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Iowa morning News Headlines – Fri.. Nov. 1st 2012

News

November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SMITHLAND, Iowa (AP) — Investigators have ruled out an explosion as the cause of a fatal fire that destroyed an old gas station in Smithland in western Iowa. The owner, 76-year-old Robert Jones, was found dead outside the building on Wednesday. The results of an autopsy are pending. The state fire marshal’s office says officials are still investigating the fire, but they don’t believe it was caused by an explosion. John Ticer says explosions people heard were likely aerosol cans popping from the heat. Ticer says there are no signs of foul play. Smithland is about 40 miles southeast of Sioux City.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fertilizer maker CF Industries Incorporated says it plans to invest $1.7 billion in Iowa to expand its facility on the south edge of Sioux City. Governor Terry Branstad says the project announced today will be the largest capital investment ever for the state of Iowa. The project will add new ammonia and granular urea production plants, creating 100 new jobs with an average wage of about $20 an hour.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Boss will help President Barack Obama make his closing case to voters in Iowa. First lady Michelle Obama will meet up with the president, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen and rapper Jay-Z later Monday in Des Moines. It’s set to be Obama’s last scheduled event of the campaign. Obama plans to return home Monday night to Chicago, where he and the first lady will watch Election Day results.

FORT DODGE, IOWA (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is making a pitch for bipartisanship, telling voters in Iowa that it’s reassuring to see Democrats and Republicans working together in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Campaigning yesterday in Fort Dodge, Biden said Americans always work better when they work together.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An ex-Des Moines police officer has been given three years of probation on a weapons charge in violation of his probation in a drug case. Brandon Singleton was fired after he was caught with drugs in his patrol car after he hit a parked car last April. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of drug possession and was given a deferred judgment and placed on probation for a year. Yesterday a Polk County judge sentenced Singleton to probation, at the request of both the prosecutor and defense attorney.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State senior guard Chris Babb has been suspended for three games for violating team rules. Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg says Babb won’t play in Sunday’s exhibition against Minnesota State or in regular season games against Southern and Alabama A&M. Hoiberg declined yesterday any further comment on why Babb is suspended.

Cargill production facility in Panora to close early next year

News

November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Cargill have announced the closing early next year, of the company’s shell egg production facility in Panora. The move means the elimination of some 55 jobs from the area. Two shift lines operate at the Panora plant, producing premium breakfast products for a variety of companies. One is expected to shut down in January, the other in March. A third shift is tasked with sanitizing the facility.

In a press release, Cargill says “After careful consideration, Cargill Kitchen Solutions has decided to close its hard-cooked egg facility in Panora and shift production to Big Lake, Minnesota. This was a hard decision to reach, especially due to the impact on our people. This decision allows Cargill Kitchen Solution to consolidate all products that require shell eggs as their raw material into one facility that can handle current and future demand. It also enables greater efficiency by focusing our production, supply chain, and quality assurance efforts in one location. We expect that we will shift production over the next six months and will add additional staff at the Big Lake location to accommodate the increased production there.”

The company says Cargill Kitchen Solutions’ business continues to perform well.

Gov. Branstad extends Disaster Emergency Proclamation

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Terry E. Branstad Thursday, signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversized and overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation takes effect on November 3rd, 2012 and expires after 15 days. The proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in the Iowa Code, by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

The action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, and stover to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of the proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.

Potential for Sandy scams prompts warnings

News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No sooner than the floodwaters had receded and high winds from Superstorm Sandy faded, another threat is arising with the inevitable appearance of the scammer and the conman. Authorities warn of the likelihood of Sandy-related fraud reaching far beyond the storm zone — from bogus charities seeking donations, to home repair scams and sales of flood-damaged vehicles. State attorneys general, business and consumer groups and the Justice Department are among those cautioning consumers to be wary as requests for donations start arriving via email, text message, telephone and Twitter.

The bottom line: Maintain a healthy skepticism when pitched by solicitors, contractors and groups you don’t know, and give your money to charities and businesses you have reason to trust.

CF Industries spends $1.7B in Sioux City expansion

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fertilizer maker CF Industries Inc. says it plans to invest $1.7 billion in Iowa to expand its facility on the south edge of Sioux City. Gov. Terry Branstad says the project announced Thursday will be the largest capital investment ever for the state of Iowa. The project will add new ammonia and granular urea production plants, creating 100 new jobs with an average wage of about $20 an hour. State economic development officials awarded the project $1.5 million in direct assistance and tax credits totaling $22 million but that could climb to $57 million over the next four years.

IRS warns of new scam for look-alike website

News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Getting an email from the I-R-S might make some of us snap to attention, but Iowans are being advised if they get such an item in their in-boxes, they can likely just delete it. I-R-S spokesman Christopher Miller says a new tax scam is making the rounds. “The IRS is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for fake emails that seem like they’re from the IRS inviting them to sign up or register for something called e-services or electronic services,” Miller says. “If you get an email like that, don’t fall for it, it’s a scam.”

The agency -does- offer an e-services program but it’s for professional tax preparers only, not the general public. He says the phony website looks almost identical to the real one. If the tax collection agency wants to reach you, Miller says, it won’t be using that means. “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to ask for personal or financial information,” Miller says. “That includes any type of electronic communication, like text messages or social media. If you get something that seems like the IRS is trying to contact you by email, it’s going to be a scam.”

If you do wind up on what appears to be an IRS website, there’s one sure way to verify it’s authentic. “The only official website of the IRS is www.irs.gov,” Miller says. “Don’t be fooled by sites claiming to be the IRS but that have addresses ending in dot-com or dot-net or dot-org. The only real IRS site is IRS.gov.” Criminals use these look-alike websites to lure people into providing personal and financial information that may be used to steal the victim’s money or identity. If you find a suspicious website that claims to be the IRS, send the web address by email to phishing@irs.gov using the subject line, “Suspicious Website.”

(Radio Iowa)

County Convention Celebrates Youth Success

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Extension Service reports County 4-H’ers will receive awards at County 4-H Convention on Sunday, November 11. The annual awards program will begin at 3:30-PM at the Cass County Community Center, and is being organized by the 2011-2012 4-H Youth Council. At County Convention, members and leaders of all fifteen 4-H clubs in Cass County will be presented on stage to receive recognition. Record book project awards will be announced and $100 savings bonds from the Cass County Fair Association will be presented to the winners based on their participation in the Cass County Fair and completion of 4-H record books.

Thirteen local club leaders will be recognized for their service to the 4-H program. Receiving five year recognition are Dent and Cindy Petty, Cass County RAMS; Aaron Saeugling, Cass County RAMS; Jeff Roads, Cass County RAMS; Becky Dreager, Grove HOT; and Katrina Sonntag; Brighton. Rodney Sothman; Union Leaders and Kathy Ankenbauer; C & M Champions are receiving ten year recognition. Marlene Miller is receiving 15 year recognition for her service with just the Cowpokes among other leader roles. Julie Williamson; Benton Franklin is also receiving 15 year recognition.

Kevin Paulsen; Grant Guys & Gals is receiving his 20 year pin. The McCrory family will be recognized for a combined 60 years of volunteer leadership. Both members of the couple serve the Union Leaders 4-H club. Jerry McCrory is receiving his 25 year pin and Kathee McCrory is receiving her 35 year pin. The 4-H Alumni Award, Honorary Member Award, and Distinguished Service Awards will also be presented during County Convention. Special recognition will be given to 4-H clubs for outstanding community service projects, Herdsmanship at fair, volleyball tournament winners, Share the Fun Contest winners, 4-H Endowment Fund contributors, and window displays during National 4-H Week.

Club officers will also be recognized for their outstanding work. 4-H’ers who are members of the 2011-2012 Cass County Youth Council are Katelyn Blake, Aaron Buboltz, Linnea Casey, Heather Reyna, Diana Perkins and Haley Schmidt. Final activities of the day will be the announcement and installation of the 2012-2013 4-H Youth Council and Intermediate Youth Council. Parents, relatives and friends are invited to attend and recognize Cass County 4-H members and leaders for their accomplishments during the past year.

Clarinda hay bale fire caused by spontaneous combustion

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A hay bale fire this (Thursday) morning southwest of Clarinda was the result of spontaneous combustion. According to Clarinda Assistant Fire Chief Joe Moore, at around 8:30-a.m., the Clarinda Fire Department was called to 2311 Maple Street, approximately 5 miles southwest of Clarinda, when large round hay bales caught fire. Approximately 15 bales, valued at $1,500 altogether, were destroyed.  They had been baled approximately 30-45 days earlier, and were stacked together.  Several other bales were moved from the fire area that were not damaged. The bales were owned by Wellhausen Farms.

Attorneys say Iowa detectives framed Nebraska men

News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Two black men who served 25 years in prison in the 1977 killing of a retired, white Iowa police captain say they were framed by detectives and are asking a jury to award them more than $100 million.  Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee were convicted in the slaying of John Schweer in Council Bluffs. They were freed in 2003 after the Iowa Supreme Court found prosecutors had committed misconduct.

The men’s attorneys said during opening statements Thursday in Des Moines that they will show two former Council Bluff detectives coerced car theft suspects into implicating Harrington and McGhee in Schweer’s death. The Nebraska men are suing the detectives and the city.

Their attorneys say they’re seeking justice from a system that deprived them of freedom for much of their lives.

McDermott Trial set for Jan. 8th – additional charges in Webster County

News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The trial date in the case of an Atlantic man facing a felony charge of Willful Injury Causing Bodily Injury, and a Serious Misdemeanor charge of Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury, has been set. According to online court records, arraignment for 45-year old Rex Dean McDermott is slated for November 19th, with a pre-trial conference scheduled to occur on December 10th. His trial will take place on January 8th, in Cass County District Court.

McDermott was arrested following an incident which allegedly occurred at R&B Feeds in Atlantic on October 13th. McDermott has entered a plea of Not Guilty to the charges. He is currently free on $6,000 bond.  On October 24th, McDermott was arrested by the Iowa State Patrol in Webster County on a charge of OWI/1st offense, and cited for Failure to obey a stop or yield sign. He plead Not Guilty to the OWI charge and was released on $1,000 bond the same day.  A hearing for his initial appearance on the Failure to Stop citation was continued 180 days, pending the outcome of the OWI case.