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South Dakota State Trooper with local ties in Critical condition

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A South Dakota State Trooper who is a native of Elk Horn, Iowa, is in stable, but critical condition following a pursuit and crash Wednesday morning in Sioux Falls. Television station KELO reports Trooper Andrew Steen, a graduate of the Elk Horn-Kimballton High School, was injured when he was struck by the suspect’s car near a strip mall in the western part of Sioux Falls. The incident happened a little after 2:30-a.m., Wednesday.

Patrol Captain Kevin Joffer said Steen had been involved in the high-speed pursuit of an unnamed 25-year-old female suspect. The chase wound its way through Sioux Falls, but got intense at a strip mall behind a restaurant.  According to Joffer, that’s where the suspect hit Steen’s patrol car. When the Trooper got out of the vehicle, the suspect ran him over. His fellow law enforcement officers then fired at the vehicle several times, hitting the female driver. She left the scene and but was later arrested and taken to a hospital.

No charges have been filed against the suspect. The incident remains under investigation by the Department of Criminal Investigation and Sioux Falls police. Steen’s parents are Dan and Trish Steen, who live in Gladbrook, IA. His grandmothers are Naomi Steen and Jessie Esbeck.

A page has been set up on Facebook for those who wish to offer their spiritual support for Steen and his family: www.facebook.com/pages/Praying-for-Andrew-Steen/217674518363787

8AM Newscast 10-18-2012

News, Podcasts

October 18th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Harrah’s plans to put casino inside Iowa hotel

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Harrah’s is planning to decommission its Missouri River riverboat casino and move the games inside its nearby hotel in Council Bluffs.  Harrah’s general manager Bo Guidry told The Daily Nonpareil that the aging boat costs too much to keep running.

Guidry says the hotel’s main floor convention center would be turned into a casino with a new restaurant and bar. Around 20 table games and 600 slot machines would be moved from the boat to the new casino.

The plans are pending approval by directors of Caesars’ Entertainment, which owns Harrah’s, and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.  Guidry says that, with their approval, reconstruction could begin in January and be finished by summer.

Atlantic City Council holds TIF discussion & is asked to be more proactive

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, discussed, but did not take action on a policy addressing Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The Council tabled action on a draft policy during their meeting two weeks ago, because of changes made over the summer by the Iowa Legislature. Councilman Shaun Shouse spoke about one of the changes, which primarily applies to businesses looking to relocate within the State of Iowa.

The City currently does not have a TIF policy in-place for commercial and industrial development. The result has been inconsistencies in how the funds have been awarded, and complaints about how those funds are distributed for some projects and not for others. City Administrator Doug Harris has said without a TIF policy, the use of TIF funds are subject to abuse and waste.

A TIF Task Force put in place by Mayor Dave Jones, met several times with local developers, business leaders and others, to create the draft policy, along with the City Administrator and City Attorney Dave Weiderstein. The Council was asked by local economic development officials last night, to take a more pro-active role in the TIF process, in particular, as it pertains to new housing developments.      Cass/Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) President Hal Gronewald said there is a housing shortage in Atlantic, not only in rental properties, but in owner-occupied units.

Gronewald says with federal and state funds becoming harder to come by, it becomes incumbent on the local communities to step up. He says the reality is that potential rentals in relation to current construction costs are not sufficient to attract private capital, without some sort of public assistance. Gronewold said he was pleased to hear the City is getting closer to getting a TIF policy in-place, and he says CADCO has some recommendations they strongly urge the Council to consider, without attaching too many conditions or qualifications. One of the recommendations pertains to tax abatements. He said the City should adopt a uniform policy of tax abatements for both housing and commercial construction.

CADCO also recommends the City seek proposals from outside developers, and devise a credible plan for the city owned property in the 300 block of Walnut Street for some type of downtown housing complex. CADCO says the TIF issue is “Too urgent and pressing to engage in time consuming studies,” and that they are ready to offer as much assistance as necessary.

Humane Society hatches bid to unseat Iowa lawmaker

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa has little use for the Humane Society, particularly when it comes to laws designed to give calves, pregnant sows and hens a little more freedom on the farm. The organization’s political arm is devoting most of its campaign budget this year — nearly $500,000 so far — to its effort to see that King doesn’t return for a sixth term. King is running against Democrat Christie Vilsack in a district that has become less conservative due to redistricting.

The Humane Society’s ads focus on his votes regarding dogfighting laws while ignoring their disagreements over laws concerning the treatment of farm animals. King’s campaign says the Humane Society is going after him because he’s an effective advocate for farmers.

Atlantic City Council approves Commercial Development Prelim. Plat

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved a preliminary plat for Namanny Commercial Development, on the city’s west side. City Administrator Doug Harris said the owners of the property plan to sub-divide the 7.86-acre parcel, which is zone as Light Industrial, into four lots.

Councilman Shaun Shouse, the Councils’ liaison to the P&Z Commission, said the Commission found no problems with the preliminary plat, as proposed, and had recommended the Council approve the plans. He said everything was in ordered that is required for a preliminary plat. There won’t be a lot of infrastructure changes involved in the process at this point, and, he said there are several people interested in developing the parcels when they are sold off.

The actual grading and drainage of the lots won’t happen until a site plan is created for the individual lots.

Man charged with theft of potting soil

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Montgomery County man was charged with 5th degree theft for trying to get a five-finger discount on potting soil. According to Red Oak Police, 48-year-old Dale Leon Sawtelle, of Red Oak, was observed taking multiple bags of potting soil from a business in Red Oak.  The merchandise was valued at $50. Sawtelle allegedly took the bags to his residence, where they were unloaded onto a chair.  In addition to the theft charge, Sawtelle was also taken into custody for Driving While Barred. He was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $2,300 bond.

Wind Advisory issued for the western 1/2 of Iowa Thursday

News, Weather

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES ADDED TO ADVISORY:

CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR AND RINGGOLD.

410 AM CDT THU OCT 18 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING. WINDS WILL INCREASE ACROSS THE AREA AROUND SUNRISE AND REMAIN STRONG AND GUSTY THROUGH THE DAY. THE GUSTY WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DIMINISH SOME BY SUNSET THIS EVENING.

WEST WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED. THE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. IN ADDITION…LOOSE OUTDOOR OBJECTS MAY BE BLOWN AROUND.

Wind Advisory in effect from 10-a.m today to 7-p.m. for eastern NE & parts of western IA

News, Weather

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES IN IA: MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-PAGE

345 AM CDT THU OCT 18 2012 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE/VALLEY, NE

A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT TODAY (THURSDAY) FROM 10-AM TO 7-PM.  WINDS WILL INCREASE THIS MORNING AND CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL AVERAGE 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 50 MPH EXPECTED.

THE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKING DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 30 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS BETWEEN 45 TO 57 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

Atlantic’s Parallel Taxiway Project gets the “Green light” from FAA

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic has received the “green light” from the F-A-A , to begin the process of building a parallel taxiway at the Atlantic Municipal Airport. City Administrator Doug Harris told the City Council about the good news during their meeting, Wednesday evening. Harris says he received an e-mail last week from the F-A-A informing him of the news. Harris said he was surprised, because everyone thought after the FAA approved side work and grading for the project, that it would be years before the City saw any money for the parallel taxiway. The e-mail however, said the project is “A go,” for Fiscal Year 2013, which according to Harris, means it will go out for bid early next year.

The Airport Improvement Project will be 90-percent paid for through federal funds. That amounts to a little more than $1.04-million. The City picks up the remaining 10-percent of the cost. Funds for the FAA grant come from a tax on the sale of airline tickets. The City had earlier received a federal grant amounting to more than $538, 800, for the grading, paving, marking and lighting of a parallel taxiway.