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Authorities seek grader and tractor last seen: 2-years ago!

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office reports they are currently seeking information on the whereabouts of a 1950′s model road grader and a 1956 John Deere Model 70 tractor. The implements were last seen on a farm in central Guthrie County…about two-years ago. If you have any information on the disappearance of the equipment, contact Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright at 641-747-2214.

8AM Newscast 09-19-2012

News, Podcasts

September 19th, 2012 by Doug Evans

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 09-19-2012

News, Podcasts

September 19th, 2012 by Doug Evans

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

State committee will issue two opinions on school start date

News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the state task force assigned to address the controversial issue of when school should start in the fall has decided they don’t like the current policy that grants waivers to 98-percent of schools to allow them to start school in August. But the group decided to issue a majority and minority opinion on whether the state should set a concrete start date that everyone has to stick with. Waterloo Schools Superintendent, Gary Norris represented the eastern side of the state. He voted with the majority who want the school start date to be left up to individual districts.

“Generally the schools I represent — which are some of the larger districts in the state — believe that the needs of Iowa children are so unique from one district to the next that it is impossible to take a decision like this and make it perfectly at the state level,” Norris said. “So, we would prefer that it be made at the local level.” The minority side wants the legislature to set a school start date within the first week of September with no waivers. They argue earlier starts have an impact on the Iowa State Fair, tourism and student summer jobs. “We do understand the other competing interests here,” Norris said, “And clearly the economy of Iowa is a major factor here, and we respect that. The Iowa fair is a rich tradition.”

Department of Education liaison, Mike Cormack (the former Mayor of Massena) served as the moderator for the committee meeting and he says including both opinions is the best way to handle an issue that has admittedly become very contentious through he years. “I think that the viewpoint of the group was that this is one element of many elements and throughout all the other topics — which include the length of the school year, length of the school day, afterschool programming — there was a lot of consensus among this group. And so what they didn’t want was one area where there wasn’t consensus to distract from where there was,” Cormack explains. “So I think it (having two opinions) was basically a respect through a process of each other that served as taskforce members”.

Cormack said the issue of when to grant waivers to allow schools to start in August has been muddled by language that says there should not be “specific negative impact on students” from allowing earlier starts. He said everyone on this task believed that was to vague. “What each side would agree upon is that there should be clarity. The law should be defined and a decision needs to be made so that districts can do some long-term planning and so that businesses can do long-term planning as well,” Cormack said.

Superintendent Norris said everyone agrees there is not real evidence to show any impact on student learning based on when the school year begins. “You know there really isn’t. There’s a lot of emotion on either side, but there’s no that I know of, I’ve not read any definitive studies that talk about the start of the year,” Norris said. “There is some interesting studies that talk about that teenagers should start later in the day, there’s some definitive stuff on that, but the start date — as I tried to point out to the committee is largely driven by tradition.” The tradition included the agricultural calendar where kids had to be out of school to help with farm work. The committee will hold one final meeting by telephone to complete the language on their recommendation and then will send the majority/minority opinion on to the legislature to hash out the final start date.

(Radio Iowa)

Family says Calif. man may have fallen from train

News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The family of a retired California firefighter who disappeared from an Amtrak train says it now appears that he may have fallen from the train somewhere in eastern Colorado or western Nebraska. Charlie Dowd’s family members had been organizing searches in Omaha and Lincoln for the 69-year-old San Mateo man because they believed he may have mistakenly gotten off the train at one of those stops. But Jen Dowd said Tuesday Amtrak police told the family a passenger on the California-to-Chicago train saw Dowd standing near a train door Thursday night. Another passenger later found an exterior door ajar around 11 p.m. Thursday. Jen Dowd says the search for her father will now focus on the 160 miles of track between Fort Morgan, Colo., and McCook, Neb.

Iowa News headlines: Wed., Sept. 19th 2012

News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — The campaign for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says his wife, Ann Romney, will hold a Women for Mitt rally at furniture store in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. Ann Romney is scheduled to speak at the rally tomorrow afternoon at By Design, a high-end furniture retailer. Her visit follows a Monday event in Des Moines by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is focusing much of his two-day Iowa trip on blue-collar areas, hoping to improve President Barack Obama’s chances of carrying the state he captured in 2008. Biden campaigned Monday in Burlington and yesterday in Ottumwa before capping the visit with a stop at Grinnell College.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa agriculture department says federal officials have approved a request for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus to be blended with other corn for animal feed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the agency’s request to blend corn containing more than 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin with corn that has lower levels or no aflatoxin.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Social conservatives are adding firepower to what has been a low-profile campaign to oust a member of the Iowa Supreme Court for his role in legalizing gay marriage in 2009. The Family Leader has announced that former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will join a statewide bus tour next week calling for the removal of Justice David Wiggins, who is up for retention in November.

Atlantic City Council to adopt Private Well Ordinance, Wednesday

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, is expected to adopt on the second- and third-reading, a revised Ordinance pertaining to Private Wells. The first reading of the revised ordinance was approved during the Council’s meeting on Sept. 5th, and is less restrictive than the original draft. The new ordinance, if adopted during the Council’s 5:30-p.m. session, Wednesday, says “No person shall install a private drinking or non-drinking water well…within city limits, unless a determination has been made by the City Administrator that: It is a closed-loop system” or that the well is located greater than 1,000-feet from where an area of contamination (requiring corrective action under Iowa law), has been determined to exist.

The Ordinance says “In addition, drinking water wells outside the 1,000-foot restricted area shall not be installed, if the building to be served is within 250-feet from an accessible water distribution main owned and controlled by the City.”  The Iowa DNR has identified the City’s old street garage site at 211 Commerce, and sites at 1408 East 7th, and 100 West 2nd Street, as contaminated sites, under Iowa law.

City Administrator Doug Harris says the DNR has recommended the Council adopt the ordinance because they feel the action would more effectively protect public health and at a lower cost, than either removing the contaminated dirt (at an estimated cost of $150,000), or monitoring those sites over the next 30- to 50-years until the contamination has dissipated (at an estimated cost of $10,000 per year).

Northbound I-29 to westbound I-480 ramp in Council Bluffs to close Sept. 26 for repairs

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation will be closing the northbound Interstate 29 to westbound I-480 ramp (exit 53A), in Council Bluffs Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 26 and 27, to make bridge repairs. Northbound I-29 traffic will be routed around the construction zone by exiting at 35th Street (exit 54B) and traveling south on I-29 to westbound I-480.

Motorists will want to allow some extra time in the morning hours to travel on this detour. The roadway should be reopened to traffic by Friday, Sept. 28, weather permitting. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limits and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

US HWY 59 overpass near Carson closed for repairs

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 4 Office in Atlantic reports the overpass on U.S. 59 that spans Iowa Highway 92 near Carson, in Pottawattamie County, has been closed for repairs. The overpass was struck Monday afternoon by a truck hauling a backhoe on Iowa 92, which damaged the U.S. 59 overpass beams. Engineers have inspected the overpass and determined that the overpass must be closed until repairs can be made.

The Iowa DOT is expecting this to be a longer-term closure to allow for the contract bid process and repair work required. The Iowa DOT will provide information about the reopening of the overpass as soon as it is available.

An onsite detour is in place utilizing the U.S. 59 and Iowa 92 ramps. Motorists should be aware of signs directing traffic through this area. A 53-foot length limit is in place on this detour. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Cass Supervisors to discuss/act on Valuation Exemption for Amaizing Energy URA

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, will discuss and possibly act on a Valuation exemption agreement for an Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area parcel or parcels. The move is likely a prelude to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant by Fagen, Incorporated, on the site of the defunct Amaizing Energy Ethanol plant.

The Board will also act on approving a Length of Service pay rate adjustment for a part-time assistant in the Recorder’s Office, and, the assignment of a County-held tax sale certificate of purchase, with a compromise on the total amount due, with regard to a property in Cumberland.

Their meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Supervisors’ board room at the Cass County Courthouse, in Atlantic.