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USDA boosts corn, soybean harvest to new records

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation’s corn and soybean farmers will harvest by far the largest crops ever this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in a new report. Bigger crops have been expected this year as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions, but the new estimates far surpass previous records.

Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up from last year’s 13.9 billion bushel record. The 171.7 bushels per acre yield is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 164.7 bushels per acre. Record yields will be set in 18 states, the USDA said.

Despite the strong forecast, concerns have grown in recent days that early cold weather is creeping into the upper Midwest and some crops are maturing later this year. Temperatures below freezing could slow or stop crops from reaching full maturity and affect the harvest. That possibility was not reflected in Thursday’s report.

Ten states including Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska have the highest number of ears per corn stalk ever, the USDA said. After meeting all current demands for corn — including exports and use for animal feed, ethanol and food for people — the USDA estimated 2 billion bushels of corn would remain in stock. That’s the highest ending stock in a decade.

The soybean harvest estimate also moved upward to a new record of 3.9 billion bushels. The previous record was 3.4 billion bushels in 2009. The per-acre yield is now estimated at record 46.6 bushels per acre.

Biden returning to key presidential state of Iowa


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is returning to the key presidential state of Iowa next week, reminding voters not to count him out of the next presidential campaign. The White House says Biden will be in Des Moines on Wednesday. He’ll speak at an event for a Catholic social justice group called Nuns on the Bus.

Biden’s visit will come days after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton comes to Iowa to headline retiring Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry fundraiser, attended by thousands of Iowa political activists. Last year Biden was the headliner for that event, which frequently attracts potential White House contenders.

Both Clinton and Biden are considering running again for president in 2016. Iowa traditionally holds the first presidential primary contest.

2 arrests in Mills County, Wednesday


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested on separate charges Wednesday, in Mills County. The Sheriff’s Office says 38-year old Patrick Lee Amburn, of Council Bluffs, was arrested at the Pottawattamie County Jail on a warrant for Probation Violation. He was taken into custody at around 10:30-a.m. and held on $20,000 bond.

And, 49-year old Adam Duane Wright, of Pisgah, was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office in Glenwood, Wednesday evening, on a warrant for Probation Violation.  His bond was set at $10,000.

Additional details released in Pott. County crash


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our earlier story about a three-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon, in Pottawattamie County, the Sheriff’s Office identified the teenaged driver and passenger of a car struck by a Griswold man on a motorcycle on the eastern outskirts of Council Bluffs. Sheriff Jeff Danker says a 2012 Nissan Versa occupied by 17-year old Kelsey Fagan and 15-year old Katie Hopping, both of Council Bluffs, and a 2008 BMW motorcycle driven by 57-year old Aldon Pangelina, of Griswold, were both initially traveling east on Highway 92 at around 3:20-p.m.

Witnesses said the Nissan, driven by Kelsey Fagan,  was in the process of turning Northbound onto Stoneybrook Drive when the collision occurred. As the collision occurred the Nissan was pushed into the Westbound lane of Hwy 92, causing it to collide with a 2007 Mercury Mariner. The Mercury was being operated by a 27-year old Jessica Luke of Oakland, with 25-year old Laura Lajke of Macedonia, as the passenger.

Aldon Pangelina, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered severe head injuries and was transported by medical helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. Both of the teens in the Nissan were transported by Lewis Township Fire & Rescue to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs as a precautionary measure. Officials say Jessica Luke and Laura Lajke both refused medical treatment at the scene.

Hwy 92 was closed for both Eastbound and Westbound traffic for approximately 3-hrs while Traffic Accident Investigators from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office worked the scene. Further investigation will be conducted into the cause of the accident.

Man and woman arrested on drug charges in Clarinda


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Clarinda arrested two people on drug charges, Wednesday. According to Chief Keith Brothers, at approximately 9:30 p.m. officers arrested 26-year old Elizabeth Marie Merriett, of Tarkio, Missouri and 39-year old Jay Dean Miles, of Clarinda, for possession of a drug believed to be methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Miles was also wanted on an outstanding warrant from Pottawattamie County for contempt of court.

Merriett and Miles were both arrested pursuant to a traffic stop at 16th & Logan Streets. They  were taken into custody without incident and booked into the Page County Jail in lieu of bail, pending initial appearances before the Page County Magistrate.

The matter has been referred to the offices of Page County Attorney Jeremy S. Peterson for review and determination regarding the filing of formal charges.

Update on Nebraska Ebola patient expected Thursday


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska doctors treating an American who is battling the Ebola virus are expected to provide an update on his condition Thursday afternoon. Dr. Rick Sacra was flown to the Nebraska Medical Center last Friday for treatment in the hospital’s specialized 10-bed isolation unit.
Sacra’s doctors said earlier this week that the 51-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts had been improving since he arrived but it was too soon to say if he would recover.

Sacra has been using a video conference system to visit with his wife, Debbie Sacra, while receiving experimental treatment. Sacra was the third American aid worker with the Ebola virus to be flown to the U.S. for treatment. A fourth worker, whose identity has not yet been revealed, arrived Tuesday morning at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

General Election Early Voting Starts Thursday, September 25


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Des Moines – Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is reminding Iowa voters that early voting for the November 4, 2014 general election starts on Thursday, September 25. Schultz says “I hope all eligible Iowans take full advantage of their right to vote by registering to vote and casting a ballot either early in-person, by mail or at the polls on Election Day. Every vote counts and it’s important that Iowans participate to make sure their voices are heard.”

To vote in Iowa, eligible voters can:

· Cast a ballot early by filling out an absentee ballot in-person at their county auditor’s office or at possible satellite locations as designated by the county auditor starting Thursday, September 25 through Monday, November 3.

· Request an absentee ballot by mail.

· Vote at their designated precinct polling place on Election Day.

Registering to vote is easy. Simply download the State of Iowa Official Voter Registration Form from www.sos.iowa.gov and return it to your local county auditor’s office or visit your local county auditor’s office to fill out a paper copy.

Absentee ballots received by the county auditor before 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4 are eligible for counting. Absentee ballots that are returned by mail and received after the polls close must have a postmark of Monday, November 3 or earlier to be considered for counting.

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office offers a comprehensive app called Iowa SOS available for both Android and Apple devices to ensure voting resources are at voter’s fingertips. From the Iowa SOS app, Iowans can do the following:

Check voter registration information
Fill out the State of Iowa Official Voter Registration Form
Find the correct polling place for the general election
Request an absentee ballot
Track an absentee ballot
Set email or calendar reminders for upcoming elections
Report voter fraud
Contact local County Auditors
Contact the Iowa Secretary of State’s office

Atlantic Ambassasors visit The Tinder Box


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce’ Ambassadors visited The Tinder Box this week. Owner Judy Nelson moved her business to Atlantic 15 years ago. She says she has been very pleased with the move.

Pictured are: Tara Jennerjohn, Nedra Perry, Dr. Haley Kickland, Sally Rosales, Laurel Butler, Becky Power, Judy Nelson, JoAnn Ruynan, Saran Robinson, Sue Muri, Jolene Roecker, Lana Westphalan, Pat McCurdy, Jane Kay, Dolly Bergmann, Julie May, Dr. Keith Leonard, Kerry Jepsen, Dr. Jim Kickland, Chrystal Christensen, Rick Perry, Melanie Petty, Russ Joyce, Ina Ohnmeiss, Sara Nelson, Don Johnson, Gerald Brink, Bill Saluk, Carole Schuler, Doug Harris, Arlene Drennan, Dave Schwab and Lucas Mosier.

Pictured are: Tara Jennerjohn, Nedra Perry, Dr. Haley Kickland, Sally Rosales, Laurel Butler, Becky Power, Judy Nelson, JoAnn Ruynan, Saran Robinson, Sue Muri, Jolene Roecker, Lana Westphalan, Pat McCurdy, Jane Kay, Dolly Bergmann, Julie May, Dr. Keith Leonard, Kerry Jepsen, Dr. Jim Kickland, Chrystal Christensen, Rick Perry, Melanie Petty, Russ Joyce, Ina Ohnmeiss, Sara Nelson, Don Johnson, Gerald Brink, Bill Saluk, Carole Schuler, Doug Harris, Arlene Drennan, Dave Schwab and Lucas Mosier.

The Chamber says if you need a baby gift, or are looking for that unique wedding gift, The Tinder Box is the place to check.

Woman, teen suspected in 5 Sioux City house fires


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A 32-year-old woman and a 14-year-old have been arrested on arson charges in Sioux City. Daisy Castillo and Alejandro Lapointe are suspected of setting five house fires over 2 1/2 weeks in August and September, police said. Castillo faces 2nd degree arson and 3rd degree burgalry charges. Lapointe was charged with 1st degree arson. No injuries have been reported.

Castillo remained in custody on Thursday, according to Woodbury County Jail records. More arrests were expected in the case, according to Sioux City fire marshal Mark Aesoph.

Mapleton residents voice anger over firing of police chief


September 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Dozens of citizens angry over the firing of the Mapleton Police Chief and the hiring of his replacement voiced their opinions on the matter during a meeting of the city council, Wednesday night. Sioux City television station KTIV reports the controversy about the firing of former chief John Holton in June has continued to upset the community. The citizens say it was unfair to remove him from the position he’s held since 1996. Mayor Krohn said he wished he could comment on the issue, but can’t, because he and the council have a legal obligation to not discuss the police staffing matter outside of meetings.

Conversations during the meeting sometimes escalated to screams as community members claimed there wasn’t enough coverage of the school zone on Highway 141. Citizens also said interim police chief Kirk Kinnaman and part time officer Jared Clausen were driving too quickly, andChief Kinnaman isn’t involved enough because he lives out of town.

The council voted to put an advertisement out for the police chief position, but some folks say they’re prepared to take action, should Holton not be reinstated. The council will start to accept applications for the new police chief position immediately, and hope to have a decision made by their October meeting.