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Contest to determine cover photo for Iowa Travel Guide

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A contest is underway to select a photo for the cover of next year’s Iowa Travel Guide. The annual publication from the Iowa Tourism Office is distributed to thousands of people around the state, country and world.

Iowa Travel Guide 2012

Iowa Tourism Office spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says last year Iowans were presented with three possible cover photos and voted on their favorite. The 2012 cover ended up featuring the High Trestle Trail near Madrid. She says this year, they’re taking it a step further and allowing people to submit their photos for possible inclusion in the travel guide. The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers.

O’Riley suggests submissions should capture the “spirit of Iowa.” That might involve a scenic landscape, a large crowd gathered at a tourist spot or a family picture somewhere in Iowa. “I certainly would not want to limit anybody…anything people see as they cross Iowa,” O’Riley said. Contest rules and submission forms are posted on the Travel Iowa Facebook page. The deadline for submissions is next Friday, December 21.

Finalists for the Iowa Travel Guide cover will be selected and then voting, via Facebook, will take place between January 23 and February 1. The cover design with the most votes will be declared the winner on February 4. Photos that don’t make the cover could be used inside the travel guide or on the Iowa Tourism’s website or Facebook page.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Dec. 14th 2012


December 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A huge crowd of well-wishers joined the friends, relatives and family at a memorial service yesterday for one of two Iowa cousins whose remains were found by hunters last week. More than 1,000 people turned out to honor Elizabeth Collins, who was 8 when she and her 10-year-old cousin, Lyric Cook, vanished after setting off on their bicycles last July.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Workers at a Des Moines recycling plant recovered thousands of dollars wrapped in old newspapers that were nearly shredded. KCCI-TV reports workers at International Paper’s Des Moines Recycling Center found the money Wednesday stuffed into an envelope that was wrapped inside newspapers.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An 85-year-old Dubuque woman is proving it’s never too late to learn. Lois Houselog accepted her high school diploma at a ceremony Wednesday night after she completed a general education development course known as the GED. The audience gave Houselog a standing ovation after a school official praised her dedication and perseverance.

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Michael Josifovski hit a 26-yarder in overtime to give Marian, Indiana a 30-27 victory over Morningside of Iowa in the NAIA championship game last night. Quarterback Joel Nixon was 22 of 39 for 228 yards and two touchdowns for Morningside, and Fred Jones ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns in Rome, Georgia.

Boswell bids farewell to US House


December 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Colleagues of Congressman Leonard Boswell held a tribute to him Thursday, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA)

“Hadn’t planned on this all coming to this kind of a closure, but it’s caused me to reflect back over life and I feel very blessed,” Boswell said. Boswell’s 16-year tenure in the U.S. House is coming to an end, as he lost his bid for reelection) “I have a regret: I’m sorry my mother couldn’t have heard this discussion today,” Boswell said, drawing laughter from the other members of congress who were on the House floor. Boswell, a Democrat, will celebrate his 79th birthday on January 10th.

Boswell was drafted at the age of 22 and served in the Army for 20 years. Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo said Boswell is “too modest” to talk about the two “Distinguished Flying Crosses” he was awarded for flying helicopter rescue missions in Vietnam.
“Leonard has always been a strong advocate for military families,” Braley said. “He has a lot of proud achievements in this body, but Leonard to me your proudest moment was when the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act was passed in the House, passed in the Senate and signed into law by the president.” Congressman Steve King of Kiron, agreed that Boswell had a “noble and brave” career in the military.

Each member of Iowa’s delegation in the House paid tribute to Boswell. Congressmen from other states offered praise to Boswell as well, during the 40-minute tribute. Congressman Tom Latham of Clive, the Republican who beat Boswell in November, organized Thursday’s tribute.

(Radio Iowa)

Trencher loses steering wheel nut…rolls into a ditch


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The operator of a tile trenching machine suffered non-incapacitating injuries Wednesday morning in Page County, when a nut came loose on the steering wheel. Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports 31-year old John Mather, of Clarinda, was taken to the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital following the accident, which occurred at around 11:20-a.m. Wednesday, about 2-miles southwest of Coin.

The sheriff says Mather was operating a 2001 Hydro-Max 2600 field tile trencher southbound on F Avenue, when the steering wheel nut came loose. Mather tried to steer the machine but was unable to keep it from entering the west ditch and rolling onto its left side. Mather was able to jump from the trencher before it rolled. He was found on the ground in front of the machine and transported by private vehicle to the hospital, for treatment of his injuries.  According to reports, Mather has since been transferred to the trauma center at Creighton University in Omaha where he was undergoing treatment for multiple injuries.

The trencher sustained $300,000 damage, and was declared a total loss.

Audubon Library now accepting application for passports


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon Public Library is pleased to announce they are now able to accept applications for passports on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. If you are planning any international travel you may visit the library to apply Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 pm. Library Director Gail Richardson says “The Audubon Public Library is pleased to offer this service to the public and keep the Passport Application Acceptance Program available in Audubon County.”
Because of new government regulation, the Audubon County Recorder’s office was unable to continue providing the service. To view application forms, information on documents required, fees and other information regarding passports and international travel visit www.travel.state.gov

A new federal report gives Iowa’s state government high ratings for a low error rate


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A federal audit found a “payment error rate” of two-point-seven percent in the state-run program that provides health insurance to children. The national average was far higher, more than eight percent. Only one state had a lower error rate than Iowa. The federal audit also reviewed Medicaid payments in Iowa and found a four-and-a-half percent error rate. Roger Munns of the Iowa Department of Human Services says that’s an improvement from the error rate discovered in a 2008 audit.

“Every time that an error is identified, we do a correction action plan for it and when you pay attention to things, good things happen,” Munns says. “But I don’t want it to make it sound like we’re perfect. Obviously there is still room for improvement.” Over 400-thousand Iowans are enrolled in Medicaid. The parents of nearly 70-thousand Iowa children have gotten low or reduced cost health insurance for their kids through the state-run “Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa” or HAWK-I program.

“I think it’s useful, I guess, to know that people are looking over our shoulder and they sometimes find things in which we don’t perform as well as we’d like and, in this case, we find that we perform better than many of our peers,” Munns says.

The American Medical Association’s annual analysis of private insurance company error rates was released this summer. It found nine-and-a-half percent of claims were paid incorrectly by private insurance companies.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic man arrested on Trespassing warrant


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports a local man was arrested Wednesday. 22-year old Michael Sherman, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Cass County warrant for Trespass. Sherman was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Cass County Tourism alive and well


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Tourism in Cass County appears to be thriving, especially with all the towns in the County banding together for a common cause. That was the message during Wednesday’s Cass County Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said the communities can benefit economically if they continue to promote each other, not just the attractions in an individual town. That was evidenced by a tour group who came to Atlantic last weekend. While here, they learned about other sites and attractions in Griswold, including the new Cass County Historical Museum. He said there was a busload of people who came to Atlantic and toured the town before traveling to Griswold and having a “Great Time.”

Kenner Baxter talks about Cass County Tourism with the Board of Supervisors,

Kenner Baxter, Cass County Tourism representative, said “That kind of cooperation between the cities in Cass County, is what’s going to make tourism really work for us.” She said when you take Cass County as a whole, there is a lot to see. Rieken said things have improved greatly over the last few years with communities’ cooperation, stepping forward to help each other. Baxter said “That was the goal,” of the Tourism Committee – to help foster a sort of “All for one and one for all” mindset.

Baxter recapped for the Board some of the events in the County which drew large crowds and tourism dollars over the past year, and she mentioned actions being taken to spark additional interest in Cass County Tourism. She said  a National Bird Dog Competition took place in the Fall of 2011 and the Spring of 2012, drawing large numbers of competitors and their dogs. It was deemed a “great success.” There have also been group tours of the Tractor Museums and the Griswold area, the Committee raised funds from ad sales to support a 12-page section in the Chamber Community Guide, which will be coming out in the next month or so, and a booth at the Garden Seminar last April garnered a lot of foot traffic. In addition Nishna Valley Trails hosted a Bike Coalition at the Cass County Community Center, last April.

She said also the Southwest Iowa Regional Tourism group, which is comprised of six counties, is working on ideas for two-day or day-long group tours of the area, which includes theatrical performances and other attractions. The next meeting of the Cass County Tourism Committee is January 17th at 9-a.m., in the office of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce. The public is welcome to attend.

8AM Newscast 12-13-2012

News, Podcasts

December 13th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Baseball cards stolen from Red Oak Home


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Burglars in Red Oak made off with some collectible baseball cards during a reported break-in that apparently took place over the course of the past week. According to Red Oak Police, a resident in the 300 block of 2nd Avenue reported to authorities someone entered her home by forcing open a back door. Once inside, they stole a portion of a baseball card collection and other possible items. An inventory was being conducted to determine what exactly was missing, therefore a dollar amount of the loss is currently not available. Officials say there was estimated $150.00 damage to the back door, though.

If you saw any unusual activity in the area between December 5th and December 12th, you’re asked to contact the Red Oak Police Department at (712) 623-6500.