Noon Newscast 9.19.19

Sep 13, 2019

Credit Iowa DNR

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says high water levels from the Missouri River likely played into a drinking water violation in Sioux City involving disinfection byproducts.

Samples collected mid-August at one of the city’s eight testing sites showed it was a little bit above the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for trihalomethanes. The city’s running average for that site for the last year is also above the standard.

Julie Sievers is an environmental specialist senior with the Iowa D-N-R. 

“The river levels are high right now, very high, which means increased organic matter in the water. They also have very warm water temperature. Their temperature is some of the highest they’ve seen. 

Sievers adds health risks only come from long term exposure to the disinfection byproducts. Sioux City is now using deeper wells which the city says have cooler water and less organic compounds.

A Norfolk man has been given 30 months in prison for the crash death of a passenger in his vehicle.

Twenty-five-year-old Tucker Lanz was sentenced yesterday.

He pleaded no contest to felony vehicular homicide after making a deal with prosecutors.

The crash occurred in May of last year east of Stanton.

Authorities say Lanz was driving east when his vehicle crossed into a ditch on the north side of the road, hit a power pole and rolled.

Lanz was injured, and his passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was identified as Hunter Hetzler, who lived in Stanton.

Authorities say one driver was killed in a highway collision in northeast Nebraska's Cedar County.

The crash occurred yesterday morning at the intersection of Nebraska Highway 12 and the 14A spur north of Fordyce.

The sheriff says 48-year-old Kristopher Arens, of Fordyce, didn't yield at the intersection to a semi.

Arens was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the semi was treated at a local hospital and quickly released.

The crash is being investigated.

Advocates for low-income families and children have announced a petition drive for a Nebraska ballot measure to cap the interest payday lenders can charge at 36% annually.

The coalition says it will start gathering signatures to put the issue on the 2020 general election ballot.

Nebraska lawmakers have considered similar restrictions on payday loans, but those proposals have stalled.

Advocates say Nebraska lenders currently charge more than 400% annual interest on loans designed to trap people in long-term cycles of debt.

The coalition includes 14 advocacy groups for children, low-income people, women and retired people.

Industry officials have argued that such proposals will kill their business.

Nebraska state government collected more tax revenue than expected in August.

The state Department of Revenue announced Friday that the state received a net total of $462 million last month, which is nearly 5% higher than its official forecast of $441 million.

The department says net sales-and-use and miscellaneous taxes came in higher than expected, as did net corporate and individual income taxes.

Net tax collections are also higher than expected in the current fiscal year that began July 1.

The forecast was set in April by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board.

The board's projections help lawmakers and the governor determine how much money they have available for the state budget.