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DHS denies petition to ban payment for abortions

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The director of the Iowa Department of Human Services has denied a petition by some Republicans who want the state to stop using public money to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest or fetal abnormalities. Forty-one House GOP members filed the petition last month seeking to end Medicaid payments for such abortions, contending the state program violates state law. DHS Director Chuck Palmer in a letter Friday to Rep. Dawn Pettengill, of Mount Auburn, says banning the payments would violate federal funding requirements and would jeopardize all federal Medicaid funding Iowa receives, which is about $2.1 billion. Palmer says legislative language didn’t give a clear mandate to change the program’s practice of paying for such abortions, which are legal under federal law.

Farm Leasing Meeting Scheduled for August 16

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The profitability of crop production has been good these past years. With this profitability, more pasture and woodlands have been tilled. As a result, there is a potential for increased soil erosion. Estimating the cost of soil erosion to the landowner will be one topic at the Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting in Atlantic. Cass County Extension will be sponsoring the Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting on August 16 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Cass County Community Center. The Cass County Community Center is at 805 West 10th Street.

Another timely topic is the 2012 Farm Bill. Both the Senate and House Committees of Agriculture have proposed bills that eliminate direct payments. According to Tim Eggers, Iowa State University Extension Field Agricultural Economist, “The elimination will drop farm revenues by about $20 per acre. It is the equivalent of a three-bushel decrease in this year’s crop.” Eggers added, “While not a large decrease, it is still a fundamental change in Farm Bill programs.” Besides the cost of soil erosion and loss of direct payments, Eggers will discuss land values, cash rental rates, and flexible leases. Considerations relevant to current drought impact will also be discussed.

The Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting costs $15 per person, which includes the 100-page Farm Leasing Arrangements booklet. Pre-registration is required by August 14. To pre-register, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132.

(ISU Extension Press Release)

Iowa DOT offering land for sale in Harlan

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation is offering land for sale in Harlan. The 5,930 square foot tract of land is located on the south side of Iowa 44 and west side of Southwest Avenue.  Bids are due by 1-p.m. Sept. 12th, 2012. The appraised value of the land is $8,100. Term of the sale is cash only.  

Bid forms may be obtained by contacting Mary Pepper, Office of Right of Way – property management, Iowa DOT, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010, phone 515-239-1300.  

The Iowa DOT acquires real estate for highway improvement projects statewide. Any excess property or property improvements may be disposed of during or after the project development process. For more information on Iowa DOT property management, including sales, visit www.iowadot.gov/propmanage/index.html.

Truck spills animal guts on Sioux City street

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Workers have cleaned up after a truck spilled some animal entrails and parts on a Sioux City street. The spill occurred about 9:45 a.m. Thursday on the east side of the northwest Iowa City.  The Iowa Transportation Department says the truck driver apparently had to stop suddenly, which forced some of his load to slosh out. Traffic was diverted for about 30 minutes as workers cleaned up the mess.

Branstad and Reynolds announce visits to western Iowa

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be touring the state in the upcoming week. Among their public appearances on Monday, August 6th, is a stop in Coon Rapids at 12:30-p.m. There, they’ll have “Iowa’s Best Burger,” at the Coon Bowl III, in support of the Iowa Beef Industry. Branstad and Reynolds will leave Coon Rapids afterward, and head to Audubon, for an Audubon County Town Hall meeting at the Audubon County Economic Development Office, located at 800 Market Street, beginning at 2-p.m.

At 3:30, Iowa’s Governor and Lt. Governor will be in Harlan, for a Shelby County Town Hall meeting. That takes place at Mickel’s Family Restaurant. Other stops during the week include those in Woodbine, Onawa and Denison. The latter two stops will occur on Tuesday.

Branstad/Reynolds announce STEM Regional Advisory Board appointments

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds today (Friday), announced the latest appointments for the six regional STEM network hubs advisory boards. The goal of the STEM Advisory Council, a public-private partnership, is creating greater student achievement in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, as well as a stronger STEM workforce. Reynold said “The members of the STEM Regional Advisory Boards will serve as boots on the ground, and be the most entrenched members of the STEM initiative in their region of Iowa.”  Each STEM network hub will work with business, education institutions, nonprofit groups and others in their region in a way that best fits local needs, interests and resources.

Among the 13 individuals named to the Advisory Council in the Southwest Region, was: Dr. Alan Ladd, of Atlantic; Dr. Barbara Crittenden, of Creston; Jill Euken, from Lewis; Thomas Lesan, from Creston, and; Kathi Most, from Red Oak.

Accident in Central Iowa sends 1 person to the hospital

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says one person was hospitalized following an accident this (Friday) morning, in Polk County. Officials say 60-year old Sue Lundberg, of Boone, was transported by Grimes Fire & Rescue to Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, after the car she was driving went out of control and rolled over when it was cut-off by a passing semi. The accident happened on Highway 141 near Grimes, at around 7-a.m.

Officials say a 2005 Freightliner semi, registered to Jerry Schultes Trucking out of Audubon, was traveling south in the left lane of Highway 141 and passing Lundberg’s 2003 Honda Accord, when it cut the car off as it changed lanes. The vehicle went onto the gravel shoulder and went out of control before rolling over and landing on its top in the west ditch. The driver of the semi, 50-year old Terry Smith, of Lake View, was not injured. Smith faces DOT charges associated with an annual inspection and unsafe use of lanes.

Thefts reported in Malvern

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County are investigating recently reported incidents of theft and or burglary. On Wednesday, a resident in the 300 block of 10th Street reported items missing from his property. The person or persons responsible face charges of Burglary in the 3rd and Theft in the 4th Degree, if caught. Another Malvern resident reported an incident of 2nd-Degre theft had occured on his property on Marion Avenue. No arrests have been made in connection with either incident.

Elk Horn man arrested for harassment

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a Shelby County man was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with Harassment in the 3rd Degree (Harassment by Communication). 43-year old David Munro Walk, of Elk Horn, was wanted for an incident which allegedly occurred on June 18th.  Walk was released that same day after posting $300 bond. He’s entered a plea of Not Guilty. Trial in the case is set for August 31st. In the meantime, he’s been orderded to have no contact with his alleged victim.

The Sheriff’s Office reports also, 38-year old Jeffrey Scott Iddings, of Sioux City, was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred on May 28th. Iddings posted a $5,000 bond Thursday. A hearing in his case was set for August 10th. He’s been ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.

And, 23-year old Jonathan James Pleake, of Council Bluffs, was arrested Thursday in Mills County, for Violation of his Probation. A bench warrant was issued for Pleake on July 30th, after he failed to appear in court. Pleake was being held in the Mills County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Walnut City Council considers golf cart ordinance

News

August 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Walnut met during a regular session Thursday evening. During the session, they discussed, but took no action the adoption of an Ordinance controlling the use of golf carts on City streets. City Clerk Terry Abel says authorities inPottawattamieCountyhave been stopping people who were driving golf carts on the streets. She said there’s a “glitch” in the law that requires communities to have an ordinance that allows the machines to operate on the streets. The Council is considering the adoption of a law that would allow that to happen.

Abel said the Walnut City Council also heard from representatives with the volunteer fire department, with regard to the Walnut Fireman’s Funfest, which runs today (Friday), Saturday and Sunday. The event kick’s off tonight at 7, with an Alumni versus High School slow pitch game, and a free ice cream social by the Walnut Youth Advisory Board. She says there’s a barbeque Saturday night for your free-will donation, a parade Saturday afternoon at 4:30, and kid’s games in the park all day, Saturday, from 11am-3-pm. Saturday’s activities also include a Coed slow pitch softball tournament at 9-a.m., a watermelon feed from 1-3pm, and the Annual Fireman’s Dinner at the Legion Hall, following the parade. Terry says the “Antique City Car Show” will also be held this weekend, as part of the “Funfest, on Sunday.

The Walnut City Council Thursday also discussed a possible Downtown Beautification Project, which Abel says includes a Streetscape, and restoration of business facades. The City has, over the years made other, various improvements, including trees along the sidewalks and old fashioned street lights. Able says the latest discussion seeks to further along those types of improvements.

And, the Council discussed consulting with the City Attorney about residents who have gone beyond the Ordinance stipulations, where Time limitations on building projects are concerned. She said there are projects that were started but never finished, or are still in progress. Discussion with the City Attorney may result in those property owners being prodded to get their projects done in a timely fashion.