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Local food producers’ opportunity to meet potential buyers

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Local Food Policy Council (CCLFPC) is hosting a “Local Foods Meet and Greet” to help connect local food producers with potential buyers, such as restaurants, schools or other wholesale markets. Local food producers and potential purchasers are invited to join CCLFPC on Monday, March 10, 2014 from 4-5:30 PM at the Cass County Memorial Hospital. This is a come and go event, and those interested in attending are encouraged to stop by as available. farmersMarket_02_char11

There will be a short program at about 4:15-4:30, followed by a chance for networking and discussion. The event will be held in Conference Room 1 (enter through East doors and take a left). Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP to Emily Krengel, Cass County Health System Food Service Director at kreeh@casshealth.org or 712-243-7550 ext. 3421 by Monday at Noon.


Atlantic man cited following Thursday afternoon accident


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic cited a local man following an accident Thursday afternoon at 7th and Mulberry Streets. Officials say Armando Rosales, of Atlantic, was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop or Yield sign after he pulled away from the intersection and hit a vehicle driven by Scott Lauritzen, of Exira. The accident happened after Rosales stopped at the intersection and waited for a car to pass before making a left-hand turn onto 7th Street from southbound on Mulberry. Damage from the accident amounted to $1,700. No injuries were reported.

Statehouse debate over medical marijuana rises “to a different level”


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Legislative leaders like House Republican Leader Linda Upmeyer say the tide may be turning for efforts to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, although they don’t expect legalization to happen this year.  “The discussion has risen to a different level or changed appreciably this year,” Upmeyer says. Upmeyer, who holds a masters degree in nursing, says legislators “want to be educated” because “technically it’s very challenging” to write a law that would legalize marijuana use in limited circumstances. “But I think there is interest, certainly,” Upmeyer says. “The moms…who testified make a very compelling argument for folks to at least study this issue and see what’s possible.” medical pot2

Sally Gaer of West Des Moines is a mother who has told her story, twice, during public events at the statehouse this year. Gaer’s 24-year-old daughter, Margaret, has a rare form of epilepsy. “We want the ability to have cannabis as a treatment option for Margaret in Iowa. We want this option available for other Iowans as well who suffer from life-threatening, debilitating diseases,” Gaer told a senate committee this past week. “The medical evidence is overwhelming that cannabis has accepted medical benefit.

Epileptic patients are witnessing miracles with cannabis in the form of a oil, edible pill, juiced or vaporized.” Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says it’s “pretty clear” research has determined medical marijuana can be an “appropriate treatment” for things like seizure disorders and for patients undergoing chemotherapy. “I think there’s a lot of people in the legislature that understand that,” Gronstal says. “I think there are still a great number that have significant resistance to doing anything on that front.” If the legislature “goes down this path” of legalizing medical marijuana, Gronstal predicts it will be “highly limited” and will not be made available for just any medical malady.

“I guess we’ll see if there’s a consensus that can develop around that,” Gronstal says. “At the moment, it seems like a long shot.” Twenty states have legalized medical marijuana. Illinois is setting up a medical marijuana program this year. Fifth-nine-year-old Connie Norgart, a retired nurse from West Des Moines, suffers from chronic, severe pain due to post-polio syndrome and she pleaded this past week with legislators to change Iowa law.  “Last year I tried cannabis for two months. Within two months I had weaned myself off of all my pain medications…I slept all night and was pain-free. I had not experienced this in years,” Norgart said. “Why did I take a chance of being arrested and deemed a criminal?” Norgart asked, her voice cracking with emotion. “Because I want a quality of life. I want to be pain-free.”

A retired neurosurgeon who spoke to a senate committee this past week said he’s not interested in the “recreational effects” of marijuana, but he told lawmakers it’s time to acknowledge marijuana “does work” as a treatment for chronic pain, for nausea and for seizure control.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic man arrested on an assault charge


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Thursday on an assault charge. Officials with the Atlantic Police Department report 49-year old David Kirchner was taken into custody for Domestic Abuse Assault. Kirchner was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

IKM-MANNING Board of Ed approves consolidation


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The IKM-Manning School Board of Educators has unanimously approved a motion for district reconfiguration for the 2014-2015 school year. In a regular board meeting held Thursday, the board heard from concerned citizens, staff and administrators, before making the motion to consolidate the district. Manilla Mayor Pat Wuestewald suggested the board not take action on the item and mentioned the city of Manilla would pay for legal action against the school district. Current teacher and coach for the IKM-Manning School District Kathy Lage, said the district needs to do something. “As a teacher we’re sitting there thinking what are we going to do? A decision needs to be made. I’ve gone to every board meeting for years. Scott knows when I was just here in Manning and got together I listened to you guys and I know it is a hard decision. If you don’t vote tonight, I think it’s a travesty. It needs to happen tonight. I know people are not going to be happy but that’s the way it is. But are you here for the kids? Are you hear for an education? That’s what is important.”

Superintendent Dr. Tom Ward also spoke and said that the situation as been a burden on him as well as the board. “I know this is a tough decision for my board members and it really has weighed heavily on me. I came into this blind, not knowing the full story of what we had to do. I had to make the recommendation to eliminate 16 and half positions. That has not been a joy on my part. I don’t want to lose kids to open enrollment because I know the quality of education that we provide here. And our decision is based upon what is best for kids. And for forty years I have done what is best for kids. This is hard and I know it is weighing on you all. We’ve got to make a decision, it’s weighing on me.”

Before making the motion, board chairman Dave Heller wanted to see some unity from the public. “Until we get over Manning debt or Manilla or Irwin and talking like they are three separate communities and not part of the district is not right.” The comment was met with applause from those in attendance at the meeting.  Once the discussion was over, Heller made the motion to reconfigure the district in the fall of 2014.

 “We’re going to have pre-school in Manning and Irwin. We are going to have all of kindergarten, first, second and third in Irwin. We are going to have 4th through 12th grade in Manning. We will keep the Manilla gym open for junior high athletics, keep central office in Manilla and move it to the weight room area, keep baseball in Manilla, softball in Irwin and I think I have covered it all.” The motion was seconded and approved.

In other business, the board approved the date of April 10th at 6:45pm for the 2014-2015 budget hearing and the early start waiver hearing. The two public hearings will be held in the Family Consumer Science Room in Manilla.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday: Set clocks ahead & change smoke detector batteries


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Department of Public Safety reminds all Iowans to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend when they set their clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time (DST). The change-over takes place at 2-a.m., Sunday, when we “Spring Forward” one-hour. The State Fire Marshal Division recommends that you change your smoke alarm batteries on March 9th and every year at this time, because taking this simple step can save the lives of you and your family. DST

Many fatal fires occur at night while the victims are sleeping. A working smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home. Fire safety is as simple as making a habit of changing your smoke detector batteries when the time changes in spring and fall.

Remember these tips about smoke alarms:

  • Have smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas—and preferably inside bedrooms as well.
  • Test them at least once a month, and replace batteries at least once a year. Daylight savings Time (March 9, 2014) is a great time to do this.
  • Replace all detectors after 10 years.
  • Place smoke alarms according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Clean the outside ONLY of a smoke alarm by gently going over the cover with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Never paint a smoke alarm.

Whenever a smoke alarm beeps, take it seriously. It might just be a false alarm from cooking, tempe rature changes, or dust—but you can’t afford to ignore the alert. Everyone in the family needs to react immediately. Develop and practice a home escape plan. Make sure your family knows two ways out of each room, a safe meeting place outside, how to call 9-1-1 once they’re out, and why they should NEVER go back into a burning house.

If you have questions about heating safety, contact the State Fire Marshal Division at 515-725-6145 or e-mail at fminfo@dps.state.ia.us.

8AM Newscast 03-07-2014

News, Podcasts

March 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Plan to do some digging this spring? Call 811 first, or else…

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Much of Iowa is frozen and snow-covered, but soon enough, spring will be here and homeowners will leap into landscaping and farmers will dig into the soil. Ben Booth, at Iowa One Call, says if you plan to do any digging, it’s the law to call 8-1-1 at least 48 hours before digging and have all potential obstacles underground marked off. Booth says they’re holding special damage prevention seminars this month for contractors and excavators.

Booth says, “This program focuses on the farming community, specifically farmers and tiling excavators and land improvement contractors, people who will be doing the terracing and installation of drainage tile.”

If a pipeline, communications line or other vital service is ruptured by your negligence, you may be found financially liable for repairs and any repercussions. There have been several incidents in recent years in rural Iowa involving ag contractors digging where they shouldn’t be digging. Booth says, “We have a lot of problems throughout the year with these types of farming and agricultural operations impacting the pipelines as well as fiber infrastructure, fiber optic cables.”

Anyone who fails to call Iowa One Call and ruptures an underground line could face fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per day. There were pipeline explosions in Jackson and Plymouth counties in the past few years. Booth says both incidents happened because the contractors failed to call Iowa One Call. “There can be some really serious ramifications of hitting an underground high-pressure natural gas pipeline or a hazardous liquids pipeline,” Booth says.

The next seminar on damage prevention is planned for next week. It will be held at 6:30 P-M Tuesday at the Senior Center in Glenwood. Learn more at: www.iowaonecall.com

(Radio Iowa)

House backs bill to allow ATVs on rural roads and highways

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has passed a bill that would allow all-terrain vehicles on all rural roads and county highways in Iowa. Four-wheel A-T-V’s currently can be driven on those roads if they’re being used for farming and some cities and counties have ordinances allowing A-T-V’s on local roads. Representative Kurt Hansen, a Democrat from Fairfield, says he’s heard from rural Iowans who aren’t thrilled with the idea of letting anyone drive an A-T-V on a rural road.

“Their concern is that they have a lot of remote properties — their properties are vulnerable to theft and vandalism — and they’re worried about a new group of people coming into the county, operating these vehicles and harming their property,” Hansen says. “The concern also centered around people going down a narrow gravel road with a hill and finding one of these vehicles driven down the highway. Now we have just a few. Could this open it up to just a whole bunch of vehicles?”

Representative Sally Stutsman, a Democrat from Riverside, says the bill should have required safety equipment on A-T-Vs — like seat belts and roll-bars — if these vehicles are going to be driven on roads. “I continue to have grave concerns about allowing the use of vehicles that the manufacturers specifically say are not to be used on roads,” Stutsman says. “…What makes these such good vehicles for off-roads are the very things that makes them dangerous for on-roads.”

Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, says she’s talked to her brother about A-T-Vs — because he sells them. “And he has said these were never, ever, ever meant to be ridden on the road,” Mascher says. “They were not constructed for that.” The House passed the bill by a wide margin — a vote of 70 to 28. Representative Brian Moore, a Republican from Bellevue, was the only House member to speak in favor of the bill.

“I do know where these particular vehicles are riding now where they’re forced to ride out in pastures or timber ground or even parks where they don’t know the layout and you can’t see the layout of the ground,” Moore says. “I think the gravel road system we have and the secondary system I think is going to be a much safer place than what they have offered to them now.”

A similar bill recently passed a Senate committee. A bill to allow ATVs on rural roads passed the Republican-led House during the 2013 legislative session, but stalled in the Democratically-controlled Senate. A legislative committee then studied the issue last fall, hearing from both sides in the debate.

(Radio Iowa)

Bill Northey to Speak at Cover Crop Meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a Cover Crop meeting on Wednesday, March 12th at the Cass County Community Center. The meeting will start at 1:00 pm and run till 3:30pm. Doors will open at 12:30 to the public. Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture will speak during the meeting about Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.SWCD

Matt Lechtenberg from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation will also present information about the Iowa Water Quality Initiatives. There will also be a panel of local producers that will give their account of how they have incorporated cover crops to their own farm operations.

The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners are: Greg Zellmer, Fred Kay, Ray Wilson, Curt Behrends, and Chase Wheatley along with Assistant Commissioner Alan Peterson.