Faces of Agent Orange Symposium to be Held in Des Moines


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Johnston, Iowa) Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Colonel Robert King (Ret) announces Vietnam Veterans of America will hold a symposium to address the birth defects, diseases, and learning disabilities affecting the children and grandchildren of our nation’s veterans. The Faces of Agent Orange Symposium will be held Saturday, 23rd April 2016, at Hy-Vee Hall, Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, Des Moines, Iowa. There will be two sessions – the first from 9:00 am to noon, and the second from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. IA Dept of Veterans Affairs

“Our American soldiers returned from Vietnam and associated areas with a number of issues that they have had to contend with since their return years ago. Evidence is now connecting their battlefield exposures to Agent Orange with many diseases and birth defects that are afflicting their children and future generations. It is important that we make the families and communities more aware of the lingering effects of their exposure,” said Colonel King.

The goal of the symposium is to bring attention to the hidden cost of our service and to encourage the government to assist our doctors in finding ways to diagnose and treat these birth defects. Veterans of all wars are subjected to many contaminates, and most were not aware of what was being used or what effects these would have on their health.

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. is a national non-profit corporation founded in 1978 in the United States that is committed to serving the needs of all veterans. It is funded without any contribution from any branch of government.

In keeping with Vietnam Veterans of America’s (VVA) founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” Vietnam veterans throughout the state of Iowa and across the nation continue to fight for the welfare of our nation’s veterans from all wars.

For more information on this event, please contact Dan Gannon at 515-991-5257 or gannonobx@aol.com.

Iowa Senate OKs bill to dismantle Medicaid privatization


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Democratic-controlled Senate has passed legislation that would dismantle plans to switch Iowa’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program into private management, though the bill isn’t expected to advance in the divided Legislature. The chamber voted 29-19 Thursday for the bill, which would terminate Iowa’s contracts with three private companies.

The bill was introduced amid growing tension in the Legislature over the future of Iowa’s Medicaid program, which provides health care to roughly 560,000 low-income and disabled residents. Senate Democrats recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama and other federal officials asking them to end the privatization move, set to take effect March 1st.

Although three Republican senators voted for the bill, the GOP-majority House isn’t expected to take up the measure, which has also been criticized by Gov. Terry Branstad.

A-PD partners w/Gov.’s office of Drug Control Policy for med drop-off sites


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green has announced a permanent Medication Dropbox is now located in the lobby of the Atlantic Police Department, at 23 East 4th Street. Green said the drop box was made possible through a small grant from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy’s (ODCP) Iowa Take Back Prescription Drug Drop Box Program, and is a way to address the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse. The dropbox will be accessible to the public during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8-a.m. to 4:30-p.m., or by contacting any Atlantic Police Officer

You can bring your unwanted prescription meds to the dropbox, but you’re asked to first, remove any labels with your personal information, seal the medications in vials or clear plastic bags, and leave them anonymously.

dispose_drugsChief Green says the dropbox is an opportunity for families to legally and responsibly dispose of prescriptions and remove the temptation for abuse. “Many people,” he says “become addicted to prescription drugs because they started using a family member’s leftover prescriptions. Once addicted, some of these individuals may eventually move to other drugs [such as heroin], to fulfill [their] addiction.”

The prescription dropbox is secured inside the lobby of the Police department and there is no formal paperwork required when making a drop. Needles, other sharp objects and liquids are not allowed in the dropbox. Green says his Officers will take liquid meds from you, if you request it.

Gardening with Children Child Care Provider training to be offered in Atlantic


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers child care provider training, which has been approved by the Department of Human Services and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The training helps providers identify, recognize and implement best practices relative to nutrition, physical activity, health and safety for children under their care. An upcoming training, Gardening with Children, will be held in Atlantic on March 29th.ISU Extension

Gardening promotes healthy lifestyles, early learning experiences, social development, and environmental stewardship among preschool children. Childcare providers will engage in experiential learning gardening activities (crafts, learning activities, literacy, container gardening basics, and taste testing).

This will be offered at the ISU Extension and Outreach office, Cass County in Atlantic on March 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. There is a $15 fee and is partially funded by a Boost for Families (Cass, Mills, Montgomery) Early Childhood Iowa grant for professional development.

Registration is required by March 22, using the online DHS training registry or by calling 712- 623- 2592 (ISU Extension and Outreach- Montgomery County). The class will be taught by Barbara Fuller, MA, RD, LD Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and Kim Brantner, Family Life Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach.

(Press Release)

Southern IA man convicted of 2 murders in late 2015 dies in jail


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Union County man who pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder back in January is dead, in what appears to be a suicide. An official with the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale, told WHO-TV in Des Moines, that 37-year old Jerry Dillinger was found hanging from a bed sheet, in his cell.

Dillinger was brought to the University of Iowa Hospitals where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Foul play is not suspected, but an investigation into the death is underway.

Dillinger plead guilty January 22nd to the murders of Michael Robinson and Loretta Dillinger. Loretta Dillinger’s body was found Dec. 2nd in a farm pond near Lorimor. Robinson’s body was found near a house in Thayer.

Authorities said Loretta was Jerry Dillinger’s ex sister-in-law. Robinson was the boyfriend of Dillinger’s niece.

Backyard & Beyond 2-11-2016

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

February 11th, 2016 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen talks with CCHS Registered Dietitian Emily Krengel about dietary guidelines.


Greenfield, Orient featured in Dream Trip Giveaway


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with TravelIowa.com say the communities of Greenfield and Orient are currently being featured as iconic American destinations as part of a Dream Trip Giveaway. Shawna Lode, Director of the Iowa Tourism Office, says “We know that travel in Iowa has the power to help families reconnect through meaningful experiences. This Dream Trip Giveaway is a great way for the Iowa Tourism Office to showcase our communities and family travel opportunities in front of a national audience.”

The Iowa Tourism Office partnered with publisher Meredith’s Midwest Living magazine to grant a dream trip to Iowa. The five-day, four-night getaway will wind the winner through communities that exemplify Americana – like Greenfield and Orient. The winning traveler will stay at a variety of boutique hotels; dine in restaurants that range from gourmet to local comfort; and adventure across Iowa via land, water and air. Winners will also receive a $2,000 VISA gift card.

Travel IowaCommunities featured in the Dream Trip Giveaway include: Urbandale, Winterset, Orient, Greenfield, Indianola, Pella, Eldon and Moravia. Featured attractions include the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum, National Balloon Museum, American Gothic House and many more. Read the full itinerary at traveliowa.com

To find out more about the trip and register to win, visit traveliowa.com. Entry deadline is February 29. TravelIowa says tourism in the state generates more than $8.06 billion in expenditures, employs 66,500 people statewide and generates $374 million in state taxes.

For more information, visit traveliowa.com, call 800.345.IOWA, or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center. Travelers can find additional Iowa travel inspiration on the Iowa Tourism Office blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest boards, Google+ page, Instagram, or YouTube channel.

3 arrests in Atlantic: 2 for assault


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Three people have been arrested in Atlantic, two of them for assault. The Atlantic Police Department reports 35-year old Matthew Stahl, of Atlantic, was arrested Wednesday for Serious Assault causing injury. And, 29-year old Justin Knutsen, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday for Domestic Abuse Assault by impeding air flow. Knutsen also faces charges that include Going Armed with Intent, Operating a vehicle without the owners consent, and Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree.

The A-PD says also, 25-year old Devin Register, of Atlantic, was arrested Wednesday on a Cass County warrant for Theft in the 4th degree.

All three men were booked into the Cass County Jail.

(9-a.m. News)

(Update w/passenger names) – 4 injured in Atlantic crash, Wed.


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(In an update to our previous reports) – Four people were injured during a single vehicle accident on Atlantic’s southwest side, Wednesday afternoon. Atlantic Police Officer Devon Hogue said Zachary Dill, of Atlantic, was driving a Ford Expedition at around 1:20-p.m.. As he was exiting the south drive from the Casey’s General Store at 911 S.W. 7th Street, and intending to turn right onto 7th Street/Highway 6, Dill failed to straighten the steering wheel. The SUV left the road to the west and entered a deep ditch. The vehicle c001ame to rest on a concrete culvert underneath southwest 7th Street, or Highway 6.

Dill and three other people in the vehicle, 9-year old Scott Dill, 37-year old Tammy Dill, and 7-year old Noah Dill, all of Atlantic, were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The SUV sustained $10,000 damage during the mishap. Zachary Dill was cited by Police for Failure to provide proof of insurance.

Propane prices remain near $1/gallon with spring a little over a month away


February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

We’re past the half-way point of winter and propane prices are holding steady, a big relief to Iowans who heat their homes with the fuel, especially after a record-setting price spike two years ago. Harold Hommes, a fuels analyst with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, says there’s a huge surplus of propane right now, setting up an unusual situation. “The prices have stabilized,” Hommes says. “Our weekly survey had propane at $1.01 per gallon which is unchanged for the last three weeks. Even prior to that, we had a change of mere pennies.”

Two winters ago, a propane shortage pushed propane prices to five-dollars a gallon. Hommes says unless there’s a prolonged cold spell, prices likely won’t budge, since spring will be here soon and demand will drop.  “A lot of times at this point in the calendar, we’re looking at seeing some significant bump-ups as we get into winter and demand pull starts rearing its head and we start seeing an uptick in propane prices,” Hommes says. “But so far, they have remained absolutely flat for nearly a month now.”

Given the laws of supply and demand, the nation’s supply of propane is plentiful which is keeping prices very low and steady. “Inventory levels are at around 74-million barrels,” he says. “To put that in perspective, two years ago when we had that shortage, the nation was down to about 25- or 26-million barrels. We’re at three times those levels.”

While we’re just above a dollar a gallon now, liquid propane was retailing at $1.60 a gallon a year ago. In January of 2014, Iowa hit record high prices for L-P at just over $5 a gallon. About 183,000 Iowans heat their homes with L-P.

(Radio Iowa)