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Survey finds 27% of Iowa companies expect to add workers in next three months


June 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More than a quarter of the Iowa business owners who took part in a new survey plan to boost employment between the months of July and September. The third quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found 27-percent of Iowa companies expect to add workers, while just six-percent anticipate a decrease in staffing levels. Manpower spokesperson Karen Miller says the result is a “Net Employment Outlook” of 21-percent. “That’s a really solid number. It’s the same as it was in Q2, so everything looks pretty optimistic for Iowa,” Miller said. The Net Employment Outlook is down slightly from a 24-percent outlook one year ago. Many of the recent Manpower surveys have listed Iowa as one of the best states in the nation for job opportunities. For that reason, Miller is encouraging Iowa employers to bolster their employee retention plans.

“As the unemployment numbers drop and hiring expectations increase, that means competition for top talent will be heating up,” Miller said. “So, if you’re looking for a job, now is a great time to find a job. If you’re an employer, you’re going to want to make sure you have plans in place to retain your top talent or risk losing them to your competition.” The Q3 2013 Manpower survey found job prospects are especially good in Iowa’s capital city.  “Des Moines is expected to be the best metro in the U.S. for job opportunities,” Miller said. In Des Moines, 28-percent of the employers surveyed plan to add workers in the third quarter, while just two-percent anticipate layoffs.

Of the more than 18,000 employers Manpower surveyed in the United States, 22-percent expect to add to their workforces, while six-percent expect a decline in their payrolls between July and September.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa farmers make slight planting progress

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers endured another wet week largely keeping them out of the fields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s crop update that 92 percent of Iowa’s corn is now planted. Usually planting is all but completed by now. Eighty-six percent is rated in fair, good, or excellent shape while 14 percent is poor or very poor.

Just 60 percent of the soybean crop is planted much lower than the normal 95 percent and 39 percent has emerged while average is 83 percent. Planting and emergence for soybeans are the latest since 1993.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says temperatures were below normal every day last week at all locations in the state. The statewide average rainfall was 1.1 inches slightly under average of 1.2 inches.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., June 11th 2013


June 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — A memorial service has been scheduled for a 15-year-old Iowa girl who was missing for weeks before her body was discovered in a river. Palmer and Swank Funeral Homes says a service for Kathlynn Shepard will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. inside the Southeast Webster-Grand Middle School gymnasium in Boxholm. The service is open to the public.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City talk show host is running for U.S. Senate. Republican Samuel Clovis announced his candidacy yesterday at a Holiday Inn conference center in Sioux City. He’s running for a Senate seat being vacated by retiring five-term Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. Clovis, who describes himself as conservative, is a former fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and hosts a radio show on KSCJ-AM.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa man has been accused of stealing checks from an elderly woman who hired him. The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday that 55-year-old Michael Opperud of Tripoli, Iowa stole up to $18,000 from an elderly Waverly woman between April and June of this year.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State has named golfer Scott Fernandez as the school’s male athlete of the year. Fernandez was a first-team All-Big 12 selection this spring, and he earned second-team All-American honors from Golfweek magazine. Fernandez finished the year ranked 18th nationally after breaking the school’s single-season stroke mark.

Turkey buzzard causes cycle accident in Page County


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following an unusual accident Friday evening in Page County. According to the Sheriff’s Department, a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by 47-year old Curtis Carlson, of Clarinda, was traveling south on O Avenue, when a turkey buzzard pecking at some roadkill near the center of the road, flew up off the road in front of the cycle. Carlson lost control of the machine near the intersection with 190th Street, causing it to crash into the east ditch. The machine sustained $8,000 damage during the incident that occurred at around 5:50-p.m., Friday.

Audubon County Relay for Life event this weekend


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Another area County will be taking part in the Relay for Life in the coming days. Last Friday, the event was held in Shelby County. In Audubon County, the Relay for Life will occur Friday, from 6- to 9-p.m., at the AudubonCityPark. 

According to event organizer Anna Elmquist, cancer survivors will be recognized during a ceremony that starts at 6:15-p.m. Those who have survived cancer are being encouraged to show up early, to get registered. Elmquist says Two Palms Grilling will be providing food from 4:30-to 9:00-p.m. In addition, there’ll be an auction, entertainment and luminaries to light-up the Audubon City Park, in honor those who have survived cancer, and those who lost their battle.

Luminaries are available the night of the event or by contacting Kelly Christiansen at the Audubon State Bank. Persons planning on attending should bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Elmquist says all proceeds from the Audubon County Relay for Life will be directed to the American Cancer Society. Last year, donations amounted to about $28,000. This year’s goal is $32,000.  

Elmquist said they will also be hosting a “Traveling the Trail against Cancer” bike run, on June 22nd. It’s a park-to-park event, that begins in Hamlin and ends in Brayton with a pancake breakfast. Registration in Hamlin is from 6:30- to 7:15-a.m., with the race getting underway at 7:30-a.m.

(12-pm News)

3 arrests in Mills County


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report three arrests over the past few days. Early this (Monday) morning, 45-year old John Merrill Meyers, of Glenwood, was arrested on a charge of Domestic Abuse. His bond was set at $1,000. On Saturday, deputies arrested 18-year old Van Paul Evans, of Omaha, on a charge of Unlawful Possession of prescription medication. His bond was also set at $1,000. And, last Friday, Mills County authorities arrested 60-year old Patrick Obrine Walsh, of Pacific Junction, on a Mills County warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

(12-p.m. News)

Precipitation in Iowa near 2012 amounts year-to-date

News, Weather

June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the National Weather Service in Des Moines said Monday, that precipitation totals for the first 160 days of 2013 through Sunday, have already surpassed or are challenging precipitation values for the same time frame in 2012.

The values were measured by NWS Cooperative Observers, and automated systems, and are considered preliminary and unofficial. In our area, Guthrie Center, Perry, Denison, Carroll and Winterset are approaching 2012 precipitation values.

Guthrie Center is closest, with 21.28-inches of precipitation so far this year, as compared to 25.01-inches in 2012. Perry stands at 18.92-inches (22.78 last year); Denison has received 18.26-inches (23.28 last year); Carroll is a 16.87-inches (24.76 last year), and Winterset had 16.24-inches of precipitation through June 9th of this year, as compared to 26.24-inches last year.

For other precipitation amounts, click on this link:


No injuries reported following accident Sat., near Hamlin


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Department says no injuries were reported following a collision between two vehicles Saturday afternoon, near Hamlin. A 1999 Mercury driven by 21-year old Ethan Avery Ryan, of Audubon, was traveling east on Highway 44 at around 2:40-p.m., and had stopped at the stop sign for the intersection of Highway 71. Officials say a non-contact vehicle pulling a trailer southbound on 71 was turning right onto Highway 44, when Ryan…who didn’t see another vehicle behind the other vehicle and trailer…pulled out onto Highway 71.

In doing so, Ryan’s car hit a 1993 Ford driven by 17-year old Colton Scott Suhr, of Waukee. Damage from the accident amounted to $5,750. Ryan was cited for Failure to Yield from a Stop Sign.

Arrests and accident in Atlantic


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Sunday, of 55-year old Douglas Howard, of Atlantic. Howard was taken into custody on a charge of Operating a motor vehicle while Intoxicated. He was booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate. And, on Friday, officers with the A-PD arrested 43-year old Kevin Denison, of Atlantic, on a charge of Public Intoxication. Denison was also booked into the Cass County Jail.

Officials report also, an accident at around 10:15-p.m. Friday, caused $1,800 damage. A vehicle driven by Zachary Wood, of Atlantic, was traveling north on Olive Street, and had the green arrow to turn left onto westbound 7th Street. A vehicle driven by Joseph Fredericksen, of Atlantic, was traveling south on Olive and failed to yield, striking the Wood vehicle on the right front side. Fredericksen was cited for Failure to Yield. No injuries were reported.

Council Bluffs RAGBRAI Invites You To Kiss A Pig at Main Street Market


June 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The local Council Bluffs RAGBRAI organizing committee is inviting the public to the 100 Block of Broadway and the Main Street Farmer’s Market Thursday, June 13th, for a special treat: It’s your opportunity while shopping for fresh vegetables and homemade crafts and goodies, to kiss a real live pig!  Josee Beier, RAGBRAI Hospitality Chair and Director of Convention and Sports Sales for the CVB, says “For just $20, you can kiss a real pig, get a T-shirt, and pick up a youth bicycle helmet for your child at the Main Street Market.” 

The bicycle helmets are a public donation by Safe Kids Loess Hills and FAMILY, Inc. while the supply of helmets lasts.  The local safety committee of RAGBRAI, titled Ride Right, will also have free bicycle safety information just in time for summer.   

The pig is from an area farm- a perfect animal for a Farmer’s Market.  The T-shirts are the official Council Bluffs RAGBRAI  event, and bicycle safety and helmets are so important for all of us anytime, but especially in the summer. You’re invited to come by the Main Street Farmer’s Market Thursday, June 13th, starting at 5-pm on Broadway.  KISS A PIG, take a photo, buy some produce, pick up a kids bicycle helmet and learn how to be safe.