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Iowa Senate bill would allow ATV road travel

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A measure that would permit the use of all-terrain vehicles on some roads is gaining support in the Iowa Legislature. The Senate Transportation Subcommittee approved the bill Thursday and moved it to the full Senate Ways and Means Committee. It earlier passed the House in a 75 to 22 vote.

The bill would require those who want to drive an ATV on county roads to register for a small fee with the state Department of Transportation. ATVs would not be permitted on highways except on designated crossings. Cities could allow the ATVs on certain highways within their jurisdiction. Critics of the bill say ATVs aren’t made for road travel and passing the law could increase the potential for accidents.

USDA Announces 22 Iowa Counties as part of Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency, John R Whitaker, has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 22 Iowa counties as part of a Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation.  Farm operators who have suffered major production and/or physical losses caused by combined effects of freezing temperatures and continuing drought conditions may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.  Other programs may also be made available to assist farmers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) due to this designation.

A Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation has been issued for the following counties:

  • Thirty-one Missouri counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions beginning November 1, 2012 and continuing. Five Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for program based on this designation.  The contiguous counties are:  Decatur, Fremont, Page, Ringgold, and Taylor.  The final date for making application under this designation is September 9, 2013.
  • Eighty-nine Nebraska counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions beginning April 2, 2013 and continuing.  Six Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for program based on this designation.  The contiguous counties are:  Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury.  The final date for making application under this designation is December 10, 2013.

The Farm Service Agency may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers which will enable them to return to their normal operations if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster.  Physical loss loans may be made to eligible farmers to enable them to repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property, including livestock losses, essential to the success of the farming operation. For production loss loans, the disaster yield must be at least 30 percent below the normal production yield of the crop, on a crop or crops that make up a basic part of the total farming operation. Applicant must be unable to obtain credit from other usual sources to qualify for the Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Program assistance.  Interest rates are based on the date the loan is approved.  The current interest rate for emergency loans is 2.375%.

Interested farmers may contact their local County FSA office for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.  Information can also be found on-line at www.fsa.usda.gov.


Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarships Awarded


April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation say they recently awarded the Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarships.  Alisha Ponsar and Ben Kopp each received a $5000 award for the 2013-14 academic year.  Ben is enrolled at the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine and Alisha is a student at Creighton University College of Nursing.

The Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarship was established through the generosity and careful planning of these two life-long Cass County residents, who farmed in the Marne area until they retired, and then became residents of Atlantic.  The Hansens believed in higher education, so much so that over 70% of their estate was bequeathed for that purpose, including a gift to the CCMH Foundation.

Under the supervision and guidance of the CCMH Foundation, scholarship opportunities are provided yearly.  As per the Hansens’ wishes, scholarship candidates must have graduated from a Cass County high school and be enrolled in an accredited nursing or medical doctor school.

Teen Charged with making Terroristic Threats


April 11th, 2013 by Marissa Hovde

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a teenager was arrested Thursday for making felony, “Terroristic Threats.” 17-year old Nicholas Farwell, of Villisca, was taken into custody Thursday morning, in the 200 block of East 5th St, in Villisca. Farwell was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 cash bond.

Experts: Iowa St likely to see more NCAA sanctions

News, Sports

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two NCAA compliance experts say Iowa State is likely to face sanctions beyond what the school has already imposed for major recruiting contact violations.  Expert John Infante said Thursday he wouldn’t be surprised if men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg received a suspension for one to three games next season because of an NCAA push to hold head coaches accountable for what happens in their programs.

Infante said it was possible the university would lose a small number of scholarships in men’s basketball and football. Another expert, Ohio University professor David Ridpath, doubts the school will lose scholarships but won’t be surprised if Hoiberg is suspended.

Both experts said the NCAA could also further punish football and men’s basketball assistants who made improper recruiting calls by limiting their contact with prospects.

Iowa State Treasurer urges Medicaid expansion


April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is urging Gov. Terry Branstad and state lawmakers to expand Medicaid in Iowa.  Fitzgerald, a Democrat, says Thursday that a Medicaid expansion would cost the state less than an alternate plan proposed by Branstad. He is basing his analysis on data from the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency and Senate Democrats.

Fitzgerald says he’s concerned about the state’s “fiscal health and how we spend our money.”  Senate Democrats have been pushing to expand Medicaid, as permitted under President Barack Obama’s health care overall.   Branstad opposes the plan. He says long-term Medicaid costs are unsustainable and has proposed expanding an existing program for low-income Iowans.

2 arrests, 1 accident, in Adams County


April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were arrested earlier this week, on separate charges. Ilene Gowen, of Council Bluffs, was taken into custody at around 7:40-p.m. Monday, on an Adams County warrant charging her with Harassment. Gowen was picked up by Council Bluffs Police and has since bonded out of jail. And, on Sunday, Mickey Fidler, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident that occurred in 2012. Fidler was charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana). Fidler posted a $5,000 bond, and was released from custody.

In other news, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office says only minor injuries were reported following a rollover accident early Sunday morning. Officials say the accident happened when Trevor Shipley swerved to miss a deer on Birch Avenue. When he lost control of the 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora he was driving, the vehicle entered a ditch and rolled.

9AM Newscast 04-11-2013

News, Podcasts

April 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Partnership reduces deer herd, helps to feed iowans in need

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say it’s been 10 years since the DNR and the Food Bank of Iowa joined to promote a new program to help reduce the size of Iowa’s deer herd, and help Iowans in need receive a healthy meal. The Help Us Stop Hunger (HUSH) program allows hunters to donate any legally harvested deer to a participating locker as a way to encourage hunters to harvest more deer.

Lockers process the donated deer into ground venison in specially labeled two pound packages that are picked up by the local food bank and distributed in the community.  HUSH lockers have processed 56,000 donated deer providing more than 11 million meals since the program began. The program exemplifies Iowans helping Iowans. Jim Coffey, who coordinates the HUSH program for the DNR, says “We asked our hunters to harvest additional deer to reduce the herd size and the HUSH program gave them an option to donate the additional venison to help their fellow Iowans in need. We have a lot of lockers who enjoy the program and participate because it supports their local community.” Carey Miller, executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa, said “We are so grateful for this partnership and program,” says . “It has helped put a high protein, low fat product into the hands of hungry Iowans.”

Since its inception, the program served an important role to help reduce the deer herd, but that role will be changing. As the deer population approaches the management goal, the program will not be used as much for population control as it will be for certain situations, like hunters wanting to support their local food bank or for hunters participating in special population management hunts in urban areas or park settings. The Iowa program is viewed nationally as one to emulate and states from Hawaii to Nebraska call on Coffey looking for the recipe to replicate Iowa’s success.

Every deer license sold includes a $1 fee that supports the HUSH program. The program is administered through the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund of the Iowa DNR. Lockers are paid $75 for each HUSH deer processed and participation in the program is voluntary. In 2012, 89 lockers participated in the HUSH program. The Food Bank of Iowa received $5 per deer to pick up and distribute the venison.

More information on the DNR’s HUSH program is available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/HelpUsStopHungerHUSH.aspx

Iowa company recalls mislabeled pork jerky


April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa company has recalled more than 1,000 pounds of pork jerky because the product’s label doesn’t list wheat, which can cause an allergic reaction for some consumers.  Formosa Food Co., of Hull, is recalling 16-ounce individual packages of Formosa Brand Pork Szu, a cooked seasoned dried pork product.

The product was made on various dates through Nov. 29, 2012. There is no expiration date but the label carries the establishment number “EST. 2446.”  The jerky was sold on the internet and through direct sales nationwide.  The USDA says in a statement released Wednesday that the problem was found by food safety inspectors during a label review. Wheat is an ingredient in the soy sauce used in the product.  There have been no reports of sickened consumers.