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Atlantic B&B owner given 30-day extension to complete project

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The owner of a bed and breakfast business in Atlantic who is in violation of the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code, has been given a little more time to complete the exterior portion of his project. City Code Enforcement Officer John Lund said the decision was reached during a meeting this (Thursday) morning with S.F. Martin House owner, Roger Steffens. He says Steffens has been given a 30-day extension, but no more. After that, he will face fines for violating the City’s Code. Lund says the City understands the scope of the project, but at the same time, Steffens has been as much, if not more time than other residents to get their properties into shape, when given a compliance notice.

He says November 1st is the final deadline. Lund says they tried to make it as fair as possible. Regardless of what the National Register of Historic Places guidelines are, he says the City’s “Minimum Maintenance Code is called that for a reason. He says it’s “Not the Historical Victorian Standards Maintenance Code,” and the City is only asking Steffens to get the front entrance way taken care of, siding in-place and for the structure to be painted. Lund says six-months was an unreasonable amount of time for that to take place, to begin with.

Prior to his meeting with Lund, Steffens had faced an October 1st deadline to complete repairs on the exterior of his business, which is on the National Register of Historic places. The building has been what several people have described as an “eye sore” in Atlantic, especially on the east side. Work on the exterior of the house has been underway for at least 15-years, while the inside is pristine. When confronted with the earlier deadline, Steffens said during Wednesday night’s Council meeting that he needed more time to “Do the work the right way,” and that he’s already spent “Tens of thousands of dollars” on the on-going project, but he’s not willing to do the job hap-hazardly.

Atlantic City Councilman Shawn Shouse says it not the type of work being done that is the problem, it is all about the amount of time it is taking to get it done. Shouse said by Steffens’ own admission, he is taking too long. He says that’s what the council feels, as well. Steffens thought he was being singled-out by the City, but Shouse said that’s not the case. Shouse said the City has sent out notices to other property owner’s who are not in compliance with the Code.

OWI arrests in Cass County

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports two men were arrested on OWI charges, Wednesday. 34-year old Christopher Anthony Morresi, of Underwood, was taken into custody on charges of OWI 1st, Driving While Barred, and Driving Under Suspension. Morresi was brought to the Cass County Jail and later released on $2,000 bond.

And, 52-year old Mark David Carroll, of Griswold, was arrested Wednesday, on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense. Carroll was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held, pending a court appearance.

9AM Newscast 09-20-12

News, Podcasts

September 20th, 2012 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Afton Police Dept. Seeking Information on a children’s confrontation Incident

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Union County say the Afton Police Department received a report Wednesday afternoon from two, 10-year old girls, who claim they were confronted by a 50- to 60-year old white male. The incident took place on East Grand Street just west of the East Union School Campus and near the City of Afton REC Fields.  Several East Union After School Daycare staff members observed the confrontation and helped to get the girls to safety on the school campus.

Authorities say the person of interest connection with the incident, had brown eyes, and some brown hair, but was mostly bald on top. He was driving a Green Jeep or Chevy Blazer type 4×4 vehicle with a spare tire on the back. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Afton Police Chief John Coulter at 641-347-5255, or local law enforcement. The Afton Police Department is following up on other leads.

Census: Neb., Iowa fared better than most states

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Strong farm income helped Nebraska and Iowa record an increase in median income last year while nationally median income declined 1.3 percent and most states saw their median income shrink. A new Census report released today (Thursday), said Nebraska’s median income grew 1.1 percent to $50,296 in 2011. Iowa’s median income grew 0.1 percent to $49,427.

Only 13 states and the District of Columbia recorded an increase in median income between 2010 and 2011. Vermont led the nation with a 4.1 percent increase. The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s David Drozd says the strength of agriculture has helped Nebraska and Iowa withstand the economic uncertainty of the past few years, and it’s a factor in these income figures.  The relatively low unemployment rate in both states also helped boost income.

8AM Newscast 09-20-2012

News, Podcasts

September 20th, 2012 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Motor club details side effects of medications with new website

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Four out of five senior citizens in Iowa are taking medications, but a study finds many of them don’t understand how the drugs may affect their abilities, especially to drive. Rose White, at Triple-A-Iowa, says the motor club is launching a website that allows you to input whatever meds you’re taking to learn about their impact.  “RoadwiseRX provides details on the common side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications,” White says. “The free online tool generates personalized feedback on how medications or herbal supplements and foods, and their interactions with each other, can impact safety behind the wheel.”

Even if you’ve taken a drug for some time, White says you may not be aware of how it may affect your senses, particularly if multiple meds are involved. “Our research shows that more than 80-percent of drivers age 65 and older regularly take medications, yet only half have talked to a medical professional about the possible safety issues and side effects related to driving,” White says. “With this tool, we hope they’ll use it, input the information, print the results and share it with their doctor.”

Certain antidepressants have been shown to increase crash risk by up to 41-percent. Ingredients like diphenhydramine, found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, can have the same effect on driving as being above the legal limit for blood-alcohol levels. “In most states, including Nebraska and Iowa, a motorist can be charged for driving under the influence of drugs, which includes prescription and over-the-counter medications,” White says. “For that reason, it’s important to know and understand the side effects of any medications being consumed before you operate a motor vehicle.”

It’s estimated that by 2020, just eight years from now, nearly one in six people will be 65 or older — and most of them will still be licensed to drive.

(Radio Iowa)

It’s national farm safety week

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This is National Farm Safety Week as experts look to try and cut down on the over 300 farm-related deaths that happen each year.Iowa State University extension safety specialist Charles Schwab, farming ranks as one of the most hazardous occupations. “The agricultural industry, as a whole, has a much higher death rate than any other industry, and higher than the whole average, nine times higher, than all the other industries combined. So it’s a huge number of fatalities that we deal with in our population,” Schwab says.

Tractor roll overs account for the most farm deaths, and Schwab says they can be prevented if tractors have roll over protection or ROPS. “The phrase in Iowa which is very viable is we haven’t had a fatality from a roll-over with a tractor with ROPs and all of them have been with tractors without ROPs, and so a good life insurance policy is get the ROPs on the tractor,” according to Schwab. La Vonne Galles is the coordinator for Agri-Safe of Plymouth County, a division of the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars. Galles says many times farm accidents occur because of fatigue, so she tells farmers to “take a break” from the busy harvest season.

“The main thing is just be careful, to think before we do anything, and try not to be, you know, so tired. I guess if we can take rest breaks and we can go at a pace that is conducive for good, safe, conduct, then that’s what I think we should be doing,” Galles says. She is worried the summer drought may present a new hazard on the farm in the form of aflatoxin mold in grain. “Yeah, its a respiratory issue of course and so that dust or mold that gets into our respiratory track. If we can avoid that by just using a mask, you know I think that is really important,” Galles says. “Think of that first before we enter into those grain bins, or even any close area that has the grain.” Galles warns that combines, grain trucks, wagons, and grain bins can often times be a playground for children, and she reminds farmers to always know the whereabouts of their children before moving equipment.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic B&B owner facing fines for violating City Code

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The owner of a bed and breakfast business in Atlantic is set to meet with City officials today at 10-a.m., to request more time to meet an October 1stdeadline to complete repairs on the exterior of his business, which is on the National Register of Historic places.

S.F. Martin House property owner Roger Steffens faces fines if he doesn’t complete work on his property by Oct. 1st. (Ric Hanson-photo)

Roger Steffens, owner of the S.F. Martin House at 5th and Poplar Streets, told the Council Wednesday evening, he has taken, and continues to take, steps to complete the restoration of the structure in a historically correct manner, but rushing to complete them by the October 1st deadline would result in a less than aesthetically pleasing appearance. Steffens said he wants 2-more years to complete the job. The building has been an eye sore in Atlantic, especially on the east side, for nearly 15-years, while the inside is pristine. Steffens said he received a letter from City officials  saying he would be fined $250 every month after October 1st, if the work is not completed according to City Code, by the deadline.

Steffens said also, he received a letter from the City saying work must be completed on one specific side of the structure. City Administrator Doug Harris acknowledged the City sent Steffens a letter in May, saying work needed to be done on the west side of the building, but sent a corrected letter on April 30th to say it was the east side that needed the most attention immediately. Steffens said he only received two letters from the City, one in May the other in August. Harris produced a copy of the letter sent in April, but Steffens claims he never received it. Steffens said he will need more time to “Do the work the right way,” and that he’s already spent “Tens of thousands of dollars” on the on-going project, but he’s not willing to do the job hap-hazardly.

Atlantic City Councilman Shawn Shouse says it’s not the type of work being done that is the problem, it is all about the amount of time it is taking to get it done. Shouse said by Steffens’ own admission, he is taking too long. He says that’s what the council feels, as well. Steffens thinks he’s being singled-out by the City, but Shouse said that’s not the case. Shouse said the City has sent out notices to other property owner’s who are not in compliance with the Code.

Atlantic City Council News

News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, adopted a revised Ordinance pertaining to Private Wells. The new ordinance says “No person shall install a private drinking or non-drinking water well within city limits, unless a determination has been made by the City Administrator that it is a “closed-loop system,” or that the well is located greater than 1,000-feet from where an area of contamination exists. The Iowa DNR has identified the City’s old street garage site at 211 Commerce, and sites at 1408 East 7th, and 100 West 2nd Street, as contaminated sites, under Iowa law.

The Council also set 5:30-p.m. October 3rd, in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall, as the time, date and place for a public hearing on the disposal of certain real estate at 400 Hickory Street. City Street Department Superintendent Derald Andersen provided the Council with an update on departmental activities and progress during the meeting.

Andersen said the street crews are still doing some asphalt patching, and will try to seal coat some of the roads next week. He says some of the roads haven’t been seal coated in nearly 10-years. City Administrator Doug Harris and Andersen agreed, that over one-third of the 55-miles worth of roads in the City have been repaired over the past 10-years or so, and the work continues, as part of the City’s Capital Improvements Plan. Andersen said also, it’s about that time of year to prepare the City’s Christmas lights for display.

He says crews will begin the process of preparing for the Grand Lighting ceremony that takes place in December, on October 1st. Three men in bucket trucks will spend 27 days decorating the trees on Chestnut Street, weather permitting. That includes all the garlands and other decorations. In other news from the Council meeting, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones set Wednesday, October 31st from 5:30-to 7:30-p.m., as the date and times for Halloween Trick or Treating in Atlantic.