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Cass County Secondary Roads report

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker today (Wednesday), provided the Board of Supervisors with an update on County secondary roads and related projects. Marker said Tuesday was the State bid letting date for Farm-to Market account road projects (Those which are paid for through the Road Use Tax Fund). It includes an asphalt overlay on Cass County Road M-56, from Highway 6 to the Atlantic Airport road, and a similar project letting for County Road G-43 (The Lewis Road), from Lewis to Highway 71.

Marker said on both of those projects, the apparent low bidder was Henningsen Construction, in Atlantic. His bid for the G-43 project, was slightly more than $1.126-million, while the bid for M-56 was a little over $1.32-million. The Board will act on approving or disapproving the contracts during their a future, after they have been received by Marker. The late start dates (without penalty), is August 26th for the M-56 project, and September 9th on G-43. Both projects are expected to take about a month or slightly more to complete.

Marker said also, during an Engineer’s conference held last week, they were informed all engineers (regardless of where they are in Iowa), need to be within 10-percent of the bid let contract price. He says that means they are expected to be very accurate with the Engineer’s estimate on the project costs. The federal government says as a whole, Iowa has not been very accurate since 2006, so they are investigating why. In Cass County, the M-56 project is within three-tenths of one-percent, but on the G-43 project, the estimates are outside the 10-percent goal. Maker says there are a number of variables in making an estimate that affect its accuracy.

He says on the G-43 project, the bid was $163,000 less than the engineer’s estimate, but it still came in over the 10-percent limit. Marker says discussions on those types of limits are continuing, at various levels of government and within the industry. Marker says also, work continues on a bridge project spanning the Nishnabotna River on the “Research Farm Road,” with beams being placed prior to the installation of a concrete deck.

Cass Supervisors receive Veterans Affairs reports

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors received a quarterly and annual report from County Veterans Affairs Director Mitch Holmes, during their meeting this (Wednesday) morning, in Atlantic.

Mitch Holmes, Cass Co. VA Director

Mitch Holmes, Cass Co. VA Director

During the 4th Quarter report, Holmes said his office process 17 claims for general assistance, amounting to a little more than $7,674. The amount was a little higher than normal, he said, because it included two indigent burials. Aside from those burials, the costs were on-par for what is normally spent during the time frame.

As far as Federal V-A benefits, Holmes said there were a total of 99 forms filed. He said there’s been a big push over the past couple of years to try and get veterans registered for their benefits. That includes hospital visits, as well as compensation and disability payments related to injuries they may have suffered during their military careers.

They also helped veterans sign-up for nursing home, records request and life insurance benefits. Holmes said 216 veterans were assisted at the Cass County V-A Office over the past quarter, they received 230 office visits and made 22 home visits. During his annual report, Holmes said over the fiscal year ending June 30th, 462 veterans and their family members were assisted by the Cass County Veterans Affair Office, with a total of 5,118 contacts made. A total of 342 federal V-A documents were processed.

Holmes said Cass County receives almost $5.1-million annually in veteran’s benefits, an increase of 9.6-percent over last year. That includes compensation and pensions [$2.68-million], medical expenditures [$2.2-million], and education and vocational rehabilitation [$157,000]. The remaining funds are scattered among the various VA programs.

The Cass County VA office provides a wide variety of assistance and services for its resident, honorably-discharged veterans and their family members. Its main focus is to assist them in applying for federal and state benefits and other veterans’ aid.

Harlan City Council news

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council, Tuesday, approved two separate resolutions pertaining to the Harlan Police Department Building Project. During their regular meeting, the council also held a public hearing with regard to the project, but heard no comments from the public.

The city only received one bid from Leinen Construction of Harlan. The estimated 2,100 square foot project will cost $321,889. After closing the public hearing, the council approved the contract with Leinen Construction.

The company plans to begin work immediately on the new Police Department Building, with the completion of construction  set for the end of this year.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

 

 

 

 

8AM Newscast 07-17-2013

News, Podcasts

July 17th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 07-17-2013

News, Podcasts

July 17th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Cyclospora investigation continues…numbers changing

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(Updated with revised numbers 10:48-a.m. Wednesday)

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that as of today (Wednesday), they are continuing to receive reports of confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection. The onset dates of the illness suggest the ill people had eaten contaminated food in mid-June. Officials say while the source of the outbreak remains unknown, at no time was an Iowa-grown fruit or vegetable suspected as a cause.

The number of confirmed food-borne intestinal illnesses related to cyclosporiasis in Iowa, is 87, and 27 counties are affected. The Iowa Department of Public Health says at least five people have been hospitalized. Linn County in eastern Iowa continues to lead the state with 31 cases. Polk County has 7 cases, and Pottawattamie County now has 6 cases. Two cases of the illness have been reported in Mills County, and one each in Montgomery, Woodbury and Monona Counties, in western Iowa.

Public health officials say the illness, which causes prolonged diarrhea, is rare. It comes from eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces containing the cyclospora parasite. Many people are reportedly still ill, and some have had relapses of symptoms caused by the parasite.

Learn about the Land brochures available for RAGBRAI & other outdoor enthusiasts

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says for the ninth year in a row, RAGBRAI enthusiasts can Learn about the Land during the 2013 Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa July 21st through the 27th. The joint project between the DNR, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Iowa Limestone Producers Association highlights the land, history, parks and other natural wonders that cyclists encounter on their late July quest across the state.

This year’s route crosses several of Iowa’s major landform regions. The bulk of the ride is over the rolling hills of the Southern Iowa Drift Plain, so riders should be prepared for some serious climbing in and out of valleys. Maps and cross sections are designed to help participants locate nearby parks, cities and landmarks each day of the ride. Look for Springbrook State Park on Day 2, Historic Valley Junction on Day 3, Red Rock Reservoir on Days 4 and 5, and Lacey-Keosauqua State Park on Day 7.

The seven-day set of RAGBRAI brochures produced by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is available online at www.igsb.uiowa.edu or http://ia.water.usgs.gov. Or, find the brochures July 21st at the Human and Natural History Partners booth at Expo in Council Bluffs where staff from the Office of the State Archaeologist, U.S. Geological Survey and the DNR will be available to answer questions. The brochure can be found each day along the route at the Iowa Conservation Team’s booths.

East Pott. County Fair begins today (Wednesday)

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The 2013 East Pottawattamie County Fair is set to begin today (Wednesday), in Avoca. The fair runs through Sunday, and as always, will feature the activities of area 4-H’ers, and entertainment for persons of all ages. Judging for the Queen Contest began Monday, and concludes Thursday evening at 6, with the coronation.

Four young ladies are vying for the title of Fair Queen: 16-year old Jessica Butcher, of Avoca; 17-year old Sophie Kock, of Hancock, and 16-year old Hannah Constable, of Shelby. Those teens will be juniors at A-H-S-T this fall. The fourth contestant is 18-year old Breanna Kixmiller, of Walnut, who will be a senior this fall, at the Atlantic High School.

That same evening, a new event débuts at the fair: a Family Fun Night, featuring carnival games, inflatable’s, face painting, a temporary tattoo artist and prizes for kids.  On the schedule Friday night, is the Texaco Country Showdown, a national touring country music talent search. That’ll be followed by the Figure 8 Races, and a demolition derby.

The East Pott. County Fair concludes with a livestock auction next Monday, July 22nd. For more on the fair, go to PottawattamieCountyFair.com or visit the fair’s Facebook page.

Massena woman wins big in scratch game, Lewis woman wins in Powerball

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Lottery reports a woman from Cass County is the latest, big instant scratch game winner in the County, during fiscal year 2013. Kristen Karstens, of Massena, won $50,000 in the “Super Crossword” game, with a ticket purchased at the 21st Century Co-Op C-Store, in Massena.

Fiscal Year 2013 ended June 30th, and the lottery released a review of its top prize winners for the year, last Friday. Officials say Tamara Wiley, of Lewis, was the county’s latest and biggest lotto winner during the year, winning $40,000 in the Powerball game, with a ticket purchased at an Atlantic Casey’s Store.

Even with all those winners, there are lottery prizes that expire without being claimed every year in Iowa. Lottery officials remind players to double-check their tickets for any prizes they may have won. In FY 2013, more than $1.3 million in prizes expired without being claimed in Iowa lotto games. Prize money left unclaimed after redemption deadlines goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions.

Winning lotto numbers may be checked by visiting the lottery website at www.ialottery.com or calling the winning numbers hotline at (515) 323-4633. They may also be checked by visiting a lottery retail outlet or calling the lottery at (515) 725-7900 from 8-a.m. to 4:30-p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., July 17th 2013

News

July 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — The family of a man charged in the 1994 killing of a 20-month-old boy has issued a statement expressing sympathy with the child’s family and asking the media to respect its privacy. The Mason City Globe Gazette reportsthe family of 37-year-old Michael Jason Cisneros issued the statement yesterday. Cisneros is charged with first-degree murder in the death of John Joseph Snyder Jr.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of people reporting a food-borne intestinal illness believed to have come from a contaminated vegetable is now at 134 in Iowa and Nebraska as new cases continue to surface. Iowa has reported 81 cases of cyclosporiasis spread across 25 counties. The Iowa Department of Public Health says at least five people have been hospitalized.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Des Moines say they have made the largest heroin bust in the city’s history. Des Moines police say they seized 11 pounds of heroin and three pounds of methamphetamine from a pick-up truck Saturday on Interstate 80. The Des Moines Register reports that’s more than 440 times as much heroin found in the city last year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials at a Des Moines zoo say a 16-year-old female lion has died of cancer. KCCI-TV reports that Gavivi died after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2012. The lion was born in 1997 and came to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines in 1999.