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Utilities board approves natural gas rate increase for Allliant

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Utilities Board has approved a request by Alliant Energy’s subsidiary Iowa Power and Light (I-P-L) to raise the delivery cost charged to customers for natural gas. Alliant spokesman, Justin Foss, says the company will use tax credits it has from projects to do a three-year phase in program. “What that means now is that when customers see their bills, they will see the increase on there, however, they will also see a credit on there, and that will negate the increase,” Foss explains. “And customers really won’t experience the affects of this rate case until at least 2016.”

Natural gas customers pay the utility the cost of delivering the gas, and the second part of their bill is for the actual gas itself.
“For residential customers, that’s about 60 to 70-percent of the cost of gas. There’s another 30 to 40-percent that they see, and that cost is the cost of providing the service — and that’s really what this rate case is addressing. And while there is a small increase in providing the service, the majority of the cost is made up of the cost of gas itself,” Foss says.

He says the company has put some 70-million dollars into the delivery system the company uses to bring the gas to homes and the increase lets them recover that cost. Alliant customers will see a couple of changes on their bills. Foss says they will see the customer charge go up about three dollars a month and the cost for the amount of gas they use will go down slightly.

The cost of natural gas has dropped over the last couple of years, which has led to an average 20-percent drop in a customer’s bill.
“Supply and demand has really benefited customers and consumers right now. There is a large supply of natural gas, and demand has stayed relatively unchanged. And so as supply and demand work their way together, consumers right now are benefiting with some really low natural gas costs,” Foss says.

Alliant’s I-P-L subsidiary supplies natural gas to some 220-thousand Iowans in 240 communities.

(Radio Iowa)

IDPH Launches Bullying, Suicide Hotline

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Today (Tuesday), at the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit, Governor Branstad announced the launch of a new “go-to” resource where youth, parents, school personnel and all concerned Iowans can get help and information about bullying and youth suicide. Available 24/7, Your Life Iowa is a phone call or text away at www.Yourlifeiowa.org or 855-581-8111.

Trained counselors will provide guidance and support about bullying, and critical help to youth who feel they’ve run out of options and are considering suicide. Your Life Iowa is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with Boys Town, the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Committee, and the Iowa Department of Education Bullying Prevention, Intervention and Reporting Initiative.

Four arrests already this week, in Atlantic

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officers with the Atlantic Police Department have been keeping busy early this week. Today (Tuesday), they arrested 33-year old Ryan Richards and 26-year old Justin Knutsen, both of Atlantic, on charges of Theft in the 5th Degree. Richards was also cited for Criminal Trespassing and subsequently released, while Knutsen was booked in to the Cass County Jail.

And, on Monday, 24-year old Jonathan Poeppe, of Atlantic, was arrested for Driving While Suspended. In addition, 33-year old Essex Mullins, of Atlantic, was arrested for Theft in the 5th Degree/Shoplifting. Both were booked in to the Cass County Jail.

Exira/EHK School Boards hold joint meeting Monday on reorganization

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Exira and Elk Horn-Kimballton Community School District’s Boards of Education met Monday night in Exira for a joint Board meeting on the topic of reorganization. Exira-EHK Superintendent Dean Schnoes said no action could be taken due to the lack of a quorum from the EHK Board. Schnoes said the meeting essentially turned into a work session, which featured Area Education Agency (AEA) representatives Paula Vincent and Lane Plugge.

Schnoes said a few members of the community showed up to listen and ask questions about reorganization and consolidation of the two school districts. He says the Q-and-A and discussion process won’t stop with the most recent meeting. Schnoes said they will continue to hold community meetings every time there is new information that’s made available. Information will also be available on the district’s website and their related FaceBook page.

Once the final petition is put together and approved, the matter could be put to a vote of members in both school districts, by early April 2013. He says if other issues crop up, the vote might end-up being pushed back until June of next year, but he hopes that doesn’t happen.

8AM Newscast 11-27-2012

News, Podcasts

November 27th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 11-27-2012

News, Podcasts

November 27th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Regional approach for Iowa’s blind, deaf students

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – A committee has decided to recommend Iowa provide education services for blind and deaf students at existing campuses in Vinton and Council Bluffs and three new sites in a regional system. The proposal will be forwarded to the Iowa Board of Regents. A board vote isn’t expected until February.

The proposal will cost $3.2 million more than current spending to serve the deaf and blind students. But School for the Deaf Superintendent Patrick Clancy says the extra cost would be shared by various entities, including local school districts.  The regents charged the committee to review the effectiveness and efficiency of the services.

The state serves about 500 students who are blind or visually impaired. It serves about 1,500 students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Walnut Charter School request denied

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A request to expand educational opportunities in the Walnut School District by establishing a Charter School was rejected during a meeting Monday night, of the Walnut School Board. The Board voted 4-to 1 against the proposal after a lengthy period of discussion during their regular meeting.

A local group comprised of parents, a school district member and a community member, had asked the School Board to consider the proposal for a K-through 12 Charter School as an option for their students. During Monday night’s meeting, information was brought up about students having researched and debated the matter. Their conclusions raised concerns, and, it was pointed out efforts to establish a Charter School in Des Moines had failed.

The Walnut School District has experienced a decline in enrollment, to the point where there are just over 100-students. The school currently has a sharing agreement with A-H-S-T.

Branstad to welcome over 1000 to bullying prevention summit

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says today’s (Tuesday’s) “bullying prevention summit” may yield ideas for new policies at the state level. “You know, a survey of students shows that about 50 percent of the students have been bullied in the past year,” Branstad says. “So this is a significant problem and it’s a serious effort to address it.” But Branstad cautions it’s going to take more than policy pronouncements from officials.

“We know that it’s going to take the involvement of school leaders and parents and communities,” Branstad says. “We are all in this together and we all have to work together and I’m hopeful that we can come up with some good strategies that will work for parents, that will work for school districts, that will work for communities.”

A child bullied on a Sioux City school bus was featured in a national documentary called “Bully” that called attention to the prevalence of bullying and the superintendent of Sioux City schools will speak at today’s conference. This past April, a northwest Iowa teenager who openly admitted to being gay killed himself. His family says he was being bullied on-line and at school with gay slurs. In August, Governor Branstad announced a statewide bullying prevention summit would be held because in his words “it is time to do more to stand up to bullying.” Registration is closed for the summit. Over a thousand people signed up to attend.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Chamber seeks ATHENA Award nominees

News

November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says nominations for the annual ATHENA Award are currently being accepted through December 5th by the Chamber, and Deter Motor Company.

Athena Award

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Megan Roberts said “The ATHENA award is one of the most prestigious awards given at the Chamber Annual Dinner. The strongest of our female business leaders are recognized” at the event.

Atlantic is the only community in Iowa that sponsors the award thanks to more than 10 years of partnership with Deter Motor Co. of Atlantic. Past recipients include LaVon Eblen, Judy Marnin, Leanne Pellett, Denise O’Brien, Margaret Slepsky, Glenda Farrier, Carole Schuler, Jan Kinnison, Janell Hansen, Ann Pross and Wendy Richter.

Roberts says “The sculpture given to the recipient is a custom design, unique to all other Chamber awards, and the application process requires a thorough history of the nominee’s leadership in business.” Nominations can be submitted by contacting the Atlantic Area Chamber for the nomination form by phone 712.243.3017 or email at chamber@atlanticiowa.com.