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Southwest IA schools see some students enroll across border in Nebraska


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Wednesday was the first day of school for many students in western Iowa, while today marks the start of classes in AHST, Riverside and Shenandoah. Some districts in the southwest corner of the state are adjusting to changes in enrollment after local families were forced to relocate because of flooding. Jay Lutt is superintendent for the Farragut and Hamburg school districts. He says some parents who lived in Hamburg, but worked across the river in Nebraska City have relocated their families in Nebraska, at least temporarily.

“I know there’s some people that are trying to move back in,” he says. “The mandatory evacuation has been lifted and so we have families that are moving back (to southwest Iowa) and some that it’s still going to take a month or so to get moved back or into housing, so it is very fluctuating.”

Officials are still gathering data, but the superintendent estimates about 15 students have been lost to flood-related moves. Mike Eldridge is the junior-senior high school principal for the Sidney Community Schools. Several families in the town of Percival, which is in the district, were forced to relocate. Eldridge says some moved to another town within the district, but others have gone across the river to Nebraska. Eldridge estimates five or 10 students have left, but he says those numbers aren’t having major impact for now.

“We’ve had a lot of new students move into the district, not necessarily because of the flooding,” Eldridge says. “But we look like we may kind of stay level in regards to enrollment where we’re not going to show a huge decrease and we’re not going to show a big increase.”

School also started Wednesday in Council Bluffs. A spokeswoman for the district says she wasn’t not aware of any families leaving the district because of the floods, but at least 35 students have reported a different home address because of flood-related moves. The district is helping to transport 13 of those students to school in Council Bluffs from their temporary housing locations.

(Radio Iowa)

Mills County lifts part of evacuation order


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Some residents of Mills County who were evacuated because of flooding on the Missouri River are being told it’s OK to return, but just be careful. The county’s emergency management agency on Tuesday reopened some areas that had been under a mandatory evacuation order. About 50 residents and businesses are affected. County spokeswoman Sheri Bowen says there’s still a risk because the flooding isn’t over.

All residents in the re-entry areas need to contact building and zoning and public health offices to determine if a free property inspection and damage assessment is needed. Bowen says residents need to make sure their homes and businesses are safe. She says the inspection is required prior to electricity being restored to the property.

Audubon woman arrested for Driving Under Suspension


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police report the arrest Tuesday, of an Audubon County woman for illegal driving. Officials say 23-year old Cara Larson, of Audubon, was taken into custody for Driving Under Suspension. Larson was brought to the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

Cass County BOS approves 1934 lithograph


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Stephenson shows a laminated copy of the 1934 US Constitution lithograph

Gary Stephenson shows the Cass Co. Supervisors matted & framed lithograph

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved a request from Gary Stephenson, of Ft. Dodge, to display a 1934 lithograph of the U-S Constitution inside the courthouse. Stephenson is traveling through each of Iowa’s 99 Counties in hopes of local officials express an interest in having the lithographs displayed in the various 100 county courthouses in the state. Stephenson says the rare lithographs will be framed and matted. He says the father of a man in Chicago worked for a lithographer who created the original product with gold inlay. Currently only three machines in the country, one of which is owned by the U-S Government, is capable of producing the images.

With the Supervisor’s approval, Stephenson will seek out 10 sponsors for the prints, such as local veteran’s organizations, to pay $70 each to cover the costs. Stephenson says he’ll make the same presentation next week, in Corning. The Adair County Board of Supervisors have already purchased their copy of the lithograph, which is set to be unveiled next week.

In Union County, most of the sponsors for the lithograph are already lined-up, while other counties in the area are in-line to receive Stephenson’s presentation and decide on whether or not there is interest in displaying the print.

Cass County Board approves issuance of bonds for project


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday (today), approved a Resolution calling for the issuance of $520,000 in bonds, to pay for the northwest water & sewer extension project. The project, in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, is nearly finished, with the exception of final inspections and seeding of the grassy areas.

Funds for the bonds will come from the 1st Whitney Bank and Trust in Atlantic, at an interest rate of 3.35%. The County will pay the principal on the bonds in 20 annual installments of $26,000 each, but they have the option to pay the total amount off without penalty. There is also an option to refinance the bonds after 10-years, if necessary.

Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation Executive Director Russell Joyce commended the Board for approving the bond issuance, because of the economic development opportunities the project could spur in the area, in terms of industry.

In other business, the Supervisors approved a bid from Vogel Traffic Services, for conducting pavement markings countywide. Vogel, who performed the same task last year, bid $24, 336 for the project. Rich Hansen, Assistant to County Engineer Charles Marker, said the company will repaint the yellow and white lines on about one-half of the county’s roads. The County alternates painting approximately one-half of its roads every year, because the markings are usually good for nearly two-years. County crews will handle some of the other, necessary pavement markings.

Frederickson Memorial Fund donates to Child Care Center


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund recently visited the Ann Wickman Center in Atlantic, bringing new toys and a $100.00 donation to the center. 

Dianna Williams, director of the center and several children of the daycare program are shown with Melanie Petty of the fund.  “Dianna and I are working on some ideas for future donations to the center.  Trevor always had a soft spot for little kids and it’s a good fit for us to help them out” said Melanie.

(Press Release)

Found dog in Massena


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Found in MassenaA female beagle w/faded pink flea collar. The dog has a tan/brown face w/freckles on its face and legs, and a mostly black body.

If this is your animal, call 779-3723.

7AMNewscast 08-17-2011

News, Podcasts

August 17th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Wild market ride cost Iowa public employee system


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s public employee pension system lost 4.3 percent in value during the stock market’s recent wild ride. The system assets dropped to an estimated $22.1 billion on Aug. 5 from $23.16 billion on June 30. By comparison, California’s main employee pension fund dropped about 7.5 percent of its value from July 1 through early August. In Kentucky, the loss was 15 percent. The Florida fund lost 7 percent.

Iowa system spokeswoman Judy Akre says the system’s relatively modest losses are a result of its conservative investment strategy, “based on a decades-long horizon, not a five-week window.” The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System has about 324,000 members.

Dove hunting update: legislative panel blocks ban on lead shot

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A state legislative panel has voted to block a rule that would’ve banned the use of lead shot by dove hunters. Tuesday’s action will allow hunters to use lead shot when the inaugural dove hunting season opens September 1st. Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, is not on the legislative committee but requested to testify before his colleagues. “This is nothing but an anti-hunting issue,” Baudler said. “I hope you’ll do the right thing and stop this rule from going into effect.” Baudler believes the Natural Resource Commission overstepped its authority when it approved the ban last month.

“We have a situation here in Iowa with the Department of Natural Resources…it appears, from the hunting community, to be very anti-hunting,” Baudler said. Other hunters testified that lead shot is toxic to wildlife and that using copper or steel ammunition is an easy alternative. Liz Garst of Coon Rapids is a former chair of the Natural Resource Commission.

“If we hunters persist in saying we’re exempt from the environmental problems of lead, we hunters are going to get a black mark in the public’s eye,” Garst said. She pointed to research that shows increasing lead poisoning in bald Eagles. But lawmakers say it’s up to Iowa Legislature to review the data and decide if the rule should stand. The legislature must now repeal the ban on lead shot during the next session, or it goes into effect for the 2012 dove hunting season.

(Radio Iowa)