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Iowa News headlines: Wed., Sept. 19th 2012


September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — The campaign for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says his wife, Ann Romney, will hold a Women for Mitt rally at furniture store in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. Ann Romney is scheduled to speak at the rally tomorrow afternoon at By Design, a high-end furniture retailer. Her visit follows a Monday event in Des Moines by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is focusing much of his two-day Iowa trip on blue-collar areas, hoping to improve President Barack Obama’s chances of carrying the state he captured in 2008. Biden campaigned Monday in Burlington and yesterday in Ottumwa before capping the visit with a stop at Grinnell College.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa agriculture department says federal officials have approved a request for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus to be blended with other corn for animal feed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the agency’s request to blend corn containing more than 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin with corn that has lower levels or no aflatoxin.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Social conservatives are adding firepower to what has been a low-profile campaign to oust a member of the Iowa Supreme Court for his role in legalizing gay marriage in 2009. The Family Leader has announced that former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will join a statewide bus tour next week calling for the removal of Justice David Wiggins, who is up for retention in November.

Atlantic City Council to adopt Private Well Ordinance, Wednesday


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, is expected to adopt on the second- and third-reading, a revised Ordinance pertaining to Private Wells. The first reading of the revised ordinance was approved during the Council’s meeting on Sept. 5th, and is less restrictive than the original draft. The new ordinance, if adopted during the Council’s 5:30-p.m. session, Wednesday, says “No person shall install a private drinking or non-drinking water well…within city limits, unless a determination has been made by the City Administrator that: It is a closed-loop system” or that the well is located greater than 1,000-feet from where an area of contamination (requiring corrective action under Iowa law), has been determined to exist.

The Ordinance says “In addition, drinking water wells outside the 1,000-foot restricted area shall not be installed, if the building to be served is within 250-feet from an accessible water distribution main owned and controlled by the City.”  The Iowa DNR has identified the City’s old street garage site at 211 Commerce, and sites at 1408 East 7th, and 100 West 2nd Street, as contaminated sites, under Iowa law.

City Administrator Doug Harris says the DNR has recommended the Council adopt the ordinance because they feel the action would more effectively protect public health and at a lower cost, than either removing the contaminated dirt (at an estimated cost of $150,000), or monitoring those sites over the next 30- to 50-years until the contamination has dissipated (at an estimated cost of $10,000 per year).

Northbound I-29 to westbound I-480 ramp in Council Bluffs to close Sept. 26 for repairs


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation will be closing the northbound Interstate 29 to westbound I-480 ramp (exit 53A), in Council Bluffs Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 26 and 27, to make bridge repairs. Northbound I-29 traffic will be routed around the construction zone by exiting at 35th Street (exit 54B) and traveling south on I-29 to westbound I-480.

Motorists will want to allow some extra time in the morning hours to travel on this detour. The roadway should be reopened to traffic by Friday, Sept. 28, weather permitting. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limits and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

US HWY 59 overpass near Carson closed for repairs


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 4 Office in Atlantic reports the overpass on U.S. 59 that spans Iowa Highway 92 near Carson, in Pottawattamie County, has been closed for repairs. The overpass was struck Monday afternoon by a truck hauling a backhoe on Iowa 92, which damaged the U.S. 59 overpass beams. Engineers have inspected the overpass and determined that the overpass must be closed until repairs can be made.

The Iowa DOT is expecting this to be a longer-term closure to allow for the contract bid process and repair work required. The Iowa DOT will provide information about the reopening of the overpass as soon as it is available.

An onsite detour is in place utilizing the U.S. 59 and Iowa 92 ramps. Motorists should be aware of signs directing traffic through this area. A 53-foot length limit is in place on this detour. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Cass Supervisors to discuss/act on Valuation Exemption for Amaizing Energy URA


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, will discuss and possibly act on a Valuation exemption agreement for an Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area parcel or parcels. The move is likely a prelude to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant by Fagen, Incorporated, on the site of the defunct Amaizing Energy Ethanol plant.

The Board will also act on approving a Length of Service pay rate adjustment for a part-time assistant in the Recorder’s Office, and, the assignment of a County-held tax sale certificate of purchase, with a compromise on the total amount due, with regard to a property in Cumberland.

Their meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Supervisors’ board room at the Cass County Courthouse, in Atlantic.

State ag leaders want school lunch changes

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is calling on the federal government to revise new standards for school meals.  North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring introduced the policy statement that was approved by the group during its annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, this week. It says the new standards are well-intentioned but won’t solve the problem of childhood obesity.

The standards approved by the federal Agriculture Department earlier this year set limits on calories and require schools to offer at least one vegetable or fruit per meal. Critics say the lunches are too light for some active teens and leave them hungry.  Goehring says children from low-income families might be affected most by the new standards because school lunches might be the most nutritious meals they get.

State audit shows Blencoe improper payments


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) – A state audit shows poor record-keeping at the western Iowa city of Blencoe has led to a loss of more than $71,000 in property taxes and unsupported spending of city money. Former city clerk Kym Harris served from January 2008 until she resigned last September after the city discovered financial reports hadn’t been filed. The city couldn’t collect property taxes for the fiscal year that ended in June. Harris told the Omaha World Herald in January she was going through cancer treatments and things were in turmoil.

The audit, released Tuesday by State Auditor David Vaudt, found just over $2,400 of unsupported expenditures and more than $300 of improper reimbursements to Harris.    Blencoe, population 225, is 45 miles south of Sioux City.

Enrollment numbers up slightly at both CAM and EHK


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The CAM and Elk Horn-Kimballton Board of Education held regular, separate meetings Monday evening, in Anita and Elk Horn, respectively. In Anita, CAM Superintendent Steve Pelzer said while the enrollment numbers won’t be certified to the State of Iowa until October, it looks like they have seen an increase in the number of students attending the school district. He said early projections show a possible increase of 10-to 15 students over last year.

Pelzer said the Connections online Academy is doing well also, with an estimated 240 students taking courses through the program, which works in conjunction with the school district. In other business, Pelzer says the Board re-elected Gary Dinkla as its President, and Nick Kaufman as Vice President. And, they approved a request to the State for modified allowable growth for a negative Special Education deficit, but Pelzer said while they don’t anticipate actually having a deficit, the Board approved it just in case.

In Elk Horn, the EHK School Board Monday re-elected Mark Smith as President and Kevin Petersen as Vice President. Superintendent Dean Schnoes said the Board also approved a bid amounting to about $21,000, for the purchase of a new heat pumps from Rasmussen Mechanical Services, out of Council Bluffs. Schnoes said bearings on the heat pumps located in the Elementary/Superintendents/Commons area of the building were going out, and sounded like a “747 taking off.” The new heat pumps will be mounted on the ceiling to keep the vibrations to a minimum. They’ll replace the heat pumps which were more than 30-years old.

Schnoes said also, that while the enrollment numbers for the District won’t be certified until October, the latest numbers show an increase of “two-to three-bodies,” but the future appears to be looking bright, he says, because of the number of new births in the area. He says they’ve noticed a lot more children being born in the area, and perhaps more people will be moving back into the rural areas to raise their families, which would obviously be a benefit for future enrollment numbers.

9AM Newscast 09-18-2012

News, Podcasts

September 18th, 2012 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Bridge to be Named in Honor of Trooper Mark Toney this week


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This week, Troopers in central Iowa, along with members of the state legislature and officers from local law enforcement agencies, will pause to honor a Trooper who recently died in the line of duty.

Trooper Mark Toney

On Thursday, exactly one year after his death, the Highway 65/69 South River Bridge located south of Indianola will be dedicated in honor of Trooper Mark Toney. The dedication ceremony where take place at the Indianola Fire Station, at 110 North 1st Street, beginning at 2-p.m.

Trooper Toney was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 65/69, south of Indianola in September of 2011. He was serving the citizens of Iowa when his patrol car left the roadway, overturned several times, and burst into flames. Trooper Toney served the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.

Members of the public are invited and welcome to attend the dedication ceremony as a show support for those who serve and protect Iowa communities.