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Wiota man arrested on drug charges


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a Wiota man was arrested on drug charges, Saturday. 19-year old Bryant Kenney Mitchell faces Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges. Mitchell was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.This morning (Monday) Cass County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 52-year old Russell Alan Shearer, of Elliott,  on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Shearer was taken to the Cass County Jail, pled guilty  and was released.

Iowa farming officials seek punishment for thieves

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farm officials are seeking to enforce a mandatory minimum sentence for the felony theft of livestock and crops. Delegates of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation met last week to discuss proper punishment for people who steal cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans and other farm property, the Des Moines Register reported.

Some states are seeing an increase of cattle thefts since the price of the animals have reached record highs. The problem could soon make its way to Iowa, experts say, since the state is expected to raise more cattle in light of low corn prices and a drought in Texas, the leading producer of cattle in the U.S.

Iowa is the top corn-producing state with nearly 2.2 billion bushels last year, and is ranked sixth nationally for cattle. Corey Schultz is a region executive officer for the Livestock Marketing Association and works with livestock auctions in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. “The rise in cattle numbers, the rise in prices, you could definitely see a rise in cattle thefts,” Schultz said.

Novice thieves usually don’t steal livestock, according to Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. “Anyone can kick down the door to a house and steal a flat screen TV,” he said. “But to steal cattle – first you have to have the ability to transport those cattle. Then you have to have the knowledge to market the cattle. You can’t run down to the local pawn store and get some money for them.”

Reminder: IA DOT open house meeting in C. Bluffs this Thursday


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A reminder from the Iowa Department of Transportation, that a meeting will be held this Thursday (Sept. 18th) in Council Bluffs, with regard to the Iowa Park and Ride System plan. The meeting is one of  seven planned for around the state, the DOT will use to develop its plan to identify ideal locations for park and ride facilities to serve commuters in the state. The public input meeting Sept. 18th in Council Bluffs  takes place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus, Salvation Army Building ( 715 N. 16th St).

At each meeting, a presentation will be made and Iowa DOT personnel will be available to individually discuss the plan. The Iowa DOT will be accepting public comments on the plan through Oct. 16th, 2014.

There are several ways to provide your input on the plan. You can provide input via the open-house meetings, the online survey (www.surveymonkey.com/s/ParkAndRide2014), or both. You can view the plan online at: www.iowadot.gov/iowainmotion/park_ride.html.

Some Iowa farmers donate grain to charities instead of cash

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As harvest season approaches, many charitable organizations statewide are preparing to get gifts of grain from Iowa’s farmers. Those farmers can choose to donate a portion of their stored or harvested crops and get a tax deduction at the same time. John Syverson, a certified financial planner in West Des Moines, says there are a number of advantages to donating crops instead of cash. Syverson says, “Not only do you exclude from income the amount of the value of the grain, which works better on your tax return and gets you lower taxation in federal, state and self-employment taxes, but you also get to deduct the cost of production of that grain because you had to pay for the input.”

Syverson says rather than contacting the non-profit group or grain elevator directly, it’s usually more efficient to go to a local Community Foundation. He says most are set up to help make the donation a smooth transaction. “Instead of talking to your local Boy Scout troop, I would go talk to your Community Foundation,” Syverson says.

Just ask if they take gifts of grain and if they do, you can quickly set up an account and tell them where you want the grain dispersed. More Iowa farmers may be choosing the option this fall as many commodity prices are dropping.

(Radio Iowa)

History Archived: Saving Stories of Iowa Veterans – National Project Needs 15 Vets for November 7


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

NEWTON, Iowa – They put their lives on the line to protect America’s freedom. Now the search is on in Iowa for veterans who have stories to share as part of the country’s rich narrative. Professor Patti Ziegler says the Newton Campus of Des Moines Area Community College will host the Veterans History Project in November, as 15 vets will be interviewed and members of the Iowa Court Reporters Association will transcribe their stories for archiving.

“About what they experienced as young men and women, stories their families have just never heard,” Ziegler explains. “Many veterans don’t talk about their experiences. “In this setting, we want them to talk about it, and we encourage that.”

The project is part of a national initiative to collect, preserve and honor the personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations may hear from them directly and better understand the realities of war.

Ziegler says those local veterans who step up to tell their tales will receive a copy of their transcripts, as will the Library of Congress. “The transcripts also will go into the Iowa Gold Star Museum, and we’re hopeful that they will even go to the DMACC library for history classes, literature classes and so on. So, it really comes full circle,” she says.

Veterans interested in taking part in the project this fall should contact the Newton campus of DMACC. All will be considered, although preference will be given to those who served in World War II.

(Iowa News Service)

Logan church holds community tractor-themed event

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LOGAN, Iowa (AP) – A Logan church hosted Drive Your Tractor to Church Day to attract locals who aren’t regular parishioners. Immanuel Lutheran Church held the event, which featured a 17-mile tractor ride, lunch, children’s games and a shorter hayrack ride, on Sunday in an effort to strengthen the community, church trustee Justin Gochenour told the Omaha World-Herald. “We thought it would be a great way to get more kids involved with the church, which is something that a lot of parishes are struggling with right now,” he said.

Church officials said they were pleased with the turn out, from both children and adults. “We had 50 or 60 non-regulars come to Mass this morning,” Gochenour said. “We don’t know the exact number yet, but it was big enough to be substantial.”

Kids ran around, riding toy tractors and throwing footballs, while the streets were lined with all types of tractors. The event, which was embraced by the church board, will help Immanuel Lutheran stand out from other churches, according to parish officials.

The Rev. Jerald Firby, pastor of the church, said he thought Tractor Ride Sunday was a great idea. He also said he thinks the event helped to attract people who don’t typically attend services at Immanuel Lutheran. “Most farmers have their own churches they go to,” he said.

The event was so successful that parish officials want to hold it again.

Demand for smoke-free homes on rise in Iowa


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

State health officials say the demand for smoke-free housing is increasing in the state. Sieglinde Prior oversees the Smoke-Free Housing Registry for the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) “We get a lot of calls hoping that we can help people who are looking for, or living in apartments already, and they are dealing with a smoker in the same building. They are hoping that there is some sort of legal venue to help them to get the smoker removed from that building,” Prior says.

Prior says there are no rules to keep smokers from living in an apartment. “They’re hoping that the Smoke Free Air Act — which was passed in 2008 — would deal with that, but it does not. The Smoke Free Air Act only deals with the common areas in a multi-unit complex,” Prior says. She can help them by suggesting a place where they can live.”We have a registry and it is housed in a website called smoke-freehomes.iowa.gov” Prior says.

She says anybody can go there and click on the link to smoke-free housing. Prior says they will certify that the residence is indeed smoker-free.”There are different levels, but the minimum that we require before we put a property into the registry is that at least one building is completely smoke-free. And they have no grandfathered residents living in that building,” Pior explains.

She says they have partners that can work with landlords who want their rentals to be smoke-free. Prior says they go out and have information and guides and if the property goes smoke-free, they can get free signage to advertise that they are smoke-free. The registry has 319 properties now listed. Prior says more builders of new rentals are considering making them smoke-free — with one reason being the cost.”The costs for preparing an apartment for reuse after a smoker has left is much higher — two to three to four times higher than if a non-smoker moves out,” Prior says.

The department is also working with another organization called Iowa housing search-dot-com (Iowahousingsearch.com) “We are working with them so any property that we have in our registry, we will send it over to them, and they will mark it with a special icon that shows this property is on our registry and they meet these qualifications. Prior says a survey found nearly 75 percent of Iowans say they would choose a smoke-free apartment.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News,9/15/2014

News, Podcasts

September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Atlantic man arrested for burglary; Atlantic man arrested for assault


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three Atlantic man were arrested on separate charges over the weekend. The Police Department reports 49-year old David Gatrel was arrested Sunday for Domestic Abuse Assault and for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. And, 24-year old Jonathan Leonardi was arrested Sunday for OWI/1st Offense.

On Saturday, 24-year old Nathan Stone, of Atlantic, was arrested for Burglary in the 3rd degree, Criminal Mischief in the 3rd degree, and Public Intoxication. All three men were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Weekend theft and vandalism reported in Creston


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Incidents of theft and vandalism were reported over the weekend, in Creston. According to the Creston Police Department, both incidents were reported on Sunday. A resident in the 500 block of Pine Street reported someone entered a home on his property in the 400 block of Birch Street and took a dishwasher, push lawn mower, miscellaneous tools, a bathroom vanity, antique stained glass window, and long, two-piece dresser. The loss was estimated at $2,250.

And, a Creston woman reported to police someone threw a rock through the rear window of her vehicle while it was parked outside of her residence in the 300 block of Oak Street. The incident happened sometime between midnight and 5:20-a.m., Sunday. The damage was estimated at $300.