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8AM Newscast 11-25-2013

News, Podcasts

November 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 11-25-2013

News, Podcasts

November 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Limiting pensions for high-paid state workers

News

November 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The state’s treasurer says it’s time to impose lower limits on the pensions retired state workers may receive, but the manager of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System or IPERS says the move would do little to reduce the fund’s future obligations. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says under current policy 35-year state employees with salaries above a quarter of a million dollars can earn a maximum 160-thousand dollar annual pension once they retire.

“That is, I think, bad public policy,” Fitzgerald says. “I think that’s way too high. I think that’s a benefit we ought to scale back.” Donna Mueller — the chief executive officer for IPERS — says about one percent of the 340-thousand people who are either getting an IPERS pension or may get one in the future would be affected by Fitzgerald’s proposed limit. “In the actuarial picture — very, very, very few,” Mueller says. “…It isn’t what’s causing the $5.9 billion or $5.8 billion unfunded liability.”

IPERS currently has about 25-billion dollars in assets and paid out about one-and-a-half billion dollars last year in benefits. Iowa’s pension fund for state workers, teachers and employees of local governments is in far better shape, financially, than other states, but is about 20 percent short of its future obligations. Mueller says that money’s not due today, just like an individual doesn’t have to come up with the money for their 30-year mortgage on day one.

Legislators and the governor did act recently to increase current workers’ contributions into the system. Mueller and Fitzgerald made their comments this weekend during an appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program.

(Radio Iowa)

Ready for Thanksgiving: Iowa turkey farms raise 11 million birds

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

There are roughly 130 turkey farms in Iowa that have been busy preparing for this week as Thanksgiving Day draws near. Iowa Turkey Federation Executive Director Gretta Irwin says Iowa ranks ninth nationwide in turkey production. “We’ll be raising close to 11 million turkeys in the state of Iowa (this year) and each one of those turkeys is going to add $24 to $25 of economic impact to our economy,” Irwin says.

Iowa ranks fifth in the country for turkey processing as Hillshire Brands in Storm Lake and West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, combined, process over 15.5 million turkeys annually. Irwin says Iowans will find great prices on turkeys as they prepare for the Thanksgiving Day meal. “I’m seeing them at 88-cents a pound or you can buy a ham and get a turkey for free, there are lots of great deals out there,” Irwin says.

The Iowa Turkey Federation’s website was recently revamped and includes a host of tips and ideas for preparing turkeys. “We have a free brochure you can download that shows you how to prepare that turkey,” Irwin says. “It walks you step by step through the process of cooking a frozen turkey, deep fat frying a turkey, grilling a turkey…lots of great ideas in the that brochure.”

Governor Terry Branstad will uphold an annual tradition today (Monday), by pardoning two Iowa-grown turkeys during a ceremony at Terrace Hill. The turkeys, from a farm in Ellsworth, will then be taken to live out their remaining days at Living History Farms in Urbandale.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Mon., Nov. 25th 2013

News

November 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor and congressional delegation are trying to shore up political support for ethanol, which is slipping as the nation produces more of its own oil. Republican Terry Branstad is pushing to reverse the Obama administration’s proposal to cut the required amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply. Almost half of Iowa’s corn crop goes to manufacture the grain alcohol, which is blended into gasoline.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman who was once held captive by Iranian revolutionaries for more than a year is happy to see the United States talking with Iran. Kathryn Koob told The Associated Press yesterday she doesn’t want to comment on the deal that calls for Iran to freeze its nuclear program temporarily. But Koob says she’s glad the United States and Iran are sitting at the table and negotiating. Koob was one of 66 Americans held hostage in Iran beginning in 1979.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Nearly 100 Iowa families are celebrating having their soldiers home before Thanksgiving. KCCI reports that almost 100 soldiers from an Iowa Army National Guard unit returned home Saturday after a year in Afghanistan. Autumn Eddy says she felt like she was a single parent during the deployment, so she was looking forward to Sergeant Mark Eddy’s return.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hallie Christofferson scored 25 points to lead Number 22 Iowa State to an 89-47 blowout over Drake on Sunday. Christofferson, leading the Big 12 in shooting, was 8 of 10 from the field, including two 3-pointers in Des Moines.

Audubon City Council meeting on Monday

News

November 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon City Council will meet Monday evening in a regular session. On their agenda are matters pertaining to a residential sewer backup, the car wash, approval of the Annual Urban Renewal report, a resolution re-appointing Lou Herbers to the Audubon County Airport Authority Board (with term ending 12-13-2017), and a report on the Melissa Thygesen-Maddox Starmer benefit.

The meeting at the Audubon City Hall begins at 7-p.m., Monday.

Atlantic School Board work session set for Mon.

News

November 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Directors will hold a work session Monday evening (11/25) at the High School. Items on their agenda include action on: Approval of a pay application for the Middle School renovation project; Approval of employment for a paraprofessional; a technology update from Roger Warne; discussion with regard to Capital Projects, and a closed session for an informal evaluation of the Superintendent.

Their meeting in High School Media Center begins at 7:30-p.m.

(Update): Witness says pickup was weaving before 3 vehicle accident in Atlantic Sunday afternoon

News

November 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Medivac Ambulance responded to a three-car accident Sunday afternoon on Highway 6 (7Th Street), near Wal-Mart. The accident happened at around 2:50-p.m.

Ric Hanson photos

Ric Hanson photos

 

Multiple injuries were reported. One female complained of a head injury, another had a leg injury, while a male inside another vehicle was also injuries, the extent unknown at the time Atlantic Police arrived on the scene.IMG_20131124_150916_244

A witness to the crash told KJAN News a red pickup had been traveling east on Highway 6 near the intersection with Hospital Drive by McDonald’s, and allegedly ran the stop light at the intersection. The truck continued eastbound and swerved to avoid an SUV waiting at the stop lights at the north entrance to the Wal-Mart Store. The SUV then hit the rear of a white SUV, which was also waiting at the stop light. That vehicle the pulled off onto the entrance drive to Wal-Mart, while the pickup and the other SUV remained on the road.

Barn fire reported near Harlan

News

November 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Harlan were dispatched to the scene of a barn fire Sunday morning. The call about the fire at 1440 Highway 44, about two miles east of Harlan at the Finken Tree Farm, came in at around 9:10-a.m.  Mutual aid was requested from the Kirkman Fire Department for their tanker trucks, and Defiance Fire for their Rehab truck. Kimballton fire was also requested.

Fire crews from Harlan returned to the scene Sunday evening, when the flames rekindled.

No other details are available.

Rollover accident in Harlan early Sunday morning

News

November 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One person was said to have been trapped following a rollover accident early this morning, in Harlan. Harlan Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene on Highway 59 about two-miles north of Chatburn Avenue, at around 12:30-a.m.  No report on injuries was available from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office early this (Sunday) morning.

A press release is expected later today.