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Major road projects slated for 2014 in southwest Iowa


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The state Transportation Commission moved up the start time for some construction projects at their meeting in Mason City today (Tuesday). D-O-T  planning and program director, Stuart Anderson, explained the projects involved to the commission.

Road improvement projects slated for 2014 and beyond.

Road improvement projects slated for 2014 and beyond.

They include six interstate construction projects, 16 non-interstate pavement projects, and five non-interstate bridge modernization projects that are being moved into this fiscal year. Anderson says several factors allowed them to move the projects up in the five-year plan.

Among the area projects slated to get underway in 2014, (and the total cost of each project): Highway 71 widening from U-S Highway 6 in Atlantic south to Highway 34, and a widening/pavement rehab project on 71 from 34 south to the Missouri State line ($4.13-million total); Widening and pavement rehab on US 34 from Highway 71 east to Creston ($8.2-million); Pavement rehab of Highway 92 from the Cass County line to east of Greenfield at Highway 25 ($6.5-million); and Highway 92 in Pottawattamie County, from Keg Creek east to the east City limits of Treynor, a $2.2-million dollar pavement rehab and widening project. (For additional information on those an other projects, go to http://www.iowadot.gov/program_management/interactivemap.html)

Anderson says the money is available for the projects due to favorable bid lettings that saw current projects that came in under budget, along with department budget savings, and more federal funding than expected. The interstate construction projects are in Decatur, Johnson, Linn, Polk, Poweshiek and Jasper counties. The bridge modernization projects are in Clay, Humboldt, Lucas and Woodbury Counties. The projects were chosen because they can be designed and ready for construction in 2014.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson – KJAN)

Harlan man arrested following knife attack


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan arrested one person last week following an altercation involving a knife. Authorities say officers were called to the 1000 block of Park Street on Oct. 3rd, and upon their arrival, found 44-year old Clinton Scheffler outside the house with minor injuries and 66-year old David Peters, of Harlan, inside the residence. Peters was arrested and transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with serious assault.  A complaint was also filed with the Shelby County Clerk of Court, charging Scheffler with serious assault.

That same day, Harlan resident David Meyers reported to police several tools had been taken from his garage at Westridge Acres lot #30. Also reported missing were several watermelons from his garden.  The incident case remains under investigation.

Atlantic man arrested on a theft charge


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Monday of 30-year old Bryan Kirby, of Atlantic. Kirby was taken into custody on a Cass County warrant charging him with Theft in the 5th Degree. The man was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Women’s self defense classes being offered in Lenox


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Lenox Police Chief Jon Huggins reports the Lenox Police Department will be offering Women’s Self Defense Classes, beginning next week. The classes will take place Oct. 16th, 23rd and 30th, in the wrestling room at the Lenox High School . The classes will begin at 7:00 PM and last 1-1/2 hours each. 1240502_553801388002841_1714564231_n

The classes are designed to give women of all ages basic defense skills. Participants must be at least 18 years of age. While the classes will involve physical activity, they are still being designed for a variety of physical skills and conditions. Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver prior to participating.

Participants should plan on attending all three nights of classes. In order to ensure we are able to maximize the effectiveness of these classes, group size will be limited. Contact Chief Jon Huggins at 641-333-2929 to reserve your spot now. There is no charge.

Cass Supervisors to act on jail hire, compensation board & other matters


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors return to business Wednesday morning in Atlantic, after having the previous week off for a statewide county convention. During their 9-a.m. meeting at the courthouse in Atlantic, the Board will act on approving a full-time jailer.

They’re also expected to act on appointing two members to the County Compensation Board (4-year terms, each), and the release of mortgages to satisfy homeowners’ five-year forgivable loans, withe Jumpstart Disaster Recovery Program. In addition, the Cass County Supervisors, Wednesday, will act on approving an Iowa DOT Federal-Aid agreement for a County Highway Bridge Program Project, with regard to the 83 bridge on 560th Street, the preliminary estimated cost for which is $360,000.

Busy Week Coming Up on KJAN TV!

News, Sports, TV

October 8th, 2013 by Jim Field

We have lots coming up later this week on KJAN TV.  You can watch live streaming video of three different events Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Just go to the TV page on kjan.com at the time designated and click on the play button on the video screen.  You’ll be able to enjoy the events as if you were there!  Here is this week’s TV broadcast schedule:

Thursday, October 10 – HS Cross Country – Atlantic Invitational @ AGCC (4:00 pm)
Friday, October 11 – HS Football – Griswold @ Riverside (6:30 pm)
Saturday, October 12 – Atlantic Fire Department Fire Prevention Week Parade (6:00 pm)

Gov’t: Most heating bills to rise this winter


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The government expects most households to pay more for heat this winter, although heating oil users will see their bills drop slightly.  Homes using natural gas for heat, about half of the nation, will see costs rise about 13 percent from a year ago to an average of $679. That’s still about $25 lower than the average for the winters of 2007 through 2012.

For heating oil customers, there is good news and bad news in the government’s annual outlook for heating costs. Their average bill should drop 2 percent, to $2.046. But that’s still the second highest average on record, behind last year’s $2,092.

Homes relying on electricity for heat, about 38 percent of the U.S., will likely pay about 2 percent more for heat, or about $18.

Railroad crossing safety improvements announced


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Safety improvements at highway-railroad grade crossings were approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday). The improvements include the addition of signals with gate arms at 27 crossings and circuitry upgrades at five crossings. Funds were also approved to assist in crossing closures. Engineering and planning for these improvements will take place over the next year with installation planned in 2015.

In the KJAN listening area: Chestnut Avenue crossing the BNSF line in Adams County will receive $200,000 in federal funds to replace the crossbucks with signals/gate arms; Lincoln Avenue in Pacific Junction will receive $195,000 for a similar project. Both projects are included in the 2014 Program.

Projects scheduled for 2015 include the replacement of crossbucks with signals equipped with gate arms over the Union Pacific tracks in: Harrison County, where the improvements will be made along 128th Trail, and on Missouri Avenue in Pottawattamie County. The projects are receiving $440,000 altogether. And, the Union Pacific crossing on Iris Avenue in Union County, will receive $180,000 for the replacement of crossbucks with a signals/gate & arms.

The Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Program provides 90 percent of the cost of the safety improvement, with the remaining 10 percent paid by the party responsible for the highway (normally a city or county), the railroad or a portion paid by each. Funding for the program comes from the Federal Highway-Railroad Crossing Program.

IDPH receives suicide prevention grant


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received a $440,000 dollar grant award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to be distributed over three years for suicide prevention. According to IDPH, 381 Iowans committed suicide in 2012, making it the tenth leading cause of death in the state. The grant will be used to implement evidence-based screening and assessment for suicide risk at IDPH-funded substance abuse treatment programs and certain public middle and high schools; to reach youth through a social media campaign; and to increase referrals to services for substance use and co-occurring mental health problems.

IDPH will coordinate the grant with the Your Life Iowa program announced by Governor Branstad last November as a “go-to” resource for youth, parents, school personnel and all Iowans looking for help and information about bullying and youth suicide prevention. Available 24/7, Your Life Iowa is a phone call or text away at www.Yourlifeiowa.org or 855-581-8111. Trained counselors provide guidance and support about bullying, and critical help to youth who feel they’ve run out of options and are considering suicide.  Since its launch, most callers and texters to Your Life Iowa have been female. Most callers who said they were bullying victims were between the ages of 9 and 12; the highest number of texts regarding bullying was from teens aged 13 to 16. The majority reported their bullying incidents occurred at school.

Most people who consider suicide want to live, but are unable to see alternatives to their problems and they often give warning signs such as:

  • Threatening or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself
  • Talking or writing about death, dying and suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for that person
  • Hopelessness
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood changes

There are ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide:

  • Be direct. Talk openly and factually about suicide
  • Listen. Allow expression of feelings and accept the feelings you hear
  • Don’t judge, debate or lecture
  • Get involved, be available, and show interest and support
  • Don’t dare him or her to do it
  • Don’t act shocked. This could create distance between you
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available, but don’t give glib reassurance
  • Take action! Remove guns, pills or other means.
  • If urgent, call your health care provider, 911, Your Life Iowa (855-581-8111) or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK), or go to the emergency room.

Trail program projects approved by the DOT Commission

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission Tuesday, approved nearly $3.5 million for eight State Recreational Trails Program projects. Two of the projects are located in the KJAN listening area. The State Recreational Trails Program was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. Funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations through an annual application-based program.

In southwest Iowa, the  Farragut to Shenandoah Trail Connection received  $487,500 from the Commission, and in west central Iowa, the Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector (in Dallas County) received  $92,897.