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Court: Iowa farmers who host tours can be liable

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says farmers who host educational tours are not shielded from personal injury lawsuits under Iowa’s recreational use law. The court ruled 5-2 on Friday that the owners of a dairy farm can be sued by a chaperone injured when she fell through a hole in a hayloft during a kindergarten class field trip.

The Iowa Farm Bureau had warned that allowing farmers to face liability would jeopardize tours that teach children about animals and farming. The group says farmers may no longer host such events if they’re worried about lawsuits.

At issue is a law that bars injury lawsuits against landowners who open their land for public recreational uses such as snowmobiling and hunting. The court says playing on a hayloft in a barn doesn’t qualify.

Rural mail carriers call for postmaster to resign, killing Saturday delivery is final straw


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for the union that represents Iowa’s rural mail carriers is calling for the removal of Patrick Donahoe as U-S postmaster general. David Heather of Kansas City is executive committeeman for the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. Heather says the recent announcement by Donahoe to end Saturday mail delivery in August is an example of his poor leadership.
It wasn’t just based on this decision,” Heather says. “It was based on a lot of things he’s been doing the last couple of years that we feel are irresponsible in his running of the business. The main infraction though was the unilateral move without congressional approval to eliminate the delivery of mail on Saturday.”

Heather says his association believes the lack of Saturday delivery would have an extremely negative impact on rural America. “The elimination of the delivery of mail on Saturdays would have a devastating effect to the postal service, especially in the rural areas where the carriers that we represent live and work,” Heather says. “We feel the $2 billion in savings Postmaster Donahoe has touted can’t be substantiated and we feel that’s a very high estimate of the savings that would actually occur.”

The Postal Service reported nearly $16-billion in losses for its last budget year and expects even larger losses in 2013. The losses last year were triple the losses from the previous year. Heather says eliminating Saturday deliveries will have a negative effect on the ability of the postal service to remain viable. “We believe that cutting out service will lose business for the postal service,” he says. “When you’re a business that all you have to sell is the service you provide and you cut down on that service, we don’t feel like that’s a wise way to run a business.”

Heather says the biggest obstacle for the post office to maintain a positive cash flow is a congressional requirement passed in 2006. “This legislation requires the postal service to pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees 75 years into the future. And it requires the postal service to pay for all those benefits 75 years into the future in just a 10-year period. The result is a charge of a little over $5 billion a year to the bottom line of the postal service.” Heather says it’s extremely unfair and not fully understood by the general public. “This is a requirement that’s not placed on any other government agency,” he says. “This is a requirement that’s certainly not placed on any private company.” While it will stop regular deliver of mail on Saturdays, the Postal Service will continue to deliver packages six days a week, post office boxes will still get mail on Saturdays and post offices that are now open Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

(Radio Iowa)

Accident causes domino effect in Harlan


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An accident in Harlan last Sunday caused a sort of “domino effect” that resulted in damage to another vehicle. According to the Harlan Police Department, 19-year old Dylan Hansen, of Harlan, was traveling too fast southbound on 8th Street, and lost control of the 1995 Ford he was driving as he attempted to turn left onto Farnam Street. The vehicle entered a yard and hit a tree. A limb from the tree then broke off and fell on a 2012 Honda registered to Elisabeth Austin, of Overland Park, KS,  which was legally parked on the south side of Farnam Street.

Damage from the incident amounted to $7,000.  Hansen was cited for Driving without a valid license, driving a non-registered vehicle, reckless driving, failure to maintain control, and failure to hold accident insurance.

Dogs running amok in Harlan?


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports three people were cited for allowing their dogs to run at large. The citations resulted from several incidents having occurred over the past month. Officials say 55-year old Cindy Scheffler, 15-year old Curtis Scheffler, and 41-year old Tim Sorensen, all of Harlan, were cited for the offense.

The H-PD reports also, the arrest on February 8th, of 25-year old Calvin Potts, from Big Fork, MT. Potts was charged with Disorderly Conduct, after officers responded twice to the Forrest Lodge for a subject causing a disturbance. Potts was brought to the Shelby County Jail. Potts later plead guilty to the offense and was fined $200.

Red Oak woman arrested in Mills County on drug & other charges


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Valentine’s Day, of 50-year old Casey Renee Bates, of Red Oak. Bates was arrested in Malvern Thursday afternoon, on charges of Aiding and Abetting, Trespassing, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and two-counts of Possessing Contraband. Her bond was set at $17,300. Also arrested that day was 50-year old John Michael Hudson, of Hastings, who was taken into custody for Burglary in the 3rd degree, Trespassing, Theft in the 3rd degree, Driving Under Suspension, and failure to wear a seat belt. Hudson was arrested at the same time and location as Bates. His bond was set at$7,900.

Sheriff’s officials report also, the arrest Thursday of 33-year old Pennie Jo Bendt. The Malvern woman was arrested following a traffic stop near the intersection of 315th Street and Highway 34. She was charged with Driving While Revoked. Bond was set at $1,000.

Energy Efficiency Rehab Training in Council Bluffs


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Western Community College will be the site for the Center on Sustainable Communities’ (COSC) free statewide Energy Efficiency Rehab Training. Lead by Iowa’s premiere green building expert Bill McAnally, the program has been condensed to a convenient 1-day session and building professionals receive energy efficiency credentials. The training takes place on Saturday, March 30th at Iowa Western Community College’s Dodge Hall Room 1006.  Registration is available at icosc.com or by contacting the Des Moines-based nonprofit at 515-277-6222 or info@icosc.com.

Officials say this is potentially the last time COSC will be able to offer this training free-of-charge. Builders, contractors, lenders, inspectors and other building professionals are urged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn best practices in framing, insulation, thermal envelope, indoor air quality and sustainable building site management. COSC’s Energy Efficiency Rehab Training qualifies contractors for energy efficient home remodeling and commercial retrofit projects. Those who attain a certificate of completion will be included in COSC’s Qualified Professionals directory listing and promoted across Iowa.

This training curriculum was developed as part of a collective effort led by Iowa Central Community College through a State of Iowa Energy Sector Partnership grant to increase job skills and effectively address Iowa’s inventory of existing homes and commercial buildings. Energy use in homes, business and communities can be greatly reduced through sustainable renovation best practices, providing lasting benefits to health, pocketbooks and the environment.

According to officials, as demand and codes continue to develop for energy efficient home and business improvements, COSC’s Energy Efficiency Rehab Training is an essential tool for building professionals seeking to advance skills and competitive advantage. Homeowners can also reap rewards from attending this free training by learning how to prioritize upgrades, identify red flags and connect with qualified contractors.

Additional support for COSC’s free program is provided by Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, MidAmerican Energy, City of Council Bluffs, Danish Villages Economic Development Association and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Escaped students from Clarinda Academy apprehended


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Clarinda report two students who had escaped from the Clarinda Academy Thursday night were apprehended less than an hour later. According to Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers, at around 8:20-p.m., Clarinda Academy staff reported that two students had escaped from the facility. At approximately 9:15 p.m. Clarinda Police Officers located the two escapees in an open field area in the area of 22nd & Washington Circle. The escapees fled on foot and were apprehended after a short foot pursuit. They were then turned back over to the custody of the Clarinda Academy staff.

Brothers says a Clarinda Police Officer suffered a minor injury to his right leg during the foot pursuit after running into a barbed wire fence. The officer was treated for his injury at the Clarinda Regional Health Center and was able to return to duty. The escapees from the Clarinda Academy are both white male juveniles, ages 16 & 17. Clarinda Academy staff assisted the police department in the apprehension of the escapees.

8AM Newscast 02-15-2013

News, Podcasts

February 15th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Conservation Poster Contest for K-12th graders in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the Atlantic Public Library, to sponsor a Conservation Poster Contest.  This year’s theme is:  Where Does Your Water Shed?  Students ages K-12 can participate. Schools in Cass County also have the poster contest information.   Posters may be created at the Atlantic Public Library. Julie Tjepkes, Youth Coordinator with the Atlantic Public Library will have materials available.  All posters must be completed by Friday, March 29th.

Posters will be judged locally by the Cass Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner by May 17th.  All posters need to have an entry form attached to the back of the poster.  First place selections are forwarded to the Conservation Districts of Iowa Regional Directors in which a first place poster is selected from each age group.  State winning posters will be displayed in September at the 2013 Annual Conference in Des Moines.

Last year, Danelle Haas submitted a poster which was selected to move onto Regional competition.  Her poster also received first place in the 7-9th grade age group. Prizes are awarded at a local level, along with prizes for Regional selection winners. For more information on the poster contest, please contact Julie Tjepkes at the Atlantic Public Library or contact the Cass SWCD office at (712)243-3180.

Not-guilty plea in NW Iowa dog shootings case


February 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man accused of shooting and killing his two dogs has pleaded not guilty to two weapons charges.  Sioux City television KCAU reports that Jon Holloway won’t be prosecuted on animal abuse charges. Sioux City Police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick says it’s technically not illegal to shoot your own pets.

Holloway is charged with reckless use of a firearm and discharging a gun within city limits. Authorities say the 51-year-old Holloway shot his two dogs Tuesday with a rifle in his backyard.    Police say Holloway had been arguing with his sister about the dogs being aggressive. Holloway’s trial is scheduled for April 24th.