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2 injured in Cass County accident


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident this (Friday) afternoon in Cass County resulted in possible, minor injuries to two people. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports that at around 12:30 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a one-vehicle accident on Boston Road. A 2005 Dodge Caravan driven by 55-year old Mary McConnell, of Atlantic, was eastbound on Boston Road east of 658th Street when the vehicle’s right front tire hit snow, causing the van to lose control and slide into the south ditch.

McConnell and two passengers in the vehicle were transported via private vehicle to CCMH to be assessed. No citations were issued. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $10,000.

Pott. Co. S/O phone scam going around


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A message today from Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker: Danker says the Sheriff’s Office (S/O) has received multiple complaints from citizens today reporting that a person purporting to be with the S/O has called their residence and stating that someone from their family is in jail and in need of bond money, or that they have an outstanding citation or warrant for their arrest and if they do not pay the caller by purchasing green dot cards and providing the card numbers or by depositing funds into a pay pal account they will be arrested.Pott Co Sheriff

Danker says the Sheriff’s Office does not contact public with those types of requests for money or payment of any kind. When the public receives calls with threats of arrest or any other method of intimidation for the purpose of exploiting money from them the call is fraudulent and should be immediately terminated.

Anytime a person receives a call like this and they question the validity, they should follow up with their local law enforcement agency.

John Deere sees 1st quarter net income drop $294M

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting first quarter earnings today that reflect a significant drop from a year ago.Jdeere Quad Cities-based Deere and Company shows net income for the quarter at nearly 387-million dollars, compared to 681-million in the first quarter last year. That’s a slide of 294-million. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says the news is not a surprise. “We had projected the global farm economy was going to be sluggish this year, but we’re also coming off of some really high, record years, so you have to put that in perspective,” Golden says. “The report we put out today is all about the sluggish farm economy but also our diverse lineup, because construction and forestry and financial services had higher profits.”

Worldwide net sales and revenues for the first quarter fell 17 percent, to around six-point-four billion dollars, down from seven-point-six billion last year. The report also shows net sales of the equipment operations were down one-point-three million. “Yes, we’re down from a year ago but this is about where we thought we would be,” Golden says. “We had projected going into the year that it was going to be a soft year, especially in large agricultural machinery which is really sort of a sweet spot for John Deere.”

Last month, Deere announced indefinite layoffs at five locations that build ag equipment. That includes roughly 565 workers at three locations in Waterloo, 300 at the Des Moines Works in Ankeny and 45 at the Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois. About 500 employees at Deere’s Seeding and Cylinder facility in Moline, Illinois, also will go on an extended shutdown to adjust inventory. Golden was asked if more job cuts loom.  “We have taken the action that we needed to take based on what we knew,” Golden says. “We knew that industry sales were going to be softer, especially in agriculture. We have taken those job actions and we are hopeful that more are not going to be needed.”

Besides Iowa and the Midwest, farmers in many parts of the world have struggled with drought and other severe weather issues in recent years, while last year, prices for many key U-S commodities took a nose-dive. Golden says it was expected that the sale of ag equipment, like big tractors and combines, would take a hit. “If you compare large ag sales from just two years ago, we’re down 50%,” Golden says. “The good news is, we’re a much better company and net income is higher than it would have been in those types of decreases in the past.”

Looking ahead, Deere equipment sales are projected to drop 17-percent for fiscal 2015 and be down about 19-percent for the second quarter compared with year-ago periods. A Deere news release says, “…even with a continued pullback in the agricultural sector, John Deere expects to remain solidly profitable in 2015. Our forecast reflects a level of results much better than we’ve experienced in previous downturns. This illustrates our success establishing a wider range of revenue sources and a more durable business model.”

(Radio Iowa)

Supreme Court upholds Sioux City speeding camera ordinance


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use automated cameras to catch speeding motorists. A Sioux Center attorney challenged Sioux City’s 2011 ordinance establishing the use of cameras to catch speeders. Michael Jacobsma’s car was caught on camera going 67 miles an hour on Interstate 29 where the speed limit is 55.

He launched three constitutional challenges to the ordinance. He claims the ordinance is an unreasonable exercise of police power, violates due process rights of car owners and violates a limited home rule provision that says city ordinances cannot conflict with state laws. The court rejected all three arguments Friday and upheld Jacobsma’s fine.

Leaking wastewater pipe fixed in Atlantic


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the City of Atlantic say a sewer leak that occurred Tuesday has been completely repaired and the DNR notified of the repairs. City Administrator John Lund said today (Friday), the lift station has also been reactivated. The leak repair was completed Thursday afternoon.

Lund said “Our Wastewater Superintendent, Tim Snyder, Tim Teig of Snyder & Associates and Crain Construction worked together to get the situation resolved as soon as possible,” and he thanked all parties involved for their rapid response.

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural resources had reported Tuesday evening that an air release valve on a forced wastewater main caused approximately 100 gallons per day of wastewater to flow into the East Nishnabotna River from under the bridge at West 6th Street, west of Atlantic. The leak bypassed wastewater only when the lift station pumps were operating for about one hour per day.

The DNR had said due to the river flow, the amount of wastewater that reached the river was diluted enough so that it did not affect the environment.

Legislators frustrated as they seek answers about unopened state prison


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Legislators are growing frustrated as they seek answers to the “colossal” problems that have delayed the opening of the new state prison in Fort Madison. The facility was to open nearly a year ago, but problems with its ventilation systems are still being fixed. Department of Administrative Services director Janet Phipps Burkhead testified before the House Oversight Committee Thursday, but similar responses to a variety questions about the project.  “I just honestly don’t know that,” Phipps Burkhead often said.

Representative Vicki Lensing, a Democrat from Iowa City, says she was “disappointed” and hopes the director isn’t “stonewalling” legislators.  “Someone was calling the shots, so tell us who. And changes were made. Tell us who,” Lensing says. “Who authorized that?” Lensing and other legislators say they are “growing frustrated as they try to “connect the dots” and figure out what happened to the Fort Madison facility.

For the past 10 months Phipps Burkhead, who is an attorney, had led the state agency that is the project manager for the prison. She did confirm she’s working with lawyers in the attorney general’s office who are plotting a lawsuit against companies involved in the prison project to try to recoup some of the extra costs.

In 2008, the estimated cost of a new, maximum-security prison in Fort Madison was 132-million dollars. Officials now say the actual cost will likely be about 54 million more than that. The 800-bed prison is going to sit empty for several more months as companies are just now submitting bids to install a new smoke ventilation system and get it installed.

(Radio Iowa)

Forecasters say Iowa spring flooding risk at or below normal

News, Weather

February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Regional experts for the National Weather Service say the risk of flooding is at or below normal for Iowa this spring. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG says the reports released Thursday by service meteorologists in Des Moines and Davenport in Iowa and La Crosse, Wisconsin, covered the potential for river and lake flooding in their respective coverage areas through the end of May.

They cited the general lack of snowpack in much of Iowa and said stream levels and frost depths also were near normal for this time of year.  The meteorologists noted that their predictions could change with the weather. The weather service offices are scheduled to update their spring flooding outlooks on March 5.

(Podcast) KJAN News, 2/20/2015

News, Podcasts

February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 8-a.m. Newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


2 arrested Thursday in Atlantic, on drug charges


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Dept. reports two men were arrested Thursday, on drug charges. 20-year old Austin Eblen, of Atlantic, and 21-year old Andrew Laughlin, of Neola, face charges that include Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Gathering where Marijuana is Used. Both men were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Creston woman arrested Thu. afternoon


February 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Creston was arrested Thursday afternoon for Violating the terms of her probation. Creston Police say 30-year old Tara Squibbs was taken into custody at the Union County Law Enforcement Center, and later transferred to the Ringgold County Jail, where she was being held pending a bond hearing.

And a Creston woman reported to police that someone backed their vehicle into her garage at 605 S. Walnut Street. The incident, which happened sometime between Noon Tuesday and Noon Thursday, caused $1,100 damage.

(7-a.m. News)