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Blizzard covers pheasant & quail food & habitat

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says last week’s blizzard was not the way Iowa’s pheasant and quail wanted to start winter.  About half of the state received 6 to 12 inches of wet heavy snow that collapsed most “grassy” cover.  The cover that did not collapse was drifted full of snow from the high winds.  Todd Bogenschutz, state upland game biologist for the DNR said it was “A bad storm for upland game birds.” Bogenschutz said he thinks  “It’s very likely we saw some bird mortality with this blizzard.”

He says winter snowfall from December 1st thru March 31st is a good predictor of whether upland bird populations will increase or decrease the following year, and to have upwards of one foot of snow only 20 days into December does not bode well for pheasants. According to Bogenschutz,  “Iowa had only 17 inches of snow last winter. Parts of Iowa are close to that total already with this first storm.”

Iowa’s pheasant and quail populations were decimated by five consecutive winters of 30-50 inches of snow from 2007 thru 2011.  The winter of 2011-12 with only 17 inches of snow led to the first increase in pheasant numbers in years.  Bogenschutz says “Upland bird hunters were hopeful this winter would also be dry and mild to speed a population recovery.” He added that he hopes there are no more storms like the one experienced last week, for the rest of the winter.”

On a side note: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Pheasants Forever chapters will meet jointly next month to discuss methods to improve winter habitat for pheasant and quail.
Iowa has 50,000 acres under a new Conservation Reserve Program called Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE.  Landowners have the opportunity to enroll in this program first come first serve until the acres are gone.  The catch is, that County FSA offices cannot enroll Iowa landowners until Congress gives USDA authority to begin enrollment under a new farm bill.

(Iowa DNR Press Release)

Red Oak authorities investigate vehicle vandalism

News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are investigating a recent incident of vehicle vandalism. According to the police department, a Red Oak resident told authorities Monday, that while he was away from his home, the driver’s s side window of his 1994 Chevy S-10 pickup was smashed, and the entire vehicle scratched by an unknown device. The incident occurred while the vehicle was parked near the man’s residence. Authorities estimated damage to the pickup at around $3,000.

If you have any information about the incident, call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 623-5107, or Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Study: Exercise may help cancer patients cope with chemo, radiation

News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A study of cancer survivors from Iowa and Nebraska finds exercise may have an important impact on how patients respond to treatment and how quickly they recover. Scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha looked at how exercise boosts the immune system of cancer survivors. UNMC’s Dr. Laura Bilek says the results are preliminary.  “It appears that exercise may help combat some of the negative side effects from chemotherapy and radiation,” Dr. Bilek says. “We hope that this may help cancer survivors enhance their ability to ultimately fight cancer.” Therapies like radiation and chemo can leave a person feeling wiped out.

“When the immune system recovers, we’re left with a lot of cells that are old and not terribly functional,” Bilek says. “Those hang around for a long time. We know in other areas of research that exercise can help to get rid of those slowly and make room for cells that are more helpful.” The study finds those new cells, sparked by exercise, may be able to help the body to fight infections and possibly kill surviving tumor cells. The older we get, Bilek says the more of those older, unhealthy cells we’re carrying around.

“That’s why older individuals are more prone to infection,” she says. “We also know that in the aging population, persons that are more active have a lower number of these non-functional cells and we also know older individuals who exercise tend to get less infection.” This is an early study and Bilek says more research is needed.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 26th 2012

News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The attorneys for two men whose lawsuit against Council Bluffs and two former police officers ended in mistrial are asking permission to talk to jurors. A mistrial was declared Dec. 14th in the lawsuit Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee filed after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Attorneys for the city and the police officers say they don’t object.

WAPELLO, Iowa (AP) — The city of Wapello’s former city clerk has been awarded $25,000 in a wrongful termination case. Celia Drayfahl filed a complaint after being fired in August 2011. The city had said Drayfahl failed to close accounting books in a timely manner and failed to keep balanced books.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — About 20 members of an Iowa City youth program plan to be in Washington, D.C., next month for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. The group FasTrac emphasizes school work, community involvement and college preparation and is primarily made up of African-American junior high and high school students.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in the Des Moines area are investigating complaints from bar owners about thieves taking money from game machines. Dawg House owner Ron Biondi says surveillance video showed three men stealing from one of his machines. The cameras show the men leaving the bar in a dark Ford Expedition.

Neighbors are the ones buying Iowa land

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The annual farmland survey released earlier this month by Iowa State University showed a record average cost of land at eight-thousand-296 dollars an acre. I-S-U economist, Mike Duffy, who conducts the survey, says most of the purchases are by those who want to expand. He says the buyers are typically neighbors or those in the neighborhood, as the vast majority of those buying land are inside Iowa. Duffy says farmers see the high return in corn and soybeans as a reason for investing in more land.

“What we’re seeing is a continuing increase in the amount of land that’s going to farmers and a decrease in the amount of land going to investors,” Duffy explains. “And that’s I think due to the fact that farmers are the ones making the money off the land right now. Farmer view land in a different way, and so they are in the market much stronger now than the investors are.” Duffy says there is more transfer of land by inheritance right now than by sale. Duffy says the higher prices have made some of those who inherit land decide not to keep it.

“I think that’s particularly for non-farming heirs that have inherited. They are looking at the land and saying we would have held onto it with it at two or three-thousand dollars and acre, but with it at eight or nine-thousand dollars an acre, the price of sentimentality went up. We are seeing more activity from that group,” Duffy says. The annual survey from Iowa State University showed farmland values increased almost 24-percent over last year.

(Radio Iowa)

$2 million in loans for Iowa-bound doctors

News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A lobbying campaign aims to convince state officials to provide forgivable loans to students studying to be doctors, if they agree to practice in Iowa once they graduate. Sue Huppert, a vice president at Des Moines University, made her pitch directly to Governor Branstad earlier this month. “We’ve been working very closely with the American Academy of Family Practice. They have, in fact, taken the lead last year and as you may know we were successful in getting legislation through for the forgiveable loan,” Huppert said. “We were unable to fund it. You had some fiscal issues that you had to deal with in the past two years and we appreciate that you’ve done that — and now we are here asking for $2 million.”

That money would provide loans to 10 students at Des Moines University who are studying to be osteopathic physicians and another 10 students in the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine. The forgiveable loans would be made available to students just entering the programs. “Who make a committment, up front, to practicing and staying in the state of Iowa,” she said. According to the Iowa Medical Society, 43 percent of the doctors in Iowa today are above the age of 49.  “So this is definitely a workforce issue,” Huppert told the governor. “It’s definitely an economic development issue.”

(Radio Iowa)

New options available for fishing and hunting licenses

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is offering several new options for fishing and hunting licenses in 2013. D-N-R Chief of Fisheries, Joe Larschied, says the new options were developed based on feedback from Iowans. “A lot of anglers came to us and said ‘you know we’d like to pay for the privilege to fish with three poles,’ especially bank anglers and ice anglers and things like that. So we’re offering that for the first time,” Larschied says. “The other things we’re offering are a three-year angling license, so you can lock current prices for three years…you gain some savings with administrative fees for each of those three years.”

There’s also what he calls the hunter’s special. “A three-year hunting license with the habitat stamp included, so again you can lock in the current years prices for three years. And then the other option is an outdoor combo license which combines the annual resident hunting, fishing and habitat combo for one year,” Larschied says. He says there’s a cost savings on the fees, but is mostly a convenience feature. Larschied says people who hunt and fish wanted to see the option tailored more like other licenses. He says you get a driver’s license and boat registration for several years and that’s why they decided to do the same for hunters and anglers.

Larschied says the program is self-supporting and hopefully making things more convenient will get more people involved. “The trust fund where all the license dollars goes is what allows us to hire game wardens, to hire the people to run the hatcheries and stock fish, and it is solely run on fishing and hunting license revenue,” Larschied says. “And so this just allows people to lock in for three years their commitment to shore up their trust fund, which is what we’re really trying to do.”

The cost of a bonus line fishing license is 12-dollars. The cost for an outdoor combo license is 47-dollars, a three-year fishing license 53-dollars, three-year hunting license 86-dollars. You can now purchase those new licenses and use them through the rest of this year up to their expiration date.

(Radio Iowa)

State-arranged internships for unemployed Iowans

News

December 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A new state program aims to line up unpaid internships for unemployed Iowans, with the goal of having that internship turn into a full-time job. Teresa Wahlert is director of Iowa Workforce Development, the state agency that’s managing the program. “We take people who are still collecting their unemployment benefits and match them to jobs that are open,” Wahlert says, “where a company has several jobs, can’t seem to get the jobs filled.”

The interns will work for 24 hours a week and must spend another 16 hours per week getting a special certification that shows they’re skilled at applied mathematics, reading comprehension and searching for information. Just one intern has completed the program so far, working at a lumber supply company that could not find applicants to fill a job opening.

“Instead of having an eight-week internship, this person only had a two-week internship which is just fine,” Wahlert says. “The company offered him a full-time job and the rest of the story is that intern only had seven weeks left on his unemployment benefits…and it just so happens that the intern happened to be a very, so it’s really a great story.”

State officials launched the program statewide in late November, with 15 unemployed beginning their eight-week-long internships.

(Radio Iowa)

9AM Newscast 12-25-2012

News, Podcasts

December 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

8AM Newscast 12-25-2012

News, Podcasts

December 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson