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Mobile Home Park regulations proposed

News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Restricting mobile home park rent increases and requiring good cause to evict tenants are just some of the provisions in a bill that’s emerged at the statehouse. Republicans and Democrats crafted the bill after an out-of-state company bought some Iowa mobile home parks and is phasing in steep rent increases. The Iowa Manufactured Housing Association is one opposed to the bill. The association’s Jodie McDougal says park owners need to be able to pay for maintenance. “These guys are in the business to maintain the source of housing and our fear is the restrictions and regulations are going to make that much more difficult,” she told lawmakers.

But Nathan Blake with the Iowa Attorney General’s office says the bill is needed to protect mobile home residents from bad actors. And it would at least put their rights on par with other renters. “Ultimately this bill provides more balance in a space that’s been tilted unnecessarily toward landlords for too long,” Blake says. The bill must clear a full committee in the legislature by the end of this week to remain eligible for debate.

Lawmakers consider limiting urban sprawl on Iowa farmland

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A bill that would prohibit Iowa cities from annexing most farmland has cleared initial review in the Iowa House, but bill backers say it needs major adjustments and is unlikely to meet Friday’s deadline for committee action. Kevin Kuhle, a lobbyist for the Iowa Farm Bureau lobbyist, says the bill is the starting point for an important conversation. “Our folks have some concerns regarding the annexation process,” he says.

The bill deals with voluntary AND involuntary annexation. That means it would prevent farmers who WANT the land to be annexed as they plan to sell it for development. Gary Grant is a lobbyist for the City of Cedar Rapids. “The sad fact of it is that our cities have always been surrounded by farmland,” he says “and sort of putting this permanent ring around cities seems to be something that I think might have unintended consequences.”

Representative Tom Jeneary, a Republican from Le Mars, says he hopes there’s some way to address farmers’ concerns. “I”m not against expansion or development,” he says, “but there’s only a finite number of flat, black dirt farm ground in Iowa.” The bill as currently written would bar cities from annexing farmland that’s rated at least 45 percent suitable for growing corn. Representative Tedd Gassman, a Republican from Scarville supports some sort of action to limit urban and suburban sprawl, but he says the bill as currently written is not the final answer. “They can’t put all those new houses out in a swamp, you know, so you’re going to have to have some decent land, anyway, to build houses on,” Gasman says.

According to the Iowa State University Extension Services, nearly four percent of prime Iowa farmland was taken out of production in the 35 year period between 1977 and 2012.

Red Oak man arrested Monday night

News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

A man from Red Oak was arrested at around 9-p.m., Monday, following a traffic stop. 59-year old Dennis Edward Elliott was taken into custody for Driving While Suspended. He was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on slightly more than $566 bond.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Feb. 18, 2020

News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:50 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an investigation into animal treatment at an Iowa state lawmaker’s hog farm found no evidence that animals were being abused despite video that a group posted that appeared to show otherwise. Two people with California-based Direct Action Everywhere entered a hog farm last spring owned by Republican Iowa state Sen. Ken Rozenboom. Mahaska County Sheriff Russell Van Renterghem says an investigation didn’t find any abuse. Rozenboom said he decided in December to lease the hog building to a different farmer. He has said veterinary records show the herd was being treated for a respiratory infection that contributed to the problems Direct Action Everywhere documented.

REMBRANDT, Iowa (AP) — The body of an employee killed in a barn collapse has been recovered from the wreckage in northwest Iowa. A structural failure early Friday morning at the Rembrandt Foods facility just east of Rembrandt caused a catastrophic collapse of equipment inside the building. Buena Vista County authorities say a search for the employee was suspended at 6 p.m. because of safety concerns for the people trying to find the worker. The search resumed Saturday, and the worker’s body was recovered around 2 p.m. The worker’s name and other details about the accident haven’t been released.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — A woman who headed the accounting division of a private fertilizer company in Urbandale has been accused of embezzling more than $116,000. Polk County court records say 41-year-old Heidi Cook is charged with nine counts of theft, one of fraudulent practices and one of unauthorized use of a credit card. She remained in jail Monday. The court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for Cook. Prosecutors say that, from at least Dec. 10, 2018, she took 33 checks totaling more than $116,000 from Spraytec and deposited them into her own bank account.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A student is suing Drake University in Des Moines, along with a fraternity at the school and several fellow students for an unspecified amount after he said he nearly died from a hazing incident. Court documents filed Feb. 7 show Marcus Shields is suing the school, Theta Chi fraternity, its Drake chapter and others. The lawsuit says Shields was a 19-year-old freshman last year and a Theta Chi pledge when the fraternity engaged in hazing, included coercing and forcing him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Shields says he pleaded with his fraternity brothers that “he didn’t want to die,” and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital for acute alcohol poisoning.

Adair County Sheriff’s report (2/18/20)

News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Adair County Sheriff Jeff Vandewater reports it was a pretty uneventful past week, as far as arrests and incidents are concerned. The Sheriff says 22-year old Jasmina Gusalic, of Des Moines, was a passenger in a pickup near Stuart, who was cited for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Feb. 11th.

Several plastic baggies with marijuana residue inside the vehicle were found on the floorboard in front of her, pipes used for smoking meth were found in her coat pockets. More plastic baggies with suspected marijuana residue were found on the passenger side of the vehicle, and in the woman’s backpack.

Several other pipes and a hypodermic syringe were found in the backpack as well. Gusalic admitted all the paraphernalia belonged to her. She was released from the scene after receiving her citation.

Juvenile hit by a car in Sidney – vehicle didn’t stop

News

February 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Department said that at around 4:10-p.m. Monday, deputies were called to the area of Filmore Street and Illinois Street in Sidney, for a report of a juvenile that had been stuck by a car. Witnesses said a vehicle was eastbound on Filmore Street and turned south on Illinois Street, while two male juveniles were attempting to cross Filmore Street. The vehicle struck one of the juveniles, briefly stopped and then fled the scene to the south.

The vehicle is described as a smaller red vehicle. The driver is described possibly as a male with glasses and no facial hair. The juvenile was transported to Grape Community Hospital, by Sidney Rescue, with minor injuries.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at 712-374-2424.

Red Oak man arrested on Domestic Assault charge

News

February 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

The Red Oak Police Department reports the arrest on Monday of 27-year-old Cody Dean Johnson of Red Oak for Domestic Assault 2nd Offense, causing bodily injury. Johnson was arrested at approximately 4:00 p.m. and taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $2,000 bond.

Burglary arrest in Elliott on Monday

News

February 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports one arrest after responding to a report of a burglary in Elliott on Monday. At 1:10pm Deputies responded to the call and arrested 35-year-old Cory Ross Smith of Elliott. Smith is charged with Burglary 3rd Degree and was held at the Montgomery County Jail until seen by a Magistrate.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board recap

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Board held their monthly meeting Monday evening in the Parks & Rec Office, at Sunnyside Park. Parks Director Bryant Rasmussen said with the blessing of the Parks Board, they will begin the process of looking for a campground host at the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground. The campground will open in April but the unpaid position would begin in May and run through October. The job offers free camping for person selected.

The host would be responsible for a number of duties, including: making sure campers are registering properly; help with the purchase of firewood; make sure the rules are being followed at the campground; making sure extended-stay campers are keeping their area cleaned-up, and general maintenance of the bathrooms at the bath house. The Board voted to move forward with a job posting that’s been drafted.

Rasmussen said also, a sign with hours for Mollett Park will be posted when the weather permits. The Park is located at the end of 3rd Street Place. It will include raised garden beds and rain barrels to help supplement any water needed from AMU. He said flyers have been posted around town to describe where the gardens will be and how to acquire one for rent. Five other signs are being created for certain sporting activities at Sunnyside Park. The signs will have a scannable QR Code so persons may access instructions on how to play, for instance: Horseshoes, Disc Golf, Bocce ball, the Skate Park, and ladder golf.

In other business, the Atlantic Library has graciously provided eight of their unused, round  plastic recycling bins, which the parks department has painted blue, and will use to collect aluminum cans. They’ll be found at slow-pitch softball games, some of the campground shelters (such as the Camblin Addition and Kiddie Korral), and elsewhere. The recycling canisters would otherwise cost about $70 to $80, according to Rasmussen.

He said also, the Parks and Rec Department is coordinating with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce and some businesses, to place Walking Maps in kiosks at the Schildberg Recreations, City Park and Sunnyside Park. Those kiosks will be installed this Spring.

Rasmussen said they’ve coordinated with the Street Department to address some of the high need maintenance areas along the Bull Creek pathway. As things start to thaw, and heat up, they’ll begin addressing at least one area of Bull Creek erosion control.

Operations manager at Iowa DOT named agency’s new director

News

February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An operations manager at the Iowa Department of Transportation has been named the agency’s permanent director. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she has appointed Scott Marler, a 22-year veteran of the department who has worked in traffic operations, highway project development and regulatory compliance. He began work on Monday.

Marler succeeds Mark Lowe who was asked to resign by Reynolds in December. Her only reason was that she sought a change in leadership. Marler was the director of the operations division which has oversight of the construction and materials bureau, maintenance, motor vehicle enforcement and the traffic and safety bureau.