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USDA Announces Streamlined Disaster Designation Process in Disaster Areas

News

July 12th, 2012 by admin

(Des Moines, Iowa) July 11, 2012: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday announced a package of program improvements that will deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters. Vilsack announced three significant improvements to decades-old USDA programs and processes related to Secretarial disaster designations: a final rule that simplifies the process for Secretarial disaster designations and will result in a 40 percent reduction in processing time for most counties affected by disasters; a reduced interest rate for emergency loans that effectively lowers the current rate from 3.75 percent to 2.25 percent; and a payment reduction on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands qualified for emergency haying and grazing in 2012, from 25 to 10 percent.

“Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy and it is increasingly important that USDA has the tools to act quickly and deliver assistance to farmers and ranchers when they need it most,” said Vilsack. “By amending the Secretarial disaster designation, we’re creating a more efficient and effective process. And by delivering lower interest rates on emergency loans and providing greater flexibility for haying and grazing on CRP lands, we’re keeping more farmers in business and supporting our rural American communities through difficult times. With these improvements, we’re also telling American producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

A natural disaster designation makes all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to designate disaster counties to make disaster assistance programs available to farmers and ranchers. Previous to these changes, the process had been in place for more than two decades and regulations had not been substantively revised since 1988.

-Press Release from USDA

Thursday Morning Iowa Headlines

News

July 12th, 2012 by admin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Department of Agriculture says farmers are expected to harvest 146 bushels per acre of corn this fall, down 12 percent from the June estimate of 166 bushels per acre. A widespread drought has burned up the crop in portions of Illinois and Indiana and has reduced yields in other states. The season average farm price for corn is projected at $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel, up sharply from $4.20 to $5 per bushel in June.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Governor Terry Branstad will hold a public meeting next week on the drought conditions plaguing Iowa this summer. The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Pleasant High School. The USDA is already streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – Allegations of racial profiling have raised heated discussions in Dubuque. Several black people in the audience Tuesday expressed their frustrations at being targeted by police solely because of race. City Councilwoman Lynn Sutton and Police Lieutenant Joe Messerich said they can’t address problems unless people came forward with formal complaints that could be investigated.

HOUSTON (AP) – A Texas judge has ruled the atmosphere and the air must be protected for public use just like water. The written ruling issued Monday by Texas District Court Judge Gisela Triana could help attorneys arguing climate change lawsuits in 11 other states. The cases are aimed at forcing states to cut emissions.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Some neighboring landowners say they’ll oppose rezoning of agricultural land so a $1.5 billion fertilizer plant project can be built in eastern Iowa’s Scott County. The 318-acre site between Walcott and Davenport is among the sites being considered by Iowa Fertilizer Company. The firm is a subsidiary of Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries.

WALCOTT, Iowa (AP) – Police have released the name of an 87-year-old woman found dead in a burning home in Walcott in eastern Iowa. Police Chief Jeff Blake says firefighters found Lois Moldenschardt after they entered the house to put out the flames on Sunday. Moldenschardt lived alone. Results of an autopsy are pending.

Authorities Looking for Hit and Run Driver in CB

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the driver a vehicle involved in a hit and run accident that occurred Tuesday evening in Council Bluffs.

The Sheriff’s Office says shortly after 6:00 PM Tuesday, 46 year old Daniel Owens of Treynor was riding his bicycle westbound near Highway 92 when he was struck by a vehicle that was also traveling westbound.  Owens sustained non life threatening injuries and was transported to University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

No specific description of the hit and run vehicle was obtained, however a black passenger side mirror that broke off of the vehicle was found at the  scene.

If you have any knowledge of the incident, please contact the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office at 712-890-2200.

Atlantic Man Faces Assault Charge

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Atlantic Police Department reports that 21-year-old Timothy Brown of Atlantic turned himself in on a Cass County Warrant for Assault without Intent Causing Serious Injury.  Brown was booked in and held.

Audubon City Council Votes to Increase Sewer Rates

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Audubon City Council met Monday evening.  Audubon City Clerk Lora Hansen tells KJAN news the council voted 4 to 1 to increase sewer rates in the city by 15 percent.  The Council will discuss at a later date when that rate increase might go into effect.  The Audubon City Council also voted Monday not to raise the salaries of city employees.  Any increase in salaries will likely not be brought up again until next May or June.

Cass County Board of Supervisors Meeting Recap

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Cass County Board of Supervisors had their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday morning at the Cass County Courthouse.

On the agenda first was the assignment of county held tax sale certificates of purchase to the city of Cumberland for a piece of property located in the town.  The supervisors unanimously approved the sale.  The city of Cumberland will primarily use the property for restoration work and then possibly re-sell to any interested bidders.

The board then heard from County Attorney Dan Feistner, who talked about the counties ongoing policy of directly negotiating collective bargaining with unions.  Supervisor Reiken agreed that there are several advantages to keeping the negotiating process local rather than hiring outside help.

The board also heard from county engineer Charles Marker, who spoke about road work taking place on county road M56 around Marne.  He says work is ongoing on paving county road M56 between Marne and I-80.

Marker says Marne Mayor Randy Baxter asked if other roads in town could be paved as well. They include the road in front of the post office and the bar.  He says the Marne City Council has already agreed the city would eventually pay for that work on the roads.

The supervisors also received a written letter from the Cass County Historical Society updating the board on some of there recent work in the county.

Atlantic School Board Approves Mobile Classroom

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Atlantic School Board had their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at Atlantic High School.  The board approved the signing of a lease for a mobile classroom that will be used at Washington Elementary this fall.  Atlantic Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein says the school was so short on classroom space that it created the need for the mobile classroom.  It will be primarily used for music and art classes.

He says the lease will be for two years, which was the minimum the school board could get.  For the first year the lease would cost $22,500 because of set up charges, but for the second year the cost will only be the lease itself which is $10,500.

Once the lease for the mobile classroom is up in two years, Amstein says the board will take a look at district needs for the future and determine if there is still need for the mobile classroom at Washington Elementary.

8AM Newscast 07-11-2012

News, Podcasts

July 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Brett Johnson

7AM Newscast 07-11-2012

News, Podcasts

July 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Brett Johnson

Adair Co. BOS Meeting Preview

News

July 11th, 2012 by admin

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday morning.

On the agenda is an update on the manure management plan and an EMS Grant Final draw Down.  The Board Adair Supervisors will also hear from County Auditor Mindy Schaefer about server/laptop bids.  Jerry Christensen will speak to the board about courthouse windows, and county treasurer Brenda Wallace will give the treasurer’s semi annual report.

The meeting of the Adair County Board of Supervisors will be held Thursday at 9:00 at the Adair County Courthouse in Greenfield.