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  • Environment & Weather
    Author of “Flannel John’s Cookbooks for Guys” To Donate 25% to 50% of Profits to Oklahoma Tornado Victims PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Environment & Weather
    Written by Tim Murphy   
    Wednesday, 22 May 2013 07:17
    “I have had great fortune with these books this past year,” said author Tim Murphy. “25% of all the profits from the four titles sold in June will be donated to the Red Cross to assist the Oklahoma Tornado victims. If we sell at 2500 in June, I will double that to 50%.”

    How did these books come about?

    “It all started when friends would show up at fishing and deer camp with cheese, bologna, beef jerky and beer. I would shake my head and ‘say we do better this.’ So I wrote the first book and it just took off,” says author Tim Murphy. 

    It was that idea that launched “Flannel John’s Hunting & Fishing Camp Cookbook” in October 2013.  His first “Cookbook for Guys” cracked Amazon.com’s “Top 1%” Sales category in six weeks.

    Why cookbooks for guys? “I just didn’t see anything written for men, especially novice cooks,” said Murphy. “I wanted to assemble, hearty, good tasting meals that could be prepared easily and quickly. That first book covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, deserts and drinks. It was aimed at hunters and anglers but it’s perfect for campers, RVers, male or female.”

    Now Murphy has penned the third and fourth titles in a planned ten-book series. For fish and seafood aficionados there’s “Flannel John’s Pirate Galley Cookbook - Coastal Cuisine and Maritime Meals from Oceans, Lakes and Rivers.” For the backwoods, rustic soul there is “Flannel John’s Mountain Man Cookbook - Frontier Food from the Hills, Country and Backwoods.”

    “The Pirate Galley Cookbook focuses on seafood dishes, lake and river fish recipes with a touch of southern cooking,” said Murphy. “If you like albacore, lobster, sea bass, crab, lake trout, salmon and walleye this is for you. It covers dishes from the west coast, Alaska, the Gulf, Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, New England and the Bayou.”

    “The Mountain Man Cookbook goes real old school with recipes that go as far back as the mid-1800s. It features pioneer recipes and country staples like corn pone, hard tack, rhubarb cake, venison stew and sourdough plus new twists on older dishes.” Both books feature over 110 recipes and in keeping with past titles, are simple for guys to pull.

    The second title, released in February 2014,“Flannel John’s Woods & Water Cookbook: Critters, Fritters, Chili & Beer” featured wild game recipes like Mountain Bear Stew, Rasta Mon Squirrel and Rattlesnake Chili with traditional dishes including burgers, stews, corn breads, chilies, chicken and beer.

    But who is Flannel John? 

    Born in northern Wisconsin and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, he is equal parts Babe Winkelman, Red Green, Grizzly Adams, Ted Nugent and crusty mountain man. He has hunted and fished in 40 states plus Canada and Mexico. He is, in essence, Murphy’s alter-ego.

    “I’ve crossed paths with men like him over the years. This was my way of acknowledging their spirit and thanking them,” said Murphy. 

    Flannel John summed up the first book best. “If you’re tracking deer in the U.P woods, searching for elk in Colorado, bird hunting on the Dakota prairies or ice fishing in Minnesota…food keeps the camp sane. A hearty breakfast or sustainable snack sharpens the senses. That end of the day dinner can celebrate bringing down a ten-point buck or be warming comfort when the deer tag goes unfilled. Breaking bread, eating from the community pot and telling stories around the table bonds all outdoorsmen. A good meal always makes for a good day.”

    Future releases include “Flannel John’s Tailgating Grub & Couch Potato Cookbook” in July and “Flannel John’s Cabin Christmas Cookbook” in September. 

    Tim Murphy is a graduate of Western Michigan University. This 23-year radio veteran spent 17-years hosting morning radio shows in several Michigan cities including Holland, Muskegon, Traverse City, Saginaw and Houghton plus Fargo, North Dakota, Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Ketchikan, Alaska. Murphy has had a long career as a freelance and comedy writer. His work has appeared in dozens of outlets including Backwoods Home Magazine, The Porcupine Press U.P. Magazine, National Lampoon, The Traverse City Record Eagle and ABC Radio Network. 

    He lives in Oregon with his wife LisaMarie Costanzo. 

    All four Flannel John books are $7.95 and are available through Amazon.com and at flanneljohn.com. For additional information on the books, to interview the author or to inquire about wholesale book pricing, contact Tim Murphy at (701) 238-1775 or E-mail him at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

    “I have had great fortune with these books,” said Murphy. “25% of the profits from all the books sold in June will be donated to the Red Cross to assist the Oklahoma Tornado victims. If we sell at 2500 in June, I will double that to 50%.”

    # # #

    Governor Quinn Requests Federal Disaster Aid for Families and Businesses in 16 Additional Counties PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Environment & Weather
    Written by Brooke Anderson   
    Tuesday, 21 May 2013 12:19

    More Than 800 Homes Damaged by Floods in 16 Counties

    SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today asked the federal government to add 16 Illinois counties to a recent federal disaster declaration for 11 counties hit by widespread flooding in mid-April. Counties included in today’s request are Bureau, Crawford, Henderson, Knox, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford.

    “We are continuing to do everything possible to help the families and businesses who are recovering from this historic flood,” Governor Quinn said. “I want to thank President Obama for his fast approval of our first request for federal assistance, and I urge quick federal approval of this request so people in these counties can access the critical help they need.”

    The federal disaster declaration will help people and businesses in the 16 new counties by allowing them to apply for grants and loans to assist with storm-related losses. According to reports from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), more than 800 flood-damaged homes were found in the counties requested today, including 14 homes that were destroyed and 202 with major damage.

    On May 10, President Obama approved Governor Quinn’s request for a major disaster declaration for Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will counties. To date, more than 16,000 applications for assistance have been submitted from those 11 counties.

    As more damage assessments are completed, Governor Quinn will request assistance for additional counties. Personnel from IEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and affected communities have documented damage to more than 4,300 homes since April 29.

    Governor Quinn will also seek federal assistance to help local governments recoup 75 percent of their eligible flood-related costs. Since May 6, IEMA and FEMA have been meeting with local government officials to document expenses incurred for emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of roads, bridges and other public facilities. That information is needed to support a request from the governor.

    Governor Quinn declared a total of 49 counties state disaster areas after torrential rains caused widespread flash and river flooding. Those counties include: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.


    Three Iowa Streamgages Shutting Down on Friday PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Environment & Weather
    Written by Marisa Lubeck   
    Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:57

    Three U.S. Geological Survey streamgages in Iowa, which measure streamflow and water level, will be shut down on Friday, May 17, due to the federal budget sequestration.

    The affected Iowa streamgages will be discontinued beginning this Friday because of a five-percent sequestration-related budget cut to the USGS National Streamflow Information Program(NSIP). Of the 35 NSIP-funded streamgages in Iowa, 22 of which are fully funded by NSIP, the USGS Iowa Water Science Center selected the following three for shutdown:

    "It was difficult to make a selection that minimized all concerns, but these three Iowa streamgages will be shut down because they have comparatively short records, limited impacts on partner organizations, and their discontinuation is least likely to affect public safety," said USGS hydrologist Jon Nania.

    According to the National Weather Service (NWS), local communities may receive less accurate river flood forecasts and less advanced notice of flooding due to the shutdown of these streamgages. Communities that may be impacted include Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Fort Dodge, Finchford, and Bedford, Iowa, and Maryville, Mo.

    "Streamgages like these help communities understand how and when to prepare for floods," said Jeff Zogg, a NWS Senior Hydrologist in Des Moines. "In some past floods, the peak streamflows measured by these gages have contributed several feet to the downstream crests."

    Streamgages collect critical streamflow and water availability data that are used by organizations nationwide to predict and address drought and flood conditions. The USGS and over 850 federal, state, and local agencies cooperatively fund the USGS streamgaging network, which consists of over 8,000 streamgages.

    The USGS will discontinue operation of no more than 200 streamgages nationwide due to budget cuts as a result of sequestration. Additional streamgages may be affected if partners reduce their funding to support USGS streamgages. The USGS is working to identify which streamgages will be impacted and will post this information onlineas it becomes available.

    More information about streamgaging in Iowa is available on the USGS Iowa Water Science Center website.

    More information about NWS flood forecasts and warnings is available on the NWS Des Moines website, and on Facebookand Twitter @NWSDesMoines.

    Secretaries Vilsack and Jewell Highlight Federal Preparedness for 2013 Western Wildfire Season PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Environment & Weather
    Written by USDA Office of Communications   
    Monday, 13 May 2013 14:03
    Officials emphasize interagency partnership, public awareness as keys to protecting communities from wildfire

    BOISE, ID – May 13, 2013 – During a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell outlined the Federal Government's efforts to ensure collaboration in protecting Americans from wildfire, and urged homeowners and local communities to take steps to reduce their risks during the 2013 fire season. The outlook for the fire season is severe across much of the Western United States.

    "The US Forest Service, Federal fire managers and crews will continue to work closely with states and communities to protect residents, property and our natural resources during what could be a challenging wildfire season," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We are working together to preposition our firefighting teams and equipment to make the most effective use of available resources during this time of constrained budgets."

    "One of our greatest strengths in wildfire management is that Federal, Tribal, State, and local government agencies recognize that the challenge is too great for any one organization to tackle on its own," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. "As regions across the country face serious risks of wildfires this season, the work ongoing at the National Interagency Fire Center is important to ensure that we're doing everything we can to protect lives, communities and our natural resources. The public also has an important role to play, and I encourage homeowners and communities to take proactive steps when it comes to preparedness, prevention and safety."

    "When fires burn uncontrolled in our nation's wildlands, it means the loss of our homes, businesses, personal possessions, and all too often, lives," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell. "As the men and women of our nation's firefighting forces prepare for this year's wildfire season, they need your help. By taking simple fire prevention steps, you will not only protect yourself and your families, but also the firefighters who put their lives in harm's way to fight wildfires. Remember, fire is everyone's fight."

    This year, significant fire potential is predicted to be above normal in much of the West, including almost all of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Idaho; and portions of Montana, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. In 2012, 9.3 million acres of private, state, and federal land, and more than 4,400 structures burned in wildfires. That was the third highest number of acres burned since at least 1960, the earliest date with reliable records.

    On average, Forest Service and Interior agencies respond to tens of thousands of wildfires per year, suppressing all but a small percentage during the first burning period. However, the few fires that cannot be suppressed during the initial stages run the risk of becoming much larger.

    Federal assets include more than 13,000 firefighters, including permanent and seasonal federal employees; more than 1,600 engines; up to 26 multiengine air tankers and two water scooper aircrafts; approximately 27 single engine air tankers; and hundreds of helicopters. At the National Interagency Fire Center, firefighting experts from multiple government agencies continuously monitor fire activity, weather and fuel conditions while strategically positioning Federal firefighters, ground equipment and aircraft to support wildfires across the country as the season shifts.

    During their visit, Secretaries Vilsack and Jewell urged the public to do their part to help prevent wildfires while preparing for fire season, noting that most wildfires are human-caused. They urged residents of the more than 70,000 communities at risk from wildfires to take proactive steps and improve safety by developing community wildfire protection plans. Communities and residents can access educational resources available at www.fireadapted.org; and through the " Firewise," and " Ready, Set, Go!" programs.

    More than 590 million acres of public lands are in significant need of restoration, including thinning and prescribed burning, due to the cumulative impacts of wildfire, insects and disease, and drought. More than 1,000 post-fire assessments show that these types of restoration efforts are effective in reducing wildfire severity. Forest Service and Interior continue to focus restoration treatments on high-priority areas to lessen the impacts of wildfire when it happens.

    # USDA.gov logo

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


    Area Program to be offered on Native Iowa Plants and Trees PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Environment & Weather
    Written by Amanda Heitz   
    Thursday, 09 May 2013 15:00

    If you have ever wanted to learn more about Iowa’s native trees, grasses and wildflowers, you’ll have a chance to do so in a series of classes being offered in the area this spring and summer. Trees Forever will be offering its popular Stewards of the Beautiful Land program in Scott County this year.

    Trees Forever’s Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is designed to educate participants about the role and use of native trees, grasses and wildflowers in community, rural and home landscaping projects. Trees Forever staff will lead four different, monthly class sessions from June through September. Other participating partners include the Scott County Conservation Board, Scott County Extension & Outreach, the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Nahant Marsh. The first class starts June 11.

    The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program will cover topics such as:
    • Native plant identification
    • Benefits and use of native plant species
    • Design principles
    • Planting practices
    • Establishment and maintenance techniques
    • Project Funding

    In addition, class members will also help plan and plant a small local project using native plants.

    The four-part series of classes begins on Tuesday, June 11, at the Nahant Marsh, 4220 Wapello Avenue. Subsequent classes will be held at other locations around Scott County. Participants should plan to travel to all four classes for the entire educational experience. Classes will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and include classroom-style instruction as well as outdoor field study.

    There is no cost to participate in the Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, but space is limited. No prior experience with or knowledge of native trees and plants is necessary, only a commitment to actively participate in the class series and the planting project.

    To register for Trees Forever’s 2013 Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, or to get more information, visit the events calendar at www.treesforever.org. You can also contact Dustin Hinrichs at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 319-373-0650 ext. 124, or Mark Pingenot at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 319-560-9079, for more information. The deadline for registration is May 31.

    Trees Forever is an Iowa-based nonprofit environmental organization focused on community tree planting, water quality initiatives, and roadway and trail enhancements. The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is funded by the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund (www.iowalivingroadway.com).


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