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2 vehicle accident in Atlantic, Thursday


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One-person was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital following a two-vehicle accident Thursday evening on Atlantic’s east side. According to dispatch reports, the accident happened at around 5-p.m. near the school bus barn on Highway 6.

Fuel was reported leaking from one of the vehicles, and the road was said to have been blocked for a time. No other details are currently available.

Red Oak woman arrested Fri. morning; teen arrested for harassement Thu. afternoon


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report two arrests. Early this (Friday) morning, 27-year old Kaleena Nicole Dawn Potts, of Red Oak, was arrested for Driving While License Suspended. Potts was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $300 bond.

And, at around 4:20-p.m. Thursday, Red Oak Police arrested 16-year old Heath Woods, of Red Oak, after officers were called to the Red Oak High School with regard to an incident of harassment. Following an investigation, Woods was taken into custody and charged with Harassment in the 3rd degree, a simple misdemeanor. He was cited into Juvenile Court and released to his parents.

Michelle Obama visits Iowa for Bruce Braley


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Michelle Obama is headed to Des Moines to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The first lady will attend a rally this (Friday) afternoon at Drake University. The event will stress the importance of early voting in the competitive Iowa Senate race.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and officer in the Iowa National Guard from Red Oak. They are vying for the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. Republicans are hoping to win in Iowa in their drive for the six-seat gain they need to grab the Senate majority.

Obama has been stumping for Democrats in a number of tight races. She is scheduled to appear in Michigan earlier in the day today (Friday).

Lawyer: Jail term for egg exec would be improper

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A defense attorney says disgraced egg producer Austin “Jack” DeCoster should be kept out of jail when he’s sentenced for food safety violations linked to a 2010 salmonella outbreak. Attorney Frank Volpe filed a motion this week arguing that it would be unconstitutional for DeCoster to receive jail or home confinement. He says the only appropriate sentence is a fine and probation.

DeCoster and his son, Peter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. They face up to a year in jail. Their company, Quality Egg, pleaded guilty to bribing a federal inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

Volpe argues DeCoster is being held responsible because he was a corporate officer and had no criminal intent. Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

Anti-drug groups launch town hall meetings (1 in Shenandoah)


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two state anti-drug groups are launching a series of town hall meetings that will be held in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. The focus is on how each of the counties is addressing substance abuse. Peter Komendowski is president and C-E-O of the Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa, which is working with the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy on the statewide effort.

“One of the reasons we do it is that the governor’s office and our legislators actually like hearing what we find,” Komendowski says. “They’re interested in what’s going on in Iowa because at some point, the voters will speak out in the polls but the elected officials need to know what’s going on so they can be proactive while they’re in office. It’s not just about getting elected. It’s about doing a good job.” These town hall meetings are an opportunity for Iowans to speak their minds, he says, and to have their concerns transmitted directly to the state leaders who may be able to make a difference.

Komendowski says, “Knowing that these concerns are there and the community can rally together to work on these issues I think empowers them to put into play the kind of legislation it’s going to take to have strong and effective drug policy that gives the coalitions, the drug treatment people and law enforcement the tools that they need to keep our communities safe.” The project, he says, is a blueprint for healthy communities for the state. The goal is to tour all 99 counties by the end of next year and present the information to state lawmakers in early 2016. Town hall meetings have already been held in Webster City and Jewell, with more scheduled in the coming weeks in Clinton, Shenandoah and Iowa City.

Learn more at the website: www.drugfreeiowa.org

US Senate candidates speak to Iowa manufacturers


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The two major party candidates for the U.S. Senate spoke to a crowd of Iowa business leaders Thursday afternoon. Republican Joni Ernst outlined her record as a member of the state senate and called for junking the federal tax code, while Democrat Bruce Braley laid out a series of steps he says the federal government could take to boost the nation’s manufacturing sector. Ernst spoke first.

“We need to start by lowering taxes immediately on our hard-working families, but then working over the long term to scrap the existing tax code and work toward something that is fairer, flatter and simpler,” Ernst said. “Something that is much more competitive.” Braley says the U.S. has to do what competitors like China, India, the European Union and Russia have done and develop a national strategy to boost manufacturing and a national infrastructure plan.

“Every year Texas A&M publishes a report on the hidden costs of our failure to meet our aging infrastructure problems,” Braley said. “The latest report estimates we pay a hidden tax of $121 billion because we’re failing to meet these infrastructure needs. They delay the shipment of the goods you manufacture and cost all of us money.” Braley suggested creation of a new bank that could pool public and private resources to finance critical infrastructure projects in the U.S. The two were the final speakers at the day-long Advanced Manufacturing Conference sponsored by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. Ernst was asked what could be done to increase the number of American workers who have the necessary skills to work in the manufacturing sector.

“The federal job training programs or workforce investment programs, I believe there are 40, 45 or so more programs, but they all overlap in one way or another and they’re administered by nine different departments and it becomes so very confusing,” Ernst said. “…What we need to do is really streamline down our job training programs, make them much more efficient and much more effective.” Braley called for making the federal tax credit for research and development permanent, along with changes in federal grants for students attending community colleges and technical schools.

“Pell Grants which are available over a nine-month academic year penalize community colleges that are helping to train your workforce for tomorrow because many of those students are on year-long programs and the lack of Pell Grants for many of these students in that summer semester poses a substantial economic challenge for them,” Braley said. Go to www.radioiowa.com to listen to all of what the candidates had to say yesterday (Thursday). The two candidates are scheduled to debate one another Saturday night in Davenport.

(Radio Iowa)

Regulators begin changeover of greyhound racing

News, Sports

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

State regulators selected a company Thursday to begin the process of cutting the number of greyhound tracks in half. State lawmakers create a deal that was signed into law by the governor that shuts down the Council Bluffs track and shifts the management of dog racing in Dubuque to the Iowa Greyhound Association. The deal also requires to the casinos that are now running the tracks to pay into a retirement fund to get out of the dog-racing business. Iowa Racing and Gaming administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says Spectrum Gaming of New Jersey will handle the issue.

“What this vendor will do is go through a public process and make a recommendation to the commission promulgating rules for this distribution,” Ohorilko says. The company will use the next several months to come up with a plan. “The process for them to receive public input will go on throughout the winter. The report will be expected in late February with a public presentation at the March meeting.” Ohorilko says. The deal reached in the legislation has the Council Bluffs casino paying 65 million dollars over the next seven years, and the Dubuque casino will pay one million dollars each year into the fund. Half of the fund goes to retiring greyhound breeders and the other half goes to those still in the industry. Ohorilko says the paperwork is also in the works to shut down the two current dog tracks.

He says both tracks have given the commission notice that they intend to terminate live greyhound racing. Ohorilko says December 31st is the last day the Mystic track can hold the racetrack license in Dubuque. The track is running simulcast races right now. The other track has a little more time before it stops running the dogs. “Horseshoe over in Council Bluffs, the statute requires them to run through the 2015 racing season. They run year-round, so there will be one more year there,” according to Ohorilko. The Iowa Greyhound Association filed an application October 1st for a license to run greyhounds.

“The commission is currently reviewing that application, the D-C-I is performing background checks on board members and key employees,” Ohorilko say. “A decision will need to be made by December 1st as to whether to grant that license. Should that license be awarded, they will be able to open on January 1st.” He says the track would begin with simulcast racing in January if it is approved for the license. He says they plan to have public input before the final decision on the license.

He says they will hold a special meeting later this month or early November to allow the Iowa Greyhound Association to present their application and to get public input from those who support or are against the new license before the final decision. The Racing and Gaming Commission made the decisions on the greyhound issue at their meeting Thursday in Clinton.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Oct. 10 2014


October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for a female prison guard suing Iowa for sexual harassment says the Department of Corrections practice of allowing violent inmates to watch sexually graphic movies encouraged prisoners to harass and threaten her. Kristine Sink’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, told jurors in closing arguments yesterday that Sink tolerated threats of rape and murder. She is seeking up to $4.5 million for emotional distress. Sink contends supervisors at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison allowed harassment by inmates and co-workers.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Waverly say a longtime city employee has died while working at a site. City administrator Phil Jones tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 62-year-old Dan Sinnwell, a senior employee in the city’s engineering department, collapsed Wednesday morning.

MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in the southeast Iowa city of Montrose are considering banning residents from keeping a variety of livestock within city limits. The Keokuk Daily Gate City reports the Montrose City Council discussed a ban last week and could take up the matter again at its November 6th meeting. Montrose is a city of about 900 residents along the Mississippi River.

Audubon Police warn residents to LOCK your vehicles


October 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Audubon are warning residents to lock their vehicles! In the past several weeks, as recent as this (Thursday) morning, a few vehicles in the City of Audubon have been entered and had items such as wallets, purses, checkbooks, and loose change stolen. All the vehicles that were entered were unlocked, making it very easy for the criminal.

Officials say the suspect in the Thursday morning thefts wore a black hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants. The only other description of the suspect is that they are of medium build. The incident in question happened at about 6-a.m., in the 200 block of Scott Street, in Audubon.

Police are asking residents not to leave your personal items in your car and to keep it locked. If anyone has any information regarding these incidents, please contact the Audubon Police Department at 712-563-2500.

Iowa’s tax revenue likely to grow in coming months


October 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A panel of state budget experts predicts modest growth in Iowa’s tax revenue during the current fiscal year. The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday to project state revenue. The three-member panel includes the governor’s top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.

The group predicts net state revenue — made up of taxes and other sources — will come in at just over $6.7 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That represents a 6.7 percent increase over the previous year and the growth is expected to continue.

The panel will meet again in December to set the revenue projection that the governor must use to craft the next budget.