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Nominations now being taken for Iowa’s Best Pork Tenderloin


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The search is now underway for the state’s best breaded pork tenderloin of 2019. Kelsey Sutter, spokeswoman for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says the competition was launched in 2003 as a way to celebrate this unique regional delicacy. “I didn’t realize until I started working at Iowa Pork that it’s really a Midwest specialty,” Sutter says. “If you go to the East or West coasts or even to the South, it’s not something that you’re going to find on menus.”

To nominate a restaurant in the past, a lot of information had to be entered on the nomination form. Now, Sutter says, the process has been streamlined. “Simply by going to our website, Iowa Pork.org, on the home page you can find the link to nominate your favorite tenderloin,” Sutter says. “There’s a search bar that you can use to search for the restaurant and all of the information is already uploaded. Simply click on the restaurant you want to nominate, enter your name and email, and hit ‘Submit’.”

The deadline to nominate your favorite pork tenderloin-serving restaurant is June 7th.”We will take the five with the most nominations in each of our eight districts across the state, so that’s going to be our top 40, and then throughout the summer months, our Iowa Pork members will help us judge those top 40,” Sutter says. “There’s a points system and they’re required to take some photos.”

A panel of judges will narrow down the nominees to five and then will secretly visit each of the top five before a winner is named in October. Last year’s winner was Three C’s Diner in Corning.

Iowa Senate votes to legalize sports betting


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — With little fanfare — and after more than a decade of missed attempts — the Iowa Senate has voted to legalize sports betting in Iowa. Nineteen Republicans and a dozen Democrats teamed up to vote “yes” on the bill, while 18 senators opposed it.  “Sports wagering will no longer be acceptable in the dark. The sun is shining and Iowans will be able to participate legally.”

Senator Roby Smith of Bettendorf was the only senator to speak during Wednesday evening’s debate. “This place,” said Smith, who guided the bill through six public hearings and two senate committees this year. “…It always surprises me.”

Under the plan, wagering on professional and college sports is to be managed by the 19 state-licensed casinos in Iowa. Gamblers in Iowa will be able to use a smart phone app to place their bets.  “I believe what we’re doing in this bill is the right thing to do. Sports wagering is not something I’m not fully eager to participate in myself,” Smith said, “but that does not mean we cannot ensure that Iowans have the best experience for those who choose to participate.”

The bill also legalizes “fantasy” sports prizes connected to the performance of professional athletes. It’s currently illegal for an Iowan to claim winnings from FanDuel, Draft Kings or other online “fantasy” sports games. The sports wagering issue now moves to the House, where legislation similar to what passed the senate is eligible for debate.

Last year, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened the door for states to join Nevada in the “sports book” business. Iowa is among 28 states that have moved to consider legalized sports betting this year. Six other states already took action to make the activity legal.

Atlantic City Council sets May 15th as date for a Public Hearing on Street Dept. Bldg. Addition


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, passed a Resolution setting May 14th as the date for bids on a proposed addition to the Street Department Building, and May 15th as the date for a Public Hearing on the proposal, which has garnered much talk on social media and elsewhere. City Administrator John Lund originally said $100,000 was set aside for the proposed project. Councilman Chris Jimerson asked Snyder and Associates Engineer Dave Sturm where that figure came from, and if there were ways to reduce the costs.

Jimerson said he looked at the Street Department facilities and asked what would be saved by remodeling the one stall employee restroom and knock-off 10-feet of the proposed addition dimensions. Sturm said the new bathroom would be ADA compliant, but wasn’t able to immediately furnish a cost breakdown. Right now, they have a bench to sit on in front of the building as a break area.

Mayor Dave Jones they need the room and not just a plywood table and bench. Councilperson Ashley Hayes commended the Street Department and said they deserve this addition. “Everything they do for other departments…and entities in town…and everything we have done for other departments…it’s time to give them what they feel that they need in there.”

It was pointed out that the funds for construction of the addition are coming from the Road Use Tax Fund, not property taxes or the Debt Fund. John Lund, who fielded calls all day from people complaining about the possible cost of the addition, said the negativity was getting to him. He said “The Street Department has literally been the one and only department that has had to live with working facilities like [they are now], and I’m not joking. The dogs at the Animal Shelter have a better place indoors to do stuff. This is not even a heated or air-conditioned facility where they can take their breaks. I don’t believe what we’re doing is extravagant. They’ve been asking for this for years.”

Members of the AHS Speech and National Debate Team.

At the start of their meeting, the Council recognized the Atlantic High School All-State Speech Team and National Debate Team, including: Abigail Evans; Sarah Schorle; Belle Wickman; Grace McCurdy; Olivia Engler; Genevieve Martinez; Troy Roach; Molly McFadden; Regan Watson; Lane Muell; Carina Birkel; Nolan Perez; Brycen Ericksen, and Xander Moore.

Two arrested in Atlantic on Child Endangerment Warrants Tuesday


April 17th, 2019 by Chris Parks

Atlantic Police report two arrests on Tuesday. Officers arrested 24-year-old Bryce Baker of Atlantic on a Cass County Warrant for Child Endangerment. He was taken into custody and transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

Also arrested Tuesday was 27-year-old Haley Anderson of Atlantic on a Cass County Warrant for Child Endangerment. She was taken into custody and transported to the Cass County Jail and booked in.

Shelby County now included in Federal IAP


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Gov. Kim Reynolds received word on Tuesday that two counties affected by recent severe weather and flooding along the Missouri River have been added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration granted March 23, 2019. Residents in Pottawattamie and Shelby counties are now eligible to apply for the federal Individual Assistance Program, which provides aid to eligible homeowners, renters, and businesses.

The federal Individual Assistance program can provide homeowners, renters, and businesses grants and low-interest loans to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs, and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for federal Individual Assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621- 3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time), seven days a week, until further notice. Residents of Pottawattamie and Shelby counties who have already registered for the federal Individual Assistance Program should re-apply, as the Individual Assistance Program is now active and will accept their registration for the FEMA IA Program.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program is no longer available to residents in Pottawattamie and Shelby counties following their addition to the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Citizens in these counties should now apply for the federal Individual Assistance Program. The Disaster Case Management Program is still available to impacted residents of Pottawattamie and Shelby counties through the local community action association, which can be found at www.iowacommunityaction.org.

Shelby County Emergency Management will be hosting a Town Hall meeting at the C G Therkildsen Activity Center located at 706 Victoria Street in Harlan, IA 51537.  Meeting will be at 5PM on Monday April 22nd.  Personnel from Emergency Management, FEMA, and the SBA will be on site to assist those in need with registration, and answer questions. For more information on flood recovery resources available to Iowans, visit www.floods2019.iowa.gov or contact 2-1-1.

Getting aid to flood victims is priority


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Glenwood, Iowa – AP) Getting disaster aid approved and making sure it gets to the people affected by this spring’s flooding is a priority for area senators. The bureaucratic rules that govern disaster aid spending require an analysis of the costs and benefits of repair projects.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa says that means money approved for projects in rural areas may be diverted because the property values are lower than in cities.
Ernst and other senators at a hearing about this spring’s flooding Wednesday said they will work to change that formula.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst farms near the Missouri River, but his land wasn’t flooded. Hurst said the lessons from this flooding should lead to changes about where levees are built and how the river is managed.

(Update 1:30-p.m.) Army Corps takes heat in wake of Missouri River flooding


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — The federal agency that manages dams along the Missouri River received stern criticism from several U.S. senators Wednesday during a hearing held in Iowa to examine the massive spring flooding this year that caused more than $3 billion in damage in the Midwest.

The flooding and actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has been bitterly criticized in the wake of the flooding, are the focus of the U.S. Senate hearing. Critics have demanded that the agency make flood control its top priority, though Congress would have to act to change the Corps’ priorities.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said flooding shouldn’t be such a regular occurrence along the Missouri River, saying: “The trend of flood and rebuild, flood and rebuild must end.” Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand added that the Corps should be more aggressive in preventing flood damage and consider the effects of climate change.
“They are too slow, too bureaucratic and they don’t have enough money,” said Gillibrand, who is running for president and was in Iowa touring flood damage. She took part in the hearing because she serves on the committee that oversees the Corps.

The sentiments may be appealing in Midwestern states that have endured flooding along rivers that the Corps is charged with managing, but they may not be as popular with supporters of other approved uses of the river, such as protecting endangered species and navigation.

The Corps’ John Remus said the agency works to balance all the uses of the river and maximize the benefit to several when possible. But flood control is the main concern anytime flooding is imminent along the Missouri River. The Corps has also said that much of the water that caused the Midwest flooding in March came from rain and melting snow that flowed into the Missouri River downstream of all the dams it controls. At the same time massive amounts of water was filling the reservoirs and some had to be released.

Farmer Leo Ettleman, who farms near Percival, said the Corps should have made significant changes to its operating manual after the historic 2011 floods, but neither the Corps nor Congress took action. Ettlemen said the kind of flooding the area saw this spring will continue unless changes are made. Ettleman joined a lawsuit against the Corps after the 2011 flood.

Greg Power, fisheries division chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said he believes the Corps does “a pretty good job” of managing the Missouri River system. “Flood control is still a high priority within the Corps, I know that,” Power said. “Some of these water years are pretty incredible themselves and I would hate to be a Corps person, to be honest.”

Area politicians have said repeatedly since the flood that flood control should be the Corps’ top priority. Robert Criss, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who has been studying flooding for more than two decades, said there may be a more important factor than how the Corps’ priorities are ranked.

The Missouri River has been made narrower over the years, Criss said, and the Corps has worked to maintain a defined channel for barge traffic even though few barges ever cross the river near Iowa and Nebraska. “We’re having this problem because we messed with the rivers too much,” Criss said.

Reminder: Gillibrand to speak with area residents in Atlantic tomorrow (Thursday)


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

A reminder: Democrat Presidential hopeful Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, from New York, will be at the Atlantic campus of Iowa Western Community College tomorrow ( Thursday, April 18th). Doors will open at 4:05 PM with Senator Gillibrand delivering remarks and conversing with caucus-goers from 4:20 PM until about 5:20 PM. Prior to the event, she will tour IWCC. “Conversations with Kirsten” will focus on the topics of education and national public service.

Senator Gillbrand is the junior senator from New York. She was born and raised in upstate New York, where she, her husband, and their two sons still reside. Prior to being elected to the US Senate, she served as a law clerk and as a lawyer in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2009, where she has since won reelection twice.

Her campaign would appreciate an RSVP from those who plan to attend the event. You can do so by going to https://www.mobilize.us/kirstengillibrand/event/90257/ Of course, you can attend without signing in but the numbers will determine in what room the event will take place.

Only 30 percent of Iowans have signed up for Real ID


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Transportation says around 30 percent of Iowa’s licensed drivers now have a “Real I-D” license. Andrea Henry says the licenses that have been approved for the program have a gold star in one corner. “It’s a way for the federal government to verify the identity of folks who carry a state-issued I-D. So, instead of having to having to have a federally-issued I-D, they can use their Iowa driver’s license, but their identity is verified through the federal government,” Henry says.

She says it is good to sign up when you renew your license, as you will eventually need it to fly. “Right now it is not required to fly if you provide another form of identification — like a passport, or if you have a military I-D — those are acceptable forms of identification,” Henry says. “But if you want to use your state issued I-D or driver’s license card after October first of 2020, you are going to have to have it marked with that Real I-D gold star in the upper left hand corner.”

Henry says the process of upgrading your driver’s license is pretty easy. “You have to show you are who you say your are by bringing in something like a birth certificate or your passport, or a permanent resident card. And then you have to document any name changes,” she explains. Henry says you need the documents that show you changed your name. “You need to have marriage certificate — or going the other way — a divorce decree or any court order for a name change if you legally changed your name,” Henry says.

You also have to have your Social Security number verified. “That’s really easy to do through either a Social Security card, or if you have a pay stub or W-2 form that has your full Social Security number on it, that’s acceptable,” Henry says. “and then you have to prove where you live with two documents that show where you live. And that could be a utility bill, an insurance card, a voter registration card or something of that nature.”

Henry says most people make the change when renewing their driver’s license. She says when you renew your driver’s license, there is no extra cost. After October 1st of 2020 if you are not up for renewal, it will cost you 10 dollars for a replacement card. You can go to the Iowa Department of Transportation website to find a complete list of documents you will need to get a Real I-D.

Man accidentally shot while picking up child is imprisoned


April 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Chicago man who accidentally was shot when he tried to pick up a child has been imprisoned in Iowa. The Telegraph Herald reports that 19-year-old Romell Enoch had pleaded guilty to carrying weapons and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced last week to five years in prison.

Dubuque County District Court documents say Dubuque police were sent Aug. 25 to check a report of a gunshot. Officers found Enoch hiding in some bushes not far from where he’d been shot. He told officers that he had the handgun in his pants when he bent to pick up the child. It fired, wounding his right leg. He was treated at a Dubuque hospital.