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Mills County native dies in Afghanistan


June 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa man has died while serving with the Army in Afghanistan. The Omaha World Herald says according to family members, 25-year old Sgt. James Skalberg, a native of Emerson, in Mills County, died recently. The circumstances of his death were not revealed, and the Department of Defense has not yet confirmed his death, but their policy is wait 24-hours after the family has been notified. Sgt. Skalberg was a 2005 graduate of Nishna Valley High School. He  leaves behind his wife Jessica, and an 11-month-old son. More than 145 military members with ties to Nebraska and western Iowa have died in the Afghan and Iraq wars.

Exira man injured when his cycle lock’s up in I-80 Thu. evening


June 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol says an Audubon County man suffered non-life threatening injuries, when the motorcycle he was riding locked up on him Thursday evening on Interstate 80 in Adair County. 50-year old Dennis Kommes, of Exira, was traveling west on I-80 in the right lane, about three-miles west of Adair, when the back wheel on his 2008 Boss motorcycle locked-up and stopped turning. Kommes was unable to maintain control of the cycle, which turned onto its right side and then flipped onto its left,before coming to rest on the right shoulder of the road. Kommes, who was standing, alert and talking when authorities arrived on the scene, was transported by Anita Rescue to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. The accident happened at around 5-p.m.

Iowa DNR Drought Monitor Update: parts of western IA faired better than others

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest Drought Monitor Report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicates most of Iowa continues to be very dry, but far western Iowa is less affected than the rest of State. Officials say although 78 percent of Iowa remains in some form of dry conditions, a significant increase in areas rated as moderately dry, from 13 percent to 37 percent, has occurred up and down central Iowa.

Rainfall averaged 2.02 inches compared to normal precipitation of the period at 2.36 inches; however, precipitation varied widely across the state, with above normal rainfall over much of west central and southwest Iowa and well below normal over northeast and extreme northwest Iowa. An area stretching from the eastern half of Crawford County southeast through Audubon, the northeast half of Cass and Adams Counties, and continuing southeast to Ringgold and Decatur Counties, shows abnormally dry conditions, despite the recent, but spotty rains. The far southwest corner of Fremont County is also abnormally dry, while the remaining western third of the state shows normal soil moisture.

For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends June 14 through June 27, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the USGS, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.

Bluffs Area Nursing Home Reaches Settlement Agreement w/IG’s Office


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, with tThe United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa has announced a settlement agreement, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has entered into a corporate integrity agreement, with Bethany Lutheran Homes, Inc., a skilled nursing facility in Council Bluffs. The settlements resolves allegations of billing Medicare for medically unnecessary physical, occupational and speech therapy service.

Bethany Lutheran Homes has paid the United States the sum of $675,000 to settle the allegations, and entered into a corporate integrity agreement to ensure future compliance with federal health care program requirements. Klinefeldt says “This settlement
and corporate integrity agreement are the culmination of a two-year investigation and review of Bethany Lutheran Homes’s billing practices to Medicare.” He says his office “Is committed to ensuring the compliance with Medicare requirements and preventing fraud against the United States, and that Klinefedlt believes the settlement will reimburse the United States for past practices committed by Bethany Lutheran, and that The corporate integrity agreement will ensure their future compliance.”

Gerald T. Roy, Special Agent in Charge for the Kansas City Regional Office, added “The collaborative efforts of the agencies involved help ensure the solvency of the Medicare program and protect the beneficiaries that depend on the health care it provides.” The case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

Search for missing fisherman in Little Sioux River


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINN GROVE, Iowa (AP) — Emergency crews are searching for a Storm Lake man believed to have drowned while fishing in the Little Sioux River near Linn Grove in western Iowa. The Buena Vista County sheriff’s office says the man was fishing with friends near a dam Wednesday afternoon when he went wading and disappeared in the water. Sheriff Gary Launderville says the river is low, but the current is strong. The man’s name hasn’t been released.

Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office releases report on arrests


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office today (Thursday) released a report on arrests made over the past week. Officials say on Wednesday, 51-year old Jeffrey Charles Dory, of Anita, was arrested on a charge of Driving While Barred. Dory was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released today (Thursday), on $2000 bond. 

On Tuesday, 23-year old Kasandra Rose Mesa, of Atlantic, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Theft 5th Degree (Bad Checks). Mesa was taken to the Cass County Jail where she pled guilty the next day and was released. 

Last week: 30-year old Angelo Tap Gatdor, of Des Moines, was arrested on charges of OWI 2nd Offense and Driving Under Suspension. Gatdor was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held on $2000 bond; 30-year Jesse James Noah, of Oakland, NE, was arrested on a Hampton Police Department Warrant. Noah was taken to the Cass County Jail and later released on bond; and, 18-year old Alexander Warren Wiechmann, of Red Oak, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Violation of Probation. Wiechmann was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was being held on $2000 bond.

USDA Rural Issues Roundtable in Avoca July 10th

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner visits Avoca on Tuesday, July 10th.

Bill Menner

 A rural-issues roundtable will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Club House at The Avoca Golf Club, 1701 N. Willow Street in Avoca. The meeting is open to the public.

Officials with the Agency say USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa.  Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $2 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state’s communities have fewer than 500 residents. 

USDA Rural Development says it’s working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America. This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.  

Alliant Energy to initiate Appliance Cycling in parts of Iowa today


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – June 28, 2012 – Interstate Power and Light Co. (IPL), an Alliant Energy company, announced today it will cycle air conditioners for participating Iowa customers in the central and southern regions of the state, or for customers south of Highway 20. Weather conditions are such that between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. today customers enrolled in the Appliance Cycling program will have their air conditioner cycled in 15-minute intervals to reduce overall energy usage. 

Participating residential customers have a small control switch placed on or near their central air conditioner. Today, Alliant Energy will send a signal to the switches in the targeted areas. Some of the major communities included in this cycling event include Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown, Clinton, Grinnell, Newton, Burlington, Ft. Madison, Ottumwa, Centerville, Creston, and Washington. The control switch will cycle the outdoor cooling unit off and on every 15 minutes. The furnace fan will continue to circulate the cooler, drier air already in the home. 

Alliant Energy pays each participating residential customer $8 per month from June through September – whether the air conditioner is cycled or not. A similar program for electric water heaters is also included in today’s event. Customers enrolled in that program receive a $2 per month discount during the same June through September time period. Appliance Cycling events typically occur between May 15 and September 15 on weekdays between 1 p.m.  7 p.m. They are not initiated on weekends or holidays.

Cass County Board to act on VA Commissioner appointment


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday morning at the Courthouse in Atlantic. On the agenda for the 9-a.m. session, is action on: a Resolution to approve the appointment of a deputy county attorney to serve during the County Attorney’s absence or in case where there is a conflict of interest; Approving a fireworks display permit; Appointing a Veterans Affairs Commissioner to a 3-year term, effective July 1st; An update from Cass County Public Safety Commission Chair Steve Livengood, on the possible relocation of the communications center and a report on recent personnel changes at the Iowa Department of Public Safety; and, an end of fiscal year expense appropriation review and possible amendment.

The Board will also hear from Bob and Nella Seivert, new owners of the Medivac  Ambulance service.

9AM Newscast 06-28-2012

News, Podcasts

June 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson