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Lawmakers optimistic about property tax changes

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After decades of failed attempts, lawmakers say this could be the session they succeed in at least beginning to overhaul Iowa’s property tax system. With hopes of adjourning this week, legislators are running out of time, but they express optimism that Republicans and Democrats will reach a deal. Lawmakers have considered changing Iowa’s property tax system for at least 30 years, but the issue is a nightmare for politicians because in Iowa, farmland, businesses and residential property are all taxed differently. To tinker with one means shifting the burden onto the others. This year, though, veteran legislators have reached a bipartisan agreement to address the matter. Republican Rep. Stewart Iverson of Clarion speculates there is a 60 to 70 percent chance that lawmakers will get something done on property taxes.

Iowa News Headlines: Sunday, April 22nd 2012

News

April 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — Two apparent tornadoes have touched down in northwest Iowa but no damage has been reported. National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Temeyer says that one twister touched down east of Spencer about 4:30 p.m. yesterday and the second was spotted 15 minutes later about 10 miles southeast of Dickens. Temeyer says the tornadoes were in rural areas and no damage was reported.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Caterpillar dealer is expanding its Sioux City business, creating up to 20 jobs. William Hoeft, chairman and CEO of Zeigler Caterpillar, says that the $6 million expansion will help the company offer more equipment and services in western Iowa. The city will vacate two acres of unused land along Interstate 29 and turn it over to Zeigler for the project.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A man has died after falling from a four-story balcony in Ames. Police say the 21-year-old man was found just before 2 a.m. yesterday outside an apartment building. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say the man was visiting Ames and was not a resident. His name has not been released.

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) — One person has died and another has been injured in a crash at an Atlantic intersection. The Iowa State Patrol says that 84-year-old Norma Jean Sothman of Atlantic pulled out of the intersection and into the path of another vehicle. She was killed in yesterday morning’s crash.

NWS: 2 twisters spotted in NW Iowa but no damage

News, Weather

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — Two apparent tornadoes have touched down in northwest Iowa but no damage was reported. National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Temeyer said one twister touched down east of Spencer about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and the second was spotted 15 minutes later about 10 miles southeast of Dickens. Temeyer says the tornadoes were in rural areas and no damage was reported. The storm system also brought hail, heavy rain and several funnel clouds that didn’t reach the ground.

Western Iowa Boat Ramp Reopens After 2011 Flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Missouri River boat ramp in Pottawattamie County has reopened almost a year after it was closed by flooding. Park Ranger Brian Orth said that it’s been a bad year or two for boating at Narrows River Park, so it’s exciting that the ramp reopened Wednesday. Pottawattamie County Conservation was forced to close the ramp after the river swelled last May. The water eventually filled the whole park. The ramp was also closed for several weeks in 2010 because of high water. Mark Shoemaker, executive director of Pottawattamie County Conservation, called the reopening of the boat ramp a good step toward recovery. He says there is still a lot of work to do in the park, such as fixing park shelters and playground equipment.

1 killed, three injured in separate Cass County crashes, Saturday

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic woman was killed during one of two separate crashes in Cass County, Saturday. According to the Iowa State Patrol, 84-year old Norma Jean Sothman of Atlantic died,  and 48-year old Julie Nash, of Walnut, was injured during one of the crashes, which took place 10:30-a.m., Saturday at the intersection of 4th and Poplar, in Atlantic. Officials say Sothman’s 2005 Buick LeSabre was westbound on 4th Street, when she stopped at the intersection before proceeding across the street and into the path of Nash’ northbound 2007 Toyota Tundra. The pickup hit the car broadside in the intersection. Sothman was wearing her seat belt, but Nash was not. Both women were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, where Sothman died from her injuries.

The second accident happened at around 12:25-p.m. Saturday, about 10-miles south of Atlantic, near the intersection of Highway 71 and Pella Road. Officials say a 2011 Buick Enclave SUV was traveling east on Pella Road at the same time a 1994 Olds Cutless was traveling west. The vehicles collided head-on at the crest of a hill, located about one-half mile east of Highway 71. The vehicles were driven by 51-year old Lori Johnson and 17-year old Bryce Wernimont, both of Atlantic. Neither driver suffered life-threatening injuries. Wernimont was transported by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, while Johnson was taken by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Both accidents remain under investigation.

8-a.m. Local/State News, April 21st, 2012

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More local and State news from KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson….

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Carson-Macedonia Alumni Banquet set for May 25th

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Graduates of the Carson, Macedonia and Riverside School System are invited to attend the 2012 Carson-Macedonia Alumni Banquet scheduled to take place May 25th, at the Carson Community Center. The event starts at 6-p.m. with a social hour, with the dinner served by Hodges Smoke House Catering from Minden, beginning at 7-p.m.

Honored guests will include the 50-year class of 1962, and all graduates of the C-M-R School systems from past years. All guests will be honored throughout the evening, by recognizing their years of graduation.

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the quartet “Reconciled,” from the Wilson Performing Arts Center in Red Oak. The group includes Mike Harvey, Jim Dunbar, Tim Marsden, and Terra Marsden, along with Pat Dunbar, on the piano.

Tickets are $15 per person. To reserve your place at the banquet, call Pat Parry at 712-484-3450, or Jackie Fox at 712-484-3873, by no later than May 15th.

7:05-a.m. Local Newscast (Podcast), April 21st, 2012

News, Podcasts

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here’s a check of the latest area news, from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

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While IA Senate quarrels over “climate change,” Sen. Ernst admits to driving a Prius

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

On the eve of “Earth Day” this Sunday a handful of state senators got into a partisan squabble over “climate change.” It was Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, who got things started by reading a statement from a group of Iowa religious leaders, including his own Catholic bishop. The statement read “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today and as religious leaders representing diverse faith traditions we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources and to act in love to our neighbors both locally and globally,’” Hogg said. “‘Scientists, including those representing 28 Iowa colleges and universities who recently released a statement, have warned us that changes in global climate patterns are brining more extreme weather events to Iowa, the United States and our world.’” 

That prompted Republican Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan to ridicule the idea that humans are the main cause of climate change. “With all due respect to our religious leaders…how much are you willing to spend to reverse what you call global warming?” Johnson asked. “…The country of Spain made a huge transition to their economy for green energy. What was the result of that? Bankruptcy?” Hogg suggested ignoring climate change would wreck the U.S. economy.
“How much better off would this country be if there hadn’t been a $6 billion drought last year in Texas? How much better off would our state be if we hadn’t suffered $20 billion in flood damage over the last 20 years,” Hogg said, his voice rising to a yell. “You want to ruin our economy, Senator Johnson, you stick your head in the sand and ignore this issue.” Johnson responded with a little yelling of his own.

I’m on the side of the scientists I served with in Antartica and Greenland and I’m the only member of this body that has done that,” Johnson said. “And there is no agreement in the scientific community, no consensus that things have really changed because change happens.” Senator Joni Ernst of Red Oak openly admitted to being a Republican who drives a fuel-efficient Prius. “I did it just because I’m fiscally conservative and driving a Buick Enclave all around my rather large (senate) district was just not affordable,” Ernst said. That prompted Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, to admit he drives a gas-guzzling Corvette convertible. “That’s my choice and I think it makes a 64-year-old man look pretty good, so that’s why I drive that,” Courtney said, to laughter.

Key leaders expect the 2012 legislative session to wrap up sometime next week, but big decisions remain on budget issues and an agreement on property tax reform.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Branstad to speak at Republican Party Convention in Stuart today

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad will be the featured speaker this (Saturday) afternoon at the Republican Party of Iowa’s 3rd District Convention, in Stuart. The district convention takes place at the Stuart High School, beginning at 9:30-a.m.  Branstad is scheduled to address the convention at 2-p.m.

Other Iowa GOP District Conventions will be held today in Grinnell, Mt. Pleasant, and Fort Dodge.