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Atlantic remains “On track” for high speed rail service


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

It may take up to 10-years, but Atlantic is on-track to receive high-speed passenger rail service. That was the word from City Administrator Doug Harris, during Wednesday night’s meeting of the Atlantic City Council. Harris said with the first three phases of a study to bring high-speed passenger rail from Chicago to Omaha, and an environmental impact study having been completed, the five routes being considered have been narrowed down to one.  He said the only route being considered now, is the Iowa Interstate Railroad line, which goes through Atlantic. The next phase he is a financial feasibility and cost/benefit analysis.

Harris said transportation officials have approved moving forward with a Chicago-to-Moline route in 2015. Tenative approval has also been given for the next phase, which is from Moline to Iowa City in 2017. The third phase is from Iowa City to Des Moines. No date has been set yet, for that segment. The fourth and final phase is from Des Moines to Omaha. Harris said officials are exploring the possibility of putting a train station in Atlantic. The proposal will be included in a “Station Analysis Report.”

Harris said the key is trying to determine the cost and benefit, and how many people the route will serve. The study projects 31,637 passengers per year would board and depart the train, from Atlantic. The preliminary cost of building a new train station in Atlantic to accommodate those passengers, according to the report, would cost around $3-million. Harris said officials assumed there wouldn’t be an interest in using the existing depot in Atlantic, but Harris asked them to include that as a possible alternative to keep the costs down.

He said if the project moves forward, and a new terminal is built in Atlantic, there is an 80-percent Federal match for the minimal basic cost of providing the station. If the City wanted to do something extra,  anything above the minimal cost, would be at the City’s expense. Harris said the report weighs heavily “Intermodal transportation connections” as a factor in determining the need for a new train station, and he had to point out to officials, that Atlantic has that type of service available through SWITA (the Southwest Iowa Transportation Agency) buses. Harris said officials were excited to hear about that SWITA has buses which cover and eight-count area, and will incorporate that into their decision making process.

He says he hopes to know within the next six-months what the DOT’s timeline is, but there are additional public comment periods remaining, and it may be as much as 10-years before any significant movement on bringing high-speed rail to Atlantic, is realized.

Storm means snow day for much of Legislature


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Most legislative action is being cancelled Thursday at the Iowa Capitol because of a snowstorm expected to sweep through the state. The National Weather Service predicts up to 10 inches of snow could pile by Thursday night in Des Moines, and heavy snow is forecast for much of the state. Gusty winds also are expected. The House and Senate will convene Thursday, but no floor action is scheduled and most committee hearings have been cancelled.

Snow Emergency Proclamation for Glenwood, Thursday


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Glenwood Mayor Kimberly Clark has proclaimed a snow emergency for the City of Glenwood, to be in effect from 10 am on Thursday the 21st , 2013.  With this proclamation no person shall park, abandon or leave unattended any vehicle on any public street or City-owned parking lot, other than designated overnight parking areas.  The snow emergency parking ban shall continue from its proclamation through the duration of the snow storm and the twenty-four hour period after cessation of such, or until the snow is plowed or removed from such areas.

Marne man arrested on Des Moines P-D warrant


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man was arrested last week on a felony warrant for Theft in the 1st Degree, issued by the Des Moines Police Department, in association with a July 2010 incident. 48-year old Jeffrey Dean Long, of Marne, was taken into custody Feb. 14th. Long was taken to the Cass County Jail, posted $25,000 bond and was released. His next court appearance is Mon., Feb. 25th.

And last Saturday, Cass County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 48-year old Darlene Kay Hannan, of Griswold, on a charge of Failure to Have Valid Driver’s License. Hannan was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released later that day on $325 bond.

Atlantic man arrested Monday, on drug charges


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s deputies in Cass County arrested an Atlantic man on drug and other charges, Monday. Officials say 41-year old Scott Matthew Haupert, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Under Suspension.

The following day, charges of Burglary 3rd Degree and Theft 2nd Degree were added as the result of an investigation into a burglary that took place in rural Cumberland on or around January 28th, 2013. Haupert remains at the Cass County Jail on $12,500 bond.

Woman tries to stop man’s release from Iowa prison


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A woman is trying to prevent the man who killed her sister in northwest Iowa from being released five years early.  Sioux City television station KTIV reports Beth Williams has written to Gov. Terry Branstad and local officials in an effort to keep Brian Davis in prison. The three-member Iowa Board of Parole recently granted Davis parole under certain conditions.  Davis was convicted in 1995 of second-degree murder in the death of Williams’ sister, Julie Baack. He was scheduled to be released in 2018.

As part of his parole, Davis must live with family in Olathe, Kan., and have no contact with the victim’s family.   Williams says she understands that overpopulation may have led to Davis’ early release. But she’s concerned he’s being defined as a low-risk prisoner.

Clarinda Police Chief reminds residents about snow ordinance


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers, Wednesday, issued a reminder to residents of the community about the City’s Snow Ordinance. Brothers says with significant snowfall appearing likely with each passing hour Thursday, residents need to be prepared to move their vehicles and other objects off of City streets that may obstruct the process of snow removal by City crews.

The snow ordinance in Clarinda states that when snow has accumulated two-inches or more, vehicles must be moved off City streets until the snow stops and the street has been cleared. Any vehicle left parked on a street in violation of the ordinance is subject to being impounded, and the registered owner fined $15.00 plus towing and storage costs.

Persons with questions about the ordinance may call the Clarinda P-D at 712-542-2194.

Cass County Courthouse receives new AED


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Another Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) will be located within the walls of the Cass County Courthouse, in Atlantic.

Board Chairman Mark Wedemeyer (left) and Auditor Dale Sunderman look on, as Cass Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon talks about the new AED (Center). – Ric Hanson photo

Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon told the Board of Supervisors during their meeting today (Wednesday), that the device, which is designed to shock a person’s heart back into normal rhythm during a heart attack, was received last Friday as a prize from ICAP, the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool. Kennon says he won the device after filling out a survey, which automatically entered the County into a raffle.

While courthouse staff will be trained in its use, the AED is designed to be administered by anyone, to someone suffering from a heart attack, because it comes with spoken instructions as soon as the case is opened and diagnostics are quickly run. It instructs the operator where to place the shock pads on the victim and automatically administers the proper voltage to restart the heart.

The only question that remained, is where the AED should be located. An AED is already located in the basement of the courthouse. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said since the majority of the foot traffic in the courthouse is on the second floor, where the Auditor and Treasurer’s offices are, it should be located in one of those offices.

Mike Kennon demonstrates how the AED is used.

The final determination as to its location will be left up to Kennon.

Cass Supervisors adopt Zoning Ordinance for indoor shooting range


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have adopted upon the second reading, an amendment to the County Zoning Ordinance, that would allow an indoor shooting range and/or gun sales & service business to locate within the County. The move followed a second public hearing on the matter, during which there were no objections, but a Massena area resident, Rod Anderson, did question what impact the business would have on the septic leach field in the area, and how potential water and sewer usage would affect the City’s sewer system, and the money it receives from the wind turbines.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken reminded Anderson that the zoning ordinance they were acting on doesn’t have anything to do with leach fields and sewers, or wind turbines for that matter. He said there are rules that the County Sanitarian has to follow that are dictated by the State that will determine if the business actually is able to operate within the scope of the law.

Massena resident Kevin McCunn plans to open an indoor shooting range and gun sales shop on his property located northwest of the intersection of Highways 92 and 148. The Board’s approval of the amended ordinance today (Wednesday) allows that process to move forward.

8AM Newscast 02-20-2013

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February 20th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson