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King & Vilsack quarrel over food stamp program, Saturday


September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

During their second face-to-face debate, Republican Congressman Steve King and his Democratic challenger, Christie Vilsack, disagreed over the size and scope of the federal food stamp program. King argued the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP is being abused by recipients. “We had a fellow that bailed himself out of jail with his EBT card, his Electronic Benefits Transfer card. e have tattoo parlors that in neon lights advertise that they’ll tattoo you and you can pay for it with your Food Stamp card,” King said. “Now we have to do something about this.”

Vilsack defended the food stamp program, citing recent statistics indicating hunger among children had increased by four percent in Iowa. “We have a moral obligation to make sure that we take care of people,” Vilsack said. “But the most important thing about SNAP is that…14 cents of every dollar for SNAP goes into the pocket of a farmer.” King favors cutting the food stamp program by 16-billion dollars over the next five years and he accuses Democrats of trying to “grow the dependency class” by expanding the food stamp program.  “We’ve watched the numbers of people on food stamps go from 19 million up to at least 44.7 and maybe as many as 47 million people in just a few years and we’re watching the Department of Agriculture spend millions of dollars to advertise to get more people to sign up for food stamps,” King said. “Now that doesn’t demonstrate, necessarily, a need. Wants are not necessarily needs.”

Vilsack’s husband, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, runs the U.S. Ag Department that administers the food stamp program.
“Ninety-three percent of the people who get SNAP payments are senior citizens, they’re children who are hungry and they’re working poor,” Vilsack said. “So I’d like to know, Congressman King, which of those people you want to refuse SNAP payments to.” King offered this response: “Nobody in this room believes that 93 percent of the food stamps go to senior citizens unless you redefine senior citizens,” King said, getting applause from his supporters in the crowd and boos from Vilsack’s. “So we saw a lot of this on Thursday night. There’s nothing to rebut and I’d be happy to answer the next question asked from a panelist.”

King and Vilsack met in their first debate last Thursday. Saturday’s event was held at the Clay County Fair in Spencer before a live audience. The start of the debate was delayed until after the conclusion of the Iowa/Iowa State football game.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Mon., Sept. 10th 2012


September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa egg producer diverted eggs from the food supply after a recent inspection discovered salmonella in two of its barns. Centrum Valley Farms told The Associated Press this weekend that the FDA found the strain called salmonella heidelberg in two of six poultry houses tested at its Clarion facility in May. The company said the finding didn’t mean eggs were tainted. But it withheld them until they tested negative and were approved for sale by the FDA.

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) — An autopsy is planned, but authorities don’t suspect foul play in the drowning death of a Des Moines man. The Marion County Sheriff’s office says the body of Dean Hoganson was found Saturday evening in Roberts Creek. A Drake University spokesman says Hoganson was a professor emeritus of biology at Drake.

WHITTIER, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the drowning death of a 2-year-old in a family swimming pool in Linn County. KWWL reports Aaron Rickles drowned in Whittier around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man with an extensive criminal history has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for robbing a Sioux City bank. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Stephan Hall of Sioux City was sentenced to 125 months in prison for robbing the First National Bank on February 13th. Prosecutors said that Hall was arrested after authorities quickly identified the robber and discovered his planned escape route.

Iowa man gets 10 years prison for bank robbery


September 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man with an extensive criminal history has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for robbing a Sioux City bank.  Prosecutors say 53-year-old Stephan Hall, of Sioux City, was sentenced to 125 months in prison for robbing the First National Bank on Feb. 13th.  Authorities say he entered the bank and changed $2 into coins. He then re-entered the bank and handed the same teller a note and fled with money.  Prosecutors say Hall was arrested after authorities quickly identified the robber and discovered his planned escape route, which included a flight out of Omaha, Neb.  Hall spent some of his childhood at a state facility for juvenile delinquents. Later he was convicted of robbery, assault, burglary, escape, domestic abuse and gun possession.

Serious injury accident in Pott. County, Saturday


September 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says  a central Iowa woman was seriously injured during a crash Saturday morning, in Pottawattamie County. Officials say 69-year old Bonnie Irene Frowick, of Des Moines was flown by Life Net helicopter to Creighton University Hospital in Omaha, following the crash at around 8-a.m. Saturday on Interstate 80 westbound, just west of the I-29/I-680 split.

The accident happened as a 2000 Ford Focus driven by Frowick was traveling east in the westbound lanes of I-80 near the 27.5-mile marker. A semi, driven by 22-year old Daniel Lee Rivas, of Los Angeles, CA, was westbound on I-80 and saw the approaching car traveling in the wrong direction. Rivas attempted to swerve into the right lane to avoid a collision, but another semi was already in that lane, making the transition impossible.

Rivas’ semi, registered to Schneider National Carriers, Inc., hit the car, causing significant damage to both vehicles, which remained in the left lane for about 2-hours, until they were removed, and the lane re-opened to traffic.

Mills County Field Fire reported


September 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County says a combine harvesting corn north of Silver City, Saturday, may have sparked a field fire that resulted in several acres being burned. Authorities said volunteer firefighters from Mills County and surrounding areas responded to the blaze near 287th and Cary Road. No buildings were damaged, and no injuries were reported.

Suspects Wanted in CB Robbery


September 8th, 2012 by admin

Police are looking for two men robbed a gas station in Council Bluffs early Saturday morning.

On Saturday shortly after midnight, officers responded to a reported robbery at the Lake Manawa BP Gas Station on Veterans Memorial Highway in Council Bluffs.

Subsequent investigation revealed that two suspects entered the gas station with one suspect armed with a handgun.  They demanded money from the cash registers and stole an undermined amount of cash as well as cigarettes and a phone.  The suspects then fled the area.

A nearby witness saw the suspects get into a red car which they said might be an early 2000’s model Mitsubishi Eclipse or Eagle Talon with Nebraska plates.  The suspects fled the scene traveling west on Veterans Memorial Highway.

One suspect was described as being a black male wearing a black or navy hoodie with dark sweatpants and a purple bandana over his face.  The second suspect is described as being a black male wearing a gray hoodie with light gray sweatpants and a purple bandana over his face.

No injuries were reported with the robbery.

Iowa’s “Red Bulls” receive DoD’s Citizen Patriot Unit Award


September 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

One of the Iowa National Guard’s most storied units, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (“Red Bulls”), has been awarded the Department of Defense’s prestigious Citizen Patriot Unit Award. Presented by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board, Red Bull leadership received the award during a presentation on Sept. 5th, 2012 at the Fort Myer, Va. Officers Club.

Leadership from the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry and the National Guard Bureau receive the Citizen Patriot Unit Award on behalf of the unit during a ceremony at the Fort Myer, Va., Officers Club. From left to right: Col. Michael Amundson, current Commander, 2nd BCT; Col. Benjamin Corell, former Commander, 2BCT; Lt. Gen. William Ingram, Director, Army National Guard, National Guard Bureau; and, Lt. Col. Steve Kremer, former commander, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2BCT. Amundson, Corell, and Kremer are all members of the Iowa Army National Guard

According to Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram, Jr., Director of the Army National Guard, “The ‘Red Bulls’ distinguished themselves and made substantial contributions to the security and defense of the nation, while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Gen. Ingram says “As one of the largest single deployments since World War II, the 2/34th BCT proudly lived up to their heritage with several members being recognized with medals of valor. More importantly, recognition is due in light of the tremendous standard in which their mission was accomplished with the loss of four servicemembers. They will not be forgotten.”

Iowa Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Tim Orr said “As in previous conflicts, the Red Bulls lived up to their history and the reputation of Iowa’s Citizen-Soldiers as some of the finest and most dependable Soldiers in the Army, and are therefore, as the nomination narrative details, most deserving of the Citizen Patriot Unit Award.” According to Col. Ben Corell, the 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry commander, the award is a tribute to all members of Task Force Red Bulls and those who prepared the unit for the Afghanistan mission and supported the Soldiers and their families during the year-long deployment.

The unit departed Iowa in July 2010 for training at Camp Shelby, Miss. and arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where they transitioned into “Task Force Red Bulls.” During the course of the deployment, the unit partnered with the Afghan National Security Forces and also conducted full spectrum counterinsurgency operations. The Red Bulls returned home to Iowa in July 2011. The four Iowans killed in action during the year-long deployment were Sgt. Brent M. Maher (Honey Creek), Spc. Donald L. Nichols (Shell Rock), Staff Sgt. James A. Justice (Grimes), and Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker (Cedar Rapids).

The Citizen Patriot Award for Distinguished Service, awarded annually to one individual and one military unit across the Dept. of Defense organization, was created in 2002 in commemoration of the Reserve Forces Policy Board’s 50th Anniversary. The Citizen Patriot Unit Award is presented to U.S. military units serving our nation.

For more information about the Citizen Patriot Unit Award, go to http://ra.defense.gov/rfpb/awards/index.html .

(Press Release: IA National Guard)

Saturday Morning Iowa Headlines


September 8th, 2012 by admin

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention gives no confidence that he can create jobs. Romney’s commented while campaigning yesterday in Sioux City, Iowa after the latest unemployment report showed employers created only 96,000 jobs last month. Romney also spoke in Orange City, Iowa.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama were joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden for a campaign rally in Iowa City yesterday. The event drew a festive crowd of 8,000 people, some of whom were in town for today’s Iowa-Iowa State rivalry game. The President spoke for 30 minutes in making his case for a second term.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines man is charged with stealing nearly $40,000 worth of walnut trees from federal property. The U.S. attorney’s office says this week that 49-year-old Randall Walker is charged with five counts of theft. During an initial court appearance, Walker was ordered held pending trial, set for October 29th in Des Moines.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Slimy blobs are showing up in the Wapsipinicon (wahp-sih-PIHN’-ih-kahn) River in northeastern Iowa and other spots in the upper Midwest and Canada. The Gazette reports that they’re colonies of bryozoa, animals that scientifically are called Pectinatella magnifica. Experts say the blobs are manifestations of the drought, as they like warm water with little current.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A boil advisory has been lifted for water customers in the central Iowa town of Kellogg. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says samples show that the water is safe to cook with and drink. The advisory was issued after a water main break Tuesday morning.

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – University of Iowa President Sally Mason says in hindsight, she probably wouldn’t renew a contract with Anheuser-Busch because of the backlash. Mason says she’s not sure it’s worth the revenue. During a taping on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program today, Mason says she’d probably reconsider, and more than likely not even do it.

TIFFIN, Iowa (AP) – A 19-year-old man has been charged with vehicular homicide for the death of a 14-year-old girl who was in his car when it collided with a van near Tiffin. Authorities say Zachary Swenka of North Liberty was arrested yesterday in connection with the crash on October 17th, 2011. A Johnson County jailer tells the Associated Press today that Swenka has been booked and released.

Coke Days Coloring Contest Announced


September 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says students from Atlantic, Anita, Cumberland, Massena, Lewis and Walnut elementary schools will participate in the Coca-Cola Days Coloring Contest this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary year of the annual tourism event. Coca-Cola Days Chair Dolly Bergmann says “The contest is done in partnership with the area schools. Some classes do the project in their classrooms, and others send the coloring sheets home with students to do on their own time.”

Safeguard/Choice Printing provides the coloring sheets and Bonnesen’s 5 & 10 provides the prizes for grades K-3. The coloring sheets are judged by the Coca-Cola Days committee members and students are awarded a $10 Bonnesen’s gift card for first place and a $5 gift card for second place. Photos of the winners will be publicized before the September 22nd event and the participants coloring sheets will be displayed in downtown store fronts September 18-24.

According to Bergmann “Collectors from 20 to 30 states come to Atlantic for Coca-Cola Days and rave about the amount of community support our convention has. The coloring contest, parade and retail promotions done during that week are all a part of why they love to come to Atlantic.” The deadline to enter is by 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 12th by returning the coloring sheets to the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at 102 Chestnut Street, Atlantic. For questions or more information contact the Chamber at 712.243.3017 or email chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Bluffs man killed in unusual accident


September 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police say a Council Bluffs man working on his pickup truck died after a fan blade from the engine broke loose and struck hit him in the neck. 50-year-old Roger Klein was working on his truck on Thursday. Police say he was apparently keeping the motor running with starter fluid and using the choke. When he bent over the engine, the fan blade dislodged and hit him, killing him almost instantly. His wife came home and found him on the driveway next to the truck. Authorities are trying to determine how the blade came loose.