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Norris kicks off campaign for Iowa Democratic Party’s 2018 nomination for governor

News

July 10th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

John Norris, a long-time mechanic for Democratic campaigns in Iowa, formally kicked off his campaign for governor this weekend. “This is about our future,” Norris said. “We’re taking this government back from those who want a government that works for only a few people at the top, the special interests and the sweetheart deals and making it a government that works for the people.”

Norris held an event Saturday evening on the farm near Red Oak where he grew up, then about 200 supporters gathered for a potluck picnic at Living History Farms late Sunday afternoon. Norris spoke for about 25 minutes, outlining his priorities. He supports limits on campaign donations, greater spending on public schools and a focus on economic development incentives that benefit all businesses rather than big tax breaks for just a few. “Our politics are incredibly toxic, the government we have is sick and our future is seriously eroding and that’s why I’ve chosen here today amongst all of you to announce my candidacy,” Norris said, to applause and cheers.

Norris vowed to reverse former Governor Terry Branstad’s decision to “privatize” Medicaid and to address water quality concerns. “How can we expect the children of Iowa to want to stay in Iowa when you can’t drink the water and you can’t swim in the rivers and the lakes?” Norris said, to applause. “We have to insist that those who are treating our water and our natural resources irresponsibly are stopped.”

Norris ran the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition in the 1980s and opened a restaurant in Greenfield. He’s arguing it’s time to “reconnect” urban and rural Iowa and Norris says it’s time to ensure rural schools are “exceptional” and broadband access is universal. “I think we have opportunities there, but it takes a governor and a government that knows they exist, first of all, enough to recognize the opportunities and the incredible quality of life for people who want to live in rural Iowa,” Norris said, “and I think more people want to.”

Norris ran Jesse Jackson’s fourth-place Iowa Caucus campaign in 1988 and John Kerry’s successful campaign here in 2004. He also helped steer Tom Vilsack’s successful campaign for governor in 1998. Norris served in three different roles in the Obama Administration, first as a top aide to Vilsack in the U.S.D.A., then as a federal utility regulator and finally as head of the U-S-D-A’s Foreign Agriculture Service, based in Rome.

More than a handful of other Democrats are either running or mulling a run for their party’s next nomination for governor.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, July 10th 2017

News

July 10th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:45 a.m. CDT

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa communities are considering new restrictions on fireworks after the state started allowing them for the first time in decades. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill in May that allows the sale of fireworks in the state from June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. The law prevents the ban of fireworks sales, but allows limits on their use. Davenport is among cities looking to reinstate a ban on their use within city limits.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is reducing the number of tags it gives deer hunters as part of an effort to maintain the state’s deer population while combating animal diseases. The move was approved through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and finalized at a legislative administrative rules meeting. It should not cut back on the number of antlerless deer hunted in the state since Iowa had a surplus of deer tags last year.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska assistant coach Bob Elliott has died after long fight with cancer. Close friend Dan McCarney told the Des Moines Register the 64-year-old Elliott died Saturday. He was initially diagnosed with cancer in 1998 while coaching at the University of Iowa.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities are working to identify a body that was pulled from the Mississippi River on Sunday. Dubuque County Sheriff Joseph Kennedy tells KCRG the body could not be immediately identified because of the extent of decomposition. Kennedy says it’s too early to say if the body could be 19-year-old Allison Morgan who disappeared January 2.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 15-year-old Iowa boy fatally injured in an ATV crash earlier this month has donated his organs. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Logan Luft was pronounced brain dead on Wednesday. His parents Lenny and Wendy Luft said Logan’s organs went to five different individuals. Logan Luft won’t be able to pursue his dream of winning a state wrestling title, but a friend who won two titles plans to donate his medals so Logan can be buried with them. Logan Luft had been part o fthe Immortal Athletes Wrestling Club in Waverly.

Lewis Fire investigates smoke in a home Sunday afternoon

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Lewis responded to call about the smell of smoke in a residence, Sunday afternoon. According to Assistant Fire Chief Tim Pope, a call from 305 Grain Street came in at around 4:20-p.m.  The occupants, who were gone for a time on vacation, returned to the smell of smoke coming from an undetermined area.

An investigation determined that an attic fan in the garage had malfunctioned a day or two prior, and burned itself out. Roof sheeting and some trusses had been burned, and fiberglass insulation was charred.Pope said they were lucky the damage wasn’t worse.

Firefighters removed debris from attic. They were on scene for approximately 45 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Hot and Humid conditions expected this week

News, Weather

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service is warning Iowa residents to be prepared for hot and humid conditions this week. Temperatures in the KJAN listening area are expected to be in the low 90’s this week. The dewpoint, which is a more accurate measure of moisture in the air than the Relative Humidity, will remain consistent at around 70-to 72-degree. The Heat Index (how it feels when the actual temperature and the Dew Point are factored-in) is expected to be anywhere from 100- to 105-degrees across southern Iowa (from the I-80 corridor on south), Monday.

North of I-80, except in the Des Moines (where the Heat Index will be 100-105), it’ll feel more like 90- to 100-degrees through about the Highway 30 corridor, and 85-to 95-degrees from the Iowa/Minnesota border southward to Highway 20 corridor.  

As of mid-afternoon Sunday, no Heat-related advisories or warning had been posted for the area, although south of the Iowa-Missouri line, a Heat Advisory will be in effect from Noon Monday through 7-p.m. Wednesday.

Remember:

A Heat Advisory means that temperatures of at least 100°F* or Heat Index values of at least 105°F* are expected generally within the next 24 hours. Consider postponing or rescheduling any strenuous outdoor activities. If you must be outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks in the shade. The young and elderly and those with medical conditions should use extra caution outdoors.

An Excessive Heat Watch means that Heat Index values are expected to reach or exceed 110°F* and not fall below 75°F* for at least a 48 hour period, beginning in the next 12 to 48 hours. Plan to suspend all major daytime outdoor activities if a warning is issued. If you do not have air conditioning, locate the nearest cooling shelter or discuss staying with nearby family or friends who have A/C.

An Excessive Heat Warning means that Heat Index values are expected to reach or exceed 110°F* and not fall below 75°F* for at least a 48 hour period, beginning in the next 24 hours. Refrain from outdoor activities of any nature during the warmest time of the day. Drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks if you must be outside. Stay indoors in an air conditioned building as much as possible. Check on elderly family members if they are living alone.

Some Iowa communities consider fireworks restrictions

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa communities are considering new restrictions on fireworks after the state started allowing them for the first time in decades. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill in May that allows the sale of fireworks in the state from June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. 3. The law prevents the ban of fireworks sales, but allows limits on their use.

After giving the new state law a trial run, Davenport is looking to reinstate a ban on their use within city limits. Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott is expected to propose restrictions for his city. He says he may support council action to cut down the number of days fireworks can be lit.

Sioux City police have received more than 150 calls reporting fireworks violations since June 25.

Atlantic Fire Dept. welcomes home “Grandpa Mack”

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Fire Department, guests and the public got to welcome home an old friend, Sunday afternoon. A 1936 Mack Fire Truck was given a “wetting ceremony,” and an official pushing-in ceremony, whereby members of the department soaked the front of the truck with a hose and then pushed it in to an open bay at the station.

The truck was a gift to the department from New Hope, MN., resident Leon Brewer, who has held onto the vehicle for more than 21-years. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said of the welcoming home, “This is happening only as the incredible result of the generosity from Leon.” The truck, affectionately dubbed by Brewer as “Grandpa Mack,” was the second motorized vehicle purchased by the dept. in 1936 from a dealer in Omaha. It was shipped by rail and placed into service for many years.

Leon Brewer talks about “Grandpa Mack,” w/Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees looking on.

Former Chief Steve Curtis performed many repairs and serviced the vehicle over the years it remained in Atlantic before it was sold in Sept. 1994 for $6,800, along with two other vehicles. Leon Brewer eventually acquired the truck and maintained it all the while. McNees said Brewer accompanied the truck back to Atlantic and brought with him stacks of papers featuring hand-drawn diagrams on parts,directions on how to repair it, and articles about the truck. Meticulous records were kept on the vehicle.

Wetting ceremony for an old friend. (Click on any image and it will become larger for you)

Atlantic Firefighters push the 1936 Mack into a bay at the fire station.

A Vintage firefighting vehicle comes home.

McNees said also, the AFD is celebrating 100 years of unified service this year. The dept. has been in existence since 1868, but didn’t become unified until 1917. The Mack will be used later this fall in the Fireman’s Parade, along with a 1963 American LaFrance that is stabled at the station.   

Mayor Dave Jones presented Leon Brewer with a certificate of appreciation during the event, and McNees presented him with a plaque. Brewer said of the truck, he will miss it, but he’s been assured he has “visitation rights” anytime he wishes. You can hear more from Leon Brewer during the “Heartbeat Today” program Monday morning at 7:30 with Jim Field, on KJAN AM 1220 and FM 101.1, along with our mobile apps. It will also be archived on the Heartbeat today podcast page and under the “Programs” tab at kjan.com.

Iowa cuts deer tags to maintain population, combat disease

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is reducing the number of tags it gives deer hunters as part of an effort to maintain the state’s deer population while combating animal diseases. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved the move and it was finalized at a legislative rules meeting this month. It should not result in a reduction in the number of antlerless deer hunted in the state. Department officials note roughly 10,000 deer tags were not claimed in 2016.

The change will ultimately decrease available deer tags from a little over 74,500 to just over 72,100. It will be in effect for antlerless deer hunting that begins in September and runs through early next year. Officials say the setup should help combat reported cases of chronic wasting disease.

Fremont County man arrested in Page County for possession of stolen property

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports a Fremont County man was arrested at around 8-p.m. Saturday, for felony Possession of Stolen Property. 28-year old Jonathan Lee Million, of Farragut, was taken into custody and was being held in the Page County Jail on a $5,000 bond, pending further court proceedings.

Johathan Lee Million

And, 19-year old Makayla Gene Maxwell, of Clarinda, turned herself into the Page County Sheriff’s Office Saturday evening, on a Page County Warrant for Accessory after the fact, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.  Maxwell posted a $2000 bond and was released pending future court proceedings.

1 dead, 2 hurt in Decatur County crash

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A single vehicle accident Saturday afternoon on a gravel road in Decatur County left one person dead and two others injured. The Iowa State Patrol says the driver of a 2006 Chevy Silverado pickup, 69-year old James Edgar Young, of Lamoni, died on the way to the hospital. Two passengers in the pickup, 13-year old Ethan Cullen, of Champaign, IL., and 10-year old Audbrey Cullen, also of Champaign, were transported to the Leon Hospital.

The accident happened at around 2:45-p.m., Saturday, as the pickup, which was traveling eastbound on River Road. The truck began to slide sideways and entered the east ditch,  where it struck a telephone pole. James Young — who was wearing his seat belt — was ejected from the pickup, which came to rest on its side.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sunday, 7/9/17

News

July 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 4:45 a.m. CDT

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — After nearly three years of sitting vacant, a Tyson Foods plant in the northwestern Iowa community of Cherokee could be showing signs of life. The Des Moines Register reports that the property owner recently listed the site with Chicago-based Global Food Properties. Local leaders hope that means a new occupant for the 250,000 square-foot plant will be found.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say a 4-year-old girl was shot in one of her legs after she found a handgun under her parents’ bed. The girl was hospitalized but expected to recover after the Thursday night shooting. Investigators say the parents told police the girl had been playing in the house, found the case that holds the gun and took it to her room. She then apparently opened the case and accidentally shot herself in the thigh.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police in Des Moines say the body of a 13-year-old boy has been pulled from the Birdland Marina off the Des Moines River. Police say officers and Des Moines rescue crews were called to the marina just before 7 p.m. Friday for a report of a body in the water. Workers found the boy’s body minutes later. Police said in a news release Saturday that the death does not appear to be the result of a crime.

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — Leaders of the northeastern Iowa city of Waverly are considering replacing an historic bridge with a pedestrian bridge. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier report that the City Council recently heard from city engineer Mike Cherry about two basic pedestrian bridge options. The council agreed to add a resolution at its Monday meeting to begin a feasibility study comparing bridge options.