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Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 9th 2012


May 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY (AP) — State officials have nixed a $2.5 million grant for a firm proposing a technology to make fertilizer from corn cobs at a plant near Menlo. Iowa’s economic development agency said Tuesday that SynGest, Inc. defaulted on its contract by not disclosing in its 2009 application that Chairman Serge Randhava had been sued for racketeering and fraud.

HUXLEY (AP) — A semitrailer hauling pudding cups caught on fire on Interstate 35 in central Iowa. It happened Tuesday in the southbound lanes near the Huxley exit about 8 miles south of Ames. Pudding cups littered the interstate and both southbound lanes were blocked for over an hour as crews cleaned up the scene. Nobody was hurt.

IOWA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has held up an earlier ruling that could make it harder for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pursue class-action sexual harassment cases against companies in the Midwest. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 ruling today dismissing most of EEOC’s claims on behalf of female truckers who claimed they were sexually harassed while working for Cedar Rapids-based CRST, Inc.

IOWA CITY (AP) — Lawyers have selected jurors in the trial of the director of an Iowa City neighborhood center charged with failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse for a teacher she oversaw. The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the jury was seated today in the case against Susan Freeman-Murdah in Johnson County District Court. Freeman-Murdah, director of the Broadway Neighborhood Center, was arrested in February.

Iowa axes $2.5M grant for energy firm’s Menlo plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have canceled a $2.5 million grant for a firm proposing a technology to make fertilizer from corn cobs at a plant near Menlo. A spokeswoman for Iowa’s economic development agency said Tuesday that SynGest, Inc. defaulted on its contract by not disclosing in its 2009 application that Chairman Serge Randhava had been sued for racketeering and fraud.
The agency released a copy of the default notice to The Associated Press, which reported on the lawsuit last month. The case was settled in 2009 along with another lawsuit in which Randhava was part of an investor group that accused others of fraud and racketeering. SynGest answered “no” to a question asking whether there were “any judgments or court actions completed or pending” against officers.  SynGest CEO Jack Oswald says the cancellation “appears to be a knee-jerk reaction” and the company hopes to convince the state to change its mind and resume the grant funding. Randhava declined comment.

Trumpeter Swans Heading to Southwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says trumpeter swans will be released at two locations in southwest Iowa on May 10th.  Each release will be preceded by a 20 minute program with an opportunity to view the swans up close. The first swan release will be at Rapp Park, north of Shenandoah, at 9:30 a.m. The second site is the Riverton Wildlife Area Jensen Tract, in Fremont County, with a program at Riverton City Park Pavilion, preceding the release, at 2 p.m. 

Four swans will be released at each site.Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America, weighing up to 32 pounds and with a wing span of up to eight feet.  The swans being released are part of the Iowa DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort to restore wild, free-flying swans to Iowa.


Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters at Lake Manawa, that low water conditions are creating navigational challenges. The lake level was more than three feet below full pool as of Monday. The low water conditions can create boating and personal watercraft dangers, not normally encountered when the lake is at normal water level. That includes problems launching vessels, and pull behind activities such as skiing, tubing and wake boarding. Much shallower water  and obstructions normally under water becoming potentially harmful hazards to water sports enthusiasts on the lake.

Susan Stocker, boating safety coordinator of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says boaters and users of personal watercraft are urged to to use extra caution. Stocker says “It is worth the extra time from a safety standpoint to make a trip or two around the lake at slower speeds to get familiar with where potential hazards may be.” Stocker said the unseasonably mild winter and spring have left many water bodies lower than normal.

CAM Middle School Class wins $500 prize


May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A video produced by a reading class at the CAM Middle School has won a $500 grant award from the Iowa Department of Education. The award presented to Mrs. Venteicher’s reading class was for the second runner-up place in the “Youth in Action Healthy Iowa” contest, created by the Iowa Dept. of Education. 

The class received a flyer in January related to the theme of healthy living, and highlights how students combine school and getting fit. Mrs. Venteicher’s class exercise 20-minutes each class period, and test at the end. As a result, scores have been going up. Students also spend 20-minutes every morning during the week of Iowa assessment testing, hoping that a raised heart rate would improve test scores. 

The CAM Middle School is sending a health message to their students this week.  With the Award Prize won in Mrs. Venteicher’s Reading class, the students are being treated to a new fruit each day, during the last period of the day.  A fitness class was also created for the current school year, by Mrs. Brown, which allowed students to learn and practice fitness activities and eat healthy snacks. 

With the help of HyVee, the students are to gather each day for a social time and a time to eat a fresh fruit that many have not had in a while. That includes watermelon, Athena Canteloupe, Fresh Pineapple, Mangos and Dragon Fruit as well as fresh strawberries.

Hy-Vee is providing the fruit at cost or slightly below cost, and is assisting in the healthy living planning process.

Sedina pre-trial hearing continued until May 21st


May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A pre-trial hearing for an Atlantic woman facing a serious misdemeanor charge of Invasion of Privacy-Nudity, scheduled to have taken place yesterday (Monday), has instead been continued until May 21st. According to online court records, Judge Jeffrey Larson granted a continuance Monday, in the case of 35-year old Amanda Sedina, who is accused of taking an inappropriate picture of a bathing 78-year old female resident at the Salem Lutheran Home, in Elk Horn. The incident was reported to authorities on March 22nd

Sedina, who was an employee of the nursing home at the time the alleged incident occurred, entered a written plea of Not Guilty to the charge, on April 18th. Her trial is set to take place May 30th, in Shelby County District Court. The woman remains free on $1,000 bond, pending her court case.

Boettger says Iowa Senate’s GOP leader in the hospital


May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Republican leader in the Iowa Senate is in the hospital, being treated for a partially perforated bowel — a hole in his intestine. Senator Jerry Behn, of Boone, was elected the Senate’s G-O-P leader this past November. Republican Senator Nancy Boettger, of Harlan, mentioned Behn’s condition during the senate’s opening prayer this morning (Tuesday). “Good morning, Lord…We ask that you would be with and guide, protect and health or friend and colleague Jerry Behn. Give the doctor’s wisdom in how to deal with his malady,” Behn prayed. “We just pray for total and complete healing for him.” Behn, who is 58 years old, farms near Boone. Behn served a year as a Boone County Supervisor before being elected to the state senate in 1996.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

No injuries reported after Atlantic School bus hits parked vehicle


May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department says no injuries were reported after an Atlantic Community School District bus loaded with 15 8th grade students, struck a parked pickup truck Monday afternoon. Officials say the bus, driven by Clair Acker, of Atlantic, was traveling north on Plum Street at around 1:45-p.m., when it hit a legally parked 1999 Ford F-250 pickup with a trailer attached. The truck and trailer, registered to Dean Brownlee, of Atlantic, were facing northbound near the intersection with 10th Street.

When Acker approached the intersection, the bus he was driving clipped the left front corner of the pickup, causing a total of $1,650 damage. Acker was cited for Striking an Unattended Vehicle.

Identity theft seminar being held tonight in Atlantic


May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An event being held in Atlantic this (Tuesday) evening is designed to help you keep your private information, private. The event is being sponsored by the Nishna Valley Credit Union for its members and the general public, at no charge. Jeff Nelson, with the NVCU, says the guest speaker is a nationally certified identity theft management specialist, and a consultant to more than 200 companies in terms of employee security. Nelson says identity theft doesn’t just affect those who are online much of the time, or to those who own credit cards. It can happen in many different ways. He says 46% of identity theft comes back to your driver’s license. Once a thief gets a hold of that information, they have access to many additional forms of information. 

Identity theft can also come in the form of fraudulent tax returns. Nelson says he’s heard unconfirmed reports of a tax return scam that affected a couple of different individuals. The incidents reportedly involved someone filing a bogus tax return before the taxpayer filed their real tax return, and the refund was sent to the scammer. The result is much time and money will be spent clearing up the matter with the Feds. 

The program being held in Atlantic this evening is the only one of its kind in the nation, which has licensed investigators, who handle incidents of identity theft for you, and work to with authorities and creditors to clear your name, if you are the target of the crime. Tonight’s seminar will include stories about identity theft from the victims’ perspective, and representatives with the Atlantic Police Department, who will speak about local incidents of identity theft, including a computer hacking incident which occurred last year at the Nishna Valley Family YMCA, and how that affected some local residents’ financial transactions. Nelson said identity theft doesn’t just affect adults. It can affect children as well, when they apply for their first jobs or through other means. Tonight’s meeting takes place at the Atlantic 4-H/Community Center, beginning at 6:30-p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

8AM Newscast 05-08-2012

News, Podcasts

May 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson