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8AM Newscast 10-03-2012

News, Podcasts

October 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Meetings planned to discuss future of Iowa state parks

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting a dozen public meetings to discuss the future of Iowa’s state parks. Kevin Szcodronski, state parks bureau chief with the DNR, says the forums will help the agency develop a five-year plan to improve the parks’ amenities. The meetings are taking place this month at 12 state parks. “It’s just an open book meeting, if you will, to get a good idea of what the people who use that park are thinking about that park’s future,” Szcodronski said. Two of the public meetings were held Monday in Creston and Tuesday in Boone. Ten more meetings remain – including two forums Thursday night at Gull Point State Park near Spencer and Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point.

Although improvements at state parks can be costly, participants are encouraged to bring all their ideas. “We specifically ask people in attendance, if money was no object, what would you like to see in that park? We’re thinking into the future quite a ways, so you really can’t let finances deter you,” Szcodronski said. At the same time, park users are being asked to be reasonable with their requests. “After they get done with their wish list…then we ask them, ‘O.K., given money is a factor, what should we focus on?’ We kind of bring them a little back to reality and talk about some of the top priorities that are within reasonable means,” Szcodronski said.

Upcoming meeting dates/locations:
Oct. 4 Gull Point
Oct. 4 Backbone
Oct. 8 Stone
Oct. 9 George Wyth
Oct. 9 Rock Creek
Oct. 9 Pleasant Creek
Oct. 11 Wapello
Oct. 11 Bellevue
Oct. 15 Waubonsie
Oct. 18 Prairie Rose (meeting to be held at the First Baptist Church in Harlan at 6pm, not at the Park itself)**

Learn more at www.iowadnr.gov

(Radio Iowa)

Extreme Fire Danger today over western IA & eastern NE (Wed., Oct. 3rd)

News, Weather

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

THE GRASSLAND FIRE DANGER INDEX WILL BE IN THE EXTREME CATEGORY THIS AFTERNOON. EXTREME FIRE DANGER MEANS THAT FIRES START QUICKLY…SPREAD FURIOUSLY AND BURN INTENSELY. ALL FIRES ARE POTENTIALLY SERIOUS. ALL OUTDOOR BURNING SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN AREAS WITH EXTREME FIRE DANGER.

Red Flag Warning for far west/southwest Iowa Wed., Oct. 3rd

News, Weather

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES: MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT AND PAGE….

A RED FLAG WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 1-PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7- PM CDT THIS EVENING, FOR LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS.

SOUTHERLY WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE INTO THE 15 TO 25 MPH RANGE BY EARLY THIS AFTERNOON…WITH WIND GUSTS TO 30 MPH FROM TIME TO TIME. RELATIVE HUMIDITIES WILL LIKELY DROP TO AROUND OR LESS THAN 20 PERCENT FOR MUCH OF THIS AFTERNOON. ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP WILL LIKELY SPREAD RAPIDLY. OUTDOOR BURNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED, AND MANY AREA COUNTIES HAVE BURN BANS STILL IN EFFECT.

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

Elevated Fire Danger over parts of west central/southern IA today

News, Weather

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ISSUED BY THE NWS/DES MOINES – WED., OCT. 3RD 2012

AREA COUNTIES: SAC- CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR- MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-

ELEVATED FIRE DANGER TODAY… SOUTHERLY WINDS WILL INCREASE TODAY AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT…REACHING SPEEDS OF NEAR 20 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS AT TIMES THIS AFTERNOON. RELATIVE HUMIDITY WILL ALSO BE VERY LOW IN THE AFTERNOON…BELOW 20 PERCENT IN SOME AREAS…AND SURFACE FUELS ARE VERY DRY. WITH HARVESTING ACTIVITIES UNDERWAY PARTICULAR CAUTION IS ADVISED DUE TO THE INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR FIRES TO SPREAD RAPIDLY.

Iowa lawmaker questions federal spending on probe

News

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa lawmaker is questioning Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s use of federal money to investigate allege voter fraud in Iowa.  Sen. Tom Courtney, a Burlington Democrat, says he has requested state and federal audits of Schultz’s use of funds from the Help America Vote Act to hire an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent.  Courtney says the money is supposed to be used to help educate voters. Schultz, a Republican, issued a statement Tuesday accusing Courtney of trying to block criminal investigations into voter fraud and election misconduct.
Three people were charged last month with voter fraud in Pottawattamie County as a result of the DCI probe. A Polk County judge also stopped Schultz’s efforts to change some aspects of the state’s voter laws that were challenged in court.

Survey: Iowa economy still doing well but may be in for fall soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is among three “shining stars” in the Midwest, according to the latestly monthly economic survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine states. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa, North Dakota and Oklahoma are all energy-producing states and their economies are prospering. Goss predicts Iowa and some of the other farm states in the region may soon take a big hit.
“Agricultural equipment sales are still doing reasonably well but I don’t see that can hold up,” Goss says. “That’s going to come down and punch some of the growth we’re now seeing in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, pulling that down, Kansas down as well.”

Goss says there is some weakness in non-durable goods like food production while biofuels and ethanol production are not holding up. “The 2012 drought has yet to put a dent in business activity for agriculture equipment manufacturers in Iowa, but has negatively influenced retail sales,” Goss says.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic City Council to discuss TIF Policy Wednesday

News

October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, is expected to discuss a report from the Community Development Committee, with regard to the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Policy. Councilman Shaun Shouse, Chair of the Committee, has been working with City Attorney Dave Weidersteen and the Committee, to come up with a draft TIF policy for the Council to review.

The City of Atlantic currently does not have a TIF policy in-place for commercial and industrial development. The result has been inconsistencies in how the funds have been awarded, and complaints about how those funds are distributed for some projects and not for others. City Administrator Doug Harris says without a TIF policy, the use of TIF funds are subject to abuse and waste. Among the many questions a TIF policy needs to address, according to Harris, is: What projects should be eligible? And, how much of the incremental tax revenue should be used as an individual development incentive, and how much should be used to fund needed public improvement projects which benefit the community as a whole, and help minimize future property tax requirements?

Mayor Dave Jones established a TIF Task Force to develop a fair and uniform policy to answer some of those questions. The task force in-turn, met with the Community Development Committee, which considered the task forces’ input in the development of the Committee’s recommendations, which may be adopted by the Council, in the form of a resolution.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will consider a proposal by Syngenta crop products, to develop an advertising campaign with the City, to promote its “Agrisure Viptera” corn seeds, for local farmers. Advertisements would be placed in store front windows, on street lamps, park benches and other such locations. As part of the company’s public relations campaign, Syngenta would include Atlantic in advertisements targeting local farming communities. The City would work with the company to promote town events, living and other attractions, as part of the campaign.

And, Atlantic resident and businessman Jim Tyler, will address the Council during the Public Forum segment of their meeting, to talk about the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, and his property at 100 West 2nd Street, which has been classified as a contaminated site, under Iowa law.

Page County Park incident & accident reported

News

October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports his office received a call for assistance Monday at Rapp Park, north of Shenandoah. The call came from Iowa Department of Natural Resource Enforcement Officer Deb Howe.  Officer Howe was at the park with several individuals suspected of Iowa Code violations.  Deputies from the Page County Sheriff’s Office responded. Those Deputies handled violations of the Iowa Code that did not deal with Fish and Game violations. After an investigation, Deputies issued 35-year old Aaron E. Howell of Shenandoah,  a citation for improper use of registration.

Also on Monday, Page County Deputies responded to a report of a motor vehicle in the ditch on East Washington Street just east of the West Nodaway River Bridge.  After an investigation, it was determined that 37-year old Tabatha Louise Hawk, of Clarinda,  was driving a 2004 Chrsler Sebring registered to Dennis Hamilton also of Clarinda.  The car was westbound on East Washington when it went off the shoulder and then into the ditch on the north side.  When it entered the ditch, the car sustained front end damage.  Hawk was cited for Failure to prove security against liability (no insurance) accident related and Operation of a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.  There were no injuries reported.

Injury accident reported on I-80 near Anita

News

October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Rescue crews from Anita and Wiota Fire and Rescue have been called to the scene of a personal injury accident on Interstate 80 in Cass County. The accident was said to have taken place at around 12:50-p.m. between the 70- and 71-mile markers in I-80 Eastbound. No other details are currently available.