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Weather allows work to continue on Cass County bridge projects

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors had a brief meeting this (Wednesday) morning, here in Atlantic. The Board approved the final plans for Bridge #20 (Whistler’s Bridge), located about 2-miles south of Cumberland on 690th Street. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said work on the project involves replacing the culvert under the bridge. The bridge is currently down to one lane because of the condition of the structure underneath it. A box culvert will be installed.

The culvert will have two, “shotgun-style” openings, or three, side-by-side, depending on the flow capacity needed. Bids for the project will be let later this fall. Marker said also, a meeting was scheduled to take place today (Wednesday) with the contractor pertaining to the bridge on Highway 83 near the Griswold Golf Course, with the plan being to pour concrete for the project Thursday morning.

Marker also planned to meet with the contractor for Bridge 247 located south of Anita. He said the contractor would like to start work on the pony truss bridge Thursday, as well. The bridge is being replaced because it is limited to the amount of weight it can handle.

And, the Board presented the County’s initial Collective Bargaining proposal to the Union representing the Deputies and Jailers. The Union last week had presented its proposal to the County for the FY 2017-through ’19 contract.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/14/2015

News, Podcasts

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 10/14/2015

News, Podcasts

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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TX man arrested twice Wednesday morning, in Creston

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a man from Texas was arrested twice this (Wednesday) morning. At around 2:30-a.m., 38-year old John C. Jordan, of Katy, TX, was arrested for OWI/1st Offense. Jordan , who was released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond, was arrested again just before 6-a.m., also on an OWI charge. He was being at the jail in Creston, on $1,000 bond.

Creston Police report also, an ex-employee of RELEWIS Refrigeration, Inc., of Creston, failed to return a company vehicle and trailer after he was released from employment. A 2015 Chevy Silverado truck and 2010 H&H cargo trailer containing tools and company equipment valued at $85,000, were recovered in Texas.

And, a Creston resident reported to police late Tuesday morning, that someone broke into her camper and stolen a Nintendo DS, MacBook Air laptop computer, and a Black and Decker drill. The loss was estimated at $530. The theft took place sometime between 10-p.m. Friday and 7-a.m. Saturday.

Imprisoned woman ordered to pay nearly $432K in restitution

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – A 45-year-old south-central Iowa woman who’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison has been told to pay back the vehicle dealership she stole from while working there. Online court records say Lyndsay Huntsman was ordered last week to pay restitution of nearly $432,000 to Creston Automotive in Creston, where she’d worked for several years in the bookkeeping department.

She’d made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to five of the six theft counts against her. Prosecutors dropped a charge of ongoing criminal conduct in exchange for Huntsman’s pleas.

Massena firefighters called-out early Wed. morning

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Massena responded early this (Wednesday) morning, to a report of a possible residential fire at 202 Pine Street. The call from a woman who said her fire alarm was going off and who smelled smoke, came in at around 1:15-a.m.  A Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy who was in the area and was first on the scene, said he could smell smoke in the home, but wasn’t able to observe any flames.

After about an hour on the scene, authorities were able to determine a motor on an appliance had burned-up, causing the smoky smell. There were no injuries and no damage was reported. All fire units were back in-station by 2:20-a.m.

Lagging farm economy worries state financial experts

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A three-member panel of financial experts is lowering its estimate of state tax collections. The Revenue Estimating Conference is still predicting overall state tax revenue will be up three-point-four percent for the year, but the group shaved 121 million dollars off the total compared to its March prediction. Iowa Department of Management director Dave Roederer says he and the other two panel members are concerned about what’s happening in the farm economy.

“When producers are producing corn and soybeans at a loss, that means that there’s going to be less revenue coming into the state,” Roederer says. Roederer says when farmers have a down year, that tends to have a ripple effect throughout the Iowa economy. Roederer, though, points to Iowa’s low unemployment rate as a positive sign.

“The economy is more partly cloudy than anything else,” Roederer says. The state is just three months into the budgeting year and Roederer says there’s no cause for alarm since the group is still predicting Iowans will pay 235 MILLION dollars MORE in taxes this year than last.

(Radio Iowa)

Eleven counties northern IA counties institute a burn ban

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Eleven counties in northern Iowa are now under burn bans that prohibit any open burning. Howard County Emergency Management Director, Darrell Knecht requested the ban after seeing conditions worsen. “Just very, very dry conditions. The standing crops are dry, the grass is getting dry and drying down, and of course with the wind, everybody’s burning leaves this time of year and we’re hoping to get ahead of it a little bit,” Knecht says. He also saw issues in other counties.

IA counties (in red) w/a ban on open burning as of 10/13/15.

IA counties (in red) w/a ban on open burning as of 10/13/15.

“Around us there have been a few fires where combines have caught fire, so again, we just wanted to get a little ahead of it,” Knecht says. Knecht says people don’t always pay attention to the conditions when they burn. “I think always their intentions are usually good, sometimes they want to get stuff done before they think a little bit,” he explains. He says with the burn ban in place it sends a message to not take any chances. Knecht says Howard and some of the surrounding counties have not had the rain needed to make conditions safer.

He says it would take a pretty good rain to make a significant difference. A fire in eastern Iowa destroyed around two-thousand acres of crops and two firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Knecht says even a small fire can get out of hand quickly. “Especially if there is some wind blowing, it’s gone in no time,” Knecht says. The other counties joining Howard under a burn ban are: Hankcock, Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Chickasaw, Fayette, Wright, Franklin, Bremer, and Buchanan.

Currently no counties in southwest or western Iowa have implemented a ban on open burning, but area fire chiefs and emergency managers are asking the public to be very cautious, especially on dry and windy days.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Oct. 14th 2015

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal prosecutor says two top aides to Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign were involved in a “cover-up” when they tried to hide payments to a state lawmaker. Justice Department attorney Jonathan Kravis says email records and testimony will show Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kesari concealed payments to former Iowa Senator Kent Sorenson. Paul is expected to testify during the nearly two-week trial.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A panel of state budget experts is lowering Iowa revenue projections for the current fiscal year. The Revenue Estimating Conference met Tuesday to project state revenue. The group predicts the state will take in about $7.05 billion for the fiscal year that began July 1st. That’s less than the $7.18 billion they estimated earlier this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state agency will delay the implementation of a proposed tax break expansion. The Department of Revenue agreed to a request from lawmakers in the administrative rules review committee on Tuesday that the tax change date would be moved from January to July. The Department of Revenue plans to change a law exempting certain items used during manufacturing to broaden the exemption.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University is proposing a three-year, $1,500 tuition surcharge that would affect thousands of international students. Board of Regents documents show the school wants to add an extra $500 annually for three years to the nonresident rates international students already pay. Regents will consider the proposal next week.

Lawmaker panel reviews proposed tax break for manufacturers

News

October 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state agency will delay the implementation of a proposed tax break expansion after a legislative panel expressed concern that the matter merits discussion during the upcoming legislative session. Victoria Daniels, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, agreed to a request from lawmakers in the administrative rules review committee on Tuesday that the tax change date would be moved from Jan. 1 to until July 1.

The Department of Revenue plans to change a law exempting certain items used during manufacturing to broaden the exemption. Some Democrats have questioned whether the agency should take such action, noting that lawmakers have previously discussed the matter but didn’t approve a change.

Officials have said the change could reduce the tax burden for manufacturers by up to $46 million annually.