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Ag Secretary reflects on year

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Thanksgiving is a time for farmers to look back on the harvest and review their work. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says there is plenty to be thankful for. “For most farmers in Iowa, we had awful good crops. We had some spots that weren’t…there’s lots and lots of fields out there that all yield different. For some of those fields, we had the best crops ever,” Northey says. “Certainly farmers are very thankful for that.” Northey says the value of the crop has changed in the last year.

“Prices now are different than they were at the beginning of the year or the end of last year, so they’ve softened up some. But the yields certainly help and that’s definitely one of the things a farmer is looking for when he plants his crop in the spring,” according to Northey. There’s also hope that the prices will see some rebound. “Sometimes we see kind of an after harvest bump. Once folks store the crop away it takes usually a better price for them to go to the bin and pull it out. They put it in the bin with the expectation of seeing a better price, and we’ll see if that does happen or not, but often we see a little bounce coming out of harvest,” Northey says.

There’ll be several new federal lawmakers in the new year and Northey says that could impact trade deals and other issues impacting farmers. “I think we have a congress that in general that would be slightly more friendly to trade in both chambers, certainly in the senate, than what it once was,” Northey says. “We are still waiting on an R-F-S, a renewable fuel standard number for 2014… I don’t know that we would expect any help out of congress for that.” Northey says with the makeup of the state legislature staying pretty much the same, he doesn’t expect to see any major legislation this year that would impact farmers.

Northey operates a farm near Spirit Lake.

(Radio Iowa)

SNAP benefits are helping more Iowa families avoid hunger

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

About 13-percent of all Iowans now put food on the table each day with the help of SNAP benefits. The latest Farm Bill is providing some 200-million dollars in grants that will be used to help those receiving SNAP benefits to find jobs — or better paying jobs. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the face of the SNAP program has changed in the last 40 years. “Today, only 7-8% of SNAP beneficiaries are cash welfare recipients,” Vilsack says. “It used to be that hardly anybody had income in SNAP. Today, 41% of households have somebody earning a paycheck of one kind or another. It’s a different mix of people. It’s a different kind of program than it was, ending the stereotypes, making sure people understand there are a lot of folks struggling.”

Almost 421-thousand Iowans receive monthly SNAP benefits, about 13-percent of the state’s population. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the majority of those receiving SNAP benefits work but are under-employed or under-paid.  “Nearly three-quarters of SNAP beneficiaries are senior citizens, people with disabilities or children of moms and dads who are actually in the workforce,” Vilsack says. “Forty-one percent of SNAP beneficiaries live in households where there is income being generated by a job.” Vilsack says the grant money will be used to provide education and training, rehabilitative services for individuals in need and target hard to serve areas.

Vilsack says, “Congress in the Farm Bill basically created a fund of $200-million, said that we could use that fund to fund up to 10 pilot projects, $165-million of that 200-million will be used for actual costs and helping to create new programs and better programs and better linkages to job opportunities and 35-million will be used to evaluate those pilot projects.” Several of the pilot programs, he says, will be tested in what are considered hard-to-serve areas, including rural parts of Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Town hall meetings scheduled for proposed pipeline

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — Landowners that would be impacted by a proposed oil pipeline through Iowa will be able to get more information at some upcoming public meetings. The Sioux City Journal reports that the Texas-based company seeking to build the $3.8 billion pipeline will start holding informal public meetings on Monday in Northwest Iowa.

Meetings are also scheduled in the other areas the pipeline would touch. A spokesman for the Iowa Utility Board said the company must hold the meetings before seeking a permit.

Energy Transfer Partners, of Dallas, wants to build the 1,100-mile underground pipeline across Iowa and three other states. The pipeline would carry crude oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it could be redirected.

Spanish family celebrates first Thanksgiving

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MONDAMIN, Iowa (AP) — A family from Spain is celebrating their first Thanksgiving in Iowa this year. The Daily Nonpareil reports that a high school teacher visiting from Valencia, Spain will carve a turkey this year in Iowa. Carmen Palmero is teaching at West Harrison High School in Mondamin as part of a program that brings Spanish teachers from Spain to the United States and Canada.

Palmero’s husband and two daughters also came to live in Iowa and her son is visiting for the holiday. Palmero is one of five teachers in Iowa through the program. She said she has applied unsuccessfully before and it has been a good experience.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 11/27/2014

News, Podcasts

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

Play

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 11/27/2014

News, Podcasts

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Bluffs authorities search for Special Needs woman

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs are asking for your help in finding a special needs woman who jumped out the window of a facility at 2065 Nash Boulevard late Wednesday evening. Bluffs Police Sgt. Dave Dawson says 21-year old Kyla Jones left the area in an unknown direction after she leaped from the building at around 8:50-p.m., Wednesday.

Kyla Jones

Kyla Jones

The woman was last seen wearing a dark gray long sleeve shirt and grey sweatpants. She’s 5-feet five-inches tall, and weighs about 162-poounds. Jones left her cell phone behind when she took off, and police say they’ve exhausted all leads in trying to find her.

If you see Kyla Jones, call your local police department, immediately.

Red Oak boy arrested for the asssault of a student on a bus

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A juvenile was arrested and later cited into juvenile court, following an assault which occurred Wednesday afternoon on a school bus. Red Oak Police say 11-year old Jackson Michael Kelly, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 4:30-p.m. on a Serious Assault charge, for allegedly striking another student on the bus.

Kelly was later released into the custody of his mother, Holly Ann Kelly, and will appear in juvenile court at a later date.

Crash near Marne sends a 16-year old the hospital by helicopter

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A single-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon just east of Marne, resulted in a passenger in the vehicle being flown to a hospital in Omaha. According to reports, 16-year old Lily Elliott, of Marne, was flown by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Hospital. The teen was injured when the van she was riding in slid through the intersection at 580th Street and Eastland Road, and crashed at around 2:35-p.m.

The accident happened, as the driver of the 2010 Dodge Caravan, 37-year old Jamie Elliott, of Marne, tried to slow down for the stop sign at the intersection. The van skidded into the north ditch and hit a utility pole. The driver and two other children in the van were not hurt.

Trio of Republicans announce plans to run for Ernst’s IA Senate seat

News

November 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Omaha World-Herald reports three Republicans have announced they will seek the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by Joni Ernst, who won election to the U.S. Senate earlier this month. Once Ernst resigns from her State Senate seat, Gov. Terry Branstad will call for a special election to fill the vacancy.

State Rep. Mark Costello of rural Imogene, Fremont County Board member Cara Marker-Morgan of Hamburg and Clarinda school board member Seth Watkins have all announced their candidacies.