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King: “we’ll have to fight it out” over Farm Bill

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King says a Farm Bill deal won’t necessarily be easy to strike in early 2014. King is one of the Farm Bill conference committee members who’ve been trying to strike a deal for the past few months. “There are a number of unresolved issues that we’re not able to get an agreement between the conferees and the principle negotiators,” King says. “That means we’re likely to have to sit down — the 41 of us — and let’s just say we’ll have to fight it out.” The House passed another extension of current farm law in December, but the Senate did not, hoping that would put more pressure on negotiators to come up with a compromise in early January.

“That’s going to be the item that’s going to be on the front of our plate from the moment we touch down there,” King says. “It is right now, as a matter of fact. We’re working this thing behind the scenes pretty hard.” Negotiators have yet to resolve the thorniest issue: how deeply to cut food stamp benefits. House Republicans have voted for a reduction that’s 10 times deeper than Senate Democrats endorsed when the Farm Bill cleared the senate this summer.

(Radio Iowa)

4 arrested in connection with Crawford Co. home invasion

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Crawford County report four people were arrested in connection with a home invasion robbery in Vail early Monday morning. Sheriff’s officials say the call about the incident at 101 Atlantic Street came in around 3:18-am. Officials say two suspects allegedly entered the home armed with a weapon appearing to be a handgun and stole cash and other personal items. The suspects fled the scene following the robbery.

A joint investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol and Denison Police Department was conducted and information led authorities to 909 Broadway Street in Denison. A search warrant was executed around 1pm where numerous items of evidence including property belonging to the victims of the robbery in Vail as well as a black b-b gun.

Arrested in connection with the incident was 18 year old Richard Allen Martinez, 19 year old Brandon Joel Mauricio, 19 year old Christian Pena and 24 year old Karen Yamilet Melara, all of Denison. Martinez and Mauricio were charged with robbery, 2nd degree, burglary, 3rd degree, theft, 2nd degree and assault while participating in a felony. Pena was charged with 3rd degree burglary. Melara was charged with accessory after the fact.

Upon further investigation, authorities also obtained evidence that led to believe Martinez was the participant in the two armed robberies that took place at the Denison Kum and Go store on Tuesday, December 3rd and Wednesday December 11th. Martinez was charged with two counts of 2nd degree robbery, 4th degree theft and one count of 5th degree theft.

Also arrested in connection to the Kum and Go robberies was 18 year old Alan Gualberto Ruvalcaba of Denison. He was charged with robbery, 2nd degree and theft, 4th degree. All suspects were transported to the Crawford County Jail and are waiting to appear before the magistrate. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the Denison Police Department were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol and the Harlan Police Department’s K-9 unit.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Former Monona County auditor gets 2 days in jail

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A former Monona County auditor arrested on drug charges in July has been sentenced to two days in jail.  Brooke Kuhlmann, of Onawa, pleaded guilty Monday in Monona County District Court to a serious misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed.

The Sioux City Journal reports Kuhlmann’s sentence includes $450 in fines and fees, plus a revocation of her driver’s license for six months. She will report to the county jail on Jan. 10th.  Investigators say the 28-year-old Kuhlmann bought methamphetamine from an undercover Iowa State Patrol officer in late July. She was later arrested during a traffic stop.

Kuhlmann, a Democrat elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, resigned in December.

Education officials propose extended learning

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Education officials in Iowa are hoping the state will support a pilot program aimed at helping students learn before and after school.  The state Department of Education says the extended learning pilot project could boost Iowa’s graduation rate. The department submitted a proposal for the $1 million program in November, but Gov. Terry Branstad hasn’t said whether he will support it.

The Des Moines Register says a report commissioned by the state and prepared by a consulting firm recommends that the proposed program focus on high-need students. Proponents of such programs say the measure is further evidence that support for out-of-school learning is growing in Iowa.

Fill the Feeder for the Swans and Soiree with the Swans

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Department has teamed up with Atlantic’s Orscheln’s store to help feed the Trumpeter Swans, now through January 31st. Officials say you can buy a bag of Whole Cleaned Corn at the registers and Orscheln’s staff will put it aside for the Trumpeter Swans. Four bags will fill the feeder, and the Conservation Dept. appreciates your help in keeping it full.Cass Co Conservation Board

Here’s a reminder also, to join Cass County Conservation Staff at Atlantic’s Schildberg Recreation Area this Saturday, January 4th, for ten-minute presentations on the Trumpeter Swans. Conservation staffers will give the presentations every half-hour beginning at 11-a.m., with the last one being presented at 2:00 p.m. 

The Schildberg Quarry is located on the northwest edge of Atlantic, on the north side of Highway 83. In the event of bad weather, or if the swans are not present at the quarry, the program will be held at the Atlantic Public Library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. with a light lunch available.

The event is sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.

Hatch, a candidate for governor, calls for $10.10 minimum wage

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch is calling for an increase in the state’s minimum wage. Hatch says the minimum wage should be 10-dollars-and-10-cents an hour. He argues it’s one way of raising private sector hourly wages in general. Hatch says Iowa’s status as a “low wage state” hasn’t budged under 30-years-worth of Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s economic development strategies.

Hatch accuses Branstad of having a “perfect track record of failure” in economic development. Hatch says Branstad has failed to fulfill the promises he’s made about job creation and personal income growth for Iowans. In addition to raising the state’s minimum wage, Hatch promises as governor he would pay the prevailing wage to those who work on state-funded construction projects.

Iowa’s minimum wage has been raised above the national minimum wage twice in recent decades. Republican Terry Branstad approved raising Iowa’s minimum wage above the national rate just before his 1990 reelection race. In 2007, raising the state’s minimum wage was the first bill Democratic Governor Chet Culver signed into law.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors act on several matters Tuesday

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning acted on several matters before them during their meeting at the courthouse. The Board approved an Information Technology Services agreement with Solutions, Incorporated. The agreement extends by six-months, an extension the Board approved in May, and will be in effect from January 1st through June 30th, 2014.

On a related note, Auditor Dale Sunderman informed the Board the current courthouse computer server is overburdened and needs to be upgraded, soon. Sunderman said they plan to enter into an agreement with Solutions for the purchase of a new network server in the future, which ties in more than 50 computers in the courthouse.

The Board also approved the purchase of vote tabulation equipment from Unisyn Voting Solutions. Sunderman said the current Automark tabulation equipment is about eight-years old and becoming obsolete, not ADA compliant and is very heavy and hard to move. He said 29 counties have purchased from Unisyn, and have reported no problems with the system, including many in southwest and western Iowa. Sunderman said the system is ADA compliant and weighs less than 30 pounds.

The new system will cost $116,163 and will be paid in three annual installments, beginning in July, 2014. By trading-in the old equipment and return of recently purchased memory cards for those machines, the County will be refunded about $4,000. Another benefit is that there is no maintenance of the new machines necessary. The machine will be paid for through the General Supplemental Fund.

In other business, the Board authorized a $20,000 down payment for the newly purchased property at 707 Poplar Street. The funds will be derived from the Local Option Sales Tax Fund (LOST). And, the Supervisors set February 12th at 9-a.m. as the date and time for a public hearing with regard to the vacating/closure of a portion of 644th Street in Section 14 of Grove Township.

Law enforcement to step-up patrols tonight

News

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

As you plan to celebrate the New Year, authorities are hoping safety is your number one concern. No matter what kind of partying you maybe doing, the Iowa State Patrol and local law enforcement hope that safety is a priority. Iowa State Patrol Trooper John Farley says the last few years the patrol has seen an improvement.

“The New Year’s Eve celebration is one that is traditionally recognized and I think through the years that they have understood that law enforcement will be out this evening looking for those drunk drivers.” He says the STEP program has been beneficial in keeping Iowa roads safe.  “The availability of extra officers being visible and then the public PSAs or media notices that law enforcement is going to be out there has been a great deterrent in itself.”

If you are planning to celebrate the New Year, make sure you are taking a long a cell phone in case of an emergency along with a car kit and before heading out choose a designated driver for the evening. Most local Police Departments, including the Harlan PD, will offer rides to those unable to make it home for free with no strings attached. Contact your local law enforcement agency in your area to confirm a ride will be offered.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 12-31-2013

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 12-31-2013

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play