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Moderate fire danger today in Shelby County – Extreme danger this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says today (Thursday) will be a day of Moderated Fire Danger, with the risk still High due to abundance of fuel, and access issues. Drying conditions, with low relative humidity’s, poor overnight humidity recoveries, and winds will return Friday through Tuesday seeing a return of High to possibly Extreme conditions next week.

Authorities say residents should remain vigilant as there could still be some large fires. Other surrounding counties have been experiencing large fires, but officials say they are proud of Shelby County residents, as they have been helping keep firefighters safe by limiting burning, and being responsive to the fire danger announcements.

Atlantic CC approves TIF bond for housing project

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council has approved an economic development agreement with Sonntag Development L.L.C., for a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) grant pertaining to the Southern Heights View development project. The agreement, which passed by unanimous vote Wednesday evening, stipulates the local developer will $360,000 in three incremental payments of $120,000 each, to be paid at the time each of three phases of the project are completed. The 28-unit condominium project includes 16 to be built along 19th Street, with 12 additional units along or near 22nd Street. The project is expected to cost anywhere from $3-to 4-million.

Prior to the Council’s vote, a public hearing was held on the bond purchase that amounts around to $405,000, when the cost of the bond is figured-in. Despite some comments from the public over whether the City should grant a TIF for the project, Bond Underwriter, Chip Schultz said the project would not happen without a commitment from the City.

He said “To be very clear, that debt service on this bond issue is more than supported by the minimum assessment valuations. I’m not speaking to the street project costs in that area and what the City might have to spend…but the debt service of this particular bond issue is more than supported by the three and a-half million this stages in over a number of three-years, of assessment valuations. In fact, there’s about $240,000 left over after the payment of debt, when you take into account the tax increment dollars. The City won’t need that to pay the debt, so then that gets dispersed back to other political sub-divisions..the County, the schools, and so forth.”

Those funds also can support the City’s General Fund, according to Schultz, who said “The City has a really modest use of TIF, less than 2% of [it’s] taxable valuation.” Some cities over-use TIF, but Schultz said Atlantic is “No where near” the 20-to 30% to as much as 40% use other cities have, which can cut into the General Fund and Employee benefits. The agreement guarantees the TIF will be paid back by the developer or whomever takes over the land, if the developer declares bankruptcy or has other financial issues.

Mayor Dave Jone says “We have yet to lose money on a TIF.” He said when Skyjack manufacturing closed, they still paid their TIF off. He said also, “We [The City will] have first rights to the property if anything happens.”

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 3/19/2015

News, Podcasts

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area news from Ric Hanson.

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Weakening economy seen ahead for rural parts of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of bankers suggests a weakening economy lies ahead for rural parts of 10 Midwestern and Western states. The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index for March sank to 43.6, its lowest level since February 2010. Last month’s figure was 46.4.

Creighton University economics Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says “the stronger U.S. dollar is undermining the farm and energy sectors by weakening agricultural exports, crop prices, livestock prices and energy prices.” The index ranges from 0 to 100. Any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 3/19/15

News, Podcasts

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Wrong-way driver dies after truck hits van in Sioux City

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a wrong-way driver has died after her truck ran into a van on U.S. Highway 20 in northwest Iowa. The accident occurred a little before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday on the westbound lanes on the bridge over Interstate 29 in Sioux City. Sioux City police say in a news release that the 84-year-old Sioux City woman was driving alone when she entered the wrong lanes in South Sioux City, Nebraska, and headed east.

Her truck struck a van driven by a South Sioux City woman. The woman and her passenger, a child, were taken to a Sioux City hospital for treatment. The woman driving the truck died at the scene. Her name hasn’t been released.

Electronic recycling comes to Atlantic May 9th

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An electronics recycling trailer will be coming to Atlantic in May. The Council Wednesday night approved closing the north end of Chestnut Street from 2nd to the depot at 102 Chestnut, on May 9th, from 8-a.m. to 4-p.m., for the purpose of dropping-off your electronic waste, all at no cost to residents. Councilman Chris Jimerson explained what types of items will be accepted.

That includes: Televisions; Monitors; Hard drives; printers; laptops; vcr/dvd players; keyboards; speakers; circuit boards; cell phones; cables; e-scrap; small appliances and microwaves. Mayor Dave Jones said the cost of the trailer is being picked up by the City and County.

He says the City’s CPC [Community Promotion Commission] and Cass County Board of Supervisors have agreed to chip-in $3,000 each to cover the cost. If the event is a huge success, Jones says businesses can step forward in the future and help promote and cover the costs.

When full, the semi trailer will be hauled away to an electronics recycler.

Atlantic Yard waste site hours to change; Cameras to monitor activity

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Yard Waste site hours will be changing, beginning this Saturday. City Administrator John Lund says the site will be open on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, from Noon until 8-p.m., Saturday’s, from 9am-5pm, and Sunday’s, from 1-until 5-pm. Citizens may bring their grass clippings, leaves and branches and garden plants or similar items, to the site.

Lund says residents should not leave their yard waste bags at the site once they dump their biodegradable refuse. The site, which is currently monitored by someone on location, will no longer be manned in the near future. Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones reported cameras will be installed soon to keep track of who enters the site and what is dumped there.

Jones says there will be two cameras. One to take a picture of vehicle license plates, another positioned to view activity in the dumping area. That way, if someone leaves illegal materials at the site, police can match up the vehicle’s license plate with the registered owner. The site will be open seven days per week from dawn to dusk, once the cameras are in place and operational.

Jones said regardless of who is driving a vehicle entering the yard waste site, if there is illegal dumping, the owner of the vehicle will be cited. The cameras will cost $9,185, plus $1,200 for the cellular data. Jones says the cost will be paid for in savings from wages from having the site be manned, and in repairs needed to the trailer currently on-site for the person who watches over it. It’s not clear when the cameras will be operational, but Police Chief Steve Green said with the Council’s blessing, he will order them and get them installed as soon as possible.

Two Atlantic men cited for alcohol offenses in Montgomery County

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two men from Cass County were cited on alcohol charges Wednesday evening following a traffic stop on Highway 71. Authorities say 31-year old Travis Lee Sandbothe, and 27-year old Aaron Andrew Macias, both of Atlantic, were cited at around 6:50-p.m., for Possession of an open container of alcohol as a passenger.

A traffic stop early this (Thursday) morning on Villisca, resulted in a citation for 37-year old Benjamen Leroy Kirsch, of Villisca. Officials say Kirsch was cited at around 1-a.m., for Driving While Suspended, and Speeding. His 1998 Chevy Blazer was towed. Kirsch was released after receiving the citations.

And, at around 2:45-a.m. (Thursday), deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office stopped a car on 260th Street. Upon investigation, 23-year old Danielle Lynette Archer, of Nodaway, was arrested for Driving While Revoked. Archer was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond. Her 2004 Chrysler Sebring was towed from the scene.

In other news out of Montgomery County, Red Oak Police arrested 18-year old Luis Ibarra Rodriguez, of Red Oak, Wednesday, on a charge of Theft in the 5th degree (Shoplifting), for an incident that occurred at the Dollar General Store, in Red Oak. Rodriguez was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

2 accidents reported in Red Oak – minor injuries

News

March 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say only minor injuries were reported following two separate accidents, Wednesday. The first happened at around 3:40-p.m., in the 500 block of north 3rd Street. An officer was flagged down by a person who said he’d seen a blue vehicle traveling at high speeds around the downtown “Square” area, in Red Oak. A few moments later, another citizen informed the officer the suspect vehicle had been involved in an accident on the other side of the square.

The investigating officer found a blue, 2005 Chevy Cobalt that had gone out of control on the corner of east Reed and north 3rd Streets, and struck a legally parked 2008 Chevy Trailblazer. The car, which was driven by 16-year old Jared Alan Best, of Red Oak, left a 36-foot long skid-mark  on the road, indicating it had been traveling at a rate of speed in excess of the posted 20-mile per hour limit. A passenger in the car, 12-year old Jordan Holiday, of Red Oak, was checked out by rescue personnel before being transported by his family to the Montgomery County Hospital. His injuries were believed to be minor. Best was cited by police for careless driving. Damage from the accident amounted to $4,300.

The second accident happened at around 4:55-p.m., at the intersection of Broadway and Cherry Streets, in Red Oak. Officials say a 67-year old Margaret Hardy, of Red Oak, was reaching down to pick up a cellphone she dropped, when her 2013 Ford Escape hit a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by 42-year old David Butler, of Red Oak. Neither driver was injured. Damage from the mishap amounted to $4,000. Hardy was issued a warning for Following too Closely.