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Greenfield lawmaker proud to make anti-pot list


August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Greenfield Republican Rep. Clel Baudler says he’s proud to be named among the “Worst State Legislators of 2013” by a group working to legalize marijuana use.  Baudler laughed Friday when The Des Moines Register told him he had made a list of eight legislators that the Marijuana Policy Project considers among the nation’s worst.

In announcing the list, the group referred to comments Baudler made in opposing a medical marijuana bill in the Iowa Legislature. Baudler argued that passing the bill would be “one or two or three of the stupidest bills that’s ever been passed” by the Legislature.

The bill failed. Baudler says he accepts the designation “with pride.”

Red Oak man arrested for assault


August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest Friday night of a man on an assault charge. 22-year old James Leroy Christensen, Jr., was arrested at around 8-p.m. on a charge of Simple Domestic Assault. He was taken into custody in the 200 block of 1st Avenue in Red Oak and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where Christensen was being held without bond.

Drought worsens in Iowa as Missouri sees heavy rain & fatal flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The drought is worsening again in Iowa as heavy rains are causing devastation just to the south. Parts of Missouri got ten inches of rain overnight (Thursday into Friday), bringing flash-flooding, evacuations and at least two deaths. Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg, at the National Weather Service, says there’s a powerful front between bone-dry Iowa and water-logged Missouri. “It’s brought in a lot of dry, cool air here to the state of Iowa whereas down to the south, there’s been an area of low pressure swinging through and it’s not quite reaching us,” Kotenberg says. “The low pressure and dry air is pushing that low to our south, serving as a shield, preventing that moisture and energy from reaching the state up here.”

While areas of southern Missouri have seen 15-inches of rain in the past two days, parts of Iowa haven’t seen more than an inch of rain in weeks, and there’s little hope in the forecast — for either state’s misery.
“We should be dry Saturday, Sunday, maybe a little bit of a chance (of rain) as we head into Monday, but otherwise, it’s looking dry up here,” Kotenberg says. “Down to the south, Missouri will probably be getting more rain this afternoon into Saturday, so unfortunately, it does not look like they are out of the woods quite yet.” A report released this week shows the drought situation worsening in Iowa.

“A good majority of the state is at least abnormally dry,” Kotenberg says. “Basically the only part that’s above average or near average is the far northeastern portions of Iowa. Interestingly enough, Des Moines is now almost one inch below normal on the year, while the Waterloo area is about ten inches above normal for 2013 on precipitation.” A week ago, only 0.02% of Iowa was in drought. Now, about 16% of the state is seeing drought conditions, mostly in the west and southwest.

(Radio Iowa)

$5 million facility near Sioux City to feature gun, archery ranges

News, Sports

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A massive facility that will attract gun enthusiasts in northwest Iowa is scheduled to open next summer. Officials broke ground on the five-million dollar project this week just across the Missouri River from Iowa in South Sioux City, Nebraska. The business is called Calibra8 (pronounced calibrate) and president Jason Rainboth says it’ll be the first of its kind in the region. “We’re going to have a 24 lane indoor gun range. We’ll also have an 8-lane archery range indoors, which will have a second tier shot, which is something you never see in an archery range,” Rainboth said. “We’re also going to have a full service pro shop and armory. We’ll sell guns, ammunition, and all the accessories that go along with that, but we’ll also be renting guns.”

The 90,000 square foot facility will also house a 24 hour gym and cross-fit training center, as well as banquet halls and meeting rooms. Rainboth believes the area will eventually host regional and national competitions. “For both the archery and the shooting ranges, we are looking to host IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) events…all the shooting circuits that are out there, we would like to be able to host those on a regional or national level,” Rainboth said. The company will also serve as a firearms training facility for local law enforcement and military personnel, as well as the public. That’s something Dakota County (Nebraska) Sheriff Chris Kleinberg says is an area need.

“Especially in the last year, the handgun purchase permits have been crazy. People want firearms, but the lack of training – with such – is a little nerve-racking to law enforcement,” Kleinberg said. “This facility will actually help with that, which is a good thing. I think every citizen should be armed.” Calibra8 will initially employ around 40 people, but Rainboth said they may eventually need 100 workers.

(Radio Iowa)

Federal report shows farmland values take big jump, with the biggest jump in the Corn Belt

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After Iowa farmland values hit a record high late in 2012, a new report from the U-S Department of Agriculture shows farmland values nationwide took another big jump this year. The U-S-D-A’s chief economist Joe Glauber says there was an especially big jump in cropland prices on the agency’s new report versus last year. “Farm real estate value this year was estimated to be $2900 an acre as compared to $2650 an acre, that’s up 9.4%,” Glauber says. “If you look at just cropland, the average per acre is $4000, up from $3540, that’s up 13%.” Iowa’s average farmland values last year were more than double that figure. Glauber says the highest prices for farmland in the latest report are in the Corn Belt where the average acre is worth 64-hundred dollars, also up 13-percent. He says there is a ceiling, somewhere.

“Certainly, the idea that we’ll continue to see 10% increases per year, I think, is unlikely,” Glauber says. Farmland values have risen 50-percent in the last four years and Glauber says the reasons include low interest rates and good, strong income prospects. As for 2014, Glauber says the values may not go up quite as rapidly. “People are looking for income levels to moderate a bit after the strong growth we’ve seen and the fact that we may see slightly higher interest rates,” he says. “Both of those would have negative effects at least on the growth rates of land values. I’m not saying that land values necessarily would decline, but the 10% growth that we’ve seen, certainly that’s unlikely to continue.” The annual survey released by Iowa State University last December showed a record average cost of Iowa farmland at $8,296 an acre. The I-S-U survey showed farmland values increased almost 24-percent over the previous year.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Aug. 10th 2013


August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — Students, teachers and parents from an Iowa high school that were stranded after an airport fire in east Africa will return home Sunday. U.S. Representatve Bruce Braley’s office says most of the group of 26 from Maquoketa High School in eastern Iowa has been secured on a flight that leaves Nairobi Saturday night. Two chaperones may have to take a flight that leaves in the morning. The Democrat’s office says they worked with Delta Airlines to secure the flights.

FINCHFORD, Iowa (AP) — Some Black Hawk County residents are urging officials to lift a swimming ban at a quarry. The Black Hawk County Conservation Board heard from residents during a Thursday night meeting about lifting the ban at the Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area quarry. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the quarry was closed to swimming in 2010 after neighbors complained about noisy parties and trash.

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say they will work through the weekend to unplug a sewer line that’s discharging wastewater near Mill Creek in Clinton. City officials reported the discharge Monday, but they discovered yesterday that the discharge was reaching Mill Creek.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A man convicted of kidnapping a Council Bluffs woman last year has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. Bryan Bey of Crescent yelled expletives at Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski during yesterday’s sentencing. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports the 40-year-old also yelled that prosecutors planted evidence and coerced witnesses.

Tournament of Champions Saturday Tee Times


August 9th, 2013 by Jim Field

CLICK the link below to see Saturday tee times for the Tournament of Champions at the Atlantic Golf  and Country Club.  Our coverage begins at 8:30 am.


Iowa man gets life in prison for 2012 kidnapping


August 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A man convicted of kidnapping a Council Bluffs woman last year has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. Bryan Bey, of Crescent, yelled expletives at Fourth District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski during the Friday sentencing. The 40-year-old also yelled that prosecutors planted evidence and coerced witnesses.

The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports a jury convicted Bey in May of first- and second-degree kidnapping in the beating and abduction of Tabitha Proplesch in May 2012. She was rescued after the vehicle that Bey was transporting her in ran out of gas.

Bey represented himself during the trial. A public defender assigned for the sentencing attempted motions for a new trial, but Kilnoski denied them. She did merge Bey’s two counts into one.

Stuart Police release details on armed robbery that preceded the Cass County incident


August 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Stuart late this (Friday) afternoon released details about an attempted armed robbery that occurred prior to the robbery of a motel in Cass County. Officials says at around 10:10-p.m. Thursday, an armed robbery was reported at the AmericInn located in the 400 block of SW 8th Street in Stuart. Two black males entered the business brandishing a handgun and demanded money from a female clerk at the hotel. The suspects left without any money.

The same suspects were allegedly involved in the armed robbery of the America’s Best Value Inn located just south of I-80 in Cass County, about 90 minutes later.  The suspects allegedly involved in the second robbery got away with an undetermined amounts of cash. Their spree ended just after midnight, Friday, near the intersection of I-80/680, after they crashed a vehicle they allegedly stole from an Omaha car rental agency during a high speed pursuit near Crescent.

The State Patrol says the vehicle reached speeds up to 130-miles per hour during the pursuit.  Both suspects, identified as brothers 38-year old Courtney and 24-year old Remo Bennett, of Omaha, were injured in the crash. Remo Bennett, who was a passenger in the car, was partially ejected from the vehicle and was listed in critical condition at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center.  Courtney Bennett was listed in stable condition at Alegent Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Courtney Bennett was wanted on warrants out of Mills County for 1st degree theft, and is a suspect in several area burglaries. According to reports, he’s been in and out of prison several times since 1994. Twice it was for theft by receiving stolen property, another time it was for being a felon in possession of a gun. He spent close to 10 years in Nebraska prisons and had been released last December. Both men will be taken into custody once they are released from their respective hospitals.

Judge sentences man in shooting of police officer


August 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Woodbury County judge has sentenced a man to 25 years in prison for attempted murder in the shooting of a Sioux City police officer. The Sioux City Journal reports Judge Jeffrey Neary’s sentence Friday means it will be 17½ years before Jamal Dean is eligible for parole. The 22-year-old Dean pleaded guilty last month in the shooting of officer Kevin McCormick.

McCormick had pulled over Dean in a traffic stop. Dean stepped out of his car, brandishing a .22-caliber rifle and fired eight shots through the squad car’s hood and windshield. Although the car was riddled with bullets and he was shot in the head, McCormick wasn’t seriously injured. He’s returned to work.

Asked by the judge if he had anything to say before sentencing, Dean responded, “Nah.”