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Atlantic-based band ranks 2nd in National Music Contest

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic native Randy Burk, front man for the band “Randy Burk and the Prisoners” ranks second in a national contest music contest, but needs your web votes within a couple of days, to win a $25,000 cash prize to help jumpstart his career. The contest is sponsored by Artistsignal.com, which is an online platform developed to allow emerging musical artists to sell music and connect with fans directly.

To peak interest in the new site, which was launched earlier this year, Artist Signal began a 90-day vote driven contest with a $25,000 cash prize for its winner to jumpstart their career.  Artist Signal’s second and final 90-day contest is about to conclude, and the band in the number two position, less than 20 votes from the #1 spot is from Atlantic.  While in the number 2 position in the contest (with a more than 77,000 voting lead over the number three slot), Randy Burk and the Prisoners is holding strong, but needs Iowa support to make it to number one.

“Randy Burk and the Prisoners” band

Burk said in a press release that “$25,000 would be life changing for our band.” He says they will use the money to record, and tour a new album. Burk says it’s been eight-years since their last album released, and “It’s hard to get the capital together to get the next one done.” The songs, he says “Come easy, the money’s hard.”

The 39-year old Burk has been touring for over 11 years with the Prisoners, delivering music in the rich tradition of artists like Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, and Dave Alvin.  The next Randy Burk and the Prisoners album is written and ready to go, and Iowa recording studio, The Sonic Factory is already on board to record it, awaiting the result of the contest.

Artistsignal.com makes it easy to vote by logging in through your Facebook account.  You can vote every hour, and it takes just the click of a “vote” button.  https://artistsignal.com/rbprisoners

Report indicates growth in Iowa economy slowing down

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A new report shows the leaders of Iowa’s largest businesses are expecting a slowdown in sales, capital spending and employment in the coming six months. The Iowa Business Council (IBC) third quarter Outlook Survey Index fell to 61 – which is down from 68 three months ago. IBC executive director Elliott Smith says a score above 50 means business sentiment is positive, but the state’s top CEOs are slightly more reserved than they were in the last survey.

“There are some unknowns out there with elections coming up, some tax issues that have not been settled in Washington and the unstable government budget issues in Europe,” Smith noted. “Between all of those things, we’ve maybe seen a slight pullback and a reevaluation of how the coming six months business activity will play out.” The index is based on surveys completed by 21 CEOs of Iowa’s largest employers. Ninety-percent of the CEOs expect steady or increased sales over the next six months, while 86-percent expect hiring levels to remain steady or grow.

“Most of our business council members do expect continued good activity in sales, which really drives everything else in terms of further investment in buildings, machinery, equipment, as well as employment,” Smith said. “If sales remain strong, I think there is still good prospect here for the end of the year and the beginning of 2013.” While the IBC Outlook Survey Index fell to 61 in the third quarter, it’s still four points better than this time last year (57).

(Radio Iowa)

CCMH Foundation awards scholarships

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation has announced the 2012 recipients of the Louie and Elsie Hansen Memorial Scholarship:  Ben Kopp of Anita, who is attending the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Claire Markham of Atlantic, who is attending Creighton University School of Medicine. John Molgaard, of the CCMH Foundation Board and scholarship committee said they reviewed several,  “Very qualified applicants.” Molgaard said Kopp and Markham stood out because of their outstanding academic records, and because they have demonstrated strong leadership skills.

The Louie and Elsie Hansen Memorial Scholarship was established to benefit Cass County high school graduates who are enrolled in a college of nursing or medicine, leading to an LPN, RN or MD degree.  Two $5000 scholarships are awarded each year.  Consideration is given to applicants’ scholarship, citizenship and leadership. The Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarship was established through the generosity and careful planning of these two life-long Cass County residents.  The Hansens believed in higher education, so much so that over 70% of their estate was bequeathed for that purpose, including a gift to the CCMH Foundation.

Under the supervision and guidance of the CCMH Foundation, scholarship opportunities are provided yearly.  As per the Hansens’ wishes, scholarship candidates must have graduated from a Cass County high school and be enrolled in an accredited nursing or medical doctor school. Tom Waterbury, Debra Church, Jason Andersen and Katie Smith are among the past recipients of this award.

Cass Co. Supervisors approve Secondary Roads Dept. new hire

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors held a short meeting this (Wednesday) morning, in Atlantic. During the meeting, the Board approved the hiring of an employee for the Secondary Roads Department. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said about 50 applications were received for the Anita shed Operator II position. Out of those 50, there were two interviews conducted. At the conclusion of the interview process and background check, Jordan Groves was offered the job, and was expected to start this week.

Groves, who is from the Adair/Massena areas, will be paid $16.99 per hour, which Marker says is 50-cents below Union scale, which is in the contract. A standard probationary period of three-months, but not to exceed nine-months, applies before any wage increase is put into effect.

Marker says additional openings in the Secondary Roads Department may be forthcoming, due to a couple of possible retirements. He says also rock is being hauled-in to conduct the seal coating of a section of road near Anita. Work on 745th Street just north of Anita to Boone Street, and east on Boone to Highway 148, is expected to begin shortly.

Harlan City Councilman resigns

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Long time Harlan City Councilman Orv Roecker has resigned from the Council. His resignation was approved with regret, by the Council during their meeting, on Tuesday. Councilmember Dave Miller said Roecker will be missed and provided a lot of good for the community. In his resignation letter to the city of Harlan, Roecker said, “I thank everyone for their support over the years and during my current health concerns. I have loved working for the citizens of Harlan as Council member and Mayor for over 18 years.”

Roecker was Harlan Mayor from 1982 to 1987 after being a council member from 1980 to 1981. His current term as Harlan City Councilmember began in 2002. In other business, the Harlan City Council approved the condemnation of two properties in the City limits. In a Personnel and Finance Committee meeting on August 23rd, a motion was moved to proceed with abandoning and condemnation of the properties at 402 Broadway Street, and 1612 8th Street, as long as the funds were available through SWIPCO’s Demolition of Nuisance Properties Grant.

The Council also approved a motion to approve Sta-Bilt Construction to perform seal coating and asphalt prime coat on Elm Street from 5th to 6th, 5th Street from Elm to Farnum, 2nd Street from Court to Exchange and 4th from Cyclone to Broadway. Mayor Gene Gettys reported to the Harlan City Council, he met with Shelby County DevelopSource and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce directors to discuss combining organizations. He said there is much to be discussed and he is working with other Counties that have combined the organizations, before any decision will be made.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 09-05-2012

News, Podcasts

September 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 09-05-2012

News, Podcasts

September 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Red Oak woman arrested on drug charge

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a woman Tuesday night for alleged illegal possession of prescription drugs. 33-year-old Becky Jo Hegarty, of Red Oak, was arrested just before 11-p.m. on a charge of unlawful possession of a prescription medication. She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Monona County landowners complain of tax hikes

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – Landowners in Monona County are complaining about a big increase in their property taxes.  The Sioux City Journal reports the landowners gathered Tuesday at the county courthouse to discuss what they could do about the tax increase and to question county assessor Tim Peters and county board members.  Castana farmer William Brink says his taxes have increased by $9,000 in one year. Officials say the change is because of a new way counties value land based on the ability to produce crops. If soil is more fertile, it’s taxed at a higher rate.  The new system also applies to more land, causing increases on property once overlooked.  Some counties adjust taxes for property not used for row crops, but Monona County is among 50 counties that doesn’t make adjustments.

Amount businesses pay for unemployment will drop

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Workforce Development announced Tuesday it is changing the tax tables for employers which will save millions dollars. I-W-D spokesperson, Kerry Koonce says the tax table that determines how much employers pay into the unemployment trust fund is reviewed every year. “You can either move up into a higher tax table, which reduces employer taxes, or you can move down into a lower numbered tax table, which would increase employer taxes,” Koonce said. “There are eight tables in total and we are moving from table four to table five, which in 2013 will save Iowa employers just under a hundred million dollars in unemployment taxes paid into the system.”

The average employer will see the rate they pay fall from two-point-four-percent (2.4%) to two-percent (2.0%) percent for 2013. Koonce says there are several reasons for the move to lower the taxes required of businesses. “It’s happening because we do a good job managing the trust fund. And it’s happening because Iowa has done a good job compared to other states in coming out of the recession. Our wages being paid are going up, our manufacturing hours are back over to working an average over 40-hours-a-week, our employers have been diligent in paying their taxes,” Koonce says. Iowa also doesn’t have to pay any unemployment money back to the federal government.

“We did not borrow from the federal government to support our trust fund, which most states had to do that, and therefore that causes their tax rates to go up. We didn’t have to do that, so our rates have stayed consistent,” Koonce says. You may wonder how the rates paid in by employers can go down when Iowa’s unemployment rate inched up slightly in the last month. Koonce says the table is not based on a one-month trend.

“It’s not based either on just the unemployment rate…it looks at a several year period the amount of dollars that have been paid out of the trust fund. And it looks at the amount of dollars that have been coming into the trust fund, and it’s a very complicated actuarial formula that says there is more than enough funding to pay out even the highest level of benefits that you have experienced in the last five years,” Koonce explains. Over 52-percent of Iowa businesses do not have to pay in any unemployment taxes under the table.

(Radio Iowa)