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Atlantic and Massena Celebrate the 4th


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Among the communities around the area with plans to celebrate on the 4th of July, is Atlantic and Massena. In Atlantic, the day begins with a “Flight Breakfast” at the Atlantic Municipal Airport. The all-you-can eat fare which takes place from 7-a.m. until 11-a.m. is free to pilots and their guests who fly into the airport, and $6 for everyone else.

The Atlantic Jaycees are once again sponsoring the 4th of July fireworks display. Monies for the event are raised throughout the year, allowing the event to be free , but staff will be on-hand to accept your free-will donation to help cover expenses and save-up for next year’s celebration. The fireworks extravaganza and related insurance cost the Jaycees $8,000. Music will be prior to the event, with a patriotic theme commencing when the fireworks begin.

And, the City of Massena is having a “Star Spangled Celebration” on July 4th. The activities begin at 8-a.m with sand volleyball on Main Street. The food stands will open at noon in the Massena City Park, horse rides are available. At 1-p.m., there a kid’s parade through City Park, other park activities, and at 2-p.m. the Iowa Western baseball league game – Massena Red Sox vs Walnut gets underway, with concessions available.

Massena’s Independence Day Parade starts at 3-p.m. Then at 4:30- there’s guest speaker “Old Time Medicine Man.” Also at 4:30-p.m. Friday, is the basketball dunking contest in the City Park for a $5 entry fee, with cash prizes. The Massena Chamber-sponsored supper is at 5-p.m, featuring pork barbeque sandwiches with all the fixings for $7, at the Catholic Church parking lot. Entertainment at the park begins at 7-p.m., and the fireworks take to the sky at 9-p.m. The fun continues Saturday, breakfast by the Massena Lions at 7-a.m., and the 7th annual tractor ride at 8:30-a.m. – both take place at Bower Welding.

Atlantic woman arrested…again


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports a woman arrested Tuesday on a warrant for Theft in the 4th degree, was arrested Wednesday, as well. 34-year-old Amanda Maier, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a Cass County Warrant for Interference with Official Acts.

Maier was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Iowa State Patrol Advises on Fourth of July Travel


July 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol will be stepping up efforts and increasing the number of troopers on roadways this Fourth of July holiday weekend as thousands of Iowans are expected to travel. The Fourth of July holiday weekend is typically one of the most heavily traveled times of the year and officials with the Iowa State Patrol want to remind motorists to obey all traffic laws. Officers will be looking for seat belt violations, speeding violations, impaired and distracted drivers.

“It is very important that all drivers make safety their number one priority as they travel this weekend,” stated Colonel Garrison of the Iowa State Patrol. “Simply buckling up and obeying the posted speed limits could ultimately help reduce any crashes and especially any fatalities.”

In 2013, 6 fatalities were reported on Iowa roadways over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

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

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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.