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Moore wins House District 21 election


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Information provided by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office indicated Tom Moore, a Republican from Griswold, has won a Special Election to fill a vacant Iowa House District 21 seat. The vacancy was created by the death in October, of Jack Drake, a Republican from Griswold.

According to the polls results, Moore received a total of 1,409 votes. His opponent, Democrat Tim Ennis, of Corning, received 853 votes. Both men were nominated to run in the Special Election by separate nominating conventions held last month.

The results are unofficial until the votes are canvassed.

By County, here is the vote break-down: (candidate/votes/% of votes cast)

Cass – Ennis 327 (30.94%)      Moore – 730 (69.06%)     [Write-In’s  2]

AdamsEnnis 255 (57.3%)    Moore – 189 (42.3%)

Pottawattamie – Ennis 16 (17.2%)    Moore – 77 (82.8%)

Union – Ennis 255 (38.2%)    Moore 413 61.8%)

Iowa Transportation Commission approves FY 2017 Traffic Safety Improvement Program projects


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved nearly $9.3-million in total funding for 44 separate projects from Iowa’s Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP). Among the projects is the east pavement widening of County Road H-34, in Montgomery County. The commission approved $500,000 toward the $695,644 total cost of the project. And, in Crawford County, $500,000 was approved toward the $1.7-million dollar cost of work at the intersection of the Donna Reed Road (M-36)/U-S Highway 30/County Road E-53.
The program was created in 1987 for the purpose of increasing traffic safety on all of Iowa’s roadways. This funding is available for use on city, county, or state roads through an annual application process.
The complete list of projects can be viewed at www.iowadot.gov/pdf_files/FundedTSIPProjects.pdf.
(The map below project locations for FY 2017 TSIP)

Montgomery County arrest report


December 8th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office released details on two recent arrests and one stolen vehicle recovery.

On December 5th at approximately 12:36pm the Sheriff’s Office recovered a 2002 Buick LeSabre that was reported stolen from Moline, IL.  The vehicle was found parked in the 400 block of East 6th Street in Villisca.  The theft is still being investigated by the Moline, IL Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, December 8th at 11:25am Officers arrested 26-year-old Mykel Allen Thoren of Atlantic on a Cass County Warrant for Failure to Appear on 3rd Degree Burglary and 3rd Degree Theft charges.  Thoren is being held on $10,000 bond.

Also Tuesday at 12:50pm Deputies arrested 54-year-old Ronald Dean Kammerer Jr. of Red Oak on a Pottawattamie County Warrant for Failure to Appear on non-payment of child support.  Kammerer Jr. is being held on $1,000 bond.

Over a dozen Neola firefighters quit, 3 other are suspended


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(updates previous version of this story, 12/9/15)

NEOLA, Iowa (AP) — A small western Iowa city will need help with emergency services from neighboring communities after 12 members of its volunteer fire department resigned. A consultant for the city of Neola says the firefighters quit Monday night and four remain. Clint Fichter says Neola will be covered temporarily by fire departments in Minden and Underwood. Fichter says he expects the city to hire new firefighters over several months.

A state audit report this year said a former city clerk for Neola misspent more than $230,000 over five years. About $47,000 was linked to the fire department’s bank account. The newspaper reports emails between Neola’s acting fire chief and the mayor-elect showed suggestions by the mayor to streamline how firefighters would be hired in the future.


Adams County man w/Iowa Brewers Guild warns of ‘mega’ beer merger


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for more than 50 small-scale or “craft” breweries in Iowa is warning the proposed merger of the world’s two largest beer companies could endanger the craft beer industry.  “As the craft brewing industry continues to represent true job and sales growth in an otherwise flat sector, craft breweries may encounter problems if this acquisition proceeds.” J. Wilson of Prescott, was hired last year to be the coordinator for the Iowa Brewers Guild. He’s in Washington, D.C. today (Tuesday), testifying at a U.S. Senate hearing examining the merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev — the maker of Budweiser — and S-A-B-Miller.

“If this deal is allowed to proceed, growing craft breweries in Iowa and elsewhere fear difficulty with access to both market and raw materials,” Wilson says. Craft beer now accounts for 11 percent of total beer sales, but Wilson warns Anheuser-Busch has great influence in the distribution chain and could try to squeeze out that competition.

“With deep pockets already allowing ABI to hold sway over many wholesalers on marketing incentives, the amount of influence a combined company of this magnitude would have over market access is startling,” Wilson says. Anheuser-Busch has purchased 12 independent distributors in nine states since 2012. Wilson says Busch family members own five other distributorships.

“While market access is an on-going battle that small craft brewers have infiltrated by offering a wide range of locally-produced, flavor-forward products, the ability to produce or package them could soon be hindered if the merger is allowed,” Wilson says. “This mega-brewery would have an even greater impact on brewing inputs such as malted barley and hops and packaging materials like bottles and cans. The hops supply is already tenuous and while malt production can easily be increased, expansion of hops acreage is costly and hop plants take three years to reach maturity.”

Wilson is urging federal officials to force Anheuser-Busch to sell off the wholesale distributorships and examine how the merger would impact the supply of raw materials.  “I favor healthy competition, but a merger of this magnitude could impact supply access and threaten the wholesale tier of the system,” Wilson says “I urge you to protect competition and consumer choice.” If the two beer companies are allowed to merge, the new company would control a third of the world’s beer suppply, including brands like Corona, Stella Artois, Grolsch as well as Budweiser.

Anheuser-Busch is already the leading beer company in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. By acquiring S-A-B Miller, it will grow in Latin America and Africa at a time when the tastes of U.S. consumers are shifting to craft beers and cocktails.

(Radio Iowa)

Union County body ID’d as a Thayer woman


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An autopsy has determined the identity of a woman whose body was found last Wednesday in rural Union County. Authorities say a hunter discovered the body of 37-year-old Loretta Dillinger, of Thayer, in a pond northwest of Lorimor. A cause of death has not been released, but it is being treated as suspicious.

According to KCCI, a bow hunter found Dillinger’s body partially submerged in a farm pond so deep in timber that it couldn’t be seen from the roadway. The man thought it was a cow or deer in the water, but when he got closer, he saw human feet and legs. The body was partially decomposed.  Dillinger’s car was found nearby.

There was no missing person’s report filed, and investigators are trying to figure out the last time anyone saw her. Officials with the DCI and Department of Public Safety continue to assist the Union County Sheriff’s Office with their investigation.

Atlantic School Board to address drone issue


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

They’re popular, fun, useful and potentially dangerous, not to mention potentially intrusive on privacy, but drones are becoming a part of everyday life in America. The topic of an Unmanned Aircraft Policy (UAP) will be discussed during Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic School Board. The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the High School Media Center.

The first reading of a policy to come before the Board states that “The use of possession of unmanned aircraft or aerial systems…which includes drones…is prohibited for any purpose by any person or entity anywhere on or directly above property or premises owned, maintained or used by the District for any purpose.”

The policy says “An exception may be granted in writing by the Superintendent [or their designee, in their] discretion, to law enforcement, public safety agencies, media, District personnel or other entities or individuals.”

In other business, the Atlantic School Board will act on approving: An Early Retirement Plan, which will not be offered again for another three-years, and, an exclusive Vendor Contract with the Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company (an 8-year contract which requires the Company to provide $12,000 in the first year, for a basketball scoreboard sponsorship. The total value of the partnership is estimated at $58,000.

The Board will also discuss and act on various contracts and/or Letters of Assignment, as well as approving the resignations for Stephanie Krengel (2nd-3rd grade Special Ed. Teacher), and Jenny Schinker (Food Service).

Atlantic City Council to meet Wed. evening


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet Wednesday evening at City Hall. During the session, which begins at 5:30, the Council will act on appointing Jennifer Miller to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and hear a presentation from local developer Don Sonntag, with regard to current and future housing trends, in Atlantic. They’ll also discuss and review a draft of the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

A couple of weeks ago, the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee met and discussed some of the early issues and priorities for the CIP. City Administrator John Lund says the City has many needs and limited resources.  Wednesday’s meeting, will likely include Snyder and Associates Engineer Dave Sturm and Street Superintendent Derald Anderson, who will discuss the condition of the City’s roads, from an engineering and historical perspective.

The Council will review a list of proposed street projects and a survey, to determine where the priorities should be placed in the first CIP draft. There are 17 areas on the list, including (but not limited to): Police equipment/vehicles; Fire equipment/vehicles; Street equipment/vehicles; Wastewater equipment/vehicles; the Schildberg Rec Area; Library; Airport Expansion; Senior Center, and City Hall.

At the conclusion of regular business, there will be a brief, public forum.

Cass County Board to discuss workforce issues & lease of bldg.


December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hear from Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ouida Hargens, Wednesday morning, with regard to Workforce Issues in Cass County. Also set to meet with the Board on the same topic, is a training coordinator from Iowa Western Community College. Together, they will discuss a vision to increase and sustain economic development by building a highly educated workforce that’s responsive to the needs of local businesses. The Board of Supervisor’s meeting begins 8:30-a.m. Wednesday, at the Cass County Courthouse.

In other business, the Board of Supervisors will discuss and possibly act on leasing a portion of the Walnut Street Annex to Adult Probation of the Fourth Judicial District, and, they’ll act on an abatement of taxes on property owned by the City of Atlantic. That includes Airport buildings and land, Washington Township, and a parcel near the Schildberg Rec Area.

They’re also expected to act on approving an amended 28-E Unified Law Enforcement Agreement by adding the City of Marne to other member communities that include Cumberland, Lewis, Massena and Wiota. The matter was tabled during last week’s meeting while a legal question was looked into.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 12/8/2015

News, Podcasts

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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