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New hotel planned for I-80/Hwy 59 interchange near Avoca

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Avoca is expecting a new hotel to be constructed at the Highway 59 and Interstate 80 interchange. According to the Avoca Journal-Herald, the Avoca City Council Tuesday approved an incentive agreement with Cobblestone Hotels for a 40 unit hotel. The project is estimated to have $2.5 million taxable valuation for the city. The company has shown interest in the past to build on the location but was unable to acquire a site.

The paper says  the hotel group has a purchase option on the site and has committed financing to the project. The city council incentive will have Cobblestone Hotel a minimum of $2 million in taxable value which in turn will generate $68,000 in annual property tax. The hotel will also bring in between $27,000 and $35,000 in hotel-motel tax revenue.

The agreement between the city council and Hotel Company allows the hotel to be eligible for additional tax rebates for the first six years. The hotel is expected to be completed in 2014.

Survey: Iowans will see hefty salary boost in 2014 in multiple industries

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A survey of C-F-Os at companies nationwide finds salaries in Iowa should rise next year at a higher rate than in most other states — in several key industries. Jim Kwapick, district president for the global staffing firm Robert Half, says people in professions that are in high demand will be seeing welcome boosts in their paychecks in 2014. “It is a significant uptick,” Kwapick says. “In other words, the average projected increase of salaries for people in Iowa exceeds that of our national average by quite a lot, actually.”

Chief financial officers, those who make the money decisions, were surveyed in multiple professions across the country, and Kwapick says those in Iowa were very optimistic about the year ahead. “For example, in the general accountant category, we’re projecting for large companies, a 6.9% salary increase. That compares to a national average of 3.4%, so, almost a doulbing,” Kwapick says. “That’s a significant uptick.”

For smaller Iowa companies, accountants may be seeing salary increases of eight-point-eight percent in the next year. Another industry that’s “white hot,” according to Kwapick, is technology. He says tech is a broad category with multiple skill sets. Kwapick says, “If you look more precisely at things like a mobile application developer, with frankly everything going mobile, there is huge demand and short supply which drives up wage rate.” While technology workers overall in Iowa will see a projected salary boost of five-point-six percent, those working in mobile apps may see a jump as high as 13-percent. He also points to gains ahead in several other fields, ranging from agriculture to health care. Learn more at: www.roberthalf.com/salary-guides

(Radio Iowa)

Event on ISU campus celebrating all things bacon

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The smell of bacon will permeate the campus of Iowa State University tomorrow (Saturday). The first ever ISU Bacon Expo is being held in the courtyard of the Scheman  Center. Bacon Expo student co-chair Kristin Liska is a senior at ISU studying animal science, with a minor in journalism.ISU BACON EXPO logo “The idea was founded by our College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council President (Jake Swanson)…bacon is a hot topic right now and it’s just a way to showcase agriculture in general,” Liska says.

Iowa is the top pork producing state in the country. About 30 million hogs are raised in the state each year. Liska says there will be 21 tents filled with vendors and student clubs offering a wide variety of bacon – everything from traditional bacon to bacon cupcakes. “I’ve heard of jalapeño bacon, Cookie’s barbecue bacon, and a maple sugar-pepper bacon that our ISU meat lab is doing,” Liska says.

The event will also include live music and a contest with the theme, “How Do You Wear Your Bacon?”  Liska says the Iowa State Fashion Show has “paired” with the expo and will hold a contest with participants given one hour to construct an outfit made out of bacon on a model. The fifteen-hundred (1,500) tickets for the event went on sale September 6 and sold out in two days.

The inaugural ISU Bacon Expo will run from 1-5 p.m. tomorrow. Liska says discussions are already underway for another Bacon Expo next year.

(Radio Iowa)

North Iowa college board chooses new president

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines Area Community College administrator has been chosen as president of North Iowa Area Community College.  The Mason City Globe Gazette reports  the North Iowa Area Community College board of directors approved a contract for Steven Schulz on Thursday. His salary will be $165,000. Schulz has worked as provost at the Carroll campus of Des Moines Area Community College since 2006.  He replaces Debra Derr, who left North Iowa for a position in Oregon.

Schulz attended the board meeting with his wife and two daughters, who are students at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.  Schulz grew up in Franklin County and says he’s honored to be chosen for the position.

Man found incompetent to stand Sioux City trial

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 25-year-old man won’t be prosecuted on charges that he shot a foreign exchange student outside a Sioux City bar last year.  The Sioux City Journal reports that authorities say Solomon Harris has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Harris had yet to enter pleas to the charges, which included assault. Harris is accused of shooting 20-year old Natacha Butera, who is from Rwanda. Police say Harris fired the gun while arguing with another man on Nov. 18, but the bullet struck Butera in the chest and an arm.

Harris’ attorney, Greg Jones, says he and prosecutors met with a district judge on Thursday to discuss where Harris should be committed for treatment and safekeeping. Another judge has ruled that Harris poses a danger to the public.

8AM Newscast 10-18-2013

News, Podcasts

October 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Man admits robbing 2 banks in Nebraska, 1 in western Iowa

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A Lincoln, Nebraska man has admitted robbing two banks in Nebraska and one in western Iowa. The Lincoln Journal Star says 53-year-old Cameron Mitchell made his guilty pleas Thursday in a federal courtroom in Lincoln after making a deal with prosecutors.

While being questioned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart, Mitchell acknowledged robbing a Union Bank branch in Lincoln on July 16, 2012, a First National Bank branch in Omaha on Aug. 13, 2012, and an American National Bank branch in Council Bluffs, on Aug. 24, 2012.  Prosecutors say Mitchell carried a small-caliber gun during each robbery.

Mitchell agreed that restitution of more than $74,000 would be ordered as part of his sentence. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 14.

7AM Newscast 10-18-2013

News, Podcasts

October 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Audubon City Council Special Meeting today

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Audubon will hold a special meeting today (Friday), at noon. The lone item on their agenda, is the approval of a change order pertaining to the Water Tower Project. The cost  increase of $5,275 reflects sealing work necessary on all interior roof seams using an NSF approved sealant.

During the Council’s meeting Monday night, City officials approved a pay estimate for the project amounting to nearly $119,900.  The water tower project includes cleaning the tower inside and out, as well as painting.  Officials say it’s hoped the tower will be refilled by the end of the month.

he Audubon water tower project is set to wrap up.

Audubon City Clerk Lora Hansen said the project included cleaning the tower inside and out and painting. She said they are hoping to have the tower filled back up by the end of the month. The Audubon City Council approved a pay estimate for the project at their meeting last night in the amount of $119,894.75.

– See more at: http://www.965ksom.com/news/latest-news-stories3/a9af084dc0ab2a47fc7438459f55a6f7#sthash.b7XmQdSR.dpuf

Creston man arrested in Adams County Thu. evening

News

October 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County say a Union County man was arrested Thursday evening on Highway 34. Alexander Reidler, of Creston, was pulled over at around 6:50-p.m. for speeding. He was subsequently found to be driving with a suspended license, and having no insurance on his vehicle. Reidler was booked into the Adams County Jail, where his bond was set at slightly more than $1,132.