Report looks at Midwest farm practices impact on climate change


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The quantity of corn and soybeans grown in the Midwest and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions have radically changed in the past century. A new report compares how the two impact climate change. Summers in the Corn Belt have had more rainfall and higher humidity, but a small decrease in temperature. Researchers at M-I-T looked at whether greenhouse gas emissions or more intensive farming played the bigger role in those changes. Ross Alter is the lead author of the study.

Alter says, “We provided very strong evidence that agricultural intensification is a stronger forcing of these observed changes than greenhouse gas emissions were.” More plants taking up water ultimately means more moisture in the air, increasing rain and moderating temperatures. Iowa State University agronomist Rick Cruse says irrigation specifically, not just crop expansion, may be the real culprit.

Cruse says, “This study suggests that there’s evidence that we might ought to be considering agricultural impacts, especially in areas that are having a new or a major or significant, different form of crop cover, or water -irrigation- occurring.”

Cruse says that’s because irrigation and the overall amount of water in the region affects plant activity that ultimately drives the changes. The research also indicates agriculture may have masked potential increases in temperature that the greenhouse gas emissions alone might have caused. Cruse, the director of the Iowa Water Center, was not involved with the research but has worked with climate scientists.

(Radio Iowa, w/Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)

Semi fire on Olive Street on-ramp from I-80


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire was dispatched this (Thursday) morning, to a report of a semi on fire at the westbound 57-mile marker (Olive Street) on-ramp. The rig was hauling peanut butter. The driver of the semi evacuated safely. Reports indicated the drive wheels near the fuel tank were on fire. The call came in just before 6:15-a.m. The fire was reported out at 6:41-a.m. Fire officials said a mechanical issue caused the tires to overheat. The trailer was separated from the tractor portion of the semi and the fire extinguished. No injuries were reported, and the cab of the tractor was undamaged.

Regents leader sends signal about tuition rates at Iowa’s public universities


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The president of the board that oversees the three state universities is promising tuition for Iowa residents will go up NO MORE than four percent in the next academic year. Board of Regents president Michael Richards acknowledges that’s less than what the presidents of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa recommended.  “Our job is to come up with what the families in the state of Iowa can live with,” Richards told reporters, Wednesday.  Richards testified at the state capitol Wednesday, asking legislators for more STATE support of the three public universities. “The exceptional quality at our institutions has taken generations to build and it is imperative that we work together to continue the progress made by those that came before us.”

The presidents of the three universities asked legislators to at least stabilize state support of the schools. Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen says tuition rates have been the same for seven out of the last 12 semesters, while state support of I-S-U “is trending down significantly.” “We’ve stretched the university too thin. Our faculty and staff are maxed out,” she said. “With strong enrollment and declining state support, we are tipping the balance between efficiency, education quality and accessibility.”

University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld told lawmakers his school is “under-resourced.” “What is quite clear is that if we do not establish a plan for stable resources which are necessary to improve our quality, Iowans will be forced to pay non-resident tuition at Michigan or Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to obtain the quality they demand and deserve,” Harreld said.  University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook says each university has “very different missions.” “The State of Iowa really got the university systems right. There are only three institutions. We have not overbuilt our infrastructure,” Nook, a native of Holstein, Iowa, told legislators. “It allows us to adequately fund our universities, if we choose to do that.”

The three universities are asking legislators for 12 million dollars in new state money next year exclusively for student financial aid. House Appropriations Committee chairman Pat Grassley told the presidents legislators want more information about efficiencies at the universities before making a decision about state funding.

(Radio Iowa)

Ames district to begin including students in shooter drills


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — The Ames district plans to begin including students in school shooter safety drills. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that district officials have not included students in past drills for fear the drills might be traumatizing. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, changed the Ames officials’ minds: Their students must be ready for anything.

The school district works with the Ames Police Department to provide what’s known as A.L.I.C.E. training: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

VIRGIL E. HENRIKSEN, 87, of Audubon (Svcs. 2/26/18)


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

VIRGIL E. HENRIKSEN, 87, of Audubon, died Tuesday, Feb. 20th, at Mercy Hospital Medical Center, in Des Moines. Funeral services for VIRGIL HENRIKSEN will be held 10:30-a.m. Monday, Feb. 26th, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, in Audubon. Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon has the arrangements.

Friends may call at the funeral home, where the family will be present from 2-until 4-p.m. Sunday.

Burial will be in the Arlington Heights Cemetery in Audubon.

VIRGIL HENRIKSEN is survived by:

His wife – Betty Henriksen, of Audubon.

His son – John (JoEllen) Henriksen, of Audubon.

His brothers – Lyle (Evelyn) Henriksen, of Corning; Gaylord (Mary) Henriksen, of Afton.

His sisters – Lois (Clifford) Olsen, of Spalding, IA; Donna Stone, of Kent, WA.

1 grandson, other relatives and friends.

2 arrests in Montgomery County


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 51-year old Sherry Louann Fisher, of Henderson, was arrested just before 3-a.m. today (Thursday), for OWI/1st offense. Fisher was taken into custody after a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway and E avenue, west of Red Oak. She was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $1,000 bond.  And, Red Oak Police report 28-year old Holly Irene Gross, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 7:35-p.m. Wednesday, on a Decatur County warrant for Theft in the 5th Degree. Her bond was set at $300.

National economic development campaign will try to get people to move to Iowa


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Greater Des Moines Partnership launched a campaign Wednesday designed to take advantage of some of the good publicity the state has received recently in an effort to get more people to move here. The executive vice president of talent development for the Partnership, Mary Bontrager, says the campaign invites people to move to Iowa and “Live Life Without Compromise.”

“It’s a national digital marketing campaign to really tell our story across the nation — both from a talent recruitment perspective and a business attraction perspective,” Bontrager says.

A report from the U-S Census Bureau shows it is the fastest growing metro area in the Midwest, and Bontrager says the campaign will include videos, blog posts and podcasts from residents who share the reasons they live there. Bontrager says the focus goes well beyond Des Moines itself. “When I talk about Des Moines, I really talk about the greater Des Moines region, which is about an eight-county area here in the heart of the state,” Bontrager explains. “But certainly when we put a focus and a spotlight on the capitol city, that reflects back completely on the state of Iowa.”

She says the campaign follows an 18-month research project completed in 2017. That research will allow them to target the campaign at the areas in the country where they think they may have the most success  “Our fastest growing age demographic here is 25 to 35 year olds — so that’s a lot of inmigration of that age demographic. So that is certainly a demographic that we will be targeting,” according to Bontrager. “And again, looking at the research and what the data tells us in what areas have we been successful in attracting new people into our community.”

She says they will be able to track some of their efforts based on the online responses. “We want to drive folks to our website where they can look at opportunities for careers that our here. If they get to the stage where they want to learn more, we’ll track how many relocation requests we receive or information as to relocating here,” Bontrager says.

She says the campaign focuses on getting people to move to Iowa, with complementary focus on business recruitment.

(Radio Iowa)

Wednesday’s area basketball scores


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson


1A District 12 Semifinal:

Central Decatur, Leon 56, Earlham 34

3A Substate 1 Quarterfinals:

Bishop Heelan Catholic, Sioux City 65, Spencer 42

LeMars 62, Algona 55

4A Substate 1 Quarterfinal:

Lewis Central 72, Sioux City, North 49


1A Region 1 Championship:

Bishop Garrigan 73, Kingsley-Pierson 67, OT

2A Region 1 Championship:

North Union 50, Western Christian, Hull 48

2A Region 8 Championship:

West Sioux, Hawarden 58, IKM-Manning 54

TCU rallies past Iowa State 89-83


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A grieving Donovan Jackson played his heart out for an Iowa State team that needed all the help it could get. In the end it wasn’t enough, as TCU eventually overwhelmed the undermanned Cyclones to avoid an untimely bad loss. Desmond Bane had 27 points, including a crucial late dunk, and the Horned Frogs rallied to beat Iowa State 89-83 on Wednesday night for their second straight win.

Alex Robinson scored 18 points with six assists and Kouat Noi added 17 for the Horned Frogs (19-9, 7-8 Big 12), who reached seven wins in league play for the first time since they went 7-7 in the Mountain West Conference in 2012.

ISU’s Jackson, playing in his first game since learning of his father’s death over the weekend, scored 17 first-half points as the Cyclones — who dressed just seven players — jumped ahead 47-41. Jackson finished with 27 points for Iowa State (13-14, 4-11).
Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said that Jackson learned on Saturday that his father had died of yet-unknown causes, and Jackson returned to Ames after visiting his family in Milwaukee. Jackson’s father’s funeral is Saturday, and Jackson will miss that day’s matchup against West Virginia.

Iowa State plays at West Virginia on Saturday.

Mason’s 33 points helps Minnesota snap nine-game skid


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nate Mason wasn’t going to go out a loser in his last game at Williams Arena. Mason scored 33 points and dished out six assists as Minnesota snapped a nine-game losing streak with an 86-82 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night.

Dupree McBrayer scored 16 for Minnesota (15-15, 4-13 Big Ten), Jordan Murphy had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Davonte Fitzgerald also scored 10. Mason, a senior guard, is nine points away from moving into fifth place on the Gophers’ all-time scoring list. But a season that began with talk of competing in the Big Ten has been derailed by injuries and a season-ending suspension of a starter, leaving the Gophers reeling through the second half of conference play.

Mason hit 11 of 19 field goal attempts and three 3-pointers on the night. He also went 8 for 9 from the line, including five late free throws as Minnesota barely avoided blowing a 10-point lead in the final 52 seconds. Isaiah Moss led Iowa with a career-high 32 points, including 19 in the final two minutes as the Hawkeyes (12-18, 3-14) fought their way back from an early 20-point deficit. Luka Garza added 16 points and Ryan Kriener scored a career-high 15 as the Hawkeyes lost their sixth straight.

Iowa Sophomore guard Jordan Bohannon, the Hawkeyes’ second-leading scorer on the season at 13.2 points per game, was held scoreless for the first time all season. He attempted just two field goals but distributed six assists.

The Hawkeyes host Northwestern Sunday night.