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Iowa guide convicted of leading illegal deer hunts

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who operated a hunting guide service in southern Iowa has been convicted of carrying out illegal hunts for whitetail deer in 2008. A jury in Des Moines on Thursday found Rodney Hughes of Mayfield, Penn., guilty of seven counts of the unlawful sale of deer taken in interstate commerce. Jurors also found him guilty of six counts of willfully submitting false information to state authorities.

Prosecutors say Hughes’ service, Midwest USA Outfitters, was a guide for several residents from other states who came to Iowa to hunt without having a buck tag. Hughes had relatives and friends obtain hunting tags that were used for the deer the hunters killed. He reported the false tag information to the state of Iowa.

The 63-year-old Hughes will be sentenced later.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Nov. 15 2013


November 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — Jurors are set to resume deliberating later today in the case of a former Iowa jail guard accused of fatally shooting his pregnant wife. Seth Techel is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2012 slaying of his wife, Lisa Techel. Prosecutors say he wanted to pursue a relationship with another woman.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines man who was severely injured in a bar fight two years ago is suing the bar and a party bus company, claiming both could have prevented the attack. Forey Jacobson says in his lawsuit that employees of Johnny’s Hall of Fame and B-Bumpn Party Lines should have realized how intoxicated his attacker was. He says he suffered brain damage in the attack. His assailant was sentenced to five years in prison last year but was released last month.

ELLIOTT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say it’s safe again for residents of the southwest Iowa city of Elliot to drink tap water. The Department of Natural Resources and city officials lifted an advisory yesterday for residents to drink only bottled water after contractors hit a water main. Tests show the water is now clean.

STERLING, Ill. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man found dead on a northern Illinois highway as 65-year-old Lee E. Catlin, of Bettendorf, Iowa. Catlin’s body was found yesterday on Interstate 88 near Dixon. The coroner’s office says the autopsy showed foul play wasn’t a factor and that toxicology results are pending. Police have asked the public for any information that might be pertinent.

Water Emergency Declaration for Elliott is cancelled


November 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Water Emergency Declaration for the City of Elliott has been cancelled. Emergency Manager Brian Hamman said late Thursday afternoon, testing has concluded that the water is now safe to drink. City of Elliott officials would like to thank all citizens of the community for their understanding during this time and would also like to extend their appreciation to the local area businesses that assisted with donating and making potable water available.

Over 300 cases of water were distributed since early Tuesday afternoon, when a water main break disrupted the City’s municipal water infrastructure.

County dismissed from Iowa strip search lawsuits


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Woodbury County and its former sheriff have been dismissed from two federal lawsuits filed by women who claim their civil rights were violated at the county jail and they were given unlawful strip searches. U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett says in his recent rulings that the county did not have a policy in place that violated the rights of the women. He also ruled that they were not given strip searches because their bodies were not inspected.

The Sioux City Journal reports excessive force and retaliation claims against some jailers are essentially all that remain in the suits. The women claim officers assaulted and injured them by forcefully removing their clothing for jail-issued clothing.

The county says the women were disruptive and officers followed policy.

Family Dream Christmas, sponsored by Atlantic Police Reserves


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green reports that on December 21st, 2013 the Atlantic Police Reserves will sponsor the 6th annual Family Dream Christmas program. The program is for Cass County residents only. During the program we will furnish the officers and transportation to take the selected families shopping here within Atlantic. Families will be taken shopping in Atlantic for groceries for Christmas dinner, gifts for the kids from the parents and also gifts for the parents from their kids.

The police department will be accepting donations from now through the 20th of December. As with last year, they are asking for cash donations only, this year. Any donations can be brought to the Atlantic Police Department and received by an officer on duty or the secretary working.

Applications for families wishing to participate can be picked up at the Atlantic Police Department and are due on December 11th by 4:00 p.m. After all applications have been received, they will be reviewed and the chosen families will be contacted. There is no set limit on the number of families chosen; it will correspond to the amount of donations received. The P-D will try to help as many families as possible!

In 2012, the program sponsored nearly nine complete family units and gave other families toys as well as assistance, as available. Between 8-and 9-thousand dollars was spent through the program, the entire amount of which came through donations from the public. 

The Atlantic Police Reserves would like to thank everyone in the past that has helped and would also like to thank those of whom are anticipating on helping with our wonderful program. For questions or inquiries call the Atlantic Police Department at (712) 243-3512.

10 watersheds receive grants from Watershed Improvement Board

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB) recently approved ten applications totaling more than $2.3-million in grants to support projects that will improve water quality or reduce flooding in the state. Among the projects is the Adair Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) covering Adair and Cass Counties, which will receive $298, 562 for the West Fork Middle Nodaway River. And, the West Pottawattamie SWCD will receive $279,811 for the Mosquito Creek Project in Pottawattamie County.

The grant funds will be matched by recipients, who will provide over $6.5-million in funding from the local communities to support these projects. As a result, $8.8- million will be going to support conservation work in priority watersheds throughout the state.

The approved projects have already completed watershed assessments that identified critical water resource areas and will focus on implementing specific water quality or flood reduction improvements. The projects will start after a grant agreement is signed between the applicant and the Watershed Improvement Review Board. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees were eligible to apply. Individual projects could request up to $300,000.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says “These projects are a partnership between federal, state and local organizations that are committed to improving Iowa’s water quality. By supporting projects that address runoff and drainage, sedimentation, urban stormwater, livestock runoff, streambed and bank stabilization and a number of other issues, these projects are focused on issues that directly impact the state’s waterways and water quality.”

WIRB received a total of $3 million this year and at least half of the funds must be used to support voluntary, science based water quality practices referenced in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

McDermott appeals prison sentence to Iowa Supreme Court – is released from jail


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man who was sentenced to five-years in prison earlier this week in connection with an incident of domestic assault, has filed an appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner reports Rex Dean McDermott appeared in Cass County District Court just before Noon today (Thursday), and filed an appeal of the sentence imposed by Judge Jeffrey L. Larson. The Court had set an appeal bond in the amount of $10,000, which has since been posted. McDermott was released from custody pending a final appeal of his sentence.

Feistner says pursuant to the Iowa Rules of Criminal and Appellate Procedure, McDermott will remain free on bond pending a final ruling by the Iowa Court of Appeals or the Iowa Supreme Court which could take anywhere from a few months to possibly six months or more. The appellate court (Iowa Court of Appeals or Iowa Supreme Court) will address any alleged legal issues by the defendant regarding the sentence previously imposed by Judge Jeffrey L. Larson.

The options of the appellate court are that it could: (a) affirm the lower District Court’s decision, (b) reverse and vacate the lower District Court’s decision, or (c) affirm the lower District Court’s decision in part and reverse and vacate its decision in part. Once a final decision has been rendered by the appellate court and Procedendo issues, the appeal is then finalized or closed and the matter is remanded or sent back to the lower District Court for any final action, if any, or the original sentence will be imposed.

On Sept. 23rd., McDermott plead guilty to a felony charge of Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation. At the time of his sentencing, he was committed to the custody of the Director, Iowa Department of Corrections for a prison term not to exceed five (5) years. The sentence was not suspended. Mittimus was ordered to issue immediately and the defendant was immediately taken into the custody of the Cass County Sheriff pending transport to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC) at Oakdale, Iowa to serve out the five-year prison sentence. But again as of today (Thursday), he is free on bond.


Iowa DOT and Nebraska Department of Roads to take over Decatur bridge


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation and the Nebraska Department of Roads are working with the Burt County Bridge Commission to transfer jurisdiction of the Decatur-Onawa toll bridge connecting Nebraska 51 and Iowa 175 from the commission to the states.

Once the transfer is complete, the NDOR will maintain Nebraska 51 and be the lead state on issues related to the bridge, including maintenance and snow removal. The Iowa DOT will have control of Iowa 175. The agreement paves the way for the removal of tolls from the bridge beginning Nov. 30th.

The agreement was approved Nov. 12th by the Iowa Transportation Commission and a recommendation to proceed has been received from the Nebraska Highway Commission.



Online directory now available to find alternatives to throwing items in the trash


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowans looking for an alternative to throwing away unwanted items and materials now have an easy way to find places that will take them: the DNR’s Iowa Greenlist. Available at www.iagreenlist.com, the Iowa Greenlist is a web-based directory of locations that accept items to be recycled, reused or repurposed instead of ending up in a landfill.

“Iowans now have a one-stop shop to find other options to throwing away their items,” said Scott Flagg, Iowa Greenlist directory manager. “The Iowa Greenlist is the most comprehensive statewide resource currently available – Iowa’s ultimate recycling directory.”

The website allows the user to search by material, location or organization and displays contact information, a list of materials accepted and hours for all registered locations. The database currently has 506 registered locations available across Iowa that accept products ranging from electronics to used oil filters. New retailers are able to register on the website at any time.

Survey: Iowa schools spend 6% of food budgets locally


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Agriculture Department’s Farm to School Census finds Iowa’s school districts spent six percent of their food budgets buying from local farms in the 2011-2012 school year. Across the Midwest, most states report 25 to 50 percent of their school districts are buying from local farms, growing edible gardens or teaching nutrition –all parts of U-S-D-A’s Farm to School effort. Corry Bregendahl, of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, says increasingly she hears from districts that want to get more local foods on the table.

“They’re eager to be a part of this, but there’s still some significant challenges associated with their participation,” Bregendahl says. The challenges include regulations, such as the competitive bidding process, and school kitchen logistics. “The food service needs a lot of support because a lot of them don’t even have slicing equipment,” Bregendahl explains. “They’ve evolved to be warmers, not food preparers.” Bregendahl says the survey confirms some of the things farmers have been telling them about the use of local foods.

“We’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence for years that farmers were expanding their operations because they were getting access to new markets and they were ramping up their production,” according to Bregendahl. Bregendahl says, when local food sourcing does succeed it can have ripple effects on the local economy.

(Radio Iowa)