KJAN Programs

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meet Monday evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 20th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting 5:15-p.m. Monday (May 21st), in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall. On their agenda are updates from Parks & Rec Director Seth Staashelm, with regard to:

  • The Schildberg Development Project, including the west shelter & east playground.
  • Lake Number Three
  • Community Parks (Cedar and Mollett projects)
  • The Sunnyside Park entrance sign
  • and, a report on a part-time Parks Foreman position.

In his regular report to the Board, Staashelm is expected to mention the Sunnyside Pool will open this Saturday, May 26th, beginning at 1-p.m. He’ll also talk about: Summer Programs, the Sunnyside Park Block Party on June 1st, Movies in the Park, featuring “The Lion King,”  and provide an update on the campgrounds.

Farm Bill defeated in US House, Grassley urges House GOP to produce ‘better bill’

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A fight among House Republicans led to defeat of the Farm Bill when the legislation came up for a vote today (Friday). Democrats had criticized the proposed Farm Bill because it includes new work requirement for food stamp recipients who are in their 50s or the parents of school-aged children, but it was conservative Republicans in the U.S. House who defeated the bill for another reason. They were demanding an immediate vote on an immigration crack-down. Enough of them then voted against the Farm Bill crafted by some of their fellow Republicans that the bill fell 15 votes short of passing. The current Farm Bill expires September 30th.

Senator Chuck Grassley is urging his fellow Republicans in the U.S. HOUSE to go back to the drawing board and fix the Farm Bill they’ve crafted. Senator Grassley says his fellow Republicans in the House now need to come up with “better” Farm Bill.

Grassley says the bill should deny federal farm subsidies to people who are not farmers, but people who’ve merely invested in farmland. Democrat Dave Loebsack of Iowa City was the first member of Iowa’s U.S. House delegation to release a statement about the Farm Bill’s failure.

Loebsack says House Republicans have shown “they care more about being partisan than passing a farm bill to support Iowa’s farmers.” Loebsack, who says the bill didn’t provide enough of a financial safety net for farmers, suggests the debate over federal farm policy “has devolved into a partisan food fight.”

(Radio Iowa)

Former Deere factory manager in China loses court appeal

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says a former Deere & Co. factory manager cannot sue the company under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because he worked and lived in China when he was disciplined for having sexual relationships with younger Chinese women who also worked at the factory. The ruling Friday establishes for the first time that the Iowa Civil Rights Act doesn’t apply to circumstances occurring outside the state.

The decision means Matthew Jahnke’s lawsuit will be dismissed. Jahnke sued Illinois-based Deere alleging discrimination for demoting him and moving him back to Iowa from China after concluding the sexual relationships violated company policy. Jahnke was 60 and the women were ages 28 and 36. He alleged he was disciplined more harshly than the women and claimed age and sex discrimination.

Shelby County Fire Danger alerts have ended until fall

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency have ended their local Fire Danger advisories. All participating agencies (Local fire departments and/or businesses) in the County may place their Fire Danger signs in the LOW category. The bi-weekly monitoring of extreme fire conditions will resume this fall. Officials say the project has paid dividends in terms of reducing unnecessary fire dispatches, and in the way controlled burns are planned, in a safer, more knowledgeable environment.

Backyard & Beyond 5-18-2018

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

May 18th, 2018 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen visits with Rick Blum about the Walnut Museum open house on May 25.

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Heartbeat Today 5-18-2018

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

May 18th, 2018 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with Randy Maas of the Atlantic Kiwanis Club about the National Police Week ceremony planned by the group for Saturday, May 19 at noon in the Atlantic City Park.

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Ernst not happy with progress of Farm Bill in Senate

Ag/Outdoor

May 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she is frustrated the Farm Bill has not yet been worked up and passed out of the Ag Committee she serves on. The Republican from Red Oak says the work has been slowed by Democrats. “There are some hang-ups coming from our friends across the aisle,” Ernst says, “they would like to have more initiatives put into the Farm Bill and so on and so forth. And because of that, they are not willing to move ahead right now, and that’s very unfortunate.”

Ernst says they had hoped to have the bill done shortly after Easter. Now it’s going to be several more weeks. “We do anticipate that we will have this out mid-June,” Ernst says. “To me that’s just way behind schedule. Again, we should have had this done, farmers should have had certainty. And it looks like it will be delayed. Again, progress on the floor of the Senate is very slow.

The Farm Bill has been held up in the U-S House by discussions of immigration and other issues. Ernst says she doesn’t have a problem with that. “They should have those debates. Have those debates on the floor of the House. I think that is important that everybody have a voice and talk about what is important, what is not import,” according to Ernst. “But that shouldn’t slow us down from getting our work don in the Senate through the Ag Committee. And that has been very frustrating — that we have not brought up the bill yet in committee.”

Ernst made her comments during her weekly conference call with reporters.

(Radio Iowa)

Heartbeat Today 5-17-2018

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

May 17th, 2018 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with Atlantic 8th grader Cooper Jipsen who participated in the National Archery in Schools Tourney in Louisville, KY last weekend.

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Iowa farmland cash rental rates rise for first time since 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

An annual survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension shows rental rates for Iowa farmland have increased for the first time in five years. ISU Extension economist Ann Johanns says cash rents seem to be following land values instead of expected farm profitability. “I think it will surprise people that it’s gone up…with these lower grain prices,” Johanns said. “But, just because the survey went up doesn’t mean every rental agreement in the state went up.” A little more than half of the farmland in Iowa is rented. This year, the average statewide rental rate is $222 per acre, an increase of just 1.4 percent over last year. “The last six months to a year, land value prices have stabilized in other surveys and so we kind of expected rents to be stable to slightly lower. It did come out, statewide, to be just a few dollars higher. It was the first increase since 2013,” Johanns said.

The survey shows the highest average cash rent in Grundy County at $290 per acre. The lowest rental rate is in Clarke County at $126. “Grundy County has higher quality soils, higher yields, and a larger percentage of rented acres. Whereas, Clarke County…we don’t have as much rented acres in that south-central area,” Johanns said. Average rental rates increased in all regions of Iowa except the south-central and southeast regions. Statewide, Iowa farmland rental rates peaked in 2013 at $270 per acre. Since then, they’ve dropped by just under 18-percent. The survey notes, over the same time period, corn and soybean prices received by Iowa farmers declined by 52 and 37-percent, respectively.

On the web at: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/1841

(Radio Iowa)

Iowans reminded not to “rescue” wildlife babies

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(IA DNR) – Springtime means baby season for Iowa wildlife, beginning with the first hatched great horned owls in March on to June when most of the pheasant chicks arrive and nothing looks more innocent and cute than baby animals. Just check the internet. And on occasion, these cute fluffy and feathery, clumsy and gangly babies are discovered all alone and “rescued” from their mother into a cardboard box and whisked to the nearest office of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). While the “rescuer” may have had the best intentions, they likely have doomed the very animal they aimed to save.

Many wildlife babies die soon after “rescue” from the stress of being handled, talked to, and placed into the unfamiliar surroundings. Should it survive this trauma, they often succumb more slowly to starvation from improper nourishment, pneumonia or other human caused sicknesses. “All species of wildlife have highly specific needs for survival,” said Karen Kinkead, Wildlife Diversity Program coordinator for the Iowa DNR. Rescuing a baby from its mother not only shows bad judgement, it’s illegal. “Most mammals are nocturnal. Mother will hide her young during the day so she can sleep or look for food so it’s perfectly normal for the young to be alone or unattended during the day,” she said. “Don’t assume a fawn or a nest full of baby cottontails or raccoons are orphaned.”

The transition to independence varies by species from as little as four or five days to weeks or even months. Most wildlife babies leave before they can care for themselves. They may become widely scattered during this fledgling period, but remain under the direct care and feeding of their parents. Young birds appear clumsy and vulnerable because they really are clumsy and vulnerable. As the fledging process continues, survivors smarten up fast, while slow learners quickly fade. Most birds have less than a 20 percent chance of surviving their first year.

Fawns

As the morel mushroom season hits full stride, so does the number of calls to the Iowa DNR about finding “abandoned” fawns. A fawn’s self-defense is to remain motionless and blend in with the background vegetation, but that is often mistaken for abandonment. What callers don’t realize is that mother is likely hiding nearby waiting for them to leave so she can resume taking care of her fawn. “The Iowa DNR does not rehabilitate or raise wild animals to the point of self-sufficiency, and, because of the expanding presence of chronic wasting disease in the Iowa deer herd, we do not allow deer to be taken to a private rehabilitator to be raised and released,” said Tyler Harms, biometrician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Research Section.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk, moose, and caribou. In some locations where the disease has been the longest, it is causing population declines. The disease can be spread through saliva, urine, feces and blood of an infected deer. Once shed into the environment, the infectious agent, a deformed prion protein, can remain viable and infect healthy deer for years. Infected does can pass along the disease to their fawns, if not before birth, afterword through grooming and close contact.

Infected deer may not show symptoms for about two years, making the disease difficult to find. There is currently no practical way to test live deer; the only way is to collect tissues (lymph nodes) from a dead deer and submit them to a lab for testing. “We appreciate the passion people have to protect the fawns. We have it too. But, all it takes is one infected deer to be taken to a pen or other area where it can infect other deer and the environment, then the likelihood of any healthy deer getting sick at the facility increases dramatically,” he said.

Harms said the best chance for fawns or baby ducks, raccoons, skunks and birds to survive is for them to be left alone, in the wild.