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Atlantic CC accepts site plans for Ash Street housing project; 7th St. construction project contracts signed


April 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, accepted the site plans for a single-family housing development project to be located along Ash Street, between 1405 and 1503 Ash. Boose Building Construction, L.C. has proposed the nearly $1.26-million dollar project, which includes six, single family residential homes, each spanning about1,400-square feet. The homes would feature three bedrooms, two baths, two car garages, and a poured basement. They would be valued at about $200,000 each. The City’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan during their meeting last week.

Boose is requesting a grant from the City in the amount of $80,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to aid in making the project a reality. The first payment of $40,000 would be paid when public improvements (grading, street, water, sanitary and storm sewer) are installed. Construction of the first house is slated to begin this year, with two more houses next year, and three houses to follow. The second TIF payment of $40,000 would be paid when the third foundation is in place. Boose says the last two houses they completed in past two years sold before they were completed, which is indicative of the need for more, single family homes, according to the company.

While the site plans for Boose were approved, the Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, tabled a site plan for a 6,183-square foot addition to the Heritage House at 1200 Brookridge Circle. The plan was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission last week, but there were concerns at that time about storm water drainage. The same issue caused the Council to hold-off on approving the site plan until engineers can take a closer look. They should have a recommendation for the Council by the time of their special meeting next week.

And, Mayor Dave Jones reported the contracts for the Highway 6/7th Street reconstruction project have been signed by the company which was awarded the bid for it, but there’s still no word on when the detour signs will go up. A pre-construction meeting will be held soon. Council Chris Jimerson said the Public Safety Commission has proposed drafting an ordinance restricting parking on 10th Street during construction on 7th, as 10th street will be used as a major road for local traffic.

There would also be no heavy truck traffic on 10th, 14th and 22nd Streets, with the exception of local deliveries. Mayor Jones said the reason heavy trucks will not be allowed on those streets is because “They’re not build for it…it’s a residential area in there.” Jones also advised local farmers who normally bring their heavy equipment into town along 7th Street between Olive and Burger King, to plan now for an alternate route. He suggested “If you have to bring a combine in (for repair),” do so now and don’t wait until May.

I-80 blocked westbound Thu. morning at mm 64


April 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A fiery semi tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 80 westbound in Cass County has the road blocked this (Thursday) morning at mile marker 64. The accident was reported at 3:34-a.m., with Anita and Wiota Fire and Rescue along with Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies responding to the scene. The semi, which was loaded with paper, was fully engulfed in flames under the bridge for County Road N-28 (the Wiota Road), and early reports were there may have been some sort of an explosion.

Flames were said to have reached 30-to 40-feet high, according to the person who reported the incident to Cass County Communications. Neither the driver of the semi,  Ferando Hernandez, of Los Angeles, California, nor his passenger, were injured. According to reports, for reasons unknown, Hernandez lost control of the semi, which hit an inside median guardrail before the rig jackknifed.

Traffic on the interstate west of Exit 70 was at a standstill, but the left lane was expected to have been re-opened to the stalled traffic only. The remaining traffic flow was being rerouted off the Interstate at Exit 70 south, to Anita and west to Wiota, then back north to I-80, while the wreck is cleaned-up.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., April 16th 2015


April 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

LAMONI, Iowa (AP) — A southern Iowa chiropractor accused of accepting sex as payment for his services and performing exorcisms on patients has surrendered his state license. The Iowa Board of Chiropractic released a report detailing charges against Charles Manuel, of Lamoni. Manuel signed an agreement last month in saying he wouldn’t apply for reinstatement for at least 10 years.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials have detected the emerald ash borer in a residential tree in rural Dallas County, making it the 21st county in Iowa where infestations have been confirmed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture says the bug was identified after an arborist had contacted state officials about a suspicious ash tree. Further investigation revealed recent woodpecker activity and live larvae below the bark.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Jury selection is underway in the trial of a man accused of gunning down a Burlington bicyclist in August. About 55 potential jurors remained for questioning in the trial of 39-year-old Joshua Royer, of Burlington. He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 50-year-old Eddie Martin Cooper.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in a government oversight committee say they may propose changes to an Iowa law that allows authorities to seize money and other items from people suspected of illegal activity. People in support of reforming what is known as civil asset forfeiture testified that revising state law could ensure people are treated more fairly. The Iowa law allows authorities to seize assets like cash, cars or property from a person suspected of illegal activity.

Wildflower Walk set for April 25th near Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board has announced a “Wildflower Walk!” program will be held at the Frank Chapman Pellett Memorial Woods just north of Atlantic, on April 25th. The 9-a.m. event is free and open to the public. The Oak Strollers Nature Club for Families are welcome to join at the event as well.

You’re invited to join Cass County Conservation Department staff for a walk through the early spring wildflowers, and to learn the names, uses and history of the Wildflowers. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to view one of Southwest Iowa’s best locations to observe spring woodland wildflowers.  The 20 acre tract of land contains 8 acres of native woodland that was established as a wildflower preserve in 1908. It is known to contain over 120 species or plants, some of which are marked along the trail.

Pellett Memorial Gardens is located just outside of Atlantic, ½ mile north and ¾ mile east of the KJAN radio station. For more information, call Lora Kanning, Naturalist
with the Cass County Conservation Board, at 712-769-2372.

Atlantic named Tree City USA community for 20th year

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic has qualified for and is officially designated, as a “Tree City USA” community for the 20th year. Dolly Bergman, with the local Trees Forever group, told the Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening, that she and Atlantic Parks and Recreation Dept. Director Roger Herring, along with Assistant Parks Director Seth Staashelm, attended a Tree City USA event in Des Moines on April 10th, during which Atlantic once again received the honor of being a Tree City USA community.

(From left) IA DNR Director Chuck Gipp,  Atlantic Parks & Rec Director Roger Herring, Asst. Director Seth Staashelm, Trees Forever Chairperson Dolly Bergman &  State Forester Paul Tauke.

(From left) IA DNR Director Chuck Gipp, Atlantic Parks & Rec Director Roger Herring, Asst. Director Seth Staashelm, Trees Forever Chairperson Dolly Bergman & State Forester Paul Tauke.

Atlantic Asst. Parks & Rec Director Seth Stasshelm with the new Tree City USA signs.

Atlantic Asst. Parks & Rec Director Seth Stasshelm with the new Tree City USA signs. (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The City received two new signs that will be erected to replace signs located on the east and west sides of town. The old signs may be relocated along Olive Street and near Mahle Engine Components, if they can be cleaned-up and/or refurbished. The new signs will also be adorned with stickers acknowledging the fact the City has been a Tree City USA for 20 years. A new Tree City USA flag will be flown over the Atlantic City Park, as well.

Bergman reminded the Council there are four criteria in order to be eligible for the designation. There must be a “Trees Board” – which in Atlantic, is the Trees Forever group, a tree care ordinance is in place, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation.

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, surrounded by the local Trees Forever group, signs the annual Arbor Day Proclamation.

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, surrounded by the local Trees Forever group, signs the annual Arbor Day Proclamation.

Bergman said also, there will be an an Arbor Day event on Friday, April 24th, at the Schuler Elementary School, during which a tree will be planted with the help of 4th graders, at around 2:30-p.m. In addition, each of those 4th grade students will be presented with a tree.

Bergman also had some good news for local merchants with regard to “tree economics”: She said studies have shown shoppers will travel further and longer, to visit a district with high quality trees. They will also spend more time once they arrive in the community because of the trees. Visitors to well treed central business districts, she said, will spend 9-to 12-percent more for their products, a seven percent higher rental rate for commercial offices, due to high quality landscaping. She said also, trees located near a hospital have been shown to help patients recovering from surgery who have a view of trees, have shorter post-op hospital stays.

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Dallas County

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in a residential tree in the southeast corner of rural Dallas County, making this the twenty-first county in Iowa where this invasive beetle has been found. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The current EAB infestation was found as a result of an arborist contacting state officials about a suspect ash tree. Investigation by the Iowa EAB team revealed characteristic galleries, recent woodpecker activity, and live larvae that were positively identified by federal identifiers.

“This finding is the closest to Polk County and Iowa’s capital city to date” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardships EAB and Gypsy Moth
Coordinator. “With this discovery, Iowa has declared three positive counties in 2015
where this ash-killing pest has been found.”

Twenty-one Iowa counties now have confirmed EAB infestations. A statewide quarantine, issued on Feb. 4, 2014, remains in place, restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states. “We still strongly urge Iowans to not move firewood long distances,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “A large portion of Iowa is not showing signs of EAB infestation; let’s keep those areas EAB-free as long as possible by not moving wood that potentially harbors EAB or other tree pests. Be vigilant and report suspicious symptoms in counties that are not yet known to be infested to a member of the Iowa EAB Team.”

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes
officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa
State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
(DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county
or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states
poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB and other plant pests. Most EAB
infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving
infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly
short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.

The window for preventive treatment measures (trunk injection, soil injection, soil
drench or basal trunk sprays) is mid-April to mid-May. If a landowner is interested
in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, they should have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, review the bids and treat during the recommended treatment time.

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in
counties not currently known to be infested. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population,
please visit www.IowaTreePests.com.

(Press Release)

Medical marijuana bill gets Senate approval


April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A plan to expand access to medical marijuana has won approval in the Democrat-majority Senate, but the legislation is unlikely to move any further this year in the Legislature. The Senate voted 26-19 in favor of the bill Wednesday. The legislation would make medical marijuana available to people with certain chronic diseases. Those approved by a doctor could purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa and sold at state-licensed dispensaries.

The legislation moves to the Republican-controlled House, where leaders have expressed little interest in the bill. Last year, the Legislature approved a law allowing some residents with epilepsy to use oil with an ingredient derived from marijuana for treatment. But the law did not establish an in-state program for the production and distribution of the oil.

Atlantic woman arrested on Willful Injury warrant; Anita man arrested in drug charges


April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a woman was arrested for assault, Tuesday, and a man was arrested on drug charges. 24-year old Kirstin Marysa Silence, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for Willful Injury. Silence was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released later that day on $10,000 bond.
And, 31-year old Joseph Lee Flathers, of Anita, was arrested on charges of Possession of Marijuana 2nd Offense and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Flathers was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released on his own recognizance the following day.

Change to Atlantic E-recycling trailer location for May 9th


April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

There’s been a change in location for next month’s electronics recycling trailer, in Atlantic. Atlantic Community Protection committee Chairman Chris Jimerson reports a semi-trailer for the loading of electronics to be disposed of will be located at the Cass County Fairgrounds, instead of on North Chestnut Street, as had been previously announced. The 4-H Fairgrounds committee has authorized the use of the grounds for the dropping off of electronic items. The event will be held May 9th, from 7-until 11-a.m.eRecycle_logo_small

The electronic recycling program is for Cass County residents only. Businesses are not allowed to participate. You may bring the following items ONLY, to the fairgrounds for placement in the trailer: televisions, computer monitors, hard drives, printers, lap-tops, VCR/DVD players, keyboards, speakers, circuit boards, cell phones, cables, electronic scrap, small appliances, and microwaves.

Once the semi is full, no further electronic items will be taken, and anyone with items left over, will be asked to take those items to the Cass County Landfill, which has had its own E-recycling program in place, since 2006. For information about what electronic pieces are accepted at the Landfill, and the price of disposal, go to www.casscountylandfill.com, or call 712-243-1991.

Young Professionals of Atlantic to hold awards luncheon April 29th


April 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Young Professionals of Atlantic (YPA) 2nd Annual Awards Gala will be held later this month, to recognize the success of those individuals. The YPA’s will host an awards dessert and luncheon on April 29th, at the Atlantic Golf and County Club. The awards are designed to recognize the achievements of young professionals who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and innovation in his/her profession and community.

Pictured: Chelsea Amundson, Dan Mehmen, Hannah Beaman, Jessica Nicholas, Lucas Mosier, Hans Krengel, Ouida Wymer, Dolly Bergmann, Kathie Hockenberry, Michelle Heath, Sue Muri, Christy Jepersen, Tammy Waters, Jamey Park, Julie May, Jamie Arnold, JoAnn Runyan, Lana Westphalen, Nedra Perry, Pat McCurdy, Rich Perry, Chrystal Christensen, Carole Schuler, Melanie Petty, Dr. Jim Kickland, and Carol Seddon. Not Pictured: Sara Nelson.

Pictured: Chelsea Amundson, Dan Mehmen, Hannah Beaman, Jessica Nicholas, Lucas Mosier, Hans Krengel, Ouida Wymer, Dolly Bergmann, Kathie Hockenberry, Michelle Heath, Sue Muri, Christy Jepersen, Tammy Waters, Jamey Park, Julie May, Jamie Arnold, JoAnn Runyan, Lana Westphalen, Nedra Perry, Pat McCurdy, Rich Perry, Chrystal Christensen, Carole Schuler, Melanie Petty, Dr. Jim Kickland, and Carol Seddon. Not Pictured: Sara Nelson.

In order to be eligible for an award, a nominee must be between 21- and 39-years of age, and reside within Cass County. They must also be employed by a Chamber member business or organization. Award categories include: Newcomer (someone who has worked and lived in the Atlantic area for less than two-years; YP Entreprenuer; YP Business Leader; and YP Public Servant. In addition, the YP Choice Workplace Award will be presented to companies who effectively attract, retain and develop young professionals.
The luncheon costs $10 for Atlantic Area Chamber members, and $15 for non-members. Visit www.atlanticiowa.com to register for the event, or for more information.