Statewide Tornado Drill in Iowa (Schedule of events for 3/29/17)

News, Weather

March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

After coordinating with NWS offices serving Iowa, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (IHSEM), officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Des Moines said Tuesday evening, that the tornado drill is a “go” for Wednesday, March 29th. It will be cloudy across the state and there will be rain showers. There is no threat for severe weather. No lightning is expected with minimal atmospheric instability. Conditions are expected to be similar across portions of Iowa both on Thursday and Friday.

The NWS will message through social media, NWSChat, NWS webpages and NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio prior to the test on Wednesday and during the test Wednesday that there is no threat for severe weather and a drill will occur between 10-11 AM.

Below is the timeline of the drill scheduled for Wednesday March 29, 2017:

  • 10:00 AM – Test Tornado Watch issued for Iowa.
  • Around 10:30 AM – Test Tornado Warnings for Iowa counties issued.
  • 11:00 AM – Test Tornado Watch expires.

Le Mars man to have judge decide his fate in murder case


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with stabbing his sister to death has chosen to have a judge, not a jury, decide his fate. The Sioux City Journal reports that 34-year-old Thomas Bibler on Friday waived his right to a jury trial in Plymouth County District Court. His attorney, public defender Billy Oyadare, gave no reason.

Bibler has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, willful injury and going armed with intent in connection with the June 11 stabbing death of 27-year-old Shannon Bogh, of Le Mars. He was arrested that day after a short standoff at his Le Mars apartment. Bibler’s trial is scheduled for May 16.

Iowa Republicans back ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion legislation


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republicans are backing legislation banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, prompting Democrats to threaten an all-night filibuster to prevent an initial procedural vote.

A GOP-led House committee was scheduled to vote Tuesday to add the provision to an abortion bill. The provision could ban abortions as early as six weeks in a pregnancy. It would be the strictest ban in the U.S. and would face legal challenges.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed a similar measure late last year. In January 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review lower court rulings overturning North Dakota’s so-called fetal heartbeat law.

Iowa’s bill would have to clear both GOP-controlled chambers before reaching Iowa’s Republican governor.

The original bill without the fetal heartbeat amendment would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Contract awarded to build Public Safety Broadband Network across the U-S


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety report, that during a special board meeting today (Tuesday), the FirstNet Board unanimously approved Board Resolution 84 to finalize the contract award to build the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) across the United States.

Authorities say “For over four years, the State of Iowa has been involved in the FirstNet process by conducting outreach to all 99 counties, educating public safety on the FirstNet initiative, collecting data on Iowa’s public safety sector, and holding FirstNet Public Private Partnership Summits to provide the opportunity for public and private industry representatives to discuss the status of the FirstNet process and what it means for Iowa.”

Iowa’s State Point of Contact (SPOC) Thomas Lampe, Chairman of the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB), will now work closely with the Governor’s office and public safety officials on the State Plan for the buildout of the network in Iowa.

FirstNet says it’s mission is to “Deliver a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety to help strengthen their emergency communications abilities, making them safer and more effective on the job. A new, innovative public-private partnership will be established to deploy the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).

The NPSBN delivered by FirstNet will provide law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency service personnel a reliable, redundant, resilient, and secure connection to carry high-speed data, location information, images, and video.”

Iowa Senate OKs bill limiting law enforcement cash seizures


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would add restrictions to how authorities can seize money and other items from people suspected of illegal activity. The chamber voted 49-0 Tuesday for the bill, which now heads to the House. It must clear procedural votes this week to survive a looming legislative deadline.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows law enforcement to take money or property from a person suspected of illegal activity. In Iowa, authorities can keep the items regardless of a conviction. The bill would require seized cash or property to be returned if it’s valued at less than $5,000 and there’s no conviction.

The bill comes amid efforts around the country to reform a system critics say can undermine a citizen’s judicial rights.

ACGC Girls have strong showing at Greene County early bird track meet


March 28th, 2017 by Chris Parks

The ACGC Chargers girls track team had a strong showing at the Greene County early bird meet on Monday night. Here are some of the Chargers top results from the meet.

200m Dash
1st-Savana Fuller, 27.40

400m Dash
1st-Savana Fuller, 1:05.26

800m Run
2nd-Kate Crawford, 2:33.53

1500m Run
1st-Kate Crawford, 5:17.42

3000m Run
1st-Kate Crawford, 11:11.98

100m Hurdles
3rd-Olivia Laabs, 17.36
4th-Mady Smith, 17.85

400m Hurdles
2nd-Mady Smith, 1:17.90

4x100m Relay
2nd-ACGC, 54.09

800 Sprint Medley
1st-ACGC, 2:00.16

Shot Put
2nd-Madison McDermott, 33-05

4th-Madison McDermott, 97-01

Full results can be viewed here.

2017 DNR sale set for April 22nd

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa DNR will hold the 2017 spring auction on April 22, at Pioneer Livestock Pavilion on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, in Des Moines. Doors will open at 7 a.m., and the auction will begin at 8:30 a.m. The public may view the items for sale and pre-register for the auction from 4 to 6 p.m., on April 21. There will not be any buyer’s premium fee added to the sale.

Items up for auction include more than 500 firearms, bows, gun barrels, scopes, tree stands and other assorted equipment. The items are sold “as is” with no guarantee or warranty.

Any person interested in purchasing a firearm at the auction must have either a valid Iowa permit to acquire pistols or revolvers, a federal firearms license, or a professional or non-professional permit to carry concealed weapons. The Iowa permit to acquire can be obtained from a sheriff’s office. Allow two to three weeks to receive the permit.

Payment must be made on auction day. All sales are final. All items must be removed from the site within one half hour after the sale completion. The Iowa DNR reserves the right to reject any bids and withdraw any item from the sale at any time. A sale bill is available online at and will be updated if inventory is added. The DNR will not be mailing any sale bills.

Grassley bill raises penalties on dealers who market candy-flavored drugs to kids


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Drug dealers who repackage illegal drugs to resemble or taste like candy so they’ll appeal to kids would face stiffer penalties under a bill being introduced this week by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. He says it’s becoming a common practice with outlawed substances ranging from from marijuana to meth.

Grassley says, “Law enforcement reports that drug dealers frequently combine drugs with chocolate or fruit-flavors or package the drug to look like candy or soda for the sole purpose of attracting young people to that drug.” There are reports of candy bracelets containing ecstasy, gummy bears laced with Xanax and candy laced with T-H-C. The bill has bipartisan support, Grassley says, and it would target dealers who target children.

“Cynical criminals take advantage of drug trends in the general population thereby making dangerous illicit drugs specifically to market to kids,” Grassley says. “The criminals are very innovative and the law should keep up with them.” While some of the products in question may be legal in some states, Grassley says drug dealers are making their own copycat versions that could prove very dangerous — or lethal — if ingested by young people.

“They make marijuana into cookies or something like that but meth is a specific one that’s a problem,” Grassley says, “and you know how deadly meth is.” Under the bill, Grassley says those who market candy-flavored drugs to kids will face much steeper consequences, seeing prison sentences increased ten to 20 years.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Audit report released


March 28th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A Certified Public Accounting firm has released an audit report on Cass County. The Gronewold, Bell, Kyhnn and Company P.C CPA’s report says the County had local tax revenue of just over $29.4-million for the Fiscal Year ending June 30th, 2016. That amount included over $2.6-million in tax credits from the State. The County forwarded over $29.5-million of the local tax revenue to the townships, school districts, cities and other taxing bodies in the County.

The County retained more than $7.8-million of the local tax revenue to finance County operations, a 2.4% increase from the prior year. Other revenues included $5.4-million from the State, including indirect federal funding of nearly $1.4-million , charges for service of slightly more than $363,300, and nearly $205,000 for the use of money and property.

Expenditures for County operations totaled slightly more than $13.1-million, and 11.9% decrease from the prior year. Expenses included nearly $4.6-million for roads and transportation, nearly $650,000 for mental health, $2.44-million for public safety and legal services, $1.15-million for capital projects, and nearly $1.3-million for administrative services.

A copy of the Audit Report is available for review in the office of the Auditor of State, and the Cass County Auditor’s Office.

Backyard & Beyond 3-28-2017

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

March 28th, 2017 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen visits with Kris Schildberg about the Greenfield Aviation Museum event with food, fly-ins and drive-ins.