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Dunlap structure goes up in flames Monday night


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

As many people celebrated ringing in the New Year, several fire departments were called to the city of Dunlap for a building fire. The structure fire was located in the 100th block of 3rd Street at the intersection of Highway 30 in Dunlap. According to officials with the Dunlap Fire Department, the call came in around 7:20pm Monday.

Crews from Denison, Dow City and Woodbine were called in to help with the fire. The Denison Fire Department had to use their ladder truck to help with the fire as flames were shooting out of the top of the building. The building, once known as Linda’s Drapery in Dunlap, was a total loss. No injuries were reported as no one was inside. The Dunlap Fire Department was on scene for 5 hours. During that time, traffic was re-routed around Highway 30 with the assistance of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and Dunlap Police Department.

The building is said to be a total loss. The cause of the fire is unknown and officials say an investigation is being conducted by the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Lavonne Klinkefus, 93, of Exira (Svcs. 1/4/13)


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

LAVONNE KLINKEFUS, 93, of Exira, died Sun., Dec. 30th, at the Exira Care Center. Funeral services for LAVONNE KLINKEFUS, will be held 11-a.m. Fri., Jan. 4th, at the Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon.

Visitation at the funeral home will be held one-hour prior to the service (10-a.m.), Friday.

LAVONNE KLINKEFUS is survived by:

Her daughter – Judy Nelson, of Atlantic.

‘Tis not the season for bicycling, but it is if you have a bike simulator

News, Sports

January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

You may’ve heard there’s a high-tech automobile simulator at the University of Iowa, but the campus is also home to a bicycle simulator. Dr. Jodie Plumert is co-director of the sophisticated virtual environment which is used to study how children make decisions in heavy traffic without being at risk. Plumert says the simulator immerses bicycle riders in a city-scape. “There’s a bicycle that sits in the middle of these three very large screens that are placed at right angles to each other so it completely wraps around the person who’s riding the bike,” Plumert says. “As you pedal the bike, you actually appear to be moving through the environment. As you turn, you appear to be turning and so on.”

She says one focus of the bicycling simulator is to compare how kids and adults cross intersections filled with virtual on-coming cars and trucks. “They bicycle up to an intersection and they see traffic that’s coming on the cross street,” Plumert says. “They just watch the traffic and then they cross when they think they can cross without getting hit by a car. They go on and do that again at the next intersection and they do that for 12 or 14 intersections.”

From the recent research, Plumert says they’re seeing a pattern in the children bicyclists, ages 10, 12 and 14. She says they choose the same gaps in traffic as the adults to cross, but they tend to hesitate before pulling out. “What happens is that they end up with less time to spare than the adults have,” Plumert says. “One thing we’ve been able to pinpoint is that kids, even at these older ages, when you put them in a fairly challenging traffic situation, are not coordinating their movements with the traffic as well as the adults are.”

There are some 600-thousand bicycle-related injuries treated in emergency rooms nationwide each year. Children ages five to 15 years old represent a particularly vulnerable segment of the cycling population. Motor vehicles are involved in about one-third of all bicycle-related brain injuries and in 90-percent of all fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak resident arrested on Trespassing & O/C charge


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest this (Wednesday) morning of 50-year old Janis Kyle Hunt. Hunt, who’s from Red Oak, was taken into custody in the 15-hundred block of North 4th Street, on charges of Trespassing and Open Container.  Hunt was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $300 cash bond.

Adair County Board of Supervisors hold 1st meeting of the year today


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County will hold the first meeting of the month and year this morning, in Greenfield. Like their counterparts in Cass County, the bulk of their duties today are administrative, including: the election of a chair and vice-chairperson; approval an organizational resolution; approval resolutions pertaining to travel policy and the  Master Matrix, and designation of the official newspapers for 2013.

In other business, the Adair County Supervisors will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30-a.m., with regard to a Fiscal Year 2013 budget amendment, followed by action on a resolution to approve the amendment, an appropriations and transfer resolution, and the assignment of fund balances.

The Supervisors’ meeting begins at 9-a.m. in their boardroom at the courthouse in Greenfield.

Midwest economic index again rises slightly


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly economic index for nine Midwest and Plains states rose again last month but still suggests an economic slump will continue over the next three to six months. The Mid-America Business Conditions index hit 49.5 in December, up from November’s 48.0 and October’s 46.5.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says he’s expecting only small regional increases in the job market. The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Cass Co. Supervisors hold 1st meeting of the New Year today


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hold their first meeting of the month and for the New Year this (Monday) morning, in Atlantic. The Board will primarily handle administrative matters, including: Reorganization; Appointment of employees and/or deputies by the Sheriff and Auditor; First year wage adjustments; The appointment of Board members to serve on various committees; Approval of appointments to numerous committees, commissions, and/or councils, and Township Clerks and Trustees.

The Supervisors will also act on setting the 2013 Holiday Schedule and New Year’s Day 2014 schedule, the setting of mileage reimbursement, and the naming of official County newspapers. Later on during their session, they’ll hear regularly scheduled reports from the Cass County Attorney, Engineer, and Mental Health Coordinator. As time allows, the Board will begin work on the Fiscal Year 2014 County Budget.

The meeting begins in the Supervisor’s Board Room in the Cass County Courthouse, at 9-a.m.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 2nd 2013


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A baby boy who was scheduled to be born last year arrived late and was born early this year in Iowa. Jaycob Weber Junior was delivered at 12:45 a.m. yesterday at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo. His mother, 22-year-old Raven Vicchio, says that doctors had scheduled a delivery on Monday in part because she had developed gestational diabetes and partly because Jaycob’s father was leaving tomorrow for military duty.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s oldest veteran has died at age 106 at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. A spokesman for the home says Floyd Teske died Monday morning. Mike Hines, staff assistant to the home’s commandant says Teske had lived there since 2007. A photo of Teske hangs in the Iowa Gold Star Memorial Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A trial date has been scheduled for two men charged with involuntary manslaughter and boating while intoxicated in the fatal collision of two boats on the Mississippi River near Burlington last spring. Twenty-two-year-old Douglas Metcalf and 21-year-old Joseph Schier Junior are scheduled to begin trial on May 13th, but it is unclear whether they will be tried together. Metcalf and Schier, both from Burlington, have pleaded not guilty.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Will Clyburn scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half as Iowa State survived Yale’s upset bid and beat the Bulldogs 80-70 yesterday. Clyburn’s three-point play fueled a 17-5 second-half run for the Cyclones.

Gas prices still expected to drop in January


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An analyst with the Iowa Department of Agriculture believes the bump up in gas prices right around Christmas was a temporary thing. Harold Hommes monitors prices, and says it appears retailers were looking to up their margin a bit during the holiday season. “I think it’s really kind of just a temporary bubble that’s gonna happen as we’ve draw down some supplies at the retail level, and that sends movement through pipelines. I think they’re (retailers) are just capturing some opportunities that exist because of some seasonal increases in driving,” Hommes explained. He says retailers have had trouble keeping their margins up recently as demand had dropped and supplies were up, and are taking advantage of an increase in use to make a little more on gas. But, he doesn’t expect what had been a jump up of 10 cents or more a gallon to continue as the new year progresses.

“I don’t think we should interpret that as a turnaround, where things are going to go back up,” Hommes says. Gas prices had dropped below three-dollars a gallon the week before Christmas in many areas. It was the first time since December 2011, according to Hommes, that the price had dropped below three-dollars a gallon in the state.  “I would say at least a quarter to a half of the state saw prices under the three-dollar mark, but when you look at our weekly average, we never quite got that far as a state average,” Hommes says. “So certainly the majority of Iowans did not quite see the dip below three dollars.”

The Des Moines metro dropped below three-dollars a gallon before other areas, and Hommes says that’s just a matter of being closer to the source of the gasoline supply. “The further that any market is –whether it is a small town or a large town — the further that any consumer is from a pipeline terminal, there’s a good chance that they’re going to see elevated retail gasoline and diesel prices,” Hommes says. The average price of a gallon of gas last week in Iowa was three-dollars-13-cents. The national average was three-dollars-26 cents.

Politicians ponder property tax reform deal


January 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa lawmakers have been quibbling over the proper way to reduce commercial property taxes for years and the issue is again at the top of the 2013 Iowa legislature’s agenda. Republican Governor Terry Branstad considers it his number one priority.  “Significant property tax reduction and replacement,” Branstad says. It’s that last word — replacement — that has Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs suggesting a corner may be turned, as Branstad is making it clear he supports sending state tax dollars to cities and counties — to replace reduced commercial property tax revenue.

“The key for us was that there be reimbursement of local governments because it there isn’t reimbursement, there is a tax shift,” Gronstal says, “and residential picks up the tab.” House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha, the top-ranking Republican in the legislature, says he’s been careful about what he’s saying in public about the negotiations. “To see if we can find some opportunities here,” Paulsen says. “I mean I never professed that the House Republican plan was the perfect plan. We obviously like it…but we have a willingness to be flexible, as long as our overall goals are met.” Gronstal says the details are still being debated in private. “There’s no deal at this point,” Gronstal says. “There’s a lot of discussion points going on.”

Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix of Shell Rock is pessimistic about prospects for agreement.  “If you’re going to solve problems, you have to listen to people,” Dix says. “I don’t necessarily believe that it’s not possible, but it seems to me in listening to the Senate Democrats, they appear to be more dug in than ever on insisting that the solution lies in a new tax credit.” Last year Senate Democrats proposed a new property tax credit for small business owners. House Republicans, meanwhile, proposed rolling back property tax rates for all commercial property owners.

House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines says everyone has to be prepared to compromise.  “I have suggested that we should do something that is modest but meaningful, to get our foot in the door and then maybe have a longer phase-in period over time so that communities can absorb this change,” McCarthy says. According to McCarthy, the odds are better than 50-50 that the legislature will, finally, take some step toward property tax reform in 2013.  “People have to be willing to take something that is not all they want, but that is politically do-able,” McCarthy says.

The Iowa legislature convenes Monday, January 14th.

(Radio Iowa)