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Flurry of weekend campaign activity, but pace intensifies today

News

October 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Democrats gathered Saturday night for a fundraiser in downtown Des Moines while at the same time Iowa Republicans gathered in a Des Moines suburb for Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s campaign fundraiser. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — the big name get for Branstad’s “Birthday Bash” — used most of his 15-minute speech to blast President Obama.  “We’ve now had six years where the world has been adrift because of the lack and failure of American leadership,” Christie said.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. “Chris Christie is actually here to film a movie sequel: ‘The Closed Bridges of Madison County,'” Klobuchar said. Last fall aides to Christie ordered lanes on a heavily traveled bridge to be blocked, causing traffic snarls in a town where the mayor had not endorsed Christie’s bid for reelection.

Christie has said he had no knowledge or involvement in the bridge closure. On Sunday at noon, Iowa Democrats launched a tour designed to hold an event in each of Iowa’s 99 counties within 24 hours. The blitz will conclude with a rally in Davenport at 10 a.m. today (Monday) featuring Vice President Joe Biden. Also on Sunday Republican House Speaker John Boehner campaigned with David Young, the G-O-P candidate in Iowa’s third congressional district.

Boehner plans to campaign with Republican Rod Blum in the first district and Mariannette Miller-Meeks in the second district today (Monday). Senator Chuck Grassley will make eight campaign stops with G-O-P Senate candidate Joni Ernst today (Monday), plus Arizona Senator John McCain and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are due to campaign with Ernst this week as well.

On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will headline two campaign rallies in eastern Iowa for Bruce Braley, the Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, then her husband will campaign here for Braley on Saturday.

(Radio Iowa)

Water quality key issue in ag secretary contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Water quality is a key issue in this year’s race for state ag secretary. State leaders, including Republican State Ag Secretary Bill Northey, have been encouraging farmers to voluntarily adopt new practices that will reduce fertilizer run-off and soil erosion. “For the most part, I think we’ve got good recognition within the farm community that it’s an issue,” Northey says. “I think we’ve also had to reach out to the community and say, ‘There are some solutions, there are some strategies that work.”

Sherrie Taha, the Democrat who is running against Northey this November, says the voluntary approach isn’t working. “I understand nobody likes to be told what to do. I’m definitely in that category, too, but you still have to be responsible to our neighbors and the impact of what’s happening when we do something on the rest of society or our neighbors down the road.” Northey says making certain conservation practices mandatory could be a significant expense and might not ensure the right steps are taken based on things like the type of soil and drainage patterns that are unique for every field. Northey’s department has been handing out “cost-sharing” grants to Iowa farmers for conservation practices.

“To be able to do a better job of keeping those nutrients — that nitrogen and that phosphorous — on the farm and in the crop rather than having it leave the farm,” Northey says. Taha says there should be more focus on soil health. “We’ve got to do something more than currently,” Taha says. “The voluntary approach has what has brought us to the position where we have serious pollution problems.” Taha points to what’s happening in Iowa’s largest public drinking water system.

In 2013, the Des Moines Water Works saw record nitrate concentrations in the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and the utility reports nitrate levels last month set a new record. Taha, an artist who is from Des Moines, is a commissioner for the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District. Northey, who is from Spirit Lake, is a corn and soybean farmer who was first elected state ag secretary in 2006.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Oct. 27th 2014

News

October 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DURANT, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa city may ban pets from its parks because of complaints about owners failing to pick up after their dogs. The Muscatine Journal reports the Durant City Council will vote Monday on the ban.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new Iowa clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement over manure spills is now in effect after a year of hearings and deliberations by government agencies. The rule, which took effect Wednesday, establishes new inspection and permit procedures. It does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement want.

TABOR, Iowa (AP) — The police chief in the small Iowa town of Tabor has agreed to take on another role by reopening the grocery store. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports Tabor residents have had to drive to larger towns for groceries since the Tabor Market and Deli closed. Wake will serve as the store’s manager and the city’s police chief.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two days after an Iowa fast-food worker’s bicycle was stolen from outside the Culver’s restaurant where he worked someone surprised him with a new one. The Globe Gazette reports Nathan King came out of the Mason City restaurant Saturday and found a new silver Schwinn hybrid bike waiting for him.

S.W. IA man arrested for Breach of Peace Sunday morning

News

October 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa man was arrested for “Breach of Peace,” early this (Sunday) morning. According to Red Oak Police, 25-year old Cody Linn Hudson, of Emerson, was taken into custody a little after 2-a.m. in the 900 block of east Hammond Street, in Red Oak. Hudson was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 cash bond.

New Iowa clean water rule goes into effect

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new Iowa clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement over manure spills is now in effect after a year of hearings and deliberations by government agencies. The rule, which took effect Wednesday, establishes new inspection and permit procedures. It does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement want.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources signed a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year to develop the new rule after the EPA threatened to take over federal Clean Water Act enforcement if state officials didn’t do more. The federal agency says the rule meets its requirements, but Iowa CCCI says it’s still too weak.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., Oct. 25 2014

News

October 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

AKRON, Iowa (AP) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is back in Iowa spending time with political activists who could prove helpful if the Republican runs for president in 2016. Christie headlined Governor Terry Branstad’s birthday bash last night.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Four people — including a toddler — have been rescued from the roof of a submerged car that rolled into a Des Moines pond. The Des Moines Register reports that the crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday while the people were out sightseeing. Police are unsure whether the driver forgot to put the vehicle in park or had taken her foot off the brake pedal. Rescue workers found a middle-aged woman, two teenagers and a 2-year-old child standing on top of the sunken vehicle.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque police and fire department officials say they are investigating two vehicle fires as arson. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that the fires were reported before dawn Friday in a parking lot. Dubuque Fire Marshal Mark Burkle says investigators have sent samples from the vehicles to a crime lab in Ames.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa football player Reggie Spearman has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, leading coach Kirk Ferentz to announce a minimum one-game suspension for the linebacker. Iowa City police sayt the 19-year-old was arrested just after midnight Friday on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Spearman was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. yesterday and later released.

Judge dismisses woman’s excessive force lawsuit

News

October 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a woman who said police used excessive force in her 2011 arrest. The Sioux City Journal reports that U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett dismissed the case Thursday, saying DaCosta Daniels did not prove that a Sioux City officer used unreasonable force during her arrest.

Patrol car video shows the officer struggling with Daniels as she was handcuffed Aug. 8, 2011, after a traffic stop after she refused to put her cellphone away. On the tape, she is shown being punched in the side and put in a headlock.

In 2012, Daniels was found guilty of assaulting a peace officer, interference with official acts and failure to obey a peace officer in the case.

Serious injuries reported during a pheasant hunting accident on the 1st day of the season

News

October 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR report a man from Remsen was seriously injured on the first day of the pheasant hunting season, Saturday. 18-year old Ross A. Arens was crossing a creek and handing his shotgun to another member of his hunting party, when the gun discharged, striking him in the abdomen at around 8:45-a.m., in rural Plymouth County.

Arens was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. A report on his condition was not immediately available.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is still investigating the incident. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene of the incident.

Red Oak woman arrested on a theft charge, Saturday

News

October 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak woman was arrested Saturday for Theft in the 5th degree. Red Oak Police say 57-year old Sheryl Lynne Franzen was taken into custody at around 1:10-p.m. at the Fareway Store in Red Oak. Franzen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Deer causes driver to lose control in Montgomery County, Saturday

News

October 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A deer on the road caused a driver in Montgomery County to lose control of his vehicle early Saturday morning about a mile east of Red Oak. Authorities say 39-year old Donald Lee Gay, of Villisca, was traveling east on 200th Street at around 1:45-a.m., when he swerved to miss a deer. The 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix he was driving went out of control and slid through a yard at 2013 200th Street, causing about $3,000 damage to the landscaping. Gay was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. No injuries were reported.