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(Podcast) 8-a.m. News 7/4/13

News, Podcasts

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More area news (podcast), with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. Area News, 7/4/13

News, Podcasts

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest area news (podcast) from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Police seek man who struck officer with car

News

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Police in western Iowa are asking the public’s help in finding a man they say hit an officer with a stolen car and is facing charges that include attempted murder. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil says Andrew Brown was being chased by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department on June 25th in a vehicle allegedly stolen from Omaha.

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

Council Bluffs police officers attempted to disable Brown’s vehicle with stop sticks. But officials say Brown directed the vehicle toward several officers before striking one. The officer was flipped in the air and against a utility pole before landing in a ditch. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.  Brown then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

BBB warns of medical alert device scam

News

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, the Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa says it is experiencing a significant increase in calls from consumers that are stating that someone had called to inform them that a medical alert device, similar to “Life Alert” had been purchased for them by a friend or family member. Residents are being told that here is “no cost whatsoever” for the recipient and it will be delivered at no charge. South Dakota residents appear to be experiencing the highest volume of these calls at this time.

On Wednesday, the BBB had about 30 different senior citizens report that they had been contacted. Several stated that they were called twenty-five times in one day. These calls are pre-recorded robo messages. They are instructed to press #1 to accept or #5 to decline.

Many seniors told the BBB that they are unsure of the company name. They describe receiving calls from “Med Alert,” or “Life Alert,” although the actual message does not clearly identify any company’s name, but simply states they are calling in regards to delivering the “free medical alert system” directly to the recipient’s home. A phone number is provided but, in most cases, when you try to call the number there is no response or you receive a message saying the number has been discontinued. It appears they are using temporary cell phones to make the calls because several different numbers have been given.

In many cases being reported across the country, seniors who have provided their bank account or credit card information to “verify” their identity have found they were charged the monthly service fee, usually around $35.00, then the system never arrived or they had trouble returning it and obtaining a refund. These companies appear to be using names that are similar to well-known marketers of medical alert devices in an effort to confuse consumers. Life Alert, the California company made famous by its “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” advertising, is suing two businesses it says are using its name in “robo-calls” to gain new customers.

The BBB says if you didn’t originate the call, you should be extremely cautious about giving out any of your personal information over the phone, regardless of what they say it’s for. The BBB cautions consumers to be on the lookout for slight name changes, as well as implied endorsements or affiliations with legitimate entities.

The BBB also advises consumers to watch for the following additional red flags when dealing with telemarketers or robo calls:

. “Free” Offers- Be wary of “free” offers that require you to pay a handling charge or other fees. In the case of medical alert systems, ask if there are additional monthly charges. If the telemarketer says a friend or family member bought the unit, ask for the name of the person and verify with them before agreeing to anything.

. Scare Tactics- Being trapped in your own home with no way to call for help can be a scary situation for anyone, but for many seniors, it can be a realistic scenario. Nonetheless, don’t fall for scare tactics.

. Calls for Immediate Action- Listen for language like “This offer is good for today only!”

. Reluctance to Answer Questions Directly, Provide Contact Info, or Complete Offer Details- Tell the caller you will not provide any information or make any decisions until you get all details in writing.

. Robo calls- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at: https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form1088.action?form_type=1088C. While the FCC cannot award monetary or other damages, filing a complaint allows them to investigate violators.

Consumers who receive these calls regarding a medical alert system can report them to the BBB at 800-649-6814, BBB’s toll free Senior Line at 877-637-3334 or to your state’s Attorney General.

2 injured 1 killed in Dallas County crash

News

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two Central Iowans were injured and a man from southern Iowa was killed late Wednesday during a collision in the Dallas County town of Dallas Center. The Iowa State Patrol reports the drivers the vehicles, 23-year old Michael James McAfee, of Adel, and 58-year old Kent Winslow Mills, of Dallas Center, were injured. A passenger in one of the cars, 31-year old Gregory Dean Anderson, of Chariton, was killed.

Officials say a 1994 Buick Century driven by McAfee, was traveling west on 250th Street at around 10-p.m., when he failed to stop at the stop sign with U Avenue and was hit on the passenger side by Mills’ southbound 2009 Chevy Cobalt. After the collision, both vehicles came to rest in the southwest ditch, where the Century rolled onto its top.

McAfee was flown by Mercy One helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Mills was also injured, but the Patrol’s report did not indicate if he was transported to the hospital. Officials say he was wearing his seat belt. Anderson, who died at the scene, was also wearing a seat belt.

Iowa early News headlines: Thu., July 4th 2013

News

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are opening up state land for haying and grazing to help farmers impacted by severe weather conditions. The state Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that available land is primarily the upland grassland areas, although there will be some availability for “flash grazing” in northeast Iowa and other land not being leased to farmers. Officials say haying and grazing can start after July 15th, when the primary nesting season for upland birds has been completed.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Three banks in eastern Iowa are planning to merge this summer, so they’ll be able to offer customers services at eight locations. The owner of Central State Bank of Muscatine, Freedom Security Bank of Coralville and Kalona and West Chester Savings Bank of Washington announced the merger on Tuesday.

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa doctor cleared of criminal charges that accused him of running an unauthorized methadone clinic has surrendered his medical license. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Doctor Frank Lamp of Grundy Center entered the agreement last week with the Iowa Board of Medicine. The documents were released yesterday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge in Des Moines has ordered for the second time a 3-year-old girl at the center of an international custody dispute between divorced parents to be returned to Sweden. The girl’s mother, Raina Anderung, must fly her daughter to Sweden where the girl’s father, Magnus Anderung lives within two weeks.

Scam Alert in Cass County

News

July 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public to be aware of a new scam that has come to department’s attention. Officials say victims of the scam receive a call from a person claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and in order to receive money the victims have supposedly won, they are told they need to forward money to another location. Afterward, someone calls the victims and claims to be the County Sheriff verifying that the victims have won money. THIS IS A SCAM.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens to NEVER send money to any party claiming that you must send money to receive money back.

Elk Horn man injured in cycle crash Wednesday

News

July 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from Elk Horn was injured during a motorcycle accident this (Wednesday) afternoon. The Iowa State Patrol says 50-year old Terry Lee Robertson was transported to Myrtue Memorial Hospital in Harlan by Elk Horn Rescue, after the 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle he was driving crashed after coming upon an animal on the road. Robertson braked and then lost control of the cycle before it entered the north ditch and came to rest. The accident happened at around 12:15-p.m. on County Road F-58, about 2 & 1/2 miles west of Elk Horn.

Madison County ordered to pay in sexual harassment case

News

July 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa county will pay $685,000 in a settlement with a dispatcher who claimed she was groped and sexually harassed by the sheriff and fired after complaining. Madison County Sheriff Craig Busch also provided a letter of recommendation to Kathryn Frank under the settlement. In the letter, Busch says the 15-year employee who he fired in 2009 handled 911 calls with “the utmost expertise” and was praised by officers for her “excellent skills.” The settlement avoids a third trial in Frank’s lawsuit after the first two ended in hung juries. 

Frank claims that Busch harassed her for years before he became sheriff in 2008, leading to an earlier $60,000 settlement. She says Busch retaliated by firing her for bogus reasons. Busch said Wednesday he denies wrongdoing, but declined further comment.

Atlantic man arrested on a drug-related warrant

News

July 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Tuesday on a Cass County warrant for Delivery of a Controlled Substance. The Atlantic Police Department reports 26-year old Levi Olsen was booked into the Cass County Jail.