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8AM Newscast 02-07-2014

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Hamburg School Board to discuss Superintendent’s job

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Following a decision Monday night not to renew the contract of Superintendent Jay Lutt, the Hamburg School Board will gather this evening to discuss their options for hiring a new superintendent. The Board had earlier also vote to stop sharing a superintendent with Farragut. The Omaha World-Herald says in the interim, Lutt will  continue to be Farragut’s superintendent.

The Hamburg and Farragut school districts are in the third year of a four-year whole-grade sharing contract, which created the Nishnabotna school district. About 300 people attended Monday’s meeting. About a dozen addressed the board, including several members of the Farragut school board.

A special meeting is scheduled for this evening at 6:30 in the Hamburg Middle School, and the Hamburg Board will meet Feb. 17th in a joint session with Farragut’s board.

(Podcast) 7-am. News/funeral report, 2/7/14

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Bluffs man pleads guilty in wife’s murder

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man has reached a deal with prosecutors that could result in him being sentenced to 25-years in prison for the death of his wife. The Omaha World-Herald reports 55-year old Darwin Cox, of Council Bluffs, plead guilty Thursday in district court, to charges of voluntary manslaughter, intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent, and going armed with intent. His case had been set to go to trial Feb. 18th.

Darwin Cox was initially charged with first-degree murder following an investigation into the Oct. 15, 2013 shooting of his wife, Millisa, as the woman ran out of their home at 3441 Avenue B. The shooting occurred after an argument that began the night before. Authorities said Darwin Cox fired a handgun from inside the home through a window, striking his wife. He attempted suicide shortly thereafter, shooting himself in the head, and spent time in the hospital before being transferred to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

The first two charges against him each carry a 10-year maximum sentence. The third charge carries a five-year sentence. The intimidation charge includes a weapons enhancement that requires Cox to serve at least five years of the sentence.The prison sentences will be served consecutively as part of the plea deal. As part of the plea agreement, Darwin Cox was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Feb. 7th 2014

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press …

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police are looking for a woman accused of hitting her roommate with a shovel after a dispute over clearing their driveway of snow. The Des Moines Register reports the assault happened Wednesday evening after a woman drove over snow in her driveway. Police say the 55-year-old woman was sitting in her living room when her 46-year-old roommate hit her four times in the head and shoulder with a shovel. The victim got away and drove to a hospital.

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they may never know the identity of the driver whose illegal lane change led to a 31-car pileup on the Interstate 74 bridge in Bettendorf. The Quad-City Times reports the driver abruptly changed lanes to reach an exit ramp on Monday morning, cutting in front of another motorist. The driver then fled the area.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Supreme Court justice issued a stay in the case of a woman who was on the verge of being released from prison decades after her conviction of murder for a 1987 stabbing when she was 17. The Des Moines Register reports Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins issued the stay yesterday.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Samanta Logic had her second first triple-double of the season to lead Iowa to a 73-70 victory last night. Logic had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Iowa which has won six of its last eight conference games.

Newton, Avoca, Guthrie Center join Main Street Iowa program

News

February 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A ceremony was held at the State Capitol Thursday as Governor Branstad announced three communities that have been selected to join the Main Street Iowa program. They are Avoca, Guthrie Center, and Newton. The Main Street Iowa initiative was launched 27 years ago as part of a national effort to revitalize downtowns. Cities that are chosen for the program receive expert training and technical support in efforts to preserve historic buildings and improve their local economies.

Guthrie Center officials join Gov. Branstad for the Main Street IA announcement.

Guthrie Center officials join Gov. Branstad for the Main Street IA announcement.

Ken Laughery, president of the Guthrie Center Revitalization Corporation, is also hoping the Main Street designation will eventually encourage more people to move to the town of just over 15-hundred (1,500) residents. “That’s one of the struggles we’ve faced over the years is our shrinking population,” Laughery said. “I think (Main Street) will give us guidance and show us some of the things that have been successful in other communities in the past.” Avoca’s population is similar to Guthrie Center.

City officials from Avoca also joined the Gov., Thursday for the event.

City officials from Avoca also joined the Gov., Thursday for the event.

Avoca’s City Manager Clint Fichter said the Main Street program will help improve the Pottawattamie County town in a number of ways. “The first step for us is we’ve lacked a downtown business organization, so getting the organization up and running, working together better, the joint marketing, and all those things that come with this…and then, planning for the renovation of an historic theater and some other large preservation projects,” Fichter said. The addition of Avoca, Guthrie Center, and Newton brings the total number of Main Street communities in Iowa to 52.
(Radio Iowa)
(for more info. go to www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa)

Iowa lawmakers debate anti-bullying bills

News

February 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bullying victims, school superintendents and other officials have testified before Iowa lawmakers to advocate for anti-bullying and anti-harassment legislation in the state. Education subcommittees in the House and Senate debated bills Thursday to address bullying situations in Iowa schools. Both will go before their respective education committees.

The bills require that parents receive notification on instances of bullying. It would allow school officials to respond to cases of cyberbullying as they affect students within schools, and ensure training for officials to handle the situations.

Republican Rep. Quentin Stanerson, of Center Point, says legislation won’t completely solve the bullying problem across the state but it will definitely be helpful. Gov. Terry Branstad has made cracking down on school bullying a priority this year.

Minor injuries reported following accident in Montgomery Co.

News

February 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An accident Thursday morning northeast of Villisca in Montgomery County, resulted in minor injuries. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup driven by  42-year-old Nichole King, of Villisca, was traveling west on 210th Street at around 10-a.m.,when a smaller, eastbound gold-colored Chevrolet crossed the center line of the road about one-quarter of a mile east of Vine Avenue.

The other drivers’ actions caused King to swerve to the right and onto the shoulder in order to avoid an accident. Officials say the snow and icy conditions caused the truck to slide up the ditch embankment and roll, coming to rest on the passenger’s side. Authorities say the other vehicle continued eastbound. It’s driver may not have been aware of the accident.

Villisca Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, but King refused treatment. The damage to her vehicle was estimated at $8,000.

HMU CEO accepts new job in Waverly

News

February 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Harlan Municipal Utilities (HMU) has announced their CEO has accepted a new position in Waverly, Iowa. In a press release, HMU said CEO Darrel Wenzel was offered and accepted the General Manager’s position at Waverly Light and Power. Wenzel said, “HMU is positioned to succeed thanks to the dedication of former and current employees and board members. I anticipate HMU will be recognized in 2014 for its outstanding electric reliability statistics by the municipal utility national organization known as American Public Power Association.”

Wenzel became CEO of HMU on May 21st, 2012 coming to HMU from Independence Light and Power in Independence, IA. HMU Board Chairman David Tyrrel said, “We appreciate what Darrel brought to HMU, what has been accomplished under his tenure and wish him well in his future.” Wenzel’s final day at HMU will be February 14th.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Cass Supervisors approve Industrial prop. tax exemption & purchase of computer servers

News

February 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Thursday morning, approved an application by Bernard Vais with the Anita Livestock Auction, for an Industrial Property Tax Exemption for the construction of full frame cattle and veterinary sheds. Board Chair Frank Waters and Auditor Dale Sunderman discussed how the 5-year tax exemption would play out. Because it’s new construction, it would be 75% exempt the first year, 60% the second year, 45% the third year, 30% and 15% the last two-years.

The Board also approved the regulations passed by the County Board of Health, for “Radon Control Methods.” Supervisor Duane McFadden said he spoke with Sanitarian Steve Patterson about the regulations, which serve to mitigate radon. Patterson serves Guthrie, Adair and Cass Counties. Patterson said the regulations would apply primarily to new construction or additions.

And the Board spent an hour discussing with representatives of Solutions, Inc., the County’s computer server needs and services. The County is rapidly running out of storage space for its technology needs, so the Board wanted to explore the options for expanding the current server and related technology.

Solutions’ Zach Ramsey told the Board they have two options when it comes to the new data center located across the street from the courthouse. He said Option 1, A Storage Area Network (SAN) would cost about $39,000 and is the “Cadillac” or high-end version of their servers, which will also serve to aid in the transition to paperless information. He said it would have huge data storage, would be efficient, powerful and very fast.

Ramsey said it has a 10-years life expectancy with regular maintenance. A three-year maintenance agreement would cost $6,000. He said a second, and more logical option, which he called the “Chevy” version, would cost $15,096, and it would better serve the County’s needs now and in the future, without going overboard at the onset. It would include a bigger server, with three virtualized servers and one specifically for the GIS Department. It would have 6 terabytes of storage instead of 8, and the option to add as many as six extra bays for more data storage.

It has a five-year warranty and is more readily adaptable to changing technology. The The Supervisors passed a motion accepting the second option, which, with everything figured-in, will run about 20-to $25,000. It should be up and running by no later than April 1st.