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Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, 10/23/2015


October 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Pres

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials cancelled afternoon classes at a Des Moines high school after many staffers suffered from food poisoning, apparently by a catered meal. The Des Moines Register reports classes were cancelled Thursday at Roosevelt High School and students were sent home early. School district spokeswoman Amanda Lewis says the Polk County Health Department believes the staffers were sickened by a meal catered by two businesses. The food wasn’t prepared by the school kitchen and no students are believed to have been sickened. Roosevelt Principal Kevin Biggs says classes were cancelled because there were too few staffers to continue classes.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be in Iowa more as the leadoff presidential caucuses draw closer. His campaign also tells The Associated Press that Christie is opening his first office soon in suburban Des Moines.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tests on more than 750 ducks shot by Minnesota hunters this fall have turned up no signs of the kind of bird flu that devastated the Midwest poultry industry earlier this year. Wild waterfowl don’t normally get sick from these viruses, but they’re deadly to domestic poultry. Bird flu cost producers more than 48 million chickens and turkeys earlier this year, mostly in Minnesota and Iowa.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Plans have been canceled for placing a 40-foot-tall statue in a roundabout intersection near Cedar Falls Industrial Park. Former City Council member Barbara Brown told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the controversy about roundabouts proposed for University Avenue made it hard to collect donations.

Creston Casey’s robbery pics


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

As a follow-up to our story about Wednesday morning’s robbery at a Casey’s Convenience store in Creston (200 S. Elm St.), here are surveillance still images of the suspect. The incident took place at around 6:30-a.m. If you have any information about the suspect, call the Creston Police Department at 641-782-8402.

Photos from the Creston P-D's Facebook page as captured by surveillance cameras in the store.

Photos from the Creston P-D’s Facebook page as captured by surveillance cameras in the store.

Casey rob2 Casey rob3

Audubon Mayor and City Council candidate forum set for Oct. 26th


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Audubon County Economic Development say a candidate forum will be held Monday evening in Audubon, for those candidates running for Mayor and City Council in Audubon. Current Mayor Sam Kauffman is not running for re-election.

On the ballot for Mayor during the November 3rd City Elections is Barb Jacobsen, and Write-in candidate Brandon Toft. City Council candidates include Brad Hemmingsen, Andy Griffith, Bob Jacobsen and John  Whetzal.

The candidate forum, sponsored by Audubon County Tourism, will be held 7-p.m. Monday, Oct. 26th, at the Audubon Memorial Building, on the square, in Audubon. Persons needing a ride to the event should call 712-563-3269.

Reminder: Flu Clinics are being offered in Cass County


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A reminder today from officials with UnityPoint at Home and Cass County Public Health: Community flu clinics are being offered in Cass County, now, through Oct. 29th. Clinics were held in Anita and Atlantic earlier this week. The next opportunities for you to get yourself protected against the four strains expected to affect the nation this year, are on Monday, Oct. 26th, from 11-a.m. until 2-p.m. at the 1st United Methodist Church, in Atlantic, and on Wednesday, Oct. 28th, from 9-until 11-am at the Massena Medical Center, and from 12:30-until 2:30-p.m. Wednesday, at the Griswold Medical Center.

The last chance to get immunized is at Unity Point at Home in Atlantic, next Thursday (Oct. 29th), from 3-until 5-p.m.  The 2015-2016 influenza vaccine is quadravalent, meaning it covers four types of strains; H1N1, H2N3, and two types of Influenza B. Groups at a higher risk for flu complications include the elderly and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Those in the high risk group are encouraged to get vaccinated early.

Flu shots will be billed for those presenting Medicare Part B and Medicaid documentation. No other insurance companies will be billed. The cost is $30 for the Fluzone shot or $40 for the FluMist vaccine, which is a nasal spray. Officials note that there is a limited supply of the high-dose flu vaccination, which is $35. Payment is accepted in cash or check. All children present with a parent or guardian may receive the vaccination. No physician’s order is required. For more information, call UnityPoint at Home at 712-243-7551.

Emerald Ash Borer Informational Meeting November 5th

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ISU Extension officials in Montgomery County say an informational meeting on emerald ash borer (EAB) will be held for the public on Thursday, November 5th beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Gold Building, 1809 4th Street in Red Oak.ISU Extension

Emerald ash borer is a small, metallic green beetle about ½ inch long that is destructive and invasive. It was discovered in rural Montgomery County in August of this year. The meeting will focus on the history of EAB in Iowa, how the insect works, and treatment options for owners of ash trees.

Presenters include Mike Kintner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Lindsey Barney of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Mark Shour, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Entomologist.

The meeting is free and hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Montgomery County. Call 623-2592 or email Stephanie Langner at slangner@iastate.edu with questions. Find them on the web at www.extension.iastate.edu/montgomery, or on Facebook at Montgomery County-IA Extension.

3 adults and one child injured in accident south of Atlantic


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Four people, three adults and a child, were injured Wednesday night south of Atlantic, during a collision between a semi hauling grain, and a minivan. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Larsen says the accident happened on Highway 71 near the intersection with Memphis Road, at around 6:14-p.m.Accident graphic

Larsen says both vehicles were traveling north on Highway 71 when the van attempted to turn at Memphis Road. As the semi was trying to pass the van, the vehicles made contact. Afterward, the minivan spun out and ended up in the west ditch. The semi came to rest on the right shoulder of Hwy 71.

The driver of the semi, 79-year old Don Pelzer, of Marne, was not injured in the collision. The driver of the van, 62-year old Jane Becker, and her passengers, 39-year old John Becker and 40-year old Michael Plagman, suffered minor injuries in the crash. A two-year old male, backseat passenger, suffered from a broken leg, and was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac Ambulance, before being transferred to a hospital in Des Moines. All of the crash victims are from Atlantic.

No charges were filed pending completion of an investigation. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Atlantic Fire and Rescue, Medivac Ambulance, and the Iowa State Patrol.

Shelby County Fire Danger downgraded to “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With recent rain and the forecast for showers or light rain in the immediate forecast, the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency is asking local fire departments and businesses in the county who possess “Fire Danger” signs, to place those signs in the “High” category, through the weekend. That’s downgraded from Monday’s “Extreme” rating. Officials say another factor in the decision to lower the danger index, is the number of fields left to harvest, has dwindled.High Fire Danger

The next update on fire danger conditions will be posted Monday morning.

Ringgold County man injured in rollover accident


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Ringgold County suffered serious, incapacitating injuries during a rollover accident early this (Thursday) morning, in Union County. The Sheriff’s Office reports 29-year old Daniel Snyder, of Diagonal, was traveling north on County Road P-27 (The High and Dry Road), when a deer ran in front of his 1993 Ford Escort. When Snyder swerved to miss the animal, his car went out of control and entered the east ditch where it rolled onto its top.

The accident happened at around 6:30-a.m. Snyder was transported by ambulance to the Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston. A report on his condition was not released. Snyder’s car was totaled in the crash.

Cass County Health System Needs your Feedback


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System is seeking the public’s input on how CCHS is meeting the healthcare needs of residents in southwest Iowa. Three thousand surveys are being mailed to a random sample of residents throughout Cass County. Residents can complete the paper survey and return it in the enclosed, postage paid envelope, or follow the instructions and complete the survey online. Surveys must be completed and returned by Friday, November 13, 2015. The survey will take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete.

Survey responses are completely confidential. Essman/Research, an independent marketing research firm in Des Moines, has been retained by CCHS to process the survey results and provide CCHS with an Executive Summary Report.

CCHS CEO Todd Hudspeth says “We appreciate Cass County residents taking time to share their thoughts on healthcare services in general and about the services offered at Cass County Health System.” Hudspeth says “We will utilize this feedback as we develop a strategic plan to guide our progress over the next several years.”

Residents who have any questions about the survey may contact the CCHS Public Relations Department at 712-243-7408 or Essman/Research at 515-282-7145.

Atlantic Police Chief says it’s time to replace stun guns & look at body cams


October 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green presented an annual review of his department to the City Council during their meeting, Wednesday evening. Green discussed some of his departments needs when it comes to nailing down the specifics on his budget. Among the funds he’s expecting to request at budget time, is $10,000 to equip his officers with body cameras, and $12,000 to replace their aging stun guns, commonly referred to by their trade name, “Taser’s.”Taser

Green says Taser is ending its support for older models of the company’s stun guns, which are only warranted for 5-years. Atlantic’s Tasers, which were purchased by the Cass County Attorney’s Office through the use of drug money received by the County, are eight-years old.

As for equipping his officers with body cameras, Green says they’ve already had three in use over the past year on a test basis, and while his staff are generally in favor of the devices, there are many legal hurdles – especially invasion of privacy — that need to be taken into consideration. The issues were brought up by attorneys, at a recent Police Chief’s convention. In addition to Invasion of Privacy, the angle of perspective, making sure the cameras are turned-on and that audio recorder is activated, are all issues that are in the court and will likely be for years, according to Green.

The cameras themselves typically run $400-to $800 a piece, or about $10,000 for a dozen of them for the first year. Additional expenses can include a download docking station, $12,000 for a server, $22,000 for five-years of software support, plus a license for “redaction.” That’s the blurring of faces of the persons not involved in an incident or crime. When the media requests video of an incident under the Freedom of Information Act, the process to redact images takes hours to accomplish because there are thousands of frames of video in a 10-minute recording.

Green says he thinks they can save on costs by using the department’s existing server to handle the digital camera data downloads. He says he hasn’t decided yet which type or brand of camera the department will purchase. He said also “We don’t need them today, but we will need them within the next year or so.” Green also told the Council his department received 7,000 calls over the past year, his officers made 227 arrests that resulted in people being sent to jail, 398 people were charged, 327 traffic citations were issued, 109 written warnings, as well as numerous verbal warnings for traffic and other offenses.

Green said he was proud of the way his officers and reserve officers stepped-up and helped out with the department’s children’s programs over the past year, as well. He says $13,000 was spent on programs that benefit children, such as Shop with a Cop, Family Dreams Christmas, and more.

Green thanked the community for its support during fundraising efforts for those programs, and reminds you they will begin fundraising efforts for their annual programs again, next month.