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Ba-Da-Ba-Da Bing Bang Rally Redux

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An event that brought historic military vehicles and their enthusiasts to Atlantic last year, is back for the second year in a row. Steve Livengood is the founder of the Ba-Da-Ba-Da Bing Bang Military Vehicle Rally, that takes place this year May 21st, which, not coincidentally, is Armed Forces Day. Livengood said it’s being brought back because it was a success last year, even though Mother Nature tried to put a damper on attendance by the owner/operators of the vintage equipment.

The assortment of vehicles and equipment will be available for you to see, touch and maybe even ride in. HalftrackOver 20 vintage military vehicles will be on display that the owners have spent a lot of time and money acquiring and restoring to their original condition. Livengood says other similar rallies are being held throughout the country this summer, but you’d have to drive quite a ways to participate in those events.

Others will be held on May 21st in Findley, OH., the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, in Maryland [May12-14], one in Iola, WI. [August 13-14], and another in Arizona. The event in Arizona takes place this weekend (March 26-27).

Livengood says the collection in Atlantic is expected to include many different types of vehicles and military equipment. They’ll be on display in the Armory parking lot between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on May 21st. Afterward, there’ll be a cruise for those vehicles and their operators, and an ice cream social in the Wal-Mart parking lot before they head back to the Armory.

Look for additional details to be released later. If you have any questions, call Steve Livengood at 712-243-5445.

13th Annual Prairie Chicken Day April 2

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Kellerton Grasslands Bird Conservation Area in southeast Ringgold County will be the site for the 13th annual Prairie Chicken Day on April 2nd, beginning at 6 a.m., at the booming ground viewing platform, two miles west of Kellerton on Hwy. 2, then 1.25 miles south on 300th Street.

Prairie Chicken Day is an opportunity for Iowans to experience this unique bird during its demonstrative and entertaining mating display where males work to gain the favor of females during the breeding season.  The birds compete by showing their worthiness through aggressive charges and leaps of battle with others on the booming ground. The activity takes place from middle to late March through middle May beginning around sunrise and until mid morning, then usually resuming in the evening.

“They will be out there every day defending their territory, trying to attract a female,” said Chad Paup wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Iowa DNR has been reintroducing the greater prairie chickens to the grasslands of Ringgold County since the 1980s with varying success. In recent years, the DNR has partnered with Blank Park Zoo, The Nature Conservancy and the Nebraska Fish and Game Department to capture and transport wild prairie chickens from southwest and central Nebraska to be released on the Kellerton lek and on the Dunn Ranch lek, a few miles to the south in Missouri.

The four year effort of introducing wild birds has increased the Iowa flock to more than 100. These birds have since produced broods in Iowa. “The prairie chicken population trends follow similar tracks as bobwhite quail. When quail do well, prairie chickens do well and they did well in 2014,” Paup said. “This year, we’ve had a mild winter in our area and if we can get a spring that’s not too wet and not too cool, I think we can have another good production year.”

A limited number of spotting scopes and binoculars will be available to visitors who need them on Prairie Chicken Day with expert birders on hand to help identify other birds in the area. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is encouraging visitors to and residents of Ringgold, Decatur, Taylor, Union, Wayne, Adams and Clarke counties to report any sightings of a group of prairie chickens gathered together, displaying and calling on the leks sites in March and April.

“People may hear them – the haunting ‘booming’ sounds interspersed with whoops and cackles – or they may see the birds jumping or facing off with one another,” said Stephanie Shepherd, wildlife diversity biologist with the Iowa DNR.  “Sightings of individual birds are also welcome but we’d primarily like to hear about lek sites.”

The DNR has a video of this activity online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/Wildlife-Stewardship/Non-Game-Wildlife/Diversity-Projects/Prairie-Chicken-Project. Anyone who sees the activity is encouraged to call or e-mail Shepherd at 515-432-2823 ext. 102, Stephanie.shepherd@dnr.iowa.gov.

Fourth of July Campsite Reservations open Soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Campers anxious to reserve spots for the Fourth of July weekend should mark April 1 on their calendars, when reservations for a Friday arrival open. Campers can make reservations for sites three months ahead of their first night’s stay. “Electric sites go quickly,” reminds Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. “And some sites will already be reserved by campers arriving prior to the holiday weekend.”

Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and nonelectric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk-up camping. Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including the link to reservations. Campers can also log on directly to http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com; enter their preferred dates and/or parks to see what sites are available and make a reservation.

Campers are encouraged to note closures when making their reservations. A few campgrounds are currently closed for renovation and weather will play an important role in how soon they will be back online. Road and bridge work at Springbrook State Park should be completed in early June, and the park and campground are scheduled to reopen June 10.

Up-to-date closure information is available on the DNR website and reservation system.  Closure information can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Closure-Information and on individual park webpages.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 3/25/2016

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 3/25/2016

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sportscast w/Jim Field.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/25/2016

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Travel was difficult in western Iowa Thursday due to heavy snow

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some sunshine Thursday afternoon helped snow plow drivers and motorists in western and northwest Iowa deal with the big snowfall there, but the heavy wet snow has made progress slow going on hard surface roads. Woodbury County Deputy, Lieutenant Tony Wingert, says it took crews much longer to deal with what was 15 inches of snow that had drifted. “It’s such a heavy snow, it has taken them a lot more passes to get it wider — because they just can’t push that much weight off to the shoulder. But with every pass, the roads are getting a little wider and a little better,” Wingert says.

Wingert says some of the county’s roads are still in rough shape, and it may take some time for them to recover. “They were soft prior to this because of the frost going out and everything, and now you put this much moisture on them. A lot of those, they may be impassible for days,” according to Wingert. He says it made it tough for emergency vehicles to get to rural areas.

Wingert says in one case they had to call in the helicopter to go to a call because the Correctionville Ambulance wasn’t able to get there. “If you are on a main thoroughfare we should be okay. But if you are on a gravel, it may take emergency vehicles a while to get to you,” Wingert says. At least one county snowplow got stuck. Wingert says travel conditions should improve today (Friday) as crews have more time to clear snow and make the roads safer.

(Radio Iowa)

Despite the snow, Pony Express riders are hitting the Iowa trail today

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some 300 riders on horseback are taking part in an Easter weekend tradition in Iowa today (Friday) as the 49th annual Pony Express Ride for Camp Sunnyside gets underway. Tim Allen of Whittemore is president-elect of the Pony Express Riders who are all headed for the Easter Seals facility in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. “There’s rides all over Iowa from northeast to southeast to southwest to northwest,” Allen says. “We all start off in our designated counties and we all end up at Easter Seals down at Camp Sunnyside.”

The riders are bringing with them money from dances, toll roads and other fundraising activities to present to Easter Seals. They’re all due at the camp on Saturday afternoon and that night, there will be a dance at Lake Robbins Ballroom near Woodward. “All of the Pony Express riders are volunteers,” Allen says. “We do this out of the kindness of our hearts. None of us get any kickback out of it other than the joy from the kids and adults that benefit from what we do throughout the year at Camp Sunnyside.”

In recent years, the riders have brought in a quarter-million dollars or more to help with the camp that’s been in operation more than 80 years. The ride has been held every year since 1968. Learn more at: www.ponyexpressridersofiowa.org.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, March 25th 2016

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A fourth suspect charged in a conspiracy to ship weapons from Iowa to Lebanon has pleaded guilty. Thirty one-year-old Bassem Herz entered his plea on Thursday in a federal court in Cedar Rapids. Herz, along with three family members, was arrested in May 2015 after agents intercepted shipping containers headed from Cedar Rapids to Beirut that had many guns and rounds of ammunition hidden inside construction equipment.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican House leaders plan to introduce legislation that would fund water quality initiatives without using a sales tax set aside for education infrastructure. The announcement Thursday indicates Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal to merge the two efforts is dead this session. House lawmakers say their proposal would use other revenue sources, which could include money that typically goes to the general fund or dollars from a separate infrastructure fund.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man who had long been suspected in the 1985 slaying of his wife’s lover was charged in the death after investigators took a fresh look at the case. Anthony Burtch, 57, was arrested at his Iowa City home and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Lance Lee DeWoody.

SHELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man has been charged in the death of a woman whose body was found near a stolen truck. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Thursday that 32-year-old David Miller has been charged with first-degree murder in the October 2015 death of 25-year-old Sabrina Hustad. An autopsy showed she died of multiple stab wounds and strangulation. Police found her body when they arrived at Miller’s residence in Shellsburg. Her body was near a stolen truck.

(Update): 2 new candidates file for Cass County offices, Thursday

News

March 24th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports two candidates filed nomination papers Thursday to run for County Offices in advance of the March 30th deadline for the June 7th Primary election in Cass County.

Nick Hensley, of Cumberland, has filed to run on the Republican ticket for the District 4 Board of Supervisor’s seat. Hensley joins fellow Republicans Steve Baier and Barry Moore, both from Griswold, and Todd Hansen, of Atlantic, in seeking the seat being vacated at the end of the year by Chuck Rieken. No democrats have filed nomination papers in any of the races in Cass County.

And, with regard to the District 5 seat on the Cass County Board of Supervisors, Bernard Pettinger, a Republican from Anita, has filed to run against fellow Republicans: (incumbent) Frank Waters, of Cumberland, and J. Ford Lillard, of Wiota. No Democrats have filed for the seat.