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Griswold School re-roofing project bid comes in lower than expected

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School District’s Board of Education received some welcomed news during a special meeting held Friday evening: the bid for the High School/Middle School re-roofing project came in roughly half of what the early estimates indicated. Prior to accepting the bid, a public hearing was held concerning the project, during which Superintendent Dana Kunze read a letter from officials with Estes Construction and FRK Architects with regard to their recommendations.

The firms, after having received a number of bids and completing a pre-contract award interview with the apparent low bidder for the project, recommended accepting a bid from the R.L. Craft Roofing Company, in Denison. Board President Steve Baier said he was very pleased with Craft’s bid of $669, 024, which was much less than the $1.2-million dollar anticipated cost of the project. The Board voted unanimously to accept the bid.

In other business, the Board approved the resignations of: Chris Elwood, from his teaching and coaching positions; Erin Amelien, from her teaching and coaching positions, and Gena Rush from her Para-professional position. And, after reviewing three parking lot redesign proposals from Bishop Engineering’s Joel Jackson, narrowed the design down to one, but made several changes and/or additions to the plan.

A final draft of the plan, included the changes, will be presented to the Board during a special “Electronic” meeting (conducted via conference call and e-mail), next Wednesday evening. Regardless of the final plan design, everyone on the Board and Jackson agreed, there will be a “six-week” learning curve, for everyone to get used to the new layout, once construction is complete.

Plane enroute to Council Bluffs crashes in SE Kansas – 3 dead

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CHANUTE, Kan. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says three people have died in the crash of a small plane in southeastern Kansas. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson says five people were aboard the twin-engine Cessna 401 when it went down around 4:30 p.m. Friday northwest of Chanute. Knudson says the eight-seat plane caught fire after the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating and says the crash occurred about seven miles northwest of Chanute. That’s a generally rural area. Knudson says the plane was en route from Riverside, Kan., to Council Bluffs, Iowa. He said the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude. Knudson says investigators were unaware of any distress call. No other information about the people on board was immediately available.

HMU officials tackle revenue issues

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Harlan Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees reached an agreement Thursday night on how to increase HMU’s water utility revenue. In a tough but necessary decision, the board had to decide on how to increase the water utility revenue by 27 percent or $379,317 annually. Chief Executive Officer Tom Gaffigan says the increase is all for the state revolving fund for the Water Treatment Plant. He says the difficult part was figuring out how to fairly distribute the cost. Gaffigan presented the board with 8 options. After much discussion from all the board members, the board voted on Option #6, which was to assign 50 percent of the required revenue adjustment to the service charge or separate bill line item special charge and the remaining 50 percent of the required revenue adjustment to the commodity charge. Essentially, Gaffigan says this will evenly divide the needed $379,317.

He says half that amount, $189,658.50 will be obtained by increasing everybody’s water rates.  It won’t be a service charge though. It will simply be a line item on the bill. The separate bill line item charge will be a monthly charge of $6.55 per customer. The charge will be introduced to customers on July 1st, 2012. The other half of the money will come from the Commodity charge. Whereas the line item of $6.55 per month will go directly to the new wastewater treatment plant, the Commodity charge is what residents and businesses pay per gallon of water. The costs will be spread over all customer classifications. It reflects what others use in water, so it becomes clear everyone is paying their fair share. 

The Harlan Municipal Utilities Board also adopted resolution number 60. The resolution was to approve the new service rules of the municipal gas utility. Gaffigan explained in the meeting the service rules are rules and regulations to meet existing federal guidelines and not a rate or cost increase. After a few quick updates on the Water Treatment Plant and the Operations Center, the Board then went into a closed meeting to discuss the new CEO candidate. Once the closed session was over, the HMU board approved Darrell Wenzel as the new Chief Executive Officer for Harlan Municipal Utilities. Wenzel will take over for the retiring Gaffigan, who says his replacement is well qualified for the job. Wenzel begins in his new position on Monday, May 21st.

(courtesy Joel McCall/KNOD)

Pit bull shot and killed last week in Guthrie County

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A pit bull that was attacking another dog last week was shot to death by the victim dogs’ owner. According to the Guthrie Center Times, the incident occurred at around 8:30-a.m. Thursday, May 3rd, at a trailer court on Ashton Street, in Guthrie Center. Guthrie Center Police Chief Mike Herbert told the paper a pit bull owned by Melissa Brooks, was loose and got into the yard of her neighbor Steven Leivas, where the animal attacked his dog. Herbert said it was not the first time the pit bull attacked Levias’ dog.

Despite attempts by several individuals to stop the dogs’ attack, the pit bull refused to release its bite on Levias’ dog. Herbert says that’s when Leivas enetered his home, came back out with a shotgun, and killed the pit bull. Herbert said Leivas cooperated with authorities following the incident. He was subsequently charged with discharging a firearm inside city limits. Brooks was not cited in connection with the incident.

Atlantic man arrested on OWI charge in Audubon County

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested early this (Friday) morning on an OWI charge, in Audubon County. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports 52-year old William Gregory Welter was taken into custody at around 2:30-a.m., following a traffic stop on Highway 71, near 345th Street. Welter was brought to the Audubon County Jail and later released, after appearing before the magistrate.

4 people arrested in Atlantic, Thursday

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Thursday of four individuals. 23-year old Damion Selders, of Carson, turned himself-in to authorities.  Selders had been wanted on a Cass County warrant for Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree. He was booked into the Cass County Jail, posted bond, and was released.

And, taken into custody Thursday on charges of Public Intoxication, were: 18-year old’s Tyler Doll and Joseph Riesberg, along with 20-year old Michael McConnell. All three are from Atlantic. Each was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

High Speed Pursuit in Pottawattamie County, Thursday

News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A chase that began in Omaha with a stolen vehicle report ended near Neola Thursday evening, but not before the vehicle being pursued reached speeds of up to 130-miles per hour. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told KJAN News that at around 5:45-p.m., deputies were alerted by Omaha Police to the pursuit of a black Acura stolen from an Omaha Acura dealership, occupied by two men and a woman, all of whom were from Omaha. Danker says deputies in Pott. County picked up the chase after it crossed the Missouri River into Iowa, off of Interstate 480.The vehicle entered Interstate 80 and entered Council Bluffs, at speeds of up to 100-miles per hour. As it left town, the car was traveling up to 130-miles per hour, passing cars on both shoulders and driving recklessly.

Omaha Police helicopter “Able 1″ followed the pursuit from the above. Danker says a Pott. County Sheriff’s Deputy was about to deploy stop-sticks at the Neola Exit, but the car was traveling too fast. The driver of the car saw the deputy redeploy the stop-sticks east of the Neola Exit, and took evasive action. The car jumped the median and began heading westbound on I-80 and got off at the Neola exit. The car went out of control and ended-up in a ditch.Danker says the two men bailed out of the car and took off. The rear seat female passenger also got out of the car, but stayed with the vehicle and surrendered to authorities.

The driver of the car was identified as 22-year old Robert Frederick. The front seat passenger was identified as 20-year old Jake Scripter. The female was identified as Samantha Garbez. Danker says investigators in Omaha believe Scripter was the one who stole the car. Both men face 1st degree theft and Interference with Official Acts charges. Frederick faces additional charges of Reckless Driving and Operating without a Valid license. Garbez was not charged. She was transported by Neola Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, after complaining of chest pains. Frederick and Scripter refused medical treatment. Both men were scheduled to appear in court this morning. Their bonds was set at $10,000 each.

Branstad Order Allows Lead Shot in Dove Hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has signed an executive order legalizing the use of lead shot in the hunting of doves, rescinding an action by the state Natural Resources Commission.  Branstad’s action today (Friday) allows dove hunters to use lead shot when the season begins in September.  The Iowa Natural Resources Commission last year approved a rule banning lead shot for dove hunting. The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee then agreed to postpone the rule to give the Legislature time to pass a law that would allow lead shot for dove hunting.  This year, the House passed a resolution, but the measure died in the Senate.  Opponents of dove hunting say the pellets contaminate the environment for other animals. Hunting groups say steel shot costs more and doesn’t work as well.

8AM Newscast 05-11-2012

News, Podcasts

May 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 05-11-2012

News, Podcasts

May 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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