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Cass County Board votes to contribute to Freedom Rock Project

News

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Thursday) voted to approve a $5,000 contribution to the City of Lewis towards its efforts to have a Freedom Rock painted. The Board voted four-to-one in favor of the contribution, with Board Chair Mark Wedemeyer voting against it. Wedemeyer proposed having the County contribute $2,500, and he wanted to see more effort made by the City of Lewis to raise funds for the project before additional funding is granted. The County’s contribution will come from the Local Option Sales Tax proceeds.

Individuals representing the City of Lewis’ Economic Development group asked for the contribution, after explaining the costs involved and what’s been accomplished so far. Ray “Bubba” Sorensen and his family from Greenfield, are traveling the State of Iowa to put paintings uniquely individual to each location, on rocks acquired by various cities. Sorensen is of course, famous for his Freedom Rock painting in northern Adair County, as well as for the many murals he has painted on buildings throughout the State.

Matt Klein said they have received a 15,000-pound boulder, which was donated for the project, and put in-place on the northeast corner of the East Park, in Lewis. Klein said the project, which will represent the entire County, will cost an estimated $8,000 altogether. He said the Board of Tourism is excited by the project, which is expected to bring visitors not only to Lewis, but other communities in Cass County as well.

Klein said the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce has already had inquires about where the rock is located, even though it hasn’t been painted yet. The City of Lewis has made a down payment to Sorensen in the amount of $1,000. A concrete pad for the rock will be poured to support the 8-foot tall, 4 ½-foot wide boulder. Klein said while the City is on a waiting list to have the rock painted, having the County’s support behind the project could bump the project up on the list, in front of other Counties who want the work done, but have yet to find a boulder.

Klein said a final design for the painting has not yet been selected by Sorensen, but he has the final say in what will best represent the County. He said Sorensen will hold a town hall meeting to gather input from the communities before he comes up with the design.

No timetable has been established for when the rock will be painted, as fund raising efforts are in the planning stages, and there are several communities on the list who are ready to have their rocks painted. Shelby, Adair, Adams and Ringgold Counties already have their rocks painted. Sorensen will be touring the State over the next few Summers, working on the commissioned projects. For more information about the locations and counties that have applied for a Freedom Rock painting, go to http://www.thefreedomrock.com/tour/.

Non-injury accident in Atlantic, Wednesday

News

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department says no injuries were reported following an accident Wednesday afternoon at 7th and Plum Streets. Officials say vehicles driven by Amanda Gustafson, of Elk Horn, and David Dressler, of Anita, collided at around 4:35-p.m., as both vehicles were headed west on 7th Street and approaching Plum. The accident occurred when Dressler slowed for traffic in front him after going through the stop light, and Gustafson hit him from behind. Dressler was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Signal. Damage from the accident amounted to $2,000.

8AM Newscast 09-19-2013

News, Podcasts

September 19th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Strong storms may affect the KJAN listening area today

News, Podcasts

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A cold front will move across the state today, reaching central Iowa by late in the evening, and southeast of Iowa later tonight.wxmap Thunderstorms will develop along the front today with some severe weather possible late this afternoon and early evening. Cooler weather will overspread the area for the weekend with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Lows will be in the 40s to mid 50s, with a few upper 30s in the north Saturday Morning.

7AM Newscast 09-19-2013

News, Podcasts

September 19th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Storm damage report: 9/19/13

News, Weather

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Strong storms passing through western Iowa early this (Thursday) morning have caused damage in some locations. The National Weather Service in Des Moines says a trained spotter in Audubon reported winds gusting up to 60-miles per hour caused large tree branches to snap and fall four-miles east of the Audubon Airport, and some shingles were blown off a roof. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Audubon, Cass, Adair and Guthrie Counties, just before 6-a.m.

2 people arrested in Red Oak; 2 thefts being investigated

News

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest of two people on separate charges, Wednesday. Officials say a little after 9-p.m., 17-year old Jacob Ryan Ballard, of Red Oak, was arrested in the 400 block of East Oak Street, on charges of Aggravated Assault and Disorderly Conduct. The teen was subsequently released to the custody of his parent.

At around 3:25-p.m., Wednesday, police in Red Oak arrested 21-year old Cody Dean Johnson, of Red Oak, on a charge of Burglary in the 3rd degree. Johnson was taken into custody near the intersection of North 2nd and Cherry Streets. His bond was set at $5,000.

Red Oak Police say they are also investigating two reports of theft. At around 7:15-p.m., a Red Oak resident reported a person or persons unknown took his black mountain bike with silver decals. The incident occurred in the 2400 block of North 8th Street. The bike was valued at $550. Earlier Wednesday evening, an Emerson woman reported to Red Oak Police someone took her son’s black I-POD with neon green colored case, from the Red Oak YMCA. The device was valued at $400. Anyone with information about either theft incident is asked to call the Red Oak Police at 712-623-6500.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Sept. 19th 2013

News

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) — A longtime manufacturing plant in southern Iowa plans to close its doors and lay off nearly 80 employees. Gits Manufacturing says it will shut down its Creston headquarters and move development staff to an Urbandale location. Mayor Warren Woods said yesterday that the company sent him a letter this week with the news. The affected positions will be cut in five stages between November and June 2014.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City is expanding free Wi-Fi in its downtown area. The City Council approved a plan Tuesday night that will let Internet service provider South Slope Cooperative Telephone Company mount equipment atop the Iowa City Public Library that will expand the area of free wireless access.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — People with disabilities will have an easier time boating on a popular Des Moines lake thanks to new equipment installed with help from volunteers. A ceremony was held yesterday to dedicate the EZ Launch system at the docks at Gray’s Lake Park.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The name of an adult care worker in eastern Iowa will be removed from the state’s dependent adult abuse registry after the Iowa Court of Appeals concluded the state failed to prove the worker engaged in a negligent act. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals had found Meria Burrage committed dependent adult abuse on a 95-year-old woman who had called for help. The woman complained that Burrage grabbed her arm, causing a large bruise.

Atlantic City Council passes No Parking Zones ordinance on west 7th Street

News

September 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday, passed the second reading of an ordinance entitled “No Parking Zones,” on U-S Highway 6 (7th Street), in front of the Casey’s General Store/KFC Restaurant, and suspended the rules before approving the ordinance on the third and final reading. During their last meeting, the Council requested input from the store owners on whether or not trucks parking along the highway created a traffic obstruction, that the Iowa Department of Transportation had alluded to earlier.

City Administrator Doug Harris said the affected businesses confirmed the DOT’s assertion. He said the manager of the Caseys store told him trucks parking along the highway creates a problem for their patrons trying to exit the parking lot, because they block motorists’ view of the highway. The manager was supportive of the No Parking rule.

The DOT said in a letter to the City that trucks parking along the shoulder also cause damage to the area, which results in increased maintenance costs. Councilman Steve Livengood hinted the DOT may be willing to pave the shoulder, or at least put in more effort to maintain it, if it was deemed a No Parking area.

In other business, City Administrator Doug Harris announced a rough section of Highway 6 (7th Street) in Atlantic, will get a makeover next construction season, courtesy the Iowa Department of Transportation.  He said a section of the road from Olive Street east, to just east of Burger King, will receive a full reconstruction during the 2014 construction season. That means a complete replacement of the concrete, not just the shoulders or an asphalt overlay. The project is expected to cost well over $1-million.

Atlantic City Council takes limited action on Ethanol transfer site

News

September 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening, discussed at length the Poet ethanol transfer station being built near the downtown area. And, the Council passed, by a vote of 4-to 2, a motion calling for the writing of a resolution opposing the location of the transfer station, but not in opposition to the project itself. Councilman  Shawn Shouse was not present at the meeting to vote on the matter.

Some members of the Council, including the Mayor, were upset with Poet, LLC.‘s plans to build an ethanol transfer station, near the heart of the downtown, just north of the Chamber of Commerce. Their concerns centered around safety issues, wear and tear on city streets, and the City’s legal liability in the event of an explosion, for having allowed such a facility to be built. Poet obtained the necessary federal permits to have ethanol, trucked from its production facility in Coon Rapids to Atlantic, where it would be unloaded onto rail tanker cars.

City Attorney Dave Wiederstein said the company was not required to seek local building permits because of federal interstate commerce laws, but he acknowledged it would have been nice if the company has notified the City of its intent. He said also, that a resolution opposing the location of the site, would not absolve the City from any legal liability in the event of an explosion.

Wiederstein said regardless of why the company failed to come to the City Council nearly a year ago, “It’s imperative that the City reach out to them in a cooperative spirit and nurse this relationship into something that will eventually lead into an ethanol plant being opened down here.”  He said also, that the City’s legal options are limited. It could speak with an attorney who specializes in the type of litigation the City could pursue, but it would be throwing “Good money at bad for even just exploring” the matter in the courts, because federal law leaves very few legal loopholes.

Wiederstein mentioned that any resolution passed expressing the City’s disapproval of the location, should also include copies of the federal permits and applications Poet obtained, which he intends to seek from the company. He added however, Poet is not required to provide those documents to the City.