. Serving others was of the utmost importance to him and how he wanted to spend his life. He always gave his all, whatever he was doing. Matthew was a beloved son, brother, friend and Soldier. He’s already home, and we know we’ll be together again someday. Apart, but forever in our hearts. Psalms 11.”
Funeral arrangements are pending and details will be provided as they become available. The Nielson family asks that their privacy be respected at this time.

Atlantic Chamber Board Seeks Applicants


July 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced applications are being accepted to fill the position of Executive Director. Board President Brian Church says they “Are looking for a candidate with a B.A., or B.S. Degree, and experience with Chambers or non-profit management.” Experience in public relations or marketing will also be a key element in selecting the right candidate.

A cover letter and resume should be sent via email to ann@atlanticiowa.com on or before Friday, July 15, 2011. The position was made vacant by the announcement this past week current Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ann McCurdy has resigned, effective July 29th.

Weekend Newscast 07-02-2011

News, Podcasts

July 2nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks