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Iowa DNR Needs Help from Deer Hunters to Monitor for CWD

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Deer hunters invest time and money honing their skills and buying the latest gear to pursue Iowa’s trophy whitetails. Hunters can protect their investment by helping to monitor for the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild Iowa deer. Chronic wasting disease is a brain disease that can infect deer, elk, reindeer, and moose. The disease is always fatal, and at least one study has shown that it can have a population level impact on deer in Wisconsin, which has a similar landscape and deer population to Iowa.

State wildlife experts are working to make the sample collection process as easy and quick as possible. Hunters can call their local DNR wildlife expert who will meet them either in the field or at their residence to collect two lymph nodes from the head of the animal and a little information on where the deer was killed. That’s it.

Matt Dollison, wildlife biologist for the Department of Natural Resources in southwest Iowa, says “The only reason we need the location of the kill is in case the deer would come back as positive for CWD, we would know its location to create our surveillance focus zone.” The DNR has a goal of collecting 4,500 samples each year from across the state, with increased quotas from surveillance areas in counties that have had positive samples in pen raised deer, and in Allamakee County where positive samples have been found in wild deer.  Hunter participation is voluntary.

In southwest Iowa, Dollison has an increased sample quota of 150 deer for northeastern Pottawattamie County and the very northwest portion of Cass County, where CWD has been found in a captive deer breeding pen.  Unfortunately the DNR has struggled each year to reach half that number. Only adult deer are sampled and trophy bucks will not be sampled unless agreed to by the hunter and after it has been caped. Fawns will not be sampled.

Dollison says “We are working with the DOT to collect samples from road killed deer, but we need hunters to help us reach our targets. Disease monitoring isn’t exciting but it is important to help protect the herd and it’s something simple and easy hunters can do that directly benefits them and what they enjoy doing.” Dollison has placed fliers in local gas stations, meat lockers, and restaurants in an effort to get the word out.

“We want as many samples as possible,” Dollison said. “It’s imperative that hunters let us know as soon as possible after they recover the deer. The clock starts once the deer is down and time is our enemy on this. The sooner we can collect the sample, the better.”

Hunters in Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont and Page counties can call:

  • Matt Dollison: (712) 350-0147
  • Jon Ross: (712) 350-0411
  • Doug Phillips: (712) 350-0429
  • Zac Ripperger: (712) 350-0350
  • Carter Oliver: (712) 592-0573

Webster County wants changes to hog operation review process

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Webster County officials are seeking changes to Iowa’s process for reviewing hog confinement operations, arguing the current process has few restrictions and almost no local control. The Messenger reports the request comes after a large number of new hog confinement applications in the county prompted county supervisors and residents an update to the animal confinement rules.

Recommendations for changes include an increased distance from confinements to residential properties and waterways, as well as a three-mile distance from cities or subdivisions. The Webster County Board plans to present a list of recommendations to Republican state Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink at this week’s Iowa State Association of Counties legislative meeting.

Iowa DHS: Children need better protection from drugs


November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Child welfare experts at the Iowa Department of Human Services are seeking changes in state law to better protect children whose caregivers are involved with illegal drugs. Under a proposed bill, a wider variety of controlled substances would trigger a child abuse investigation. Jenae Harvey, with the D-H-S Child Welfare Bureau, says several key drugs found in homes aren’t now covered.

Harvey says, “What we’ve seen over the past two years is families where cocaine, heroin, opioids and methamphetamines are alleged, those caregivers tend to be involved with the Department of Human Services repetitively.”

The current law was designed to protect children in homes where methamphetamines were being used, sold or manufactured. Under the proposed bill, a child abuse investigation would be warranted if the drug activity occurs even when the child is not home. Harvey says the D-H-S has had repeated contacts with families where cocaine, heroin, opioids and meth are present.

She says, “We want to have the opportunity to do the necessary safety and risk assessments for the children and get the caregivers the substance abuse treatment they need in order to be the best parents that they can.”

Under the proposed change, the D-H-S would spend more time evaluating the families. A similar bill failed to win passage last year.

(Radio Iowa/Thanks to Joyce Russell, Iowa Public Radio)

Reward offered for break-in at a Clarinda apartment complex


November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Corrects source of report) — Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports Page County Crime Stoppers is offering a monetary reward  for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons who broke into the Parkview Apartment Complex, located at 1001 E. Main St., in Clarinda. The incident happened sometime during the evening of November 20th or the early morning hours of November 21st.

A large amount of flooring material was stolen from the apartment complex, which is currently undergoing renovations. If you have information concerning the burglary and theft, contact the Clarinda Police Department at 712-542-2194. Callers may remain anonymous.

Glenwood man arrested on assault & drug charges


November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports two arrests took place, Tuesday. 20-year old Kameron Myers, of Glenwood, was arrested on a Mills County warrant for serious Assault, and for Possession of Marijuana. He posted a total of $2,000 bond, and was released. And, 37-year old Jeremy Potts, of Glenwood, was arrested on a Mills County warrant for Driving While Revoked. Potts also posted a $2000 bond, and was released.

Omaha man arrested near Avoca on Audubon County warrant


November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports a Nebraska man was arrested Tuesday evening on an Audubon County warrant, following an investigation into a person living in a vacant home southwest of Avoca. A Deputy was dispatched to a residence in the 40,000 block of Sumac Road at around 4-p.m., after the home’s owner called authorities saying the residence should be vacant, and that a family member may be there without permission.

The Deputy made contact with 40-year old Patrick Eugene Petersen, of Omaha. A records check indicated Petersen was wanted on a warrant out of Audubon County for Failure to Appear in Court for a compliance hearing, on an original charge of Eluding. Petersen was booked into the Pott. County Jail pending extradition to Audubon County.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office reports also, 38-year old Kirk Thomas Ring, of Underwood, was arrested Monday night for Obstruction of an Emergency Communication device, following an investigation into a disturbance in Underwood. Officials say a Deputy made contact with Ring’s father, who said Kirk and his girlfriend wouldn’t stop arguing. The father advised the Deputy that when he told his son he was going to call 9-1-1, Kirk took his phone away. A neighbor ended-up calling in the verbal disturbance.

Iowa doctor to pay $176,000 to settle federal allegations


November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines doctor has agreed to pay more than $176,000 to settle federal allegations that his clinic submitted bills for unapproved or counterfeit cancer drugs. The Des Moines Register reports Dr. Magdy Elsawy was accused of purchasing the drugs in 2012 from a company that distributed faulty or fake medications. He denies wrongdoing, and he has not been charged with any crimes.

Federal officials say in settlement documents released Tuesday that Elsawy’s Hematology and Oncology Center of Iowa “improperly submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for cancer treatments when (the clinic) knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that the drugs used in those treatments were unapproved, misbranded or counterfeits.”

The clinic’s lawyer, Dulce Foster, said her client’s payment “is in no way a reflection of any wrongdoing.”

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 11/30/2016

News, Podcasts

November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


DNR: ‘significant’ reductions in store if state fishing license fee remains at $19

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says he’ll be forced to layoff employees and reduce services “significantly” if there’s not an increase in the fee for an Iowa fishing license. The 19-dollar annual fee hasn’t been changed since 2003. Those license fees go into the state’s Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, which is used to run the state-run fish hatcheries and other related services, but the D-N-R’s Chuck Gipp says that budget’s becoming “a challenge.”

“There is no such thing as ‘status quo’ expenses. That continues to go up as health costs go up, as employee salaries and things like that go up,” Gipp says, “so we’re struggling when it comes to having the personnel there.” Gipp has met with groups that represent Iowa hunters, fishing enthusiasts and others to discuss the situation. “It isn’t grandma down the street that doesn’t hunt and fish that’s going to be impacted by revenue increases,” Gipp says. “It’s going to be the actual person that purchased the license that is getting the benefit of the fish hatcheries,” Gipp says.

Gipp’s department operates seven fish “hatcheries” in Iowa that raise 150 MILLION fish each year, for stocking Iowa lakes and rivers. The Fairport Fish Hatchery on the Mississippi River near Muscatine is nearly 100 years old and “should be closed down,” according to Gipp. “The newest facility we have is a fish hatchery at Rathbun,” Gipp says. “But that’s 25 years old and the liners of those fish ponds that grow the fish are now 25 years old and need replacements, so you’re looking at $1 million or more just to replace that type of facility.”

Gipp made his comments Tuesday, during a budget presentation in the governor’s office. Governor Terry Branstad says he’s “neutral” on the idea of raising the fishing license fee.  “The fishermen, if it’s something they really want, then I think they’re going to have to visit with their legislators about it,” Branstad says. “I’m not advocating for it. I’m not opposing it.”

Nearly 400-thousand people purchased an Iowa fishing license this past year. State officials say while there’s been a decrease in the number of hunters, the number of people who fish in Iowa has held steady.

(Radio Iowa)

Northey favors ‘no new taxes’ approach to water quality initiative

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s secretary of agriculture is touting a water quality plan House Republicans advanced earlier this year. Bill Northey says the plan would dedicate “significant” state resources to address water quality concerns. “A real commitment, no new taxes…is a great pattern to work from and we’d certainly be very supportive of that.”

This past January, Republican Governor Terry Branstad proposed diverting some sales tax money levied for school infrastructure projects to water quality initiatives. House Republicans came up with their own plan, using water usage fees and gambling taxes for water quality projects. Neither idea was debated in the Senate, where Democrats controlled the debate agenda. “We recognize that there’ll be good conversations this year at the legislature this year about water quality funding,” Northey says.

Northey, a farmer from Spirit Lake, has been Iowa’s secretary of agriculture since 2007. Northey says farmers in Iowa have been “very active” in trying to control and reduce farm chemical run-off from cropland. Critics say the voluntary approach isn’t working and it’s time for the federal government or the courts to force changes in farming practices.

(Radio Iowa)