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(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. News & funeral report, Sat. 8/30/2014

News, Podcasts

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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SW IA School District overspends prior to merger

News

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One of two school districts in Fremont County looking to merge this winter because of financial difficulties is overspending more than initially expected. The Daily NonPareil says the Hamburg Community School District spent about $450,000 more last fiscal year than it was allowed to under state law, according to an estimate shared by Superintendent Terry Kenealy on Aug. 18th.
Iowa controls the maximum amount of spending by public school districts to keep spending equitable, so neighboring districts don’t spend dramatically different amounts of money per pupil. Districts that cannot stay under spending limit – referred to as having “negative unspent budget authority” by school officials – are forced to cut budgets, consolidate or face being dissolved.

Kenealy said Hamburg’s overspending may be adjusted but will remain close to the current estimate. Hamburg’s excess spending climbed from an original estimate of about $300,000 earlier this year. Both Hamburg and the Farragut Community School District, its proposed partner for consolidation, have to go before the Iowa Department of Education School Budget Review Committee in mid-December to present a plan to address overspending. Hamburg’s deficit in fiscal year 2013 was $46,350, according to the Iowan Department of Management. Farragut’s deficit for 2013 was $511,482.

The districts successfully circulated a petition last month to hold a special election in December to reorganize the districts, which would increase their shared authority and cut costs to address the budget restrictions. The Green Hills Area Education Agency will hold a hearing on the proposal on Sept. 24, which will determine whether the merger goes on the Dec. 2nd ballot.

The Hamburg and Farragut school boards will hold a joint meeting Sept. 10 with Jeff Berger, the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Education, and Amy Williamson, the chief of the department’s bureau of school improvement, to review findings from site visits, which will include an update on the districts’ financial situations.

The districts jointly operate a middle school in Hamburg and a high school in Farragut, both of which carry the Nishabotna name, but have separate elementary schools, superintendents and school boards. If they reorganize, they will create the Nishabotna Community School District.

Iowan spends summer riding bicycle across the country

News

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Catholic priest from northwest Iowa man is back at home after spending most of his summer bicycling across the United States. Father Kevin Richter of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars rode 3,836 miles as he crossed 14 states in 68 days. “The most miles I covered in a day was from Bismark, North Dakota down to Selby, South Dakota,” Richter said. “With a good tail wind behind me, I rode 120 miles that day.” He averaged 68.5 miles a day. Richter said, during the toughest stretch of the trip, he covered only 28 miles on one day through the Appalachian Mountains.

Kevin Richter

Kevin Richter

“For half of Kentucky and half of Virginia, you just keep going up hills and down hills,” Richter said. “That gets weary after a while and nearly broke me at one point.” Richter divided his journey into two halves, traveling east from Le Mars to Yorktown, Virginia. From there, he flew to Portland, Oregon and rode his bike back to Le Mars. Oddly enough, Richter said the worst weather he rode through was in Iowa, on June 9.

“The day I left, when I was riding between Lawton and Bronson, it was raining hard. I think that was it,” Richter said. Richter took a summer sabbatical to make the trip. On many nights, he either camped out under the stars or slept in motels. On a few occasions, he would spend the evening at a church or with host families. Richter made the journey by himself, had 13 flat tires, and lost 25 pounds.

(Radio Iowa)

Corps official warns about boating without life jacket

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

It’s the last summer holiday weekend and the last chance for many to spend time on their boats. Lou An McCraken of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers, says you should be sure to have a life jacket on hand for everyone. She says it’s not enough just to have it in the boat, you need to put it on. “It’s not a burden to wear a life jacket if you find a good comfortable Coast Guard-approved life jacket…you’ll want to wear it to keep you safe and for everyone in your family who you care about,” McCraken says.

McCracken is a Natural Resource Specialist who works on the Mississippi River. McCracken says each year a number of boating accidents claim lives because someone fell into the water and underestimated their swimming ability. And sometimes swimming isn’t even an option, especially on rivers like the Mississippi. “You could have bumped your head, you could have had a medical condition that caused you to fall out, you pass out for any number of reasons, you may have hit something submerged that bumps you out of your boat,” McCraken says. “The Mississippi River is always changing, it’s such a dynamic river.”

McCracken says nine of ten people who drowned in lakes and river last year were not wearing a life jacket. She also says because the Mississippi is such a vast body of water, conditions vary on different sections of the river. What may be safe in one location could pose a danger elsewhere.

(Radio Iowa)

Swimming not recommended signs posted at several Iowa beaches for Labor Day weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Swimming is not recommended in at least seven of Iowa’s state park lakes for the last holiday weekend of the summer. Mary Skopec is the beach monitoring coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Right now, we have five beaches that are not recommended for swimming due to E. coli bacteria advisories and we have three beaches that are not recommended for swimming based on algal toxin levels that we see,” Skopec says. Recent heavy rains have contributed to a rise in E. coli bacteria by washing manure spread on farm fields into the lakes.

The beaches where swimming advisories are posted are at Union Grove State Park, Denison Beach, Black Hawk State Park, Backbone Lake, Lake of Three Fires, Prairie Rose Lake, and McIntosh Woods on Clear Lake.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Aug. 30 2014

News

August 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager is resigning as a result of a scandal involving a presidential campaign he worked for in 2012. Jesse Benton said Friday he’s stepping down from his top role in the Republican senator’s re-election effort. Benton’s announcement stems from a political scandal in Iowa, in which former state Senator Kent Sorenson received thousands of dollars in “under the table payments” before switching loyalties from Michele Bachmann to Benton’s grandfather-in-law Ron Paul.

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — A man employed by the school district in Montezuma has been accused of sexually abusing two minors in 2012. The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office says 28-year-old Derek John Bates was arrested Friday on two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of pattern, practice or scheme to engage in sexual exploitation by a school employee.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A man riding a motorcycle has died following a crash in central Iowa. The Story County Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old Benjamin Parsons of Boone was traveling on a Harley Davidson motorcycle Thursday night on Highway 30 near Ames when he crashed.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a section of the Raccoon River in Des Moines will rise several feet above flood stage before it’s expected to crest today. The city’s public works department says recent rainfall means the Raccoon River at Fleur Drive was over 12 feet on Friday. That’s just above the flood stage.

Registration begins Sept. 1st for the 1st ever “Color Run,” in Atlantic

News, Sports

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

It’s been described as “The Happiest 5k in the World,” and it’s coming to Atlantic in October. Atlantic High School Seniors Erin Shannon and Steph Freund are part of the AHS Student Council, who is sponsoring the “Color Run” in Atlantic, on October 11th.

Color Run course

Color Run course (Click on image to enlarge)

The event begins at 8-a.m. Shannon says most of the runs typically take place in larger cities, but the Student Council wanted to bring it closer to home so area residents can experience the fun.

A recent Color Run in Bakersfield, CA. (Photo's courtesy Patricia Borjon)

The Bakersfield, CA. Color Run in Dec. 2013 (Photo’s courtesy Patricia Borjon)

She says since it’s a 5k event, there will be four different stations who will throw colored powder at you as you partake in the event. Participants usually wear white so the colors are more vivid. She says it’s not a “Super competitive run…it’s just something fun you can go out and do.” And, you don’t even have to run. Walkers and joggers are welcome enjoy the event.

Steph Freund said she participated in a Color Run at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City a couple of years ago. 40-thousand people participated in that event, which was the biggest run they ever had at the time. She said it brings people together and can draw people from outside of Atlantic who may never have had the chance to enjoy it.

She said if it works out, the Student Council hopes to make it an annual event. Erin Shannon said other than for people to have fun, their goal is to raise money for the Student Council. She said they wanted to boost the “School spirit,” while at the same time boosting community spirit and raising money for Prom.

As with any walk or run event, there is a registration fee. It’s $30, which includes your registration, a commemorative bag to carry your personal items in, a t-shirt and a color packet to use at the end of the event. The run begins and ends at the Atlantic High School. Afterward, there’ll be music, snacks and when everyone is finished with their run or walk, they’ll open their color packets and throw them into the air, making for a bright, powdery rainbow. The powder is safe and washes easily from your clothes. It’s merely dyed corn starch which comes right off when you wash. Some people even water themselves down beforehand, so the powder sticks better for the culmination of the event.

Registration takes place from Sept. 1st through the 14th . Fliers will be posted around Atlantic in the days to come with more information, or follow the Atlantic Student Council on Twitter at “Atlantic StuCo.”

Templeton Rye will add clarity of Indiana origins

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Executives at Templeton Rye say they will change labels on bottles of their celebrated whiskey to be clear the alcohol is distilled in Indiana, not Iowa. Company President Scott Bush and Chairman Vern Underwood told The Des Moines Register the company would change its labels after the newspaper published a story in which industry experts questioned whether Templeton Rye met federal disclosure requirements.

Bush and Underwood also told the newspaper Templeton Rye was distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, using a stock recipe and not one derived from the whiskey’s prohibition era past. Since it began selling Templeton Rye in late 2005, the whiskey has been a big seller in Iowa and has emphasized its colorful history in the state.

The company is working to build an Iowa distillery.

Traffic stop results in an arrest in Lenox

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Friday) morning in Lenox, resulted in the arrest of a man wanted on an assault charge. Authorities says officers stopped a vehicle at around 1:15-a.m. on south Brooks Street, in Lenox.

German P. Rodriguez.

German P. Rodriguez.

The driver, identified as 21-year old German Phillip Rodriguez, of Lenox, was known to be wanted on an arrest warrant for assault causing injury stemming from an incident that occurred on August 24th in Lenox.

Rodriguez was arrested and transported to the Taylor County Jail.

Creston woman arrested for eluding and assault

News

August 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Creston woman was arrested Thursday evening on charges of eluding and simple assault. According to Creston Police, 31-year old Erin Wallace was taken into custody at around 5:10-p.m. and later released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.