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HUSH program sees a drop in deer donations

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The number of deer donated to a Department of Natural Resources program that uses the meat to feed the hungry in the state dropped by 15-percent this year. Hunters still donated 39-hundred deer to the “Help Us Stop Hunger” or HUSH program. The D-N-R’s Jim Coffey oversees HUSH and says hunters have been very generous over the last decade. “The Hush program has been very popular with our hunters, they see direct benefit back to local communities and helping needy families,” Coffey says.

He says the drop in deer donations compared to last year amounts to around 30-tons of ground venison. “Most likely the donations are down because the deer population is down,” Coffey says, “also beef prices are up, so it’s more like that people keeping more for themselves.” Coffey says the D-N-R’s efforts to reduce the deer population have worked.  “We’ve been more liberal with the harvest of the doe deer. And obviously, the does are the ones that produce the next year’s offspring. So, when we’re harvesting additional does, that means were producing less deer into the population next year.”

The Food Bank of Iowa coordinates distribution of the deer meat and is replacing the loss of venison with other protein, like canned chicken, or even peanut butter. Hunters in the program have donated some 60-thousand deer in 10 years — which is the equivalent of nearly 11 million meals (10.8 million).

(Radio Iowa)

Burn bans lifted in Fremont and Pottawattamie Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Burn Bans which had been in-place in Fremont and Pottawattamie Counties were lifted Monday, due to the recent wet conditions. The Fremont County ban on open burning had been in effect since March 18th, while the ban in Pottawattamie County was in-place since March 19th.

Burn bans remain in effect for Mills, Montgomery and Page Counties, until further notice.

Iowa News Headlines: Tue., April 15th 2014


April 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Two top managers at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services have been asked to return for a second day of questioning before a joint legislative oversight committee. Doug Woodley and Paul Carlson didn’t help lawmakers clarify the big question: who authorized settlement agreements in which money was paid for secrecy.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A plan to enroll more 4-year-olds in preschool and incentivize the creation or expansion of programs has won the Iowa Senate’s approval. The legislation that now goes to the House would offer additional funds to school districts with existing programs or those that initiate new programs, in an effort to expand preschool enrollment. These incentives would be offered for three years beginning in 2015, and would be based on increased enrollment.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – An Ottumwa man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the brutal beating of a toddler under his care. Dustin Dewayne Armstrong agreed to a plea deal before his trial on multiple charges of child endangerment was scheduled to begin this year. Prosecutors say in April 2013, the 20-year-old Armstrong grabbed Brayden Young’s jaw and slammed his head against a wall. The then-two-year-old boy was later hospitalized with broken bones and extensive brain damage.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Young hunters will have a special opportunity thanks to the generosity of a Webster County family. Donald Seltz and his family decided to sell 75 acres of land to the county for $1,000 per acre. That’s far less than the $8,000 or more an acre the family could have earned for the land. The conservation area has been named the Shirley Kirchner-Seltz Prairie, in honor of Donald Seltz’s late wife.

Attempted Phone Scams in Shelby County


April 14th, 2014 by admin

The Shelby County Sheriff’s office has received two reports recently of attempted phone scams in the area. Authorities say a man has been phoning people and representing himself as a member of the Shelby County Sheriff’s office. He then threatens certain legal action in order to try and get the victims’ money.

Those who live in Shelby county and the surrounding areas should be aware the Shelby County Sheriff’s office will not seek payment for legal matters over the phone, and you should never give personal information to anyone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office, or provide payment over the phone. Neither of the two previous victims gave any money to the scammer.

The case remains under investigation.

2 arrests, 1 accident in Mills County


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Mills County report two arrests over the weekend. On Saturday, deputies arrested 22-year old, Andrew Mark Schoening, of Mineola, on a warrant for Violation of Probation. Schoening was taken into custody at the Pottawattamie County Jail and held on $25,000 bond.   And, 22-year old Nile Johnathan Packett, of Glenwood was arrested on south Locust Street in Glenwood, on a charge of Disorderly Conduct. His arrest occurred at around 1:35-a.m., Saturday. Bond was set at $300.

Sheriff’s deputies in Mills County also investigated a single-vehicle accident Saturday. At Around 9:37-a.m.,  a 1997 Honda driven by Richard Miller, of Carter Lake, was traveling south on Highway 59, about a mile north of Emerson, when the left front tire blew out. The car then swerved into the west ditch and hit an embankment. No injuries were reported.

5 arrests in Cass County


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports five people were arrested over the past week. On Saturday, 24-year old Kevin Damien Engles, of Atlantic, was arrested on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Interference with Official Acts, and Driving Under Suspension. That same day, 29-year old Ehren Michael Mardesen, of Anita, was arrested on a charge of Interference with Official Acts. Both men were brought to the Cass County Jail and later released, with Mardesen being released on $300 bond, and Engles released on his own recognizance.

Last Friday, Cass County deputies arrested 22-year old Devin Allen Foote, of Griswold, on an Atlantic Police Department warrant charging him with Harassment in the 3rd Degree. Foote was later released on $300 bond. Last Thursday, 29-year old Tyanna Karee Monrreal-Robles, of Council Bluffs, was arrested in Cass County on a District Court warrant for Violation of her probation. Monrreal-Robles remains in the Cass County Jail on $10,000 bond.

And, on April 7th, 36-year old Jared Mark Smith, of Atlantic, turned himself in on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for Assault w/Injury. Smith was booked into the Cass County Jail and released later that day on $1000 bond.


Council Bluffs man gets 20 years in woman’s death


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – A judge has sentenced a Council Bluffs man to 20 years in prison for the death of a Glenwood woman. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports 24-year-old Chad Fortner was sentenced today (Monday) in Mills County District Court after pleading guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of causing bodily injury in the death of Carol Meston.

Fortner was staying with the 47-year-old Meston in October 2013 when she intervened in a shoving match between him and another man. Meston fell, hit her head and lost consciousness. She died the next day.  Fortner was charged with second-degree murder before making the plea agreement. He will serve a concurrent sentence for four drug charges.

Fortner was released from prison last June after a 2012 conviction for involuntary manslaughter.

Branstad awards funds to 2 renewable fuel sites

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has awarded grants to two fueling sites in an effort to expand access higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.  The Oak Street Station in Inwood and Farmers Cooperative in Mount Ayr will each receive $125,000 as part of the Fueling Our Future initiative.

Farmers Cooperative will construct a new fueling site to provide different ethanol and biodiesel blends. It also will receive $100,000 through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program.
The Oak Street Station will build a new site offering five renewable fuel dispensers.

Branstad says in a statement that supporting these projects will help grow the local economy as well.

Officials: Iowa law may void some absentee ballots


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers have been unable to change a state law on postmarked absentee ballots that may accidentally void some valid ballots.  Election officials say some valid ballots over the years could have been invalidated because the Postal Service doesn’t always postmark business reply mail envelopes.

The Des Moines Register reports the state law has been in effect for years. But an accompanying administrative rule that allowed election officials to check the date on the enclosed voter affidavit was repealed in 2011.  The newspaper reports data collected in local elections from 2011 and 2013 show the issue is widespread throughout the state.

Legislators this session have failed to find a solution to the problem. Officials say the practice could continue during high-profile statewide contests this year, including the race for governor.

Victor Borge Legacy Award winners announced


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Museum of Danish America, today (Monday), announced this year’s winners of the Victor Borge Legacy Award in Omaha and southwest Iowa. Named in honor of the beloved comedian and musician, the Victor Borge Legacy Award is designed to encourage young pianists in the Omaha and Southwest Iowa regions. Four talented piano students have earned cash prizes of $1,000 and $500 dollars and will perform in public recitals at the Museum of Danish America.

The first-place winners, each receiving a $1,000 cash prize, are Emily Zhang of Omaha, Nebraska, and Emily Umphreys of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Second-place winners, each receiving a $500 cash prize, are Katherine Payne of Woodbine, Iowa, and Moriah Hellstrom of Omaha, Nebraska.

The winners were selected in piano competitions organized by the Southwest Iowa Music Teachers Association and the Omaha Music Teachers Association. Each competitor performed multiple piano solo works in front of a judge, and winners have also prepared a written essay about the legacy of Victor Borge.

All four winners will perform at the Museum of Danish America in public recitals. Emily Zhang and Emily Umphreys will perform on April 26 and Katherine Payne and Moriah Hellstrom on June 1st. The public is invited to enjoy these talented musicians as they perform on Victor Borge’s own piano, part of the museum’s collection. Each recital will begin at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a reception.

This is the third year of the Victor Borge Legacy Award, a program organized by the museum and funded by R. James and Janet Borge Crowle of Saint Michaels, Maryland, with additional support from the Eric and Joan Norgaard Trust.