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Bachmann wins GOP 2012 test vote


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Michele Bachmann is the winner of the Iowa Straw Poll. For the tea party favorite, it was a display of popularity and organizational strength — five months before the Iowa caucuses begin the GOP presidential nominating season. Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished a close second. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has sparred with his home-state rival Bachmann in a debate and on the campaign trail, finished a distant third.

Pawlenty made it clear he’s not dropping out, despite a disappointing finish. He said, “We have a lot more work to do” — but that his campaign is “just beginning.” Today’s poll doesn’t necessarily predict who will win the Iowa caucuses. But it shows that Bachmann has some support in the state — as well as the strongest get-out-the-vote operation and widest volunteer base.

In speeches throughout the day, candidates assailed President Barack Obama and offered themselves as the answer to America’s high unemployment, rising debt and stock market swings.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board will meet Monday


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board of Directors will meet Monday evening at City Hall.

Action items on their agenda include: matters pertaining to the Board Secretary’s job; the purchase of a new 72-inch mower with trade-in’s; repair and replacement of the Schildberg Recreation Area fishing dock; and possible solutions to the persistent dock anchoring issues that arise, along with associated costs. The Parks and Rec Board will also address signage in the Schildberg Rec area, and swimming concerns.

Other matters up for discussion include: updates on the Schildberg Trail #1 & Bull Creek Pathway resurfacing projects; City Park sidewalk replacement; replacement of the Parks & Rec maintenance building; Sunnyside tennis courts, and restroom replacement issues.

The meeting will take place in the Council’s Chambers, inside the Atlantic City Hall, beginning at 5:15-p.m., Monday.

Results of Whole Grade Sharing feasibility study


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A meeting was held Thursday in Villisca with regard to the results of a feasibility study for Whole Grade Sharing between the Villisca and Stanton, and Villisca and Corning Community Schools Districts. To summize, consultants headed by UNI Professor Dr. Bob Decker, concluded a WGS agreement between the Villisca and Corning Districts would be more beneficial to the student bodies both schools, because of the increased classroom opportunities.  An agreement betwee the Stanton and Villisca School Districts would act as a  “band-aid” approach,  that would leave certain issues to be addressed again, in less than six-years, even though Stanton offers more classes and a healthy financial standing.  There were also some logistical concerns with that arrangement, were it to become a reality, such as limited parking, if the combined high school were to be located in Villisca.

To read the results of the Stanton-Villisca study, click on this link:


To read the results of the Corning-Villisca study, click here:


Three area school boards set to meet Monday


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A trio of school Boards of Education will meet Monday in the immediate KJAN listening area. First up at 3:30-p.m., is the CAM Community School District’s board meeting.

They’ll gather at the CAM Outdoor Classroom in rural Massena. On their agenda is discussion pertaining to Wind Turbine TIF (Tax Increment Financing), and voting sites for the school board election on September 13th. The CAM Board will also make decisions with regard to a computerized router purchase, resignations, and a contract revision.

At 5:00, the Elk Horn-Kimballton School Board will gather in the Family and Consumer Science room at the high school in Elk Horn. During their session, the board will approve a selection of bank depositories for the 2011-2012 school year, along with a contract for the school nurse. Other discussion and possible action items include, but are not limited to, One-to-One Computer software/filtering, and approval of John Baylor as a test preparation instructor.

And, at 5:30-p.m. Monday, the Griswold School Board will meet in the Central Office Board room. In addition to regular administrative matters, the Board will discuss the funding of short- and long-term facilities projects.

Weekend News (podcast)

News, Podcasts

August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


Omaha bank robber fled in vehicle with IA plates


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Police are searching for a man who robbed a bank in Omaha. The holdup at the Wells Fargo Bank happened about 2 p.m. on Friday. No injuries were reported. Police say witnesses told officers the man bank entered the bank and demanded cash from a teller. No weapon was seen.  Police say the man left the bank and fled the area in white Kia Optima with Iowa license plates 772 TFF.

Northern IA man dies in Cass Co. Crash


August 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A man from north-central Iowa was killed during a single-vehicle crash early this (Saturday)  morning, here in Cass County. According to the Iowa State Patrol 22-year old Steven Henaman, of Plymouth, died when the 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle he was driving went out of control near the Anita exit, on westbound Interstate 80.

Officials say the cycle left the road and rolled over before landing in an area between the exit and the interstate. Henaman died at the scene of the crash, which was reported just after midnight.

Pottawattamie County Residents Encouraged to Report Flood Damage


August 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA – In a disappointing decision, FEMA has denied Iowa’s request for an
Individual Assistance Declaration. The Individual Assistance (I.A.) Program would allow citizens
to apply for federal assistance through FEMA. If qualified they could potentially receive
assistance for damage and losses.

Local and State Officials have partnered to gather and submit further damage information as
part of an official appeal to the federal government for assistance. All citizens in Pottawattamie
County, whether you live Council Bluffs, Carter Lake, Crescent or in the unincorporated portions of the
county affected by the flood, are encouraged to report flood damage to private property that has
occurred from May 25th to the present. Even if you can’t physically inspect your property, please report
your probable damages based on the conditions at your property.

Citizens can report their damage at the County web site, www.pottcounty.com, and click on the
“DAMAGE REPORTING TOOL” link. Residents without computer access can call 712-328-4672 to report
damage. Phones will be answered from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

Emergency Management Officials stress that the public needs to be an active partner in the damage
assessment process during our appeal. This will provide the best information to FEMA in hope that

they will authorize the Individual Assistance Program for our citizens.

Branstad requests extended timeframe to appeal for Individual Assistance


August 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) - Gov. Terry E. Branstad has requested an extension of the time period
to appeal FEMA's decision to deny Individual Assistance to five Iowa counties
impacted by Missouri River flooding.

On August 4, 2011, Gov. Branstad received notification that FEMA had denied his
request to make the Individual Assistance Program available to residents of Fremont,
Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties. The State of Iowa has 30 days
to appeal FEMA's denial of the Individual Assistance Program. However, since the
flood water will recede slowly, the Governor is asking FEMA for an extension of the
appeal to November 15, 2011, so it may include damages that surface beyond that
30-day time period.

The appeal of the decision by FEMA will be coordinated by the Iowa Homeland Security
and Emergency Management Division, which will work closely with the local emergency
management agencies to determine additional damages and impacts caused by the
ongoing flooding.

The FEMA Individual Assistance Program is made available to homeowners, renters and
businesses and can include grants and low-interest loans to help pay for temporary
housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance
or other aid programs.

In addition, the Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced that
low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Iowa residents and business
owners affected by the severe storms and flash flooding that occurred July 27 and
28, 2011.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the Iowa counties of
Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones.

(Press Release - Office of the Governor)

Iowa and Nebraska officials discuss future reopening of Missouri River toll bridge


August 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Aug. 12, 2011 – Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation 
(DOT), Nebraska Department of Roads, Federal Highway Administration, and Burt County
(Nebraska) Bridge Commission met this week to discuss strategies that will lead to 
the eventual reopening of the toll bridge carrying Iowa 175/Nebraska 51 over the
Missouri River at Decatur, Neb.

The bridge is owned and operated by the Burt County Bridge Commission. It has been
closed since June due the Missouri River flooding, which caused severe embankment
erosion and material loss on the Iowa side of the bridge, as well as deep scouring
around the east bridge abutment and pier. Recognizing the importance of this bridge
to communities in both states, all parties involved are anxious to get the bridge 
reopened to traffic as quickly as possible. With this goal and public safety in mind,
the agencies outlined a plan of action. 

Because the flood waters have not yet started to recede, there remain many unknowns
regarding the condition of the bridge and surrounding area. Thus, the agencies 
outlined a plan with the necessary flexibility to adjust to any new discoveries. 
In addition to discussing what actions can be taken and tentative timing,
participants in the meeting received information about the federal Emergency Relief
funding that may be able to assist with the costs of previous work, as well as the
additional work that will be needed. 
Several problems are readily apparent at the bridge site that will require corrective 
action when the waters recede. Those problems include slope instability, substructure
concerns and major scour around the critical structural elements of the bridge and 
roadway approach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ current schedule is to reduce the
output of water from Gavins Point Dam to approximately 90,000 cfs by the end of August.
Barring additional rain that would change this schedule, it is possible that the engineers
may able to perform a more detailed analysis of the problems at that time.

Once the analysis is complete, the next step will be to quickly develop a corrective 
action plan and issue emergency contracts to perform the work. The amount of time that
will be required to complete the work hinges on the extent of the damage. Anything that
can be done to expedite the work will be considered. The Iowa DOT will continue to provide 
regular updates regarding this situation as new information becomes available. 

(IA-DOT News Release)