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Red Oak man arrested early Thu. morning

News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Montgomery County arrested a man early this (Thursday) morning, who was wanted on three warrants. 39-year old Donavan Lucius Sands, of Red Oak, was arrested on two Montgomery County warrants for Failure to Pay Child Support, and on a Red Oak Police Dept. warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. Sands was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $7,000 cash bond.

Dept of Revenue backs law on internet sales tax; Forristal objects

News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials at the Iowa Department of Revenue say Iowa should once again try to collect sales taxes from online retailers, now that Republicans have retained control of the U-S House and it’s unlikely to happen at the federal level. Iowa and other states lose millions of dollars in sales taxes from purchases made on the internet. Victoria Daniels at the Iowa Department of Revenue says late last year it looked like Congress was going to force the retailers to collect the state taxes nationwide.

” Probably the best shot to get something done at the federal level was during that lame duck session last year and it didn’t happen,” Daniels says. Republicans in the U-S House are backing a new bill that would exempt many sales from the tax. Daniels says that’s why Iowa needs to pass a bill in the Iowa House that allows the state to collect the taxes.  “It definitely makes federal legislation less of a save all, and we need to take matters into our own hands,” according to Daniels. Retailers from Walmart to small main street businesses support the effort, because, they say, internet sales have an unfair advantage over their brick and mortar stores. But some state representatives like Greg Forristal, a Republican from Macedonia, view it as a tax hike, so their bill would have any newly collected taxes go right back to taxpayers.

“In other words if we’re going to raise taxes let’s make sure it benefits the taxpayers,” Forristal says. The lone Democrat on the House panel objected, saying any new tax revenue should go for education and mental health and other priorities.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Thu., March 28th 2013

News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque businessman Rod Blum says he’ll run for the GOP nomination in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Blum announced his plans yesterday. He lost the Republican nomination for the seat in 2012 to attorney Ben Lange. The seat will be open in 2014 because Democratic Representative Bruce Braley has announced his intent to seek the Senate seat being vacated by longtime U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A decision on whether to close four Girl Scout camps in eastern Iowa is off the table after a strong community backlash. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced yesterday it will not vote on whether to sell the camps in Scott County, Dubuque County, Des Moines County and Allamakee County. Citizens reacted to the possibility of the camps closing by filing an injunction Friday against letting the organization vote on the matter.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate at a county jail in western Iowa. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says 35-year-old Anthony Josta of Sioux City was found unconscious Tuesday night in his cell at the Woodbury County Jail. An autopsy is scheduled today.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Roy Devyn Marble scored 24 points and Iowa ended Virginia’s 19-game home winning streak with a 75-64 victory in the NIT quarterfinals last night, earning the Hawkeyes a trip to Madison Square Garden. Marble’s 3-pointer with 13:02 to play gave Iowa a 42-41 lead in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Senate backs tougher rules for teen drivers

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s teen drivers would face tougher rules under a bill that passed the Senate. Senators approved the legislation in a 41-8 vote Wednesday. Under the plan from Democratic Sen. Tod Bowman, drivers under the age of 18 would need to hold a learner’s permit for a full year before getting a license.

Teen drivers also would not be able to transport more than one unrelated minor, unless they are with a parent, guardian or driving instructor, for the first six months they hold a license. Parents could sign a waiver so the passenger rules would not apply to their kids. Bowman says teen drivers are far more accident-prone than older motorists. The bill now moves the House where lawmakers must provide approval.

Road construction to reroute CCMH traffic

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, say due to construction, the west, 10th Street entrance to CCMH will be closed Thursday, March 28th from 10 am – 3 pm. Patients and visitors will need to use the north atrium entrance or the east entrance at the back of the building during those hours.

Controversial Iowa voting rule goes into effect

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new rule backed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz is taking effect that allows election officials to remove people from voter registration lists if their citizenship is questioned.  Schultz, a Republican, says the change is needed to reduce voter fraud, which he’s made his key issue since taking office in 2011.

The rule effective Wednesday allows Schultz’s office to compare voter registration records against federal immigration lists. Anyone registered to vote flagged as a noncitizen is notified by mail that they may be unlawfully registered and should provide citizenship proof.

Opponents have unsuccessfully fought enactment of the rule. They say it intimidates immigrants who are citizens and may discourage them from voting.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says it will continue to fight the rule in court.

Iowa sheriff may fight policy on off-duty deputies

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Woodbury County sheriff is considering suing the county board of supervisors over a disputed policy that prevents off-duty deputies working community events from wearing their uniforms and driving county cars.  The Sioux City Journal reports Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew wants to reverse a policy adopted in 2010 by the board that prohibits county employees from using county equipment for things like private security at community events. The board said at the time it was a liability issue.

Opponents argued people are more likely to respect uniformed officers. Drew, who was elected in November, says elected officials should have leeway to set their own policies. He told the board Tuesday that he would allow some time for them to work out a compromise before filing a lawsuit.

Cable rates to increase in Harlan

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cable Customers with Harlan Municipal Utilities (HMU) will see an increase in their bill starting in May. In a regular board meeting Tuesday, the HMU board of Trustees approved resolution No. 40 for the rate changes for Cable TV and Internet Services. Doug Hammer, Marketing Director for HMU, said at the meeting, new network contracts were signed and many of the channels were increased and a lot of the increases were in part because of sports content. “This is where a lot of the hidden fees come in. Folks like Turner will go out and spend $11 billion for the college basketball tournament because they know they have a revenue stream to pay for it. They continue to pass it along to the cable and satellite customers. And we are seeing it across other sports too,” according to Hammer.

He says even the once free “over the air” content is now being paid for by the consumer. He says “Our basic cable cost of $14.49, that 38% off the top just for the TV stations that we never paid for, is being paid by the customer.” The difficulty in avoiding the rate increases are because of how the contracts are dictated by TV companies. “People always say is there a way to mitigate the cost, how do we slow down or can we stop the increase? The only way to do that is drop content. There is the possibility to drop broadcast channels but that won’t save much. To drop other channels, you will have to wait to the end of the contracts. You can’t drop one channel or you lose out on other channels. It’s an all or none,” he says.

Overall, the basic cable TV package for HMU customers will increase by $2 and expanded basic cable $4 to $52.95. All bundle packages of either/or cable/internet, cable/phone or all three will be a $3 increase. All premiere movie packages such as HBO or Showtime will increase $2 as well. The increase will go into effect on May 1st.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Senate votes to create new state department for disasters, emergencies

News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa has voted to create a new state department to deal with emergencies. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency is currently a division of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, is critical of Governor Branstad’s opposition to the idea — and Hogg suggests that if the Emergency Management division had been elevated to a full-fledged agency, western Iowans hit by Missouri River flooding would have been better served. “And you know what Governor Branstad offered? Zero from state government,” Hogg said.

Last year Governor Branstad vetoed a similar bill creating a new Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department. A spokesman for the governor defends the way state government responded to Missouri River flooding. Senator Hogg scoffs “It’s really easy for people to do a good job when you just ignore it.”

Republican Senators say Hogg’s comments are over the line. Former Governor Chet Culver created a new but temporary state agency to deal with the severe flooding that hit the state in 2008. A spokesman for current Governor Terry Branstad says not every crisis demands a new state agency.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Farmer’s Market meeting set for this evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A meeting for previous, prospective or interested members of the Atlantic Farmer’s Market will be held this (Wednesday) evening, in the breakfast room at the Super 8 Motel, in Atlantic. Organizers of the Farmer’s Market will go over the rules, dates and other pertinent information pertaining to the selling of your locally grown produce. The meeting begins at 6-p.m.

If you have any questions, please call Kathee at 712-249-2758.