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Cass County Supervisors to discuss privatizing emergency/public communications


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

On the heels of a Public Safety Commission meeting held Sept 23rd,  the Cass County Board of Supervisors next Wednesday will discuss the possibility of privatizing Emergency/Public Safety Communications. When informed by KJAN News about the Board’s agenda item, Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert said he wasn’t aware it would be brought up at next week’s meeting, and as far as he knew, neither was anyone on the Commission. The topic was brought up at the September meeting by Supervisors Board Chair Mark Wedemeyer, who also sits on the Public Safety Communications Commission.

Koppert said at that meeting that he wasn’t aware of any firms in Iowa or around the region that would handle 9-1-1 calls in the private sector. In fact, there are very few instances across the country, where emergency dispatch services have been turned over from County-run operations to a private provider. One such case is Lawrence Township, in Mercer County, NJ., which in January, 2013, agreed to hired iXP Corporation out of Cranbury, NJ, to handle its 9-1-1 dispatches.  iXP was awarded a two-year, $719,400 contract to run police dispatch for the community, whose population as of the 2010 Census was nearly 33,500. It was estimated the move would save the county $1.1-million over a period of 5-years.

Another is Sandy Springs, GA, an incorporated suburb of Atlanta with 94,000 residents, which has its 9-1-1 dispatch center also operated by iXP. The theory behind privatizing the service is to save a County money, but there are many questions that remain, including: A private firm’s hiring practices – would current dispatchers with knowledge of the county be utilized?; Where would the facility be located?; Will the service be as efficient as the current system? And more.

Koppert said he will find out along with the rest of us, what next Wednesday’s discussion will cover, and to what extent the County will pursue the privatization of emergency/public communications.

Avoca receives $75k REAP grant for Nishnabotna Trail

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Avoca has been awarded an Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection)  grant amounting to $75,000 . City Manager Clint Fichter says the grant money will be used for the construction of a 1 mile segment of the Nishnabotna Trail, which will connect the community to the new pedestrian bridge to Edgington Memorial Park. The $243,850 bridge will soon be constructed with the assistance of an additional $171,392 grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. 15% of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation, and resource management.

This fall, REAP is hosting local meetings across the state. These meetings places for public and private organizations, as well as individuals, to plan REAP projects. The full schedule and more information REAP can be found at:



More than $1 million in Grants Awarded to Iowa Communities

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Vision Iowa Board has awarded nearly $1.1-million in grants to a public garden in Jefferson, community centers in Templeton and Emmetsburg, a backcountry trail in Coon Rapids and an amphitheater in Waverly. The grants were approved Wednesday by the Vision Iowa Board at their meeting in Des Moines.

A $400,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant was awarded for the “Opening Whiterock: Iowa’s Backcountry Trail Attraction,” in Coon Rapids. The organization had requested $404, 785 toward the total Project Cost just over $4.22-million.  The award is contingent upon completion of fundraising within 60 days.

This project includes the construction of 35 miles of state-of-the-art “soft trails” through a seven-square-mile landscape at Whiterock Conservancy, remodeling of the Visitors Center and trail signage.

Western Iowa woman dies in skid loader accident


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SCHALLER, Iowa (AP) — The Sac County Sheriff’s Office says a Schaller woman has died in a skid loader accident at her home. The sheriff’s office says in a news release Thursday that a friend found 53-year-old Karen Jeanne Terry on Wednesday. She was pinned beneath a skid loader and a boom arm.

Friends had become concerned after being unable to reach Terry on Wednesday, prompting someone to visit her home. The friend called 911. Terry was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sac County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Cross Country meet affects school bus parking in Atlantic

News, Sports

October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police remind the public that the Atlantic High School Cross Country meet takes place this (Thursday) afternoon (3:30-p.m.), at the Atlantic Golf and Country Club, and not Nishna Hills.

With the change, bus parking will be on Chestnut Street between 29th and 22nd Streets. Spectator parking will be on 22nd Streets, west of Palm St., as well as 29th St., west of Chestnut Street.

Residents should plan for increased traffic and pedestrians in the area.

Harlan School District deals with reduction in allowable growth


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District saw another reduction in their allowable growth aid for special education students. In a board meeting Monday, the board approved the balance of $56,512.56 for the allowable growth and supplement aid for negative special education. The District in the past three years has seen a reduction totaling $300,000 in their special education debt. Harlan Community Superintendent Justin Wagner says the reduction deals with more federal dollars to the district.

He said “The primary reason is because we were able to find some loopholes in the Medicaid funding and what that does is bring in federal dollars to the district. Huge kudos to the staff but in the long run it is a huge win for tax payers. ” He says the district hopes to have a surplus in special education by next year.

“We have a goal for that next year and now we have a surplus from the federal government instead of local funds. I am really proud of. We keep hitting our local folks up and it’s good to have an outside funding source for this.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

3 arrested on probation-related charges


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports three men were arrested this week on probation-related charges. All three were taken into custody Wednesday. 28-year old Brett Allen Coyle, of Glenwood, was arrested at around Noon on Wednesday at the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, on a Mills County warrant for Violation of his probation. Coyle’s bond was set at $5,000. 20-year old Tyler L. Gene Coddington, of Red Oak, was also arrested at the Pott. County Jail, Wednesday, on a Mills County warrant for Violation of his probation. His bond was set at $10,000. And, 18-year old Dominque James Schlup, of Hastings, was arrested Wednesday at the Mills County Jail, on a warrant for Revocation of his probation. Bond was set at $5,000.

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports also the arrest on Wednesday of 33-year old Timothy Eugene Truhlick, of Pacific Junction, who was taken into custody at the Mills County Jail at around 3:40-p.m, on a warrant for Harassment. His bond was set at $2,000.

Attempt to light a cigarette causes accident in Mills County


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from southwest Iowa was injured during an accident Monday morning 4-miles south of Glenwood, in Mills County. Sheriff’s officials say Dennis James, of Tabor, was driving a 2005 Ford east on Highway 34 at around 10:35-a.m., when his vehicle was hit from behind by a 1998 Ford. The driver of the other vehicle, Peyton Frederick, of Corning, was attempting to light a cigarette when the collision occurred.

The impact caused a trailer being pulled by James’ vehicle to become detached. Both the vehicle and trailer came to rest on the eastbound shoulder. Officials say during the impact, the airbags in Fredericks’ vehicle deployed. Dennis James was transported by Glenwood Rescue to a hospital in Council Bluffs. A passenger in his vehicle, Gayle Steinbach, also of Tabor, suffered unknown injuries.

Authorities says Frederick was cited for Following too closely.

Shelby Co. Fire Danger continues to be “Moderate”: Outdoor burning discouraged Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) says residents in the area should avoid outdoor burning today (Thursday). Windy conditions are expected to persist throughout the day, exacerbating any potential fire danger that exists under the current, dry conditions. In addition, the Fire Danger Index in Shelby County will continue to be in the “Moderate” category until at least Monday.

Governors suggest Congress live on “bread and water” until shutdown is


October 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota are calling on Congress to end the deadlock that’s shut down the federal government. The three met at the Tri-States Governors Conference in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, on Wednesday. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, says he deals with split government, with Democrats controlling the Iowa Senate, and they can find agreements.

“I don’t spend my time attacking the Democratic leader in the Senate, I don’t call him names and things like that,” Branstad says. “Instead, I focus on things that can help move Iowa forward. I know at the end of the day, I’m going to have to compromise. It’s gotta’ be a win-win situation and things that the other party can see as beneficial as well.”

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, a Republican, says there is plenty of blame to go around in Washington D-C.  “Both parties are at fault,” Heineman says. “It is now time for the president to exert presidential leadership, in my opinion, bring everybody down to the White House, say, ‘We’re going to the basement and I’m only going to feed you bread and water ’til we get this thing resolved.’ Doggone it, it’s time to do what’s right for America and that’s what they should do.”

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, says the states will feel more effects the longer the shutdown continues. “To the extent that we have employees and programs that are reliant on federal funds, we’ve been pretty careful to steward those funds over the years,” Daugaard says. “We’ve got some that are available that can carry us at least to the end of the month, of October. Some will carry longer than that but some won’t.”

The three governors meet every year, with the meetings rotating around the Sioux City area of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

(Radio Iowa)