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ANNUAL LOESS HILLS PRAIRIE SEMINAR REGISTRATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The 36th Annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar will be held at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area, near Onawa, and at West Monona High School, in Onawa, on the evening of June 1s through noon on June 3rd. Registration is due May 25. The seminar is for families, educators, and students of all ages to foster recognition, appreciation and the educational use of natural wonders found in our communities. 

A brochure outlining the sessions and programs is available on the Northwest Area Education Agency website at: http://www.nwaea.k12.ia.us/en/programs_and_services/loess_hills_prairie_seminar/.

Fees are reduced for students, educators, families, and first-time attendees. Educators can earn credit if they pre-register through Northwest AEA. This is offered at a special reduced rate and the seminar registration fee is waived. Special programs for children allow parents to fully participate in the field sessions and indoor evening programs. Field sessions are at the campground, involve a walk, hike or drive. This year there will also be three boat tours of the Missouri River to explore the ecological effect of the flood of 2011. 

Field sessions will focus on native flora and fauna, photography, cultural history, Native Americans, geology, environmental writing, prairie restoration and management, and the Missouri River. Evening programs at the high school offer topics for adults and children separately, and are followed at the campground/seminar site with campfire programs. A special pre-seminar program, Loess Hills Ecology and Geology, presented at the high school on Friday 5:45 p.m., will provide background information about the Loess Hills. 

The event is sponsored by the Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA), the Monona County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with major support from the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund, the Iowa Prairie Network, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, with additional support from a variety of educational institutions, organizations and volunteers. 

For more information, contact Gloria Kistner at Northwest AEA at 712-222-6080, 800-352-9040, extension 6080, or gkistner@nwaea.org, or contact Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com.

Western IA woman pleads not guilty in son’s drowning

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A western Iowa woman charged with drowning her 15-month-old son has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.  Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Cameron, of Onawa, entered the plea on Monday in Monona County District Court. Her trial is set for July 31st. 

Cameron is charged in the Feb. 11th death of Markis Dahms. Police say she held her son under a running faucet in the bathtub in their home until he drowned. The boy was found after officers responded to an emergency call about a child who wasn’t breathing.

Free Summer Gardening Web Series to Focus on Vegetable Gardening

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County ISU Extension Office say the Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer webinars free to all local residents with an interest in gardening. The 2012 series is titled “Garden Goodness,” and will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension county offices on the fourth Tuesday of the month, May through August. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site. Each session will provide information about vegetable gardening, but from a variety of perspectives. “Garden Goodness” is the theme for the 2012 series because of the current public interest in growing food, according to Jennifer Bousselot, Iowa Master Gardener and webinar series coordinator.

The first presentation in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ISU Extension horticulture specialist Ajay Nair will cover the basics of Growing Vegetables. Participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic with the presenter. Upcoming Master Gardner topics will cover: “Food Gardening and Health,” & Glenwood’s Giving Garden; “The Peoples Garden Project and Working with Youth,” and  “Edible Ornamentals,” and the final session on August 28th, will cover the “Top Ten Sustainable Gardening Tips from Turtle Farm,” (an organic farm near Granger).

The series, in its third year, is offered by Iowa Master Gardener program in response to requests for more Iowa gardening educational opportunities. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners; participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, however the session will fulfill Master Gardener continuing education requirements.

There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend the entire series. Interested local gardeners are encouraged to attend any session that catches their interest. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, to allow local staff to plan for appropriate accommodations. For more information, or to register, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.

Irwin man appears on national tv game show

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Shelby County resident lived out a life long dream for the entire world to see. Greg Gaer, of Irwin, had long dreamed about appearing on “The Price is Right.” Gaer lived out that dream on May 1st in California.He says his morning began with a 10-a.m. wait to get in to the studio. Once inside the doors, potential contestants were interviewed by the show’s producer. He says there were lines of 15 people each, who were screened to see who was excited and had a good attitude about the experience and the show. Afterward, prospective contestants receive a name tag, chow down on some food while still in line, and view the first taping of the show, before finally moving into the studio for their taping of the show. Gaer says he got on contestants row in the second half of the show.

He says he was the second to last on the second half of the show, and made it very close to being on stage but came up short in the bidding process on the products shown. Even though he never made it on stage, Gaer says he had a great moment with host Drew Carey. He says he accidentally yelled out a bid, followed by “Bob”, a reference to Bob Barker – the former host of the show – when he was making a bid. Carey joked that Barker would have enjoyed that, but that he was “probably on the golf course.” 

Gaer’s sister put the entire California trip together which was more than just being on “The Price is Right.” For a parting gift, Gaer and the rest of the contests received $300 for being on the show. If he were to ever to try and get back on the show, he would have to wait 10 years to be a contestant. The game show with Gaer will be aired at 10-a.m. Thursday, May 24th on CBS.

(Courtesy Joe McCall/KNOD-Harlan)

Two more names to be added to IA Peace Officer Memorial

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says the names of two officers will be added to the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial during a ceremony to he held this Friday, May 18th, in Des Moines. The ceremony coincides with National Police Week, and will pay tribute to Des Moines Police Officer Roger Ray Hildreth, and Iowa State Patrol Trooper Mark Toney.

DM PD Officer Roger Ray Hildreth

Des Moines Police Officer Roger Hildreth suffered a fatal heart attack on February 21st, 2008, at the age of 48. Hildreth had been running on a treadmill in the department’s gym, after having just completed responses to a burglary in progress call and a call involving two dogs loose in a neighborhood before collapsing. Officer Hildreth was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Des Moines Police Department for 18 years.

43-year old Trooper Mark Toney was killed during the afternoon of September 20th, 2011, in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 65/69, south of Indianola. He was traveling with emergency equipment activated when the patrol car left the roadway and overturned several times, landing in a field. The vehicle burst into flames during the accident.

Trooper Mark Toney

 The crash investigation determined that Trooper Toney’s patrol car was traveling at approximately 115 mph when it left the roadway. Trooper Toney had served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.

The ceremony honoring the two men, along with the 164 other Iowa officers who gave their lives in the line of duty over the past 140-years, will take place 10-a.m. Friday, at the Peace Officer Memorial, located at the Lucas State Office Building, which is at the corner of East Grand Avenue and East 12th Street, in Des Moines. Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, DPS Commissioner Larry Noble, and officers from local, county and State law enforcement agencies will be on-hand for the event.

Missouri River on the list of “most endangered” waterways

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri River is number-four on the new list of the country’s “most endangered” waterways, according to an environmental conservation group. Eileen Fretz, spokeswoman for American Rivers, says last year’s historic, months-long flooding of the Missouri showed how management of the river is at a crossroads. Fretz says, “We can either keep going on levees and dams that have failed to provide adequate flood protection, as they did last year, or we can take a broader look and look at some other changes, such as the natural ability of the river’s floodplains and wetlands to absorb and store floodwaters.” The 2011 flooding caused hundreds of millions of dollars damage to homes, businesses, farmland and infrastructure. Many blamed the U-S Army Corps of Engineers for not acting quickly enough to avert the flooding, but Fretz says there needs to be more long-term planning to prevent future flooding disasters.

“Just relying on dams and levees hasn’t been enough to protect us and we need to acknowledge that flooding happens and we need to accommodate for a little bit of that,” Fretz says. “We think that flood plain restoration can help us meet those needs.” She encourages Nebraskans and Iowans to take action by going to the Washington D-C-based group’s website, www.americanrivers.org.”   “There’ll be a link where you can send an email to decision makers,” Fretz says, “encouraging them to support their rivers.” The nation’s top three most endangered rivers, according to the report, are: the Potomac, the Green River and the Chattahoochee.

American Rivers calls itself “the nation’s voice for clean water and healthy rivers,” and releases the report every year to shine a public spotlight on threats facing rivers and how citizens can take action to help.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 05-15-2012

News, Podcasts

May 15th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 05-15-2012

News, Podcasts

May 15th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Task force looks at teacher pay, quality

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Department of Education has assembled a taskforce on teacher leadership and pay to come up with recommendations on ways to improve schools in Iowa. Taskforce member Kent Mick, who teaches history in the Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne school district, says they need to look at how to get and retain better teachers.  “We recruit football players and basketball players but we don’t recruit the best teachers out of high school,” Mick says. Mick says the profession of teaching needs to be elevated. Iowa Department of Education Director, Jason Glass, agrees. He says teachers should be treated more like doctors – from training to salary. 

“The medical profession has a lot of esteem, respect for it, so that’s where we are trying to move this conversation around the teaching profession in Iowa, how could we do that same thing for teachers?,” Glass explains. But Jessica Gogerty of the Des Moines School District, says improving teacher performance is not just about a paycheck. “That we are still falling short isn’t because we didn’t pay them enough,” according to Gogerty. She says teachers are not holding back and saying “oh gosh I would do a better job if you just paid me an extra.” Gogerty says that teachers need better support systems. The taskforce will continue to meet throughout the summer. They will take their recommendations to the legislature in the fall.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

MidAmerican Energy warns of phone scam

News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with MidAmerican Energy, Monday, issued a statement warning its customers about “Past Due” account, phone scams. The company says it has responded to several scams involving persons who call its customers, posing as MidAmerican Energy customer service associates or attorneys. The caller says the customer’s account is past due, and payment is needed immediately to avoid disconnection. The caller will follow-up by asking for your credit card number.

MidAmerican Energy says credit card numbers and any personal information should NOT be provided to suspicious callers. Customers are advised to end the conversation and call MidAmerican Energy’s Customer Service line at 1-888-427-5632. There, a company representative will confirm whether the call was from MidAmerican’s Energy call center, or a scam artist. The CSR’s can also confirm your bill payment, service or an appointment at your home or place of business.

If you receive a suspicious call, or other unusual type of contact from someone claiming to be with the utility company, contact your local law enforcement agency, immediately.