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County funding may force Iowa senior center closure

News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A senior center in southeast Iowa may have to close due to a loss of funding from the county.

The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday on a list of cuts to make from proposed budget increases. The board ended up cutting out $12,000 requested by the Steamboat Senior Center in Burlington, the Hawk Eye reported .

Without the money to continue operating, “it’s going to be pretty hard to keep this place going,” said Helen Rawlings, the center’s president. “We won’t be here very long then, I guess,” Rawlings said. “I don’t know where we’re going to get the money.”

The requested $12,000 is what the center’s vice president, Marilyn Leight, estimated will be needed to cover the utility bills in the coming year. The center leases the building from the city of Burlington for free. The center cost more than $1,500 last month to run, but it brought in less than $400 in revenue.

Golden Oldies events and card game fees were the center’s biggest sources of revenue last month. Leight said the card game fee is a sore subject to talk about.
“We have to charge our seniors to play cards in the center because we need the money,” she told supervisors in a budget hearing last month. “Every time someone comes in to play cards, we have to charge them a dollar.”

Des Moines County gave the center $4,500 in fiscal 2016, and $1,500 last year, according to the county auditor’s office. Supervisors said to completely eliminate the funding this past week. “I can’t see where we can do anything for something non-mandated,” said Jim Cary, board chairman. “With the budget like this, we can’t do anything for any non-mandated entities.”

Some question if Iowa victims rights bill would help victims

News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A push to add language to the Iowa Constitution ensuring the rights of crime victims is moving through the Legislature despite opposition from a crime victims group and prosecutors.

The law has bipartisan support and the backing of Gov. Kim Reynolds, but others argue the legislation could ultimately hurt victims by siphoning money away from other programs that now help them.

Critics point to other states with similar legislation, like South Dakota, where lawmakers are currently trying to alter language added to the state constitution in 2016 to reduce the unintentional burden on county attorneys’ offices.

But supporters of Iowa’s proposal say lawmakers learned from other states and designed the amendment to avoid added burden to a court system facing budget cuts and reduced courthouse staffing.

Exira-EHK, Griswold & CAM School Board meetings set for Monday

News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(UPDATE: The Exira-EHK School Board Meeting will be postponed to Thursday Feb. 22nd. )

The Exia-EHK, Griswold and CAM Boards of Education all have regular School Board meetings set to take place Monday evening. The Exira-EHK Board meeting gets underway in the Conference Room at the Elk Horn Building, beginning at 5-p.m.  On their agenda are Public Hearings on Capital Improvement Projects and the 2018-19 School Calendar, followed later on during the meeting, of a vote on approving bids for General Obligation Bond Projects and the 2018-19 Calendar. The Board will also receive information with regard to Coaches vs. Cancer, and act on approving a bid for Audit services, along with personnel hires, transfers and/or resignations.

The Griswold School Board meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Central Office at the Middle School/High School Building. Their Board will receive updates from KPE Architects and Estes Construction, as available. They will also hear a presentation about and act on approving, a school sign purchase. In other business, the Griswold School Board will act on approving: Building Project Bids; the Brainfuse Program; E-Rate Application; Chemical Application bids; and Mowing specifications. They’ll also discuss and act on Bus specifications, and a joint Board meeting with the Lenox Board of Education. Their meeting will conclude with a closed session to discuss negotiations strategy with a Certified Bargaining Unit.

And, in Anita, the CAM School Board will meet in the High School Media Center, beginning at 5:30-p.m., Monday. On their agenda, is the Appointment and Oath of Office for the Board Secretary/Treasurer, and discussion with regard to the purchase of new computers. Other discussion/action items include those pertaining to: Capital Projects; Early Retirement resignations/incentives; the Fiscal Year 2017 Audit Report; CAM Education Association (CAMEA) initiation of bargaining toward the 2018-19 Master Contract; Approving an out-of-state field trip for Connections Academy, and a Fundraiser request for the Middle School.  The CAM School Board will also hold a closed session of strategy negotiations with Bargaining Unit.

Prescott man arrested Saturday night on an OWI charge

News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest at around 11-p.m. Saturday, of Brian Fitzgerald, of Prescott. Fitzgerald was taken into custody for OWI/1st Offense, following a traffic stop. The was brought to the Adams County Jail.

Mixed bag of Winter Weather Advisories today & Monday

News, Weather

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Omaha has issued a WIND ADVISORY in effect from 9-a.m. today (Sunday) through 3-p.m., for Harrison-Shelby-Pottawattamie-Mills-Montgomery-Fremont-Page Counties. And, a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for FREEZING RAIN will be in effect from 6-a.m. until Noon on Monday, Feb. 19th, for Pottawattamie-and Mills Counties. A glazing of ice is expected for the morning commute, Monday. And a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from Midnight tonight through Noon Monday, for Monona and Harrison Counties. Mixed precipitation (Up to 1/2 inch) of snow and/or ice are expected.

Winter Weather Advisory for counties in purple; Wind Advisory for counties in brown (Some advisories overlap).

A WIND ADVISORY is in effect today from 9-a.m. until 2-p.m., for Sac-Crawford-Carroll-Audubon-Guthrie-Cass-Adair-Adams-Madison-Union-Taylor and Ringgold Counties, for winds of 30-to 40-miles per hour during the day. And, a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Freezing Rain will be in effect from Midnight tonight through 3-p.m. Monday, for Sac-Crawford-Carroll-Audubon and Guthrie Counties, where up to one-tenth of an inch of freezing rain can be expected through Monday afternoon, especially northwest of a line from around Audubon to Hampton.

The ice will result in hazardous travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Monday, and particularly on untreated roads. These impacts may occur again with a second round of freezing rain from Monday evening into Tuesday.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Patrol responded to numerous crashes Saturday on the Interstates, due to a quick moving snow system that caused roads to become snow covered and icy. I-35 near the 100 mile marker southbound (in Polk County) was closed for 2 hours for a 70 car pile-up. I-80 near the 158 mile marker westbound (in Jasper County) was temporarily closed for approximately 20 vehicles that had crashed. I-80 eastbound at the 208 mile marker (in Iowa County), up to 30 vehicles were involved with 3 minor injuries reported. A majority of the crashes were caused by motorists traveling too fast for conditions and not allowing enough following distance. All crashes remain under investigation.

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Police in southeastern Iowa say the owner of a construction company has died after an excavated area where he was working caved in. Columbus Junction police say 52-year-old Anthony Hills, owner of Hills Construction, was working on a sewer repair when the collapse happened Friday afternoon. Police say an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been launched into the death.

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) — A Minnesota-based food processor and distributor has announced an $87 million project in south-central Iowa that promises to create hundreds of jobs. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Michael Foods announced Friday that it will build a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Norwalk. The company, whose brands include Crystal Farms dairy products, Simply Potatoes and Better’n Eggs, says it will begin construction in April.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A community theater group in northeast Iowa is making progress toward its fundraising goal of $1.5 million to renovate a 108-year-old mainstay in the historic downtown area. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the Cedar Falls Community Theatre has raised nearly $650,000 for improvements at the Oster Regent Theatre. The venue attracts about 35,000 patrons each year. A manager says renovations will improve the roof, stage, curtains, orchestra pit, entryway, box seats and marquee.

2 rounds of Freezing Rain likely Mon. & Tuesday

News, Weather

February 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service reports warm and very windy conditions are forecast throughout the day Sunday across Iowa. A boundary will set up across southwest to northeast Iowa late Sunday night into Monday, and locations along and northwest will likely experience freezing rain/drizzle during this time frame.

A glaze to near two-tenths of an inch of ice is possible over western to northern Iowa by Monday afternoon. Southeast of this front, rain with an isolated thunderstorm is forecast Monday.(More info. here: http://www.weather.gov/media/dmx/sitreport/SitReport1.pdf

Another round of freezing rain is forecast to develop Monday evening and looks to persist into Tuesday over central to southeast portions of Iowa as the front drifts southeast. Up to one to two-tenths of ice is possible.

In addition to the icing potential, gusty winds of 15 to 25 mph Monday into Tuesday may cause ice coated tree limbs and powerlines to break or fall. Stay tuned to the latest forecast on KJAN or go to http://www.weather.gov/dmx/

Michael Foods announces plan for facility in Norwalk, Iowa

News

February 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) — A Minnesota-based food processor and distributor has announced an $87 million project in south-central Iowa that promises to create hundreds of jobs.

Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Michael Foods announced Friday that it will build a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Norwalk.
The company, whose brands include Crystal Farms dairy products, Simply Potatoes and Better’n Eggs, says it will begin construction in April and will likely expand within the next five years.

Norwalk Economic Development Director Hollie Askey says Michael Foods had considered building the facility in Nebraska, prompting city leaders to fight hard to secure the deal.

The project is expected to bring as many as 150 jobs to Norwalk.

Construction company owner dies in excavation site collapse

News

February 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Police in southeastern Iowa say the owner of a construction company has died after an excavated area where he was working caved in.

Columbus Junction police say 52-year-old Anthony Hills, owner of Hills Construction, was working on a sewer repair when the collapse happened Friday afternoon.
Ten agencies from the area responded to the scene.

Police say an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been launched into the death.

Quick-moving storm triggers massive pileup in Iowa

News

February 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Update 3:55-a.m., 2/18) — The Iowa State Patrol responded to numerous crashes Saturday on the Interstates, due to a quick moving snow system that caused roads to become snow covered and icy. I-35 near the 100 mile marker southbound (in Polk County) was closed for 2 hours for a 70 car pile-up.  Approximately 11 people were transported to local hospitals for treatment of injuries.

I-80 near the 158 mile marker westbound (in Jasper County) was temporarily closed for approximately 20 vehicles that had crashed. I-80 eastbound at the 208 mile marker (in Iowa County),  up to 30 vehicles were involved with 3 minor injuries reported.  Eastbound lanes were closed for less than an hour.

A majority of the crashes were caused by motorists traveling too fast for conditions and not allowing enough following distance. All crashes remain under investigation.