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8AM Newscast 09-05-2012

News, Podcasts

September 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 09-05-2012

News, Podcasts

September 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Red Oak woman arrested on drug charge

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a woman Tuesday night for alleged illegal possession of prescription drugs. 33-year-old Becky Jo Hegarty, of Red Oak, was arrested just before 11-p.m. on a charge of unlawful possession of a prescription medication. She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Monona County landowners complain of tax hikes

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – Landowners in Monona County are complaining about a big increase in their property taxes.  The Sioux City Journal reports the landowners gathered Tuesday at the county courthouse to discuss what they could do about the tax increase and to question county assessor Tim Peters and county board members.  Castana farmer William Brink says his taxes have increased by $9,000 in one year. Officials say the change is because of a new way counties value land based on the ability to produce crops. If soil is more fertile, it’s taxed at a higher rate.  The new system also applies to more land, causing increases on property once overlooked.  Some counties adjust taxes for property not used for row crops, but Monona County is among 50 counties that doesn’t make adjustments.

Amount businesses pay for unemployment will drop

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Workforce Development announced Tuesday it is changing the tax tables for employers which will save millions dollars. I-W-D spokesperson, Kerry Koonce says the tax table that determines how much employers pay into the unemployment trust fund is reviewed every year. “You can either move up into a higher tax table, which reduces employer taxes, or you can move down into a lower numbered tax table, which would increase employer taxes,” Koonce said. “There are eight tables in total and we are moving from table four to table five, which in 2013 will save Iowa employers just under a hundred million dollars in unemployment taxes paid into the system.”

The average employer will see the rate they pay fall from two-point-four-percent (2.4%) to two-percent (2.0%) percent for 2013. Koonce says there are several reasons for the move to lower the taxes required of businesses. “It’s happening because we do a good job managing the trust fund. And it’s happening because Iowa has done a good job compared to other states in coming out of the recession. Our wages being paid are going up, our manufacturing hours are back over to working an average over 40-hours-a-week, our employers have been diligent in paying their taxes,” Koonce says. Iowa also doesn’t have to pay any unemployment money back to the federal government.

“We did not borrow from the federal government to support our trust fund, which most states had to do that, and therefore that causes their tax rates to go up. We didn’t have to do that, so our rates have stayed consistent,” Koonce says. You may wonder how the rates paid in by employers can go down when Iowa’s unemployment rate inched up slightly in the last month. Koonce says the table is not based on a one-month trend.

“It’s not based either on just the unemployment rate…it looks at a several year period the amount of dollars that have been paid out of the trust fund. And it looks at the amount of dollars that have been coming into the trust fund, and it’s a very complicated actuarial formula that says there is more than enough funding to pay out even the highest level of benefits that you have experienced in the last five years,” Koonce explains. Over 52-percent of Iowa businesses do not have to pay in any unemployment taxes under the table.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Wed., Sept. 5th 2012

News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is in Iowa for the second day of a two-day visit. Mitt Romney’s running mate will be in Adel in central Iowa today. He’ll attend a rally at the Dallas County Courthouse in Adel.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ruled that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will be on the Iowa ballot in November. Polk County District Court Judge Arthur Gamble says in a ruling filed yesterday that Libertarians fulfilled legal requirements to get their candidate on the ballot.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The corn harvest continues ahead of schedule with some states nearly half-finished at a time when they usually are just getting started. The USDA says in its weekly crop update that little has changed in the condition of drought-damaged corn and soybeans. That’s because the plants are too far along for recent rain to make a difference.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say five deer at a breeding center in southwest Iowa have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, prompting the facility to be quarantine. Three of the deer at the center in Pottawattamie County and a deer at a hunting preserve in Davis County that tested positive in July were traced to a breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County. The Davis County deer was the first case of the neurological disease verified in Iowa.

Former Harlan resident/youth counselor arrested in 14-year old sexual assault case

News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man who lived in Harlan in 1998 has been charged in Pottawattamie County with three-counts of 3rd degree sexual assault, in connection with a case that dates back 14-years. 68-year year old Bobby Ervin Smith, a former youth coordinator was being held in the Pott. County Jail. According to Omaha television station KETV, the alleged victim, who was 12 years old at the time, said Smith was his youth coordinator at First Baptist Church. The victim claimed Smith assaulted him during a fishing trip. Smith and his family moved to Missouri in 2008. He’s due in court in November, and if convicted on all charges, he faces 30 years in prison.

Corn harvest continues to speed ahead of schedule

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. corn harvest continues ahead of schedule with some states nearly half-finished at a time when they usually are just getting started. The USDA said Tuesday in its weekly crop update that little has changed in the condition of drought-damaged corn and soybeans. That’s because the plants are too far along for recent rain to make a difference. Corn was planted several weeks earlier this year and matured more quickly in the summer heat, allowing farmers to start harvesting early. Tennessee has 49 percent of its corn in, compared to the usual 21 percent. Missouri is at 44 percent, ahead of the average 8 percent. Nebraska is at 7 percent, and Iowa, the nation’s leading corn producer, is at 5 percent. Typically those farmers haven’t begun yet.

ADDITIONAL FACILITY IN POTTAWATAMIE COUNTY UNDER QUARANTINE FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say five deer at a breeding facility in Pottawattamie County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), resulting in that operation placed under quarantine. Three of the five deer in Pottawattamie County along with a single white-tail deer at a hunting preserve in Davis County – Iowa’s first confirmed positive CWD sample – have been traced back to a breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County. In addition, 14 deer from the breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County have been sampled for CWD with one yielding a positive result for CWD. The Cerro Gordo facility is also currently under quarantine meaning live animals are not allowed to come or go from the operation.

After the first positive sample of the deer in Davis County was confirmed in July, both the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) have been working to trace back deer that have moved to and from the Cerro Gordo County facility. Once the initial positive detection of CWD was found in Davis County, the DNR worked with several other states that had clients of the facility to determine which deer was the carrier of the disease. Through DNA testing, it was determined that the affected deer had originated from the Cerro Gordo County facility. The DNR has regulatory authority on hunting preserves while IDALS regulates captive breeding herds.

Bruce Trautman, deputy director of the DNR, said “It’s important for us to gather as much information as possible as to where these deer have come from and gone to if we are going to be successful in containing the spread of CWD. Our primary concern is to keep CWD from spreading to the wild herd.”  The 330-acre Davis County facility is currently surrounded by an eight-foot high fence and routine inspections are being conducted by the DNR to ensure the integrity of the fencing system so that no deer are coming or going from the area.

The DNR will increase testing of wild deer in the area by working with hunters and landowners to collect samples from hunter harvested deer beginning this fall. A goal of 300 samples within a five-mile radius of the Davis County facility has been established. There is no evidence that CWD can spread to humans, pets or domestic livestock such as pork, beef, dairy, poultry, sheep or goats. Iowa has tested 42,557 wild deer and over 4,000 captive deer and elk as part of the surveillance program since 2002 when CWD was found in Wisconsin.

CWD is a neurological disease that only affects deer, elk and moose. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion, which affects the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions. Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head. The prions can attach to soil and spread the disease among deer. Chronic wasting disease was first identified in captive mule deer at a research facility in Colorado in 1967. Prior to the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in every bordering state.

Train and semi collide Friday near Dunlap

News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harrison County say no injuries were reported when a train struck a semi near Dunlap on Friday morning. Dunlap Police Chief Darren Klein says the semi was unable to get across the tracks, “It was an eastbound train and the Quality Liquid Feeds (QLF) was unable to cross the tracks. No injuries at all to either the driver or engineers. The impact drug the truck down about 50 yards and broke the cross arms off. That’s about it.”

The Dunlap Police Department was working with the Union Pacific to estimate the damage. The semi and trailer, owned by Quality Liquid Feeds, were a total loss while there was some damage to the locomotive. The accident happened around 10-am Friday. Traffic had to be re-routed while crews cleaned up the area.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)