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Racing and Gaming approves 1 of 2 greyhound hardship requests

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved one of two requests for hardship payments Thursday for those impacted by the downsizing of the greyhound racing industry in the state. The commission approved 30-thousand dollars for Richard Barrett, who says he couldn’t find a job making what he lost working video equipment at the Council Bluffs greyhound track. They voted against any payment to Davyana Haverty, who said she lost her job at her parent’s kennel and the money she had counted on to pay for college. Commissioner Jeff Lamberti says they examine each case individually.

“We have to look at what was in the legislation — which wasn’t a lot with respect to hardship quite frankly — then we came up with rules,” Lamberti says. “And what we were really looking at was like the first case where somebody lost their job, had no other opportunities, skills that weren’t easily transferable to another industry. And I think that’s why we approved that hardship claim, it was directly related to it.” Lamberti says there appeared to be less of hardship in Haverty’s case.

“When I personally looked at the other situation I think there was opportunity to go out and find another job from the time it closed. She’s young, she can go get a job just like any other kid would,” according to Lamberti. “And while it is admirable to want to go to college debt free — I am not sure that’s the job of the commission or the intent of that hardship fund.” The casinos that operated the greyhound tracks in Council Bluffs and Dubuque are paying into a fund to handle the hardship cases, with the maximum payment of 100-thousand dollars.

“I think as we’ve gone through these…we tried to send the message that we are going to set a pretty high threshold in terms of that hardship. WE’ve had people who initially filed and then withdrew as they had a job opportunity and chose not to take it. Well, that’s not a hardship,” Lamberti says. He says Barrett’s case was a good example of how someone was directly impacted by the closing of the track.

“He got a job, but it was substantially lower than what he had done and it wasn’t in his field. And so he had a real hardship. We set the bar high because we probably couldn’t logistically handle 500 claims,” Lamberti says. He says each person making a claim has to fill out the proper supporting paperwork.

Lamberti says the field staff goes out and investigates each of the claims and writes up a full report for the commissioners to review. Claims had to be filed by June 30th to qualify for any payment. There were 20 claims submitted with the commissioners approving four — including Barrett’s claim — five claims have been denied, two were withdrawn and the rest are pending.

The commission has approved a 100-thousand dollar payment, a 50-thousand dollar payment, and two 30-thousand dollar payments. The agreement reached by legislators and approved by the governor closed the Council Bluffs Greyhound track and shifted the management of the Dubuque dog track away from the casino there to the Greyhound Racing Association.

(Radio Iowa)

Polk County task force expected to seek minimum-wage boost

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A task force formed by county supervisors is expected to recommend raising the minimum wage to $8.75 in Polk County on Jan. 1st. The task force informally backed the proposal at a Thursday afternoon meeting and is expected to formally vote on the recommendation to send it the county board next month.

In September Johnson County became the first Iowa community to increase the minimum wage above the national rate of $7.25 an hour. The county’s rate is rising in 95-cent increments and will reach $10.10 next year. Cities inside the county have the option of passing an ordinance exempting them from the county rule.

Community input sought for Local Foods Projects

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County ISU Extension Office says efforts are currently underway to strengthen and build on the long and strong historical presence local food and agriculture has had in Cass County. In late 2015, Cass County Extension and the Cass County Local Food Policy Council began a collaboration through a grant project in partnership with the ISU Community Design Lab, ISU Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The group has been building a comprehensive history of local food and agriculture activities and working to identify interested partners. ISU Extension

In the spring of 2016, the group began formally working together as the Cass County Food System Action Coalition. The goal of this newly-formed coalition is to identify current ag-related resources and needs to make fresh, local food products more widely available to residents. The process involves community networking, analysis of local data, public input session, project prioritization and design implementation and documentation.

Depending on the community, the process might result in more community or school gardens, establishment of a CSA or food box program, the addition of edible plants to existing parks or public spaces, or new facilities where farmers and entrepreneurs can process food.

The local coalition of partners is now looking for input from local residents about their food systems. Several dates have been set at local events where residents are invited to come and share their food stories, discuss the changes they’d like to see, and explore new ways to increase food access in Cass County. Members will be available this Saturday, July 16th, from 9 AM to Noon at the Atlantic Farmers Market in the Orscheln’s parking lot, and on Monday, July 18th from 4 to 6:30 PM at the Anita Farmers Market at the bandshell park. Organizers expect additional dates to be added in communities around the county in August.

The coalition is also still looking for steering committee members, as well as folks who are interested in participating in special projects as they develop. For more information or to get involved in the project, visit the Cass County Extension website at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or email Program Coordinator Kate Olson at keolson@iastate.edu.

Frederickson Foundation foots the bill for transportation to the State Softball Tourney

News, Sports

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Trevor Frederickson Foundation is footing the bill for transportation to the State Softball Tournament next week, in Fort Dodge. Atlantic faces Davenport Assumption Tuesday, July 19th, beginning at 1-p.m. Foundation officials said Thursday, anyone wanting to ride the Atlantic High School Pep Bus in support of the Trojan Softball Team, should contact the High School by no later than the end of the day today (Friday), at 243-5358, and reserve your spot on the bus. In addition, the Foundation will pay the students’ admission ticket price to the game for any student wishing to ride the Pep Bus.

There is no limit to the number of people who can ride, and they’ll use as many buses as needed. The Foundation will pay the cost of the buses. In addition, there will be a drawing on each bus, for a $50 gift card from Olsen’s B-P.

The Trevor Frederickson Foundation is working with the Atlantic School District Administration to coordinate the project.

 

Emerson man arrested on Theft warrant

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies, Thursday afternoon, arrested a man wanted on a Montgomery County warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. 46-year old Bradley Gene Adolphson, of Emerson, was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Lightning strikes twice: Des Moines man wins second big lottery prize this year

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A central Iowa business owner has claimed a big lottery prize for the second time this year. Tom Clark went to Iowa Lottery headquarters Thursday to claim the top prize available in the “$250,000 Riches” scratch game. In February, the 63-year-old Clark claimed a $77,777 prize from another scratch ticket game. “I’m extra lucky. This is unbelievable,” Clark said. The most recent winning ticket was purchased Thursday morning at a Des Moines convenience store.

Clark, who co-owns Clark Glass, Inc. with his brothers, said he was in a hurry so he just scratched off the bar code of the $20 ticket so that he could check it right away using a self-scanner inside the store. “I just slid it in there to see it, if it was a winner or not, and it came up $250,000,” Clark said. “I thought, ‘what? no way!'” He then scratched off the entire ticket and verified that he had indeed won $250,000.

Clark plans to use his lottery winnings to pay off his mortgage and save for retirement. “I’m just going to enjoy life from now on,” Clark said.

(Radio Iowa)

HHS secretary, in Iowa, talking with governors about opioid crisis

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A top Obama Administration official will meet with many of the nation’s governors in Des Moines today (Friday) to discuss the opioid epidemic. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says as many as 78 Americans overdose on heroin or prescription painkillers every day. “I’m from the state of West Virginia where it is a particularly acute issue,” Burwell says. “But it is a problem all over the nation and the governors have been very active partners.”

The National Governors Association summer meeting is underway today (Friday) in Des Moines. Forty-five of the nation’s governors signed a “compact” this week, pledging to encourage treatment and recovery for addicts. They agreed to issue warnings about the danger of over-prescribing painkillers, too. Burwell says there appears to be a growing recognition this is a public health issue.

“The real dynamic, changing thing we need right now is an ability to get the states the resources they need to actually treat people,” Burwell says, “so our law enforcement officials are not the point of treatment in terms of overdose time and time again.” Burwell’s also the head of the federal agency in charge of implementing the Affordable Care Act.

She visited a Fort Dodge hospital Thursday afternoon to discuss health care access. Burwell says about 14 percent of rural Americans do not have insurance, compared to a 22 percent uninsured rate in rural America before the law took effect. “Here at Fort Dodge what we see is the example of how we can make even more progress,” Burwell says, “especially in the areas of affordability and increasing quality.”

Burwell praised UnityPoint Health in Fort Dodge for joining an “accountable care organization” that has emphasized regular check-ups and health screenings. Those steps have reduced the most expensive kind of treatment: emergency room visits.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, July 15th 2016

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governors from across the U.S. are expected to discuss international trade and the opioid crisis when they meet in Iowa on Friday. About half of the nation’s governors are in Des Moines for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association. They are expected to talk about the benefits of foreign trade and their plans to prevent overdose deaths involving pain relievers and heroin.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Police are scouring a small eastern Iowa lake looking for additional human remains, weeks after a decomposed human foot was found near a spillway. The Hawk Eye reports that Burlington police searched Lake West by kayak this week looking for additional body parts. Police Major Dennis Kramer says investigators have been using various techniques to search the lake in northwest Burlington, including pumping water from the five-acre lake.

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in northwest Iowa say they are investigating the discovery of a human skull near the Raccoon River in southern Sac County. The skull was found Monday afternoon.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods says it’s willing to pay $400,000 to end its lease on a northwest Iowa plant it closed in 2014. Tyson says ending its interests in the building should help the owner and economic development officials market the site to other users.

Hamburg man arrested on assault & other charges Thu. evening

News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s deputies in Fremont County responded to a reported “large fight in progress,” Thursday evening, in Hamburg. The fight was said to have involved several individuals, possibly armed with weapons. The incident took place in the 600 block of Main Street, in Hamburg.

Clayton Parsons

Clayton Parsons

Following an investigation, deputies arrested 28-year old Clayton Parsons, of Hamburg, on charges that include Domestic Abuse Assault, 2nd Offense, Simple Assault, and Disorderly Conduct.

Deputies determined that no weapons were actually involved or displayed during the incident. Parsons was being held without bond at the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.

2 injured in Ringgold County motorcycle accident Thursday morning

News

July 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An accident in west central Ringgold County involving two motorcycles early Thursday morning, resulted in two people being transported to area hospitals. The Iowa State Patrol says late model Harley Davidson motorcycles driven by 62-year old Galen R. White, of Kent, and 56-year old Michael A. Fry, of Creston, were traveling north on Ringgold County Road P-33 at around 12:50-a.m., when one of the drivers went to pass the other. The cycles collided, causing both to lose control. One of the motorcyclists was ejected from their cycle.

White was transported by Mercy 1 helicopter to Mercy Hospital. Fry was taken by ambulance to the Ringgold County Hospital in Mt. Ayr. A report on their conditions was not released.