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Adams County Resident Sentenced to Five Years of Probation for Conversion of Mortgaged Property

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Corrects info. in Press Release to show Nodaway in Adams Co., not Page County)

A man from Adams County was sentenced last week in connection with conversion of mortgaged property. 34-year old Gary Matthew Johnston, of Nodaway, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose to five years of probation, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $113,754, for converting the proceeds from the sales of approximately 176 head of cattle that were
mortgaged by the Farm Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Johnston pled guilty on March 5th, to the charge of conversion of mortgaged
property, which was the result of an investigation by law enforcement after Johnston was involved in multiple sales of collateral at livestock auctions that were not reported to the Farm Service Agency as required.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Iowa’s congressional delegation asks EPA for hearing in Iowa on ethanol

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to hold a public hearing in Iowa over the agency’s proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, or R-F-S. It’s feared those changes could hurt the ethanol industry and Iowa is the nation’s top ethanol producer. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he hopes the E-P-A takes the request for a hearing in Iowa seriously.

“They’re going to say they’re in Kansas City but Iowa, anyplace in Iowa, is the center of ethanol production and that’s where they should be,” Grassley says. “Why they aren’t, I don’t know.” A letter is being sent to E-P-A administrator Gina McCarthy that’s signed by all six members of Iowa’s congressional delegation. Members say the decision to drop R-F-S levels set by Congress has left the biofuels industry in an uncertain situation which has slowed investment. Grassley says it’s important for the agency’s leaders to fully understand the impact of their rulemaking.

“It’s to embarrass them into understanding why avoid Iowa?,” Grassley says. “It’s going to embarrass them to come where the information is, make it easier for those that are in the middle of ethanol production and things of that nature. It’s that simple.” Iowa has 42 ethanol plants in operation, producing nearly three-point-eight billion gallons a year, about 25-percent of all ethanol produced nationwide. Iowa plants also produced 230-million gallons of biodiesel in 2013.

(Radio Iowa)

Exira-EHK Board approves quotes for new phone system and fees

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School District Board of Education zipped through several discussion and action items during their meeting, Monday evening. Superintendent Dean Schnoes said one of the issues they needed to address was a new phone system. With the current system, he says, voice mails sound like they’re using a walkie-talkie. Schnoes said also there was no big leap in the fees for next year, there was no increase in activities fees.

Both the Elementary and Middle School Principals’ contracts were approved, with those individuals assuming more responsibilities at the High School, because Principal David Johnson has been struggling with back issues that limit his ability to be at work.

The Board also set July 20th, at 7-p.m. (their next regular meeting), as the date and time for a Public Hearing on “Continued participation in the Instructional Support Program” (ISP) Levy. The levy, which comes about every 5-years, allows the District to use extra tax money to purchase tangible assets like books, paper, etc.

Rain causes work setback on Hwy 6/7th Street project in Atlantic

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The recent, heavy rainfall here in Atlantic has affected many projects, not the least of which is the Highway 6/7th Street reconstruction project. Iowa Dept. of Transportation District 4 Planning Director Scott Suhr said today (Tuesday), the rain has set back progress by about four or five days. Once the weather cooperates, crews will resume hauling dirt. On the bright side, Suhr says the Spruce and Pine street sanitary sewer portion of the project have been completed.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 6/16/2015

News, Podcasts

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 6/16/2015

News, Podcasts

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic Dog Park and other projects slowed by rain

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Progress on the Schildberg Recreation Area Dog Park and other Parks and Rec Department projects have slowed to a crawl or dead-stop in some case, due to the soggy weather. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said Monday, the fence has been ordered for the Dog Park, and crews had wanted to begin installation, but the weather prevented that from happening. Weather permitting, the fence will be installed sometime next week.

After that, will come grading for a parking lot, drainage management and installation of dog exercise equipment being built by Atlantic Eagle Scouts. Signs stating the rules and regulations of the park will also be installed. Weather permitting, the Dog Park will be open on or about July 15th.

Herring said also, the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park is complete, with the exception of a memorial bench installation. Assistant Parks Director Seth Staashelm said a handicapped accessible drinking fountain will be installed at the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside as well, as soon as some trenching can be completed – as the weather improves. The fountain will be complete with a hose bib and jug filler.

Another weather-delayed project is the East Nishnabotna River boat ramp, near the Atlantic Wastewater Treatment Plant. Herring said they have to wait for low water on the river to install the concrete slab.

Red Oak man arrested on warrant

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was taken into custody Monday evening on a warrant for Probation Violation. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 27-year old Jacob Tanner Franzen was arrested in the 100 block of W. Coolbaugh Street, at around 6:40-p.m.  Franzen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond.

Court upholds limits on overnight protests at Iowa Capitol

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — In a free speech ruling, an appeals court has upheld restrictions on the public’s ability to protest overnight on the Iowa Capitol grounds. Attorney Sally Frank said Monday the decision was a blow for free speech and assembly, pledging an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Frank represents Basil Hill, one of two dozen Occupy Iowa protesters arrested for trespassing in 2011 for staying on the Capitol grounds after an 11 p.m. closing time. To hold protests overnight, groups need advanced permission from the Department of Administrative Services.

Frank argued protesters’ free speech rights should trump the restrictions. She noted that protesters cannot get permits during the weekend, which doesn’t allow for spontaneous gatherings. The Iowa Court of Appeals last week upheld the limits, saying they were reasonable and content-neutral.

Tuition hike to hit IWCC students this falll

News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Western Community College will raise its tuition by $11 a credit hour starting with the upcoming fall semester. According to the Daily NonPareil, members of the Board of Trustees reluctantly approved the hike Monday at a meeting held at the Page/Fremont County Center. President Dan Kinney said it represented the largest tuition increase of the state’s community college system for the upcoming fiscal year, despite doing as much as possible to eliminate spending.

Iowa Western faced what board member Brent Siegrist described as the “perfect bad storm” when putting together its budget for next year. Factors contributing to the increase, according to Kinney, include, the 1.25-percent increase in State Aid from the Legislature, which was less than what Gov. Branstad recommended, and uncertainty over the number of students enrolling this fall.

The preliminary budget also estimated a 3 percent decline in enrollment and corresponding reduction in tuition collected. But Kinney said a more “reasonable and sensible” figure would be a 5 percent decline, and college officials won’t know the real situation for a few months. In addition, health insurance costs were anticipated to be “much lower” than the actual 10.3 percent increase faced by the college. Kinney said additional reductions – mostly by trimming positions – are still underway to reach the goal of only raising tuition by $11 a credit hour.

Tuition is currently set at $138 for Iowa residents and $143 for nonresidents. The hike represents about an 8 percent increase in non-fee costs to attend classes at Iowa Western.