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Winterset Teacher Arrested on Sexual Exploitation Charges

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety said today (Friday) agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) arrested 26-year old Drew C. Lipovac, of Winterset this morning, on three charges of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. Lipovac, a third grade teacher at Winterset Elementary, was arrested following a criminal investigation conducted by the Winterset Police Department and the DCI.

On December 15th, 2011 a member of the Winterset Community School District contacted the Winterset Police Department to report an allegation of inappropriate physical contact between Lipovac and at least one high school aged female student. The criminal investigation revealed that during September, 2011, Lipovac, while at a private residence, consumed alcohol with multiple high school aged students and had inappropriate physical contact with two high school aged females.  The investigation also revealed that Lipovac consumed alcohol with and had inappropriate physical contact with one of the high school aged females at a later date.

Lipovac is currently being held on $10,000 cash bond at the Madison County Jail.

Missouri River management plan for 2012 released

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says it is trying to improve the way it manages the Missouri River’s reservoirs after last year’s historic flooding, but the 2012 plan released today (Friday), doesn’t include any additional flood-storage space. The corps has been criticized by people living all along the river because of the way it managed last year’s flood that caused $630 million damage to flood-control structures and covered hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland along the 2,341-mile-long river for months. The corps said it tried to address some concerns by promising to improve communication and react swiftly to signs of high runoff, but officials say there wasn’t time to clear more space than normal in the reservoirs. Officials say the levees, dams and channels along the river remain vulnerable going into 2012 because many more repairs are needed. Still, the corps said there is only a 10 percent chance that the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River from melting snow and rainfall this year will exceed the amount the plan can handle.

Last year, the corps had to release massive amounts of water from the six dams along the river all summer to deal with unexpectedly heavy spring rains and above-average mountain snowpack. That caused flooding that began in June and continued well into the fall in some places. A report from outside experts released last month said the corps did the best it could to deal with last year’s record flooding, but the panel recommended several changes that could prevent a disastrous repeat.

The corps said it has already started implementing some of those recommendations, including updating the hydrologic studies it uses. But the corps says many of the suggestions require either detailed study or additional funding, so they couldn’t be implemented right away. The corps said that if it gets any sign of heavy runoff in 2012 it will try to aggressively release water. And the corps said it will try to improve communication by holding conference calls twice a month.

Branstad presents revised education reform plan

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad this (Friday) morning unveiled a $25 million plan to reform the state’s education system. Many of the proposals were first released in October. One of the more controversial pieces remaining in the package would require children to repeat third grade if they fail to pass a literacy test. “Promoting an illiterate child is far crueler than holding back a child to get them back on track,” Branstad said at a press conference held at a Des Moines elementary school. Teachers and some school administrators and parents have opposed the idea of holding back third grade students. State Representative Sharon Steckman, a Democrat from Mason City, is a retired educator.

“I think you’ve done irreparable damage to a child sometimes when you hold them back and haven’t given them the opportunity to improve,” Steckman said. Branstad’s other proposals would “make seniority a minor factor” in deciding which teachers should be laid off when a school district is forced to make cuts. Teachers would also be evaluated annually instead of every three years, which is the current requirement. Branstad said he will outline how the package would be financed next Tuesday when he delivers the annual Condition of the State Address to the legislature.

link to full legislative brief on education reform proposals:

https://governor.iowa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/World-Class-Schools-final1.pdf

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Walnut City Council discusses business incentives and more

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Walnut City Council, Thursday, held discussion on ways to entice businesses to locate to “Iowa’s Antique City.” City Clerk Terry Abell said the Council, during their first meeting of the new year, talked about offering “incentive packages” to bring new business to town, but no action was taken. Abell said also, the Council reappointed Larry Humann to the Zoning Commission. The Council, in it’s review of the State Audit Report, noted some policy changes that need to be addressed. Abell said that includes a Disaster Recovery Policy for City Hall records, a written internet/password protection policy, and a new investment policy. The audit report, she said was “Clean,” and showed no discrepancies.

Lunch time wellness seminar targeted at young residents

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says a partnership between the Young Professionals of Atlantic and Healthy Cass County has produced a lunch seminar scheduled for January 18th. The seminar, titled “Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work,” is tailored for area 20 and 30-somethings and will focus on making plans that are achievable and ways to stay motivated. Cass County Wellness Coordinator Bethany Rogers will be speaking to attendees about making and keeping wellness goals for 2012. Rogers has gained recognition in the area as a community leader for the ongoing Blue Zones Project, studied Coaching at the University of Northern Iowa, and has been employed in several health and wellness positions. 

Lunch will feature a healthy and affordable recipe.  Registration is open until January 15 online at www.AtlanticIowa.com. Attendees will also have an opportunity to register for Live Healthy Iowa’s popular 100-Day Wellness Challenge which begins January 23. Organized under the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, the Young Professionals of Atlantic group has been actively working to expand the social and business networks of area professionals in the 21-40 set. 

More information can be found through the Chamber at 712-243-3017 or Rogers at 712-249-4529.

8AM Newscast 01-06-2012

News, Programs

January 6th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 01-06-2012

News, Podcasts

January 6th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Mid American Energy Announces New IA Wind Projects

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Mid American Energy Company today (Friday), announced the development of new wind projects in Iowa, totaling 407.1-megawatts. Among the projects, is a signed agreement with Clipper Windpower Development Company, for the acquisition of both the 200.1-megawatt Eclipse wind project, located in Adair County. The projects, which also include those in Marshall and Tama Counties, a combined 176 turbines, will be complete by the end of 2012. An additional 2.3-megawatt wind turbine will also be added to the Rollings Hills wind project this year.

In December 2010, MidAmerican announced it would add 593.4-megawatts of new wind-powered generation in Iowa. The projects included the 443.9-megawatt Rolling Hills wind project, located in Adair, Adams and Cass Counties. The final portion of the 593.4-megawatt expansion was placed in-service at the end of 2011.

The company’s other wind projects are located in several western Iowa counties, including Carroll, Crawford, and Pottawattamie. They total 1,284.3-megawatts of wind generation. When the 2012 wind projects are complete, MidAmerican will own 2,284.8-megawatts of wind generation, with about 29% of its total generation capacity powered by wind. By the time the 2012 projects are completed, the company will have invested about 4-billion dollars in those projects.

Bluffs authorities look for driver involved in crash

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County are searching for a motorist involved in a one-vehicle crash early this (Friday) morning, in Council Bluffs. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the accident happened at around midnight, near 12th Street and Sixth Avenue. Council Bluffs police said the driver apparently struck a parked car before the motorist’s vehicle overturned. The driver then left the scene before authorities arrived.

Iowa board holds sway over millions in taxes

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Decisions by the Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board will affect millions in property taxes paid by property owners or spent by some Iowa cities. The Des Moines Register reports Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale and West Des Moines could lose up to $3 million in property taxes if the property values are cut, and local school districts could lose millions more.

The slumping economy has hurt the value of commercial property, prompting the property owners to demand that their assessments be lowered. When that happens, they have smaller tax bills and the cities and schools have less to spend.

The three-member Property Assessment Appeal Board was created in 2007 by the Legislature. Its charge is to review decisions made by county boards of review.