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Sioux City Council extends casino agreement

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The City Council has extended its agreement with the owners of the floating Argosy Casino for up to 30 months.  The city and Argosy owner Penn National Gaming Co. made a deal last month that would keep the boat operating on the Missouri River until a new land-based casino is ready to open.  The council approved the extension on Monday.

The lease initially will be extended through Jan. 30, 2014. Penn National would have the option to extend it for 18 months more.  Penn National is one of three operators seeking the new license for the land-based casino.

Southwest 8 Senior Services to lead a dozen more counties under consolidation

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Southwest 8 Senior Services will be the lead agency for a new agency that will provide services for senior citizens in 20 western Iowa Counties. The state of Iowa plans to consolidate the current 13 Area Agencies on Aging into 6 by July, 1st, 2013. The goal for all six agencies is that hopefully, the consolidation will not disrupt services to their clients.

Currently, Southwest 8 Senior Services covers 8 counties including Cass, Harrison, Pottawattamie and Shelby among others. With the new consolidation, Southwest 8 will represent the planning and service area Six which will add 12 more counties including Monona County and those farther north. The hub for area Six will still be in Council Bluffs but under the direction of Barb Morrison.

The goal is to have all 20 counties in each service area access to equal services. The current administrative offices are planning to stay open for at least the 1st year. The Iowa State Department of Aging states they are not looking at reducing the number of employees in senior service areas either. Senior citizens in Audubon and Crawford County, are being grouped in planning and service area One, along with Carroll County. Area 1 will run out of Elderbridge Area Agency on Aging in Mason City.

For more information on the consolidation of Senior Services throughout Iowa log on to www.iowaaging.gov., or www.southwest8.org.

McDermott arrested for violating a No Contact Order

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man who is scheduled to stand trial in May on Domestic Assault and Willful Injury charges, was arrested Monday, for violating a modified No Contact Order. The Atlantic Police Department reports 45-year old Rex McDermott was taken into custody and brought to the Cass County Jail.

A trial on his other charges will be held May 29th. McDermott has plead Not Guilty to the charges which were filed following an incident which occurred in October 2012  at R&B Feeds in Atlantic. A separate trial will take place March 12th with regard to a charge of Operating a motor vehicle While under the Influence (OWI), 1st offense. The incident which led to his arrest on that charge allegedly took place on October 24th, 2012, in Webster County.

8AM Newscast 01-29-2013

News, Podcasts

January 29th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Public Hearing tonight on the rezoning of a subdivision in Atlantic

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Public Hearing this evening (Tuesday) at City Hall, with regard to a proposed rezoning of the Southern Heights 2 housing subdivision, between 22nd and 19th Streets, west of Redwood Drive. The developer wants the area re-zoned to accommodate multi-family housing. The Commission discussed the proposal during their meeting on Jan. 8th.

The discussion included the future of Plum Street, versus Southern Heights Drive, along with storm water runoff and drainage issues. City Councilman Shaun Shouse said the developer provided ample information about why the developer thought the project was needed, and representatives from the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) were on-hand to offer their support.

Shouse said some residents in the area also offered their input, which included their support for the project, and concerns about traffic flow from 19th to 22nd.   During this evening’s meeting of the P-and-Z, the Commission will hear a report on issues concerning 19th Street, prior to holding a public hearing on the rezoning. After the hearing, the Commission will vote on the Conformance to the Comprehensive Plan, and on forwarding their recommendation to the City Council, for or against rezoning.

The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m.

7AM Newscast 01-29-2013

News, Podcasts

January 29th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Highs early this morning were near 60. Lows tomorrow will be near 0. Oh, and 4-6″ of snow…

News, Weather

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More big changes in the weather are coming. After an ice storm Sunday and an about-face with highs yesterday in the 50s and 60s, thunderstorms rolled over Iowa last night. The daytime high in Atlantic Monday was 47, but overnight, the temperature rose to 57 before falling back to 35 degrees by 5-a.m.  The 24-hour high of 57 was just one-degree shy of tying the record high for Jan. 28th.  The temperature rise overnight caused Red Oak to set a new 24-hour high of 61-degrees.

Forecasters say temperatures will drop today and a Winter Storm Watch is now posted for counties from southwest to central to northeast Iowa. Meteorologist Aubrey Wilkins, at the National Weather Service, says make sure your snowblower is full of gas. There’s the chance of heavy snow, with four to six inches possible across parts of central Iowa. Wilkins says the topsy-turvy weather will continue tomorrow as an arctic blast will make its way toward Iowa.

Wilkins says lows by tomorrow night will be in the single digits or below zero, a turnaround in two days of 60 degrees. High temperatures by the weekend will likely be back in the 20s and 30s, more the norm for the season.

(Radio Iowa & KJAN’s Ric Hanson contributed to this report)

DNR says Iowans may see more cougars in 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowans may see more mountain lions in their back yards and fields this year, as cougar populations are rising in their natural habitats — like Colorado and Oklahoma. Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says cougars are solitary and territorial so a growing population means some are forced to strike out on their own. Some will make it to Iowa, he says, which is how a big cat came to be shot in Des Moines last fall.  “As these young males get kicked out of their home area and they can travel significantly per day to get here,” Gipp says. “How it wound up in the middle of Des Moines is an interesting concept.”

While humans aren’t usually at risk, he says mountain lions prefer to prey on small mammals like rabbits and stray cats. “You’re going to see more and more of these types of things coming to Iowa because we’ve got a food source,” he says. Gipp says the rise of mountain lions in Iowa should balance itself out in the next few years. As more hunters in other states kill mountain lions, fewer shunned young males will wander into Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

No injuries reported following Shenandoah house fire

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Shenandoah say no injuries were reported following a house fire Monday afternoon. According to reports, the fire took place at 106 South Avenue in Shenandoah, at around 4:30-p.m. The home sustained considerable damage and resulted in the family being displaced. Their names were not immediately available. The Red Cross was assisting the family in finding shelter. The cause of the blaze was believed to be faulty wiring.

Western Iowa man pleads not guilty to slaying, kidnapping

News

January 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman. The Sioux City Journal reports Kirk Levin submitted a written plea Monday. He faces charges of first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her farmhouse in Early on Jan. 3. They say he then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman who he tied up and put in the trunk of a car. The woman escaped after Levin drove into a ditch.

Levin had been released from prison days earlier after serving time for burglary charges. Gov. Terry Branstad’s spokesman has defended the state’s release of Levin.