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Avian center says lead poisoning killing eagles


March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ASHTON, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa avian rehabilitation facility says an injured bald eagle euthanized last week was suffering from lead poisoning — an affliction that kills many of the eagles it tries to treat. The Sioux City Journal reports that the euthanized eagle was found March 8 on the ground along Iowa Highway 60 near Ashton. It had been hit by a semitrailer and could not fly or walk.

Kay Neumann, director of Saving Our Avian Resources — or SOAR — in Manning, Iowa, says many of the birds the facility receives suffer from lead poisoning. That’s usually because they’ve eaten wild animals that have been shot with lead. She says 14 eagles were recently brought to the center with lead poisoning. Only one is still alive and being treated.

Experts say dog flu seen in Illinois is expected to hit Iowa


March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Experts at Iowa State University in Ames say they expect the highly contagious strain of dog flu that has sickened hundreds of dogs in Chicago to make its way to neighboring Iowa. Dr. Bryce Kibble with the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine tells Des Moines television station KCCI that the canine illness “is probably going to get here at some point.”

Kibble says many dogs have become infected, but not very many die from it. Symptoms include coughing, nasal discharge and watery eyes. Kibble says vaccines for the flu strain are still being developed and are not readily available. Animal welfare groups think this sickness is the same strain that sickened 1,700 dogs in Cook County, Illinois, in an outbreak last year.

Branstad, Reynolds issue statements on early morning vehicle crash on Interstate 80


March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released the statements Saturday, following word of an early morning vehicle crash on Interstate 80 that claimed the lives of two Des Moines police officers. Branstad said “Our hearts are heavy this Easter weekend on the news of an early morning crash on Interstate 80. We’re learning that the crash took the lives of two young Des Moines police officers who dedicated their lives to protecting public safety and were killed in the line of duty. Chris and I wish to extend our sincere sympathies to the families of everyone impacted in this horrific accident.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, “I’m heartbroken to hear this morning of a tragic vehicle crash involving two fallen police officers from the Des Moines Police Department. On this celebration of Easter, it’s very difficult to comprehend how young lives can be taken so quickly. Kevin and I wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to all of the families affected by this terrible crash.”

Gov. Branstad will issue a statement later in the week on lowering flags to half-staff.

(Update) Des Moines Police ID officers killed in Sat. morning crash


March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Des Moines Police Department have released the identity of two officers who died this (Saturday) morning during a fiery, head-on crash with a vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 80, near Waukee. During a Press Conference, Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek  said the Officers were 30-year old Susan Farrell and 34-year old Carlos Puente-Morales.

Carlos-Puente-Morales. Officer photos courtesy of the Des Moines Police Department.

Officer photos courtesy of the Des Moines Police Department.

Susan Farrell

Susan Farrell

Both had graduated from the Des Moines Police Academy in Oct. 2015. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the officers are the 21st and 22nd from the Des Moines Police Department to die in the line of duty, going back to the 1890’s.

The officers were transporting 32-year old Tosha Nichole Hyatt, of Des Moines, who was wanted on a felony warrant. Hyatt was being brought from Council Bluffs to Des Moines at around 12:40-a.m., when a Ford Taurus traveling west in the eastbound lanes of I-80, collided with the eastbound Des Moines Police Dept. SUV at around mile marker 117. Both officers were wearing their seat belts, but it’s not clear if the prisoner was strapped-in.

The Des Moines Police Department SUV came to rest in the median while the Ford Taurus came to rest on the interstate. The first Iowa State Patrol arrived on scene within minutes, and advised that a car was fully engulfed in flames.

The driver of the Ford Taurus and the three people in the Des Moines Police Department SUV were all pronounced dead at the scene. The interstate remained closed for several hours while emergency crews were on the scene. The names of the prisoner and driver of the Taurus were being withheld pending notification of family.

All four deceased individuals were taken to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny where autopsies will be performed this weekend. Autopsy results could take several weeks.The crash remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.

Agencies responding to the scene included the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol Division (ISP), Waukee Police Department, Waukee Fire Department, West Des Moines Fire Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Dallas County Medical Examiner, assisted by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.

Hunter Apprentice License Topic of Public Hearing

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public hearing on rules covering the new hunter apprentice license for April 20, from 1-2 p.m., in the fourth floor conference room, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street, in Des Moines.  The new Hunter Apprentice Program will allow Iowans age 16 and older to bypass the hunter education requirement for purchasing a hunting license while they hunt under the direct supervision of an experienced, licensed hunter.  They may purchase the apprentice hunting licenses up to two times without having completed hunter education.

“The idea behind this program is to catch the generation of Iowans who missed hunter education when they were 12 and are now in their 20s and 30s and are interested in trying dove hunting or small game hunting,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “If they like it, we can get them in the hunter education program and hopefully they become lifelong hunters.”IA DNR Outdoor logo

This apprentice program was approved by the Iowa legislature and signed by Governor Branstad during the 2015 session. At the public hearing, persons may present their views either orally or in writing. Participants will be asked to give their names and addresses for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of the amendments.

Any persons who intend to attend the public hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and request specific accommodations.

Any interested person may make written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendments on or before Wednesday, April 20, 2016.  Written comments may be directed to Megan Wisecup, Law Enforcement Bureau, Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; by email at Megan.Wisecup@dnr.iowa.gov; or by fax at (515) 725-8201.  Persons who wish to convey their comments orally may contact Wisecup at (515) 238-4968 or by visiting the fourth floor of the Wallace State Office Building during regular business hours.

Hunter Education Classes Available before turkey season

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Hunters who need to satisfy the hunter education requirement can search for and sign up for a course at www.iowadnr.gov/huntered. Prospective students can see which courses or field days are near them; how many seats are available for the class or if the class is full and a waiting list is available. There is also a map showing the location along with the instructor’s name, a course overview and any special instructions.

Iowa law requires all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 to satisfactorily complete a hunter education course in order to purchase a license.  Children as young as 11 may enroll in the course, but their certificate of completion will not become valid until their 12th birthday. Each year, around 12,000 students complete hunter education in Iowa.DNR logo

Online Only Course Option for Adults:

The online only course for adults is designed for Iowa residents 18 years of age or older that have prior hunting and/or firearms handling experience.  The course covers the same material as the classroom course, allowing the student to complete the entire course, including the final test, in an online setting.  Certification is received at the successful completion of the online course.

Spring turkey hunting Safety Tips

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural resources reports an estimated 50,000 hunters will be in the timber this spring pursuing the illusive wild turkey and while the woods will not be crawling with hunters, there is a chance for an occasional encounter.  Hunters should practice defensive hunting techniques.  Hunters should make a loud statement like “hey – hunter over here,” if they see someone coming into the same area. One loud noise shouldn’t scare a bird too much because loud noises happen in the woods. However, don’t make motion or throw something to get the other hunters attention.

“Turkey hunters are looking for movement,” said Jim Coffey, forest wildlife species technician for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “Don’t wave your hand or make a movement because a movement could be misconstrued. If you walk in on someone they’re probably hearing the same bird you hear, just turn and walk away.  Find a different ridge to enjoy the morning.”

The timber will change a lot from early April to middle May reducing the distance hunters can see so it will be important that hunters continuously check their distance for their zone of fire. “You can’t call the bullet back once your pull the trigger so it’s important to know your target and what’s beyond before taking the shot,” Coffey said.  He often recommends setting out distance stick for reference points.  This allows hunters to know exactly how far away a bird is and if it’s within the weapons range.

Hunters should also respect other hunters. “They are out there trying to do what you are going to do. The competition is between turkey and hunter – not hunter and hunter,” Coffey said. One way to avoid walking in on other hunters is to go later in the morning. “Rather than try to get out in the woods for the first gobble, go out a little later, like around 9 a.m., you may have the area all to yourself,” he said.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid wearing patriotic colors – red, white and blue.  These colors are also shared by gobblers.
  • Bring a blaze orange game bag or turkey vest to use to carry the harvested bird out from the woods.
  • Avoid using a gobble call.
  • Using a hunting blind can be helpful if taking a young person on their first hunt, or for hunting companions to use.
  • Make sure you have permission to be on the land and find out if anyone else has permission to the land and which season they will be hunting.  Just because you had permission a few years ago, does not mean you have permission this year.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 3/26/2016

News, Podcasts

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Iowan talks about recent trip to Cuba

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

President Barack Obama made a trip to Cuba this week to continue his push to open relations with the country. An Iowa group that included Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) Chairman Jerry Mohr (More), a farmer from Eldridge visited the country on a trade trip in February. Mohr says it was a new experience. “All of us went back in time 50 years, we just did,” Mohr says. “It took us two hours to get baggage off the planes and through customs and out the door — and there were only two planes at the airport.”

“The drive to the Hotel Nacional was easy, they don’t have a lot of traffic on the road. At that time, you paid for everything in cash.” Mohr says there is no embargo on U-S food exports to Cuba, so some products are already being exported, but there is room for more. “We’ve got whole grains going down there, there’s corn, soybeans, I think there may even be some distillers (grain) going down there. But as far as value added, our meat products, there’s none of those going down that. And the Cuban people are desperately short of food, desperately short of quality foods,” Mohr says.

Mohr says he doesn’t care if Iowa corn is exported to Cuba as whole grain or as value-added food after being fed to cattle. He says there is also a need for grain to feed to chickens, which are important to the food supply. Support for farming is also needed in the country. “When the Soviet Union departed Cuba in 1991 — that’s when the expertise for the farming went away or the industrial farming, however you want to call it — went with the Soviets. So a lot of the land that was cultivated was taken over by invasive species. Which does happen, weeds grow, trees grow and everything else,” according to Mohr. He says they visited a farmer who is trying to get things restarted.

“The government has relaxed the standard on ownership, so if a family wanted to come in there and wanted to cultivate the land, reclaim the land, they could do that,” Mohr says. “It’s a long and arduous process.” Mohr says Brazil recently built a huge port on the south side of the island to handle the increased shipping that is to be expected. But he says the United States has a logistical advantage being only 90 miles away from Cuba and will be able to compete for exports. Mohr says the country’s infrastructure poses one of the greatest challenges as it tries to catch up with the rest of the world.

(Radio Iowa)

2 Des Moines Police officers & prisoner from Council Bluffs killed in head-on crash


March 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our earlier report, KCCI TV in Des Moines says two Des Moines Police officers were killed in the line of duty this morning while transporting a prisoner. Des Moines Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Parizek told the station the officers were driving eastbound, returning a prisoner from Council Bluffs to Des Moines when they were struck head on by a vehicle driving the wrong way on the interstate. The prisoner and the driver of the second vehicle involved were also killed. The crash happened on Interstate 80 near the Waukee exit at mile marker 117 around 12:40 a.m.Dsm PD black badge

The crash is being investigated by the Iowa State Patrol.Des Moines Police say the names of those killed in this crash are being withheld pending notification of their families. A news conference with the Des Moines Police Department and Iowa State Patrol will take place Saturday at 10 a.m.