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Three accidents reported Thursday in Atlantic

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police say no injuries were reported following three separate accidents Thursday. The first took place just before 10-a.m., at the intersection of Highways 6 and 71. Officials say vehicles driven by Atlantic residents Pauline Elming and Charles T. Smith, were traveling east on Highway 6 and passing through the intersection, when Elming began to slow down and was rear-ended by the Smith vehicle. Damage from the accident amounted to $3,000. No citations were issued.

The second, chain reaction accident happened just after Noon, Thursday, at the intersection of 7th and Olive Streets. According to Atlantic Police, vehicles driven by Christina Blake, of Wiota, Kelsey Schmidt, of Massena, and Amanda Lovejoy, of Atlantic, collided as all three were traveling east on 7th Street.  The Blake and Schmidt vehicles were stopped at the traffic light at 7th and Olive, when Lovejoy failed to stop in time. Her vehicle hit the back of Schmidt’s car, which was shoved forward into the back of Blake’s vehicle. Damage from the mishap amounted to $4,300. Officials say Lovejoy was cited for Failure to Maintain Control and/or reduce speed.

Thursday’s third accident happened just before 2-p.m., at 5th and Olive Streets in Atlantic. Officials say vehicles driven by Judith Camblin and Merlin Eshelman, both of Atlantic, collided when Camblin failed to observe a stop sign as she was traveling east on 5th Street. Her car collided at the intersection with Eshelman’s vehicle, as he was headed north on Olive. The damage amounted to $6,500.  Judith Camblin was cited following the accident investigation, for Failure to Obey a Stop or Yield sign.

IA Dept. of Revenue issues order on 2011 Assessment limitations on property values (Rollback)

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Revenue report that on Wednesday, October 26th, the Department issued an Assessment Limitations Order, or “rollback,” on property values in Iowa. The Order adjusts the property values used by local governments to compute property taxes for agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial property.   State law allows no more than a four percent (4%) increase in taxable values for these property classes from year to year in order to cushion the impact of inflation. The Order sets forth the following taxable values:

  • The taxable value for residential property is 50.7518% of the assessed value. This is an increase from the 2010 level of 48.5299 %.  (Residential assessed value in Iowa is $135.8 billion; the taxable value is $68.9 billion, which is 50.7518% of the assessed value.)  Residential property includes farm dwellings.
  • The taxable value for agricultural property is 57.5411% of the assessed value.  This is a decrease from the 2010 level of 69.0152%.  Agricultural property is assessed at its productivity value. (The 2011 assessed value is $47.6 billion; the taxable value is $27.4 billion, which is 57.5411% of the assessed value.)
  • No adjustments were ordered for the commercial, industrial, railroad, and utility classes, because their assessed values did not increase enough to qualify for reductions. Utility property is limited to an 8% annual growth. Railroad property is adjusted by the lowest percentage applied to commercial, industrial, and utility property.

County auditors will apply the adjustments to each property class to compute the taxable values used for property taxes. Tax liabilities based on the 2011 taxable values and payable in fiscal year 2012-13 will not be determined until local taxing bodies establish their property tax needs early next year.

Additional information about the rollback can be found at: http://www.state.ia.us/tax/locgov/propequalroll.html

Cass County Supervisors to discuss future of the Public Safety Center

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will meet Monday morning at the Courthouse, in Atlantic. During the 9-a.m. session, the Board will hear a tourism report from Kenner Baxter, with the Western Iowa Tourism Council/Region 1. They’ll also discuss a Continuity of Government (COG) Plan , which would allow the local government to continue its essential operations, should a catastrophic event occur. And, a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).  COOP is a Federal initiative, required by Presidential directive, designed to ensure that agencies are able to continue performance of essential functions under a broad range of circumstances.

The Supervisors are also slated to discuss the future of the County’s Public Safety Communications Center, including a potential relocation of the Comm. Center. Other county business includes discussion and possible action on: a revision to the County government’s cell phone policy; a revision to the indigent burial policy; approving renewal of a third party administrative contract for partial self-funded health insurance, as it pertains to County employees, and a management contract for the courthouse boiler or boilers.

Teens injured in Guthrie County rollover accident

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Guthrie County reported late this week that two sisters from Guthrie Center escaped serious injury following a rollover accident late last week. Authorities say 15-year old Jeanna Lewis and her 18-year old sister Jessica were on their way to school, when Jeanna lost control of the car she was driving, about two-miles southwest of Guthrie Center. The accident happened at around 8:40-a.m. Thursday, October 20th, as the girls were headed north on 255th Street. As the 1992 Buick LeSabre entered a curve, it slid sideways before rolling into the east ditch and landing on its roof. 

Both teens were transported to the Guthrie County Hospital, for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Damage to the car was estimated at $2,000. Officials say Jeanna Lewis received a citation for Failure to Maintain Control

Assessment testing begins Monday in Atlantic School District

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Schuler Elementary School Principal and Atlantic School District Curriculum Director Matt Alexander says students in Atlantic Community School District are preparing to take the annual Iowa Assessment tests. Speaking Friday morning on KJAN’s “Heartbeat Today” program, Alexander said the tests, which take place over the next three-weeks, beginning this Monday, are designed to see what students know, and so the district can tailor its curriculum to meet their needs. Alexander says the testing is an on-going process that takes place each year of a students’ education. Atlantic School District Superintendent, Dr. Mike Amstein says the district is required to show its students are making progress, and, while there is always room for improvement, a recent award the district received proves that progress is being made.

He says with the ever-increasing achievement benchmarks for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), students are being asked annually to raise their performance levels in reading and math. The district recently received a “Breaking Barriers” award for the progress made in the low socio-economic subgroup of students in the 3rd and 6th grades. Amstein says that demonstrates the district doesn’t really have a problem with student achievement. 

Based on the benchmark trajectory, all students will be expected to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Test results for the 2009-10 school year reveal that Atlantic Community Schools have been identified as a district in need of improvement (DINA) in reading by the Iowa Department of Education. The designation was made because the district did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in the area of reading for 2 consecutive years as determined by NCLB. 

In addition, the Atlantic Middle School has been identified as a school in need of improvement (SINA) in the both reading and math based on the 2009-10 student test data. Both the Atlantic High School (math) and Washington Elementary (reading) classes are on a watch list as determined by NCLB, as both schools did not make AYP based on 2009-10 test data.    Matt Alexander says the district targets its improvement efforts based on the results of recent test scores. He says the upcoming tests start Monday at the high school. The following two weeks, they’ll be given to students in grades K-through 8. The results of those tests should be available  just before the Winter break.

8AM Newscast 10-28-2011

News, Podcasts

October 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 10-28-2011

News, Podcasts

October 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

18 sick, neglected horses rescued in Guthrie County

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Eighteen sick and neglected horses have been rescued from an 8-acre property in Guthrie County. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says it helped county officials remove the animals on Thursday. The horses were taken to two of the league’s rehabilitation facilities for veterinary care, food and shelter. League Executive Director Tom Colvin said in a news release that the horses had been living without food, shelter and veterinary care for an undetermined amount of time. Colvin says the animals face a long road to recovery. Once healthy, the horses will be available for adoption through the league’s Barn Buddy adoption program.

Pella Corp offering incentives for employee retirement & voluntary leave at 4 IA facilities

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A door and window maker is blaming the continued recession in the housing market for an offer to employees at four operations in Iowa. Pella Corporation spokesperson Kathy Krafka Harkema says the move is designed to trim the company’s bottom line. Pella is offering offering incentives for employees to retire or voluntarily leave the workforce. The offer involves Pella Corporation facilities in Carroll, Shenandoah, Sioux Center and Pella. It’s also being offered at Pella manufacturing sites in Macomb, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. The incentives were announced Thursday along with the closing of a plant in South Carolina.

“Unfortunately, we must close our manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina that employs 147 people,” Harkema said. That plant will close by the end of December. Harkema says new home construction has dropped 70-percent since 2006 and the recession in the U.S. housing economy is projected to continue. “If people aren’t building new homes, they’re not needing as many new windows and doors. That’s what led us to take these actions,” Harkema said. “We’re sorry to have to take these actions, but we’re doing all we can to partner with area officials to try and help people find new careers.”

Pella Corporation is a privately-held company headquartered in Pella, Iowa with 8,000 employees around the country.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Construction worker ejected from dump truck during rollover near Neola

News

October 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One person was seriously injured when a dump truck overturned this (Thursday) morning, northeast of Neola. According to scanner traffic, the accident happened at around 9:40-a.m, on the Old Railroad Highway off-ramp to Interstate 680 eastbound. The unidentified 39-year old driver of the truck was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a serious head injury.  He was flown by helicopter from the scene to Creighton University Hospital’s Trauma Center. His injuries, while serious, were not believed to be life-threatening.
The dump truck he was driving was hauling broken asphalt and concrete from the I-680 re-construction project. The vehicle  rolled down the embankment south of the 680 ramp. The driver reportedly told authorities the truck’s brakes had failed, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.