Home News Friday Afternoon News, November 15th

Friday Afternoon News, November 15th


USDA Announces $7 Million Grant To Premier Communications For Rural Broadband Internet

(Hawarden) — U-S Department of Agriculture Rural Development made an announcement Friday morning regarding a $7 million dollar grant given to Premier Communications, headquartered in Sioux Center, to expand broadband internet to rural areas of northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota. The
announcement was made at a Sioux County family livestock farm near Hawarden, by former Iowa Agriculture Secretary, and now USDA Under Secretary, Bill Northey. Northey equates the importance of investment of extending broadband internet to the rural areas much like during the turn of the century when rural America first received electricity and telephone service.
He tells of the economic importance to have rural regions connected to the broadband internet.

Northey says Congress allocated $600 million dollars to be invested for the specific purpose of introducing fast-speed broadband internet into rural regions. He says so far, only a handful of companies nationwide have benefited from the rural investment.

Northey says in order to be eligible for the federal grant, an investment partnership consisting of state and local funding also had to be secured.
He gives the statistics as to how many people will now have access to the broadband internet as a result of the approved grant.

The USDA Under Secretary says the return on the investment of rural access broadband internet will be staggering to calculate.

Northey expands on his answer about the return investment from having rural America connected to the internet.

Premier Communications which serves 28 communities within northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota made an initial investment of $2.5 million, however a company spokesman says the actual investment when completed may be closer to
$12 million dollars. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also attended the announcement ceremony.



Governor Reynolds Comments On Japan Trade Tour

(Hawarden) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds returned Thursday evening from a trade mission to Japan. Reynolds was accompanied on the trade tour with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Iowa Economic Development
Director, Debbie Duram. Reynolds attended an announcement ceremony at a Sioux County farm Friday morning and was asked about the Japanese trade

As a result of the foreign visit, Reynolds says Japanese officials showed some positive interest in purchasing additional Iowa agricultural products.

(photo contributed.)

Reynolds says in addition to encourage Japanese retailers to purchase more Iowa beef and pork products, the trade mission also focused on those Japanese companies that have invested in Iowa and have businesses located within the Hawkeye state.

The Iowa governor says the delegation was able to make several pitch presentations as to why Japan would want to consider investing in Iowa. She says the U-S, and specifically Iowa, may be able to capture some of the lost market share and expand on our exports to Japan.



Reynolds Lifts Restrictions Of Weight On Trucks Hauling Propane And Anhydrous Ammonia 

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation that will temporarily allow vehicles that transport propane and anhydrous ammonia to be oversize and overweight.

The late harvest and high demand for petroleum products throughout the Midwest have resulted in low supplies of propane as well as difficulty transporting adequate supplies of anhydrous ammonia for agricultural activities. The proclamation temporarily suspendsprovisions of Iowa Code §§ 321.463 (6) (a) and (b) and 321E.29 and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 761-511 pertaining to movement of oversize and overweight loads of propane and anhydrous ammonia.

The proclamation is effective November 16, 2019, and will expire at midnight on December 15, 2019.


Public Defender Leaves Police Reserve Job Due To Conflict Of Interest

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A supervisor in the Iowa public defender’s office has resigned his longtime side job as a police officer after critics said it created a conflict of interest.
Mike Adams, supervisor of the special defense unit, resigned last
month from the Colfax Police Department, where he worked as a reserve officer. His resignation letter was released Friday under the open records law.
It comes after The Associated Press reported on concerns about
Adams’ work as an officer in a jurisdiction where his office represents low-income criminal defendants.
His dual roles became a problem when Adams’ subordinates were defending a man charged in a beating death in Colfax. Adams arrested a potential witness in the murder case in August. Lawyers who report to Adams then withdrew from the case in September.



Iowa Ride Changes Dates To Avoid Conflict With RAGBRAI

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Organizers of a new statewide bicycle ride are changing the date of their planned event so it doesn’t conflict with an annual ride that dates to the 1970s.
Organizers of Iowa’s Ride announced Friday on the group’s Facebook page that the ride would be held from July 12 to July 18, a week earlier than previously planned.
The change means the ride won’t overlap with the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, scheduled for July 19 to July 25. RAGBRAI is organized by The Des Moines Register.
Iowa’s Ride also will move from east to west, while RAGBRAI
traditionally travels west to east.
The former director of RAGBRAI and his staff resigned and launched the rival event amid a backlash over the Register’s handling of a story involving fundraiser Carson King.



Woman Convicted Of Killing Husband

ALBIA, Iowa (AP) – A south-central Iowa woman convicted in September of killing her husband has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Daily Iowegian reports that 47-year-old Barbara Pasa, of
Centerville, received the mandatory life sentence on Friday.
A jury convicted Pasa of arson and first-degree murder. The badly burned body of 50-year-old Tim Pasa was found in a bed on May 5, 2018, and investigators determined the fire at the Centerville home was started intentionally. An autopsy determined his death was related to an injection of an anesthetic, propofol.
Barbara Pasa was a nurse at a Centerville hospital at the time of
her husband’s death.
Investigators say she had bought a $200,000 life insurance policy on her husband. He had also told family members he believed his wife was poisoning him.


Two Men Accused Of Stabbing Death To Go To Trial In February

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Two men accused in the stabbing death of an Iowa man are scheduled to go on trial Feb. 3.
Linn County District Court records say 32-year-old Drew Blahnik and 34-year-old Drew Wagner pleaded not guilty this week to charges of first-degree murder. They’re suspected of killing 31-year-old Christopher Bagley.
He went missing from his home in Walker in December 2018. Investigators found his body in the backyard of a Cedar Rapids home in March.
Investigators have said Blahnik has confessed to stabbing Bagley in retaliation for his robbery of a large-scale marijuana trafficker.


Man Sent To Prison For Video Recording Girls In Bathroom

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A man has been imprisoned for video recording girls in the bathroom of his West Des Moines record store.
The Polk County District Court clerk’s office says 50-year-old Robert Kuhn was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison.
Kuhn was found guilty last month of three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of invasion of privacy.
Kuhn was arrested in 2017 after a girl who had worked for him told police she found a video camera hidden on a shelf in the bathroom after Kuhn had asked her to try on dresses.
Federal prosecutors also had filed a child pornography charge but later dropped it.