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Weekly crop report not available

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Due to the Federal government shutdown, the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) has not completed the weekly crop progress and condition report that is released weekly during the growing season. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued a statement Monday on harvest progress, however.

Northey said “Unfortunately due to the Federal government shutdown we will not have a crop progress report this week. In general, what I’m hearing from around the state is that many farmers were able to start harvesting before the wet weather moved in late last week. If we get several days of dry, warm weather this week as forecasted, that will help crops dry down and farmers will again be busy harvesting both corn and soybeans.”

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker, with the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship says weather-wise, the big news of the week was the severe weather impacting northwestern Iowa on Friday (4th) evening. Damage surveys are ongoing, however it would appear that this was Iowa’s largest tornado event for so late in the year since the outbreak of November 12, 2005. Tornado damage was reported from Woodbury, Plymouth, Cherokee and Buena Vista counties with large hail and high winds reported from an additional 15 counties across north central, southwest and central Iowa.

The past reporting week began with dry weather prevailing from Sunday (29th) through Wednesday (2nd) afternoon. Thunderstorms developed over western Iowa late Wednesday and spread across far northern and far southern Iowa on Thursday (3rd) morning. Thunderstorms brought widespread moderate to heavy rain from west central into east central Iowa late Thursday into Friday afternoon with a few reports of large hail and high wind in central Iowa. Friday evening’s storms were mostly confined to about the northwest one-half of the state with the heaviest rains centered upon Worth, Mitchell and Floyd counties. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.02 inches at Fairfield to 5.19 inches near Colwell in Floyd County.

The statewide average precipitation was 1.19 inches while normal for the week is 0.69 inches. This was Iowa’s wettest week in 14 weeks (late June). Meanwhile, unseasonably warm and humid air dominated the state from Monday (30th) through Friday (4th) with afternoon highs reaching into the 80’s each day over much of Iowa. Sunday (29th) and Saturday (5th) at the beginning and end of the period brought seasonal temperatures. Temperature extremes varied from afternoon highs of 88 degrees at Sioux City on Wednesday (2nd) and at Donnellson, Fort Madison and Keokuk on Friday (4th) to Saturday (5th) morning lows of 37 degrees at Hawarden, Le Mars, Rock Rapids, Sibley and Sioux Center. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 7.7 degrees above normal.

Ernst says DC power brokers need to “sit down & communicate”


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst says communication is the key to resolving the partisan impasse in Washington, D.C. “You absolutely have to be communicating,” Ernst says, “even with people you may not agree on those same ideas or same philosophies, but you know what? You have to sit down and communicate — period.” Ernst is one of a handful of candidates who are running for the Republican Party’s 2014 nomination for the U.S. Senate. Ernst and competitors Sam Clovis and Matt Whitaker signed an online petition calling for an “ObamaCare Showdown” over “defunding” the Affordable Care Act.

“We need to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” Ernst says. “I know that they are working hard to do that, but they have to communicate.” Ernst was at the statehouse Monday to publicly receive the endorsement of Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. Afterwards, Ernst was asked by a reporter if the federal government shutdown was the “wrong strategy” for Republicans in congress. “I don’t know that it’s the wrong strategy,” Ernst replied. “But, again, they need to be working through this situation and I don’t see the communication right now.”

Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, is also a battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Tue., Oct. 8th 2013


October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is asking a judge to put fired Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund’s wrongful termination lawsuit on hold. Its lawyers say Hedlund’s termination technically isn’t final because he still has administrative appeals. Hedlund’s attorney has asked a judge to declare those appeals unnecessary.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Specialty Iowa license plates commemorating law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty are now available. The state Department of Transportation says the plates have a “Fallen Peace Officer” emblem. A numbered license plate costs $35 and a personalized plate is $60. Funds from the plates will be distributed to nonprofit organizations that assist families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A rule disallowing the use of a video-conferencing system to distribute abortion-inducing pills will take effect Nov. 6 unless stopped by a court. That’s after a committee that provides legislative oversight on state agency rule making decided the rule can go forward. Monday’s rules committee meeting was the last opportunity to stop the rule administratively. Planned Parenthood is has filed a lawsuit to try to do so in court.

BONDURANT, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa high school is banning the use of cellphones and other hand-held devices during the entire school day. Officials at Bondurant-Farrar High School say students can carry them in their pockets or purses, but can’t use them or even look at them. That includes between classes and during the lunch hour. Officials say the ban is in response to students’ excessive use of electronic devices. They say they also want to control cyberbullying on social media.

3 alcohol-related arrests in Cass County


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested Sunday on alcohol-related charges in Cass County. The Sheriff’s Department says 68-year old James Stanley Kwiatkowski, of Griswold, was taken into custody on a charge of OWI 1st Offense/Serious Misdemeanor. Kwiatkowski was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

33-year old Matthew Bernard Steffens, of Atlantic, was arrested Sunday on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense/Aggravated Misdemeanor. Steffens was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

And, 23-year old Fernando Romero, Jr., of Omaha, was arrested Sunday on a charge of OWI 1st Offense/Serious Misdemeanor. Romero was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on $200 bond.


Villisca man arrested on drug charges in Mills County


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report the arrest on Saturday of a Villisca man on drug charges. 58-year old Rodolfo Morales, Jr., was arrested at around 3:30-p.m. following a traffic stop on Highway 34. Morales faces OWI/1st offense, Driving While Revoked, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, charges. His bond was set at just over $2,866.

And, a Malvern man was arrested late Friday night in Mills County. 34-year old Dayton Ernest Tuper faces a charge of Simple Assault.  His bond was set at $300.

Iowa DOT begins issuing “Fallen Peace Officer” specialty license plates


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa motorists wanting to remember a fallen law enforcement officer may now purchase a specialty license plate with a “Fallen Peace Officer” emblem, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. The fees for a numbered “Fallen Peace Officer” plate are $35, with a $10 annual validation fee; and $60 for a personalized plate, with a $15 annual validation fee.fallenofficer_sm

The Iowa Department of Public Safety receives $35 from each new plate and $10 from each renewal. The Iowa DPS distributes 100 percent of the funds in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations to assist in rebuilding the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. When awarding grants, the Iowa DPS gives first consideration to Iowa Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and similar nonprofit organizations providing such resources.

For information, applications, and pictures of this specialty plate go to the Iowa DOT’s website at www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ovs/plates/plates.htm.

No injuries reported after multi-vehicle accident in Atlantic


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Five vehicles collided in Atlantic Friday, but no injuries were reported. Atlantic Police report the accident happened at around 12:10-p.m. near the intersection of 7th and Pine Streets. Officials say vehicles driven by Payton Ryan, of Marne, Katrina James, of Lewis, Galen Hansen, of Exira, Barbara Wyscarver, of Atlantic, and Anthony Orstad, of Griswold, collided in a chain reaction fashion, when all had to stop abruptly due to traffic which came to a halt at the stop light. The accident happened as all five drivers were headed westbound on 7th Street.

Officials say vehicles driven by Ryan, James and Wyscarver were all able to stop before hitting vehicles in front of them, but Hansen and Orstad were unable to do so. Both struck vehicles in front of them, which continued the chain reaction accident that affected all the vehicles.

Damage from the crash amounted to $7,500. Authorities say Galen Hansen and Anthony Orstad were both cited for Failure to Stop in an Assured Clear Distance.

Atlantic arrest report


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report two people were arrested Sunday on assault charges. 33-year old Tabitha Clark, and 18-year old Philip Thompson, Jr., both of Atlantic, were taken into custody on charges of Domestic Abuse Assault. Both were being held in the Cass County Jail, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

And, 26-year old Jeffrey Knight, of Atlantic, was arrested Friday, on a charge of Public Intoxication/3rd offense. Knight was also booked into the Cass County Jail.

Storm damage assessment continues in Woodbury County


October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Woodbury County authorities are continuing their damage assessment after severe weather struck the area Friday evening. County Emergency Services Director Gary Brown says at least three tornadoes hit rural Woodbury County. He says ene started down by Sloan and split into two, another touched down just short of Bronson and lifted and the third set down west of Climbing Hill and went northeast across the county “We’ve got 123 farms that have been affected. We have 21 farms destroyed, 42 with major damage, 43 with minor damage and 17 that are in the category of what we call ‘affected’ for a total of 123,” Brown says.

The storms missed the cities in the county — hitting only rural areas — and Brown says there was only one person injured and no residents were killed. “We’ve got several thousand acres of crop damage, we’re still trying to tally up some of the power line issues, and we’ve had essentially a low number of livestock deaths,” according to Brown.

Several power poles were snapped off by the storm, including some major feed lines. Brown says the major power lines will take several weeks to restore, and residential power should be coming back on over the next several days.

Brown says the Red Cross and Salvation Army are accepting cash donations to help the victims of the storms.

(Radio Iowa)

NE Tornado is the widest to occur during the month of Oct.

News, Weather

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Storm Chasing Network said today (Monday), the Wayne, NE tornado  measured nearly 1.4-miles wide, and is the widest tornado to ever occur in the month of October since 1950. The National Weather Service said Sunday, the tornado was rated an EF-4 with peak winds reaching 170mph.

It was on the ground for 19 miles and injured 15 people. The Weather Service says October tornadoes are unusual, but not unheard of. Last year, there were 41 tornadoes nationwide in October.