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Public hearing and bid date set for Bull Creek Storm Sewer project

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, set August 7th at 5:30-p.m., as the date and time for a public hearing, with regard to the 2013 Bull Creek Storm Sewer Improvement Project. The Council authorized the letting of bids as well. They will be received and opened on August 6th, and presented to the Council on the 7th.

City Administrator Doug Harris reminded the Council, that last year, several members of the Council and City staff inspected the underground Bull Creek Storm Sewer System, along with Engineers Dave Sturm and Tim Teig. The tunnel, which is comprised of old limestone archways, and crosses the downtown area, and is in need of significant repairs. A special seal mixture forming an inner liner, or shell, will be installed at some of the worst points along the tunnel, and a mortar shell will encompassing all surfaces of a box culvert.

In other business, the Council authorized Mayor Dave Jones to sign an Airport Planning and Zoning Agreement between the City, and the Iowa Department of Transportation. Doug Harris said the agreement is necessary if the City is to receive future grants for the development and/or improvement, of the airport. Harris said the City has been working with SWIPCO to apply for a grant that will cover 85-percent of the cost of updating the Airport Land Use and Zoning Ordinance.

Under the terms of the agreement, the City must begin development of the ordinance no later than 12 months after the agreement is signed. The DOT has agreed to reimburse the City 85-percent of the eligible project costs, not to exceed $14,100. The total cost is expected to come in at $16,600, with the City picking up the remaining $2,500.

Councilman Shaun Shouse said it makes sense to update the City’s Planning and Zoning ordinance for the airport, to make use of the DOT’s assistance for future projects, but he questioned a section of the agreement entitled “Sponsor Assurances.” It stipulates the City will maintain and operate safe and serviceable conditions at the facility, but will not permit any activity which interferes with its use for airport purposes. Shouse said shutting the airport down for special events – such as the fireworks display – would violate the agreement.

The Atlantic Municipal Airport is normally closed during those types of events, however, and pilots are required to file flight plans to accommodate those closures. The Council asked the City Attorney and Harris to contact the Iowa DOT for clarification, even though they went ahead and approved the agreement.

2 men charged in connection with copper theft incident

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope reports two men were arrested today (Thursday) on charges connected to the theft of copper. Deputies responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle along the railroad tracks near 225th Avenue and Dike Road in Fremont County, determined the vehicle was used in connection with the theft of copper from a nearby irrigation pivot.

As a result of the investigation, 41-year old Phillip Smith, of Council Bluffs, and 38-year old Robert Greenwood, of Omaha, were taken into custody on felony charges of2nd degree Theft and Criminal Mischief in the 2nd degree. They also face a simple misdemeanor charge of Trespassing on railroad property. Both men were being held without bond in the Fremont County Jail. Sheriff deputies were assisted in their investigation, by the Iowa State Patrol and Sidney Police Department.

Drug and alcohol arrests in Red Oak

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested this (Thursday) morning, in Red Oak. The Red Oak P-D says  29-year-old Dale Lee Demont, III, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, and 17-year-old Luis Alfredo Rodriguez-Lopez, of Red Oak, was arrested for Public Intoxication. Officials say Rodriquez-Lopez was transported to the Montgomery County Law enforcement center and subsequently released to a legal guardian, while Demont was released on a citation.

$23,400 Available for Cass County Nonprofit Agencies

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Nicholas Hunt, Chair of the Cass County Community Foundation (CCCF), a countywide community foundation, want to remind nonprofit organizations in Cass County, that the fall grant program is now beginning.  The deadline to apply for funds through the online grant application process is September 1st.  Hunt says $23, 400 is available to be allocated for the fall grant cycle.  Of the funds available, $2,000 is from the Griswold Community Development Endowed Fund, and $500 is from the Triumph Endowed Fund for Cass County.

Only organizations providing services in Cass County are eligible.  They must be able to demonstrate broad community/county support and supply a copy of their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter.  Requests for general operational funds will not be considered.  The CCCF’s mission is to provide funds to those nonprofit and governmental agencies that are involved in community betterment through their organizations.

Application procedures and grant guidelines can be obtained online at www.iowacommunityfoundations.org/casscef.  Click on the Grant Information tab or contact any board member for additional information.  Detailed instructions are provided in a downloadable form, as well as a link to the online application.  Only online applications will be considered.

The grant funds are made possible by the generosity of the Cass County Community Foundation donors.  To inquire about donating to the CCCF, please contact a Board member.   Community Foundations in Southwest Iowa are particularly attractive charities because donations to these funds may be eligible for a 25% Endow Iowa Tax Credit.

Contact Dennis Nissen at 800-794-3458 or dennis@omahafoundation.org or Denise Cardos at denise@omahafoundation.org with grant application specific questions.   All completed applications will be considered at the October board meeting with notification of results the end of October.

Board members of the Cass County Community Foundation are Chair, Nicholas Hunt of rural Atlantic, 243-5485; Vice Chair, Gary Maas, of Anita, 762-3434; Secretary/Treasurer, Roland K. Landsness, Esq. of Atlantic, 243-1663; Royal Bierbaum of rural Griswold, 778-2586; Beulah Follmann of Massena, 779-3457; and Mark D. Kyhnn, CPA of Atlantic, 243-1800.

Grant Reminder for Audubon County Nonprofit Organizations

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Brett Irlmeier, Chair of the Audubon County Community Foundation, a countywide community foundation, reminds Audubon County non-profit organizations that the fall grant program is now beginning.  The deadline to apply for funds through a grant application process is September 1st. $34,900 is available to be allocated for the fall grant cycle.

Of the $34,900, approximately $2,000 is available for the Exira area from the Leon and Iva Milliman Endowed Fund, $2,600 from the Charles T. and Kathleen K. Manatt Endowed Fund, and $600 from the Audubon State Bank/Stephen Garst Endowed Fund.  Also, $1,000 is available for the City of Audubon area from the Audubon Masonic Association Endowed Fund, $450 is available for the City of Audubon from the Fred and Evelyn Nissen Endowed Fund for Audubon, and $450 is available for the City of Audubon from the Merle and Norma Petersen Endowed Fund.

The ACCF’s grants and program Mission is to participate in funding community charitable projects and nonprofit organizations who have similar objectives.  The Goal of the Audubon County Community Foundation grant program is to improve the quality of life in the county by supporting needs that are not being met in the areas of civic, cultural, health, education and social service.  ACCF’s Objective is to fund projects that will have a permanent impact on the county that people can take advantage of for many years.  Only organizations providing services in Audubon County are eligible.  They must be able to demonstrate broad community/county support and supply a copy of their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter.  Requests for general operational funds will not be considered.

Application procedures and grant guidelines can be obtained online at www.iowacommunityfoundations.org/auduboncef.  Click on the Grant Information tab or contact any board member for additional information.  Detailed instructions are provided in a downloadable form, as well as a link to the online application.  Only online applications will be considered.

Please contact Dennis Nissen at 800-794-3458 or dennis@omahafoundation.org or Denise Cardos at denise@omahafoundation.org with grant application specific questions.   All completed applications will be considered at the October board meeting with notification of results the end of October.

Board members of the Audubon County Community Foundation are Chair, Brett Irlmeier of Audubon, 563-2644; Vice Chair, Jonnie Meislahn of Audubon, 563-2009; Secretary/Treasurer, Thomas R. Nielsen of Audubon, 563-2742; Joanie Heuton of Kimballton, 773-5291; Jay Nelson of Atlantic, 549-2277; Daryl Olsen, DVM of Audubon, 563-2080; and Joseph T. Rasmussen, Esq. of Exira.

8AM Newscast 07-18-2013

News, Podcasts

July 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 07-18-2013

News, Podcasts

July 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic City Council approves 2nd reading of Storm Water rate increase ordinance

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved the adoption on the second reading, of an ordinance calling for an increase in the rate property owners pay for a Storm Water Equivalent Service Unit (or, ESU). If adopted on the 3rd and final reading during the next meeting, the ESU, which has not changed in over 10-years, will increase 35-cents per month, to $2.85. The proposed rate increase would generate $25,000 in additional revenues, which will be used to cover the net increase in debt service cost of $15,000 for repairs to the Bull Creek Underground drainage system. City Administrator Doug Harris has said also, that an additional $10,000 is needed per year, to continue to fund annual repairs to the City’s storm water management system, which has been average about $20,000.

The only objection heard during Wednesday evening’s meeting, came in the form of  correspondence from Atlantic resident Charles Griffin. In his letter, read by Councilman Steve Livengood, Griffin, claims the “fee” is actually a tax, which is paid only by property owners, is not legal, because the citizens of Atlantic were not allowed to vote on it. Griffin urged the Council to repeal the ordinance altogether.

Snyder and Associates Engineer Pat Hall, was one of the creators of the storm water fee system which was approved by the Council, back in 2003. He refuted Griffin’s assertion about the fee being a tax. Hall said the whole intention of storm water utility is addressed in Chapter 384 of the Code of Iowa.  Hall says it addresses City responsibilities for utilities, and services provided to the citizens of the community. Therefore he says, there is a basis for the fee, which is not a tax.

Hall said by setting up a utility, the City provides itself with a certain amount of flexibility, when it comes to payments for capital improvements, such as the Bull Creek storm sewer improvement project. The ESU is based on the amount of square footage on a parcel of property. Those who have more square footage would always pay more than those who have less land. For instance, the Cass County Memorial Hospital and Wal-Mart have large storm water utility bills.

Griffin asserted in his letter the people who are paying the fee are receiving little or no benefit from it, a statement Councilman Livengood refuted. He said it helps to control flooding within the City by maintaining the storm sewers. Councilman Shaun Shouse agreed, and said the fee is a “valid way to fund the reasonable transfer of storm water off of all the properties in town and down to the point where they can release it to the river.”  He said if they didn’t take care of the matter by means of a fee, then the City would have to increase property taxes. As it is, the increased burden of handling the cost is placed upon those properties that send the most storm water down the sewage and drainage system.

The 3rd and final reading of the ordinance will take place during the next Council meeting, along with a final public hearing on the matter.

Ernst formally launches US Senate bid

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Republican Joni Ernst lists three primary qualifications as the basis for her bid for the U.S. Senate. “I am a mother, I am a soldier and I’m a conservative and you’re going to hear that again and again,” Ernst says. “…Those are the core things that really define me and who I am.”

IA Sen. Joni Ernst (R), from Red Oak.

IA Sen. Joni Ernst (R), from Red Oak.

Ernst, who is the commander of an Iowa National Guard unit, formally kicked off her U.S. Senate campaign Wednesday morning in her hometown of Red Oak. She joins five Republicans who have either formally launched a campaign for the Senate or are in the “exploratory” phase of a campaign.

Ernst says she’s confident she can win at least 35 percent support in next June’s G-O-P primary and avoid a state convention fight her competitors for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination. “We share a lot of similar views, but at the same time I am an average Iowan that has had the opportunity to do exceptional things and really focus on those grassroots efforts and making sure through those grassroots efforts people know me as a mother, the soldier and a conservative,” Ernst says, “and that’s going to resonate with Iowa voters.”

Ernst is stressing her status as the mother of three daughters rather than as the lone female candidate in the Republican ranks. “I think it will be very beneficial in the fact that I can relate very well to those average Iowans that are mothers. I think that is an important aspect because not only as a mother are we connected with our children, but we want the best for our children,” Ernst says. “…Making sure that we have opportunity, whether it’s economic or otherwise, opportunity for our generation, but our children’s generation. We want to protect that.”

Iowa has never elected a woman to the U.S. Senate, to the U.S. House or as governor. Ernst says being a woman candidate in Iowa “very well could be” a detriment. “I can’t make that determination today,” Ernst says. “However when I look at my own candidacy, it’s about making sure that people understand that I am a viable, competant candidate, regardless of my gender.” Ernst is 42 years old and is a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. She served as Montgomery County’s Auditor for six years before being elected to the state Senate in January of 2011.

The others who have formally announced their candidacies for the Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination are Des Moines lawyer Matt Whitaker; David Young, who was Senator Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff; and Sam Clovis, a Morningside College professor who signed off as a radio talk show host in Sioux City to run.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Thu., July 18th 2013

News

July 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Senate candidate David Young says his Christian faith is so strong that, if elected, he would try to introduce New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer to Jesus Christ. But a spokeswoman for the Iowa Republican and former aide to Senator Charles Grassley says Young’s intent would not be to convert Mr. Schumer, who is Jewish, but to promote understanding with a Senate colleague.

GRANGER, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa woman has been accused of stealing items from a man’s house and setting several fires. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office says Marcia Schaffer of Granger, was arrested Monday in connection with a June 2nd home invasion and arson.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Iowa City say a 54-year-old man has died in the Iowa River. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office says police and other emergency workers responded yesterday morning to a report of a man falling into the river under the Highway 6 bridge. A short time later, they recovered the body of Perry Graham.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cuban baseball player Misael Siverio tells a Spanish-language newspaper he has defected to the United States. Siverio was part of the Cuban national team that traveled to Iowa for an exhibition game this week against a collegiate all-star team from the U.S. But the pitcher tells El Nuevo Herald in Miami he made the decision to leave his country “for my future and my family.”