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Iowa early News headlines: Friday, March 7th 2014

News

March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders say they agreed before the current session started to arrive at broad budget figures on which Republicans and Democrats could agree to prove that divided state government can work. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said yesterday that record low public disapproval of Congress gave state leaders impetus to work together.

SALIX, Iowa (AP) — Authorities closed Interstate 29 in western Iowa after a truck veered off the freeway and caught fire. The Sioux City Journal reports the driver of the truck was found dead, but it’s possible he had a medical condition that led to the crash. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says the incident happened Thursday when the truck, which was hauling a trailer filled with hamburger, veered off I-29 south of Sioux City.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque man has been accused of trying to conspire with his teenage daughter to get his wife to take harmful pills. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports 55-year-old Michael Schoonover was arrested Tuesday morning. He faces a charge of solicitation to commit a felony.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Egidijus Mockevicius tied a career-high with 19 points, had a career-best eight blocks and grabbed 10 rebounds as Number 9 seed Evansville defeated eighth-seeded Drake 69-61 in the opening round of the Missouri Valley tournament last night. Richard Carter scored 26 points and Jordan Daniels finished with 11 to lead the Bulldogs in St. Louis.

Lawmakers want agreement soon on Iowa dog racing

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders are telling the greyhound racing industry and casinos that want to end dog racing to work out their differences soon. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, says he’d like to see a deal that provides a “soft landing” for the greyhound industry that support the state’s two remaining dog tracks at casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque. Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen agrees.

The casinos, which provided $10 million last year to subsidize dog racing want the tracks to close. The greyhound industry says it employs 1,200 workers in Iowa and hopes to keep a track operating somewhere in Iowa.

A bill that has passed the committee level requires the casinos to pay the dog industry $70 million over six years to shut down racing.

2 arrests in Cass County

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports two arrests this week. Authorities said Thursday that 44-year old Tammy Darleen Flathers, of Cumberland, was arrested Tuesday on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear to Serve Jail Time. Flathers was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was being held until the completion of her jail time.

And on Wednesday, 29-year old Ehren Michael Mardesen, of Anita, was arrested on a charge of Aggravated Domestic Abuse Assault. Mardesen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

 

Lawmaker: Iowa bill would pay for child burials

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – A Cedar Falls lawmaker is pushing for legislation that would help low-income families pay for child burials.  The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Democratic Rep. Bob Kressig’s bill would give qualifying individuals up to $2,000 for funeral expenses after the death of a child. The measure has been assigned to an appropriations subcommittee.

Kressig says the legislation was inspired by Sing Me to Heaven, a nonprofit group in northeast Iowa that raises money to help pay for such funerals. Group organizers say the cost of a funeral can range from $2,000 to $10,000 or more.

The bill would provide $100,000 to be administered through the state Department of Public Health. The amount is not expected to be used up within a year, and the funds would not necessarily be recurring.

Northey to visit Atlantic & other SW IA cities next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page, Sac, Carroll, Audubon and Cass Counties from Monday, March 10th through Wednesday, March 12th.

On Monday Northey will present the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award in Oakland, visit Mulholland Grocery in Malvern, tour Green Plains Renewable Energy in Shenandoah and then speak to an Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting in Shenandoah.  On Tuesday Northey will speak at a cover crop meeting in Sac City, tour a feedlot in Carroll and then visit the John James Audubon Cultural Center in Audubon.  On Wednesday he will attend of the Triumph of Ag Expo in Omaha, Nebraska and then speak at a cover crop event in Atlantic.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.

Details of his trip are as follows…..

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pottawattamie County – 11:30 a.m., present the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr. Van Zee Rd., Oakland

Mills County – 2:45 p.m., visit Mulholland Grocery, 409 Main St., Malvern

Fremont County – 4:30 p.m., tour Green Plains Renewable Energy, 4124 Airport Rd., Shenandoah

Page County – 7:00 p.m., speak to Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting, the Elks Lodge, 701 S. Fremont St., Shenandoah

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sac County – 11:00 a.m., speak to cover crop meeting, First Presbyterian Church, 812 Audubon St., Sac City

Carroll County – 1:00 p.m., tour a cattle feedlot.  (This is a private tour, but would be available for interviews beforehand or afterwards)

Audubon County – 2:30 p.m., visit John James Audubon Cultural Center, 401 N. Park Place, Audubon

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Omaha, Nebraska – Noon, attend Triumph of Ag Expo opening lunch, CenturyLink Center, 455 North 10th St., Omaha, NE

Cass County – 2:30 p.m., speak to cover crop meeting, Cass County Community Center, 805 W. 10th St., Atlantic.

Adair County Supervisors approve road name change & FY 2015 Budget

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County have approved a name change for a road that stretches from the Cass-Adair County-line northeast, to Adair. Auditor Mindy Schaefer told KJAN News the change is effective immediately, and will become official as soon as the new signs are put in place. The road, currently referred to as the Anita-Adair Road (or Highway G-30) will be called White Pole Road, just as it is in Cass County.

Schaefer said also, the Board approved the Fiscal Year 2015 County Budget, which will she will certify and be sent on to the State prior to March 17th. The budget amounted to $14.7-million, which was primarily due bridge repairs and road projects. Schaefer said the Supervisors approved the sale of $5.83-million in bonds to help pay for those projects.

The interest rate on the winning bid was 1.51-percent, which was “amazing for a nearly 6-million dollar bond.” The bonds were sold to D-A Davidson & Company brokers, out of Denver, CO. She said all the bidding was done on-line and the bids came in from all over the Country.

The majority of the nearly 6-millions dollars (about $5-million) will be used for the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) bond, with the rest for a GIS (Geographic Information System) and a new Secondary Roads Department Administrative building.

8AM Newscast 03-06-2014

News, Podcasts

March 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic saves more than $209k through street project change orders

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic will save more than $209-thousand through the use of a change order with Precision Concrete Services (PCS) of Atlantic, for 2014 Street Improvement Projects (SIP). City Administrator Doug Harris reported the good news to the City Council during their meeting, Wednesday evening. Harris said the original cost estimate for the various reconstruction, Mill, Patch and Overlay projects was $755-thousand. He said since so many other projects have been completed, which saved 20-percent. The change order amounts to $545,857, which is a savings of $209, 143.   

Because the City saved money through a change order, it will be able to have work done on all of 17th Street from the west side of Redwood Drive all the way to the track and soccer field, instead of just from Redwood to an east dead end. But because the added portion of 17th Street was not included in the PCS contract, it will need to go through the design process with construction to begin at a later date.

In other business, the Council tabled action on a Resolution accepting Public Improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Doug Harris said he spoke with a representative of Hawkins Construction, which has agreed to pay the City for costs associated with problems caused by the improper compaction of fill materials below the new plant’s blower building.

Hawkins has agreed to pay the City $32,000, in exchange for the City not assessing Hawkins liquidated damages for the project, which was supposed to have been completed last November. Harris said the improvements were completed and officials are satisfied. The Council will act on approving the final payment for the project at it’s meeting on March 12th.

7AM Newscast 03-06-2014

News, Podcasts

March 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic City Administrator says no more warnings for snow removal

News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With temperatures expected to be near 60 during the coming week and most of the snow on the ground already melted, Atlantic residents might not be too concerned about shoveling snow from their sidewalks in a timely fashion, but with Mother Nature being unpredictable, there is still a chance we could see measurable snowfall. Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris warned Wednesday, that his assistant, John Lund, will no longer send out warning notices to residents who have not shoveled their walks within 72-hours of the end of a snow storm.

Harris said in the past, the property owner would be notified by Certified Mail that they are in violation of a City Ordinance requiring snow to be removed from sidewalks. Now, if the job is not done within 72-hours, City crews will remove the snow and the property owner will be billed for the cost of labor and equipment. If the bill is not paid, it is assessed to their property and therefore the property owners’ taxes.

They especially want to focus on the sidewalks around the schools in Atlantic. This Spring and Summer, the focus will shift to tall grass on residential lawns. Harris said the City will still send out notices if the grass or weeds are more than 12-inches high, but the City could consider lowering that to 8-inches, taking into account the time it takes crews to mow violators’ lawns if the notice is not obeyed.

In other business, Harris told the Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, that his office has received requests and inquiries regarding private sewer lines. He says there currently is no policy pertaining to private ownership of sewer lines, but it is something he and Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Mark Farrier have looked at and created a draft proposal the Council can review and possibly forward recommendations to the Community Development Committee.

There are several sporadic private lines already around town, including one near the old Cherry Corner building off of east 7th Street.