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IA West Foundation awards $32.5k grant to Golden Hills RC&D


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Oakland, Iowa) -The Iowa West Foundation recently awarded $32,500 to Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development for continued development of Arts & Culture in Rural Southwest Iowa. Golden Hills RC&D is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, that serves residents and communities of southwest Iowa.

gh-logoThe funding is designed to build solid capacity for the newly formed Southwest Iowa Art Council, including visioning, member recruitment, board development, event promotion and community outreach. It will also provide technical assistance to expand the 2016 Southwest Iowa Art Tour, and create Porchlight, an online hub for rural arts and culture promotion.

Golden Hills RC&D will work in partnership with the new Southwest Iowa Art Council to develop a written plan and solid structure for the group to operate into the future. A key project of the Southwest Iowa Art Council is the Southwest Iowa Art Tour, to be held September 17 and 18, 2016. The goals for the 2016 Southwest Iowa Art Tour are participation of 12 communities in the region, 50 participating artists and 1,000 documented visitors on the tour.

The initial 2015 event was well received, with 9 communities, 40 artists and over 500 visitors. The University of Iowa will also partner on this project to develop a coordinated marketing and events online hub, Porchlight. Porchlight will serve as an arts and culture hub, museum without walls, and maker-to-market venue for the rural southwest Iowa region. Through the development of coordinated marketing and events via Porchlight, this increased exposure will entice visitor-ship to rural communities from surrounding metro areas.

The Southwest Iowa Arts Council and Golden Hills RC&D are working in partnership to build a creative and supportive climate for area artists in rural southwest Iowa. Funding support from Iowa West Foundation will jump-start a coordinated and collaborative arts and culture environment and enhance community efforts towards increased livability and economic growth for rural Iowa.

IA West Foundation logo

About the Iowa West Foundation: The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $300 million in grants to non-profits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program in 1996. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s.

Fallen Omaha Police Officer/Walnut IA native, honored w/U-S Senate Resolution


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON, D.C – Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Officer Kerrie Orozco of the Omaha Police Department. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced the resolution earlier this week.

KerrieOfficer Orozco was killed in the line of duty on May 20, 2015, while serving an arrest warrant in Omaha. Her death was an enormous loss for the surrounding community, where she was known for her volunteer work and service to local organizations. Senator Fischer released the following statement: “Officer Kerrie Orozco was a proud police officer, beloved wife, and caring mother. This month we mark the first anniversary of her death, but her memory and service to Omaha live on in the hearts of all Nebraskans. By honoring her life and legacy in the U.S. Senate, we can share her remarkable story with the nation and inspire others to ‘Kerrie On.'”

Senator Sasse released the following statement: “Nebraskans are grateful for the life and service of Officer Orozco – someone who personified public service and taught our kids what courage and sacrifice mean. She led by example and will be remembered as a hero.” Senator Grassley released the following statement: “In so many aspects of her life, Officer Kerrie Orozco exemplified what it means to serve your community. Whether volunteering at area youth organizations or putting on a badge to protect and serve, she was, and continues to be, an important role model of what community is all about. We will forever be grateful for her selflessness and courage.”

Senator Ernst released the following statement: “Officer Kerrie Orozco was a respected member of the Omaha Police Department, a devoted member of her community, and beloved by her family. She paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. I am pleased the Senate recognized the incredible sacrifice and memory of Officer Orozco.”

Officer Kerrie Orozco was the first female to die in the line of duty while serving in the Omaha Police Department. Officer Orozco was killed one day before she was scheduled to bring her 3-month-old daughter Olivia home from the hospital and begin her postponed maternity leave. Kerrie was an active member of the Omaha community, where she coached baseball through the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club and volunteered with Special Olympics. A native of Walnut, Iowa, Officer Orozco resided in Council Bluffs, Iowa with her family.

Here is the full text of the resolution honoring Officer Orozco: ” Honoring the memory and service of Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco. Whereas Officer Kerrie Orozco bravely served the Omaha Police Department for 7 years as an officer and detective, working in the gang unit of the Omaha Police Department; Whereas Officer Orozco was a beloved wife, daughter, sister, and mother; Whereas Officer Orozco was a devoted public servant who engaged in many volunteer pursuits in Nebraska and Iowa, including youth sports, youth mentoring, and animal rescue; Whereas, as a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Omaha, Officer Orozco was committed to her Catholic faith; Whereas Officer Orozco was killed in the line of duty on May 20, 2015, while serving an arrest warrant on a suspect; and Whereas Officer Orozco was the first female officer of the Omaha Police Department to be killed in the line of duty: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate honors the memory and service of Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco.”

Westbound I-680 at the I-80 interchange near Minden closed until Friday night for emergency repairs


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Tthe Iowa Department of Transportation District 4 office in Atlantic reports emergency pavement patching and repairs on westbound Interstate 680 at the interchange with I-80 near Minden, requires closing the roadway to traffic until 6 p.m. Friday, May 13th, weather permitting.

Motorists will be detoured around the closure by taking I-80 into Council Bluffs, I-29, and I-680. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs.Road work

Managers urge district to close nuclear plant near Omaha


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Managers have urged a utility district board to cease operating its nuclear power plant near Omaha by the end of the year. President and CEO Tim Burke told directors of the Omaha Public Power District at their meeting Thursday that operation of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station “is not financially sustainable.” He told the board an analysis included consideration of market conditions and the economies of scale.

Board Chairman Mick Mines asked in April for a report on potential scenarios regarding the district’s future power resources and told senior managers to provide recommendations. The board is expected to vote on the recommendations at its June 16 meeting.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station is located on 660 acres between Fort Calhoun, and Blair, Nebraska, just across the Missouri River, from Iowa.

Branstad signs bill into law reducing some prison sentencing


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that is expected to reduce prison time for inmates convicted of certain drug offenses. Branstad signed the bill Thursday. It was passed in the House and Senate this legislative session. The legislation will allow certain non-violent drug offenders in Iowa to be eligible for parole after they serve at least half of their mandatory minimum sentence. It will also give judges more discretion in sentencing for crimes like robbery.

The law also adds a mandatory minimum sentence for a person convicted of child endangerment resulting in death. Previously, such a person was automatically eligible for parole. The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency says the law is expected to reduce the disproportionate number of minorities in Iowa’s criminal justice system.

IA Ag Sec Bill Northey to visit three area counties May 13th

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Thursday) announced that he will be making stops in Pottawattamie, Cass and Adams Counties on Friday, May 13th. Northey will tour the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, have lunch at the Downtowner in Atlantic and then visit Corning Meat Processing Services.

Bill Northey, IA Sec. of Agriculture

Bill Northey, IA Sec. of Agriculture

The details of the visits are as follows:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pottawattamie County – 11:15 a.m., visit the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 605 S. 3rd St., Council Bluffs

Cass County – 1:15 p.m., have lunch at The Downtowner, 14 E. 4th St., Atlantic

Adams County – 3:30 p.m., visit Corning Meat Processing Services, 501 Davis Ave., Corning

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his third term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.

Babysitter Workshop Builds Confidence in Montgomery County


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital are partnering to host a Babysitter Workshop on June 1st from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital.

Youth attending the workshop will engage in hands-on activities and learn about what it takes to be a responsible, caring, trustworthy, competent and safe babysitter. Participants will be trained in child development, safety and first aid, food and nutrition, functional play and teaching toys. Training will also include the business of babysitting and help teens develop the confidence needed to handle situations that can occur while caring for children.

Participants will receive a babysitting manual prepared by 4-H and Army Child and Youth Services. The Babysitter Workshop gives youth researched-based information presented by qualified professionals in the area of child development, safety and health care. Presenters representing Iowa State University Extension and Montgomery County Memorial Hospital share their knowledge through presentations, hands-on activities and role-plays.image001

The workshop is open to all youth who have completed 5th grade and above. Pre-registration is required. The class is limited to 30 participants. Registration fee is $10 and includes lunch and supplies. Register forms are available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/montgomery or at the Extension office. Deadline to register is Friday, May 27th.  Financial assistance is available upon request. Please contact the Extension office to obtain an application. Returned checks will be charged $20 plus banking fees, in addition to the amount of the check.

For more information, contact Chelsea Cousins, County Youth Coordinator, at 712-623-2592 or ccousins@iastate.edu.

Summer Day Camps hosted by Montgomery County ISU Extension and Outreach

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County will be hosting three different day camps available to youth in Montgomery County this summer. Registration fee is $20 per camp. The fees for service will be used to offset direct expenses and to support the 4-H Youth Development County Extension Program. Registration includes snacks, supplies and insurance. Youth are responsible for bringing a lunch.

image001Details about each camp are as follows:

Digging Up Dinosaurs will be held on June 15th from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. This camp is open to all youth who have completed Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Explore the mighty dinosaurs traveling back millions of years ago to the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Discover how dinosaurs lived and how big they were. Enjoy dinosaur crafts and become a paleontologist as you discover fossils.

Planet Energy will be held on June 22nd from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. This camp is open to all youth who have completed 4th through 6th grade. Youth will work with members of a team to design, create, build, and test wind-powered devices. Youth will visit a local farm to explore wind as a potential energy source in their community and how wind turbines power a farming operation.

Farm Adventures will be held on June 29th from 9 AM to 3 PM. Youth will meet at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. This camp is open to all youth who have completed 3rd through 6th grade. Slip on your boots and join us for a fun, educational and hands-on day camp at the VanMeter Farm. Learn about farm safety, livestock and crop production right here in Montgomery County. Youth will explore a local farm operation and discover a variety of interesting facts about cattle, corn, soybeans and farm equipment.

Registration forms are available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/montgomery or at the Extension office. Registration is due by June 3rd to Montgomery County ISU Extension and Outreach, 400 Bridge Street, Suite 2, Red Oak, IA 51566. Upon registration, a completed health form is required for all non 4-H participants. Financial assistance is available.

For more information, contact Chelsea Cousins, County Youth Coordinator at Montgomery County ISU Extension and Outreach, at 712-623-2592 or ccousins@iastate.edu.

Summer Day Camps offered in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

What makes a reptile, a reptile? What lives in our lakes? How old is the earth? What is going on in outerspace? Cass County youth will get to answer these and many more questions, when they attend several daycamp experiences this summer. The camps are being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board and Cass County Extension.

The Rockin’ Reptiles camp will be held for youth completing kindergarten through 2nd grade. Youth have the opportunity to attend camp at three different locations on different days:
May 31 & June 1 — 9 AM-12 PM @ Lake Anita (Shelter #5), Anita – Registration Deadline May 20
June 6 & 7 — 9 AM-12 PM or 1 PM-4 PM @ Sunnyside Park (Camblin Shelter), Atlantic- Registration Deadline May 31
June 15 & 16 — 9 AM-12 PM @ Cold Springs Park, Lewis – Registration Deadline June 6

At the Rockin Reptiles camp, youth will learn and play as we explore reptiles. Make crafts, friends and play games! To Earth & Beyond, 3rd – 5th grade youth can explore many things outerspace, planets and especially our earth. Explore the solar system through crafts, games and fun! Please bring a sack lunch. This camp will be held at three different locations on three different days,
June 2 — 9 AM-4 PM @ Lake Anita (Shelter #5), Anita – Registration Deadline May 20
June 3 — 9 AM-4 PM @ Cold Springs Park, Lewis – Registration Deadline May 20
June 9 — 9 AM-4 PM @ Sunnyside Park (Camblin Shelter), Atlantic – Registration Deadline June 1

Adventure Camp is open to youth completing grades 6th-8th grade. Youth will learn outdoor skills related to fishing, hiking and Dutch Oven cooking (lunch) over a campfire! This camp is offered Thursday, June 23 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at
Cold Springs Park, Lewis. Registration Deadline June 17. Busing is available from Cass Co. Community Center. The bus will depart at 8 AM, and return by 5 PM.

Registration forms are available at the Cass County Extension Office or online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass. There is a $10 registration fee for all camps which includes all camp supplies, and a snack. A medical information form will be
required for all youth. If you have any questions, contact Beth Irlbeck, Cass County Extension, at 243-1132, or Lora Canning, Cass County Naturalist, at 712-769-
2372 with questions, or visit the Cass County Extension website at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Iowa ALS chapter plans to revive Ice Bucket Challenge this summer


May 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A relatively rare disease that only afflicts about 250 Iowans was the subject of an extremely popular global fundraising phenomenon in 2014 called the Ice Bucket Challenge. John Nuss, executive director of the Iowa chapter of the A-L-S Association, says the campaign raised awareness and it raised millions of much-needed dollars for research, which is still underway.

Nuss says, “It’s going to take years and years to find a cure for ALS but right now, we want to look at a treatment and how can we make this a manageable disease so that folks are living longer while we’re able to find that cure so that we’re eventually rid of this disease.” As part of the 2014 challenge, thousands of Iowans dumped buckets of ice water on their heads while challenging others to do the same thing in addition to making a donation.

Videos of the acts went viral and even Governor Branstad got drenched while making a pledge. Thanks to social media, the challenge raised $350,000 in Iowa that year and more than $115 million globally. While last year’s totals fell off, Nuss says the Ice Bucket Challenge will be renewed this August and every August until there’s a cure.

“We know it’s not going to be what it was in 2014 but we know we need to try,” Nuss says. “ALS is a very lonely disease so if for one month we can see folks dumping water on their heads for a good cause, it really does mean a lot to the people we serve, just to hear the conversation about ALS going on.”

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, A-L-S stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It’s a motor neuron disease which usually attacks both upper and lower motor neurons and causes degeneration throughout the brain and spinal cord. Once diagnosed, life expectancy is usually only two-to-five years. Learn more at www.alsaiowa.org.

(Radio Iowa)