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Racing and Gaming Commission looks for quieter year

News

November 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ended a busy year with their meeting earlier this month. The commission approved a new casino in Greene County and voted down one in Linn County. They also began the process of shutting down one of the greyhound racing operations under a plan approved by the legislature. Commission chair, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, says he doesn’t know of any big issues that may come up in the new legislative session in January.

“Not that I have been made aware of, obviously when we did not approve the license in Linn County, there’s been folks over there that have been talking about seeking some kind of legislative change that would allow them to have a facility,” Lamberti says. But he doesn’t believe anything concrete has come of that talk. “I have not seen anything specific at this time, but that may still be out there,” Lamberti says. The two license applications created extra meetings and work for the commission, and Lamberti says they are glad to see things slow down.

He says they would be happy to see things a little quieter for awhile. The commission does not meet in December. They will continue the work on the plan to shut down the Bluffs Run greyhound track next year as they decide how to dole out the 36-million dollars set aside for those retiring from the dog racing business.

(Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs considering rental inspections plan

News

November 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Council Bluffs is considering whether to begin regular city inspections of rental housing, but the idea has drawn fire from some landlords. The Daily Nonpareil says the current policy requires self-inspections by the property owners.

Mayor Matt Walsh says Council Bluffs is the only city in Iowa with a population of 15,000 or more that doesn’t have professional inspectors. The proposal would increase the city registration fee to $35 per unit every two years from $15. The plan would be to inspect every rental unit in the city at least once every three years.

Local landlord Carla Limmer told the newspaper that there’s no need for the change and that landlords “maintain things on a safe level.” A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Dec. 15.

Southwest Iowa fire blamed on discarded cigarette

News

November 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

RIVERTON, Iowa (AP) — Fremont County authorities are blaming a cigarette for starting a fatal fire in southwest Iowa. The Daily Nonpareil reports that the death of 66-year-old William Daniel on Tuesday was ruled an accident, a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire crews from Riverton, Sidney and Hamburg were dispatched to the Riverton home about 6:20 a.m. State fire investigator John Ticer says the fire was contained to the master bedroom. The Sheriff’s Office says the fire was started by an improperly discarded cigarette on Daniel’s bed.

7AM Newscast 11-28-2014

News, Podcasts

November 28th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Mark Saylor

Play

Red Oak man resists arrest; faces numerous charges

News

November 28th, 2014 by Mark Saylor

A chase Thursday afternoon in Montgomery County lasted for over an hour, and the eventual arrest of a man who was wanted on several outstanding warrants. According to the Red Oak Police Department, 22-year old Jonathan Tyler McAlpin, of Red Oak, was arrested just before 2-p.m. Thursday, following a traffic stop, a foot pursuit and a lengthy search.

Officials say the incident began after officers initiated a traffic stop in Red Oak, on a vehicle driven by David Wayne Robinette, of Clarinda. Robinette was charged with Driving While Suspended. McAlpin, who was a passenger in the vehicle, allegedly resisted arrest when officers attempted to take him into custody on several warrants. The officer attempted to use his Taser on McAlpin, but the effort failed.

The man fled on foot, climbed over a fence and zig-zagged between several house in the 200 block of east Ohio Street. The officer lost sight of McAlpin, but a Red Oak K-9 unit and tips from neighbors in the area lead to McAlpin being found hiding in a single car garage in the 700 block of South 4th Street.

McAlpin continued to resist arrest, but was taken into custody and is facing nine felony and two aggravated misdemeanor charges. The latest felony charges include: 3rd Degree Burglary, and Disarming a Peace Officer of a Dangerous Weapon. He The aggravated misdemeanor charges include: Interference with Official Acts and Assault on a Peace Officer.

Based on previous warrants he also faces felony charges that include: two counts of 2nd Degree Theft; two counts of 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief; Assault with a weapon on Peace Officers/Others; and, two counts of Eluding.

Red Oak Fight

News

November 28th, 2014 by Mark Saylor

The Red Oak Police Department responded to a fight which resulted in the arrest of several individuals Thanksgiving evening. It was reported that one of the persons involved was armed with a kitchen knife. Upon arrival officers located several subjects in the area. After a brief investigation it was determined that three of the males involved; Matthew Magers of Shenandoah; Hans Anderson of Red Oak; and Richard Rapp also of Red Oak had been involved in the fight. During the investigation April Watson of Red Oak continually yelled profanities and disrupted the officers investigation.

After concluding their investigation all were transported to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and charged with disorderly conduct and are being held on 3-hundred cash bond. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

Griswold woman arrested for theft of a vehicle

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a woman from Cass County was arrested this (Thursday) afternoon, in connection with the theft on Nov. 24th, of a 2003 Ford Escape belonging to Richard McAlpin, that was later located by the Nebraska State Patrol. 23-year old Alexandria Marie Sindt, of Griswold, was taken into custody at around 1:20-p.m.    Sindt was being held Thursday in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond.

 

Free citizenship curriculum available for Iowa schools

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new public-private partnership is offering all Iowa schools new “citizenship” courses for students in Iowa middle schools and high schools. Brent Siegrist is executive director of Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies. “This type of partnership and this type of curriculum being offered to teachers is extremely, extremely important,” Siegrist says. “This curriculum is research based. It’s been tested and it will be a real benefit to provide to teachers and students — every teacher and every student in the state of Iowa, free of cost.” The course work is all posted online.

“And there is great interest in this curriculum in other states as well as other countries,” Siegrist says. Plus, Iowa’s A-E-As have the authority to charge educational institutions outside the state of Iowa that want to use the online coursework. Character Counts Iowa, a private organization based at Drake University, helped finance the project to collect and organize the coursework for middle schools and high schools. Scott Raecker is the executive director of Character Counts Iowa.

“What’s exceptionally exciting about this particular curriculum is that these are resources that we’ve seen utilized not only in individual classroom settings, that we’ve seen in leadership development at the high school level, they’ve been embeded in community college level in degree programs at Des Moines Area Community College and we’ve seen ongoing professional development of these same resources at some of Iowa’s largest organizations: Principal Financial Group, Unity Point Health, HyVee,” Raecker says, “all using these same materials.” Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says this citizenship course not only promotes leadership skills, it stresses the importance of working as a team.

“And shapes an intentional culture of safety, respect and engagement,” she says. Governor Terry Branstad says this coursework will help Iowa students be “truly ready” for college and the work world. “This is about educating the whole child,” Branstad says. Go to http://learning.aeak12online.org/ to find a link to the “personalized” learning system set up by Iowa Area Education Agencies. This citizenship curriculum is available there.

(Radio Iowa)

Ag Secretary reflects on year

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Thanksgiving is a time for farmers to look back on the harvest and review their work. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says there is plenty to be thankful for. “For most farmers in Iowa, we had awful good crops. We had some spots that weren’t…there’s lots and lots of fields out there that all yield different. For some of those fields, we had the best crops ever,” Northey says. “Certainly farmers are very thankful for that.” Northey says the value of the crop has changed in the last year.

“Prices now are different than they were at the beginning of the year or the end of last year, so they’ve softened up some. But the yields certainly help and that’s definitely one of the things a farmer is looking for when he plants his crop in the spring,” according to Northey. There’s also hope that the prices will see some rebound. “Sometimes we see kind of an after harvest bump. Once folks store the crop away it takes usually a better price for them to go to the bin and pull it out. They put it in the bin with the expectation of seeing a better price, and we’ll see if that does happen or not, but often we see a little bounce coming out of harvest,” Northey says.

There’ll be several new federal lawmakers in the new year and Northey says that could impact trade deals and other issues impacting farmers. “I think we have a congress that in general that would be slightly more friendly to trade in both chambers, certainly in the senate, than what it once was,” Northey says. “We are still waiting on an R-F-S, a renewable fuel standard number for 2014… I don’t know that we would expect any help out of congress for that.” Northey says with the makeup of the state legislature staying pretty much the same, he doesn’t expect to see any major legislation this year that would impact farmers.

Northey operates a farm near Spirit Lake.

(Radio Iowa)

SNAP benefits are helping more Iowa families avoid hunger

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

About 13-percent of all Iowans now put food on the table each day with the help of SNAP benefits. The latest Farm Bill is providing some 200-million dollars in grants that will be used to help those receiving SNAP benefits to find jobs — or better paying jobs. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the face of the SNAP program has changed in the last 40 years. “Today, only 7-8% of SNAP beneficiaries are cash welfare recipients,” Vilsack says. “It used to be that hardly anybody had income in SNAP. Today, 41% of households have somebody earning a paycheck of one kind or another. It’s a different mix of people. It’s a different kind of program than it was, ending the stereotypes, making sure people understand there are a lot of folks struggling.”

Almost 421-thousand Iowans receive monthly SNAP benefits, about 13-percent of the state’s population. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the majority of those receiving SNAP benefits work but are under-employed or under-paid.  “Nearly three-quarters of SNAP beneficiaries are senior citizens, people with disabilities or children of moms and dads who are actually in the workforce,” Vilsack says. “Forty-one percent of SNAP beneficiaries live in households where there is income being generated by a job.” Vilsack says the grant money will be used to provide education and training, rehabilitative services for individuals in need and target hard to serve areas.

Vilsack says, “Congress in the Farm Bill basically created a fund of $200-million, said that we could use that fund to fund up to 10 pilot projects, $165-million of that 200-million will be used for actual costs and helping to create new programs and better programs and better linkages to job opportunities and 35-million will be used to evaluate those pilot projects.” Several of the pilot programs, he says, will be tested in what are considered hard-to-serve areas, including rural parts of Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)