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Cass County Conservation offers Intro to Rainscaping/Native Landscaping Prgm.

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board reports it is partnering with West Pottawattamie Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), to present Rainscaping Loess Soils. The free Intro to Rainscaping classes will be held at the IWCC Campus Centers in Council Bluffs Harlan, Atlantic, Clarinda and Shenandoah. The workshop in Atlantic will be held 5:30-p.m. March 27th. For other class dates and times and to register for the free classes go to http://www.iwcc.edu/ce/classes/GoGreen.asp

Rainscaping Loess Soils is a series of workshops to educate the public in what rainscaping is and how landowners can plan and install conservation best management practices in their sites landscape. Workshops will cover topics such as rain gardens, rain barrels, composting and soil quality restoration. The program is made possible thanks to a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – REAP Conservation Education Project.


Omaha couple arrested on theft charges out of Harlan


March 1st, 2012 by admin

Authorities in Harlan said Thursday a man and woman from Omaha were arrested Wednesday (2/29) on theft charges following an incident at the “Do it Best” Hardware Store, in Harlan. According to the Harlan Police Department, 40-year-old Terry Cottonwood and 34-year-old Peggy Robitaille were taken into custody during a traffic stop as they attempted to leave town. Video security footage showed the pair allegedly taking items which had not been paid for, from the hardware store.  Cottonwood and Robitaille were charged with 4th degree theft, possession of stolen property, and ongoing criminal conduct.  Cottonwood was also charged with failure to have a valid drivers license and failure to have proof of insurance. That same day, 64-year-old Dennis Peters, of Harlan, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  Peters was taken to the Shelby County Jail.

Officials said also, 18-year old Brett Wilke, of Harlan, was arrested February 24th, on three counts of Ongoing Criminal Conducts,  three counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Prohibited Acts. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation. And, on Feb. 22nd, a complaint was filed in Shelby County District Court against 52-year old Kenny Carl, of Omaha, following a reported theft at the NAPA Store in Harlan. Carl faces a charge  of 5th Degree Theft. That same day, 18-year old Johana Torres, of Harlan, was arrested for Violation of a No Contact Order, and, a complaint was filed in court against 23-year old Theodore Behrens, of Harlan, who faces a similar charge.

Harlan Police report also, 43-year old Mark Boardman, of Portsmouth, was charged Feb. 19th, with 5 counts of identity theft, following an investigation into the theft from a residence in Harlan, and use of, a stolen credit card.

Boots to Heels Conference Scheduled for March 24th in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Women in Southwest Iowa are invited to a day of fun, learning and friendship during the sixth annual Boots to Heels Conference on Saturday, March 24th. The conference runs from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic. The lineup of speakers scheduled for the one-day conference will focus on the interests of women living and working in rural Iowa.

The conference will start off with a keynote address on “Finding Happiness in the Craziness of Life” by Kathy Petersen. Kathy and her husband run a 5th generation farming operation near Storm Lake, Iowa. Kathy speaks and conducts training sessions all over the U-S through her company, Peopleworks, Inc. Throughout the day, conference participants will be able to select from twelve unique topics during four workshop sessions. Break-out topics include Home Organization, Farm Succession Planning, Wind Energy, Food Preservation, Interior Decorating and more.

Each presenter has a wealth of knowledge in their respective field and will provide practical tips based on first-hand experience. Conference attendees will be treated to snacks, a breakfast, lunch and  special dessert, served by locally-owned businesses. Lunchtime entertainment is being provided by the Patchwork Pals. In addition, there will be door prizes, time for conversation and networking.

Registration for the entire day, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, dessert and materials, is just $30 if postmarked by March 16th. Registrations postmarked after that date are $35. A special “bring a friend” rate of $55 for two registrations is also available if postmarked by the 16th. Registration forms are available at local ISU Extension offices or may be printed off at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

See the schedule of events here: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/NR/rdonlyres/D1EEFECF-F465-45BD-8DC5-C852E153FA99/165430/WebFliertopost1.pdf

Creston FSA Office on the cutting block

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

News that U-S Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to approve the closing of 131 Farm Service Agency (FSA) Offices around the country within 90-days, including three in Iowa, does not sit well with western Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King. King said today (Thursday) that while he believes all government agencies should strive to become more efficient, the USDA and Secretary Vilsack have not taken into account the actual FSA workload in the affected counties, which includes Appanoose, Decatur and Union.

The criteria for office closures were based on the number of employees the offices had on the payroll in mid-December of 2011. Any office that had two or less employees and was 20 miles or less from another office has been slated for closure. Last year, when the proposal was developed, the Iowa FSA system was under a hiring freeze due to budget issues and therefore offices that had retiring employees experienced lower than normal staffing numbers.

King says “Historically we have had a tool to determine the workload in each county office based on the programs offered and the number of participants in those programs. I suspect an analysis of the workloads of these offices would justify keeping them open. It’s also important to note that the FSA offices in Iowa that are slated for closure by Secretary Vilsack are located in counties that have a large number of acres in CRP. Over several decades, this has led to a loss of population, a loss of farmers and shrinkage of our small towns. This proposal will only make things worse for small town and rural Iowa. Soon these counties will begin to see more and more acres come out of CRP. There’s no question they’ll be hurt by the lack of local FSA offices to help support revitalization of their land and communities.”

King called upon Secretary Vilsack to reconsider his decision.

Boil Advisory issued for parts of Adel


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports a water main break in Adel has resulted in a water boil advisory being issued for the northern half of the city. The boil advisory is for the portion of the city north of Green Street, also known as old Highway 6. The repair on the water main was expected to be complete by early Thursday evening, but since water pressure was lost during the break and repair, the boil advisory is being issued. The southern half of the city is not affected.

Due to the potential for bacterial contamination, it is being recommended that the water be boiled before using for drinking or cooking or that an alternative source such as bottled water be used. Two sets of samples need to be taken to determine the water is safe so it is likely that Saturday will be the earliest that the boil advisory can be lifted. It is recommended not to drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. The water may be used for bathing and other similar purposes.

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791.

Red Oak Pamida Store to close


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Shopko plans to close six Pamida stores and consolidate the headquarters of the two companies after completing its acquisition of the competing retailer. Shopko said Thursday the new chain has nearly 350 stores in 22 states, and will be based in its home of Green Bay, Wis. Deal terms weren’t disclosed. Spokeswoman Tara Powers says the company decided not to invest in 6 Pamida stores with disappointing sales. Among the six is the store located in Red Oak. About $80 million will be invested in converting the other Pamida stores by the end of 2012. Powers says 88 of Pamida’s 200 headquarters employees in Omaha were offered new jobs in Green Bay. Sixty-five accepted and will move.

Two arrested in Atlantic Wednesday


March 1st, 2012 by admin

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest of two people on Wednesday.

Twenty-year-old Alex Garside of Atlantic was arrested for domestic abuse simple assault.  He was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked.

Twenty-one-year-old Joshua Peters of Atlantic was also arrested Wednesday for driving under suspension.  He was transported to the Cass County Jail and booked.

Jimerson uses social media to poll Atlantic residents


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic City Councilman Chris Jimerson is using the power of social media to poll residents of the community about a proposed speed reduction ordinance on 22nd Street. Jimerson posted a Facebook question asking for residents’ opinion on whether the speed limit on two different sections of 22nd Street should be reduced from 45-to 35-miles per hour. If the ordinance is approved, the speed limit would be reduced on East 22nd, from Highway 71 to Olive Street, and on West 22nd, from Chestnut to Highway 6.

As of 6:30-p.m. Thursday, 87 people said they were opposed to reducing the speed limit, 18 were in favor of it. Jimerson, who was elected to the Council last Fall, is the first known local government official to post such a poll on a social media website.

Gov. Branstad announces appointments to Iowa’s boards and commissions


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad today (Thursday), announced the appointments of individuals to Iowa’s various boards and commissions.  Several western and southwest Iowans were among those appointed. Their terms begin on May 1st, 2012, unless otherwise noted and are subject to Senate confirmation.   Here are the Boards and/or Commissions, and those from our listening area appointed to them:

Accountancy Examining Board: Robert Snodgrass, Creston; Evelyn Rank, Clarinda

Alcoholic Beverages Commission: Tami Doll, Council Bluffs

Board of Barbering: Gwendolyn Ecklund, Denison

Commission on Community Action Agencies: Kelly Busch, Creston

Credit Union Review Board: Timothy Marcsisak, Atlantic

Early Childhood Iowa State Board: Jean Stadtlander, Manning; Robert Ockerman, Adel Michael Bunde, Denison

Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa Board (HAWK-I): Mary Mincer Hansen, Panora

Landscape Architectural Examining Board: David Fjare, Council Bluffs

Board of Medicine: Julie Perkins, Carroll

Mental Health and Disabilities Service Commission: Suzanne Watson, Council Bluffs

Board of Pharmacy: Susan Frey, Villisca

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Examining Board: Rodney Schultz, Council Bluffs; Patricia Weese, Bedford

Board of Podiatry: Sarah Kleffman, Harlan

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology: Jon Schuttinga, Denison

Commission of Status of Women: Brian Mueller, Winterset

Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission: Kathleen Kohorst, Harlan

Commission of Veterans Affairs: Mickey Williams, Harlan

Free women’s health care screenings still available in Cass County


March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Free women’s health screenings are still available from the Cass County Health System and Cass County Home Care.  Karla Akers, Care for Yourself Coordinator of Cass County Home Care says the screenings are made available through the Iowa Care for Yourself program and a grant from the Iowa Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Screenings include mammograms, clinical breast exams, and pelvic exams with or without pap smears.

Some age, income, and insurance guidelines apply, but Akers encourages women to call about availability.  Enrollment numbers are limited and services must be completed by the end of March.  Women interested in accessing the women’s health screenings should contact Karla Akers at 712-243-7443.