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Council Bluffs man sentenced on firearm charges

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says a Pottawattamie County man was sentenced Friday to more than 3 1/2 years in jail for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt says 27-year old Ronald Wayne Reed, II, of Council Bluffs was sentenced in United States District Court in Council Bluffs.

Chief United States District Court Judge James E. Gritzner sentenced Reed to 46 months imprisonment, to be followed by a 2 years term of supervised release. The Court also ordered Reed to forfeit the firearm and ammunition which he had possessed, and to pay a $100.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund. Reed remains in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Federal Bureau of Prisons facility at which he will serve his sentence.

On December 5th, 2012, Reed pled guilty to the charge of felon in possession of a firearm. The charge arose out of the purchase by an undercover officer with the SouthWest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, of a .357 caliber revolver and ammunition. The investigation was conducted by the SouthWest Iowa Narcotics Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

CCMH Healing Garden receives $1k donation

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Xi Beta Phi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi International recently donated $1000 to the Cass County Memorial Hospital Healing Garden.

Shelly Rubel (left) presented the gift to Dawn Marnin, CCMH Foundation Director.

The local women’s service organization raised monies by selling decorative greens – wreaths, sprays, garlands – during the holiday season.

SW IA teens arrested on drug charges in Cass County

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports two southwest Iowa teens were arrested Friday on drug charges, following a traffic stop on eastbound Interstate 80, near the 42-mile marker. Officials say 18-year old Dominque James Schlup, of Hastings, was arrested on charges of OWI 1st Offense, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and on a Pottawattamie County warrant. And, 18-year old Dylan Lee Conn, of Malvern, was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine 3rd Offense, Possession of Marijuana 3rd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and on three warrants out of Mills County.

Both were taken to the Cass County jail. Schlup remains at the Cass County Jail on $3325 bond. Conn also remains at the Cass County Jail on $7325 bond.

Lewis man arrested for OWI after he hits a traffic signal pole in Atlantic

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports two people were arrested on OWI charges recently. 51-year old Harry Moses, of Lewis, was arrested at around 2-a.m. Saturday, following an accident on east 5th Street. Officials say Moses was traveling west on east 5th near the Post Office and approaching the mailbox island, when his vehicle went up over the curb and hit a traffic signal light pole and utility pole. Damage from the accident amounted to $2,000. In addition to be arrested for OWI, Moses was charged with Failure to Maintain Control, Failure to show proof of insurance and striking a fixture on the highway.

And, 50-year old Deborah Kessler, of Atlantic, was arrested on Friday on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. Kessler and Moses  were booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance. Also arrested Friday, was 93-year old Gregory Loppe, of Exira. Loppe was cited for 5th degree theft (Shoplifting), and then released.

Iowa Gov. Branstad touts property tax plan

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad says his plan to cut commercial property taxes will benefit towns across Iowa.  Branstad brought local government officials who support the proposal to his weekly news conference Monday at the state Capitol.

Branstad’s $350 million plan would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent and would slow the growth of residential and agricultural assessments. Funding would be provided to local governments to make up lost revenue.

Senate Democrats have given committee-level approval to a plan that would gradually provide commercial property owners with a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value. Under their $250 million proposal, the credits would not be funded in weak budget years.

Iowa exports increase 10% in 2012

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One reason for Iowa’s improving economy is an increase in exports. A recent report shows exports of Iowa goods grew by almost 10-percent between 2011 and 2012. That’s more than double the national growth (4.46%). Kathy Hill, with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, says last year Iowa exported over 14-point-six billion dollars ($14.6 billion) worth of products to countries around the world. “More and more companies that export understand the importance of maintaining their global market share and companies that are new to exporting are understanding the importance of becoming globally competitive,” Hill said. “By doing so, we’re assuring employment for Iowans.”

Based on estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Iowa’s exporting companies support 73,000 jobs in the state. Iowa’s top exported product is machinery. “That could be anything from a washing machine to a high tech machine that a company might use within the bio-tech industry,” Hill said. “The second largest category is vehicles. That includes our tractors, earth movers or anything that’s a self-propelled vehicle and a lot of their parts.”

Iowa’s third top exported product is processed meat. More than twenty-five-hundred (2,500) businesses in Iowa export goods and 84-percent of them are considered small to medium sized companies. In 2012, the top five countries receiving Iowa exports were Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Germany. Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and delegation of about 20 Iowans representing government, business and agriculture completed a trade mission earlier this month to the Philippines and Vietnam.

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad challenges legislators to pay part of their health insurance

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Republican Governor Terry Branstad says it’s time for legislators to pay for a portion of their health insurance premiums.  “I think it’s time they lead instead of follow,” Branstad says.

Branstad had been pressing the state employee unions to agree that state workers should pay 20 percent of the cost of their insurance premiums, but Branstad lost that argument in the new contract with AFSCME  — the union that represents 20-thousand state workers. Branstad’s now setting his sights on legislators.

“Some legislators have said, ‘Well, we’ll follow whatever this contract is,’ and we’re saying, ‘Maybe it’s time to lead,'” Branstad says. “The rest of the country is ahead of us. Federal employees are paying 25 percent. Most other states — I think we’re one of only six states where they’re paying nothing and we have a lot of legislators that are paying nothing.”

Since 2009, Republicans in the House have voted nine times to require state workers to pay 20 percent of their health care premiums, but while they have the authority to do so, the policy has never been imposed on legislators themselves. Just a handful of the 150 members of the Iowa General Assembly voluntarily write a check to the state to cover their health care premiums costs.

(Radio Iowa)

Sandbar work to begin on Missouri River to benefit endangered birds

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With a second year of drought likely, the U-S Army Corps of Engineers will soon be starting work on sandbars in the very low Missouri River. Ruth Bentzinger, an environmental resource specialist with the Corps’ Omaha office, says they won’t be building any new sandbars this year as habitat for two types of endangered birds. “We’re looking at vegetation removal and control methods and not on all of the sandbars,” Bentzinger says. “We have a sandbar selection where we look at what sandbars have been created on the system and see which ones would be preferable, suitable in the way of habitat for the least tern and the piping plover.”

The Corps is assembling a plan that will dictate sandbar and habitat work on the river for 2013 through 2017. The sandbars are evaluated frequently. “Every year they’re going to change, some of them are going to accrete, some of them are going to erode,” Bentzinger says. “Some that we look at now as being suitable habitat may not be used by the birds. Every year, we’ll collect data to see where they’re nesting.”

After the floods of 2011 receded, many sandbars were left behind in the river channel. Bentzinger says they want to work on more than bird habitat. “We’re going to keep as much as we possibly can, but at the same time, we also have a cottonwood that is regenerating on some of the sandbars,” Bentzinger says. “Cottonwoods are needed, especially in the Upper Missouri River there. The more mature trees, as they start dying off, we’re not replacing them as fast as we’re losing them.”

The past two years have been challenging. Record flooding on the Missouri in 2011 caused hundreds of millions of dollars damage to homes, businesses, farmland and infrastructure in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and northwest Missouri. Last year, river levels were at near-record lows due to the prolonged drought.

(Radio Iowa)

Adair County Supervisors to meet Tuesday

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet tomorrow morning (Tuesday), in Greenfield. On the agenda for their 9-a.m session at the courthouse, are matters pertaining to taxable meals, townships clerk wages, West Central Mental Health funds, and Family Farm and Agland allowances or disallowances.

At 9:15, Engineer Nick Kauffman is expected to present to the Board contract documents with Schildberg Construction, for the granular resurfacing of various Farm-to-Market roads, and his regular report on maintenance and activities.

Public hearing in Audubon tonight on the budget

News

March 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing is scheduled to take place this evening in Audubon, with regard to the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget. The hearing is part of the Audubon City Council meeting, which begins at 7-p.m. According to Audubon City Clerk Lora Hansen, the City’s  tax levy will decrease from the current $19.28 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation, to $17.74 per thousand. The decrease is attributed to the refinancing of a bond issue, which resulted in a lower interest rate. The Council will vote on a resolution approving the budget following the hearing.

In other business, the Audubon City Council will open and announce the bids for the Park Mowing and Cemetery Sexton and Maintenance Contracts, which will likely be followed by a motion authorizing the mayor to sing both contracts.