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USDA: Highest corn acreage since 1936 expected

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The USDA reports that farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936.   The spring planting survey released Thursday says the 2013 corn planting forecast is up slightly from last year’s 97.2 million acres.

Corn remains profitable, as prices are strong after last year’s drought left the grain in short supply.  Record corn acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon. But some Corn Belt states will continue to be affected by the worst drought since the 1950s, with slightly less planted acreage expected.

The report says farmers plan to plant 77.1 million acres in soybeans, down slightly from 2012’s 77.2 million acres but still the fourth-highest soybean planting on record.

WPRDC to hold Progressive Dinner


March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the White Pole Road Development Corporation have announced the return of theirs popular “Progressive Dinner,” but for only one last supper on Saturday, April 20th at 5:30 p.m. In honor of the night’s new starting place, the menu will take on an Italian theme with each of the group’s five towns hosting a different course for a five-course meal.

Drinks and antipasti (appetizers) begin at Zipp’s Pizzaria, 301 Audubon Street in Adair.  Dinner guests will then proceed east on buses to the Casey Visitor’s Center for homemade zuppa (soup), the Menlo Café for insalata (salad), the Saints Center in Stuart for piatto principale (main entrée), and then finish the night at the Dexter Roundhouse for dolce (dessert). But according to the event organizer, this year’s dinner will be the last one for a while.

Liz Gilman, event chair says The people who have attended these dinners have a blast. But after producing nine of these as a volunteer,” Gilman says she’s “Ready to take a little break.” She added that “If you are one of those people who have said ‘Oh, I want to do that sometime’, now is the time. Come make some friends and toast to a fun night all along the White Pole Road.”

Advance tickets are required and must be purchased prior to April 17th. The cost is $25 per person which includes roundtrip bus transportation from town to town. Tickets can be purchased at Town & Country Insurance in Stuart (515-523-2026) or Fisher, Fisher & Groetken, P.C. in Adair (641-742-5231). Guests are also welcome to drive themselves or for those wanting to leave their cars in Dexter for the end of the night, a shuttle bus for Adair will leave the Dexter Roundhouse at 5 p.m. SHARP.

For more information on this event and the White Pole Road Development Corporation, please visit www.whitepoleroad.com.

USDA to release first look at 2013 crop estimate

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The USDA is releasing its first estimate of the 2013 crop size in its spring planting report. After a year dominated by worst drought since the 1950s, farmers are looking ahead to the next crop. Some analysts are expecting slightly more corn and soybeans to be planted than a year ago.

Farmers planted 97.2 million acres of corn last year, the most since 1937. Some analysts are expecting corn acres at around 97.5 million acres.  Darrel L. Good, an agriculture economics professor at the University of Illinois, says more acres are available for planting because farmers enrolled 2.6 million fewer acres in the conservation reserve program last year.

Thursday’s USDA report is based on about 80,000 farmer surveys and is the first indication of planting intentions for this year.

Shelby County EMA reminds residents about Field Fire Dangers

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Services Association — which is comprised of all Fire, Ambulance, Emergency Management and Law Enforcement services in Shelby County — want to make sure residents are aware of the upcoming Spring Field Fire Season. The Emergency Management Agency says Shelby County sees an increase in fire activity every year in the spring and fall when residents start igniting burn piles, or prescribed fires on CRP land to meet land management objectives. Often time’s fires are ignited on days when weather conditions are less than favorable. When these burns are started they can cause escape fires which put lives, environment, and property in danger.

The Shelby County Emergency Services Association, in coordination with local Fire Chiefs are asking residents to call the Shelby County Emergency Management Office at 712-755-2124 to report your controlled burning projects. When you call in you will simply be asked the size of your project, a number you can be reached at, start and stop times of the planned burn. The Shelby County Emergency Management Office will also ask that you provide the local fire chief with notification.

The “Fire Danger” rating board located in all various communities within the county, will be updated twice a week. Most of the placards are located at community fire stations.  If you are unsure where the Fire Danger Rating sign is located contact one of the members of your local fire department, they will be happy to let you know where it is. An electronic copy of the Fire Danger Rating Board is available for you to view at www.shelbycountyema.com. The purpose of the system is to visually let the public know when the conditions are safest to carry out your burning projects. The system is not a permitting process or authorization to burn, it just lets you know if conditions are favorable.

Shelby Counties cooperative system will allow the authorities to dispatch Emergency Resources immediately on report of smoke when the fire danger is determined to be HIGH or EXTREME. On HIGH days fire resources will be dispatched and make a decision on whether it is safe to continue the burning. If the Fire Chief or his designee think conditions are not safe they may extinguish the fire. On EXTREME days all fires will be extinguished unless a permit or waiver has been signed by the Chief of the local fire department.

Iowa State student plans Ames bacon festival

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – After seeing thousands of people attend a bacon festival in Des Moines, an Iowa State University student wants Ames to get a slice of the action.  The Des Moines Register reports that ISU junior Jake Swanson is planning a BaconFest on Oct. 11 with help from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Swanson was the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s pork ambassador in 2012, and he says the idea for a festival came to him as he attended pork events around Iowa. He also noted the success of the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, which drew 8,000 people in February.

The Ames event will be at Iowa State’s Central Campus. It will be free, but people can buy “bacon bucks” to trade for food.

Shelby County residents asked to make address markers visible


March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency are asking residents to make sure their address marker is visible from the roadway. As spring cleaning time nears, and residents begin to clean-up their yard and spruce-up their buildings, EMA officials ask you to pay close attention to your address marker. It should be bright and clearly visible from the road.

Emergency Responders, especially at night, depend on highly visible house numbers, street signs and rural address markers to properly locate you. 911 dispatchers will confirm your location based on your address and map location. If you question where your house number should be posted, you’re asked to check with your local, city authorities.

For Rural Residents, the marker belongs alongside your lane in the fence row. If the fence line is far from the main road, place the marker out of the right of way close enough so that emergency responders can see it. If your Shelby County rural 911 address marker has been damaged, lost or otherwise is not readable, call the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency at 712-755-5160. There is no cost for replacement address markers.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Mills County accident/incident report


March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident of burglary. Officials say the Bluffs View Cafe’, in Pacific Junction, reported an instance of burglary in the 3rd degree. The report was received early Wednesday morning.

Sheriff’s officials said also, no injuries were reported following two separate accidents, Tuesday. The first took place just before six-a.m., a little over a mile north of Pacific Junction, at the intersection of Highway 34 and 195th Street. Authorities say a car driven by Jeremy Frazier, of Pacific Junction, was traveling north on 195th and approaching Highway 34, at about the same time a car driven by Raymond Hansen, of Council Bluffs, was traveling east on 34 and approaching the median crossing with 195th Street.

The Sheriff’s Office says Frazier’s 2004 Pontiac “prodded through the intersection” as Hansen was approaching, but saw Hansen’s 2002 Toyota, too late. He tried to accelerate, but his Pontiac was hit in the left rear by Hansen’s Toyota. An estimate of the damage is not available. Frazier was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

The second accident happened at around 5:30-p.m. Tuesday, on 221st Street in Mills County. Officials say a vehicle driven by Cole Peckham, of Glenwood, was traveling north on 221st when a vehicle in front of him slowed to turn onto Elderberry Drive. Peckham slammed on his brakes, but was unable to avoid hitting the other car, so he swerved into the east ditch. Peckham was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Villisca man arrested on drug charges


March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Tuesday, of a Villisca man. 53-year old Kirk Alan Black faces felony Possession of Methamphetamine, and Serious Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, charges. Black was arrested at around 4:25-p.m. Tuesday, at the intersection of Highway 34 and 390th Street, in Mills County. His bond was set at $100,325, but later amended to $100,000. Black’s preliminary hearing is set for April 9th.


Sunday is the deadline for paying power bills to avoid being cut off


March 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A report from Iowa’s largest utility companies shows thousands of households are behind on paying their power bills. A federal program provides protection from having the power shut off between November 1st and March 31st — so the deadline is Sunday. Jerry McKim, director of Iowa’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, says he’s concerned about those who are not part of the program.
“People do get shut off in the winter, the numbers drop way off, but starting April 1st, it comes on with a vengeance,” McKimm says. “Just to give you an idea, in February, there were 1,254 involuntary disconnections reported by the state’s regulated utilities.”

McKim says fewer people applied for assistance this year, so there are funds available in LIHEAP for those who qualify. Because the moratorium expires Sunday, it may not prevent disconnection, but the money can be applied to past due bills while a payment plan is negotiated. McKimm says it’s a myth that power won’t be disconnected in the winter and if that happens, residents are allowed to negotiate a reasonable payment plan. “This doesn’t matter whether you’re low-income or not, any residential customer has this protection,” he says. “If you haven’t had a payment agreement that you’ve broken in the last 12 months, the utility shall, not might, shall offer you a minimum of 12 months to pay off the past due balance, and that’s a minimum not a maximum 12 months.”

McKim says a report from utility companies statewide shows nearly 234-thousand households have delinquent accounts. Although the companies are required to work with customers, he says it’s up to the individuals to ask for help.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 03-28-2013

News, Podcasts

March 28th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson