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Report looks at economic impact of Iowa’s consolidated pork packing industry

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A national consumer advocacy group released a report Friday that claims Iowa’s shift to large-scale hog production has hurt the state’s rural economy. Wenona Hauter, executive director of San Francisco-based Food and Water Watch, says consolidation in the pork packing industry has forced thousands of small-to-medium size hog producers out of the business. “Over the past three decades, the number of hogs sold in Iowa has doubled, but the value of those hogs has actually declined,” Hauter said. “The number of hog farms dropped more than 80-percent and hog prices have plunged.”

The report claims the fewer, but larger processing plants have also resulted in a decline in wages for the plants’ workers. Hauter, in a conference call with reporters, said the prevailing wisdom has been that hog production and processing has become more efficient – which provides more economic punch to hog producers and cheaper food to consumers. But, the report found otherwise.  “The Consumer Price Index for pork has risen by almost 80-percent during the period we studied, while the real hog prices and the real packing plant wages have dropped,” Hauter said. “The decline in the value of hogs and wages have had a ripple effect through the entire economy as farmers and workers have less to spend at main street businesses.”

The study analyzed county-level economic, agricultural and demographic data in five-year intervals from 1982 to 2007. “Meat packer funded studies just look at the total economic output of the consolidated hog industry, but they ignore the damage to rural economies from the decline in the number of independent farms,” Hauter said. “Medium size farms are more likely to buy farm supplies locally and are the foundation of rural economies.” Larry Ginter, a former hog farmer in Marshall County and a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, also took part in the conference call. He said the four biggest packers in Iowa slaughter nine out of 10 hogs, so “independent farmers cannot get a fair price with that kind of stranglehold on the market.”

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines – Sat., Nov. 3rd 2012


November 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney’s plan for victory on Tuesday boils down to this: Convince independent voters he’ll change Washington, stoke Republican enthusiasm and avoid unforced errors. The Republican nominee’s path to reaching the necessary 270 electoral votes cuts straight through Iowa, which has leaned Democratic for years, and Wisconsin, where no Republican presidential candidate has won since 1984.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has named an associate juvenile court judge to the district court bench in the 2nd Judicial District, which covers central and northern Iowa. Branstad appointed James McGlynn yesterday to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joel Swanson of Carroll. McGlynn is from Webster City.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former Forest City police officer charged in a fire at the police station and in the theft of a rifle from a police car has been convicted of arson and burglary charges. A judge on Friday found Thaddeus Ellenbecker guilty of second-degree arson and second-degree burglary.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Police have released the names of an officer and two jailed suspects in a credit union robbery in Marshalltown that led to an exchange of gunfire between an officer and one of the suspects. Ben Crisantos is charged with attempted murder after allegedly firing at Officer Vern Jefferson, hitting him in the leg. Jefferson returned fire, hitting Crisantos in the lower extremities. Both were taken to hospitals and released. The second suspect, Abel Ramirez, is charged with first-degree robbery.

Page County arrests


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer says two women were arrested Thursday, on separate charges. 23-year old Mandalyn Kay Hamilton, of Shenandoah, was arrested at around 2:50-p.m., on a warrant out of McDonald County, MO. Hamilton was taken into custody at her residence in Shenandoah and brought to the Page County Jail, where she later posted a $750 cash bond and was ordered to appear in a Missouri court at a later date.

And, at around 4:30-p.m., 21-year old Sheree Powers, of Clarinda, was arrested by a Page County Sheriff’s Deputy, on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. The woman was taken into custody following a traffic stop, as she was driving2003 Mazda Tribute, registered to Larry Powers, of College Springs. Powers later posted a $1,000 cash bond, and was released pending a court date.

(Correction) 2 injured in high speed Mills County accident


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Correction to passenger’s name made by Mills Co. Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 5th, 2012)

A Council Bluffs woman and a passenger in her car, were injured Tuesday night (Oct. 30th), during a single-vehicle accident about 5-miles north of Glenwood. The Mills County Sheriff’s Department reports the driver of the vehicle, 44-year old Renee Michelle Palen, of Council Bluffs, along with her passenger, Nathan Malik, of Council Bluffs, were transported by Glenwood Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Officials say Palen’s 2008 Dodge was traveling north on 221st Street at a high rate of speed, when it went off the road into the east ditch. The vehicle hit a culvert and went airborne over Elrod Road, before it hit another culvert and went airborne again. The vehicle landed on its passenger side on 221st Street, and came to rest on its top in the west ditch. The accident happened at around 6:50-p.m.

Assault and theft arrests reported in Mills County


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest this (Friday) morning, of a Pacific Junction man. 27-year old Bradley Duane Ott was arrested at around 7:15-a.m., on a warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree, Theft in the 2nd degree, and burglary in the 3rd degree. His bond was set at $15,000.

On Wednesday, October 30th, 18-year old Dylan Lee Conn, of Malvern. Conn was arrested in Mills County, on assault and drug paraphernalia charges. His bond was set at $1,300. That same day, 43-year old Mark Allen Mitchell, of Farragut, was arrested for Driving While Revoked. His bond was set at $1,000.

Santorum & others to appear in Atlantic, Carroll & Harlan Saturday, on behalf of Romney


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Republican Party Chairman David Wiederstein says former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will be in Atlantic Saturday, campaigning on behalf Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Joining Santorum at the campaign rally, is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. The event takes place at the Cass County Republican headquarters (319 Chestnut St., Atlantic) from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. The public is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be provided.

The Romney campaign also reports Santorum, Brownback and Bryant will also attend campaign events in Carroll, at the Santa Maria Winery (218 6th Street), from 2:30-3:20pm, and Harlan, at the Harlan Town Square (612 Court Street), from 6:30-7:20-p.m.

Pheasant Hunter Success on Opening Weekend tied to Location

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says hunter success in Iowa’s 2012 pheasant season opener followed what the roadside survey predicted. Officials say better bird numbers were found in northwest Iowa,  and few birds were seen in southern Iowa, but by and large, conservation officers found hunters were encouraged, but not satisfied, with their opening weekend hunt.

Mark Gulick, northwest Iowa district wildlife supervisor for the DNR, says “The general consensus is that the opener was good compared to the past few years. Pressure on public land was moderate to extremely high on Saturday and considerably lower on Sunday. Harvest was fair to good; many groups reported about one bird per person with several groups reporting limits, some by mid morning.” Success was not as good in southeast Iowa.

Rick Trine, central Iowa district wildlife supervisor for the DNR, says in central Iowa, more hunters were on public wildlife areas and most were pleased with the numbers of pheasants they saw over last year. Iowa’s pheasant season continues through Jan. 10, 2013.

Kimballton man arrested Thursday


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest Thursday afternoon, of a Kimballton man. 31-year old Ian Lee Leib was charged with Simple Assault, Disorderly Conduct, and Interference with Official Acts, following an investigation into an incident that occurred at Leib’s home in Kimballton. He was brought to the Audubon County Jail and held on $300 bond.

Theft and forgery arrests in Montgomery County


November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two people from southwest Iowa were arrested this week on theft charges. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports at around 8:45-a.m. this (Friday) morning, 29-year old Kristin Rose Wiechman, of Corning, was arrested on a charge of 2nd degree theft. She was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $5,000 bond.

And, a 16-year old female from Villisca was arrested Thursday evening, on 4th degree theft and forgery charges. The unidentified teen was being held in the Juvenile Detention Center, in Council Bluffs.

8AM Newscast 11-02-2012

News, Podcasts

November 2nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson