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Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., 4/25/2014


April 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – The five Republicans seeking Iowa’s U.S. Senate nomination have met to debate at Iowa Public Television’s studios near Des Moines. College professor Sam Clovis of Sioux City, state Senator Joni Ernst of Red Oak, retired business executive Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, businessman Scott Schaben of Urbandale, and former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker of Clive all participated in last night’s 90-minute live broadcast.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill to extend tax credits for renewable fuels has been sent to Governor Terry Branstad. The bill originally extended renewable fuel tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel in the state to January 2nd, 2020, but the House amended it to 2018. The Senate yesterday accepted the amendment voting 48-0 to send the bill to the governor.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that is meant to crack down on prostitution and pimping including minors. The bill signed into law yesterday removes offenses from the records of anyone previously convicted of prostitution as a minor.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill ending greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but allowing dog owners to operate a track in Dubuque has passed the Senate committee process and could be debated on the floor as early as Friday. Casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque, which spent $10 million subsidizing dog racing last year, say the industry is dying. The casinos have worked to end racing for years.

Saeugling Named 2014 FFA Stars Over Iowa Finalist

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 24th, 2014 by Jim Field

IMG_1236The 2014 Stars Over Iowa Finalists were selected for recognition as part of the 86th Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, April 27-29, 2014. Twenty three finalists were selected in four different areas: Agricultural Placement, Agriscience, Agribusiness, and Agricultural Production. The finalists were selected from a pool of 686 FFA members that will earn the Iowa FFA Degree—the highest honor the Iowa FFA Association can bestow upon an FFA member.

The star awards recognize students who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through their career development programs and demonstrated outstanding management skills. These finalists will be interviewed and an overall winner in each area will be announced on stage during the 4th General Session of the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference Tuesday, April 29th.

Stars Over Iowa finalists receive a plaque and a cash award. The Stars Over Iowa program is possible with support from DuPont Pioneer and SFP through the Iowa FFA Foundation.  Wyatt Saeugling is the son of Aaron and Danna Saeugling of Atlantic and is a Finalist for Stars Over Iowa in Ag Placement.

Wyatt has worked at R&B Feeds in Atlantic since he was freshman. Wyatt has a strong love for agriculture. “My dad graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Agronomy and my mom also graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Ag Studies. Whether I was playing with my farm toys or riding in the tractor with my grandpa, I have always been involved in agriculture. One of my favorite memories from growing up was when I would help my grandpa
do chores. He has a dairy farm in Northern Iowa and we would go and visit almost every weekend when I was younger. Now that I have gotten older and have started to take care of my own cattle, I don’t get to travel up there as often but I’m glad that my grandpa set a great example of caring for livestock.” Saeugling said.

I can’t describe how grateful I am to have some of the relationships that I have gained over the years working at R&B Feeds whether it has been employees or customers. I have learned so much about how people work and what is best for their livestock needs. I’ve also learned that there is a lot more to feeding livestock than just opening a bag and dumping it out.

The Iowa FFA Association has 219 local chapters with over 14,200 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of nearly 580,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national programs provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. FFA’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

5 Iowa GOP US Senate candidates will debate


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – All five Republican seeking Iowa’s U.S. Senate nomination will debate at Iowa Public Television’s studios in suburban Des Moines.

College professor Sam Clovis of Sioux City, state Sen. Joni Ernst of Red Oak, retired business executive Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, businessman Scott Schaben of Urbandale and former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker of Clive are expected to participate in the 90-minute live broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m.

It’s the first statewide televised debate for the candidates, who are vying to win 35 percent of the vote in the June 3 primary. If no candidate meets the threshold, a party convention will decide the nomination.

The Republican nominee will face U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo, the only Democrat seeking the seat held by retiring five-term Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

Bill to end dog racing advances in Senate


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill ending greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but allowing dog owners to operate a track in Dubuque has advanced to a full Senate committee. Casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque, which spent $10 million subsidizing dog racing last year, say the industry is dying. The casinos have worked to end racing for years.  Under the bill, Mystique Casino in Dubuque would pay $7 million and Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs casino would pay $65 million into a fund.

Half of it would be used as a retirement fund for breeders and owners who stop racing. The other half would help the Iowa Greyhound Association lease the track in Dubuque. Racing in Council Bluffs would end on Dec. 31, 2015.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the bill Thursday afternoon.

DOT turns down PETA request for turkey memorial in Sioux City


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The animal rights group “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” or PETA, wants to erect a 10-foot tall monument near a Sioux City highway where several hundred turkeys died in a truck rollover earlier this month. Alex Moore of PETA sent a letter to the D-O-T requesting permission to put a 10-foot tombstone along the right of way where More says more than 500 turkeys died. Dakin Schultz in the D-O-T’s Sioux City office says the agency has strict policies regarding roadside memorials.
“The Iowa Department of Transportation, for safety purposes, does not permit any memorials along public roadways. At least the state roadways,” Schultz says. He says the D-O-T will send a response to PETA to explain their policy. “Typically when there is a request for a roadway we will not issue a permit for it and we encourage those folks who wish to do that to find other locations,” Schultz says.

The driver of the truck in the April 12th accident was cited for failure to maintain control.

(Radio Iowa)

Lt. Gov. Reynolds to hold STEM Town Hall meeting in Corning


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Governor Terry Branstad’s office say Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will continue a series of town hall meetings across Iowa, including one set to take place in Corning, on May 6th. Other such events will take place in Pella and Reinbeck. Reynolds will talk about the importance of giving students a first-rate education in science, technology, engineering and math. The meeting in Corning will be held in the Corning High School Gym, beginning at 1:30 on Tue., May 6th. In addition to Reynolds, Gov. Branstad and Chris Russell, Data Center Operations Manager for Google in Council Bluffs, will be in attendance. The public is invited to attend.

The Lt. Governor is co-chair of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council, along with Mary Andringa, CEO of the Vermeer Corp. The Council’s overarching goal is raising student interest and achievement in STEM and building a stronger STEM workforce pipeline.

The town halls will update Iowans on the progress being made by the Council, showcase student STEM presentations and seek feedback from community members about how the Council should set STEM priorities moving forward. Gov. Terry Branstad, Mary Andringa and local business leaders will join Reynolds at select town halls.

Andringa said in a press release that they “Want to hear feedback on the progress the Governor’s STEM Council has made over the past two years, and the priorities we should set as we look ahead.”  She said “The STEM town halls are a way to engage communities in conversation about the value of STEM education and STEM economic development.”


2300th Street has re-opened in Shelby County


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Emergency Management officials in Shelby County say residents who live in, and emergency responders who serve the Shelby County Township of Union, Sections 17 and 18, should be be aware 2300th Street has re-opened. The road was closed March 31st due to a culvert project. The culvert has replaced a bridge one-quarter of a mile west of County Road M-16 on 2300th Street.The bridge was over an unnamed tributary of Moser Creek.

Council Bluffs P-D ask for help in finding missing woman


April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are asking for your help in finding a woman who has not been seen since the early morning hours of Friday, April 18th.  Authorities say 22-year old Heather Betts, of Council Bluffs, was last seen voluntarily getting into a dark colored “sporty looking” car with a loud exhaust. The woman told  her friends and family that she was getting a ride from someone she described as “An old friend,” and was enroute to either Little Sioux or Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Heather Betts

Heather Betts

Betts is a Caucasian woman about 4-feet 8-inches tall, weighs 80-pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black pants with either a yellow or light blue shirt. Officials say she appears younger than her age.

The Council Bluffs Police Dept. is actively investigating her disappearance as a “Missing Persons” case. They say they have no evidence to suggest Betts is in danger, other than her absence and lack of contact with family and friends.

If you have information on her whereabouts, call the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-328-STOP.

Iowa sees very few tornadoes in 2014, not that we’re complaining…

News, Weather

April 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Only two tornadoes have touched down in Iowa this year so far, well below the average of around 15 by this date. Nationwide, not a single tornado death has been recorded this year, the first time that’s happened this far into spring since 1915. Meteorologist Jeff Johnson, at the National Weather Service, says the prolonged chilly weather may be frustrating for Iowa farmers, but it helps keep twisters at bay. “There’s been thought that maybe it’s due to the cool spring we’ve had nationwide, especially east of the Rockies,” Johnson says. “Cold air and tornadoes don’t mix well so you need the warmer air moving north to get the clash of the air masses and to get the conditions that are necessary for tornadoes.”

Iowa gets an average of 46 tornadoes per year, but the numbers have been down significantly in recent years. “In Iowa, it’s been quiet since really 2011,” Johnson says. “There was a period of time from May of 2012 to May of 2013 where Iowa went for nearly a calendar year without a single tornado. I think we were just four days short of that.” While Iowa’s only seen two tornadoes this year — in south-central Iowa in March and in east-central Iowa in April — Johnson says we need to remain vigilant.

“Historically, once we move into May, the tornado season really cranks up,” Johnson says. “May and June typically account for about 70% of our tornado figures for the year.” Tornadoes kill about 60 Americans each year, on average, though more than 550 people died in twisters in 2011, including 158 deaths in the huge Joplin, Missouri, storm. Iowa, he says, has been relatively lucky.

“Since the late 1980s, we’ve had about 25 deaths in the state and if you draw that out, we’ve had less than one death per year,” Johnson says. “We’ve had some really bad years, such as 2008 in which we had more than 10 people killed in the Parkersburg event and also in west-central Iowa. A lot of years, we don’t see any deaths in the state, thankfully.” That tornado on Memorial Day weekend in 2008 was a mile wide and killed seven people in Parkersburg, injured dozens and destroyed more than 220 homes, about half the town.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 04-24-2014

News, Podcasts

April 24th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson