KJAN News

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OPPD defends Fort Calhoun as safe nuclear plant

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha Public Power District officials remain confident in their plan to improve the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, and they disagree with an environmental group’s petition to revoke the plant’s license. OPPD spokesman Jeff Hanson said Thursday that the utility believes the nuclear power plant 20 miles north of Omaha is safe. The utility also says the plant is an important part of its power-generating portfolio. The Sierra Club of Iowa filed a formal petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday asking regulators to revoke Fort Calhoun’s license. David Lochbaum, nuclear safety director at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, says the NRC probably receives a similar petition about once a month. Most of the petitions are denied, but he said they can force changes at nuclear plants.

Feds deny Iowa No Child Left Behind waiver

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has denied Iowa’s request for a waiver from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind rules. Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass says the state’s application was denied because lawmakers in a bill passed this year requires any changes in teacher evaluations to be first approved by the Legislature. Glass says he warned lawmakers that such a requirement would mean rejection. He says it’s a missed opportunity for Iowa schools to find relief from the 2002 law. Glass says the law holds schools to unrealistic measures and then blames them for failure. Gov. Terry Branstad says responsibility for the denial lies squarely at the feet of the Iowa Legislature, which did too little to improve schools despite repeated warnings.

IWCC selected to receive $200k in job training funds

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Kansas City, KS, Thursday, announced Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) has been selected to receive $200,000 in workforce development and brownfields job training funds from the EPA, to train unemployed and underemployed residents in Council Bluffs and Omaha. IWCC is one of only 15 workforce development organizations in the nation to receive the funding this year. Its project will specifically serve residents of the environmentally impacted neighborhoods of the South Main Brownfields Site in Council Bluffs and northeast Omaha. 

Targeted populations include Trade Adjustment Assistance individuals displaced from their jobs due to the competition of foreign imports or due to work activity moving out of the U.S.; unemployed and underemployed individuals, with priority given to veterans, long-term unemployed, residents of the identified contaminated communities; and populations underrepresented in the green and environmental fields, including minorities and women. 

IWCC plans to train 100 students, place 80 graduates in jobs, and track graduates for one year.  The core training program includes 152 hours of instruction on hazardous materials, lead and asbestos abatement, storm water management, underground storage tank leak prevention, construction debris recycling, green remediation, and environmental health and safety.  Participants will also be offered additional training in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction and mold contractor remediation. 

EPA’s Annual Environmental Workforce Development and Brownfields Job Training Grants allow nonprofit and other organizations to recruit, train, and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed and under-employed people living in areas affected by solid and hazardous waste.  Typical applicants include community colleges, universities, vocational-technical colleges, workforce development organizations, non-profit organizations and others with an interest in the program. 

Nationwide, as of January 2012, approximately 10,275 individuals have completed training, and 7,155 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field, with an average starting wage of $14.12 per hour.

Rural Midwest, West growth slowing, report says

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A June survey report says growth in rural areas of 10 Midwestern and Western states has slowed. The report released Thursday says the Rural Mainstreet Index hit its lowest level of the year, 56.7, compared with 58.5 in May.  But survey organizers say any survey index score above 50 on the 100-point scale suggests growth in the months ahead.
 
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey of rural bankers. Goss says the global economic slowdown, combined with a stronger U.S. dollar, have pushed agriculture and energy prices lower. He says downward pressure that weakens overall growth for rural parts of the 10 states.  The states are Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Woman injured & cited following accident southwest of Adair

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says an Adair woman injured during a single-vehicle rollover accident was later cited for Failure to Maintain Control. 73-year old Rosalie Jessen suffered non-incapacitating injuries following the crash which occurred Tuesday morning in northwestern Adair County.  The woman was transported by private vehicle to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, for treatment.

Officials say Jessen was traveling west on County Road G-30 at around 8:20-a.m., when the 2008 Toyota Corolla she was driving went off the road, to the north. When Jessen over-corrected, the car entered the north ditch where it rolled over and came to rest on its wheels, near a utility pole. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $10,500.

Farmer in NW Iowa reports 4″ of rain in 90 minutes

News, Weather

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Dry, wilting crops may have prompted some Iowa farmers to pray for rain in recent weeks, but some of them may’ve prayed a little too hard. Parts of northwest Iowa were drenched in Wednesday’s thunderstorms, as parched areas quickly became lakes. James Oberreuter is a farmer from Danbury in Woodbury County. “We got around four inches of rain here,” Oberreuter says. “It came out of the fields pretty good. Luckily, the crop was pretty tall and it didn’t do a lot of damage.” Four inches of rain wouldn’t be so bad over a few weeks, but he says this deluge was a bit too much of a good thing. “It came in about an hour and a half period of time,” Oberreuter says. “It just kept coming. One thunderstorm would go over and another one would take its place.” He says rainfall was spotty, as the four inches that fell on his field was a rare amount.  “You didn’t have to go more than about four or five miles away and they only got about two or two and a half (inches),” he says. “It’s a summertime rain. We got a whole bunch and you didn’t have to go too far and they didn’t get hardly any.”

In the KJAN listening area, rainfall amounts varied widely, from .45″ in Malvern, to as much as 1.6-inches near Avoca. In Atlantic, we received just under eight-tenths of an inch of rain (.79″). Up at “The Valley” (near the Hwy 71/I-80 interchange), a listener reported 1.00″.  A listener in Audubon reports 1.5-inches. Other reports include: Harlan – 1.1o”; Massena – 1.01″; Oakland – 1.00″;  Red Oak – 1.05″; Villisca – .83″; and in Clarinda, .82″.

Forecasters say more rain is expected this weekend, especially Saturday.

(Radio Iowa/rainfall amounts reported from various sources)

Applications being accepted for IWCC Nursing Scholarships

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Ann Pross, Director of Iowa Western Community College’s Cass County Center, says applications are currently being accepted for nursing scholarships being offered by the Don and Lois Sonntag Endowment Fund. All students from Atlantic and surrounding communities are encouraged to apply for the available funds. The actual amount awarded to each student will depend upon the number of qualified applicants.

Applications can be found on the Iowa Western website at www.iwcc.edu/es/financial/scholarships.asp, and must be received by July 6th, 2012. IWCC officials will make the final determination of who is qualified for the scholarships, based on need and certain scholarship criteria. All funds from the effort will be used only for those students enrolled in nursing prerequisite courses, or the nursing program.

In addition, the Sonntag Endowment Fund is offering a Challenge Grant of up to $5,000, for matching funds to benefit students attending Iowa Western Community College. The Atlantic couple has already committed $2,500 to nursing scholarships, and a gift from Pat McCurdy brings the current scholarship total to $3,500. Additional funds are still being accepted to match the $5,000 challenge, and have $10,000 available for area students who are pursuing a career in nursing.

Matching funds under the endowment program can be in any amount, and should be submitted directly to the Iowa Western Community College Foundation, a 501-c-3 tax deductible entity. For more information, contact Don Sonntag at 712-249-1906, or Ann Pross at IWCC in Atlantic, at 712-243-5527.

9AM Newscast 06-21-2012

News, Podcasts

June 21st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

OWI arrest in Clarinda

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Clarinda man was arrested Wednesday evening on an OWI charge. Police Chief Keith Brothers says 37-year old Ryan Gary Fewsen was taken into custody at around 6:30 p.m. , on a charge of OWI/1st offense, following a traffic stop at 14th and Stuart Streets. officers Fewson was released on a recognizance bond and will appear before the Page County Magistrate at a later date for an initial appearance.

Atlantic looks to fill Committee position, and won’t shoot cats

News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic is looking for a female to fill a position on the Community Promotion Committee. Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Livengood said during Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting, that they’re looking for resumes’ from woman because of gender balancing mandate handed down by the State. Livengood said the applicant should be “community active.” Your resume may be submitted to City Hall.

Livengood said also, the City “Is not going to shoot cats.” The Community Protection Committee, he says met on June 12th to discuss a complaint about cats which, according to one resident, threatens her bird sanctuary. He says the Committee reviewed the City’s Animal Protection and Control licensing Code, and no where does it mention cats per se. Regardless, the Committee feels Chapter 55 of the Code is applicable to cats, even though it specifically says “dogs” and “animals.” Chapter 56 refers specifically to dog licensing. Livengood says the committee is examining the pro’s and con’s of licensing cats, but no decision has been made. Livengood said if your neighbor’s cat is in your yard, you have rights. He suggested cat owners respect their neighbors’ wishes to keep the animals out of their yards, while the issue is being studied.

In other business, City Administrator Doug Harris said a representative from Mediacom Cable Company wanted to inform residents of the community who have cable tv service, that the company will be going to an all digital platform in September. As a result, analog television sets will be incapable of receiving cable signals without a special box. The box will also improve internet speed with the changeover. And, the City Council approved a three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 234, along with a Resolution establishing the Pay Plan for non-union employees of the City of Atlantic, for the fiscal year which begins July 1st and ends June 30th, 2013.