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Atlantic City Council approves readings of 2 out of 3 ordinances

News

August 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening approved the second reading of an ordinance on Illegal Dumping, and the first reading of an ordinance with regard to No Parking on 8th Street near the old Lincoln School/Wickman Day Care Center, while school is in session. The Council however failed to approve the second reading of an ordinance pertaining to Private Wells, opting instead to have the wording clarified and a public hearing on the matter, which was set for September 5th.

The No Parking ordinance was amended to say it would not be allowed on the east side of Linn Street from 8th Street and 100-feet north, so that school buses may unload and load students safely, and if passed on the second and third readings, would cover the hours of 7:45-a.m. to 3:15-p.m., while school is in session, only. In addition, the board approved a request from Atlantic School District Transportation Director Dave Eckles, to have an area on the west side of Linn Street, from 8th Street and 80-feet north, designated as a School Bus Loading Zone.

The Council also heard a report from Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green, who said his officers made 296 arrests over the past year. Green said his officers also made 1,514 traffic stops, during which they issued 700 citations. The department answered and/or responded to 6,700 calls last year, as well. Green says one of his officers has accepted a job in Dallas County, will work in the West Des Moines area. The officer was the Police Department’s drug recognition expert. He’ll continue with those types of activities in central Iowa.

The Chief says he’s received applications to replace the officer, with testing to take place next week. Green said also, his future plans may call for the purchase of a drug dog for the City. He says in order for his department to be more effective during search and seizures, and in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, they need to have more people trained as Drug Recognition Experts, and he may have to acquire a dog to conduct searches for illegal substances.

He also plans to upgrade some of his police vehicles to SUV’s, because his officers are simply too tall for the cruisers. He says he’s ordered a new, Ford pursuit-rated SUV with all-wheel drive. Green also reminded persons interested in bow hunting deer within the Atlantic City limits, that the first of two qualify sessions will be held this Saturday morning. He says the session will begin at 10-a.m. in Sunnyside Park by the old school house. The next session is Wed., Aug. 22nd, at 6-p.m. For more information, stop by the Police Department during their normal business hours.

Severe storms bring marble to half-dollar sized hail to western IA

News, Weather

August 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Storms that formed in Nebraska late Wednesday night, moved into parts of western and southwest Iowa early this (Thursday) morning. The first warnings for our listening area were broadcast at around 11:40-p.m., and affected eastern Douglas County in Nebraska, and Western Pottawattamie County in Iowa. About 20-minutes later, additional warnings were issued for northwestern Mills and southwestern Pott. Counties. According to the National Weather Service, half dollar-sized hail fell near Lake Manawa, shortly after midnight.

About 45-minutes later, severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for eastern Mills, southwestern Montgomery, and extreme northwestern Page County. Penny-sized hail was reported to have fallen three-miles west of Pacific Junction at around 12:25-a.m., according to the Weather Service. As the storms in southwest Iowa moved out to the southeast, other storms moved into western and northwest Iowa and tracked east.

Thunderstorm warnings went out for Crawford and Sac Counties at around 1:45-a.m. It wasn’t long afterward that penny-to-quarter sized hail began to fall in Mapleton, which is in Monona County. Less than an hour after the warnings were issued for Crawford and Sac Counties, the Weather Service in Des Moines issued warnings for northeastern Audubon and northern Guthrie Counties. Those same storms moved into Dallas County and points east, bringing half-dollar sized hail to Adel, along with winds of up to 50-miles per hour, at around 3:30-a.m.

There were no immediate reports of damage early this morning.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Aug. 16th 2012

News

August 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a student pilot and a flight instructor suffered only minor injuries when they were forced to make an emergency landing in a corn field in northern Iowa. The Globe Gazette in Mason City reports the accident happened yesterday afternoon near Manly. Neither man required hospitalization.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Waterloo police say a baby was taken to a hospital after a patrol officer found the infant had been left alone in a parked car. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the 9-month-old child was found about noon yesterday when the officer saw the car parked on the wrong side of the street. The car wasn’t locked. Officers found the mother inside a nearby apartment building. The names of the mother and child weren’t immediately released.

WALL LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Kidnapping charges have been dropped against three northwest Iowa men after prosecutors failed to file the formal charges by a state-mandated deadline. Thomas Schroeder the Second and Bradley Jacobsen, both of Wall Lake, and Steve Schroeder of Odebolt, were arrested last month for allegedly kidnapping and beating a migrant worker, Rafael Trevino, on August 3rd, 2009.

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is recalling some packages of turkey sausage with cheddar cheese because the product may include pieces of glove. The company is recalling select 13.5-ounce vacuum packages of Johnsonville “Turkey Sausage with Cheddar Cheese” with a “Best By” date of August 20th, 2012, and the establishment number “EST. P-34224.”

Powerball ticket worth $337M sold in Michigan

News

August 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DETROIT (AP) — A winning ticket in the $337 million Powerball drawing has been sold in Michigan. The winning numbers in the Wednesday night drawing were 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 and Powerball 21. No other details were immediately available. In addition to the jackpot-winning ticket, there were eight tickets that matched five of the winning numbers to win $1 million. Two of those tickets were sold in Indiana. The others were sold in Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia. There was also a ticket sold in Nebraska that added the Power Play to win $2 million.

DOT warns drivers to anticipate stopping school buses

News

August 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The big yellow buses are hitting the roadways today in numbers greater than yesterday, as some school districts get classes under way this week and the rest prepare to start next week. The Iowa Department of Transportation now has more penalties to hit drivers who pass the buses that are stopped and picking up students. The D-O-T’s director of driver services, Kim Snook, says you should be alert to a potential stop anytime you are on a roadway with a school bus. And then take action when you see the warning lights. “It’s kind of like what we all learned in drivers ed, when you see yellow you slow down, you get prepared to stop. That’s exactly what you need to do with a school bus. When you see the yellow, slow down and assume you are going to stop, because when the red comes out you need to stop,” Snook says. “And don’ proceed. If the stop arm is out there and the red light’s are on, stop.”

Snook says after you properly stop for a bus, don’t be in too big a hurry to take off again. “Even if it looks like all the kids have been discharged, just stay where you are at until the bus driver makes it very clear that you are able to proceed,” Snook explains. A law increasing the penalties for passing a stopped school bus was created following the death of seven year old Kadyn Halvorson of Northwood on May 10th of 2011. Snook says they’ve found too many people are not paying attention to the bus laws.

“A one day count conducted earlier this year was 43-point-seven percent compared to 38-point-two percent in 2011, that was the number of people illegally passing a school bus, that’s really significant,” according to Snook. “And when you think of the passengers in school buses, young children, it should be zero.” Drivers may think stopping for a school bus will make them late, but Snook says you have to think about what could happen if you don’t.

She says there is precious cargo in the school buses, and while everyone is in a hurry, you always want to be aware of that and follow the law. Snook says you may think you are going to get to your destination faster, but you won’t. Under the news rules, your driver’s license could be suspended for 30 days on the first conviction of illegally passing a school bus. That moves up to 90 days for a second conviction, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction. The law also allows for jail time of up to 30 days for the first offense and one year for repeat violators and also includes fines that start at 250 dollars and move up.

(Radio Iowa)

Storm Spotters may be needed tonight…

News, Weather

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Area Counties: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD

346 PM CDT WED AUG 15 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL IOWA.

DAY ONE…THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT: THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO NORTHWESTERN IOWA THIS EVENING AND ACROSS THE REST OF THE AREA OVERNIGHT. SOME OF THESE STORMS COULD BE STRONG TO SEVERE…WITH DAMAGING WIND AND LARGE HAIL THE PRIMARY THREATS.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL TAPER OFF TO THE SOUTHEAST ON THURSDAY. THERE IS ALSO A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS WEST ON SATURDAY…AND AGAIN AREA WIDE AROUND TUESDAY. SEVERE WEATHER IS NOT ANTICIPATED THROUGH THIS PERIOD.

SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT: SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS POSSIBLE THIS EVENING AND EARLY TONIGHT.

Home sales in Iowa increase for 13th consecutive month

News

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Home sales and prices increased in Iowa again last month. Dale Gross, of Atlantic, is president of the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR). “We’ve had a tremendous 13 months in a row where everything continues to go a little bit up or a lot up,” Gross says. Home sales have increased in Iowa for 13 consecutive months. A new report from the I-A-R shows 3,367 homes were sold last month, compared to 3,274 homes sold in July 2011. The median sale price of a home in Iowa last month was $134,900, up from $130,000 in July 2011. Gross says the inventory of homes available for purchase has dropped 13-percent over the past year.

“We’re down from nearly 25,000 houses to 21,600 houses available for buyers to look at,” Gross said. “That, along with the low interest rates – which we’re seeing the 30 year (interest rate) at just under 4% and the 15 year under 3% – means there are still people out there buying or involved in the home buying process.” Gross said he’s concerned about the impact the drought will have on home sales in rural Iowa communities.

“And yet, the statistics don’t show that anybody is backing away here in the summer months,” Gross said. “I guess maybe the farmers have the right amount of crop insurance or something like that and everybody is talking like, ‘well, we’ll get by.’” The new I-A-R report shows pending home sales were up 4.2 percent in July compared to the previous year. The average number of days on the market in July was 96 days, down from 106 days in July 2011.

(Radio Iowa)

Founding president of Iowa Western college dies

News

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The founding president of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs has died.  Robert Looft was 87.  Bill Cutler, of the Cutler-O’Neill mortuary in Council Bluffs, said Wednesday that Looft died Monday at a nursing home in Council Bluffs.  Looft’s daughter Diane Machmuller said that her father had been ill for a couple of years.

Looft began his work at the college in 1966, after he’d been awarded a doctorate from Iowa State University. He pushed hard for Iowa Western’s development at a hillside location on the east side of Council Bluffs. The school continued to grow after he left in 1987. Carl Heinrich, who succeeded Looft, says Looft possessed intelligence, vision and creativity. Heinrich says it was an honor to have known Looft.

IA Connections Academy begins classes Thursday

News

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Students enrolled in the first-ever Iowa Legislature approved pilot online learning academy for K-through 12th grades, will begin classes Thursday, just as their counterparts head-off to the classroom learning environment in a traditional brick-and-mortar type building. The CAM School Board in January approved the entering into of an agreement with Iowa Connections Academy, for the 2012-2013 school year. IACA Principal James Brauer said the response they’ve received since enrollments started to be accepted after the open enrollment deadline of March 1st, has been phenomenal. Brauer said as of this (Wedneday) morning, 217 students had enrolled full-time in the online program, and it is possible they could have 225 students by the time the “virtual bell” rings Thursday morning.   Students enrolled in the online academy – which will have a building located in Anita – receive their education from fully-licensed, totally-endorsed teachers in their respective contact areas, on a daily basis.

Brauer says students will communicate with their instructors through a variety of electronic media. In addition, different field trips and club activities will be planned throughout the year, where students can get together with others, in order so they may socialize. And, while some people may be skeptical of students “sloughing-off” by not attending an actual classroom setting, Brauer says the power of being able to guide your own learning and have it facilitated by a teacher, provides students with a sense of “autonomy.” He says adults in the family will have to provide proof the student has spent a certain number of hours each day in the online classroom, just as traditional schools have to certify attendance figures.

But there is no online tracking of the students per se. Brauer says however, that some of the high school courses are set up so that students will be required to attend a webinar-type setting, and interact with other students as well as the teacher. He says one of the reasons online courses are becoming more and more popular, is the issue of bullying in the traditional school setting. He says while he has no hard numbers, the parents he’s heard from cited that problem as one reason for keeping their students home. Brauer says in the more than 125 phones calls he’s made to families enrolled in the Connections Academy, more than three-quarters of them indicated some form of bullying or harassment lead to their decision to enroll their child in the online program.

Brauer says as a virtual public school they still have to the various accreditation guidelines and all the State laws and regulations. Since they work with the CAM District, the requirements are tied to what the CAM School Board has approved, and the graduates receive their diploma from CAM. Connections will coordinate and host the graduation ceremonies. Currently around a half-dozen students will graduate next Spring from the Academy, if they successfully complete the program.

Mills County accidents and arrests

News

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Mills County say no injuries were reported following two separate accidents Tuesday. An accident that took place at around 10:40-a.m., occurred when 18-year old Phillip Reinsch, of Glenwood, was driving a 1990 BMW north on Levi Road, about three-miles southeast of Glenwood. Sheriff’s officials say Reinsch was attempting to light a cigarette, when the vehicle left the road to the right and passed through a barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture.

The second accident happened when a 2012 Subaru driven by 55-year old Deborah Howard, of Sacremento, CA, rear-ended a 2008 Hyundai, driven by 57-year old Kathy Anderson, of Glenwood. The mishap occurred on the Highway 34 southbound exit ramp to Interstate 29. Only minor damage was reported to Anderson’s car.

The Sheriff’s Department reports also, 27-year old Brandon Matthew Swanson, of Glenwood, was arrested Tuesday for violating a No Contact Order. His bond was set at $300. And, 42-year old Lori Sue Tompkins, of Moss Point, MS, was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of OWI 1st offense. Her bond was set at $1,000.