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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., March 20th 2013

News

March 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved legislation that would give preference to Iowa businesses when the state is purchasing certain supplies and services. Lawmakers passed the measure 34-16 yesterday with bipartisan support. It would give Iowa-based businesses a second chance to match the lowest bid by an out-of-state business for goods and services that cost the state under $500,000. The measure now heads to the House.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to cut commercial property taxes in Iowa has won committee approval in the Republican-controlled House. The bill would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent. It goes to the full House for a vote and faces an uncertain future in the Democratic-majority Senate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Illinois and Iowa could get into a bidding war over a $1.2 billion fertilizer production facility. According to Illinois officials, Iowa is offering Cronus Chemical an estimated $35 million in taxpayer subsidies to build a plant in Mitchell County near the Minnesota border. Illinois lawmakers are considering tax breaks, and a plant there would be built in the east central part of the state.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City woman is accused of ripping and burning fake money during a police chase that started in South Dakota and ended in Iowa. Authorities say Alison Daugherty was one of three people in a vehicle speeding down Interstate 29 Monday night as passengers threw counterfeit cash out the window. Daugherty and Shaun Wakefield, of Sioux City, face forgery charges.

Discarded cigarette causes fire outside Atlantic motel

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A discarded cigarette that blew up under some siding caused a smoldering-type fire this (Tuesday) afternoon, at a motel in Atlantic. The incident at the Super 8 Motel on east 7th Street was reported just before 4:30-p.m.   The manager had tried to put the embers out with a couple of fire extinguishers, but was unsuccessful, and notified the fire department. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees told KJAN News the cigarette managed to make its way into a crevasse between the siding and the concrete foundation, that was not much bigger than 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide. It started smoking between two layers of siding, and the smoke began to filter into a suite on the east side of the Motel.

Guests in the room noticed the smoke and notified the manager. No injuries were reported. McNees said there was some damage to the siding and smoke inside the motel room, but the damage was not major. If the fire had gone unnoticed for a great length of time, there could have much more significant damage to the structure. Fire crews were on the scene for less than 30-minutes.

Health-field scholarships available in Cass County

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A reminder to area high school seniors and those currently pursuing a career in the field of health: several scholarships are available to area students through Cass County Health System and its affiliate organizations…

  • Cass County Health System offers a $1000 scholarship to southwest Iowa students pursuing a four-year degree in a health-related career.  Deadline is April 5, 2013.
  • Cass County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary provides two, $1000 Grant-in-Aid scholarships for students pursuing a health-related career.  Deadline is March 31, 2013.
  • Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation offers two, $5000 Louie and Elsie Hansen Memorial scholarships for graduates of a Cass County high school who will be attending a medical or nursing school leading to an MD, RN, or LPN degree.  Deadline is April 1, 2013.

Applications are available on the Cass County Memorial Hospital website, www.casshealth.org, and can be turned in to the CCMH Human Resources Office or Cass County High School guidance offices by the respective deadlines listed above.  For more information, contact Sara Nelson, Director of Public Relations, 712-243-7408.

Cass County K-9’s receive protective vest donations

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 teams say they are honored to accept the donation of two K-9 vests for the County’s k-9’s, “Kane,” and “Mufasa.” The vests will protect the dogs in dangerous situations, and are made possible thanks to a nationwide Groupon event sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

An example of the k-9 vest on a police dog in New Hampshire. (Vested Interest k-9’s, Inc. photo)

Groupon Grassroots is currently running an animal-related campaign to outfit police K9’s with bullet- and stab-protective vests through midnight on March 20th, 2013. Persons interested in purchasing a protective vest for k-9’s units across the country, can do so by donating $10 online at www.groupon.com/k9. 100-percent of the donations will benefit Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc., a non-profit organization and charity partner selected by Groupon Grassroots to participate. Your donation is tax deductible, and is made through a secure website. A partner  insurance company will match all donations up to $20,000. All proceeds will go towards protective vests for the law enforcement dogs who put their lives on the line for the community and their human partners.

The goal is to raise over $95,000 by the end of the event at midnight on March 20th, 2013, which will allow Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc., to outfit 100 police dogs with vests throughout the United States. The vests typically cost a little over $1,000 each, and each lasts for about 5-years.

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About Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc.: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., is a 501c(3) all-volunteer charity located in East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to provide bullet- and stab-protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a five-year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor for their dog K9 officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., provided 66 police dogs with protective vests in 2012. In September 2012, the non-profit hit a milestone of donating $100,000 worth of protective vests to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

The organization orders the US-made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA, who also does the custom-embroidery on the body armor. New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to be added to the organization’s waiting list.

President Sandy Marcal began working with law enforcement agencies in 2000 to coordinate efforts between various law enforcement agencies, vest sponsorships, fundraising events and the media within Massachusetts. In 2011, efforts were expanded to assist police dogs throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., currently has a list of over 20 police dogs needing vests. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax-deductible donations and event listings are via the website www.vik9s.org.

Omaha woman arrested Tuesday on drug charges in Cass County

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Cass County Tuesday resulted in the arrest on drug charges, of a Nebraska woman. Sheriff’s officials report 54-year old Grace Ann Miodowski, of Omaha, was taken into custody charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd Offense, Prohibited Acts, and OWI 1st Offense. Miodowski was brought to the Cass County Jail where she was being held on $5000 bond.

Additional details released about Cass Co. rollover accident

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol this (Tuesday) afternoon released additional details about an accident that happened earlier in the day, on Interstate 80. Officials say 58-year old Elizabeth Ann Brecht, of Clive, was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic by Anita Rescue, after the 2012 Ford Fusion she was driving collided with the rear of a 1998 International semi and then rolled over, coming to rest on its roof in the right lane of I-80 westbound, near the 67-mile marker, or about three-miles east of the Wiota Exit. Brecht remained trapped in her vehicle until rescue crews could free her. The accident happened at around 7:15-a.m.

The semi driver, 56-year old Gerald Eugene Weikel, of Ossian, IN., was not injured during the collision.

College Springs woman arrested for probation revocation

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest Monday evening of a woman wanted for probation revocation. 22-year old Justine Sheree Powers, of College Springs, was arrested in Montgomery County, just after 5-p.m.   She was brought to the Page County Jail and later posted a $1,000 bond. Powers is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

Shelby County Supervisors approve $336k economic assistance package

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Supervisors have approved an Economic Development Assistance contract for a company located just outside of Harlan. During their regularly scheduled meeting today (Tuesday), Jane Nielsen, director of Shelby County DevelopSource, told the Board the contract with Proliant had been amended from $225,000 to $336,000. The award to Proliant came from the Iowa Economic Development Authority or IEDA.

The company will use the money as part of their $22 million expansion project, which is currently under construction. Al Leinen, manager at Proliant, told the Shelby County Supervisors the expansion will add 25 additional employees to the already 36 current workers. Proliant is the biggest plant making stocks and broth in the United States. The expansion of the plant will not require the of use any tax dollars.

Leinen said at the meeting, if all goes well in the current expansion, the plant will see another phase and expansion right away. Proliant is expecting the construction and expansion to be completed by the end of the year.

In other business, the Shelby County Supervisors sold a tiny piece of land to the city of Irwin. The 10-foot by 100-foot section of land was near the ball diamond in Irwin. The City’s bid of One-dollar, was the only bid the Board received. And, Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter reported to the board on the recent Hotel/Motel Tax Committee action. Carter said the committee had approved $10,000 to the city of Harlan for the “Today in America” program, and the county had received $10,000 for the improvements completed on the Shelby County Courthouse. Both the City and County had submitted proposals before the change to the Hotel/Motel Tax Committee.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Atlantic City Council to approve bond purchase agreement & consider TIF application

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday evening in the Senior Center cafeteria room, while renovation work continues on the City Hall building. During their session, the Council may act on a Resolution approving a Bond Purchase Agreement not to exceed $2.72-million, for the City’s 2013 Capital Improvement Plan. Approving the agreement would lock-in the interest rates, and is the next step in the process to pay for the construction of improvements to the City’s streets and storm sewers.

In other business, the Council in Atlantic will act on a Resolution setting April 3rd, 2013 at 5:30-p.m., as the date and time for a public hearing on a Loan Agreement not to exceed $6.6-million, for Sewer Revenue bonds. During the last Council meeting, City Administrator Doug Harris said it would be advantageous for the City to issue the bonds at current interest rates, rather than draw-down on the remaining $6.6-million from the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRL) to finance the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Harris said it would save the City an average of $23,500 per year for the first 17-years of the bond maturity structure, for an over-all savings of about $391,000.

And, the Council will discuss and consider a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) application from Sonntag Development, for a $250,000 grant from the City, for the construction of 10 duplexes. The matter had been referred to the Community Development Committee, which said the proposed Southern Heights II Subdivision was a good project and public assistance could be considered, since it met the minimum standards under the new, broader TIF Policy. However, the Atlantic CDC did not offer a conclusive opinion on whether public funding should be granted. The Committee decided to forward the application back to the Council for its consideration, without  a specific recommendation for action.

Whatever action the Council takes, if any, on Wednesday, will set a precedence for the standards and purpose for the use of public funding when similar TIF requests are made, along with how much public assistance will be the standard.

Cass Supervisors to meet Wednesday morning

News

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hold their regular meeting in Atlantic Wednesday morning. During their 9-a.m. session at the courthouse, the Board will act on approving a two-percent Cost Of Living increase for Child Support Recovery employees, as covered under the Intergovernmental Cooperative Reimbursement Agreement between the County and Department of Human Services.

The Supervisors are also expected to act on funding for the Cass-Audubon Border Economic Development Agreement (CABEDA), and paying for a Valley Business Park property loan. They’ll also receive and possibly act on bids for sanitation and recycling services at the courthouse and jail, as well as approve the hiring of an Operator 1 position applicant for the Secondary Roads Department.