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Retail specialist talks about early sales and why they are happening

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Some are criticizing the decision of retailers who have decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day instead of waiting for Friday to kick off holiday shopping. Iowa State University retail and small business specialist, Ron Prescott, says one of the reasons stores are making the move is because they think it will get them sales. “The whole things is actually consumer driven. People are interested in shopping earlier,” Prescott says. “Now that may come from the recession, where people are interest in spreading out their paychecks over a longer period of time.”

While consumers want to shop earlier, Prescott says they may not go along if things continue moving up on the calendar.  “I think there is going to be a point where people say ‘enough is enough’ and we’re encroaching on our holiday season a little bit too much,” Prescott says.

But for this year anyway, opening on Thanksgiving isn’t the limit. “Up to this point, it doesn’t seem like that’s the trend, at least in 2013,” Prescott says. While some retailers are trying to get the jump on holiday shopping, Prescott says overall he’s seen something else that he views as good for the economy. “Employment is up for retailers this holiday season — you know everybody is concerned about unemployment. And it’s just not temporary,” Prescott says.

He says many retailers are hiring full-time employees, and that means they have a positive view of the economy and for business beyond the holidays.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass & Adair County Supervisors to meet Wed. morning

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors is set to meet Wednesday, in Atlantic. During their 9-a.m. session, the Board expects to hear a funding request from Elizabeth Tobak, with “I Care About Kids,” with regard to the programs’ parenting classes.

The Board will also act on the abatement of taxes on properties owned by the City of Atlantic, and move to allow or disallow military exemptions and homestead credit applications for taxes collectible during the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year. And, they’re set to approve Sub-recipient agreements for two federally funded projects: Longview Homes 10-unit apartments and the Longview Homes construction project. In addition, Weed Commissioner Larry Randel will present his annual Weed Control report.

In Greenfield, the Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet at 9-a.m. in the Adair County Boardroom at the Courthouse. During their meeting the Board will hear from County Engineer Nick Kauffman, with regard to the awarding of a bridge contract. Kauffman will also discuss the LEP Policy and Approval of a service contract, the snow removal ordinance, and other matters.

And, at around 9:30-a.m., Auditor Mindy Schaefer will discuss a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Debt Resolution, TIF certification, and a Geographic Informations System (GIS) Workshop agreement.

Photo contest generates images to highlight aviation in Iowa

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

As the holiday season approaches, the focus on aviation often turns to people flying home for the holidays and last minute gifts arriving via air cargo. In addition to those activities, there are many uses of aviation throughout the year that support Iowa’s economy and move people and goods to and from the state. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation has captured some of those activities by holding a statewide aviation photography contest highlighting aviation activity in Iowa.

General Aviation - First Place | Todd Dalsing (Photo from IA Aviation contest )

General Aviation – First Place | Todd Dalsing (Photo from IA Aviation contest )

Winning submissions for the 2013 Iowa Aviation Photography Contest are posted at http://www.iowadot.gov/aviation/photocontest/photogallery.html and the photos can be downloaded directly from the Flickr website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowadot/sets/72157637806812583/.

8AM Newscast 11-26-2013

News, Podcasts

November 26th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Every school district in Iowa getting state grant to begin planning for teacher improvement projects

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Every public school district in the state of Iowa has applied for and received a state grant to begin planning for teacher improvement projects. The education reform package that became law this summer also sets aside bonus money for talented teachers who’ll be mentors to other educators, but Department of Education director Brad Buck says January 31st is the deadline for applying for that money.  “I think this is one of those concepts in Iowa that makes sense and I think people are ready to engage in the work,” Buck says. “I think we’ll get, actually, more requests for spots than we have spots in the first round.”

There are 346 school districts in Iowa, but the education reform plan is phased in over three years, so only a third of the districts will get the extra money for teachers on contract for the 2014/2015 school year. Another third of schools will get the money the following year and in year three the rest will get it. Buck says some superintendents have told him they want to wait until that second year — to see what lessons can be learned from the teacher improvement plans of other districts.  “They’re not quite yet sure how that would look in a 650-student district, so they’re waiting to see some other 650-student districts do this, talk about their model and then talk about applying that to their local district,” Buck says.

Other administrators tell Buck they want another year to plan to hire substitutes or replacement teachers for the teachers who’ll leave their own classroom to coach other teachers. Under the new education reform law, all public school districts in Iowa would have a new teacher leadership and compensation system in place by the 2016-17 school year. In the current academic year, each Iowa school district will get at least five-thousand dollars to start meetings among teachers, parents and the community to discuss teacher leadership options.

(Radio Iowa)

A reminder: ISP is increasing patrols this week

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday will have many families traveling various distances to visit relatives. The Iowa State Patrol would like to remind all motorists the long, four day holiday weekend will increase traffic on all Iowa’s roadways. The increase in traffic can translate into more collisions and traffic delays. 

Last year during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, nine individuals lost their lives on Iowa roadways. Six of these nine were not wearing their seatbelts. That is why the Iowa State Patrol is reminding all drivers and passengers to buckle up as they travel this holiday weekend. Officials say wearing your seatbelt can increase your chance of survival in a crash by 50 percent.

The Iowa State Patrol encourages all Iowans to remember as they travel this holiday weekend to buckle up, obey the speed limit, avoid distractions, and to get a designated driver if you are impaired.   If all motorists abide by these rules, we can avoid fatal crashes on our roadways this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

The Iowa State Patrol hopes you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

Iowa sold record $256M in liquor last fiscal year

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state of Iowa sold a record $256 million in liquor last fiscal year, led by a trend toward flavored liquors. The state’s wholesale liquor operation saw a 5.6 percent increase in sales during the year ending June 30.

Retailers and restaurateurs say the sales have been pushed by new flavors. Brian Duax, of Central City Liquors in Des Moines, told The Des Moines Register that “younger customers want something different.”  The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says that, on average, an Iowa adult age 21 or older consumed 2.27 gallons of spirits, 2.03 gallons of wine and 33.56 gallons of beer last fiscal year.

(podcast) 7:06-a.m. News: Tue., 11/26/13

News, Podcasts

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Local and area news with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

Play

HCSD Board approves design of new Merrill Field sports complex

News, Sports

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District has approved a contract to develop and design the new Merrill Field. During their meeting Monday, the board of education agreed to a contract with FEH Associates out of Sioux City. The Harlan Community Education Foundation gifted the school district $600,000 during the board meeting. The Foundation has collected $950,000 in the bank for the $1.5 million project. However, the rest of the money has been donated but not collected. Superintendent Justin Wagner said the rest of the donations are guaranteed by a local bank. “The Education Foundation has taken out a loan, which it can do, with Farmer’s Trust and Savings and what it does is the bank guarantees the additional pledges that are still hanging out there.”

The $600,000 was given at the moment because that’s what the school can liquidate and that money will be set inside the school’s coffers and accounts in the next 7 to 10 days. Now that the money is close at hand, the board approved the contract with the designer FEH to get the drawings and specifications completed for the project. Wagner and other school officials met with the designer earlier on Monday to discuss the contract before presenting it to the board.

The contract states FEH Associates will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project, field verification as well as construction documents such as demolition around the bleacher areas, bleacher replacement and new fencing around the track. EDA Inc, Sundquist Engineering and Midwest Tennis and Track are also named as contractors for the Merrill Field renovation project. Each entity is in charge of certain aspects such as the field lighting, new drainage system and the entire track and field area. The Harlan Community School district will be responsible for the scoreboard installation, new ticket booth and coordinate site drainage issues with the City of Harlan.

Wagner told the board the designer fee is normally around 5 percent of the whole project and the contract states FEH Associates fee will not exceed $100,000. He said the actual design plans and specs will come at the December 20th school board meeting. The final say on the design will ultimately be approved by the school district but Wagner said the education foundation hopes to give a recommendation to the board.

Wagner says in the next 60 days or so the school board should see the plans and design, determine the cost and move forward with bids. The school district plans to begin the project on March 1st, 2014.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Villisca man arrested Tuesday morning in Clarinda

News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest early this (Tuesday) morning, of  a Villisca man. Charles A. Mace, Jr., was taken into custody at around 12:45-a.m. on a warrant charging him with Providing False Identification Information. Mace, Jr.  was located by authorities in Clarinda and transported to the Montgomery/Page County line, where he was turned over to Montgomery County authorities.

He was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $300 bond.