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7AM Newscast 01-13-2012

News, Podcasts

January 13th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Latham to present key legislative initiatives before Congress next week


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Republican Congressman Tom Latham will be back in Washington, D.C next week when the 112th Congress reconvenes.

Rep. Tom Latham (R) - IA

Latham told KJAN News Thursday, that after spending most of last year gathering input from Iowans and what’s important to them, he’ll present some key initiatives designed to bring “common sense” back to the nation’s capital. The number one issue he plans to address is the regulatory burdens coming out of Washington, or what he calls a “wet blanket” that smothers the creation of jobs and getting the economy moving.

Latham says he has legislation in-place that will review existing regulations, to determine which ones are working and those which provide a cost benefit to society, and get rid of the ones that don’t. Latham says he wants the private sector to have time to evaluate the rules that are created by agencies within the government before the rules go into effect. He says also, when it becomes apparent a regulation will cost the economy over $100-million, Congress itself should vote on it, and if approved, the measure should be signed by the president. Another initiative he plans to introduce next week, will say to Congress, that if they do not pass a budget, that they won’t get paid.

He says it’s been three-years since the Senate has done any basic work on the budget, and we’re spending $3.8-trillion annually, with no budget. He calls that “outrageous,” and the reason the government is $15-trillion in debt, is because there is “No framework for a budget, no way to cut spending,” and there are no constraints on spending without a budget. He says his proposal will make Congress more accountable to the people.

Latham, who grew up on his family’s farm, said he’s frustrated by the Labor Department’s attempts at writing regulation that prohibits kids from working on family farms jointly owned by their parents or other family members. He says he’s introduced a bi-partisan resolution of disapproval asking the Dept. of Labor not to move forward with the regulation, because it goes against all traditions in agriculture.

Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) - IA

Latham announced last April that he will run in this November’s election for Iowa’s new 3rd district, against incumbent Democratic Representative Leonard Boswell. Latham moved from the 4th District into the 3rd District after the 2010 census numbers resulted in the elimination of the 5th Congressional District in Iowa. The move spared him from facing Representative Steve King, in a GOP primary.

New Congressional Districts beginning 2013

Climatologist says Missouri River basin looks opposite of last year


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A climatologist who’s keeping an eye out for another potential flood in the Missouri River basin says conditions now are nearly the opposite of what they were a year ago. South Dakota state climatologist Dennis Todey says the pattern of warmer, drier weather we’ve enjoyed for weeks appears to be changing.  “We are going to be seeing a shift as January goes on to more La Nina-like conditions where temperatures will turn colder,” Todey says. “By later in January, most of the upper part of the basin will go to below-average temperatures, which will be in contrast to what we’ve seen recently.” So far, he says, none of the conditions that spawned widespread flooding in the region last year are appearing this year.

“For much of the basin, where we have very dry soil conditions in certain areas or moderately dry soil conditions, which allows the soil moisture capacity to take up any additional moisture at this point,” Todey says. “That’s quite a contrast from what we had last year where we had fairly widespread wet soil.” A year ago, heavy snow accumulation combined with an extremely wet spring to create record flooding on the Missouri. Todey, who is working with the federal government on long-range forecasts, says it simply hasn’t snowed much this winter.

“There have been a few snows that have come along,” Todey says. “Most of them have not been long-lived. They’ve melted off, so there is very little snow in the basin.” He says the weather could still break either way, above- or below-average snow and rain for the remainder of the winter.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

IA FSA Schedules Public Meetings on proposed office consolidation plans

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa)  January 12, 2012: USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for Iowa FSA and members of his management team have scheduled public meetings in the following counties at the dates and locations specified below:

Appanoose County on January 31st at 1:00 pm at the Faith United Methodist Church of Centerville in Centerville, Iowa.

Decatur County on February 1st at 1:00 pm in the Pioneer Hall Building on the Decatur County Fairgrounds in Leon, Iowa.

Union County on February 2nd, at 1:00 pm in Instructional Center Room #220 on the Southwest Community College Campus in Creston, Iowa.

FSA’s public meeting will be the only one held to take public comment on USDA’s proposed office consolidation plan in which the Appanoose, Decatur, and Union County FSA office are being considered for consolidation. Producers can also provide written comment by emailing dennis.olson@ia.usda.gov or sending written comment to John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director, Iowa State FSA Office, 10500 Buena Vista Court, Des Moines, Iowa 50322 no later than Thursday, February 9, 2012.

All public comments will be taken into full consideration prior to development or implementation of a final consolidation plan. For more information, contact Iowa Farm Service Agency at 515-254-1540.

Sioux City wrestlers charged in hazing incident

News, Sports

January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials say four members of the wrestling team at North High School in Sioux City face misdemeanor charges of simple assault in an alleged hazing incident involving another team member. According to the Sioux City Journal, police say the students assaulted another boy on Dec. 19 at the school. It was reported to police on Jan. 3rd. School district spokeswoman Alison Benson says the students were disciplined in accordance with school policy. She says coach John Torno, who was on administrative leave during the investigation, would return to the classroom. This is the third reported investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct involving members of an Iowa high school wrestling team in recent weeks. The other alleged incidents occurred in Greenfield and Lisbon.

Oakland, IA man stabs himself following chase in NE


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say an Iowa man stabbed himself in the parking lot of a hospital in Fremont following a chase. The Nebraska State Patrol says 55-year-old Kevin Morrissey, of Oakland, Iowa, was treated at the Fremont hospital before he was flown to an Omaha hospital. The patrol says a trooper stopped Morrissey’s car for speeding in Blair Thursday afternoon. A driver’s license check showed he was wanted on a warrant for possession of obscene material in Washington state.

Authorities say as the trooper returned to the car, Morrissey drove off. A chase ended 30 minutes later in Fremont when Morrissey clipped a semitrailer and turned into the parking of the Fremont Medical Center. The patrol says Morrissey began cutting his neck and stabbed himself in the leg before he was subdued.

Neola Preschool wins top rating from IA DHS


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Tri-Center Preschool in Neola has earn a top rating from the Iowa Department of Human Services. It’s the first such educational facility in Pottawattamie County to receive a 5-star rating. Three Tri-Center Preschool teachers made the decision to participate in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS), to make sure they were doing what was possible to become one of the best preschools in the area.

The Iowa QRS is a voluntary program in which providers are rated on a scale of 1-to 5, as they work to meet strict guidelines covering various criteria. Dawn Powers, QRS Specialist and child care consultan, told the Omaha World-Herald, that Tri-Center “worked very hard to receive the level 5 rating,” which demonstrates a “desire to improve the quality of care and education the children in Pottawattamie County receive.”

The QRS program was implemented in 2006, when parents went to the Iowa Legislature for help in determining preschool quality. A provider who earns 1 star has met Iowa’s registration or licensing standards. A 2-star provider has received additional training and made the first steps toward improving quality. A 3-to 4-star rating is based on professional development, health and safety, training and improvement, community partnerships and leadership, and staff evaluations.

Powers said parents should feel good about leaving their children at a 5-star childcare center, because they will be safe, sanitary and provide a quality environment for learning.

Bluffs man arrested for Fremont County burglary


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports a Council Bluffs man was arrested Wednesday night on a burglary charge. 48-year old William Marty Shepard was taken into custody in Council Bluffs, in connection with an investigation into the January 1st burglary of a residence located in the Waubonsie Ridge housing development. Shepard was being held in the Fremont County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond.

At least 3 victims in alleged hazing incident at Nodaway Valley H.S.


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Greenfield Police Chief Austin O’Brien says there were at least three victims of alleged hazing by students on the wrestling team at the Nodaway Valley High School, in Greenfield. Two members of the high school wrestling team were arrested Tuesday on sexual abuse charges. The arrests follow an investigation that began January 4th after a parent of a Nodaway Valley wrestler reported her son was the possible victim on an assault in the high school’s wrestling room in mid December.

Police then learned of two other potential victims, but their investigation was complicated by witnesses who initially refused to come forward and make a statement to investigators. O’Brien says the assaults were “sexual in nature” and were “directly related to some type of punishment toward the victims.”  

Eighteen-year-old Mikel Feick and an unnamed 17-year-old juvenile were charged with second-degree sexual abuse. Both have been removed from the wrestling team, but there’s no word if they’re still students at Nodaway Valley High School. Feick was booked into the Adair County Jail in Greenfield, and later released on $25,000 bond. The 17-year old male was being held in the juvenile detention facility in Eldora, on $25,000 bond.

This is the second known investigation in recent weeks involving inappropriate conduct by members of an Iowa high school wrestling team. Police have submitted simple assault charges against three members of the Lisbon High School wrestling squad in connection with an incident that took place in a locker room. The Linn County Attorney’s office is reviewing that case.

Adair County Board of Supervisors to hold special session Friday


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold a special session Friday morning in Greenfield, to hear several departmental budget requests. During the meeting, which begins at 9-a.m. the Board will hear Fiscal Year 2013 budget requests from: County Attorney Mike Maynes; Custodian Rich Wallace; Conservationist Kevin Blazek; Fair Board representative Teresa Davison; VA Coordinator Donna Bittner; Library representative Lillian Nichols; Steve Bolie, representating the Area 14 Agency on Aging andSouthern Iowa Trolley; and, Environmental Health Specialist/County Sanitarian, Steve Patterson.

The Adair County Supervisors will then recess and reconvene at the Adair County Public Safety Center/Jail Conference Room, for a special presentation on a Geographic Information System (GIS), from Jan Bowles, with the Schneider Corporation.