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Study details millions of tons of Iowa farmland lost to soil erosion

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new study shows significant soil erosion in Iowa this year. Craig Cox, with the Environmental Working Group, says soil erosion is a major problem for water quality, and it also hurts farm production while damaging the environment. “From this spring through June, about 15-million tons of Iowa soil was eroded from farm fields,” Cox says. “That estimate doesn’t include the amount of soil from these ephemeral gullies which is what our study looked at.” The study found almost one-third of that lost soil came from just four counties: Adair, Cass, Clayton and Pottawattamie.

The report surveyed 63-million acres of cropland and found about 35-million acres had a moderate-to-high need for more conservation measures. Cox, the E-W-G’s senior vice president of ag and natural resources, says the study found evidence of farming conservation practices that have helped recently, but he says more needs to be done to reduce soil erosion.

“There were additional conservation measures taken and in four of the five cases there were new grassed waterways or there were grassed waterways that were fixed,” Cox says. “In one case, there was a cover crop and it worked, those practices worked incredibly well and they really solved these problems.” Cox says it’s unfortunate that federal policymakers have cut back on funding for conservation and the Conservation Reserve Program has faded to only 25-million acres nationwide, including about one-and-a-half million acres in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Omaha man gets 10 years for Iowa bank robbery


August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Nebraska man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for his role in robbing an Iowa bank last year. Michael Clayton, of Omaha, must also serve three years of supervised release after his prison sentence and must pay $12,500 in restitution to the Citizen’s State Bank in Fort Dodge. A jury convicted Clayton on a bank robbery charge in February.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau says in a statement trial evidence indicated the 44-year-old Clayton called Fort Dodge police on Feb. 7, 2013, and threatened to shoot up an elementary school. The call, intended to divert police attention away from the bank, was two months after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.

While police responded to the school, prosecutors say Clayton robbed the bank.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Aug. 8th 2014


August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New federal data shows that consumer spending in Iowa has grown slightly faster than the national average since 2009. The report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released yesterday shows that per capita spending in Iowa jumped 12 percent between 2009 and 2012.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some television stations say they will not run a College Savings Iowa ad featuring Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald because it could be considered political. Fitzgerald’s deputy treasurer Karen Austin says the ad will be revised for stations that raise concerns. She says the ad is not political and is part of a long-running campaign to encourage participation in the popular college savings program.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A man who quit his nursing job at a Council Bluffs hospital after he says he was prohibited from telling two patients they were worked on with unsterilized instruments is suing the hospital for back pay and damages. Robert Burgin tells the Omaha World Herald he resigned from Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs in April 2013 after his bosses refused to tell two patients that surgical instruments used on them in 2012 hadn’t been properly sterilized.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Those who think Mark Mangino can fix Iowa State’s offense point to the program’s wide receivers as a major reason for their optimism. Led by junior Quenton Bundrage, the Cyclones should have multiple options for whoever wins the starting quarterback competition between Grant Rohach and Sam Richardson.

Reading of Civil War Letters


August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Hitchcock House say the final summer program at the historical site in Cass County, will be a reading of the Civil War Letters of Francis R. Howard. Floyd Pearce, Chairman, Hitchcock House Board, says Private Howard enlisted in the Iowa 23rd Infantry Regiment from Lewis. The letters provide an intimate look into Civil War army life.

Private Howard died of wounds inflicted in the battle of Port Gibson. Matthew Smith will read the Letters. The program is free, at 2 pm, Sunday, August 17th, in the Red Barn. Bring comfortable chairs if you have them. Hitchcock House, one mile west of Lewis, was a station on the Underground Railroad and is a National Historic Landmark.

3 arrests in Cass County


August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested recently, in Cass County. The Sheriff’s Office says 52-year old Katherine Ann Lange, of Anita, was arrested Thursday (8/7), on a charge of Aggravated Domestic Abuse. Lange was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released later that day on her own recognizance.

On Wednesday, deputies arrested 54-year old Mark David Carroll, of Griswold, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Simple. Carroll was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

And on Tuesday, 34-year old Travis Lynn Sickels, of Red Oak, was transferred to the Cass County Jail on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear on a Child Support Hearing. Sickels was booked and remains held on $2,000 cash bond.

Former nurse sues in alleged dirty instrument case


August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A man who quit his nursing job at a Council Bluffs hospital after he says he was prohibited from telling two patients they were worked on with unsterilized instruments is suing the hospital for back pay and damages. Robert Owen Burgin says he resigned from Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs in April 2013 after his bosses refused to tell two patients that surgical instruments used on them in 2012 hadn’t been properly sterilized.

The Omaha World Herald Reports Burgin filed the lawsuit against Mercy’s parent Alegent Creighton Health on Monday in Pottawattamie County. Alegent Creighton says it will formally respond to the allegations through the court process and denies their accuracy.

Burgin, who is 56, now works as a temporary nurse in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tour the northern Loess Hills prairies on Aug. 16th

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources invites you to take a day to visit prairies in the northern Loess Hills Aug. 16.th The tours are hosted by Iowa Prairie Network, with DNR, Woodbury County Conservation and Iowa Native Plant Society co-sponsoring the first field trip.

The first field trip, “Insects and Wildflowers of the Prairie,” will start north of Sioux City. Open to the public, the tour kicks off at 10 a.m. from Spirit Knoll, three miles north of Stone State Park’s west entrance on state Highway 12. Join insect enthusiast M. J. Hatfield who will be sweeping for insects, doing some show and tell, and educating about insects. Bill and Dianne Blankenship, and Kevin Pape, DNR park ranger, plus many others will help with prairie plant identifications.

Spirit Knoll will be dedicated as a state preserve Oct. 11 with programs and field trips that day, also.

Iowa Prairie Network is providing additional field trips in the afternoon. Bring a brown bag lunch to eat at Calumet Shelter at Stone State Park. A visit to Mount Talbot State Preserve in the park will follow a brief annual meeting. Then those who are interested can make a short trip north to Broken Kettle Grasslands to visit The Nature Conservancy’s Stevenson Preserve.

There will be a dinner at Bill and Dotty Zales’ home in the rural Loess Hills of Plymouth County, a few miles from Broken Kettle, followed by a campfire and camping (if desired).

Please RSVP by Aug. 13 for dinner (and indicate if you prefer vegetarian lasagna) to Dotty Zales at 712-540-0952 or zales66@hotmail.com, or to Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com. Also, indicate if you plan to camp.


Audubon County teen charged following a rollover accident


August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Audubon County charged a teenager with Failure to Maintain Control, following an accident that occurred Tuesday morning. 17-year old Jaynie Elaine Rasmussen, of Elk Horn, was traveling west on Littlefield Drive at around 7:45-a.m., Tuesday, when she lost control of the car she was driving about a mile east of Exira.

The 2000 VW slide sideways into a ditch and rolled several times before coming to rest on its side. Damage from the crash amounted to $6,000. Rasmussen initially refused medical treatment at the scene, but was later transported to the hospital by private vehicle.

Audubon man arrested on drug charges


August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest on Wednesday on a man wanted on a drug and alcohol-related warrant. 28-year old Spencer Gordon Heuton, of Audubon, was taken into custody at around 4-p.m. on an outstanding Audubon County warrant for Possession of Marijuana/2nd offense, Public Intoxication/3rd offense, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The charges stem from an incident on August 5th in the 200 block of Pacific Avenue. Heuton was brought to the Audubon County Jail and later released after appearing before a magistrate. He’s scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on August 25th.

A Carroll County woman wanted on an Audubon County warrant for Driving While Suspended, has turned herself-in. 44-year old Nina Marie Deist, of Carroll, was taken into custody at around 8-a.m. today (Thursday). The charge against her stems from a traffic stop June 25th on Highway 71, in Audubon. When Deist had failed to appear in court, a warrant was issued for her arrest. She has since appeared before the magistrate, pled guilty, and was fined.

And, a woman from Arizona turned herself-in to the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday night. 37-year old Mandie Kay Monk, of Phoenix, was charged with Revocation of Probation, on an original charge of Theft in the 3rd degree. She appeared before the magistrate and was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $5,000 bond. Monk is scheduled to appear in district court next Monday.

Iowa State University president ends Veishea


August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State University’s president is ending the annual Veishea festival saying it has become a week-long alcohol fueled party that places students at risk. President Steven Leath says the violence-marred festival over the years it has resulted in dozens of violent incidents, riots, property damage and two deaths. A late-night crowd disturbance in early April injured a student and the remainder of the festival was cancelled for this year.

He says it has hurt Iowa State’s reputation as he announced Wednesday Veishea will end for good and the name will be retired. Leath says as university president his top priority is student safety and although he acknowledged ending a 90-year tradition will be criticized he’s convinced it’s the right thing to do for the university.