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Freezing rain causes power outages and minor accidents

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Rain that transitioned to freezing rain over parts of western Iowa Thursday afternoon into early Friday morning, caused minor accidents and in at least one community, a power outage that lasted for more than 2-hours. The National Weather Service said this (Friday) morning, Rockwell City was without power after rain froze on power lines, which were then whipped by the winds and knocked down.

Late Thursday night in Menlo, social media reports indicated trees were cracking under the weight of one-quarter inch of ice, and power surges were being noticed. In Cass County, there were reports of at least three accidents, none of which resulted in injury, except to say that rescue was dispatched for man who was involved in an accident on I-80 near exit 54. The man was not injured, but was suffering from chest pain following the crash. Additional information is not currently available.

Shenandoah Officer resigns before investigation into policy violation is complete

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Shenandoah Police Officer in the midst of a civil lawsuit, along with the Shenandoah Police Department and City of Shenandoah, resigned effective immediately, this past Wednesday. The Daily NonPareil says according to City Administrator Jim Davey, Officer Derek Baier, a member of the Shenandoah Police Department since December 2013, resigned because an investigation into a possible administrative policy violation was underway, and Baier chose to resign before that investigation was complete.

Baier will be eligible for unemployment, and it would be up to the city to approve or appeal that request. Davey said the process to find Baier’s replacement will begin soon.

The lawsuit involving Baier, the City of Shenandoah and its Police Department, is against Drew Bayless. In January 2014, the then 20-year-old Bayless was stopped by Baier for allegedly running a stop sign. Once Bayless stopped his vehicle, he alleges that he was thrown to the ground by Baier. Two weeks prior to the incident, Bayless had lumbar disc surgery. A second surgery was then needed to repair the damage done by Baier throwing him to the ground.

The date of Aug. 16, 2016, has been set for the start of the civil trial.

Stanton man arrested Friday morning on burglary & other charges

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department reports a Stanton man was arrested early Friday morning on Burglary and other charges. 26-year old Mykel Allen Thoren was taken into custody at around 1:45-a.m. for Burglary in the 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree. The charges stem from an incident that took place Wednesday (11/25) in the 400 block of Highland Avenue, in Red Oak.

Thoren was also arrested on a valid Cass County warrant for Theft in the 5th Degree. He was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $5,000 cash bond.

Altercation in Red Oak Thursday – no arrests

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two men suffered minor injuries during an altercation Thursday, in Red Oak, but no charges were filed. Authorities say that’s because all persons involved were intoxicated, and there were contradictory stories from victims and suspects. Persons involved in the incident were identified as Michael Vaughn Cox, Kevin Leon Simmons, and Shelby Joan Olivares.

Iowa Medicaid costs for Alzheimer’s patients projected to skyrocket

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A new report projects the expense to Medicaid for people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease in Iowa and nationwide will increase dramatically over the next decade. Melissa Kramer, spokeswoman for the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says the costs will have a tremendous impact on the thousands of patients in Iowa who are living with the memory-robbing disease.

“The current budget for Medicaid here in Iowa, we spend about $576-million on Medicaid and 14% of that is actually spent on people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.” Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60- to 80-percent of dementia cases. A majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 years old and older, but early onset can strike someone in their 40s or 50s.

“Alzheimer’s is a triple threat,” she says. “It’s soaring in prevalence, it’s lack of treatment and it has enormous costs associated that really no one can afford. This is an expensive disease and if we don’t do something now, down the road, it will bankrupt America.” There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Last year in Iowa, it was estimated there were 62,000 people statewide who’d been diagnosed with the disease.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowans are warned about phone scam involving “computer doctors”

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

If you haven’t already received an unsolicited call from someone offering to help you and your “ailing” computer, you still might, but Jim Hegarty, with the Better Business Bureau, is warning Iowans that it’s a scam, often involving con artists claiming to be with a company called Team Viewer.  “Somebody that claims to be representing Microsoft, they’ve detected malware on your computer, they need to log on remotely so you give them access to your system so they can analyze the situation,” Hegarty says. “People will give them this access, which is mistake number one.”

The next mistake, he says, is giving them permission to fix something on your computer that’s not really broken. “Once they’re in your system, they’ll say they’ve identified the problem and it’ll be like $399 to get it cleaned up,” Hegarty says. “Of course, you’re always able to put that on a major credit card.” No matter how good the story may sound, he says not to believe it and certainly don’t give them any personal financial information or computer passwords.

“Not only have you allowed them remote access into your system and Lord knows what they’ve done when they’re in there, you’ve also given them access to your credit card information,” Hegarty says. “Very typically, we’ll almost immediately begin to see unauthorized charges being made with those cards that people have given to them.”

Hegarty says if you get one of these calls, the BBB wants to hear about it. You can log on to www.bbb.org to report the scam or call it in. He says they have “first responders” ready to help.

(Radio Iowa)

ISU professor warns terrorists using sex trade to finance their activities

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University sociology professor says the world is at a “tipping point” when it comes to human trafficking. Professor Teresa Downing-Matibag is a volunteer with the Network Against Human Trafficking. “This is an issue of national security in many, many ways. Terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State are using human trafficking to fund their activities,” she says. “Gangs and criminal syndicates operating both intrastate and interstate are using human trafficking to fund their activities.”

The International Labor Organization estimates 27 million people around the world are either enslaved in the sex trade or have been sold into forced labor. “It is the second-fastest growing crime in the world, next to drug trafficking,” Downing-Matibag says. “If we do not break up the highly-organized networks through which this crime operates, they will become a permanent part of our landscape and no one will be safe in any community or in any home.”

The Iowa-based Network Against Human Trafficking recently conducted a training session for staff at the state prison for female inmates. Downing-Matibag says prison staff tell her there are women in the Mitchellville prison who’ve been trafficked. “This is an issue for them,” Downing-Matibag says. “It is also an issue for their children who are also at risk while they are incarcerated.” The network is providing training for Iowa foster care parents as well as employees in hotels and motels in how best to respond to victims of human trafficking. Downing-Matibag says it’s time to discuss this issue in the open rather than sweep it under the rug.

“And figure out very targeted and strategic ways to serve victims and identify this activity,” Downing-Matibag says. Downing-Matibag’s testified at a statehouse hearing earlier this month and recommended changes in state law to target the buyers. She says it’s time to force those arrested for paying for sex to notify their spouse or partner, so they can be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, she says the courts should be allowed to seize property to pay any fines assesses against those arrested for trying to buy sex.

(Radio Iowa)

Nominations for the 2015 Angel of Christmas are underway

News

November 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System ( CCHS) is partnering with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the annual Angel (s) of Christmas. The Angel of Christmas is a tradition in Atlantic recognizing and thanking area residents who symbolize the true meaning of the season. Angels exemplify the true holiday spirit all year long—putting others first, spreading generosity and sharing the holiday spirit with everyone they meet.

In 2015, Steve Livengood was the Angel of Christmas, demonstrating the true meaning of the season, spreading his generosity every day of the year. He hand built a remarkable oak chair for Santa and his visitors at the City Park. Also, Livengood serves many hours at the armory and coordinates the Salvation Army bell ringer program.

Nominations for the Christmas Angel you know are due to the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce by December 1st at noon. This year’s angel will be announced at the Holiday Concert, on December 6th, at 3-pm. Nominate by submitting brief comments
about this person to the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce or email  chamber@atlanticiowa.com. Contact the Atlantic Area Chamber with
any questions at 712-243-3017.

Judge recommends Iowa throw out 1of 4 Medicaid contracts

News

November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An administrative law judge has recommended Iowa throw out one of four contracts awarded to private companies set to take over the state’s Medicaid program in January. Judge Christie Scase says in a ruling Wednesday that Iowa should reverse its contract with Florida-based WellCare. The Des Moines Register reports the ruling is considered a “proposed decision.” It’s unclear how it will affect plans to let WellCare and three other companies run Iowa’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.

The ruling says WellCare should have disclosed information early to state officials about fraud or mismanagement involving former executives. WellCare officials said in a statement it will challenge the ruling. Gov. Terry Branstad said in a statement Wednesday his office is working to ensure things remain on schedule.

Fargo attorneys say ruling on drug dogs shows flaws in law

News

November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Defense attorneys in Fargo who have argued that unwarranted searches with drug-sniffing dogs are unconstitutional and unfair to lower-income people say an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier this week backs their premise. The 8th Circuit says it was wrong for police in Iowa to bring a drug dog within inches of a resident’s apartment window without first obtaining a warrant. The court threw out the evidence.

Fargo lawyers who have had appeals on warrantless sniffs rejected by the state Supreme Court say the opinion shows flaws in the law that allows drug dogs in apartments and condos without warrants, but not in private homes. Cass County (North Dakota) State’s Attorney Birch Burdick says he hasn’t had time to review the 8th Circuit ruling and could not comment.