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Car catches fire after single vehicle crash in Montgomery County


November 23rd, 2016 by Chris Parks

One person suffered possible/minor injuries during a single-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon, in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of the vehicle, 32-year-old Gwen Marie Vanderhoof, of Elliott, was transported to the Montgomery County Hospital by Red Oak Rescue.

The accident happened at around 2:40-p.m., in the 1600 block of 200th Street. Authorities say Vanderhooof was driving a 2001 Dodge Stratus westbound on 200th street, when she attempted to pull to the shoulder of the road because her vehicle began to smoke.  The woman was traveling too fast and lost control on the gravel shoulder. Her car went over a driveway and struck a culvert before continuing over another driveway and finally coming to rest.  The vehicle erupted into flames, which were extinguished by crews from the Red Oak Fire Department.  The car, valued at around $3,000, was a complete loss.

Villisca woman arrested for Criminal Mischief Wednesday


November 23rd, 2016 by Chris Parks

An investigation into an incident Wednesday in Villisca, resulted in a woman taken into custody for Criminal Mischief. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 20-year-old Brianna J. Nethery, of Villisca, was arrested at around 1:23-p.m. for  Criminal Mischief in the 5th Degree for an incident that allegedly occurred at 102 E. 6th Street, in Villisca.  Nethery was transported to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where her bond was set at $300.

Audit finds a need to continue tightening controls in clerk of court offices


November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A state audit of the 99 Clerk of Court offices in Iowa shows some issues with having enough oversight of the fines and other funds that come into the offices. The annual audit shows the funds are often handled by one person and there needs to be adequate checks on their work — especially when cash is involved. Deputy State Auditor Andy Nielsen says the administrators are working to improve the situation.

“They’ve been doing a good job of reducing the number of comments each year. Some of the comments are going to be there due to the fact that some of the clerks offices are very small and there are not enough people there to have an adequate segregation of duties,” according the Nielsen. Nielsen says it’s a matter of proper accounting techniques. “That’s the difficulty when there’s just one or two people there. People leave for lunch, people are on vacation, etcetera. The judicial branch has done a good job of having an internal auditor take a look at some of the conciliation’s and those type of things. And that’s what you relay upon,” Nielsen says. One other thing the audit found was some disparity in the rate of pay used when community service is used in the place of paying a fine.

The rate is supposed to be the state minimum wage, but in some cases a higher rate of pay had been assigned. “There is a statutory rate that’s supposed to be supplied, and sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle,” Nielsen says. “And we’re just asking that they try to keep that consistent with what the law requires.” If someone was credited with a rate that was higher than the state minimum wage of seven-dollars, 25 cents and hour, they could do less community service to pay off a fine than someone who had their time figured at the proper rate.

“You want to make sure that people are being treated consistently by applying the same hourly rate,” Nielsen says. The audit has a grid at the back of the report that checks off areas where each county needs to improve. “I know the number of check marks in the back are down fairly substantially from the prior year, which is a good trend,” Nielsen says. “Over the last few years they have continued to identify and take care of those issue. From our standpoint — and the standpoint of the taxpayers — that’s a good thing.”

You can see the full audit report on the State Auditor’s website.

(Radio Iowa)

Management offer to AFSCME-covered state employees? Zero for pay raises


November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The leader of the union that represents the largest group of state employees is sharply critical of the contract offer made today (Wednesday) by representatives of Governor Terry Branstad. Danny Homan is president of AFSCME Council 61. “This is a clear indication to me that this governor is going to try and hurt the people that work for the state,” Homan says. Employees in the executive branch who are covered by an AFSCME contract would NOT get a pay raise in the next two years under today’s initial offer.

Management’s initial offer to the 600 members of the State Police Officers Council was for a one-percent pay raise. “The message Terry Branstad is sending to me right now is that State Troopers are worth more in this state than correctional officers who guard our most violent criminals in our prison,” Homan says, “that state troopers are more important than the folks that work in a Mental Health Institute and become punching bags for folks that are mentally ill.”

The Branstad Administration is not offering health insurance as a benefit to either bargaining unit. The governor has indicated he’ll ask legislators to consider a “master” agreement on health care benefits for union workers at ALL levels of government. That would include state workers, as well as those employed by cities, counties and school districts.

Homan says union workers provide “necessary services” and some deal with the state’s most vulnerable and violent people, but he concedes Republicans at the statehouse may try to change labor laws like Wisconsin Republicans did in 2011. “Will we become Wisconsin? If we do, shame on us. Take a look at what’s happened in Wisconsin, like 35th or 36th in job growth. We’re already last in the nation in mental health care,” Homan says. “…Is this what the citizens of Iowa want? I hope not.”

Janet Phipps, the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, is Governor Branstad’s lead negotiator on union contracts. “It appears it’s going to be a tight budget year.” And Phipps says that’s one reason for the offer of “zero” when it comes to pay raises for workers covered by AFSCME’s contract.

(Radio Iowa)

Meyer takes Iowa lawsuit to federal court

News, Sports

November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The former top-ranked female administrator for the University of Iowa athletic department has taken her lawsuit against the school from state to federal court. Jane Meyer filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the school, athletic director Gary Barta and the Iowa Board of Regents of violating her First Amendment and Title IX rights.

Meyer says that discovery and deposition testimony in her state-level case led her to believe that Barta’s decision to remove her from the athletic department was made only after Meyer had presented Barta a memo in which she complained about gender equity, equal pay and retaliation against her and others.

Atlantic has been recognized as a Neighborhood Champion for the third year in a row by American Express


November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says it is pleased to announce that Atlantic has been recognized as a Neighborhood Champion for the third year in a row by American Express. Ouida Hargens, Atlantic Area Chamber Executive Director, says
“We’re excited to partner with all of the Atlantic Area business to create shopping incentives and activities to celebrate Small Business Saturday.”

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday® is a day to celebrate the small businesses that help support our community. American Express created the Neighborhood Champion Program to help rally communities around Small Business Saturday and is working alongside numerous business organizations to support local Small Business Saturday celebrations throughout the country.

Hargens says “American Express recognizes communities that have strong participation. The on-going Shop Local Passport Program, the Holiday Ice Skating Rink and overall community support all helped Atlantic achieve this national recognition. It’s a great opportunity for Atlantic to receive national recognition and support the vibrant character of our community.”

You’re invited to enjoy Atlantic and show your community pride this Saturday, November 26th, by shopping small businesses and be sure to take advantage of the first ever Holiday Skating Rink. Receive double stamps on your Shop Local Passport and a Shop, Scratch & Win ticket. Visit www.christmasinatlantic.com for a list of participating businesses and a full schedule of activities.

Glenwood P-D report (11/23)


November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports two arrests took place, Tuesday. 50-year old Carl Galvan, of Glenwood, was arrested for violating the terms of a No Contact Order. His bond was set at $5,000. And, 48-year old Cynthia Devault, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Driving While Suspended. Her bond was set at $300.

Cass County Supervisors want solid numbers on ethanol plant proposal

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s Wednesday, tabled action on a request from Elite Octane, LLC ethanol plant representatives, for a financial assistance package from the County, until lawyers for the County and Company can come together to present some solid numbers on what the County’s obligations would be. Elite Octane wants to construct an ethanol plant in Cass County, and requests to use property tax revenues generated by the increase in valuation due to construction of the facility (Tax Incremental Finance) for the project.

The Board discussed: the assessed value of the proposed 120 million gallons-per-year facility, which is estimated to be anywhere from $27-to 33-million dollars; taxes generated (estimated $750,000 to $900,000 in new taxes each year); county and city infrastructure expense; legal counsel; and a financial assistance package. The matter was then taken under advisement, with legal counsel for both entities expected to bring more substantial information to the next meeting.

And, while the company requested the Board of Supervisors set Dec. 7th as the date for a public hearing on a financial package, it’s questionable if negotiations can move along that quickly. If all the chips fall into place, the company has promised the creation of 49 new jobs with 45 of them paying more than $18.50 an hour.

In other business, the Cass County Board of Supervisors heard from representatives of the Cass County Agricultural and Educational Association, the Fair Board and the Fair Grounds Committee, who reported on how the money contributed by the county is used. They asked the board to consider an unspecified increase in the annual contribution (currently $58,000).  The request was taken under consideration.

And, an organization offered to provide Christmas lights to decorate the evergreen on the northwest area of the courthouse block.  The County would need to run power to near the tree and have the lights installed.  Lights would remain on the tree year round.  A bid was obtained for power installation and hanging of the lights. A motion was  made by Duane McFadden, and seconded by Chuck Rieken, to accept the proposal to provide Christmas lights and the bid of $1,500 to install power and hang lights. After discussion and a roll call vote, the motion failed. Gaylor Schelling and Duane McFadden voted in favor, Frank Waters, Chuck Rieken and Mark Wedemeyer voted against it.

The Board also adopted a Resolution abating the taxes, interest and penalties on a parcel of land now owned by the City of Griswold, and as allowable under Iowa Code.

Shop with a Sheriff in Pott. County to be held Dec. 10th


November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff Jeff Danker has announced that on December 10, 2016 at 6:30 AM the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with Target at Metro Crossing will hold the 18th annual “Shop with the Sheriff.” 18 years ago, Lt. Larry Brown had the idea to start helping residents of Pottawattamie County that are in need during the Christmas season. With Lt. Brown’s idea in mind, Sheriff Jeff Danker began the ‘Shop with the Sheriff’ campaign.shop-with-the-sheriff

Over the last 18 years, the Sheriff’s Office says it has had the privilege of bringing joy to over 450 children living in Pottawattamie County. Last year employees both sworn and civilian from the various Sheriff’s Office Divisions shopped with 45 children.

This year, 58 children will be shopping for outerwear, clothing and toys with employees and family members from the Sheriff’s Office. Each family of the participating children will also receive a food basket for the holiday season.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office “Shop with the Sheriff” event is made possible by the generous donations from citizens, organizations and businesses throughout the area.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 11/23/2016 (Delayed post)

News, Podcasts

November 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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