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Malvern area farmer chases off intruders with a shotgun


August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One of three men who allegedly tried to burglarize a rural home northwest of Malvern, late Wednesday night, received a round of birdshot in his rear, from a farmer who didn’t take kindly to their intruding on his property. Mills County Sheriff Eugene Goos says the incident took place at around 10:30-p.m., Wednesday.

Goos says 30-year old Miguel Martinez, of Council Bluffs was shot in the rear, outside of the home, while attempting to flee. His wounds were not believed to be life threatening. Goos says Martinez, 19-year old Patrick Hover, of Council Bluffs, were charged with aiding and abetting a burglary, and 33-year old Yosvani Galindo, of Omaha, faces a charge of burglary. All three were being held in jail on $10,000 bond each. If convicted on the felony charges, the men would spend up to 10-years in jail.

The Sheriff says Hover is believed to have been the “wheelman” for the trio. It’s not clear if Martinez actually set foot in the home. One of the men allegedly kicked-in a door to the residence. The action awoke the unidentified farmer, who chased the men away from the scene. Two of the men fled on foot. They were arrested by deputies, with the aid of an Omaha Police Helicopter. Hover, who was driving a 1995 green Chevy pickup, was pulled over and arrested a short time later.

Sheriff Goos said the farmer’s actions were under investigation, but he was not arrested.

Corps to start deep cuts in MO River waterflow today (Friday)


August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Water levels along the flooded Missouri River should start dropping a little faster today. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start cutting its releases of water from Gavins Point Dam, near Yankton, South Dakota, by five-thousand cubic feet per second (CFS) each day. Those daily reductions will run through the end of the month. It’ll drop the releases from a peak of 160-thousand CFS at the flood’s crest two months ago. That translated to about a million gallons per second. The Corps wants to cut releases slowly so fragile levees don’t collapse. By September, the rate should be 90-thousand CFS. Daily cuts will start again in mid-September and should be down to 40-thousand CFS by October and down to 20-thousand by December.

(Radio Iowa)

Alert issued after four fatal tractor rollovers in one month

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A hazard alert has been issued by the University of Iowa College of Public Health after an especially bad month in Iowa for fatal tractor accidents. Four farmers, all elderly, died in separate incidents between June 8th and July 8th. Each person was killed when an older tractor rolled over and pinned them underneath. U-of-I Occupational Health Professor Marizen Ramirez says tractor rollovers are a significant danger every year.

“On average, we have 8 to 10 tractor rollover deaths per year, so for us to see four in a one month period of time – it did catch our attention,” Ramirez said. The U-of-I has launched a public information campaign to encourage farmers driving older equipment to outfit their machines with tractor rollover protection. Newer tractors come with cabs or with the safety gear already installed.

“It takes money to try to retrofit these models, so it’s a challenge for our communities to come up with innovative ways to encourage folks to retrofit this older equipment so they can keep themselves safe,” Ramirez said. She added that anti-rollover devices used with seatbelts are very effective in preventing injury and death.

(Radio Iowa)

Hail pounds western Iowa college campus

News, Weather

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Broken windows, damaged buildings and landscaping may be part of the college scene next week as classes begin at Iowa Western Community College on the east side of Council Bluffs. Powerful thunderstorms ripped through the area Thursday night, leaving thousands of people without power. Softball-size hail pounded the college campus and vehicles parked there. In another part of Council Bluffs, officials reported that an ambulance was stranded by high water and mud for more than 90 minutes. It wasn’t carrying a patient.

MidAmerican Energy says power still hasn’t been restored to more than 5,000 customers in Pottawattamie County, across the Missouri River from Omaha.

Storms pound eastern Nebraska, western Iowa

News, Weather

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. Omaha Public Power District reported that more than 8,100 customers didn’t have power as of 4:30 a.m. Friday, down from a peak of more than 40,000 customers at 11 p.m. Thursday. MidAmerican Energy says power still hasn’t been restored to more than 5,000 customers in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha.No storm-related deaths have been reported.

Hail from the rain-laden storms shattered windows, roofs and siding at homes around the region. Omaha’s Eppley Airfield was closed for a time and more than a dozen flights were canceled. Damage to seven aircraft was reported. Winds gusted at more than 60 mph.

Severe Storms bring large hail & damaging winds to western IA (updated 10:50-a.m. 8/19)

News, Weather

August 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Storms across the Midwest last night, brought heavy rain and large hail to portions of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. The National Weather Service says a storm near Omaha produced softball-size hail and winds of more than 65 miles per hour.

Winds gusting up to 65-miles per hour were reported one-mile west of Harlan at around 4-p.m. Emergency management officials said a farm was damaged five-miles northwest of Harlan at around that same time, where grain bins and outbuildings were destroyed, and a 1,000-gallon propane tank was moved 10-feet.

Winds of more than 70 miles per hour were reported north of Villisca just after 6-pm, Thursday, along with quarter-sized hail. In Griswold, winds gusted up to 55 miles per hour and heavy rain was reported at 5:15-p.m. A KJAN listener who lives near Interstate 80 and the Olive Street exit in Cass County, said hail estimated to be about the size of ping-pong balls fell for about 5-minutes, just after 7-p.m., Thursday. KJAN News Director Ric Hanson observed pea to nickel-sized hail falling just before 7:30-p.m., in the same area.

Baseball-sized hail was reported to have fallen four-miles south of Stanton, other reports of golfball-sized hail came from Council Bluffs, and areas near Tennant, Nodaway, Farragut, Gravity, and Randolph. Charles Ambrose, Emergency Management Director in the Taylor County town of Gravity, told the media at least one downtown building had its windows broke, and hail completely covered the ground.

Quarter-sized hail was reported at many other locations, including Hancock, Underwood, Glenwood, and Clarinda. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in all three states

late Thursday afternoon, with a tornado warning in north central Nebraska.

Infant found unresponsive at Council Bluffs daycare dies


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Pottawattamie County authorities are investigating the death of a 5-month-old boy who was found unresponsive after taking a nap at a daycare provider in Council Bluffs.

The sheriff’s office say the child, who was identified as Lane Thomas, was found unresponsive late Wednesday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The sheriff’s office says the daycare provider told investigators she had put Thomas down for a nap at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was found unresponsive at 4 p.m. and was taken to a hospital by a rescue squad.

An autopsy was planned for Thursday. The investigation is continuing.

Storms bring rain, hail to Midwest

News, Weather

August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Storms are erupting across the Midwest, bringing heavy rain, large hail and the threat of tornadoes to portions of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in all three states late Thursday afternoon, with a tornado warning in north central Nebraska.

The National Weather Service says a storm near Omaha, Neb, produced softball-size hail and winds of more than 65 mph. In Dixon County in northeast Nebraska, strong winds and hail broke out some windows in buildings in Waterbury.

Winds of more than 55 mph and heavy rain were reported in western Iowa in Griswold.

Forecasters say widespread thunderstorms are expected into Thursday night in southeast South Dakota, eastern Nebraska and western Iowa as a cold front moves across the region.

Branstad and Reynolds resume “Jobs for Iowa” Tour


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds are expected to resume their “Jobs for Iowa” tour next week. The 12-City tour will take them several counties, including Shelby, Crawford, and Sac.

The tour begins Tuesday, August 23rd, with a stop at the Petersen Family Wellness Center in Harlan, at 10-a.m.. At 11:45, the pair will be at the Denison Public Library, before moving on to Odebolt, Ida Grove, and Kingsley.

On August 24th, Branstad and Reynolds will hold “Jobs for Iowa” meetings in Rock Rapids, Sibley, and Primghar. Thursday’s trip brings them to Cherokee, Storm Lake, Pocahontas, and finally, Rockwell City.

Each of the events are free, and open to the public. Branstad and Reynolds will discuss at each location, the progress that’s been made in the last legislative session, and the — quote “Plans we have to continue moving Iowa forward toward economic prosperity.”

3 injured in Union County Accident


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three people were injured during a crash late Wednesday morning, on Highway 34, in Union County. The Iowa State Patrol says 44-year old Brian Truax and 67-year old Carol Truax, both of Colliers, West Virginia, and, 67-year old JoAnne Kohn, of Glenwood, were injured during the crash, which happened just west of Creston.

Brian Truax and JoAnne Kohn were transported by ambulance to the hospital in Creston, while Carol Truax was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.

The Patrol says a 2008 Chevy H-H-R, driven by Brian Truax, was traveling west on the highway, when the vehicle crossed the center line of the road and hit a Chrysler 300 driven by JoAnne Kohn, head-on. The accident happened at around 11:53-a.m.

Charges are currently pending.