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Red Oak man arrested on assault & drug charges Thu. morning

News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police, responding to reported incident of assault early this (Thursday) morning, ended-up taking a local man into custody on assault and drug charges. Officers were called to a residence in the 900 block of East Hammond Street, at around 3:30-a.m.

An investigation resulted in the arrest of 41-year old Eric Michael Huffstutlear, of Red Oak, on an aggravated assault charge, for allegedly threatening someone with a pocket knife. After he was taken into custody, Huffstutlear was allegedly found to be in possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $2,000 cash bond.

Bluffs Police investigate numerous thefts from vehicles

News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs investigated a series of car break-ins reported at Oakland Court Apartments early Wednesday. The Daily NonPareil says according to police, a Council Bluffs woman reported seeing a burglary to a vehicle in the 200 block of North Second Street shortly after 1 a.m. The woman told police she saw a man walking near a green 2001 Chevy Blazer after hearing the vehicle’s car alarm sound. The suspect saw the woman and ran to a gray, sporty-looking car and drove away at a high rate of speed.

Further investigation by police found the front passenger window of the Blazer had been a broken out, though it appeared no items had been stolen from the vehicle. Officers found about six vehicles with unlocked doors in the area, including two that suspects might have gone through: a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am and 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

The reporting officer locked the doors on the vehicles. Meanwhile, police received a report later in the morning about several vehicles broken into at an apartment complex in the 3500 block of 12th Avenue also during the night.

Ernst says USDA needs better plan for bird flu response

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says there are ongoing concerns with the U-S-D-A’s response to the bird flu outbreak in the state. Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, was asked about the issue during a conference call with reporters. “I can only answer in what I have heard from various producers, and those producers have reported to me that they do not believe that the U- S-D-A is as responsive as they should be, “Ernst says. Ernst says she is concerned federal officials have not developed a plan to deal with the issue.

“In the beginning it was very difficult to respond because there were so many cases of the bird flu that were appearing in all of these various states,” Ernst says. “However, many months have gone by now, and the U-S-DA has had time to implement a stronger strategy. I have not seen that yet, or heard that from those producers who have been affected.”

There have been 73 probable or confirmed cases of the bird flu in Iowa thus far, with some 30 million birds in 17 counties impacted. Ernst says one of the biggest concerns is the response time when producers believe their flock is infected. “In one case it took nine days for the U-S-D-A to respond from the time the initial call was made to the time when they actually showed up on the farm,” according to Ernst. “Nine days is too long when it only takes 48 hours for the infected bird to die. That is way too long.”

Ernst says Iowa producers have also raised concerns about differences in payments made to them for the dead animals. “There is nowhere on-line that they can find out exactly what type of payments are made, what the payments are for, there’s no breakdown,” Ernst explains. She says producers want to know why payments at one facility can be different from another. “So many of the farmers who have the same types of flocks — maybe the same age of birds — are being paid a different rate than another flock. So, there’s a lot of inconsistency there,” Ernst says. “What we are asking the U-S-D-A for is a transparency, a break out of what the farmers are being paid for and why it might differ from another farmer on a nearby production facility.”

Ernst says they need answers to those questions to ensure everything is being handled properly. “We need to get to the bottom of it. We need to be sure that we are protecting our Iowa producers,” Ernst says. Senator Ernst says she continues to remind her colleagues about the issues as she says very few people outside the impacted states are knowledgeable about the problem.

(Radio Iowa)

Legislature votes to keep MHIs open, at least temporarily

News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Legislators of both political parties have voted to reverse Governor Branstad’s order to close the state-run Mental Health Institute in Mount Pleasant. Under the plan that cleared the House and Senate last night (Wednesday), the M-H-I in Clarinda also would remain open until mid-December and legislators are asking state officials to find a private company to run the unit there for 15 elderly patients. Representative Dave Heaton, a Republican from Mount Pleasant, got emotional during House debate last night (Wednesday).

“We responded to the majority of Iowans who want to see these facilities remain open,” Heaton says. “…This is our last chance. I think we are carrying the message of Iowans to the governor, to ask him to reconsider his position on this issue.” Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, says closing the two Mental Health Institutes would be a step backward. “This compromise is a win-win for the governor, the legislature and, most importantly, Iowans who count on those services to assist family members and friends who suffer with severe mental illness,” Ragan said.

The proposal would reopen the inpatient program in Mount Pleasant’s M-H-I for people with the “dual diagnosis” of substance abnse and a mental illness, plus Heaton says the plan asks the governor to let the facility continue offering services for adults with acute mental illnesses. “To allow us at least one more year at Mount Pleasant in our MHI before he can figure whatever else he wants to do,” Heaton says. “And at the same time to allow Clarinda to remain open and provide services to those seniors who are seriously suffering from mental health issues, a difficult population.”

Some of Clarinda’s elderly patients are extremely frail and a few are convicted sex offenders who may be too aggressive to be placed in traditional nursing homes. The proposal to keep the two Mental Health Institutes open, at least temporarily, was included in a massive budget bill that outlines over one-point-eight BILLION dollars worth of spending for the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Iowa Veterans Home, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Public Health.

The bill easily passed the Senate on a bipartisan 33-17 vote, but narrowly cleared the House on a 51-42 vote.

(Radio Iowa)

Corn, soybean prices see no major price drops from bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Corn and soybean producers are keeping a close eye on the bird flu outbreak, concerned that the loss of nearly 45 million birds might reduce demand for poultry feed made with the grains and send prices lower. Todd Hultman, a grain market analyst for DTN, an Omaha, Nebraska-based agriculture market data provider, says there appears to be no significant impact to commodity prices in part because demand remains strong from other sources, such as hog and cattle producers.

The amount of grain fed to chickens and turkeys is relatively small compared to how much is harvested. About 1 billion bushels each of corn and soybeans went into turkey and chicken feed last year. That’s out of 14 billion bushels of corn and nearly 4 billion bushels of soybeans.

USDA: Bird flu vaccine not good enough for outbreak

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a bird flu vaccine doesn’t work well enough to approve it for emergency use against the current outbreak that’s shaken the Midwest poultry industry. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said in a statement Wednesday that the current vaccine is not well matched against the H5N2 virus and don’t provide enough protection.

It says the vaccine offers just 60 percent effectiveness in chickens, leaving four in 10 birds unprotected, while the vaccine’s effectiveness in turkeys is still being studied. The USDA says it will continue to support efforts to develop a more effective vaccine. The agency says bird flu outbreaks have cost chicken and turkey producers more than 45 million birds so far, mostly in Iowa and Minnesota.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., June 4th 2015

News

June 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A prosecutor says two Iowa police officers fired shots at a vehicle from close range after the driver sped in their direction following a pursuit. Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille says investigators believe the officers’ shots struck the vehicle carrying a 19-year-old driver and 16-year-old female passenger but didn’t hit either early Tuesday. The driver, 19-year-old Dakota Murray, was jailed on charges of eluding law enforcement. The passenger wasn’t charged.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A health and human services budget approved by the Iowa Legislature would keep open one of two mental health facilities slated for closure and would seek to find a private provider to run the other. The Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate voted in favor of the plan last night.

BOSTON (AP) — Federal authorities say an Iowa man has been arrested after threatening to shoot and kill Muslims on the Facebook page of a Boston Islamic group. Prosecutors say 57-year-old Gerald Wayne Ledford of Clinton posted two threats on the Facebook page for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in October. Ledford could face up to five years in prison.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials say two turkey farms have been added to the list of possible locations with bird flu. The new cases bring the number of Iowa farms infected to 73 and the number of birds to die to 29 million. More than 24 million are egg-laying chickens, and nearly 4 million are young chickens that were to be egg-layers. More than 1 million are turkeys.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Reports Arrest

News

June 3rd, 2015 by admin

Deputies in Montgomery County arrested a Red Oak woman Wednesday afternoon. Authorities say 35-year old Jolene Mardell Cain was taken into custody at around 2:30-p.m., on a warrant charging her with 5th degree Theft. Cain was booked into the Montgomery County Jail, and held on a $300 cash bond.

APNewsBreak: US investigating U. Iowa in field hockey case

News, Sports

June 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education is launching an investigation into the University of Iowa’s handling of gender discrimination claims against athletic director Gary Barta. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the department’s Office for Civil Rights notified the school of the investigation last week and requested numerous documents.

Four members of the women’s field hockey team filed a complaint in August alleging that Barta’s decision to fire coach Tracey Griesbaum was part of a pattern of discrimination against strong female coaches. Barta has denied the allegation. He says Griesbaum was fired after an investigation found concerns about how some players were treated.

The Office for Civil Rights says it will look into the school’s failure to investigate a sex discrimination complaint against Barta filed by students in October.

West Central® Announces Major Soy Processing Investment |

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

West Central® Cooperative today (Wednesday) announced its plan for a $27 million, multi-year project to increase soybean processing capacity by 50 percent and build additional grain storage at its Ralston, Iowa complex.West Central Expansion image At full capacity, the expansion would create demand for an additional six million bushels of soybeans each year and create more than 11 full-time jobs. Like the current plant, the expansion will produce SoyPlus®, an industry-leading high bypass protein dairy feed ingredient used across the world.

The company plans to increase the current plant’s capacity by up to 50 percent with actual production coming online in phases. When complete, the construction project would include an additional line of mechanical presses, soybean oil treatment, load-out access, and nearly three million bushels of additional soybean storage. New production volumes are slated to be available as early as fall 2016.

At full capacity, ten of the 11 new positions will be manufacturing roles. Company officials are looking to begin the hiring process for those jobs as early as this summer.
To introduce potential applicants to the company, West Central will host a job fair for SoyPlus manufacturing positions, as well as other company positions, at their main office in Ralston on Thurs. June 11, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

During the event, staff will offer plant tours, accept applications, and conduct instant interviews. Applications are also available online now
at http://west-central.com/about/careers/.