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Cass Supervisors approve appointment of a deputy sheriff

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, approved the appointment of a deputy sheriff, increasing the number of deputies by one. Sheriff Darby McLaren introduced the hire, who will begin his duties immediately. The new man is 23-year old Tyler Shiels.

Tyler Shiels (on the left) and Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren.

Tyler Shiels (on the left) and Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren.

Sheils was recently released from his duties with the West Des Moines Police Department so he could accept the position in Cass County. He took a few moments to address the board about his background, saying that he is originally from Urbandale and graduated from the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

Sheils is finishing up his Bachelor’s Degree from Upper Iowa University. He’s also served in the military since 2009. He says his girlfriends’ family is from this area, and he’s excited about getting started in his new position.

Arrest, and school bus accident in Atlantic

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Tuesday of 38-year old Christopher Harper. Harper, who’s from Atlantic, was taken into custody on a warrant for Failure to Appear. He was booked into the Cass County Jail but later posted bond.

And, an accident in Atlantic Tuesday night in the high school parking lot caused $2,150 damage, but no one was injured. Officials say a school bus driven by Laurence Tallman, of Atlantic, was westbound in the Atlantic High School parking lot attempting to make a left turn around a parked vehicle, when the bus was unable to make a wide enough turn. The left rear of the bus struck the left front corner of the vehicle, registered to Tracy Jacob, of Atlantic. The accident happened at around 10:15-p.m.

Cass County Supervisors approve building purchase

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, passed a resolution approving the purchase of property across the street from the courthouse. The Resolution said “Whereas the Cass County Communications Center needs to expand the area of its facility in order to comply with State regulations, and (because) there is no available area for expansion within the courthouse or courthouse annex, and where the property at 707 Poplar Street…has come available for purchase, the Board of Supervisors believe it is in the best interest of the County to purchase (the) property for future expansion. The purchase price is $370,000.

The payments will be made in installments. The building is currently owned and occupied by the Cambridge Law Firm. The Board Wednesday also passed a resolution setting the date for a Public Hearing on the lease of the building for a term of more than three-years. The hearing will take place at 9-a.m. December 18th in the Supervisor’s Board Room at the Courthouse. Work on the building will likely not begin for at least three-to four-months.

It remains to be determined whether the lower level of the Cambridge building will be used for a new 9-1-1 Center, or the offices of the County Assessor and Engineer. Moving those offices would likely open-up enough space for an expansion of the current Communications Center on the lower level of the courthouse. Cass County E-911 Director Rob Koppert said Al Povandra, with Povandra Carlson, West and Povandra Architects in Omaha, stopped by last week to conduct an initial assessment of the lower level of the courthouse to determine the cost effectiveness of using that section exclusively for the 911 Communications Center.

Koppert said Povandra had some concerns with the Engineer’s space. A room where a pipe broke a couple of years ago could be problematic if anything of value where to be established there. It’s possible that space could be renovated into a restroom, which would also need to be ADA compliant. Koppert  says another concern is with regard to windows in the lower level of the courthouse. He said they will be required to install one-way or opaque windows so people can’t see in and gather information about the equipment and computer systems inside.

Some type of shuttering to prevent severe weather damage would also be needed. Up to 11 windows may need to be treated, but whatever is put in place, must also meet the requirements of the National Historic Registry, because the Courthouse is listed on that Registry. Povandra had previously mentioned whatever renovations are done to the building won’t come cheap because the building is constructed so well.

8AM Newscast 12-11-2013

News, Podcasts

December 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. Area News/Funeral Announcements, 12/11/13

News, Podcasts

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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3 Villisca residents arrested in Red Oak, Tuesday

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report three arrests occurred on Tuesday. Officials say 19-year old Marissa Lynn Sherman and 20-year old Jeremy Joel Navarette, both of Villisca, were charged with 5th degree theft for allegedly taking $15 worth of items from the Dollar General Store in Red Oak. Police say Navarette took the items, while Sherman acted as an alleged accomplice. The pair were arrested at around 1:10-p.m. and held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond each.

And, just before 8-p.m. Tuesday, 29-year old Jeremiah Gray Grayeagle, of Villisca, was arrested in Red Oak for a parole violation, based on a valid Montgomery County warrant. Grayeagle was processed at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and then released on his own recognizance.

January 15 is deadline for applying for new commercial property tax credit

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of commercial property owners in Iowa face an important deadline in five weeks, as they have to submt an application for the new tax credit Iowa policymakers have established. Courtney Kay-Decker is director of the Iowa Department of Revenue. “Just like when you first buy your house, you have to apply for the homestead credit, this is the first time that you’re going to be eligible for the commercial property tax credit and you have to apply,” Kay-Decker says, “and it’s by January 15th.” Some counties have the applications available online, which others require commercial property owners to submit paper forms.

“Each county is doing it slightly differently, because it’s local government,” Kay-Decker says. Commercial property owners who fail to meet that January 15th deadline will have to wait another year to apply for the credit. The governor and legislators hammered out a deal this spring which would reduce commercial property tax RATES in Iowa by 10 percent within three years, but the plan also created a new property tax credit for commercial property. Counties will get 50-million dollars from the state to create that tax credit at the local level. That means math must be done to calculate how to divvy up that money and determine how much the credit will be worth to each individual commercial property owner.

“So we’re working on software between the Department of Revenue and all of local governments which involves not only the assessors…but also the treasurers and the auditors to come up with how to do it, the technology to do it,” she says. “We’re, in fact, testing right now.” That computer software is being tested today (Wednesday) by officials in each of the 99 counties as well as the Iowa Department of Revenue. Kay-Decker says commercial property owners will find out in August or September how much of a credit they’ll receive.

(Radio Iowa)

Harlan woman hurt in Bluffs crash last week

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs report a woman from Shelby County was injured during a crash that took place last week. Information released this week indicates 51-year old Melinda Mathiasen, of Harlan, suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries during the crash that took place Dec. 5th  on Interstate 29, near South 24th Street, in Council Bluffs.

Offcials say Mathiasen’s 1992 Lincoln Towncar was struck by a 2007 Nissan Sentra driven by 23-year-old Stephanie Jones, of Council Bluffs. The accident happened at around 8:30-a.m.  as Jones was traveling west on I-29 and attempting to merge into the left lane. As she was switching lanes, Jones’ car hit Mathiasen’s vehicle, which caused the Lincoln to strike sand-filled barrels along the road. Both cars spun around before coming to a stop.

Iowa News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 11th 2013

News

December 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The settlement of a lawsuit challenging a closed-door meeting last year regarding a former Des Moines superintendent has been finalized. A judge approved the settlement Tuesday between the Des Moines School Board and a former board member. The board will release audio and transcripts from a portion of an 80-minute May 2012 meeting. The settlement also includes the board’s acknowledgement it acted inappropriately by discussing matters that should have been public.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A memo sent by a former prosecutor was the latest focus of a trial in U.S. District Court in Sioux City alleging discrimination by a former U.S. attorney. The Sioux City Journal reports that one of former prosecutor Martha Fagg’s supervisors cautioned her about sending the memo to then-U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose. The memo raised concerns that a personnel move could be seen as age discrimination.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Construction of a new Sioux City casino has been halted until litigation can be resolved between Iowa gaming regulators and the owner of the Argosy riverboat casino. The Sioux City Journal reports that Polk County Judge Robert Hanson granted a motion for a stay Tuesday in favor of Penn National Gaming Co. Penn claims the state violated the company’s constitutional protections, as well as state and federal law, in awarding a license to Sioux City Entertainment in April.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources says wildlife supervisors will be on Facebook on Dec. 19 to answer questions from the public. Karen Kinkead and Willie Suchy of the Wildlife Diversity Program will monitor a specific post for questions on anything ranging from animals in a backyard to out in the field. People can also post questions ahead of time on the agency’s page.

Judge halts construction of new Sioux City casino

News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has halted construction of a new Sioux City casino until litigation can be resolved between Iowa gaming regulators and the owner of the Argosy riverboat casino. The Sioux City Journal reports Polk County Judge Robert Hanson granted a motion for a stay Tuesday in favor of Penn National Gaming Co.  The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded a license in April to Sioux City Entertainment to build the $128.5 million Hard Rock casino. The land-based casino is set to replace the Argosy.

Penn claims the commission violated the company’s constitutional protections, as well as state and federal laws in awarding the license to Sioux City Entertainment. They also say the commission ignored deficiencies in the winning bid.