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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 8/6/2015

News, Podcasts

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 8/6/2015

News, Podcasts

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Atlantic City Council News

News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The search continues for an assistant to Atlantic City Administrator John Lund. Lund told the City Council, Wednesday, applications for the position closed last Friday. He says there were 23 applicants, but two applicants were submitted late, so only 21 candidates remain to be scored. Interviews are expected to be conducted next week.

Lund said also a rezoning application has been filed for the 3rd and Birch Street area. The request is for the area to be reclassified as Residential [R-3] instead of Light Industrial, so people can receive loans needed to improve their properties. The move would make the area contiguous with other R-3 zones in the area. The Planning and Zoning Commission is considering the request, as well as the vacating of a “phantom” alley in the same area. The Council will hear their recommendation and that of interim City Attorney Dave Wiederstein, during a future meeting.

In other business, Mayor Dave Jones said since the Highway 6/7th Street reconstruction project in Atlantic is falling behind due to the weather, and the road likely won’t be opened for another 3-to 4-weeks, motorists will need to exercise caution when dropping kids off at, and picking them up from, school. , and be especially careful in the area of 10th and Olive and 10th and Plum Streets, where traffic flow is normally the heaviest, when school is in session.

School begins Aug. 24th. Jones says while there haven’t been any major problems right now, when school begins, parents and students should expect to leave early, be patient, and watch out for kids crossing the street, especially in the area of 10th and Olive, near the Washington Elementary School.

Aging county courthouse in SW Iowa battling bats

News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Security is always an important issue at Iowa’s 99 county courthouses and one aging building in far southwest Iowa is battling a persistent invader — bats. The attic of the Fremont County Courthouse in Sidney had a few holes and that’s all it took for the flying rodents to gain access and spread throughout the building, according to county supervisor’s chairman Randy Hickey. “There were a few in some of the offices,” Hickey says, laughing. “That scares the heck out of people, when you see a bat flying around.”

Hickey says the bats likely migrated from the former Sidney United Methodist Church nearby. “What happened is they’re tearing that church down north of us,” Hickey says. “Some of them got in. There were going in there and the custodian was going in, plugging holes. So, we’re trying to get it plugged off. There might have been some that got in there and if he (the custodian) plugged it off, they were flying around in there.” Hickey says it’s easy for the pointy-eared mammals to slip through courthouse’s spaces and holes.

“A bat’s just like a little mouse,” he said. “It can go in a little hole anywhere. He was up there, plugging all the holes he could plug up in the attic, making sure they couldn’t get in.” It’s not the first time the creatures have invaded the courthouse. “We’ve had a little bit of a problem in the years past with bats in there,” he said. “Their migration time is right now. We’re just watching it. We haven’t had any in there for a while, so, the custodian is watching it and making sure.”

The Fremont County Courthouse was built in 1889 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak man arrested for assault Wed. evening

News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police responding to an incident of assault Wednesday evening in Red Oak, arrested 46-year old Lynn Kenneth Houtchens, of Red Oak. Houtchens was taken into custody at around 5:40-p.m. in the 500 block of E. Market Street, and charged with Serious Domestic Abuse Assault. He was being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail, pending an appearance before a magistrate.

IRS warns of direct mail scam

News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Internal Revenue Service is warning Iowa taxpayers to watch out for a new tactic being used by con artists that’s actually more of an old-school scam — direct mail. The agency’s Michael Devine says taxpayers need to be vigilant if they get a letter that appears to be from the I-R-S and requests personal information or an immediate payment.

Devine says, “If the only contact you normally have with the IRS is sending in your tax return once a year, you should be very suspicious of any unexpected contact.” The letters being sent out look legitimate and if in doubt, Devine says to double-check by calling the I-R-S. “Some of them may look very authentic, but they’re fake,” he says, and he stresses the agency does not contact taxpayers via phone, email or social media. Devine says scammers are keeping the I-R-S investigators on their toes.

“We are getting better at catching these criminals,” he says, “but they’re evolving in their tactics and their techniques to try and steal your information, steal your money, and we’re always playing catch-up.” For more information, call 800-TAX-1040 or visit irs-dot-gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa cropland value declines 6 percent from year ago

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa cropland value dropped the sharpest in the United States in the past year, falling 6.3 percent as low grain prices weakened the value in the nation’s leading corn producing state. Cropland value fell to $8,200 an acre after climbing to $8,750 last year. Iowa cropland values shot up more than 56 percent from 2011 to 2014.

Cropland values declined in 10 states while the others remained static or grew. Texas saw the biggest jump at 9.5 percent to $1,840 an acre. Nationally, cropland grew an average of 0.7 percent. New Jersey has the most valuable cropland at $13,500 an acre after a 3.8 percent increase. California is second at $10,690 and Arizona third at $8,320 an acre. Iowa is fourth.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Aug. 6th 2015

News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A super PAC supporting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for president says it is launching a nearly $7 million ad buy in Iowa to begin right after Labor Day. A senior adviser for the Unintimidated PAC said Wednesday that $6.8 million in television, cable and radio ads will air in the Des Moines, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City and Dubuque markets. The ads are to begin running on Tuesday, September 8th.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged three people who worked for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign with conspiring to buy the support of a former Iowa state senator. Among those changed is Jesse Benton, who now heads up a super PAC supporting the 2016 presidential candidacy of the now retired Texas Congressman’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Education is set to consider a family’s complaint over a public school choir singing religious music. The parents, whose daughter recently graduated from the New Hampton Community School District, say the choir inappropriately endorses Christianity by performing songs. The Des Moines Register reports they brought their concerns to the School Board in January.

GARNER, Iowa (AP) — A camp in northern Iowa is helping several elementary students develop their robotics and programming skills. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that fourth- through sixth-graders learned how to build a robot and program it to perform certain tasks Tuesday as part of a two-day camp in Garner.

Atlantic City Attorney resigns

News

August 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

In a surprise announcement during Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting in Atlantic, City Administrator John Lund reported City Attorney Jaimie Arnold has resigned, effective immediately. Lund told reporters after the meeting that Arnold tendered his resignation Tuesday morning.

While no official explanation was given for his resignation, Lund said Arnold was planning to return to North Carolina.

Former Atlantic City Atty. Jamie Arnold

Former Atlantic City Atty. Jamie Arnold

He added there would be no disruption in the City’s legal services, since Cass County Attorney David Wiederstein, who had served as the City Attorney until Arnold took over the position earlier this year, will handle the role until a replacement is found. Arnold also served as the Assistant Cass County Attorney.

The City’s Personnel and Finance Committee will begin the process of searching for a replacement. Arnold worked for the law firm of Otto, Lorence and Wiederstein. That firm will continue to be on retainer for the City in the interim.

Of Arnold, Lund said “He was a great guy, and I’m really sorry things didn’t work out.” He said there was no problem with his job performance, and there have been no complaints what-so-ever.

WI trucker injured in I-29 crash

News

August 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A truck driver from Sparta, Wisconsin was injured this (Wednesday) morning, when the 2014 Kenworth he was driving went out of control on Interstate 29 southbound north of Council Bluffs, and came to rest on the highway. The Iowa State Patrol says 56-year old Bradley Zirott was transported by Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs for treatment of minor injuries. The accident occurred at around 10:40-a.m. near the 58-miler marker.

Split peas cover I-29. (IA DOT photo)

Split peas cover I-29. (IA DOT photo)

Officials say the semi left the road on the right shoulder and re-entered the interstate before rolling onto its side and spilling its 50-thousand pound load of split peas. It’s believed Zirott suffered from a medical problem prior to the accident taking place. The roadway was closed for about two-hours, while crews worked to clean-up the spilled veggies.