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Single-vehicle accident on I-80 Tue. morning

News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Marne Fire and Rescue responded to a reported single-vehicle accident this (Tuesday) morning on Interstate 80. According to scanner traffic, the vehicle went into the north ditch off I-80 westbound, at the 50.1-mile marker. The accident happened at around 4:55-a.m.

Airbags deployed in the vehicle. The two occupants requested medical assistance to be checked out. The victims refused transport to the hospital. The car was totaled in the crash.

Marne Fire and Rescue, Atlantic Fire and Medivac ambulance were initially dispatched to the scene. No other details were immediately available.

US senate candidate on ‘climate solutions tour’ of Iowa

News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Senate candidate Rob Hogg — a Democrat from Cedar Rapids — says climate change won’t be the MOST important voting issue in 2016, but he says the “trend line” shows more and more people want politicians to offer solutions. “I think in general most Iowans, Democrats and Republicans, want us to act on climate change,” Hogg says. “Obviously the percentages are higher for Democrats and it’s getting pretty near close to unanimity among Democrats believing that we need to address climate change.” This week Hogg has embarked on what he calls a “Climate Solutions Tour” of the state.

“I want Iowans to know that we can solve climate change and have a prosperous economy. In fact, I think that’s the only way we can do it,” Hogg says. “The damage from climate change is real. It’s serious and we’ve got to act on the issue.” As for solutions, Hogg is an advocate of wind and solar power. He favors extending the federal wind production tax credit. Hogg visited a solar-powered company in Cedar Rapids and a so-called energy-efficient “green” building on the Central College campus in Pella Monday. This afternoon (Tuesday), Hogg will visit the Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids.

On Wednesday he’ll visit Carroll and Ames. On Thursday, Hogg will be in Decorah and Charles City. Three other Democrats say they’re running in the U.S. Senate Primary in June. Bob Krause of Fairfield and Tom Fiegan, of Clarence, ran and lost in the U.S. Senate Primary back in 2010 and they’re running again in 2016. Ray Zirkelbach, a former state legislator and Iraq War veteran from Monticello, announced this past weekend that he would run, too.

(Radio Iowa)

Illinois starts selling medical marijuana; Iowans cannot buy it

News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Medical marijuana sales started Monday in the State of Illinois. Iowa law only allows possession of cannabis oil for the treatment of chronic epilepsy, which primarily afflicts children, but the oil is not sold in Iowa. This spring Governor Terry Branstad suggested Iowans with a state-issued card allowing possession of cannabis oil might be able to go to Illinois to buy it. But Branstad’s administration has not made progress on that idea.

“I don’t know that there’s been anything done on that yet,” Branstad says. Current Illinois law only lets Illinois residents buy medical marijuana products from dispensaries in that state. Medical marijuana sales began in Minnesota July 1st, but only Minnesota residents can buy it there as well. Iowa parents caring for children with intractible epilepsy say buying cannabis oil elsewhere is difficult, if not impossible, so the Iowa law that decriminalizing possession of cannabis oil needs to be changed.

Branstad says he has sympathy for those parents, but is concerned about what’s going on with RECREATIONAL marijuana in Colorado and Washington state. “We’re continuing to look at that very carefully,” Branstad says. “Certainly we have empathy for those people with epilepsy and want to make sure they are able to get it, but that only those people that have epilepsy are the only ones that are able to get it and those that have the authorization from their physicians.”

Medical marijuana dispensaries opened in Chicago and four other Illinois cities Monday after “cultivation centers” got the go-ahead to start shipping marijuana to retailers last week. In December, a medical marijuana dispensary is scheduled to open in Milan, Illinois — which is in the Quad Cities area.

(Radio Iowa)

High Wind Watch posted for the entire KJAN listening area

News, Weather

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A HIGH WIND WATCH WILL BE IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL REACH WESTERN IOWA AFTER SUNSET WEDNESDAY EVENING AND CENTRAL IOWA BY MIDNIGHT. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF 35 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 50, AND AS MUCH AS 60 MPH, CAN BE EXPECTED.

Counties shaded in brown are included in the High Wind Watch

Counties shaded in brown are included in the High Wind Watch

THE STRONG WINDS WILL AFFECT TRAVELERS…ESPECIALLY HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ON NORTH SOUTH ROADS. LOOSE OBJECTS WILL ALSO BE BLOWN AROUND.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH…OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR STRONGER MAY OCCUR. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

 

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 10th 2015

News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DANVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A rail line in southeast Iowa is closed for repairs and cleanup after a coal train derailed. Authorities say more than 20 cars left the tracks Monday morning near Danville when the train struck a road grader.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is rejecting a request that the state delay penalizing health care providers that don’t quickly sign contracts with the private companies set to run Iowa’s Medicaid program. Branstad said Monday that there was no need to change the timeline. Democratic lawmakers asked the state to delay the penalties that will hit providers that don’t sign up by Jan. 1.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Forecasters are warning 63 million people in the central U.S. to have an eye out for bad weather this week as colliding air masses threaten to generate high winds and possibly tornadoes. The threat Wednesday stretches from San Antonio to Chicago to Cincinnati. Missouri, southern Illinois and northern Arkansas face the greatest severe weather threat.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Polk county board is set to vote on a development agreement between board of a proposed $101 million convention hotel for downtown Des Moines. The nonprofit Iowa Events Center Hotel Corp. board, established by Polk County and the city, has approved six agreements that outline the hotel’s appearance and financing. Plans calls for the 330-room hotel, built on the southwest side of the Iowa Events Center, to open by December 2017.

Ex-teacher gets prison term after sexual contact conviction

News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A former Council Bluffs high school math teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sexual contact with a student. KETV reports a judge on Monday sentenced 30-year-old Jeffrey Daugherty to the prison term and ordered that he be placed on a lifetime sex offender registry. Before resigning in February, he taught at Thomas Jefferson High School.

In September, Daugherty pleaded guilty to numerous charges involving sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl, including third-degree sexual abuse, sexual exploitation by a school employee and sexual exploitation of a minor. As the judge read his decision, Daugherty cried with his head buried in his hands. Daugherty will be eligible to seek parole in about 7½ years.

Branstad blasts health care providers complaining about Medicaid managed care

News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad is blasting Iowa health care providers who’re complaining his administration is moving too quickly to shift management of Medicaid to private companies. “We started working on this in January, so we’re looking at almost a whole year,” Branstad says. “I know there are people that want to protect their funding stream and are afraid of change, but the truth is this has proven to be effective in other states.”

Branstad says taking the management of Medicaid patient cases away from government workers and shifting it to employees at private companies is saving money in other states and “improving patient outcomes.” Some health care providers are complaining they only recently got notice of the proposed rates for care of Medicaid patients in Iowa.

Democrats in the legislature are calling for a delay in a key deadline. Health care providers must agree to the new rates by January 1st — or face a 10 percent reduction in payments from the state for care provided to Medicaid patients in the future. Branstad says this latest round of criticism reminds him of what was said about his Medicaid expansion plan in 2013.

“The providers were up in arms. ‘It was terrible. We’re afraid of this.’ And you know what? Today we have more people insured than we’ve ever had insured,” Branstad says. “The providers are making more money than they ever had. Charity care at hospitals has gone down significantly, so the hospitals that strongly objected to that have really seen that it worked effectively.”

Three Democrats serving in the state senate say the people who “actually do the work” of caring for the more than half a million Medicaid patients in Iowa have asked for help to slow down the governor’s fast track toward managed care.

(Radio Iowa)

Forecast calls for severe weather across Iowa mid-week

News, Weather

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

There likely will -not- be snow, but forecasters say a large portion of Iowa could see severe weather roll into the state late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Roger Vachalek, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says it’s relatively rare but not unheard-of for a storm of this magnitude to strike during November. Vachalek says folks living across Iowa’s southern half should be on guard.

“There is a risk for severe weather in Iowa and especially for states to our south,” Vachalek says. “We have a slight risk all the way up to around Highway 30 and we may see storms that include hail or the possiblity of high winds and maybe some tornadoes.” Most of Iowa had very unseasonably warm weather last week, with highs in the 70s that were some 20 degrees warmer than normal. Vachalek says milder weather will be sticking around and should prevent any snowflakes from flying in this storm.

“There isn’t quite enough cold air coming in behind it to change the rain on the back side over to snow but we’ll be watching that,” Vachalek says. “There may be a brief change-over somewhere in far northwestern Iowa or maybe even in southern Minnesota, but for the most part, this will not be the snow event that some folks are looking for. We may have to wait a few weeks for that.” It’s a good idea, he says, for Iowans to be prepared for a storm like this.

“Folks should keep up with the forecast over the next few days and monitor the outlook that we mentioned for Wednesday and monitor the latest forecast and, of course, any watches and warnings that are issued,” Vachalek says. “We’re still a couple of days away from it so things could change, but it does look like a fairly significant event coming.” Learn more at the National Weather Service website: weather-dot-gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Head of Iowa National Guard hopes to recruit more women

News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of the Iowa National Guard is hoping to increase the number of women in the ranks. Major General Timothy Orr said Monday that he will sign a pledge to recruit and retain more women as part of campaign by a women’s business group in Iowa.

Orr said that female roles in the military are expanding, noting a recent Army decision to open field artillery jobs to women. He said two women have already enlisted into an artillery unit in northwest Iowa. Currently about 18 percent of Iowa’s Air National Guard and 15 percent of Iowa’s Army National Guard is female. Orr said he’d like to double those numbers.

 

A-H-S Silver Cord Program starting off strong

News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce reports the Silver Cord Program is getting off to a strong start. Silver Cord is a graduation incentive program to promote volunteerism in the Atlantic Area. Atlantic High School seniors who volunteer a minimum of 200 hours throughout their high school career with graduate with a silver cord and be eligible for a $500 scholarship provided by the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.

Several Silver Cord students came out to volunteer their time to help stock the mobile food pantry, pictured above are Bailey Schildberg, Ashley Freund, Tori Krogh, and Maddy Williams.

Several Silver Cord students came out to volunteer their time to help stock the mobile food pantry, pictured above are Bailey Schildberg, Ashley Freund, Tori Krogh, and Maddy Williams.

The program encourages volunteer opportunities with all Civic Organizations and will benefit the entire community. The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Atlantic High School and several other Community minded organizations and businesses to start the Silver Cord Program in Atlantic. In an effort to make the program more accessible to students, the Chamber is utilizing volunteerspot.com.

Volunteer Spot is an on-line tool used for volunteer sign-ups, scheduling and management. Chamber Executive Director Ouida Hargens says “Volunteer spot will be beneficial to the students involved in the Silver Cord Program and the entire community. Everyone will have access through www.AtlanticIowa.com.”

Students will be able to find, sign-up for, and manage their different volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Spot which will help both students and organizations stay organized during volunteer opportunities! If you have any questions about the Silver Cord Program or volunteerspot.com you can contact the Chamber of Commerce at 712-243-3017 or chamber@atlanticiowa.com.