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President Obama reappoints Gov. Branstad Co-Chair of Council of Governors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:00

Branstad to continue serving on national council tasked with finding effective homeland security, emergency response and National Guard measures and incorporating the state perspective into national policy discussions 

(DES MOINES) – President Barack Obama today reappointed Gov. Terry E. Branstad co-chair of the ten-governor Council of Governors. Branstad was first named to the Council as co-chair by President Obama in March 2011.

“It has been an honor to serve as co-chairman of the Council of Governors for the past two years,” said Branstad. “I want to thank President Obama for having the confidence in me to continue serving on the Council to find effective and efficient solutions to enhance the preparedness and security of our great country. In addition, I want to thank General Orr, and his fellow Adjutants General, who have been integral in their support to help drive collaboration between the Federal government and the states”

The Council of Governors was established by the National Defense Authorization Act in 2008 to strengthen further partnership between the Federal and State governments as it pertains to national security. The council is balanced by political party and serves the nation as a whole. The governors serve two-year terms and are appointed by the President. The President designates two members of different political affiliations to serve as co-chairs of the Council.

The Council is considered a premier opportunity for governors to serve at a national level.


Referendum to Increase the Sheep Assessment to be held Feb. 25 Through March 15 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 February 2013 09:21
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Sheep Industry Association have announced plans to conduct a referendum from February 25 to March 15, 2013.

As part of the referendum, all eligible producers will be able to vote on two questions, the first is whether the $.10 per head assessment on all sheep sold should be increased to $.25. The second question would allow the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board, beginning in 2016, to change the assessment rate by $.05 every three years. The Board would only be granted this authority if producers approve increasing the assessment to $.25 and the board could only make such changes by resolution only following a producer comment period.

Any producer who is actively engaged within this state in the business of producing or marketing sheep or wool and who receives income from the production of sheep or wool is eligible to participate in the referendum and is entitled to one vote.

Farmers may vote in the Iowa State University Extension office in the county in which they live. When voting each farmer will have to sign an affidavit stating they are a producer eligible to vote or provide proof of their county of residence and a sheep or wool sales receipt from the previous 12 months.

The current Sheep and Wool assessment is $.10 per head on each sheep sold by a producer and $.02 per pound of wool sold by a producer. The Iowa Sheep and Wool promotion board is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 182, which was initially passed in 1985 and was updated last year to allow for the current referendum to increase the assessment rate.

Producers with questions about the procedures or eligibility for voting in this referendum can contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5321 or by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information on how funds generated by the assessment are used, Iowans can contact the Iowa Sheep Industry Association at 712-790-6303 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or find out more online at

In accordance with Iowa Code, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for holding referendum votes and all costs incurred by the Department will be reimbursed by the Iowa Sheep Industry Association.

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ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach Master Gardeners Available as Speakers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 February 2013 09:15
ISU Scott County Extension and Outreach Master Gardeners are available as speakers for your church, civic, or community organization. Practicing gardeners who are knowledgeable and experienced on topics such as water, butterfly or rain gardens, shade gardening, vegetables, roses, native plants, tree and lawn care, and many other topics are eager to share their expertise with others interested in gardening.

Speakers are available at no cost. Call ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach at least two weeks in advance at (563) 359-7577 to schedule a talk on a gardening topic of your group’s choice. Speakers are sponsored by the Adult and Children’s Education Committees and the Garden Growers of Iowa State’s Scott County Extension and Outreach.

Iowa Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Sioux City PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Friday, 22 February 2013 15:40

Des Moines, February 20, 2013—On Tuesday, March 12, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Sioux City, Iowa. The proceeding will take place in Morningside College Eppley Auditorium, 3625 Garretson Avenue. The session will begin at 7 p.m.

The court will hear lawyers argue in two cases:

In the Matter of the Estate of Lois L. Hord

In this case the Iowa Supreme Court will settle the law on issues arising from the transfer of real property subject to a spendthrift trust. Iowa law recognizes the validity of spendthrift trusts, which "restrain both voluntary and involuntary transfer, assignment, and encumbrance of the beneficiary's interest" in the trust. Appellants seek to invalidate transfers they made of their future interests in farm land to their aunt, who held a life estate interest in the land under her husband's will.

State v. Kooima

In this case the Iowa Supreme Court will consider whether an anonymous citizen's tip called into the 911 dispatcher was sufficient for a law officer's investigatory stop of appellant's vehicle. The stop resulted in a second offense OWI conviction. Appellant argues the court should have allowed him to present evidence on the unreliability of the anonymous tip.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Police Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs to Carry Out Warrantless Searches During Traffic Stops PDF Print E-mail
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Written by John W. Whitehead   
Friday, 22 February 2013 15:11

WASHINGTON, DC — In a 9-0 decision in Florida v. Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that police may use drug-sniffing dogs to carry out warrantless searches during routine traffic stops. Citing studies raising serious doubts about the reliability and training of drug detection dogs, The Rutherford Institute had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the practice of using drug detection dogs as the sole basis for warrantless searches unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. Published scientific studies show that drug dog alerts are wrong as much as 56% of the time, and are heavily influenced by the biases of the dog’s handler.

“This ruling undercuts the entire basis of the Fourth Amendment, which was designed to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “When dog sniffs, which have proven to be unreliable, are considered probable cause for police to search your property without a warrant—whether it’s your home, your car or your person—then none of our rights are secure.”

In June 2006, a Florida county sheriff stopped a vehicle driven by Clayton Harris for an expired license tag. When Harris refused the sheriff’s request for consent to search the vehicle, a drug-detection dog was deployed and conducted a “free air sniff” of the exterior of the vehicle. When the dog alerted to the door handle on the driver’s side, the officer conducted a warrantless search of the interior of the vehicle and found materials used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Harris was arrested and charged. However, before trial, Harris’ attorneys moved to suppress the evidence found as a result of the search of his vehicle, asserting that the search violated the Fourth Amendment. At the suppression hearing, the state introduced evidence that the dog had gone through training and was certified for drug detection, but presented no specific evidence documenting the dog’s overall performance nor records of the dog’s false alerts. In fact, Harris presented evidence that the dog had alerted to the same vehicle two months after his arrest, but a search of the vehicle revealed no illegal drugs. The trial court denied the motion to suppress, but the Florida Supreme Court granted the motion on appeal, ruling that evidence that the dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone, is not sufficient to establish the dog’s reliability for purposes of determining probable cause. The court held that the state has the burden of showing the officer had a reasonable basis for believing the dog was reliable by presenting evidence on matters such as training field performance records.

In asking the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the lower court’s ruling, The Rutherford Institute documented empirical research showing dog alerts are not inherently reliable. One recent study at the University of California—Davis, showed that in a test where handlers were told drugs might be found at the test site, but no drugs were present, dogs gave false positive alerts an astonishing 85% of the time. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on a related case, Florida v. Jardines, which challenges the use of drug-sniffing dogs by police to carry out warrantless searches of private homes. The Rutherford Institute also filed an amicus brief in Florida v. Jardines.

This Press Release is also available at

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