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Tuition hike to hit IWCC students this falll

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Western Community College will raise its tuition by $11 a credit hour starting with the upcoming fall semester. According to the Daily NonPareil, members of the Board of Trustees reluctantly approved the hike Monday at a meeting held at the Page/Fremont County Center. President Dan Kinney said it represented the largest tuition increase of the state’s community college system for the upcoming fiscal year, despite doing as much as possible to eliminate spending.

Iowa Western faced what board member Brent Siegrist described as the “perfect bad storm” when putting together its budget for next year. Factors contributing to the increase, according to Kinney, include, the 1.25-percent increase in State Aid from the Legislature, which was less than what Gov. Branstad recommended, and uncertainty over the number of students enrolling this fall.

The preliminary budget also estimated a 3 percent decline in enrollment and corresponding reduction in tuition collected. But Kinney said a more “reasonable and sensible” figure would be a 5 percent decline, and college officials won’t know the real situation for a few months. In addition, health insurance costs were anticipated to be “much lower” than the actual 10.3 percent increase faced by the college. Kinney said additional reductions – mostly by trimming positions – are still underway to reach the goal of only raising tuition by $11 a credit hour.

Tuition is currently set at $138 for Iowa residents and $143 for nonresidents. The hike represents about an 8 percent increase in non-fee costs to attend classes at Iowa Western.

Unknown when bird flu facilities can re-open

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture reported just one new case of bird flu last week, and says all the infected birds at the turkey facilities have been destroyed, and all but one of the chicken facilities have had their birds euthanized. Deputy Ag Secretary Mike Naig, told Radio Iowa recently that it will not be a quick process to put birds back at those sites. “It’ll vary from site-to-site. Depending on the facility, you could be looking at several months before some of these sites can have re-population, some may be sooner than that,” Naig says. “But it really is on a case-by-case basis, whether you are talking about a turkey site that is composting, whether you are talking about a large layer facility that has cages that need to be cleaned.”

There are 76 infected sites in 18 counties, and the long it takes to get them back up and running, the more money they stand to lose. But Naig says there’s not a quick answer on a when the sites can be back in business. “That is unfortunately a big question mark for a lot of folks out there. How long will they be out of operation and how quickly can they get back in operation again,” he says. Naig says cleaning up the facilities takes more than a bucket of soapy water.

“It can be quite complex — there’s a process that has to be gone through — dry cleaning and actually cleaning out and sweeping the cages out. And then a couple of other options that could be available, some spraying and disinfection and fumigation, those types of things,” according to Naig. There are more than 31-and-a-half million birds that had to be destroyed after becoming infected. The U-S-D-A has more than 21-hundred staff and contractors working on the avian influenza situation here. More than 300 state employees have also participated in the disaster response at some point.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., June 16, 2015

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of cutting off a GPS monitoring device on his ankle has been arrested in northeast Iowa. The Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office says 30-year-old Tom Cannon, of West Union, was taken into custody without incident. He was found in a house trailer. Authorities say Cannon had been scheduled to report to a county jail Monday for a sentence related to a sexual abuse charge. He failed to show up, and he is accused of cutting off a GPS monitoring device on his ankle.

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified a body found in the Des Moines River. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says the body of 32-year-old Bobby Lee Long was spotted floating in the Des Moines River on Friday. He was pulled from the river in Yellow Banks Park just southeast of Pleasant Hill. Additional information about Long’s death was not released.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several streets in Ankeny and other Polk County communities have been covered with runoff from heavy overnight rain. The National Weather Service says it has received reports that up to 3 inches of rain has fallen since midnight in southeast Ankeny and that up to 8 inches of water is covering some intersections and streets. Flooded and blocked streets have been reported in Altoona, and Des Moines reports that at least two streets and several trails have been closed.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Iowa regulator who says he was fired in retaliation for investigating a gas station’s misleading marketing practices. District Judge Robert Hanson says Michael Manahl’s claims of whistleblower retaliation can proceed, rejecting the state’s motion to dismiss. He dismissed other claims, including an allegation that Manahl’s firing violated a law that gives hiring preferences to veterans.

New signs are in for Sunnyside Park asking you not to smoke

News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Rec Board, Monday evening received signs from J&J Graphic Designs, that feature art work created by local Girl Scout Cadet Troop 40116.

Members of the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board, and Girl Scout Cadet Troop 40116 proudly display the new signs intended for the shelter areas at Sunnyside Park. (Ric Hanson/Photo)

Members of the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board, and Girl Scout Cadet Troop 40116 proudly display the new signs intended for the shelter areas at Sunnyside Park. (Ric Hanson/Photo)

The signs respectfully asks patrons of area parks not to smoke around playground equipment and other areas. The girl scouts came up with the idea while working on their Journey Books called “Breathe,” which teaches them about clean air.

The Parks Board last month approved the purchase of the signs, which cost $25 each, for a total of $300. The local Girl Scouts Troop picked up half the cost, with the Parks & Rec Dept. paying for the balance. The roughly 11″x14″signs will be placed at various locations within Sunnyside Park, as soon as possible.

Future plans calls for the locally designed and made signs to be posted throughout Cass County, and perhaps the State.

Bird flu likely spread on equipment, workers, rodents, wind

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bird flu that’s devastated Midwestern farms likely spread by several means, including on machinery and workers, by rodents and possibly even by the wind. That’s according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Monday. The agency studied genetic properties of virus samples on more than 80 turkey and chicken farms.

USDA scientists say wild birds introduced the virus onto farms, but it appears the virus spread in other ways once there. The scientists found lapses in biosecurity on farms and environmental factors likely contributed to the spread of the disease.

More than 49 million birds died or were euthanized in 15 states this spring as the virus spread from the Pacific Northwest into Midwest farms. It’s the nation’s worst outbreak of bird flu.

 

IA Ag Sec Bill Northey to vist Cass County\

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Cass, Buena Vista and O’Brien Counties on Wednesday, June 17th. Northey will address an FFA Field Day for the Future in Lewis at Noon, at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm (53265 Hitchcock Ave.).

Later in the day he’ll speak at the grand opening for Farm Nutrients in Rembrandt, attend an avian influenza support/prayer dinner in Albert City and speak at Iowa Corn Growers BBQ in Sheldon.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his third term as Secretary of Agriculture.

Around 10 tons of trash collected from Missouri River

News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A nonprofit says around 140 volunteers have collected an estimated 10 tons of trash from the Missouri River in western Iowa. The Daily Nonpareil reports that volunteers on Saturday morning picked up the trash at a number of sites along the river. The effort was part of an event by Missouri River Relief, a nonprofit based in Columbia, Missouri, that coordinates clean-ups from South Dakota to St. Louis.

Among the findings by volunteers were multiple propane tanks and an arrow. Missouri River Relief has other clean-up events scheduled into the fall in other states.

Atlantic man arrested on Possession charge & warrant

News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says an Atlantic man was arrested Friday on a drug charge, and on a warrant out of Shelby County. 32-year old Sean Patrick Gifford, was taken into custody on charges of Possession with Intent to Deliver. Gifford was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was later released to Shelby County, where he was also wanted on a warrant.
Today (Monday) deputies with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 50-year old Tary Joseph Scholz, of Lincoln, NE, on two District Court warrants, one for Burglary 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree; and one for Burglary 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief 4th Degree, as related to area burglaries in October 2013 of car washes and laundromats. Scholz was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $11,500 bond.

Troublesome Creek out of its banks today

News, Weather

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Emergency Management Agency is continuing to monitor both the Troublesome Creek and East Nishnabotna Rivers, in Atlantic.11401357_10153405168546948_6163527090631784140_n Troublesome was bank full and out of its banks to the south just east of the Olive Street bridge as of 11-a.m. At 10-a.m., the river was at 14.57-feet. Flood stage is 19-feet. The river is expected to crest at 15.5-feet, but Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon said that depends on how much more rain we get locally and upstream.

No flood warnings have been issued for Cass County at this time, however a Flood Warning is in effect for the East Nishnabotna River at Red Oak, until early Tuesday morning.

2 arrests in Mills County

News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest last Thursday night, of 39-year old Gabriel Aaron Dabney, of Pacific Junction. Dabney was charged with Willful Disturbance and Interference with Official Acts. Bond was set at $600.

And, last Friday morning, 25-year old Christopher Lee McDaniel, of Pacific Junction, was arrested on a Warrant for Violation of Probation. McDaniel was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.