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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 9th 2013

News

January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police have charged a Cedar Rapids teenager with two counts of vehicular homicide in connection with a wrong-way crash that killed a woman Nov. 18. The Gazette reports the case against 17-year-old Chase Goers was transferred to adult court. Authorities say Goers’ blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit to drive.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A group of investors interested in building a casino near Cedar Rapids want to schedule a vote in early March. The Gazette reports the Vote Yes Linn County group has gathered more than 16,000 signatures to prompt a special election on the $80 to $100 million casino. County supervisors will meet today to set a voting date.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol is putting logos and emergency light bars on previously unmarked cars in an effort to increase its presence. The Gazette reports the administrative change was ordered by Department of Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London.

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Police say a central Iowa couple and a boy face gun charges in connection with the September shooting of another boy. Ankeny police arrested the man and woman and the woman’s 12-year-old son yesterday. Police found the victim, also 12, with a gunshot wound to the head. He survived.

Atlantic Police report three recent arrests

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested Monday, in Atlantic. In a report released Tuesday, officials said  36-year old Ezra Sedina, of Atlantic, was arrested for Violating a No Contact Order. And, 22-year-old Francis Kirchner along with 21-year-old Samantha Massa, both of Grant, were taken into custody. Each was charged with 4th Degree Theft/shoplifting.

Sedina and Kirchner were booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate, while Massa was cited and released from custody, with orders to appear in court at a later date.

The Harlan Board of Education: Annual report shows $2-million in savings & better solvency ratio

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District saved over $2 million in expenditures in 2012. In a regular board of directors meeting held Monday, the district received their good news from the annual audit report. Superintendent Justin Wagner said the main thing is the district was under budget.

“Financial Solvency is something that people can understand as school financials are extremely complicated. Our financial solvency ratio was 19.9 and this year increased to 29.1 and we knew it would for two reasons, property value evaluation went up and even though we reduced our levy to almost under $3 we knew our financial solvency will go up.” He said the district budgets conservatively which is why they saw the savings.

“In addition it is funny numbers because the state doesn’t tell us what our budget is going to be so our budget is projections. We budget conservatively because we remember what happened 5 years ago. Let’s say for example zero allowable growth and the state comes in and says no you get 2 percent. That makes it tricky. I want people to understand we are going to budget conservatively.” Wagner said “We are going to be aggressive educationally but budget conservatively and that’s why we see these great numbers.”

In other business, the board approved the purchase two new buses from Thomas Inc. for $161,260. The district has 22 buses. The two which are being replaced have over 200,000 miles on them. Wagner said during the meeting the district had already budgeted for the buses and will be paid for by PPEL. The board also approved the modified allowable growth for increasing enrollment funding. The district has seen an increase in enrollment which is why the district had a chance for allowable growth. Wagner called it a good problem to have and is a lot like a credit card limit where the district has a chance to spend money when they need to but no necessarily going to.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Shelby Co. Supervisors approve Hotel-Motel Tax resolution

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, approved a new resolution for, and changes to, the Hotel/Motel Tax. The biggest change is that the fiscal agent is being transferred from the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, to the Shelby County Auditor. With the change, the 20 percent administration fee that was going to the Chamber will now be omitted and 100 percent will go towards tourism. The resolution says 100-percent of the revenue derived from the tax shall be expended for the promotion and encouragement of tourism.

All requests for funding will have to be submitted to a Hotel/Motel tax Committee, which will be comprised of a Harlan City Council representative, Shelby Co. Board of Supervisor representative and one Shelby County Chamber board Representative. The committee also includes one rural business owner and a rural resident (both appointed by Shelby County), one Harlan business owner and one Harlan resident, both appointed by the City of Harlan.

The Shelby County Auditor will receive the tax revenues collected by the State of Iowa and administer the tax without charge. The Auditor will also provide the City of Harlan an annual report detailing all receipts and expenditures from the account. Supervisor Steve Kenkel said in the meeting one of the things the committee needs to talk about is the definition of tourism. He said “When I looked it up in the dictionary, everyone has a different definition. Tourism is a business of serving tourists or travelers that promote your attraction in your area and benefits the local economy. I think we have to have that focus and be on the same page.”

Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter said at the first Hotel/Motel Tax Committee meetings guidelines will be set and discussed so the definition isn’t so broad. The Harlan City Council was expected to act on a similar ordinance this evening at their meeting Tuesday evening. Supervisor Kenkel also brought a proposal to help promote economic development within Shelby County. The proposal, which the Board approved, was for a new member cost share program starting in the fiscal year 2013/2014.

The county is offering a cost share program with Shelby County Chamber members for reimbursement on their 1st year membership dues, up to 50 percent or $75 max and up to 30 new memberships per year. The first time Chamber members would submit a copy of their membership dues receipt to the County for the rebate. Kenkel said the program would continue the following year if at least 50 percent of the previous year’s first time memberships were renewed with the Chamber. The proposal could be offered for a 3rd year as well.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Iowa State Patrol to redesign unmarked cars

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol is putting logos and emergency light bars on previously unmarked cars in an effort to increase its presence.

Man unmarked (those without a light bar or IA State Patrol logo) patrol cars will be outfitted with lights and logos under a new directive.

The administrative change was ordered by new Department of Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London. It means there will be new equipment atop half of the 70 previously unmarked cars.

A patrol spokesman says the move is aimed at increasing law enforcement visibility on state roads. And it’s also aimed at encouraging people to obey the speed limit better. Each district will retain an unmarked vehicle, and others will keep two.

Records: Sac County murder suspect fantasized about rape

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Records show that a western Iowa man charged with murdering his mother and kidnapping another woman hours after getting out of prison last week told police in 2008 that he planned to use duct tape found in his backpack to rape a girl. The Wisconsin prosecutor in a 2009 car theft case involving Kirk Levin told the court Levin was once caught hiding in the basement of a girl he was targeting. Prison officials say they had no choice but to release the 21-year-old on Jan. 1st when his 5-year sentence for burglary ended three years early, under a state law that routinely cuts inmates’ sentences in half.

Levin was arrested Thursday, hours after prosecutors say he killed his mother at her Early home and abducted a 21-year-old woman, who escaped.

Neb. appeals court OKs DNA retesting in rape case

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Court of Appeals says a man convicted nearly four decades ago of rape should be allowed to seek new DNA testing in the case. Juneal Pratt is serving 32-to-90 years for the rape, sexual assault and robbery of two teenage Sioux City sisters at an Omaha motel in 1975. Kathy and Gail Schiefen, were 19 and 17 respectively, at the time.

Pratt has maintained his innocence and asked a Douglas County District judge to allow DNA testing of the evidence collected in his case, citing the availability of new tests. But Judge Russell Bowie denied the request in 2011, saying the evidence was not stored in a way that preserves its integrity and that it may have been contaminated by DNA from those who handled it.

But the appeals court said Tuesday that the lower court was wrong to make that conclusion.

Atlantic City Council to act on amended personnel policy

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two sections of the City of Atlantic’s Personnel Policy pertaining to how far our police officers can live from the City, and the number of non-union personal holidays allowed, will be discussed and acted on during a meeting Wednesday evening, of the Atlantic City Council. A resolution set to come before the Council would require the City’s police officers to live within a 25-minute response time of the City. The change to the current policy was requested by the Union and is supported by Police Chief Steve Green. The current personnel policy requires employees to live within five-miles of the City limits.  Green says the more lenient change in the policy would meet both the legal and operational requirements of his department.

The second portion of a resolution to the personnel policy would increase the number of personal holidays from two- to three- per year, for non-union employees. It would increase the total number of holidays from 10- to 11-days, and according to city officials, provide parity between the union and non-union workforce. John Lund, assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, said his survey of surrounding cities indicated the average number of holidays provided was 11.5 days.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council is expected to hear a report from Nishna Valley YMCA Director, Dan Haynes. Their meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall.

 

Cass County Supervisors to hold zoning ordinance hearing

News

January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The first of two public hearings pertaining to an amendment to the Cass County Zoning Ordinance, will take place Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. The hearing is with regard to a change in the zoning district or districts’ Permitted Principal Uses, and will take place during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors. The hearing will be followed by the first vote on approving the amended ordinance. A second hearing and vote on the amendment will be held January 16th.

In other business, the Supervisors will receive a quarterly report from County Conservation Department Director, Micah Lee. And, they’re  expected to act on approving a new hire for the Secondary Roads Department. The meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Supervisor’s Board Room, at the Cass County Courthouse.

8AM Newscast 01-08-2013

News, Podcasts

January 8th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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