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Atlantic School Board approves purchase of Cass, In.c. building

News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

(Will be updated) — Members of the Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education meet in a brief session this (Monday) morning to vote on approving an offer to purchase the Cass, Incorporated building and terminate of $51,000 lease a for another, current property. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-to 1, with Board Member Dr. Keith Swanson voting against it. The purchase price is $925,000. The District expects an additional $400,000 is necessary to renovate the facility ready to make it ready for occupancy and programs. The 27,450-square foot Cass, Inc. building is assessed at $1.4-million.

The Board also approved the hiring of Cecily Knapp as a Special Education Teacher, the salary for whom is said to have been made possible in-part, by the savings in not having incurred a lease for the current Car Guys property that is being used by the District.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 3/27/2017

News, Podcasts

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Cancer researchers concerned about increase in liver cancers

News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Lung cancer remained the top killer of Iowans in the report just released by the State Health Registry, but researchers say they are concerned about the growing number of cases of liver cancer.  “The rate of new cases in Iowa has roughly tripled from 1975 to 2014. A similar trend has been seen in other registries across in the United States,” according to Doctor Mary Charlton. “Among Iowans, liver cancer is the 13th leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women combined. Chronic infections with hepatitis C or hepatitis B are the major risk factors for liver cancer.”

Charlton is assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-I College of Public Health where the State Health Registry is based. She says Baby Boomers are seeing big increases in cases of liver cancer. “This is because the hepatitis C infection was the most common in the 1960s to the 1980s before this virus was discovered and preventive measures — including the screening of the blood supply — became possible. It is estimated that the Baby Boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C compared to other groups,” Charlton explains.

Doctor Michael Voigt is a clinical professor of internal medicine at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics says the Iowa Department of Public Health reported a little more than 21-thousand cases of hepatitis C as of March of last year. He says that indicates there are thousands more Iowans who are undiagnosed and could be at risk for liver cancer.  He says based on those numbers there’s likely to be between 35-thousand and 130-thousand people who are infected with hepatitis C and as many as 110-thousand are undiagnosed.

Voigt says the disease often goes undetected unless you get tested. “One point to make is that hepatitis C is systematically downplayed within the media and within people’s consciousness,” Voigt says. “And I personally believe the reason for that is because it is a silent and slow killer. Because something takes a long time to develop, people kind of just put it aside or ignore it.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C. Voigt says there are very effective treatments. “We expect an almost 100 percent cure rate for hepatitis C. As far as hepatitis B is concerned, that is absolutely preventable as well,”Voigt says. “The point being — that we have the ability to take the measures to prevent liver cancer in the future an all these other complications for these diseases.”

Voigt says the State of Iowa severely restricts they payment for treatment of hepatitis C with 90 percent of Medicaid requests for payment refused. “I think that this epidemic that we’re seeing — this increasing rate of hepatitis C and B related disease is preventable — but we have to have the will to do this and actually find the wherewithal to actually get these people treated,” Voigt says.

Voigt says it’s not just an issue for Baby Boomers as hepatitis C cases are also increasing dramatically among Iowans between the ages of 18 and 30. The Iowa Cancer report was released last Wednesday.

(Radio Iowa)

Creston Police report (3/27/17)

News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department today (Monday) reports two recent arrests. Early Sunday morning, officers arrested 21-year old Eduardo Estrella, of Creston, for OWI/1st offense. Estrella was later released from the Union County Jail on a Promise to Appear in court. And, Friday night, 30-year old Michael Simpson Jr, of Creston, was arrested at 105 E Adams St. on a charge of Theft in the 5th Degree. He was later released from the Union County Jail on a $300 bond.

A Creston resident reported to police on Friday, that sometime between MArch 20th and 24th, the liner to his pool at his residence in the 400 block of N. Chestnut Street, had been cut. The damage was estimated at $500.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/27/2017

News, Podcasts

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Iowans are urged to be prepared for severe weather

News, Weather

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

We’re a week into spring now and with the change of seasons, Iowans know it also means changing weather and sometimes, severe weather. Meteorologist Mindy Beerends, at the National Weather Service, says this is Severe Weather Awareness Week. There’s a different theme each day and today’s (Monday) focus is on severe thunderstorms.

“Tuesday, it’s how to receive warning information,” Beerends says. “Wednesday, information about tornadoes. Thursday, it’s preparedness and families, what they can do to prepare for severe weather, and Friday, we’ll be looking at flooding.”

Last year was a relatively quiet year for tornadoes in Iowa. “We had 43 tornadoes in the state of Iowa, just under the average of 48,” she says. “The activity usually peaks in May and June but every month in Iowa has seen a tornado.”

This year is already very active for tornadoes with multiple reports of funnel clouds in late February and at least ten tornadoes touched down statewide in early March. Beerends says there will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday.

“If there’s no severe weather occurring or expected that day, the Weather Service will conduct a tornado drill between 10 and 11 AM,” Beerends says. “We’re really just trying to get everybody to ensure they can receive a tornado warning and also practice any actions that you would take in the event of a real tornado.” Learn more at www.weather.gov/dmx.

(Radio Iowa)

Financing plan for water quality seems positioned for passage

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Key legislators say there is NOT consensus on a bill that would reorganize the drinking water system in metro Des Moines, but it appears a statewide water quality initiative may get bipartisan support. Representative Chip Baltimore, a Republican Boone, has been working on that second bill, to set up a financing structure for water improvement projects.  “I think that one’s got more momentum behind it at this point in time and is a much more positive for the overall state of Iowa,” Baltimore says.

Representative Chris Hall, a Democrat from Sioux City, says Baltimore’s bill is “very creative,” but Hall would like to see the state dedicate more dollars to water quality — by raising the state sales tax by three-eighths of a percent. “Water quality is something that you see legislators on both sides of the aisle agreement: we need to discuss this,” Hall says. “It’s a serious issue for the state.”

Hall and Baltimore made their comments during a weekend appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program. House Republican Leader Chris Hagenow is from Windsor Heights, one of the suburbs that gets its drinking water from the Des Moines Water Works. Hagenow says a “regionalization” plan for drinking water systems in the Des Moines metro has run into problems. “Obviously you get something like that, there’s a lot different ideas and people want to go different directions and we’ve been trying to reach consensus on that and haven’t gotten there yet,” Hagenow says.

On March 17th, a federal judge tossed out the Des Moines Waterworks lawsuit that had challenged three northwest Iowa counties. The bill to dismantle the independent utility and turn over management to city councils in the Des Moines metro has cleared committees in both the House and Senate, but must pass either the full House or 50-member Senate by this Friday to remain eligible for consideration this year.

(Radio Iowa)

IPP report critical of agriculture nuisance bill headed to governor

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa City based research organization has released a report that’s critical of a bill approved at the statehouse dealing with nuisance claims against large livestock operations. David Osterberg is co-author of the report, titled “CAFO’s” and the diminished defense of public health,” released by the Iowa Policy Project. At issue is a bill that’s cleared both the Iowa House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature. “It is going to be harder for you to win a lawsuit against a large confinement that you believe is affecting your health, affecting the property value of your residence, and just making your life generally unpleasant,” Osterberg says.

The legislation would limit damages that a neighbor may recover if harmed by a nearby operation. In addition to health consequences, Osterberg says the report focuses on how large animal feeding operations impact property values. “There is more to say about things like water pollution that comes out of these confined animal feeding operations, but we pretty much limited ourselves to health effects from air emissions and property loss,” Osterberg said.

Supporters of the legislation claim it’s designed to protect both large and SMALL farmers from nuisance lawsuits.

(Radio Iowa)

Underwood city workers getting new home

News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

UNDERWOOD, Iowa (AP) – City workers are moving into a new home in Underwood. The Daily Nonpareil reports that the new location offers more space to workers and more access for the Pottawattamie County community of about 900 residents.

City clerk/administrator Jill Willard says the new building has been vacant for several years after efforts to attract startup businesses didn’t pan out. Willard says the city owns the building.

Some renovation work began in January. There will be an office for the mayor and a City Council chamber room. The room also can be rented out for social gatherings such as classes and birthday parties.

3 arrested in Montgomery County in connection w/stolen vehicle

News

March 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Three people, including a teenager, were arrested Sunday evening in connection with an investigation into a vehicle stolen from Villisca. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says 19-year old Keigan Eugene Armstrong, of Lenox, 24-year old Wade Garret Hulsey, of Villisca, and a 14-year old male were charged with Theft in the 2nd Degree.

Armstrong and Hulsey were being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond each, while the juvenile was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted in their investigation by Deputies with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources officers.