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New Atlantic treatment plant not ready to come on-line just yet


April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic isn’t quite ready to make the switch from the old wastewater treatment plant to its new, $14-million dollar facility, as it was announced two weeks ago. On April 4th, City Administrator Doug Harris told the City Council the new facility would come on-line for testing last Sunday (April 15th), and a switchover to the new plant would be made soon thereafter, once any problems were worked out.  Harris said Mother nature played a role in delaying Sunday’s expected testing process, but a couple of the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant employees were up to the task of making sure additional problems weren’t created.

He says the employees worked diligently when lightening strikes took out some of the controls, on top of having heavy rain which produced a storm surge in the system. In the past, such as surge would have resulted in the facility bypassing the runoff into the East Nishnabotna River, without having been treated first. The employees prevented that from occurring.

Harris said there are some issues with the planned switchover to the new plant, but that “They’re all being handled expeditiously and professionally.” He says the start-up is not expected to occur next Tuesday, April 24th. After it that, it will take at least 10-days altogether before a complete switchover from the old-to-the-new plant is made on May 7th or 8th.

Plans to replace the old wastewater treatment plant began in 2006, after it was determined the current, nearly 70-year old facility could not handle a significant storm water run-off, and, because the D-N-R had required the city to build a million-gallon retention basin, or lagoon. The City opted instead, to build a new, more modern plant.

Iowa early News Headlines, Thu., April 19th 2012


April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a measure calling for new restrictions on the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The House backed the measure last night on a 57-37 vote. It would ban public funding of abortions except in cases where the procedure is needed to save the life of the mother.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $2 million contract for levee repair work along the Missouri River in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri. The project includes placing large boulders, known as rip rap, on the river side of new setback levees built near Hamburg, Iowa, and Watson, Missouri following last summer’s historic flooding.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County judge has delayed the trial of a Bettendorf accountant charged in Iowa’s film tax credit case after prosecutors disclosed possible new evidence. Opening statements were expected yesterday in the trial of Chad Witter. He’s charged with fraud, theft and ongoing criminal conduct in an alleged scheme to misuse tax credits aimed in building Iowa’s film industry. The film program was shut down in 2009.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Drake assistant coach Mike Gibson has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of basketball. The 29-year-old Gibson has been an assistant with the Bulldogs for four seasons. But Gibson says his priorities have shifted and he’s decided to pursue a job in the business world.

Iowa House approves bill restricting abortions


April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a measure calling for new restrictions on the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The House backed the measure Wednesday night on a 57-37 vote. It would ban public funding of abortions except in cases where the procedure is needed to save the life of the mother. Current law allows taxpayer-funded abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The vote came as the House debated a larger measure paying for human services programs. Critics say the measure is unfair to low-income women but supporters say public money shouldn’t pay for a procedure that many people oppose. The spending measure will go to the Senate, where opposition to the abortion change is expected.

Iowa Lottery numbers drawn Wed., April 18th 2012


April 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

100K Cash: 01-04-08-21-23

Hot Lotto: 06-19-22-33-38, Hot Ball: 5 (Estimated jackpot: $1 million)

Powerball: 20-22-39-46-49, Powerball: 29 (Estimated jackpot: $131 million)

Mega Millions – Estimated jackpot: $65 million

Pick Three-Evening: 0-3-8

Pick Three-Midday: 3-5-1

Pick Four-Evening: 6-8-5-2

Pick Four-Midday: 6-7-2-8

Iowa evening News Headlines, April 18th 2012


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has unanimously approved a measure prohibiting judges from sending sexually violent predators to nursing homes. The Senate approved the measure today and returned it to the House, which has approved a different version. The Senate version prohibits judges from transferring inmates to nursing homes.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The city council in Iowa City has decided against a resolution related to Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. Councilman Jim Throgmorton asked the council to weigh in this week on the teenager’s death. But at a work session yesterday, the majority of the council said it felt its focus should be on local issues.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a measure creating a state agency that would enforce open records and meetings laws and mediate disputes. The House approved the measure yesterday on a 92 to 7 vote and the proposal now goes to the Senate.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University says the finalists for its Number Two job include one of its own deans and academic administrators from Nebraska and Ohio. The school announced today that finalists for its senior vice president and provost position are College of Engineering Dean Jonathan Wickert; University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Manderscheid; and University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Carlo Montemagno. Each will visit campus later this month.

2012 P.C.C. Paving and Storm Sewer Improvements project in Atlantic


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Snyder & Associates Engineer Dave Sturm reports that beginning the week of April 23rd, construction will begin on 22nd Street in Atlantic, west of Chestnut Street, and on Cedar, Hickory, Locust and Laurel Streets, between 8th Street and 7th Street. The contractor intends to close the roads to thru traffic on Monday, April 23rd, 2012.

The existing roadway surfacing will be removed, so access will be limited to local residents only on 22nd Street. Cedar, Hickory, Locust and Laurel Streets will be closed entirely.

Audubon County Grants Announced


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Brett Irlmeier, Chair of the Audubon County Community Foundaton announced this week five non-profit groups or organizations in the County have been awarded grants totaling $95,900.  The largest grant amount of $48,000 went to the Audubon Recreation Foundation, for a building project. The grant will help to cover the costs of architectural designs, site preparation, and the beginning building stages.

The Audubon Stage Committee received a $28,720 grant, for the renovation of the Community Stage to fit a 1900′s theme. In addition, The Audubon County Agricultural Society received an $8,000 grant for renovation of the Agri Hall…The Audubon County Conservation Club received a $9,080 grant to provide a welll for public restrooms and a kitchen at the ACCC facility….and, the Exira Chamber of Commerce received $2,100 for improvements to the City Park.

All of those organizations had submitted applications to the Audubon County Community Foundation prior to the February 1st deadline, and met the criteria as Audubon County non-profit agencies or organizations, with charitable missions in one or more areas.

Schildberg Recreation Area Trails maps

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring has made available to the media mileage maps for the walking/biking trails at the Schildberg Recreation Area.  At a recent park board meeting the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, in addition to KJAN and other local media, expressed an interest in putting the charts on their websites, for viewing by the public. 

Herring says he hopes to have a park and rec link off of the city’s website in the near future but that feature is currently not  available. He says the walking trails are getting used frequently, but questions remained as to how far the trails were. 

Click on the images below to view the charts.

Herring says they will also have some signage at the entrances to the trails that will have the mileage charts on them, but there is currently no funding available for those signs.

2 accidents in Page County – no injuries


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says no injuries were reported following two separate accidents Tuesday afternoon. At around 12:20-p.m., a car driven by 56-year old Pauline Garves-Thompson, of Essex, was headed westbound on 150th Street about one-quarter of a mile west of D Avenue, when two deer ran onto the roadway. Garves-Thompson swerved to avoid hitting the animals, and in the process lost control of her car. The vehicle entered the north ditch and hit a tree located along a creek. Damage to the 1994 Cadillac was estimated at $4,500. No citations were issued. 

The second accident happened just before 5-p.m. on H Avenue, just north of 170th Street. Officials say a dump truck and trailer owned by Southwest Iowa Rock and Sand, and driven by 51-year old Lance Most, of Red Oak, was traveling south on H Avenue and slowing to dump a load of gravel onto the roadway, when the trailer was rear-ended by an SUV. 

The driver of the 2005 Chevy Blazer, 34-year old Laura Thornberg, of Essex,  told authorities dust produced by the truck impaired her ability to see the trailer. Her SUV sustained $7,000 damage, and was considered a total loss. The truck/trailer sustained $1,000 damage. No citations were issued.

Mid-American agrees to reimburse Cass County for road damage


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner and County Engineer Charles Marker reported to the Board of Supervisors during their meeting Wednesday morning in Atlantic, that Mid-American Energy has agreed to reimburse the County for damage caused to rural roads by trucks hauling wind turbine components. Marker says the County had been working to recoup losses for work on repairing the roads for several months. He said the company is willing to reimburse the County $253, 467, provided the County sign a release of liability.

The Supervisors approved Board Chair Duane McFadden signing the release for return to Mid-American. Once the energy company receives the document, they will transmit immediate payment to the Counties’ account. Marker says the company always intended to pay, but their legal division wanted the proper paperwork filed.

The damaged roads are located in the southeast part of the County near Massena, in what’s known as the “Rolling Hills Wind Energy Project.” Marker says he will need to amend his budget once the payment is received, to show additional revenue in the current budget year.