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More than 2 dozen people attend a DNR forum held in Harlan Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources held its 12th and statewide park public forum in Shelby County Thursday evening. The forum was held inside the First Baptist Church in Harlan from 6:30 to 8:30pm. A crowd of over 30 people filled the community room inside the church. The event began with a short introduction by Bob Sherbomb, Regional Director of Parks followed by a video on all state parks in Iowa. The audience was then broken down into smaller groups to go over issues they face with state parks.

Kevin Szcodronski, Bureau Chief of State Parks for the Iowa DNR says the forum was to ask the public their top priorities. He said “Tonight we heard loud and clear the lake is important, fishing and a well kept up park.” Szcodronski says overall the public is not asking for big things. “If I had to summarize all 12 meetings it would be, Iowans are pretty traditional users of state parks. They want access. They want them well kept, open, trails to be good and more electricity.”

Other suggestions for Prairie Rose included a year round lodge or community center to hold family reunions or weddings along with a better office for the staff. Szcodronski says now that all the forums are complete, the DNR will compile the information and look for trends. “Then we are going to compare information from the small groups with information from our telephone surveys with general people of Iowa and compare answers. We want to see if there needs are different with current visitors. We will look at that very close and see what we can do in the future.”

All the information will guide the DNR to the 100th year celebration in 2020 to make all the State Parks in good shape when the spotlight shines on them. Szcodronski says the DNR will be releasing information about the public meetings on their website,  “Probably sometime in later November or early December, we will put some things on the website, some overall summaries and what we have heard from each park. It’s going to take us a while. It will be about a month, month and a half. We will post it on our website www.iowadnr.gov and keep track of it on there.” The public forum on Thursday finished with a short question and answer session with Szcodronski.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Iowa early News Headlines – Fri., Oct. 19 2012

News

October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Recent storms have eased drought conditions in several key Midwest farming states. Yesterday’s Drought Monitor update shows that 63.9 percent of Iowa, the nation’s biggest corn producer, is still in extreme or exceptional drought. But that’s down nearly 12 percentage points from a week earlier.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad is ordering flags at state government buildings and other sites to be flown at half-staff to honor state Senator Pat Ward, who died of breast cancer on Monday. Branstad says flags will be lowered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Ward’s funeral is being held today at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines.

NEW YORK (AP) — Independent groups supporting Republican Mitt Romney have helped him match or even exceed President Barack Obama’s TV ad spending in dozens of media markets nationwide. An Associated Press analysis of presidential campaign advertising data since April found that pro-Romney spending has exceeded pro-Obama ad spending by at least $65 million across Iowa and seven other states expected to decide the election.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a diesel fuel spill in the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines has been traced to a rooftop generator at the Iowa Events Center. The spill was discovered yesterday morning. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says about 2,500 gallons of diesel flowed down a roof drain from a standby generator on the roof of Hy-Vee Hall.

Runaway Iowa teens face charges in Illinois

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Four Iowa teenagers who ran away together face juvenile charges in Illinois where they found in a vacant house. The teens were found safe in Eureka, Ill., on Tuesday when the owner of the house checked on the property. Two 15-year old Shellsburg girls, Skie Floyd and Jazlyn Visek, along with 16-year-old Corey Sunderman and 13-year-old Austin Boggs, both of Atlantic, had not been seen since Saturday.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette says the teens were in court in Illinois on Wednesday on charges of trespassing and criminal damage to property. The boys also face a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle. Benton County, Iowa, Sheriff Randy Forsyth says one of the girls and one of the boys apparently met through the Xbox video game system that allows users to interact with each other.

Elk Horn man serving with SD Hwy Patrol, has brain surgery after being hit by a car

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Elk Horn, Iowa, man serving as a Trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, remains in critical condition following successful surgery Thursday, to relieve pressure on his brain. The surgery came as a result of an incident that occurred Wednesday morning, when 34-year old Andrew Steen was struck by a vehicle driven by a female pursuit suspect.

Trooper Andrew Steen (from a Facebook page established for him)

Colonel Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, told the Argus Leader Staff newspaper, that Steen, an eight-year-veteran of the Highway Patrol, was hit by a vehicle in the line of duty following an attempted traffic stop that escalated into a pursuit. Price said also, that Steen’s “Family and the Patrol have been gratified by the outpouring of public support,”  and that they continue to ask for good thoughts and prayers for the trooper, as he continues to recover.

A benefit fund, titled the Trooper Andrew Steen Benefit Fund, has been set up at Wells Fargo. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo institution in the United States. A CaringBridge and Facebook page have been set up for those wishing to offer their support and/or prayers for the family of Andrew Steen.

Those links are here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/AndrewSteen and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Praying-for-Andrew-Steen/217674518363787.

Parent says a Shenandoah Teacher told kids to spit on her son in class

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Did a teacher with the Shenandoah Community School District tell the students in her class to get in line, and spit on another student? That’s the question parents are asking, and the District is being mum on the matter. According to a report by Omaha television station WOWT-TV, parents say the teacher had almost all of the children in one class spit on a boy one by one last week. Accusations against the teacher have been appeared on Facebook recently, as well.

The Omaha World-Herald says the student’s mother, Alexandria Kindopp, posted on Face­book that her son Jaxon was spit upon at the teacher’s direction because he was sticking his tongue out and blowing “raspberries” at another student. She said the incident happened Oct. 8th. Kindopp said that the teacher called her that same afternoon, admitting that it was an error in judgment,  but said she did not apologize.

Shenandoah Schools Superintendent Jeff Hiser said the teacher has been placed on leave, and that an investigation is underway. In a statement released to the media, Hiser said “The district can not discuss this or any particular incident as it is a confidential personnel and/or student matter. I can say that the safety and well being of students is the District’s first priority and it takes all claims of bullying and harassment seriously and investigates all complaints it receives and responds as the investigation warrants.”

It’s not clear if a report or complaint has been filed with the Shenandoah Police Department.

Rural Issues roundtable discussion to be held in Corning Oct. 25th

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local residents, business owners and community leaders are invited to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa, during a Rural-Issues Roundtable Discussion in Corning, on October 25th. The discussion, featuring USDA Rural Development State Director from Iowa, Bill Menner, will run from 1-to 2:30-p.m. next Thursday, at the Corning Public Library (603 9th St.), in Corning. The meeting is open to the public.

DNR funds 19 solid waste alternatives program

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Thursday, that the Environmental Protection Commission has approved projects throughout Iowa to reduce waste going to landfills. The action  came during the EPC’s meeting on September 18th. 14 local governments, three private for-profit and two private not-for-profit projects were approved to receive DNR Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP) funding, amounting to just over $606,500.

In southwest Iowa: The West Central Iowa Solid Waste Management Association (which serves Crawford, Carroll and Shelby Counties), received $60,436, to update its residential and commercial outreach programs, to begin recycling incentive programs, provide new opportunities for residential document recycling, and to develop and begin an electronics recycling program. The funds will also help them to expand commercial and institutional cardboard and paper container programs.

And, the City of Shenandoah received $20, 744, to purchase a tandem axle spreader and box scraper, that will allow the city to collect sludge from its wastewater treatment plant facility, and distribute it across surrounding farmland, as fertilizer.

Lane restrictions on westbound I-80 near Council Bluffs begin Friday

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Bridge maintenance work will require restricting westbound Interstate 80 traffic to one lane between exit 1B (South 24th Street) and exit 5 (Madison Avenue) near Council Bluffs from 7-p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, until 6-a.m. Monday, Oct. 22nd, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluff’s construction office. Westbound I-80 traffic will not be able to use exit 3 (South Expressway Street) during this project. There is a 12-foot-6-inch width lane restriction and 80,000 pound weight restriction in the open lanes. Motorists may wish to take I-680 to southbound I-29 to avoid possible traffic congestion in the area.

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limits and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

Four-way debate in Shenandoah for 3rd Dist. Congressional seat puts focus on abortion

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

All four candidates who are running for Iowa’s Third District Congressional seat met in Shenandoah last (Wednesday) night for a four-way debate. One topic was a woman’s reproductive rights. Each candidate was asked whether he’d support a constitutional amendment to ban abortions, except in the cases of rape or incest. Republican incumbent Tom Latham says he has a one-hundred-percent pro-life voting record. Latham says he supports the amendment that provides the exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. “I think where that applies and should apply with the federal government is in the funding areas to make sure that what they call Mexico City Policy, that we’re not funding abortions overseas,” Latham says. “It’s a moral issue and I will always be pro-life.”

Socialist Workers Party candidate David Rosenfeld says he’s one-hundred-percent in favor of a woman’s right to choose. “Without the right to control reproduction, without the right to control her body, women cannot achieve full social equality in this society,” Rosenfeld says. “Since Roe versus Wade legalized abortion in this country, there has been a non-stop attack on that right, eroding it year after year.”

Democrat incumbent Leonard Boswell says he trusts women to make up their own minds. “Women are able to make a decision,” Boswell says. “They share in our society in every respect. We’ve gotta’ have some trust. I trust my daughters. I trust my wife. I trust women and I think having some elected official decide what a woman is going to do with her life is just uncalled-for and unnecessary.”

While saying he’s pro-life, independent candidate Scott Batcher says he believes federal funding for Planned Parenthood should continue, because of the educational services it provides. “When we look at funding Planned Parenthood, are we funding all companies like Planned Parenthood for their increased education?” Batcher says. “The more we educate the public, the less abortions are going to occur. We’re going to reduce that number the more we educate the public. Doing away with that education is not what we need to do.”  Wednesday night’s 90-minute debate took place at the K-M-A studios in Shenandoah.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak teen arrested for curfew violation

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says a Red Oak teen was arrested this (Thursday) morning in Villisca, on a warrant charging her with a curfew violation. 18-year old Kaylie Hudson was taken into custody at around 9-a.m. in Villisca, and brought by Montgomery County deputies to the Pottawattamie County line, where she was turned over to Pott. County deputies for transport to the jail in Council Bluffs.