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Hamburg man arrested on drug charge New Year’s morning


January 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An investigation in Fremont County led to an arrest early this (Friday) morning, following a brief pursuit. Deputy Zac Buttercase with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports at around 1:30-a.m., deputies conducted an investigation into the distribution of narcotics. During the investigation, the suspect, 21-year old Jason Vance, of Hamburg, tried to flee the scene when he was contacted.

Vance was apprehended a short time later and brought to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, where he was being held on a $100,000 cash bond, for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) with the Intent to Deliver.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Jan. 1st 2016


January 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Police have charged a Davenport man with illegally selling a pistol to a man who used it to shoot up his estranged wife’s workplace and then kill himself. Forty-four-year-old Lonnie Long turned himself into authorities Thursday, three days after Bettendorf police obtained a warrant for his arrest. Long told police he sold a pistol to 40-year-old Robert Mayes II in October without asking if Mayes had a permit. Days later, Mayes fired shots in his wife’s workplace before fatally shooting himself.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A New Jersey woman is suing Embassy Suites and the Hilton hotel chain for negligence alleging she was raped in her Des Moines hotel room in April 2014 after staff gave a key to her room to a man she didn’t know. The woman’s lawsuit was transferred this week to federal court in Des Moines. She reported the attack to Des Moines police. Christopher LaPointe later pleaded guilty to sex abuse and burglary charges.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Cedar Rapids-bound flight has made an emergency landing at a Tennessee airport. Chattanooga Airport spokesman Albert Waterhouse says Allegiant Air Flight 760 landed safely Thursday morning after reporting an engine problem. No injuries were reported. The plane was headed from Orlando, Florida, to Cedar Rapids.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Falls’ top administrator will get a big payout as he ends 40 years with the city. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports City Administrator Dick McAlister will get more than $94,000 after taxes in unused sick leave to apply toward health care expenses. Over his four decades, McAlister accumulated more than 440 sick days.

Manure spill in Taylor County Thu. afternoon

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a manure overflow at a small hog finishing farm about three miles southwest of Lenox was being investigated Thursday evening. A passerby noticed that the pit at the facility appeared to be overflowing and alerted the DNR on Thursday afternoon. The buildings at the site have shallow under-building pits.

When the pits are full, they are drained into an outdoor concrete tank. It is believed that employees emptied the shallow under-building pits at the facility on Wednesday, December 30th, causing manure to overflow from the tank. The tank was not overflowing on Thursday afternoon, but a path where manure had flowed was still visible and field tests indicated slightly elevated levels of ammonia in water flowing into an unnamed tributary of the East Fork of the One Hundred and Two River.

The operator contacted a commercial manure hauler to land apply manure from the tank in order to prevent further overflows. The DNR is continuing to investigate the incident and will consider appropriate enforcement action.

Judge declines hospitals request to stop Medicaid changes


December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Polk County judge has declined to stop Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize Medicaid indicating the federal government has already delayed implementation until March and hospitals that sued to stop it haven’t proven they’d be irreparably damaged.

The Iowa Hospital Association claims Branstad’s plan to turn over the state’s $4 billion Medicaid program to private for-profit companies is illegal because it takes millions of dollars from a hospital trust fund and gives it to the managed care companies the state hired.

Judge Robert Hanson’s ruling Friday says it’s too early for the court to stop Medicaid privatization because the federal delay allows time for the legislature or the administration to fix problems. Branstad’s spokesman says the decision allows the state to move toward a March 1 implementation.

Survey shows very little Iowa farmland sold to NEW farmers

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The recently released Iowa State Extension land value survey gives some insight into what happens when farmland is sold in the state. Iowa State University extension economist Wendong Zhang oversees the survey.  “About three-quarters of the land sold in Iowa is bought by existing farmers, so it’s more typical that Iowa farmers are buying Iowa land,” Zhang says. Zhang says the 2015 information keeps with the trends seen through the years in land sales. He says it continues to be tough to try and get land to start a new farm operation.

Zhang says only three percent of the land sold in 2015 was sold to new farmers, and that is something that’s been consistent going back to 1986. “So there are some concerns about the access to land by beginning farmers.” Part of the problem is the cost of land. The average value of farm ground in the state fell by 310 dollars in 2015, but still averages seven-thousand-633 dollars an acre.

“When the land price is high, rent is also high, which creates additional difficulty for the beginning farmers without a lot of financial assets to get into the market,” Zhang explains. “So, I do think the beginning farmers might be better able to better start livestock production as opposed to row crops, given how the land market is playing out.” I-S-U extension has put together a new website that combines the findings of the U-S-D-A, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Realtors Land Institute in determining the land values.

“Farmers, land owners and agricultural professionals could view the land visually. So it is a visualization tool that allows people to analyze and see how changes over time and how land values vary across space, Zhang says. You can see the new tool at www.card.iastate.edu/farmland.

(Radio Iowa)

Two southwest Iowa towns make Top 10 list of Main Street communities


December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The online website Onlyinyourstate.com has placed two southwest Iowa towns on a Top 10 list of the Best Main Streets in Iowa. In its article posted Dec. 30th, the website shows Greenfield and Corning were ranked 8th and 9th respectively.

Greenfield was noted for “Its Lancaster Square with thriving shops and businesses, and also for it’s cultural and historical offerings.” They suggest while you’re there, “Check out the Warren Cultural Center and the historic Hotel Greenfield.”

Main Street in Corning was said to be “A charming place, full of history and culture.” The article suggests “While you’re there, check out the Corning Opera House and the Kline Museum, then spend the rest of the day shopping, dining, and exploring.”

Cedar Falls topped the list, followed by Dubuque, Ames, Mt. Vernon, Decorah, Lemars and Pella. Fort Madison rounded out the list in 10th place. For more, go to: http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/iowa/best-main-streets-ia/

IANG soldiers to assist Missouri with flood relief


December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The office of Governor Terry Branstad today (Thursday), announced that in cooperation with the Governor of the state of Iowa and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, approximately 45 members and 20 vehicles from the Iowa Army National Guard are deploying to High Ridge, Mo. to provide water purification and water transportation services.

The Soldiers are members of Companies A, B and C, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, located at Camp Dodge, Cedar Rapids and Oelwein. The Soldiers and their equipment will arrive in Missouri on January 1st and begin transporting and producing potable water that same day.

The Iowa National Guard is providing one Tactical Water Purification System (TWPS) and 15 “Hippos” (Load Handling System Compatible Water Tank Racks for transporting water) for the mission in Missouri. The TWPS uses state-of-the-art reverse osmosis technology to produce 1,500 gallons-per-hour (GPH) of potable water. The Hippo consists of a 2,000-gallon potable water tank with an integrated pump, engine, alternator, filling stand, and 70-foot hose reel with bulk suction and discharge hoses. It has the capacity to pump 125 gallons of water per minute.

The state of Missouri requested assistance from the state of Iowa to help provide potable water after High Ridge’s Public Water Supply District 2 Treatment Plant was contaminated by extensive flooding. The Treatment Plant serves approximately 6,500 customers in High Ridge and Murphy, Mo. and is located approximately 350 miles southeast of Des Moines, Iowa. More than 20,000 Missouri residents are currently without potable water due to flooding.

Support is provided under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (“EMAC”) (pronounced “ee mack”), an agreement executed previously between all 50 states, to assist one another in times of crisis. EMAC is a national, mutual aid and partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during Governor-declared or federally-declared emergencies. Once the conditions for providing assistance to a requesting state have been set, the terms constitute a legally binding contractual agreement that make affected states responsible for reimbursement.

Long-time Hawkeye fans from Atlantic featured in ESPN on-line article

News, Sports

December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The patriarch of an Atlantic family and long-time supporter of the Iowa Hawkeyes, is being featured in an online article about their trip to the Rose Bowl.   ESPN.go.com has done an in-depth story on Jim Tyler and his family.

James "Jim" Tyler

James “Jim” Tyler

Tomorrow (Friday) morning, the 91-year-old Jim Tyler and his custom coach bus, filled with his children and grandchildren, will roll into Pasadena and park outside the Rose Bowl as part of a weeklong celebration of Iowa football, family and their business of more than 100 years, Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Jim and his wife Dottie have made the journey to Pasadena for every Iowa Rose Bowl — in 1957, 1959, 1982, 1986 and 1991. Tyler was inducted in early December into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame.

He remains chairman of the board of Atlantic Coca Cola Bottling Company. For more on the article, go to: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/129150/iowa-fans-celebrate-football-family-business-on-rose-bowl-journey

Powerball jackpot rises to $334M, 12th-highest in history


December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Powerball jackpot has risen to $334 million, the 12th largest in the game’s history. No one won the jackpot on Wednesday, and the next drawing is set for Saturday. The lump-sum cash prize for the winner is $205 million. Iowa Lottery spokesman Kevin Kirkpatrick says the prize hasn’t been this large since March 2013, when a New Jersey man won $338 million.

Powerball’s largest jackpot was more than $590 million in May 2013. Kirkpatrick says the game would have to continue a few more rounds without a winner before it could reach that level. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

Allegiant Air flight makes emergency landing in Tennessee


December 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – An Allegiant Air flight headed to Iowa has made a safe emergency landing at a Tennessee airport. Chattanooga Airport spokesman Albert Waterhouse said Allegiant Air Flight 760 landed around 8:30 a.m. Thursday after reporting a problem with one of its engines. Waterhouse said the plane landed safely, and no injuries were reported.

He said there were 153 passengers on board the flight, which was headed from Orlando, Florida, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He said Allegiant is sending another plane, which will take the passengers on to their destination.