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Interest rate cuts to save money for 16 Iowa towns

News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State officials say 16 Iowa towns that received loans for water quality projects will end up saving money because of interest rate cuts. The Iowa Finance Authority and the Department of Natural Resources says those towns will see a combined savings of $1.5 million over the life of their loans. They have been paying 3 percent interest on the loans, but rates are being lowered 1.75 percent.

The State Revolving Fund is one of main sources for projects to improve Iowa’s drinking water, and to enhance wastewater and pollution control. The towns that will see savings include:  Ainsworth, Alleman, Audubon, Bancroft, Carroll, Fort Dodge, Fort Madison, Grandview, Kalona, Lisbon, Lovilia, Neola, Pocahontas, Rockwell City, Sioux City and Tiffin.

Leg spasm causes accident in Red Oak Monday afternoon

News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A leg spasm is said to have been the blame for a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon, in Red Oak. According to Red Oak Police, vehicles driven by 46-year old Jeffrey Hawkins, of Independence, MO., and 40-year old Sarah Anderson, of Hastings, collided at the intersection of Highway 48 and Broadway Street at around 12:20-p.m.

The accident happened as both vehicles were heading south on North Broadway, and were stopped at the traffic light. Officials say Anderson told officers she had a leg spasm, causing her to step on the gas. Her 2000 Ford F-250 pickup hit the rear of Hawkins’ 2008 Chevy pickup, causing $8,500 damage altogether. Anderson hit her lip on the steering wheel of her truck, but refused medical treatment.

Authorities cited Anderson for Unsafe starting of a stopped vehicle.

Judge: Iowa teen competent to stand trial for the murder of his foster brother

News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LOGAN, Iowa (AP) — A judge has declared an Iowa teen competent to stand trial for the murder of his 5-year-old foster brother. District Court Judge Judge Kathleen Kilnoski said Monday, an evaluation of 18-year-old Cody Metzker-Madsen showed that he understands the charges against him and can actively participate in his defense.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that Metzker-Madsen is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Dominic Elkins, of Atlantic. Authorities say Dominic was killed while the boys were playing outdoors on Aug. 31 at their home near Logan, in western Iowa. Dominic died as a result of blunt-force head injuries and drowning.  Metzker-Madsen has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Psychology experts who examined the teen say he has developmental problems. Metzker-Madsen’s mother used methamphetamine during her pregnancy with him.

Regulators not taking a stance on end of greyhound racing

News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

This could be the final week of the legislative session and one thing that’s still not decided is if there will be an agreement to end greyhound racing. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees the operation of the tracks, but commission chair, Jeff Lamberti, says their only role is to carry out whatever plan is passed. “We’ll do whatever the legislature tells us to — in terms of if they reach an agreement and it’s given to us to decide how to disperse the funds — we’ll do the best job that we can,” Lamberti says. “We have provided some input that we would hope that the legislature would give us a little guidance.”

A committee in the Iowa House passed a bill that would allow for a payout to end greyhound racing. Representatives of the tracks in Council Bluffs and Dubuque have been working the casinos to try and come to an agreement to close the tracks. Lamberti says the commission will only get involved once the issue is decided. “We really don’t take a position on whether dog racing should continue, shouldn’t continue, we’ll just follow what the law is. And if they give us responsibility because they do reach an agreement, then we’ll administer that to the best our ability” Lamberti says.

Those pushing to close the dog tracks say nobody goes to the races anymore and the casinos are subsidizing their operation to the tune of 13 million dollars each year. Legislators say a deal to end racing would likely have the two casinos pay a “cessation fee” to end racing and also pay into a multi-million dollar “retirement fund” for greyhound owners and breeders in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA unveils Rural Business Investment Program

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Cedar Rapids Monday afternoon to tout an effort by his agency to create jobs in rural America. The former Iowa governor said the new Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP) will allow the USDA to facilitate private equity investments in ag-related businesses. “It’ll be at least $150 million and those resources can then be used to purchase interests in small businesses that want to expand and scale up product,” Vilsack said. “It’s an opportunity to get more capitol into rural areas.”

Eight Farm Credit institutions have pledged to invest $150 million into the new program. Vilsack said, over the past decade, USDA programs to help rural businesses have only involved loans or loan guarantees. “The bottom line here is about a new way to do business for government, where we facilitate, bridge, and leverage as opposed to solely relying on government financing to do it all,” Vilsack said. The ag secretary is promising more programs to help rural America will be rolled out in the coming months.

For instance, a Rural Opportunity Investment Conference is being planned for this summer. The event is designed to connect major investors with rural business leaders, government officials, economic development experts and other partners. “We’ll have every federal agency that has projects…like, we have water projects that we don’t have enough money to fund because of budget constraints. Those water projects may be something an investment bank might be interest in because it’s a fairly stable return. So, we’re going to match their money to projects we know are available and out there in rural America,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack discussed the USDA programs Monday during a stop at Central Iowa Power Cooperative in Cedar Rapids.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., April 22nd, 2014

News

April 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State and local economic development officials in central Iowa have come up with a brand name and logo for the region in an effort to create an identity similar to that of Silicon Valley in California. The “Cultivation Corridor” area within a 60-mile radius of Des Moines will focus on the marketing of agribusiness, biotechnology and renewable fuel products.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say 16 Iowa towns that received loans for water quality projects will end up saving money because of interest rate cuts. The Iowa Finance Authority and the Department of Natural Resources says those towns will see a combined savings of $1.5 million over the life of their loans. They have been paying 3 percent interest on the loans, but rates are being lowered 1.75 percent.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lucey, an 18-month old pooch from Waukee, Iowa, has beaten out 49 drooling competitors to take this year’s “Beautiful Bulldog” pageant. Monday’s tongue-in-cheek event is designed to kick off the weeklong Drake Relays, an internationally-renowned track and field event in Des Moines. Lucey was certainly a hit with the crowd at Drake’s Knapp Center, besting a pair of boys named Lord Nelson and Zuul to capture top honors.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Auditor Mary Mosiman says she’s reviewing the secret settlement payments with former state workers and will issue a public report when the investigation is finished. Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch wants a review of the settlements and a broader audit from a firm outside state government. Governor Terry Branstad appointed Mosiman last year.

Activities area at Sunnyside Park is coming along

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Wet weather is the only thing slowing progress on the “Senior Activities Area” at Sunnyside Park, in Atlantic. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring announced Monday, that grading is the next major step, but that many contractors are very busy with other projects to find enough time to work on the park. On the bright side, a local contractor has stepped forward with a generous donation of time and labor for that portion of the project.

Herring says Rob Stamp, owner of Stamp Construction, is willing to grade the area for the cost of the gasoline only. He said Stamp is excited be a part of the project, along with the Trevor Frederickson Foundation and Dean Orstad family, who are making major contributions for a professional level horseshoe playing area at Sunnyside Park. Herring said Stamp should be able to get the work on grading done within the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

He said also, that Melanie Petty with the Fredericksen Foundation, has informed him the Foundation is willing to help out with the cost of the horseshoe, Bocce ball and badminton equipment, in addition to the labor and expertise needed to set up those activity areas.

In other business, Herring told the Parks and Rec Board Monday, that the Iowa Department of Transportation has approved a $40,000 TAP (Transportation Alternative Program) Grant application submitted by SWIPCO, for a concrete renovation of the Bull Creek Pathway in front of the Schuler Elemenary School. He says the walkway/bike path is used for Middle School Physical Education classes and cross county programs. The path in that area is currently narrow and ruddy. Once it’s straightened out and widened, the Intra-City bike path from 17th and Olive Streets to the Schildberg Recreation Area will be complete.

Herring said also, that the Roy Newberg Family has agreed to purchase two Memorial benches in his name, to be installed by the west kiosk at the Schildberg Recreation Area. On a separate note, Herring reported the six dog waste stations around the City’s trails and Rec Area are being used as intended. He thanked Board Vice President Mary Strong, Dr. Keith Leonard (formerly with the Atlantic Animal Health Center) and Dave and Barb Chase, for their donations making the clean-up stations possible.

Signs or placards will be made up for those posts to that effect, which may spur additional sponsorships, especially for the dog waste bags included at each station.

Atlantic Pool Mgr. & Softball Coordinators selected

News, Sports

April 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A committee comprised of Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Herring and Melanie Dunphy, with the Nishna Valley YMCA, has completed the process of interviewing prospects candidates for the on-site Pool Manager’s position at the Atlantic Public Pool. Herring, who made the announcement during Monday night’s meeting of the Park and Rec Board, said there were three finalists for the position.

Tierney Kamies was selected for the job. She will also be the Head Coach for the Summer Swim Team. Tierney is finishing her Junior year at ISU, working toward her degree in Kinesiology and a Minor in Exercise Science. Herring said she only needs to complete her Certified Pool Operators License as a prerequisite before she can accept the position. If she does not complete the requirement in a reasonable amount of time, the position will be offered to the next best qualified candidate. The salary for Pool Manager will be approximately $4,800, with the Swim Coachs’ job paying $1,300.

Herring mentioned also, the Atlantic’s Swim Team will be joining a new conference this year. The Tri-State conference is made up of competitors from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska. Herring said Missouri includes Maryville, Nebraska is Nebraska City/Syracuse, while the Iowa conference is made up of teams from Red Oak and elsewhere across southwest Iowa. Herring said the schedule is all figured out and they’re ready to go.

He added that they will likely be hiring an Assistant Swim Coach to help Kamies out. The position will be a “Few hundred dollars.” Herring said also, the Brett Johnson and Lucas Mosier will be the softball co-coordinators for the City of Atlantic’s Summer Recreation Program.

Council Bluffs woman arrested on drug charges in Mills Co.

News

April 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Saturday of a Council Bluffs woman on drug charges. 53-year old Julie Ann Vore was arrested at the E-Stop in Emerson, at around 11:10-p.m., Saturday. She faces charges that include Possession with the Intent to Deliver/Methamphetamine, Possession of Controlled Substance/Marijuana, a Drug Tax Stamp violation, and on a warrant for Violation of her Probation.Vore was being held in the Mills County Jail on $111,000 bond.

And early Saturday morning, 41-year old Patricia Margeret Zastera, of Glenwood, was arrested in Mills County for Serious Assault, Interference with Official Acts And Falsely Reporting an Emergency by 9-1-1.  There was no word on her disposition or bond.

And just before 1-a.m. Sunday, 33-year old Joseph William Anderson, of Malvern, was arrested in Mills County on a charge of Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

Griswold man arrested on drug charges

News

April 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a Griswold man was arrested on drug charges, Sunday. 26-year old Nick Aaron Rush was taken into custody on charges that include OWI 1st Offense, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Rush was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

And on Saturday, deputies with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 52-year old Martin William Glover, of Griswold, on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Glover was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.