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Atlantic Committee discusses pay raise for the Mayor and Council

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Personnel and Finance Committee met for about 30-minutes Monday afternoon to discuss the process of evaluating the City Administrator, and to consider an increase in the compensation received by the Mayor and City Council.IMG_20131028_124520 Prior to their discussion, City Administrator Doug Harris explained Iowa Code has a say in when such compensation can be called for and how soon it can be implemented. He said when Council’s increase their compensation, they can’t do that in the months of November and December. Even if the Council were to approve a raise, it wouldn’t take effect until the next election cycle.

That means if the Council voted in January to approve an increase, it wouldn’t become effective for the Council until 2016, and for the Mayor in 2018, beginning in January 2019. Mayor Dave Jones pointed out the last time the Council and Mayor had a raise was in 1999, after it was approved in 1998. Currently, Council members receive $30 for each Council meeting and $20 for each committee or commission meeting they attend. The Mayor receives an annual salary of $8,000. The committee was looking at a 25-to 50-percent increase.

Mayor Dave Jones requested the Personal and Finance Committee discuss the matter during the meeting. The committee tossed around the idea of adjusting the Mayor’s salary and leaving the Council’s rate unchanged, but further discussion and a comment by Mayor Jones swayed them to agree if should be across the board. Jones said it won’t break the budget to provide a fair raise, and it would act as more of a “Thank you” to the Council. Steve Livengood said if a $10 raise for the Council is too much, it could be cut to $5. Councilperson Kathy Somers said by the time it’s actually implemented it’ll be 20-years since the last raise.

The way the system is set-up, the Council cannot vote to raise it’s salary and that of the Mayor without public approval. Councilman Shawn Shouse said issues such as commercial property tax rate rollbacks and required City services will require the Council to try and provide the same or additional services with less money from taxes, therefore a 25-to 50-percent raise is not necessary for the Council, but the Mayor spends a considerable amount of time away from his own business to handle matters related to the City. No action was taken during the meeting.

As for the City Administrator’s evaluation, in the past, the Committee has sought community input through surveys, and most recently, conducted its own evaluation. This time around, they agreed to conduct an informal survey at their next meeting on November 6th, during which public input will be accepted.

Update: Minor injuries during I-80 collision in Cass County Monday

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities say only minor injuries were reported following a collision Monday afternoon on Interstate 80 in Cass County. The crash at the 67. 2-mile marker eastbound was reported just after 2:20-p.m.

Traffic backed up on I-80 eastbound about 1 mile east of the accident scene. (Ric Hanson/photo)

Traffic backed up on I-80 eastbound about 1 mile east of the accident scene. (Ric Hanson/photo)

Anita and Wiota Fire, Medivac ambulance and Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies along with the Iowa State Patrol responded to the scene. The driver of the van was injured and transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. Traffic was blocked in both eastbound lanes for a time, but by 3-p.m. one lane was flowing slowly, but smoothly. The line of traffic extended west, to about a half-mile east of the Wiota Exit.

Breaking News!:Van-vs.-semi collision on I-80 in Cass County

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fire and Rescue personnel from Anita and Wiota have been dispatched to the scene of a head-on, personal injury crash between a van and a semi tractor trailer on Interstate 80 in Cass County. Crash at the 67. 2-mile marker eastbound was reported just after 2:20-p.m.  Medivac ambulance and Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies are also responding. Additional details are currently unavailable.

I-80 temporarily blocked by accident Monday morning

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A portion of Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County was blocked for about 3-hours altogether Monday northeast of Council Bluffs, after a trailer hauling a boring machine and being pulled by a 1992 GMC 3-axle truck, began to sway and both vehicles overturned. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident happened on I-80 eastbound at around 11:30-a.m., about a mile north of the exit to Highway 6. The driver of the vehicle, 27-year old Benjamin Mattox, of Malcom, NE., suffered minor cuts and bruises, but refused medical treatment.

Officials say the truck, registered to Watts Electric, out of Waverly, NE., was traveling eastbound when the trailer and its load began to sway. The trailer rolled into the median, while the truck flipped onto the driver’s side on the road. The State Patrol was assisted at the scene by Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue, the Iowa DCI and DOT crews.

Emerson man arrested on assault & drug charges

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office says an Emerson man was arrested Saturday on assault and drug charges. 37-year old Sean Eugene Hicks was taken into custody at around 4:40-p.m. on a warrant for Assault, and for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Hicks was booked into the Mills County Jail and held on $3,000 bond.

 

Branstad unveils website aimed at water quality

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has launched a new state website that he says will help encourage efforts to reduce water pollution in Iowa. Branstad announced the website Monday. He says it will provide information to rural and urban residents as part of a wide-ranging approach to enhancing water quality in the state.

Iowa recently came to a deal with federal authorities to inspect more livestock farms and strictly enforce penalties when manure leaks into rivers or streams. That came after a long dispute over enforcing the U.S. Clean Water Act.  Environmental groups note that 479 lakes, rivers and streams in the state are listed as impaired by the EPA. A wet spring this year caused some rivers in central Iowa to record the highest nitrate levels ever.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has updated the fire danger warning signs in the county. The fire danger signs remain in the “Moderate” category, for the third straight week. Bob Seivert, Emergency Management Coordinator, said the harvest is moving nicely and rain is in the forecast later in the week. If you are planning a burn, contact your local fire chief before igniting. The Shelby County EMA will update the situation again on Thursday.

Arrest and non-injury accident in Audubon County

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Saturday of 33-year old Jason Arthur Malloy, of Audubon. Malloy was taken into custody at around 8-pm on a warrant for Revocation of Probation. He has since posted bond, and was released. Malloy is scheduled to appear in Court this Thursday, Oct. 31st.

Sheriff’s officials also say no injuries were reported following an accident Friday morning, in Exira. A vehicle driven by 28-year old Crystal Michelle Parker, of Exira, was backing out of a driveway on the west side of North Kilworth Street, when her 1996 Olds hit a southbound car driven by 56-year old Janell Fay Bluml, of Audubon. Authorities say Parker didn’t see Bluml’s 2001 Buick approaching, and struck her car on the left front corner, causing a total of $2,000 damage. The accident happened at around 11-a.m. Officials say Parker was cited for Unsafe backing.

Weekend arrests in Atlantic

News

October 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports two arrests took place Saturday. 37-year old Mandy Bolin, of Atlantic, was arrested on a warrant for Failure to Appear on a 5th degree Theft charge. And, 29-year old Cody Hanson, of Atlantic, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Hanson was also wanted on a Buena Vista County warrant for False Imprisonment. Both subjects were brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

8AM Newscast 10-28-2013

News, Podcasts

October 28th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson