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Officials asked to do more to help Iowans with epilepsy


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Advocates for Iowans who suffer from epilepsy say state support for a private group that helps epileptics has declined by 70 percent in the past five years. Courtney Strutt Todd is a member of the Iowa Advisory Council for the Epilepsy Foundation of North and Central Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. “There are currently 30,000 persons living in Iowa that have or are effected by epilepsy,” Strutt Todd says. Strutt Todd and other advocates are asking state officials to provide the Epilepsy Foundation with 100-thousand dollars worth of state taxpayer support next year.

“We are the only sustainable service in the state and the only resource available for individuals and families suffering from epilepsy,” Strutt Todd says. “This program specifically saves the state thousands of dollars by preventing emergency room visits billable to Medicaid, by preventing unemployment or underemployment with persons with epilepsy and by saving lives in persons with uncontrolled seizures.”

The Epilepsy Foundation has an office in Des Moines that coordinates the work of support groups in Des Moines, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. The foundation offers counseling, education and referrals to Iowans who have been diagnosed with epilepsy. “This year alone 200,000 people in the United States will develop epilepsy and 50,000 will die of seizures,” Strutt Todd says. “The Epilepsy Foundation is working to lower this statistic.”

A state task force formed in 2011 is currently studying whether generic drugs are an appropriate substitute for brand-name drugs prescribed to treat epileptic seizures. One estimate indicates the state could save 11-million dollars if generics were used instead of brand-name drugs. That task force is to submit a report to legislators by the end of January.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Salvation Army Bell Ringing numbers are in


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Funds raised through the Cass County Salvation Army’s Bell Ringing Campaign this year came in a little less than last year, but not by much. Bell Ringing Campaign Chair Duane McFadden provided the near final tally during the Board of Supervisor’s meeting Monday morning, in Atlantic. McFadden said volunteers received a total of $10, 608.70. in their kettles.

Last year at this time, donations amounted to $11,176, which was nearly double the amount raised in 2010. New this year was an on-line credit card donation feature which allowed contributions to be directed to specific units, such as the one in Cass County. It’s unclear how much those donations amounted to, though.

All proceeds from the donations stay in Cass County, for various Salvation Army-related programs.

Cass County Supervisors approve Livestock Facility Construction Resolution

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved a resolution pertaining to the construction of livestock confinement facilities within the County. The move came during the Board’s meeting Monday morning, in Atlantic. Auditor Dale Sunderman said it’s the same thing the board approved last year and in previous years, with the exception of the dates. Sunderman says basically if a person has plans to construct a livestock facility and a permit is required, the application must be reviewed by the Board. The Supervisors will evaluate the application using the Master Matrix created by Iowa Code.

The Board’s recommendation to the Iowa DNR may be based on the final score on the Master Matrix or on reasons other than the final score.

Cass County Supervisors approves Secondary Roads bargaining agreement


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Monday), approved a three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union representing the County’s Secondary Roads Department. County Engineer Charles Marker presented the agreement in front of the Supervisors for their approval and signature. Marker said the Union and Board reached the final agreement during a meeting held December 18th. The Secondary Road Department’s employees ratified the agreement on Dec. 22nd.

Supervisor Chuck Rieken, who along with Supervisors Gaylord Schelling, represented the County during the negotiations, said he thought the agreement was amicable. He said there were some minor changes in the final form of the agreement as far as language was concerned, but otherwise everything went well.

The agreement calls for three-percent increases per year in wages, effective July 1st, 2013, and running through June 30th, 2016. In it’s initial proposal to the County back in October, the Union had requested a seven-percent rate increase for the first-year of the contract, a 4-percent increase across the board the second-year of the contract, and a 3-percent increase for the third-year, effective July, 2013.

The final agreement also says all Secondary Roads Employees who have County Health Insurance, will contribute additional monthly dollars to the health plan through direct payroll deductions. The agreement calls for zero dollars increase the first year, 20-dollars per month the second-year, and 40-dollars per month for the third-year of the contract.

2 arrested in Atlantic


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports two arrests over the past few days. This morning (Monday), 19-year old Jesse Boken, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on an OWI charge. And, on Saturday, 27-year old Albert Johnson, of Atlantic, was arrested for Driving While his License was Suspended. Both men were booked into the Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance before the magistrate.

(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. Local/State News 12/31/12

News, Podcasts

December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….


Making a resolution to get fit in 2013? Here are some tips


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions Iowans make is to get in better shape. Dr. Kurt Van Veldhuizen, a certified sports medicine chiropractor in Johnston, says he’s a big fan of realistic resolutions that get people exercising. “They’re excellent,” Van Veldhuizen says. “The more movement we have, the more people are being responsible for their own health, the less we have to hear about it in the media. I always encourage people to get up and be as active as they can.” He says the road to good health involves physical fitness and nutrition, but don’t try to take on too much at once.

“A routine is the key here,” Dr. Van Veldhuizen says. “You have to start off real slow by doing something at the same time every day. It doesn’t have to be at 5 o’clock every day but the same time slot during that day’s period of time so you know you can fit it in.” He says the phrase of “no pain, no gain” doesn’t need to apply. If you take on hard-core exercises when you’re not ready for them, you’ll likely be hurting afterwards and that can derail the whole process. He says to build up your endurance gradually.

“Start with proper nutrition and hydration,” Van Veldhuizen says. “The big thing is remembering this is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. If we go into this 100%, we’re going to burn ourselves out within a couple of weeks. It’s going to hurt and we’re going to hate every second of it. If we go a little bit slower, take our time, start with stability, then get some aerobic conditioning in and from there, start to build the strength.”

He suggests halves when drinking water — if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water per day. When it comes to food, eat lean meats, fresh vegetables, limited fruits, little starch, nuts, seeds and no sugar. Caloric intake should be enough to support exercise levels, but not enough to encourage body fat. Also, he says spread your meals out, eat 5 to 6 times per day if you’re exercising.

(Radio Iowa)

Can’t quit smoking? Study: Genetics may be key to quitting


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking. Now, smokers from western Iowa and eastern Nebraska are taking part in a study to determine how genetics may impact their ability to quit smoking. Dr. Julia Houfek (HOE-feck) is lead researcher for the study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Houfek says they hope to learn why some smokers can quit and others can’t.  “We’re studying a certain genetic characteristic that’s related to nicotine dependence,” Houfek says. “This information may help smokers, especially those who have tried to quit and have difficulty quitting decide the best way to quit for them. We’re also interested in knowing how smokers understand this information and then use it in their smoking behaviors.”

Recent studies have found perhaps 70-percent of the reasons a person can’t quit smoking may be genetic. “This is very new information, the research is ongoing right now,” Houfek says. “We’re learning more and more about this every day. There’s a real interest among researchers to understand if we give people this type of information about their genetic predisposition to smoking or nicotine dependence, what impact that might make on their smoking behaviors.”

After extensive testing, volunteers are being given the information about their genetics and then tracked to see if they seek out the best ways to quit smoking based on that genetic makeup.  “They do not have to stop smoking as part of this study,” Houfek says. “We’re just interested in knowing how they understand the information and if they use it in any way in their smoking cessation. We need a control group though, to follow along, for comparison purposes.”

Of the 90 people being enrolled in the study, half are receiving information about their genetic profile, while the others won’t receive the information until after the study is over. The UNMC College of Nursing received a 40-thousand dollar grant to conduct the study which may help smokers determine their best path to quit.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Dec. 31st 2012


December 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A group of Iowa City residents is gathering signatures on a petition to ban the use of traffic cameras and drones in their hometown. The group has collected between 500 and 1,000 signatures since October. The group hopes to get 10,000 signatures by April 1st to put their proposal on the ballot.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating a head-on collision that killed an 18-year-old woman and injured two other people in eastern Iowa. KWWL reports that Angela Harrison of Washington died yesterday morning after the crash in Johnson County. The Iowa State Patrol says Harrison was driving along Highway 22 south of Iowa City when her car crossed into oncoming traffic near Utah Avenue. Harrison’s car collided with a pickup truck.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man is facing murder charges after some Iowa children found a dead body near the trash at a Des Moines apartment complex. Police say the children found the body of 27-year-old Gerald Bonner of Des Moines Saturday evening. Their mother called police. Police arrested 27-year-old John D. Edwards early yesterday morning.

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa hunter has been hospitalized after shooting himself in the foot with a shotgun while getting into a pickup truck. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it is investigating the incident that happened near Eldora. Officials say that 53-year-old Tim Oelschlager of Roland shot himself in the foot Saturday morning.

7 Adams County residents arrested on drug charges, Friday


December 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County say seven people were arrested Friday in Corning, on drug-related offenses. Sheriff’s deputies, along with officers with the Tri-County Narcotics Division of Narcotics Enforcement, arrested 18-year old Jacob Jones at around 1:10-p.m. Friday, following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Corning. Jones faces a Delivery of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, charge. His bond was set at $5,000.

At about the same time, 19-year old Devin Heimke, and 18-year old Mikel Hilton, both from Corning, were arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The pair were taken into custody following the execution of a search warrant at 404 12th Street in Corning. Their bonds were set at $1,300 each.

Officials said also, 18-year old Abigail Vaill, 20-year old Mark Morris, and 23-year old Cody Silence, all from Corning, were arrested at around 2:10-p.m., Friday.  The trio were arrested following a traffic stop at the Casey’s Store in Corning. All three were brought to the Adams County Jail. Their bonds were set at $5,000 each.

And, Jeffrey Wiechman, of Corning, was arrested at around 7:35-p.m. Friday, on Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Marijuana charges. The arrest took place following the execution of a search warrant at 401 Loomis in Corning. Wiechman’s bond was set at $1,300.