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Education officials propose extended learning

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Education officials in Iowa are hoping the state will support a pilot program aimed at helping students learn before and after school.  The state Department of Education says the extended learning pilot project could boost Iowa’s graduation rate. The department submitted a proposal for the $1 million program in November, but Gov. Terry Branstad hasn’t said whether he will support it.

The Des Moines Register says a report commissioned by the state and prepared by a consulting firm recommends that the proposed program focus on high-need students. Proponents of such programs say the measure is further evidence that support for out-of-school learning is growing in Iowa.

Fill the Feeder for the Swans and Soiree with the Swans

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Department has teamed up with Atlantic’s Orscheln’s store to help feed the Trumpeter Swans, now through January 31st. Officials say you can buy a bag of Whole Cleaned Corn at the registers and Orscheln’s staff will put it aside for the Trumpeter Swans. Four bags will fill the feeder, and the Conservation Dept. appreciates your help in keeping it full.Cass Co Conservation Board

Here’s a reminder also, to join Cass County Conservation Staff at Atlantic’s Schildberg Recreation Area this Saturday, January 4th, for ten-minute presentations on the Trumpeter Swans. Conservation staffers will give the presentations every half-hour beginning at 11-a.m., with the last one being presented at 2:00 p.m. 

The Schildberg Quarry is located on the northwest edge of Atlantic, on the north side of Highway 83. In the event of bad weather, or if the swans are not present at the quarry, the program will be held at the Atlantic Public Library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. with a light lunch available.

The event is sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.

Hatch, a candidate for governor, calls for $10.10 minimum wage

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch is calling for an increase in the state’s minimum wage. Hatch says the minimum wage should be 10-dollars-and-10-cents an hour. He argues it’s one way of raising private sector hourly wages in general. Hatch says Iowa’s status as a “low wage state” hasn’t budged under 30-years-worth of Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s economic development strategies.

Hatch accuses Branstad of having a “perfect track record of failure” in economic development. Hatch says Branstad has failed to fulfill the promises he’s made about job creation and personal income growth for Iowans. In addition to raising the state’s minimum wage, Hatch promises as governor he would pay the prevailing wage to those who work on state-funded construction projects.

Iowa’s minimum wage has been raised above the national minimum wage twice in recent decades. Republican Terry Branstad approved raising Iowa’s minimum wage above the national rate just before his 1990 reelection race. In 2007, raising the state’s minimum wage was the first bill Democratic Governor Chet Culver signed into law.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors act on several matters Tuesday

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning acted on several matters before them during their meeting at the courthouse. The Board approved an Information Technology Services agreement with Solutions, Incorporated. The agreement extends by six-months, an extension the Board approved in May, and will be in effect from January 1st through June 30th, 2014.

On a related note, Auditor Dale Sunderman informed the Board the current courthouse computer server is overburdened and needs to be upgraded, soon. Sunderman said they plan to enter into an agreement with Solutions for the purchase of a new network server in the future, which ties in more than 50 computers in the courthouse.

The Board also approved the purchase of vote tabulation equipment from Unisyn Voting Solutions. Sunderman said the current Automark tabulation equipment is about eight-years old and becoming obsolete, not ADA compliant and is very heavy and hard to move. He said 29 counties have purchased from Unisyn, and have reported no problems with the system, including many in southwest and western Iowa. Sunderman said the system is ADA compliant and weighs less than 30 pounds.

The new system will cost $116,163 and will be paid in three annual installments, beginning in July, 2014. By trading-in the old equipment and return of recently purchased memory cards for those machines, the County will be refunded about $4,000. Another benefit is that there is no maintenance of the new machines necessary. The machine will be paid for through the General Supplemental Fund.

In other business, the Board authorized a $20,000 down payment for the newly purchased property at 707 Poplar Street. The funds will be derived from the Local Option Sales Tax Fund (LOST). And, the Supervisors set February 12th at 9-a.m. as the date and time for a public hearing with regard to the vacating/closure of a portion of 644th Street in Section 14 of Grove Township.

Law enforcement to step-up patrols tonight

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

As you plan to celebrate the New Year, authorities are hoping safety is your number one concern. No matter what kind of partying you maybe doing, the Iowa State Patrol and local law enforcement hope that safety is a priority. Iowa State Patrol Trooper John Farley says the last few years the patrol has seen an improvement.

“The New Year’s Eve celebration is one that is traditionally recognized and I think through the years that they have understood that law enforcement will be out this evening looking for those drunk drivers.” He says the STEP program has been beneficial in keeping Iowa roads safe.  “The availability of extra officers being visible and then the public PSAs or media notices that law enforcement is going to be out there has been a great deterrent in itself.”

If you are planning to celebrate the New Year, make sure you are taking a long a cell phone in case of an emergency along with a car kit and before heading out choose a designated driver for the evening. Most local Police Departments, including the Harlan PD, will offer rides to those unable to make it home for free with no strings attached. Contact your local law enforcement agency in your area to confirm a ride will be offered.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 12-31-2013

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 12-31-2013

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Truck seen in Missouri River near Sergeant Bluff

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) – A dive team is expected to help recover a truck that was spotted in the Missouri River southwest of Sergeant Bluff.  The Sioux City Journal says an Iowa Natural Resources Department crew saw the truck roof around 1:40 p.m. Monday. Woodbury County sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wingert says the truck was submerged near the boat ramp at Weedland Access Area off 235th Street.

The dive team will help a towing company hook up to the truck so it can be pulled out. Officials don’t know when the truck went into the water.

3 Red Oak residents arrested on Burglary and other charges Mon. night

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested three people on burglary and criminal mischief charges Monday night, after they received word about a burglary in progress at a residence in the 900 block of North 4th Street. A relative of the property owner called police at around 835-p.m. When officers arrived, the person who called told them a man had entered the residence and was in the upstairs doorway.

Officers established a perimeter and called for assistance from other officers and the Red Oak K-9 Unit. After the initial suspect was taken into custody, officers learned two more individuals were in the home. The K-9 unit, officers with the Red Oak P-D and deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department entered the building and arrested the two other suspects. The Iowa State Patrol also assisted at the scene.

Charged with felony Burglary in the 3rd degree and Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree (a Serious Misdemeanor), was: 29-year old Kenton Jarvis Schooling, 19-year old Kaylie Louise Hudson, and 30-year old Samantha Jo Abraham, all of Red Oak.

Abraham also had a warrant for her arrest on a Probation Violation issued out of Montgomery County. Schooling and Hudson were held at the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond each, while Abraham’s bond was set at $10,000.

Council Bluffs bank robbery

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man wearing what authorities say was “an obvious disguise,” robbed the American National Bank in Council Bluffs Monday morning. The incident happened at around 9:45-a.m. at the bank, located at 1600 W. Broadway. Police say the suspect, a possibly light-skinned black male, about 30-to 35-years of age, wore a white hat, glasses, novelty beard, hooded jacket with hood up, a white sweater and scarf.

Photo submitted by Council Bluffs Police.

Photo submitted by Council Bluffs Police.

The man handed the teller a note informing the woman “she was being robbed.” The noted demanded money and “to give it to him quickly,” police said. The bank teller gave an undetermined amount of money to the suspect in a white plastic bag he had provided. The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Police say the suspect, who was about 6-feet tall and weighed 200-pounds, did not show any weapon or make reference that he had one.