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Branstad’s tax return shows income of $234,907

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad earned $234,907 and is paying $28,298 in federal taxes for 2013. The governor and his wife, Chris, are paying $6,235 in state taxes. By releasing his tax returns Wednesday, Branstad continued a practice he’s done annually as governor. Branstad’s governor salary totaled just over $127,000. He also earned more than $54,000 from the state’s retirement pension fund from earlier service as governor, lieutenant governor and legislator. Additional income of $22,000 is from capital gains earned on business investments. He also received $35,000 from an IRA following an uncle’s death.

Branstad contributed more than $40,000 to charities. He paid an effective tax rate of 12 percent. His Democratic opponent, Sen. Jack Hatch, released documents Tuesday showing income of $468,591 from real estate development businesses and his state salary.

Bitter fight over University of Iowa’s budget

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Republicans in the Iowa House have voted to try to change the terms of a deal that would freeze in-state tuition for students at Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I this fall. Senator Brian Schoenjahn, a Democrat from Arlington, is asking Republican Governor Terry Branstad to intervene. “The House Republican vote is an attempt to pit our universities against each other and pit Iowans against each other,” Schoenjahn says. “Governor Branstad, a tuition freeze is one of your top legislative priorities and it’s in serious trouble.”

The board that governs the three state universities has offered to freeze tuition for the second year in a row if legislators provide a four percent budget boost for each of the schools, as well as an additional four-point-four million dollars for the University of Northern Iowa. Governor Terry Branstad has signed onto that deal and Senate Democrats have as well, but House Republicans late last night (Tuesday) voted to scoop into the University of Iowa’s allotment to provide the extra money to U-N-I, putting Iowa’s budget boost at two percent rather than the four percent going to the other two institutions. Representative Cecil Dolecheck, a Republican from Mount Ayr, says the U-of-I is sitting on a “tremendous” cash reserve.

“Ready cash that they can use as compared to the other two institutions,” Dolecheck says. Representative Chip Baltimore, a Republican from Boone, scoffs at the idea the University of Iowa will be damaged with the House G-O-P’s plan.  “Their entire budget for the fiscal year is $3.1 billion and we’re trimming ($4.4 million) from the increase they say is necessary to freeze tuition in this state — 0.15 percent,” Baltimore said.

House Republicans also rejected an attempt to include an anti-bullying proposal in the budget bill that passed the House Tuesday night at 10:15 p.m. on a party-line vote. Governor Branstad, for the second year in a row, has asked legislators to pass anti-bullying legislation, but House Republicans have yet to bring a bill up for a vote in the full House.

(Radio Iowa)

Father joins effort to change handgun age limits

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Johnston father of two young daughters is joining with gun-rights advocates in seeking a change to an Iowa law that makes it illegal for children young than 14 to fire handguns.  Nathan Gibson told The Des Moines Register he was inspired to change the law after being told at a shooting range last weekend that his 8-year-old daughter, Natalie, wasn’t old enough to shoot her handgun. Natalie and her 10-year-old sister, Meredith, have been joining their father at shooting ranges since age 5.

Those seeking to change the law say shooting ranges have enforced it more closely since Altoona Democratic Sen. Joe Riding sought to lower the age limit from 14 to 12. That effort failed, but publicity surrounding it prompted ranges to abide by the law.

Cass Supervisors approve appointments

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved the appointments of two individuals to fill vacancy terms. Supervisor Chuck Rieken recommended the appointment of Jerry Hudson, of Lewis, to fill a vacancy Cass County Conservation Board.

Rieken said Hudson is retired from the Iowa DNR, welcome’s the opportunity to serve on the Conservation Board. When the next person’s term expires, the Supervisors will look at appointing  a female if one is available and wishes to become involved, so that the Conservation Board is gender balanced.

Hudson, who served 28-years as a DNR Fisheries Biologist, will fill the position through Dec. 31st, 2017. The Supervisors also approved a recommendation from Supervisor Duane McFadden, for the appointment of Kay Winston, of Atlantic, as Washington Township Trustee, with her term expiring Dec. 31st, 2014.

Cool, wet spring may ease western Plains drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – There are varying degrees of drought conditions in the Plains region, but a National Weather Service hydrologist says predicted above-normal rain this spring might ease some of the problem.  Mike Gillispie in Sioux Falls expects improvement in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Some people in the agriculture industry and with municipal water supplies are still wary.

Nathan Fields with the National Corn Growers Association says that during the 2012 drought, he learned how quickly it can set in and affect crop production.  Parts of eastern South Dakota are abnormally dry. The stretch from southern Minnesota and Iowa through Nebraska is facing moderate drought. Conditions worsen toward the south, as parts of Texas and Oklahoma are in the middle of an ongoing drought.  There’s no drought in North Dakota.

8AM Newscast 04-16-2014

News, Podcasts

April 16th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 04-16-2014

News, Podcasts

April 16th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Public hearing over property sale in Atlantic this evening

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will take place this evening in Atlantic, with regard to the disposal of property at 405 West 4th Street. The hearing is being held as part of the Atlantic City Council meeting that begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall, and is with regard to a vacant lot tax acquired by the City. City Attorney Dave Wiederstein says the property is a half lot, and not buildable, so he was working with an abutting property owner who is interested in purchasing the property.

In other business, the Council will act on authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with SWIPCO (The Southwest Iowa Planning Council), with regard to the preparation of an Urban Revitalization Plan (URP) for the City. The cost of the service will not exceed $2,500. The Plan is required in order for the City to create and grant Tax Abatements. Once the Plan is created, a public hearing will be held, with property owners being notified by mail of the hearing date.

And, for the 18th year in a row, the Council will receive a “Tree City USA” award from Trees Forever in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation.  The City is being recognized for meeting certain requirements, including an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita. The award will be presented by Dolly Bergmann.

Corning woman arrested Tuesday morning

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Adams County report a Corning woman was arrested Tuesday morning on a couple of charges. 34-year old Dorothy Snyder was charged with Driving While Barred and Failure to file SR-22 Insurance. Snyder was taken into custody following a routine traffic stop at around 10:40-a.m, Tuesday, and brought to the Adams County Jail. Her bond amounted to slight more than $2,566.

Page County employees win LHI Wellness Challenge Award

News

April 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Page County Employees are this year’s winners of the “Live Healthy Iowa 10 week Wellness Challenge,” in the 2014 Corporate Cup’s Small Company with a workforce of 50 to 250 division. The employees averaged 90-percent participation and 97.22-percent completion.

Communities, schools and businesses across the state participated in the Challenge, competing to take possession of the coveted traveling trophies for 2014. An awards ceremony was scheduled to take place today (Wednesday),  at the Iowa Wellness Summit Awards Ceremony in Des Moines, as part of a kick-off to the 2014 Iowa Wellness Summit.

The Cup Challenges take healthy competition outside the individual employers and raise the competition across the state. This year 278 companies, 46 communities and 18 schools competed for the coveted traveling trophy in their respective division. Cup Challenge winners were determined by the combination of participation among the eligible population and completion of the challenge.

Casey’s General Stores won the Mid-sized Company with a workforce of 251-1,000 division, with 53.25% participation and 84.04% completion. And, the Meredith Corporation won the Large Company with a workforce of 1,000 competition, with 97.82% participation and 80.35% completion.

The 2014 Community Cup Winner is Allamakee County, with 10.35% participation and 71.23% completion. And, the Mid-Prairie Community School District won the 2014 K-12 Cup division,  with 97.63% participation, 50% adult completion and 100% youth completion.

For a full list of Cup Challenge rankings, please visit www.livehealthyiowa.org. For more information about the Iowa Wellness Summit Awards Ceremony, please visit www.iowahealthieststate.com.