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Indianola man arrested on drug charge in Prescott


February 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports 29-year-old Casey Baker, of Indianola, was arrested on a drug charge following a traffic stop for having expired license plates. He was taken into custody at around 1:30-p.m., Monday, in Prescott, after he was found to be in possession of a waxy substance containing THC. Baker was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (THC Wax) and booked into the Adams County Jail, where he was held on $1,000 bond.

Milford police visit lonely man on Valentine’s Day


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Two police officers in the northern Iowa town of Milford answered an unusual Valentine’s Day 9-1-1 call Friday. The call came from an elderly man around 2:50 a-m. He told the responding officers Keaton Verner and Garth Wolff that he was lonely and wanted someone to talk to. The two officers pulled up chairs and said they would keep him company.

Officer Wolff

Officer Verner

The department posted a picture of the man and officers on Facebook — but then said it was taken down out of respect for the man’s privacy. The post says community policing is key to law enforcement having a good relationship with the citizens. The post encourages everyone to go out in their communities and pay it forward.

The latest Chinese invaders to reach Iowa are brown marmorated stink bugs


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The coronavirus isn’t the only thing from China that’s invading America this winter. An insect expert says people across Iowa and the Midwest are reporting they’re finding droves of half-inch-long stink bugs in their houses. Creighton University Biology Professor Ted Burk says it’s a species of creature we haven’t seen in the U-S before and the critters are plentiful.

“What we’ve been seeing this year, more than we’ve ever seen before, is this new invasive species, the brown marmorated stink bug,” Burk says. “This is the first year we’ve really had lots of widespread comments about them getting into people’s houses.” The bugs don’t really do much but hide in cracks and crevices. They don’t bite but — like a skunk — they do emit a foul smell if disturbed. Burk says this is just the latest of several invasive species of insects that have found their way to Iowa in recent years.

“We’ve got the Asian long-horned beetle, we’ve got the emerald ash borer, we have the Asian multicolored ladybugs that have been invading people’s houses so much in the past few years,” Burk says. “It’s really just a reflection of the fact there’s so much worldwide trade originating in China now that things are being spread all over the world.”

Because of their odor, some people like to avoid trying to swat or capture the stink bugs, however, Burk says they’re resistant to most chemical insecticides. “You can buy little insect vacuums to vacuum them up in your house,” Burk says. “If you go to Amazon, there’s about ten different varieties of insect vacuums which seem to be developed mainly for stink bugs. There’s even one called the ‘Bugzooka’ for collecting them.”

Stink bugs are attracted to water and warmth, which we can use to our advantage. “You just get a tin foil roasting pan or something like that, put an inch or so of soapy water in it and then take a desk lamp and shine it on the pan,” Burk says. “The light will attract the stink bugs and they’ll drown in the soapy water.” He also suggests you focus on the future and work to caulk or seal any cracks and all entrances to avoid an infestation next fall.

There -could- be a threat to agriculture, as Burk says the brown marmorated stink bug feeds on more than 300 different kinds of fruit and vegetable plants.

Lawmakers consider expanding deer hunting for out-of-staters


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A small group of Iowa House members and hunting enthusiasts are debating whether to increase the number of licenses for out-of-state deer hunters. Under current law, six-thousand deer hunting licenses are available for residents of OTHER states.

Representative Dean Fisher, a Republican from Montour, says expanding deer hunting opportunities would be good for Iowa’s economy. “As a landowner, I’ve got deer — including big bucks — running through my barnyard all the time and where I live, it’s just overpopulated,” Fisher says. “Instead of just keeping the number the same, adding to the licenses is what I would favor.”

Fisher’s on a House SUB-committee that’s embracing the idea of offering 15-hundred MORE deer hunting licenses to out-of-staters — and setting aside 500 of those licenses for hunters who’ve signed up with an Iowa-based hunting guide. The Iowa Bow Hunters Association opposes the move. Bob Haney is president of the group.

“What we have in Iowa is unique. It’s known worldwide when you talk about white-tailed deer, the quality of the herd that is managed by the DNR and enjoyed by the residents of Iowa is second-to-none. We’re all for maintaining that same similar kind of structure,” he says. “We also understand people want to come here. There’s a reason they want to come here. They don’t enjoy what we have in their home states.”

Eric Goranson, a LOBBYIST for the Iowa Bow Hunters Association, says Iowa hunters should be the priority — and it’s getting harder and harder for Iowans who live in urban areas to find places to hunt.  “If we don’t take care of them and give them access and keep them in mind during these conversations, our conversations 10-12 years from now are going to be very different,” Goranson says. “It’s going to be: ‘How do we get hunting back in Iowa again?'”

Jim Obradovich, a lobbyist for the Iowa Conservation Alliance, says other hunting-related proposals under consideration could complicate the system even more. “You look at it like one of those Jenga games and you can periodically pull one or two of those pieces out, but sometimes you pull the wrong piece out and the whole thing collapses,” Obradovich says.

There’s a deadline this week for all of these kinds of policy discussions. Most bills must be endorsed by a House or Senate committee by this Friday to stay eligible for consideration.

Ex-trooper dismisses lawsuits filed after Iowa man’s death


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Jefferson City News Tribune) — A former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who was driving a boat when an Iowa man fell out and drowned has dismissed three lawsuits he filed over losing his law enforcement license. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office says Anthony Piercy voluntarily dismissed lawsuits against the patrol, the state Department of Public Safety and the department’s director. He will receive more than $200,000 in back pay and for agreeing not to be reinstated to the patrol or to protest his peace officer’s license being revoked.

Brandon Ellingson, of Clive, Iowa, died in May 2014 at the Lake of the Ozarks after he fell out of a boat while handcuffed after Piercy arrested him.

State officials prepping with county emergency managers for more flooding

News, Weather

February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Governor Kim Reynolds says state officials have been working with local emergency management coordinators to prepare for another round of flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers this spring. “We want to make sure the line of communication is clear so that if we have, especially, an evac order — we didn’t have a lot of time with this last go-round — and so we want to make sure that all of the procedures are in place.”

National Weather Service forecasts describe the flood threat along the western Iowa border south of Sioux City as “grim” and, in eastern Iowa, there’s a 95 percent probability of flooding along the Mississippi. Last week, Governor Reynolds approved 21 million dollars in state funding for a variety of flood-related projects around the state. Most of the federally-owned MISSOURI River levees that were damaged last spring have been repaired, according to Reynolds. “I think they’re up to about a 25 or 50 years flood, so not near where they need to be,” Reynolds says, “but we’re trying to do everything we can to be in the best possible position to be ready for this spring.”

Reynolds says the Army Corps of Engineers has begun increasing the amount of water that’s being released in the Missouri River from reservoirs upstream — to hold SOME of the melting snow that’s expected in the river basin. “And on the Mississippi we’re already five feet above where we should be, so we’re just continuing to put procedures in place to be ready,” Reynolds says.

National Weather Service hydrologists say snow pack in Minnesota and Wisconsin is heavier than a year ago — adding to the flood risk downstream. Last month, there was a flash flood in a Minneapolis suburb was caused by ice pack breaking up on the Mississippi River. This weekend, the National Weather Service in OMAHA issued a flood warning along the Platte River south of Fremont. The Platte drains into the Missouri River just south of Omaha.

Up to a half-foot of snow forecast for NE Iowa, 25 counties under advisories

News, Weather

February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — As spring approaches, forecasters say Iowa’s in for some rollercoaster temperatures. While many of us enjoyed high temps in the mid 40s over the weekend, it’s back to winter today (Monday) with ice, sleet and snow. Meteorologist Kenny Podrazik, at the National Weather Service in metro Des Moines, says the northern few tiers of counties will see rain change over to snow this morning and this afternoon. “Anywhere from Algona, Estherville, Mason City, even as far east as Decorah, that whole area is going to see a decent amount of snow,” Podrazik says, “and there’s certainly the potential for a light glaze of ice as well.”

Parts of the region could get up to a half-foot of new flakes. “Estherville and Algona could see one-to-two inches of snow,” Podrazik says. “The further east you go, you could see higher amounts, like two-to-four in Mason City, and northeast portions of Iowa could see three-to-six or four-to-six inches of snowfall by later today.” Twenty-five counties across Iowa’s northern third are under a Winter Weather Advisory and where ice is accumulating, driving will quickly become hazardous. The forecast calls for a big dip into colder weather this week and another significant warm-up by the weekend.

“We could see some subzero temperatures Wednesday night into Thursday morning,” Podrazik says. “Then, by Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be back into the mid- or upper-40s and certainly couldn’t rule out a couple of spots topping 50 degrees on one of those days.” Spring will arrive in a little over a month on March 19th.

SUV hits apartment complex in Clarinda


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Update 9:32-a.m.) An apartment building in Clarinda was struck by an SUV Friday night. The Clarinda Police Department reports 39-year old Matthew Cain Hollingsworth, of Clarinda, was driving a 2001 Toyota Sequoia southbound on 20th Street, when the vehicle left the road at the apex of a curve and continued south through the grounds of the Clarhaven Foster Manor at 402 Willow Street. The vehicle then traveled about 60 feet before crashing through the apartment building into apartment #39. The SUV came to rest with all four tires inside the bedroom.The crash happened at around 8:50-p.m.

Photos courtesy the Clarinda PD

Officers found Hollingsworth was sitting on the west side of apartment #39, suffering from minor injuries. He was transported to Clarinda Regional Health Center. Damage to the building was estimated at $50,000. The SUV sustained about $10,000 damage.

Authorities say northwest Iowa barn collapse killed employee


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

REMBRANDT, Iowa (AP) — The body of an employee killed in a barn collapse has been recovered from the wreckage in northwest Iowa. A structural failure early Friday morning at the Rembrandt Foods facility just east of Rembrandt caused a catastrophic collapse of equipment inside the building. Buena Vista County authorities say a search for the employee was suspended at 6 p.m. because of safety concerns for the people trying to find the worker. The search resumed Saturday, and the worker’s body was recovered around 2 p.m. The worker’s name and other details about the accident haven’t been released.

Cass County Supervisors to set date for hearing on the Max. Property Tax Asking


February 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors are set to meet 9-a.m. Tuesday in their Boardroom at the Courthouse, in Atlantic. During their session, the Board will set the date for a Public Hearing on the Maximum Property Tax Asking (per Iowa Code 331.433A). They are also expected to approve the appointment of a non-resident member to the Lewis Public Library Board of Trustees. Auditor Dale Sunderman says trustees are appointed by the Mayor with approval of the city council or County Board of Supervisors. And, the Board will act on the appointment of additional members to the Cass County Local Foods Policy Council.

In other business, the Cass County Supervisors, Tuesday morning, will act to approve a Class-C Liquor License application for the Griswold Golf & Country Club, and authorizing a supervisors to sign a new 28-E (cost sharing) agreement to be part of the Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region. They’ll also receive regularly scheduled reports (as available), from the County Engineer, Mental Health/General Relief Coordinator and County Attorney.