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IA DOT to hold public mtg in Atlantic over long-range transportation plan


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation today (Wednesday) announced Atlantic will be one of six sites for a public information meeting pertaining to the State’s long-range Transportation Plan. The meeting in Atlantic will be held March 15th, at the DOT’s District 4 Office (2210 E. 7th St.), from 4:30-to 6:30pm. 

During each of the six meetings scheduled for around the state, a presentation will be made at 5:15-p.m., with DOT personnel available between 4:30-6:30pm, to individually discuss the plan. Meeting rooms are accessible for persons with disabilities. To provide comments or to request special accomodations, contact the Iowa DOT’s Office of System Planning in Ames, at 515-239-1520 or e-mail Iowa.Motion@dot.iowa.gov.

The DOT will be accepting public comment on the plan through March 30th. To view information about the plan, log on to the DOT’s website at www.iowadot.gov/iowainmotion/state.html

7AM Newscast 02-15-2012

News, Podcasts

February 15th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowa News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 15 2012


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The last time China’s vice president visited Iowa, he slept in a bedroom with green shag carpeting and Star Trek character cutouts on the walls. But Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping) must have fond memories of his 1985 stay. He is scheduled to return to Muscatine today to reminisce and have tea and champagne.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque officials say a blocked line caused a sanitary sewer to overflow yesterday, sending untreated wastewater onto the ground near a manhole in an undeveloped area on the city’s south side. The line was cleared but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says residents, their children and their pets should stay clear of the area for 48 hours.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has approved the IRS’s seizure of more than $90,000 from an Iowa gun show company’s bank. Investigators say owners of Manchester-based R.K. Gun Shows deposited more than $1 million in accounts in increments below $10,000 in recent years. IRS agents say banks are required to disclose deposits and withdrawals greater than $10,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — About 260,000 Iowa families may soon see a tax cut. The Iowa Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would increase the state’s earned income tax credit and decrease taxes for families who make less than $45,000 a year. The House is expected to approve the measure.

Corning High School Students to Compete in Real World Design Challenge


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several students from the Corning Community High School in Corning, are among 30 students from across the state who will be competing in the Real World Design Challenge, in Des Moines. The competition provided students with an opportunity to apply classroom lessons to technical problems currently faced in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions. The state-level component of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is open to the public and will be held at the Science Center of Iowa on Saturday, February 18th The day-long event will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and will include presentations from the participating teams, and conclude with one team receiving the Governor’s Cup, awarded by Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC for the national finals.

Other schools sending students to the competition include: Don Bosco Catholic High School (Gilbertville); Hoover High School (Des Moines); Marshalltown High School (Marshalltown); and, West High School (Davenport). They’ll share their designs for “an efficient, low-carbon-emission and environmentally-friendly personal light sport aircraft (LSA),” as well as their 2000-word essay about what they would see and do if they were given the opportunity to fly their design across the country. The teams will be judged by a panel consisting of professors from Iowa’s Regent Universities, industry professionals and a representative from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid).

Karen Misjak, executive director of the Iowa College Aid says “The Real World Design Challenge is a great opportunity for Iowa students to apply classroom learning to complex problems facing our society.” Misiak says “Iowa is faced with a worker shortage in STEM fields. We need to encourage greater student achievement and interest in STEM careers. By having students confront problems facing our nation’s leading industries, we not only encourage academic achievement, but also show them the promise their future can hold by pursing STEM-related professions.”

High schools from across the state were encouraged to form teams of 3-7 students in grades 9 through 12 to compete in the RWDC. Schools with participating teams received $1 million in professional engineering software, training on the software, curriculum materials and access to mentors. The state-level RWDC is sponsored by GEAR UP Iowa (administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission), the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University, John Deere, NASA, Project Lead the Way, Rockwell Collins, Science Center of Iowa, Softronics, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa.

For more information on the Real World Design Challenge event in Iowa, please contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456. General information regarding the Real World Design Challenge is accessible online at http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org/. In addition, information to help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college is available on Iowa College Aid’s website, www.IowaCollegeAid.gov.

Ailment suspected in western Iowa man’s death in Omaha


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities suspect a medical problem in the death of an Iowa man whose vehicle ran off an interstate ramp. Omaha police say officers were dispatched around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a collision. They found a sport utility vehicle that had come to rest between the ramp and Interstate 80 in east Omaha. They saw no evidence of a crash. Witnesses told police the vehicle had caught fire and the driver was pulled out, unconscious. His foot had been on the accelerator but the transmission was in neutral. Police say he was taken to an Omaha hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as 60-year-old Stephen Gerharter, of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Cyber theft leaves Nishna Valley YMCA with $30k loss


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The final numbers are in on a financial loss experienced by the Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic, due to Cyber Theft. In December, YMCA Executive Director Dan Haynes announced that their computer systems had been infected by a virus that targeted their ACH financial transactions. At that time, he said the YMCA sustained losses amounting to about $54,000. According to Haynes, to date, $18,500 has been returned, and with a reimbursement from insurance the total loss amounts to about $30,000.

He said they found out about the questionable transactions after they were notified by their financial institution on November 23rd. In December, Haynes said it did not appear the virus went after their members’ personal financial information, but it’s possible some of that information, such as checking or bank account routing numbers, may have been compromised.

It was the first time the Nishna Valley Family YMCA has experienced a Cyber theft, and they are continuing to work with technology experts and local bank officials to make sure it never happens again. The FBI he says, have not yet provided the YMCA with a report into the agency’s investigation of the incident.

Cass County Extension Office to Host ServSafe Class in March


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ServSafe, the national food safety certification program for food service employees, will be held at Cass County ISU Extension and Outreach Office in Atlantic on March 12th and 19th, 2012. Participants must attend both sessions to successfully complete the training.  The cost of the course is $135 which includes 10 hours class time, a manual, and the national certification exam. 

Anyone interested in preparing and serving safe food is welcome to attend. The course is currently required by some companies such as restaurants, hospitals, schools, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but beginning in July of 2012 food safety certification will be required for all licensed food service establishments. ServSafe is one of three certification programs that will fulfill this certification requirement.  

For more information or a registration form, contact the Cass County ISU Extension and Outreach office at 712-243-1132 or your local ISU Extension and Outreach office. A registration form may also be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.  Anyone needing to take the recertification exam only may contact the office for more information. Registration is required by March 5.

2 accidents in Atlantic, Monday – No injuries


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Police Department say no injuries were reported following two separate accidents, Monday. The first occurred at around 9:20-a.m., at 2nd and Poplar Streets. The P-D says David Schwery, of Lewis, received a warning for Failure to Yield from a stop sign, after his vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by John Bengel, of Atlantic. The accident caused $2,200 damage.

The second accident happened at around 6:20-p.m., at 7th and Linn Streets. Officials say Tiffany Benavides, of Atlantic, was cited for Failure to Maintain Control, after her vehicle rear-ended one driven by Crystal Christensen, of Atlantic. Authorities say Benavides was unable to stop in-time, due to the slick road conditions. Damage from the accident amounted to $8,500.

4 Cass County residents arrested on drug charges


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports four Cass County residents were arrested on drug charges Sunday. 29-year old Justin Taylor, 28-year old Cortney McIntire, and 26-year old Aaron Rayborn, all from Lewis, along with 35-year old Thomas Williamson, of Griswold, were each charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. They were booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

Another home invasion reported in Clarinda


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Clarinda Police Department is investigating another reported home invasion incident. Police Chief Keith Brothers told KJAN News the latest incident occurred today (Tuesday), at around 2:15-a.m. at a residence in the 400 block of South 12th Street.

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers (photo from the P-D's Facebook page)

 Brothers says an occupant of the home was awakened by a loud noise, and discovered the intruder standing in the kitchen. The suspect…a white male, about 6-feet tall…forced his way into the home through a locked door. He took off on foot in an unknown direction of travel. Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect. The home was occupied by a female. A similar incident was reported to have occurred last Thursday morning in Clarinda. Officials say a 40-year-old woman was sexually assaulted during the incident, after a suspect entered through a window. Brothers says it’s not clear if the two crimes are related.

The Chief says there are some things residents can do to protect themselves and their homes from intruders. He says you should keep your doors, windows, vehicles and garage doors locked, check the quality of your locks, keep any exterior lighting on, and purchase motion sensors. Those actions will help to prevent someone from getting easy access to your home. Brothers says citizens should also report any unusual activity, especially during the wee hours of the morning. The Chief also recommends you call 9-1-1 immediately if you think there’s someone in your residence.

Anyone with information on either of the home invasion incidents should contact the Clarinda Police Department at 712-542-2194.