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AMU to hold public hearing over adopted budget tonight

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will be held this evening in Atlantic, with regard to Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ Fiscal Year 2013 Budget. The meeting takes place at 5:30-p.m. in AMU’s business office at 15 West 3rd Street.

AMU says its total budget for 2013 is up 12.1-percent from the current year. They are calling for a 10-percent increase in water rates and a 7.5-percent increase in electric rates to make up for wholesale increases in the cost to obtain electricity and other related expenses. The utility says they’ve seen a 35.5-percent increase in electric production costs and a 21.5-percent increase in the cost of transmitting electricity.

If approved, the new rates for AMU’s customers would become effective with the February1st, 2013 billing. AMU’s budget report says even with a rate increase, their fund balance will decline by 9.2-percent (or $431,000). They claim their overall rates will still be lower than the regional average, as well.

The Atlantic City Council will be asked to accept AMU’s budget report during the Council’s meeting on Wed., Dec. 5th.

Record High temps expected today (Monday)

News, Weather

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Expect to see several records being broken today for the warmest temperature on this date. In Atlantic, as of 11-a.m., the temperature at the KJAN studios (The official National Weather Service reporting site for Atlantic) was 63-degrees, which tied the record set 50-years ago on this date. The predicted high this afternoon, is forecast to be around 63.

Car vs. semi accident Saturday near Treynor

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department says two Villisca teens were injured when a car collided with a semi Saturday morning, just east of Treynor. Sergeant Dwayne Riche told KJAN News the accident happened at the intersection of Highway 92 and 370th Street east of Treynor at around 9:45-a.m. Saturday. Riche says the semi was traveling west on Highway 92 at the same time the car was traveling north on 370th Street – or, County Road M-16, when the car failed to stop at the controlled intersection and hit the rear axles of the trailer being pulled by the semi.

Two passengers in the car, 15-year-old Thad Brunning Villisca, were transported by Carson Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Niether the driver of the 2011 Chevy Malibu, 16-year old Eric Bodwell, nor the driver of the semi, 45-year old Andrey Galinov, of Lawrenceville, NJ, were injured.

Eric Bodwell was cited for Failure to Yield and a seat belt violation. Damage from the crash amounted $22,000. The wreckage of the semi remained near the roadway this (Monday) morning.

$14.3-million bond issue comes before Riverside voters Tuesday

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Administrators and others interested in improving the Riverside Community School District’s facilities, hope the fourth time at bat yields a home run with the voters. Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutton says this time around, there’s a big difference in the type of facility patrons of the district will be voting on. Sutton told KJAN News they went from the previously proposed and rejected Pre-K through 12th grade building to a 7th through 12th grade building. The final proposal came through suggestions from the community, and includes updating and consolidating the athletic complex, and the installation of a geo-thermal heating and cooling system.

Sutton says he thinks the pared-down and prioritized $14.3-million dollar bond referendum will be approved by the voters. The same day patrons of the Riverside District will be heading to the polls, residents of 13 southwest and western Iowa counties will be casting their ballots on a $22.5-million dollar bond issue, to be used for Iowa Western Community College Construction and renovation projects. Sutton doesn’t think the fact both bond issues are being held at the same time will impact turnout for the Riverside District’s vote. He says people have heard the information that’s been presented by Iowa Western officials, and he doesn’t think it will be a problem, because the Iowa Western bond which is intended to generate $22.5-million dollars actually ends-up lowering the tax rate by 10-cents per thousand dollars valuation.

Speaking of tax rates, if the Riverside bond issue passes Tuesday, it will increase the tax asking by a maximum $2.70 per thousand dollars residential property valuation. Sutton says the current tax rate for all funds in the 2013 Fiscal Year is $9.63/thousand, which is still lower than surrounding districts, and the eight lowest rate out of 357 districts in the State this year. The bond issue will raise about two-thirds of the $22.1 million dollars needed for the project. The rest of the money ($7.8-million) will come from the district’s savings and borrowing against the remaining sales tax.

Sutton says this latest attempt to float a bond issue is a “step forward,” in terms of providing greater savings to the district. He says they’re kind of “In the 11th hour “as far as the High School is concerned. Either they will have to spend a lot of money to make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] and energy efficient, or they will have to come up with a plan that charts a completely new course with a more efficient building that meets current and future needs.

The only polling place for the Riverside bond referendum allowed by the Pottawattamie County Auditor’s office is at the Carson Community Building. Patrons may cast their ballots from 7-a.m. to 8-p.m. Tuesday. For more information, check out the district’s November Newsletter at http://www.riversideschools.org/vimages/shared/vnews/stories/4ca0e8b9d15c7/November%202012%20Newsletter.pdf

8AM Newscast 12-03-2012

News, Podcasts

December 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Midwest economic index rises slightly

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly economic index report suggests an economic slump will continue over the next three to six months for nine Midwest and Plains states. The Mid-America Business Conditions index rose slightly in November to a weak 48.0 from 46.5 in October. The figure was 50.4 in September.

The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says it is tracking “economic weakness, particularly for nondurable-goods producers.”  The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

7AM Newscast 12-03-2012

News, Podcasts

December 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Iowa Guard troops deploy to Honduras

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Forty Iowa National Guard soldiers deployed yesterday (Sunday) for a mission in Honduras. The soldiers are part of a Military Police unit and Colonel Greg Hapgood, a spokesman for the Iowa Guard, says they will be part of “Joint Task Force Bravo” based in Honduras.
“Particularly they work on countering what they would call ‘transnational’ organized crime, narcotics and other kinds of criminal activity,” Hapgood says. “They do humanitarian assistance and disaster relief down there and they work on building up the militaries of those nations in Central America and that entire region to make them stronger bearers of their own security.” The Iowa soldiers will spend a couple of months at Fort Bliss in Texas for training before moving on to Honduras.

“Certainly going to Honduras is somewhat new for the Iowa National Guard in recent history,” Hapgood says. “We’ve previously operated down there particularly in the 1990s and the early 2000s, but the 186th Military Police Company is excited to go do this job…and they’re ready to go.” The Iowa unit is based at Camp Dodge, in Johnston, and a send-off ceremony was held there Sunday afternoon.

“The Iowa National Guard has done a number of deployments, particularly starting in the mid-1990s through the present day in more than 35 nations around the world,” Hapgood says. “Certainly, with Honduras, it’s been a while since the National Guard has been there on any type of lengthy basis but these soldiers are trained and ready to go do their job.” This particular military police unit has been deployed to Iraq three time — in 1996, during the first Iraq War, then in 2003 and 2004 and again in 2007 and 2008. They were deployed in 1996 to provide law enforcement at U.S. military installations in Germany. Honduras has been ravaged by drug-related corruption and violence and the country has the highest homicide rate in the western hemisphere, 16-times higher than the U.S. murder rate and more than double Colombia’s.

(Radio Iowa)

Woman seeks money for freeing long-imprisoned men

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A monthlong trial of two men seeking $100 million for their wrongful conviction in a 1977 Council Bluffs killing could end next week, but a former prison barber who is largely responsible for their freedom wonders if she’ll be compensated for her work. Anne Danaher of Kansas City spent years researching the case against Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee, two Omaha teenagers who were convicted of killing a former police officer. They had spent decades in prison when Danaher discovered investigators withheld records from defense lawyers.

This evidence led the men to be freed, and both received large settlements. Now they’re seeking more money from investigators and Council Bluffs. Danaher says Harrington promised to share any settlement with her, but she’s received no money. She’s filed a lawsuit seeking compensation.

(Updated with the names of all 3 victims) 2 die, 1 hurt in Woodbury County plane crash

News

December 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the names of the three people on board a small plane that crashed in northwest Iowa this weekend. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s office says 70-year-old Gaylen Knaack, of Correctionville, was flying the plane when it crashed into a farm field 2½ miles south of Correctionville Saturday evening. Knaack’s two passengers died in the crash, and Knaack suffered serious burns. The passengers were: 53-year-old Lee Schroeder, of Oto, and 55-year-old James Smith, of Correctionville. Former Anthon Fire Chief Mike Berning says Schroeder was a longtime firefighter who was scheduled to portray Santa Claus at a town celebration next weekend.

Knaack was taken to a Sioux City hospital and later transferred to a burn center in Lincoln, NE. Saint Elizabeth spokeswoman Betty Thompson says Knaack was in critical condition Sunday.