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Popular Loess Hills Prairie Seminar is May 31-June 2

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Onawa, Iowa – The public is invited to the 37th Annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar May 31-June 2, at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area, northeast of Onawa. There is no fee to attend. There are more than 40 field sessions and programs covering many topics for participants of all ages. The seminar began in 1977 as part of the Western Hills, now Northwest, Area Education Agency’s role in providing education and training for K-12 educators in the areas of conservation, environmental and science education.

The seminar is regularly attended by 250 to 300 adults and students each year. Participants may attend all of or any part of the seminar’s indoor programs or field sessions.  Registration is necessary only if requesting meals or requesting the Missouri River ecology boat tour. Evening programs are held at West Monona High School in Onawa.

Attendees can kick off the seminar by volunteering with prairie management at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area by removing shrubs and shade from 9 a.m. to noon on May 31. The project will begin at the campground parking lot. Volunteers should bring sunscreen, bug spray, water, and loppers and hand saw if possible.

                For more information on the volunteer project, contact Doug Chafa, wildlife biologist, at 712-420-2437. The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar is sponsored annually by Northwest Area Education Agency, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Monona County Conservation Board, with additional support from many organizations and individuals. For more information, call Gloria Kistner at 800-352-9040, Ext. 6080.

7AM Newscast 04-24-2013

News, Podcasts

April 24th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Corning man arrested on assault charge Tuesday evening


April 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County report the arrest Tuesday of a Corning man on an assault charge. 46-year old Edward Avila was taken into custody at around 6:35-p.m. following an investigation into a physical altercation that took place Monday night. Avila was being held in the Adams County Jail on a charge of Domestic Assault causing bodily injury. His bond was set at $1,000.

Pott. County man represents himself at his kidnapping trial


April 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from Pottawattamie County facing first- and second-degree kidnapping charges associated with an assault and kidnapping last May, is representing himself at his trial. According the the Daily NonPareil, 39-year old Bryan Bey, of Crescent, told jurors being selected Tuesday, that he did not trust authorities, and that the case against him was made up. Bey, and 33-year old Travis Labno, of Omaha, were arrested in connection with the May 31st, 2012 beating of Council Bluffs resident Tabitha Proplesh, who was 29-years old at the time.The charges against Labno were later dropped. He’s expected to testify during the trial.

An Iowa Department of Transportation officers investigating a suspicious truck on the side of the Old Mormon Bridge Road, found Proplesch handcuffed and beaten inside the cab of the vehicle. Bey,told jurors he was rescuing Proplesch when the truck he was driving ran out of gas. Pott. Count Attorney Matt Wilber said Bey punched Proplesch in the face in the early morning hours of May 31 outside an Omaha apartment rented by Labno, and repeatedly beat her over a 12-hour period because he believed she was a police informant.

Bey said he sees himself as some type of a hero. His trial resumes today (Wednesday).

Bus carrying students & adults from Council Bluffs school involved in CO crash


April 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Nearly three-dozen student from Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School and nine adults escaped injury when their charter bus collided almost head on with a van Sunday in Colorado. According to the Daily NonPareil, Abraham Lincoln’s Jazz I and Jazz II, along with chaperones and a few other students, were returning from a trip that included performances at contests in Des Moines and Greeley, Colo., and a side trip to Estes Park, Colo., when the accident occurred.

Band Director Mark Mendell told the paper, the coach they were in was traveling east on U.S. Highway 34 between the Colorado cities of Loveland and Greeley when a van crossed the median of the divided highway and crashed into the front corner of the bus next to the driver. Mendell said the bus driver did a good job of anticipating the impending crash, tried to avoid the collision, and was able to maintain control of the vehicle while bringing it to a stop along the shoulder. The driver of the van faces charges, but officials did not indicate at the time what those charges were.

A replacement bus arrived on the scene after about 2 1/12 hours, due to traffic congestion. The bus then took the Abe Lincoln ensemble back to Iowa. Mendell said a nearby convenience store provided the students with free soft drinks while there was a temporary layover due to the crash.

Iowa News Headlines: Wed., April 24th 2013


April 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a spending plan of nearly $535 million for the state justice system. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House approved the plan yesterday. The House version offers less money than the bill passed in the Democratic-majority Senate. The bill will likely end up in a joint committee to try for a compromise.

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman who was babysitting a 4-year-old girl who was attacked by a dog faces charges in her death. The Prairie City Police Department arrested 24-year-old Jena Marie Wright yesterday. Wright is charged with child endangerment resulting in death and neglect or abandonment of a dependent person in the Monday attack on Jordyn Arndt.

BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) — Record show two lawsuits have been settled over a stampede during a Fourth of July parade in the eastern Iowa city of Bellevue, but details weren’t made public. The lawsuits were filed by the parents of two children injured in the 2010 accident. Two dozen people were injured in all when a team of horses bolted during the parade.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says she won’t run for U.S. Senate in 2014. The Republican says she plans to focus on the economic and education agenda of Governor Terry Branstad, who is expected to seek re-election next year.

Iowa woman’s trial for toddler’s death to begin


April 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A murder trial is set to begin for a western Iowa woman accused of drowning her 15-month-old son.  Ashley Cameron, of Onawa, is scheduled to have her trial start today (Tuesday) in Monona County District Court. She is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment in the 2012 death of Markis Dahms.

The Sioux City Journal reports the 25-year-old Cameron waived her right to have a jury hear her case. The trial is expected to be completed this week.  Police say Cameron held Markis under a running faucet in a bathtub until he drowned. The results of an autopsy led to Cameron’s arrest. She pleaded not guilty last year.

(12-p.m News)

Facebook receives an official Iowa “Welcome”


April 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today joined Altoona’s Mayor Skip Conkling in officially welcoming Facebook to Iowa.  The social networking company, which helps more than 1 billion people around the world connect and share with each other, announced that it will build a new, state-of-the-art data center in Altoona. Facebook will invest a minimum of $299.5 million in the project, which is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of full-time operations jobs. The company evaluated several other sites before choosing the Iowa location.

The first phase of the project will result in a 476,000-square foot data center that will be among the most advanced and energy efficient of its kind. The data center will feature an innovative outdoor-air cooling system and the latest in Open Compute Project server designs, and it will be built to LEED Gold standards.

Earlier today the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board approved $18 million in tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program to Facebook to create at least 31 new jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.12 per hour. The project will have a minimum capital investment of $299.5 million. Local incentives from the city of Altoona were also approved today.

The 194-acre site selected in Altoona could accommodate up to two additional data center buildings that may be constructed in future phases of the project.

Three projects win grants to explore energy efficiency in farming

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Three farm demonstration projects have won grants to work on ways to make farm activities more energy efficient. Carol Yates of the University of Northern Iowa is working with the farmers through what’s called the Iowa Farm Energy Working Group. “The Farm Energy Working Group is a statewide organization of people interested in helping farmers on small to mid-sized operations find new ways to reduce their energy use and try to change from fossil fuel use to other ways of making energy on the farm,” Yates says. “And if those ways can come from resources on the farm, that’s even better.”

Yates works at the U-N-I Center for Energy and Environmental Education and says the alternative energy can come from all types of sources, including solar panels and windmills. One of the projects involves a farmer near Coralville adapting an electric sickle mower to be used with his electric tractor. “Some other farmers who are in western Iowa are going to install some L-E-D lights in their new energy-efficient dairy processing building. And those are the new very efficient lights that use about 75 to 80-percent less energy,” Yates explains. Tom and Janna Feldman will install those lights at “Doe’s and Diva’s Dairy” in Honey Creek. The third demonstration project also involves dairy farming.

“A dairy foundation near Calmar is going to install two robotic milking systems for some of the cows that it has there,” Yates says. “And this will be used as a demonstration to educate farmers on the best practices in dairy operations. And they are going to collect data usage to show — we hope — that these robotic milkers reduce the use of energy and water.” The end goal is to come up with ways to reduce energy use on the farm that can be shared. “These are farm-scale kinds of ideas, and we are very interested in sharing the results with other farmers,” Yates says. She says they share the information in a variety of ways from reports on the data, to presentations by the farmers, to field trips, with the idea that the demonstrations will show ways other farmers can incorporate what they’ve learned in their operations.

The projects are funded through the Leopold Center at Iowa State University. The Iowa Farm Energy Working Group includes farmers and representatives from agriculture, policy, higher education, utilities and farm organizations. For more information on the group, visit: www.uni.edu/ceee/farm-energy-working-group.

(Radio Iowa)

Facebook plans $300M data center, Google expands


April 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa economic development officials are approving tax credits for Facebook to build a $300 million data center in Altoona and increasing incentives for Google that allows it to expand in Council Bluffs.  Both projects are before an Iowa Economic Development Authority board meeting Tuesday.

The board’s due diligence committee has approved $18 million in tax credits for the Facebook project to be built near Interstate 80 in Altoona, a Des Moines suburb. The full board is considering the project, which will create 31 jobs.   Kearney, Neb., also sought the project.

Google has a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs and is building another. It’s increased the cost to $700 million from the original $300 million. The state is increasing tax credits offered to $16.8 million from under $10 million.