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1 killed, three injured in separate Cass County crashes, Saturday

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic woman was killed during one of two separate crashes in Cass County, Saturday. According to the Iowa State Patrol, 84-year old Norma Jean Sothman of Atlantic died,  and 48-year old Julie Nash, of Walnut, was injured during one of the crashes, which took place 10:30-a.m., Saturday at the intersection of 4th and Poplar, in Atlantic. Officials say Sothman’s 2005 Buick LeSabre was westbound on 4th Street, when she stopped at the intersection before proceeding across the street and into the path of Nash’ northbound 2007 Toyota Tundra. The pickup hit the car broadside in the intersection. Sothman was wearing her seat belt, but Nash was not. Both women were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, where Sothman died from her injuries.

The second accident happened at around 12:25-p.m. Saturday, about 10-miles south of Atlantic, near the intersection of Highway 71 and Pella Road. Officials say a 2011 Buick Enclave SUV was traveling east on Pella Road at the same time a 1994 Olds Cutless was traveling west. The vehicles collided head-on at the crest of a hill, located about one-half mile east of Highway 71. The vehicles were driven by 51-year old Lori Johnson and 17-year old Bryce Wernimont, both of Atlantic. Neither driver suffered life-threatening injuries. Wernimont was transported by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, while Johnson was taken by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Both accidents remain under investigation.

8-a.m. Local/State News, April 21st, 2012

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More local and State news from KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson….

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Carson-Macedonia Alumni Banquet set for May 25th

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Graduates of the Carson, Macedonia and Riverside School System are invited to attend the 2012 Carson-Macedonia Alumni Banquet scheduled to take place May 25th, at the Carson Community Center. The event starts at 6-p.m. with a social hour, with the dinner served by Hodges Smoke House Catering from Minden, beginning at 7-p.m.

Honored guests will include the 50-year class of 1962, and all graduates of the C-M-R School systems from past years. All guests will be honored throughout the evening, by recognizing their years of graduation.

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the quartet “Reconciled,” from the Wilson Performing Arts Center in Red Oak. The group includes Mike Harvey, Jim Dunbar, Tim Marsden, and Terra Marsden, along with Pat Dunbar, on the piano.

Tickets are $15 per person. To reserve your place at the banquet, call Pat Parry at 712-484-3450, or Jackie Fox at 712-484-3873, by no later than May 15th.

7:05-a.m. Local Newscast (Podcast), April 21st, 2012

News, Podcasts

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here’s a check of the latest area news, from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

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While IA Senate quarrels over “climate change,” Sen. Ernst admits to driving a Prius

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

On the eve of “Earth Day” this Sunday a handful of state senators got into a partisan squabble over “climate change.” It was Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, who got things started by reading a statement from a group of Iowa religious leaders, including his own Catholic bishop. The statement read “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today and as religious leaders representing diverse faith traditions we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources and to act in love to our neighbors both locally and globally,’” Hogg said. “‘Scientists, including those representing 28 Iowa colleges and universities who recently released a statement, have warned us that changes in global climate patterns are brining more extreme weather events to Iowa, the United States and our world.’” 

That prompted Republican Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan to ridicule the idea that humans are the main cause of climate change. “With all due respect to our religious leaders…how much are you willing to spend to reverse what you call global warming?” Johnson asked. “…The country of Spain made a huge transition to their economy for green energy. What was the result of that? Bankruptcy?” Hogg suggested ignoring climate change would wreck the U.S. economy.
“How much better off would this country be if there hadn’t been a $6 billion drought last year in Texas? How much better off would our state be if we hadn’t suffered $20 billion in flood damage over the last 20 years,” Hogg said, his voice rising to a yell. “You want to ruin our economy, Senator Johnson, you stick your head in the sand and ignore this issue.” Johnson responded with a little yelling of his own.

I’m on the side of the scientists I served with in Antartica and Greenland and I’m the only member of this body that has done that,” Johnson said. “And there is no agreement in the scientific community, no consensus that things have really changed because change happens.” Senator Joni Ernst of Red Oak openly admitted to being a Republican who drives a fuel-efficient Prius. “I did it just because I’m fiscally conservative and driving a Buick Enclave all around my rather large (senate) district was just not affordable,” Ernst said. That prompted Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, to admit he drives a gas-guzzling Corvette convertible. “That’s my choice and I think it makes a 64-year-old man look pretty good, so that’s why I drive that,” Courtney said, to laughter.

Key leaders expect the 2012 legislative session to wrap up sometime next week, but big decisions remain on budget issues and an agreement on property tax reform.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Branstad to speak at Republican Party Convention in Stuart today

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad will be the featured speaker this (Saturday) afternoon at the Republican Party of Iowa’s 3rd District Convention, in Stuart. The district convention takes place at the Stuart High School, beginning at 9:30-a.m.  Branstad is scheduled to address the convention at 2-p.m.

Other Iowa GOP District Conventions will be held today in Grinnell, Mt. Pleasant, and Fort Dodge.

Culver: Iowa Power Fund was ‘right thing to do’ – cites Shen. Algae plant as example

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver says his program to support renewable energy research and development has been “wildly successful” even if only a fraction of the money has been spent. Culver pointed to a plant in Shenandoah that is growing algae as an example of a success story from the Iowa Power Fund. He says construction on a cellulosic ethanol plant is under way in Emmetsburg, and a second plant is moving forward. Culver says those three projects alone, if they come to fruition, would justify the state’s $71 million investment in the fund.  Culver reacted Friday to an investigation by The Associated Press that found a third of the fund’s money has been spent, five years after its creation. He says the fund has been careful with tax dollars.

Audubon County Deputy becomes Guthrie County’s newest Deputy next week

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Board of Supervisors have unanimously approved a request by Sheriff Marty Arganbright, to hire a deputy to replace one of his men, who went to work for the Guthrie Center Police Department. The man Arganbright hired to replace Neil Lemke, was Audubon County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Gries, who is scheduled to begin his duties with Guthrie County, on April 25th.

The 26-year old Gries is a K-9 officer, who served with the Carroll County Juvenile Detention Center and Coon Rapids Police Department, before becoming a deputy in Audubon County. According to the Guthrie Center Times, Sheriff Arganbright told the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday, that Gries is interested in training a dual purpose replacement dog for K-9 Raven, who retired from the force last year.

Gries, he said, would like the force to train a combination tracker/drug dog. In comparison, Raven was trained only as a drug dog. If a dog is purchased to replace Raven, Arganbright said it will be accomplished through private donations, and not taxpayer funds. He also noted that there was still nearly $2,500 in Raven’s account which could be applied to a new dog.

Vilsack says Army Corps river management must be “more flexible”

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is suggesting the Army Corps of Engineers should be more nimble in responding to weather events that impact the agency’s management of the Missouri River. “It would be well for the Army Corps to be more attentive to the needs and to listen more closely to the concerns along the river systems. I think there’s a tendency for the Army Corps to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got the answer,’” Vilsack says. “You know, you really have to have better dialogue and better communication with folks.”

Farmers and others along the Missouri River have complained about the way the Corps managed the release of water from upstream dams last year — leading to massive, long-term flooding along the river corridor. Vilsack says the Corps needs to build “more flexibility” into its management plan for the Missouri. “When they saw record snowfalls and snowpack, there should have been, ‘Hey, how does this fit into our overall strategy and does it still fit and does it still work?’” Vilsack says. “We’re seeing more extreme weather conditions and I think that put the emphasis and a requirement on all of us to constantly rethink whether or not our assumptions were correct in whatever plan we’ve developed.”

Vilsack says the Corps should “be more engaged” in an on-going review of its management plan for the Missouri or any other river. “Not just well, ‘Well, we’ve done this plan and we’ve put a lot of effort into it and we can park that plan and we can just work that plan because it’s the right plan,’” Vilsack says. “Well, maybe it was the right plan at the time. Who knows? But you now have changing weather conditions and you should be saying, ‘Does this plan still fit?’” Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, made his comments Friday, during and after taping of an appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program, which airs Sunday.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Randolph post office headed for closure

News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The post office in the Fremont County town of Randolph may be headed for closure after the Postal Regulatory Commission voted 2 to 2 on an appeal by the city’s mayor to keep it open. A tie vote means the appeal loses and the closing moves forward. The Postal Service, on track to lose $14 billion by year’s end, wants to close thousands of post offices. Many are small rural operations like Randolph, a town of 170 people in southwest Iowa. Closures are likely to begin in late May or early June unless Congress passes a bill to shore up postal finances. The Senate begins debate on a bill Tuesday. Despite Mayor Vance Trively’s appeal, a commission order posted Thursday affirmed the closing. The estimated annual savings by closing Randolph’s post office is about $45,000.