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Branstad promises to sign medical marijuana bill

News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he’ll sign a bill legalizing the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy but hasn’t made a decision on legislation that could change the scope of greyhound racing in the state. Speaking on the public television program “Iowa Press” on Friday, Branstad promised to sign the marijuana bill next week.

Branstad says he also intends to sign bills to regulate the use of drones and ban the sale and use of e-cigarettes for minors. He says he’s still considering legislation to end greyhound racing at a track in Council Bluffs but allow it to continue in Dubuque.

Branstad plans to sign his Home Base Iowa initiative, which offers tax and job incentives to veterans, on Memorial Day.

Click it or Ticket effort to start Saturday

News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

State and local law officers are beginning a “Click it or ticket” effort Saturday that will carry through this Memorial Day weekend. Iowa Highway Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says they goal is simple. He says the goal is to make sure that people are using their seatbelts as he says they want to see the seatbelt use numbers continue to go up.

Iowa currently has a 93-percent statewide, daytime seatbelt average, ranking Iowa in the top ten in the nation. The nighttime seatbelt average is only 39-percent. Trooper Kurts points to an accident that happened on the bypass in Sioux City recently as a good example of why they want everyone to buckle up. During that accident it was determined a female driver who was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle and fatally injured.

“I believe the number is about 75 percent of the people who are thrown from a vehicle in a crash are killed. You are much safe inside that vehicle and the seatbelt is the one thing that is going to keep you inside that vehicle during a crash,” Kurtz says. It is the start of the summer driving season and that leads to more vehicles on the road, and the possibility of more accidents.

“Last year in 2013 there were three fatality crashes over the Memorial Day Holiday — two of those which were alchol related,” Kurtz says. He says other years there have been more fatal accidents, and the main point is that you need to take precautions like using your seatbelts to avoid becoming one of the statistics. The campaign begins Saturday (May 24) and runs through June 4th.

(Radio Iowa)

Corps: Missouri River levels will rise but no flooding this season

News, Weather

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Above-normal runoff is expected over the coming weeks in the Missouri River system, but officials with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers say -no- flooding is anticipated. Jody Farhat, who heads the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Office in Omaha, says more water will be pouring into the waterway but it shouldn’t cause a problem as it’s been so dry. Farhat says, “Runoff this year is expected to be above-average and flood control remains our primary consideration, however, drought persists across much of the lower basin and storage in the Missouri River main stem reservoir system remains below normal due to the 2012 drought.”

Kevin Stom, a Corps engineer in the water management office, provides more details about the expected run off.  “The 2014 calendar year runoff forecast is 31.7-million acre feet, which is 125% of normal, above Sioux City, Iowa,” Stom says. “April runoff of 2.8-million acre feet, or 96% of normal, is 0.6-million acre feet below the April forecast.” Corps engineer Mike Swenson says they have plenty of storage space in the upstream reservoirs to handle additional water from runoff.

“Reservoir system storage is currently at 54.6-million acre feet and is 1.5-million acre feet below the top of the carryover multiple use zone,” Swenson says. “This 1.5-million acre feet of storage is in addition to the 16.3-million acre feet of flood control storage that is normally available at the start of the runoff season.”

Swenson says releases from Gavins Point Dam have been increased to 30-thousand cubic feet per second, and release levels will go higher as needed later in the season to support downstream navigation.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 05-23-2014

News, Podcasts

May 23rd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, 5/23/14

News, Podcasts

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

DNR to hold meeting on Beaver Lake water quality

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is holding a public meeting to discuss the results of a study completed on the quality of water in Beaver Lake, located west of Des Moines in Dallas County. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. June 10 at the Raccoon Valley Bank in Adel.

The 34-acre Beaver Lake is on the state’s list of impaired waters because it has high levels of algae cause by too much phosphorous which impacts the recreation at the lake. The plan explores the amounts and sources of phosphorus and offers potential solutions to reduce those levels. High phosphorous levels often result from runoff of fertilizers from farmland.

After gathering comments, the DNR will forward a final plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

Former Harlan doctor pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil reports a former Harlan doctor accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl 15 years ago at Myrtue Medical Center, plead Not Guilty Wednesday, in Shelby County District Court. 81-year old Wing Tai Fung, of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, was charged with second-degree sexual abuse, a Class B felony, for an alleged incident in January 1999. He allegedly molested a girl he was treating for a knee sprain at the hospital, according to a criminal complaint. If convicted, Fung faces up to 25 years in prison. A court date is pending.

Chicago police arrested Fung on April 28 at O’Hare Airport after he returned from Canada. He waived his extradition so the case could be tried in Shelby County. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating other allegations of sexual abuse.

GOP candidates for US Senate debate health care vouchers for vets

News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two of the five Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate say given the problems in the Veterans Administration, it’s now time for a health care voucher system for U.S. military veterans. Candidate Sam Clovis, a retired Air Force pilot, supports giving vets a voucher or a swipe card, so they can get care anywhere, not just at a V-A hospital or clinic. “This tragedy with the VA is very personal to me,” Clovis says. “My brother, a veteran, waited a year to get disability dispensation from the VA and I really think it’s what led to him imminent demise. I lost him a long time ago and I think it was because of the ineptness of the Veterans Administration hospital system and what we had to deal with to get him his care.”

Candidate Matt Whitaker, a former federal prosecutor, supports vouchers for vets to buy private insurance. “A voucher system where you are offered an amount of money that you can then go nn the free market and either buy more than the voucher or buy less and the savings could then stay in your pocket and address your personal health insurance needs and health care needs,” Whitaker said.
The other three candidates for the Iowa Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination say they’re open to the idea, but need to see the financial impact on the federal budget before they’ll endorse health care vouchers for vets.

Candidate Joni Ernst, a commander in the Iowa National Guard, says a “cost-benefit” analysis of the idea is the first step. “However, the VA as it’s standing now with the waiting lists whether it’s for mental health care, whether it’s for physicals of line of duty implications following a deployment — there’s a number of things that need to be looked at,” Ernst says.

Candidate Mark Jacobs, a retired business executive, says the V-A system “must be fixed” because many veterans have to drive long distances to get to a V-A center. “What we need to do is we need to open up to other private-market, out-of-network options so that our veterans can get the health care, the medical care that they deserve, that we have committed to provide them and I do think we have to look at this on a cost-benefit basis,” Jacobs says.

Candidate Scott Schaben, who is a Navy veteran, says it’s “an insult” that former soldiers have to wait a month or more for care, but he says a voucher system needs more analysis. “Before we would do any sort of transition, there’d have to be a cost-benefit analysis done to it,” Schaben says. “Part of the reason why the VA is there now and we’re not putting our veterans into it is because, in theory, it should be less expensive to the government.” The candidates made their comments Thursday afternoon during a forum focused on health care issues.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., May 23rd 2014

News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines man has been arrested in connection to the April shooting death of his 4-year-old daughter. Police say 24-year-old Adam Mead turned himself in Thursday. The Des Moines Register reports Mead faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, neglect of a dependent person and two counts of making firearms available to minors.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is sending the White House a $12 billion-plus bill authorizing new flood control projects in Iowa, North Dakota and other states. The Senate passed the bill on a 91-7 vote yesterday after the House approved it Tuesday.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Environmental groups have sued the Army Corps of Engineers over the agency’s use of man-made structures meant to keep the Mississippi River navigable. The federal lawsuit was filed Thursday in East St. Louis, Illinois. Plaintiffs including the National Wildlife Federation claim the techniques provoke flooding as seen during historic inundations four times in the past two decades.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A trombone serenade and the antics of a self-proclaimed “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible” were the featured entertainment at an Iowa City construction site celebration this week. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports University of Iowa officials on Wednesday celebrated construction workers’ progress on the new Hancher Auditorium with a picnic lunch, complete with performances from artists Wycliffe Gordon and Tomas Kubinek.

2014 Primary Election info. for Cass County, IA

News

May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 2014 PRIMARY ELECTION will be Tuesday, June 3, 2014. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Those unable to go to the polls on the day of election, may vote early by mail or by going to and voting at the county auditor’s office. In addition to regular office hours, the office of Cass County Auditor will be open Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 8 a.m. thru 4 p.m. Last day to request an absentee ballot to be voted by mail is May 30. On May 30 the auditor’s office is open until 5 p.m.

The PRIMARY ELECTION is the electoral process used to choose who will run as EACH party’s (Republican or Democratic) candidate for a given office to be voted upon in the GENERAL ELECTION in November. A voter must choose and may vote only one party’s ballot (Republican or Democratic). In order to vote in Iowa a person must be registered in the person’s current county of residence,
under the person’s present name, and at the person’s current address.

ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION
A person may register to vote at the auditor’s office and vote an absentee ballot on the same visit. A similar process is available at the precinct voting center on election day. The voter must show ID (The ID must include a photo and an expiration date. Acceptable forms of ID are: Iowa driver’s license; Iowa non-operator’s ID; United States passport; United States military ID; ID card from an employer; Iowa student ID; Out-of-state driver’s license; or out-of-state non-operator’s ID. If the photo ID presented does not contain the voter’s current address in the precinct, one of the following documents that includes the voter’s name and current address in the precinct must be presented: residential lease; utility bill; paycheck; property tax statement; bank statement; government issued check; or other government issued document.

Voters with no ID may establish identity and residence in the precinct by written oath of a person who is registered to vote in the precinct. The process to register on election day (same day registration) is: 1- provide proof of IDENTITY (photo ID); 2- provide proof of RESIDENCY (current address in the precinct); and 3- SIGN AN OATH attesting that the info given is true.)

NOTES ON VOTING PROCEDURE and POLLS:
In Cass County voters will mark and cast paper ballots. The voter will feed the marked ballot through an optical scan unit which will immediately tabulate the information. In addition each precinct will have available an electronic unit of equipment which has the capability of marking the ballot for a disabled person. The ballot marked by the equipment’s ‘printer’ will be fed through the same optical scan unit as those ballots directly marked by a voter.

FOR THE 2014 PRIMARY ELECTION THERE WILL BE 13 VOTING CENTERS:
1 Atlantic 1st Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Zion Lutheran Church (811 Oak St)
2 Atlantic 2nd Ward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Atlantic Public Library (507 Poplar)
3 Atlantic 3rd Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cass County Community Center (805 W 10th)
4 Atlantic 4th Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . United Church of Christ (1607 Hazel)
5 Atlantic 5th Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heritage House (1200 Brookridge Circle)
6 Bear Grove,Cass Twp/Lewis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Lewis Public Library (412 West Main St, Lewis)
7 Benton, Franklin Twp/Wiota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Wiota City Hall (311 Center St)
8 Brighton,Grove,Pymosa,Washington Twp/Marne . . . . Cass County Community Center (805 W 10th)
9 Edna, Victoria Twp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Massena Public Library (122 Main St, Massena)
10 Grant, Lincoln Twp /Anita. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .. . . . Anita Community Center (805 Main St)
11 Noble, Pleasant Twp/Griswold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Griswold Community Bldg. (601 2nd St)
12 Massena Twp/City of Massena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Massena Public Library (122 Main St, Massena)
13 Union Twp/City of Cumberland . . . . . . . . . . …………….Cumberland Community Bldg. (200 W 2nd)