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USDA awards contracts to 2 companies for bird flu vaccines

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal agency has awarded contracts to two companies to manufacture a bird flu vaccine. But officials haven’t decided whether to give the doses to poultry to protect against a disease that led to the destruction of 48 million chickens and turkeys this spring. The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it had awarded contracts to Harrisvaccines of Ames, Iowa, and Ceva, a company based in France. The USDA didn’t release the cost of the contracts.

As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to manufacture an unspecified number of doses, store them for up to five years and deliver them throughout the U.S. within 10 days. The USDA says it would need to decide whether the treatment would be effective and weigh potential trade effects before using any vaccine.

Southwest Iowa lagging behind in harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The latest U-S-D-A crop report shows the harvest is 12 days ahead of last year for corn and 10 days ahead for soybeans, but one section of the state is lagging well behind those numbers. Iowa State University agronomist Aaron Saeugling monitors 12-southwest Iowa counties.  “In southwest Iowa it’s going to be a long fall,” Saeugling says.

That’s because constant rains, some often several inches, delayed planting and kept some fields from being planted. That makes for a lot of different scenarios in the fields. ”I’ve got producers who are wrapping up soybeans and I’ve got producers that haven’t started,” according to Saeugling.

It’s not all of southwest Iowa — not even all of some farms. “So for those guys it’s kind of bittersweet,” Saeugling says, “they’ve got fields that are yielding better than they ever dreamed of. They’ve got fields they won’t harvest.” Either way, the area is well behind the statewide average for corn of 20 percent harvested and 65 percent for soybeans. “If I had to average — probably pushing really close to fifty-percent on beans. Corn right now, maybe twenty percent,” Saeugling estimates.

In contrast, in northwest Iowa where things were drier, an agronomist reports two-thirds of the corn and nearly all of the soybeans are already harvested.

(Radio Iowa)

Weather allows work to continue on Cass County bridge projects

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors had a brief meeting this (Wednesday) morning, here in Atlantic. The Board approved the final plans for Bridge #20 (Whistler’s Bridge), located about 2-miles south of Cumberland on 690th Street. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said work on the project involves replacing the culvert under the bridge. The bridge is currently down to one lane because of the condition of the structure underneath it. A box culvert will be installed.

The culvert will have two, “shotgun-style” openings, or three, side-by-side, depending on the flow capacity needed. Bids for the project will be let later this fall. Marker said also, a meeting was scheduled to take place today (Wednesday) with the contractor pertaining to the bridge on Highway 83 near the Griswold Golf Course, with the plan being to pour concrete for the project Thursday morning.

Marker also planned to meet with the contractor for Bridge 247 located south of Anita. He said the contractor would like to start work on the pony truss bridge Thursday, as well. The bridge is being replaced because it is limited to the amount of weight it can handle.

And, the Board presented the County’s initial Collective Bargaining proposal to the Union representing the Deputies and Jailers. The Union last week had presented its proposal to the County for the FY 2017-through ’19 contract.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/14/2015

News, Podcasts

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 10/14/2015

News, Podcasts

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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TX man arrested twice Wednesday morning, in Creston

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a man from Texas was arrested twice this (Wednesday) morning. At around 2:30-a.m., 38-year old John C. Jordan, of Katy, TX, was arrested for OWI/1st Offense. Jordan , who was released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond, was arrested again just before 6-a.m., also on an OWI charge. He was being at the jail in Creston, on $1,000 bond.

Creston Police report also, an ex-employee of RELEWIS Refrigeration, Inc., of Creston, failed to return a company vehicle and trailer after he was released from employment. A 2015 Chevy Silverado truck and 2010 H&H cargo trailer containing tools and company equipment valued at $85,000, were recovered in Texas.

And, a Creston resident reported to police late Tuesday morning, that someone broke into her camper and stolen a Nintendo DS, MacBook Air laptop computer, and a Black and Decker drill. The loss was estimated at $530. The theft took place sometime between 10-p.m. Friday and 7-a.m. Saturday.

Imprisoned woman ordered to pay nearly $432K in restitution

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – A 45-year-old south-central Iowa woman who’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison has been told to pay back the vehicle dealership she stole from while working there. Online court records say Lyndsay Huntsman was ordered last week to pay restitution of nearly $432,000 to Creston Automotive in Creston, where she’d worked for several years in the bookkeeping department.

She’d made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to five of the six theft counts against her. Prosecutors dropped a charge of ongoing criminal conduct in exchange for Huntsman’s pleas.

Massena firefighters called-out early Wed. morning

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Massena responded early this (Wednesday) morning, to a report of a possible residential fire at 202 Pine Street. The call from a woman who said her fire alarm was going off and who smelled smoke, came in at around 1:15-a.m.  A Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy who was in the area and was first on the scene, said he could smell smoke in the home, but wasn’t able to observe any flames.

After about an hour on the scene, authorities were able to determine a motor on an appliance had burned-up, causing the smoky smell. There were no injuries and no damage was reported. All fire units were back in-station by 2:20-a.m.

Lagging farm economy worries state financial experts

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A three-member panel of financial experts is lowering its estimate of state tax collections. The Revenue Estimating Conference is still predicting overall state tax revenue will be up three-point-four percent for the year, but the group shaved 121 million dollars off the total compared to its March prediction. Iowa Department of Management director Dave Roederer says he and the other two panel members are concerned about what’s happening in the farm economy.

“When producers are producing corn and soybeans at a loss, that means that there’s going to be less revenue coming into the state,” Roederer says. Roederer says when farmers have a down year, that tends to have a ripple effect throughout the Iowa economy. Roederer, though, points to Iowa’s low unemployment rate as a positive sign.

“The economy is more partly cloudy than anything else,” Roederer says. The state is just three months into the budgeting year and Roederer says there’s no cause for alarm since the group is still predicting Iowans will pay 235 MILLION dollars MORE in taxes this year than last.

(Radio Iowa)

Eleven counties northern IA counties institute a burn ban

News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Eleven counties in northern Iowa are now under burn bans that prohibit any open burning. Howard County Emergency Management Director, Darrell Knecht requested the ban after seeing conditions worsen. “Just very, very dry conditions. The standing crops are dry, the grass is getting dry and drying down, and of course with the wind, everybody’s burning leaves this time of year and we’re hoping to get ahead of it a little bit,” Knecht says. He also saw issues in other counties.

IA counties (in red) w/a ban on open burning as of 10/13/15.

IA counties (in red) w/a ban on open burning as of 10/13/15.

“Around us there have been a few fires where combines have caught fire, so again, we just wanted to get a little ahead of it,” Knecht says. Knecht says people don’t always pay attention to the conditions when they burn. “I think always their intentions are usually good, sometimes they want to get stuff done before they think a little bit,” he explains. He says with the burn ban in place it sends a message to not take any chances. Knecht says Howard and some of the surrounding counties have not had the rain needed to make conditions safer.

He says it would take a pretty good rain to make a significant difference. A fire in eastern Iowa destroyed around two-thousand acres of crops and two firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Knecht says even a small fire can get out of hand quickly. “Especially if there is some wind blowing, it’s gone in no time,” Knecht says. The other counties joining Howard under a burn ban are: Hankcock, Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Chickasaw, Fayette, Wright, Franklin, Bremer, and Buchanan.

Currently no counties in southwest or western Iowa have implemented a ban on open burning, but area fire chiefs and emergency managers are asking the public to be very cautious, especially on dry and windy days.

(Radio Iowa)