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Accident northwest of Elliott Thu. morning

News

November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Rescue crews responded early this (Thursday) morning to a single-vehicle accident, northwest of Elliott. According to dispatch reports, a 22-year old male hit his head during the crash. His injuries were severe enough to cause LifeNet helicopter to be launched. The accident near 49229 Pioneer Trail was reported at around 5:30-a.m.

No other details are available.

Branstad wants to see ‘a whole series of options & ideas’ to fix state system for financing road construction

News

November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says he’s open to considering all options that might boost the amount of money available to fix Iowa’s roads and bridges. “I’m interested in coming up with additional funding for the Road Use Tax Fund,” Branstad told Radio Iowa Wednesday afternoon, “and I want to look at a whole series of options and ideas.” The state gas taxes paid when motorists fill up at Iowa pumps are deposited in the state’s Road Use Tax Fund, but transportation officials have said for the past several years there’s not enough money being generated from the gas tax to finance needed road and bridge repairs and new construction.

It’s partly because modern vehicles get far better gas mileage — so fewer gallons of fuel are purchased — and partly because the state gas tax of 22 cents per gallon hasn’t been raised since 1989. Branstad says he isn’t calling on legislators to pass an increase in the state gas tax. Branstad suggests a wide-ranging combination of actions should be considered. “I want to look at fees for heavier loads being transported across the state,” Branstad says. “I want to look at different options for diesel than gas and maybe different mechanisms in terms of the way it’s done.”

One idea floated last year would be to charge the state sales tax on fuel purchases. One of the complications lawmakers are considering is that drivers of new hybrid vehicles which primarily run on electricity pay little, if anything, for using the roads compared to those who pay the gas tax when they fill up. “I really believe that we need a more modern and efficient system,” Branstad says, “and I also want to do something that will maybe give some option opportunities to local governments as well.”

Branstad wants to explore giving cities and counties that receive a combination of state and federal dollars to finance road projects a way to opt out of Davis-Bacon restrictions. Those federal rules require federally-financed projects to pay construction workers the prevailing wage in the county. Republicans say that unnecessarily inflates the cost of projects and benefits construction firms that employ union labor, while Democrats have traditionally opposed efforts to do away with prevailing wage rules.

Iowa cities and counties already get a share of state gas tax revenue, but local officials have complained it’s not a large enough share based on the number of miles of city streets and county roads when compared to the number of miles of state-maintained highways. Some areas of the state with pressing needs have resorted to asking voters to raise their property taxes to finance local road and bridge projects.

Branstad says he’s talked with leaders from both parties to see if there’s some way to come up with a “bipartisan consensus” among legislators this year, compared to previous years when no agreement emerged. The 2015 Iowa Legislature convenes Monday, January, 12th.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Nov. 20 2014

News

November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senator Chuck Grassley has offered an emotional farewell to longtime colleague Tom Harkin, who is retiring after three decades in the Senate. Grassley spoke on the Senate floor yesterday. The Republican Grassley and Democratic Harkin have served from Iowa together since the mid-1980s. Grassley noted that Wednesday was Harkin’s 75th birthday.

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — School officials have issued an apology to victims of a 2011 hazing incident at a Greenfield high school. KCCI-TV reports the apology came as part of a settlement Tuesday from the incident in the high school’s wrestling room. Two students were originally charged with second-degree sexual abuse, but the charges were reduced to first-degree harassment.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 9-year-old boy has suffered minor injuries after being hit by a car in Council Bluffs. Police Department Sergeant Jason Bailey says Joshua McNutt was hit Wednesday morning at an intersection. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports the driver of the car will not be charged.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A Burlington woman is being honored for her part in saving a man’s life at a Milwaukee music festival over the summer. The Hawk Eye reports Shelley Jochims and her family were attending Summerfest in July when her husband saw man collapse on the Milwaukee lakefront. The Wisconsin police department is awarding her with its highest civilian honor, a Valorous Conduct Award.

Atlantic Mayor urges residents/business owners-tennants to attend Hwy 6 construction meeting in Dec.

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening, approved a request from the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, for the closure of Chestnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets, in preparation for this Thursday’s Annual Christmas Grand Lighting event (5:30-p.m.) at the Atlantic City Park. Chestnut Street will be closed from 4-p.m. Thursday through 9-a.m., Friday.

The Council also approved a change order amounting to $3,900, for additional design services that include plan preparation and the making of sanitary sewer improvements a separate division of work. The vote was 6-to 1, with Councilman Chris Jimerson the lone “nay” vote. The change order affects the 2014 Highway 6 reconstruction program.

With regard to Highway 6 (7th Street, in Atlantic) Mayor Dave Jones wanted to let citizens, business owners and tenants of businesses located along 7th Street know about a public meeting that will take place Dec. 2nd at the Iowa DOT District 4 Office in Atlantic, with regard to the proposed reconstruction of 7th Street from Olive to 880-feet east of Plum Street (near the Burger King Restaurant). (For more information: http://www.news.iowadot.gov/pim/2014/11/us-6-in-cass-county-dec-2-2014.html)

The meeting will take place from 4:30-to 6-p.m. at the office, located at 2210 E. 7th Street. As part of the project, the driveway and sidewalk system within the project limits will also be improved to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The meeting will be conducted utilizing an open forum format. Iowa DOT staff will be present to informally discuss the proposed improvements. No formal presentation will be made. During the proposed construction, traffic would be detoured during construction using Iowa 83, Iowa 173, Interstate 80, and U.S. 71.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council approved an Engineering Contract with Snyder and Associates, for the 2015 Street Improvement Project (SIP), in the amount of $127,750, and a similar contract with Snyder’s for the Sanitary Sewer Relining Project, in the amount of $21,850. Mayor Jones said when the 2014 SIP is finished, 95-percent of the streets in town will be in good to excellent condition. Other areas will be repaired on an as-needed basis.

The Street Improvement Project will include: 5th Street, from Walnut to Mulberry; 6th Street, from Spruce to Walnut; 8th Street, from Palm to Poplar and Walnut to Cherry Streets; 14th Street, from Linn to Olive; 16th Street, from Oak to Olive; Laurel Street, from 8th to 10th; Linn Street from the railroad tracks to Commerce; and Spruce Street, from 5th to 7th.

The sewer relining project includes the following streets: Teresa Drive, from 14th to the cul-de-sac; Bryn Mawr Blvd., from Ridge Road to the apartment complex parking lot; 18th Street, from Hillcrest to Fair Ridge Circle; Fair Ridge Circle, from 18th to Oak Streets; Walnut Street, from 9th to 11th; 19th Street, from Hemlock to Bryn Mawr Circle; Chestnut Street, from the 1901 to 2001 addresses; and 8th Street from Cherry to Plum.

In his report to the Council, Interim City Administrator John Lund said “The budget is moving faster than we have for the past few years,” with three departments having completed their revised estimates and proposals for the next fiscal year. Numbers for the City’s Capital Improvements Program are being put together, and Lund says he’ll have a bond proposal ready in-time for the next Personnel and Finance Committee meeting to review.

Lund is also coordinating with the Atlantic School District to address the traffic flow problem in front of the Washington Elementary School. Union negotiations are set to begin Thursday, and, the City’s lawn mowing ordinance will be ready for the first reading at the next City Council meeting.

2 vehicle crash east of Atlantic

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police and other emergency personnel were called to the scene of a two vehicle crash Wednesday evening, east of town.  Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green says the accident occurred at around 5:30-pm on the railroad overpass bridge on Highway six.  Two people were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital.  Additional details are currently not available.

Iowa man arrested near White House with gun in car

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Iowa man is being held on a weapons charge after Secret Service officers say they found a hunting rifle, dozens of rounds of ammunition and a knife in his car parked near the White House. The Secret Service says R.J. Kapheim, 41, was arrested on a charge of having an unregistered firearm.

Kapheim, from Davenport, Iowa, was arrested after he approached uniformed officers along 15th Street just before 1 p.m. Wednesday and explained that someone in Iowa told him to drive to the White House. He later showed them to his car parked nearby and let officers search the vehicle. The agency reports they found the rifle, ammunition and a 6-inch knife in the truck of his 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

Police say Iowa high school safe after bomb threat

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a northern Iowa high school evacuated after a bomb threat has been declared safe. The Spencer Police Department says students at Spencer High School were taken back to the school Wednesday afternoon then dismissed for the day.

The Sioux City Journal reports a written bomb threat was found Wednesday morning on one of the school’s interior walls. Officials say they took the threat seriously and transported students to an undisclosed location.

Officer Kyle Van Otterloo says officers checked around the school and found no explosive devices inside.

Teen Arrested After Fire Incident at Abraham Lincoln High School

News

November 19th, 2014 by Jim Field

Authorities in Council Bluffs said Wednesday a 14-year-old boy was charged with first-degree arson in connection with a fire that occurred Tuesday, at the Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School. The unidentified teen was transported to the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center. A 15-year old boy also interviewed in connection with the incident, will not face charges.

Firefighters responded to the school Tuesday after a tackling dummy was set ablaze on the mezzanine level of the gymnasium, at around 12:15-p.m. The school’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire by the time fire crews arrived. The gym sustained water, smoke and fire damage as a result of the fire and firefighting efforts.

All students were evacuated for about 10 minutes Tuesday afternoon until the fire department confirmed it was safe for them to re-enter the school.

Atlantic man arrested Wednesday

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested this (Wednesday) morning. Officials with the Atlantic Police Department said 21-year old Jacob Sweeney, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a charge of Operating a motor vehicle While License is barred. Sweeney was booked into the Cass County Jail.

3 accidents in Atlantic last Saturday

News

November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department today (Wednesday), released details about three separate accidents that took place during last Saturday’s snow event. Officials say at around 8:50-a.m., vehicles driven by Erica Bengel and Allan Coffin, both of Atlantic, collided at 7th and Maple Streets. Bengel stopped at the intersection as she was heading north on Maple, but then proceeded into the intersection, where her car was struck by Coffin’s vehicle as it was traveling westbound on 7th Street. Bengel was cited for Failure to Yield. The accident caused $7,300 damage.

The second accident happened at around 11:40-a.m., Saturday, at 10th and Spruce Streets. The A-PD says Trina Rose, of Atlantic, was traveling east on east 10th, when a vehicle driven by Dennis Kneedler, of Des Moines, began to back into a residential driveway from a parking space in the 700 block of east 10th. Kneedler didn’t see the Rose vehicle and backed into it, causing a total of $9,500 damage. No citations were issued, and no injuries were reported.

And at around 3:35-p.m. Saturday, vehicles driven by Beth Tarr, of Atlantic, and John Loeffler, of Anita, collided at the intersection of 7th and Hazel Streets, when Loeffler stopped for a vehicle in front of him that was stopped at 7th and Olive Streets. Tarr’s vehicle struck Loeffler’s in the rear, causing $10,500 damage. Both drivers complained about possible injuries, but refused transport to the hospital. Tarr was cited for Failure to stop in an assured clear distance.