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Atlantic City Council meeting set for Wed. evening

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session 5:30-p.m. Wednesday, in their chambers at City Hall. On the agenda is approval of an order to close Palm Street from 7th to 9th Streets on July 29th, to allow parking on one side of the street for the Cass County Fair. The street closure request comes from the Cass County Fair Board.

The Council will also act on approving a change order to the 2016 Street Improvement Project, which reflects the addition of a storm sewer on 8th Street, and for the railroad flagger requirement. Additional costs amount to just over $6,650, and brings the total for the 2016 Street Improvement Project (which includes 2017 improvements) to more than $1.66-million. City Administrator John Lund says the costs can easily be absorbed in Fund 320-750, or 2016-17 Capital Improvements and Equipment.

The Atlantic City Council will also act on passing a Resolution “Setting wages for Interim Library Director Position effect August 2nd, 2017.” The resolution pertains to Diane McFadden, whose appointment was approved by the Library Board, following the announced resignation of current Library Director Natalie Struecker, whose last day is August 1st. The Board set the wage at $18 per hour. The Council does have the right to  overturn that decision if it deems necessary.

McFadden currently works 30 hours per week. By remaining an hourly employee, she would be eligible for overtime. John Lund says once a new Library Director is hired, Diane’s old classification and wage would return to what was previously established.

And, the City Council, Wednesday, will hear a report from Code Enforcement Officer Kris Erickson on progress made this past Spring and early Summer.

College Springs man arrested on Cass County warrant, Tuesday

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A man from Page County was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a Cass County (IA) Sheriff’s Office warrant, for Violation of Probation. Deputies with the Page County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant just before 3-p.m. today (Tuesday), at 2378 270th street, about a mile north of College Springs.  The warrant was for 46-year old David Allen Holste, who resided at that location.

Holste was unable to post the $10,000 bond and is currently being held in the Page County Jail awaiting transportation to Cass County.

Holste (Page Co. S/O photo)

Surprise $2 million gift for nonprofits in Sioux City

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Charitable organizations in the Sioux City-area received an unexpected gift this week. Sioux City-native and World War Two veteran Bill Johnson died in late April at the age of 91. He lived his professional life in Los Angeles, accumulating wealth as a contractor. He returned to his hometown 11 years ago and has now left his estate to local nonprofits. Food Bank of Siouxland is one of the beneficiaries and its executive director, Linda Scheid has plans for the money.

“Mr. Johnson’s interest was in the area of children, so we will be dedicating his generous donation to us to supporting our work in fighting childhood hunger,” Scheid said. The $86,000 going to the Food Bank is the largest individual gift to the organization, at least since Scheid has been there. “One gift, all dedicated to childhood hunger, is really going to position us to take a strong stance and do some tremendous work in the months to come,” Scheid said.

The $2 million Johnson left behind is being split among 29 nonprofits working on children’s issues. Scheid said she had never heard of Johnson before getting word about the donation.

(Radio Iowa)

New law details firings of Iowa public workers for 1st time

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Newly released records show that public employees in Iowa have been fired in recent months for misconduct such as theft, fraud and student mistreatment. Documents detailing the firings and demotions of public employees have become available under a little-noticed but dramatic change to the Iowa Open Records Act signed by then-Gov. Terry Branstad in February.

The Associated Press used the law to obtain records of dozens of firings by state agencies, cities and school districts. A Polk County officer allegedly submitted fraudulent expense forms seeking reimbursement for 2,200 miles that he didn’t drive. A Department of Revenue clerk was accused of having 400 work records buried in her desk that she claimed she had completed. And a Cedar Rapids paraeducator who worked with children with autism allegedly mistreated a student.

Ex-Iowa seed company exec files $80M lawsuit over his firing

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

ADEL, Iowa (AP) — An executive for a prominent Iowa seed company is alleging he was wrongly fired by Iowa’s richest man and deprived his right to acquire $80 million worth of corporate stock.

Joseph Saluri filed a lawsuit Tuesday against billionaire Harry H. Stine and Stine Seed Company over his termination after 18 years as general counsel and vice president. It alleges Stine fired Saluri in March as part of a conspiracy to enrich others at Saluri’s expense.

Saluri alleges he was fired after trying to exercise his right to increase his ownership in M.S. Technologies, a Stine company that has agreements with Monsanto for soybean trait technologies. He says Stine officials wanted him to waive his right so the ownership could be acquired by Stine’s former son-in-law, but Saluri blocked the deal.

Ex-Iowa GOP caucus staffer awarded $2.2M in harassment suit

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A jury has awarded $2.2 million to a former Iowa Senate Republican caucus aide who sued the state and others for sexual harassment. The Des Moines Register reports that jurors handed down the award Tuesday to Kirsten Anderson, who was fired in 2012 as the caucus communications director hours after handing in a memo detailing rampant sexual harassment in the caucus office.

The 39-year-old Anderson testified at trial last week that sex, race and sexual orientation were regular topics of conversations and jokes in the office. Republican officials had denied she was harassed and argued she was fired because of poor job performance. But several other current and former staffers corroborated her claims of a hostile work environment.

Wildland fire suppression grants available to rural fire departments

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

AMES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources forestry section’s fire program, working in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service has grant money available for Iowa’s rural fire departments to help battle wildfires.

The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, slide in units, hoses, nozzles, adapters, portable tanks and pumps, personal protective equipment and communications equipment.  Additionally, if a fire department has a special need that can be tied directly to wildfire suppression, this grant allows for such special requests.

The grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for wildland fire equipment with a maximum reimbursement grant of $3,500 per department. Gail Kantak, state wildland fire supervisor for the Iowa DNR, reminds fire departments that they should send her a Wildland Fire Report whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire. Departments actively returning these reports can receive priority points in the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant application scoring process.

“It is important for rural fire departments to return these reports so we can assess the actual demands on our rural fire departments as a result of wildfire activity,” Kantak said. “The wildland fire reports are compiled locally and nationally and reported to Congress.”

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant applications are due October 15, 2017.  In mid-June, fire departments were mailed information about the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant. The grant application package and the Wildland Fire Report form are also available online at www.iowadnr.gov/fire.

For more information, contact Gail Kantak at gail.kantak@dnr.iowa.gov, 515-233-8067 or 515-233-1161.

Reynolds says governors concerned and ‘frustrated” about Medicaid costs, congressional inaction

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s submitting policy proposals to Iowa’s congressional delegation as her fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate consider changes in the nation’s individual insurance markets as well as the future of Medicaid. “You cannot continue to see the cost of Medicaid go up. It is just taking over state budgets,” Reynolds says. “We have to figure out a way, reasonably and responsibly, to make that happen and still provide the most vulnerable the services that they need. We are expected to do that and we should do that.”

Reynolds isn’t revealing what her proposals may be, but Reynolds told reporters this (Tuesday) morning there’s a need for both a “long-term solution” and a “stop gap” measure for the nearly 150-thousand Iowans who got Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act. “We can’t just take it away,” Reynolds says. “We have to be sure that we work with that population as we look to help them find job, provide them the support system they need…(or) a skill.”

Reynolds says congress should “relieve mandates” and provide more flexibility so states have more latitude in deciding who may enroll in Medicaid and what services are covered. Reynolds told reporters this (Tuesday) morning that she and other governors around the country are concerned about what congress may do on health care. “They need to get something done in Washington, D.C.,” Reynold says. “I’m frustrated as well as I think other governors are…I’m okay with flexibility, but they can’t shift all of the costs to the states. They have to be responsible in that state-and-federal partnership.”

There are about 72-thousand other Iowans who have gotten federal subsidies to buy private insurance through the Affordable Care Act “exchanges,” but only one company will offer policies on the exchange in 2018. Reynolds met with two top Trump Administration officials last week, lobbying for approval of the Iowa Insurance Commissioner’s temporary plan that may bring insurers back into Iowa’s exchange. “Making sure that 72,000 Iowans have some type of health care coverage come January 1 of 2018, so that is my focus right now,” Reynolds says.

Ron Corbett, the Republican challenging Reynolds’ bid for a four-year term as governor, has said Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature should have come up with their own solution months ago.

(Radio Iowa)

Public Hearing in Adair County Wed. morning

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will take place Wednesday morning in Greenfield, as part of the Adair County Board of Supervisor’s regularly scheduled session. The meeting gets underway at 9-a.m. with normal business updates and reports. County Engineer Nick Kauffman will present his report at around 9:10-a.m., which will include a Resolution to Request a Change to the Farm to Market System.

The Public Hearing at 9:30-a.m., is with regard to leasing County property. That will be followed at 9:45, by a report from Mike Kastner with ASK Studio, with regard to the courthouse elevator.

Audubon man arrested on ISP warrant in Pott. County

News

July 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports 32-year old Troy Gene Mack, of Audubon, was arrested a little before 10-p.m. Monday on an Iowa State Patrol warrant for Failure to Stop in an Assured Clear Distance. Mack was transported by a Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy to a location in Walnut, where a Pott. County Deputy took custody of him and transported Mack to the Pottawattamie County Jail.