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Legislative oversight panel questions DAS savings


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A report says the Iowa Department of Administrative Services has spent more money instead of saving money as the agency has claimed in Government Oversight Committee hearings. Legislative Services Agency Director Holly Lyons presented a report Tuesday that says DAS spent 17 percent more money between 2011 and 2013. DAS Deputy Director Lon Anderson says the report does not include savings from construction projects and includes spending from other agency budgets.

The Department of Administrative Services oversees all state building construction, human resources and purchasing. At Tuesday’s hearing, Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy argued the agency is too large for proper oversight and needs to be restructured.

The committee continues its hearing focusing Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday on allegations of political interference at Iowa Workforce Development.

Ambassadors visit Lou Lou’s in Atlantic


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce’ Ambassadors visited Lou Lou’s recently, at the new location 412 Chestnut Street. Lou Lou’s moved into the new bigger space at the beginning of July.  “We are very happy with the move, we have more room to display merchandise and the first month our foot traffic improved drastically,” Brandi Eckles, owner, operator of Lou Lou’s Boutique, said.

Pictured: Kathie Hockenberry, Gerald Brink, Crystal Christensen, Pat McCurdy, Debbie Leistad, Tyler Mosier, Bill Saluk, Jolene Roecker, Kevin Wieser, Russ Joyce, Dolly Bergmann, JoAnn Runyan, Rachel Johnson, David Schwab, Arlene Drennan, Rich Perry, Donnie Drennan, Kerry Jepsen, Tammy Waters, Tara Jennerjohn, and Nedra Perry.

Pictured: Kathie Hockenberry, Gerald Brink, Crystal Christensen, Pat McCurdy, Debbie Leistad, Tyler Mosier, Bill Saluk, Jolene Roecker, Kevin Wieser, Russ Joyce, Dolly Bergmann, JoAnn Runyan, Rachel Johnson, David Schwab, Arlene Drennan, Rich Perry, Donnie Drennan, Kerry Jepsen, Tammy Waters, Tara Jennerjohn, and Nedra Perry.

Lou Lou’s shares the new space with two other businesses, Travel Place and Bella Bean, a children boutique clothing store. This unique cooperative effort has allowed each business to have a better location and more space.

(Press Release)

Another phone scam to be wary of


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa are warning residents about a scam during which a person calls and identifies himself as being an Attorney, or, sometimes a police officer from out of state. They inform you that there will be a warrant for your arrest. This latest scam has had the caller calling the victims place of employment, sounding ‘legitimate’ and requesting information and/or requesting the victim to call them back right away.ph scam

The caller says the victim has a warrant and that Officers will be sent to their place of employment to arrest them. THIS IS A SCAM.

Authorities says this type of activity seems to be an attempt to put pressure on employers to notify the victim, have the victim call the ‘scammer’ back, and hopefully have them take care of whatever fines they supposedly have. A major red flag is their offer to take credit card payment or many times they will instruct you to get prepaid money cards from Wal-Mart or other retailers and contact them back with the numbers for payment

Be wary of these scams, inform the caller that you will contact local Law Enforcement to verify their story. If you are an employer, DO NOT give out any further information about the victim!

Clarinda Man arrested on multiple charges after creating a disturbance at local business


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers says 25-year old Jason Lee Myers, of Clarinda, was arrested at around 6:40-p.m., Monday, after police responded to a disturbance at the Celebrity Inn on south 16th Street, in Clarinda. Myers was arrested for felony damage to a motor vehicle, simple assault and possession of a controlled substance believed to be marijuana.

Police say Myers allegedly intentionally damaged a 2013 Nissan Sentra owned by an acquaintance, and that Myers allegedly assaulted the owner of the Celebrity Inn, following a verbal disagreement. Myers was taken into custody and booked into the Page County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail, pending an initial appearance before the Page County Magistrate Court.

The matter is being reviewed by the Page County Attorney’s office for the filing of filing formal charges.

Des Moines police chief says she’ll retire


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw says she’ll retire from her job in October after 34 years with the department. Bradshaw announced Tuesday she would retire in early October. She says will “seek other opportunities and find different ways to serve the community.”

Bradshaw says she hopes her replacement is hired from within the department. The Des Moines Police Department is the state’s largest.

As ALS group rakes in $80M in Ice Bucket Challenge, Sen. Grassley reminds: “…we’re still watching”


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As tens of millions of dollars stream into the A-L-S Association thanks to the viral popularity of a recent fundraiser, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley warns that charity and all others that the government is “still watching” to make sure the money goes to research, as promised. Grassley, a Republican, says he launched an investigation into several non-profit groups in 2003.

“We heard reports initially involving philanthropic organizations set up for the 9-11 disaster in New York,” Grassley says. “The money wasn’t being used. People were raising questions about what it went to.” The probes were broadened to include several groups that took in donations that were considered tax deductible, as it was potential federal tax dollars that were being diverted to various causes and not into government coffers.

In 2013, the National Institutes of Health financed 237 areas of disease research, spending more than 30-billion dollars on medical research. Grassley says the taxpayers deserve to know every tax dollar assigned to medical research is spent prudently, not funded and forgotten. “We changed laws for the Red Cross, as an example, because they’re chartered by the United States,” Grassley says. “We’ve had the conservation organizations that were self-dealing within their board of directors on land that was donated.”

The A-L-S Association has taken in nearly 80-million dollars in recent weeks through the Ice Bucket Challenge, where people dump a bucket of ice water on their heads, make a donation and challenge others, by name, to do the same thing. Millions of videos have appeared on Facebook since July to raise money for research into A-L-S, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Grassley says the A-L-S Association is -not- being singled out for an investigation and nothing is pending involving that organization.

“I think the non-profits are on top of things pretty well,” Grassley says, “but I just want every organization to know that we’re still watching.” The senator was asked if he’s been challenged to dump a bucket of ice water on his own head. “I had an inquiry from somebody, the answer is yes, but I thought that the best thing to do would be to use my position as a United States Senator, not to be mellow dramatic, but to promote research, not just for ALS but for all diseases.”

Grassley calls the Ice Bucket Challenge a “social media sensation.” He says it’s good to see more people becoming engaged and educated about diseases that cause pain and suffering for so many. In a statement, he says: “For the families, caregivers, patients and victims of this and other incurable diseases, the increased attention and awareness are welcome signs. It means more people are empathizing with the heartbreak and hardship that comes with a medical diagnosis that so far has no cure.”

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Parks Board discusses donor names on buildings


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

There won’t likely be a policy anytime soon establishing the criteria for naming the various Park Shelters or other such structures in Atlantic after persons or groups who offer large donations for improvements or new facilities that are controlled by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Parks and Rec Vice Chair Mary Strong said Monday, she called numerous other communities to inquire what their policies are for placing sponsor names on buildings and shelters. She said none of the seven communities she contacted had a policy in-place. Representatives of those communities suggested however, that if someone has funded an entire structure or helped donated and has helped out in the community many times before, they that have their name placed in commemoration on a building.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring suggested the Board take requests as they come, on an individual basis, because his experience has shown him “It’s a very personal thing,” to want a building or some other type of structure named after someone. He says it’s difficult to come up with a specific policy, however, because of the varying degrees of donations and what they are intended for. Herring says there’s no way to honor every request, nor make everyone happy.

Herring says he recalled a case when he was the Principal at the Atlantic High School, where memorial money was offered, but the funds would cover about half of the project they wanted to raise money for. He said he could have covered the other half, but a wrench was thrown into the deal.

He says out of nowhere, another “big hitter,” [donor] wanted to pay for the entire project. Because there was already an offer on the table, Herring asked that influential second person if instead, they would be interested in paying the remaining half of the project cost, but they declined, saying they would pay for the whole thing or nothing at all. Herring said that person refused to talk to him about participating in the project after that.

He said that’s why coming up with a policy is so hard, because sooner or later you’re going to close the door on fundraising opportunities down the road by upsetting certain individuals who want their name on the marquee and no one else.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News & funeral report, 8/26/14

News, Podcasts

August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Disc Golf Tournament comes to Atlantic this weekend

News, Sports

August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A big event is coming this weekend to Atlantic’s Sunnyside Park. Atlantic Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring says the Iowa Disc Golf Tournament…a Frisbee –style Tournament of Champions – will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31. Last year, the event, which was created by Atlantic resident Frank Saddlemire, drew 140 participants from five different states.tg-Coca_Cola_Classic_Jr_Nov_Rec_Int_Women_AGM_2014-1408501334-large

Herring says there are varying levels of players in the Coca-Cola Classic tournament, including Professional, Advanced, Junior, Intermediate, and Recreational.  He says the degree of difficulty in completing the course varies on the level of expertise and experience, and at some points is unbelievably hard.

The event is hosted by the Atlantic Disc Golf Club. For more information, or to register, surf the web to www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Iowa, and click on the Coca Cola Classic site.

Iowa DOT to host public auction of small equipment


August 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Office supplies and items for vehicles are up for grabs during a public auction of state-owned equipment. The Iowa Department of Transportation says the auction Sept. 6 will feature everything from laptop computers to storage cabinets. Oak desks and book cases will also be on sale.

Other equipment available will be tires, drill presses, floor jacks and generators. Potential buyers can inspect the items Sept. 5 and Sept. 6. The event will be held at the agency’s auction building in Ames.