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Atlantic City Council votes down Tobacco Free Policy at Sunnyside Park


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Tobacco Free Policy for Sunnyside Park in Atlantic failed to advance past the first reading Wednesday night, during a meeting of the Atlantic City Council. Council members Jimerson, Somers, Hayes, Hartkopf, Halder and Cord voted against it. Councilperson Lori Stuart was the only yes vote. The action came after nearly 45-minutes of discussion during a public forum, which included comments and a Power Point Presentation on a report from the Cass County Public Health Task Force which included Cass County Public Health Community Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Karla Akers, Teddi Grindberg, with Healthy Cass County, and Atlantic Parks and Rec Board Member Jolene Smith.

As part of the presentation, the Task Force brought up the Smoke Free Air Act, which regulates smoking in public places. Grindberg quoted a section of the SFAA (IA Code 142.D) which spells out areas where smoking is prohibited outdoors. It includes bleachers or seating areas in outdoor sports arenas and other entertainment venues where the general public is gathered. Public transit stations, platforms and shelters are also prohibited under the Act.

Former Atlantic City Councilman Steve Livengood, a non-smoker, was opposed to the proposed ordinance. He offered a rebuttal to Grindberg’s comments with regard to the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act, several parts of which he said were taken out of context. He said a “Public Place” uses the term “enclosed space,” which by definition, would not include a park shelter, since it has to have “A roof, a ceiling and 4 walls”. He says the shelter Grindberg spoke of pertained to public transportation, not park shelter.

Akers said the bottom line is that the ordinance “Isn’t about the Smoke Free Air Act.” She says that they brought that to the Park Board, to show the basic requirements and that they weren’t complying with the Act. She said they want the City needs to set a good example for children and that the City cares about the health of those youth. Prior to their vote on the first reading, the Council was in agreement it is not the City’s responsibility to send a message to kids not to smoke or use tobacco. Councilperson Kathy Somers said that’s something that needs to comes from families. She said also “It would be a shame to limit the privileges of our citizens, just to be an example to the children who already hear it plenty of ways.”

Harlan City Council news


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council heard several updates on different projects during their meeting Tuesday. The first update was from John McCurdy from SWIPCO on the Harlan housing rehabilitation project. The city received grant funding of $373,000 with the city funding $25,000.  McCurdy told the council 5 houses have already been completed through the process and another five are continuing the study. He also gave an update on the SWIPCO housing study. The purpose of the study was to find out where the additional need was in the city of Harlan for certain types of housing mainly rental properties. McCurdy said he was surprised by the vacancy rate in the city.

“Generally in a community, a five percent vacancy rate is healthy because it shows you have some homes available. The vacancy rate is not necessarily a home that is inhabitable. It is a vacant home available for sale. In yours in 2010 was 1.1 percent which shows an incredible need. If you had 5 to 6 percent vacancy rate I would still say there is an incredible need.”

McCurdy said SWIPCO will be in Harlan today (Wednesday) to conduct the housing study so if residents see a SWIPCO vehicle in town staring at a house, they are accessing the properties. The new housing study figures will come to the Harlan city council sometime in the spring.

In other business, City Administrator Terry Cox reported to the council on a change order from Leinen Construction for the Harlan Police Department construction project. The city approved the change order on structural work on the basement and other items for $32,972.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Unattended car jumps a curb and hits bank building in Atlantic


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic bank sustained $1,000 damage Tuesday evening, when an unattended vehicle  jumped the curb and hit the structure. Atlantic Police say the mishap at the Wells Fargo Bank on Chestnut Street, occurred at around 6:45-p.m. Officials say  the vehicle, owned by Cherese Smith, of Atlantic, somehow slipped out of park, jumped a curb and  knocked over a parking sign before hitting the east side of the building. Smith was at the ATM inside the bank and returned to find the accident had occurred. Damage to her vehicle was estimated at $500.

Bone fragments discovered in burned out Glenwood home


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division says law enforcement personnel discovered bone fragments during a search of a burned out Glenwood home on New Year’s Eve. Sgt. Chad Meyers told the Daily NonPareil today (Wednesday), there is no confirmation the bones are human, however. Authorities transported the bones to the state lab in Ankeny for testing.

The mother of 26-year old Travis Bach had said earlier she feared her son’s remains would be found in the home owned by 69-year old Gerald Nibbe, who was away the evening of Dec. 31st, when the fire broke out and destroyed the structure. Colleen Bach said she believes her son was near the scene of the fire, because a suspicious vehicle was found parked on the property the night of the fire. The vehicle’s owner, who lives in Council Bluffs, told sheriff’s deputies that he lent the vehicle to Travis Bach. When Travis never returned home that evening, the family filed a missing person report with the Council Bluffs Police Department. Sgt. Meyers confirmed that authorities have not located Travis Bach since the fire. Authorities said Travis Bach knew Nibbe and had done “odd jobs” for him in the past.

Investigators with the Iowa State Fire Marshal Division were not able to determine what caused the fire.

IA Board of Social Work sets hearing for a Creston Social Worker


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Board of Social Work has set May 12th as the date for a hearing in the case of a Master Social Worker from Creston who is charged with “Violating the terms of an impaired practitioner recovery contract with the Impaired Practitioner Review Committee” (IPRC).

On Dec. 3rd, 2012, Kenneth Hayes self-reported to the IPRC due to possible substance abuse issues. According to Board documents, Hayes signed an initial agreement with the IPRC on Jan. 29, 2013, and a monitoring contract on April 13, 2013. The contract requires abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and daily call-ins to a lab, and to meet with an aftercare provider.

On Aug. 28, 2013 and twice in Sept. of that year, Hayes tested positive for alcohol. In Oct. 2013, Hayes stopped making the required lab calls. He was discharged from his aftercare provider in Nov. 2013, due to non-compliance. As a result of his actions, the IPRC voted to nullify Hayes’ contract and refer him to the Board of Social Work for a possible hearing. On Jan. 16th, the Board found probable cause to file the hearing notice and Statement of Charges.

If the allegations against Hayes are proven, the Board may take disciplinary action as allowed by the Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Code.

Lawmakers back military pension bill


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Senate panel is giving preliminary backing to a bill that would exempt military pensions from the state income tax.  A Senate subcommittee approved the legislation during a brief hearing Wednesday. It is expected to soon receive committee-level approval and move to the full Senate for a vote.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says he is pleased to support legislation that helps veterans and may bring more military retirees to the state. The military pension exemption is a top priority for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who has made support for veterans a key part of his budget plan this year.

According to the Branstad administration, the pension exemption would cost the state a projected $10 million in lost annual revenue.

Public Hearing in Cass County over Radon Mitigation


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will take place on Monday, Jan. 27th in Cass County, with regard to the proposed rules requiring passive radon mitigation in new home and small business construction. The hearing is set to take place at the Cass County Memorial Hospital’s Conference Room 1, beginning at 1-p.m.


Short meeting for Cass County Supervisors


January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors held a session that lasted about 30-minutes this (Wednesday) morning. The brief session was due to a lack of new business. The Board tabled until next week, action on a contract with SWIPCO, because the agreement was not ready. It would provide for services necessary to carry out the formal adoption of a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) for rural Cass County and the eight cities within the County. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon said some questions remain about the date the contract would end, as well as other matters.

Kennon said SWICO’s due date was six-months after the County’s due date to have a current plan put into effect. The previous plan adopted by the Board 5-years ago was sent on to FEMA, and there is a 7-month lag before it becomes effective. Kennon wants the due date to be pushed up from 2017 to late 2015 or 2016 at the latest. Auditor Dale Sunderman said with the time frame facing the County, it would be preferable if the contract went into effect by Sept., 2015.

In other business, the Board set Feb. 12th as the date for a public hearing on the vacating of three County Roads. The hearing for Golden Lane in Section 5 of Lincoln Township will be held on the 12th, along with 644th Street in Section 14 of Grove Township, and a portion of 700th Street, lying between sections 2 and 3, Grove Township. No one has objected to the vacating of those sections. Sunderman asked the Board to hold a hearing for the five other sections of recently proposed roads to vacate, on Feb. 19th. They include: a portion 740th Street lying between Sections 4 and 5 in Lincoln Township; A portion of Liberty Lane in Section 34 of Washington Township; A portion of 765th Lane in Section 34 of Grant Township; A portion of Quebec Lane in Section 27 of Massena Township, and a portion of 540th Lane between Section 30 in Cass County and Section 25 in Pottawattamie County.

Engineer Charles Marker reported to the Board he is working on a 28-E agreement between Cass and Adams County for the maintenance and cost-sharing of the maintenance of roads located along the County line. Marker said in the past, there has typically been a “Gentleman’s agreement” as to which county would foot the bill for repairs and maintenance, as needed. However, a 28-E has to be on file with the State in order for the legalities to be covered. The sticking point which Marker says he will work out with the Adams County Engineer, is with regard to “Major Maintenance.” Adams County wants a $500 limit on any kind of maintenance structure – such as culvert installation – before cost sharing kicks-in. Marker says he would like to see that limit increased to somewhere between 2- and 3-thousand dollars.

You thought it was cold this morning? Wait for tonight…

News, Weather

January 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

While it’s been cold the past few days, forecasters say even more frigid weather is headed toward Iowa. Meteorologist Brad Small, at the National Weather Service, says it appears northwest Iowa will get the worst of an approaching cold front, but the whole state will soon have bone-chilling temperatures. “There is a Winter Weather Advisory out for a combination of things,” Small says. “We’ve got that northwest wind will be increasing to 15 to 30 miles an hour, gusts could be as high as 40, and there could be some snow showers move through.”

Also, a Wind Chill Warning is posted for much of the state’s northern half from 6 P-M tonight (Wednesday) through noon on Thursday.  “We’re looking at widespread temperatures below zero, single digits as well as the teens below zero toward the Minnesota border,” Small says. “That’ll drop wind chills from 25 to 35-below.” Some areas may even see 40-below overnight. High temperatures tomorrow (Thursday) may not even get above zero in some Iowa cities, though highs Friday should be back in the 20s and 30s.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 01-22-2014

News, Podcasts

January 22nd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson