KJAN News

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ISU research tracks economic impact of local food sales

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sales of locally-grown food accounted for at least nine-million dollars in economic activity in Iowa last year according to a new report. Researchers at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University tracked “institutional purchases” of locally-grown food by grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The researchers say this is the first attempt to try to measure the economic impact of regional food systems in Iowa.

Their work went beyond the traditional concept of a grower selling to a consumer at a farmers’ market to track sales between growers and businesses. Restaurants, grocery stores and other bulk purchasers reported buying nearly nine million dollars worth of locally-raised food products. On average, local food purchases accounted for a little less than nine percent of an institution’s overall food budget.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 12th 2013

News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 800 Iowa county officials are gathering in Des Moines for an educational conference. The Iowa State Association of Counties will meet Wednesday to begin discussing legislative priorities they want to lobby in the future. The group’s board of directors has recommended issues like road funding, mental health and disability services and user fees. The legislative priorities are debated and approved at the conference.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former First Lady Christie Vilsack is returning to Iowa as part of her new federal job promoting international education. Vilsack has worked since March as a senior adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington. Kirkwood Community College says Vilsack will visit its main campus in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday to meet with students from Central America who are studying agricultural business under a USAID scholarship program.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Farm Bureau program designed to teach children about agriculture is opening the process for teachers to apply for grant money. The Teacher Supplement Grant program was established in 2003 and this year will award $200 to teachers in language arts and science who develop classroom programs that help students learn about agriculture. Farm Bureau has awarded nearly $100,000 to teachers in the last three years of the grant program.

BONDURANT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating a rollover crash in central Iowa that injured two of 10 van passengers. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says the single-vehicle crash happened Monday afternoon on a roadway near Bondurant. Emergency personnel found the full-size van in the center median off of the roadway. Two of the 10 passengers onboard were taken to hospitals in Des Moines for minor injuries. Authorities say the weather may have contributed to the accident.

Red Oak man wanted for kidnapping & attempted murder

News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in southwest Iowa are on the lookout for a Montgomery County man who allegedly kidnapped and tried to murder a woman in Red Oak.

William Wayne Elliott

William Wayne Elliott

Investigators say the incident occurred at the home of 57-year-old William Wayne Elliott, of Red Oak22-year old Shelby Mae Schmitz, of Red Oak, told authorities after she went to Elliott’s home in the 200 block of East Maple Street Monday afternoon, he allegedly forced her into the basement, splashed her with gasoline and threatened to set her on fire. Schmitz fought back, broke loose and managed to escape before walking into the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center at around 3:55-p.m. , and asking for help.

The woman was hospitalized for evaluation and treatment as authorities got a search warrant for Elliott’s home. He was not there but authorities say they located evidence in the home, including narcotics. William Elliot is wanted on felony charges of kidnapping and attempted murder. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Red Oak Police at 712-623-6500, or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Tax Preparation Volunteers Needed to Continue Local Program

News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

For several years, ISU Extension in Cass County and surrounding counties has served as a host site for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Now, organizers are looking for local volunteers to keep the program going strong. VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that certifies community volunteers to prepare and e-file basic tax returns at no cost for low to moderate income individuals and families. Approximately 70 individuals benefitted from the program for the 2012 tax year, bringing over $150,000 in tax refunds back into the county.

Volunteers are needed in Cass County, as well as other locations across southwest Iowa, to prepare 2013 taxes. Volunteers can work weekdays, weekends or evenings, giving as much time as their schedule allows, and would be needed in late winter/early spring 2014. Interested individuals do not need to be full-time tax preparers to qualify, but should have a basic understanding of income tax laws, an interest in helping others and basic computer skills.

VITA volunteers are provided free training, self study materials, and software necessary to prepare basic income tax returns including Forms 1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040. Volunteers must complete a certification exam and the IRS waives liability for volunteers if they prepare returns within the scope of their certification.

For more information on volunteering with the VITA program, contact the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 , or Mary Beth Kaufman, Extension Family Program Specialist at 712-755-3104 (or e-mail: mbkaufma@iastate.edu.) Interested persons will need to complete a one page application.

The VITA program provides free tax preparation to low and moderate income families so they can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credits. In Southwest Iowa, the program is coordinated by Iowa State University Extension with funding and support from the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Human Services, and Iowans for Social and Economic Development (ISED).

1st snowfall reminds drivers of winter driving skills

News, Weather

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The season’s first snowfall in the KJAN listening area has brought some quick reminders to motorists that they need to slow down and allow extra time for traveling. Early this (Monday) afternoon, there have been several reports of accidents along Interstate 80 in Cass County, none of which have resulted in injuries (as of 3-p.m.).

According to scanner traffic, semi’s were jackknifed into the median and/or partially blocking the road between the 60 and 72 mile markers. And a pickup truck rolled into the median at around 2:50-p.m. just east of the Olive Street exit, but no injuries were reported.

Remember, when driving in winter weather conditions, slow down, turn off your cruise control, turn on your headlights and know that road conditions can change very quickly.

Nebraska authorities ID body found along river

News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PERU, Neb. (AP) – Authorities in southeast Nebraska have identified the body of a man found on a bank of the Missouri River.  The Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office says the body was that of 43-year-old Mark Miller, of Omaha. People fishing by the river north of Peru found the body Oct. 27.

Miller was presumed missing Oct. 2 after a boat he’d borrowed was found unoccupied floating down the river. Miller had been camping near the river in Fremont County, Iowa. A crime is not suspected.

Beef prices could go up this winter

News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

You could pay a little more for steak or hamburger this winter. Iowa State University livestock economist, Lee Schulz, says the cattle market is rebounding from years of drought, and along with lower grain prices and better forage, the conditions are good for producers. ” We’ve seen the cost of production decrease substantially and we’re looking at break-even levels and above for beef producers,” Schulz says. He says producers sell fewer animals to build up their herds to take advantage of the market situation.

“Beef supplies are historically tight, but to build that herd they’re going to become even tighter because we have to retain more of those heifers,” Schulz explains. Keeping those animals out of the marketplace means beef will cost more. “There is quite a bit of uncertainty, but I think we do know that prices are likely to increase in the rather short to medium term,” Schulz says. Schulz adds, while consumers may see higher prices, retailers are likely to cushion some of the impact.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass/Adair County Boards of Supervisors meetings on Tues.

News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass and Adair County Boards of Supervisors will hold separate meetings Tuesday in Atlantic and Greenfield, respectively. Both sessions begin at 9-a.m.  In Atlantic, the Cass County Supervisors are scheduled to receive a report at 10:30 from the Child Abuse Prevention Council’s Kristen Templeton, with regard to ‘The Scary Guy” program being brought to all schools in the County, next fall. The CAPC will request funding from the Board to help make the program possible.

In Greenfield, the Adair County Supervisors will canvass the results of the Nov. 5th City Election, and hold public hearings on the authorization of loan agreements and issuing of General Obligation Capital Loan Notes amounting to $11-million, and resolutions to take addition action on those matters.

The Board will also act on the signing of an agreement with Pictometry, and a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) agreement.

Harlem Ambassadors travel to Harlan

News, Sports

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A group of basketball ambassadors will come to Harlan this (Monday) evening to take on some local celebrities. The Harlem Ambassadors are an organization similar to the Harlem Globetrotters and will bring high flying slam dunks and family comedy to the Harlan Community High School Gymnasium starting at 7pm. Dawn Gardner from the Harlan Community High School says the Ambassadors will play against the Harlan Community Hoopsters.

The Hoopsters will be coached by the Harlan Mayor Gene Gettys and Izzy Clark and the team is made up of current Harlan Community staff members such as Superintendent Justin Wagner, teacher Dan Hoch and former Harlan Community graduates including Randy Bissen, Paul Bruck and Kevin Osborn.

The entire event is sponsored by the Harlan Community Teammates Mentoring Program. Gardner says “The Teammates Program was started by Doctor Tom Osborne and Nancy Osborn in Nebraska as a school based mentoring program. Students meet once a week for an hour during the school year. It gives students an extra adult to look up to other than family members.”

No ticket is needed to get into the family show this evening at the high school gym but seating is limited. A free-will donation will be taken at the door with proceeds going to the Teammates program. Along with the basketball fun, the concession stand will be open as well as a merchandise stand from the Harlem Ambassadors. A signed basketball from the Ambassadors will be auctioned off to coach Izzy Clark, too.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Kimballton Vet pens fictional novel based on real-life events in Vietnam

News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Veteran from Kimballton has written a fictional novel based on the life of a Vietnam veteran. Steve Heuton is the author of “Back in the Day” about two young men growing up in the 1960’s. Heuton says “It starts about the end of their junior year of high school, goes on to their senior year as they chase girls, hot rod around and play football. They do pretty good at everything and they are on top of the world. Then they are drafted and end up going to Vietnam. It’s a long fall from top of the world to the bottom and they crawl back out again.”

He says parts of the book are true and happened to him or friends of his. Heuton says the book was inspired by an English professor in college.  “I graduated from college about two weeks before my 30th high school reunion and had an engineer’s degree. My English Professor told me I had a gift and I should get out of engineering and into journalism. The rest kind of came to me as the years went by and I figured I better do it before I forget everything.”

The story inside “Back in the Day” is quite moving from the highs of being rock stars in high school to the lows of the war. Heuton, a high school graduate from Elk Horn and Vietnam Veteran, says he is dedicating the book to Veterans. “The book is dedicated to the men and women who served in Vietnam and we need to be thankful for all those men and women.”

“Back in the Day” will hit bookstores set to be released in stores and online December 31st, 2013.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)