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7AM Newscast 10-17-2011

News, Podcasts

October 17th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Corps of Engineers doesn’t have “anything to hide” in reviews of Missouri River flooding


October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Evaluations are underway into how the U-S Army Corps of Engineers handled the summer-long flooding of the Missouri River. The Corps has hired an independent panel to review its actions, Congress may launch a review and the governors of states in the river basin want a review, too. Brigadier General John McMahon, commander of the Corps’ Northwest Division, says many eyes will be surveying their actions. General McMahon says, “All of these assessments will come together and formulate the basis of what I’m calling a comprehensive restoration plan that will be a menu of things we could do and should do given time and resources of both near and long-term.”

The flooding started back in the spring and resulted in many tens of millions of dollars damage to homes, businesses, farmland, roads, bridges and more. McMahon says a host of local, state and federal agencies are setting reviews in motion. “There’s a lot of accountability that I guess will result from all of this,” he says. “We’re just going to keep our heads down and continue the mission until it’s all done.” The general is pledging to cooperate with all of the entities reviewing the Corps’ actions.

“We really don’t have anything to hide,” McMahon says. “This is all about being accountable and doing the best we can under these very trying and unprecedented conditions. We will play our role as dictated by whatever comes.” The Corps released record amounts of water from upstream dams and reservoirs on the Missouri after record rains and snowmelt in the Rockies. As for the money it’ll take to make repairs to levees along the Missouri River that were damaged by this summer’s flood, McMahon realizes there are many other natural disasters that are in line for federal funds.

“We have the event in the Mississippi, we have Hurricane Irene and the Joplin tornadoes, tornadoes in Alabama,” he says. “We have many natural disasters through the course of this year 2011 and there’s many demands on the system.” Still, McMahon says he does expect the Corps to receive all the funding needed to fully restore Missouri River levees. He notes, there is a lot of work to be done in a short period to time to insure the widespread flooding of this year doesn’t strike again in the spring.

(Radio Iowa)

Cornelison – well known stage/screen actor & Atlantic native died Saturday


October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Mike Cornelison

The family of Des Moines stage and film actor and Atlantic native, Michael Cornelison, says the 59-year old died Saturday, from liver complications. Mike’s son Nick told the Des Moines Register his father had been in declining health for 10 days and had lived with liver problems for many years. In 1993, following a surgery, doctors estimated he would only live another 10 years.

Throughout the weekend, condolences and remembrances were posted on Cornelison’s Facebook page, where his death was first announced on Saturday by his son. Cornelison graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and made a career of acting in Hollywood and in Iowa. In Des Moines, Cornelison worked with the Des Moines Playhouse, StageWest Theatre Company and Charlie’s Playhouse.

He acted in feature films alongside Bill Murray in “Where the Buffalo Roam,” Albert Brooks in “Lost in America” and fellow Iowan Tom Arnold in “The Final Season.” After a stint in Hollywood between 1978 and 1984, Cornelison returned to Iowa, where he became involved not only in stage productions, but Iowa independent films.

Cornelison was a movie buff and loved popular culture, especially filmmaking, old horror movies, comic books and jazz music, said his son. A memorial service is being planned at the Des Moines Playhouse. The date and time have yet to be announced.

2 injured in Montgomery County collision


October 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County report two people were injured when the pickups they were driving collided Sunday evening, just north of Stanton. 39-year old Robin Michelle Sanders, of Corning, was taken to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital by Stanton Rescue, while 42-year old Anthony James Clark, of Red Oak, was transported by private vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Department says Sanders was traveling east on Highway 34, approaching the intersection with O Avenue (County Road M-63), at about the same time Clark was traveling south on O Avenue. Clark told authorities he stopped at the intersection, looked both ways and thought it was clear. As he proceeded south, his 1999 Chevy 1500 pickup was hit in the middle of the intersection, by the 2005 Chevy 1500, driven by Sanders. The accident happened at around 5:45-p.m., Sunday.

The truck driven by Sanders, and registered to Greg Fort, of Corning, sustained $8,000 damage while Clark’s truck was considered a total loss. Officials say Clark was cited for Failing to Yield, upon entering a through highway.

Sheriff advises drivers use caution on gravel roads after 2 weekend crashes


October 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer is asking for motorists to be extremely cautious when traveling the roads, especially the gravel and dirt roads due to the dusty conditions, and for slow moving,  and sometimes over-sized vehicles used during this harvest season.  The advice follows two separate accidents that happened over the weekend, during which four people were injured. Palmer says the dust from the roads and harvest equipment can make it extremely hard to see traffic in any direction at times, especially during dusk and at night.

Palmer says the first accident happened Saturday,when 49-year old Kimberly Walker, of Essex, lost control of her vehicle about four-miles northwest of Red Oak. The Sheriff says Walker was traveling east on 150th Street at around 10:15-a.m., when, as she rounded a curve and started down a hill, she came upon a large cloud of dust. Walker came up on a grain wagon being pulled by a tractor, and was unable to stop in time. Her 2011 Chevy Suburban hit the back of the trailer, but the driver of the 1992 John Deere tractor, 50-year old Harve Johnson, of Essex never felt the impact, and continued on, to Essex. Walker, and her six- and four-year old grandsons, Jacob and Caden Robinette, of Essex, were not injured. Her suburban sustained $60,000 damage, and was considered a total loss. No Citations were issued.

The second accident in Page County, happened at around 12:30-a.m. Sunday, near Clarinda, when 16-year old Joshua Sickels, of Clarinda, lost control of the SUV he was driving. Sheriff Palmer says Sickels was traveling westbound on 200th Street when he looked over to the passengers and failed to keep his eyes on the road. The 2003 Chevy Suburban he was driving came to rest against some trees, on the south side of 200th Street in the 2700 block.

Sickels, who was wearing his seatbelt, was not hurt. Four passengers in the vehicle, 15-year olds Natalie Donahue, Halle Goude, and Christie Ross, along with 16-year old Samantha Swanson, all of Clarinda, suffered possible, unknown injuries. They were transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Regional Hospital. Deputies were not immediately able to determine if the teens were wearing their seatbelts.

Sickels was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. The SUV sustained $12,000 damage, and was considered a total loss.

1 injured in Pott County Crash, Sunday


October 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Nevada man was injured Sunday afternoon, during a single vehicle accident on Interstate 80, in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says 48-year old Duane Morgan, of Fallon, NV, was eastbound on I-80 near the Underwood exit, when he lost control of his pickup. The 2001 Dodge Ram crossed the median and continued across the westbound lanes into a ditch, where it hit several trees and traveled through a fence before coming to rest in a cornfield.

Morgan was transported by Underwoood Rescue to Mercy Hospital, in Council Bluffs. The accident happened at around 12:10-p.m.

Attorneys want dismissal in Iowa intruder shooting


October 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Attorneys for a Nebraska woman charged with shooting a man in her western Iowa home in 2001 have asked a judge to thrown out the case. The judge overseeing the case against 45-year-old Tracey Richter-Roberts is weighing the request. Richter-Roberts, of Omaha, Neb., is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Dustin Wehde at her former home in Early, Iowa. She’s pleaded not guilty.  A trial is set for Oct. 25.

Richter-Roberts told police that Wehde and another man broke into the home and attacked her and that the shooting was in self-defense. No charges were filed at the time, but the investigation was reopened in 2009 and Richter-Roberts was arrested in July.

FBI seeks suspect in 2 Iowa bank robberies


October 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The FBI is seeking a suspect in the robberies of two Council Bluffs bank branches. A statement from the FBI says a man held up two Peoples National Bank locations within a 15 minute period Friday.

Bank surveillance video captures image of Peoples Natl Bank robber

At both bank branches, the FBI says, the man displayed a handgun. The FBI says the man should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s Omaha, Neb., office at 402-493-8688 or Council Bluffs police at 712-328-4727.



Governors return to Neb. for Missouri River talks


October 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Governors and senior aides from seven Missouri River states will meet again in Omaha to tackle flood-related concerns. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman will host the group Monday. The private meeting will also include Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and senior staff for Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will join by phone and send a senior staff member to Omaha.

The governors will receive an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how the Corps will be changing its operation plan for next year to help prevent the extreme flooding experienced in 2011. FEMA representatives will outline emergency preparations. A news conference will follow the meeting. The first gathering was held in August.

Schildberg Recreation Area to be discussed Monday evening in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Numerous matters pertaining to the Schildberg Recreation area will be discussed during Monday evening’s meeting of the City of Atlantic Parks and Recreation Board. The Board will discuss and/or act on: a bike trail easement; the Summer Recreation Program with the Nishna Valley YMCA; and, the Campground Phase 1 project and related fundraising. They’ll also discuss the results of a meeting with Skate Park representatives.

The Parks and Rec Board meeting takes place at the City Hall in Atlantic, beginning at 5:15-p.m, Monday.