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Iowa lawmaker still seeking medical marijuana law

News

December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Legalizing medical marijuana will again be debated in the upcoming legislative session, though Iowa lawmakers have so far been loath to embrace a policy that is finding acceptance elsewhere.  Democratic Sen. Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, says he will pursue legislation seeking to legalize medical marijuana in 2014. Bolkcom acknowledges similar efforts have failed over the past decade, even as some nearby states have embraced medical marijuana. He calls Iowa a “cautious state.”

A total of 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized medical marijuana, which advocates say eases the symptoms of illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Bolkcom says he will offer bills reclassifying marijuana as a drug with medical benefits and creating a medical marijuana program modeled on New Mexico’s system.

Suspect arrested in connection with Stanton burglary

News

December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Montgomery County assisted by Red Oak Police, arrested a southwest Iowa man on burglary and assault charges, Saturday. Sheriff’s officials say 35-year old Shaun Allen Akers, of Sidney, was taken into custody at around 3:30-p.m. on a charge of 3rd degree Burglary, which followed an investigation into an incident in the 2300 block of Q Avenue in rural Stanton. Akers was also charged with a warrant out of Fremont County for Domestic Abuse Assault. He was being held without bond, in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center.

Economist challenges idea of aging farmer crisis

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Agriculture economists have long warned that aging farmers are staying on their land longer, delaying turnover to a younger generation. But Ohio State University agriculture economist Carl Zulauf says the fears have been overstated. Zulauf said in a report last month that history shows there’s an influx of young farmers when it’s possible to earn a good living. Farm income will likely reach a record $131 billion this year.

Iowa State University economist Mike Duffy still worries that the percentage of farm land held by people older than 75 has increased at an unprecedented pace in the last two decades. Lindsey Lusher Shute, a 34-year-old farmer from Clermont, New York says getting started has been “incredibly difficult” but she and her husband are slowly making it work.

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., Dec. 1st 2013

News

December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Federal budget cuts may force the city of Iowa City to lay off two employees at its low-income housing agency. In a memo to the city council, city manager Tom Markus says the Iowa City Housing Authority has suffered a significant decline in funding because of sequestration, the federal across-the-board cuts that went into effect this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police say a man used a brick to smash a hole in the glass door of a Des Moines business, and then filled his pockets with Newport cigarettes. KCCI-TV reports that surveillance video at the Walgreen’s store shows a man smashed the door with the brick and then crawled through the opening around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The last few years have been difficult for Iowa Christmas tree farmers as drought, disease, and deer killed young trees. Jan Pacovsky, president of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association, tells the Des Moines Register younger growers coming in to the business don’t want to stick with it because they find that it’s a lot of work.

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — James Bell scored 20 points and sparked a huge rally as Villanova beat Number 23 Iowa 88-83 in overtime to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis championship Saturday night. Devyn Marble led all scorers with 24 points for Iowa in the Bahamas. Iowa defeated UTEP 89-53 Friday night at Paradise Island.

Bridge at Decatur, Neb., stops collecting tolls

News

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DECATUR, Neb. (AP) — Travelers driving over a Missouri River bridge at Decatur in Nebraska to cross over into Iowa are paying their last toll to use the bridge. The toll booth is closing Saturday now that the ownership of the bridge has been turned over from a private company to Iowa and Nebraska state transportation departments.

KTIV television reports both states will share duties of snow removal and maintenance on the bridge that carries 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles a month. The bridge links Nebraska and Iowa about halfway between Omaha and Sioux City. Many drivers cross from Decatur to Iowa heading to Onawa about seven miles to the east in Iowa.

It has cost $1 to cross over but no more after Saturday.

(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. Local/State News, 11/30/13

News, Podcasts

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Water levels being lowered on Missouri River

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Water levels on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam have been falling in recent days and the levels will continue to fall as releases from the dam are further cut back. Dave Becker, operations manager for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers at the dam, says they are headed into their winter flow pattern which will be lower this year as the region is still recovering from the drought of 2012. Becker says, “We have been stepping down our releases at 3,000 cubic feet per second per day, starting on (November) 23rd, hoping to get down to about 15,000 CFS.” Once that level is reached, he says it’s typical to hold up on any further cuts in the flow rate.

“They’ll run 15,000 for a few days and see if we’re still meeting the water needs downstream and if we are, they’ll probably inch us down to 12,000,” he says. Not only is navigation an issue, but some communities along the Missouri River have intakes for their water systems at certain heights. Flows coming from the dam are well below what would be normal for winter levels, as the reservoir system upstream is still rebounding from the effects of last year’s drought.

“On a normal situation, when the reservoir system is at a level where we can support that, we have a winter flow of 17,000,” Becker says. “Because we’re a little low in the reservoir system yet, they’re conserving water.” Even though 2013 has been a little wetter than normal, the system is still recovering from the severe drought of 2012. With the changes following the months-long flood of 2011, Becker says 12,000 cubic feet per second today is equivalent to a flow of 8,000 cubic feet several years ago.

(Radio Iowa)

Shenandoah woman reaches plea deal in sex abuse case & is free, for now

News

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Shenandoah charged for her role in a sexual abuse case is free on probation, after making a deal with prosecutors. The Omaha World-Herald reports District Judge Kathleen Kilnoski this week sentenced 38-year old Jennifer Stogdill to one year in jail, then suspended the jail term and placed her on unsupervised probation. The conditions of her probation agreement are not final, and if Stogdill violates its terms or if she has a run-in with the law, her probation could be revoked.

Stogdill had earlier pleaded guilty to compounding a felony for her connection to husband Tony’s abuse of a then-15-year-old girl in 2009. In a plea agreement, the federal government agreed not to prosecute Stogdill in exchange for her plea in district court. Tony Stogdill faces up to 17 years in prison for the rape of the girl in June 2009.

Iowa News Headlines: Sat., Nov. 30th 2013

News

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose has sat in judgment of defendants since becoming appointed to the bench last year. But the tables will turn on the nation’s youngest federal judge in an unusual trial scheduled to begin Monday in Sioux City. Jurors and a judge will hear allegations that Rose carried out a harsh and illegal campaign of employment retaliation against then-assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Fagg when Rose was the top federal prosecutor in northern Iowa.

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) — A North Liberty woman has been accused of attacking her girlfriend and threatening her with a kitchen knife. North Liberty police tell the Press-Citizen they responded to a home Thursday night where a woman claimed she was attacked by 26-year-old Sondra Irving.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Urbandale police say a male suspect is in custody in connection with reports of a robbery and hit-and-run. Police say they received reports Friday afternoon of gunshots at locations in Urbandale and Johnston, two suburbs outside of Des Moines. The Des Moines Register says no injuries have been reported. The suspect’s name has not been released.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Jake Rudock threw for two touchdowns, including a 24-yarder to Kevonte Martin-Manley right after Iowa had stuffed Nebraska on a fake punt, and the Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 38-17 victory on Friday. The Hawkeyes converted two of Nebraska’s three turnovers into touchdowns and got a short field for another TD in Lincoln.

Iowa deputy, suspect scuffle in altercation

News

November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

HULL, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux County deputy and a suspect have been treated for minor injuries following an altercation.  The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says 34-year-old Florencio Ortigoza-Victoriano, of Hull, got into a scuffle with Sheriff’s Deputy Caleb Haverdink Wednesday following a domestic disturbance call.  Ortigoza-Victoriano is accused of trying to remove Haverdink’s firearm from its holster. Other deputies helped take Ortigoza-Victoriano into custody.

The Sioux City Journal reports Ortigoza-Victoriano was taken to Sioux Center Community Hospital with minor injuries. He was released a short time later. Haverdink was treated for minor injuries and released from Orange City Hospital. Ortigoza-Victoriano was arrested and faces charges of domestic assault, interference with official acts, assault on a peace officer and attempting to disarm a peace officer.