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Creston man arrested for OWI/2nd


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Creston Police arrested a man Wednesday night, following a traffic stop at the intersection of Adams and Jarvis Streets. 41-year old Dennis Smith, of Creston, was taken into custody at around 9-p.m., and charged with OWI/2nd offense, and Operating a Vehicle While Revoked. He was later released from the Union County Jail.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 5/12/2016

News, Podcasts

May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


IA DNR reports feedlot runoff into a Carroll County creek

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wednesday, said a cattle feedlot owner reported to authorities a leaking runoff holding basin. Lee Schon found the leak Wednesday morning, at the base of the basin’s bank located about six-miles southeast of Carroll. Schon quickly tried to repair the leak, but the DNR says the seepage will likely continue until the soil drys out enough to fix the basin.

The feedlot runoff was flowing about 400-feet across a field into an unnamed tributary of the Middle Raccoon River. A DNR field specialist took samples of the discharge, and is working with Schon to minimize the effects, downstream. Early indications from field test results and high stream flows are that there will likely be little impact to aquatic organisms.

Schon plans to land apply runoff remaining in the basin to a nearby pasture, when soil conditions permit, and the DNR says it will continue to monitor the situation and work with Schon to ensure permanent repairs are completed.

Red Oak man arrested on drug charges Wed. night


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police, late Wednesday evening, arrested a man for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 24-year old Jason Paul Clemens, of Red Oak, was arrested near the intersection of N. 8th and E. Elm Streets at around 10:50-p.m.  Clemens was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

DOT looking to use more outside consultants after budget request cut


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation is looking to dramatically increase the amount of money spent on outside consultants after the legislature cut in half the amount of funding the department asked for in its budget for salaries. D-O-T director Paul Trombino, told the Transportation Commission members during a workshop that they will need to trim some 60 positions this year, and will need to add 10 million more dollars into the next budget for outside consultants.

“The cost differential is ultimately knowing that we are going to go into the market and have to purchase — whether it be all types of engineering services across all program areas — and at times we are going to have to make some decisions about certain programs that we do now that we may not do in the future,” Trombino says.

The increase would be on top of the already proposed 22-and-a-half million dollar increase in the budget for consultants, and add to the more than 57 million dollars already spent on consultants. Trombino says the number of projects in the five-year construction plan is up 30 percent, and they need to be sure they have the services to manage those projects and keep them on time.

“And so that’s why we — from my prospective — we need to not just ask for the same number, we needed to ask for a larger number and really try to get ahead of that curve so we can deliver the work,” Trombino says. “Because you are talking a huge gap. A thirty percent increase in program work and an 18 percent decrease in staffing is a significant gap.” Trombino says they will not lay any workers off, but will instead not fill open positions. He says that means some changes as they try to best manage the staff available.

He says they are going to remove 60 some positions off their books in pretty short order and then will have to figure out what the next budget year that begins in July 2017 looks like. “Which means that we are going to have to make some shifts across the agency and you are going to see that in garages and D-L (driver’s license) stations, and we are going to move resources around the state so we can address areas where we see areas of need,” Trombino says. A commission member asked Trombino if it is more or less expensive for the department to use outside consultants on projects.

“It’s always an interesting question, people ask that often. I always like to say it depends on the project. We are ultimately responsible for the budget of the project, so as I like to says –the engineering services which would be construction and design and all the things that go into that as a percentage of the project — that’s a key piece for us to manage,” according to Trombino. “And so we are shifting in this world where we have done a lot of that work, and now we are doing a lot less of that work. So we have to really manage those costs as we go forward.”

Trombino says once they make the shift to cut staff and use outside consultants, it is hard to turn around because of the cost of adding back staff. “As we move away from those areas, typically the cost become prohibitive. Not that it can’t be done, the cost becomes significantly higher,” Trombino says.

The D-O-T had asked lawmakers for nine-point-seven million dollars to cover negotiated pay increases, but lawmakers said they were unwilling to do so after approving an increase in the gas tax the last session. They ended up with a compromise that saw the legislature approve half of the funding. The Transportation Commission is expected to vote on approval of the five-year plan at its meeting in June.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 12th 2016


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

NEOLA, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa teen is accused of intentionally swerving his truck and causing a rollover crash that killed another teen. Eighteen-year-old Kael Karagianis was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide stemming from the March 21 crash that killed 14-year old Gage Williams in Neola. Williams and another teen were riding in the bed of the truck when officials say Karagianis intentionally swerved and hit the brake to trigger a reaction.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — About 70 U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from the Starkville, Mississippi area are preparing for deployment to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The group is assigned to the Sioux City, Iowa-based 960th Quartermaster Company and is among the 180 soldiers scheduled to leave this weekend. A farewell ceremony for the company is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at East High School in Sioux City.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has thrown out the sentence for a Mason City woman which prohibited her from becoming pregnant while on probation for a child endangerment conviction. The court says the sentence violates the woman’s “fundamental right to procreation.”

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A $300,000 grant has been approved for a proposed park in Sioux City. The Vision Iowa Board approved the grant Wednesday for the Cone Park project, which is estimated to cost about $4 million and is set to feature a tubing hill and an ice rink. The award is contingent on the city raising an additional $16,684 in the next 90 days. The completion date for the park is anticipated for December 2017.

Graduation rate up, dropout rate down, in the Atlantic School District


May 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education held a nearly two-hour long meeting Wednesday evening (May 11th) at the Schuler Elementary School. During their session, the Board held a public hearing on an amendment to the 2015-16 Certified Budget. After receiving a brief explanation from Business Manager Mary Beth Fast, and, upon hearing no comments from the public, the hearing was closed and the Board later voted to approve the amendment, which primarily was caused by increased unexpected revenue from grants and other income, and the resulting expenditures of those revenues. The amendment amounted to a $505,000 increase in the 2015-16 budget, which was sent to the State last year.

The Board also received a report from Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, during which he announced graduation rates were up for 2015 (The last year of data available from the Iowa Dept. of Education), and the dropout rate was down. Amstein said in 2015, 94.3% of the students graduated, which was above the State average of 90.8%, and an increase of 13.3% since 2010. Amstein said that achievement is attributable to all the work the high school has done over the past six-years to helping kids graduate.

Amstein said the dropout rate in 2015 for Atlantic, was 2.2%, while the State average was 2.48%. Atlantic’s dropout rate was 1.21% lower in 2015 than it was in 2010. Dr. Amstein reminded the Board graduation this year is on Sunday, May 22nd.

In other business, the Board approved a sharing agreement with the Audubon Community School District for Boys/Girls Swimming. Audubon previously had a swimming arrangement with the Carroll School District. They also approved the 2016-17 School Fees and Lunch prices. The latter amounts to a 10-cent increase over last year due to an increase in the district’s food cost. And, they approved, by a vote of 3-to 1, a bid of $38,975 from PCS Concrete, for the Washington School Playground project. Board member Alison Bruckner was not able to attend the meeting. Kristy Pellet was the lone “nay” vote. She questioned whether enough had been done to solicit bids. The district received four inquiries, but only two companies submitted bids.

The Board also decided to further narrow down the language they want to present to district patrons, in an attempt to gain favor for a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy Income Surtax. The surtax, Dr. Amstein said, would have an impact “Immediately on property tax relief.” Discussion centered around using the funds from such a surtax to relieve the traffic congestion along 14th Street, by adding a bus access road to the Middle School and Schuler Elementary, and making for some additional parking spaces.

A vote on the PPEL Income Surtax is expected to take place September 13th. A previous attempt to pass the surtax last fall, failed.

Western Iowa teen charged in fatal rollover crash


May 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

NEOLA, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa teen is accused of intentionally swerving his truck and causing a rollover crash that killed another teen. The Daily Nonpareil reports 18-year-old Kael Karagianis was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide stemming from the March 21 crash that killed 14-year old Gage Williams in Neola.

Williams and another teen were riding in the bed of the truck when officials say Karagianis intentionally swerved and hit the brake to trigger a reaction from the two boys. Authorities say Karagianis lost control of the truck and it rolled at least once.

Williams died in a Council Bluffs hospital, while Karagianis, along with two other passengers, were injured. Karagianis is in the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Iowa court rules against attempt to reclassify marijuana


May 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has shot down an activist’s attempt to reclassify marijuana in the state. The court says in a ruling Wednesday that the Iowa Board of Pharmacy had proper authority to deny Carl Olsen’s request in 2013 to reclassify marijuana as a controlled substance that has medical use.

Olsen, a self-described activist for marijuana use, says the ruling adds legal clarification to the issue. He is focusing on a separate legal challenge against the pharmacy board that seeks to address the classification issue. That case is pending in district court. The appeals decision comes after the Iowa Legislature failed this session to agree on how to update the state’s medical marijuana law.

Cass County Supervisors approve permit app. for S.W. IA Egg


May 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved a construction permit application for Southwest Iowa Egg, near Massena. Prior to approval, the Board held a public hearing on the plan, during which there were no written or spoken objections. Pat McCurdy, President of Cass/Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO), said CADCO was fully in support of the plan, which involves the removal of two, older buildings and replacing them with a larger, modern facility that gives the chickens more room and is designed to considerably reduce out-gassing of odors from the manure.

Board Chair Gaylord Schelling, said he and Supervisor Frank Waters scored and approved the Master Matrix for the permit application, which will now be submitted to the Iowa DNR for final approval. The Board also passed a resolution of support for a public/private partnership called “Home Base Iowa,” initiative, an effort to match military veterans with jobs available across Iowa. The program consists of Home Base Iowa Business and Home Base Iowa Communities.

HBI Communities offers additional incentives above and beyond the statewide benefits. The communities have at least 10 percent of area businesses committed to hire veterans. Additionally, HBI communities offer resources from local veteran organizations, businesses, economic development organizations and schools to assist veterans and their families feel at home. Approval of the Resolution makes Cass County the only county in the area to become a Home Base Community. None of the contiguous counties are part of the program.

The Board also approved a resolution approving a contract among the County, Farmers Energy/Cardinal, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, for a High Quality Jobs Program.