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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 11/5/2015

News, Podcasts

November 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:07-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Atlantic City Hall 2nd floor renovation efforts likely to continue

News

November 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Voters in Atlantic, Tuesday, soundly defeated a bond measure to pay for renovations to the 2nd and 3rd floors of City Hall, but that doesn’t mean interest in the project died with the bond issue. City Councilperson Kathy Somers, during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, thanked the Council for allowing the 2nd floor issue to come before the voters in a referendum.Council mtg 11-4-15

Somers asked if a group of citizens could make the project more viable by going after placement of the building on the National Register of Historic Places, which would make grants more accessible. Mayor Dave Jones said if grants and a proposal are obtained, the Council could consider options at that time.

The City has already issued $100,000 in bonds for an elevator that would have made the 2nd floor handicapped accessible, but since the project is not going to happen, discussion turned to how that money would be used. City Administrator John Lund said there are a couple of options available. Lund said “The investors into our bonds, really, all they care about is what’s the risk to [The City’s] credit rating, and that we repay the money back, plus interest. It’s the State that’s more interested in making sure there’s not shenanigans going on with the money. So, we could commit it to other things, but there’s a number of steps that we’d have to go through, but nothing too elaborate.”

One of the problems that came up during a State Inspection of the City Hall building, was with the electrical system on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Mayor Jones said the Community Development Committee can handle decisions related to taking care of electrical issues. Councilperson Dana Halder pointed out that the money was only to go to maintenance of the building if the Public Measure failed. City infrastructure, particularly with regard to technology improvements, according to local businessmen, and Halder are essential if Atlantic is to grow jobs. High Speed/High capacity internet service is one area sorely lacking in the community, especially for businesses that rely on the technology in order to compete globally.

He said “I think we need to do everything we can to work together and make this come through, because, that’s jobs. That’s one of the things I think we need to focus on and help get accomplished, so we can get that through the goalpost, and I think it would be easier for us to attract new businesses to town.” Mayor Jones said it would also help retain current businesses. Jones said the City has tried to convince service providers to upgrade internet and/or invest in fiber-optic systems, but those efforts have been met with little success. He said the question remains, who is responsible for securing higher technology, the City, or the Utilities?

Winter Weather Awareness Day Nov. 5th

News, Weather

November 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Adair & Guthrie County Emergency Management Agencies, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD), and the National Weather Service have joined together to promote today, Nov. 5th, as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa.

Each year, winter returns to Iowa and produces winter storms, blizzards, ice storms and periods of extremely cold temperatures as well as dangerous wind chills.
A big part of being prepared for winter weather is being aware of potential hazards. One preparedness step for Iowans to take now is to sign up for emergency alerts through the Adair & Guthrie County Emergency Notification System. By signing up for alerts, residents can receive notifications about winter weather and other hazards and emergency conditions.

Robert Kempf, Adair & Guthrie County EMA Coordinator, says “This is a great tool to help our residents stay aware of hazards. Our system allows people to sign up to receive alerts in a variety of ways, including by text, cell phone or land-line calls or email. So no matter where you are, you will know if hazards might impact you or your family.” To sign up, visit the EMA Page website at http://www.guthriecounty.org/emergmgmt/notificationsystem.html. You can also click the signup button on the Adair & Guthrie County EMAs Facebook page.

Winter weather information from the National Weather Service Des Moines office can be found on the http://www.weather.gov/dmx/ or at www.weather.gov.

The Ready Iowa website, has information to help Iowans plan for winter hazards, whether at home, at work or on the road. Visit the website, http://www.beready.iowa.gov/, for downloadable brochures, emergency plans and checklists.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Nov. 5th 2015

News

November 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa senior associate athletic director Jane Meyer has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the university, saying athletic director Gary Barta attempted to derail her career. Meyer filed suit Tuesday in Polk County district court claiming wage, sexual orientation and gender discrimination as well as retaliation. The suit also names the Iowa Board of Regents and the state of Iowa.

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say six people have been arrested following a human trafficking sting in southern Iowa. Osceola Chief Martin Duffus says the suspects were arrested following a sting Tuesday at a business. Additional information was not released. Duffus tells Des Moines television station KCCI the suspects’ ages range from 21 to 43.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Kosovo is planning to open a consulate in downtown Des Moines later this year. Vlora Citaku, Kosovo’s ambassador to the U.S., told the Des Moines Register the small country in southeast Europe chose Iowa for its third consulate because of the similarities between the state and nation. Both have small populations and agriculture-based economies.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Donald Trump will begin airing radio ads on Thursday in the first states to vote in the GOP nominating contest. The Republican presidential candidate’s campaign says it will be airing two radio ads through the end of November in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It says the ad buy is valued at $300,000.

Red Oak man arrested for Violation of Probation

News

November 4th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Red Oak Police Department announced an arrest of a Red Oak man on Wednesday.  At 4:00pm officers arrested 39-year-old Richard Henry Rapp Jr. of Red Oak on a valid Montgomery County Warrant for Violation of Probation on original charges of 2 counts of Forgery, both Class D felonies.  Rapp was arrested at 106 West Coolbaugh Street in Red Oak and taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $20,000 bond.

USDA survey: Iowa ranked 6th among states for number of organic farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is one of the top producers of organic crops and livestock, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There were 612 organic farms in Iowa in 2014, when the USDA conducted the recently released survey. That places Iowa 6th among the 50 states. California, by far, has the most organic farms, followed by Wisconsin, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Organic FarmGrowers of organic crops avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, while organic livestock are raised without the use of antibiotics and feed on organic food. The USDA reports Iowa had just under 68,000 acres of organic crops last year and organic sales in the state totaled $103 million.

Iowa produced more organic soybeans and corn for grain than any other state and ranked first among the states for it’s percentage of organic hogs and sales of organic goat milk.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa judge dismisses lawsuit over 2 mental health centers

News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Gov. Terry Branstad that challenged his decision to close two state mental health centers this year. Polk County District Judge Douglas Staskal issued a ruling Tuesday that approved a request by state attorneys to throw out the lawsuit.

The suit was filed by the head of Iowa’s largest public employees union and 20 Democratic lawmakers. It claimed that closing the centers in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant was illegal because Iowa law requires the state to operate them.

Tuesday’s ruling says Branstad had the authority to veto financial support for such centers. Mark Hedberg, an attorney representing the lawmakers and the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says he will appeal the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Wabash Trace Nature Trail photo Wins Iowa Travel Guide Cover Contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

After seven days of competition, fans of the Iowa Tourism Office voted to feature the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in southwest Iowa on the cover of the next Iowa Travel Guide. (View the winning cover (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2higfb/awy8dg/q8y5ak). Iowa Tourism Office Manager Shawna Lode said “Each of the four images up for consideration highlighted a spectacular place in Iowa. We’re excited to feature this colorful image of the Wabash Trace Nature Trail to showcase the many great recreational opportunities across Iowa and draw travelers into the 176 pages of travel ideas within the Iowa Travel Guide.”

2016 TG COVERS_final Wabash (002)You can pre-order the new Iowa Travel Guide at traveliowa.com/preorder (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2higfb/awy8dg/60z5ak). Inside the new guide, expect to see great content highlighting Iowa bike trails, unique Iowa souvenirs, and historic hotels, in addition to thousands of listings for attractions, hotels, bed and breakfasts, cabins and campgrounds/RV parks. The guide will be available in early 2016.

The Iowa Travel Guide Cover Contest began last Wednesday and concluded this morning at 10 a.m. In total, 4,035 votes were cast with the Wabash Trace Nature Trail image receiving 1,830 votes. Other images under consideration depicted a scenic overlook of Effigy Mounds National Monument near Harpers Ferry, Roseman Covered Bridge in Madison County and hikers in the Loess Hills.

The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information about Iowa tourism, visit traveliowa.com (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2higfb/awy8dg/mt05ak), call 800.345.IOWA or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center.

Connector trail project near KJAN almost finished – fundraising continues

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Nishna Valley Trails group, in Atlantic, said today (Wednesday), that with the 162-foot Pedestrian Bridge in place and virtually all of the concrete laid for the Troublesome Creek Connector Trail, the project will be completed within the next couple of weeks. Dave Chase, President of the non-profit Nishna Valley Trail, Inc., says fundraising efforts continue to top off the remainder of the money needed to pay for the trail.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

According to Chase the group’s “Original announced goal was $550,000, and thanks to a favorable construction bid from Atlantic contractor A.M. Cohron and Son, the cost of the project was significantly lowered.” Chase said also, “Based on this and the status of the funds we had raised at the time we decided to pull the trigger on proceeding with the project to be completed this Fall. We felt good about the pending grant applications we had in. Another reason was that some of our previously-awarded grant money needed to be used by certain deadlines rapidly approaching.”

According to Chase, two grant applications (one to Wells Fargo Foundation and one to Wellmark Foundation) totaling $125,000 would have provided the rest of the needed money. Chase recently learned from both Foundations that neither application would be funded.  He said new ideas to raise the additional $125,000 have been studied and are being pursued, as well as contacting previous donors to consider further support and/or pledges.

Chase mentioned he has been approached about a donor recognition in connection with the new bridge. “The individual,” he said “Asked how much it would take to get my name on the bridge? How about $20,000, and, could I talk to some of my friends to do the same?” Chase brought the proposal up at the last NVT meeting and it was unanimously approved with one clarification being that any donation of $20,000 or more, by an organization or individual would be memorialized on a permanent donor plaque to be affixed to the bridge.

“This would be for any new or previous donations totaling this amount,” he said. He went on to say that year-end tax planning gifts were also being encouraged. “Those gifts are fully tax-deductible to an organization like NVT.”  Further information about the donor recognition or any other financial support for the project can be obtained from Chase at 712-249-3059. “We will raise the money,” Chase added. “ It is just a matter of where it comes from.”

Propane tank explodes in rural Adair hog shed

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Adair were called to a reported propane explosion Tuesday. Adair Fire Chief Jordan Smith told KJAN News the incident took place at around 7:30-p.m., in the 2800 block of Frontier Road, or about 6-miles north of Adair. When firefighters from Adair, assisted by crews from Casey arrived, Smith says they encountered a structure that was fully engulfed in flames. The flames also caused a nearby grassy field area to ignite.

Smith said the landowner – who resides in Guthrie Center had been burning wood and other debris in a hole and left with his wife to get dinner. The farmer thought the fire burned itself out, but apparently an ember, whipped by the wind, caught an old, former hog building on fire. The explosion he said, was caused by one of three, 100-pound L-P gas tanks inside the shed, rupturing from the heat.

A motorist passing by heard a loud explosion and called 9-1-1. No injuries were reported.  Smith reminds farmers and landowners that anytime there are windy conditions, it’s wise to hold-off on conducting outdoor burns, or at the very least, not leave them unattended. He mentioned also, a combine was lost to fire earlier this week in the Bridgewater-Fontanelle area, that’s a good reason to check-up on your combines, make sure they’re maintained and aren’t getting clogged with chaf and overheating.