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Survey indicates hiring in Iowa likely to slow down through end of the year

News

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new survey shows fewer Iowa businesses are planning to boost employment levels compared to three months ago. Karen Miller, a spokesperson for Manpower, says their latest Employment Outlook Survey indicates hiring should slow down between October and December. “We’re still looking at solid numbers though,” Miller says. “We’ve got 67-percent of employers looking to maintain their staffing levels and 21-percent looking to increase their staffing levels.”

Another 10-percent of the Iowa companies surveyed plan to trim their workforces over the next three months. That places the fourth-quarter Manpower Net Employment Outlook for Iowa at 11-percent. That compares to a 10-percent net outlook one year ago. “What’s unusual is the fourth quarter hiring outlook is really (down) compared to the third quarter, when we had a net outlook of 21-percent,” Miller says. Employer confidence has clearly taken a hit in recent months, according to Miller.

“At this point right now, I think it’s just kind of indicator as to what’s happening in the economy and understanding what might be happening with health care. We see a lot of employers being a bit more conservative in their approach and in their staffing plans,” Miller says. Nationally, 18-percent of the companies surveyed plan to add more workers in the fourth quarter, 8-percent expect to let staff go, and 72-percent plan to maintain current staffing levels.

The Manpower report claims the “best states for jobs” include Nebraska, Maryland, Idaho, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Sept. 10th 2013

News

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowans statewide can get some help understanding the state’s new health insurance exchange. The Iowa Insurance Division says the federal government has approved an awareness campaign aimed at helping residents better understand the health insurance marketplace that is part of the federal overhaul. The division will help lead town hall presentations about the marketplace beginning this month. Open enrollment for the federal marketplace begins Oct. 1.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids’ science museum has a new, permanent home after several years of a temporary setup following the 2008 flood. The Science Center that has for years been inside Lindale Mall will be closed for several days this week so staff can move equipment into a building on Council Street. The space once housed a grocery store and later office space for military contractor Rockwell Collins. Museum organizers hope to reopen sometime next week.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack says the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved nearly $420,000 to pay for a fence around the Ottumwa Regional Airport. Loebsack says the money will pay for a 26,000-foot wildlife perimeter fence that will prevent unauthorized entry onto the airport grounds in southeast Iowa. Ensuring wildlife are kept out of the airport should improve safety for planes landing and taking off.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A mobile home fire in Waterloo has killed two people. Capt. Ryan Mahood of the Waterloo Fire Rescue says the fire on the city’s south side was reported Monday afternoon. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that at least one neighbor tried to rescue one of the victims, but the flames and heat were too intense.

Hot and dry conditions continue today (Tue., 9/10/13)

News, Weather

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

404 AM CDT TUE SEP 10 2013

AREA COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR & RINGGOLD….

…HOT CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST ACROSS PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY…

A WEAK FRONTAL BOUNDARY WILL ENTER NORTHERN IOWA TODAY. THE BOUNDARY WILL BRING RELIEF FROM THE HEAT IN THAT REGION…HOWEVER SOUTH OF THE SYSTEM THE HOT CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST ACROSS CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY. EXPECT TEMPERATURES WELL INTO THE 90S ONCE AGAIN BY THIS AFTERNOON.

THE CUMULATIVE AFFECTS DUE TO THE PROLONGED PERIOD OF HEAT CAN IMPACT INDIVIDUALS…ESPECIALLY THOSE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING. THEREFORE…CHECKUP ON RELATIVES…NEIGHBORS AND PETS. THE HEAT WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LOW HUMIDITY WHICH WILL ACCELERATE THE DEHYDRATION PROCESS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ANYONE WHO MUST BE OUTDOORS DRINK PLENTY OF WATER…TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS AND WEAR LIGHT COLORED AND LOOSE CLOTHING. OUTSIDE EXERCISE SHOULD TAKE PLACE DURING THE EARLY MORNING OR EVENING HOURS WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE COOLER.

WEDNESDAY WILL BE COOLER WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES GENERALLY IN THE 80S WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NEAR THE MISSOURI BORDER WHERE LOWER 90S ARE STILL FORECAST.

IN ADDITION…AN ELEVATED FIRE DANGER REMAINS TODAY. THE COMBINATION OF ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS…LOW HUMIDITY AND SOUTHWEST WINDS AT 15 TO 25 MPH COULD LEAD TO RAPID FIRE GROWTH SHOULD A FIRE BE IGNITED.

Burglary and vehicle theft investigations in Montgomery County

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County are investigating incidents of burglary and theft in Stanton. The Sheriff’s Department said Monday, that deputies investigated a burglary and the theft of a vehicle that day from the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, of Stanton. The investigation determined someone entered the building located in the 400 block of Broad Avenue, through a walk door. Once inside, they took tools and a computer from a vehicle and left the building with a grey 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 van, which was later recovered south of Stanton, on 240th Street. The loss was estimated at $10,300.

Deputies also investigated the theft of a vehicle on Monday, from the Bates Garage at 305 Concord Avenue, in Stanton. Someone took a red 1994 Ford Ranger pickup belonging to Kenneth Blair, of Council Bluffs. The vehicle was driven north of Stanton, where it was crashed into a utility pole on Harvard Avenue, and driven an extra one-half mile before being abandoned on 220th Street. The pickup sustained $2,000 damage, while damage to the utility pole was estimated at $1,100.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Iowa crops continue decline with little rain

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Another week of higher than normal temperatures and the driest week since mid-January combined to further damage corn and soybean crops in Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 35 percent of corn and 33 percent of soybeans are now in good or excellent condition both down from more than half rated in those categories just a month ago.

A higher percentage of both crops moved into the poor or very poor category with 28 percent of corn in the worst shape up three percentage points in a week and 30 percent of soybeans a six percentage point increase. Statewide average precipitation for the past week was only four-hundredths of an inch. Normal is seven-eighths of an inch.

Temperatures for the week averaged 4.3 degrees above normal.

Des Moines seeks to avoid sledding crash lawsuits

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines City Council will consider posting signs in parks and public golf courses that warn people of potential hazards. The Des Moines Register reports the signs would be intended to protect the city against potential lawsuits from people who could be injured while sledding, ice skating or cross-country skiing on public land. Other cities, including Sioux City and Omaha, have faced multi-million-dollar lawsuits after people suffered severe injuries in sledding accidents.

The Des Moines council will consider an ordinance Monday night that doesn’t ban such winter activities but calls for signs that state the city doesn’t take responsibility for accidents. Such a policy would be similar to action taken in Omaha.

Atlantic men arrested on drug and other charges over the weekend

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports three men were arrested over the weekend. On Friday, 19-year old Adlia Flood, of Atlantic, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana. And, on Sunday, 34-year old Kevin Jensen, of Atlantic, was arrested on Cass County warrants charging him with 2 counts of Possession of Firearms by a felon, and 3 counts of Pharmacy-Prohibited Acts. Both men were booked into the Cass County Jail.

And, 28-year old Christopher Parks, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI/1st offense. Parks was booked into the Cass County Jail and later released, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

(12-p.m. News)

2 injured in Guthrie County crash, Monday morning

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were flown by helicopter to hospitals in Des Moines following a crash this (Monday) morning, in Guthrie County. The Iowa State Patrol says the drivers of two pickups, 57-year old Kurt Schoon, of Scranton, and 32-year old Derek Woltman, of Cherokee, were injured when their vehicles collided on Highway 141 at around 7:30-a.m.

The accident happened when a westbound 1999 Ford Ranger pickup driven by Schoon, for reasons unknown, crossed the centerline of Highway 141 and struck Woltman’s eastbound 1996 Ford F-150 head on. Following the crash, Woltman’s Ford came to rest in the ditch, while the Ranger remained on the highway.

Schoon was flown by Life Flight to Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, while Woltman was flown by Mercy 1 to Mercy Hospital, in Des Moines. The accident remains under investigation.

School Elections to be held Tuesday

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide who will serve on area boards of education and other matters. The polls open at Noon and close at 8-p.m., Tuesday. In Cass County, persons desiring to vote, but who are unable to go to their polling center on election day, may cast a vote early at the Cass County Auditor’s Office at the courthouse, in Atlantic. Voting hours are 8-a.m. to 5-p.m. today (Monday), and 8-a.m. to 11-a.m. Tuesday.

Auditor Dale Sunderman reports there are very few contested races in Cass County. One of the races is for an At Large seat on the Atlantic School Board, where incumbents Kristy Pellet and Josh McLaren as well as challenger Bob Reilly, are vying for two open seats on the board.

In the Griswold School District, incumbents Steve Baier and Robert Peterson, along with challenger Denise Bridges, are vying for two At Large seats on the School Board. Scott Peterson and Thomas Jay Moore are unchallenged for their respective District 3 and District 4 seats on the board.

There are no challenges in the CAM School District, where Chuck Kinzie and Gary Dinkla are the incumbents for the North and South Districts, respectively, and Nick Kaufman is the At Large incumbent.

There will also be two public measures on the ballot in Cass County, with regard to  property tax levies for Iowa Western Community College.

2013 School Board elections: IWCC levies

News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

When voters head to the polls Tuesday to take part in local school board elections, in addition to casting their vote for local candidates, some ballots will have Public Measures asking you to renew two property-tax levies that pertain to Iowa Western Community College. The levies – the Physical Plant Levy and the Instructional Equipment Levy – are placed before the voters every 10-years, and are designed to raise money to build or improve buildings on campus and to buy classroom equipment for the community college. The levies have been in place for at least five decades.

Specifically, the Physical Plant Levy, which sits at 20.25 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value, pays for utilities and for building maintenance and renovation. The Instructional Equipment Levy, which is 6 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation, is only used to purchase instructional equipment. College officials say the Physical Plant Levy generates approximately $1,725,000 per year, while the Equipment Levy generates approximately $780,000 per year.

If approved by voters Tuesday, both levies would be in place from July 2016 through June 2026.