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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)

Only 136 Iowans get private insurance from healtcare.gov in October


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Fewer than 12 dozen Iowans acquired private health insurance through the federal healthcare-dot-gov website during its first troubled month of operation. A report from the Obama Administration indicates that during October applications were submitted through the federal website for coverage of nearly 11-thousand individual Iowans. Almost 45-hundred of those Iowans have incomes low enough that they qualify for coverage through Medicaid.

Another two-thousand of them qualified for government subsidies to buy private insurance. However, only 136 were able to complete the application process and buy a private insurance policy during the month of October.

Government subsidies for buying private insurance are only available to those who use the website to buy insurance. According to the Obama Administration report, over 255-thousand Iowans are either eligible for the subsidy to buy private insurance or are eligible for Medicaid. Almost 200-thousand of those are either working full-time, or someone in their household has a full-time job. The application deadline through health-care-dot-gov is December 15th, but the policies do not take effect until January 1st.

(Radio Iowa)

Street closure & bridge closed in Shelby County


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency reports the bridge over Mosquito Creek, just east of the intersection of 1800th Street and Highway 191, is now permanently closed. The bridge is located between Washington Township Sections 1 and 12. And, 2000th Street, just west of Hazel Road will be closed three weeks for a culvert pipe replacement project, beginning Mon., Nov. 18th. The culvert is located between Union Township Sections 29 & 32.

Residents and emergency responders should plan to take alternate routes. If you have any questions, call the Shelby County Engineer’s Office at 712-755-5954.

(Podcast) 7-a.m. Local/Area News: Nov. 14, 2013

News, Podcasts

November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


NE man charged in SW IA sex case faces additional charges in NE


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Nebraska say a man who faces sexual abuse charges in Iowa now faces additional charges in Nebraska. The Daily NonPareil reports 64-year old John Robert Schondelmeyer is being charge with two counts of incest in Sarpy County, Neb.  Schondelmeyer was charged in Iowa with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child. He was arrested Oct. 17th at his Bellevue, Neb. residence by Bellevue Police.

An arrest warrant says the alleged incidents involving two girls, ages 7 and 8, occurred on Sept. 19, 20, 21 and 22 at Schondelmeyer’s home in Bellevue, the victims’ residence and Mills County. Schondelmeyer pleaded not guilt to the charges in Mills County on Nov. 5th. An arraignment is scheduled 9:30 am. Monday at the Mills County Courthouse. If convicted on the Iowa charges, Schondelmeyer faces up to 50 years in prison for the two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and up to 10 years for each count of lascivious acts with a child. He is being held in the Mills County Jail on a $70,000 bond.

Authorities in Sarpy County say they are waiting for Schondelmeyer’s court proceedings in Mills County to conclude before transferring him to Nebraska, where he is being charged with two felony counts of sexual assault of a child under 12 years of age and two felony counts of incest. He faces up to two life sentences in prison for the sexual assault charges and up to 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for each of the incest charges.

Officials in Mills County says when he was arrested in October,  Schondelmeyer was in the process of moving to Fayetteville, N.C.

Red Oak man arrested for violating probation


November 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was arrested Wednesday evening for a probation violation. According to Red Oak Police, 35-year old Timothy Orville Welch was arrested in the 100 block of West Coobaugh Street at around 5:45-p.m.   Welch was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $5,000 bond.