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Avoca set to sparkle during the 4th


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City of Avoca is working on getting back to the history of the 4th of July celebration this year. Anna Hoegh, Main Street Director for Avoca, says activities begin at 11-a.m., Friday. “We’re going to have things starting downtown on the Main Street. The United Church of Avoca will have their food stand open and Pauley Jones will serve free watermelon at the Avoca Veteran’s Plaza.”

A sand volleyball tournament will be held at the same time at Edgington Memorial Park. The Avoca Museum will be open during the afternoon as well. Before the parade, Avoca will recognize the Veterans, “We are going to have a reading of the Declaration of Independence and then recognize the area residents that are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Then at 2-p.m. we will have the parade. That is going to start at the Fairgrounds, go up Elm Street through Main Street turn on Wool and end at Pauley Jones and Avoca Super Foods.”

Edgington Park will be open for picnics and family gatherings throughout the day along with the city pool. The Avoca Fourth of July will set off fireworks at dusk on top of the Avoca Golf Course to finish the evening.

Oakland Independence Day celebration begins this evening


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Residents in Oakland will celebrate the 4th of July over a period of two days. The schedule begins today (Thursday), with Trivia night inside the Oakland Community Center at 7-p.m. Bonnie Herring, Oakland Assistant City Clerk says visitors should be ready bright and early at 7-a.m. for the festivities that begin Friday…“There are two events that start at that time. The first is our annual pancake feed sponsored by our volunteer fire department. That runs from 7- to 10:30-a.m.. The other event that starts at 7-a.m., there is a race to the rock, which is a new event for Oakland. Oakland is the host city for the freedom rock for Pottawattamie County. The proceeds will go to benefit the Pottawattamie County Freedom Rock.”

Oakland will welcome muscle cars, trucks and old tractors for the car and tractor show all afternoon with registration starting at 9-a.m., Friday. Herring says before the tractors arrive in town, there is a ride to another town, “From 9- to noon there is a tractor ride and this year that ride will head south to Macedonia. I believe they will stop there for a little bit and I believe there is a pot luck going on in Macedonia. So they will leave Oakland, stop in Macedonia, let everyone look and then come back to Oakland where they will also be in the park.”

Kid’s can have fun with the midway activities from noon to dusk and the parade starts at 5-p.m. A free will offering community dinner will be served following the parade along with bingo. Oakland’s 4th of July party ends with fireworks in the Chautauqua Park.

Exira prepares for the 4th


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With the Fourth of July celebrations just around the corner, one Audubon County town is getting a jump start. Judy Bitner, treasurer for the Exira Community Club, says Exira will be firing up the grills for a BBQ that takes place this evening (July 3rd). “We start out at 5:30 with our Community Club BBQ. It is a free will donation hamburger meal in the city park. We will have some live music by Chad Elliot at the same time.”

The kiddie parade is scheduled for 6-p.m. near the same area. A dance on Main Street runs from 9-pm to 1-am, featuring the music of “Burnin’ Sensations.” The dance has a $5 cover charge. Exira’s celebration continues Friday, with foot races beginning at 9-a.m. at the old elementary school then the parade starting by the Legion Park at 10:30-a.m. Bitner says the afternoon is full of activities.

“So then we have entertainment in the Gazebo from about twelve o’clock all the way into the evening with different things going on. We have got village players, Roger Burger playing later in the afternoon at 4. Six o’clock we are trying something different with a food judging contest. We ask people register anything corn-bacon items or their salsa.”

Also during the afternoon Exira’s Fourth of July features the Grand River Rodeo at Kickapoo Park with Mutton Bustin’ at 12:45-p.m., and the rodeo at 1:30-p.m. The Kid’s tractor pull begins at 4-p.m. in front of the city clerk’s office and of course the final activity in Exira is the fireworks display at the football field, beginning at dusk (weather permitting).

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 07-03-2014

News, Podcasts

July 3rd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


(Podcast) 7-a.m. News/Funeral report, Thu. 7/3/2014

News, Podcasts

July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…


Packed chambers for Atlantic City Council meeting on URP


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council meeting was held before a large crowd Wednesday evening, most of whom came to discuss a proposed Urban Revitalization Plan (URP) and related tax breaks on both commercial and residential rehabilitation and new construction. While the majority of those who spoke were in favor of passing a URP, there was one written and one spoken objection. Atlantic resident Charles Griffen wrote a letter to the Council, dated June 26th. The letter was read by Mayor Dave Jones, listed the reasons the plan should be rejected as drafted.CC1

Griffen claimed it would benefit a limited number of citizens at the expense of the rest of the citizens, in that “For every dollar that is forgiven for developers, other tax dollars must be raised from taxpayer compensation.” He also argued if passed, the ordinance would allow the City to condemn any property to make way for private development. City Zoning Administrator John Lund said he was caught off-guard by the number of citizens who fear the City would use “Eminent Domain” to acquire properties as part of the URP to rid the area of blight.

He said “The Urban Revitalization Plan has absolutely nothing to do with Eminent Domain. When it comes to the acquisition or condemnation of properties, these are usually abandoned and the public is usually coming to the City begging us to tear these down.” He said also, that when the City is looking to acquire property, it is not looking at those occupied by individuals, and added “We have never had any interest in evicting anyone from their home.”

A Housing Assessment conducted in August 2013 by SWIPCO (The SouthWest Iowa Planning Council), indicated 54.7-percent of the houses in Atlantic were in Fair-to-Poor condition, with most having been built before 1960. The study found that meets the criteria for blight funding. SWIPCO Community Development Team Leader, Courtney Harter, said any tax abatements the City chooses to offer would be for qualified applicants.

In order to be eligible for tax abatement, the increase in the actual assessed value of the property must be at least 10%, and existing electrical must be brought into conformance with current code. All qualified real estate assessed as residential property would be eligible to receive an exemption from taxation on the first $250,000 of actual assessed value added by the improvements, as determined by the Cass County Assessor’s Office.

If approved, URP tax abatements would be retroactive to January 1st, 2014. Multi-residential properties classified as commercial as of Jan. 1st, 2014 would not be included. They will instead be reclassified beginning in January, 2015. The Council took no action on the proposal Wednesday. If 10-percent of the public feels there is a need for more discussion on the matter before the Council approves an Urban Revitalization Plan, they must sign a petition calling for another public hearing within 30-days.

Filing period for General Election begins Aug. 4th


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports the first day for non-party organizations and candidates nominated by petition to file nomination papers for the November 4th General Election, is Monday, August 4th. Nomination papers for county or township offices may be filed with the Auditor’s Office between August 4th and Aug. 27th. Nomination petitions and other election forms are available at the office of the County Auditor, and from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at sos.iowa.gov.

The number of signatures needed for the various county offices in Cass County, are as follows:

District 2 Supervisor, 20; District 3 Supervisor, 23; Treasurer, Recorder and Attorney, 103 each. Non-partisan positions appearing on the Nov. 4th ballot include: Cass County Soil & Water Conservation District (2 positions); Cass County Agricultural Extension Council (5 positions);  Township Clerk & Trustee – 1 clerk and 2 trustees for each of the Edna & Union Townships; Cass County Hospital Trustee – full-term positions, 2 for the Northwest District, 1 for the Southwest District.

To be eligible for the Northwest District position, a person must reside in the township of Brighton, Pymosa, Washington or Grove (Including the Cities of Marne and Atlantic). To be eligible for the Southwest CCMH Trustee position, a person must live in the Bear Grove, Cass, Noble or Pleasant Townships, including the Cities of Griswold and Lewis.

Incumbents for the non-partisan positions include…For the CCMH Trustee, NW District – Nathan Brown and Leanne Pellet, SW District – Jerry Putnam; Soil & Water District Commissioner – Fred Kay & Greg Zellmer; County Agricultural Extension Council – Janet Cappel, Brad Pellett, Kristi Plagman, Jackson Bissell and Todd Weppler. Incumbent township officers are: Edna Township – Trustees Rodney Penton & Travis Erickson, Clerk – Dan Schrier; Union Township – Trustees Brent Paulsen & Daryl Schrier, and Clerk – Cheryl Christensen.

For additional information, contact Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman at 243-4570.

Red Oak man arrested late Wed. night


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a local man was arrested late Wednesday night. 30-year old Aaron Duwayne Childs, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 11-p.m.  on a valid Page County warrant for OWI/1st offense. Childs was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $1,000 bond.

Poison center braces for boost in calls about glow sticks


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who know better than to give very young kids a lighted sparkler might instead hand that child a glow stick, which one expert says is -not- a good alternative. Registered nurse Joan McVoy says those fluorescent glow sticks are made from soft plastic and youngsters love to chew on them. McVoy predicts poison control centers in Iowa and nationwide will be flooded with calls about them over the upcoming holiday weekend. “Fourth of July and Halloween are the two times of the year we get most of these calls,” McVoy says. “We get calls from parents calling because their child’s mouth is glowing with that chemical. It’s got a really strong chemical taste and an odor and it can be irritating to the mouth.”

That liquid can also stain furniture, carpet and clothing. McVoy says the chemical shouldn’t taste good, but it won’t stop kids from swallowing it. She says glow sticks should not be given to kids younger than three or four. “Parents run to the emergency room with these cases and they don’t need to do that,” she says. “They can call the poison center and we can help and tell them exactly what to do and we can save them a trip to the emergency room.” Iowans who went out of state and brought home some contraband fireworks need to be careful where they’re stored, as little hands may get a hold of them.

“There’s a lot of chemicals in these fireworks, things like potasium and phosphorus and barium and arsenic,” McVoy says. “All of these packages are really bright and they’re attractive to small children. If swallowed, these chemicals in the fireworks can make them sick.” With concerns about glow sticks and anything else that might be a hazard, call the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

Gasoline thieves target Omaha/Council Bluffs area


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say at least 18 vehicles have been damaged since April by gasoline thieves. Sgt. David Dawson told the Daily NonPareil persons have drilled holes in vehicle fuel tanks to make off with the gasoline inside them. Dawson said 10 of the incidents took place in June, alone. The culprits drill the victims’ vehicles’ gas tank, punching a hole in it to steal the gas. Cars, trucks, vans and sport-utility vehicles – both new and old – have been hit, and there’s no pattern or specific area targeted for the incidents.Omaha police reported instances of gas-tank drilling in June as well.

Body shops surveyed in area said it can cost $75-150 to repair a hole in a gas tank, with replacement ranging from $300-$400, or more, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.Dawson encouraged anyone with a garage to use it, and watch out for neighbors who don’t have the option of storing their vehicles inside.

Jerry Nissen, program chairman for automotive technology at Iowa Western Community College says drilling holes in gas tanks to steal fuel is a dangerous way to save money, because with warm weather, gas vapors are more likely to explode, especially when sparks are created by a drill.