Don’t let florist scammers wilt love’s bloom this Valentine’s Day

News

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

As Valentine’s Day approaches many turn to online florists for their loved one’s bouquets. The convenience of ordering flowers online may be hard to resist. Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa warns consumers to be very careful when choosing an online florist. BBB gets many complaints from those who have been disappointed by their digital flower shopping experiences. Last year it is estimated that Americans spent $18.9 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts – much of it for flowers. Numbers like that are bound to attract scammers.

Complaints to BBB range from issues with late deliveries to no delivery at all, and from wrong arrangements being sent to unexpected charges being added to their credit cards. The Federal Trade Commission even has a name for unscrupulous online florists – “petal pushers.”

The FTC says that disreputable businesses sometimes place fake listings in local phone directories, making it appear as though they are a local shop. Consumers who call their number are unknowingly forwarded to an out-of-town telemarketing operation. That means an extra processing fee, since this third party in the transaction requires compensation. The telemarketer takes your order and forwards to a local florist. From this point anything is possible – late delivery or no delivery, different arrangements from your order and almost always: extra charges.

Here are some tips to lessen your chance of having a disappointing florist experience:

  • Ask around. Check with friends, coworkers or family about florists they have had good experiences with. Nothing beats a personal recommendation.
  • Check out the business with the BBB’s business reviews. Look at their history of complaints at bbb.org.
  • Find out what sort of satisfaction guarantee and refund policy they have. Reputable florists stand behind their products. See if they are part of FTD or Teleflora, both of which have good guarantees.
  • Consider checking with local florists when ordering flowers for another city or town. They will have a list of reputable businesses.
  • Order as early as possible. Some florists may offer reduction in price for those who order ahead of the rush.
  • Get a specified delivery date. Ask if it’s guaranteed and be sure someone will be present on that date to receive the flowers.
  • Be sure the florist has your contact information. Last minute address questions are not uncommon and you need to be able to clarify something with them.
  • Pay with a credit card. It’s your best method should there be a dispute later needing resolution.
  • Watch out for super low prices. As BBB constantly says, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
  • Be aware of a common scam used around holidays when crooks know many people are ordering things online. You could receive an email asking you to verify your credit card account number “regarding your recent order.” These scammers are counting on instant panic on your part causing you to be less cautious than usual, and resulting in your compliance with their request.
  • Don’t click on any links in such emails. Instead, contact the florist independently and ask them if there was a problem.

If you have questions or concerns, contact your BBB by calling 800-649-6814 or visit our website at bbbinc.org.

Wind Advisory issued for parts of western/s.w. IA on Monday

Weather

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

309 PM CST SUN FEB 7 2016; HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-PAGE COUNTIES: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 5 PM MONDAY.

* TIMING…STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON.

* WINDS…NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH.

* IMPACTS…WINDS OF THIS MAGNITUDE WILL BE HAZARDOUS TO
MOTORISTS…ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. IN
ADDITION…SNOW SHOWERS THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT MAY LEAD TO
AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. THIS MAY CREATE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL
CONDITIONS ACROSS THE AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 30 TO
39 MPH OR GUSTS BETWEEN 45 TO 57 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS
STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE
VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

STEVEN OLSEN, 59, of Maxwell & formerly of Elk Horn (Svcs. Pending)

Obituaries

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

STEVEN OLSEN, 59, of Maxwell (& formerly of Elk Horn), died Sunday, Feb. 7th, at his home in Maxwell. Services for STEVEN OLSEN are pending at the Ohde Funeral Home in Kimballton.

Blizzard Warning – update 2:15-p.m. 2/7/16

Weather

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL -AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-AND DALLAS COUNTIES: A BLIZZARD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST MONDAY.

CONDITIONS SHOULD GRADUALLY DETERIORATE THIS EVENING WITH THE MOST SEVERE CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO OCCUR OVERNIGHT TONIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF GENERALLY LESS THAN 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED, BUT LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE.

WINDS WILL BE OUT OF THE NORTHWEST AT 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 45 MPH AT TIMES. VISIBILITIES MAY DROP TO ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS WITH NEAR WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AT TIMES…PARTICULARLY DURING HEAVIER SNOW SHOWERS.

CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND RESTRICTED VISIBILITY WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS TRAVEL IN SOME AREAS…ESPECIALLY IN OPEN OR UNPROTECTED AREAS. WINDS OF THIS MAGNITUDE MAY ALSO AFFECT DRIVING OF LOW PROFILE VEHICLES AND LOOSE LIGHT WEIGHT OBJECTS.

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS…MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL.

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED…STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

Sioux City officer shot and wounded while arresting man

News

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City police officer is recovering after being wounded by a suspect who also shot and wounded himself before his arrest. The Sioux City Journal reports the incident happened Saturday morning when officers were following up on a number of reported robberies and burglaries.

While at an apartment, an 18-year-old man shot and wounded a 13-year veteran of the police force. The man also hurt himself. The wounded officer was treated at a local hospital and released. The 18-year-old suspect remained in custody Sunday. He hadn’t yet appeared in court to be formally charged, so he doesn’t have a lawyer representing him yet.

The last time a Sioux City officer was shot and wounded in the line of duty was October 2014.

Jok scores 23 to lead No. 5 Iowa past Illinois, 77-65

Sports

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Peter Jok scored 23 points and Jarrod Uthoff added 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 5 Iowa past Illinois 77-65 on Sunday. Jok took over early in the second half, scoring seven of the first 10 points for Hawkeyes (19-4, 10-1 Big Ten) and led them to a 48-36 lead with 16:48 to play.

Iowa would push the lead to as many as 20 points midway through the half. Adam Woodbury added a double-double for the Hawkeyes with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Iowa outrebounded the Illini 43-32. Illinois (11-13, 3-8) has been outrebounded in 10 of its 11 conference games.

Jalen Coleman-Lands led Illinois with 17 points, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

DEAN BEAMAN, 80, of Greenfield (Svcs. Pending)

Obituaries

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DEAN BEAMAN, 80, of Greenfield, died Sunday, February 7th, at the Adair County Memorial Hospital in Greenfield. Funeral services for DEAN BEAMAN are pending at the Steen Funeral Home in Greenfield.

Online condolences may be left to the family at www.steenfunerals.com.

BETTY JEAN CAMPBELL, 88, of Harlan (Svcs. 2/9/16)

Obituaries

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

BETTY JEAN CAMPBELL, 88, of Harlan, died Feb. 3rd, at home. Funeral services for BETTY JEAN CAMPBELL will be held 11-a.m. Tue., Feb. 9th, at the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home, in Harlan.

Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, from 9:30-a.m. until the time of service.

Burial will be in the Harlan Cemetery.

BETTY JEAN CAMPBELL is survived by:

Her sons – John (Susan) Campbell, of Harlan, & Kevin (Lisa) Campbell, of Des Moines.

Her daughter – Judith Piper, of Sioux City.

Her sister – Helen Holloway, of Irwin.

15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Fight in a car results in Adams County crash Sat. morning

News

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A fight inside a vehicle early Sunday morning in Adams County led to a crash that resulted in one person being sent to the hospital. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office says 27-year old Christopher Adam Fannon, of Corning, faces OWI and Domestic Assault charges, after an investigation into the incident, which was reported to authorities at around 1-a.m., Saturday.

Officials say a vehicle occupied by Fannon and another person was traveling on Birch Avenue, when Fannon and the other person began fighting. The vehicle went off the road and entered a field. The unidentified passenger was injured during the altercation and transported to the Corning Hospital for treatment. Fannon was taken into custody as was being held in the Adams County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

NWS forecast for Atlantic & the area, Sunday – Feb. 7th 2016

Weather

February 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Today: Mostly cloudy & windy with a 30% chance of snow showers after 5pm. High near 38. W/NW winds 10-20mph w/gusts to around 35 this afternoon. Little or no snow accumulation expected. **BLIZZARD WARNING tonight from 7-pm until 6-pm Monday for Audubon, Guthrie & Dallas Counties**
Tonight: Cloudy w/a 70% chance of snow, & patchy blowing snow. Low 21. NW @ 20-40mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Monday: Cloudy w/a 50% chance of snow showers, mainly before noon. Areas of blowing snow. High near 25. NW @ 25-45mph. Wind chill values as low as 5. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11.N/NW @ 15-35. Wind chill as low as -5.
Tuesday: Partly sunny & blustery. High near 22. N/NW @ 15-25. Wednesday: Mo. Sunny. High 22.