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5 Watershed Demonstration Projects selected to receive $1.7-million in funding

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Friday) announced that five watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.7 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years. In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will provide an additional $2.2 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. The five projects are within the large priority watersheds prioritized by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC), which include the East and West Nishnabotna, Floyd, and Skunk watersheds.

Locally, the Bluegrass & Crabapple – East Nishnabotna Watershed Project received a $325,000 grant for a $1.2-million dollar project, where the Audubon Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will expand on existing partnerships and foster a peer-to-peer network to help promote and spread adoption of nutrient reduction practices in the Bluegrass and Crabapple watersheds. An advisory group made up of partners and farmers has helped develop this project and help shape watershed-wide demonstrations.

And, the Walnut Creek Watershed Project – Subwatershed of the Nishnatbotna River Water Quality Initiative (WQI), received a $480,000 grant toward the $1.082-million project cost, to build a network of producers, local agribusiness representatives, and agencies to promote and demonstrate conservation practices detailed in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Thee partnerships – lead by the Montgomery County SWCD – will ensure the best information is used to help present a regional focus on management and implementation of these practices.

In all, the demonstration watersheds selected cover 345,449 acres. The projects will implement and demonstrate the effectiveness and adaptability of a host of conservation practices including, but not limited to: cover crops, nutrient management, wetlands, terraces, bioreactors, buffer strips, no-till, strip-till, nitrogen inhibitors, extended rotations, conservation cover, drainage water management and manure management.

Another round of funding for new watershed demonstration projects may be available later this year depending on funding availability.

Romney hopes to stamp Iowa’s Ernst nationally


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is aiming to boost Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s appeal to mainstream Republicans with a public endorsement in Cedar Rapids in the last days of the competitive primary.

Ernst has built a lead in the five-way primary on catchy ads and a diverse background as a Iowa farmer, military veteran and rural Iowa state senator. The combination has helped draw endorsements from across the political spectrum, including outside groups that have been at odds in Republican primaries in Nebraska, Kentucky and Mississippi.

But Ernst has the backing of mainstream Republicans such as Iowa Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds, and the quiet backing of longtime Gov. Terry Branstad, as well as tea party favorites such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Injury accident Fri. morning on I-80 in Cass County


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured, one of them seriously, during an accident this (Friday) morning on Interstate 80 in Cass County. According to dispatch reports, the accident happened at around  7:20-a.m. on I-80 westbound at the 50.56-mile marker, in the construction zone just before the Marne exit. According to reports the vehicle struck two unoccupied construction vehicle in the work zone. Atlantic Medivac and Marne as well as Atlantic Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

50.56-mm I-80 Westbound accident scene. Mike Kennon/Cass Co. EMA Director – photo

The driver and a passenger in the vehicle suffered cuts and bruises. One of the victims, a female, was unconscious but breathing. The accident remains under investigation.

Fire destroys Iowa feed, milling company


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

PERRY, Iowa (AP) – Fire officials are on the scene of an overnight fire in central Iowa that destroyed a feed and milling business. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Whiton’s Feed and Milling Company in Perry caught fire just before 11 p.m. Thursday.

KCCI says fire crews were still on the scene of the fire Friday morning. Fire officials say they are still looking into what started the fire.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, 5/30/2014

News, Podcasts

May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…


Ex-Western IA Fire Chief released from prison after only 3 months out of 10-years


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three months into his 10-year prison sentence on a theft charge, former Denison Fire Chief Todd McKinnon was released last week, and is currently free on probation. The Omaha World-Herald reports the 43-year old McKinnon’s sentence and fine was suspended, and he was instead placed on three years probation. McKinnon is still required to pay the City of Denison restitution amounting to just over $10,265. He also owes the Crawford County EMS Association slightly more than $8,265.

McKinnon was charged with theft in December 2011, following an investigation that uncovered nearly $96,000 in questionable Fire Department spending from 2005-2010. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2013. He lost an appeal of his sentence in January.

McKinnon served as Denison’s first paid fire chief from January 18th, 1999, to January 3rd, 2010.

2 recent accidents


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities says no injuries were reported following two recent accidents in the listening area. One of the incidents happened Thursday afternoon, in Red Oak. Officials say a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 75-year old Joseph Hale, of Red Oak, was backing out of a parking stall in front of the U-S Bank on E. Reed Street, when, due to the angle and height of his truck, he was unable to see a 1996 Ford Contour driven by 20-year old Brooke Carpenter of Red Oak, as she was coming around the square. The pickup backed into the car, causing a little more than $1,500 in damage altogether. The accident happened at around 2:10-p.m. No citations were issued.

The other accident happened just before midnight, Wednesday, in Page County. Sheriff’s officials say a 1999 Ford Escort driven by 31-year old Karly Jean Glidden, of Braddyville, was traveling south in the 2800 block of  T Avenue at around 11:55-p.m., when the woman swerved to miss a deer. Her car went into the west ditch, causing damage to the front end, and resulted in both the driver’s and passenger’s side airbags deploying. The car sustained $4,500 damage. Glidden was cited for Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance.

Branstad to sign cannabis oil, HIV bills


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is signing into law a bill that legalizes the use of cannabis oil to treat severe epilepsy and one that lessens the penalties for people who unknowingly expose someone to HIV. He’s also signing bills that offer additional tax credits for installing wind and solar energy systems. The cannabis bill is a victory for mothers of children with epilepsy who persistently lobbied lawmakers.

The HIV bill changes current law and imposes a 25-year prison sentences only when someone intends to transmit a disease without a partner’s knowledge.

The wind energy bill extends the deadline for putting in place wind energy projects and the solar bill increases the annual tax credits available for installing solar energy systems to $4.5 million from the current $1.5 million.

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, May 30th 2014


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Businessman Mark Jacobs focused today on proposals for jobs, energy and education instead of jabs at front-runner state Senator Joni Ernst in the final debate of the 2014 GOP U.S. Senate primary. Jacobs didn’t repeat the criticisms he’s stuffed into mailboxes and aired in ads. Instead, he touted “concrete plans to create jobs”.

JEFFERSON, Iowa (AP) — A plan to build a $40 million casino in the Green County city of Jefferson drew hundreds of people to a public hearing before the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. The Carroll Daily Times Herald reports about 500 people attended the five-hour hearing today, and most of the 70 speakers favored the proposal. They pointed to the estimated 325 jobs the casino would bring to the western Iowa community.

WEVER, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in southeast Iowa have arrested 12 workers at the construction site of a fertilizer plant on suspicion of identity fraud. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells the Fort Madison Daily Democrat officers arrested the employees this afternoon as they were bused to a safety meeting for the Iowa Fertilizer Company.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a woman was receiving a driving lesson before she accidentally drove her vehicle into a Des Moines pond. Crews from the local Fire Department responded today to a pond at Water Works Park and found a white minivan partially submerged in the water. The driver and a passenger were able to escape without injury.

Parents warned about lip balm abuse


May 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa parents are being warned to watch for a new fad among teenagers which can have a harmful impact. It’s called “beezin” (BEE-zin) and it involves using the brand-name Burt’s Bees mint lip balm in a place where the product wasn’t designed to go. Tammy Noble is a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center. “Kids are applying a lip balm that contains peppermint oil and they’re applying it to their eyelids,” Noble says. “What they are thinking it’s doing is causing a drunken feeling, while other kids are claiming it helps them to stay awake.” Noble says beezin is a risky thing to do.

“The concern is that if it gets in the eye, it can be a strong irritant to the eye, so it’s going to really burn and sting like heck,” Noble says, “but also some of the problems that can be associated with the absorption of the peppermint oil.” There may also be a risk of causing a bacterial infection if the balm was also used on the lips. Knowledge is power and Noble says she wants parents to know about this sort of oddball fad.

“What I would recommend is, always be aware of what’s out there and what teens may be susceptible to trying,” Noble says, “and make sure you are talking with your kids to make sure they know the risks and the dangers of doing these types of things.” Another dangerous teen fad in recent years involves trying to eat a teaspoon full of cinnamon, which can result in a trip to the emergency room if the spice is inhaled into the lungs. The hotline for the Sioux City-based Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center is 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)