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Cass County Non-profits receive awards

News

April 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Chair of the Cass County Endowment Foundation has announced the latest rounds of grants to non-profit agencies within the County. Nicholas Hunt said the grant recipients had submitted applications to the CCEF by the Feb. 1st deadline, and were awarded grants by the Cass County Board of Directors.

Only those organizations providing services in Cass County were eligible for the funds, the checks for which were received by representatives of those agencies, on April 18th. The following nonprofit agencies or organizations with charitable missions is the areas of civic, cultural, health, education and social services received grants:

3 hour man hunt leads to arrest of Mo. Valley man

News

April 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Missouri Valley say a local man was arrested earlier this week following a pursuit and three-hour long search while he tried to elude law enforcement in Harrison County. Officials who spoke with The DailyNonPareil said 37-year old Rick A. Erwin, of Missouri Valley, was taken into custody at around 9 p.m. Tuesday near Old Lincoln Highway. Authorities say Erwin was arrested for suspicion of eluding, interference with official acts, reckless driving, driving without a driver’s license, careless driving and a number of other traffic violations. He remains at the Harrison County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

The incident which led to his arrest began at around 5:30-p.m., Tuesday, when a police officer attempted to pull Erwin over as he was driving a 1995 GMC Jimmy with no plate, in Missouri Valley. Erwin failed to stop and continued west onto East Erie Street, eventually leaving the city on U.S. Highway 30. He then reportedly stopped at a gas station. When the police officer exited his cruiser Erwin sped away, traveling east on Highway 30 before entering southbound Interstate 29. While on I-29 Erwin accelerated to speeds in excess of 100 mph, the police department said, before exiting at Loveland, where he traveled east on 145th Street before stopping. Erwin exited and ran across I-29 and down the east shoulder.

The chase and search for Erwin involved officers with the Missouri Valley Police Dept., Harrison and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Departments, the Iowa State Patrol, and an Omaha Police Department helicopter. The search ended just before 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, when officers lost contact with the man and his vehicle. But about one-half hour later, authorities in Harrison County received a call about a subject walking along the railroad tracks north of the DeSoto Avenue and Old Lincoln Highway. They used a thermal imaging device to locate Erwin and take him into custody.

Deadly explosion in Texas may prompt review of fertilizer plant regulations

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas is prompting questions about regulatory oversight there. In Iowa, officials say fertilizer is only produced at a handful of sites across the state, but many others store fertilizer. Workplace safety in Iowa is overseen by Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement. Administrator Steve Slater says annual inspections aren’t required at most sites that handle fertilizer. “If we have a complaint or a serious injury, they’d certainly fall under our inspection list. But they’re not on a general scheduled inspection list as being a high-hazard industry unless there’s an issue like I just mentioned,” Slater says.

Depending on the circumstances, Slater says the rules may be tighter for plants that process fertilizer. Slater says Iowa has a mostly good track record with fertilizer plants, but the incident in Texas is likely to prompt reviews of regulations nationwide. “This is like the occurrence that just happened in Boston – you can’t predict this stuff – when it does happen, it makes big news and big headlines and provides good opportunities (to discuss) whether we’re doing enough and how we can do things better,” Slater says. Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials say there are at least two existing fertilizer plants in Iowa, located in Fort Dodge and Sergeant Bluff. A third facility has just begun construction in southeast Iowa’s Lee County.

The state Department of Agriculture’s website lists more than 3,000 companies licensed to store, sell or distribute fertilizer in Iowa. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates 700 retail facilities in Iowa that store more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. Four people died and 15 more were injured when ammonium nitrate exploded at a plant near Sioux City in 1994.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., April 19th 2013

News

April 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa says a mudslide behind a residence hall has damaged several vehicles in its parking lot. The university said yesterday that heavy rains caused the mudslide behind Mayflower Residence Hall late Wednesday night. No one was injured, but the parking lot behind Mayflower became inundated with several feet of mud and debris.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s state treasury has received an annual payment from tobacco companies totaling more than $65 million. The payment is the result of a 1998 settlement agreement between tobacco companies and states over tobacco-related health care costs.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa program geared at helping people avoid foreclosure has received a federal grant for more than $600,000. The Iowa Mortgage Help foreclosure prevention initiative received the grant from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. State officials announced the award yesterday.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of Midwest bankers says that strong farm income continues to boost the economy in Iowa, Nebraska and other Plains states. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey from Omaha, Nebraska. He says agricultural businesses and energy-producing firms continue to thrive in the region.

Lawsuit seeks to invalidate Iowa’s flag abuse laws

News

April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking an order stopping the enforcement of Iowa laws that make it a crime to abuse the American flag. ACLU filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose members are known for protesting outside soldiers’ funerals with anti-gay messages. The lawsuit says police in Red Oak and Council Bluffs threatened to enforce Iowa’s flag abuse statutes against during protests between 2010 and 2012.

The lawsuit argues the laws are unconstitutional, and were invalidated by a federal judge’s ruling in 2007. Lawmakers amended one of the laws after that ruling, but ACLU attorney Randall Wilson says they remain an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. Church members drag, stand and spit on flags during protests.

Rural Midwest bankers expect more economic growth

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of bankers says that strong farm income continues to boost the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states. The overall economic index for the region grew to 58.3 in April from March’s 56.9. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey. He says agricultural businesses and energy-producing firms continue to thrive in the region.

But the continued growth in farmland price index that hit 66.9 in April remains a concern for smaller farmers. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. Any score above 50 suggests economic growth in the months ahead. The index is based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Red Oak Woman Arrested on Warrant

News

April 18th, 2013 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Thursday) afternoon of  a Red Oak woman. Twenty-four year old Amanda Kate Carlson of Red Oak was arrested on a Page County Warrant for Burglary/3rd degree and unauthorized use of a credit card. She was turned over to the Page County Sheriff’s Office and her bond has been set at $4,000.

Atlantic Career Day to take place Wednesday, April 24th

News

April 18th, 2013 by admin

On Wednesday, April 24th the Atlantic Community School District will be conducting its bi-annual Career Day at Atlantic High School. Students from Atlantic High School and 8th grade middle school students will have an opportunity to listen to speakers throughout the day that will discuss topics related to careers in the area. Students participating in this event will gain a better understanding of expectations, needed level of education, training, and day to day operations in their field of interest. There will be 110 different careers areas that the students can choose from. Speakers from Omaha, Des Moines, Ames and SW Iowa will present to the students. The day will be kicked-off by keynote speaker, Mr. Roger Underwood, a 1976 graduate of Atlantic High School. The day will begin at 8:15 a.m. with the keynote speaker and will include four different “breakout” sessions for the students.

2 injured when garbage truck rolls over in Page County

News

April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports two people were injured when a garbage truck drove off the side of the road and rolled onto its top. The accident happened at around 8:25-a.m. Wednesday on S Avenue near Clarinda. Palmer says the 2001 Freightliner garbage truck driven by 58-year old James Michael Muller, of Villisca, was traveling northeast on S Avenue, when the vehicle went too close to the right shoulder of the road, which was soft due to the recent rain.

When the truck drove off the right side of the road, its rear end swung around, causing the vehicle to roll over before coming to rest on its top. Muller, and his passenger, 65-year old Lawrence Melvin Currin, of Villisca, suffered non-incapacitating injuries, and were transported by private vehicle to the Clarinda Regional Health Center.  Damage to the truck was estimated at $2,000. No citations were issued.

Atlantic set to host “Operation Releaf” event

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR and Alliant Energy report a popular program offering landscape quality trees at a deep discount to Alliant Energy customers, will be held at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Atlantic, on May 4th, from 8-a.m. to 10-a.m. “Operation ReLeaf,” a residential tree planting program that promotes long-term energy and natural resource conservation, is funded by Alliant Energy and administered by the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau with assistance from local partners, like Cass County Extension and Outreach.

Through the program, Alliant Energy residential customers may purchase high quality landscaping trees for $25 each.  These trees typically retail for between $65 and $125.  Officials say advanced orders are highly recommended and advance purchase is limited to two trees per household.  In the event there are extra trees available on distribution day, those trees will be released for purchase at that time.  Order forms are available online at www.alliantenergy.com/releaf.

The DNR is encouraging homeowners to prepare for emerald ash borer and other tree pests by planting a diverse mix of tree species. Foresters have been working with local partners to create community tree inventories that will guide future tree planting efforts to keep a healthy mix of tree species. The most recent tree survey for Atlantic finds 40 percent of the trees are maples, followed by ash at 16 percent. The DNR has a target for communities that no more than 10 percent of the trees are from any one species, and no more than 20 percent is from one genus.

Trees available at each distribution event are determined by the local tree species inventory. For Atlantic, species available include American hornbeam, American linden American sentry, bur oak, eastern redbud, hackberry, Kentucky coffeetree, serviceberry autumn brilliance and thorn-less honeylocust skyline. Shade trees are 6 to 8 feet tall in 5 to 7 gallon containers and conifers are 2 to 3 feet tall. Paul Tauke, state forester and chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau, says “All trees are purchased through a bidding process to promote local nurseries.”

A workshop lead by district forester Lindsey Barney, will discuss ways to avoid common mistakes that often result in dead trees at 9 a.m. during this tree distribution. The 45 minute workshop will cover root flare and proper planting depth, correcting encircling roots, proper mulching and watering and more.

Operation ReLeaf participants must be Alliant Energy residential customers.