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Bluffs store robbed early this (Monday) morning


September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are on the lookout for a man who robbed a convenience store early this (Monday) morning. Officials say at around 2:15-a.m., a black male wearing a black ski mask, black sweatshirt, black gloves and blue pants, entered Bucky’s store at 1759 Madison Avenue. The man pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Iowa early News headlines: Tue., Sept. 4th 2012


September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The president and his running mate and their mates have scheduled a post-convention trip to Iowa. Campaign officials say President Barack Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, will be accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, when they visit Iowa City on Friday. Obama is giving his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a driver found dead in a car that went into a pond at Water Works Park in Des Moines. Police say 23-year-old Mang Chang of Clive died in the crash that happened yesterday morning.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some neighbors are upset with expansion plans by a Mason City hospital. The Globe Gazette reports residents in the Forest Park neighborhood are circulating a petition against a proposed zoning change that would allow Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa to demolish 10 hours for the project. Resident Connie Momeni questions whether there will ever been an end to the expansion work. The City Council will review the application during a public hearing Tuesday.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State running back Shontrelle Johnson was forced to confront the possibility that he’d never play football again. Now Johnson has bounced back from months spent worrying about a neck injury and is in the best shape of his life. Johnson and fellow junior James White will split carries on Saturday when the Cyclones play at rival Iowa.

Drought may lead to not so brilliant fall colors

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The unofficial end of summer is here and fall-like scenery could be arriving earlier than usual this year. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh says this summer’s drought has stressed some trees, which may speed up the process of leaves changing color. “In parts of central Iowa, I’m already starting to see some fall color, which is an indication those plants are deciding to shut down early and try to adapt to the conditions that are here,” Vitosh says. During a typical year, the fall colors are at their most brilliant in October.

Vitosh says the change in leaf color could climax a few weeks earlier this year. “We actually got a similar response in 2008 with the floods. We had a lot of stress on plants in some of the bottom lands and those trees started to turn color,” Vitosh says. “We may see a similar response this year because in some of the flood plain areas, those soils can be rather sandy and we haven’t had a lot of moisture.” A worst case scenario for fans of fall foliage would be almost no change in color.  “The other thing that happens with a drought, instead of getting fall color, you get a lot of nothing…a lot of brown or yellow or the trees just shut down. So, we may not get the brilliant colors,” Vitosh said.

(Radio Iowa)

Free hotel rooms in Omaha/Council Bluffs for qualifying cancer patients


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More than a dozen hotels in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area are again offering a program that provides a free room to people who are traveling there to undergo cancer treatment. Mike Lefler, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, says it’s one less expense and one less problem for the patient.  “Once you’re diagnosed with cancer, there are a thousand things that run through your mind,” Lefler says. “One of those things may be where you will stay or how you’re going to drive 50 to 100 miles to and from treatment five days a week for a number of weeks. By utilizing a Guest Room Program like this, people have one less thing to worry about when they are battling cancer.”

He says the program provides free lodging at participating hotels for as long as a patient needs treatment, with a few guidelines. “You have to be driving more than 50 miles one-way to your destination and you have to be in active treatment,” Lefler says. “The other thing is, if you call in and it’s a busy time for the hotels, it’s definitely based on availability.” He says you’re not guaranteed a room but most of the time, they can find a way to accommodate you. Lefler says participating hotels donate the room, free of charge to the patient, while they receive treatment.

“They do it as a community service because most of the hotels, the general managers, the employees have all seen first-hand, whether it’s themselves or family members or friends or loved ones, that have gone through cancer and know how devastating it can be,” he says. “We’re fortunate enough to have many, many partners in the Omaha area that are willing to give free nights of lodging.” Lefler says the service is especially helpful for those who need daily or weekly treatment over of period of months. Learn more about the program by calling your nearest chapter of the American Cancer Society.

(Radio Iowa)

Southwest Iowa Businesses have a chance to win $5,000 for their business or start-up


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Iowa Western Community College say the IWCC Department of Economic and Workforce Development and Small Business Development Center, has partnered with the University of Northern Iowa and will participate in the state wide contest “Dream Big Grow Here”. Dream Big Grow Here is a contest for Iowa small business owners and Entrepreneurs created by the UNI MyEntre.Net team. Businesses can win up to $15,000 to help start or grow their businesses. $5,000 will be awarded on November 1st to a small business or start up in Pottawattamie, Shelby, Harrison, Mills, Page, Fremont or Cass County.

The regional winner will go on to a state contest for a chance to win $10,000. The contest offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to upload their business growth ideas and/or start up ideas online at www.DreamBigGrowHere.com from September 10th through the 28th, then encourage customers, friends, family and community members to vote for them from October 1st through October 22nd. The top 5 vote getters from the Southwest Iowa Missouri River Region will than participate in a regional pitch off contest at IWCC in Council Bluffs on November 1st, 2012.

The winner of the Southwest Iowa Missouri River regional contest receives a $5,000 cash award (according to contest rules) and a chance to compete for $10,000 in a live, pitch-off during the statewide EntreFest! Conference in April 2013. The Southwest Iowa Missouri River Region contest begins September 10th. To participate, entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the website to determine their eligibility OR an informational Dream Big Grow Here sessions that will be held on September 10th at Iowa Western Community College in Looft Hall.

Register for the sessions at dreambiggrowhere.iowabiztalk.com or call 712-325-3350. spitts@iwcc.edu. The contest upload phase begins on September 10th – September 28th when contestants will be able to go to www.dreambiggrowhere.com and fill out the questionnaire/application as well as upload a video, power point or photographs outlining their plans for growth and/or start up. The voting will begin on October 1st through October 22nd.

Contestants can encourage friends, family customers and employees, and fans to vote for them. The top 5 vote winners will be asked to present at the Southwest Iowa Dream Big Grow Here contest on November 1st at IWCC The Winner will be announced at the end of the evening. If you are interested in participating in the contest the Iowa Western Small Business Development Center offers free technical assistance and consulting for business planning, marketing, websites, pitches and more. You’re encouraged you to take advantage of the expertise the SBDC offers to make sure you are fully prepared and ready for the publicity you will gain during the voting phase. The SBDC will also help you prepare to work with social media and digital marketing so you are prepared to get votes during the voting stage. Dream Big Grow Here is sponsored by Iowa Bankers Association, Renew Rural Iowa, ISU Community Vitality Center, Iowa Economic Development Authority, VentureNet, Delta Dental of Iowa and Technology Association of Iowa.

For more information on the Dream Big Grow Here competition and for complete rules, go to www.DreamBig GrowHere.com or contact Sue Pitts at spitts@iwcc.edu. For help in preparing for the contest, contact Sue Pitts at the IWCC SBDC at 712-325-3350 or spitts@iwcc.edu.

Iowan seeks uniform rules with missing children


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Falls child care provider wants Iowa to implement uniform standards for how law enforcement responds to a missing child case. The Des Moines Register says Robin Arnold says the first few hours are critical and a missing child is a missing child. Questions have been raised about whether the state could have done more when the two cousins disappeared in Evansdale on July 13 and remain missing. A search began immediately, and within hours, local residents and the media were notified. But an Amber Alert wasn’t issued. Officials say those are issued only when it’s known that a child has been abducted. Arnold wants the alerts regardless. Sen. Jeff Daniels, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, says he’ll push for a review of Iowa law dealing with missing children.

Sentencing set to take place Tuesday in sexual exploitation case


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A plea hearing and sentencing is set to take place Tuesday morning in Atlantic, for a former Anita Community School District teacher charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

William Glenn Foulkes (Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office photo)

65-year old William Glenn Foulkes pled Not Guilty in March, to charges he sexually exploited a minor female over a period of 13-months.

A former long-time Math teacher at the Anita High School, and Anita Elementary School, Foulkes was arrested March 15th on a felony warrant for Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee/Scheme, and 49-Aggravated Misdemeanor counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee/Arousal.

If convicted on all of the charges, he faces a maximum time of 103 years in prison and fines of more than $300,000. Foulkes resigned from his teaching position in November 2010. He’s accused of engaging in sexual conduct on numerous occasions with a minor female while teaching the student in a math program from August 2009 until November 11, 2010.

Goal of federal grant is to better lives of Iowans with disabilities


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

State health officials have landed a large federal grant to help improve the lives of people with disabilities. The 900-thousand dollar C-D-C grant will focus on reducing health disparities for Iowans with disabilities in a host of ways. Lonnie Cleland, a program director at the Iowa Department of Public Health, says more than one in ten Iowans have a disability. Cleland says, “We ultimately want to be able to include people with disabilities in Iowa in local public health promotion activities and then identify sources of financial assistance to help lower-income people get access to services.”

That assistance could include things like housing, building an access ramp or getting a health issue diagnosed. He says the goal of the grant is to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for Iowans with disabilities.
“What we want to do with this grant is get folks at the table who can write disabilities into their policies,” Cleland says. “It could be ramps. It could be falls prevention. It could be brain injury groups. It could be any sort of disability groups.”

More than 336-thousand Iowans have some kind of disability which is more than 11-percent of the population. For Iowans over 65 years of age, more than 33-percent have a disability. Cleland says most people don’t realize how many Iowans have a handicap. “We may see that the parking space for the disabled is empty at QuikTrip and so we wonder, ‘Well, who uses that? Do they really need that?’ Yes, they do need that. There’s a greater proportion of the population than we readily think of.”

About 38-percent of people with disabilities rank their health as fair-to-poor compared to just six-percent of those without disabilities. Iowa is among 18 states getting the grants. The state health department will work with local public health agencies and the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development to target health disparities for Iowans with disabilities. Access to spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities will also be targeted. The grant will also promote personal emergency preparedness planning for individuals and family caregivers of those with disabilities.

(Radio Iowa)

7AM Newscast 09-03-2012

News, Podcasts

September 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Some Iowans must wait for mental health services


September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ADEL, Iowa (AP) – Dallas County has started a waiting list for some mental health services, hoping to stretch its budget so it can meet residents’ most vital needs.  Community Services Director Darci Alt expects more than 600 people will obtain mental health services through the county this year.  Alt told The Des Moines Register that, “with the downturn in the economy, financial problems and job loss are causing people to have more crisis situations.”

Alt says the waiting list will not affect therapy services, but there will be limited access to transportation, day programming, community living and employment services. The waiting list will affect an estimated 30 percent of the county’s patients. The overall number could increase if more people seek services.