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Adams nominated by Democrats to run for Ernst’s IA Senate seat


December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Montgomery County was nominated Saturday, as the Democratic candidate in a special election to fill the Iowa Senate District 12 seat vacated by Joni Ernst. District 12 includes Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold and Taylor Counties. Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, resigned her office on Nov. 28, following her election Nov. 4 to the United States Senate. Steve Adams, of Red Oak, was selected during the Democratic convention at the Lied Public Library in Clarinda. The Omaha World-Herald reports Adams was chosen over Glenwood City Council member Craig Florian.

Adams is employed by the Iowa State University Extension Service in the community and economic development unit. He is involved in work to create and expand small business operations and participates in projects implemented by strategic planning and facilitation groups. If elected to the Iowa General Assembly, he said, his focus would be on economic development.

Adams has served as legislative co-chair of the Southwest Iowa Coalition for the past 16 years and has been on the group’s board for more than 20 years. In 2004 he ran unsuccessfully against Republican Cecil Dolecheck of Mount Ayr for a seat in the Iowa House.

State Rep. Mark Costello of Imogene is the Republican candidate in the Dec. 30th election. Costello was selected at the GOP convention, on Thursday. Don Brantz of Glenwood reportedly is planning to enter the race as a Libertarian candidate.

Arts educators seek to be part of state standards


December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fine arts advocates in Iowa are renewing an effort to get music, drama and art included in state education standards. The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education will lobby lawmakers again next year to amend the Iowa Core to add the fine arts. Leon Kuehner, the group’s executive director, says a similar attempt failed in 2014, but he and others hope they will have more luck this time.

State law dictates that schools teach the arts, but the fine arts are not listed in the Iowa Core, which was established in schools statewide in 2008 after approval from the Legislature and the governor. Democrats who control the Iowa Senate have been supportive of this effort, but it is not clear there is interest in the Republican-dominated House.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., Dec. 14th 2014


December 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters say no one was injured in a blaze inside a Des Moines apartment. KCCI reports fire crews quickly put out the fire that occurred Friday afternoon at the Wakonda West Apartments, just north of the Des Moines Airport. A fire department spokesman says it’s unknown yet how many people will be displaced by the fire.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Those wanting to enjoy some sledding in Dubuque this winter might soon find their options limited. The Telegraph Herald reports that the Dubuque City Council will consider Monday an ordinance restricting sledding on public property to two city parks. If adopted, sledding would only be allowed at Allison-Henderson Park and Bunker Hill Golf Course.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines officials have taken charge of more than 30 wild animals — including black bears and wolves — that had been on display at a now-closed “mall zoo.” The Des Moines Register reports that Polk County deputies evicted Pella Wildlife Company and its owner, Ron DeArmond, from Merle Hay Mall this week. The organization had operated the Academy of Wildlife at the mall until closing its doors in October.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State defensive lineman Devlyn Cousin has been suspended indefinitely from the team after being arrested and charged with simple domestic assault. The Des Moines Register says a police report shows Cousin was arrested late Friday night on charges of domestic assault and obstruction of emergency communication.

Iowa woman sentenced to probation for fatal crash


December 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A 45-year-old western Iowa woman has been sentenced for a crash that killed her uncle. The Sioux City Journal reports that Judith Krohn, of Mapleton, was placed on probation Friday after pleading guilty in Monona County District Court to one count of vehicular homicide. District Judge Jeffrey Poulson suspended a 10-year prison sentence and placed Krohn on probation for two years. She also must pay a $1,000 fine.

Krohn had initially pleaded not guilty to a more stringent vehicular homicide charge that carries a 25-year prison sentence. Prosecutors say Krohn was drunk on April 20, 2013, when the pickup she was driving missed a curve and rolled into a ditch. Her uncle, 59-year-old Albert Butler of Mapleton, was partially ejected from the truck and died from his injuries.

Cold-storage warehouse proposed in Council Bluffs


December 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A cold-storage warehouse that would create at least 50 new jobs has been proposed along Veterans Memorial Highway in Council Bluffs, just across the river from Omaha, Nebraska. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the company, XTL Inc., has an option to purchase and develop real estate at the location.

Mike Dellinger, executive director of Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation, says the project would involve a 155,000-square-foot, cold-storage facility on 51 acres offering warehousing and logistical support to major food processors in the region.

Its construction value is estimated at $27 million, and the automated facility would include $27 million in equipment, shelving and furnishings. About 50 jobs with an annual payroll of about $2.5 million would initially be needed to operate the facility.

Fish farming finds its way to land-locked Midwest

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Global consumption of seafood is outpacing wild fish populations, so farmers are turning from roving the world’s waters to aquaculture. Increasingly, that includes growing fish in large indoor tanks in the Midwest — hundreds of miles from any ocean, bringing the surf to America’s turf.

Experts say fish farming in tanks — or closed containment systems — nearly eliminates fish manure runoff and waste through use of water recirculating and treatment systems. It also eliminates the chance of spreading disease or genetic mutation to wild populations.

And such tank systems can be placed almost anywhere — from Minnesota to Florida — because temperature and water quality can be controlled in an indoor environment. Recently such operations have popped up in Nebraska and Iowa — typically cattle and corn country.

Council Bluffs pursuit results in the arrest of several teens


December 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities say a group of teenage males are in custody after a police chase that started with an alert from Iowa authorities. The Daily NonPareil report that at around 1:15 p.m. Thursday, a caller notified the Iowa State Patrol and Iowa Department of Transportation motor vehicle  enforcement of an allegedly stolen Hummer H2, with the driver reportedly flashing a handgun.

Pottawattamie County Communication Center staff used transportation department cameras to locate the Hummer on westbound U.S. Highway 370, according to the Iowa State Patrol. The patrol notified authorities in Nebraska as the Hummer crossed the Bellevue toll bridge, though the agency did not actively pursue the suspects. According to the Bellevue Police Department:

Around 1:30 p.m. a Bellevue police sergeant spotted the Hummer – which had been stolen from an Omaha dealership – and began a pursuit from Bellevue Blvd. North to Fort Crook Road, before terminating when speeds increased. The Hummer was later found northbound on the boulevard, where officers spotted the occupants bail from the Hummer near Chandler Road. Officers chased the occupants and apprehended the 15-year-old driver. Police found handgun ammunition in the vehicle but no gun.

An hour-long search didn’t net the other young men who’d fled the vehicle, but further investigation led to a house in south Omaha where two teenagers – 18-year-old Jose Garcia and a 17-year-old – were taken into custody by Omaha police and turned over to Bellevue police. The pair had fled the Hummer and called friends that picked them up. A 14-year old, fourth suspect, was later located in Bellevue walking out of the area of the search, having been spotted by a resident in the neighborhood.

Bellevue police said the driver and the 14-year-old were pulled over while driving the Hummer around 1:25 a.m. Thursday at 27th and Emiline streets. The driver sped away after initially stopping for police and the officer terminated the pursuit in South Omaha. The 15-year-old driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, two counts of flight to avoid arrest, two counts of willful reckless driving and criminal impersonation.

Bellevue Police say the 14-year-old was cited for obstructing and false reporting, while Garcia and the 17-year-old were cited for obstructing.

Commercial Pesticide Applicators Reminded that Continuing Education Courses Must be Completed by End of the Year

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Extension office is once again hosting continuing instructional courses (C-CICs) for local commercial pesticide applicators, but wants to remind anyone who has yet to attend the training that all CIC training must be completed by the end of December. Kate Olson, Extension Program Coordinator in Cass County, says “We know year end is a busy time for all, but we don’t want anyone to miss the
opportunity to attend their annual required training, as time to meet those annual requirements is getting short.”

Olson said “We do offer trainings on a first-come, first served basis, and our hours will be slightly different during the holidays, so we’d like to remind folks to call and get their classes scheduled before our year-end calendar fills up!” Training dates can be scheduled locally by calling the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or emailing lander@iastate.edu<mailto:lander@iastate.edu>.

For more information on the Commercial Pesticide Applicator program or the CIC classes, visit

NE IA man charged for allegedly threatening hunters

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a man from northeastern Iowa was charged after allegedly threatening hunters near his property in rural Cresco. 61-year old Ralph Leroy Flugge, was charged Friday, with two counts of threats of terrorism against hunters, both Class D felonies. He was later released on $5,000 bond.

During execution of a search warrant at Flugge’s home on Friday, law enforcement officers seized 30 different firearms. The search warrant was executed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and
assisted by the Iowa State Patrol Tactical Unit, the Howard County Attorney’s office and the Howard County Sheriff’s Department.

STEM daycamp being offered Dec. 30th in Atlantic


December 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

How does sinking and floating work? What makes submarines able to go way down deep into the ocean? Youth who attend this hands-on daycamp will explore this and many other items releated to submersibles. The Submerse Into STEM Day camp will be December 30 at the Nishna Valley YMCA in Atlantic from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The event is free with lunch, snacks and resources provided, but youth must register by December 22nd. ISU Extension

Participants are asked to please bring a swimming suit and towel. Registration forms are available at the YMCA, Cass County Extension Office or online at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/cass/. The Nishna Valley YMCA and Cass County Extension staff and volunteers have teamed up for this day of hands-on learning to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Beth Irlbeck, Cass County Extension Youth Coordinator, says “We are continuing to expand our STEM efforts because there is increased evidence of need and support from the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. 4-H has done STEM and positive youth development programming for years and we’re excited to continue our partnership with the Y who has also made its history supporting youth.”

The “Submerse Into STEM” event promises lots of fun, hands-on science, opportunities to design and build and meet new friends. Pre-registration is required by December 22. There is no charge for the December 30 event, just a day of fun, food, friends and hands-on STEM. Questions? Call Cass County Extension 712-243-1132.