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ZIEGLER PROVIDES FFA SCHOLARSHIP TO WALNUT RESIDENT

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Ziegler announced on Tuesday, that as an approved National FFA scholarship sponsor it has, in cooperation with AGCO, awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Katelyn Blake, a high school graduate from Walnut, for the 2012–13 school year.

Katelyn Blake

With support from local FFA chapters, the scholarship program was offered through more than 55 Massey Ferguson, Challenger, and Gleaner dealers across the United States. Ziegler awarded a total of five scholarships this year.

Dick Emmerich, general sales manager, Ziegler Ag Division, said, “We are very excited to be a part of this great new program and assist Katelyn in reaching her long-term educational goals. Agriculture is constantly changing and providing new opportunities. There’s no question in my mind that our support of scholarships through the FFA will strengthen the agricultural interests of young people in our communities.”

Scholarship selection takes into consideration FFA involvement, work experience, community service, leadership skills, and academics, and is based on academic records, FFA achievements, leadership, and other school and community activities. Supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs and future goals are all considered in the scholarship award.

Founded in 1914, Ziegler is a family-owned company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., employing more than 1,450 people in 23 communities in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

(Ziegler Press Release)

Medical exemption allowing window tinting no longer being granted

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) reminds motorists that an Iowa Administrative Rule which takes effect July 4th will eliminate the provision that allowed the DOT to grant a medical exemption from the minimum standard of window transparency provision set forth in a subrule, and permit dark window tinting of a vehicle registered in Iowa. In the past, a driver with a medical condition could request a physician’s exemption from the minimum standard of transparency for vehicle windows.

While new exemptions will not be granted, those who have a previously approved exemption will continue to be exempt from the minimum transparency rule. The exemption form must be carried at all times in the vehicle to which it applies. At such time that a vehicle is no longer used to transport the passenger or operator that is the subject of a previously granted exemption, the exemption expires. The exemption cannot transfer to any replacement vehicle purchased after July 3rd, 2012.

Once no longer used for these transportation purposes, the owner of the vehicle to which the exemption applied must return the vehicle to conformance with the minimum standard of transparency within 60 days of expiration of the exemption. Pursuant to Iowa Code, a person shall not operate on the highway a motor vehicle equipped with a front windshield, front side window or front side wing that is excessively dark or reflective. “Excessively dark or reflective” means that the glass does not meet a minimum standard of transparency of 70 percent light transmittance.

IA DOT warns of possible pavement blow-ups

News, Weather

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Motorists traveling in Iowa should be aware that the mercury might not be the only thing to rise during the sweltering summer heat. Pavement blowups occur when thermal expansion forces the pavement to buckle and shatter. A number of such incidents have been occurring this week.

Example of Pavement blow-up incident

In a typical year, Iowa DOT maintenance equipment operators spend 2,000 to 4,000 hours making temporary repairs of pavement blowups and another 6,000 hours replacing these pavement sections, costing an average of $400,000 annually. Many of the blowups only result in a small pothole or small chunks of concrete lying around the pavement joints, but they must still be repaired.

Unlike scheduled maintenance, pavement blowups occur spontaneously and motorists receive no advance warning. Once a blowup is reported, it takes time to erect a work zone and notify the public. The Iowa DOT urges motorists to pay special attention to pavement surfaces when driving during afternoons with 90-degree or hotter temperatures. Use caution and reduce your speed when approaching broken pavement areas.

Motorists who witness a pavement blowup are asked to contact the nearest law enforcement agency to ensure traffic is routed around the blowup until work zone signage and repair crews are on the scene.

Iowa governor taps NW IA prosecutor to lead parole board

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is making another change in leadership at the Iowa Board of Parole, tapping a northwest Iowa county prosecutor to serve as its chairman. Branstad on Tuesday named Dickinson County Attorney Jason Carlstrom of Spirit Lake to lead the board starting Sept. 3. Carlstrom will replace Doris Kelley, who was elevated from vice chair to chair earlier this year when Branstad demoted longtime chairwoman Elizabeth Robinson. Kelley will return to her role as vice chair and Branstad praised her “outstanding work during this transition.” Carlstrom says he will “look to find effective, efficient and streamlined operations” that follow through with Branstad’s push to improve the board’s services. The five-member board makes decisions on when inmates should be released from prison in favor of work release or parole.

Heat advisory for most of Iowa, heat warning for northern Iowa

News, Weather

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service has issued a four-day-long “excessive heat advisory” for most of the state and parts of northern Iowa are under an “excessive heat warning.” The Advisory runs through 7-a.m. Saturday, for all but the far west and southwest counties, where a separate Heat Advisory is in effect from Noon today through 8-p.m.  That includes Monona, Harrison, Shelby, Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont and Page Counties. Heat indecies are expected to climb to around 105 degrees or higher this afternoon in those counties, and from 100-to 105 for the rest of the area. 

Meterologist Kevin Skow works in the National Weather Service office in Johnston. He says “This is an unusual situation where we’ve had a very persistent high pressure system over us that’s pumping up a lot of heat from the south.”  This prolonged period of super-high temperature readings during the day is happening because things cannot cool down overnight and Skow says it’s due to a “very moist” air mass hovering over the state. “It takes more energy for water vapor to cool off and since it’s so moist, the air just simply can’t cool off overnight as much as it could, say, in the springtime when we usually have drier air over us,” Skow says. Smoke from the Colorado wildfires has drifted over Iowa, but experts say it won’t cause health problems.

“The smoke is really high in the atmosphere,” he says. “It’s up at 20,000-30,000 feet and the only effects that Iowans will really see from it (are) generally some hazier skies and some redder sunrises and sunsets.” By eight o’clock this morning (Tuesday), heat index readings across the state indicated it already felt like it was 80 degrees in most locations. On Monday Nebraska’s governor declared a state of emergency in his state due to drought conditions there.

MA man rides into Shelby County on a reproduction 1885 bike

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Massachusetts man pedaling his way across the United States stopped in Harlan Monday night. 59-year old Kevin McNett began his journey during Spring Break in April, by dipping his rear wheel in the Atlantic Ocean in Lewis, Delaware. The bike he’s cruising on isn’t your typical, high-end, high dollar two-wheeler. He says it’s a reproduction of a 1885 Victor bicycle. It has the very large front wheel, 54 inches, and a small rear wheel. McNett says it’s more difficult to ride than your typical touring bike. He says its direct drive with the pedals, and has only one gear. Every time he cranks the pedal, he moves forward 160-inches. There is no dropping the gears going up and down hills. 

When McNett started his journey, he had a friend from Maryland pedaling with him and his wife was following in a truck. Since that time, his friend and wife had to stop because of his friend’s health issues. Together they made it to Indiana before McNett pressed on. He made it through Illinois and crossed into Iowa over the Muscatine Bridge. McNett says he’s faced some challenges in Iowa. That includes trying to find the right roads and places to stay. He says the hills are tough, and so is the hot and humid weather. 

McNett pedaled from Jefferson down to Harlan for an overnight stay, Monday. The people he’s spoken with along the way often ask why he’s making the trip. He says ”If you have to ask the question then you will never understand the answer.” McNett says he exactly doesn’t know why he does it, but maybe it’s because less than 25 people who have pedaled across the country have done so in a high wheel bike. He says It’s a fairly exclusive club,” and he hopes to join it. McNett has already pedaled across the country on a normal bike twice in his life. McNett plans on finishing the journey in early September. 

You can find more information about his journey at www.thewheelmen.org.

(courtesy Joel McCall/KNOD – Harlan)

Aide: Iowa governor will keep felon voting policy

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Despite mounting criticism, a spokesman says Gov. Terry Branstad won’t change the application process that former Iowa felons have to navigate to get their voting rights back.  Newspaper editorials, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Democratic Party have denounced Branstad’s policy requiring ex-offenders to submit a credit report, pay all fines and restitution, obtain a $15 background check and answer 31 questions before he’ll restore their citizenship rights.  A Des Moines Register editorial Sunday called the policy an embarrassment to Iowa. The criticism comes after The Associated Press reported Branstad has restored the rights of 11 offenders since implementing the policy, which is among the harshest in the nation.  Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the policy helps crime victims by denying felons their voting rights until they pay restitution.

8AM Newscast 07-03-2012

News, Podcasts

July 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 07-03-2012

News, Podcasts

July 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Debating state abortion policy

News

July 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

State officials have until August 10th to decide how to respond to an attempt to stop government-paid abortions in cases of rape or incest. Last month 41 Republican legislators who oppose abortion asked the Iowa Department of Human Services to rewrite its rules which currently allow tax dollars to pay for some abortions. Abortions are covered under Medicaid if the woman’s the victim of rape or incest, if her life is endangered by the pregnancy, or if a fetal abnormality leads doctors to conclude the baby would not survive past birth. This week several groups have filed a response. Jill June is president and C-E-O of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. “This would re-victimize a woman who’s already been through the trauma of a violent crime or who’s facing a pregnancy that’s incompatible with life of the fetus and to withhold health care from her in these circumstances really is heartless,” June says.

This spring a group of Republican lawmakers made a similar attempt to prevent Medicaid patients who’re victims of rape or incest from getting a state-paid abortion. Democrats who prevailed said such a move would jeopardize federal reimbursement to the state and June raises the same argument now.  “Iowa law clearly provides that women who are facing a pregnancy as the result of rape or incest or gross fetal anomaly have access to health care, paid by the Medicaid program,” June says, “so this really doesn’t make sense because the law in Iowa and the federal law all agree that this is the right thing to do.” Critics on the other side argue cases of rape or incest aren’t the fault of the fetus, but the fetus gets the death penalty if the mother opts for an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues opponents of abortion are asking the Iowa Department of Human services to make a “procedural run-around that violates Iowa law” about how agencies can make rules. June agrees. “We don’t understand what basis they are making this complaint,” June says. Officials in the Department of Human Services can either dismiss the petition filed by Republican legislators, or start drafting emergency rules to implement the policy abortion opponents seek.

(Radio Iowa)