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Harkin to pay a “Farewell” visit to Atlantic


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Democratic Party Chair Sherry Toelle says Iowa Senator Tom Harkin will be at the Cass County Democratic Headquarters, 511 Chestnut in Atlantic, on Monday, October 6th at 12:30 PM for a farewell meeting with his constituents.

Harkin served as a Congressional aide for several years before running for the US House of Representatives in Iowa’s old 5th District, serving from 1975 to 1985. In 1984, Harkin won his election bid for the US Senate from which he is retiring when his current term ends in January 2015.

Toelle says the Senator firmly believes that government can do good for its people. His major accomplishments include the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, after which he became a global leader for equal rights for people with disabilities. He was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act.

Toelle says Senator Harkin hopes that he can visit with many of his Cass County supporters at this event. A light lunch will be provided as well as snacks and refreshments. For more information, contact the Democratic HQ at 243-4480.

Flood Warning for the East Nish at Red Oak until Friday morning

News, Weather

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Omaha has issued a Flood Warning for the East Nishnabotna River at Red Oak, until Friday morning. The river is projected to rise to 19.2 feet however, additional rain and severe weather could increase this amount over the next day or two.

Should additional warnings and flooding concern occur, information will be posted immediately. At 19.2 feet, very minor lowland flooding will begin.10703685_717476625013065_2785822741052193179_n

Public Hearing in Walnut on CDBG application


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Walnut will hold a public hearing Thursday evening on a proposed application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) pertaining to Downtown Revitalization. Later on during the session, the Council will hold discussion about a possible Streetscape Enhancement Project, and they’ll hear from Matt Roth with The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), with regard to the submission of the CDBG application and additional discussion on the matter. Afterward, the Council will consider and likely act on the adoption of a Resolution demonstrating local support and participation in a CDBG Downtown Revitalization grant application, and an application for CITIES Funds along with the commitment of local funds for the project.

In other business, the Walnut City Council will hear from SWIPCO’s Jeremy Middents, with regard to the submission of a CDBG application on behalf of a Walnut Housing Rehabilitation Program. They’ll also act on a request to close a street in conjunction with the Sept. 19th through 25th Walnut Antique Festival.

The first reading of several ordinances will be held, as well. Included among them: An amendment to the City’s Code of Ordinances with regard the addition of “Vapor products and alternative nicotine products”; Amended provisions pertaining to Off-road Utility Vehicles (UTV’s); and, the first reading of an amended ordinance pertaining to persons under legal age/social hosts.

In other discussion, the Council will hear about Operation EDITH and the Fire Station Open House, which is set for 6:30-p.m. Oct. 8th, and, the Fireman’s Funfest set for Sun., Oct. 19th.  The Walnut City Council meeting begins 5-p.m Thursday in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall.

Clown convention opens in Davenport


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Although some might consider the prospect frightening, more than one-hundred clowns from seven states are gathering in eastern Iowa today (Wednesday). The Midwest Clown Association is opening its 41st annual convention in Davenport. Event spokesclown Angie Gonzalez says for some members, clowning is a full-time job, while many others just consider it a hobby or vocation.  “It brings out your creative side,” Gonzalez says. “Creative people are really into clowning because it lets you create a character. If you’ve ever been in drama or a skit or any kind of performance art, clowning is a great new avenue to exercise those creative skills and talents that you have.”

The convention will feature continuing education classes that range from make-up and costuming to juggling, balloon sculpture, magic, slapstick comedy and even how to “clown” in parades. Gonzalez calls herself a “ministry clown” and goes by the name of “Q-T Pie.”  “I do a lot of hospital clowning,” she says. “You go into those places and see people who are so sick and so hurting and you can make them smile and their mother says, ‘That’s the first time I’ve seen my child smile since they’ve been in the hospital,’ it just brings such joy to my heart and continues my calling to do it more.” She admits there are a few people who are scared by clowns, mostly due to some books and movies.

Even though it’s not recognized medically, Gonzalez and other clowns call it coulrophobia (COAL-roe-FOE-be-ah) and they also teach their members how to handle it. The Midwest Clown Association Convention runs through Sunday at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center in Davenport.

(Radio Iowa)

Parents Can Help Children with Abduction Concerns


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Parents naturally are concerned for their children’s safety, particularly when there is news of attempted child abductions that happen close to home. Finding the balance between emotions and the “teachable moment” as parents talk to their children is important, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist says. According to Malisa Rader, an ISU Extension and Outreach human sciences specialist in family life, kids might be dealing with their own fears based upon what they are seeing on TV or hearing from others. “It is important at this time that parents react with a sense of calm and reassurance,” Rader said.

Parents can take this opportunity to share with their children important information to help avoid potentially dangerous situations, but need to approach it in a manner that doesn’t create unhealthy fears in children.

Share Helpful Information
Rader offered the following suggestions:

Emphasize with your child that strangers should not be asking children for help, but it is OK for a child to ask an adult for help when needed.
Encourage your child to trust his or her intuition and to take action when sensing danger.
Point out ways your child has learned to stay safe, such as saying “no” and running away when he or she is concerned about a situation.
Help your child identify safe places such as schools, libraries, churches and businesses.
An analysis of all attempted abduction cases by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that in 84 percent of cases, the children escaped their would-be abductors through their own actions.

“It is important that parents make it a priority to talk with their children about safety from predators not as a ‘once and then done’ conversation, but as an ongoing dialogue as their children grow older,” Rader shared.

As children age from adolescence to tweens to teens, the conversation around child safety should evolve. The Take 25 campaign sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers age-appropriate discussion guides and activity sheets related to safety topics. Resources can be accessed at http://www.take25.org.

Help Young People Process Thoughts, Feelings
Rader encourages parents to watch their children closely for signs of anxiousness. Being open to talk about those feelings while developing safety strategies can help children feel in control of situations. They can learn to make good choices when faced with possible unsafe circumstances, while still enjoying some of the carefree aspects of childhood. “Be open to how your child might be feeling and talk with him or her with sincerity and honesty,” Rader said.

This is an opportunity to discuss any number of issues— from children not putting themselves in particularly dangerous situations to how to react when they sense they might be in potential danger, Rader said. “This is a teachable moment, so use it! But doing so in a calm, reassuring manner will help your point come across more clearly without raising unhealthy fears in young people,” the ISU Extension and Outreach specialist said.

Iowans can call ISU Extension and Outreach’s Iowa Concern Hotline, 800-447-1985, for help and referrals for dealing with stress, crisis and loss.

2 arrests in Creston, 1 theft reported


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Departments reports two people were arrested on separate charges. Early this (Wednesday) morning, 46-year old Jon Eric Muselman, of Osceola, was arrested at the Union County Law Enforcement Center, on a Union County warrant for Simple Assault. Muselman was later released on $300 bond. And, Tuesday evening, 42-year old Nicole Annette Hoffman, of Winterset, was arrested in Des Moines on a Union County warrant for Probation Violation. Hoffman was being held in the Ringgold County Jail pending an appearance before the magistrate.

In addition, the Creston P-D says a resident in the 1300 block of N. Cherry Street reported Tuesday, someone had taken a trailer from his residence. The theft took place sometime between 8-am Sept. 23rd and 8-am Sept. 29th. The loss was estimated at $1,000.

Group wants investigation of Iowa rabbit deaths

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An animal welfare group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the death of four rabbits used for research at the University of Iowa. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a USDA routine inspection report from August found four rabbits died in June during a study. The report says the animals died of unexpected study complications.

The USDA report says the researchers did provide care for the animals, but didn’t contact or consult with a veterinarian about their health. A University of Iowa spokesman says the school has addressed the USDA report internally. He says the university is committed to complying with regulations governing the care and use of animals in research.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News, Wed. 10/1/2014

News, Podcasts

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Report: Midwest economic index drops in September


October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains States dropped in September, suggesting slowing economic growth in the months ahead. A survey report issued Wednesday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped nearly three percentage points to 54.3, from 57.2 the previous month. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says a drop in grain prices over the past year has led to a pullback in economic activity for the heavily agrarian region.

In Iowa: The overall index for August fell to a tepid 51.5, from 58.3 in August. It was the third consecutive month the reading has declined. Components of the index were new orders at 48.3, production or sales at 45.1, delivery lead time at 62.4, employment at 52.2, and inventories at 49.5. “Iowa’s manufacturing sector, both durable and nondurable goods producers, are experiencing much slower growth than recorded earlier in the year,” Goss said. “Weaker grain prices are spilling over into the broader state economy.” Average weekly wages have expanded by 3.1 percent in the last year, Goss said.

The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. News & funeral report, Wed. 10/1/2014

News, Podcasts

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson