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Lawmaker: Iowa bill would pay for child burials


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – A Cedar Falls lawmaker is pushing for legislation that would help low-income families pay for child burials.  The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Democratic Rep. Bob Kressig’s bill would give qualifying individuals up to $2,000 for funeral expenses after the death of a child. The measure has been assigned to an appropriations subcommittee.

Kressig says the legislation was inspired by Sing Me to Heaven, a nonprofit group in northeast Iowa that raises money to help pay for such funerals. Group organizers say the cost of a funeral can range from $2,000 to $10,000 or more.

The bill would provide $100,000 to be administered through the state Department of Public Health. The amount is not expected to be used up within a year, and the funds would not necessarily be recurring.

Northey to visit Atlantic & other SW IA cities next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page, Sac, Carroll, Audubon and Cass Counties from Monday, March 10th through Wednesday, March 12th.

On Monday Northey will present the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award in Oakland, visit Mulholland Grocery in Malvern, tour Green Plains Renewable Energy in Shenandoah and then speak to an Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting in Shenandoah.  On Tuesday Northey will speak at a cover crop meeting in Sac City, tour a feedlot in Carroll and then visit the John James Audubon Cultural Center in Audubon.  On Wednesday he will attend of the Triumph of Ag Expo in Omaha, Nebraska and then speak at a cover crop event in Atlantic.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.

Details of his trip are as follows…..

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pottawattamie County – 11:30 a.m., present the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr. Van Zee Rd., Oakland

Mills County – 2:45 p.m., visit Mulholland Grocery, 409 Main St., Malvern

Fremont County – 4:30 p.m., tour Green Plains Renewable Energy, 4124 Airport Rd., Shenandoah

Page County – 7:00 p.m., speak to Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting, the Elks Lodge, 701 S. Fremont St., Shenandoah

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sac County – 11:00 a.m., speak to cover crop meeting, First Presbyterian Church, 812 Audubon St., Sac City

Carroll County – 1:00 p.m., tour a cattle feedlot.  (This is a private tour, but would be available for interviews beforehand or afterwards)

Audubon County – 2:30 p.m., visit John James Audubon Cultural Center, 401 N. Park Place, Audubon

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Omaha, Nebraska – Noon, attend Triumph of Ag Expo opening lunch, CenturyLink Center, 455 North 10th St., Omaha, NE

Cass County – 2:30 p.m., speak to cover crop meeting, Cass County Community Center, 805 W. 10th St., Atlantic.

Adair County Supervisors approve road name change & FY 2015 Budget


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County have approved a name change for a road that stretches from the Cass-Adair County-line northeast, to Adair. Auditor Mindy Schaefer told KJAN News the change is effective immediately, and will become official as soon as the new signs are put in place. The road, currently referred to as the Anita-Adair Road (or Highway G-30) will be called White Pole Road, just as it is in Cass County.

Schaefer said also, the Board approved the Fiscal Year 2015 County Budget, which will she will certify and be sent on to the State prior to March 17th. The budget amounted to $14.7-million, which was primarily due bridge repairs and road projects. Schaefer said the Supervisors approved the sale of $5.83-million in bonds to help pay for those projects.

The interest rate on the winning bid was 1.51-percent, which was “amazing for a nearly 6-million dollar bond.” The bonds were sold to D-A Davidson & Company brokers, out of Denver, CO. She said all the bidding was done on-line and the bids came in from all over the Country.

The majority of the nearly 6-millions dollars (about $5-million) will be used for the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) bond, with the rest for a GIS (Geographic Information System) and a new Secondary Roads Department Administrative building.

8AM Newscast 03-06-2014

News, Podcasts

March 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Atlantic saves more than $209k through street project change orders


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic will save more than $209-thousand through the use of a change order with Precision Concrete Services (PCS) of Atlantic, for 2014 Street Improvement Projects (SIP). City Administrator Doug Harris reported the good news to the City Council during their meeting, Wednesday evening. Harris said the original cost estimate for the various reconstruction, Mill, Patch and Overlay projects was $755-thousand. He said since so many other projects have been completed, which saved 20-percent. The change order amounts to $545,857, which is a savings of $209, 143.   

Because the City saved money through a change order, it will be able to have work done on all of 17th Street from the west side of Redwood Drive all the way to the track and soccer field, instead of just from Redwood to an east dead end. But because the added portion of 17th Street was not included in the PCS contract, it will need to go through the design process with construction to begin at a later date.

In other business, the Council tabled action on a Resolution accepting Public Improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Doug Harris said he spoke with a representative of Hawkins Construction, which has agreed to pay the City for costs associated with problems caused by the improper compaction of fill materials below the new plant’s blower building.

Hawkins has agreed to pay the City $32,000, in exchange for the City not assessing Hawkins liquidated damages for the project, which was supposed to have been completed last November. Harris said the improvements were completed and officials are satisfied. The Council will act on approving the final payment for the project at it’s meeting on March 12th.

7AM Newscast 03-06-2014

News, Podcasts

March 6th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Atlantic City Administrator says no more warnings for snow removal


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With temperatures expected to be near 60 during the coming week and most of the snow on the ground already melted, Atlantic residents might not be too concerned about shoveling snow from their sidewalks in a timely fashion, but with Mother Nature being unpredictable, there is still a chance we could see measurable snowfall. Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris warned Wednesday, that his assistant, John Lund, will no longer send out warning notices to residents who have not shoveled their walks within 72-hours of the end of a snow storm.

Harris said in the past, the property owner would be notified by Certified Mail that they are in violation of a City Ordinance requiring snow to be removed from sidewalks. Now, if the job is not done within 72-hours, City crews will remove the snow and the property owner will be billed for the cost of labor and equipment. If the bill is not paid, it is assessed to their property and therefore the property owners’ taxes.

They especially want to focus on the sidewalks around the schools in Atlantic. This Spring and Summer, the focus will shift to tall grass on residential lawns. Harris said the City will still send out notices if the grass or weeds are more than 12-inches high, but the City could consider lowering that to 8-inches, taking into account the time it takes crews to mow violators’ lawns if the notice is not obeyed.

In other business, Harris told the Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, that his office has received requests and inquiries regarding private sewer lines. He says there currently is no policy pertaining to private ownership of sewer lines, but it is something he and Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Mark Farrier have looked at and created a draft proposal the Council can review and possibly forward recommendations to the Community Development Committee.

There are several sporadic private lines already around town, including one near the old Cherry Corner building off of east 7th Street.

2 people arrested after a disturbance in Villisca Wed. night


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested following a disturbance Wednesday night, in Villisca. Authorities say deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were called to 104 W. 6th Street at around 10:10-p.m., and upon arrival located several subjects in the intersection of 1st Avenue and 6th Street. As the result of an investigation, 24-year old Michael D. Jones, of Shenandoah, and 35-year old Jamie R. Straw, of Villisca, were arrested for Disorderly Conduct.

Straw was also charged with Criminal Mischief and Simple Assault. Officials say additional persons involved in the incident fled the scene and additional charges may be possible.

2 vehicle accident in Red Oak, Wednesday


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say no injuries were reported after two cars collided Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of North 3rd and East Corning Streets. Officials say at around 12:40-p.m.,  17-year old Shelby Musland, of Red Oak, was driving a 2003 Mini Cooper  south on N. 3rd Street and had stopped at the intersection. With a school bus blocking a clear view of the road, the teen pulled away from the stop sign and was struck by an eastbound 2011 Ford Fusion, driven by 48-year old Jamie Thompson, of Red Oak.

The accident caused $3,600 damage altogether. Musland was issued a written warning for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

Updating strip search policy for city, county jails


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has voted to update state policy governing strip searches of both inmates and visitors to city and county jails. Representative Stan Gustafson, a Republican from Cumming, says contraband is becoming commonplace. “In recent months Iowa sheriffs’ offices being confiscated everything from weapons to illegal substances being carried into the jail,” he says. “Recently in Linn County, a woman carried in a knife.”

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all jail inmates, regardless of the charges they may face, can be strip searched when they’re booked. The bill that passed the House would give Iowa jailers authority to conduct a strip search if there is “reasonable suspicion” the person being booked into jail, or coming into the jail as a visitor, is concealing a weapon or contraband like drugs.

“Safety concerns are at the heart of this bill,” Gustafson says. “…It is the sheriff’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment and House File 2174 assists in that duty.” Gustafson cites a recent incident in Oklahoma. A man booked into a jail on minor charges had a loaded gun and bragged about it to other prisoners. Authorities didn’t know about the gun for 16 hours because the inmate wasn’t strip searched before he was put in a cell.

Last March Woodbury County paid 385-thousand dollars to settle three lawsuits filed by women who had been strip searched at the county jail. Federal lawsuits filed by two other women who say they were subjected to excessive force during searches at the Woodbury County Jail are still pending.

(Radio Iowa)