Pottawattamie County Cities celebrate City Week October 6 – 10, 2014


October 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

City government is the government closest to most citizens and the one with the most direct daily impact upon its residents. With that in mind, municipal officials feel a responsibility to pass along their understanding of public services and their benefits. City Week is sponsored by the Iowa League of Cities to showcase and celebrate cities and the many services they provide. “City week is part of an ongoing effort to help promote good government and to help our members showcase the important role cities play in the lives of Iowans,” said League Executive Director Alan Kemp.

Area cities have been very active this year. Below are a few of the highlighted services and projects being offered by some area communities:

· Avoca: The City of Avoca has been growing steadily through the City’s Housing Grant and Loans program. In order to keep the community a nice place to live, the City of Avoca has been focused on quality of life projects such as a pedestrian bridge, 1.5 miles of trails, a dog park, and enhancements at Edgington Memorial Park. The City is nearing completion of a large road rehabilitation project funded in part by the CITIES grant program and the Iowa West Foundation.
· Macedonia: The City of Macedonia is beginning a project to upgrade their aging water delivery system; funding has been acquired from various sources including a CITIES grant from the Iowa West Foundation. “Come over to Macedonia”, it’s a great place to live.
· McClelland: The City of McClelland is currently improving stormwater drainage by replacing several street drainage sewers and ditches. The rain storms that came earlier this summer in such a fast & furious way and at quite frequency brought the problem of flooding of the lower part of McCelland to light.
· Neola: The City of Neola is focused on a beautification project along Front Street, which is Neola’s main street. The street enhancements and appearance will make the downtown more inviting.
· Underwood: The City of Underwood has been in growth mode, focused on Phase 3 of Fieldcrest Housing Development and planning for a new lift station and main to serve a newly annexed area. The Friends of Underwood Community and an Eagle Scout also worked with the City to place “Little Lending Libraries” in city right-of-way.
· Walnut: Walnut’s top priority is to make improvements to the downtown.  The City Council will address the issue of renovation, repair and restoration of existing building facades of properties in the downtown area.  The Streetscape Enhancement Project will include curb and gutter, sidewalk replacement, brick parking area improvements, and commercial facade restoration.  In that same vein, the City has hired a part-time marketing intern.

The Iowa League of Cities is the oldest, continuously operating municipal league in the country. Founded in 1898, the League is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for issues affecting cities throughout Iowa and provides cities wide-ranging services. Avoca City Manager Clint Fichter and Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh are on the League’s Executive Board.

(Press Release)

Harlan Police release arrest & incident report


October 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan, Tuesday afternoon, released a report on their most recent arrests and incidents. Officials say on Sunday, Oct. 5th, 15-year old Gloryana Erlemeier, and 16-year old Lorenzo Esquivel, both of Harlan, were arrested when officers found them in St Michael’s parking lot at 3:00 AM. Both subjects were cited for curfew violation and released to a parent/guardian. Erlemeier was also cited for minor in possession of tobacco. Later that same day, a Harlan resident reported someone had knocked over a street sign at the corner of 16th and Pine Streets and then hit her chain linked fence causing damage to the fence. The incident remains under investigation.

On Oct. 2nd, 16-year old Nicholas Haner was arrested following a traffic stop. Haner was taken to the Harlan Police Department where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a weapon in a vehicle. Haner was also cited for violation of a restricted license. Haner was cited on all charges and released to a parent. All charges will be filed with the Juvenile Court.

On Sept. 30th, Harlan Police arrested 18-year old Johnathon Sibbitt, of Glenwood, on an active warrant out of Mills County Iowa. Sibbitt was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was held pending extradition to Mills County.

And on Sept. 29th, 17-year old Justin Dickinson, was taken into custody in Harlan and charged with 9 counts of theft 5th degree and one count of on-going criminal conduct. The arrest was the result of the investigation initiated when Janelle Kenkel reported that Dickinson had fraudulently used a debit card belonging to her and her son, Brandon Wilke. Dickinson was transported to the Juvenile Detention facility in Council Bluffs.

Cardinals sink Kershaw again, head to another NLCS


October 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals tagged Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning for the second straight time, riding Matt Adams’ go-ahead, three-run homer to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday and a fourth straight trip to the NL Championship Series.

Following their 3-1 win in the best-of-five series, the Cardinals await San Francisco or Washington with their rotation well-rested for the NLCS, which starts Saturday. They would open at home against the Giants or at the Nationals.

Trevor Rosenthal allowed two runners in the ninth before getting Carl Crawford on a game-ending groundout for his third save of the series. Kershaw allowed one homer to left-handed hitters while going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA in the regular season. He gave up two to the Cardinals, with Matt Carpenter connecting in the opener. The left-handed ace is 0-3 with a 9.72 ERA in his last three postseason appearances, including St. Louis’ clinching Game 6 victory in the NLCS last year.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Oct. 8 2014


October 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

GARNER, Iowa (AP) — A trial date has been set for an Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife at a care center. The trial against Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons is scheduled to start Jan. 28 at the Hancock County District Court in Garner. Officials have accused the 78-year-old Rayhons, of Garner, of having sexual contact in May with his wife, Donna Rayhons, while she was a resident of a care center and not able to give consent. Donna Rayhons died in early August.

STATE CENTER, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa man faces a felony charge after authorities say several weapons were found on the hood of his vehicle near a school. State Center police say 19-year-old Lane Kline was arrested early Saturday at West Marshall High School after a report came in about a vehicle doing circles on the grass of the school. Police say they found Kline and others standing outside the vehicle next to two assault rifles, a shotgun and a bow and arrow.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Keeping track of time is a bit easier in Muscatine now that a clock atop the county courthouse is back in operation. Repairs on the Muscatine County Courthouse clock have been completed and all four clock dials are working again. The county paid a Cincinnati company about $26,000 to repair the clock, which had been stuck at about 4:20.

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — A commercial recycling facility in northwest Iowa will pay $120,000 to settle allegations it violated federal clean water regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 says the administrative settlement with Shine Bros. Corp. means the company will remove contamination that allegedly migrated from its Spencer facility to an adjacent public park. The EPA says Shine Bros. Corp.’s stormwater control tools were ineffective in handling pollutants.

IA Lt. Governor candidate to speak in Atlantic


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Monica Vernon, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, will be in Atlantic at the Cass County Democratic Headquarters at 511 Chestnut, on Friday, October 10, 2014, at 1 PM to meet with the public. Vernon, a City Councilwoman in Cedar Rapids, was named as running mate in mid-June to Jack Hatch, who is the Democratic candidate for Governor of Iowa.

Monica Vernon

Monica Vernon

She has served on the Cedar Rapids City Council since 2007, and earlier this year was a candidate for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District. Vernon was the founder of Vernon Research Group, and served as president of the market research firm from its inception in 1987 until it was sold in 2013.

The public is invited to attend the event, with snacks provided.

Chiefs’ Hali lends support as Ebola epidemic rages


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) – Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali is lending his support to a humanitarian organization that plans to open a clinic in his native Liberia to help combat the Ebola epidemic. Hali was joined Tuesday by officials from Heart to Heart International, which is based in suburban Kansas City, to announced the construction of a clinic near the capital of Monrovia that will offer 70 beds for patients stricken by the disease.

Liberia has been among the hardest-hit of the West African nations at the center of the months-long outbreak, which has killed at least 3,500 people. Hali fled with his father from Liberia at the age of 10, when it was in the midst of a bloody civil war. He still has family there but they have not been infected with Ebola.

Atlantic Area Ambassadors visit Fireside Lounge


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Fireside Lounge in Atlantic, is celebrating a birthday. The business has been in operation for 30 years, Mark Foegen has been the owner for the last 15 years. “We take 3 days every summer to expand or remodel the lounge to keep the lounge current and a nice place to relax,” Foegen said.

Fireside Lounge Owner, Mark Foegen. Ambassadors Pictured: Kathie Hockenberry, Dolly Bergmann, Lauren Coder, Jolene Roecker, Joanne Mueller, Connie Wailes, Tammy Waters, Melanie Petty, Julie May, Tara Jennerjohn, Dr. Jim Kickland, Bill Saluk, Debbie Leistad, Rich Perry, Ed Leistad, JoAnn Runyan, Sara Nelson,  Don Johnson, Carole Schuler, Sue Muri, Gerald Brink, Arlene Drennan, Lana Westphalen, Doug Harris, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte.

Fireside Lounge Owner, Mark Foegen.
Ambassadors Pictured: Kathie Hockenberry, Dolly Bergmann, Lauren Coder,
Jolene Roecker, Joanne Mueller, Connie Wailes, Tammy Waters, Melanie Petty, Julie May, Tara Jennerjohn, Dr. Jim Kickland, Bill Saluk, Debbie Leistad, Rich Perry, Ed Leistad, JoAnn Runyan, Sara Nelson, Don Johnson, Carole Schuler, Sue Muri, Gerald Brink, Arlene Drennan, Lana Westphalen, Doug Harris, Dr. Mitch Peerbolte.

The Fireside recently remodeled the bar with new coolers, allowing the employees more room and a better work environment. Fireside Lounge hosts several fundraising event each year to help benefit the community.

“Every year we donate to the local food pantry, we donated a turkey dinner for over 20 families in 2014,” Foegen said. Fireside Lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy time with friends, stop in and see the new improvements.

USDA Expands Access to Credit to Help More Beginning and Family Farmers


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2014 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required “farming experience” to include other valuable experiences; and expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated. The changes become effective Nov. 7.

“USDA is continuing its commitment to new and existing family farmers and ranchers by expanding access to credit,” said Harden. “These new flexibilities, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, will help more people who are considering farming and ranching, or who want to strengthen their existing family operation.”

The microloan changes announced today will allow beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay. These efforts are part of USDA’s continued commitment to small and midsized farming operations, and new and beginning farmers.

In addition to farm related experience, other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm loan eligibility such as operation or management of a non-farm business, leadership positions while serving in the military, or advanced education in an agricultural field. Also, individuals who own farmland under a different legal entity operating the farm now may be eligible for loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers will have an opportunity to share suggestions on the microloan process, and the definitions of farming experience and business structures through Dec. 8, 2014, the public open comment period.

FSA is also publishing a Federal Register notice to solicit ideas from the public for pilot projects to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of farm loan programs. Comments and ideas regarding potential pilot projects will be accepted through Nov. 7, 2014.

Since 2010, USDA has made a record amount of farm loans through FSA — more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, USDA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2010.

These programs were made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.


Adair County Supervisors to receive safe room update


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County are set to meet Wednesday morning at the courthouse in Greenfield. During their 9-a.m. session, the Board will receive an update from County Conservation Director Kevin Blazek, with regard to the Safe Room/Shower & Restroom Project at the Lake Orient Park Campgrounds.

They’ll also hear from County Engineer Nick Kaufmann, with regard to the signing of an agreement for a Secondary Roads Construction Program, along with building discussion and his regular report.

Other topics to be covered include: a Child Abuse Prevention Grant draw-down; Longevity increase; Manure Management Plan updates; Homestead and Military Allowances and Disallowances, and a Southern Iowa Council Of Governments (SICOG) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.


Trading Post

October 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

WANT TO BUY:  2-stage snowblower with electric start; back massager with vibrator on lower part of back; and 2 HP air compressor. Call 712-249-4005

FOR SALE: Black and Decker Stainless Steel Toaster Oven, about 1 year old for $25.  Black and Decker Blender. Red in color and used very little. $25.  Call 712-243-6207. If no answer leave a message and they will get back to you ASAP.

FOR SALE:  1996 Ford Explorer, 4X4 4 door, 162,000 miles, Good dependable vehicle, Always been garaged, Minor surface rust, Few dents and scratches, Asking $2,000.  Call 712-249-4483.