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Ron Paul is target of Gingrich, Santorum, Perry; Perry has transformation on abortion


December 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is shown to be leading or near the top of recent polls in Iowa and three of his Republican rivals took aim Tuesday. Paul has vowed to close five federal agencies and cut a trillion dollars out of the federal budget. During an appearance in Mason City, Rick Santorum suggested Paul is “least likely” among the candidates to get those kind of cuts enacted. “He’s been in congress 20 years and never passed a bill,” Santorum told the crowd in Mason City. “So what would lead you to believe that he could get something that huge done in a town where he’s shown no track record of getting anything done?” During an interview on C-N-N, Newt Gingrich said Paul’s “total record” shows a “systemic avoidance of reality.” Rick Perry also suggested Paul “would allow Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.” During a campaign stop last night in Atlantic, Michele Bachmann bragged about how she “took it to” Paul in the last debate, over the issue of a nuclear Iran, and she promised the crowd she’d do the same to Barack Obama. “I think it’s time that America has a Margaret Thatcher and America has an ‘Iron Lady’ — a woman who’s not afraid of all the men in Washington, D.C. and a woman who’s not afraid to take on all the liberals in Washington, D.C.,” Bachmann said, as some in the crowd started clapping. “I’m not and I will.”

On the other side of the state in Dubuque yesterday, Gingrich told reporters he has “a lot of time” left to convince Caucus-goers they can invest their vote in him despite the questions raised in campaign ads.
“I trust in the people of Iowa to look at something that’s clearly baloney and know that it’s baloney,” Gingrich said. During his speech to the Rotarians, Gingrich suggested Republican rival Mitt Romney and his allies had stepped over some sort of line. “To have somebody who was a Massachusetts moderate, who said he did not want to go back to the Reagan/Bush years…who as recently as when he was running for governor said, ‘I’m really kind of a moderate, pragmatic guy,’ — to have him run a commercial that questions my conservatism?” Gingrich asked rhetorically in Dubuque.

Romney arrived in Iowa late Tuesday. Romney told a crowd in Davenport last night that Barack Obama is a “pessimistic president” who has failed to deliver on his campaign promises and is asking America to “settle for less.” Four of the candidates participated in a radio forum organized by PersonhoodUSA, a group pushing congress to pass a bill declaring that life begins at conception. Rick Perry, who has opposed nearly all abortions, revealed he no longer favors exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Perry recently met with a woman who was conceived in a rape. “Looking in her eyes, I couldn’t come up with an answer to defend the exceptions for rape and incest,” Perry said. Perry met the woman earlier this month when he attended the premiere of a documentary called “The Gift of Life”. “She made a statement to me that was really profound and pierced my heart,” Perry said. Perry has supported abortion ban exceptions in cases of rape and incest, or when the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy — until he unveiled during Tuesday night’s telephone town hall meeting with abortion foes that he had undergone a transformation this Christmas season. Organizers said nearly 26-thousand people listened to the event by telephone and it was broadcast nationally on the syndicated “Steve Deace Show” and another radio network.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Bachmann campaigns in Atlantic


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Republican Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann made a campaign stop in Atlantic Tuesday evening, to meet with area residents and party faithful at the Pizza Ranch Restaurant.

Bachmann speaks to the crowd

Bachmann, a Congresswoman from Minnesota was running about 35-minutes late when her bus pulled into the parking lot. She spent much of her time talking briefly with those who were enjoying their dinner,  posed for pictures, and signed some campaign literature along with a copy of her book.  Bachman then taped an introduction to a special promotional video for Cass County Republicans, in hopes of getting out the caucus vote.  Afterward, Bachmann went off script to attack President Barack Obama, whom she says “Has brought about Socialism without apologizing for it.”


Bachmann in Atlantic 1

She says that’s something she won’t stand for. Bachmann says for the past five-years, she’s “Been standing up for the Constitution…standing up for smaller government…standing against out of control spending and standing up for life, marriage, national security and ally Israel,” and standing against what she calls “The radical Jihadists who want to defeat the United States and put Shiria Law in the United States.” She says that’s not going to happen when she becomes President.

Ron Paul, a Republican Congressman from Texas, another Presidential hopeful, will be in Atlantic Thursday afternoon for a town hall meeting. Speaking of Ron Paul, Bachmann says she can win the election, as evidenced by the debate in Sioux City, where she says she “Took it to (him) on the issue of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon.” She says that’s the same thing she’ll do to Barack Obama next November. She says in order to do that, we need the strongest conservative in the U-S. She says she can play the role of a “Rock Solid Conservative to take him on, and take his policies on.” Bachman says her record proves she has taken on Obama before, she will do it in the debates, and go on to win the election in 2012.

Bachmann poses with guests at the Pizza Ranch

She says a woman can run a country effectively because they are strong. Bachman pointed to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was known as the “Iron Lady,” as an example. She says it’s time America has its version of an “Iron Lady,” someone who’s “Not afraid of all the men in Washington, D.C., who is not afraid to take on the Liberals in D.C. ”  Bachman says she’s not afraid, and she will take on those challenges.

Rick Perry speaks in Council Bluffs Tuesday


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate, Rick Perry, met with voters in Council Bluffs this (Tuesday) morning. Perry told the standing room-only crowd at a downtown restaurant that he’s the only “authentic” conservative in the presidential race. “Why should you have to settle for anything less than the real deal to go to Washington D-C and to represent your values and work for you in Washington. I mean, look, I got all the respect in the world for the front-runners in this race, but ask yourself, if we replace a Democratic insider with a Republican insider, you think we’re really going to change Washington D-C? No way,” Perry said. Perry touted his home state’s efforts to secure its border with Mexico, saying such a model is needed at the national level.

But one state cannot enforce our nation’s entire immigration law, that takes a nationwide effort, and that’s the reason it’s going to take a president who knows there is no such thing as homeland security until there is border security,” according to Perry.  Perry said if elected, he’ll close the border between the U-S and Mexico within one year. He also called for balanced budgets and less government in voters’ lives. Two other G-O-P candidates, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, are also set to visit western Iowa this week. Gingrich will be in Sioux City Thursday. Paul has a town hall meeting planned in Council Bluffs.

(Radio Iowa)

Page County’s “Operation Blessing 2011″ dubbed a success


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer says the Page County Sheriff’s Office “Operation Blessing” was a success this year, thanks to everyone who donated to to the program.  Palmer says without the support of the individuals, organizations, and groups who unselfishly gave to this program it would not be possible.  He added that year after year, people have continued to support this program. From the money donated this year, the Page County Sheriff’s Office provided Christmas gifts to 24 families.  That means 66 children in Page County received presents for Christmas this year from Page County Sheriff’s Office Operation Blessing program.

Palmer said he wanted to express a sincere THANK YOU from everyone at the Page County Sheriff’s Office for the support shown by citizens in the area who helped to make the program a success.  He also gave a special “shout out” to retired Sheriff Mike Williams, for his continued assistance with this program, which Palmer says is expected to continue, in the years to come.

Enrollment at Iowa schools continues decline


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Enrollment in Iowa’s public schools has declined for the 14th consecutive year, dropping slightly from last year. The Iowa Department of Education released enrollment numbers for the current school year, showing about 473,200 students are enrolled in the state’s public schools, down about 200 from the 2010-11 school year. Of the state’s 351 school districts, 218, or 62 percent, saw enrollment decrease this year, with 129 districts seeing an increase. Only four districts reported no change. The certified enrollment figures were taken by school districts the first week of October. The numbers are used in a formula by state officials to determine state funding for public schools. Des Moines saw the largest increase in the number of students enrolled, followed by Iowa City, Waukee, Ankeny and Pleasant Valley.

Former Atlantic resident arrested for theft


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A former Atlantic resident was arrested Christmas Day on a theft charge. The Atlantic Police Department reports 32-year old Blue Ryan Rutherford, of Ottumwa, was arrested for 5th Degree Theft  (Shoplifting). Rutherford, who has a lengthy history of arrests in Cass County, was booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

No injuries reported after accident in Cass Co. Monday


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says no injuries were reported following a collision Monday, southwest of Anita. The accident happened on White Pole Road (Highway 6), at about 730th Street. Officials say 65-year old Michael Roger Rasmussen, of Exira, was westbound on White Pole Road in a 2006 Chevy Silverado, and attempting to make a left turn onto 730th Street, when he was hit by a 1991 Oldsmobile 88, owned and driven by 58-year old Gerald Jay Lindberg, of Casey. The collision happened as Lindberg was attempting to pass Rasmussen’s pickup. Damage from the crash amounted to $4,000. No citations were issued. 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office also reports two arrests occurred on Monday, Dec. 20th. 25-year old Bryan Stanley Curtis, of Audubon, was arrested December 20th, on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Curtis was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on $1000 bond.  And, 20-year old Jesse Allen Allen Luft, of Villisca, was arrested on a charge of Domestic Abuse/Simple Assault. Luft was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held on $1000 bond. He made his initial appearance in court last Thursday and entered a plea of Not Guilty to the charge. The date of his trial has not yet been set. Luft also pled guilty Thursday, to a charge of Consuming Alcohol in a Public Place. He was fined $100 plus court costs.

Estimate to repair Missouri River dams & levees now over $630-million


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A regional commander of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says we’re in a “very dangerous time,” with weakened levees and dams after the summer-long flood of the Missouri River. Brigadier General John McMahon, commander of the Corps’ Northwest Division, says floodwalls all along the river in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska were significantly damaged by the many months of rising, rushing water.

“The big concern now is the winter weather and also how much runoff we’re going to have as the construction season unfolds that might interfere with that,” General McMahon says. “There’s lots of unknowns. We’re very vulnerable with respect to the condition of the levees now.” Critics say there was a serious lack of communication between key governmental agencies and community leaders in threatened areas prior to the start of flooding this spring, and McMahon says he does not want to see a repeat.

McMahon says, “We’re going to have to work very closely together and communicate well and keep everybody informed as we go through this very dangerous period of time.” The Corps estimated in September that it would cost more than 500-million dollars to repair the many miles of levees, earthen berms and other structures that were damaged in the prolonged flooding. That dollar figure is continuing to grow.

“We currently know of $630-million in repairs, mainly focused on the levees and some on the dams,” General McMahon says. “We’re still assessing the dams and I expect a report from our Omaha district by the end of this month. There’s also additional assessments to the navigation channel.” While work is underway on levee repairs, he says little more can be done until next year and possibly, not before the spring flood season starts up again. 

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Adair County woman arrested after pursuit Christmas Eve


December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

No fewer than four separate law enforcement agencies cooperated in a chase and the arrest early Sunday morning, of a woman who faces numerous moving violations, in addition to an OWI charge. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office told KJAN News 44-year old Laura Sue Sturdy, of Orient, was taken into custody after a roadblock was set-up in Montgomery County.

Officials say Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Quist was on patrol at around 11:30-p.m. Saturday, when he observed a vehicle weaving on the road near 630th and Upland Road. When he attempted to stop the vehicle, it sped-off and ended up near the intersection of Highway 71 and old Highway 34, in Montgomery County, a little over 30-minutes later, when authorities set up a roadblock.

Sturdy was taken into custody without further incident. She was brought to the Cass County Jail on a Class D Felony charge of eluding. In addition, Sturdy was charged with OWI/1st Offense, and Reckless Driving.  The woman was released from custody after posting a $5,000 bond Sunday morning.

Assisting the Cass County Sheriff’s Office in the pursuit and arrest, were officers with the Atlantic and Red Oak Police Departments, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Cass County Extension and Friends host an Application Extravaganza

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The public is invited to join former 4-H’ers and Extension staff on Monday, Jan. 2nd, as they explore the best tactics for developing successful material for applications, resumes and more.  Youth attending the event will leave knowing the basics and options to further explore. The event is open to 9th-through 12th grade students, regardless of whether they are involved with 4-H or not.  The Application Extravaganza takes place from 12:30 p.m.-to 4:30 p.m., at the Cass County Community Center, in Atlantic.

Recent graduates from Cass County will share their personal successes with applications and resume building.   Topics to be covered include:  Getting information, organizing information, and finding opportunities to apply for, resume building, 4-H awards and scholarships, and, letters of recommendation.  Information will be general to benefit all young people in grades 9-12, with opportunities for further learning. 

The event will include door prizes, giveaways, refreshments and hands-on learning.  Persons wanting to attend should RSVP by December 30 to xcass@iastate.edu or 712-243-1132.