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Audubon woman charged with assault


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports one person was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, on an assault charge. 19-year old Samantha Christine Malloy, of Audubon, was taken into custody at around 1-a.m., following an investigation into an incident which allegedly occurred in the 200 block of south Fairview, in Exira. Malloy was charged with Assault, and brought to the Audubon County Jail where she was later released on a signature bond. She’s scheduled to appear in court Thursday at 9-a.m.

Shelby County BOS waiting on Hotel-Motel tax funding from Shelby Co. Chamber


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Board of Supervisors is exploring options for use of the Hotel/Motel Tax Money. During their regular meeting on Tuesday, Supervisor Roger Schmitz reported that the new Hotel/Motel Tax Fiscal Agent, the Shelby County Auditor, has not received the funding from the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Back in January 8th, the Supervisors and Harlan City Council agreed to a resolution to make the Shelby County Auditor the fiscal agent of the Hotel/Motel Tax Money. According to Schmitz, the Chamber was supposed to transfer the money on January 9th. However, during the meeting, Schmitz said that has not happened.

He said “According to their rules, they have to have a Chamber meeting to transfer the money. They had the meeting on the 28th. And what I get out of it, [is that Shelby County Chamber Director Dawn Cundiff] did not have the necessary paper work to do that so they did not transfer the money.” Schmitz asked Shelby County Attorney Marcus Gross if the chamber could write out a check from the tax money. Gross said “We’ve notified their bank that the fiscal agent has changed and that they honor any checks made out by the Chamber at their peril. We don’t know whether there have been any. I guess we will see. I think from an audit standpoint…hey couldn’t write a check out. From a legal standpoint…because they are still the signatory of the account, they probably could. That is why we sent the letter to their bank.”

Gross says that is not the only letter he wrote out as he sent one directly to the Chamber. He said “I also wrote a letter to them to give them a short time to transfer those funds to the Auditor. You’ve previously indicated that you were not going to collect any monies owned to the fund by the chamber: That would be something you could reconsider if you do not receive the current funds in the account. There are other legal options as well that you could consider.”

If the money has not been transferred by Friday, the Shelby County Supervisors will be taking action on the Hotel/Motel Tax money at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 12th.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Post Office to end Saturday delivery in August


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Postal Service announced today (Wednesday) that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays starting in August, in a plan to save two-billion dollars a year. It’s unfortunate, but not a surprise to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who says the financially-struggling, quasi-governmental agency has been hemorrhaging billions.  “There are some things that we can do here,” Grassley says. “We could modify their health benefits plan, their unemployment plan. We can allow them to raise postal rates at more than the CPI.”

That’s the Consumer Price Index, the benchmark that’s used in determining the fairness of price hikes. The Postal Service reported nearly 16-billion dollars in losses for its last budget year and expects even larger losses in 2013. The losses last year were triple the losses from the previous year. The problem isn’t just the popularity of e-mail, but also the costs for future postal retirees’ health benefits, which made up for 11-billion dollars of the near-16-billion in losses.

The post office is a business and they have to seek their own revenue and if Saturday delivery is part of their efficiency,” Grassley says. “They’ve already got their employment down below a half a million. How much further it has to go down, I don’t know.”

While Saturday mail delivery to homes and businesses across Iowa and nationwide will end in August, the Postal Service will continue to deliver packages six days a week. P-O boxes will still get mail on Saturdays and post offices that are now open Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

Theft-related arrest in Shenandoah Wednesday


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shenandoah Police Department report the arrest this (Wednesday) morning of Jeff Ponton. The 35-year old from Shenandoah faces a misdemeanor charge of Theft in the 3rd degree. Ponton was being held at the Page County jail.

Panel OKs plan to send money back to taxpayers


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State lawmakers continue to debate what Iowa should do with surplus budget dollars. Should they put the money into services and programs or give it directly to taxpayers? A House subcommittee today (Wednesday) discussed Republican-sponsored legislation that would use the state’s surplus funds to provide credits to taxpayers.

Rep. Peter Cownie of West Des Moines says individual taxpayers would get $369 income tax credits. He says the plan would cost over $500 million and calls it the fairest way to deal with the money.  But Democrats and advocates questioned whether this was the best use of state funds, saying it would be better to spend the money on services and infrastructure.

The subcommittee approved the bill. It now goes to the full committee for deliberation.

Hillaker talks about the climate and chances for rain

News, Weather

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Climatologist Harry Hillaker paid a visit to Atlantic, Tuesday, speaking to a group at the Cass County Community Center. He also sat down with KJAN’s Jim Field, to discuss the drought, and chances for rain this year. Hillaker says last Summer, Atlantic made the record books for the least amount of precipitation in one month. The trace of rain we received at KJAN…the official National Weather Service reporting site for Atlantic…tied the record for the lowest rainfall in July.

He says following a good start to the growing season, with above normal precipitation in June, July was a terrible time for the crops. Still, he says overall Iowa’s crops weathered the hot dry Summer without much difficulty. He said “It wasn’t a great year by any means, but not as bad as, in most cases, what people would have guessed.” Hillaker says the concern now is with what this year has in store. He said “Iowa is kind of blessed, in that it has such good soils,” with a high-capacity to hold any moisture it receives. Eastern Iowa he says, fared better than the southwest part of the state precipitation-wise over the Fall and Winter, but the picture doesn’t look all that bad for us for now, anyway.

He said things were in the “ballpark of normal” last Fall…dry, but not extremely dry…certainly not as bad as 2011. Hillaker says any moisture we did get made its way into the ground. And, there’s still the months of March and April ahead of us, as well as parts of May, before the soil starts to use up the moisture it has stored. He says there’s a 50-50 chance we’ll be in “pretty good shape” locally, for soil moisture to start off the season. Hillaker says far northwest Iowa, northwest of a Sioux City to Mason City line, has had an extremely dry fall, and it would be a stretch for even a “normal” amount of precipitation to turn that situation around this Spring.

He says looking back at the drought records, they’ve found 20 other occasions where there was an unusually strong combination of heat and dryness. The records also indicated a pattern. And it’s not a very nice pattern, according to Hillaker, in that the season following a drought in Iowa, has also been on the “dry side of normal.” He says the rainfall may not be as low as in the previous year, and the temperature may not be as hot, but we can still expect it to be warmer than normal, and drier than normal.

He says people need to be prepared for a possible water shortage this Summer.

NW Iowa woman charged with 2 Nebraska crash deaths


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) – A woman from northwest Iowa has been charged with vehicular homicide for the Nebraska crash deaths of a 57-year-old woman and her 3-year-old granddaughter.  Twenty-seven-year-old Heather Reisdorph, of Sioux City, has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts.

Authorities say her vehicle ran into the back of one that was waiting to turn left off U.S. Highway 75/77 south of Dakota City on Jan. 6. The impact pushed the vehicle into oncoming traffic, where it was struck by another vehicle.   Patricia Oldenburg, of Homer, Neb., and her granddaughter, Regan Coenen, of Sioux City, Iowa, died. Eight-year-old Braden Coenen was injured.

8AM Newscast 02-06-2013

News, Podcasts

February 6th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowa panel considers bill on breast density info


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Legislation that would require facilities offering mammograms to also give patients information on breast density will be considered by state lawmakers.  Democratic Rep. Helen Miller of Fort Dodge is the leading sponsor of the bill, which is scheduled for debate by a House subcommittee, today (Wednesday).

Women who have dense breast tissue have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women with more fatty tissue, and it can be harder for a mammogram to catch a possible tumor.  The advocacy group Are You Dense says five states have established similar laws, including New York, Texas and California.  A recent study by the American Cancer Society showed that women with denser breasts had the same chances of breast cancer survival as patients with less dense breasts.

Program offers $2,000 tax credit to Iowa home buyers


February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new program announced Tuesday by the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) is designed to provide tens of thousands of dollars in federal tax relief to hundreds of first time home buyers in the state. IFA Executive Director Dave Jamison says a program of this type hasn’t been offered in Iowa since the mid-1990s. The Take Credit! Mortgage Credit Certificate program allows eligible home buyers to qualify for up to $2,000 a year in federal income tax credits through the life of the mortgage. “Potentially, that’s a $60,000 difference to somebody,” Jamison says.

Eligibility for participation in the program varies by county, “But, we can roughly say if the household income for two is under $70,000 and the home purchase price is (under) $250,000, you’re in the ballpark,” Jamison says. The IFA has allocated $50 million toward the program.  “We expect that will help approximately 1,000 Iowans and it will run until the $50 million is allocated — or about a year is what we expect,” Jamison said.

About 100 lenders in Iowa are participating in the program. More information is available online at iowafinanceauthority.gov

(Radio Iowa)