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Asphalt overlays planned for Cass County Farm-to-Market roads

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said Tuesday,  work is scheduled to begin this Summer on asphalt overlay projects for certain Farm-To-Market qualified roads. During the Board of Supervisors meeting,  Marker said a State bid letting was held January 18th in Des Moines, for an asphalt overlay project on Cass County Road M-56, north of Marne. There were two bids for the project. The Supervisors approved a bid from Henningsen Construction, amounting to nearly $1.8-million, for the 3-inch asphalt overlay project. Marker said the contract requires work to begin no later than August 13th. The contractor will have up to 50 working days to complete the project, regardless of when they start.

Marker said the next project in his 5-year construction plan, which is similar to the M-56 overlay, is for the Lewis road, from Highway 71 west, toward Lewis. Marker said they will borrow ahead out of the Farm to Market account to pay for the project, the plans for which have not yet been formulated. Marker explained how the Farm-to-Market account works to repair area roads commonly used to bring crops to local elevators. He said money for the repairs is generated through the Road Use Tax Fund. The amount is kept in Des Moines to do only those projects which are termed “Farm-to-Market.”

Marker says the County receives quarterly reports from the Iowa DOT, informing the County how much money is in the account. He says as of December 31st, 2011, Cass County had $171,000 in the F-to-M Account. The County receives just under $200,000 per quarter for F-to-M roads, or about $1-million per year. He says the County can borrow as much as 5-years ahead from that account, to combine and handle major road projects, as long as the account is not borrowed on for more than 5-years at a time. He says Cass County has a total contract amounting to nearly $1.18-million, which means the County has a negative balance because it has borrowed nearly two-years ahead.

In his five-year construction plan for Farm-to-Market roads, Marker says he has to show the County will be back in the black within two-years, which would allow the County to start borrowing ahead again. That would allow for the completion of a middle segment of M-56, from Atlantic Airport Road G-30, south to Highway 6.

7AM Newscast 02-01-2012

News, Podcasts

February 1st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Midwest economic index takes big jump in January


February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A big jump in a monthly survey index suggests more economic growth is ahead for nine Midwest and Plains states.  The Business Conditions Index rose to 55.9 in January, compared with 50.0 in December. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the December report suggested the region’s economy was slowing down because of debt concerns in Europe and the lukewarm U.S. economy. But he says it appears now that December’s “tepid reading was due to seasonal or nonrecurring factors.”

The survey uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Goss says that any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor.  The survey of supply managers covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Red Oak man arrested on warrant this morning


February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was taken into custody early this (Wednesday) morning, on a warrant out of Montgomery County, for Contempt of Court/Illegal Resistance. Red Oak Police say 20-year old James LeRoy Christensen, Jr., of Red Oak, was arrested just after 3-a.m.  Christensen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail, on $13,000 bond.

Shooting incident reported in Fremont County


February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Fremont County said Tuesday, a 74-year old man suffered non-life threatening injuries from a self-inlficted gunshot wound, last Friday morning. Sheriff’s deputies and officers with the Tabor Police Department responded to the scene of a reported shooting incident at around 10:40-a.m., Friday, at a residence on Green Hollow Road.

When authorities arrived, they found Donald D. Study suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The man was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, by Tabor Rescue. Officials say Thurman Rescue crews also responded to the call, and assisted Tabor Rescue.

Another record high in Atlantic, Tuesday!

News, Weather

February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A 120-year old record high temperature was eclipsed Tuesday, here in Atlantic. The old record of 58 degrees in 1892 was surpassed when we topped out at 59, Tuesday afternoon. It was the second consecutive day of record breaking temperatures in Atlantic. On Monday, we reached 65 degrees, which beat the 58 degree record set in 1988.  The weather service said this (Wednesday) morning, they were not aware of any other records being set in Iowa, Tuesday, although temperatures were much warmer than normal.

IBC competative index shows little progress


February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The “Iowa Competitiveness Index” compiled by a group of the state’s largest businesses shows no change in four of the five measures of the state’s economic outlook, and the fifth moved from “improving” to “no significant progress.” Iowa Business Council executive director, Elliott Smith, says the results show an economy that’s idling in place.  “We’re really at this juncture seeing no significant changes. We’re kind of stuck in an area where there may be efforts underway and we are making some progress, but relative to all the states, were not seeing to consider ourselves out ahead of the curve in most respects,” Smith explained. The index looks at: economic growth, education and workforce readiness, governance and fiscal matters, health and well being, and workforce demographics and diversity. While there’s not much movement in the index, Smith says it’s not an indictment of the total system.

He says there are some good things in workforce education and readiness in terms of A-C-T scores and the percentage of the population that’s getting a high school degree. “But on the other hand the percentage of our population that’s getting bachelor’s degree is quite low,” Smith says. “And those are the sort of things that employers are concerned about.” While the index shows things aren’t changing, there are efforts underway to try and make some changes — such as the governor’s education reform plan. “We’re supportive of the efforts by the governor and the legislature to make progress in that area, it seems as though that’s always just a very hard area to affect any significant change,” Smith says. He says the I-B-C is hopeful the effort to improve the reading ability of third graders succeeds along with the effort to get more students more proficient in science and math. “That’s going to be critical,” he says. Smith says the I-B-C wants to keep the focus on the need to improve.

“We’ve identified some of the problems, there are some initiatives out there which have just sort of launched and we’re anxious to see how early results go, the healthiest states initiative being one of those,” Smith says. “It’s good to just try and create an awareness right now.” You can see the complete index on the I-B-C website at: The Iowa Business Council’s 24 members are the top executives of 20 of the largest businesses in the state, the three state university presidents, and Iowa’s largest banking association.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

20 injured, no deaths in 2011 hunting seasons

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources investigated 20 incidents involving injured hunters in 2011, virtually unchanged from recent years, but there were no hunting-related deaths in 2011, down from a single fatality last year. Megan Wisecup, a DNR recreational safety program supervisor, says most of the hunting incidents happened during shotgun deer season when a hunter focused on a deer and not on what’s beyond their target. As a result, she says people get shot. Several injuries happened without shooting at an animal. Wisecup says in one case a hunter was shot in the foot while reaching into his vehicle to unsnag a loaded gun from several bags he was carrying and the gun discharged. There were also eight reports of hunting incidents that caused property damage.

Adair County man wins Guy Powell Award


January 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Gail Steward receives the Guy Powell Award

An Adair County man is the winner of Midwest Partnership’s “Guy Powell Award.” Gail Steward, of Orient, was presented with the award during the Midwest Partnership for Economic Development’s annual dinner meeting on January 26th, in Panora.

Steward was nominated by several individuals for his ability to inspire others with his vision for the future in his community. He’s volunteered for many projects in the community and donated countless hours to organizations and projects he believes in. Officials said Steward is an outstanding leader with the Development Corporation of Greenfield and has worked hard to bring new business into the area.  He also has been involved with the Adair County Health Foundation, the Greenfield Chamber/ Main Street, the E. E. Warren Cultural Center and the Hotel Greenfield restoration project.
The family of Guy Powell was also present at the dinner to assist in honoring Gail.  This is the third year the award has recognized the economic development contributions of an individual in the Midwest t Partnership EDC region, which covers Adair, Audubon, Greene, and Guthrie counties.

The Guy Powell Award was established in honor of the late Guy Powell of Greenfield, who served as president of the Midwest Partnership EDC board of directors and was an active volunteer in several other community organizations.  It is intended to recognize excellence in leadership and passion for economic development in the Midwest Partnership EDC region, taking into account vision, leadership, courage, and impact.

Burn Ban in Montgomery County starts Wednesday


January 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Brian Hamman, Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator, says due to abnormally warm temperatures and several months of below normal precipitation, Montgomery County rural areas are extremely dry. In the past few weeks, area fire departments in Montgomery County as well as surrounding counties have responded to numerous grass and wildland type fires. The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency has polled all Fire Chiefs as to implement a burn ban for Montgomery County.

All departments were in agreement to the ban and the ban has been approved by the Iowa State Fire Marshalls Office in Des Moines.
Effective 10-a.m. Wednesday, February 1st, 2012, all open burning will be banned within the rural areas of Montgomery County until further notice under Chapter 100 of the Iowa Code. An application to your local fire chief can be obtained to allow a permit for an open burn if your local Fire Official believes it is safe to do so. After approval of the permit, several entities within Montgomery County are informed to lessen the danger of false alarms.

This is a dangerous situation. The conditions are currently favorable for a fast moving wildland fire that can destroy property and be life threatening if uncontrolled. If adequate moisture is received, a revocation of the ban will be considered by all Montgomery County Fire Officials.