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(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 5/7/2015

News, Podcasts

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Utility Scam in Clarinda

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers is warning area residents about a utility scam. Brothers said a local Clarinda business recently received a call from a female purporting to be a customer service representative for MidAmerican Energy. The caller told the business owner that the payment on the electric utility bill was overdue and that the electrical service would be disconnected within the hour if not paid. The customer service representative said payment needed to be made with a “Reload It” prepaid card.

Brothers says “This is a scam. No utility company does business this way.”

Atlantic City Council intends to make an appointment to fill 5th Ward vacancy

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved the publishing of a notice indicating its intention to fill a vacancy in the 5th Ward, by means of appointment. Mayor Dave Jones said he has a person in mind to fill the seat on the Council being vacated through the resignation of Lori Stuart, but that individual will have to run in November in order to try and hold the position. Stuart’s resignation is effective June 3rd. She’s leaving with her family in a move to Cedar Rapids.

Jones said if a Special Election were held to fill the seat between now and November, it would cost the City $1,000, and it would take at least two-months before the election were held. After the Council approved a motion to publish notice of Appointment, Mayor Jones said he was recommending Richard “Dick” Cassidy for the position, and Cassidy has agreed to accept the seat.

Cassidy is a retired Atlantic High School Math teacher and has been involved in some civic organizations. During the Council’s next meeting on May 20th, Jones will announce his intentions to fill the 5th Ward position with Cassidy, effective June 4th. If the public is not in favor of the appointment, they must file a petition for a Special Election.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council set May 20th as the date for a Public Hearing on an amendment to the current year (FY 2015) Budget, which City Administrator John Lund says is needed in order to ensure the funds balance and a reflection of the cash numbers are accurate. Only a few adjustments are needed, according to Lund, who announced on a separate note, that negotiations with the Public Works Union are completed, and the Union has agreed to accept the proposal.

Mayor Dave Jones warned residents and property owners City crews will begin mowing yards next week, if the grass has grown taller than 12-inches. The City will continue to be on the lookout for properties in violation of the ordinance, now through Oct. 31st. If your grass remains high on the 1st and 15th of each month, will be mowed by the City, and the property owner faced a fine of up to $150, and if the fine is not paid, the cost will be assessed to the owner’s tax bill.

And, Councilman Dana Halder issued a warning to persons who place Yard and/or Garage Sale signs on City Right of Ways. He’s recommending the Police Department write a ticket to persons who leave signs in place more than two days, or who violate the Right-of-Way. Halder said this past week, two garage sale signs were posted on school grounds for a week. He says they didn’t get taken down “‘Til they [the signs] literally fell off the stick.”

The posting of signs on school grounds is not allowed. Furthermore, you are not allowed to put those signs on private property without permission of the land owner. If you do place signs in a yard, you should remove them as soon as the sale is finished.

Bluffs woman arrested Thu. morning in Red Oak

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police arrested a Pottawattamie County woman early this (Thursday) morning, on an active Pott. County warrant for Theft in the 4th Degree. 35-year old Genette Lee Gessler, of Council Bluffs, was taken into custody at 204 E. Corning Street, at around 3:30-a.m. Gessler was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 cash bond.

Gessler was previously arrested March 6th by Red Oak Police, on an active Montgomery County Warrant for Theft in the Fifth Degree.

1 critical 1 w/minor injuries following accident in C. Bluffs Wed. night

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One person was transported to a trauma center in Omaha while another person suffered minor injuries during an accident late Wednesday night, in Council Bluffs. According to Bluffs Police, the accident happened at around 10:30-p.m. off Interstate 29, just north of the 9th Avenue exit.

Officials say Police responding to the scene found a 2001 Kia Sportage with Nebraska plates had left the road and collided with a tree. Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue transported the unidentified driver and passenger to Creighton University Hospital for treatment. The driver was listed in very critical condition.

The accident remains under investigation.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 7th 2015

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 39-year-old man accused of attempted murder has been taken into custody after escaping from an Omaha hospital where he was being treated for stab wounds. The Daily Nonpareil reports David Leroy McKee of Council Bluffs left the hospital yesterday afternoon. He was being treated following a stabbing incident Sunday.

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a Prairie City woman facing charges stemming from her dog’s fatal attack on a 4-year-old girl is set to begin. Jurors were selected yesterday in the trial of 26-year-old Jena Wright in Newton. She is charged with child endangerment, neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, assaulting a police officer and interfering with official acts. A jury of 10 men and four women was seated Wednesday. Opening statements will be delivered today.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City man has taken a plea deal in the beating death of a toddler. Online court documents say 23-year-old Jorge Perez entered an Alford plea Monday to one count of child endangerment resulting in death. He and his then-girlfriend Mireya Balderas are accused of beating to death 20-month-old Marcus Balderas in April 2012.

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) — A couple looking to retire wants to sell a Sibley movie theater after running it for several decades. The Sioux City Journal reports Larry and Aileen Pedley bought Max Theatres from the children of Richard Carl Max after he died in 1981.

Tentative deal on school funding dilemma

News

May 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A flurry of high-level negotiations at the statehouse on Wednesday may have yielded a tentative agreement on how to resolve the impasse over state funding of public schools. According to the Facebook post of an eastern Iowa legislator, the tentative deal would give K-through-12 schools a one-and-a-quarter percent increase in general state aide for the next school year — the Republican bargaining position since January — along with a one-time boost of 55-million dollars in state support — so the total amount of new money for schools would equal what Democrats in the legislature had been seeking.

Brian Schoenjahn — a Democrat from Arlington — is a former educator who leads a subcommittee that’s been wrestling with education funding issues. “From our perspective it is absolutely necessary to keep our rural schools open,” Schoenjahn says. “I think this is serious funding.”

School officials, by state law, had to certify their districts’ budgets for the next school year by April 30th. Since legislators had failed to make the decision on school funding by then, Iowa superintendents issued more than 11-hundred layoff notices to teachers and staff last week.

(Radio Iowa)

Nishna Valley Trails ready to “Pull the trigger” on Connector Trail project

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Nishna Valley Trails (NVT) group is very close to meeting their goal of raising enough funds for the Troublesome Creek Connector Trail to the Schildberg Quarry. The NVT’s Dave Chase appeared before the Atlantic City Council Wednesday night not to ask for money, but to instead provide an update on a project that has been in the works since 2010.

The latest Atlantic Recreational Trail Comprehensive Plan. (click on image to enlarge)

The latest Atlantic Recreational Trail Comprehensive Plan. (click on image to enlarge)

Chase provided the Council with an updated Comprehensive Trails Plan, which, during his last report was still in the process of being updated. Chase said “The trail system is coming together in increments.” The Council’s agenda had included an “Order of Support” of the group in its efforts to get up to $80,000 from the Surface Transportation Program (STP), but Chase asked for that to be removed, because “Involving federal funds in this project would involve requirements and red tape that would put our program back six-months, and it would also require some wage and hour considerations [involving the contractor] which might increase the cost of the project.”

This is what the pedestrian bridge over Troublesome Creek will look like when it is installed.

This is what the pedestrian bridge over Troublesome Creek will look like when it is installed.

Chase said there is momentum and interest for the project, and to date, the group has raised and committed $364,500 toward their $600,000 goal. The group has raised money thanks to grants from the Cass County Community Foundation, and fundraisers or donations from the Lions, Kiwanis, more than 110 separated individuals and donors, and more. The Cass County Supervisors and City of Atlantic have also agreed to provide financial support.

There are also grant applications pending amounting to another $138,500, which if approved, would add up to $503,000, leaving them $97,000 short. Even so, Chase said they have other ideas about how to raise the balance of the funds, and they ready to begin”Pulling the Trigger,” on project by not only accepting bids, but hiring a Project Manager.

Since all the grant funds will flow through the City, Snyder and Associates Engineers will present to the Council a Project Manager Contract at the May 20th meeting. Chase has been working the Snyder’s Dave Sturm and Atlantic City Manager John Lund to accomplish that next step. Bid letting is still to come this spring, with construction completed on the trail by the fall.

Lawmakers consider permitting more fireworks sales

News

May 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A proposal that would legalize more fireworks sales in the state has moved forward in the Iowa Senate. The legislation won approval in the Senate Ways and Means Committee in a 9-6 vote Wednesday. Under the proposal, retailers could sell firecrackers, roman candles and other fireworks. Currently, the state allows sales of sparklers or snakes.

Supporters argued that the legislation would better regulate activity that is happening anyway, noting that Iowa residents are already going to border states to buy fireworks. But critics questioned the safety impact, saying there would be more fires and injuries. The bill will next move to the full Senate for consideration.

Bird flu found at 5 more chicken farms and in backyard ducks

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials say five additional commercial chicken farms show signs of the presence of bird flu and a backyard duck flock near a previously confirmed case also has tested positive. The new chicken cases are on Sioux County farms. Two had a total of 200,000 chickens. Estimates were not immediately available for the remaining three farms. The backyard ducks are on a farm in O’Brien County.

The new cases raise Iowa’s total number to 34 cases in 11 counties. About 21 million of Iowa’s chickens will be affected if the latest cases are confirmed. The number of turkeys to be lost is approaching 500,000. More than 100 farms in the Midwest have the bird flu virus with more than 28 million birds affected.