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8AM Newscast 01-17-2012

News, Podcasts

January 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 01-17-2012

News, Podcasts

January 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves Capital Improvement Program Plan

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday evening approved a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) plan for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on July 1st, amounting to about $556,500. The funds would come mostly from bonds and the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), along with other sources, such as grants. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring provided a break-down of the costs and related projects.  The most expensive part of the CIP is a new $246,000, 4,000 square foot Park Maintenance Building, which would tentatively be situated south the of skate park, but the location itself has not been finalized.

Conceptual drawing of the proposed Park & Rec Maintenance Bldg.

The building, according to Herring would be larger than the current building, and last some 20-to 30-years. He said it would not be “luxurious,” but functional and handicapped accessible. He says it would house the Park Director’s office, a uni-sex restroom, a climate-controlled shop, four-garage doors, and storage area. The building would also be connected to water and electricity, which is something the current building does not have. A majority of the funding for the building would come from the Capital Improvements fund (i.e. bonding). Approximately $10,000 would come from the Local Option Sales Tax fund.

Another part of the CIP plan calls for a new fence around the Sunnyside Park softball field, along with fabric for a backstop. That, along with regrading of the infields, would cost about about $23,000 altogether. Herring said there may be opportunities for cost-sharing with Frederickson Foundation, as well.  The CIP plan also includes reconstruction of the tennis courts at Sunnyside Park. Herring says at least two of the courts are “unplayable”, as far as tournament play is concerned, due to hazardous cracks. Herring says he will meet with Atlantic School District officials next week to discuss cost-sharing on the project. The projected cost of the project is $235,00. The City of Atlantic, according to Herring will likely bond for $92,000. He hopes the district is willing to pay an equal share. An additional $50,000 is available from the U-S Tennis Association. The tennis court project would not include work on the restrooms.

Other projects the Park and Rec Board approved as part of their Capital Improvement Plan, include replacement, grading and widening of a full length section of sidewalk in the Atlantic City Park, along Poplar Street, and the repair of a portion of the “spoke” sidewalk from the northwest corner of the park toward the center of the park. The project is expected to cost $25,000, and would be included in the bond package. The CIP also includes work on a walkway and shelter at Holt Park, which is located between 17th and 14th Streets, on Olive Street. The $4,000 pricetag would be paid for using LOST monies.  And finally, Herring said he wants to include in the CIP, the repair and enclosing of the ends to the half-pipe at the Sunnyside Park skateboard area. It’s expected that will cost about $7,000, which will come from the Local Option Sales Tax fund.

The Board will present its CIP to the City Council during its meeting Wednesday evening.  In other business, the Parks and Rec Board approved renewing a contract with the Nishna Valley YMCA, for their various parks and rec programs. The annual fee of $10,300 is unchanged from last year. Part of that money is used to pay the Sunnyside Pool Manager. Speaking of the Sunnyside Pool, Herring said the CIP includes $16,500 for improvements such as new chairs and/or lounge chairs, umbrellas for tables around the pool, and for the life guard stands, new lighting in the shower areas, and upgrades to the locker rooms. Herring says $5,000 would come from bonds to pay for the project, while the remaining $11,500 would come out of the LOST.

Corps of Engineers: Missouri River levees in “critical condition”

News

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Missouri River levees that were damaged by last year’s floodwaters remain vulnerable, with spring a little over two months away. Congress has appropriated money for emergency repairs and more money is promised. Colonel Robert Ruch, Commander of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District, says they’re focused on repairing the critical sections of levee first.  “Most of those levees held up very well through the flood of 2011,” Colonel Ruch says. “We know where our greatest weaknesses are and that’s where we’re putting our greatest strength.” Floodwaters breeched some levees in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska, damaged others, and put great strain on all the levees downstream. Ruch says it will take months to restore the basin’s levee system to where it was in early 2011.

“We probably need a full year to get things completely restored back to pre-flood conditions,” Ruch says. “We have ideas as to what the critical things are that need to be ready for as early as March 1st, when we consider the runoff season to begin and where we could be in some danger of rising waters.” Kim Thomas, chief of the Corps’ “Readiness Branch” in Omaha, acknowledges the Missouri River levee system remains vulnerable.  “Those levees are definitely in critical condition,” Thomas says. “We’ll get them closed up. We’ll get the bridges closed up. We’ll get all the critical repairs done but there’s still a lot to go there. We have a lot of seepage concerns that we have to go through and get geotech investigation on, do analysis, do design.” Thomas says the first order of business is to repair the sections of levee that are most severely damaged.

“Those pieces will be fixed,” she says. “It’s the under-foundation seepage issues that require extensive analysis and that takes time.” Some estimates indicate it could be late this year or even 2013 before repairs to the levee system are complete.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Fire engulfs semi cab near Atlantic (updated 8:45-pm)

News

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic and Marne Firefighters responded to the scene of a fully engulfed semi-tractor on Highway 173, one-mile south of Interstate 80, Monday night. The call came in at 7:23-p.m. The driver of the 2004 Volvo, 67-year old Sam Hoover, of Atlantic told KJAN News he was traveling south on 173 after having just turned off the interstate on his way home to Atlantic, when he noticed flames in the back of the truck. He said he locked the brakes up, got out of the cab and was going to grab his fire extinguisher, but by then the flames had started to consume the cab and the glass started to blow out.  He said there were flames coming from the engine compartment, also.

Volvo semi tractor, engine compartment, right side view 1-16-12

Hoover said he had just spent $4,000 on his rig in December, and was scheduled to have a wheel seals serviced by Volvo on Tuesday afternoon. Hoover owned the truck, which was contracted to Fremont Carriers, out of Fremont,  Nebraska. It’s not clear what exactly caused the blaze, which completely destroyed the tractor portion of the semi (no trailer was attached). The burned out hulk was still smoldering more than an hour after the first fire crews arrived. No injuries were reported.

Burned out Volvo semi tractor/Driver's side view 1-16-12

Attorney to conduct independent investigation into alleged hazing incident

News, Sports

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An attorney representing three alleged victims of a reported sexual assault involving the wrestling team at Nodaway Valley High School in Greenfield says he wants an independent investigation. Two members of the wrestling team were arrested last week. Eighteen-year-old Mikel Anthony Feick and 17-year-old Jacob Wayne Schliessman, both of Greenfield, are charged with second-degree sexual abuse.  Fieck has been released from the Adair County Jail in Greenfield, on $25,000 bond. Schliessman plead not guilty to the offense last Friday, and has waived his preliminary hearing. He’s scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning (Jan. 19th). Schliessman is currently being held on $25,000 bond at the Juvenile Detention facility in Edlora.

Attorney Martin Fisher, of Adair said Monday, that he’s hiring the Critelli law firm in Des Moines to investigate the allegations. Police say the alleged assault occurred on Dec. 19th in the high school’s wrestling room. Local law enforcement and the school district are also investigating.

Griswold Coop Telephone Announces Fiber Optic Project

News

January 16th, 2012 by Jim Field

After many months of planning, the Board of Directors and Staff of the Griswold Cooperative Telephone Company has announced their BROADBAND NETWORK EVOLUTION PROJECT.

The end of December, Griswold Cooperative started the engineering and installation process of an advanced Broadband Network, that will result in what is generally referred to as Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH). This system will provide a platform for enhanced communications and entertainment services long into the future.

GCTC customers receiving telephone service from the Cooperative today, including all rural customers, will have fiber optics connected right to your homes or businesses. The project will replace the existing copper network cabling that is currently used to provide telephone, Internet and cable television service. The BROADBAND NETWORK will bring all services to customers over fiber optic cable, individually to each location. The fiber “pipe” opens nearly endless opportunities for communications and entertainment services because of the sheer volume of space, or bandwidth, which is available to every customer.

The entire project should be completed by 2015, but different portions or areas will be completed incrementally, at different times. As these steps are completed, those customers will be converted to the new fiber optic system and service offerings. For customers in Elliott and Grant, the initial phase of the project, you are seeing the engineering firm, RVW, Inc., in your neighborhoods and talking with each of you about the design parameters for each individual location GCTC is serving.

GCTC says they believe it is their responsibility to have the technology in place to meet the needs of customers now, and in the future.

The new fiber BROADBAND NETWORK will be capable of increased bandwidth per customer and will allow for higher quality TV channels, and the continued expansion of Internet speeds, data services and applications. The project covers the entire Cooperative service area with FTTH installations. Rural customers will be able to get TV services, which before have only been available to city residents.

Cumberland man arrested for OWI & eluding

News

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a Cumberland man was arrested Friday night on charges of OWI/2nd offense and Eluding. During the chase, one of the deputies involved in trying to box 51-year old Brian Lee Smith’s vehicle in, reported the man allegedly tried to hit his cruiser. Smith was taken to the Cass County Jail and later released on his own recognizance.

On Saturday, 19-year old Michael Boyd Vyzourek, of Atlantic, was arrested on a warrant out of Colorado. Vyzourek was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held awaiting extradition. That same day, 32-year old Ryan Vincent Lee Richards,  of Elk Horn, NE, was arrested on a Cass County warrant for Failure to Appear. Richards was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on $2000 bond.

In other news from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, 44-year old Steven Paul Winebrenner, of Atlantic, was arrested January 9th, after deputies responded to a report of a one-vehicle accident on Front Street in Atlantic. As a result of the accident, Winebrenner was arrested on charges of OWI 1st Offense and Driving Under Suspension. He was brought to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

And, on January 10th,  the Cass County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 27-year old Kristy Lynn Bender, of Council Bluffs, on a warrant out of Nebraska warrant. Bender waived extradition on January 12th,  and was released to Nebraska authorities the next day.

Missing college student from Sioux City found dead in Arizona

News

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A college student from northwest Iowa who vanished last fall is now believed to be a homicide victim. The body of a former Sioux City man who’s been missing for two months was discovered over the weekend in Arizona. Tucson police say they found the remains of 21-year-old Jordan Alexander Peterson on Friday in a remote area of undeveloped desert. Peterson was living in Arizona and was last heard from on November 16th. Authorities found his truck, keys and cellphone two days later in Tucson. Investigators say the case is considered a homicide. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of Peterson’s death.

(Radio Iowa)

Arrest and Accident reported in Atlantic

News

January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department says an Atlantic man was arrested Friday. 23-year old Joseph Fredericksen was taken into custody on a warrant for violating his probation. Fredericksen was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Friday morning. According to the Atlantic Police Department, Susan Giasson, of Harlan, was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop sign, after he vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Tisha Mendenhall, of Atlantic. The accident happened just after 8-a.m., at 6th and Olive Streets. Officials say Giasson was traveling west on 6th Street as Mendenhall was traveling south on Olive. When Giasson failed to stop at the intersection, her car struck Mendenhall’s vehicle, and came to rest against a power pole. Damage from the mishap amounted to $5,000. No injuries were reported.