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Branstad, Reynolds announce broadband expansion to nearly 90,000 homes across Iowa


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today (Monday) were joined at the administration’s weekly press conference by leaders from CenturyLink, Windstream, Frontier and Consolidated Communications to announce that the companies will expand broadband internet services across Iowa to nearly 90,000 homes. The broadband internet expansion, a priority of the Branstad-Reynolds administration, was made possible by $53.2 million in grants from the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF).

The Governor said “In Iowa, technology and access to broadband Internet is the great equalizer for our rural communities. We have put a focus on broadband Internet expansion because if our small businesses are to compete in a global economy, our schools are to have access to an abundance of online learning resources and our farmers are to connect their modern equipment for precision farming, we must connect every acre with broadband infrastructure.”

Reynolds said “To date, nineteen communities across our state have become certified Connected Communities. These cities and towns have demonstrated a commitment to continued economic growth by embracing the opportunity presented by 21st century technology.”

The FCC created the CAF in 2011 to foster growth in broadband access by transitioning funding that was supporting rural landline service to broadband service. The companies are planning the following buildout of broadband Internet in Iowa:

· CenturyLink will be receiving $17,893,887 to build out broadband to 34,827 locations.

· Windstream will be receiving $28,672,554 to build out broadband to 44,930 locations.

· Frontier will be receiving $4,240,587 to build out broadband to 5,438 locations.

· Consolidated Communications will be receiving $2,393,216 to build out broadband to 3,019 locations.

Wastewater treatment spill at Atlantic WWTP


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A malfunctioning, telescoping valve on a solid waste holding tank at the Atlantic Waste Water Treatment Plant Sunday night, resulting in about 10,000 gallons of treated, activated sludge solids reaching the East Nishnabotna River. Water Pollution Control Department Superintendent Tim Snyder said the problem was discovered by treatment plant staff when they arrived at around 7-a.m. today (Monday).

Snyder said the malfunction, which happened sometime between 8-and 9-pm Sunday, allowed the holding tank to drop three feet over the course of an hour. He says while a large portion was returned to the start of the plant, the plant drain pumps were overwhelmed by the sudden large flow. The valve is normally only lowered in 4-6 inch increments.

Excess solids then escaped the system by raising a manhole lid and going onto the ground ultimately reaching the river through the storm water drain. Plant cleaning equipment is cleaning up the solids captured on-site. Snyder says steps will be taken to add a secondary restraint on the valve and the manhole ring and lid will be changed to a bolt down configuration.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been notified, and they will notify those potentially affected downstream.

Atlantic woman arrested in Audubon County


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early Saturday morning in Exira resulted in the arrest of a Cass County woman. The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports 37-year old Jessica Ann Ostrus, of Atlantic, was charged with OWI/1st offense after being pulled over at around 2-a.m., Saturday. She was brought to the Audubon County Jail and released after appearing before the magistrate. Her preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 17th.

Work continues on Cass County bridge projects


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors held their regular, weekly meeting this (Monday) morning. During their brief session at the courthouse in Atlantic, the Board approved a beer permit and Sunday sales permit for the 21st Century Coop C-Store, in Massena, and an abatement or exemption of taxes for properties owned by the City of Atlantic (Including airport buildings and land, in Washington Township).

Board Chair Frank Waters said the Board took the same action last year. County Auditor Dale Sunderman read a letter from City Administrator John Lund prior to the Board’s vote to approve the request. And, Cass County Engineer Charles Marker reported on various, on-going bridge projects, some of which will be wrapping up, soon.

Marker says a patch repair on the deck and complete overlay on Bridge #414 near the Russell Joyce farm, should be completed this week. Also, the south piling has been driven on the Griswold Golf Course bridge has been completed, with the north pier having been done last week. The project is expected to be completed later this fall. Work continues as well, on the Landfill road bridge. Marker says it’ll be another couple of weeks before they can begin pouring the bridge deck.

And, Marker says there were about 50 applicants for the Secondary Roads Department’s Motor Grader position. He’s conducted six interviews, with a seventh coming up on Wednesday. He hopes to conclude the interviewing process soon.

Young visits Atlantic


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Republican Congressman David Young paid a visit to Atlantic over the weekend. His town hall meeting held at the Sweet Joy Shop, Saturday, was his ninth such meeting in Atlantic this month. Young, who represents the Third District, said the visits enable him to touch base with Iowans on Federal issues that affect them, such as Skilled Nursing, and philosophical issues regarding rules and regulations as it pertains to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which Young does not support.

So far, 31 Senate Democrats have come out in support of the deal, leaving the Administration just three votes shy of being able to override a Republican veto by Congressional Resolution of Disapproval. The deal, reached with Iran, the U.S. and five other nations, lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

Young says there are still too many unanswered questions about the deal. Among the issues affecting Iowans, especially farmers, is proposed EPA water regulations which Young says could mean drastic changes to the way farms manage their land.

He says farmers may have to go to the EPA and ask for a permit to tile the fields. The EPA could also conduct inspections to make sure municipalities and farmers are in compliance with the proposed Waters of the USA rule. He says we need to demand the EPA site down face-to-face with farmers and local leaders to discuss any proposed rules, before they are implemented.

He says also he knows there is a lot of frustration with government among Americans, and he’s trying to do his part to bring more integrity and confidence in the system, to get things done.

Family Health Challenge Begins in Iowa Tuesday


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The number of children who are overweight or obese in Iowa has been swelling for decades, but a month-long event starting Tuesday aims to gain some traction in reversing that trend. The “Life is WhyFamily Health Challenge is broken down into four themed weeks.

Kassi Wessing, communications director for American Heart Association in Iowa, says the first component is focused on the foods people buy at the grocery store and is called My Cart is Why. “We hear so often that ‘Oh, I can’t eat healthier because it’s expensive,'” she relates. “And so the families that sign up for this challenge are going to be given tools and resources to put more fruits and vegetables into that cart without breaking the budget.”

The other three weeks will focus on reducing the consumption of soft and other sugary drinks, reducing the amount of sodium in the diet and increasing the amount of physical activity. Currently, around 30 percent of children in Iowa are considered overweight or obese. While the road to better physical health and weight loss can be daunting for some, Wessing says that the suggested activities are things that families can easily do together at home.

“That dinner table is so important to families for that time together and for that bonding and for those healthy meals,” she explains. “And then also bringing them together to do these activities and to have fun together and to get out and get active together.”

Those wanting to take part in the “Life is Why” Family Health Challenge can find all the details online at the American Heart Association Facebook page.

(Iowa News Service)

CCHS Offers Community Blood Screenings


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System (CCHS) is offering low-cost community blood screenings for people ages 18 and over during September in Atlantic, Anita, Griswold, and Massena. Mitch Whiley, CCMH Laboratory Director, says “Regular blood screenings are a valuable tool in the early detection and treatment of many chronic diseases.”

The screenings will be held in the following locations, dates and times:

CCMH Atrium, Atlantic, 7 – 9 am on:
• Wednesday, September 16th
• Thursday, September 17th
• Friday, September 18th
• Saturday, September 19th
• Wednesday, September 23rd
• Thursday, September 24th
• Friday, September 25th
• Saturday, September 26th

Anita Medical Center, 7 – 9 am, on:

Monday, September 28th

Griswold Medical Center, 7 – 8 am, on:

Tuesday, September 29th

Massena Medical Center, 7 – 8 am, on:

Wednesday, September 30th

Appointments can be made by calling 712-249-0667. The cost for the blood profile is $35. The basic blood profile includes the following: Lipid Panel (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL), Glucose, Complete Blood Count (CBC), Liver Function, Kidney Function, and Thyroid Screening.

The PSA test (Prostate Specific Antigen) is available to men for an additional $20. The cost for a blood profile with A1c is $47, and a Vitamin D screening is an additional $30.

Participants should fast overnight before their appointment, although a small amount of water or black coffee the morning of the blood draw is fine.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 8/31/2015

News, Podcasts

August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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


2 arrested on drug charges Saturday in Creston


August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested on drug charges early Saturday morning, in Creston. The Creston P-D says 18-year old Wesley Oliphant, of Lenox, and 40-year old Amy Crispin, of Creston, both face Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges after they were taken into custody a little after 1-a.m., Saturday, at 611 W. Adams Street. Crispin faces an additional charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana – 2nd offense. She was released from the Union County Jail on $2,000 bond, while Oliphant was released on $300 bond.

On Sunday, 28-year old Adam Drake, of Creston, was arrested on charges of Public Intoxication/3rd or subsequent offense. He was being held in the Ringgold County Jail, with bond set at $2,000. And last Friday, 50-year old Daniel Snedeker, of Diagonal, was arrested in Creston for Driving Under Suspension. He was later released on $300 bond.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 8/31/2015

News, Podcasts

August 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:05-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson