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Rural Safety Daycamp planned for 4th & 5th graders in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Extension Service say they will be hold a Rural Safety Day Camp for Local 4th & 5th Grade Youth, on Sept. 22nd.  The camp comes on the heels of National Farm Safety and Health Week, which runs from September 16th-though the 22nd. The Extension and its local business partners are hosting the Rural Safety Day Camp from 8:30- to 11:30-a.m. September 22nd, at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Atlantic. The camp is open to any local youth in 4th or 5th grade, and will focus on general rural safety topics such as ATV safety, basic first aid, animal safety, machinery safety, hidden hazards and more.

There is no cost to attend the camp, and campers will be provided with a snack during the camp. To register call the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132 or email smmck@iastate.edu before 4:30 on September 20th. Students will need to fill out a medical information and release form to participate in the camp. This form can be printed off and filled out prior to camp by visiting http://www.extension.iastate.edu/cass, or filled out when the camper is dropped off the morning of camp (must be signed by a parent or guardian, so make sure someone who can sign is the one who plans to drop off at camp).

Extension staff and local business partners will be presenting basic safety information on a variety of topics and campers will have opportunities to participate in several group activities focused on thinking and acting safely. A resource book with more rural safety information and an informational DVD will also be provided to all attendees. Be sure to dress in comfortable clothes and layers for fall weather as we will be indoors and out, and please, no open-toed shoes. For more information, to register, or with questions, please call the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132.

Harlan teen charged with extorting money from a woman


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Shelby County say a Harlan teenager was arrested on Monday after demanding money and goods from a woman. The Harlan Police Department reports 14-year old Bryan Wilke was charged with felony extortion for allegedly demanding money and/or goods from the mother of a 12-year old girl. Wilke allegedly had inappropriate pictures of the daughter and was willing to trade for $6,000 and other goods.

The teen was arrested after meeting with the girl’s mother at Pioneer Park in Harlan at around 6:15-p.m., Monday. Officials say the photos were allegedly taken by the 12-year old and sent by text message to Wilke. An investigation is continuing to determine if the alleged photos were passed on to anyone else. Wilke was transported by Harlan Police to the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs. He could face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in additional fines if he is tried as an adult.

New addition to Kaydn’s Law means stiffer penalties for drivers


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic School District Transportation Director Dave Eckles is warning motorists about increased penalties for passing school buses that have their “Stop” arms extended, and/or lights flashing. Earlier this year, Governor Terry Branstad signed into law the “Keep Aware Driving – Youth Need School Safety Act,” more commonly known as “Kaydn’s Law,” which increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus. Eckles says last month, however, the Iowa Transportation Commission adopted an emergency administrative rule that increases the administrative driving privilege sanctions. The new law says a person caught passing a stopped school bus faces a mandatory 30-day license suspension. Previously, that was an option for the courts.

Eckles says driver’s basically need to be aware of what they should do when approaching a school bus. He says if you are approaching a bus and its yellow lights just started flashing, you can’t pass the vehicle if you are behind it. If you are meeting the bus just as its flashing lights come on, and the “Stop” arm is not extended, you can continue to pass, but if you are able to stop, you must do so. If the “Stop” arm on the left side of the bus is extended, you definitely cannot pass from either direction.

Eckles says they’ve had some instances already this year, where drivers have tried to pass Atlantic Community School District buses. He says there’ve been a couple of times when it’s happened, but the problem remains on-going. Eckles says driver’s simply need to pay attention to the road, and not their cell phones, or other distracting devices. And, he says it’s not worth the time you think you’re saving trying to get to work or school, by passing a stopped school bus, especially in terms of a child’s life.

According to a recently released school bus driver’s survey sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Public Transportation, there has been a marked increase in the number of motorists who blow past the school bus arm and flashing red lights. The number of vehicles illegally passing a school bus during a one-day count conducted earlier this year, was 43.7-percent, as compared to 38.2-percent in 2011.

Burn Ban rescinded for Taylor County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office in Iowa has rescinded a burn ban for Taylor County. The ban was officially removed at 2-p.m. Thursday. The field and grass conditions in Taylor County no longer warrant a ban on outdoor burning. The ban was enacted on July 24th.  Burn bans remain in-place until further notice, for: Cass; Audubon; Pottawattamie; Mills; Montgomery; Fremont; Page; Madison; Crawford and Carroll Counties, in the KJAN listening area.

Atlantic Harvest Fest organizers seeks BBQ competitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for October’s Harvest Fest, and putting out a call for entries into a barbequed ribs cookout contest. Harvest Fest takes place in downtown Atlantic, with the addition this year of a rib festival on Friday, October 12th.

The smell of barbequed spare ribs will permeate the air during this year’s Harvest Fest, in Atlantic!

The night will be filled with the aroma of hot ribs and sound of music, near the Rock Island Depot.

Registrations for rib cooking teams are being taken until noon on October 3rd. Forms can be found on AtlanticIowa.com or at the following sponsor locations: Atlantic Motor Supply (NAPA), Sears, Cappel’s Ace Hardware, Robinson’s True Value Hardware, and Connect-A-Dock. Competitors can choose to participate in one or several categories. A trophy will be awarded for people’s choice ribs, and cash prizes will be awarded for the top three places in beef brisket and pork butt. Chamber Director Megan Roberts says the event is non-sanctioned, meaning it’s “Perfect for those entry-level, backyard smokers or for those who have a few competitions under their belt.”  Roberts says “It’s a casual event, where bragging rights and a little cash go a long way.”

The new “ribtastic” event will be open to the public from 8 p.m. to midnight on October 12th, and there is no cover charge for the live music. Rib samples and a beer garden will be available. Organizers are encouraging football fans to come out after the game.

Meat smoking will continue throughout the night. Roberts says Saturday, October 13th will feature the same family-friendly activities as in past years and will conclude with a Harvest Feast comprised of the smoked pork butt and beef brisket entries, chips, and apple pie contest entries. The Atlantic Fireman’s Parade will process on Chestnut Street starting at 6 p.m.

Questions about Harvest Fest can be answered by calling the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at (712) 243-3017 or e-mailing chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Cass Supervisors discuss the future of the Amaizing Energy site

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met this (Friday) morning, to discuss, among other business, how they wish to proceed with plans for the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, just north of the Atlantic City limits. Late last month, Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners made a presentation to the Board on behalf of Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, with regard to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant.

Schowalter asked the Board to consider local assistance in the form of: a property tax exemption until production begins; 50% property tax exemption/rebate for ten years after production begins; and assistance with applications for State and Federal incentives.

Board Chair Duane McFadden told KJAN News no decision on the request was made during this (Friday) morning’s meeting, but the Board did discuss their concerns and other matters related to the property, and the next time Schowalter might appear before the board. He said the Board wanted to “Air out” between themselves what they want to do, and the consensus seemed to be that they would like to “Maintain going forward if there is someone who would purchase that site, to keep the development going on, and get the infrastructure built there and create jobs, for the best interest of the County.”

McFadden says CADCO Executive Director Russell Joyce will try and coordinate a time for Schowalter to reappear before the Board. Following Schowalter’s next appearance before the Board, a public hearing will take place on or about October 19th. Afterward, it’s expected a motion on a proposal for the site will follow. McFadden says the Board is “pretty much united” in having something go forth at the site, given how fast the ethanol scene changes. And, he says Ron Fagen is probably the best qualified to take over the site. That’s because his company was the one who developed the site. He says Fagen probably has the most knowledge in how to use the infrastructure that’s currently in place, to its fullest potential.

Schowalter had said in August, that even with an agreement in-place, the permitting process would likely take up to a year once investors are secured, and construction on the plant itself would take 18-to 24-months.

Iowans warned to beware of possible scam on “free” airfare


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of Iowans are getting letters in the mail saying they’ve won two roundtrip airline tickets, but beware before you start packing your bags. The letters may look like a traditional form letter from something called U-S Airlines, or they may resemble two boarding passes. Whichever one you may get, Geoff Greenwood at the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says the offer has several red flags that point to it being iffy.

“People are being notified that they were ‘selected,’ that they ‘qualified’ for an award,” Greenwood says. “They didn’t enter anything and that’s gotta’ tell you something right there. They’re just picking your name out of a hat and suddenly giving you this free trip?” Greenwood says, “If you were to say ‘yes’ to this offer, chances are you’re going to have to go through some hoops and chances are you’re going to have to pay some money before you get these supposedly free airline tickets.”

If you call the 800-number on the letter, Greenwood says you may be subjected to a high-pressure presentation. “We’re in the early stages of looking into this,” Greenwood says. “We don’t have a lot of information yet because Iowans are just starting to let us know about this. We’ll be asking some questions of the company and making sure the company is following consumer laws if they’re trying to do business here in Iowa.” While he’s not saying it’s a scam, Greenwood is saying to be very cautious.

(Radio Iowa)

“Calling All Communities” education campaign gets underway


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with U-S Cellular have announced voting has started in the company-sponsored “Calling All Communities” campaign to improve education. Returning for its fourth year,the cellular phone provider will give communities the opportunity to help improve the education of students at 18 schools by challenging them to rally community support for the chance to win a share of $1 million. The school that garners the most community votes wins $150,000, while the next 17 schools with the most votes receive $50,000. Individuals can visit their local U.S. Cellular store to pick up a code to vote for their favorite school.

Calling All Communities is open to all K-12 schools — big or small, public or private. Voting concludes Oct. 21st. To vote, simply visit a local U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code, then enter it online at uscellular.com. You can check back to track your school ranking, see the top vote-getting schools, get ideas to rally more votes and post photos. With only one vote per person, it is important to get entire communities involved.

Since the program began in 2008, U.S. Cellular has awarded $3 million to 38 schools across the country for them to use however they see fit to impact the education of students. Past Calling All Communities champions have used their winnings in a variety of ways to strengthen the learning experience for thousands of students. Many winning schools outfitted their classrooms with new computers, improved outdated infrastructure and renovated gymnasiums, kitchens and science labs as well as provided scholarships to graduating students.

Among the school districts receiving awarded funds through the program over the past few years, is the Carroll Kuemper Catholic High School, which won $100,000 in 2009.  Getting off to a strong start in the voting has proven successful for schools in past campaigns. Previous winners got out of the gate early and rallied their community together in fun and innovative ways. Using social networking sites – such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – will help spread the word online, but don’t forget to engage parent teacher organizations, alumni networks, sports teams, the school band or student groups to help get the word out.

The official rules for the campaign are located at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities.

8AM Newscast 09-14-2012

News, Podcasts

September 14th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowa store where clerk attacked raided by police


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A western Iowa store where a clerk was attacked with a stun gun in robberies just days apart is now under police scrutiny.  Exotic Gifts in Council Bluffs and other stores with similar names in the Nebraska cities of Omaha and Lincoln were raided Thursday by agents with the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau. The Council Bluff store’s clerk was led away in handcuffs during the raids.  Federal authorities would not say what agents were seeking in the raid, but several boxes were seen being removed from the stores.  Only two weeks earlier, the clerk had been repeatedly shocked with a stun gun in back-to-back robberies. Two Omaha men have been arrested on suspicion of burglary in those robberies.