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Villisca man wins $30k in scratch-off game


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa man said he was confident that he won a big lottery prize, but he waited until his ticket was validated by the lottery before he started to celebrate. Phillip Currin Sr., of Villisca claimed the third of 11 top prizes of $30,000 available in the Iowa Lottery’s “Holiday Word Bank” scratch game. According to the Daily NonPareil, Currin claimed his prize last Friday at the lottery’s regional office in Council Bluffs.

The 78-year-old said he purchased his ticket earlier this month at Villisca Foods, 509 S. Third Ave. in Villisca. Currin said that’s where he always buys his lottery tickets. Currin, who is retired from United Farmers Mercantile Cooperative, said he plans to save his lottery winnings.

Eight top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Holiday Word Bank, as well as nine prizes of $3,000, 15 prizes of $500, 75 prizes of $300 and 189 prizes of $100. Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $3.3 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.5 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

Congressional reaction to Obama’s executive order


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

President Barack Obama has unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration. Obama says immigrants who’ve lived illegally in the U.S. for more than five years can avoid being deported if their children are citizens or lawful permanent residents, and they pass background checks and pay fees. They also can get work permits. Obama says he wants immigration enforcement efforts to focus on “felons, not families.”

The reaction from Iowa’s congressional delegation to President Obama’s immigration order includes one suggestion that congress vote to publicly and formally reprimand Obama for his actions. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin says Obama has taken “common sense steps” and “is doing the right thing.” Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says Obama has taken “the wrong way forward” and is “poisoning the well for future action” om immigration reform.

Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa City says he has “concerns about the president acting without congressional approval,” but Loebsack says he hopes the president’s executive order now spurs House Republicans to vote on an immigration reform bill. Republican Congressman Steve King of Kiron is a leading critic of “amnesty” for any illegal immigrant.

King says no one in congress wants to throw the country in turmoil and impeach the president, but King suggested during an appearance last night on CNN that congress might vote to censure Obama instead.

(A-P/Radio Iowa)

Farm Bureau survey finds small increase in turkey dinner cost


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey on the cost of serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal is out. Iowa Farm Bureau director of research, Dave Miller, says you won’t have to find much more cash than you did last year to buy all the food to feed 10 people. “The Thanksgiving feast is basically stable in cost at about 49 dollars, 41 cents according to the American Farm Bureau study. We’ve been within about a 20-cent range on the cost of that meal for the last four years,” Miller says. He says the increase is less than the cost of a postage stamp.thanksgiving-dinner-table

“It’s up 37 cents from a year ago, it’s still actually cheaper than 2012,” Miller says. The AFB checks the price of turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of celery and carrots, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk. “The biggest ingredient is the turkey, and it was actually down 11 cents from a year ago,” Miller says. “The biggest upside was probably the sweet potatoes that were up 20 cents for three pounds of sweet potatoes, so up about three cents a pound.” Commodity prices have dropped dramatically last year, and Miller says there was some impact.

“It doesn’t show up a lot, although the pie shells were actually down seven cents, the rolls were down a penny, the stuffing was down 13 cents. So, those things that were grain-related were all down in price. The things that tended to be up in price were the things that tended to be more dairy and livestock related,” according to Miller. The turkey averaged 21-dollars, 65 cents or one dollar, 35 cents per pound.

“Turkey production took a hit when corn prices were high coming out of the 2012 drought when corn prices were high, but turkey production is up on a national basis, and that’s part of the reflection of turkey prices, slightly lower this year,” Miller says. At around 49 dollars for 10 people, the cost of the meal is five dollars per plate. But Miller says this is a nationwide average cost and you may be able to find some local bargains.

“One of the things that shoppers report are there are places that if you spend 50 bucks or 100 bucks that the turkey may be free,” Miller explains. “So there are some real good promotions to get you in the store and with the use of coupons and some other things, the price of your Thanksgiving feast could be substantially less than five dollars per person.” This was the Farm Bureau’s 29th annual study of the cost of the Thanksgiving meal.

(Radio Iowa)

Drivers don’t follow their own thoughts on cellphones


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Most drivers say they’d support laws banning the use of cell phones while behind the wheel, but an insurance company survey finds, those drivers don’t practice what they preach. Ann Avery, spokeswoman for State Farm in Iowa, says the company just wrapped up its 6th annual survey on cell phone use by motorists. “There has been a steady reduction in the number of drivers talking on a hand-held cell phone, which is great,” Avery says, “and the number of people who report texting while driving has remained stable over six years.” If you didn’t have a smart phone a few years ago, the odds are, you have one now.

“In 2011, 52% of drivers reported owning a smart phone,” Avery says. “By 2014, that number has grown to 80%. We see the greatest increases in smart phone ownership to be among adults age 40 and older.” While devices like iPhones and Androids put a wealth of information, navigation and convenience at our fingertips, Avery says there’s also a big problem with them. “The interesting things about smart phones is, those do create new distractions,” Avery says. “There’s a significant increase over six years in drivers who use their phones for such things as accessing the internet, reading email, responding to email, reading social media.”

The survey found road conditions have a lot to do with whether drivers have one hand on the wheel and the other on the phone.”There are some things that drivers say make them more likely to use their cell phones, such as stopping at a red light or being on an open highway,” Avery says. “On the other hand, drivers say there are some circumstances under which they’re less likely to use their cell phones, such as weather conditions, it’s dark outside, it’s foggy, snowy, icy, they’re in heavy traffic or in a school zone.”

Only nine states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held phones while driving, and Iowa is not one of the nine. Iowa is among 35 states that prohibit texting while driving. A spokeswoman for the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says a cell phone ban for motorists would greatly improve driving conditions on highways and interstates.

(Radio Iowa)

Kozy Shack recalls some puddings over labeling


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (AP) — Pudding maker Kozy Shack Enterprises is recalling some of its puddings because they are not labeled as containing milk. The voluntary recall involves 4-ounce cups of Foodservice Kozy Shack Simply Well Chocolate Pudding. The recalled pudding was distributed through foodservice distribution channels and not sold in retail stores.

The product was distributed to 20 states — Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Minnesota-based cooperative Land O’Lakes owns Kozy Shack Enterprises.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., 11/21/14


November 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economic outlook for rural areas of Iowa, Nebraska and other Plains states improved in November. But the monthly survey of bankers doesn’t suggest much growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss in Omaha says low grain and energy prices continue to limit the economy in rural areas.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Board of Regents member Nicole Carroll says she has resigned from the group that governs the state’s three public universities. Carroll says in a news release that the resignation is due to her family’s move out of Iowa. She says the decision was effective yesterday. Carroll says she wanted to make the announcement ahead of the board’s next meeting.

WILTON, Iowa (AP) — Officials are assessing damage to a warehouse for an electric service provider in eastern Iowa following a small vehicle fire. The Muscatine Journal reports the Eastern Iowa Light and Power Cooperative says a vehicle fire inside the warehouse in Wilton was reported Wednesday morning. The fire was extinguished in 45 minutes and no one was hurt.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — A Cherokee man has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection to a lengthy standoff with police on October 30th. The Sioux City Journal reports 35-year-old Joshua Allender entered his written plea Wednesday in Cherokee County District Court.

Atlantic Yard Waste site hours to change effective 11/24/14

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the City of Atlantic have announced a seasonal change in operation of hours for the Yard Waste site. Effective Monday, Nov. 24th, the Winter Hours of Operation for the site are as follows:

Saturdays, from 9:00 am. to 5:00 pm.

The City reminds the citizens to bring only trees, branches, grass, garden waste, and/or leaves.

2 Iowa school districts opt to not share grades


November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa school districts have decided not to share grades in the upcoming school year. The decision means the Remsen-Union and Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn school districts will have to make big budget cuts. Together, they face budget cuts totaling about $600,000.

The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports Remsen-Union will have to make about $400,000 worth of reductions in general fund expenditures to not face a budget shortfall. The MMC district will have to make about $200,000 worth of budget cuts. The decision was made at an MMC school board meeting Monday. Remsen-Union school board members also were in attendance.

Both school boards had to approve a whole grade sharing plan before February. Grade sharing would have meant sending students in grades five through eight to one district and those in grades nine through 12 to another.

Atlantic P-D to conduct tobacco compliance checks


November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As part of a pledge to keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of Atlantic’s youth, officers with the Atlantic Police Department will be conducting compliance checks on local establishments, in the near future. The checks are part of the “I-Pledge” program, in partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (IBD), and serve to educate local retailers as well as enforce Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products law.

Underage customers, under the supervision of law enforcement personnel, will enter establishments and attempt to purchase tobacco or similar products. Clerks who make the illegal sale, will be cited on the spot. Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products to a minor include a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green says the intent of the I-Pledge Program is not to hand out citations, although that may be the result. The intent, he says, is to educate sales clerks and maintain a compliant retail environment in our community.

For more on I-Pedge, go to www.iowaabd.com.

Iowa man pleads not guilty in police standoff


November 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) – A Cherokee man has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection to a lengthy standoff with police. Thirty-five-year-old Joshua Allender entered his written plea Wednesday in Cherokee County District Court. He faces charges of attempted murder, possession of a firearm or offensive weapon by a domestic violence offender, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, assault while participating in a felony and assault on a police officer.

The Sioux City Journal reports police responded to a call on Oct. 30 about a suicidal person. Allendar is accused of refusing to come out when officers arrived and firing a gun from an upstairs window. After six hours, a tactical unit fired tear gas into the home and Allender was arrested.