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Don’t let reports of a new type of pest tick you off

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A recent report in U-S-A Today warns of the dangers of a new type of pest called the “seed tick,” but Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis says technically, the story is wrong. “It is not a different species of tick,” Lewis says. “It’s certainly not something new, I’ve used the phrase seed tick for the last 40 years. It’s not a new phrase, it’s not a new pest. It just gets used by the general public to mean something teeny tiny that I think was a tick.”

Lewis says there’s no need to be particularly concerned about this insect. “All species of ticks can have the term ‘seed tick’ applied to their larval stage,” he says. “It simply means the beginning stage of any kind of tick.”

Lewis says when the so-called seed ticks mature, they can carry many types of illnesses including Lyme disease. He is not predicting a particularly bad tick season. He admits they do grow well in humid and wet conditions with a good food source like small mammals. If a mature tick of any kind does become attached, the recommended way to remove it is with tweezers.

(Radio Iowa w/Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 5/25/2017

News, Podcasts

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Trump schedules Iowa visit – his first as president

News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Donald Trump has scheduled a visit to Iowa – his first as president of the United States. His campaign website says a rally is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. June 1 at the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. People are invited to register for up to two tickets each.

Trump’s last visit to Iowa occurred in Des Moines during his “Thank You” tour as president-elect in December. Trump won Iowa’s six electoral votes in November.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 5/25/2017

News, Podcasts

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Ex-Iowa fire academy manager gets probation in test scandal

News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) – A former Iowa fire academy administrator has been given two years’ probation for falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters.

Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee also was sentenced Wednesday in Story County District Court to a suspended prison sentence of five years. He was fined $750 and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service. He had pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in office after making a deal with prosecutors.

McPhee was arrested in January, when the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced that 1,706 firefighters and emergency personnel had been awarded nationally recognized certifications despite failing written exams. The total found eventually reached 2,445. Authorities say McPhee assigned passing scores to exams without checking or correcting them for years.

Finding a campsite late for the holiday is a tough task

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

If you are thinking of camping this Memorial Day weekend, but haven’t reserved a spot at a state park yet, finding one could be tough. Iowa D-N-R spokesperson Julie Sparks. “The best thing I can say is for people to go in and look on our reservation site. If they’ve got a favorite park and want to check it out, you’ll be able to tell right away if there are spots available,” Sparks says.

If you do find a site — it’s likely you won’t have electricity. “Nearly all of the sites that are left open are non-electric sites, our standard non-electric sites. When our window for the holidays open, people are right on it and get those electric sites reserved as soon as they can,” Sparks says.

The window she refers too is a three-month lead time when you can start reserving a site for each holiday. Not every site is reserved ahead of time. She says there are 25 percent or more of the campsites in each park that are walk-in status, that you can try to get. “However, on a special holiday weekend like this, people are coming in a day or two early.”

The weather has been cool this year, but the forecast calls for some warmer weather. Sparks says those who have reserved site way ahead of time adjust to the conditions.
“Iowans are tough and they are willing to brave those cooler temperatures,” Sparks says.

Iowa has more than 47-hundred state park campsites.

(Radio Iowa)

Water utility plans to expand nitrate removal facility

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines Water Works plans to double the size of the nitrate removal facility that treats drinking water from the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. The Des Moines Register reports the utility’s board this week approved an $800,000 design contract. The utility expects to spend $15 million on the project, and officials say the new equipment and the cost to operate it will require bigger future rate increases.

The utility had sued three northern Iowa counties, accusing them of allowing agricultural drainage districts to send nitrate pollution into the rivers. The lawsuit sought damages for the money the utility has spent to remove the nitrates.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit March 17, saying Iowa’s water quality problems were an issue for the Iowa Legislature.

Atlantic School District enrollment numbers expected to decline slightly for the short term

News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

An enrollment study commissioned by the Atlantic Community School District in advance of plans for improved academic and athletic facilities shows enrollment will experience some ebbs and flows over the next five-years. Robert Schwarz, with RSP and Associates in Overland Park, KS., projects overall enrollment for the 2017-18 school year (K-12) will be down seven students. A large drop of 42 students is anticipated for the 2018-19 school year, before a slight increase in enrollments happens for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, and then a drop of 10 students for 2021-22.

A breakdown of the numbers shows a nearly steady enrollment for Washington Elementary at around 427, except for a jump from 2019-through 2022. At Schuler Elementary, the number of students are expected to decline for the 2018-2021 school year before rebounding a bit for 2021-22.

The Atlantic Middle School is expected to show a steady enrollment for much of the next five years, with a decline beginning in the 2021-22 school year. After experiencing a nearly steady enrollment for 2016-17 and 2017-18, the Atlantic High School is expected to realize a decline of 50 students during the 2018-19 school year, followed by a jump of more than a dozen students that leads to a steady increase through 2022.

With the exception of Schuler Elementary School, the District’s other buildings will experience an enrollment of students that exceeds the respective capacities of each building, caused by students in the lower grades moving up through the system. That’s especially true for Washington Elementary, where capacity is 396 students but the enrollment numbers are projected to be from 426 through 442 between 2017 and 2022. The Atlantic Middle School is also expected to be over its capacity of 338 students, with enrollment in excess of 360 for 2018 through 2021. As for the Atlantic High School, where student capacity is 441, the district is over capacity for 2017-18, just like with the 2016-17 school year, but then the enrollment numbers slip under the maximum for 2018-19 and indicate an increase for the remaining three-years in the study, but still under capacity.

Factors the School Board has to consider when it comes to the District’s facilities over the next five-years, according to Schwarz, is a possible influx of workers for the Elite Octane Ethanol Plant, and an increase in the number of single-family homes being constructed or being made available with aging seniors looking to downsize. Various infrastructure improvements may also bring more young families to the area.

2 arrested for Public Intox. in Red Oak

News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested Wednesday evening in Red Oak. Red Oak Police report 58-year old Rodney Lynn Vanderhood and 58-year old Vicki Susan Huber, both of Red Oak, were arrested for Public Intoxication in the 100 block of N. Broadway Street a little after 8-p.m. The pair were brought to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on a $300 cash bond, each.

Motorists issued big fines for ‘excessive’ speeding in Iowa

News

May 25th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has provided an update on a couple cases of “excessive speed” on interstates. Troopers say a driver who was clocked at 144 miles an hour on I-80 in eastern Iowa earlier this month was issued a $560 ticket. That incident occurred at 3 in the morning north of Stockton. This past weekend, another motorist was clocked at 124 miles an hour on I-29 in western Iowa and was handed a ticket of $424. The driver told the trooper they were running late for a graduation party.

(Radio Iowa)