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Power restored to most who lost it in Neb., Iowa

News

August 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Most of the people who lost power Thursday in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa have regained but several thousand still lack electricity. Crews from the Omaha Public Power District and MidAmerican Energy have been working to make repairs strong wind and large hail moved through the area Thursday evening. By 4:30 p.m. Friday, about 6,000 utility customers were still without power because of fallen trees and downed lines. But that’s down from a total of roughly 60,000 customers without power at the height of the outage. MidAmerican says more than 3,000 utility customers in the Council Bluffs, Iowa, area still lacked power Friday afternoon. OPPD says about 2,600 of its customers didn’t have electricity Friday afternoon mostly in northeast and southeast Omaha.

21 laptops taken from Council Bluffs school center

News

August 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the theft of laptop computers from a Council Bluffs school building. 21 laptop computers valued at $20,000 were stolen from the Tucker College and Career Center between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

School district spokeswoman Diane Ostrowski says the theft will affect the district’s short-term ability to use technology in the classroom and that the replacement of the computers is costly.

NORTHEY TO PARTICIPATE IN SW IA AGRICULTURE TOWN MEETINGS

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Friday) announced that he will be participating in agricultural focused town meetings in Pottawattamie, Montgomery and Cass Counties on Tuesday, August 30th, as part of his efforts to visit each of Iowa’s 99 counties again in 2011.  Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Tom Latham will also participate in the meetings. The town meetings will take place in Oakland, Red Oak and Atlantic.
In Pottawattamie County, the Agriculture Town Hall meeting will be from  10:00 – 11:30 a.m., in Oakland, at the Community Building, at 129 Harrison Street.

In Montgomery County, the meeting is from 1: 00 – 2:30 p.m., at the Montgomery County YMCA, at 101 E. Cherry Street, in Red Oak.

In Cass County, the meeting is from 3:30 until 5-p.m. in the Medium room at the Cass County Community, in Atlantic.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.

Theft of copper wiring continues

News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Thieves are becoming more brazen in their attempts to steal copper wiring. Authorities this week, reported copper wiring was cut and stolen from power poles owned by the Farmers Electric Cooperative. The thefts occurred in the Wiota and Anita substation areas.

Officials with the utility are asking for your help, when it comes to reporting suspicious activity near their power poles. If you see someone who you think may be trying to steal copper ground wiring or other such materials, call your local sheriff’s office.

Last week, Fansteel Dynamics in Creston reported someone entered the plant’s property and took about 275-pounds of copper wire, valued at around $1,100. The theft occurred sometime between the hours of 5-p.m. August 9th, and 6-a.m., August 10th.

Officials with the Farmer’s Coop say it will cost thousands of dollars in labor, material and truck time to make necessary repairs to their property. And, to deter against further theft, crews plan to replace the copper wire with steel wire, which is of little value to copper thieves.

Storm Damages Popular SW IA State Park

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Lake of Three Fires State Park, near Bedford, in Taylor County, was damaged Thursday evening from a storm that caused power outages across the region. State Parks Chief Kevin Szcodronski says the storm brought golf ball sized hail that striped trees by the lake nearly bare. Trees and limbs were damaged in the park to the extent that the roads to the picnic areas are impassible.

Szcodronski said the DNR is calling campers who had reservations to tell them the park has some damage and is without electricity. He says the water is still on, and restrooms are functioning. Campers are still welcome to camp if they choose, he says, and the DNR will help them find a site in a nearby state park campground, or give them a full refund.

Szcodronski said he will be bringing in staff from other parks to help with the clean up and inspect the facilities and trails. He says “Everything is covered in leaf litter. This was a big storm that caused a lot of damage and power outages across southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri.” He says they really don’t know when the power will return.

Waubonsie, Viking Lake and Lake Manawa state parks also sustained damage, but not to the extent of Lake of Three Fires. Szcodronski said there were no injuries reported.

Thousands still without power following Thursday’s storms

News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Powerful thunderstorms that ripped through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa damaged homes, vehicles and businesses and has left thousands of people without power. Hail from the rain-laden storms shattered windows, roofs and siding at homes around the region. No storm-related deaths have been reported.

Ann Thelen, Director of Communications for MidAmerican Energy, said there were numerous power poles and wires down in Council Bluffs. Thelen said crews were being brought in from all over in Iowa, to help with the repair work. As of 10:30-a.m, more than 46-hundred MidAmerican customers in southwest Iowa were without power, including 1,884 in Council Bluffs, 874 in Mills County, 441 in Bedford, 44 in Glenwood, and nine in Griswold. Thelen said the energy company hopes to have all power restored to customers, by Saturday night.

Omaha’s Eppley Airfield was closed for a time and more than 35 flights were delayed or canceled because of the storms, which rolled through at around 5-p.m. Seven aircraft were damaged, and one Southwest Airlines pilot was struck by hail as he walked off a plane and onto the jet bridge. He was taken in serious condition to a local hospital.

In Council Bluffs, baseball- and softball-size hail knocked out 19 skylights and three classroom windows on the St. Albert Catholic Schools campus. Several cars in the parking lot were hit. School officials say about 25 volunteers worked to clean up the debris, and cover the broken windows and skylights.

Guthrie County rollover reported

News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Guthrie County say only minor injuries were reported following a rollover accident earlier this week, northwest of Guthrie Center. On Tuesday, a van driven by Allie Brooks, of Guthrie Center, was traveling east on 215th Street, just west of 190th Road, when the vehicle went out of control on the soft, wet gravel surface.

The van entered the south ditch and rolled over a fence. Brooks, and the children in her van escaped serious injury, because they were all properly secured with seatbelts. Brooks suffered an injury to her arm, and was transported to the Guthrie County Hospital by private vehicle.

The 2003 Dodge Caravan she was driving, was totaled in the crash.

9AM Newscast 08-19-2011

News, Podcasts

August 19th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 08-19-2011

News, Podcasts

August 19th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Bluffs man will not have additional sentence added to his 50-year term

News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A judge in Pottawattamie County has ruled a Council Bluffs man will not not have to spend an additional 10-years in jail beyond the 50-year sentence he’ll serve for attempted murder and robbery. Judge Timothy O’Grady said Thursday, that 34-year old David Maddox Jr.’s 10-year sentence for third-degree kidnapping, should be served concurrently. As it is, Maddox will have to serve a minimum of 34-years in prison, for his role in the December 2009 beating of Rodney Koehrsen.

Maddox, and Jeremy Gibler, who was 25 at the time, were convicted in April 2010, of attempted murder, 1st degree robbery, and 1st degree kidnapping, for beating Koehrsen, and tossing him into the Missouri River on December 17, 2009.

Last May, the Iowa Court of Appeals reduced the kidnapping charge — which would have meant a mandatory life sentence without parole — to 3rd degree kidnapping. The court ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to support a finding of a serious injury, during the attack.

Chief Deputy Pottawattamie County Attorney Jon Jacobmeier told the Omaha World-Herald Thursday, he was satisfied with the judges’ decision. Defense attorney Greg Jones also said he was satisfied with the ruling.