KJAN News

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8AM Newscast 02-07-2013

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(Update 9:45-a.m.) – Atlantic’s Mayor not happy with AMU

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Atlantic Municipal Utilities have scheduled a press conference for this afternoon, to clear-up concerns and perhaps some misconceptions about an increase in the fee it bills the City for sending out its sanitary sewer bills. The meeting will take place at 3-p.m in AMU’s basement meeting room. At last night’s City Council meeting, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones was not happy to hear from City Administrator Doug Harris, that AMU would be jacking up the rate the City pays for sending out its sanitary sewer bills by 10-times the rate it charged through the end of last year. Harris said the increase was retro-active to the beginning of the year.

He said AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes reported that the AMU Board had approved increasing the billing fee for the City’s sewer bills, which are lumped together with the water and electric. AMU had been charging the City 10-cents per bill per month. That has now increased a dollar per month, which means the City’s annual cost will increase from $3,730, to $37,300.  Council Shaun Shouse said that’s a “Hard pill to swallow.”  Harris said the increase needs to be included in the budgetary process currently underway at City Hall.

Mayor Jones said he had a “hard time” buying AMU’s explanation for the increase, and that they’ve gone “Over-board.” Jones said AMU’s reason that their cost for the new billing system warrants an increase is no reason to “stick it to the City,” and that they should re-calculate the cost. Harris said AMU estimates if it charges the City one-third of the cost, it would amount to $1.60 per bill. He doubts the City could handle the billing by itself for the dollar increase AMU is passing along for their new billing software system.

He says by using their water meter reading, there are no additional costs associated with labor, but there are costs associated with the accounting process. The billing itself is pretty much automated. Harris said he doesn’t know how much AMU figures into the bill overhead and buildings, but if they allocated everything in thirds, it would amount to about $1.60 per bill. Councilman Dana Halder said it’s his understanding the new software AMU is using will better analyze their costs. Harris said that could result in a savings to the citizens, down the road.

In the interim, the City will either have to pay the extra dollar and increase the sewer rates, send out its own bills, or try and negotiate the fee with AMU for a reduction in costs.

7AM Newscast 02-07-2013

News, Podcasts

February 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Audubon County authorities warn residents of ongoing scams

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Audubon County are reminding citizens in the county and elsewhere, about ongoing scams which primarily target the elderly. Sheriff Todd Johnson and Audubon Police Chief David Simonsen say first and foremost, residents should be alert to red flags indicating someone is trying to defraud you or steal your identity. Those warning signs include asking you to wire money to claim a prize or to bail a relative out of jail, or revealing your personal and/or banking information over the phone.

The reason for the reminder: The “Grandparent Scam” has resurfaced. That’s where a person (usually someone who is elderly), receives a call from a person claiming to be a grandchild, who is in trouble….usually with the law. Other scams include those associated with so-called sweepstakes and lotteries. And, residents have been getting calls from people asking them for social security or banking information. The caller claims the information is needed for Medicare purposes. Scams can also be perpetrated over the internet or mail.

Johnson and Simonsen say most of these scams originate from overseas, in other countries. That makes it impossible to track the culprits or prosecute them. If you or your loves one may have been the target of any scam, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Redwood Road in Shelby County has re-opened

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert reports Redwood Road, between 900th Street and Highway 44, has re-opened to traffic. The road was closed in mid-January, for bridge repair work.

Red Oak woman arrested on burglary and theft warrant

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak have arrested a local woman who was wanted on a warrant for the burglary of an unoccupied vehicle, and 4th degree theft. 18-year-old Kaylie Louise Hudson, of Red Oak, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. The incidents which led to her arrest allegedly took place on January 27th.  Hudson was taken to the Montgomery County Law Center and held on a $2,000 bond.

ISU: No quick refunds for Harkin Institute donors

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Donors who pledged $3.3 million to support an Iowa State University institute honoring Sen. Tom Harkin shouldn’t expect quick refunds now that he’s abandoned plans to house his papers there. ISU Foundation spokeswoman Karen Simon said Wednesday the group will keep those donations until the Board of Regents decides the Harkin Institute of Public Policy’s future. The institute appears likely to close or be overhauled after Harkin’s decision Tuesday backing out of plans to donate papers covering his 40 years in Washington to ISU.

If it becomes necessary, Simon says the foundation will review all institute pledges and gifts accepted and “then examine and exercise what remedies may be appropriate.” Institute fundraiser and former Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson says she can’t imagine the foundation will try to keep the donations.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Feb. 7th 2013

News

February 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MESERVEY, Iowa (AP) — A boil advisory has been lifted for a small north-central Iowa town that lost power after a weekend fire. The state Department of Natural Resources says it lifted the advisory yesterday for the city of Meservey in Cerro Gordo County. Test results showed the water was safe to drink.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Actor Matthew Perry is investing in a youth sports complex at an eastern Iowa farm where “Field of Dreams” was filmed. Go the Distance Baseball LLC announced yesterday that the “Friends” star is part of a group of investors that includes Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs. Go the Distance plans to transform the state landmark into a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament complex. The first tournament games are scheduled for 2014.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines area developer has been sentenced to a year in prison for bank fraud. U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt announced yesterday that Randal Walters was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison. He also has been ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz never pays much attention to recruiting rankings. That’s a trait that could serve him well this week. The Hawkeyes announced their latest class yesterday, a group that recruiting services have rated near the bottom of the Big Ten. The 21-player class is ranked 52nd nationally by both Rivals DOT com and Scout DOT com.

Atlantic City Council passes 1st reading of amended zoning ordinance

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening, passed the first reading of an amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, which would allow changing the Zoning classification of some lots in the Southern Heights 2nd Addition, from R-2 (Low Density/Single Family) to R-4 (Multi-family). The vote followed a public hearing, during which there were comments from Don Sonntag, the local developer who proposes the construction of multi-family homes, with half of them being upscale rental units, running about $750 to $800 per month.  Sonntag says there are still numerous steps remaining before construction could begin, even if the Council does approve the Zoning change.

One of those steps would be his application to the City for a TIF – Tax Increment Financing- District, to make the project “Cash Flow.” The second, and next step, is an “Official” approval of the site plan. The City’s Planning and Zoning Commission has provided a verbal approval of the plan, but Sonntag said he needs to invest $7,500 to nail down the grade, elevation, sewer and water, and other such details.

Sonntag, who spoke in the third person when referring to concerns about what would happen if his health deteriorated and he wasn’t able to follow-through with plans to construct in an R-4 zone, or, if there is enough objection to the rezoning.  He said he would be willing to stipulate in the agreement, that it could be rezoned back to R-2. And, if he wasn’t able to move forward, the ground could still be used for someone who wishes to construct a 24 or 30-unit apartment house. Properties to the east and west of the proposed development are already zoned R-4.

Earlier in the meeting, the Council discussed traffic flow concerns on 19th Street, west of Redwood Drive, as it pertains to the rezoning of the parcel. Mayor Dave Jones says the concerns were addressed at a couple of recent meetings of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He says prior to word getting out about the proposed zoning change, there were no known problems with 19th Street, and that includes issues affecting police, and/or fire and rescue.

Jones said he wants the Community Development Committee to review the recommendations from the Police and Fire Chief, along with Medivac Ambulance and others, before any decision is made on the future of 19th Street, including whether it should be made a thoroughfare, and connected to Olive Street to alleviate any real or perceived traffic problems.

Head of veterans home seeks better PTSD treatment

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of a state veteran’s home says vets need better access to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorders coupled with substance abuse. Last session, the Legislature asked David Worley, head of the Iowa Veterans Home, to study the need for a treatment program for veterans diagnosed with disorders related to post-traumatic stress disorder , or PTSD.

Worley told House lawmakers Wednesday there is a need, and he stressed that many veterans have difficulty getting to Marshalltown to seek treatment. Legislators didn’t discuss how much a new program would cost, but Worley says federal and state grants might be available. Worley says on average, 20 percent of all combat veterans are eventually diagnosed with PTS which leads to illegal substance abuse.