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(Update w/passenger names) – 4 injured in Atlantic crash, Wed.

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(In an update to our previous reports) – Four people were injured during a single vehicle accident on Atlantic’s southwest side, Wednesday afternoon. Atlantic Police Officer Devon Hogue said Zachary Dill, of Atlantic, was driving a Ford Expedition at around 1:20-p.m.. As he was exiting the south drive from the Casey’s General Store at 911 S.W. 7th Street, and intending to turn right onto 7th Street/Highway 6, Dill failed to straighten the steering wheel. The SUV left the road to the west and entered a deep ditch. The vehicle c001ame to rest on a concrete culvert underneath southwest 7th Street, or Highway 6.

Dill and three other people in the vehicle, 9-year old Scott Dill, 37-year old Tammy Dill, and 7-year old Noah Dill, all of Atlantic, were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The SUV sustained $10,000 damage during the mishap. Zachary Dill was cited by Police for Failure to provide proof of insurance.

Propane prices remain near $1/gallon with spring a little over a month away

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

We’re past the half-way point of winter and propane prices are holding steady, a big relief to Iowans who heat their homes with the fuel, especially after a record-setting price spike two years ago. Harold Hommes, a fuels analyst with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, says there’s a huge surplus of propane right now, setting up an unusual situation. “The prices have stabilized,” Hommes says. “Our weekly survey had propane at $1.01 per gallon which is unchanged for the last three weeks. Even prior to that, we had a change of mere pennies.”

Two winters ago, a propane shortage pushed propane prices to five-dollars a gallon. Hommes says unless there’s a prolonged cold spell, prices likely won’t budge, since spring will be here soon and demand will drop.  “A lot of times at this point in the calendar, we’re looking at seeing some significant bump-ups as we get into winter and demand pull starts rearing its head and we start seeing an uptick in propane prices,” Hommes says. “But so far, they have remained absolutely flat for nearly a month now.”

Given the laws of supply and demand, the nation’s supply of propane is plentiful which is keeping prices very low and steady. “Inventory levels are at around 74-million barrels,” he says. “To put that in perspective, two years ago when we had that shortage, the nation was down to about 25- or 26-million barrels. We’re at three times those levels.”

While we’re just above a dollar a gallon now, liquid propane was retailing at $1.60 a gallon a year ago. In January of 2014, Iowa hit record high prices for L-P at just over $5 a gallon. About 183,000 Iowans heat their homes with L-P.

(Radio Iowa)

Senate moves bill ahead on concussions

News, Sports

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

State lawmakers concerned about concussions among high school athletes moved a bill forward in the Iowa Senate Wednesday to make it harder for coaches to put an injured player back in the game without proper rest or evaluation. There’s growing concern about the impact of untreated or repeat concussions on athletes from the amateur to the professional level. Senator Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, says his son was removed from a wrestling match his junior year for a concussion.

“My son wanted to return to action. That’s the constant battle coaches face where athletic trainers or other medical personnel have a little different perspective in life moving forward,” Bowman says. Bowman says the trainer was present when his son was knocked out during the match and settled the issue about whether he would continue.

“And she immediately evaluated him and said ‘you’re done son,’” according to Bowman. The Senate bill would require a professional trainer to evaluate injured players at varsity competitions for the so-called collision sports of football, soccer and wrestling. The trainer would also notify the school’s athletic director if an athlete from a visiting team suffered a concussion.

Trainers who attended the statehouse hearing told of coaches putting star players back in the game. Skeptics wonder if there would be enough athletic trainers in the state to staff every varsity event — for example, on a Friday night when hundreds of teams are playing across the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Taylor County Sheriff’s report (2/11/16)

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office reports three, recent arrests. Officials say 28-year old Andrew Kaipus, of Lenox, was arrested Tuesday on a Monona County warrant for Probation Violation. His bond was set at $5,000. On Feb. 6th, a 17-year old female was charged with Simple Assault. The teen was referred to Juvenile Court. And, on Feb. 5th, 52-year old Rafael Rodriguez, of Creston, was arrested in the 400 block of W. Illinois Street in Lenox, for Criminal Trespass. His bond was set at $300.

The Sheriff’s Office said also, no injuries were reported following an accident Feb. 4th. 30-year old Zachary Matney, of Corning, was traveling east on Taylor County Road J-20, near Highland Avenue, when he lost control of his 2006 Nissan pickup on the slick road. The vehicle hit a power pole in a ditch, and sustained $2,500.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 2/11/2016

News, Podcasts

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report,2/11/2016

News, Podcasts

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:07-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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2016 Grassroots Grazing Program for Young and Beginning Graziers

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A new grazing education and networking program intended for young and beginning graziers will be offered this year by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, in Adams County. ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said Grassroots Grazing is a three-part series that was started in 2015, with a southwest Iowa program offered in Corning, on February 22nd, 2016.

The grazing management series is designed primarily for young and beginning graziers but anyone interested in basic forage management is welcome to attend. All participants will receive a resource manual for use throughout the course and at their farms. The first session includes discussions on controlling feed costs, setting goals for your grazing system, and pros and cons of various grazing programs. The February meeting is part one of a three part series, with pasture walks and additional meetings later in the year (dates to be determined by the participants).

The series is sponsored by the ISU Extension and Outreach and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and sessions will be led by local ISU extension beef program specialists with assistance from other producers and volunteers. Local sponsors in Corning include the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee and the Adams County Cattlemen’s Association.

Joe Sellers say “There is no fee to attend, but we strongly encourage pre-registration to plan for the meal and ensure adequate materials for everyone. Please register by February 19th.”

The date, start time and address for the initial session at each location are listed below, along with the contact person for each site.

Corning, Iowa: February 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm at the St Patrick’s Church Parish Center (607 6th Street, 4 blocks west of Casey’s).

Public hearing set for Adair County Budget

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County have set their regular meeting on March 2nd at 9:30-a.m., as the date a time for a Public Hearing on the County’s FY 2017 Budget. The hearing will take place in the Board Room at the Adair County Courthouse.

The Board has received several departmental budget proposals over the past few weeks, and after crunching the numbers, the Adair County Supervisors have set the tax asking at $6.42 per thousand dollars valuation for urban taxpayers, which is about the same as last year. Rural property tax payers would pay $10.37 per thousand, or an increase of six-cents per thousand dollars over last year.

Atlantic School Board approves Sandage Early Retirement; another try at PPEL Income Surtax possible

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education Wednesday evening approved an Early Retirement request from full time TAG Coordinator K-12, Middle School STEM teacher and 8th grade volleyball coach, Joann Sandage. Superintendent Mike Amstein said that brings the number of Early Retirement applications to the predetermined level of 10 employees. The Board had set the deadline for the incentive as Feb. 1st, but they agreed to accept Sandages’ application because of what Amstein said were “Extenuating circumstances.”

The Board also discussed the possibility of bringing an Income Surtax for the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL or “Peppel”) back to the voters sometime this year.
Last September, voters rejected a public measure to add an income tax surcharge component to the district’s physical plant and equipment levy. The result though, was tight: 452 No to 443 Yes votes, or 49.5 percent of voters approving of the measure.
Amstein said the Board needs to revisit the matter for several reasons.IMG_20160210_173854

He says as it stands right now, the only source of revenue for the PPEL is property taxes. An income surtax would give the Board the ability to have more flexibility with what it can do with the tax levy. Board Secretary/District Business Manager Mary Beth Fast said the maximum surtax the District could impose, if approved, is 10-percent. Even if the District requested a nine-percent surtax, that would generate $300,000 and make for 67-cents difference in property tax relief.

Board member Dr. Keith Swanson said the last Surtax asking was “Sold so poorly to the public,” he couldn’t believe it…meaning, it wasn’t explained well at all. Fast agreed, the voters need to understand the surtax would reduce the property tax asking. Fast and Amstein will look into when the surtax could come up again for a vote, and report back to the Board during the next, regular meeting.

Mike Amstein said that if the State Legislature fails to set Supplemental Aid (SSA) by the time the District’s Budget is prepared, such as was the case last year, the District has to base its budget on the “Worst case scenario,” or zero-percent aid. The percentage of State Aid will impact how much the tax levy (property tax rate), will be for patrons of the Atlantic School District.

He says at 0%, the levy rate is $15.71 per thousand dollars valuation. At 1%, that drops to $15.50. At 2% – the current rate – the levy becomes $15.29. At 3% it’s $15.08. And if the legislature should approve 4% State Supplemental Aid, the levy would drop to $14.87 per thousand dollars valuation. That span he says, “Has a huge impact on what the Board is able to do with the tax rate, the flexibility [they would have].”

Amstein said even after the district certifies its budget by April 15th, the tax rate can be lowered, if the percentage of State Aid increases, but they can’t raise the levy rate if the Aid falls below the current 2%. That’s why they assume, unless the Legislature decides before the end of March, that the amount of State Aid will be Zero-percent.

Red Oak woman arrested Wed. afternoon

News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a local woman Wednesday afternoon, for Driving While Suspended. Police say 36-year old Allison Mary Ruhl, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 4:42-p.m. and brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where she was held on a $300 cash bond.