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Sen: Grassley hopes for productivity, consensus as lame-duck Congress opens

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Congress returns to work this week after a long recess. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s confident he and his colleagues will tackle several issues in the short time remaining before year’s end, items ranging from the federal budget to funding fights against Ebola and ISIS. Grassley, a Republican, says he hopes for cooperation between Congress and the White House.  “I think that President Obama should work with Congress,” Grassley says. “We can do things without him but it’s a lot easier to do things with him.”

Grassley hopes President Obama was genuine in his post-election speech about wanting to accomplish a series of goals in doing the work of the American people, preaching cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government. Grassley says, “What would he gain by vetoing bills that he might not like us to pass, whereas, if he would work with us and find consensus, he could sign bills and we could be very productive.”

When January arrives, Republicans will hold a majority of seats in both the U-S House and, for the first time in eight years, the Senate. Democratic Senator Harry Reid will no longer be the majority leader, which Grassley says clears a path for progress. “At least the Republican Congress is going to be able to move the ball down the court,” Grassley says. “Reid stood in opposition to it as evidenced by 380 bills passing the House of Representatives not being considered in the Senate.”

The lame duck session of Congress opens tomorrow (Wednesday) after a six-week break for the elections. Grassley says the priorities include a budget bill that will carry the federal government beyond the temporary spending measure which expires December 11th, as well as considering nominees for a new Attorney General and several judicial posts.

(Radio Iowa)

Ambassadors visit Schuler Manufacturing

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Celebrating 50 years of business, Schuler Manufacturing hosted an Atlantic Area Ambassadors visit last week. The family owned business was started back in 1964 by Dorland Schuler.

Pictured: Dorland Schuler, Jordan Schuler, Don Schuler, Gerald Brink, Pat McCurdy, Chip Hansen, Rich Perry, Nedra Perry, Crystal Christensen, Ouida Wymer, Tammy Waters, Sara Nelson, Renee Wilson, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte, Janet Cappel, Diane Gipple, Carole Schuler, JoAnn Runyan, Sue Muri, Keith Leonard, Dolly Bergmann, Arlene Drennan, Russel Joyce,   Don Johnson, Scott Steffens, Joanne Mueller.

Pictured: Dorland Schuler, Jordan Schuler, Don Schuler, Gerald Brink, Pat McCurdy, Chip Hansen, Rich Perry, Nedra Perry, Crystal Christensen, Ouida Wymer, Tammy Waters, Sara Nelson, Renee Wilson, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte, Janet Cappel, Diane Gipple, Carole Schuler, JoAnn Runyan, Sue Muri, Keith Leonard, Dolly Bergmann, Arlene Drennan, Russel Joyce, Don Johnson, Scott Steffens, Joanne Mueller.

Schuler Mtg. specializes in the production of feed mixers, feed wagons and other contracted manufacturing services. The Ambassadors toured Schuler’s facility and learned about the production of Schuler products, learning about Schuler products used across the Midwest and throughout the world.

Field fire reported in Shelby County, Monday night

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Harlan, Shelby and Portsmouth battled the frigid weather to fight a field fire Monday night, in Shelby County. The blaze, which was caused by embers from a fire over the weekend, was reported at around 9:15-p.m., Monday, at 717 Road M-16.

Quick action by the firefighters along with assistance from the land owner who used a disc implement to create a fire line, helped to contain the blaze. According to Fire Chief Roger Bissen, the high winds could have spread the fire very quickly, but with the response of the three departments and the farmer with the disk, the fire was put out before it got out of control.

The snow cover has since improved field conditions around the area.

(KNOD)

Atlantic Board of Education approves retirement incentive package

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, approved an early retirement package similar to that which was offered last year at this time. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein says the incentive allows the district to pay a third party vendor for insurance for all of the retirees over a three year period.

Amstein says last year they offered their certified staff an early retirement package. About a dozen of the staff accepted the incentive, which saved the district about one-half millions dollars on its payroll. He says they looked at offering it this year as a means of further reducing the budget for the 2015-2016 school year.

The Atlantic School Board also discussed their Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Priorities. Amstein said the discussion was a continuation of talks held during the Board’s Oct. 27th special work session, and formal approval of those objectives.

During the Board’s October meeting, Dr. Amstein led a discussion on decision analysis using the Trego Education Forum process. He also gave the board sample budget objectives, allowing them to set parameters for budget cuts and builds structure into the decision making process. The board will first set criteria and objectives and then weight the criteria on scale from 1-10. The board chose 9 objectives and weighted them.

The objectives chosen were: Comply with state and federal mandates; minimize impact on instructional programs; minimize impact on safety; minimize impact on student learning/achievement; minimize impact on district reputation; minimize impact on upkeep of current facilities; minimize impact on instructional tech support; minimize impact on fewest numbers of students; minimize impact on ability to effectively manage programs.

24-hour snowfall report (11/11/2014)

News, Weather

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The area’s first snowfall of the season wasn’t too impressive, but the drop in temperature was. Atlantic topped out at 61-degrees during the mid-day hours on Monday, but by 3-p.m., the temperature had plunged almost 20 degrees, and by 5-p.m. we were at 33 here at the KJAN studios, your official National Weather Service reporting site for Atlantic. Our 24-hour low at 7-a.m. today, was 18.

Snowfall overnight included .3″ (three-tenths of an inch) at KJAN. The National Weather Service says Denison and Carroll both reported one-half inch of snow, while Jefferson recorded eight-tenths of an inch. Rockwell City had one-inch of snow.

Northwest Iowa slaying trial delayed

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – A trial has been delayed for a 44-year-old northwest Iowa man accused of killing his mother. Court records say the trial of Jonathan Neunaber had been scheduled to begin Dec. 9. A new trial date hasn’t been set.

Neunaber has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the July slaying of Esther Neunaber. Her body and that of her husband, 83-year-old Donald Neunaber, were found July 9 in the Akron home they shared with their son.

Authorities say Donald Neunaber died of natural causes. An autopsy determined that his wife died of blunt force injuries. Court documents say Jonathan Neunaber told investigators that he killed his mother on or about June 26.

(Podcast) 8-am KJAN News, 11/11/2014

News, Podcasts

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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Added Importance for Earned Income Tax Credit in Rural Iowa

News

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new study shows a tax credit helping many low-income working families keep more of their earnings is proving to be especially important in rural areas and small towns across Iowa, and the country. Jon Bailey, rural public policy director at the Center for Rural Affairs, is the author of the just-released Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Households study. He says the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most effective anti-poverty policy efforts the nation has produced.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit was used by more people in rural and small towns, and small city areas than in big urban areas in the country,” he says. Bailey adds the increased use of the tax credit tracks right along with the other economic indicators that point to many rural families still struggling financially.

Nationwide, the number of those who claim the credit is less than 19 percent in metropolitan areas, versus more than 21 percent in rural areas, small towns and small cities. Bailey predicts that divide will continue to widen.

“The gap between rural areas and urban areas has been growing,” he says. “So if that trend continues, I would suspect more people are going to need to use the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s going to be even more important.” Bailey says the increasing importance of the EITC to working families should send a message to federal policy makers to strongly consider proposals to expand its reach, making more people eligible.

(Iowa News Service)

Veterans Appreciation Tailgate during this Saturday’s Hawks vs. IL game

News, Sports

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Veterans and their families are invited to watch the Iowa-versus-Illinois (away) football game this weekend at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City. The opportunity is being presented as part of a “Veterans Appreciation Tailgate” event sponsored by the Johnson County Commission of Veterans Affairs, along with the Cedar and Jefferson County Veterans Affairs offices.

Attendees will be able to enjoy the Nov. 15th game from the Kinnick Stadium Press Box on 24 TV’s. They’ll also get a tour of the Press Box, along with a free, tailgating lunch and refreshments. Veterans benefits information will be available, along with a tour of the Mobile Veterans Center.

Free parking is available on the west side of Kinnick Stadium. The facilities will be open 30-minutes before and after the game, with kick-off slated for 11-a.m., Saturday. If you have any questions, call Gary Boseneiler at 319-356-6049.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 11/11/2014

News, Podcasts

November 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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