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2 accidents in Union County

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says no injuries were reported following two recent, separate accidents. Officials say 20-year old Adam Hoffman, of Creston, was driving a 2010 Chevy Impala southbound on Yellow Rose Avenue at around 5:20-a.m. today (Thursday), when his vehicle met a 2000 Chevy driven by 50-year old Melissa Rodden, of Murray, at the crest of a hill. Both vehicles were in the center of the road. Hoffman swerved to avoid a collision, but Rodden’s car hit the Impala on the left rear side. Damage amounted to $4,000. No citations were issued.

The other accident in Union County happened just after 7-p.m. Wednesday, when a southbound 2003 Dodge driven by 36-year old Sheri Watters, of Shannon City, failed to stop at a stop sign for the intersection of 240th and Lark Avenue. Her car hit a 1989 dump truck driven by 29-year old Trever Tucker, of Creston, as he was traveling west on 240th. Damage from the collision amounted to $8,000. Watters was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

Atlantic postpones 3rd grade summer school; Assessments in limbo

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein, Wednesday, reported to the School Board, the 3rd grade Summer School and 3rd grade Retention for Reading, has been postponed until the Summer of 2018. He said also, of concern to the school board, is the fact there has been no funding attached to assessments. Amstein said the latest word he’s received, is that funding will be attached for those programs in the next legislative session. He wasn’t holding his breath though, says “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Amstein said also, that the “Smarter Balanced Assessment” was put off until May 2018. In November 2015, the Iowa legislature began a formal process of adopting a new state assessment to replace the current state tests in math and reading taken each year by Iowa students. Smarter Balanced Assessments were recommended by a legislatively created task force of Iowans.

He said “At this time, we don’t know what our State Assessment’s going to be. We’re kind of in limbo on what we need to prepare for, for the upcoming year.” Amstein says it’s another case of “We’ll just have to see what happens.”

Smarter Balanced Assessments are designed to accurately measure how students have progressed in reaching expectations set by Iowa’s academic standards, which outline what students in kindergarten through 12th grade should know and be able to do in math, English-language arts, science, social studies and 21st century skills.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 6/9/2016

News, Podcasts

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 6/9/2016

News, Podcasts

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Iowa’s ag boss says impacts of 2015 bird flu outbreak are still being felt

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More than a year after the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa, poultry producers have rebuilt their flocks, but they’re still feeling the lingering economic impact. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says there were no cases of bird flu in the state this spring, and with the warmer weather now, it should not reappear. “We didn’t have any high-path avian influenza in the Midwest or the country this year,” Northey says. “We had that one outbreak in Indiana in January. That got settled very quickly. They say they learned a lot by what the process was a year ago. They did a great job of shutting that down and we had no more.”

Bill Northey, IA Sec. of Agriculture

Bill Northey, IA Sec. of Agriculture

Despite that, Northey says there are some longer-term market impacts from the bird flu outbreak. Northey says, “There were some customers of eggs that were buying eggs before high-path avian influenza and once eggs got very expensive or they had trouble getting eggs, they took eggs out of the recipe for the consumer products they were producing and since, have not put eggs back in.” As a result, he says poultry operations in Iowa and elsewhere are dealing with egg prices that are down significantly.

“We’re seeing some of the lowest prices for eggs that we’ve ever seen because we have production back but we don’t have demand back,” Northey says. “The egg producers are struggling right now with very low prices.” Northey says the break-even level for many Iowa egg producers is about 50-cents a dozen, but they’re getting about half that. Iowa had 75 confirmed bird flu sites in 18 counties last year and some 32-million birds had to be destroyed. It’s estimated the avian flu outbreak cost the state one-point-two BILLION dollars.

(Radio Iowa)

11 children were living in filth, Iowa authorities say

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A Council Bluffs man has been charged with child endangerment after authorities found that 11 children were living in filthy conditions.
The Daily Nonpareil reports Richard Simet is charged with neglect of a dependent person and a dozen counts of child endangerment. Those are the same charges facing 34-year-old Bobbi Simet, who authorities say isn’t married to Richard Simet.

The charges stem from an investigation done by the Iowa Human Services Department and Council Bluffs police. Officials say they found the children’s home to be very dirty, infested with cockroaches and smelling like urine. The children range in age from 2 to 14.

Atlantic School Board to act on formal PPEL Election Resolution next month

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education, Wednesday evening, discussed but took no action on their plans to hold a special election in September, with regard to the voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and PPEL Income Surtax. The Board did, however, agree to have the district’s lawyer look over a draft resolution for placing the Income Surtax before the voters, only. The idea is to have the resolution ready by their next meeting on July 13th, so that it can be submitted to Cass County Election Commissioner Dale Sunderman by July 25th, the deadline for a next special election to be set.

The current, draft Resolution of Election calls for a vote on the PPEL Income Surtax, only, which if approved, would begin July 1st, 2017. The language states “The percentage of Income Surtax will not exceed 20-percent (to be determined by the Board each year), with the total taxation not to exceed 85-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in any one tax year. If the measure fails, it would still not “Terminate or restrict authority previously granted by the voters to levy a special tax for any one or more of the purposes permitted by Iowa law.”  A similar Measure placed before the voters last fall, failed. School Board members hope to have the matter explained in more detail at future, public meetings.

In other business, the Atlantic School Board voted 4-to 1 in favor of a 3% salary increase beginning with the 2016-17 School Year, for School District Administrators and Supervisors, with Dr. Swanson voting against. They also approved, by a vote of 4-to 0, a 3% salary increase for Central Office clerical staff, with Board Chair Josh McClaren abstaining due to a conflict of interest.  Prior to the vote, School Board member Jenny Williams requested to have Business Manager Mary Beth Fast’ increase removed from the group increases. She said that’s because compared with the State average pay for District Business Managers, Atlantic’s is pretty high.

Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein had requested both increases. The cost of the salary increase for Administrators and Supervisors amounts to $29,108, which includes IPERS and FICA. Amstein noted that during the 2015-16 school year, the Administrators and Supervisors did not receive a raise, but were given five additional vacation leave days that they were allowed to exchange for cash at the end of the school year. The same offer does not apply to the coming school year, but Amstein requested those individuals be able to retain the option to be paid for up to 5 days unused vacation leave at the end of the 2016-17 school year. With regard to the Central Office clerical staff, Amstein says the cost of their salary increase would amount to $9,377, which again, includes IPERS and FICA. It affects four clerical positions, two tech support and one grounds maintenance positions.

The 3% increase is less than the total package agreement negotiated with the non-certified employees association for the 2016-17 year.

Jasper County teen killed in crash, four others injured

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A teenager was killed in a traffic crash Wednesday morning in central Iowa’s Jasper County. It happened shortly after 7:30 a.m. when a car and truck collided at an intersection in Kellogg. The truck caught on fire, but the three people inside were able to escape. The driver of the car, 16-year-old Trenton Brady of rural Kellogg, died at the scene. A passenger in the car and three occupants of the truck, were taken to hospitals.

(Radio Iowa)

Multiple semi crashes in I-80 construction zone in Iowa County

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Traffic safety officials are looking at possible changes to a construction zone on Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa. Jim Schnoebelen, the Iowa DOT’s District 6 engineer, says around a half-dozen semis have crashed in the work zone near Ladora within the last week. “I can confirm there’s been at least five and maybe as many as six or seven,” Schnoebelen said.

Ladora I-80 construction area wreck

Ladora I-80 construction area wreck

The Department of Transportation is fixing decking on a bridge, which is forcing traffic to use temporarily shifted lanes in both eastbound and westbound directions. The speed limit on I-80 in the construction zone is reduced to 55 miles an hour. There’s a narrow shoulder in the right lane in both directions and, apparently, it’s causing problems for semi drivers in particular.

“We’re looking to see if we may even have some camera footage that would allow us to review the accidents,” Schnoebelen said. “It seems like most of them appear to be (semis) just slipping off the side of the road. I’m not sure about the cause of that…whether it’s just distracted driving or not enough margin of error for the room available there.” So far, there have not been reports of serious injuries in the crashes. Since there is a narrow shoulder, the DOT installed signs telling truck drivers to use the left lane.

“It may be an issue, at times, where trucks don’t have that opportunity to get over to the left lane. So, we’re taking a look at whether there needs to be more advanced warning to make sure they’re aware of that upcoming work zone,” Schnoebelen said. The construction work in the area started last week and is expected to last until September.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, June 9th 2016

News

June 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

LAWTON, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa city clerk has been fired after police say he tried to meet an underage boy in Nebraska for sex. The Sioux City Journal reports that city council members in Lawton unanimously voted Tuesday to remove City Clerk Douglas Furlich. He was arrested Thursday and charged with sexual assault through the use of an electronic device.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Patty Judge opened her general election campaign against one of the most-entrenched senators in Washington by making a trip to Washington herself _ Washington, Iowa, that is. One day after the former lieutenant governor defeated three other Democrats for the nomination, she met with local supporters there over lunch. Democratic activists say that kind of ground-level politics is the only way she can pull an upset against Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who ranks fourth in Senate seniority.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ruled that a Des Moines teenager accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy will face trial in adult court. The Des Moines Register reports that District Associate Judge Joseph Seidlin chose to transfer 15-year-old Marvin Holmes’ first-degree murder trial from juvenile to adult district court Wednesday. Holmes is accused of shooting Kendall Foster in the back April 29.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former employee of The Swiss Colony catalog sales company has pleaded guilty to an elaborate fraud scheme in which he stole and sold its merchandise online for years. Chad Saeugling faces a possible prison sentence after entering guilty pleas Wednesday for mail fraud and making false statements to financial institutions.