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New Child Care Business Assistance Program Available in Western Iowa

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, IA (October 9, 2014) –The Guided Growth Business Development Cohort will provide a new opportunity for child care programs to receive comprehensive business assistance to help them grow. Through a combination of professional business advice and peer networking and learning, child care providers will receive customized budgeting and financial tools, Iowa Department of Human Services approved training, one-on-one business consulting to address their needs, and assistance in developing a road map to reach their goals.

Child care providers participating in other First Children’s Finance business development cohorts have reported many improvements to their programs such as increases in quality environments and playgrounds, higher enrollment, improvements in finances, and decreases in staff turnover.
Interested providers can get full details about eligibility and geographical requirements, and download an application at www.firstchildrensfinance.org/guidedgrowth-cohort. Applications are due October 31, 2014. For more information contact Angie Rae Duncan, Business Development Specialist with First Children’s Finance at (515) 229-5064 or angie@firstchildrensfinance.org.

First Children’s Finance, a national nonprofit organization, provides financial and business-development assistance, training and financing to child care businesses. The Guided Growth project and the Guided Growth Business Development Cohort are possible thanks to funding from Sam’s Club Giving Program along with support from Mid-Sioux Opportunity and West Central Community Action.

MidAmerican Energy Plans to Invest Additional $280 Million in Wind Generation

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MidAmerican Energy Company today announced plans to develop one new wind farm site in Adams County and expand a second site in O’Brien County in 2015 – an additional investment of up to $280 million for the nation’s leader in ownership of wind-powered generation among rate-regulated utilities.

If approved, the company’s proposed wind project would result in installation of up to 67 wind turbines. The project, scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, would add up to 162 megawatts of new wind generation capacity in Iowa.

Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy, said the new project reflects the company’s commitment to the development of renewable energy. Using wind as the fuel source to generate energy for this project helps the company reduce its fuel costs, which in turn helps stabilize electric rates for customers. Energy costs passed through to customers are projected to be reduced by approximately $93 million over 10 years.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds joined Fehrman at a news conference to announce the latest wind expansion project. “MidAmerican Energy’s commitment to wind generation garners long-lasting benefits and makes Iowa a competitive economic force not only in the United States but also in the world,” Branstad said. “Iowa has attracted major tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, because of our low energy prices and commitment to renewable energy. MidAmerican Energy’s newest wind project will help the state meet the demand for renewable energy that is attracting major companies and high-quality jobs to Iowa.”

“MidAmerican Energy’s investment in additional wind generation provides significant benefits to all citizens of Iowa,” Lieutenant Gov. Reynolds said. “Wind is now the No. 1 source of new electric generating capacity in the country, and Iowa derives a greater percentage of its electricity from wind than any other state. By taking advantage of the abundant wind resources we have here in the state, MidAmerican Energy is delivering a sustainable energy solution that will play an increasingly important role in powering Iowa’s future.”

“With this proposed expansion, beginning in 2016, MidAmerican Energy’s wind resources are expected to produce an amount of energy equivalent to approximately 50 percent of the retail energy customers are expected to need,” Fehrman said. “We’re extremely proud of how far we’ve come as a state, and as a company, since the installation of our first wind turbines a decade ago. These wind projects help stabilize rates in the long term for our customers, foster economic development in Iowa communities, and demonstrate MidAmerican Energy’s commitment to the environment.”

MidAmerican Energy is working with county officials and landowners to secure development and interconnection rights for the project sites. These sites are expected to provide more than $40 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years, along with annual landowner payments. Blades for the new turbines will be manufactured at the Siemens facility in Fort Madison. The next step in the development process is for MidAmerican Energy to file for approval of its wind expansion project with the Iowa Utilities Board. If the IUB approves the project, construction could start in the summer of 2015, with completion by the end of that year.

Coupled with projects currently underway in Grundy, Madison, O’Brien and Webster counties, MidAmerican Energy will have approximately 3,500 megawatts of wind generation capability in Iowa by year-end 2015 – enough capability to provide energy for the equivalent of approximately 1.05 million average Iowa households. With the completion of this newest project, MidAmerican Energy will have invested more than $6 billion for wind generation development in Iowa, making wind approximately 40 percent of its electric generator nameplate capacity.

(Press Release)

Iowa health insurance rate hikes not widespread

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state regulator says less than 2 percent of Iowans will be hit by state-approved health insurance rate increases. The Iowa Insurance Division said Wednesday that it had approved 2015 increases averaging 8.7 percent to 19 percent for Iowans who bought individual policies from Coventry Healthcare, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and CoOportunity Health.

The department says the increases were justified, in part by costs associated with the federal Affordable Care Act. Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart told The Des Moines Register that Iowa’s overall health insurance climate is stable, with most premium increases being relatively small.

Ernst reports raising $6 million in latest quarter

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has over $3 million in the bank going into the final stretch of the competitive campaign. Ernst announced Friday that she raised $6 million between July 1 and Sept. 30. Of that, $302,000 went to pay off debt from her primary campaign. She concluded the financial quarter with $3.2 million in cash.

Ernst is locked in a tight race against Democrat Bruce Braley. She substantially outraised him in the latest quarter. Braley’s campaign said last week he had raised $2.8 million in the same time period. Braley’s campaign declined to say how much cash he has left.

Full campaign finance reports are due to federal authorities on Oct. 15.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. Local/State News, 10/10/2014

News, Podcasts

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, 10/10/2014

News, Podcasts

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

McDermott denied Motion to Reconsider his sentence

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A District Court Judge has denied a request by an Atlantic man to have his 5-year prison sentence reconsidered. According to Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, Rex Dean McDermott filed his motion on Oct. 6th, asking Judge Jeffrey L. Larson to reconsider the sentence originally imposed on Nov. 12, 2013. The Judge on Monday entered an order denying McDermott’s request for a hearing on the Motion.

Feistner said the court’s action is not subject to appeal, and while McDermott could make one final request to the Judge to reconsider the request for another hearing on the matter, other than that, all criminal appeals have been exhausted and ruled upon by the Iowa Court of Appeals. Pending any other challenges to the matter, such as a civil petition for post-conviction relief, McDermott will remain in custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections until he is paroled.

McDermott was arrested in Oct. 2012 on a felony charge of Willful Injury and a Serious Misdemeanor charge of Domestic Abuse Assault, following an incident involving his wife that occurred at R&B Feeds. An additional felony charge of Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation was filed in Dec. 2012.

McDermott plead guilty to the latter charge in Sept., 2013, and in November of that year was sentenced to a maximum of 5-years in prison with credit for time served. McDemott appealed the sentence, but the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision. The Iowa Supreme Court also later affirmed the district court ruling.

McDermott was subsequently transported to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, and is currently being held at the Correctional Facility in Ft. Dodge.

 

2 vehicle accident in Atlantic, Thursday

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One-person was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital following a two-vehicle accident Thursday evening on Atlantic’s east side. According to dispatch reports, the accident happened at around 5-p.m. near the school bus barn on Highway 6.

Fuel was reported leaking from one of the vehicles, and the road was said to have been blocked for a time. No other details are currently available.

Red Oak woman arrested Fri. morning; teen arrested for harassement Thu. afternoon

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report two arrests. Early this (Friday) morning, 27-year old Kaleena Nicole Dawn Potts, of Red Oak, was arrested for Driving While License Suspended. Potts was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $300 bond.

And, at around 4:20-p.m. Thursday, Red Oak Police arrested 16-year old Heath Woods, of Red Oak, after officers were called to the Red Oak High School with regard to an incident of harassment. Following an investigation, Woods was taken into custody and charged with Harassment in the 3rd degree, a simple misdemeanor. He was cited into Juvenile Court and released to his parents.

Michelle Obama visits Iowa for Bruce Braley

News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Michelle Obama is headed to Des Moines to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The first lady will attend a rally this (Friday) afternoon at Drake University. The event will stress the importance of early voting in the competitive Iowa Senate race.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and officer in the Iowa National Guard from Red Oak. They are vying for the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. Republicans are hoping to win in Iowa in their drive for the six-seat gain they need to grab the Senate majority.

Obama has been stumping for Democrats in a number of tight races. She is scheduled to appear in Michigan earlier in the day today (Friday).