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2016 Grassroots Grazing Program for Young and Beginning Graziers

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A new grazing education and networking program intended for young and beginning graziers will be offered this year by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, in Adams County. ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said Grassroots Grazing is a three-part series that was started in 2015, with a southwest Iowa program offered in Corning, on February 22nd, 2016.

The grazing management series is designed primarily for young and beginning graziers but anyone interested in basic forage management is welcome to attend. All participants will receive a resource manual for use throughout the course and at their farms. The first session includes discussions on controlling feed costs, setting goals for your grazing system, and pros and cons of various grazing programs. The February meeting is part one of a three part series, with pasture walks and additional meetings later in the year (dates to be determined by the participants).

The series is sponsored by the ISU Extension and Outreach and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and sessions will be led by local ISU extension beef program specialists with assistance from other producers and volunteers. Local sponsors in Corning include the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee and the Adams County Cattlemen’s Association.

Joe Sellers say “There is no fee to attend, but we strongly encourage pre-registration to plan for the meal and ensure adequate materials for everyone. Please register by February 19th.”

The date, start time and address for the initial session at each location are listed below, along with the contact person for each site.

Corning, Iowa: February 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm at the St Patrick’s Church Parish Center (607 6th Street, 4 blocks west of Casey’s).

Public hearing set for Adair County Budget

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County have set their regular meeting on March 2nd at 9:30-a.m., as the date a time for a Public Hearing on the County’s FY 2017 Budget. The hearing will take place in the Board Room at the Adair County Courthouse.

The Board has received several departmental budget proposals over the past few weeks, and after crunching the numbers, the Adair County Supervisors have set the tax asking at $6.42 per thousand dollars valuation for urban taxpayers, which is about the same as last year. Rural property tax payers would pay $10.37 per thousand, or an increase of six-cents per thousand dollars over last year.

Atlantic School Board approves Sandage Early Retirement; another try at PPEL Income Surtax possible

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education Wednesday evening approved an Early Retirement request from full time TAG Coordinator K-12, Middle School STEM teacher and 8th grade volleyball coach, Joann Sandage. Superintendent Mike Amstein said that brings the number of Early Retirement applications to the predetermined level of 10 employees. The Board had set the deadline for the incentive as Feb. 1st, but they agreed to accept Sandages’ application because of what Amstein said were “Extenuating circumstances.”

The Board also discussed the possibility of bringing an Income Surtax for the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL or “Peppel”) back to the voters sometime this year.
Last September, voters rejected a public measure to add an income tax surcharge component to the district’s physical plant and equipment levy. The result though, was tight: 452 No to 443 Yes votes, or 49.5 percent of voters approving of the measure.
Amstein said the Board needs to revisit the matter for several reasons.IMG_20160210_173854

He says as it stands right now, the only source of revenue for the PPEL is property taxes. An income surtax would give the Board the ability to have more flexibility with what it can do with the tax levy. Board Secretary/District Business Manager Mary Beth Fast said the maximum surtax the District could impose, if approved, is 10-percent. Even if the District requested a nine-percent surtax, that would generate $300,000 and make for 67-cents difference in property tax relief.

Board member Dr. Keith Swanson said the last Surtax asking was “Sold so poorly to the public,” he couldn’t believe it…meaning, it wasn’t explained well at all. Fast agreed, the voters need to understand the surtax would reduce the property tax asking. Fast and Amstein will look into when the surtax could come up again for a vote, and report back to the Board during the next, regular meeting.

Mike Amstein said that if the State Legislature fails to set Supplemental Aid (SSA) by the time the District’s Budget is prepared, such as was the case last year, the District has to base its budget on the “Worst case scenario,” or zero-percent aid. The percentage of State Aid will impact how much the tax levy (property tax rate), will be for patrons of the Atlantic School District.

He says at 0%, the levy rate is $15.71 per thousand dollars valuation. At 1%, that drops to $15.50. At 2% – the current rate – the levy becomes $15.29. At 3% it’s $15.08. And if the legislature should approve 4% State Supplemental Aid, the levy would drop to $14.87 per thousand dollars valuation. That span he says, “Has a huge impact on what the Board is able to do with the tax rate, the flexibility [they would have].”

Amstein said even after the district certifies its budget by April 15th, the tax rate can be lowered, if the percentage of State Aid increases, but they can’t raise the levy rate if the Aid falls below the current 2%. That’s why they assume, unless the Legislature decides before the end of March, that the amount of State Aid will be Zero-percent.

Red Oak woman arrested Wed. afternoon

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a local woman Wednesday afternoon, for Driving While Suspended. Police say 36-year old Allison Mary Ruhl, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 4:42-p.m. and brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where she was held on a $300 cash bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Feb. 11, 2016

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Civil rights groups have made their case at the Capitol for legislation that would reform Iowa’s criminal justice system. Members of local chapters of the NAACP and other advocacy groups gathered Wednesday in Des Moines in support of multiple bills aimed at reform. It includes legislation that would ban racial profiling, keep juvenile records confidential and “ban the box” to expand work opportunities for people with criminal histories.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Security cameras and access control doors will be installed in the Webster County Courthouse in the next phase of security improvements in the building. The Messenger reports that the county will pay more than $7,200 for cameras on the first floor, and more than $11,600 for locked doors on the east and west sides.

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Tuesday’s winners in the New Hampshire primary might have gained momentum but they didn’t pick up many delegates. That’s because there weren’t many delegates at stake, and both parties awarded them proportionally, meaning even the losers got some. Bernie Sanders picked up a total of 15 Democratic delegates and Hillary Clinton won nine.

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Zach Smith made two free throws with 18 seconds remaining in overtime to lead Texas Tech past Number 14 Iowa State 85-82 Wednesday night. It was the second straight year the Red Raiders beat the Cyclones in Lubbock. Deonte Burton scored a season-high 20 points and Abdel added 19 points to lead ISU.

2 women sentenced in staged Iowa bank robbery case

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two women accused of staging a bank robbery in Sioux City have each been sentenced to five years in prison. The Sioux City Journal reports that 19-year-old Heaven Zevenbergen and 18-year-old Angelica Perez were sentenced in separate hearings Wednesday. Both had pleaded guilty to second-degree theft.

Prosecutors said Perez entered a Security National Bank branch at a Hy-Vee supermarket last August in a disguise, and warned Zevenbergen via a note that she was armed. According to prosecutors, Zevenbergen, then a teller at the bank, knew Perez and gave her $10,000. Both women have been ordered to jointly repay the bank the $10,000.

Eluding & child endangerment arrest in Fremont County

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Fremont County were attempting to make a traffic stop Wednesday in Hamburg, when the driver failed to yield, and sped-off. The Ford F-250 pickup continued north on Main Street in Hamburg, at a high rate of speed. After a short pursuit the pickup stopped at a residence near the intersection of S Street and Main Street in Hamburg.

Chad Mayberry

Chad Mayberry

The driver, 42-year old Chad Mayberry, of Hamburg, was arrested for Driving while Suspended, Eluding, Fail to Obey a Stop Sign, Expired Registration, Failure to have Valid Insurance, and Child Endangerment.

Mayberry was being held at the Fremont County Jail. The Fremont County K9 Unit assisted with the arrest.

State Treasurer proposes creation of “Retirement Savings Iowa”

News

February 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s treasurer is pitching a plan to provide private sector workers with a retirement account, if their employer doesn’t already offer such a savings plan. Michael Fitzgerald says “Retirement Savings Iowa” would be modeled after another program run by his office. “We had such great success 18 years ago when we started College Savings Iowa, we now believe this is a great opportunity to give Iowans the same type of opportunity for saving for retirement,” Fitzgerald said.

The government-run program would provide retirement savings options for small businesses that do not currently offer retirement plans. Fitzgerald cited an A-A-R-P report, indicating a lot of Iowans may not be saving money for their futures. “They say 42-percent of the people who work in the private sector do not have access to an employee-sponsored retirement account,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald believes the legislation should include a mandate for employers to offer the Retirement Savings Iowa to employees. However, it not apply to Iowa businesses that already offer retirement savings plans. Employers would not need to contribute to the program. Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, is endorsing Fitzgerald’s proposal.

“There are so many Iowans who work in small businesses, and women in particular, who don’t have money saved for retirement,” Petersen said. She calls the idea a “no brainer” and believes lawmakers from both sides of the aisle will support it. “I’m hopeful this will be a bipartisan effort,” Petersen said. Fitzgerald said contributions to the savings plan would come from automatic payroll deductions.

The legislation calls for $1.5 million to establish and manage the Retirement Saving Iowa program. Fitzgerald said, if approved by lawmakers and the governor, he believes the fund could be up and running by July 2017 or possibly July 2018.

(Radio Iowa)

4 injured in single vehicle accident in Atlantic Wed. afternoon (Update 4:45pm)

News

February 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Four people were injured during a single vehicle accident this (Wednesday) afternoon, on Atlantic’s southwest side. Atlantic Police Officer Devon Hogue said an SUV was apparently exiting the parking lot from the Casey’s west store at 911 S.W. 7th Street, when the Ford Expedition entered a deep ditch and crashed into a concrete culvert underneath southwest 7th Street, or Highway 6.  A follow up report from Atlantic Police said the driver was Zachary Dill of Atlantic and stated that he failed to straighten the wheel while attempting to turn south onto Highway 6.

The accident happened at around 1:20-p.m. Four people were in the vehicle, and all were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The vehicle sustained $10,000 damage. Atlantic Police were assisted at the scene by the Iowa State Patrol, Cass County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies.

Photo by KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

Atlantic BPW offers 4 scholarships

News

February 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with The Atlantic Business and Professional Women (BPW) say the organization is offering four scholarships this year.

1. A $1000 scholarship to a resident of Cass County, Iowa, giving financial aid to a man or woman needing education to either re-enter the work force, gain additional education for a career, meet educational requirements for employment, or to continue education interrupted for family or other reason. Application must be submitted by April 1.
2. A $500 Collen Scholarship, available to a female resident of Cass, Shelby, or Audubon County in Iowa, who is pursuing a degree in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Computer Systems Management, Chemistry, or Engineering. The student may be of any age and attend school full or part time. Application must be submitted by April 1.
3. The $1000 Bev Mendenhall nursing scholarship, available to a female resident of Cass County, Iowa who wants to re-enter the work force, gain additional education for a career, meet educational requirements for employment, or to continue education interrupted for family or other reason. Application must be submitted by April 1..
4. BPW Iowa is awarding several $1000 Scholarships to a man or woman, who is a resident of Iowa.
The applicant must be a non-traditional student who:
a. Is a United States Citizen
b. Has been out of the work force and wants or needs to go back to work but needs additional education
c. Has completed High School five or more years ago and now wants to start or resume their college education.
d. Demonstrates financial need, scholastic ability, leadership skills and career goals.
Application must be postmarked by March 23.

You may contact Jolene Roecker, BPW Scholarship chairman, at 712-249-7700 or email jolene.roecker@greatwesternbank.com for an application.