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Trumpeter Swan Contest Winner in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Conservation Board say the sponsors of the Trumpeter Swan arrival contest have determined the official arrival of the swans at the Schildberg Recreation Area, as November 22nd  On that day 18 Trumpeter Swans were at the Rec Area, and they stayed more than twenty-four hours. The winner of the contest is Todd Rocker.

He will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board. The Cass County Conservation Board thanks to all who participated in the contest.

Key lottery leader out amid jackpot-fixing case


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prominent lottery official was quietly removed from his 28-year post leading the Multi-State Lottery Association after the jackpot-fixing investigation involving his organization widened. A public record obtained by The Associated Press shows the group’s executive director, Charles Strutt, was placed on administrative leave indefinitely in October.

The move by the association’s board came days after Iowa prosecutors said their investigation of jackpot-fixing by the group’s former security director, Eddie Tipton, had expanded nationwide. Investigators say evidence so far suggests Tipton was the only lottery official involved.

Strutt is credited with overseeing Powerball since its 1992 inception, developing other multi-state games such as Hot Lotto, and expanding the association to 37 states and territories. Strutt and Idaho Lottery director Jeff Anderson, chairman of the association’s board, declined comment.

FluMist & Flu Shots Available at Atlantic Medical Center


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

If you haven’t received the influenza vaccine this year, you can still receive either the flu shot or FluMist at the Atlantic Medical Center. Influenza vaccines are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30 pm and Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30 am. There is no need to make an appointment, and most insurance providers cover the cost of the vaccine.

The two best ways to protect yourself and those around you from influenza are to get vaccinated and to practice good hand washing. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also those around you who may be too young (under 6 months) or have a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated.

The seasonal flu (influenza) is a serious disease caused by the Influenza virus. Some common symptoms of the flu are fever, cough, shaking chills, body aches, and extreme weakness. The influenza disease may last for a couple of weeks.

Ways to help protect yourself from Influenza:
 Avoid close contact with sick people.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
 Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) While sick, be sure to practice the three c’s: contain your germs by limiting contact with others as much as possible, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and clean your hands.

For more information, please contact the Atlantic Medical Center Immunization Nurses at 712-243-2850.

Sanders wrapping up three-day swing through Iowa


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders mocked one of Republican Donald Trump’s recent comments about Hillary Clinton during a rally Tuesday night in Council Bluffs. “Donald Trump is very upset. It’s very hard for him to deal with. I don’t know what his relationship with women has been in his life, but he has discovered that women go to the bathroom.”

Earlier this week Trump said it’s “disgusting” that Clinton went to the bathroom during a commercial break in last weekend’s Democratic candidate debate. Sanders jokingly made an admission of his own Tuesday night. “I’ve got to be honest with you. I’ve got to lay it out on the table: I also went to the bathroom,” Sanders said and the crowd cheered as Sanders stuck with his sarcasm. “I know. I have to admit it. I guess I’m a man. Men are allowed to go to the bathroom, but women? What can we say?”

Sanders spoke to nearly 18-hundred people, touting his campaign agenda, including his call for an increase in the minimum wage. Sanders says Trump, who opposes a minimum wage hike, won’t “make American great again” for everyone, just for millionaires like himself. Sanders also points to a recent poll which suggests if the General Election were held today and it was Sanders versus Trump, Sanders would win.

“It would give me nothing but great satisfaction,” Sanders said yesterday. “Boy, would I love that.” Sanders wrapped up a three-day campaign swing through Iowa with a town hall meeting in Red Oak this morning.

(Radio Iowa)

Lane closure scheduled for westbound I-80/northbound I-29 near Council Bluffs Dec. 29


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports the right lane of westbound Interstate 80/northbound I-29 between the I-80/I-29 interchange (exit 4) and 24th Street (exit 2) in Council Bluffs will be closed for repairs beginning Tuesday, Dec. 29, weather permitting. Motorists are encouraged to find alternative routes during this project, as significant delays could occur. Repairs should be completed and the roadway reopened to traffic by 5 a.m.  Wednesday, Dec. 30th.

The Iowa DOT is in the process of reconstructing I-80, I-29 and I-480 in the Council Bluffs metropolitan area.IA DOT This comprehensive interstate redesign will modernize the highway system and improve mobility and safety of approximately 18 miles of interstate. Motorists are encouraged to allow for extra travel time while this interstate improvement takes effect. If you would like more information about detours and traffic impacts visit the program website, www.councilbluffsinterstate.iowadot.gov/.

Cass County Supervisors show support for RFS

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s, today (Wednesday), voiced their support for a proposed Resolution pertaining to the U-S Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A draft of the Resolution was presented to the Board for their review and changes as necessary. The Resolution, as currently written, states in-part, that the RFS “Has been created to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil and to foster development of domestic energy resources.”

A change to the proposed resolution by Supervisor Mark Wedemeyer, would remove a section that states “Renewable fuel resources should provide significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.” Wedemeyer says he doesn’t subscribe to the theory of “Global warming.”

John and Brad Hartkopf, representing the Renewable Fuels Industry, spoke before the Board prior to their taking the Resolution under consideration. John Hartkopf said they have been trying to educate the public and presidential candidates on the importance of the issue.

He said “Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable bio-fuels and ethanol and production.” The renewable fuels industry he says, brings 73,000 jobs to Iowa, a $5-billion payroll and $13-billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the original law passed in 2005 and renewed in 2007, “There is seven-years left in that law, and that last seven-years is primarily for market access. So this market can be expanded to other states. And that was the intent of the law…the purpose of the law is the protection of the United States from foreign oil…environmental protection, and to grow Iowa’s and [the] Midwest’s agriculture industry.”

Hartkopf said the RFS of course has seen opposition from the oil industry, and there are misconceptions about who benefits from renewable fuel. He said Renewable Fuels has not received federal tax credits since 2011, but the oil industry still receives $4.8-billion in tax credits.”

He says the main thing they want to the public and presidential candidates to understand, is the economic benefit to the State and how critical the RFS is in continuing that benefit. The Board is expected to approve the amended resolution during its meeting on Dec. 31st.

Efforts are being renewed to bring a proposed Ethanol plant near Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Economic development officials and local leaders have been trying for years to bring an ethanol plant to Atlantic. After hopes were dashed in 2006 when Amaizing Energy pulled plans to build a plant here, and a Green Plains Renewable Energy deal fell through, plans were announced in 2011-2012 for Ron Fagen, with Fagen, Inc. of Granite Falls, MN, to buy the property. But since then, only an administrative building, an outbuilding and foundation have been placed on the site, and the County constructed a road leading to the facility.

During a meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors this (Wednesday) morning,
Kathy Schowalter, with PlanScape Partners, said by speakerphone, momentum is once again building for the stalled-out project. She said Fagen has been trying to market the site, and if he can get assistance from the State of Iowa, the County and City of Atlantic, he will work and develop the site himself.

The company is now ready to submit an application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), but officials there have made it clear they need proof such a plant is needed before financial assistance is considered and granted. She said they have had to demonstrate there is adequate corn available for processing, and an available labor force.

Showalter said they used 2013 data provided by CADCO (the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation) and other anecdotal information about the county to support the application. The application needs to be submitted to the State by January 4th. A decision on the request won’t be made until the end of January.

As part of the application, Showalter said there has to be “Some local skin in the game,” in the form of a 50-percent match of the TIF (tax Increment Financing) for 10-years, which is projected to be nearly $3.5-million, based on an assessed value of $25-million dollars.

The County, has passed a Resolution approving the sponsorship of and local match for the application to the IEDA High Quality Jobs Program for Farmers Energy, Cardinal, LLC. If the application is approved, the ball would start rolling on $190-million dollar investment toward bringing an annual 150-million gallon ethanol plant to the County just outside of Atlantic. The plant would be added to the Cass County Urban Renewal Plan, and the project, which is larger than the originally proposed 100-million gallon production facility, would create at least an estimated 45 new jobs. Other details about the proposal are still being worked out, and are pending approval of an economic development package from the State.

Red Cross Seeks Nominations for Annual A Night of Heroes & Jazz Event


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The American Red Cross is seeking nominations for the “2016 A Night of Heroes & Jazz.” The event honors individuals who have saved a life or otherwise positively impacted their community during the past year. Jill Orton, Executive Director for the Council Bluffs Omaha Chapter, says “Heroes walk among us everyday—the people who put others above themselves—and it’s our pleasure to recognize them during A Night of Heroes & Jazz.”Am. Red Cross logo

Awards will be given in the following categories:

Call to Action – presented to an individual who by circumstances beyond their control found themselves in a challenging situation and demonstrated extraordinary courage.

Commitment to Community – presented to an individual, couple, group or organization that has made a tremendous impact on the community through their volunteerism, philanthropy, service to others, or example.

Disaster Relief – presented to an individual or organization who has served an important role in disaster relief in our community.

Gift of Life – presented to an individual, couple, group or organization that supports the lifesaving mission through personal blood or platelet donations or inspiring others to give blood or platelets.

Good Samaritan – presented to an individual who is considered a hero because of their unselfish devotion and concern for the welfare of others.

Lifetime Hero – presented to an individual who inspire others by their example. This individual has overcome hardship, risen above challenges, or dedicated their life to serving others.

Public Servant Hero – presented to an individual who in the line of duty (police, fire, military, medical, etc.) went above and beyond the call.

Residents in the following counties are eligible for the Award: Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie counties. Nominations may be submitted online at redcross.org/neia or by completing a nomination form. Nominations must be returned to the American Red Cross, 705 N 16th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501. The awards will be presented at a dinner event on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Iowa Western Community College.

Last year, the Red Cross honored Gerry Sue and Sal Rinella of Missouri Valley for their dedication to responding to disasters across western Iowa. The Iowa West Foundation accepted the Red Cross’ Commitment to Community award for their hard work to grow the Council Bluffs Omaha metro, and Jeff Ballenger received the Service to Armed Forces Hero award for his allegiance to helping veterans to Washington D.C. to view military memorials through the “Honor Flights”.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 12/23/2015

News, Podcasts

December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


Iowa authorities drop 1 count filed against Nebraska inmate


December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Iowa authorities have dropped one of the child sex abuse counts that had been filed against a man already serving time in Nebraska for a similar crime. Court records say the count was dismissed Tuesday in Pottawattamie County District Court. 29-year old Rocky Ontiveros still faces another count. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Iowa court documents say Ontiveros sexually abused two minors from Nov. 1, 2013, to Sept. 19, 2014. The Daily Nonpareil reports that prosecutor Dan Salvo-McGinn filed the motion to dismiss one of the counts because the child involved remains in therapy and is in no position to testify. In August Ontiveros was sentenced to 30 to 40 years in a Nebraska prison. He’d pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a minor in Douglas County.