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Villisca teen arrested on felony charge

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says a Villisca teen was arrested today (Tuesday) at around 9-a.m., following an investigation into an incident which allegedly involved felony threats toward another person. 13-year old Cordell Straw was taken into custody and transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs. Additional details concerning the alleged threat were not released.

Harlan School Board accepts Ag Teacher’s resignation

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District will lose 31 years of FFA experience at the end of the school year. In a regularly scheduled meeting held Monday, the Harlan Community School Board approved the resignation of High School Ag teacher Dan Leinen. Superintendent Justin Wagner said Leinen has been nationally recognized for his outstanding work in FFA and said it was a privilege and honor to work with Leinen. Leinen has spent the past 31 years working at the Harlan Community School District, with an exception of leaving for a semester a few years ago. He spoke to the board after the resignation approval.

He thanked the Board for the opportunity to work with them and allow him to pursue his passion of working with kids. His retirement brings mixed emotions for him, but he feels that it’s time for someone else to carry on with the tradition of excellence he’s experienced in the Harlan Community School District.

The School Board also approved Leinen’s request for the early retirement benefit package. Wagner said with the exception of the one semester 7 or 8 years ago, Leinen met the criteria for early retirement.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Harlan Weather Spotter retires from service

News, Weather

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man whose face many people in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska have seen on television during the weather segments, and who reports weather data to the National Weather Service and other media outlets, including KJAN, is retiring from his post. Ray Book, from Harlan, says after 13-years of reporting daily weather data such as precipitation, temperatures and other weather phenomenon, he’s calling it quits. His last day was today (Tuesday). Book served an official observer and reporter for Harlan. He’s kept the records and reported directly to the National Weather Service each day since he took over the duty in December of 1999. That means faithfully reporting that information every day at 7-a.m., rain or shine, blizzard or hail. He says he’s seen it all over the past decade or so. The hardest part of the job he said, was measuring snowfall.

He says when people question how the amounts can vary so much, whether it’s rain or snow, he tries to explain it to them. Ray says rain and snow do not fall in equal amounts across the same area, as evidenced during this year’s drought. The drought has been the big news story this year, aside from politics. Ray has his own thoughts on the drought. He says he hopes we get some moisture. If we don’t next year won’t look good at all, but Ray says weather runs in cycles, and he thinks it will eventually all “even out.”

He started out recording his information in a book on a daily basis, and his reports at the end of each month. But, technology changed all that. He says in 2009, he started filling out the information on a computer program to the National Weather Service in Valley, NE. That information would be compiled and sent on to Washington, D.C. He also sent the same information to the local newspaper, and an Omaha television station. Ray said he’s enjoyed the job, and responsibility that comes with reporting data every single day, but the 71-year old says he’s ready to spend some time traveling, with his wife, Maxine.

The couple has five adult children. They’ve been married for 49-years. The job of reporting the weather now, falls on Dan Crees, at Crees Garden Center, in Harlan.

Cass Supervisors to hear Secondary Roads’ Union proposal

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will receive the initial bargaining proposal Wednesday, from the Union representing the County’s Secondary Roads Department. After the Public Professional and Maintenance Employees (PPME) Union presents its proposal, the County will offer its initial proposal. No action is expected to be taken at this early stage of negotiations.

In other business, the Board will hear a request from CADCO Executive Director Russell Joyce, with regard to the establishment of Enterprise Zones. That will be followed by action on approval of applications for the establishment of enterprise zones for the Midtown Apartments and Regency Villa. And, approval of two sub-recipient agreements for the federally funded Project Walker Street, upper story apartment rehabilitation, in Woodbine.

The meeting begins at 9-a.m., at the Cass County Courthouse.

Atlantic P&Z Commission to meet Tues. evening

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission are set to meet this (Tuesday) evening, at City Hall. New business on their agenda includes a review of the Namanny Subdvision preliminary plat. Old business will cover progress on updating the Zoning Ordinance. The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall.

Iowa tries to make sure students get best deals on student loans

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Attorney General’s office is tightening up a state law designed to make sure students get the best deals on student loans. The law prevents lenders from giving gifts to colleges and universities in exchange for being added to a list of “preferred” lenders the schools give to students. Bill Brock, with the Attorney General’s consumer protection division, says there used to be problems in Iowa and even worse abuses elsewhere.”We even had situations where lenders might be providing funds to employees in student aid offices so they could attend conferences and that sort of thing,” Brock says. “It’s something that Congress dealt with by banning it.”

Brock says the idea is to make sure students understand they should shop around for their loans and not just rely on that list. Brock says, “And that if a lender is on a preferred lender list, it’s there because of the terms of the loans it offers and not gifts that go to the school.”

The original Iowa law was created a few years ago after allegations surfaced about questionable practices at the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation. The change is designed to make the law stronger by requiring lenders to report any gifts to colleges and universities, even if the contributions have nothing to do with student loans.

(Radio Iowa)

9AM Newscast 10-09-2012

News, Podcasts

October 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Child checked for injuries following accident near Avoca, Monday

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports a one-year old boy from Bellevue, NE, was transported to Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan Monday, following an accident near Avoca. Pott. County Sheriff’s Department investigator, Sgt. Dwayne Riche, told KJAN News the accident happened at around 3:45-p.m., just off the Interstate 80 exit to mile marker 40.

Riche says 31-year old Erica Velasquez, of Bellevue, NE, was driving a 2009 Subaru Impreza, while a 2013 Ford Explorer was being driven by William Michaels, of Forest Lake, MN. Both vehicles had exited the interstate and stopped at the intersection, with the intention to turn right onto Highway 59. The Subaru proceeded into the intersection, but due to confusion with oncoming semi traffic, Velasquez could not continue, and had to stop again. At that time, her car was rear-ended by the SUV.

A passenger in the Subaru, 1-year old Xander Velasquez was transported to Myrtue Hospital by Shelby Rescue, to be checked for injuries. Authorities cited Michaels for following too close. Damage to the vehicles amounted to $4,000.

8AM Newscast 10-09-2012

News, Podcasts

October 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Possible, future changes to Atlantic’s Driver’s Ed program

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Monday, discussed, but did not take action on a possible change in the way Driver’s Education is taught in the District. Drivers’ Ed is currently only available during the summer, but Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said with the trend in other area districts being to contract-out the service of Driver’s Ed instructor, it’s appropriate that Atlantic consider doing the same thing, because of the cost saving it would provide. That includes the areas of FICA and IPERS on the salaries the district pays, and wear and tear on the vehicles the district provides for the training.

Amstein says the district can realize a considerable savings by contracting-out the service, and potentially, offer the classes during the early Fall and Spring semesters, as well. They would be designed so as to not interfere with daily instruction.

The district currently pays about $25,000 in salaries and benefits for the Driver’s Ed instructors, along with the price of gasoline and wear and tear on vehicles. This past summer, there were more than 100 students taking Driver’s Ed in two class periods. Atlantic Activities Director Josh Rasmussen said smaller class sizes of about 20 or so would be a better learning environment for those students, instead of 50-per class.

The school would still collect money from the students for the classes. It would not be paid directly to the company or person providing the training. If the district decides to contract-out for those services, the earliest it would take effect would be the summer of 2013. Amstein said if a contract is worked out, it could also be an option in-place for the fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014.