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USDA orders farms to report pig virus infections

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The federal government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the U.S. last year. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, believed to be from China, causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, who die from dehydration.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday it is stepping up efforts by requiring farmers to report infections and labs where farmers send tissue and fecal samples to report positive tests. Farms that suffer an outbreak also will have to participate in a program to help control the spread of the disease

Previously, the USDA and the nation’s pork industry tracked the disease with voluntary reports from the labs.

Iowa’s unemployment rate climbs to 4.5 percent

News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate climbed to 4.5 percent in March as more people entered the labor force. Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday the rate was up from 4.4 percent in February. It compared to a 4.8 percent unemployment rate in March 2013.    Despite the higher rate, agency director Teresa Wahlert says total employment reached a record high of 1.6 million people.

The number of unemployed people also increased, from 74,200 in February to 76,000 in March. Just over 7,000 additional people joined the labor force. Iowa’s rate compares to a national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.

“Freedom Flight” date set…veterans still needed!

News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to our story last month about efforts to organize a “Freedom Flight” for veterans to Washington, D-C., event coordinator Steve Livengood, a retired veteran, says the date for the flight has been set, and there are still plenty of seats available. The event begins at 5:30-p.m. Mon., June 16th with an Honor Dinner at the Atlantic Community Center. A bus will leave Atlantic at around 7:30-p.m. and arrive in Des Moines for an overnight stay in a motel.

Wake-up is bright and early Tuesday June 17th at 0300 hours (3-a.m.), followed by a continental breakfast and a trip to the Des Moines International Airport with the Boeing 737 flight becoming airborne at around 6-a.m.  The flight will land in Washington, D-C at around 9-a.m., local time. Veterans will tour all of the monuments during the day.

Wheels-up for the flight home is at around 7:30-p.m. Eastern Time, with arrival in Des Moines at 10:30-p.m. Central Time. A bus will then bring the vet’s straight home to Atlantic. Two successful businessmen Roger Underwood and Jeff Becker, both of whom are natives of Atlantic, are funding the entire trip for up to 150 veterans of southwest Iowa. The Freedom Flight is open to any veteran, not just World War Two or Korean War Vet’s as is the case with the “Honor Flights.”                                                               

He says Afghanistan War Vet’s in the 20’s will be alongside World War 2 Vet’s in their 80’s and veterans of all ages in-between. About a dozen “Guardians” with special skills will be on the trip to help veterans get around once the plane lands in D-C. Some of the guardians will be younger veterans who are taking the trip and serving as a helper to their older comrades.              

Livengood says the Vet’s “Will do what they do best, which is take care of each other.” Veterans interested in taking the trip and/or those interested in helping prepare for the event, should contact Steve Livengood at 712-243-5445.

8AM Newscast 04-18-2014

News, Podcasts

April 18th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 04-18-2014

News, Podcasts

April 18th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Police still hunt escaped inmate in central Iowa

News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are looking for a prisoner who escaped in suburban Des Moines while being transferred for a court hearing in a burglary case.  Polk County Sheriff’s Lt. Brent Long said Friday that 37-year-old Kenny Bevard remained at large. Bevard escaped around 4:50 p.m. Thursday in Clive while being driven to Adel in adjacent Dallas County.

Officials say Bevard was handcuffed when got out and ran as the Dallas County sheriff’s vehicle stopped in traffic. He reached a nearby wooded area. An automated phone message was sent to area residents about the escape.  Officers suspect Bevard soon stole a van from a truck stop. The van was found later in Urbandale.

Authorities say Bevard has served prison time for burglary and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Essex man arrested in Montgomery County

News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department reports an Essex man was arrested Thursday evening. 39-year old Ritchie Lunn Diehl was taken into custody following a traffic stop in the 2400 block of Highway 48, at around 4:50-p.m. He was charged with Driving While Suspended and No Proof of Insurance. Diehl was then released on citations, with bond established at $1,132.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., April 18th 2014

News

April 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) – Police say they’re looking for an escaped inmate in central Iowa. The Clive Police Department says the male inmate escaped yesterday afternoon during a transfer, but additional information was not provided. Residents in the Des Moines suburb were alerted by automated phone message about the escape.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state’s top human resources officer says the most common reason state workers are excluded from being considered for rehire is for bad behavior or poor performance. Michelle Minnehan, human resources chief operating officer for the state, told the Senate Government Oversight Committee yesterday the reasons workers are fired and not eligible for rehire have included abuse of sick leave, falsification of records and urinating on prison inmates’ food.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Governor Terry Branstad has signed into law. Branstad signed the bill today to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democrats are looking to expand access to Iowa’s presidential caucuses to people who are typically unable to attend them. It’s a tricky task with these local political meetings that thrive on in-person discussion. Party leaders said yesterday it’s not in response to criticism, but a way to expand access to grass-roots democracy.

Burn Ban to be lifted in Montgomery County, Friday

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman reports the Burn Ban which has been in-place in his county since March 19th, will officially end Friday at 8-a.m. Conditions have improved to where it is safe for residents of the county to conduct controlled burns. Burn bans remain in effect for Page, Mills and Monona Counties in western Iowa, until further notice.

Man rescued from grain bin in Shelby County Thursday

News

April 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Fire Department along with Medivac Ambulance was called to the scene of a man trapped inside a grain bin late this (Thursday) morning. According to Harlan Fire Chief Roger Bissen, the call came in around 11am to 1135 1300th Street, for a subject that was trapped in the bin. Bissen said the man, whose name was not released, was helping unload the bin when he got caught.

“I’m not exactly sure what he was doing but he got his foot lodged down close to the auger but it never got into the auger, just wedged. He was about waist deep in the grain.” The chief says the fire department trains for such an event and worked hard to get him out. “So our protocol was to get the victim out. We got our equipment out and started to excavate the grain around the individual. We finally had to cut holes in the sides of the grain bin because we couldn’t get far enough down with our hands and equipment to get him unlodged.”

The department opened up the working door by the auger and three other holes to reach the victim. Bissen says Westphalia Fire Department was called to the scene to help and eventually the two departments were able to get the man out. “We did get him out. He was transported by Medivac to Myrtue and it took us about 4 and half hours. He may have some tissue damage to his foot. He was conscious the whole time, talking to us, some of the fire department members and EMTs. So we did start an IV on him and he was oriented and talking. He was actually helping move grain around him to keep his mind occupied.”

Lifeflight helicopter did land at the scene however the EMTs deemed the injuries were small enough to where he did not have to be transported to an Omaha area hospital. Bissen says the dangers of getting into a grain bin are big enough to where farmers need to stay out of the bins if at all possible while an auger is running. A dollar amount of damage was not given but the chief says the farmer will have to replace the door next to the auger and about six to eight sheets on the bin due to cutting them. Bissen says the rescue was a success due to the training of the fire department.

“We train in things all the time. Other specialized training we do is high angle rope rescue, trench rescue, confined space and water and ice rescue. Even though we have a wide variety of calls we go on and there are some of these higher tech rescue calls we very seldom get called on and they are few and far between, we still must be prepared for them. I just want to say that everybody on scene as an emergency responder did a great job.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)