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Public Intox arrest and an accident, in Atlantic


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest of a local man Saturday. 38-year old Mario Diaz Meras, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a charge of Public Intoxication. Diaz-Meras was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance in front of the magistrate.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Sunday morning, in Atlantic. Officials say a vehicle driven by Alec Guttenfelder, of Atlantic, was traveling west on 7th Street at around 10-a.m., and had stopped at the red light with Hospital Drive. A vehicle driven by Carol Nelson, of Atlantic, was traveling west and failed to stop at the light, striking the Guttenfelder vehicle on the rear bumper. The damage amounted to $4,000. Nelson was cited for Failure to Maintain Control/Reduce Speed.

Steve King: businesses, not government, should set wage levels


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King says the federal government should not have a minimum wage law.  “The federal government should have never been involved in setting wages. That’s not their business,” King says. “The wage agreement, the employment agreement, is a contract between an employer and an employee and they should be able to reach any kind of agreement they choose to.”

Congress established a 25-cents-an-hour national minimum wage in 1938. Democrats in D.C., including President Obama and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, argue congress should vote now to raise the minimum wage to 10-10 ($10.10) an hour by the middle of 2016. “If there are to be minimum wages set, they should be set by the states,” King says. “The states know better. The states know whether it’s good or bad.”

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wage rates that are above the national rate of seven-25 ($7.25) an hour. King points to a recent Congressional Budget Office report which concluded raising the national minimum wage to 10-10 ($10.10) could mean there’ll be half a million fewer jobs in the U.S.  “We need more people working, not less, and that’s what brings us out of this economic situation that we are in,” King says.

On Wednesday President Obama will be in New England to have a public event with four governors who support raising the minimum wage to 10-dollars-and-10-cents ($10.10) in their states. Earlier this year President Obama issued an executive order which calls for the higher, $10.10 minimum wage to be paid to government contract workers. King says Obama is violating the constitution, as that’s a decision for congress to make, not the president. Jim Mowrer, King’s likely Democratic challenger in November, says that shows King “does not understand the struggles thousands of Iowa families are going through to make ends meet” because they’re working full time and earning the minimum wage, and living below the poverty line.

(Radio Iowa)

ISU cancels planned trip to Ukraine, Russia by 21 students/staff


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A trip to Ukraine and Russia this spring by 21 Iowa State University students and staff has been cancelled due to the growing tension between the two countries. Jody Cornell, the Study Abroad Coordinator with the ISU College of Agriculture Science, says the decision follows the “travel warning” recently issued by the U.S. State Department.  “Iowa State University does not send any students where there is a travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State,” Cornell says. The students and staff had planned to visit both countries in May to learn about their swine industries. Cornell has spent a lot of time in Ukraine. He first went there in 1994 as part of an ISU study abroad program. Cornell’s most recent trip to Ukraine was last fall.

“I was just visiting there in September. I have really good friends over there, including a godson,” Cornell said. “In September, I never would have guessed that anything like this would be happening.” Weeks of violent protests, led to the removal of Ukraine’s president last week. Now, Russian troops are holding border posts in Crimea, a strategic Ukrainian peninsula. Cornell is hopeful a peaceful settlement can be reached.  “I’m very supportive of Ukraine sovereignty, just like President Obama. The rest of the world needs to understand and respect the sovereignty of Ukraine,” Cornell said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Ukraine Tuesday.

(Radio Iowa)

Glenwood man arrested Saturday on a drug charge


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Glenwood man Saturday afternoon on a drug charge. 22-year old Kristopher James Koon was arrested in Glenwood on a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge. Koon was being held over the weekend in the Mills County Jail on $300 bond.

39 school districts selected for 1st teacher leadership systems


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with Iowa Dept. of Education Director Brad Buck, announced today (Monday) the first group of Iowa school districts selected to launch Teacher Leadership Systems next school year. Among them, in western Iowa area school districts in Council Bluffs, Earlham, East Union, Panorama and Winterset.

Top teachers taking on leadership roles to improve instruction and raise student achievement is the centerpiece of Iowa’s landmark 2013 education reform package. New teacher leadership systems across Iowa will allow teachers to work in greater collaboration with colleagues and learn from each other instead of operating largely in isolation in their classrooms. Teacher leadership systems will be phased in over three years, with the goal of all districts participating by 2016-17, although whether to do so is a local decision.

Based on the recommendations of the 19-member Commission on Teacher Leadership and Compensation, Director Buck selected 39 school districts out of 146 applicants from across the state. The districts – serving a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities – enroll about one-third of Iowa students. Two of the districts will share teacher leadership systems.

Teacher leadership systems promise to help students learn more by better meeting their individual needs. They also will attract and retain more effective teachers by enhancing career opportunities and paying stipends for taking on extra responsibilities. With higher expectations for students, it’s no longer realistic for one principal to provide all the instructional leadership in a school. Teacher and principal leadership teams can support the more complex work required to prepare students for a knowledge-based economy.

Districts were selected for the first round based on the strength of their application as well as geographic and size diversity.

Several cities hit new record low temps this morning

News, Weather

March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

After a February that was one of the coldest and snowiest in Iowa history, March is starting off much the same way as more record cold is gripping the state and more snow will soon be falling. Several Iowa cities report record or near-record low temperatures this morning (Monday), according to meteorologist Brad Fillbach, at the National Weather Service. “In our area that we cover, we had five new record lows,” Fillbach says. “Des Moines was 7-below, Waterloo 19-below, Ottumwa was 9-below, Lamoni 8-below and Mason City 15-below.”

Atlantic broke two consecutive days of record low temperatures today and Sunday. For the 24-hour reporting period that ended today at 7-a.m., the low in Atlantic for March 2nd was -12. That broke the old record of -11 set on that date in 1913. The record low for today, March 3rd, was also broken at 7-a.m., when we recorded a temperature of -11. That broke the record set on this date in 2002.

For the month of February, the average High in Atlantic was 25.1 degrees, which was 10-degrees below normal. The average Low was -1, which was 16 degrees below normal. Precipitation for the month amounted to just under an inch, at 0.93, which is near normal. The normal, average High for the month of February is 35.4, with the normal average Low 15.2.  Precipitation is normally .96.  KJAN is the OFFICIAL National Weather Service reporting site for Atlantic.

Fillbach says some of the low temperature records that were shattered across the State go back decades — and more. “The one that goes the furthest back is for Des Moines,” Fillbach says. “The previous record low was 6-below and that occurred way back in 1884.”

There’s the possibility for snow across a wide section of Iowa midweek, but little accumulation is expected. He says the bitter cold should eventually lessen. “Looking at the forecast for this week, the next few days are going to be cold but we’re going to have a gradual warm-up by mid-week,” Fillbach says. “We could see 30 degrees and possibly even 40 by the end of the week.” At least according to the calendar, spring will arrive in 17 days — on March 20th.

(Radio Iowa/KJAN)

Western Iowans appointed to various IA Boards & commissions


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad today (Monday) announced his appointments of Iowans to fill various seats on Iowa’s Boards and Commissions. Among them, are three people from Atlantic: Teresa Kanning was appointed to the Mental Health Risk Pool Board; Dr. Keith Leonard was appointed to the Board of Veterinary Medicine, and John Krogman was appointed to the Iowa Workforce Development Board.

Other appointments include:

Stacey Loftus, of Missouri Valley – Board of Dietetics; Jerry Shellberg, of Red Oak – Engineering and Land Surveying Board; Lori Goetzinger, of Carroll – Grain Indemnity Fund Board; Dr. Mary Mincer Hansen, of Panora – HAWK-I Board; Patricia Roberts, of Carroll – State Judicial Nominating Commission; Gloria Rodriguez, of Denison – Latino Affairs Commission; Dr. Ronald Cheney, of Carroll – Board of Medicine; Lynn Grobe, of Oakland, and Thomas Bouska, of Council Bluffs – Mental Health & Disability Services Commission; Dr. Micheal Portz, of Red Oak – Board of Optometry; Dr. Carl Heinrich, of Council Bluffs – Racing & Gaming Commission; Janet DeMott, of Bedford – Real Estate Commission; Kenneth Pangburn, of Corning, & Brian Wiegert, of Winterset – Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Board; and, Brent Welsch, of Council Bluffs – Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators.

The appointees’ terms begins May 1st, 2014, and are subject to Senate confirmation.

Former HCSD teacher to stand trial Tuesday


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The trial for a former Harlan Community High School teacher accused of the sexual abuse of a teenager, is set to begin Tuesday morning at the Shelby County Courthouse, in Harlan. 73-year old Lee Gordon Nelson, of Harlan faces sexual exploitation by a school employee and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse charges. If convicted of the charges, Nelson could face a maximum 7 year prison sentence and fines of $7,500.

Nelson was arrested on July 23rd 2013, following an investigation by the Harlan Police Department, Division of Criminal Investigation and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. The Iowa Department of Public Safety reported in May 2013, that a 17-year old female and her parents had contacted police and reported Nelson had been saying rude and inappropriate things to the victim as well as touching her inappropriately since October, 2012.

At the time, Nelson was employed by the Harlan Community School District as a mentor. The Harlan PD requested the DCI’s assistance in June, 2013. The report from the DCI stated between October 2012 and April 2013, Nelson allegedly committed assault by touching the female victim who Nelson was mentoring with intent to commit sexual abuse and engaged in a pattern or scheme of conduct to engage in sexual conduct with the victim.

Nelson was employed with the Harlan Community School District for 35 years before resigning from his mentoring position on April 22nd, 2013.

Firefighters battling flames in frigid Sioux City


March 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Firefighters have been battling flames and the cold at an apartment complex in north Sioux City.  The fire was reported a little before 7 a.m. Monday at the Glen Oaks Apartments. There’s no word yet on any injuries.

The complex’s gym has been opened to provide shelter for residents, and city buses have been taken to the site to provide warming stations for firefighters. The National Weather Service says the Sioux City temperature around 6 a.m. was 12 below zero with a wind chill of 26 below.

8AM Newscast 03-03-2014

News, Podcasts

March 3rd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson