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Iowa Army Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Todd EipperleTerry PaskerThe Iowa National Guard regrets to announce the death of Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker, 39, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Pasker was killed by an Afghan National Directorate Security officer during a mounted patrol, Saturday, July 9, in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan at approximately 9:30 a.m., local Afghanistan time. As Pasker conducted the mounted patrol, the security officer stopped Pasker’s vehicle, then shot and killed both Pasker and a civilian in the vehicle. Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle,  of Marshalltown, Iowa, driving an armored vehicle in front of Pasker, stopped as soon as the shots were fired, and exchanged gunfire with the Afghan security officer, killing the security officer. Eipperle was wounded in the attack.

Pasker was assigned to Co. B, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Eipperle is assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, Boone, Iowa, and is currently receiving medical treatment at a U.S. Army facility in Afghanistan. The attack is under investigation.

Pasker was born Feb. 26, 1972 in Anamosa, Iowa and graduated from Lisbon (Iowa) High School in 1990. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1990 and joined the Iowa Army National Guard in April 1995. Pasker was serving as an Electronic Maintenance Supervisor during his current deployment. He previously deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004-2005.

Pasker was part of the approximately 2,800 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. These Iowa Soldiers reported to their mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in Aug. 2010 for additional training and preparation before departing for the Afghanistan theater of operations. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where the Soldiers provide full-spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethal and non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance to humanitarian relief initiatives.

Neb. nuclear plant sets up new flood barrier


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) – The Omaha Public Power District has installed a new barrier around its Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and is now pumping out floodwaters from the Missouri River. OPPD installed the new 8-foot-tall, water-filled barrier around the plant to replace a similar one that failed two weeks ago after a worker inadvertently punctured it with a bobcat. The utility planned to pump out the water behind the new barrier on Sunday to create a dry area around the plant, so it will be easier to for workers to get around.

Both OPPD and federal regulators have said Fort Calhoun is safe even without this barrier. Officials say all the key areas of the plant have stayed dry inside. The plant will remain shut down until after floodwaters subside in the fall.

Insurance agents complain FEMA creating confusion over flood coverage


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Insurance agents in states along the swollen Missouri River say federal officials are causing widespread confusion by pushing the sale of flood insurance policies that might not cover damage from the current flooding. The insurance companies say policies specify that only those bought at least two months before the damage happened will cover it.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency is telling landowners to buy the insurance anyway, and that some damage might be covered under the insurance program’s complicated rules. The confusion is increasing the anxiety along the river as the flooding continues. The flood is expected to last another two months and affect six states, from North Dakota to Missouri.

The insurance questions affect people whose property normally doesn’t flood and who waited to buy coverage.

Pott County authorities warn residents about vehicle break-ins


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County are warning residents to lock their vehicles and garage doors. They especially want citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around vehicles. The notices comes on the heels of a string of vehicle break-ins which have occurred this month.

Pott County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Dwayne Richie says nearly two-dozen vehicle break-ins have been reported so far this month. In all but just a couple of instances, the owners left their vehicles unlocked. Richie says the burglars hit neighborhoods on the east and southeast side of Council Bluffs.

He told the Omaha World-Herald “Thieves are going down the block, checking doors and popping the car. If the doors open, they’re stealing whatever they can steal,” before “Moving on to the next car.” In some cases, he says the thieves have entered unlocked garages to access vehicles.

Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers told the paper he hasn’t seen an increase in vehicle burglaries, and noted, “Unfortunately, they happen pretty frequently year round.” Meyers encouraged residents to report suspicious activity in their neighborhood, no matter how trivial it might seem.

Sgt. Riche asked anyone with information on the recent break-ins to contact the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office at 712-890-2200.

News update for Sun., July 10th

News, Podcasts

July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The latest western/southwest Iowa news podcast from News Director Ric Hanson


Evidence and equipment shed to be built from drug money


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A nearly $348,000, 7,200-square foot metal shed will be built near the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office once Missouri River floodwaters recede. The shed, which will hold equipment and large evidence from criminal cases, is being funded through money forfeited and seized during traffic stops involving drugs. The building also will house a number of specialized trailers the Sheriff’s Office has gained over the years, including a bomb squad trailer.

The Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors voted last week to sign a contract with Andersen Construction to build a $347,820 shed behind an existing shed north of the Sheriff’s Office. Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Maggie Reyes said that while the contract has been signed, construction is not likely to begin until after the threat of flooding has subsided, and is expected to take less than 180-days.

Sheriff Jeff Danker said the price of the project includes tree removal, running electricity to the site, architectural work, permits, concrete work, grading and the building itself. He says also, that his department needs the added storage.

He cited as an example, a large burglary arrest made in 200, which resulted in his office renting storage units to hold the seized property.

No jackpot winner in Powerball game


July 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — None of the tickets sold for the Powerball game Saturday evening matched all six numbers drawn, which were:


Powerball: 6

Power Play: 3

Players matching all five numbers and the Powerball would have won or shared the $36 million jackpot. The prize goes to an estimated $48 million for Wednesday.

Tickets that match the first five numbers, but miss the Powerball, win $200,000 each, and there were ten of those. They were sold in: Arizona(2), Colorado(1), Georgia(1), Louisiana(1), Michigan(1), New Mexico(1), New York(2) and Wisconsin(1).

There were two Power Play Match 5 winners in Colorado(1) and North Carolina(1).


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The winning numbers in Saturday evening’s drawing of the “Hot Lotto” game were:

01-10-16-24-39, Hot Ball: 16

Estimated jackpot: $1.2 million

Crash closes I-80 WB ramp at Hwy 25 (update 7-11-11, 8:30 am)


July 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

This was all that remained of the trailer Sunday morning.

In an update to a story we first brought over the weekend, the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office says a fire along Interstate 80 in Adair County destroyed a semi-trailer loaded with metal pieces, jalapeno cheese, and pretzels, Saturday afternoon.  Contrary to a report from the Iowa DOT, the fire was not the result of an accident, but it’s not clear how it started.

The blaze occurred just east of the westbound I-80 exit-ramp at Exit 86 (Hwy 25), two-miles west of Menlo. A detour was established while the wreck was being cleared up. The incident happened at around 3:42-p.m.  

The interstate was reopened just after 5:45-p.m., but the fire in the trailer apparently flared-up again at around 6:40-p.m., according to dispatchers, who received several 9-1-1 calls. Fire crews were once again dispatched to extinguished the blaze.

No injuries were reported. The remains of the burned out trailer were still on the shoulder of the interstate early Sunday morning, but were gone by mid-day, as crews worked through the morning to remove the debris. The only indication a fire had taken place Sunday afternoon, was a large section of scorched pavement.

Fremont County arrest report


July 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports three arrests over the past week. On Monday, 24-year old Jacob Michael Gandy, of Overland Park, KS, was arrested for Driving Under Suspension, and Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

And, 25-year old Joel Nathaniel Sims, of Harlan, was arrested Monday, on a Fremont County warrant issued in November, 2010, for Failure To Appear/Contempt of Court. Sims was originally arrested in October 2010, on: 2nd offense OWI; Interference with Official Acts; Driving While Suspended; and, Failure to Maintain Control, charges.

The Sheriff’s Office says also, 25-year old Justin Michael Evans, of Sidney, was arrested July 5th, for Probation Violation.

Experts expect more Missouri River levee failures


July 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Experts say more Missouri River levees are likely to fail throughout the summer because months of high water will put tremendous pressure on the system. Older, rural levees are especially at risk because they’re likely to be shorter and less well-built than levees protecting urban areas.

Missouri University of Science and Technology professor David Rogers says most of the levees along the Missouri River are agricultural ones that weren’t engineered to withstand flooding. So far, most levees have held along the 811 miles the Missouri travels from the last dam in South Dakota to its confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

But with every additional day of high water, the levees are more likely to develop problems.