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Total snowfall/precipation values thru 7-am Thursday (updated with graphic)

News, Weather

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Rain and heavy snow combined for a wet Wednesday evening and Thursday morning here in Atlantic. The 24-hour snow total was 2-inches. But when you combine that heavy, wet snow with the rainfall we received late Wednesday into early this morning, the precipitation value was 3.07-inches here in Atlantic. (as of 8-a.m., we had received 2.3″ at the KJAN Studios, and the snow had stopped)

Estimated snowfall totals across Iowa through 7:40-a.m. Thursday. Courtesy Iowa Environmental MesoNet.

In Massena, Ardell reported 1.75-inches of rain and 1-inch of snow, as of 7-a.m. Other reports include: Irwin, 4-inches of snow & 2.19 liquid moisture; Oakland, 3″ of snow; Villisca, 2″; Clarinda 1.9″; Avoca, 3″ snow/2.05″ liquid value.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines said Jamaica, in Guthrie County, had 3.1-inches of snow through 6-am; Near Earlham, in Dallas County, 2.1-inches of snow was reported at 7-a.m.; Sac City in northwest Iowa’s Sac County had 5-inches of snow as of 7-a.m., and the National Weather Service office in Valley, NE., reported 3-inches of snow as of 7:20-a.m., while Omaha had 3.1 inches.

If you have a snow and/or rainfall total you would like to report. Call us at 1-800-283-5526 or e-mail kjannews@metc.net.

Parts of Iowa, Nebraska slathered with slushy snow

News, Weather

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A spring storm has slathered a heavy icing of slushy snow on parts of eastern Nebraska and western and north-central Iowa.  Our 24-hour snowfall total in Atlantic as of 7-a.m. was 2-inches.

In the past 12 hours, more than 6 inches has been recorded in isolated parts of Iowa, including Harrison County near Omaha, Neb., and along the Minnesota border in northern Iowa.  Nebraska totals are generally lower.

National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Boustead called the May storm “really, really unusual.”  He says that in Omaha, for example, measurable snow has fallen only four times since 1884.  The storm is moving east and is expected to lay a wet blanket on Des Moines later Thursday.

Winter Weather Advisory/Snowfall Coverage Map (NWS/Des Moines)

News, Weather

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The counties highlighted in purple are in a Winter Weather Advisory.Predicted snowfall amounts through Saturday:

48 Hour snowfall forecast

Travel becoming treacherous in western Iowa early this (Thursday) morning

News, Weather

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Roads covered with a thick layer of slush are making travel hazardous early this (Thursday) morning, here in western Iowa. The DOT’s 511ia.org website shows most roads along and north of Highway 92 and west of Highway 148 (Anita to Massena), west into Pottawattamie County, are completely covered with snow/ice/slush. Some semi’s were having trouble early this morning. One jacknifed on I-80, while another had trouble making it up the hill on  Olive Street in Cass County, just south of I-80, at around 3:45-a.m.

In Atlantic, snow was falling at 4-a.m. Roads were lightly covered with the heavy, wet snow.

Authorities ask for help in locating missing western IA teen


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department is searching for a missing 16-year-old.

Crysta Brammer

Crysta Brammer was last seen leaving Glenwood Community High School at 1:30 p.m. on April 29 with a white male from Omaha in a 1990’s red Dodge Dakota pickup with no plates. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Glenwood Police Department at (712) 527-9920.

ISU professor says subsidies make farmers buy more expensive crop insurance

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A report by Iowa State University economics professor, Bruce Babcock, finds government incentives to help farmers pay for crop insurance push them toward the more expensive insurance and increase the costs to taxpayers. Babcock studied the crop insurance payouts for corn and soybeans related to the 2012 drought. “The premium subsidies incentivize farmers to buy Cadillac coverage,” Babcock says. “The Cadillac coverage increases the indemnities paid out. Taxpayers are paying three-quarters of those indemnities, so the subsidies have a direct impact on taxpayer costs because taxpayers are paying for part of that premium — but they inflate the overall indemnities and taxpayers pay the lion share of those in high-loss years.”

Babcock found the payouts for the top insurance coverage, known as revenue protection, were over 12-BILLION dollars in 2012.  “What I wanted to know was, well what if the subsidies hadn’t created such and incentive to drive farmers to the Cadillac insurance product and instead they got a bare bones..or a regular revenue insurance protection. Or what if they just bought regular yield insurance?,” Babcock asked. He says the answer to the question was the cost of the insurance was much lower. “And it turns out that if farmers had replaced revenue protection with a product called ‘Revenue Protection H-P-E’ –which is pure revenue insurance — the amount of loss would have been decreased from more than 12-BILLION dollars to about six-BILLION dollars. That is, the subsidies had basically increased the indemnities paid to farmers, it more than doubled them,” according the Babcock.

Babcock says he is not being critical of the crop insurance program itself as a security net for farmers. “I’m a critic of the subsidies, and those two are two separate items,” Babcock says. “And I just think that you could cut the subsidies a tremendous amount — or restructure them — save tens of BILLIONs of dollars over 10 years and still provide a high-quality assurance safety net. If that’s what Congress wants, you could do it at a far lower cost.” He says if farmers want the protection of the higher end insurance program, then they should have to pay for it and not have the taxpayers picking up 75-percent of the bill. Babcock talked about his findings with reporters in a conference called set up by the Environmental Working Group.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 2nd 2013


May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s Medicaid program would no longer pay for abortions under a massive budget that has received approval from the House. Non-hospital health clinics that perform abortions could risk losing other Medicaid funding. The roughly $1.7 billion state Health and Human Services budget includes the Medicaid program.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa teenagers who want their intermediate driver’s license will have to wait a little longer. Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill into law that requires minors to have their learners permit for a year instead of the current six months. Iowa teenagers can get their intermediate license at age 16 and a full license at 17.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a man suspected of shooting a Sioux City police officer. Police say Jamal Dean shot Officer Kevin McCormick after a routine traffic stop Monday. Dean has been on the run since then. McCormick survived the shooting.

MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) — Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver says a gas leak led authorities to evacuate an area south of Monticello. The line carries propane and is owned by energy company Kinder Morgan. The Texas-based company says it has isolated the section of the affected 12-inch line. No injuries have been reported.

Atlantic official works to enforce Maintenance Code


May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s enforcement of its Minimum Maintenance Code has resulted in a reduced number of dilapidated houses and community involvement in improving others over the past year, but there are some property owners who are or will be receiving “Not so friendly” notices from the City, to get perceived problems with their properties resolved. That was the word during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, from Jon Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris.

Lund said much of the credit for improving the look of the City, with respect to dilapidated houses, goes to Atlantic residents Pat McCurdy and Jennifer McEntaffer, as well as CADCO (The Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation. Together, they came up with a “Let’s Paint the town” idea, whereby three homes owned by low-income residents were painted. Lund says it’s hoped three more homes in disrepair can be painted this year. Lund said many local businesses and groups stepped forward to donate the paint and time for the effort. Other businesses donated food and beverages for the workers, or discounted supplies. Others businesses donated cash for the project. He says that demonstrates the best solutions to some of the problems facing the City are found in the compassion and generosity of the people, and not the government.

On a darker note, Lund said their were more complaints this past year about nuisance properties. He says more abatement notices and bills mailed to property owners who were not in compliance with the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code. When questioned by Councilman Steve Livengood about a decrease in the number of “friendly warnings” given last year as compared with the previous year, Lund said he’s not messing around with the warnings, after fair notice has been given to some repeat offenders. He said he’s jumping right to abatements.

Lund was praised by the Council for his efforts to make the process fair and logical, when it comes to identifying and warning about nuisance properties. He said “Atlantic is a good place to live. We just need to encourage some people to take a little more pride in their property.”

Iowa governor signs teen driving rules into law


May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa teenagers who want their intermediate driver’s license will have to wait a little longer under a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad. Branstad signed 13 bills into law Wednesday, including one that requires minors to have their learners permit for a year instead of the current six months. In Iowa, teenagers can get their intermediate license at age 16, and a full license at 17.

The new law also says minors with an intermediate license are only allowed to drive with one unrelated minor within the first six months of having it. But they could drive more if accompanied by a parent, guardian or driving instructor. Currently they’re allowed to drive as many passengers as there are seatbelts.

Former site of the Old Hotel in Atlantic may be sold for a multipurpose structure


May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A lot in downtown Atlantic that has been on the real estate market since 2008 may be sold. During Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, it was revealed that a tentative offer has been made for site of the former Old Hotel, at 314 Walnut Street.

The lot at 314 Walnut Street owned by the City of Atlantic is for sale, and may be used for a sports bar/restaurant, office space and upscale condo’s.

Mayor Dave Jones explained why the structure was torn down to begin with a few years back.  He said it was because it was an eyesore and a dangerous, vacant building. The City had hoped to recoup the taxes it’s lost since the building was demolished and the site cleaned-up and made available for purchase.

The prospective buyer, Jacob Weitzel, told the Council he and his grandmother would like to build a structure on the site that could serve as a sports bar, restaurant, office space and upscale condominiums. Weitzel said the restaurant is sorely needed in the downtown area, due to the recent closure of the Main Street Grill on Chestnut Street and Farmer’s Kitchen, just across the street from the lot, on Walnut. He said the restaurant would “Provide customers with familiar favorites as well as diverse and modern cuisine found nowhere else in our area.” He said they would also like to enhance the downtown dining experience with “A premiere sports bar,” office space on the second floor, and six-to eight luxury condominiums, depending on how much space is available.

The offer of $30,000 for the land is $20-thousand less than the current listed price. Mayor Dave Jones said he would like the City to have the “First right of refusal” for the property, in the event the proposal failed to make it to fruition. He said the City should have the right to buy the land back if that happens, rather than having the land be resold as a parking lot or other eye sore.

Currently, the land is a trimmed, grassy area. City Councilman Shaun Shouse questioned why the City needed to “Control the offer” or attach strings to it, when it hadn’t done so previously. Councilman Chris Jimerson said the stipulation would also protect the potential property owners, in the event they didn’t have a buyer for the land if their plans don’t go through. City Attorney Dave Weidersteen will work with the prospective buyers to draw-up a purchase agreement. The next step would be a public hearing on the sale of the land, during a future City Council meeting.