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FFA sets another membership record

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa F-F-A Association has set another record for membership in schools across the state. Some 14-thousand-857 students participate in F-F-A in 225 high schools, which is up more than 500 from the previous year. Organization executive secretary, Scott Johnson, says the numbers are noteworthy. He says the previous two school years membership records exceed the membership record set back in the 1977-78 school year. Johnson says economic conditions in the agriculture may have a lot to do with the resurgence in membership.

“You know it’s hard to tell for sure why that is,” Johnson says, “I think in some cases if you look at our F-F-A membership history, we lost membership in the 80s. I think there is an obvious link there between the strengths of the ag industry and the ag economy and F-F-A and ag education enrollment in schools.” He says the economic situation has since made ag careers more enticing to students.

“With the economic recession in ’07 and ’08, the ag economy was very strong and I think it showed to a lot of perspective parents, students, school districts that there’s a future for students in agriculture,” Johnson explains. “And the projections of world population increasing to nine billion plus by the year 2050, I think also shows that there is going to be career opportunities out there.” Many of the F-F-A participants in our state still live in rural areas.

Johnson says while that is the case in Iowa, nationally the F-F-A has set membership records the last two years and some of the largest programs are in Chicago, Philadelphia and Houston. It used to be called Future Farmers of America before the name was shortened to just F-F-A. That reflects the changing careers in the field, which John says now include lots of jobs involving science and technology.

“It is more than just growing plants and growing animals, it’s about being efficient with the area that we have. With the growth of urban areas comes the loss of the land — and in Iowa some of the most productive land in the world — to feed that growing population,” Johnson says. He says everyone has realized how technology and innovation can answer that growing need for ag products.

“A world population that is growing doesn’t just increase the demand of food, it also causes an increase in demand for energy as well. So, at some point that all needs to be produced and balanced. And I think that’s what makes agriculture a strong and viable industry and career option,” Johnson says. The Iowa F-F-A Association was chartered in 1929.

(Radio Iowa)

Adams & Union counties in SW Iowa join UNI’s entrepreneurship program

News

October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two counties in southwest Iowa are hoping to spark new business and help to grow existing businesses with a new regional entrepreneurship project, partnering with the University of Northern Iowa. Wayne Pantini, executive director of the Union County Development Association, says the focus will be on Adams and Union counties.

“We have been working together for several years on delivering services to our small businesses within this region, but now it’s time to take things to the next level,” Pantini says. “We have a great opportunity, working with the folks from the University Center at the University of Northern Iowa.” James Hoelscher is managing U-N-I’s Business and Community Services program.

“There are about 13 different programs that are all designed to focus on helping economic development organizations, communities in Iowa, take care of their business retention and expansion needs,” Hoelscher says. “If it has to do with growing the community or growing business, we’re all about that.” The program at U-N-I was created in 2012 and is now in three areas of the state.

Region 1 in west-central Iowa includes Adair, Guthrie, Greene and Audubon counties. Region 2 is in north-central Iowa and includes Hamilton and Wright counties. Region 3 covers the counties surrounding Sioux City in northwest Iowa, Monona, Plymouth and Woodbury. “Each of those regions have economic development organizations that have really committed to taking entrepreneurship and utilizing that as a key development strategy,” Hoelscher says. “When you’re trying to bring in new jobs and new businesses to a community, we know that we need to grow our own.”

Hoelscher cites practical ways to accomplish those goals. “What we want to do is make sure our entrepreneurs are strong, that people are being encouraged to start businesses, to continue businesses, if they have a business currently, to get any assistance they might need to maximize their potential,” he says. The system is built around four basic ideas: supportive culture, access to capital, networking, and technical assistance.

Adams and Union counties are now a part of the new program, which is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the UNI Business and Community Services.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Oct. 22nd 015

News

October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Protesters angry about the hiring of the new University of Iowa president have disrupted a meeting of the school’s governing board to demand members’ resignations. Hundreds of professors, students and others packed into a ballroom in the student union during a meeting of the Board of Regents on Wednesday. They called for the resignation of board president Bruce Rastetter and the other regents. They also delivered a petition calling for incoming school president Bruce Harreld to step aside, and for a new search to be conducted.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jurors have told a federal judge they’re stuck in deliberations in the trial of two aides to Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign who are accused of making secret payments to a state lawmaker. The jury deliberated for several hours Wednesday in the Des Moines trial of Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kesari. They will resume deliberations Thursday morning.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials say the death of a 20-year-old Mason City man was an accident. Mason City police announced Wednesday that toxicology tests show William Whipple died August 26th from a mixed drug toxicity. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports Whipple was found unresponsive in a residence and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A taxidermist has been given 27 months in prison for purchasing and transporting black rhinoceros horns from Oregon to Iowa. Court records say James Hess of Maquoketa was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He must also serve three years of supervised release after leaving prison.

Update: Officers’ names released in connection w/Oct. 14th incident

News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs, Wednesday, released the identities of two officers involved in an incident that took place Oct. 14th, where one of the officers fired on a stolen vehicle that was being driven by a man who escaped from custody. Authorities said Uniform Officer Ben Lake (a four-year veteran of the force) was the initial officer on scene at the Bomgaar’s store on east Kanesville Blvd.,  following a report of a fraud in progress.

Lake was able to identify a suspect, 27-year old Adam W. Thomas, of Council Bluffs, who was still in the store. With the assistance of Officer Aaron Legband (a seven-year veteran of the force), Thomas was handcuffed and taken into custody. He was placed in the Officer Lake’s patrol vehicle, but while both officers were continuing with their investigation, Thomas somehow escaped from the patrol car.

He got into the stolen pickup he had arrived in and began to drive away. Officer Lake ordered Thomas to stop, but he continued to try and flee the parking lot. In the process the pickup he was driving struck Officer Lake in the lower torso. Lake fired his service weapon toward the vehicle, but Thomas was able to flee the scene. Officer Legband did not fire his service weapon.

Thomas was apprehended two days later by Omaha Police.  Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber is reviewing the shooting incident with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and is in the process of reviewing the criminal charges in Pott. County. He is also coordinating with authorities in Nebraska, to determine the best course of prosecution.

Thomas was being held in the Douglas County, Nebraska, Jail, on charges out of Nebraska that include Felony Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm by Prohibited Person, Burglary and (3) counts of Possession of Stolen Firearms. He was also being held for extradition to Iowa a warrant for Attempted Murder, Theft in the 1st degree, Theft by Deception, and Escape from Custody.

Omaha man dies in Fremont County rollover accident

News

October 21st, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office has released details on a Wednesday morning accident that resulted in an Omaha man’s death.  At approximately 7:39am Fremont County Dispatch received a call of a vehicle in the ditch at the I-29 northbound off ramp at Highway 2.  Upon arrival deputies and medical personal located a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe in a field on the east side of the off ramp.  45-year-old Roy David Walker of Omaha, NE was found dead outside the vehicle.

Deputies believe Walker was northbound on I-29 and missed the off ramp and made a corrective maneuver to get on the ramp and lost control and began to roll.  The Tahoe then hit a sign and continued to roll going over a tree and the interstate fence before coming to rest in a field.  Walker was not wearing his seat-belt at the time of the accident.

Walker’s body was sent to the DCI Crime Laboratory in Ankeny for an autopsy and the investigation into the accident continues.  The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Percival and Sidney Fire and Rescue and the Fremont County Coroners Office.

Wood-carved totem pole takes root between library, school

News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CARTER LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A 14-feet-tall totem pole has a new home between a library and elementary school in southwestern Iowa. About 50 people attended dedication ceremony for the colorful totem Tuesday. It stands in the Wilson’s Grove potted tree nursery on Edward F. Own Memorial Library grounds, in between the library and Carter Lake Elementary School.

The Daily Nonpareil reports Omaha resident Lowen Kruse began making the totem more than four years ago after a windstorm knocked the branches off of a 60-year-old hackberry tree on his property. The totem shows a bear, a lion, a crest with a vineyard, a beaver and a raven. They are all symbols of a “heraldic totem,” which Kruse says “heralds a message.”

Kruse said he avoided infusing religion into the totem to make it inclusive.

College Springs man arrested on an assault charge

News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Page County responded to a domestic situation at 411 Galesburg in College Springs, Tuesday. An investigation showed 40-year old Kevin Allen Long had gotten into a verbal argument with a 13-year old male. Both Long and the teen live at the residence.

Kevin Allen Long

Kevin Allen Long

Their argument became heated and then turned physical. Long was arrested for Simple Assault and transported to the Page County Jail. He later posted $300 bond and was released, pending further court proceedings.

Atlantic Image Builders Community & Improvement Award given to Brown’s Shoe Fit Co.

News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Image Committee awarded Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. with the Community Improvement Award. The award recognizes the successful efforts to improve a property in the Atlantic Area. Bailey Smith, Community Marketing & Public Relations Associate of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce  says “Kevin is such a great asset to Atlantic. He’ s worked really hard to make his business a beautiful and essential part of the community.”
BSFShe said also, “His investment to improve the property leaves a really positive impression on clients and the community. It shows his commitment in not only his business, but in Atlantic.” The Community Improvement Award is given to a business that takes pride in making Atlantic a welcoming and beautiful community by continuing to improve its appearance.
If you would like to nominate a business or community member for a Community Improvement Award. contact the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce: 712-243-
3017 or chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Dr. Carmelita Shah to provide care at Atlantic Medical Center

News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Medical Center (AMC) report Dr. Carmelita Shah, M.D., will be providing care at Atlantic Medical Center through the end of the year. Dr. Shah will be available Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm, to provide general family medical care for patients of all ages.

Dr. Carmelita Shah

Dr. Carmelita Shah

While she specialized in pediatrics early in her career, Dr. Shah has provided general family medical care for over 30 years, including 26 years with the Winthrop Medical Clinic in Winthrop, Iowa. She now works as a locum tenens physician, traveling to different locations to help out with temporary staffing needs.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shah, call Atlantic Medical Center at 712-243-2850.

Cass County Conservation Director reports to BOS

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee presented his quarterly report to the Board of Supervisors this (Wednesday) morning. In his report, Lee said the past quarter has been unique, in that there was so much rain that resulted in work on some major projects being delayed. Most of the time, the staff concentrated on trying to keep up with mowing and maintenance duties at the various county parks and recreation area.

At Cold Springs State Park, the playground equipment was repaired or replaced, and work is underway on painting the shelter and the outside of the pit toilets. He says they hope to complete electrical outlet upgrades at Cold Springs later this fall.

At the Nodaway Recreation Area, Pellett Memorial Woods and T-Bone Trail, Lee says they’ve been battling brush encroachment along the road and pathways, and trying to keep those maintained. Micah says volunteer help has been invaluable where the T-Bone Trail clean-up is concerned.

Pellett has an additional issue of invasive Honeysuckle plants. He says controlled burns will help keep the plants in-check. And, Micah says Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning presented 52 educational program during the last quarter, and saw 1,136 people in the process.