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Missouri River flooding benefits wildlife refuge

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

There’s a bright spot to the months of flooding along the Missouri River in western Iowa that destroyed homes, thousands of acres of cropland and bridges and roads. All that water is actually good for the De Soto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley. Each fall, thousands of migratory birds – including geese and ducks – use De Soto as a resting place as they fly south. Deputy Refuge Manager Mindy Sheets says those birds are now feasting on a more natural diet. “This flood has killed off a lot of exotic and invasive plant species and the native species that should be here have responded,” Sheets said. The visiting birds are no longer loading up on “junk food” from area farm fields. Instead, they’re eating the resurging native plants.

“That’s what the water fowl are supposed be eating, not corn and beans and stuff, so there’s more natural food than normal,” Sheets said. This week has been prime time for viewing with many varieties of geese and ducks as well as pelicans flying through. The 3,500 acre refuge is closed to the public for the time being, but Sheets hopes they’ll be able to re-open portions of the park in the next few weeks.

(Radio Iowa)

Hamburg School receives Healthy Iowa Kids award

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa school was the recipient of a $250 gift card good for purchases at a sporting goods store, as part of the “Live Healthy Iowa Kids’ Fall Fitness Day.” Marnie Simons Elementary School in Hamburg was chosen as one of seven schools from around the state to receive a total of $2,750. The funds will be used to benefit those schools’ physical education programs.

In all, 178 schools and more than 56,460 youth participated int The Fall Fitness Day, which was designed to get students active and educate them on the importance of physical activity. Schools planned for a minimum of 30-minutes of physical activity. Those schools which reported 100-percent participation of their enrollment were eligible for a random drawing of cash prizes.

Since its inception in 2004, the Live Healthy Iowa Kids’ program has given back more than $48,750 to participating schools’ physical education programs, to award them for their dedication and committment to health and wellness.

For more information on the Fall Fitness Day and all Live Healthy Iowa Kids initiatives, visit www.livehealthyiowakids.org.

Police say pair tried to free minks from NW Iowa farm

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two animal-rights activists from Texas were arrested before they could free minks from a Sioux City farm. Sioux City Police Officer Jeremy McClure says 21-year-old Kellie Marshall and 24-year-old Victor Vanorden were arrested early Monday. Both are from Austin, Texas. McClure says they were found in a soybean field before they could release the animals. Officers found fences nearby that had been cut. A Woodbury County jailer said that both remained in custody Friday, pending $5,000 bail each. Online court records don’t list their attorneys’ names. Charges include burglary and criminal mischief. Last week, authorities in Hamilton County reported that up to 1,500 minks were released from pens and buildings at a residence in Jewell.

Bluffs woman the target of an “extreme e-mail” scam

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a local woman was the target of an “extreme e-mail” scam. Sgt. Chad Meyers told the Daily NonPareil a Council Bluffs woman received two threatening emails Wednesday from someone warning her a “group of assassins” was going to kill her unless she sent them $70,000.

Meyers said it was the first time he’s aware of an e-mail of that nature having been received by someone in the community. He said the woman should have left the messages unopened, adding that “If you don’t recognize who sent it, you should not open it.”
Meyers commended the unidentified woman however, for calling the police and filing a report.

Bluffs Police investigate two attempted bank robberies

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a pair of attempted bank robberies that took place this (Friday) morning. Officials say both incidents occurred at separate branches of the People’s National Bank.

The first happened at around 10:30-a.m., when a white man with short hair, wearing a black coat and black shirt, alleged displayed a gun furing a robbery at the People’s Bank location at 333 West Broadway.  Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers said the suspect fled on foot toward Bluff Street, but he may not have gotten away with much cash, as a duffle bag was seen in the drive-through lane at the bank, with ink splattered on the cement around it. That would indicate a dye-pack…designed to make the cash unusable and identify a robber…may have exploded. Police officers and bank officials covered up the bag with a bucket to maintain the scene.

Meyers said the second robbery, occurred at around 10:50-a.m., at the 16th Street People’s National Bank location. No other details were immediately available concerning the second robbery.

Preliminary reports indicate two male suspects were involved. Both were still at large late this (Friday) afternoon. Officials say a third People’s Bank facility, at 201 Bennett Ave., went into lockdown following the first two robberies.

Gov. Branstad/ Lt. Gov. Reynolds announce ten education town hall meetings

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds today (Friday), announced that they will hold ten more town hall meetings focusing on their education blueprint on October 24th, 25th and 26th. The announcement brings the total number of education transformation town hall meetings to 17, with more to be announced in the coming days.
In southwest Iowa, town hall meetings open to the public will be held on:

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
11 a.m.          In the auditorium at the Mt. Ayr High School
1:30 p.m.      In the  Bedford Community High School
3 p.m.            In the Commons area at the Clarinda High School
5:30 p.m.      At The Wilson Preforming Arts Center in Red Oak.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
9 a.m.            At the Creston High School
11 a.m.          In the Auditorium at the Nodaway Valley High School in  Greenfield.
For more information, please visit www.governor.iowa.gov

Property valuations on the rise in Adams County

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Agricultural and Commercial property owners in Adams County are facing a large jump in property valuations. Officials in Adams County said Friday, Iowa’s Director of Revenue has ordered final adjustments be made to the 2011 property valuations for Agricultural land and structures, as well as Commercial property.

Agricultural land, outside and within incorporated cities, will see a 26.4% increase in valuations, based on productivity. Agricultural structures (excluding residential dwellings) on agricultural realty outside and within incorporated cities, will increase 22%, based on productivity.

Commercial realty in Adams County (excluding machinery and equipment), outside and within incorporated cities, will be increased 8%, based on market value. Officials say there will be no adjustments to residential property in Adams County, that includes residential dwellings on agricultural land, outside or within incorporated cities.

Property owners wishing to protest the increased valuations must file a form available from the Adams County Assessor’s Office. The completed form must be filed with the Board of Review anytime from October 15th through November 4th.

CASS Inc. Receives Three Year CARF Accreditation

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic) — CARF International has announced that CASS Incorporated, in Atlantic, has been accredited for the maximum accreditation period of three years for its community services in supported living, enrichment and employment for persons with disabilities.  CASS Incorporated has been fully accredited with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities since 1983. 

The accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to over one thousand CARF standards across all areas of operations.  An organization receiving a three year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable. 

Founded in 1966, CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of persons served around the world. 

Juveniles allegedly vandalize park shelter house & pose for pictures

News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three juveniles who allegedly vandalized a shelter house in the Bayard City Park last week reportedly posed for pictures following the incident. According to the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Department, the incident took place October 4th.

Officials say the three juveniles were observed playing on top of the shelter house. When a witness demanded the youth get down from the roof, they refused to comply, and then posed for pictures. The youth claimed they had a right to be on the roof, because it was a public park.

The juveniles allegedly ripped newly installed shingles off the shelter house roof. Charges are currently pending.

FSA Emergency Loans available

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Area farm operators who have sustained major forage/crop production, and/or physical losses due to the combined effects of severe storms, excessive rain, flash flooding or other weather events, may be eligible for an emergency loan from the Farm Service Agency. FSA State Director John Whitaker said Thursday, the loans will cover a period from April 1st, 2011 to present day. Applications for assistance should be completed at the Cass/Pottawattamie County FSA office in Atlantic. The final date for making an application is June 12th, 2012.

Whitaker says the FSA may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers, which will enable those persons to return to their normal operations, if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disasters. Applicants must be unable to obtain credit from other, usual sources in order to qualify for FSA Farm Loan Program assistance.

For more information, contact your local FSA office.