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Cass County Engineer discusses revenue at BOS meeting

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s held a regularly scheduled meeting this (Wednesday) morning, at their new start time of 8:30. During his report to the Board, Engineer Charles Marker reported meetings will be held in his department this week with regard to the snow removal policy. He said the Secondary Roads Dept. foreman will discuss and review the policy, which calls for maintaining paved roads first, then the gravel roads. They’ll also discuss new regulations pertaining to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL’s) and medical cards.

Marker then presented the board with information pertaining to where the Secondary Roads Department’s revenues come from, as a precursor to budgetary discussions. Marker said his department is eligible to receive under “Rural Services,” just over three-dollars as a Mill Levy…the assessed property tax rate used by local governments and other jurisdictions to raise revenue in order to cover annual expenses. He said if they collected the amount allowed, it would generate a little more than $1.585-million dollars.

The amount he’s allowed to receive from all properties in the County (including those inside the Corporate limits), is a little more than 16.87-cents per thousand dollars valuation, which would generate $135, 125. Funds from the Local Option Sales Tax transferred to Secondary Roads remains unchanged from last year, at $150,000.

The bulk of his funding comes from the Road Use Tax Fund, which is derived from State through the collection of a gasoline tax. That amounts to $2.34-million dollars. Other funds coming from the Road Use Tax Fund amounts to nearly $292,000. Marker said it’s important for the Board and citizens of Cass County to know that the bulk of his revenue comes not from property taxes, but from the “Gas Tax.” He says the figures will be used to generate the proposed 2015 Fiscal Year budget.

Marker did not request an increase in funds from the Local Option Sales Tax  because it was his opinion that the funds could instead be used to pay for the County Geographic Information System specialist, but Supervisor Chuck Rieken said he prefers to see that money come out of tax dollars…or, the General Fund, if available…not Option Tax dollars.

8AM Newscast 01-08-2014

News, Podcasts

January 8th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local News, 1/8/14

News, Podcasts

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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House District 25 voters pick at Republican

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Voters have selected Republican Stan Gustafson to replace Julian Garrett in Iowa’s House District 25.  The 71-year-old Gustafson got nearly 70 percent of the votes Tuesday, beating a 59-year-old Democrat from Winterset, Pam Deichmann. The special election included voters in Madison County and parts of Warren County.

Gustafson, of Cumming, is a Marine Corps veteran who originally is from California.  State Rep. Garrett resigned after winning election to the Iowa Senate in November.

Pre-trial conference continued in Lee Nelson sexual exploitation case

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

There’s been yet another delay in the court proceedings for a former Harlan teacher facing sexual exploitation and assault charges. During a hearing held Monday (Jan. 6th, 2014), Judge James Richardson continued the Pre-Trial Conference date for 73-year-old Lee Gordon Nelson, who has waived his rights to a speedy trial. The pre-trial conference has been rescheduled to take place January 21st, in Shelby County District Court. Nelson’s jury trial is still slated to begin at 9-a.m., on March 4th.

Nelson faces charges of sexual exploitation by a school employee and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. A 17-year-old female claiming to be a victim and her parents contacted police on May 30, 2013, and reported that Nelson had allegedly been saying rude and inappropriate things to the female, as well as touching her inappropriately.

The incidents allegedly occurred at school, on band trips and at his residence.

Iowa State Fair cashless plan draws some criticism

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A plan to eliminate cash sales at food vendors and other Iowa State Fair attractions has drawn criticism from some longtime fairgoers.  Patrons will no longer buy items with cash. Instead, they will buy tickets at about 50 fairgrounds spots and pay for food and beverages with those tickets. Fair officials said in announcing the system Tuesday that it will be more secure and speed up food purchases because vendors won’t have to make change.

Some fairgoers say the hassle of lines or figuring out how many tickets they’ll need could be enough to make them stay home.  Seventy-one-year-old Andi Blume told The Des Moines Register that “it’s just all an inconvenience.” She says she and her husband don’t attend other events that use a similar ticket system.

Shenandoah man arrested Wed. morning on an OWI charge

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest early this (Wednesday) morning of a Shenandoah man on an OWI charge. 31-year old Jonathan Lynn Gray was pulled over at around 1:20-a.m.near the intersection of Highway 48 and 200th Avenue in Red Oak, and subsequently charged with OWI/3rd offense. Gray was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 cash bond.

Shenandoah woman arrested following a traffic stop

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon resulted in an arrest. Kristen Marie Hughes, of Shenandoah, was pulled over at around 4-p.m., and was allegedly intoxicated. She was arrested on a charge of OWI/2nd offense and brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where Hughes was being held on $2,000 bond.

Neighbor thwarts attempt by thieves to steal an a/c unit from a Bluffs church

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An inquisitive neighbor helped to thwart the theft of an air conditioning unit from a Council Bluffs church Monday morning. The Omaha World-Herald reports at around 9:30-a.m. Monday, two white men in their 20’s pulled up in a silver SUV to the Lighthouse Temple Church at 1430 Avenue E, and attempted to steal an a/c unit. A neighbor heard the vehicle and went outside to investigate, and police say the men fled when they spotted the neighbor. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Bluffs police at 712-366-2172.

Fire at a Bluffs heavy equipment dealer starts in paint booth

News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Council Bluffs say a spark in a paint booth was the cause of a fire Tuesday at a company that refurbishes and sells heavy equipment.  Authorities told the Omaha World-Herald that an employee at Midwestern Equipment on 35th Avenue was painting equipment inside a booth designed to contain flammable vapors, when a spark caused the paint chemicals to ignite. The incident happened at around 9-a.m.

An extinguishing system inside the booth was activated but was unable to stop the spread of the flames.
Fire crews had the blaze contained within about 10 minutes. No one was injured, and the business’ owner described damage as minimal.