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Immigration foes dig in amid expectations


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — A chief Republican foe of immigration legislation says it would be a “colossal mistake” for the House to consider any measure this year and shift attention from President Barack Obama’s health care law. For months, Republicans have been focused on attacking the health care law, sensing a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout.

Wednesday’s comments by Rep. Steve King of Iowa underscore the difficulty for advocates who have raised expectations for congressional action on immigration. He spoke after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans in which Speaker John Boehner told GOP rank-and-file that he will soon outline party principles on immigration.

The Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan bill last year with a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. The bill stalled in the House where Boehner has said he prefers a piecemeal approach.

Iowa court keeps stay over gaming license


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says an emergency stay will remain in place against orders to suspend a gaming license for a new Sioux City casino. Justice Brent Appel granted a stay Dec. 19 that halted an earlier stay by Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson. An order signed Wednesday means the stay will remain in place, and construction on the casino can continue.

The Sioux City Journal reports Hanson’s stay Dec. 10 suspended a gaming license for the Hard Rock-themed casino being developed by SCE Partners. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission issued it in April. The commission is entangled in litigation with Penn National Gaming, which owns the Argosy riverboat casino. Penn wanted the gaming license suspended until a lawsuit against the commission could be resolved.

Schultz Implements Precinct Map Feature For Iowans


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Voters can now see their county and precinct maps online for all of Iowa’s 99 counties. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz says it’s the first time precinct maps have been available for all counties. The maps can be viewed at www.sos.iowa.gov/precinctmaps .

Schultz says compiling and posting the maps is part of his effort to make useful election information easy to find. Schultz says active duty military personnel serving outside the United States can now cast a ballot via fax or email. Previously only a restricted number of soldiers serving in specifically classified areas could do so.

In addition, the Iowa SOS application for smartphones allows voters to check registration information, fill out a voter registration form, find a polling place, and request and track an absentee ballot.

Sioux City expects damage from ash killer

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A city official says Sioux City can expect up to $11 million in damage when the insect killer of ash trees reaches the northwest Iowa city. The Sioux City Journal says parks maintenance field supervisor Kelly Bach told the City Council on Monday that it’s just a matter of time before the emerald ash borer beetle is found in Sioux City. Bach says ash trees account for nearly a third of Sioux City’s trees.

State officials said last month that an emerald ash borer had been found in a residential tree in Creston. It’s the fifth location in Iowa where the beetle has been found. The Creston sighting was the first in western Iowa.

Arrest and accident in Atlantic, Tuesday


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports one person was arrested, and an accident was investigated, Tuesday. Officials say 39-year old Todd M. Andersen, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Cass County warrant for Failure to Appear at a Child Support hearing. Andersen was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

And, no citations were issued following an accident Tuesday afternoon, in the parking lot of the Atlantic Fareway Store. Officials say a vehicle driven by Daniel Schmeling, of Villisca, was traveling west in the parking lot, and had begun to turn left to head south, when she failed to see a car driven by Kathryn Bradfield, of Lewis, traveling north in the lane Schmeling was turning in to. Authorities say Schmeling’s visibility was obstructed by glare from the sun.

The vehicles collided, causing a total of $1, 500 damage.

Shelby County Recorder to retire


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Another County Recorder in western Iowa has announced her retirement. Last month, Cass County Recorder Joyce Jensen said she would be retiring at the end of the year, and now Shelby County Recorder Linda Fahn has made a similar announcement. Fahn told our sister station KNOD in Harlan, Wednesday, that she is retiring after 26 years serving as the Shelby County Recorder.

Fahn, formerly Linda Jacobsen, has worked at the Shelby County Courthouse since 1979. Under her leadership, the Recorder’s Office has been modernized from hand indexing and photocopying of legal documents to the current computer index and scanning system, as well as computer-generated DNR game licenses, registrations and titles.

Fahn has been an active member of the State Recorders’ Association for many years and served as president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary. She served on the Governor’s Golden Dome Award-winning DNR Kaizen committee which modernized snowmobile and ATV registrations. She also volunteered for many years with the St. Michael’s Church in Harlan and continues to help with her current home parish in Panama.

Fahn says after so many years at the courthouse, it was time to enjoy life. She said  “I appreciate the opportunity I was given to serve Shelby County and the wonderful support shown by voters over the years. I will miss the many friends I have made, both locally and throughout the state, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, including my two grandchildren and traveling with my husband Jay.”

Fahn will retire at the end of her term on December 31st, 2014.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

PRICE Parenting Seminar to begin Jan. 11th in Atlantic


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Mental Health/General Relief Coordinator Teresa Kanning announced during today’s (Wednesday’s) Board of Supervisor’s meeting, that four Board-sponsored PRICE Parenting/Caregiver sessions would be held in Atlantic, beginning on January 11th.

On Nov. 27th, 2013, the Board took under advisement, a request from facilitator Elizabeth Tobak, for $1,400 in funding for a continuation of her “I Care About Kids” PRICE Parenting classes. Tobak has presented the classes for several years, but none has been held for the past four-years, due to a lack of interest, but interest has recently been renewed in the classes, which teach the basics of positive parenting to new parents.  PRICE stands for Positivity, Responsibility, Influence, Consequences and Encouragement.

The seminar Tobak teaches is set to take place January 11th, 18th and 25th, and again on February 8th. Persons attending all four classes at the United Church of Christ in Atlantic, will receive a five-dollar gift card from the Atlantic Fareway store. The seminar and child care are provided at no cost, and eight credit-hours are available for Family Child Care providers as well as Child Care staff.

For more information, call Elizabeth Tobak at 712-762-3159.

Cass County Engineer discusses revenue at BOS meeting


January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s held a regularly scheduled meeting this (Wednesday) morning, at their new start time of 8:30. During his report to the Board, Engineer Charles Marker reported meetings will be held in his department this week with regard to the snow removal policy. He said the Secondary Roads Dept. foreman will discuss and review the policy, which calls for maintaining paved roads first, then the gravel roads. They’ll also discuss new regulations pertaining to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL’s) and medical cards.

Marker then presented the board with information pertaining to where the Secondary Roads Department’s revenues come from, as a precursor to budgetary discussions. Marker said his department is eligible to receive under “Rural Services,” just over three-dollars as a Mill Levy…the assessed property tax rate used by local governments and other jurisdictions to raise revenue in order to cover annual expenses. He said if they collected the amount allowed, it would generate a little more than $1.585-million dollars.

The amount he’s allowed to receive from all properties in the County (including those inside the Corporate limits), is a little more than 16.87-cents per thousand dollars valuation, which would generate $135, 125. Funds from the Local Option Sales Tax transferred to Secondary Roads remains unchanged from last year, at $150,000.

The bulk of his funding comes from the Road Use Tax Fund, which is derived from State through the collection of a gasoline tax. That amounts to $2.34-million dollars. Other funds coming from the Road Use Tax Fund amounts to nearly $292,000. Marker said it’s important for the Board and citizens of Cass County to know that the bulk of his revenue comes not from property taxes, but from the “Gas Tax.” He says the figures will be used to generate the proposed 2015 Fiscal Year budget.

Marker did not request an increase in funds from the Local Option Sales Tax  because it was his opinion that the funds could instead be used to pay for the County Geographic Information System specialist, but Supervisor Chuck Rieken said he prefers to see that money come out of tax dollars…or, the General Fund, if available…not Option Tax dollars.

8AM Newscast 01-08-2014

News, Podcasts

January 8th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local News, 1/8/14

News, Podcasts

January 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.