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DNR Derelict Building grant program awards grants to 19 rural communities


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the DNR’s Derelict Building Grant Program will award reimbursement grants amounting to $491,000, to 19 small, rural Iowa communities to help deconstruct or renovate abandoned structures and limit construction and demolition materials going to the landfill. In our area:

 The City of Early is set to receive $45,000 to have asbestos removed, a phase I/II assessment to be completed and full deconstruction of the Payless Cashway building that was damaged by a tornado. The city is partnering with the local economic development office to market the site for commercial interests. And, the City of Malvern is receiving$80,000 to partner with the Malvern Area Betterment Association to use funds to complete asbestos inspection, abatement, structural analysis and building renovation, which will offer commercial and residential space.

The DNR Derelict Building Grant Program was instituted by statute to help rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less. DBGP funding is awarded annually on a competitive basis with cash matches required. Applications for the next funding round will be due in spring 2014.

Hard Rock Casino to be built in Sioux City


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City Entertainment will build a Hard Rock Casino in northwest Iowa’s Sioux City.  The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded the license Thursday at the end of a meeting held in Council Bluffs, choosing from four proposals for land-based casinos in Sioux City.  Last month, the commission toured proposed sites and met with developers.

Penn National Gaming Co. submitted two proposals for a casino, and Ho-Chunk Inc. and Sioux City Entertainment also each bid for the rights to build a casino, which would replace the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a $118.5 million price tag and would be at the site of the historic Battery Building in downtown Sioux City.

Pickup slides off muddy road and rolls into a ditch in Montgomery Co.


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after a full-sized pickup went into a ditch and rolled over Wednesday afternoon, in Montgomery County. According to the Iowa DOT investigative officer’s report, 42-year old Edie Chadwick McClintock, of Essex, was driving a 2001 Ford F-250 Super Duty, crew cab pickup westbound on 250th Street just off of B Avenue, when the truck caught the edge of the road after traveling about 75-feet. The pickup slid into the north ditch and rolled once, coming to rest on the driver’s side, against some trees.

The accident, which happened at around 3:50-p.m. about seven-miles southwest of Red Oak, caused approximately $12,000 damage. No citations were issued.

Former Atlantic resident bequeaths valuable artwork to the library


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic resident has bequeathed a valuable art collection, mostly sculptures and glass pieces,  to the Atlantic Public Library. During the City Council meeting Wednesday evening, Councilman Dana Halder reported on the donation from Richard Hellman, who took over a successful metalworking business that his father founded in 1919. When Richard Hellman retired, he sold the business and settled in Oceanside, California.  

Halder said Hellman, who passed away, left 51-pieces of artwork to the Atlantic Public Library and five-pieces to the Danish Immigrant Museum. The works of art are currently in California, and the library has the right to do dispense the pieces as they see fit. Officials with the Atlantic Public Library plan to sell the art, and reap the proceeds.

The appraised value of the works, which includes pieces by Oregon artist/sculptor Bill Kasper, and Georgia sculptor Jim Karg, is approximately $175,000. Halder say it’s hoped the library will receive 60-percent of the appraised value when the items are sold. Library Director Meredith Scherb told KJAN News the plan is to sell the collection to an art dealer. Halder said that’s because of the liability issue involved with storing and displaying the works.

SCCF grants announced


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Community Foundation (SCCF) has announced grants totaling $104,076 were awarded to Shelby County nonprofit agencies. The largest grant was to the Elk Horn Fire and Rescue, $30,000, for the construction of a meeting room and bathroom in their fire station. Douglas Township Fire Protection will replace 20 year old gear for firefighters with their grant of $12,180.

The Defiance Fire Department received $11,000 for an Auto Pulse CPR unit for their ambulance. $10,000 was awarded to the City of Irwin, Shelby County Historical Society and the Danish Immigrant Museum. Other nonprofit organizations receiving grant moneys from the Shelby County Community Foundation were Country Care Center, Panama Fire Department, Shelby County Community Outreach, Shelby County Fair Corporation and West Central Community Action.

All grantees met the criteria as Shelby County nonprofit agencies or organizations with charitable missions in the areas of civic, cultural, health, education and social services. Chairman of the SCCF Robert Burton said, “The Shelby County Community Foundation is one of nine counties that are collectively known as the Community Foundations of Southwest Iowa and meets or exceeds the Standards for Community Foundations as established by the Council on Foundations in Washington D.C.”

The Shelby County Community Foundation will be giving out another round of grant money in the fall.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)


Atlantic Chamber’s “holiday elves” find work in the spring, too


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce reports the Chambers’ “Image Builders” have taken on the task of retrofitting the 174 strands of garland used each holiday season on the light poles in downtown Atlantic.

Members of the Atlantic Chamber’s “Image Builders” work to retrofit Christmas season garlands. (Chamber photo)

Chamber Executive Director Megan Roberts says the same committee originally purchased the necessary parts and assembled them into lighted garland to be used on each light pole on Chestnut Street, side streets and in City Park.

After nearly 20 years of use, volunteers are removing the old C-9 bulbs and sockets and replacing them with three strings of LED lights as well as re-painting the red bows used on top of each strand of garland. The LED’s are the same as those installed in the trees along Chestnut. The volunteers are working each day from 1- to 4-p.m. in the upper level of City Hall.

Volunteers that have helped include Marv Behrends, Joan & Roger Barbero, Ken & Mary Ann Moorman, Bob Boots, Ron Peerbolte, Dick Cassady, Gene Fischer, and Randall Breckerbaumer. Anyone interested in volunteering can just show up at the prescribed time each day Monday through Friday.

New survey outlines gender wage gap in Iowa


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new survey on the gender wage gap finds Iowa is right at the national average of women earning 77-cents for every dollar earned by men. That ranks Iowa 31st among the 50 states. Kate Gallagher Robbins, senior policy analyst with the National Women’s Law Center, says the gap is much wider for minority women in Iowa. Gallagher Robbins says, “When we look at the gap for race and ethnicity, we compare women of color to white non-Hispanic men and for those groups, in Iowa, black women are making about 60% of what white men are earning, while Hispanic women are making about 56%, so it’s fairly striking economic disparities there.”

This June will mark 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, yet little progress has been made in narrowing the wage gap. She says some businesses have restrictive policies that make it easy to keep salary data under wraps. “Basically, if you tried to discuss your salary with anyone, you could be punished, and in fact, that’s true in many states across the country,” Gallagher Robbins says. “You can be punished for discussing your salary. That business practice is not illegal and it makes it very difficult for women to know that they even are being underpaid.”

Last week, April 9th, marked Equal Pay Day. That’s the day in 2013 that women have to work through in order to make what men made in all of 2012. “If women are earning nationally 23% less than what men are earning, they have quite a ways to go into the following year to try and make up that amount of money,” Gallagher Robbins says. “What that translates to in actual earnings is about $11,000 nationally.”

While women in Iowa and nationwide make 77-cents to every dollar made by men, the worst state on the list was Wyoming, where the rate was 66-cents. The list was topped by Washington D-C where women make 90-cents to every man’s dollar.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 04-18-2013

News, Podcasts

April 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

“Get yourself tested” day today, in Harlan


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Public Health Department in conjunction with the Harrison, Cass, Crawford, Monona and Shelby (HCCMS) Family Planning will be holding a “Get Yourself Tested” event today (April 18th), in Harlan. The GYT event allows men and women to be tested for the sexually transmitted diseases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea,  through painless and private screenings. In addition, a counselor from the Iowa Department of Public Health will be present to counsel people about HIV, and will offer HIV testing to those at risk.

Public health officials say half of all sexually active people will get a STD by the age of 25 and most will not know it. Most infections are preventable. The CDC recommends yearly Chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 26. Screening and treatment of infections is important, since many STD’s often have no signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you are infected is to Get Yourself Tested.

GYT events are held every April all over the nation as April is Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month. The idea is raise awareness about the impact of STD’s and to encourage people to discuss their sexual health with their partners and healthcare providers. The Shelby County Public Health GYT event will be held at no charge, from 1- to 5-pm today, at the Public Health Office at 2712 12th Street in Harlan. Appointments are encouraged but not required. For more information, or to make an appointment, call Rachel Birks at Myrtue Medical Center’s HCCMS Family Planning Clinic at 712-755-4312.

Atlantic receives another “Tree City USA” award


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic recently received another “Tree City USA” Award. The event was held a couple of weeks ago. Dolly Bergman, a volunteer with Trees Forever,” told the Atlantic City Council during their meeting Wednesday evening, that the award recognizes the City for the work its employees and Trees Forever volunteers do, with regard to tree planting and care. Bergman said there are four standards the City must meet in order to qualify for the “Tree City USA” award: There must be a “Trees Board” – which in Atlantic, is the Trees Forever group, a tree care ordinance is in place, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation.

Bergman says the hardest part is coming up with a budget to meet the $2 per capita requirement. She says if it wasn’t for money the Trees Forever spends in the community, “Atlantic wouldn’t make it,” because of what is in the budget for tree maintenance, new trees, on so on. According to Bergman, in 2012, between the Parks Department and Trees Forever, $15, 668 was spent on tree planting and maintenance, which when added with the $2 per capita for Atlantic’s population of 7,112, allowed the City to just barely qualify for the award.

A new Tree City USA flag will be placed in the City Park, to replace last year’s flag. Bergman says 2013 marks the 18th year Atlantic has become a Tree City USA community. Bergman said the City Council and residents should be proud of the award, which is usually presented on the first Tuesday of April, each year. She said in Iowa, there were only 89 communities that qualified for the award for the past year.

In other business, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones announced the City has some new Police Reserve Officers. He said the volunteers were sworn in last week, and if residents see them on duty, they should offer a “Thank you,” for the service they provide. And, John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, reported the restrooms at both the City and Sunnyside Parks are now open for the season. Lund said also, that letters will be sent out within the next few weeks to property owners, with regard to the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code, for those properties which are an eyesore and in need of sprucing up. The Code requires property owners to keep structures in reasonably good repair.