KJAN News

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Neb. utility says idle nuke plant ready to restart

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska utility that owns a nuclear power plant that has been idle since April 2011 says the troubled plant is now ready to be restarted, but federal regulators will make the final decision. The Omaha Public Power District submitted a 139-page report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week making the case that Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is ready.

Lou Cortopassi manages the nuclear plant 20 miles north of Omaha that sits across the Missouri River from Iowa. He says OPPD addressed Fort Calhoun’s problems, and it is ready to operate safely.

Fort Calhoun initially shut down for routine maintenance, but significant flooding in 2011, a small fire and a series of safety violations forced it to remain closed.

Fatal accident south of Harlan may have been due to intoxicated driver

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An accident this (Wednesday) afternoon south of Harlan has claimed one life and injured two Iowa DOT Enforcement officers. The Harlan Police Department reports at around 12:15-p.m., the H-PD received a call about a possibly intoxicated driver. A Harlan Police Officer located the suspect vehicle as it was traveling south on U-S Highway 59.

The driver of the vehicle ignored the patrol vehicles’ lights and sirens, and continued southbound for about nine-miles. Other units were called to assist in the traffic stop. A DOT enforcement vehicle responded with lights and sirens activated. The suspect vehicle collided with the DOT car, injuring both officers in the vehicle just north of the Shelby/Pottawattamie County line.

The driver of the suspect vehicle died at the scene of the crash from injuries suffered in the collision. The Iowa State Patrol is conducting an investigation into the incident. Additional updates will be released from the Patrol, when available.

Templeton Rye releases millionth bottle in Iowa

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Templeton Rye whiskey fans have more to celebrate this week than just the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. After seven years of legal production, the one millionth bottle of the Prohibition-era spirit will be released. Templeton Rye is now available in more than 40 states, but founders Scott Bush and Keith Kerkhoff want to give back to the fans at home where it all started and will release the bottle in Iowa to say thanks.

Gov. Branstad putting the label on the millionth bottle at the Templeton Rye distillery in Templeton, Iowa, Wednesday morning.

Gov. Branstad putting the label on the millionth bottle at the Templeton Rye distillery in Templeton, Iowa, Wednesday morning.

“We are very grateful for all of our devoted fans for the success of Templeton Rye throughout the country, but it wouldn’t have been possible without our fans in Iowa,” said Scott Bush, president and co-founder of Templeton Rye Spirits, LLC. “We thought about keeping the millionth bottle for our own collection, but instead, we decided it would be most rewarding to share it with those who helped us achieve this remarkable milestone.”

Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition on Dec. 5, the millionth bottle, with a special nine-digit numeric code printed on it, will be shipped to the state warehouse and enter the Iowa distribution system, along with other bottles featuring nine-digit codes. At an event in Templeton celebrating the milestone, the first number of the special millionth bottle code was announced: 5.

Each week, another digit of the numeric code will be released on the Templeton Rye website, Facebook and Twitter pages and through emails to the Templeton Rye Bootleggers Society. The full unique numeric sequence will be revealed on Jan. 17, 2014, what would have been Al Capone’s 115th birthday.

The lucky fan who discovers the millionth bottle will not only receive a piece of history, but will be invited to the Templeton Rye distillery for a tour and tasting with Keith Kerkhoff, master distiller and co-founder of Templeton Rye. The fan who finds the millionth bottle is encouraged to send an email to millionthbottle@templetonrye.com.

IA Finance Authority awards over $7.5 million to 26 Local Housing Trust Funds

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors today (Wednesday) approved a total of more than $7.5 million in grants to 26 Local Housing Trust Funds to support local affordable housing initiatives, which will assist more than 2,000 Iowa families. The funding is provided from the State Housing Trust Fund’s Local Housing Trust Fund program. The grant funds will be used for initiatives such as preserving aging housing stock, subsidizing local down payment assistance programs, providing low-interest loans or grants to assist Iowans in home rehabilitation, financing construction of new single-family housing for low-income Iowans and supporting transitional housing and homeless assistance programs.

Here are some of the grant recipients, grant amount and what the funds will be used for, in the KJAN listening area:

  • Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund, Inc. – $198,903. The Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund will use the grant to promote the development and preservation of affordable single-family and multifamily housing units through the financing of rehabilitation, new construction or direct assistance activities. The trust fund will also promote home buyer and tenant education.
  • Council of Governments Housing, Inc. – $305,674. The grant will assist 34 low-income households through a combination of grants and low-interest loans. Eligible activities will include lead hazard remediation, owner-occupied rehabilitation, down payment assistance for home buyers and emergency relocation and foreclosure prevention assistance.* Area served: Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac Counties.
  • Southern Iowa COG Housing Trust Fund – $295,951.The grant will focus efforts on seven affordable housing activities to assist an estimated 35 households: owner-occupied rehabilitation in support of homeownership, first-time home buyer assistance,transitional/special needs housing (including assisted living), infrastructure for new development/infill housing, lead-based paint remediation, demolition and lot clearance for new construction and rental projects.* Area served: Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor and Union Counties.
  • Southwest Iowa Housing Trust Fund, Inc. – $387,014.The grant will assist an estimated 60 households by providing down payment assistance and owner-occupied and rental rehabilitation assistance to low-income households. Lead-based paint stabilization assistance will also be available to eligible households.* Area served: Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie (excluding the city of Council Bluffs) and Shelby Counties.

Carson Christmas celebration tonight (12/4)

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Grand Ole Christmas can be experienced this (Wednesday) evening in Pottawattamie County. The 20th annual Carson Christmas Celebration will commence with activities for the whole family. Wilma Laughlin, chairperson of the Carson Christmas, says the event begins with a soup supper from 4-to 7-pm. They will also have kid’s activities assisted by Riverside students, beginning at 5-p.m.

The Carson Community Center will host the soup supper, kid’s activities along with a bake sale and a craft and vendor show. The businesses will hold an open house from 5- to 7:30-pm, and  Santa will arrive at around 7:05pm downtown. Laughlin says you can get your picture taken with him at All 4 You Photography.

The main staple at the Carson Christmas for the past few years has been the shows inside the Dreamland Theatre. Laughlin says We are going to have two shows this year. The theme is of course the Grand Ole Opry. The first show doors open at 5:45 with the show starting at 6pm. The second show the doors will open at 6:45 and the show start at 7:30.”

Laughlin is the play’s writer, but she  said this will be her final year doing the Christmas play. Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door for $4.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Iowa officials say car crash kills 1, injures 3

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in western Iowa say a vehicle collision with a semitrailer has killed one man and injured three others.  Maj. Greg Stallman with the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says the three adults and a boy were in a northbound vehicle Wednesday on Interstate 29 near Sergeant Bluff. The vehicle crossed the center line and hit a southbound semitrailer.

The Sioux City Journal reports the crash temporarily closed some traffic in the area, but all lanes on the highway have been reopened. The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the crash. The identities of the victims have not been released.

Roads becoming treacherous in the area

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Numerous accidents are being reported in the KJAN listening area late this morning. Freezing drizzle is occurring, and motorists are advised to slow down! DOT and Cass County road crews are out placing salt and sand on the roads, but the sudden, changing conditions are catching motorists and pedestrians off-guard. Be careful out there!

Rollover accident reported north of Atlantic

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance were called to the scene of a semi tractor-trailer rollover accident north of Atlantic, this morning. According to scanner traffic, the semi rolled into the east ditch near the Nishnabotna Bridge, off of Olive Street. The accident was reported at around 11:07-a.m.  The driver was at first reported to be unconscious, but later reports indicated he was conscious and talking with rescue personnel. No other details are currently available.

Other rollover accidents or vehicles having slid-off into the medians and ditches occurred on Interstate 80 between the Walnut and Marne exits.

Drivers and pedestrians  should take note, roads and sidewalks are becoming slick with drizzle turning to ice on the surfaces. Law enforcement reports the roads are now about 100-percent ice covered.

Bickering couple draws the ire of Harlan Police

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Repeated calls to a residence in Harlan Tuesday resulted in False Report complaints being filed by Harlan Police. Officials say officers were called to a residence in the 3000 block of 12th Street for a domestic disturbance. The officers determined the couple, Adam and April Gale, were simply arguing, and there was no abuse or assault. However, officers were called to the same home a total of three times during the same evening, and as a result, complaints charging the couple with false reports were filed with the Shelby County Clerk of Court.

Police in Harlan report also, 29-year old Jennifer Baughman, of Harlan, was arrested Sunday, after officers were called to a disturbance at her home in the 1700 block of 10th Street. Baughman was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Prohibited Acts penalties, and brought to the Shelby County Jail.

An Illinois man was arrested Saturday, in Harlan, following a traffic stop. The H-PD says 25-year old Charlie Hadfield, of Alton, IL., was taken to the Shelby County Jail and charged with OWI, Failure to Obey a Stop sign, and having no proof of insurance. A passenger in the vehicle, 24-year old Megan Behrendt, of Harlan, was charged with Open Container as a passenger. She was cited and released.

And on Nov. 26th, 22-year old Oscar Gutierrez-Andrade, of Denison, was arrested for Driving While Suspended, Speeding and having no insurance. He was taken into custody following a traffic stop.

Harlan to conduct housing study

News

December 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Harlan will be conducting a housing study in conjunction with SWIPCO (the Southwest Iowa Planning Council. In a regular City Council meeting Tuesday, SWIPCO representative Courtney Harder gave a presentation on the options for the housing study. In her presentation, Harder said “The proposal is pretty much specific to outlining how your community would be able to support the new development of rental units and at what rate. We would also do some census based information for you and look at the assessor side as to what kind of housing needs you have in your community. We would also potentially outline any other needs that we may see as well. Are you meeting the needs for your low to moderate income? Do you have something in between for families? Do you have a lot of high end homes? What kind of ranges you have available.”

Along with the targeted study, SWIPCO gave the council another more in depth option for the housing study. Harder said “We are going to instead of looking at just the assessor side and census develop your housing needs; we are also going to go into the community and do a drive by and survey every home in town. We have a couple people who drive through town and give an excellent, good, fair or poor rating on every house in town that way you have an idea where your areas of towns that need the most assistance are. We’re also going to have four community input meetings so that you have a little bit more input not just from your housing board but community members. We will have a conditions map and all that stuff to keep in your plan.”

The final option would include everything in the targeted study and broad assessment along with a comprehensive housing plan. Harder says “Option B is the comprehensive study, the same study we did for Atlantic. This is going to be all in compassing everything above. It’s going to have a formal public hearing process and adoption process through the planning and zoning committees. It will cover all the wide range of housing issues including code enforcement, permitting, housing density, design standards and anything else we can come up with.”

After much discussion, the Harlan City Council approved a motion to accept the proposal for the SWIPCO housing study in phases. The first phase is to do the base targeted study at the cost of $4,500 and afterwards SWIPCO will do both in depth studies, the broad assessment and the comprehensive housing plan. Each option will cost the city an additional $1,500. Harder explained to the council as a member of SWIPCO, the city of Harlan will have opportunities for grant funding.

She said “As a member of SWIPCO you have access to our grant writing at no charge. So if you come to us two years down the road and we have completed and you say we would really like to apply for that community development housing grant, we will assist with that. Or if you have anything else that comes up that’s part of being a member of SWIPCO that we provide to you.”

The targeted housing study will take two to three months to complete and the whole housing study will take approximately six to seven months to complete.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)