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Health Insurance Marketplace is now enrolling Iowans


December 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Enrollment is now open for those looking to sign up for insurance or change or renew their policies under the federal plan known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency overseeing the sing ups and spokesman Nick Clasen says it impacts thousands of Iowans. “There’s about 39-thousand consumers in Iowa enrolled in the Marketplace right now. There’s still about 188-thousand uninsured individuals in Iowa,” Clasen says. “Whether you are enrolled or not, you should go on before December 15th, look at your options, update any information if you are a current enrollee, that way you have coverage by January first.” He says you can sign up on the internet.

“If you are uninsured you can go to Healthcare.gov. You can apply for a premium tax credit which helps lower you monthly premiums, and then you can enroll in a plan,” Clasen says. He says you can call 1-800-318-5296 to get help over the phone, and he says there is plenty of in-person help to guide you through all the insurance issues.

“Across Iowa we have the Enroll Iowa Coalition. Health centers, hospitals and other community agencies have partnered together and people can go in and sit down with somebody and that person will walk them through the application process and also explain what deductibles are, what co-pays are, what the plans might cover that somebody is looking at,” according to Clasen. He says if you are worried about the cost of insurance, that is why there’s a tax credit.

He says if you qualify for a premium tax credit — 88 percent of qualifiers are paying less than 100 dollars each month. Clasen says enrollment ends on January 31st, but he encourages you to not procrastinate. “We have had a little bit of I’d say a surge towards the deadlines, and December 15th even though it’s not the end of enrollment, a lot of people want to enroll by December 15th so they have coverage by January 1st,” Clasen says. Clasen says you can face a penalty of up to 700 dollars if you haven’t enrolled for insurance by the end of 2016.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Dec. 7th 2015


December 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CLARION, Iowa (AP) — The first trial related to allegations of hazing at a northern Iowa high school has been scheduled for February. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports an 18-year-old accused of hazing freshmen on the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows football team recently pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse charges. Two other students are also charged in the case.

MAURICE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in northwest Iowa hope a new airport that’s under construction in Sioux County will boost business. The Journal reports the $28 million project that has been in the works for more than a decade is expected to be done in 2018. It will replace airports in in nearby Orange City and Sioux Center that lack room to expand.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 57-year-old woman and her 17-year-old grandson are facing charges after a coupon dispute at a Family Dollar store in Council Bluffs. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports officers were called to the store Saturday afternoon after the woman became upset she couldn’t use a coupon for soda. The 17-year-old fought with two officers, and wound up being arrested as well.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police have identified the man killed during a home invasion in Des Moines this weekend. Police say 31-year-old Travis Williams of Earlham died after an altercation with two people who lived at the home. The altercation was reported around 2 a.m. Saturday at 2020 East 14th Street. Investigators believe Williams broke into the home before the confrontation. An autopsy will be performed.

Free Community Dance Dec. 20th in Atlantic


December 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Organizers with the Community jazz band “Popcorn Button” have announced an evening of dancing and music will take place Sunday, December 20th, at the Atlantic Elks Lodge. Popcorn Button’s sixteen musicians will bring the swing, featuring polka, two step, waltz, and swing tunes from the big band era. Founded in 2010, the volunteer band aims to promote community arts, big band music, and dancing. To help support local student musicians, the band offers a scholarship for music lessons, band camps, and honor bands.

Details are at popcornbutton.org/scholarship. Beginning dancers are invited to take their first steps at Holiday Ball with the help of Jake and Pam Auerbach, Popcorn Button’s veteran dance instructors. With a few minutes of their guidance, you can learn the basics of swing and get out on the dance floor.

The band is typically composed of local musicians, but takes an international turn this month, as Santa Claus joins the trumpet line. The Holiday Ball will be held on Sunday, December 20th at the Atlantic Elks Lodge, 501 Poplar Street, from 7 to 10 pm. Admission is free, and a free will donation is accepted to cover the band’s expenses. Listeners and dancers of all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information, visit popcornbutton.org or email info@popcornbutton.org.

2 injured in separate hunting incidents Sunday

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say two hunters were injured by gunshot wounds in separate incidents while deer hunting, Sunday. 47-year old Walter Freeman, of Winfield, was struck in the abdomen by a deer slug believed to have been fired by another member of his hunting party shortly after 2 p.m. northeast of Winfield. He was transported by helicopter to University of Iowa hospitals where he was undergoing surgery Sunday evening for internal injuries.

28-year old Travis E. Myers, of Dundee, was in a group of 11 hunters pushing deer on private property approximately one mile northeast of Backbone State Park in Delaware County when he was struck a deer slug in the upper right shoulder by shot fired from another member of the hunting party shortly after 8 a.m. He was transported to Manchester Regional Medical Center in Manchester where he was expected to be treated and released for a flesh wound.

Both incidents remain under investigation by conservation officers for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Megan Wisecup who coordinates hunter safety programs for the DNR, said both of the incidents Sunday occurred when shots were being taken at moving deer. “It is especially important from a safety standpoint while party hunting for deer that people plan their hunt and hunt their plan so everyone is where they should be at all times,” said Wisecup.

She said also, “Hunters should also be sure to identify the target and what is beyond it and avoid target fixation and shooting at running deer. Wait until you have a clear shot with a safe backstop before pulling the trigger. Know where members of your hunting party are at, at all times.”

Earlham man ID’d as home invasion victim


December 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police have identified the man killed during a home invasion in Des Moines this weekend. Police say 31-year-old Travis Alan Williams of Earlham, Iowa, died after an altercation with two people who lived at the home. The incident was reported around 2 a.m. Saturday at 2020 E. 14th Street.

Investigators believe Williams broke into the home before the confrontation. An autopsy will be performed. The two residents of the home were identified as 19-year-old Ali Cano and 18-year-old Whitney Campbell. Police say all the evidence will be presented to prosecutors once the investigation is complete to determine if any charges are warranted.

Oops! Iowa Sen. Ernst tweets congrats to Hawkeyes after loss

News, Sports

December 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, tweeted out her congratulations to the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes for winning the Big Ten championship Saturday night moments after they blew a late lead and lost 16-13 to Number 5 Michigan State.

Iowa lost in the title game after allowing a late, 22-play touchdown drive that ended in L.J. Scott reaching for a go-ahead scoring run at Lucas Oil Stadium. “Congrats @hawkeyefootball on the big win! #big10 #B1GFCG #iowa,” Ernst tweeted.

The tweet was removed moments after it hit the Internet, but had received at least 675 retweets by that time.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., Dec. 6th 2015


December 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has ordered flags lowered to half-staff next week in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The gubernatorial order would have flags lowered from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Monday. Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol and on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — It’s been a year since the Coralville Police Department first outfitted its officers with body cameras, and now the department is struggling with how to store the vast amount of video footage. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the Coralville City Council recently authorized more than $18,000 for the police department to upgrade its computer servers and purchase additional digital storage space for its body and dash camera data.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — L.J. Scott kept lunging forward, stretching the ball over the goal line for a touchdown with 27 seconds and Number 5 Michigan State all but locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff, edging 4th ranked Iowa 16-13 Saturday in the Big Ten championship game. Iowa lost for the first time this season — and just barely.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, deleted her tweeted congratulating the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes for winning the Big Ten championship Saturday night moments after they blew a late lead and lost 16-13 to Number 5 Michigan State. Iowa lost at Lucas Oil Stadium after allowing a late, 22-play touchdown drive.

Bluffs Police officers assaulted by juvenile Saturday afternoon


December 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two Council Bluffs Police Officers were injured Saturday afternoon while attempting to arrest a juvenile following a disturbance at a local business. The officers were called at around 3:35-p.m. to the Family Dollar store located at 2801 West Broadway. When they arrived and located an adult female and 17-year old male. The two subjects were upset over the business not accepting a coupon for a soft drink product. When officers asked the subjects for their ID’s, the 17-year old male became aggressive and refused to comply with the officer’s order.

Officer’s decided to arrest 57-year old Suzanne Elizabeth Fredette for Disorderly Conduct, after a citizen told the officers that he was offended by the profanity yelled by the subjects. When officers attempted to arrest Fredette, her 17-year old male grandson interfered. The officers turned their attention to the juvenile and decided to arrest him, as well. The teen fought with the officers and resisted arrest. Officer were able to take the male to the ground and place handcuffs on him.  Fredette was arrested without further incident.

The primary Officer on the scene suffered a dislocated finger, while the back-up Officer suffered a fractured hand during the arrest. Fredette was transported to corrections and booked. The teenager was taken Mercy Hospital to be checked out, due to his being in an altercation with officers. The officers were also treated at Mercy and then released.

After the teen was released from the hospital, he was transported to the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center, and booked-in on charges that include 2 counts each of: Disorderly Conduct; Aggravated Assault on Peace Officer; and Interference with Official Acts.

Woman shot in the leg in Council Bluffs; Suspect unknown


December 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs report a woman was shot in the leg Saturday evening by an unknown female assailant. Officers were called at around 6:40-pm to the north side of Big Lake Park in Council Bluffs for a shooting that had just occurred. When officers arrived they found 40-year old Shanna E. Golyar, of Council Bluffs (Also known as “Liz” Golyar), near a red Toyota car with a gunshot wound to the left upper thigh of the left leg. The woman said her assailant, a white female, 5-feet 7-inches tall, with dark hair and unknown clothing, was last seen running east bound in the park.

The area was cordoned off by uniform officers. The Omaha Police Department Helicopter was also requested to search the area for the suspect, however the suspect was not located. Golyar was transported to Mercy Hospital for treatment of  non-life threatening injuries.

The Criminal Investigation Division was called to the scene and their preliminary investigation revealed Golyar drove to the park around 6-pm and parked her vehicle on the northwest parking lot near the walking trail. She said that she had walked for a short distance and decided to sit on a bench nearby. It was while she was sitting there she heard a female voice order her to lie down on the ground. The voice also made a vulgar comment to Golyar. The suspect did not demand any valuables and made no further statements to the woman.

Golyar said that she was then shot with an unknown weapon, and she was unable to provide any additional description of the suspect. Authorities say while their investigation is continuing into the incident, at this time they believe it is an isolated event only. Anyone that may have witnessed the shooting or have any information can call Crime Stoppers at 712-328-7867.

Crash in Council Bluffs late Friday night


December 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident late Friday night in Council Bluffs resulted in two people hurt and the driver of the vehicle arrested for OWI. Bluffs Police said 19-year old Jacob Willey was driving a black 2004 Dodge Ram pickup southbound on Valley View Drive at around 11:54-p.m., when the truck went onto the southbound shoulder. Willey overcorrected, causing the vehicle to leave the northbound shoulder of Valley View. The truck then slid into the ditch and overturned several times before coming to rest.

Bluffs BadgeNeither Willey, nor his passengers, 20-year old’s Ryan D. Higginbotham and Megan E. Wolff, were wearing seat belts. All of the crash victims are from Council Bluffs. Wolff reported to authorities that she was ejected during the crash. She suffered broken bones and abrasions. Higginbotham also suffered from abrasions. Both were transported to UNMC for treatment.

None of the injuries are considered life threatening. Willey was arrested and processed for Operating While Intoxicated First Offense and Failure to Maintain Control of a Motor Vehicle. He was turned over to Pottawattamie County Corrections staff. Authorities remind you…”Don’t drink and drive, designate a driver.”