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Ernst may continue to serve in Iowa National Guard


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.”

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.