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IA Transportation Commission approves funding for Rec Trails projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved slightly more than 1.3-million in total funding for six federal Recreational Trails Program projects. In this area, the Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector Phase 1 Acquisition/Construction – Perry to Bouton (Dallas County Conservation Board) received $119,575.

The federal Recreational Trails Program was created in 1991 for the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. This funding is available to cities, counties, state, and federal agencies and private organizations through an annual application-based program.

Other projects and approved funding amounts include:

  • Gypsum City OHV Park – Phase 3 Trail Construction (Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Webster County Improvement Corporation) – $195,559
  • Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew (Iowa Department of Natural Resources) – $280,000 Mitchellville to Prairie City Rails to Trails Corridor Acquisition (Jasper County Conservation) – $450,599
  • Snowmobile Trail Grooming Equipment Purchase (Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State Snowmobile Association) – $240,000
  • Support for Program and Bicycle/Trails Summits (Iowa Department of Transportation) – $18,400.

OWI arrest in Mills County


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports the arrest today (Tuesday), of 53-year old Debra Decair. The Glenwood woman was arrested on a Mills County warrant for OWI 1st offense. Authorities say her bond was set at $1000.

ISU wide receiver Wesley charged with OWI

News, Sports

January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State wide receiver Jauan Wesley has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Iowa State University police spokesman Aaron DeLashmutt says officers responded to a report of suspicious drug activity around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday. DeLashmutt says officers found Wesley and a passenger sitting in a vehicle with the windows rolled down. Officers smelled marijuana, conducted a field sobriety test on Wesley and subsequently arrested him.

Wesley was taken to the Story County jail and released later in the morning. Online records don’t state whether Wesley has hired an attorney. Coach Paul Rhoads says he’s “disappointed” in Wesley, adding that his suspension falls under a policy in Iowa State’s student-athlete code of conduct. Wesley caught 10 passes as a freshman last season.

ISU researcher conducts study to test modified bananas


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa State researcher plans to test genetically modified bananas on a group of students at the university, though some people have expressed concerns about the nature of the study.
Wendy White, a food science professor leading the study, will put 12 women on a diet including regular bananas and bananas infused with a gene to aid Vitamin A production. They’ll follow the diet for four days during three study periods.

The Des Moines Register reports volunteers will also undergo blood tests to gage how their bodies react. Participants will be paid $900. White says the ultimate goal of the study is to help increase Vitamin A consumption in Africa. Dave Schubert, a California scientist, says he’s concerned about feeding the modified fruit to humans before an animal trial.

Terminal cancer patient dies amid medical marijuana fight


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – An eastern Iowa man battling terminal cancer has died amid his fight to grow medicinal marijuana for his personal use. Dottie Mackenzie confirmed Tuesday that her 49-year-old son Benton Mackenzie died early Monday at his Long Grove, Iowa, home.

Benton Mackenzie had been growing marijuana to create medicinal oil he could both consume and apply to his tumors. He and his wife, Loretta Mackenzie, were convicted in 2014 for conspiring to grow marijuana. The trial garnered national attention.

The Quad-City Times reports the entire family has faced prosecution, including his parents who received misdemeanor counts for hosting a drug house. Those charges were eventually dropped. Dottie MacKenzie says she has found peace with the situation and her son’s death.

Branstad delivers ‘Together we can’ message to legislators


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad has presented what he calls a “plan of action” to lawmakers today. Branstad delivered the annual “Condition of the State” message to legislators, with a “Together We Can” theme. Working together “matters” — Branstad said — since any bill must win approval in the Republican-led Iowa House and the Democraztically-led Iowa Senate before it reaches Branstad’s desk. Many of the governor’s priorities are hold-overs from previous years, with a few some tweaks.

Branstad’s proposes a new five-million dollar competitive grant program for communities or private sector companies that extend broadband service in rural Iowa. Ae he outlined during the campaign season, Branstad proposes a new “IowaNEXT” program for “quality of life” projects and a new public-private partnership to manage state workforce development programs.

The governor says it’s “common sense” for legislators to finally pass an anti-bullying bill, after similar proposals faltered in each of the last two years, and he’s calling for longer sentences and electronic monitoring of “habitual” domestic abusers. Branstad also released his budget plan today, outlining seven-point-three-BILLION dollars in state spending. That’s between four and five percent bigger than the current year’s budget.

Branstad did not fully embrace the Regents plan to provide more state money to the public universities so in-state tuition can remain the same for a third straight year. He recommends Iowa’s public school districts get about 50 million dollars more in general state aid for the next academic year. That’s an increase of one-and-three-quarters of a percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Creston businesses hit by vandals


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic isn’t the only community to have had recent incidents of vandalism perpetrated on local businesses. The Creston Police Dept. reports at around 8:50-p.m. Friday, someone threw a brick through the front door of Coen’s Furniture on north Maple Street.There was no immediate word on the dollar loss.

And, sometime between 3-pm Dec. 28th and 2:20-a.m. Dec. 29th, someone threw a brick through the glass door of the Family Shoe Store on west Adams Street, in Creston. The loss was estimated at $765.

Late last week, Designer Portraits by Ann studio in downtown Atlantic sustained damage when someone threw three field rocks through the business’ windows and doors. The damage was estimated at $2,200. And during the late night hours of Dec. 29th, another downtown Atlantic business, Aunt B’s, sustained $1,500 damage, when someone threw a piece of black asphalt through the front, plate glass window. They also smashed the front glass door. Damage from that incident amounted to about $1,500.

Atlantic School Board approves reduced dropout prevention/At-Risk funding


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the 2015-16 Modified Supplemental Amount application from the State for At-Risk & Dropout Prevention, which amounted to about $450,000. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein told KJAN News that was less than the $470,000 they’d hoped for.

He said “I think people don’t realize that’s been implemented by legislature not setting the State Supplemental Aid last last year, because it’s being calculated on this year’s cost per student, which, if it would have been set, that would have been factored in,”  such as two-percent. He said now, because it’s been calculated already, it’s going to be less than what we would have gotten,” (Under the old Allowable Growth formula).

Amstein said Maintenance Director Russell Peck also provided the Board with an update on projects that will likely need to be tackled this summer. That includes tuck-pointing, and a portion of the Middle School roof over the locker rooms that needs to be replaced. He also is working on a schedule for roof replacement that will take place over the next few years.

Amstein said the Board also approved an Early Retirement application and Early Resignation incentive for Barb Olsen, Middle School Cross Country Coach and P-E teacher at the Washington Elementary School.

Armed man calms dispute over child at Des Moines restaurant


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police say a man pulled out his concealed weapon to calm down two people who were fighting over a toddler outside a fast-food restaurant in Des Moines. The Des Moines Register reports that the incident occurred around 1:20 p.m. Sunday. The child’s mother and father had met at the restaurant but their dispute got physical when the mother left with her son in her arms. Police say the father ran up behind her outside and pinned her against some glass.

Police say a man walking into the restaurant pulled his pistol, pointed it at the ground and talked the couple down. The man described himself as a good Samaritan who was concerned that an assault was taking place. He has a permit for a concealed weapon.

Lorimor man arrested in Creston Mon. afternoon


January 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report the arrest Monday afternoon of a man from Lorimor. 37-year old Cortney Darwin Lynam was taken into custody at around 4:30-p.m. on a charge of 2nd offense Public Intoxication. Lynam was being held in the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.