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Connector trail project near KJAN almost finished – fundraising continues

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Nishna Valley Trails group, in Atlantic, said today (Wednesday), that with the 162-foot Pedestrian Bridge in place and virtually all of the concrete laid for the Troublesome Creek Connector Trail, the project will be completed within the next couple of weeks. Dave Chase, President of the non-profit Nishna Valley Trail, Inc., says fundraising efforts continue to top off the remainder of the money needed to pay for the trail.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

According to Chase the group’s “Original announced goal was $550,000, and thanks to a favorable construction bid from Atlantic contractor A.M. Cohron and Son, the cost of the project was significantly lowered.” Chase said also, “Based on this and the status of the funds we had raised at the time we decided to pull the trigger on proceeding with the project to be completed this Fall. We felt good about the pending grant applications we had in. Another reason was that some of our previously-awarded grant money needed to be used by certain deadlines rapidly approaching.”

According to Chase, two grant applications (one to Wells Fargo Foundation and one to Wellmark Foundation) totaling $125,000 would have provided the rest of the needed money. Chase recently learned from both Foundations that neither application would be funded.  He said new ideas to raise the additional $125,000 have been studied and are being pursued, as well as contacting previous donors to consider further support and/or pledges.

Chase mentioned he has been approached about a donor recognition in connection with the new bridge. “The individual,” he said “Asked how much it would take to get my name on the bridge? How about $20,000, and, could I talk to some of my friends to do the same?” Chase brought the proposal up at the last NVT meeting and it was unanimously approved with one clarification being that any donation of $20,000 or more, by an organization or individual would be memorialized on a permanent donor plaque to be affixed to the bridge.

“This would be for any new or previous donations totaling this amount,” he said. He went on to say that year-end tax planning gifts were also being encouraged. “Those gifts are fully tax-deductible to an organization like NVT.”  Further information about the donor recognition or any other financial support for the project can be obtained from Chase at 712-249-3059. “We will raise the money,” Chase added. “ It is just a matter of where it comes from.”

Propane tank explodes in rural Adair hog shed

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Adair were called to a reported propane explosion Tuesday. Adair Fire Chief Jordan Smith told KJAN News the incident took place at around 7:30-p.m., in the 2800 block of Frontier Road, or about 6-miles north of Adair. When firefighters from Adair, assisted by crews from Casey arrived, Smith says they encountered a structure that was fully engulfed in flames. The flames also caused a nearby grassy field area to ignite.

Smith said the landowner – who resides in Guthrie Center had been burning wood and other debris in a hole and left with his wife to get dinner. The farmer thought the fire burned itself out, but apparently an ember, whipped by the wind, caught an old, former hog building on fire. The explosion he said, was caused by one of three, 100-pound L-P gas tanks inside the shed, rupturing from the heat.

A motorist passing by heard a loud explosion and called 9-1-1. No injuries were reported.  Smith reminds farmers and landowners that anytime there are windy conditions, it’s wise to hold-off on conducting outdoor burns, or at the very least, not leave them unattended. He mentioned also, a combine was lost to fire earlier this week in the Bridgewater-Fontanelle area, that’s a good reason to check-up on your combines, make sure they’re maintained and aren’t getting clogged with chaf and overheating.

Iowan gets 25 more years in prison on his 23rd birthday

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

IDA GROVE, Iowa (AP) – Court records show that on his 23rd birthday, a Sioux City man has been sentenced to 25 more years in prison. The Sioux City Journal reports  Michael Dutcher was sentenced on Tuesday in Ida County District Court for robbing the United Bank of Iowa in Holstein on July 24 last year. A jury convicted him of robbery.

The judge added the sentence to the 30 years Dutcher got for robbing two Sioux City motels last year and for an unrelated drug conviction.

Harlan woman appointed 4th Judicial District Judge

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today (Wednesday) appointed 53-year old Susan “Suzy” Christensen, of Harlan, as Judge to the 4th Judicial District. Christensen was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the Honorable Timothy O’Grady. Christensen currently serves as a District Associate Judge in the 4th District.

Prior to her appointment as District Associate Judge, she was in private practice. Christensen received her undergraduate degree from Judson College in 1988 and her law degree from Creighton University in 1991.

District 4 consists of the following counties: Audubon, Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby.

2 arrests reported in Audubon

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Audubon Police Chief Matt Starmer reports his officers made two arrests, recently. On Oct. 27th, 49-year old Timothy Duane Smith, of Audubon, was arrested for Driving While Barred. Smith was transported to the Audubon County Jail where he posted a cash bond and was released. The same day, 43-year old Doanna Dawn Lauritsen, of Audubon, was arrested for Allowing An Unlicensed Driver to Operate a Motor Vehicle. Lauritsen was cited and released on promise to appear later, in court.

Atlantic Community Improvement awards given to 10th St. residents

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Image Committee awarded several residents along 10th Street with the Community Improvement Award. This award recognizes the successful efforts to improve a property in the Atlantic Area.

“This residents have beautiful manicured and landscaped yards year after year. It was especially important during the Highway Six project. They worked very hard to maintain an attractive yard,” Ouida Hargens, Executive Director of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

Pictured: Chuck & Marcia Westphalen, Gary & Judy Warwick, Bob & Pam Cord, Denny & Connie.

Pictured: Chuck & Marcia Westphalen, Gary & Judy Warwick, Bob & Pam Cord, Denny & Connie.

The Community Improvement Award is given to a businesses and residents that takes pride in making Atlantic a welcoming and beautiful community by continuing to improve its appearance. If you would like to nominate a business or community member for a Community Improvement Award please contact the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce: 712-243-3017 or

2 people died after crash of stolen car, Iowa police say

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two people have died after the stolen car they were in struck several vehicles and a tree and then overturned in Sioux City. Police say the speeding car crashed and flipped onto its top Tuesday afternoon. The 34-year-old man and 28-year-old woman inside were taken to a hospital but died of their injuries. Their names haven’t been released.

Police Sgt. Scott Hatting says investigators were checking into whether the two people were suspected of stealing the car, which was reported stolen on Oct. 29.

3 SW IA parks among 9 State parks to extend overnight opportunities

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Although Iowa’s beautiful fall has lingered longer than usual this year, camping season will come to a close very soon for most people, if it hasn’t already. State Park Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt, says don’t let the changing seasons limit your enjoyment of Iowa’s state parks, or the chance to stay overnight. According to Coffelt, “We have nine parks scattered around the state with beautiful, comfortable year-round cabins. Allowing couples and families, and even larger groups to enjoy our parks in what we sometimes refer to as the ‘off season.’”

A total of 35 year-round cabins are available to rent for two-day minimums for anywhere from $35 per day to $200 per day. Visitors will need to bring their own bedding and towels, and some cooking utensils. Amenities of each cabin may vary slightly. Depending on the type of cabin, they can sleep between two and ten people, and are located in the following parks:

· Backbone (Fayette County)

· Black Hawk (Sac County)

· Honey Creek (Appanoose County)

· Lake of Three Fires (Taylor County)

· Lake Wapello (Davis County)

· Pine Lake (Hardin County)

· Springbrook (Guthrie County)

· Union Grove (Tama County)

· Waubonsie (Fremont County)

“Fall and winter in our parks offers a completely different experience for a lot of people,” says Coffelt. “There is a quiet solitude that is very appealing and we invite folks to come out and experience it, whether they stay in one of the cabins or just drop in for a hike.”

For more details about each cabin and park, visit the Iowa state park reservation system at iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com or call 1-877-427-2757. Currently, reservations for the two family cabins at Union Grove State Park are made through the park manager by calling 641-473-2556. Honey Creek Resort State Park’s 28 one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury cottages may be reserved throughout the year. Details are available at www.honeycreekresort.com or by calling 877-677-3344.

Grant Writing Workshop set for Nov. 18th in Montgomery County

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A grant writing workshop is scheduled to be presented in Montgomery County November 18th for representatives of nonprofits, local government and schools. Grant Writing 101, a workshop sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach – Montgomery County, will provide hands-on training in seeking and writing successful grant applications. The workshop will be presented from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday November 18th at Southwestern Community College, Room 111, 2300 N. 4th Street, Red Oak.

Cost of the workshop is $25, which includes a light supper that will be served at the start of the program. Registration is required by noon, November 17th; call the Montgomery County Extension office at 623-2592 to register.

Participants are asked to bring a laptop computer or iPad/tablet device, if possible, to use to search online for grants and other resources during the workshop. A limited number will be available for use.

The training will be presented by Jane Nolan Goeken, a Community and Economic Development program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Goeken has more than 27 years of successful grant writing experience, including extensive work with a variety of federal, state, local and foundation grant programs. She has also served as a grant application reviewer and has helped set up grant award and review programs.

Goeken will assist workshop participants in exploring various public and private funding sources, and provide instruction and tips on planning projects and writing successful grant applications. For more information about the workshop, contact Jane Goeken at jngoeken@iastate.edu or 712/240-2504; or Stephanie Langner, Montgomery County Extension Program Coordinator, at 623-2592.

Former Lewis Central Special Ed teacher reprimanded

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A former Lewis Central teacher was reprimanded after allowing her students extra time on a standardized test. According to the Daily NonPareil, the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners issued a final order at its most recent meeting requiring Marlys Frohwein to complete a 15-hour course on ethics for educations.

Frohwein had been a special education teacher for the Lewis Central Community School District for the past 23 years. She resigned effective June 16th, with the school board accepting her resignation as part of a special meeting held June 17th, according to meeting minutes.

According to the Board of Educational Examiners, a complaint was filed June 29 alleging Frohwein violated the state’s professional code of ethics. The board found probable cause Aug. 7 that Frohwein violated Iowa Administrative Code, and she entered into a settlement agreement with the state agency. In its decision, the Board said Frohwein “Admitted she provided students extra time to think through questions on their tests, an accommodation not provided in any of the students’ IEP.” IEPs are individualized education programs, which outlines students’ current level of performance, educational goals and special services or accommodations.

Lewis Central Superintendent Mark Schweer confirmed the finding but did not further comment on the case. He said the district does not suspect additional cheating took place. Frohwein received a written reprimand on her license, which was shared with a national database, but she maintained her credentials as an Iowa educator. She carries several special education and instructional endorsements, as well as a general middle school endorsement, athletic coach and physical education endorsements.