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Casey’s finds 30 million dollar accounting error

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience store chain announced Monday an inadvertent accounting error that caused them to miss paying more than 31-million dollars in tax during a 31-month period.
Casey’s chief financial officer, Bill Walljasper, talked about the issue during a conference call with reporters.”The error pertained to excise taxes owed since January 1st of 2012 on ethanol the company purchased separately, and then blended with gasoline. Commonly known as splash blending,” Walljasper explained. He says a tax credit for splash blending expired and was not updated in the company’s accounting process.

“This credit of 45 cents per gallon of ethanol more than offset the excise tax of 18-point-four cents per gallon,” Walljasper says. “Casey’s was correctly accounting for the excise tax on form 720, and the credit up to the point in time when the blending credit expired on December 31st, 2011.” Walljasper says the company immediately reported the failure to pay the proper taxes once it was discovered.

“The aggregate impact of the unrecorded excise taxes from period of January 1st of 2012 through July 31st of 2014 — including accrued interest — is approximately 31-point-five million. During over that period, the impact on Casey’s fully diluted share is approximately four-and-a-half cents in each of the affected quarters,” Walljasper says.

Casey’s has paid the I-R-S paid 30-point-four-million dollars in taxes due, along with one-point-one million dollars in interest to resolve the issue. Casey’s Chairman and C-E-O Robert Myers, says the company is modifying its information technology system to be sure something like this does not happen again. “The company does not believe that there has been a default of the note promise agreements relating to our outstanding senior notes. Additionally, our long-term growth plans remain intact,” Myers says. “Moreover, this does not impact our financial goals. As such, we remain committed to achieving our 2015 goals, including the margin on our fuel gallons sold.”

The fiscal year goals for Casey’s include increasing same-store fuel gallons sold by one percent with an average margin of 15point-three cents per gallon; increasing same-store grocery & other merchandise sales by five-point-three percent, with an average margin of 32-point-one percent; increasing same-store prepared food & fountain sales nine-point-five percent with an average margin of 60-percent, and building or acquiring 72 to 108 stores and replacing 25 existing locations.

“We want to emphasize that Casey’s business remains fundamentally strong as evidenced by our October same store sales numbers,” according to Myers. Casey’s operates roughly 18-hundred stores, with three of them here in Atlantic.

(Radio Iowa)

Congressman King says Hagel forced out

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned after serving as the Pentagon chief since early 2013 when he succeeded Leon Panetta. Hagel is a former Republican U-S Senator from Nebraska. Iowa Republican Congressman, Steve King, says Hagel and the president appear to have been at odds over handling military policy in the middle east. “Chuck Hagel might have spoken out a little too boldly about what we needed to do beef up our forces against ISIS. And it doesn’t fit very well with the president’s no boots on the ground promise,”King says. “And it doesn’t fit so well with the deconstruction of the U-S military, the weakening of the military that the president has pushed so hard for.”

King says it looks like there is a significant disagreement at the root of Hagel’s resignation. Hagel was the third person to serve as President Obama’s defense secretary following Robert Gates and Panetta. King says there has been a pattern of politics in defense briefings since President Obama took office, going back to some staffers who were holdovers from the Bush administration.

“They would be sitting there briefing us and it changed dramatically one president to the next. Same faces of the briefers, it became political responses instead of tactical and factual classified briefing. And that is very troubling if you are going to push your military into a political operation,” according to King. Hagel has agreed to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate. King made his comments during an appearance on K-S-C-J radio in Sioux City.

(Radio Iowa)

Controversial corn crib-turned-gazebo is filled with food

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A corn crib that’s caused some controversy in the western Iowa town of Carroll is being put to good use. The corn crib was being used by a couple in town as a backyard gazebo. Several neighbors have complained about the wire and metal structure, calling it an eyesore. Monday evening, Carroll residents were being challenged to fill the corn crib with canned food to be donated to the local Food Bank. Summer Parrott helped organize the food donation drive.

“Carroll is community where we help our neighbors and I really just wanted to bring everything together so we could focus on something positive during the holiday season,” Parrott said. A Girl Scout group that Parrott teaches will help collect the donations. Parrott said she was bothered by the negativity that seemed to be swirling around the community over the gazebo issue. “When I first read the news story about what was going on with the gazebo, I just immediately thought this is such a first world issue,” Parrott said. “There are so many bigger things to be worried about within the community, let alone the world, that we don’t need to keep perpetuating all of the negativity going back and forth.”

Parrott said the owners of the corn crib/gazebo, Jeff and Cindy Heuton, were quick to agree to the food drive idea when she approached them about the idea of filling the structure with canned goods.

(Radio Iowa)

Small wastewater spill reported Monday, in Denison

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say the Smithfield Farmland plant in Denison reported a small spill Monday, at around 1:15-p.m. About 50 gallons of process wastewater from the plan flowed into a storm drain, which empties into the Boyer River after a small fire in the electrical room at 11
a.m. Plant operators shut down the power and pumps to prevent further potential damage.

The power outage caused the spillage of untreated wastewater. The DNR says it will follow up with the facility.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 25th 2014

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has pardoned two turkeys as part of a Thanksgiving tradition. Branstad read an official proclamation for the pardon of the birds, named Cranberry and Cinnamon, at Terrace Hill. Officials say the turkeys, from a farm near Ellsworth, will now live at Living History Farms in Urbandale instead of possibly becoming cold cuts.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Boy Scout troop has restored a barn-like structure used for many years as a nativity scene in Webster City. The structure was built as part of an Eagle Scout project by Brandon Hayes in 1989. Local organizations contributed to the 25-year-old project, which cost about $800.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Even as costs decline, many Iowa residents are having trouble paying their heating bills. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says Midwest consumers could see their bills decrease up to 38 percent depending on the fuel used to heat their homes. But many Iowa residents are still struggling based on notices provided to the state’s utilities board through Nov. 1. About 16,000 homes across the state didn’t have heat when cold temperatures hit the state last week.

CHURDAN, Iowa (AP) — A bottled water advisory has been issued for the city of Churdan in Greene County. The state Department of Natural Resources says the advisory was issued due to a loss of water pressure from a leaky valve. The city lost pressure for about a half hour. Officials say there is a high level of nitrites in the water supply. Boiling could be unsafe because it concentrates the nitrites in the water. Bottled water should be used for drinking, tooth washing, food preparation and other similar uses.

Anita man arrested on eluding & other charges

News

November 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man was arrested Friday on eluding, and other charges. The Sheriff’s Department reports 21-year old Zachariah Vincel Flathers, of Anita, faces Eluding, Public Intoxication, and Interference with Official Acts, charges. Flathers was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $1,000 bond.

And on Sunday, deputies in Cass County arrested 33-year old Jacob Allen Cochran, of Red Oak, on charges of Driving While Barred, two charges of Driving While Revoked, and three charges of Driving Under Suspension. Cochran was taken to the Cass County Jail. He was later served with a Sheriff’s Office warrant for Eluding, Driving While Barred, two charges of Driving While Revoked, and two charges of Driving Under Suspension. Cochran remains held at the Cass County Jail on $9,000 bond.

Iowa man pleads not guilty in wife’s abuse

News

November 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa man accused of sexually abusing his wife and forcing her to terminate pregnancies has pleaded not guilty to charges. The Sioux City Journal reports the 54-year-old man entered the written plea Monday in Buena Vista County District Court. He is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, five counts of forced consent to termination of human pregnancy, two counts of assault while participating in a felony and one count of tampering with a witness.

The Associated Press is not naming the man to protect the woman’s privacy. Police say the man forced his wife between October 2012 and April 2014 to take pills that resulted in the termination of two pregnancies. The woman told police her husband threatened her with a machete during sexual assaults.

Atlantic man arrested on a warrant

News

November 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Dept. reports the arrest on Friday of Aaron Macias, of Atlantic. The 27-year old was taken into custody on a Cass County warrant for Failure to Appear for his arraignment. Macias was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Winter storms are rolling in to start off Thanksgiving week, perhaps messing with travel plans

News, Weather

November 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Many thousands of Iowans will be on the road this week and their Thanksgiving holiday travels could be hampered by wintery weather. Forecasters say up to three inches of snow is likely this (Monday) afternoon into tonight for a wide section of eastern Iowa, while more snow is predicted for much of the state tomorrow (Tuesday) night into Wednesday. Rose White, at Triple-A-Iowa, says travelers will have plenty of company.Thanksgiving-Travel-Forecast

“Forty-six-point-three million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend which is the highest volume for the holiday since 2007,” White says. “It shows a 4.2%increase over last year.” Gasoline prices in Iowa have dropped to the lowest levels in many months, falling more than 30-cents a gallon from last Thanksgiving, while the cost to fly has risen slightly.

“Airfare prices are only up about 1%, fuel prices are down substantially,” White says, “but we are expecting hotel prices to be up about 8% and if you’re renting a car, prices are up about 10% more.” Some people prefer to rent a car for long trips so they don’t put the miles on their personal vehicles, but White notes it’s getting pricey.

“Ten percent is significant so you just need to budget more for car rental expenses,” White says. “Keep in mind though, you’ll incur the savings when you fill up that vehicle.” Regular unleaded gasoline is averaging two-81 a gallon in Iowa, the same as the national average. The Iowa price is down 32 cents a gallon from a year ago. White says travelers are expected to spend an average of $573 over the course of their Thanksgiving holiday travels.

(Radio Iowa)

Audubon man arrested on drug charges Sunday

News

November 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An investigation and the execution of search warrants at two homes in Audubon have resulted in a local man being arrested on drug charges. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports 39-year old Michael Larry Nielsen, of Audubon, was arrested at around 10-a.m. Sunday, on charges that include Possession of Methamphetamine, 2 counts of Possession of Meth with the Intent to Deliver, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Nielsen was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $10,000 bond.

He was arrested after authorities executed search warrants at 307 Tracy Street and 403 1st Avenue, in Audubon. The incident remains under investigation.