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Former ISU basketball standout Royce White discusses his battle with mental illness

News, Sports

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Former Iowa State basketball star Royce White is traveling the country advocating for more support for the mentally ill, now that an anxiety disorder has kept him from playing in the NBA. White was drafted in the first round last year by Houston, but he has yet to play a single game with the Rockets. During a stop at the Iowa Statehouse today (Thursday), White said he’s proud that his difficulties have at least sparked a conversation about mental illness. “In my opinion, the greatest thing in the way of mental health progress is the stigma and the stigma derives from us not having the conversation,” White said. “Any time the words mental health are said…it’s leaps and bounds for the mental health community.”

White’s disorder involves extreme anxiety over air travel, and he and the Houston Rockets are at odds over how to accommodate that. Iowa was White’s first stop on a nationwide tour organized by a host of mental health organizations.  “I think a lot of why mental health has the stigma it does is because a lot of us who suffer are worried about our neighbor actually giving back that understanding and that has to improve,” White said. The Minnesota native is still confident he’ll play in the NBA. “I think if things don’t work out in Houston – which I hope they do – there will be another team,” White said. “Odds are good, hopefully, that one out of 32 general managers or owners will understand that mental health is important and the things I’m asking for aren’t unreasonable and they’ll allow me a chance to play the game I love. I think it’ll happen, but if it didn’t happen, that wouldn’t shock me either.”

State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, who introduced White at the statehouse news conference, said White’s struggles inspired her to acknowledge her own battle with mental illness. Gaines, a Democrat from Des Moines, said her anxiety and fear of flying prevented her from being named the 1998 National Teacher of the Year. She said the designation that would have required regular travel. “I carried that in my heart as a secret until today,” Gaines said. “This is the first time I’ve ever publicly admitted that was the real reason why I wasn’t selected as national teacher of the year. Royce White gave me the courage to stand up and speak out about my own issue.” Gaines was a drama teacher in the Des Moines School District for more than three decades before being elected to the Iowa House in 2011. White had been playing for the Houston Rockets D-League affiliate in Rio Grande, Texas. The Vipers made the D-League Playoffs, but White is not with the team for the playoff run.

(Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs to Receive $166,500 for Brownfields Redevelopment Planning

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(AP) — The city of Council Bluffs has been awarded a $166,500 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a plan for cleaning up a 70-acre area populated by vacated industrial business buildings falling in disrepair.

The city has identified the former Katelman Foundry as the initial site in the area for redevelopment. The former steel fabrication business on 3.8 acres filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and moved its operations out of the neighborhood. It includes eight parcels spanning several city blocks.

The EPA program providing the money focuses on rehabilitating brownfields — property that may have hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants that prevent redevelopment.

Council Bluffs is one of 20 communities nationwide to receive a grant.

Iowa colleges to focus on manufacturing workforce

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s 15 community colleges say they will join forces to offer more programs that help workers get jobs in fields such as welding, industrial maintenance and robotics. The colleges announced Thursday they will use a $13 million federal grant to form the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which will develop non-credit and credit programs to help more workers earn industry-recognized credentials.

The consortium will work with employers in advanced manufacturing to identify the occupational skills they are looking for in workers and develop programs that fit their needs. ACT in Iowa City will support the initiative through its Tomorrow’s Workforce Now program, which helps workers assess their strengths and define career paths. The colleges will recruit workers through an assessment process.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Suspicious device found near a former church in Stuart deemed inert

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Stuart Police Department reports a suspicious device found Tuesday near what was formally the historic All Saints Catholic Church on North Fremont Street in Stuart, was inert, and while apparently intended to instill fear, was in fact, a hoax. Officers responded to what’s now known as the “Saints Center” for cultural and the arts, after receiving reports of a suspicious device that had been found near the front door.

The incident was investigated by Stuart Police with the assistance of members from the Iowa State Fire Marshall Office. Officials say the suspicious device was secured and transported to a remote location where Stuart officers and State Fire Marshall members took actions to render the device safe. It is being sent to the Iowa DCI crime laboratory for further testing and evidence collection.

Due to the history of arson at the Saints Center and recent attacks in Boston, the Stuart Police Department is treating the event as a serious incident, and officials say charges will be filed if a suspect is found.

Drugs and drug paraphernalia seized from a motel in Stuart

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Stuart Police Department report a large amount of drug paraphernalia and drugs were seized Wednesday, from a man who was staying at the Super 8 Hotel, just north of Interstate 80, in Stuart.

Some of the drug paraphernalia seized from the Super 8 Motel in Stuart, Wednesday. (Stuart P.D./photo)

Authorities say officers recovered over 50 various forms of drug paraphernalia, and a large amount of marijuana. The Marijuana and paraphernalia were recovered from the male subject’s vehicle and hotel room, after an officer responded to a separate call at the motel. His K-9 companion alerted the officer to the presence of narcotics. 

The unidentified suspect, who is from Virginia, told officers that he was returning home from a large marijuana festival in Colorado. While charges have been filed in this case, officials stress their investigation in ongoing.

Fire Danger increases in Shelby County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says due to a warming trend, the likelihood of increased winds and a dryer forecast over the next few days, the fire danger rating will be bumped up to “MODERATE,” through Monday, April 29th. The fire danger index had been in the “Low” category for more than a week, because of recent rains.

Controlled burns should be monitored closely, and property owners should contact their local fire chief before any burns are initiated.

Accident in Atlantic Wednesday morning

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department says no injuries were reported following an accident Wednesday morning, at 10th and Linn Streets. Officials say vehicles driven by Chancey Richards and Samantha Christensen, both of Atlantic, collided as the Richards vehicle was traveling south on Linn and Christensen was headed east on 10th Street. Both drivers stopped at the controlled intersection, but when Richards proceeded, Christensen didn’t see him. Her vehicle hit his on the right side, causing a total of $4,500 damage.The accident happened just before 7:30-a.m.

Christensen was cited for Failure to Yield upon entering a through street.

Cass County Veterans Affairs office sees increased demand for Veterans’ DL’s

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Veterans Affairs Director Mitch Holmes provided his 3rdQuarter report Wednesday, to the Board of Supervisors. Holmes said one of the most popular, yet least know services available to veterans, is the “Veteran” designation on driver’s licenses.

Sample Iowa Driver’s License with the “Veteran” designation.

He said inquires about the program has brought veterans into his office at the courthouse, where they can also learn about the benefits they are entitled to, and apply for those benefits. Holmes said a total of 48 veterans applied for the driver’s license designation over the past quarter, with one dozen persons making their first trip to the VA Office in Atlantic.

Governor Branstad signed Senate File 2112 into law on April 19, 2012, requiring the veteran designation provision of the law to be implemented by July 1, 2013. The designation on Iowa DL’s and non-operator ID’s is a voluntary initiative designed to assist Iowa veterans. The Iowa Department of Transportation implemented the law January 15th, six months ahead of schedule, to demonstrate the state’s support for its veterans.

To get the designation, an honorably discharged veteran must present a copy of their DD 214 or applicable discharge document to their county Veterans Affairs office. That office will complete an Iowa DOT form and confirm the applicant’s veteran status, which authorizes the Iowa DOT to place the designation on the individual’s DL or non-operator ID. The veteran must then take the completed form to any Iowa DL issuance location and request that the veteran designation be added to his or her DL or non-operator ID card. Veterans may expedite the process by bringing a completed application form with them to the county Veterans Affairs office, along with a copy of their DD 214. The form is available online at:  https://va.iowa.gov. 

Holmes said several people he saw or who contacted his office, weren’t aware a V-A Office even existed in Atlantic. He said many of the veterans he’s spoken with, especially the older ones, didn’t realize they qualify for benefits available to them. Holmes said the VA has done a good job of informing the younger soldiers currently serving in, or just coming out of the military, about their benefits. It’s the older veterans who may not be aware of what they are entitled to. They don’t have to be wounded in combat in order to receive certain benefits.

Holmes said his office helped Vets file a total of 82 claims for Federal VA Benefits last quarter, assisted a little over 200 veterans, and made more than 1,320 contacts with veterans through office and home visits, phone calls and correspondence.

8AM Newscast 04-25-2013

News, Podcasts

April 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Seminar in Atlantic to cover Medicaid, Medicare, Soc. Sec. & SSI Benefits

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A workshop covering Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and SSI benefits and employment will be held next month, in Atlantic. Cass County Mental Health/General Relief Coordinator Teresa Kanning says the event, which explains how a person can earn significant income and still protect their medical benefits, will take place May 14th at the Cass County Center of Iowa Western Community College, in Atlantic. Workshop registration begins at 8:30-a.m., with the presentations starting at 9-a.m. and concluding by 4-p.m. Kanning said as of Wednesday (April 24th), 20 seats were still available for the training program, which will be presented by Michael Walling.

Walling, who has a Masters in Education, is the author of “The Guide to Social Security Benefits and Work Incentives, and other publications on SSA benefits. He’s regarded as an authority in teaching the subject to beneficiaries and professional novices, in a “Plain English,” yet interesting style. The seminar will cover: How benefits impact Employment First initiatives; What is countable earned income?; How to manage benefits to avoid the loss of medical benefits; When can work incentives reduce the amount of income SSA counts?, and How much a person can earn.

Other topics include: The 4 conditions required to terminate from SSDI while working; How a person can earn $31,367 and maintain their eligibility for SSI and Medicaid; How someone earning more then $1,040 per month can still receive SSDI and Medicare, and whether or not a person is receiving the correct information and proper benefit plan from a benefit counselor.

Registration is $75 per person if completed by May 1st, or $98 per person on or after May 1st. You can register online at www.benefits-training.com.  For more information, call 610-696-1551.