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Lawmaker wants abortion ban sent to Iowa voters


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Republican lawmaker is proposing a ban on abortion in Iowa, though he acknowledges his effort likely won’t succeed this session.  Rep. Dwayne Alons, of Hull, introduced a resolution Wednesday seeking to amend the Iowa Constitution to define life as beginning at conception, making abortion illegal at any stage. The proposal was supported by five other Republican legislators.

To change the state constitution, the measure would need to be passed by lawmakers, then approved by the Legislature elected in 2014 before a public vote.  Hull acknowledged the Senate likely wouldn’t take up his proposal but says the measure could have more support next year.  He also says the plan likely violates the U.S. Constitution, but he’s hopeful the Supreme Court will overrule current law that guarantees abortion rights.

Atlantic man arrested on warrant


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Tuesday of 38-year old Tommy Auten, of Atlantic. Auten was taken into custody on a District Court warrant associated with his Failure to Appear for a Child Support Hearing. Auten was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

Braley cosponsors Rural Health Care Fairness Act


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is introducing a bill today (Wednesday) that he says will cut rural health care costs. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is cosponsoring the “Rural Health Care Fairness Act” with Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois. Braley says the bill would allow rural health care clinics to qualify for federal incentives as they transition to electronic medical records. Braley says electronic medical records will help rural health clinics improve patient care, cut costs and prevent medical errors.

The Medicare Electronic Records Incentive Program already provides payments of up to 44-thousand dollars ($44,000) to eligible hospitals that upgrade to electronic health records technology. Braley says his bill would expand that program. “There are 142 Medicare rural health clinics currently in Iowa. They are not eligible to receive the electronic health records incentives. Our bipartisan bill changes that and allows rural health clinics to qualify for the electronic records incentive program,” Braley said.

Braley told reporters the legislation is budget-neutral, since it simply expands eligibility for the existing Medicare grant program and doesn’t expand the size of the program itself.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors approve amended burial policy


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved an amendment to the County’s Indigent Burial Policy. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman says the policy as amended states “Applications for Disposition Benefits shall be made by family, interested friends or a funeral home, through the Cass County General Assistance office. Previously, funeral homes were not included in the application process, but that was changed due to the fact if the deceased has no family, and the other avenues of paying for a burial are not available because of a lack of assets, the “Friend” or funeral home can assume liability for reimbursing the County for related burial costs if it is later determined funds were available through a will or other source.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken said if there assets available no one was aware of at the time of application, the funeral home or person who applies has the responsibility of notifying the County. Rieken said the Board may revisit the Disposition Policy next year, to see if costs have increased and if the County can continue to provide an indigent burial service.

Cass County Supervisors approve FY 2014 budget & secondary roads budget


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved a slightly more than $16.3-million budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins on July 1st, 2013. The action came after a public hearing was held on the matter. It marks an increase of a little more than $254,260 over re-estimated FY 2012-2013 budget, but also results in a decrease in the tax levy due to an increase in assessed valuations. The residential/urban levy for FY 2013-2014 is $5.63 per thousand dollars assessed valuation, or a decrease of about 28-cents over last year, while the levy for the rural areas of the county is $10.17 per thousand…which represents a 23-cent decrease over last year.

The Supervisors also approved a recommendation by the County Compensation Board for a three-percent salary increase for all elected officials, including the Sheriff, Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer and members of the Board of Supervisors. The Board chair will receive an additional $1,000 compensation. The Board then approved the Secondary Roads Department Expense Budget, which is in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Engineer Charles Marker says also submitted for the Board’s approval the five-year road and bridge construction program.

With regard to the Secondary Roads Budget, Marker says they “Held the line on all the costs.” He said also, that a bridge project near Cumberland is for the most part done, with the exception of some work that is weather dependent.  The project being conducted by Murphy Construction is located northwest of Cumberland, one-mile north of the intersection of G-43 and N-48, is essentially complete, with the exception of some work that can only be finished when the weather is warmer. Once it’s done, the road will be open to the public.

Bridge replacement project in Shelby County to affect local road


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency reports a bridge replacement project has  resulted in the closure of a portion of Wildwood Road for approximately the next six-weeks. Officials say the bridge replacement over Wolf Creek is located in the 1100 block of Wildwood Road between 1125 Wildwood and 1118 Wildwood, between Jackson Townships sections 11 and 12. Construction on the project is currently underway.

Residents and emergency responders who should be aware of the closure include those in Irwin, Kimballton, Kirkman and Elk Horn.  Emergency responders are being advised to plan alternate routes to residents in the vicinity of the road closure. If you have questions, contact the Shelby County Engineer’s Office at 712-755-5954.

Taylor County man arrested on ID Theft and forgery charges


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Lenox Police Department reports the arrest Tuesday evening of a Lenox man on felony Identity Theft and Forgery charges.

Rosario Rivera (Photo courtesy Lenox P.D./Taylor Co. Sheriff’s Office)

According to Chief Jon Huggins, a Lenox Police officer along with a deputy with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office arrested 45-year old Rosario Rivera, of Lenox, at his home.

A warrant for Rivera’s arrest was obtained by the Lenox Police Department as a result if an on going investigation. The charges allege that Rivera had previously gained employment and again attempted to obtain employment by using forged documents and a false name.

Rivera was transported to the Ringgold County Jail where he was being held on $10,000 bond.

Taylor County Jail temporarily closed


March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State inspectors have temporarily closed the Taylor County Jail, in Bedford.  A Sheriff’s dispatcher told KJAN News the condition of the jail’s north wall has compromised the safety and security of the facility. The jail was reportedly closed Monday after problems were discovered with the furnace, which came on the heels of an inspection that took place late last week. That inspection revealed a gap between the ceiling and wall on the north side of the more than 100-year old facility.

All persons arrested will be transported to either the Adams County Jail in Corning or the Ringgold County Jail in Mt. Ayr.

8AM Newscast 03-06-2013

News, Podcasts

March 6th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Atlantic Garden Seminar set for March 16th

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Master Gardeners and Cass County Extension are helping local gardeners gear up for warmer weather, with the 15th Annual Atlantic Spring Garden Seminar, set for Saturday March 16th. The day-long event, to be held at the Atlantic High School, features garden experts from across the Midwest sharing the latest information on gardening methods and plant varieties. The seminar is open to all interested gardeners no matter the level of experience. Participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, but Master Gardeners who attend the full day will be given 5 credit hours toward their continuing education requirements.

The day starts with registration and refreshments at 8:30 AM, then Sandy Wentworth of Proven Winners will share the newest tested and trialed plant varieties for 2013. The first of two breakout sessions for the day is next, and attendees will have 11 different topics to choose from, covering everything from container gardening to rain barrels, and fairy gardens to shade planting. Before lunch, attendees will gather back in the auditorium to hear about weather-hardy plants for Iowa from Justin Hancock of Better Homes and Gardens.

Over the lunch break, participants are welcome to browse the vendor/exhibitor booths in the high school gym, sit in on a Q & A session with some of our expert presenters, or simply enjoy the sandwich and salad luncheon while chatting with friends or making new acquaintances.

Our final group session for the day features Deb Groth of Groth Gardens discussing ways to keep your garden colorful year round by picking the right mix of plants. Before attendees head home, they will split up for one more breakout session where they can again pick from a list of 11 different topics to round out their day. The final session will wrap up by 3:20 PM.

The cost for the fun-filled day of learning is $35, including all meals and general session materials. Some breakout sessions involving hands-on activities may have an additional fee. A full list of all breakout sessions, a schedule for the day and printable registration form are all available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass or can be picked up at the Cass County Extension Office. Brochures are also available at many local businesses with the schedule and registration form.

The early registration deadline, to be eligible for door prizes, is postmarked by Friday March 8. Cass County Master Gardeners will also have a booth at the Home and Garden Expo on March 8 and 9 at the Cass County Community Center, where attendees will be able to register and pick up more information on the Garden Seminar and other upcoming Master Gardener events. Registrations are welcome up to the day of the Garden Seminar, including walk-in registrations at the door.

For more information on the Spring Garden Seminar or the Cass County Master Gardener Program, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.