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Auditor says budget is sound, need more information on tax abatement, credits

News

June 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the governor and legislators are doing some good things with the state budget, but says there are some challenges ahead. Mosiman released her review of the budget, Monday. “Our budget is balanced, we are doing very well in adhering to sound budgeting principles — which is essential for government entities –the deviations that we have are minimal,”according to Mosiman. “We have practically eliminated using one-time revenue sources for ongoing expenditures. The multi-year accelerated financial commitments have expired. And we are doing a better job of using the best estimates available in the budget.”

State Auditor Mary Mosiman

Mosiman had praise for the handling of the drop in revenue when the state tax collections came in below the forecast revenue. “We did react timely when it became clear that our revenues were not coming in as expected. Again, the legislature and the governor’s office showed fiscal discipline did not exceed its resources,” Mosiman says.

The state had to use 131 million dollars in cash reserves to cover the shortfall in tax revenues. Mosiman says things won’t get any easier in trying to forecast state revenue. “Gaining a better understanding of Iowa’s changing revenue environment will be one of our greatest challenges and opportunities in this coming year,” Mosiman says. She said also that “We also need to have accountability and transparency in matters that impact our revenues — such as tax credits and abatements.”

Mosiman expanded on her view of the tax credits and abatements: “What I am specifically saying with any type of credit or abatement is, the expected return needs to be known, it needs to be evaluated, it needs to be available for the decision makers. At least since I’ve been the state auditor, the three tax credit reports that we issued, that was clear in our reports that return on investment was not clearly and accurately reported,” Mosiman says.

She says it is important for the decision makers to keep up on all the factors that can impact state tax revenues, including the impact of online sales. “Just like our past performance, just like the farm economy and things like that, they have to take into account the current demographics. How are people making their purchases? Are they purchasing goods and services which are taxed — or are they purchasing services which are not necessarily taxed,” Mosiman explains.

Mosiman says the state is challenged to strive for greater predictability on the revenue side in order to be able to impact and not react to the future.

(Radio Iowa)

1 arrest in Red Oak Monday evening

News

June 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report one person was arrested Monday evening, following a traffic stop. 35-year old Brent Lee Wagaman, of Clarinda, was arrested at around 8:50-p.m., for Driving While Barred. Wagaman was brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on a $2,000 bond.

USDA report (Summary) issued 6/26/17

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

There are sections of the state that could use some rain, but overall, Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are faring well according to a weekly report from the USDA. Seventy-nine percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition, while 74 percent of soybeans are in that category, according to Monday’s report from the USDA’s Ag Statistics Services. It notes topsoil moisture levels continue to fall in southeast Iowa – with 78 percent of topsoil rated short to very short on moisture.

New Hampton, in northeast Iowa, recorded the most rain last week with 4.28 inches, while portions of west-central and southwest Iowa recorded no rain at all. Temperatures last week ranged from a high of 97 on Wednesday at Little Sioux to a low of 43 on Saturday morning in Chariton and Grinnell.

(Radio Iowa)

Palo Alto Sheriff investigating death of teenager

News

June 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Investigators in northwest Iowa are trying to piece together exactly what happened after a Graettinger teenager was found in the street unresponsive Sunday. The teen, identified as Noah M. Flaherty, of Graettinger, was transported to the Palo Alto County Hospital while resuscitation efforts were administered. Those efforts were unsuccessful and Flaherty was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Initial reports received indicate Flaherty fell from the rear of a vehicle while it was in motion. The exact circumstances and cause of death is being investigated by the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tuesday, June 27th 2017

News

June 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:50 a.m. CDT

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A 35-year-old Iowa man who shouted “arrest me” to Illinois State Police during a traffic stop has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison on a federal gun charge. A Monday statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield says Terrail Draper Lavar Dixon told a trooper to “go ahead and arrest” him after he was stopped for speeding and driving erratically. When the officer asked why, Dixon said he had guns in the car. A search of the car turned up a two loaded handguns.

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Iowa and Illinois have partnered to build a bridge across the Mississippi River that will connect the neighboring states. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner attended a groundbreaking ceremony Monday in the Iowa city of Bettendorf to discuss the future Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge. The $1.2 billion construction project is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2021. The project will replace two aging bridges and include a new pedestrian and bike path.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The son of a Nigerian farm laborer who rose out of poverty to earn graduate degrees in agricultural economics and spent his career improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers is the winner of this year’s World Food Prize. Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank, was named this year’s recipient Monday. He will receive the $250,000 prize Oct. 19 at the Iowa Capitol.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has found a Texas woman competent to stand trial in a crash death case, but he’s also granted her request for another psychiatric evaluation. The Quad-City Times reports that the judge ruled Friday that Lauria Kelly, of Alvarado, Texas, is fit for trial. The judge also approved Kelly’s lawyer’s request for her to be evaluated again to determine whether there are grounds for either a defense of insanity or diminished responsibility.

City of Atlantic Personnel & Finance Committee mtg. set for 6/27

News

June 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Personnel and Finance Committee will meet 5:30-p.m. Tuesday, at City Hall. During their session, the Committee will discuss: The possible purchase of land from the Ethel Oathoudt Revocable Trust; Local businesses paying the Transient Merchant Permit; A fee schedule for Freedom of Information Act Requests; Changing a Resolution for Awards, Recognition’s, Condolences and Health Issues, and discussion with regard to the Electronic City Council packets.

The Personnel and Finance Committee will also discuss Payroll procedures, a preference in claims reporting, receive a report and draft on Financial Policies for the City.

Harlan Police remind residents of fireworks regulations

News

June 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Harlan Police Department remind residents that while the State of Iowa allow fireworks to be purchased, the City of Harlan has adopted a policy on the USE of fireworks. They are as follows:

-No person under the age of 18 shall discharge a DOT 1.4 class firework without adult supervision.

-A person shall only discharge a firework device on real property they own or property where consent has been given.

-Fireworks shall not be discharged by persons showing visible signs of, or determined to be, intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic.

-Any person discharging fireworks assumes all responsibility for its operation, flight and the consequences thereof.

-No person shall discharge a firework in a reckless manner or manner likely to cause death, injury, fire or property damage.

No person shall discharge fireworks outside the following dates and hours:
1) July 1 through July 8 from 12:00pm (noon) until 10:00pm, except for July 4 the hours shall be from 12:00pm (noon) until 11:00pm.
2) December 29 through January 1 from 12:00pm (noon) until 10:00pm, except December 31 the hours shall be from 12:00pm (noon) until January 1 at 12:30am.

– It shall be unlawful to alter, remove or discharge components of a firework from its intended method of discharging.

-Sky lantern open flame devices are not permitted to be released within the city limits, except if tethered by a retrievable rope so long as the person discharging has control over the lantern.

-It shall be unlawful to discharge fireworks, firework devices or firework components within 200 feet of a licensed firework vendor’s location.

Harlan P-D report (6/26)

News

June 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Harlan Police Department issued their regular activities report, Monday afternoon. Authorities said on June 18th, 60-year old Cindy Jo Cassidy, of Harlan, was arrested following a call for service about a possible shop lifter. Cassidy was transported to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with Theft in the 4th degree.

And, on June 15th, 41-year old Joshua Urena, of Harlan, was cited for driving while suspended, and violation of financial liability coverage following a traffic stop near 12th Street and Industrial Ave.

Iowa and Illinois partner to build bridge across Mississippi

News

June 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Iowa and Illinois have partnered to build a bridge across the Mississippi River that will connect the neighboring states. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner attended a groundbreaking ceremony Monday in the Iowa city of Bettendorf to discuss the future Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge. The $1.2 billion construction project is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2021.

The project will replace two aging bridges and include a new pedestrian and bike path. Transportation agencies in both states will coordinate construction work. Rauner attended the event in the middle of a special legislative session he’s called in Illinois to try and force a budget deal. If lawmakers don’t reach an agreement by Saturday, Illinois will enter its third straight year without a spending plan.

Special Election to fill House District 22, Tuesday

News

June 26th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Voters in a large part of Pottawattamie County will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in a Special Election to fill an Iowa House of Representatives seat in District 22 that had been held by Greg Forristall, of Macedonia. Forristall died of cancer in May.

Four candidates are seeking the seat, including: Forristall’s widow, Carol, who is running as an Independent; Republican Jon Jacobsen; Libertarian Bryan “Jack” Holder, and Democrat Write-in Ray Stevens.

House District 22

The polls are open from 7-a.m. until 9-p.m.  For specific information on where to vote, see the Iowa Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/sh22special.html