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Suzanne Watson named to DHS Mental Health redesign workgroup

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Central Point Coordinator for Pottawattamie County has been selected to become part of a large group of individuals who will recommend changes to Iowa’s Mental Health program. Suzanne Watson will serve on the Regional work group panel, along with Iowa Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer, and others. Palmer announced the selections Tuesday.

The purpose of the workgroups is to recommend sweeping changes in the deliver of mental health services. In a press release, Palmer said he’s gratified that Iowa’s “Most skilled and resourceful experts volunteered their service” for the groups, and that he’s confident that the result of their work will “Help to build a mental health delivery system that will meet the needs of customers and taxpayers alike.”

The groups, which are expected to convene later this month, must report their suggestions to the legislature by mid-December. Legislators, who declared their intent to redesign the current system, will in-turn, consider the recommendations when they return to the State Capital, in January.

Reopening of Interstate 29 due to flooded Missouri River still a guessing game

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

While water releases from upstream dams are being cut, the Missouri River is still badly flooded and it remains anyone’s guess when Interstate 29 will reopen in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri. Bob Younie, maintenance director for the Iowa Department of Transportation, says it’ll be a while yet before they can assess damage.

“We’re still at a point where we don’t know what we don’t know,” Younie says. “We know there’s damage but we’re also pretty confident there’s damage we haven’t found. The scope of the damage will dictate the schedule for return to service and we just don’t know that yet.”

I-29 has been closed from Rock Port, Missouri, to south of Council Bluffs for much of the summer, cutting off popular travel routes. Younie says there’s still more than a foot of water over I-29 in southwest Iowa and two bridges near Hamburg worry him.

“We’ve had water over them and now water’s flowing under them and we don’t have any idea of what damage that water is doing until the water goes down significantly,” he says. The bridges will need a careful examination, he says, with one being at mile post 1.4, the other at mile post 3.

Rick Bennett, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, says re-opening the interstate in Missouri depends on when it re-opens in Iowa.

“We’ll keep I-29 closed at Rock Port until Iowa is comfortable with opening it,” Bennett says. “It’ll be a joint decision between the two states. We don’t really have any good idea on timing.”

I-29 isn’t underwater in Missouri, but Missouri transportation officials closed the interstate at Rock Port to keep travelers from running into a watery dead end.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa www.radioiowa.com)

Cass Supervisors approve NW sewer/water loan source

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors approved a motion made during their meeting today (Wednesday) in Atlantic, that established 1st Whitney Bank and Trust in Atlantic, as the source for a loan not to exceed $555,000, for the purpose of funding the northwest Sewer & Water extension project. The board is waiting on additional information before determining the exact amount of the loan necessary, and the means for which it will be paid back.

One option under consideration, is using the Local Option Sales Tax to repay the loan over a few years. The loan will be used to plan and carry out the construction of a water and sanitary sewer project in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, located just north of Atlantic.

The board also approved a change in job classification for Secondary Roads Employee Mick Sager, of Atlantic, from Operator 1 to District Working Foreman.

Atlantic man arrested Tuesday

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police report today (Wednesday), 21-year old Tyler Lee Mills, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday. Mills was taken into custody on a warrant for Revocation of his probation. The man was booked into the Casss County Jail.

Bluffs man wanted on grain theft charges

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Council Bluffs man who has been charged with 48-counts of theft in the second degree and one count of on-going criminal conduct. In the warrant issued July 27th, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s office says 45-year old Johnie Ray Adkins allegedly stole nearly 980 bushels of corn valued at more than $6,140, from Pheasant Ridge Farms. The theft is said to have occurred on or about February 18th, 2011. The corn was recovered on March 30th from the Bartlett Grain Company, in Council Bluffs.

Adkins is also accused of accepting payment for 47 loads of grain owned by Pheasant Ridge Farms. The loads were valued at more than $1,000 and less than $10,000. A count of ongoing criminal conduct against Adkins was the result of actions he allegedly committed on or about August 27th, 2009 through February 9th 2011. Officials say he took loads of grain and accepted payment for 47 loads of grain, owned by Pheasant Ridge Farms.

An investigation by Sheriff’s officials began after the owner of Pheasant Ridge Farms was informed by a trucker with a different company, that Adkins allegedly placed a load of grain in his own name at the Bartlett Grain Company, which is where the grain was supposed to be delivered, but the payment was to be delivered to the Dan Pederson, owner of the Pheasant Ridge Farms.

When Pederson confronted Adkins about the alleged theft, Adkins admitted putting two loads of grain in his own name and selling them to Bartlett Grain. Adkins offered to pay him for the loads, but Pederson refused. Pederson believed Adkins had taken more than the two loads in question, but was unable to obtain any information to substantiate that assertion. A subsequent subpoena of records from Bartlett indicated Adkins had sold nearly 124 loads of grain in his own name to Bartlett Grain, since August, 2001. The grain was valued at more than $310,000.

In an interview with investigators this past February, Adkins admitted he was going through financial difficulties, and had stolen multiple loads of grain from Pederson and sold them to Bartlett Grain. Adkins’ whereabouts are currently unknown.

When he’s taken into custody, he will be held in jail on $65,000 bond.

8AM Newscast 08-03-2011

News, Podcasts

August 3rd, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 08-03-2011

News, Podcasts

August 3rd, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

City of Grant receives safety recognition

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The city of Grant was recently named a Best Practices Member by the Iowa Municipalities Workers’ Compensation Association (IMWCA). In order to achieve this honor, Grant has shown commitment from the entire organization to adopt and implement rigorous safety standards that not only help contain workers’ compensation costs but ultimately benefit its overall operations.

The Best Practices program was developed to recognize and reward members for meeting “best practices” in the areas of underwriting, claims and loss control.

“As a risk pool, it’s important that each member does their part to keep workers’ compensation costs affordable for all members,” said Gerald Clausen, city manager for the city of Carroll and IMWCA board member. The city of Grant is unique in the fact that the city has only two part-time employees who represent the traditional workers’ compensation exposures on which IMWCA focuses. But the city also has an active volunteer fire department, which represents one of the largest risk exposures for IMWCA since under Iowa law the volunteers are considered employees “This recognition sets Grant apart as one that goes the extra mile to support the pool in these efforts.”

Before its August 1 council meeting Grant received a monetary award to be used to further enhance safety programs as well as a plaque acknowledging this outstanding achievement.

Most of Grant’s Volunteer Fire Department was present for the presentation, as the recognition especially highlights the safety programs in place with that department.

(IMWCA Press Release)

Red Oak break-in investigation

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are investigating a reported residential break-in. Officials say someone entered the home of Ronald Lee Johnson Tuesday, and took several tools.

Among the missing items was three air-impact wrenches, a large tool box, several Craftsman wrenches, impact sockets and a pipe wrench.

Anyone with information on the burglary should is asked to contact the Red Oak Police Department at 712-623-6500.

Revote on LOST fails in Casey, passes in Stuart

News

August 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The turnout was very low for a special, Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) election held in Casey and Stuart, Tuesday. A petition to hold a re-vote in those two communities, on a renewal of the penny sales-tax, was presented to the Adair County Board of Supervisors in mid-May, following a County wide-vote held earlier that same month.

None of the 10 possible voters in Casey turned out for the election, and only 75 out 465 possible votes were cast in Stuart, where the measure passed by a vote of 55-to-20. The total voter turnout, including absentees, was just under 16-percent.

If voters in Stuart had failed to renew the tax, the city would have been out about $42,000 in annual revenue, while the City of Casey stood to lose just $650. In Casey, proceeds from the tax would have been directed toward the street repairs and improvements. In Stuart, the monies will be directed to the General Fund.

An extension of the seven-year Local Option tax will go into effect beginning January 2012, in Stuart, Adair, Bridgewater, Fontanelle, Orient, and Greenfield.