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State audit shows Blencoe improper payments

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) – A state audit shows poor record-keeping at the western Iowa city of Blencoe has led to a loss of more than $71,000 in property taxes and unsupported spending of city money. Former city clerk Kym Harris served from January 2008 until she resigned last September after the city discovered financial reports hadn’t been filed. The city couldn’t collect property taxes for the fiscal year that ended in June. Harris told the Omaha World Herald in January she was going through cancer treatments and things were in turmoil.

The audit, released Tuesday by State Auditor David Vaudt, found just over $2,400 of unsupported expenditures and more than $300 of improper reimbursements to Harris.    Blencoe, population 225, is 45 miles south of Sioux City.

Enrollment numbers up slightly at both CAM and EHK

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The CAM and Elk Horn-Kimballton Board of Education held regular, separate meetings Monday evening, in Anita and Elk Horn, respectively. In Anita, CAM Superintendent Steve Pelzer said while the enrollment numbers won’t be certified to the State of Iowa until October, it looks like they have seen an increase in the number of students attending the school district. He said early projections show a possible increase of 10-to 15 students over last year.

Pelzer said the Connections online Academy is doing well also, with an estimated 240 students taking courses through the program, which works in conjunction with the school district. In other business, Pelzer says the Board re-elected Gary Dinkla as its President, and Nick Kaufman as Vice President. And, they approved a request to the State for modified allowable growth for a negative Special Education deficit, but Pelzer said while they don’t anticipate actually having a deficit, the Board approved it just in case.

In Elk Horn, the EHK School Board Monday re-elected Mark Smith as President and Kevin Petersen as Vice President. Superintendent Dean Schnoes said the Board also approved a bid amounting to about $21,000, for the purchase of a new heat pumps from Rasmussen Mechanical Services, out of Council Bluffs. Schnoes said bearings on the heat pumps located in the Elementary/Superintendents/Commons area of the building were going out, and sounded like a “747 taking off.” The new heat pumps will be mounted on the ceiling to keep the vibrations to a minimum. They’ll replace the heat pumps which were more than 30-years old.

Schnoes said also, that while the enrollment numbers for the District won’t be certified until October, the latest numbers show an increase of “two-to three-bodies,” but the future appears to be looking bright, he says, because of the number of new births in the area. He says they’ve noticed a lot more children being born in the area, and perhaps more people will be moving back into the rural areas to raise their families, which would obviously be a benefit for future enrollment numbers.

9AM Newscast 09-18-2012

News, Podcasts

September 18th, 2012 by Doug Evans

w/ Ric Hanson

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Bridge to be Named in Honor of Trooper Mark Toney this week

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This week, Troopers in central Iowa, along with members of the state legislature and officers from local law enforcement agencies, will pause to honor a Trooper who recently died in the line of duty.

Trooper Mark Toney

On Thursday, exactly one year after his death, the Highway 65/69 South River Bridge located south of Indianola will be dedicated in honor of Trooper Mark Toney. The dedication ceremony where take place at the Indianola Fire Station, at 110 North 1st Street, beginning at 2-p.m.

Trooper Toney was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 65/69, south of Indianola in September of 2011. He was serving the citizens of Iowa when his patrol car left the roadway, overturned several times, and burst into flames. Trooper Toney served the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.

Members of the public are invited and welcome to attend the dedication ceremony as a show support for those who serve and protect Iowa communities.

Backhoe hits bridge near Carson, causes nearly $260,000 damage

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A backhoe being hauled by a truck struck a bridge south of  Carson Monday afternoon, causing $250,000 damage to the bridge and $8,000 damage to the backhoe. Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Sgt. Dwayne Riche told KJAN News 32-year old Travis Meyer, of Atlantic, was driving a 1990 Mack truck hauling a Caterpiller backhoe. The vehicle was traveling westbound on Highway 92 at around 3-p.m., when the boom of the backhoe, which was too high to pass under the bridge,  struck multiple supports for the Highway 59 overpass. Following the impact, the truck and its cargo came to rest about 70-yards west of Highway 59, on the north shoulder of Highway 92. The backhoe is owned by Bluffs Paving and Utility, in Crescent.

7-a.m. News (Podcast) – Tues., Sept. 18th 2012

News, Podcasts

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

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(Update 9:30-a.m.) Semi hauling batteries rolls over on I-80 in Cass County this morning

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Updates to add driver’s name)

A Sioux City truck driver escaped injury this (Tuesday) morning, when the 2003 Peterbilt semi he was driving crashed on Interstate 80, in northwestern Cass County.

Accident scene (I-80 EB, 50.5-mile marker) (Photo courtesy Cass Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon)

The Iowa State Patrol reports 23-year old Blaze Anthony Gill was traveling east on I-80 near the Marne exit at around 6:35-a.m., when the Interstate Batteries of Sioux City-owned truck drifted onto the right shoulder and hit a guardrail. The impact caused the semi to roll onto its left side. The crash caused batteries being hauled by the semi to be scattered about on the roadway.  Both eastbound lanes being blocked for nearly two and one-half hours, while crews worked to clean up the hazardous material and remove the semi.  Emergency crews from Atlantic and Marne responded to the scene, along with the Iowa State Patrol and Cass County Sheriff’s deputies.

Adams County nominated as one of seven “Prettiest Painted Places” in Iowa

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Adams County is one of seven counties or communities across the state to be nominated for a “Prettiest Painted Places in America,” award. The other nominees include: Albia, Decorah, Greater Des Moines, Grinnell, Orange City, and Pella. The competition is sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute (PQI), whose mission is to educate the public about quality paints and coatings, and the “Prettiest Painted Places.” Adams County was nominated because of its picturesque area “Nestled in the rolling hills of the southwestern part of the state.” The PQI says county is “Dotted with beautiful communities and nicely painted homes and businesses.”

Over the next few weeks, the seven Iowa communities will vie with nearly 200 nominees from other states for regional and national honors, as judges with expertise in color selection, exterior painting, and home improvement review the entries, conduct additional research and make selected site visits.  Finalists will be announced later this month,  the nation’s 12 “Prettiest Painted Places” will be revealed in mid-October.

The Paint Quality Institute has conducted its competition twice before, most recently in 2000.  Its purpose is to vividly show how an attractive paint color scheme can greatly enhance the “curb appeal” of any structure’s exterior. A wide variety of “places” have been entered in the competition — big city neighborhoods, tiny rural towns, historical districts, “Main Streets” and communities with exterior mural programs.  Nominees range from well-known places, such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Napa, California to hidden gems like Vashon-Maury Island, Washington and Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

The names and locations of all of the nominees are posted on the Paint Quality Institute website at blog.paintquality.com.

Juvenile charged with assault in Red Oak

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say a teenager was arrested Monday afternoon on a charge of Simple Assault, following an incident at the Red Oak High School. 16-year-old Cassidy Lea Cleaver, allegedly attacked a school staff member. The girl was taken into custody at around 2:50-p.m., and later released to one of her parent’s.

State officials hold “listening post” about kids & drugs today in C. Bluffs

News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The state Office of Drug Control Policy and the “Partnership at Drugfree Iowa-dot-org” are holding a listening post in Council Bluffs this (Tuesday) afternoon. Partnership president, Peter Komendowski, says they want to hear from the communities in Iowa about illegal drug activity related to kids. “There’s been a lot of issues over the past few years in terms of what the state should do in terms of legislation, drug control policy and then prevention and education programs to best meet the needs of the various communities,” Komendowski says. “And it’s been key for us at the Parternship to reach out to the communities because so many of them don’t feel they have a voice in Des Moines… and I think that is part of the job.”

This will be the second listening post, following one held last week in Clinton. “What we found was a strong contingent of educators and treatment professionals that felt that we were not doing an effective job of providing enough resources, both to parents and educators as well as children to understand the scope of the problems. Problems that have seen an increase, especially in generational issues with either substance abuse or criminal behavior.”

Komendowski says these listening posts are targeted at reaching all those who think they need to do more.  “We want people to feel if they don’t have a voice — or especially if they feel they may be frustrated — to come to this forum. We will listen to them. I make a point of it,” Komendowski says.

There is another forum scheduled for October second in Waterloo, and Komendowski says he would like to schedule 12 to 14 more across the state. If you are not able to attend a forum, he says you can go to Drug-Free-Iowa-dot-org, and contact him with your concerns. The forum today is at Heartland Family Service in Council Bluffs.

(Radio Iowa)