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Workshops for current and wanna-be cattle producers to be offered across western Iowa in March

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A series of workshops targeting Iowa beef producers will be held across western Iowa next month which will compare various types of cattle operations. Beth Doran is a beef program specialist at the Iowa State University Extension, based in Orange City. She says the workshops are targeted towards potential and current producers. “We’re going to try to give an overview of facility types,” Doran says. “We’ll be talking about different kinds of facilities, hoop barns, monoslope barns, open lots, deep-pitted slotted-floor barns. We’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of them and review some of the research on those types.”

Doran says producers will receive several production resources and tools as well as an updated manual on feedlot systems. “We’re also going to give the workshop participants several scenarios and they’ll have to work through making appropriate choices for an operation,” Doran says. “That might involve their financing decisions, cost-benefit measurements and taking a look at that production environmental risk that’s going on with that.” Doran says northwest Iowa contains a lot of the different operations that will be discussed in the workshops.

Producers interested in attending should call their local extension office to pre-register. The workshops will be held (locally) March 18th in Lewis, and on March 25th in Carroll.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 18th 2015

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A plan to hike the state’s fuel tax by ten cents is quickly moving through the Iowa Legislature. The legislation would raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents. That would provide about $215 million annually for the state’s network of bridges and roads, many of which are in disrepair. Iowa’s fuel tax is now 22 cents per gallon for gasoline, including fees. The tax hasn’t been raised since 1989.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines city councilman says he was not trying to get a speeding ticket waived when he contacted the interim police chief. Joe Gatto was given a ticket for driving 10 miles over the speed limit during a traffic enforcement event on Dec 3. After the traffic stop, the councilman contacted the Interim Police Chief Doug Harvey. His speeding ticket was voided 27 minutes after being downloaded onto the police department’s server. Gatto says that he did not contact the police chief to have the ticket waived, but to express concern about how the traffic stop was handled.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old man has been gunned down on a street in southeast Iowa. The shooting occurred around 2:45 p.m. Monday near South Hill Park in Burlington. Police and medics found the man lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso. He was taken to Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, where he died around 3:30 p.m. The man has been identified as Deonte Raynell Carter, of Burlington. No arrests have been made.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The defense is getting its turn after prosecutors rested their case at Theresa Supino’s murder trial in Waterloo. The woman is accused of killing her husband and his girlfriend more than 30 years ago. Prosecutors called more than 40 witnesses over nine days.

Task force member criticizes Iowa regents’ funding model

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A member of a task force that assisted the Iowa Board of Regents in creating a new performance-based funding model has reiterated his criticism of the model to lawmakers. Len Hadley, retired chief executive officer of Maytag Corp., told an education appropriations subcommittee Tuesday that the model would unfairly compare funding needs at the state’s three public universities.

Hadley, who has previously criticized the model, represented the University of Iowa on a five-person task force that issued a funding proposal to the regents. He voted against it. The new model rewards universities for recruiting more in-state students. The regents say the model, which they approved last year, is more transparent in its method for requesting state dollars.

Lawmakers at the meeting say they will discuss the issue in the future.

Iowa Senate panel OKs minimum wage increase

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill to boost Iowa’s minimum wage has won preliminary approval in the Iowa Senate. A three-member subcommittee backed the bill Tuesday, with two Democrats and one Republican voting in favor. The bill would gradually raise Iowa’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75.

Sen. Tony Bisignano, a Des Moines Democrat, says the bill was an overdue effort to help low-wage workers. Sen. Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, said this would keep Iowa wages in line with neighboring states.

The bill is expected to win approval in the Democratic-majority Senate, but prospects are less clear in the Republican-controlled House. Asked last week if House Republicans would support raising the minimum wage, Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, said his caucus was more focused on training for high-paying jobs.

House panel turns down bill on Iowa high school civics test

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A House panel has declined to approve a bill that would have required Iowa high school students to pass a civics exam to graduate. Members of an education subcommittee discussed the bill Tuesday. It will not be taken up again this session.

A few education groups were registered against the bill, which would have required high school students to pass an exam given to immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. Lobbyists questioned mandating such a requirement without funding. Lawmakers also pointed out that Iowa high school students are already required to take a government course to graduate.

Several state legislatures are considering similar bills. The Joe Foss Institute, an Arizona-based nonprofit, is working toward getting all 50 states to approve such laws by 2017, when the Constitution turns 230 years old.

Memorial Weekend Campsites Soon Available for Reservation

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR say the three month window to reserve a state park campsite for a Friday arrival on Memorial Day weekend opens this Sunday, Feb. 22. But more than a few campers have their sites already reserved arriving on the weekend before Memorial Day and staying through the holiday. Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau, says “Campers can make reservations for sites three months ahead of their first night stay.” He said also “We had a flurry of reservations when campers began getting their sites for a two-week stay that includes the Memorial Day weekend.”

Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend. Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and nonelectric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk up camping.

Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including the link to reservations. Campers can also log on directly to http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com; enter their preferred amenities and requirements, dates and/or parks to see what sites are available and make a reservation.

Harlan woman arrested Sunday following a disturbance

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan say one person was arrested Sunday, following a disturbance in the 2300 block of 7th Street. Officials say 23-year old Crystal Oliver, of Harlan, was taken into custody on charges of Public Intoxication and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The H-PD also investigated two, non-injury accidents recently. On Saturday, vehicles driven by Thomas Sondag II, and Melanie Olesen, both of Harlan, collided at 12th and Baldwin Streets, when Sondag’s 1999 Saturn pulled out in front of Olesen’s 2008 Chevrolet. Damage from the collision amounted to $4,000. Sondag was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

The other accident happened in the 1000 block of Chatburn Avenue, on Feb. 10th. Officials  say vehicles driven by Maura Goaley, of Omaha, and Dennis C. Petersen, of Harlan, collided when Goaley was attempting to turn from the Casey’s east driveway onto Chatburn Avenue. An uninvolved delivery truck was stopping to turn north into the Casey’s parking lot. As it was doing so, a 1994 Plymouth driven by Petersen went around the truck and proceeded west. Goaley didn’t see Petersen’s car because the truck obstructed her view. When she pulled out onto Chatburn to head east, her 2007 Chrysler was hit on the passenger side door by the Petersen vehicle. Damage from the crash amounted to $6,000. No citations were issued.

Walnut man arrested in Union County

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County say a Pottawattamie County man was arrested last week at the Union County Law Enforcement Center. Gunnar Michael Blum, of Walnut, was arrested Feb. 9th. on a Dept. of Corrections warrant for Probation Violation. Blum was later released from the jail on $1,000 bond.

Ernst visits Atlantic on her 99-county tour

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, of Red Oak, made a stop in Atlantic this (Tuesday) morning, as part of her 99-county tour of the state. Ernst toured Mahle Engine Components, USA, Inc. Mahle has facilities on five continents, including over 150 production locations and 10 major research and development centers.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) tours the Mahle Engine Components plant in Atlantic. (Ric Hanson, photo)

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) tours the Mahle Engine Components plant in Atlantic. (Ric Hanson, photo)

In Atlantic, Ernst was asked about ongoing murders and threat posed by ISIS, and what the U-S’ role should be in the fight. She said she would like to see other foreign countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey step-up to the plate and engage more of their ground forces against the terrorist organization.

Ernst expressed her concerns about the continued deadlock in the Republican-controlled Senate over the funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She claimed Senate Democrats refuse to cooperate in getting the bill through Congress. She was also asked about the FCC taking control of the internet. Ernst said the government should not be the sole source of control over what is seen and heard on the ‘net.

Ernst said “It seems that whenever the federal government gets involved with something it just seems to go much worse, so I would much rather see that the internet and private industry is taking care of its own business. We don’t want to restrict ingenuity, we don’t want to see the federal government trying to run the internet.”

When asked about comparisons between herself and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Ernst said she sees herself as an “Independent thinker,” and will do what’s right for the State of Iowa.” Ernst says she has no other political aspirations than to serve Iowans.Joni2

Her visit in Atlantic was the first stop of the day. Ernst’s other stops include Quality Machine in Audubon, and the Guthrie County Hospital. She also was scheduled to attend a meeting of the Greene County Development Corporation, in Jefferson. Her tour continues Wednesday, in Carroll and Thursday, in Denison.

Stolen pickup leads to chase and crash in Pott. County

News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska man who allegedly stole a pickup truck Tuesday morning in Pottawattamie County, ended-up being transported to the hospital after the vehicle crashed, trapping him inside. The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office says 31-year old Rudolph Lucero, of Omaha, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported by Treynor Fire and Rescue to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he was reported to be in a medically-induced coma, Tuesday.

The incident began at around 8-a.m., when Pott. County Communications advised deputies an orange, 2005 Dodge Ram pickup had just been stolen from the vicinity of south 13th Street, in Council Bluffs. A deputy saw a vehicle matching the description, and tried to make a traffic stop. Lucero failed to yield and instead drove to Interstate 80 eastbound and then onto Highway 6, where he exited and continued eastbound, in an attempt to elude law enforcement.

Lucero managed to evade stop-sticks as well, but lost control of the vehicle near Highway 6 and 300th Street. The pickup swerved and turned onto its side, skidding until it hit a rise in the road at 300th Street. The vehicle continued to skid until it ramped up over the street into an open field, where it came to rest.

Charges are pending in connection with the incident, but authorities say they will likely include 1st degree theft.