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Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office says mailers are legit

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement today (Thursday) letting residents of the County know that, while the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association appeals that are coming out in the mail are not coming directly from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the mailings are indeed legitimate.

Individuals choosing to join the voluntary program can do so for as little as $25, while businesses can show their support for a minimum of $50 contribution. The funding provides critically important technical resources, training, and legislative support on key criminal justice issues.

Individuals who have not received a membership appeal and would like more information can contact the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association in writing at P.O. Box 526, Atlantic, Iowa 50022-0256 or visit the web site at www.issda.org. Be advised that payment to join the Iowa State Sheriff’s & Deputies’ Association cannot be made at the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Congressman Braley supports medical marijuana use

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he has been following the debate over legalizing medical marijuana in the state.  “My position has always been that it should be driven by the needs of patients and the determination of whether it’s safe and effective for them to use to reduce their pain,” Braley says. “I think this is going to be a continuing conversation that Iowans are going to have, and I think it’s an important one.” Colorado has legalized recreational use of marijuana along with medicinal use. Braley says the recreational use of marijuana would have to be something state lawmakers decide after hearing from Iowans.

“For me, the much more important issue is whether people who have chronic pain, and serious debilitating diseases are in need of access to something in the form of medical marijuana when other pain medications are not effective for them,” according to Braley. “And there’s been a lot of news coverage about families — including children — who are using this in the medicinal form, because it is the only thing that they can tolerate to address their severe chronic pain.” Braley is running for the U-S Senate. He was asked about the federal government’s decision to not stop the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, even though it is a controlled drug.

“It think it’s a lot more complicated than that. I mean, it gets down to that whole relationship between the federal government and states’ abilities to decide what kind of laws apply to the public welfare of their citizens,” Braley says. Braley says the decision to not enforce the drug laws in the case of marijuana is something the Obama Administration made based on the situation and would not cover every case.

“I think that’s a decision that would have to be made on an ongoing basis. I think that most American citizens expect federal laws to be enforced. When they come into conflict with state laws, then the state and federal government have to come to some sort of reasonable accommodation with the Constitution, and I think that’s what’s happening now,” Braley says. Braley did not answer a question about whether he agrees with President Obama’s statement that marijuana is no more dangerous a drug than alcohol.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby Co. EMA to begin bi-weekly Fire Danger Assessments

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In anticipation of the rapid drying conditions forecast for this weekend, Shelby County Emergency Management officials say they will begin bi-weekly local fire danger assessments, next week.

Spring cleanup time is traditionally when a lot of people burn their brush piles.Officials say being aware of the potential for that small fire to spread due to wind and other meteorological conditions, conducive to rapid fire spread, is what the Fire Danger Assessment Program is all about. Monitoring the burning conditions will allow authorities to advise residents as to whether a controlled, open burn should be put off to a more favorable day, and save area volunteer firefighters from leaving their jobs for a burn which becomes uncontrollable.

Shelby County Emergency Management asks you to please call your controlled burns in to the Emergency Management Agency at 712-755-2124. Officials will take your information and put you in touch with the Fire Chief in your community.

Major Changes Coming to SAT Test

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) wants students and families to be aware of major changes coming to the 2016 SAT, a standardized college admissions exam that assesses critical reading, math and writing skills needed to be successful in college. College Board, the owner and developer of the SAT, recently announced that a redesign of the SAT (https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-subject-test-dates) will involve many changes to the exam. According to College Board, “The redesigned SAT will focus on the knowledge and skills that current research shows are most essential for college and career readiness and success.”

Some of the changes scheduled to take place beginning in 2016, include:

· The writing portion of the test will now be optional.

· The length of time to take the test will be reduced to three hours, with additional time allotted for students taking the optional essay portion.

· The writing portion will now require test takers to respond to a passage of writing as opposed to responding to a statement using their experiences.

· The reading section will center on source citations. Students will need to support their answers using evidence from readings.

· Obscure vocabulary words will replaced with those more widely used in college and the work place.

· Scores will now be based on a scale of 1600, rather than 2,400.

· Algebra, problem solving and data analysis will be the new focus in the mathematics section.

· The math section will no longer allow calculators to be used on every portion.

· In the multiple-choice section, points will no longer be lost for wrong answers.

· Writing passages from significant moments in American history and science will be used in different sections.

· For income-eligible students, application fee waivers will be available for up to four colleges.

· Digital and print versions of the test will be offered.

“Some of the changes to the SAT, ending the penalty for guessing incorrectly, eliminating obscure vocabulary words and making the essay optional, are being done to better realign the exam with schoolwork,” stated Karen Misjak, executive director for Iowa College Aid. “Keep in mind that these changes won’t take effect until 2016. The free test prep program available through Iowa’s state-designed career and information planning system, I Have A Plan Iowa®, will help students prepare now for the SAT, ACT or GRE.”

For more information on the changes to the SAT, visit www.collegeboard.org. In addition, more information to help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college is available on Iowa College Aid’s website, www.IowaCollegeAid.gov.

Atlantic man arrested on 2 warrants

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Wednesday on two Cass County warrants for Failure to Serve Jail Time. According to Atlantic Police, 30-year old Cody Hanson was brought to the Cass County Jail and held without bond. The warrants — issued on March 3rd — are associated with incidents of assault which occurred in Oct. and June of 2013.

Corps: Repeat of 2011 Missouri River flooding is “highly unlikely”

News, Weather

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The experts say major flooding on the Missouri River is NOT likely this year, but the runoff forecast in the basin above Sioux City has risen to 121-percent of normal, according to the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division in Omaha, says while mountain snowpack is above average, they don’t expect a repeat of the widespread flooding of 2011.

“Runoff in the Missouri basin comes from three sources: plains snowpack, mountain snowpack and rainfall,” Farhat says. “It’s important to remember that the 2011 flood was the result of high runoff from all three of these sources. Currently, only one of those three conditions exists today, the above-normal mountain snowpack, so a repeat of the 2011 flood is highly unlikely.” Farhat says there is better communication now compared to three years ago.

“We do a lot more coordination now with the other federal agencies, the state climatologists and local folks on developing our runoff forecast and that’s a pretty significant change,” Farhat says. “We’re working with all of the folks that are gathering data and making sure that we’re all singing of the same sheet of music.” Dennis Todey, the South Dakota state climatologist who works with the Corps on forecasting, says the heavy rain storms that kicked off the massive 2011 flooding were very unusual.

“We can’t give any kind of a long-range outlook to say that something like that kind of storm in Montana in 2011 could or couldn’t happen again, but from a climatological perspective, that was a freakishly large storm where you had 50% of your annual rainfall in one event,” Todey says. “People need to understand that about how bizarre that precipitation event really was.” Farhat says the only areas that may see some minor flooding this year are downstream in Kansas and Missouri.

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service released its annual report on spring flooding risks in eastern Iowa. It said the flood risk for the Mississippi River from Dubuque to Burlington is above normal, the risk for the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids is normal, and the flood risk for the Iowa River at Iowa City is below-normal.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 03-13-2014

News, Podcasts

March 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Man pleads guilty to Glenwood woman’s slaying

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – A 24-year-old Council Bluffs man is scheduled to be sentenced later this month for killing a woman in Glenwood.  Online court records say Chad Fortner pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter and two-counts of willful injury causing bodily injury, after prosecutors dropped a charge of second-degree murder. His sentencing hearing is set for March 31st.

Authorities say Fortner killed 47-year-old Carol Meston. She was found unconscious in her Glenwood home on Oct. 12th. She died the next day. Fortner, who was staying with Meston, originally told authorities he was involved in an altercation at the home with a male acquaintance. He’d said Meston was knocked down during the altercation, hitting her head on a piece of furniture.

7AM Newscast 03-13-2014

News, Podcasts

March 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Iowa fair food vendors being asked to accept cards

News

March 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State Fair officials want food vendors to accept credit and debit cards at their stands this summer, in addition to cash.  The Des Moines Register says letters to that effect will be sent to vendors as officials try to meet demands from fairgoers who prefer using plastic.

State Fair board member Jerry Parkin said at Wednesday’s board meeting that the goal was to make the transactions more convenient for fairgoers. A plan to implement a cashless payment system using tickets was scrapped in January after public criticism.

This year’s fair runs from Aug. 7 to 17.