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Iowa Farm Bureau offers to pay for the defense of farmers, rural Iowans in the Des Moines Waterworks lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) have offered to underwrite the legal costs for the defense of the drainage districts targeted in the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) lawsuit so the northwest Iowa drainage districts, farmers and rural citizens can focus on defending the lawsuit without the impossible task of covering the cost of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.

The offer was extended to the supervisors in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties last week, since the supervisors act as trustees for the 10 drainage districts being targeted by DMWW’s lawsuit.  IFBF President Craig Hill says “Protecting farmers is really core to our mission at Farm Bureau. With one in five jobs directly tied to agriculture, rural Iowa has much at stake. If DMWW prevails in its lawsuit, it has the potential to adversely impact every Iowa farmer and farmers throughout the United States. We believe it’s essential for the future of Iowa agriculture and our rural communities for us to do what it takes to ensure the lawsuit is appropriately defended with adequate resources.”

A few months ago supervisors in the targeted counties ended their relationship with the Agricultural Legal Defense fund, which left drainage districts without sufficient resources to defend against the urban lawsuit. Drainage districts do not have ratepayers or general taxing authority with which to raise funds for these types of expenses.  To date, litigation costs for both sides combined have exceeded $2 million in the lawsuit.

The DMWW’s suit has garnered national attention, since it seeks to effectively change the Clean Water Act, forcing regulations and potential penalties on farmers; such action would put roadblocks on farmers’ efforts to continue trying new, innovative conservation practices to improve water quality.

The trial for the lawsuit is currently scheduled to be held in June of 2017.

Sen. Grassley wants to reform program for foreign investment in rural America

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is introducing legislation he says is designed to reform an economic development program which he describes as “out of control” with fraud and national security threats. The program, E-B-Five, was created in 1990 to prompt foreign investors into putting between 500-thousand and a million dollars into capital investment projects in rural America and in other job-starved areas.

Grassley says, “Many of the investments are going to projects in ritzy, well-to-do neighborhoods like those in Manhattan and Miami, instead of rural America and communities that need to boost employment and need help the most.”The program offers “green cards” to the foreign investors but over the decades, Grassley says significant problems have developed with the well-intended effort.

“The government has little ability to detect or prevent fraud,” Grassley says. “We don’t always know where the money for these projects is coming from and the government isn’t doing a good job of vetting the immigrant investors.” Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and says the E-B-Five program will expire at the end of this month and Congress has to decide whether to pass legislation to continue it or let it vanish.

Grassley says, “I introduced a bill with Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the committee I chair, to put rural America and economically-distressed neighborhoods back on an equal footing with wealthy, urban neighborhoods when competing for investors.”

The legislation would also improve oversight and accountability, according to Grassley, while reducing scams and addressing national security concerns.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Specialty Care earns top ranking

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Atlantic Specialty Care, in Atlantic (1300 E. 19th St.), report the care facility has received a “Deficiency Free” result on its annual survey in September by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Administrator Kellie Jimerson says that makes two years in a row for the deficiency free designation.

Jimerson says the past year has been one of many honors for Atlantic Specialty Care. In the fall of 2015, Atlantic Specialty Care was honored by the American Health Care Association with its Silver National Quality Award. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will be in Atlantic on Sept. 23rd, to award Atlantic Specialty Care with the “2016 Governor’s Award for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities.” The event begins at 10:30-a.m.

The annual survey, which is conducted over several days, covers over 500 quality, safety and performance issues such as medication management, proper skin care, assessment of resident’s needs, respect for residents rights and dignity, food service, environment and administration. The complete evaluation includes a tour of the facility, review of residents’ clinical records, and interviews with residents and family members about life and the care they are receiving.

With the increase in regulations, achieving the distinction of a “deficiency-free” survey is very prestigious. It means Atlantic Specialty meets or exceeds all state and federal standards.

Jimserson says “Our entire facility, including residents, staff, families and volunteers work together as a team to make Atlantic Specialty Care a safe and comfortable living community. Our goal is to help people with life’s health transitions and we think we do a great job of that.”

Atlantic Specialty Care is a 90-bed skilled nursing facility offering outpatient rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, long term care and hospice care. Atlantic Specialty Care is owned and operated by West Des Moines-based Care Initiatives, Iowa’s largest not-for-profit post-acute and senior care provider. Care Initiatives and Care Initiatives Hospice operate 55 skilled nursing, rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s/dementia, assisted living and hospice locations throughout Iowa.

For more information about Care Initiatives or Atlantic Specialty Care, visit careinitiatives.org or call 712-243-3952.

Vision Loss Resource Fair set for Sept. 22nd in Clarinda

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

CLARINDA—The Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) will collaborate with accessible technology vendors and local service providers at an event designed to reach out to Iowans who are experiencing vision loss and blindness. The Clarinda Vision Loss Resource Fair will be held on Thursday, September 22 from Noon until 2:00 p.m. at the Lied Public Library, 100 East Garfield St., in Clarinda.

Area residents will have the opportunity to learn how to perform tasks that have become frustrating or challenging because of vision loss and about the many ways the visually impaired maintain their independence. Attendees will also be able to ask questions of IDB staff and other service providers and see demonstrations of assistive technology devices in a friendly, low-pressure environment.

Information and items on display will include:

  • Vocational rehabilitation services for retaining or seeking employment
  • Tips on how to complete everyday tasks non-visually
  • IDB’s Library service that provide large print, braille, and audio reading books by mail
  • Resources to assist students with completing schoolwork
  • Free newspaper reading services
  • Computer screen readers, CCTV’s, and text-to-speech technology
  • Aids and devices for everyday activities – talking clocks, magnifiers, and more.

The resource fair is part of an ongoing effort by the Iowa Department for the Blind to meet with Iowans in their communities to inform them and their families about the variety of services available. Officials say it’ss an excellent opportunity to learn about options and alternate techniques for performing everyday tasks that may not be immediately obvious when dealing with vision loss.

Demonstrations of devices and simple aids that can assist with those tasks, information about local transportation services, representatives from area service providers are just some of the exhibits that will be featured. The vision loss resource fair is not only for those persons experiencing vision loss. Family members, friends, service providers, and any interested area residents are encouraged to attend, too. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about this event or the Iowa Department for the Blind, contact Rick Dressler, (515) 281-1314, rick.dressler@blind.state.ia.us.

Pickup and straight truck collide in Union County – no injuries

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported but one person was cited, following a collision Monday evening in Union County. The Sheriff’s Office reports 42-year old Travis Boyce, of Osceola, was traveling south in the 1700 block of Highway 169 at around 4:30-p.m., when he fell asleep at the wheel of a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup. The vehicle crossed the center line of the road and collided with a northbound 2007 International truck driven by 23-year old Andrew Stalcup, of Mt. Ayr.

Damage to the straight truck, registered to the Farmers Co-Op of Afton, was estimated at $15,000, while the pickup sustained $10,000 damage. Authorities cited Boyce for Failure to Maintain Control.

Iowa State Bar Association gives all judges a thumbs up for November ballot

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Bar Association is recommending that voters retain all 63 Iowa judges and three state Supreme Court justices who will be on the ballot in November. Iowa voters do not decide between two candidates when it comes to judges — they are simply asked to vote on whether a judge or justice should remain on the bench. The state bar association survey of its members was administrated by a committee led by attorney Guy Cook.

“Lawyers are asked to rate judges and justices on knowledge of the law, temperament and demeanor. Promptness of rulings. Whether the judge or justice avoids personal observations. Decides cases on the law and the facts. Not by outside influence. And is courteous and patient with litigants. And treats people fairly,” Cook says. Cook says nearly 15-hundred attorneys were surveyed to compile the rating for judges.

“You have people who really know the process and interact with these judges on a daily basis. And have the information necessary to rate them. As opposed to some anecdotal story, something people have read in the news,” Cook says. Cook says the lowest score a judge could have and still get the Bar Association’s recommendation is 51 percent. None on this year’s judges rated below a 68.

Judicial elections had been an afterthought for voters until 2010 when three state Supreme Court justices were voted off the bench following their vote for the controversial ruling that overturned Iowa law and legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

You can find out more information about the professional qualifications and background of every judge on the November 8th retention ballot at the Iowa Judicial Branch website. (www.iowacourts.gov). There is also a link there to the Iowa State Bar Association recommendations.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 9/13/2016

News, Podcasts

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Mom made kids sleep in unsanitary room, authorities say

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Mason City mom has been accused of making her kids sleep in a feces-covered room. Online court records say 25-year-old Alexis Martinez was arrested Monday and is charged with three counts of felony neglect of a dependent person. Cerro Gordo County Jail records say she remained in custody Tuesday.  Court documents say Martinez forced her children, ages 2, 4 and 6, in late August to sleep for a week in a room that had feces on the walls and floor.

Creston Police report (9/13/16)

News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department says officials with Agrivision (710 E. Taylor St.) in Creston, reported Monday that sometime between Aug. 13th and 14th, someone stole a zero-turn radius lawnmower from their business. The machine was valued at $3,500.

And, Monday afternoon, 52-year old Robbie Allen Dohrn, of Creston, was arrested in the 500 block of S. Birch Street in Creston, for allowing an animal to run at-large. Dohrn was cited for the offense, and then released.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 9/13/2016

News, Podcasts

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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