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Cass County Extension and Outreach Hosts Beef Project Meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County 4-H & FFA Beef Project participants are encouraged to attend a Beef Project Meeting on November 19 at 6 PM at the Cass County Community Center. Information will be shared about project selection, management practices, and weigh-in information. Chris Clark, ISU Extension and Outreach Beef Program Specialist will also give tips for new and experienced beef project participants.

“The beef project has always been popular in Cass County. This meeting is a great way to kick off the year and get members thinking about participating in the beef project even before weigh-ins on December 28,” stated Beth Irlbeck, Cass County Youth Coordinator. “A meeting like this should help expand the  knowledge of the project and encourage advancement in the project area.”

Youth will also have to opportunity to discuss carcass data information, ask for clarification related to the beef project at the Cass County Fair and find out information about Beef Weigh-in, scheduled for December 28, 2013 from 8 AM-1 PM at the Cass County Fairgrounds Scalehouse.

For more information about the beef project, contact the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132.

Sunday afternoon accident in Atlantic


November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following an accident that happened just after 3-p.m. Sunday, in Atlantic. The A-PD says vehicles driven by Brendan Holmes, of Atlantic, and Jeremy Petersen, of Marne, collided as Petersen was traveling north in the 300 block of Poplar Street and Holmes was traveling south. Officials say Holmes’ vehicle crossed the center line and hit Petersen’s vehicle in the left rear quarter panel and wheel, causing a total of $14,000 damage. Authorities said Petersen tried to turn in order to avoid the collision, but was unsuccessful.

Holmes was cited by Police for Driving on the Wrong side of a two-way highway.

Atlantic man arrested on drug and firearm charges


November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report the arrest on Sunday of 29-year old Joseph Howell. Officials say the Atlantic man was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (meth), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 4 counts of Possession of a Firearm as a Felon or other. Howell was being held in the Cass County Jail.

And, 27-year old Christopher Castillo, of Atlantic, was arrested Sunday on 3 counts of Possession of Firearms by a Felon or other. Castillo was also booked into the Cass County Jail.

1 injured during head-on collision in Stanton Tuesday morning


November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A head-on collision between a pickup and a car this (Tuesday) morning in Stanton resulted in one person being sent to the hospital. The Iowa State Patrol says 62-year old Kathy A. Sorensen, of Stanton, who was wearing her seat belt, was transported by Stanton Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial hospital, after her 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser collided with a 2003 Chevy pickup driven by an unidentified 16-year old female, also from Stanton.

The accident happened at around 8-a.m. as the pickup was traveling north on Broad Avenue at James Street in Stanton, and the car was traveling south. Following the crash, both vehicles came to rest on the roadway. The accident remains under investigation.

(12-p.m. News)

Elevator drier fire in Jacksonville Tuesday morning

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

About 600 bushels of corn were lost when a grain bin drier caught fire this (Tuesday) morning, in Jacksonville. Kimballton Fire Chief Bill Allen told KJAN News crews responded to the Peterson Bros. Elevator in Jacksonville at around 5-a.m. Allen said when they arrived on the scene, they determined the grain drier had caught fire sometime during the night, but the flames were contained to the drier itself. 

The situation was precarious, as there were flames shooting from the drier, and several fully loaded grain bins nearby. Allen says it took fire fighters about 30-minutes to knock down the blaze, but being full of corn, it continued to smolder. Crews were able to access a crane to separate the drier from the rest of the machine, cut it open and get to the source of the smoke and flames. They remained on the scene until 11-a.m. Allen says the fire apparently started within the drier itself.

He says there was an apparent mechanical failure that caused the corn to heat up and ignite. The Chief says efforts by firefighters from Kimballton, Elk Horn and Harlan to control the flames enabled the elevator to remain open for business.

There were no injuries reported and none of the actual grain bins were compromised.

Shelby County Fair Board elects new officers

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Fair Board selected a new president and vice president Monday evening. The Fair Corporation met at their annual meeting in Kimballton and selected Kent Ganzer of Harlan as the new president. Kent was serving as the vice president the past two years while Mark Peterson was president. The board elected Justin Ahrenholtz as the new Vice-President.

During the meeting, Peterson gave a report on the number of exhibitors and exhibits that were submitted to the 2013 Shelby County Fair. The fair saw 742 livestock exhibits from 4-H and FFA members while the open class had 258. Meanwhile the non-livestock exhibits totaled 525 from 4-H and FFA and another 761 in the open class.

The Shelby County Fair Board also discussed next season’s project as they are working towards a brand new show ring and are taking donations. The board has recognized a need for air conditioning in the 4-H building and has applied for grants. The current show ring at the Shelby County Fairgrounds is nearly 50 years old and in addition there are safety and ventilation concerns. The new replacement arena will be an open walled, steel building with ample room for animal preparation, new safer gates and more seating including handicap accessibility. The estimated cost of the show ring is $150,000 while the air conditioning project is another $25,000. A third project has been established to add cement alleys near the horse barn.

The Shelby County Fair Board reported over $100,000 has been raised thus far for the ring. If you would like more information or donate to any of the three projects, log on to www.shelbycountyfair.org to download the donation form or talk with any fair board member. Two businesses were given awards also during the Shelby County Fair Board meeting. The Harlan News Advertiser and Tribune and the Harlan Pizza Ranch received the business appreciation awards.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Sen. Grassley joins chorus of ethanol backers in bashing AP story

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is joining other ethanol supporters in criticizing an Associated Press story that focuses on the negative side of growing an increasing amount of corn for fuel in Iowa and across the Midwest. The report accuses farmers of polluting water supplies with fertilizers and rolling over millions of acres of conservation land, while destroying wildlife habitats. Grassley, who has farmed for decades in northeast Iowa, defends the profession and the corn-based fuel.

“Ethanol has been a bright spot in our American energy policy,” Grassley says. “For instance, I filled up my flex-fuel car yesterday for $2.39 with 85% ethanol.” The national average for regular unleaded gas is three-17 a gallon, and it’s three-oh-three in Iowa. Officials at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association call the A-P report inaccurate and misleading. Grassley agrees, particularly with the claim about so much fertilizer that’s allowed to runoff into our waterways.

“You don’t put all those ingredients into the soil with the idea you want it to end up down in the Gulf of Mexico,” Grassley says. “You can’t afford that.” He takes exception to the allegations farmers are poor stewards of the environment or are wasteful or negligent with chemicals and their conservation practices. Grassley says, “Farmers take all kinds of precautions to keep the investment they have in producing a crop or raising livestock to make sure it’s done in an economical way because they’re not going to be in farming if they don’t do that.” The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association called the A-P story a “smear of ethanol” which “misrepresents” Iowa farmers “with a hidden anti-ethanol agenda.” Grassley agrees.

“You’ve got to remember that farmers drink the water, eat the same food as the city people do,” Grassley says. “They’re going to want to make sure that it’s safe for themselves as well as for everybody else.” The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal mandate that more and more ethanol is blended into our gasoline as the years pass. Grassley, a Republican, says, “Big oil is using its power and money to try to get rid of this Renewable Fuel Standard because it likes crushing its competition.” He adds, “Affordable and abundant energy is fundamental to America’s economic strength, economic security, and even our national security.”

Other critics of the A-P story include U-S Ag Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who says some elements of the report are simply “not true” and are “inaccurate.”

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad administration launches “Home Base Iowa” effort for Veterans


November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad today (Tuesday) launched an new public-private partnership called Home Base Iowa, an effort that will match military veterans with jobs available across Iowa. Home Base Iowa will raise private funds to support national targeted marketing efforts to veterans, including in-person outreach, a social media campaign and outreach through military publications. Former Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s General Stores CEO Bob Myers will co-chair the effort.

Branstad says “Through their service, veterans have already proven they share the values we hold dear as Iowans – hard work, leadership, and patriotism, among others. We’ll be calling upon the business community to partner with Home Base Iowa to help us meet our goals of increasing employment in this state, decreasing veterans’ unemployment, and recruiting high quality individuals to Iowa.”

Several hundred thousand veterans will leave the service over the next few years, while having a higher unemployment rate nationally.  Branstad notes that in his travel to Iowa’s 99 counties, he’s heard from companies that are ready to hire, but struggle to find workers with the right skills.

According to the Governor “We’ve made significant investments in developing the skills of Iowa’s workforce – through education reform, increased support for community colleges, the STEM initiative, and Skilled Iowa. However, this skills gap still exists. Home Base Iowa is a public-private partnership which will recruit veterans to come to Iowa to work, to become part of our communities – to be Iowans.”

Branstad made the announcement during his weekly news conference, held at the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

8AM Newscast 11-12-2013

News, Podcasts

November 12th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowa native discusses her role in movie “Nebraska”


November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa native has what she calls a “small but pivotal” role in a Hollywood movie that will premiere nationwide later this month. Melinda Simonsen is a Hamburg native and a 1979 Farragut High School graduate. Simonsen now lives in Norfolk, Nebraska, where parts of the movie, called “Nebraska,” were shot. Simonsen, who is a registered nurse — not an actress, says it all started when she answered a newspaper ad seeking locals to work as extras. “The emphasis was actually on farmer types — and I’m not a farmer — and people from the local area,” Simonsen says. “It was an email address. They just wanted a snapshot and to know how to contact you.”

About three weeks later, the film’s casting director, John Jackson, asked Simonsen to audition at the Norfolk Theater. The first audition consisted of her doing a read-through of the script with Jackson.  “He was reading the lines and I was saying the other lines, didn’t have it memorized, had a camera in the room so he was taping me,” she says. “He kept saying, ‘Melinda, don’t look at the camera,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, heck,’ and left thinking I didn’t do very well.”

A few weeks after that, Simonsen was asked to audition for the director, Alexander Payne, whose earlier movies include “About Schmidt,” “Sideways,” and “The Descendants.” She says her audition apparently impressed the director as she got the part. “He did say, ‘Melinda, you’re my favorite one for the receptionist,’ and he filled me in on when the filming would be done. My part was filmed in Lincoln.”

Well-known actors Bruce Dern and Stacy Keach star in the film. A movie website says it follows an aging, booze-addled man who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son to claim a million-dollar lottery prize. “Nebraska” opens nationwide November 22nd but a special screening will be held this Friday (November 15th) at the Film Streams Theater in Omaha.

(Radio Iowa)