Archive for  June 2018

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CUMMING, Iowa  —  Storm damage could be seen nearly everywhere near the Upland Trail and 155th Street in rural Warren County on Friday afternoon.

Initially, Erika Hendrickson didn’t realize how much damage the storm had caused.

“We heard a little,” said Hendrickson. “It was done in 20 minutes. We looked down, oh, there’s a few branches. Then we looked out the other side, never mind. Everything is down.”

As if that wasn’t enough, the storm also knocked out the power.

“The storm came through about 12 yesterday,” said Hendrickson. “By 12:30, we lost power.”

Hendrickson and her grandkids did what they could to stay cool in the heat.

“Sit out here in the shade, spray each other with water,” said Hendrickson. “Lots of water to drink. It’s all you can do.”

As crews worked to get the power back on, people turned to generators as they waited.

“Oh gosh, it’s hotter than heck in the house,” said Lois Mace. “It’s awful.”

And the timing couldn’t have been worse. Mace, who lives in Waukee, was visiting her daughter’s house near Cumming for a family reunion.

“We have about probably 50, maybe 60 people coming in from all over,” said Mace. “And with this storm, they lost power. The trees are down. They just got the yard halfway picked up, and they can’t cook anything to finish the meal.”

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Two people were injured in a stabbing on Friday night.

The incident happened just before 9 p.m. at an apartment complex near SE 4th and Philip Street. Police say one of the victims was stabbed in the stomach and was up and talking with officers. They did not say how badly the second victim was injured.

One person has been taken into custody.

Dixie Wooten has a memorable name, outsized personality, and coach of the year credentials.
Michael Admire has more as the Barnstormers prepare for the IFL United Bowl, a week from Saturday.


INDIANOLA, Iowa  —  Recent storms have knocked out power across Iowa, and for some a lack of electricity can be a health risk.

Harold McClure depends on an oxygen tank 24 hours a day. However, the system needs power to refill his oxygen tanks. Luckily, his neighbor came to the rescue on Thursday.

Joe Gazelle is an inventor, and came up with a device five years ago that attaches to a lawnmower and generates electricity.

“It sat for the last four and a half, five years and hadn’t been ran. And to my surprise, I was hoping it would, it performed just like it did when we developed our prototypes years ago. It’s sitting there running right now, and getting the oxygen bottles filled back up for him,” said Gazelle.

Gazelle used the device to keep refilling McClure’s oxygen bottles until crews could turn the lights back on in their neighborhood.

AMES, Iowa- Main Street here is evolving into a new identity.
Over the years it’s signs have said it’s the Ames Cultural District, or Historic Ames Downtown.

A consultant was hired to help the Main Street area reconfigure and rebrand. The organization changed the name from Ames Main Street Cultural District to Ames Main Street. The change came in cooperation with Main Street Iowa.

The area has a new logo promoting Downtown Ames. The signs went up on Main Street Tuesday morning.

“Downtown Ames is the heart of the Ames community it’s the place where community happens,” said Cindy Hicks, Executive Director of Ames Main Street. “It’s a vibrant place, you’ll notice the colors we went with very bright colors, it’s a place of diversity.”

The organization held a ribbon cutting and formal unveiling of the new logo and name change.

“Our program name is now Ames Main Street, the area we promote is Downtown Ames,” said Hicks. “There are many different names that have been used over the years to describe the heart of our community, but for most people it has always been simply Downtown Ames.”

Hicks said the Ames downtown maintains a historic flavor, as that is where the roots of the City of Ames began. She added the Sheldon Munn used to be the place for big college gatherings, as there was no Memorial Union then.

“When you come to Ames the downtown area this is where this community started,and when you want to see someone you know this is where you come,” said Hicks.

The banners marked the change, it will take some time to replace all the directional signs pointing out Downtown Ames.


DES MOINES, Iowa–  Organized unions are again taking a hit.

In just the past year, Iowa unions lost the right to negotiate health care and, are also required to vote to continue the union with each new contract.

Now, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling could strip union funding in 22 states.

For 70 years Iowa has been a ‘right to work state’ but after the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Mark Janus verse ‘AFSCME’ case,  the nation will follow suit

“I’ve been on both sides when it comes to that opportunity I appreciate my tenure in Florida and Iowa better than working in Pennsylvania,” former educator Terry Gladfelter said.

Gladfelter used to live in Pennsylvania a ‘fair share’ state.

States like Pennsylvania required non-union members to pay union fees for things like collective bargaining.

“Choose and its a first amendment right that even back then my money was being used for political causes that I did not believe in,” Gladfelter said.

AFSCME Council 61 represents Iowa, Missouri and parts of Kansas.

I think it’s a step backwards, I think it’s a terrible ruling because it isn’t about freedom of speech it’s about attacking labor unions,” AFSCME 61 president Danny Homan said. “I believe unions give a valuable service, are they needed in every employment situation in this state no”.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas agree.

Across the board, private and public-sector full-time and minimum wage employee union membership is down from 2016 to 2017.

The National Education Association the largest teacher labor union said,  “Unions remain the most effective vehicle for the power in numbers working people need to secure their rights and freedoms”.

Gladfelter has little hope in his former union.

“They are expecting to lose about 300,000 members,” Gladfelter said.


IOWA  —  A new report by the United Way shows the number of Iowans struggling financially is on the rise.

The report says almost 40% of Iowans can’t afford paying for basic needs like health care or child care. It also says the number of what they call “Alice” families–those who work but struggle to make ends meet–is now much higher than the number of families living in poverty.

And the problem is only growing.

Part of it is wages are low, part of it is we have lots of jobs that are not full-time with benefits. So they’re struggling to piece all those parts of a budget together on their own without full-time hours,” said United Way Executive Director Deann Cook.

The report also states in order to survive in Iowa, a family of four needs to make $56,000 a year, and an individual would have to make more than $19,000 per year.

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Amid an Osceola couple’s child neglect and endangerment allegations in regard to their two children adopted from Africa, some people say international adoption could come to and end for certain countries.

Jake Sullivan is the founder of Acts 2 Collective, a faith-based non-profit organization that focuses on mission work to Africa. The group does not handle adoptions and did not have any involvement in Kenny and Kelly Fry’s adoption process, but Sullivan knows the international adoption process well. He and his wife adopted three children from Ghana, the same country from which the Frys adopted their two children before the accusations of abuse.

Sullivan says the international adoption process is especially long and complicated. It involves several state, federal, and private entities, including home visits, background checks, and vetting from the child’s country. Sullivan says recent abuse allegations could bring international adoption to a halt.

“There are many countries that are shutting its borders because of fear of these kind of situations, and what’s happening with these children when they come to the United States,” he says. “Countries are asking if it’s in their best interest for American families to adopt their children when most of them don’t understand the context, the culture, the people, or the country where they are adopting from.”

According to a Pew Research study, international adoptions are down 88% from 2004 from the five most popular countries from which children are adopted. China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea, and Ethiopia accounted for 71% of all adoptions to the U.S. since 1999.

The adoption process can be stressful on both the parents and children; Sullivan says the lack of awareness between cultures can create tension.

“Kids in Africa have a lot more freedom to move about, then you get into the United States and we have lots of rules, restrictions. Our parenting style is much different than the African parenting style, so then you get those conflicts because you don’t understand the culture.”

Sullivan stresses the importance of parents looking to adopt having realistic expectations. He says parents often have a false sense of what the process will look like. He does not condone the allegations against the Frys, but says it’s something others looking to adopt can learn from.

“I think for some, it must break them down and cause these awful situations. I don’t think this family set out with the mind to abuse children.”

Channel 13 reached out to the Department of Human Services to learn about its involvement in the international adoption, process but did not immediately hear back.

IOWA  —  Turn around, don’t drown!

Heavy rain flooded roads around Iowa on Monday night. Some drivers tried to make it through the rainy streets, but many were unsuccessful, finding their vehicles trapped in the water.

Driving is dangerous when water levels get this high, and officials do not encourage attempting to travel in this type of weather.

WHITTEMORE, Iowa  —  Last week, the town of Whittemore in Kossuth County was hit with eight inches of rain. Over the weekend, residents worked on soggy basements, pulling out carpet, furniture, and electronics all ruined by water. The town also had help from Kossuth County crews and Algona City trucks to haul away the ruined items.

“All of us have a real job we’re working at, so it’s great having the road department here for the county, City of Algona, plus the Whittemore staff,” said Whittemore Fire Chief Eric Goodman. “We did this in about four and a half to five hours, we had the town cleaned up, where if we were looking for volunteers in the community, it would have been a weeks’ worth of projects.”

The crews spent the morning in Whittemore, then headed to help out Fenton, 10 miles north.

“The city of Fenton still has quite a bit of material and debris from basements on their curbsides,” said David Penton, Kossuth County Emergency Management Coordinator. “They have what’s called a closed sewer system, and it’s pressurized. When the rain water came in, it caused the system to be overwhelmed.”

A recycling company from nearby Britt came to pick up dozens of old washers and dryers taken from Whittemore basements to be recycled.

While last week’s flood is being cleaned up, more water fell overnight on Kossuth County, keeping many county roads underwater.

“On Wednesday, we had a total of 32 roads that had flash flooding, and currently we have approximately 20 that are either underwater or washed out or damaged,” said Penton.

Officials in the Algona area will be watching to see if the East Fork of the Des Moines River will rise if a lot more rain falls.