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November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson




Atlantic City Council to leave speed limit on W. 22nd Street as is, for now


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The consensus of the Atlantic City Council following a public hearing Tuesday night, was to leave the speed limit along West 22nd Street, from Chestnut to Palm, at 45-miles per hour. They reached their decision after reviewing two-letters of support for reducing the speed limit from 45-to 35, and hearing from four citizens who wanted the speed limit reduced. City Clerk Deb Wheatley-Field say she had only received two letters of support for keeping the speed limit the same. Mayor Dave Jones asked the Council their opinions on the speed limit issue, after all the discussion was said and done.

Councilmen Steve Livengood and Shaun Shouse, along with Mayor Jones spoke first. Livengood said he was hesitant to lower speed limits without some sort of uniform criteria on why it’s being done. Shouse said he wants to see a total review of 22nd Street. Mayor Jones agreed, because of the calls he’s received pertaining to other sections of the street, not just the western one-third.

Councilman Chris Jimerson said he wants to see increased patrols by the Atlantic Police Department. Livengood added that he wants double-yellow lines painted along that stretch of road, to encourage people not to speed-up and pass slower vehicles and, the installation of signs warning of “Hidden Driveways” ahead, especially near the hilly terrain, which will prompt motorists to slow down. The Council will also send the matter back to the Community Protection Committee for review. Steve Livengood and Chris Jimerson serve on the Committee.

Councilperson Kathy Somers says the engineering studies that were conducted prior to the road being built, was done with the “best intentions,” but the community has changed, and so has its needs. Shouse added that the problem with residents being worried about being hit as they pull out of their driveways could have been avoided prior to the road being built, if the City had been less worried about saving the developer of the area money, and more about functionality of the streets that feed into 22nd Street, as well as the size of the turn-arounds in the housing development area.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Nov. 21st 2012


November 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder in the 2010 strangulation of a woman. Jerome Powers was accused of killing Doris Bevins in what prosecutors say started as a burglary. Powers claims he found Bevins unconscious.

GARNER, Iowa (AP) — Police have arrested three north-central Iowa men on numerous charges including burglary and ongoing criminal conduct. The men are expected to appear in court today. Authorities say the arrest of the men from Klemme is the result of a two-year investigation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A scientist at an ape sanctuary in Des Moines has been reinstated. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh was placed on administrative leave in September after a dozen former employees expressed concerns about the safety and welfare of the bonobos at the Iowa Primate Sanctuary. An investigation concluded the allegations were unsubstantiated.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Police say two men wanted after escaping from a county jail in east central Georgia have been caught in Fort Dodge. Matthew Findley and Jeffery Webb were taken into custody yesterday. The men were among several prisoners that escaped earlier this month after a jail door was left unlocked.

Iowa group releases latest “Trouble in Toyland” report


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Just in time for the Christmas shopping season, an Iowa consumer safety group is out with an annual report on dangerous toys. Kramer McLuckie, with the Iowa Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), unveiled the “Trouble in Toyland” report at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines Tuesday, as several children nearby played with dolls and building blocks. One of the group’s biggest concerns involves toys on store shelves that present a choking hazard.

“We all know that toddlers like to put anything and everything in their mouths and between 2005 and 2010 that’s proven very dangerous as over 50 children have choked to death on balloons, balls, toys or small parts of toys,” McLuckie said. He encourages parents and caregivers to test toys with a toilet paper tube – if the toy fits through the tube, it’s too small for a child under three. Other toys Iowa PIRG put on display are considered too loud or contain toxic metals and chemicals. Doctor Vidya Chande, Medical Director of the Blank Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, said many kids are injured because they’re playing with toys that aren’t appropriate for their age.

“That, I think, is the core of the problem that I see in the emergency department. A toy that’s safe in the hand of a 12-year-old can be very dangerous in the hands of a two-year-old,” Chande said. “One of the challenges during the holidays is to keep the 12-year-old’s toys away from the two-year-old.” The national Public Interest Research Group has released the Trouble in Toyland report every year since 1985. According to the group, the reports have led to the recall of at least 150 toys and other regulatory actions to protect children from unsafe products.

(Radio Iowa) R5RyiDQP5N8

Program helps dentists pay off loans if they work in rural Iowa


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Dentists who are just out of school and ready to open a practice are being lured to rural Iowa by a program that offers a big hand toward paying off their college loans. Dr. Ed Schooley, dental director for Delta Dental of Iowa, says the foundation’s loan repayment program offers new dentists a generous check, but it comes with a catch. “It offers dentists $50,000 to set up practice in a shortage area of Iowa,” Schooley says. “That goes against the dentist’s student debt and they then agree to allocate 35% of their patient load to serving underserved Iowans.” That includes Medicaid-eligible, elderly, disabled, and other underserved patients.

Fifty-five of Iowa’s 99 counties are designated as dentist shortage areas, and Schooley says most new dentists are in a deep cavity from years of student loans. “The average dental graduate is over $170,000 in debt and if they set up practice on their own, they’re looking at another $250-to-300,000,” Schooley says. “A lot of dentists aren’t able to do that. This is a way for them to bypass the urban area and consider a rural area.” One or two grants are awarded each year. The program is in its tenth year and in that decade, Schooley says it’s made a significant impact.

“Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has now generated over $1-million into this program and there have been 21 dentist recipients,” Schooley says. “They have seen over 40-thousand patients.” This year’s recipient is Dr. Matthew Pyfferoen, a pediatric dentist in Ames, who graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2010. The program is called FIND, for Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists. For more information, visit: www.iowafindproject.com

(Radio Iowa)

Gov. Branstad appoints Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger District Court Judge


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An assistant federal prosecutor in Iowa has been named a district court judge to fill a vacancy left by a retirement.  Gov. Terry Branstad says he has appointed Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to the bench in the Fifth Judicial District, a position which presides over cases primarily in Polk County.  The 37-year-old Ebinger will fill the vacancy left by Judge Artis Reis, who has retired.  Reis, of West Des Moines, became a district associate judge in 1995 and a district judge in 1998.

Ebinger, who has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines, received her law degree from Yale Law School.  Fourteen attorneys and magistrates had applied for the district court judge’s position, which pays $137,700 a year.

Among the counties included in the Fifth District are Adair, Adams, Dallas, Guthrie,  Madison, Ringgold, Taylor andUnion.

Plane crashes at the Red Oak Airport – no injuries


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Emergency crews from the Red Oak Fire Department this (Tuesday) morning responded to a reported airplane crash at the Red Oak Airport. Emergency Manager Brian Hamman reports the fire department was dispatched at around 8:30-a.m.

Photo’s courtesy Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman.

Crews arriving on scene found a single engine aircraft that appeared to have gone off the runway during landing and entered a bean field in the middle of the airport complex. The pilot and single occupant of the aircraft was outside the aircraft walking around. The unidentified pilot was uninjured in the crash that involved a 1965 Fixed Wing Single-Engine Cessna Model 150F registered to Call One Incorporated, out of Clarinda.

Hamman says the airport was closed for a short period of time while emergency crews were on the runway. At this time the scene has been turned over to the FAA for investigation. The Red Oak Fire Dept was assisted on scene by the Red Oak Police Dept, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, City of Red Oak officials and airport authorities.

Senators urge Corps of Engineers to keep river water flowing on MO. & MS. Rivers


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several U-S senators from states along the Mississippi River are urging the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to abandon plans to radically cut water flows on the Missouri River. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Corps is going to start, in his words, “impounding” water behind Missouri River reservoirs starting December 1st to prepare for the possibility of a dry spring ahead. “The problem is, that’s going to lead to major navigation problems on the Mississippi River, which also has low water levels because of this year’s drought,” Grassley says. “The result is, difficult shipping conditions for grain and other commodities.”

The Corps is moving the Missouri River into what it’s calling “drought reserve mode” and it will mean much less water flowing downriver. Grassley and the bipartisan group of senators wants that plan delayed, at least until the Mississippi River’s already-low channel can be cleared of obstacles. Grassley says, “We asked the Army Corps to demolish rock pinnacles, especially at Thebes, Illinois, and to delay impounding the Missouri River water until these rocks can be removed.”

Winter releases from Gavins Point Dam, near Yankton, South Dakota, will be dropped to minimum levels, averaging around 12-thousand cubic feet per second (CFS) starting on December 1st and running through the end of February. Current release levels from the dam have been running more than three times that level, at 38-thousand C-F-S. Grassley says that move to cut the flow on the Missouri will cause significant harm downriver. “The Mississippi River is vital to commerce for agriculture and other products headed to export markets,” Grassley says. “It’s very important also to move things, supplies up the river, particularly agriculture and coal.”

Ironically, water levels last year were at a record high on the Missouri River, with significant flooding that lasted from the spring through summer and into fall.

(Radio Iowa)

Griswold School Board meeting held Monday


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Griswold Community School District met Monday evening at the Middle School/High School Building. Superintendent Dana Kunze says the majority of their meeting was used to discuss last week’s Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) conference they attended, and related presentations. The Board did however take time to approve the specifications for a Lift Bus designed for handicapped persons. Kunze says they elected to solicit bids for the vehicle. He says also, the Griswold School Board approved an Early Retirement Policy similar to what was done in the past. The policy will be made available soon, for teachers in the district, to review.

The board also discussed wrapping up the parking lot and sidewalk improvement projects, where there are still some “loose ends,” according to Kunze.

Exira-EHK Reorganization meetings set to take place Nov. 20th & 29th


November 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Patrons of the Exira and Elk Horn-Kimballton Community School Districts have a chance to voice their concerns and ask questions about a potential reorganization of the Exira-EHK School District during meetings to be held tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 20th) in Exira, and next Thursday, in Elk Horn. Exira-EHK Superintendent Dr. Dean Schnoes, says the districts have been Whole Grade Sharing for the past couple of years, and using each other’s resources to save costs, but additional opportunities for cost savings will soon be going away.

He says on June 30th, 2014, supplemental funds the districts receive for Whole Grade Sharing, “Goes away.” Schnoes said the next available “perk” for the districts, if they consolidate, is a lower tax rate per thousand, for three years. The kicker is, the districts have to reorganize.

The meeting tonight at Exira in the Middle School Lunchroom at 7 o’clock, and at the same time November 29th in the EHK High School Lunchroom, is designed to gain input and guidance on what the districts need to do in order to make reorganization and consolidation possible. Schnoes says questions from the public are important, so he can find answers to those questions – if they don’t already have them – from the Department of Education, and others. He says Directors from the Green Hills and Heartland Area Education Agencies (AEA) will be at a joint meeting next Monday night, to explain the AEA’s role in the process.

The meetings are being facilitated to light a fire under the communities to get serious about the effort to reorganize, and Schnoes says he’s the temporary “Ignitor” for the cause. He says the districts have been working well together in the past, and if patrons want a tax break, they need to attend the meetings, ask questions, and work on the continuation of efforts to provide a “solid education for students,” by seeing the reorganization and consolidation process through.