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IA early News Headlines: Fri., Feb 14th 2014

News

February 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press …

EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere and Company says it will lay off about 120 workers at its combine plant in East Moline, Illinois on March 31st. According to the Quad City Times in Davenport, Iowa, employees learned the news yesterday during a meeting at the plant. About 2,800 people work at the factory. Deere said the layoffs will be based on seniority.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A student group at Drake University has expressed concern over the menu at a campus dinner intended to celebrate Black History Month. Tess Montgomery, president of the Coalition of Black Students, tells the Des Moines Register that some African-American students felt embarrassed and patronized by a Wednesday night dinner menu that included fried chicken and collard greens. Montgomery says the menu perpetuated offensive stereotypes. Sodexo has apologized, and is planning a second dinner with the student group.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Activists are working with officials in Johnson County in hopes of approving a ban on plastic bags used by retailers. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports county officials have been looking at ways to reduce plastic bag use for several months.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 63-year-old central Iowa man was arrested after a loaded gun was found in his bag at the Des Moines airport. The Des Moines Register says a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted the gun Tuesday morning as the bag was going through a security screening.

Shelby County man injured & arrested following a Pott. County crash Thu. night

News

February 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Shelby County man was injured and fled the scene of a crash Thursday night on Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says 37-year old Ryan Schwery, of Earling, was found at the Country Inn in Shelby following a collision between his SUV and a van on I-80 westbound, about a mile west of the Shelby exit at around 8:45-p.m.  Schwery was transported to Myrtue Memorial Hospital in Harlan for treatment of minor injuries before being taken into custody and transported to the Pottawattamie County Jail. The Patrol’s report did not indicated what charges were filed against Schwery.

Officials say the 1991 Chevy Blazer Schwery was driving, was experiencing engine problems and was traveling below the posted minimum speed (40-mph), when a 2008 Dodge Sprinter van driven by 24-year old Tyler Mark of Lincoln, NE, approached from behind. Mark swerved to avoid hitting the SUV but was unable to prevent the collision. The impact spun the Blazer off the road to the right before it rolled over into the north ditch and came to rest upright. The van spun out and came to rest in the north ditch.

Shaw announces his official candidacy for Iowa’s 3rd District

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shenandoah native Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, officially threw his hat into the ring in the campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, a seat being vacated by Republican Representative Tom Latham, who announced in December he would not be running for re-election. Shaw made his announcement during stops Thursday in Red Oak, Corning, Glenwood, Adel, Perry and Atlantic.

Monte Shaw

Monte Shaw

During a visit to the KJAN studios, Shaw said his focus is winning the June 3rd Primary, by setting himself apart from the other Republican candidates by proving he’s the best person to advocate for Iowans. He said he’s spent the last 20-years working for Iowans, advocating for the protection of Senior Citizens and working on Renewable Fuels issues that are important to Iowa’s future.

Shaw says one of the biggest advocacy skills he has in knowing how to negotiate over the “fine points, but knowing when to stand and fight on principle.” Shaw says he will stand-firm on getting spending under control and getting rid of “Job killing regulations like Obamacare.” He says creating growth and jobs which create higher tax revenues and in turn will get the budget deficit under control so it doesn‘t continue to increase and become a burden for the younger generation. He says working together with other like-minded leaders in Washington will help to overcome the gridlock displayed over the past couple of years, especially with regard to the recently passed Farm Bill.

Shaw didn’t have much good to say about it, though. He says it was better than going back to 1940’s law, but it did not reform enough. Shaw says they got rid of direct payments, and they should have gotten rid of counter-cyclical payments. There’s still much work to be done on the Farm Bill, according to Shaw. Shaw says creating an environment for robust job creation will be his number one priority if he’s elected to Congress. That, he says, starts with less restrictions on the Ag industry. “That means having the government stop whip lashing them [farmers] with embargos or new EPA restrictions that make no sense, or even undermining the Renewable Fuels standard.”

He says passing “Silly regulations like Obamacare” has caused many small business owners and those looking to expand, to hold-off on investing in expansion and hiring more workers, because of the uncertainty on how much the Affordable Care Act will cost them.

Iowa lawmakers OK tougher penalties for kidnapping

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers have approved a bill seeking to increase penalties for kidnapping cases involving minors after hearing from the mother of murder victim Kathlynn Shepard. A subcommittee and then the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday. In urging passage of the bill, Denise Shepard told subcommittee members the story of her daughter’s killing last May. She says legislation to keep kidnapping offenders in jail longer would save children’s lives.

The bill would increase criminal penalties in cases involving children 16 and younger and cases in which the person convicted had previously been convicted of kidnapping. Kathlynn was 15 when she and a 12-year-old friend were kidnapped by Michael Klunder while walking home from school in Dayton.

The 12-year-old escaped but authorities say Klunder killed Kathlynn and committed suicide.

Iowa Democrats seek more funding for preschool

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Senate Democrats want to boost state preschool spending, with a goal of making publicly-funded preschool available to all 4-year-olds whose parents want them enrolled. A bill that would provide more funding to school districts that expand or establish preschool programs for 4-year-olds was reviewed in a Senate subcommittee Thursday and has the support to move on to the Senate Education Committee for review.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says the additional funding would be offered for three years, starting in the fall of 2015. He says the effort could cost as much as $15 million. While this plan has support in the Democrat-majority Senate, it is not clear if the bill could win backing from Republicans controlling the Iowa House.

Lawmakers discuss gun rights in state constitution

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa House Republicans are continuing their effort to amend the state constitution to add the right to bear arms. Lawmakers debated the proposal in a House subcommittee Thursday. They did not vote to move the measure forward, instead pledging to have more discussions. The proposal from House Republicans would add language to the Iowa Constitution stating that the right to “acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty” cannot be denied.

Changing the state constitution is a multi-step process, which would require approval by the current General Assembly and then by the one elected in 2014. After that it would go to Iowa voters. A similar bill was passed in the GOP-majority Iowa House in 2012 but did not advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Cass County Corn Growers/Extension to Hold DOT Ag Transport Informational Meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Corn Growers and Cass County Extension Office are hosting an informational meeting in conjunction with representatives of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Javen Smith, President of Cass County Corn Growers says “We welcome area farmers and interested people to hear updates on rules and regulations specifically for agricultural vehicles and equipment.” The meeting will take place on Feb. 24, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th St., Atlantic, Iowa. Donuts and coffee will be served.

Smith says “A DOT transportation officer will speak. We hope that all people who are interested will come and learn more about these important vehicle issues before the spring planting rush begins.”  The public is welcome to attend this event that is sponsored by the Cass County Corn Growers, the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Cass County. No pre-registration is required.

Atlantic man arrested on theft charge

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Wednesday on a shoplifting charge. The Atlantic Police Department reports 27-year old Jacky Walters was booked into the Cass County Jail on a charge of Theft in the 5th Degree.

Legislative Coffees Scheduled for Cass County

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with PRIDE (the Progressive Rural Iowa Development Enterprise) have announced two legislative coffees will be held in Cass County during the 2014 legislative session. The first is at 8 a.m. Saturday, February 22, at the Griswold Public Library, 505 Main Street. The City of Cumberland is the second host on Saturday, March 22, at 10 a.m. at the Fire Station, 216 Main Street.

PRIDE President Kenner Baxter says the coffees “Are opportunities to have face-to-face dialogue with our Iowa legislators. ” Usually, those legislators in attendance include Senators Hubert Houser and Jake Chapman, as well as Representatives Jack Drake and Clel Baudler.

P.R.I.D.E. is the economic development organization that works on behalf of communities, businesses, and citizens from Cumberland, Lewis, and Marne for Southwest Iowa development. For additional information, or to join P.R.I.D.E., please contact Kenner Baxter, president, at 781-2395, or Clarke Gerlock, vice-president, at 712-774-5476.

Iowa’s Best Burger Contest: nominations sought

News

February 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

It’s time once again to determine which restaurant makes the best burger in Iowa. The 5th Annual “Iowa’s Best Burger” contest is looking for nominations. The event is sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. In this year’s quest, the Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association are encouraging you to nominate your favorite burger, whether it is gourmet or down-home style.BurgerLogo23

All nominations must be in the IBIC office by 5-pm on March 17th and nominations begin today (Thursday). The entries need to be 100 percent all beef burgers. The contest rules and nomination forms can be found online at www.iabeef.org. Burger lovers can also find a link to the nomination form at the Iowa Beef Council Foundation Facebook page or text Beef to 313131 and receive information on your cell phone.

The more nominations a burger receives, the better the chances it will make the top ten list announced in late March. Finalists will receive a certificate and be eligible for the secret taste-test of contest judges. The winner will be announced the first week of May to kickoff Beef Month. Last year, the Iowa Beef Industry Council received 6,320 nominations for 349 restaurants. The winner was the 61 Chop House, in Mediapolis. Among the top 10 finishers was Sam’s Sodas and Sandwhiches in Carroll, and the Elm’s Club, in Creston.