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Partisan showdown over number of livestock confinement inspectors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Democrats in the Iowa Senate have voted to hire 13 new state employees to inspect large livestock facilities and they warn that without them federal inspectors may step in. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants large-scale confinements inspected once every five years and the E-P-A is in discussions with the state over how many state inspectors it would take to do the job. Senator Dennis Black, a Democrat from Grinnell, says retaining jurisdiction at the state level is important.

“EPA barks once and then they bite and that was advised to me in a phone call. Whether it was intimidation, whether it was fact, anything else — I could care less,” Black says. “Bottom line is the EPA claims to have drawn the line in the sand and stated: ‘Iowa you will clean up your act. You will see to it that your waters are cleaner.’” Republican Governor Terry Branstad and Republicans in the Iowa House want to hire five new inspectors rather than 13.

This is one of hundreds of budget decisions that must be resolved before the 2013 legislative session concludes.

(Radio Iowa)

GOP insider says King, Northey, Reynolds will NOT run for US Senate

News

April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A key Republican Party insider expects three Iowa G-O-P office holders who’ve been mentioned as potential candidates for the U.S. Senate to decide against running. Doug Gross, a former chief of staff for Republican Governor Terry Branstad, talked politics during an appearance on this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television. “I do not expect Steve King to run,” Gross says. “I know he was here last week indicating that he’s analyzing it and usually when I’ve worked with politicians over the years, when they’re analyzing something, they’re usually trying to figure out how not to do it — because usually their gut tells them when they’re going to do it.”

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey have confirmed they’re considering a run for the U.S. Senate, too, but Gross doesn’t think either will. “So I don’t think we know who the candidate’s going to be right now,” Gross says. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin announced in late January that he will not seek re-election in 2014. In early February, Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley announced he would run for the seat. “It’s the first time it’s been open in decades. It’ll be hotly competitive, very competitive in an off-year when Republicans have a very good chance of winning. I think we’ll have a good candidate, I just can’t tell you who it’s going to be yet,” Gross said, with a laugh. “…There are more people eligible to run for senate than those who happen to hold a particular office at a particular time.”

Gross ran for governor in 2002, losing to Democrat Tom Vilsack. His advice to whomever decides to run: be prepared to work hard. “Particularly as a Republican, you need to go to every county. I mean, it isn’t just Chuck Grassley’s schtick. As a Republican, you’ve got votes in every county and you need to go to every county and it’s a big state, so you really have to work it hard, so one thing I am concerned about is I’d like to see our candidates come forward this summer, no later than this summer because people need to get to know them it they’re going to have a good shot at winning,” Gross said. “One of the mistakes I think I made back in 2002 was getting in too late.”

Gross formally announced his candidacy on March 4th of that year, just three months before the primary. Gross went on to narrowly win the primary with nearly 36 percent. Bob Vander Plaats — in the first of his three runs for governor — got just over 32 percent and former state Representative Steve Sukup got nearly 32 percent. Vilsack lost in November to Democrat Tom Vilsack.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat. April 13th 2013

News

April 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say several people at a medical clinic in West Des Moines were affected by fumes from a chemical spill. Workers in protective suits were called yesterday morning to help with the cleanup at Lakeview Family Medicine and Urgent Care. Officials say the people were not seriously injured but were checked as a precaution. The building was evacuated, but most employees and patients returned later.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Unlike ordinary drivers, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled this week that licensed truckers will not be given a break if they’re caught driving with a blood-alcohol concentration barely over the legal limit. The court ruled yesterday that the Department of Transportation can suspend commercial drivers’ licenses without considering the margin of error of breath tests.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Four Girl Scout camps in eastern Iowa will remain open, but with some changes. The council for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois voted Thursday to adopt a plan that calls for developing Camp Conestoga in New Liberty as a resident camp. Camps L-Kee-Ta, Little Cloud and Tihigwa will become outdoor program centers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines area developer has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for defrauding banks out of $2.9 million. John Kline received the 30-month prison sentence yesterday as part of a plea agreement.

Atlantic man arrested on DNR warrant

News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Thursday, of an Atlantic man on a Department of Natural Resources warrant. 42-year old Donald Lee Klindt, was taken into custody on a warrant for Theft 2nd Degree and Obstruction of Justice. Klindt was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is currently being held on $7000 bond.

No closed session next week to discuss Atlantic City Administrator’s performance

News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones today (Friday), backed-off his earlier comments the City Council would be entering into a closed session during their meeting next Wednesday to discuss matters pertaining to City Administrator Doug Harris. Jones said the revelation during last week’s meeting that the Council would be in violation of Iowa’s Open Record’s Laws, by not consulting with Harris and asking if he wanted the meeting, caused him to rethink how personnel matters should be discussed.

Jones said “After the April 3rd meeting I consulted with the City Attorney, and it was determined that closed-session discussions over personnel matters should be limited to annual performance evaluations or disciplinary matters. The City Attorney thought is was appropriate for him and the Mayor to personally discuss with (Harris) the employment issue, and that a statement could be placed in the personnel file. There will be no need for a public or closed discussion on the matter.” Jones went on to say he admits “To having a had differing opinions with Doug Harris…in some areas of City business and philosophy.” He said “Doug and I have had discussions regarding our differences. Those discussions have been civil and constructive. In addition, we have since covered the issue that was to be discussed at the April 3rd meeting, and look forward to an effective working relationship moving forward.”

Jones also admitted that there was an unannounced, unpublished meeting of the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee on March 28th, nearly a week prior to the April 3rd meeting. He said the meeting was held to discuss if there was any reason for proceeding with any further action concerning a personnel matter. Jones said “There was no decisions were made…to get rid of anybody at all.” He said “The topic was, we got some issues we need to discuss among the committee…the whole idea was to get it in front of the Council and see what’s goin’ on and have things come out…”

Access to Northbound Antique Country Drive Blocked from Eastbound I-80

News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports it has blocked access to traffic entering northbound Antique Country Drive (exit 83) near Casey from eastbound Interstate 80. The Antique Country Drive bridge over I-80 was struck on April 8th by an excavator being hauled by a truck. The incident caused significant damage and safety concerns on this portion of the bridge.

An emergency letting will be held April 16 for bridge repair work.

Clarinda Police Blotter

News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Clarinda Police Department today (Friday), released a backlog of reports on arrests and incidents dating back to Nov., 2012. In the most recent activity: Officials say 22-year old Thomas Engstrand, of Braddyville, was arrested on Monday, for Driving Under the Influence, drug-related/1st offense. He was held in the Page County Jail until his initial appearance in court on April 16th. And, 43-year old Teresa Lynn Snyder, of Clarinda, was arrested Monday on a similar charge. Snyder was released on her own recognizance, and is scheduled to appear in court April 29th.

Last Sunday, Clarinda Police arrested 24-year old Brett Joseph Geer, of Clarinda, on a 1st offense DUI/Alcohol, charge. Geer was released on his own recognizance and appeared before the magistrate on Wednesday. And, last Saturday, officers in Clarinda arrested 28-year old Bradley Duane Ott, of Clarinda, on a 1st offense, DUI/Drugs charge. He’s scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on April 23rd.

Council Bluffs RAGBRAI website online

News, Sports

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Council Bluffs local RAGBRAI committee has announced that www.councilbluffsragbrai.com is online!  The public is invited to log onto the website for information.  Pat Barton and Geoff Hubbard have spent many hours assembling the details you’ll find on the site.  Barry Cleaveland, Executive Committee Chairperson, is encouraging residents of the community to log on, because they are looking for housing and volunteers from the community.  The website, he says, is a resource of information for residents as well as for riders.

Included on the website are Mayor Tom Hanafan’s welcome letter, and tabs for camping information, housing, long term parking, vendor and volunteer information.  In addition, there’s a space for ordering the 2013 Council Bluffs official RAGBRAI T-shirt on the website. Kathy Fiscus, Chair of Publicity for Council Bluffs RAGBRAI, says “The unusual and highly desirable shirt includes a solar sensitive panel.” Fiscus says “The Council Bluffs official RAGBRAI pig riding a bicycle expands into many colorful panels of the pig when the shirt is exposed to sunlight.”   The theme, “Wild Ride for Your Hide” is printed on the front.  A slice of bacon with the phrase, “Sizzle In Your Seat” is printed in color on the back.

While www.councilbluffsragbbrai.com is a work in progress, the public is invited to log on now and return several times for updated information.  Riders for the event will be in town July 19-20, with the official Council Bluffs departure and start of the ride across Iowa early Sunday morning, July 21.

KidsFest this weekend in Harlan

News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Public Health Department is sponsoring a popular kid’s event this weekend in Harlan. Susan Brumman with the Shelby County Public Health Department, says the 2013 Kidsfest is about safety, health and awareness. She says “It’s all about health and safety issues. It’s geared towards preschool to 5th graders. We have interactive booths with lots of activities for children to do. The 1st 500 children are going to get their choice of a prize and we have lots of other prizes that we will give out in a drawing every ten minutes.”

Brumman says the Public Health Department puts on the event so they can provide education to kids and parents. She said “There are a lot of opportunities for children to go through the fire safety house. They can sit in a police car and sheriff’s cruiser. We have a lot of mascots. They will meet Sparky the Dalmatian, Bitz and Larry the Crash Test Dummies, Charlie the CFL Light Bulb and a lot of the booths are geared towards health and safety issues.” The 2013 Shelby County Community Kidsfest will also feature a big red celebrity.

Brumman says “Clifford the big red dog, who is celebrating his 50th birthday this year. He will greet all the children. There will be a booth for children to go visit Clifford. They can listen to someone reading them books.” The 2013 Community Kidsfest will be held on Saturday at the Veteran’s Memorial Building from 9 to 11:30am and is free to the public.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

G&R Feed & Grain Bankruptcy case update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Trustee in the bankruptcy case for G&R Feed and Grain Co., Inc., in Portsmouth, has provided a status update on the disposition of proceeds and sale of the property. Trustee Deborah L. Petersen says she has selected Del Peterson & Associates to auction the real estate, fixtures, machinery and equipment. Del Peterson & Associates is not related to the Trustee. The Bankruptcy Court must approve the employment of the auctioneer.

The Trustee has also filed the Notice of Intent to auction the property by public online auction to be held on June 11, 2013, subject to Court approval. Details are in the Notice which will be sent out by the Bankruptcy Court. Peterson says she has also accepted an offer to purchase the feed inventory and soybean meal on site. The property is intended to be sold to Fred Roane, (doing business as) “Your Feed Ingredients,”  for the price of $20,550.00. The sale is without warranty and the buyer will have to remove all items at Buyer’s expense. Again, this sale is subject to Court approval.

Peterson reports that she is also in the final stages of collecting accounts receivable that were due to G & R. She has filed an adversary proceeding against Cargill for the proceeds for the grain delivered in December. Peterson will begin claims review in May and still anticipates an interim distribution to creditors in late summer/early fall, again subject to the Court’s approval. The analysis of pre-petition preference claims and post-petition transfers will be done after the claims are reviewed.

The deadline for filing claims in the Bankruptcy is May 20, 2013. If you have a claim for a deferred price contract, or any other amount due you, you should take action to timely file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sent out all checks for warehouse receipt holders. The Iowa Department of Agriculture is still processing claims.

If you have legal questions, including how to file a claim, the Trustee advises that you should contact an attorney of your choice.

(9-a.m. News)