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RED FLAG WARNINGS ISSUED FOR MUCH OF THE KJAN LISTENING AREA TUESDAY

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-CASS-DALLAS-POLK-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD

324 PM CDT MON SEP 10 2012

A RED FLAG WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM CDT TUESDAY FOR EXTREME FIRE CONDITIONS.. THIS REPLACES THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY ISSUED.

SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH…WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED. IN ADDITION, THE RELATIVE HUMIDITY  WILL DROP TO 15 TO 25 PERCENT IN THE AFTERNOON. FIELD CROPS ARE NEARLY CURED AND HAVE BECOME HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE. IN COMBINATION WITH THE FORECAST CONDITIONS TUESDAY…THIS WOULD LEAD TO RAPID FIRE GROWTH. IN ADDITION…THE DRYING OF GRASSES IS WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE DUE TO THE HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS THIS SUMMER.

IF A FIRE STARTS TUESDAY AFTERNOON…RAPID FIRE GROWTH WOULD BE POSSIBLE AND IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN. A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

ISU Extension outreach meeting held in Atlantic

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A good-sized crowd turned out for Monday morning’s meeting in Atlantic of ISU Extension officials, to hear what the Extension Service is offering for the future, and to offer opinions on the direction the Service is taking.

Cathann Kress, ISU Extension & Outreach Vice President

Appearing at the meeting held in the Cass County Community Center, was Cathann Kress, ISU Extension and Outreach vice president, and Terry Maloy, Iowa Association of County Extension Councils executive director. Kress told the audience and Extension Council members about four trends currently guiding the work of the Extension and Outreach service. The first was “Economic Development.” She said their economic development programming is focused on actions to help Iowa’s economy grow and prosper, in addition to enhancing the health of communities, and growing businesses. She said it’s also focusing on the future careers of young people.

Kress said the second “signature issue” area the are focusing on, is “Health and Well being,” in alliance with Governor Branstad’s Healthier State Initiative. The third signature issue, according to Kress, is “Food and the environment.” She says that focuses on “Local actions to produce a safe, sustainable, accessible and affordable food supply.” Kress said the fourth “Signature Issue” they’re focusing on at ISU Extension, is K-through 12 Youth Outreach, through STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. While STEM jobs are expected to grow by 16% this decade in Iowa, ACT test scores in 2009 indicated 50% of Iowa students were not ready for college-level mathematics study, while only 37% were ready for college-level work in the field of Science. ISU Extension has been recognized by the Governor’s Office, as one of the vital STEM “hubs,” tasked with increasing student preparedness for entering the STEM sectors. Kress said their goal is to “Get young people excited about learning, and discovering new career choices,” including those in the High Tech Sector in Iowa, with the idea being to encourage them to remain in the State and “Pursue an education beyond high school, and build skills that will continue to improve our communities across the State.”

Afterward, during the Q&A session, Kress was asked about how the Extension can help young people become aware of what goes on in manufacturing facilities, and why so-called “Middle skilled” workers are so desperately needed to fill those jobs. Kress said the manufacturers have brought that to their attention, and they are working to overcome the stereotype of high-tech jobs are merely those that belong to “rocket scientists,” or chemists.  She says they’re trying to make sure that they build into their programming hands-on experience for young people, to create opportunities for high school internships and early years in college.

A program which will be incorporated into the STEM hub, is called “Into the Field,” which is intended to create shorter “excursions” into the workforce, which instead of a whole semester-long ordeal, would be for a week or so, to see first-hand what it’s like to work in manufacturing, and what skills and education are needed. She says they’re also looking at creating “Destination  Science” web page, where educators, 4-H volunteers, boy scout leaders and others, can come and let it be known what their interests are, with the idea being to provide points of reference for manufacturing and campus visits. She also said there are opportunities to model some programs after what the World Food Prize organization is doing with the Youth Institute, which gives young people an opportunity to solve problems.

Adair man arrested in Atlantic over the weekend

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports an Adair man was arrested Sunday. 29-year old Zlatko Kendic was taken into custody on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. Kendic was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Official said also, Kody Hansen, of Atlantic, was cited following an accident Friday evening at 7th and Plum Streets. Vehicles driven by Hansen, and Jeffrey Richter, of Atlantic, were traveling east on 7th Street at around 5:25-p.m., when Richter stopped at the stop light. Hansen failed to stop in time, and collided with the rear of the Richter vehicle, causing a total of $2,300 damage. Hansen was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

(12-p.m. News)

3 weekend arrests in Audubon County

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department reports three people were arrested over the weekend on unrelated charges. Saturday night, 64-year old Ada Jo Carter, of Coon Rapids, was arrested on an outstanding Audubon County warrant for Theft in the 5th degree. The warrant was issued following an investigation into bad checks written to an Audubon County business on May 16th. Carter was booked into the jail, and appeared before the magistrate this (Monday) morning. The woman plead guilty to the charge and was fined.

Sunday afternoon, 47-year old Julie Ann Tigges, of Newton, turned herself-in to Audubon County authorities. Tigges was wanted on an outstanding Audubon County warrant for Revocation of her probation. She had been placed on probation in March 2011, after pleading guilty to a Possession of Methamphetamine/2nd offense, charge. Tigges posted bond and was released, with orders to appear in court on September 17th.

Earlier that same day, 33-year old Gregory Alan Carter, of Audubon, was arrested on charges of OWI/2nd offense, Failure to have a valid license, and speeding. The charges were the result of a traffic stop on Highway 71, near Hamlin. Carter was brought to the Audubon County Jail, appeared before the magistrate, and released. His preliminary hearing was set for September 27th.

(12-p.m. News)

One injured during Saturday motorcycle accident

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says a woman injured during a motorcycle accident Saturday afternoon on Highway 83 near Walnut, will be cited for Failure to Maintain Control, along with other moving violations. Danker says 39-year-old Renae Hansen was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic and later transferred by helicopter to Creighton Medical Center, after the motorcycle she was driving southbound on Highway 83, ran off the roadway on a curve and entered the south ditch. The accident happened at around 4-p.m., Saturday. It was not clear from the Sheriff’s report where Hansen was from.

(Podcast) SW IA News Sept. 10, 2012

News, Podcasts

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Census data shows more info on Latino population

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Information from the U-S Census shows the dramatic impact Latinos have had on Iowa’s population in the last 10 years. Gary Krob is the coordinator of the state data center.  “Since 2000, the Latino population has increased by 91-point-six percent, which is quite dramatic if you look at the population change in the state of Iowa being right around four-percent,” Krob says. “So, while Iowa’s population is growing fairly slowly, but growing, the Latino population in Iowa is booming if you will.” The data show the Latino population increased by over 75-thousand in the 10 years and there were 158-thousand in the state on July first of 2011.

“It’s a much younger population than the state. The state is generally a little older than the Latino population — actually probably not a little older, considerably older. I believe the median age for the state of Iowa is 38-point-one and the Latino population is 22-point-two, so that’s a pretty significant difference,” Krob says. The data show a majority of the Latinos work in the construction and service industries.  “I wasn’t really that surprised on the occupation groupings for the Latino population,” he says, “you hear where the Latinos are moving to, what communities they are moving into. Generally a lot of meatpacking plants a lot of production areas, and so when you see the occupation numbers, that kind of verifies what you’re hearing.”

There appears to be some correlation with the occupations and income of Latinos. He says the median income rate for Latinos is 10-thousand dollars different from the median income rate of Iowa as wholes, a difference of 37-thousand dollars compared to 47-thousand dollars. The poverty rate is a little higher too at 27-point-two-percent compare to 12-point six percent as a whole for the state. Krob says the Latino population is projected to continue to grow. “If you look at the Latino population, it’s going to drive the population growth in the state of Iowa, at least for the foreseeable future, unless something changes that’s where the population growth is going to occur,” Krob says.

The majority of the Latinos in Iowa have come from Mexico. You can see more about the Latino report on the State Data Center website at: www.iowadatacenter.org.

Iowa cities can get grants to upgrade fluoride systems

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa communities can now apply for grants to help them start putting fluoride in their water supplies or to upgrade their current fluoridation systems. Dr. Bob Russell, the state dental director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, says ten communities a year are chosen for grants of six-thousand dollars each. “Usually, especially in rural, small communities that don’t have large populations, that’s relatively enough,” Dr. Russell says. “It covers all of the basic hardware they’re going to need to add to existing systems. Those dollars were not arbitrarily created. They were actually based on studies we did.”

About 83-percent of all Iowans have access to sufficient fluoridated water now, but he says there’s still work to do. “We’ve been hearing from a lot of our local components in the communities that fluoridation equipment breaks down over time,” Russell says. “We’ve been fluoridating since 1954, roughly, and a lot of equipment is aging and needs to be upgraded and there are new communities that are seeking to get fluoridation into their community for the first time.”

Some people oppose fluoridation in water and Russell says the decision is left up to each Iowa community. He says water fluoridation is vital to a community’s oral health and to its overall health. Russell says federal studies clearly show that the life expectancy of Iowans has risen, remarkably, over the past several decades. “If you go back to the days before fluoride where people were dying of acute infections, people were averaging life spans between the late 40s and the late 60s,” Russell says. “Now, we’re seeing ages in the mid-70s up to the middle 80s. Life expectancy continues to increase even though there’s a fear that somehow quality of life is hampered by fluoride.”

Russell says for most cities, every dollar invested in water fluoridation saves 38-dollars in dental treatment costs. The Iowa Department of Public Health collaborated with the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation to create the Community Fluoridation Award. To learn more, visit: “www.deltadentalia.com” and click on the “Public Benefit Program” tab.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought hard on allergy sufferers

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The months-long drought may soon impact fall allergy sufferers in Iowa. Agronomist Robert Hartzler, at Iowa State University, says the weather has a direct impact on pollen counts that trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny noses and red, teary eyes. Hartzler says any time we don’t get rain for a while, it allows the pollen to be released in the atmosphere and it hangs around for a longer period of time. Ragweed is native to Iowa, but Hartzler says it traditionally hasn’t grown very well among row crops. He says those plants are now adapting to Iowa’s cornfields and they’re becoming more widespread. Hartzler says it may get worse in future years.

“There is some evidence that with climate change, the ragweeds are better adapted to the warmer temperatures than other plants, so there is some evidence to suggest that pollen counts could increase in the future because of the increasing temperatures we’re expected to see,” Hartzler says. Relief for allergy sufferers isn’t likely until the first frost. He says there’s been enough rain for weeds to grow, but not enough to knock down the pollen. “Rainfall is excellent at washing (pollen) out of the air, it also saturates ragweed flowers so pollen can’t be released,” Hartzler says. “Rain does help the weeds grow, but we’ve got enough moisture in most of the state to allow the weeds to do well.”

He says the amount of pollen in the air has also been boosted by higher temperatures this year. “They’re higher earlier in the year because of the summer we’ve had,” Hartzler says. “The ragweed started growing earlier because of the warm temperatures in the spring. So we have high counts earlier this year than typical.” It may be just the beginning. Hartzler says there’s evidence global warming may be promoting ragweed growth.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought could hit Iowa Christmas tree supply

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Christmas trees in Iowa and other Midwestern states could become the newest victims of this year’s drought. The hot and dry summer took a harsh toll on tree seedlings. When the newly planted trees are ready for harvest by 2019, the selection could be sickly and sagging. Growers have also reported losses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Boone County tree farmer Jesse Randall told The Des Moines Register, that the supply will tighten in upcoming years. But growers and foresters say this year’s crop, planted in 2005, will be as diverse as usual. Randall says the drought was especially hard on fir trees, which are popular among buyers because of their silvery evergreen hues and rich aromas.