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Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Dec. 15th 2014

News

December 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The city of Waterloo is considering buying the idle former Hostess plant downtown to encourage development. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the City Council will vote today on a plan to spend up to $415,000 on the building that used to serve as a Wonder Bread bakery.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man is recovering from a shotgun wound after being shot by a fellow hunter who was trying to hit a moving deer. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said 47-year-old Eric Winkler was hit in the abdomen Saturday by a shotgun slug fired by someone else in his hunting party.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are searching a western Iowa lake for a man who was reported missing after a canoe capsized, and a second man was being treated at a hospital after swimming to shore. Council Bluffs Police Sergeant Darren Budd says the canoe the two men were in capsized around 1:45 p.m. Sunday. The men were not immediately identified Sunday.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Federal prosecutors are dropping an effort to seize nearly $33,000 from an Iowa restaurant owner’s bank account. The New York Times reports the IRS became suspicious of Carole Hinders because of a pattern of cash deposits of less than $10,000. Hinders says the cash came from her Mexican restaurant, Mrs. Lady’s, in Arnold’s Park, Iowa that doesn’t accept credit cards.

“Abnormally dry” conditions return to NW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

December 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The state entered winter with groundwater levels up and no drought conditions reported in the state, but that has changed a little in recent weeks. Tim Hall tracks the water conditions for the Department of Natural Resources and says drought conditions in the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota have crept into Iowa. “That’s just sort of snuck into the northwest corner of the state, it’s not a big deal right now, we just want folks who live in that part of the state to be aware of it, and we’ll just sort of keep an eye on it over the winter,” Hill says. The area has been rated “abnormally dry” which Hall says is the rated that brings the least concern for drought conditions. November saw more snowfall than normal, but Hall says that doesn’t help the dry conditions at this time of year.

“The frozen ground prevents a lot of general soaking in of rainfall, plus we’ve got to keep in mind that there’s often a ten to one ratio between the amount snow we get and the amount of moisture that is in that snow,” Hall says. “So, a ten-inch snowfall — which is a big deal in Iowa — could be as little as an inch of rain, which isn’t as big a deal.” Overall though, Hall says Iowa’s waterways are in good shape right now. He says the state has battled abnormally low stream flow levels over the past couple of years. “Generally in the winter stream flow levels are pretty low to being with, and over the last couple of years we have seen abnormally low stream flows when it’s normally low anyway. This year going into winter, we are actually in pretty good shape stream-flow wise,” Hall says. He says most of the state has normal stream flow and western Iowa has some above-normal stream flows.

“That indicates there’s an abundance of moisture in the system and that spells good news potentially for spring planting as there is enough moisture out there,” Halls says. “That’s a significant improvement over where we’ve been over the last couple of years.” One other things Hall has noticed about the water systems this winter is that we’ve seen some of the earliest lake ice on record for Iowa’s northern lakes. Big Spirit Lake froze November 16th and West Okoboji Lake was close to being completely frozen on December 1st.

“Generally the onset of ice on the lakes isn’t a huge impact on the hydrology,” according to Hall. He says it is kind of interesting for “weather junkies” to look at and see how the icing of the lakes compares to past years. Hall says the ice on the lakes can help prevent some evaporation, but overall it doesn’t have a major impact on the water situation. And he says the changing temperatures will make the ice conditions vary quite a bit. For more on of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Ernst may continue to serve in Iowa National Guard

News

December 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Senator-elect Joni Ernst is eligible to retire from her career in the Iowa National Guard, but she may continue to serve in the military long after she’s sworn in as a senator in January. “It’s caught somewhere in between,” Ernst says. “I’m going to keep it as is for just a little bit and then likely make that decision probably later this spring.” Ernst, who joined the Iowa National Guard in 1993 and is now a lieutenant colonel, was a company commander in 2003 when her unit was sent to Iraq. She then commanded the Iowa Guard’s largest battalion, of more than 12-hundred soldiers, before recently shifting to serve as a senior officer at the Iowa Guard’s headquarters in Johnston.

“I’m out of battalion command, so the outside time commitment is not as much,” Ernst says. Ernst was off the campaign trail this summer for a week of active duty, then — about 34 hours after being declared the winner of Iowa’s U.S. Senate race — Ernst reported for two days of active duty. Other members of congress serve in the guard and reserve, including South Carolina Lindsey Graham, who is in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is a senior instructor for the Air Force Judge Advocate General program. Graham has encouraged Ernst to remain in the Guard. During a campaign swing through Iowa with Ernst in October, Graham emphasized Ernst’s previous role as a battalion commander.

“A military commander is a unique job in the Army. Very few people get it and to be a good commander, you have to bring out the best in those under you who are diverse. They have different political views, different religious views and you mold it into a team, ” Graham told reporters after an event in Des Moines. “…Very few members of the Senate have military experience.” There is no prohibition against members of the Guard serving in the U.S. Senate. Half a dozen Guard members are currently serving in the House and the newly-elected Senator from Alaska is in the Marine Reserve.

“I know there are other ways of doing two-week duties and things like that which might work a little better with my schedule, so we’re still sifting through that with the Guard before I make that decision to retire,” Ernst says. Ernst’s husband, Gail, is a retired Army Ranger.

(Radio Iowa)

Prosecutors drop effort to seize Iowa restaurant’s cash

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Federal prosecutors are dropping an effort to seize nearly $33,000 from an Iowa restaurant owner’s bank account. The New York Times reports the IRS became suspicious of Carole Hinders because of a pattern of cash deposits of less than $10,000. Hinders says the cash came from her Mexican restaurant, Mrs. Lady’s, in Arnold’s Park, Iowa, that doesn’t accept credit cards.

Hinders wasn’t accused of a crime, but federal law makes it illegal to deposit less than $10,000 if it is part of an attempt to circumvent federal reporting requirements. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cole said in a motion filed Saturday the case should be dropped to conserve judicial resources.

Cole says evidence showed that Hinders had skirted bank reporting rules, but he decided the case wasn’t worth pursuing now.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meet Monday

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Park and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors will hold their regular monthly meeting Monday evening, at City Hall. During the session, which begins at 5:15, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring will update the Board on progress with the Bike Hitching posts, the fishing dock at the Schildberg Park Recreation Area, and the Parks & Rec Assistant Director’s position.

Herring will also discuss the department’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget, including the need to make some cuts, and he’ll provide an update on the Bull Creek Walking/Biking Pathway, as well as the status of the park gates being open at Sunnyside Park while the weather remains mild. Typically, the gates are closed the first week in December.

CAM School Board SIAC & Regular meetings set for Monday

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM School District’s Board of Education are set to meet Monday evening in the library at the high school, in Anita. At 5:15, the Board will hold a session pertaining to the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) Agenda. Discussion during the meeting includes objectives for 2014-2015, with regard to the Iowa Assessment, Bullying and Harassment, and Book Study. They’ll also talk about School Hardware Plans for 2014-2015, as well as Clarity Study information and access.

During their Regular Board session, which begins at 6:30-p.m., the CAM School Board will discuss, and possibly act on: a contract with regard to sponsoring for the Dance Team; an Athletic Trainer; the Early Retirement package and/or applications; Early graduation requests; the 1-to 1-laptop initiative; an agreement with Connections Academy, and other, administrative matters.

 

1 man missing after canoe capsizes in western Iowa lake

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are searching a western Iowa lake for a man who was reported missing after a canoe capsized, and a second man was being treated at a hospital after swimming to shore. Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Darren Budd says the canoe the two men were in capsized around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, at Lake Manawa. The men were not immediately identified.

At the time of the accident, the water temperature was around 35 degrees, but one of the men managed to swim to shore and alert the park ranger. The swimmer was taken to a Council Bluffs hospital for treatment.

Rescue crews searched the lake until nightfall Sunday without finding the missing man but had to suspend their efforts. Authorities plan to resume the search Monday morning.

Eastern IA man suffers gunshot wound while checking traps

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from eastern Iowa suffered from an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound Saturday morning while checking his traps in Keokuk County. The Iowa DNR says 70-year old James Conger, of Ollie, was leaning over to remove a possum from a live trap when a .22-caliber revolver he was carrying in a coat pocket fired into his leg at approximately 7:30 a.m. Saturday northwest of Ollie.

Conger was taken to Ottumwa Regional Health Center by a private vehicle where he was treated for a non life-threatening injury.

Creston man arrested on drug charge following accident investigation

News

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Union County was arrested Saturday night on a drug charge, following an investigation into an accident that occurred on 150th Street, in Adams County. Sheriff’s officials say the call about the crash near Uban Avenue, came in at around 8:40-p.m. Authorities say 29-year old Steven Marion Bochniak, of Creston, was driving a truck that hit a bridge, disabling the vehicle.

Deputies noticed Bochniak was acting strange. They later recovered a small amount of marijuana. Bochniak was arrested for Possession of Marijuana, and was being held in the Adams County Jail Sunday on $1,000 bond.

Carroll man shot while deer hunting, Sat. afternoon

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) report a Carroll man was injured Saturday when he was hit by a shotgun slug while deer hunting. 47-year old Eric Winker was part of a hunting group and was helping to drive deer when a shotgun slug fired at a moving deer from another hunter in the party hit him in the abdomen. The group was hunting southwest of Lanesboro in Carroll County when the incident occurred at approximately 2:30-p.m.

Winker was transported to Steward Memorial Hospital in Lake City, transferred to Unity Point Health in Fort Dodge and then life-flighted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. The incident is still under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Deer hunters are reminded to make sure where other hunters in their party are at all times and to never fire in the direction where other members of the group are expected to be. According to DNR Recreational Safety Officer Jeff Barnes “Most of [the] incidents happen when shots are being fired at moving deer so it is essential to always be aware of your zone of fire.”