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Cass County 4-H Mardi Gras is just Days Away

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Youth Coordinator Beth Irlbeck says the County 4-H Clubs invite the public to attend their annual 4-H Mardi Gras carnival on Sunday, March 23rd. Irlbeck say “Mardi Gras includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The event is scheduled from 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic. We are so excited to offer many activities for families.”

Booths at this year’s Mardi Gras will include: Bear Grove Blazers- 4-H bucket pong; Benton Franklin – color wheel of fortune; Brighton – Skeeball; Cowpokes – Boot Bag Toss; G & L Clovers – walking taco foodstand; Griswold Clubsters – Plinko; Grant Guys & Gals –Ring Toss; Grove H.O.T – TP Basketball; Pleasant Noble United – Cake/Dessert Walk; Pymosa – Dart Throw; Union Leaders – box tunnels; Washington GEM – Pop Floats and much more.

The Youth Action Committee and Youth Council are sponsoring this county-wide event and are inviting all Cass County families to come out and join the fun. Admission is just 50-cents per person and tickets cost 10-cents each. Each 4-H club determines how many tickets to charge to play their game. All proceeds from this event go to the 4-H clubs and the Youth Council. For more information, call 712-243-1132.

Iowa officials say 2013 was year of safe hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say 2013 was another year of safe hunting in the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says no fatalities were recorded last year during hunting seasons. However, there were 11 injuries and six cases of property damage.

Megan Wisecup, safety education programs coordinator, says there’s been a trend of self-inflicted incidents over the last four to five years. Officials recommend that hunters remember basic firearm handling.

Wisecup says mandatory hunter education courses are part of a drastic drop in hunting incidents. In the 1960s, officials recorded more than 100 incidents and up to 20 fatalities a year.

Four GOP candidates for US Senate appear at NFIB forum

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate pledged last night (Tuesday) during a forum in Des Moines that they would reduce government regulations and vote to repeal “ObamaCare” if they’re elected. But the candidates differed on whether there’s a need for a law giving small business owners the right to refuse to serve same-sex couples. Arizona’s Republican governor recently vetoed a bill that would have carved out a religious exemption for business owners who, for instance, don’t want to be involved in gay weddings.

Candidate Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, a retired business executive, says religious organizations should “100 percent” have that right to refuse to participate in gay weddings. “But I think for people that choose to enter the field of commerce in businesses, I think we have to make sure that we have an environment that those businesses are open to law-abiding citizens and I’m very concerned about the discriminatory nature that could creep into that if we start to open that door,” Jacobs said.

Sam Clovis of Hinton, an economics professor, says Arizona’s governor should have signed that bill into law. “This, to me, is one of the most fundamental questions that we will have to wrestle with as a society,” Clovis said. “…At no other time in history — and I’m the oldest one sitting on this stage, I’ll tell you — I have never seen in my life the assault on religious liberty that we see today.”

Matt Whitaker of Ankeny, a former federal prosecutor, says the federal government is guilty of encroaching on religious freedoms in a number of cases, but he says there’s no need for a law granting businesses a “religious exemption.”  “As a Christian, I practice my Christian religion and I don’t want to get in the way of others whether you’re Muslim or whether you’re Jewish or some other denomination from you practicing your religion,” but I don’t think we need a federal law to enforce that right because it’s already evidenced in the First Amendment to our Constitution.”

Joni Ernst of Red Oak, a state senator, says it’s a complicated issue that has to be sorted through. “We want to ensure that we’re not discriminating, but then on the other hand we’re not forcing those (business owners) to do something that disagrees with what they believe as a religion,” Ernst said.

All four candidates expressed concerns about the so-called “common core” education standards that supporters say will lead to a better-educated workforce. The candidates said curriculum decisions should be made at the state and local level. The forum was sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Business.

(Radio Iowa)

Cold winter could delay start of construction season

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Record cold this winter could have an impact on the start of the spring construction season. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce says warmer temperatures won’t immediately signal the start of construction. “The ground, they’re saying, is frozen so deep that that’s really going to have an impact on when some of them get started,” Koonce says. Spring begins on Thursday, but Koonce says it will be awhile before spring construction takes off.

She says things probably won’t pick up until we get into April. The construction industry lost jobs for the second month in a row in January.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., March 19th 2014

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

MARQUETTE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire that damaged or destroyed several businesses and homes in the northeast Iowa community of Marquette. Firefighters from eight area departments battled the blaze for hours after it was first reported Monday morning on North Street in downtown Marquette. No injuries were reported.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge says a cancer-stricken 73-year-old man accused of killing his wife in 1997 can leave an Iowa prison and live at his Minnesota home until trial. Judge Paul Miller ruled Tuesday that John Bloomfield will be on house arrest at his St. Paul, Minn., residence until the July 8 trial. Bloomfield is charged in the slaying of 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has overwhelmingly passed legislation that aims to increase penalties for offenders in kidnapping cases involving minors. The bill would toughen penalties for kidnapping offenders in cases involving victims 17 years old and younger. It also would eliminate earned-time credit that reduces an inmate’s sentence for good behavior.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a bill that would require state educators to provide schools with information on radon safety and encourage them to test for the gas. Schools would report to the state Department of Education about how they’re practicing radon safety. The bill returns to the Senate.

Several burn bans in place in southwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two more counties are being be added to the list of counties in the KJAN listening area which have called for a ban on open burning. A Burn Ban went into effect at 10-a.m. Tuesday, for Fremont County. Later that same day, emergency management officials in Page, Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties announced Burn Bans would be in effect in those counties beginning at 8-a.m. today (Wednesday). The bans will remain in effect until further notice.

The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. As dry conditions persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly. Pottawattamie County EMA Director Doug Reed says Pott. County “Has seen the devastating effects of fire in extreme conditions and we want to do everything we can to help mitigate an incident like that from occurring.”

During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational camp fires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fire place of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any camp fire not in an outdoor fire place is prohibited.

Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban.

Red Oak man arrested on arson charge Tuesday

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak have arrested a local man on 2nd degree arson and breach of peace charges. 32-year old Paul Earl Lemburg II, of Red Oak, was arrested at 209 east Nuckols Street on Tuesaday, at around 3:15-p.m.. Lemberg was taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $10,000 bond.

Also arrested Tuesday afternoon, was 31-year old Anthony David Smith, of Red Oak. Smith was charged with Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs. Smith was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Burn Ban in effect in Pottawattamie County beginning 8-a.m. Wed.

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management reports a burning ban will be in place for Pottawattamie County starting Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. The ban prohibits open burning in Pottawattamie County, including all the cities within the county.Pott County Emergency Mgmt

The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. As dry conditions persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly. EMA Director Doug Reed says Pott. County “Has seen the devastating effects of fire in extreme conditions and we want to do everything we can to help mitigate an incident like that from occurring.”

During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational camp fires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fire place of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any camp fire not in an outdoor fire place is prohibited.

Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban. For more information on burn bans and the law you can find further information on our facebook page or you may call 712-328-5777.

Senator seeks secret state settlement records

News

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state senator from Des Moines has asked Gov. Terry Branstad to turn over public documents related to settlements reached with employees who were laid off then paid to sign agreements to keep it quiet. Sen. Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, and chairwoman of the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee, says she wants copies of any such agreements since January 2011. She also wants to know who requested the agreements and who authorized the payments.

On Sunday the Des Moines Register reported that more than $280,000 was paid to six former state employees. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she and Branstad were unaware of the agreements and a comprehensive review is under way. Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says results of the review and any action taken will be made public.

Burn Ban in Montgomery County in effect Wed. morning

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman has announced a Burn Ban will be in effect for that county beginning at 8-a.m. Tuesday and lasting until further notice.Burn ban image Fremont County has already instituted a ban on open, outdoor burning. Hamman says several other counties in southwest Iowa are in the process of issuing a Burn Ban.