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(UPDATE) Strong sales raise Powerball jackpot to $500 million


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the Powerball jackpot has risen to an estimated $500 million, which would make it the fifth largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The lottery raised its jackpot estimate hours before Wednesday night’s drawing and has raised it twice since Saturday’s drawing by a total of about $105 million.  No one has won the Powerball jackpot for more than two months, so the prize has been growing gradually from its $40 million starting point.

It’s been nearly a year since a Powerball prize topped $400 million. Powerball is sold in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 175 million.

Lawmakers consider permitting more fireworks sales in Iowa


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – July 4th celebrations could get colorful in Iowa under proposed legislation that would legalize more fireworks sales in the state. The bill got subcommittee-level approval in the Senate Wednesday. Under the proposal, retailers could sell firecrackers, roman candles and other fireworks. Currently, the state only allows sales of certain “novelty fireworks” like sparklers.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, said that Iowa residents are already going to border states to buy fireworks. He said the current restrictions are not working and that a more permissive law could promote better safety education. Representatives from the fireworks industry offered support for the bill, while health care groups questioned the plan, saying it could lead to more injuries.

The measure now moves to a Senate committee for review.

House panel turns down bill on mountain lion protection


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A House panel has declined to approve a bill that would have prohibited most people in Iowa from killing mountain lions. Members of a natural resources subcommittee discussed the bill Wednesday. It will not advance in the legislature this session.

There is no current law that prevents a person from killing a mountain lion, also known as a cougar. The bill would have increased protection for the animals by specifying that a person accused of trapping, wounding or killing a mountain lion could be charged with a simple misdemeanor. That may lead to jail time or a fine.

The bill had exemptions, including for a person who spotted a mountain lion and feared for their safety. Lawmakers expressed concern about who would determine when a person was in danger.

Atlantic City Council to hold budget work session tonight


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic City Council will gather this (Wednesday) evening in their chambers at City Hall, to review the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget. The 5:30-p.m. work session also allows the Council to ask questions and make any necessary changes, but no action will be taken on approving the budget. City Administrator John Lund has set aside about 90-minutes for the session, as a fair percentage of the budget deals with personnel, supplies and contracted services that are in the budget every year. Lund says a second session can be scheduled or the meeting extended, if the Council desires.

Cass County Engineer says 45 bridges are “Structurally deficient”


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to his report two-weeks ago on Cass County’s 5-year bridge replacement/repair plan, County Engineer Charles Marker today (Wednesday), told the Board of Supervisors out of 226 bridges in the County, 45 are “Structurally Deficient.” He says a bridge is deemed “Structurally deficient,” when the components of the bridge…the deck, the support beams, etc., cannot support a legal load limit. When a bridge cannot support the legal minimum load, it must be marked with a sign indicating the maximum weight limit.

To that end, Marker presented the Board with a Resolution – which they unanimously approved – setting the posted weight limits on bridges in the County. In making the announcement with regard to the 45 bridges in Cass County that are “Structurally deficient,” Marker noted a report in the Washington Post that said 21-percent of all bridges in Iowa are deemed structurally deficient, or second in the nation for problem bridges. Cass County is right along the lines of the State average, at 20-percent. He said that “Isn’t anything to brag about, but it’s good to know we’re the same as they are.”

Five-percent of the bridges in the State are also “Functionally Obsolete.”

Cass Supervisors sign-on to combined website agreement


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, today (Wednesday), approved the signing of an agreement to combine the County’s website with the City of Atlantic, CADCO (the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation), and Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.

Atlantic Chamber Director Ouida Wymer said the Atlantic Community Promotion Commission (CPC) has approved $7,500 for the discovery process in creating a combined website, toward the shared cost of the website’s development, which will decrease the combined entities’ cost of $14,500…or $3,625 each. There’s also an approximate $2,000 expense for “technical configuration,’ depending on what the County elects to have on its page. Wymer said there are several benefits to combining the County’s website with the other three entities.

All the information for the communities and County are in one place, making for a more unified presence on the web, and possibly drawing more young professionals as well as entrepreneurs. Wymer said it will also be more efficient and reduce duplication of information. County Deputy Auditor Sherri  Karns said cost-wise, it will be less to run the site over the next five-years than it currently is, aside from the one-time set-up and development fees. The page would be developed and hosted by 5Q Communications, in Atlantic.  5Q’s Chad Williams will meet next with each of the four entities to determine their individual needs.

The hosting charge would be $50 per month for each entity. Chad Williams said maintenance would be charged by the hour. The hosting covers physical location of the website, security updates and related features, such as measures to protect against hacking. They will also provide training on updating and accessing the website.

The County is served by Solutions, Inc., out of Spencer. The Supervisors are expected to meet with Solutions’ Vice President of Operations, Max Elg, next week. Until the new, combined website comes online and is functioning later this fall, the County will continue to utilize Solutions’ system and services on a month-by-month basis.

DuPont Pioneer Commits $45,000 to Food and Agricultural Education in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with DuPont, and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), announced today (Wednesday), that DuPont Pioneer awarded more than $45,000 through multiple grants to agriscience educators in Iowa. The grants will fund training and classroom resources to help implement advanced agriculture curriculum.

Teachers who received a grant are implementing Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) in their classrooms and will attend training in 2015. Iowa teachers receiving grants include (locally): Kristen Rutherford, Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton High School; Susie Catanzareti, Mount Ayr Community School District, and Molly Heintz, West Central Valley High School.

Michelle Gowdy, director of Community & Academic Relations for DuPont Pioneer, said “Ensuring there is enough safe, affordable and nutritious food for all will require that more students understand agriculture and become future leaders in food production.” She added, “We are proud to be working with others in agriculture and education to give teachers the best resources to encourage children to learn more about agriculture and consider careers in the industry.”

CASE is a multiyear approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry-focused learning activities. The collaboration between DuPont Pioneer and CASE is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. This is the third year of involvement for DuPont Pioneer. Learn more about the program and grant schedule on the CASE grant website.

Clarinda Police make felony drug arrest


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Clarinda, Tuesday, arrested a man wanted on a federal warrant. 22-year old Devin Ray Wallace, of Clarinda, was taken into custody at around 7-p.m. without incident, at his home. Officials say Wallace was wanted on a felony bench warrant issued out of Page County, for violation of probation on an original charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Wallace was remanded to Page County authorities and was being held at the jail in Clarinda on $10,000 cash bond.

(8-a.m. News)

(Podcast) KJAN News, 2/11/2015

News, Podcasts

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 8-a.m. Newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Vehicles driven by teens collide in Red Oak Tue. afternoon


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say no injuries were reported following a collision early Tuesday afternoon, at 4th and east Joy Streets. Officials say a 2005 Buick LeSabre driven by 16-year old Lucas Mellott, of Emerson, and a 2007 Ford Focus driven by 16-year old Tyler McMann, of Red Oak, collided at around 1:40-p.m., when McMann failed to obey the yield sign and entered the intersection, where his vehicle was struck on the passenger side. McMann was subsequently cited for Failure To Yield. Damage from the accident amounted to $13,000.