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Cass County Home Care Ranks in Top 7% of Home Health Providers Nationwide

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Cass County Home Care (CCHC) have announced that the company has been ranked in the top seven percent of home health agencies in the United States by a recent HealthInsight report. HealthInsight is a private, non-profit organization recognized as a leader in defining health care values, transparency and public reporting. Rankings are computed using publicly reported data from CMS Home Health Compare, a report on the quality of care provided by Medicare-certified home health agencies. 

CCHC site manager Denise Coder credits experience, knowledgeable staff and the organization’s ongoing focus on innovation with its ability to rank as one of the country’s top agencies. Cass County Home Care is a full-service, integrated home health care provider, serving patients in southwestern Iowa. Comprehensive services include nursing care, personal care and home support, rehabilitation therapy, respiratory therapy, infusion therapy, palliative and hospice care. CCHS is part of Iowa Health Home Care, which manages multiple home health affiliates throughout the state of Iowa. Iowa Health Home Care is an affiliate of Iowa Health System. In all, only eight Iowa agencies ranked in the national top 10 percent of the nearly 9,000 home health agencies reviewed.

Replacement license plate issuance begins April 2nd in IA

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said today (Thursday), that the DOT, in cooperation with Iowa’s 99 county treasurers, will implement a 10-year license plate replacement cycle beginning April 2nd. The Iowa DOT is not implementing a new license plate design; the design of the replacement plates will be the same as the currently issued plates. The Iowa DOT first issued the standard blue and white plates with the town and country landscape in 1997. In 1999, the embossed version of the plate was replaced by a flat plate, but the design did not change. The design remains within the recommended standards for license plate function and legibility, and the Iowa DOT plans to retain and use this design well into the future.

The Iowa DOT says they ecognize, however, that because Iowa has not conducted a plate reissue since 1997, there are plates in circulation that are reaching the end of their useful life and are faded, worn or damaged, making them difficult to read. Rather than reissue all Iowa plates, as has been done in the past, the Iowa DOT is implementing a “rolling” replacement cycle replacing only those plates that have reached an age that is beyond the usual lifespan for a plate, with replacement to occur at the time of annual registration. This will replace plates that are too old, without wasting money by replacing plates that are not. 

Under the replacement cycle, all currently issued license plates will be replaced over the course of the next 10 years, with the oldest plates being replaced first. 

  • ·     2012: Plates originally issued in 1996 and 1997 will be replaced. 
  • ·     2013: Plates originally issued in 1998 through 2003 will be replaced. 
  • ·     2014: Plates issued in 2004 will be replaced.
  • ·     After 2014: Plate replacement will be on a rolling 10-year cycle. 

Specialty plates will be replaced with the current version of the same specialty plate. Personalized plates, whether standard or specialty, will be replaced with the same personalized alpha-numeric sequence. Specialty and standard plates that are not personalized will be replaced with a plate that has a new alpha-numeric sequence. Annual registration renewal notices will inform customers if their plates are due for replacement. The plates will be issued along with the registration renewal, either in person at the local county treasurer’s office or by mail.  Customers can complete the renewal online and will receive the replacement plates by mail. There is no fee for the replacement plates, but customers receiving replacement plates by mail will pay a $3 mailing fee per set of plates. 

Customers will not be required to turn in their old plates to their county treasurer’s office when they receive the new ones, but may do so if they wish. Customers that do not turn in their old plates are encouraged to recycle them. Customers that wish to replace the plates for all of their vehicles at one time, rather than waiting for each set of plates to come due for renewal, may elect to do so, but must pay the usual $5 replacement fee for each set of plates not currently due for replacement.  Although the plate design will not change, the current alpha-numeric sequence (three numbers followed by three letters) used on Iowa license plates will reach the maximum possible combination sometime later this summer. At that time, newly issued plates that are not personalized will use a reverse alpha-numeric sequence (three letters followed by three numbers). 

The Iowa DOT has already changed the color of the alpha-numeric characters and other text on newly issued license plates from dark blue to black. This change affected only the standard plates and specialty plates that employ the blue and white background, and did not affect specialty plates that employ a special color for the alpha-numeric characters as part of their design, such as collegiate plates and firefighter plates. Changing the characters to black increased the contrast with the background and made them easier to read, which is important to law enforcement. It also makes plate production more consistent and cost-effective.

Lenox burglary suspect pleads guilty

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Missouri man pled guilty Tuesday to a felony burglary charge, in connection with an incident which occurred in Lenox on December 17th, 2011. The Lenox Police Department says the charge was filed against 30-year old Clint Anthony Auger on January 12th, following an investigation into a burglary at a garage in Lenox. Auger was sentenced to: A fine of $750.00 plus 30% surcharge; Incarceration with the Iowa Department of Corrections for a period not to exceed 5 years; Pay a law enforcement initiative of $125.00, and he was ordered to pay court appointed attorney fees of $1,200.

Rain Barrel Workshop made possible due to a grant

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Conservation Board say a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ REAP Conservation Education Project, will allow a Rain Barrel Workshop will be held in Atlantic next month. The workshop is being held as a partnership between the West Pottawattamie Coil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) and the Cass County Conservation Board.

“The Rainscaping Loess Soils” Rain Barrel Workshop will be held from 9:30-a.m. until Noon Saturday, April 14th, at IWCC, in Atlantic.The workshop will include a program about rainwater harvesting, and will include a chane to build a rain barrel that you can take home. The barrels work best, when connected to a downspout.

The cost to build a rain barrel is $40 for supplies. For other class dates and times, and to register for the free classes, go to www.iwcc.edu/ce/classes/GoGreen.asp . Or, for more informaton, call your local USDA-NRCS Office. Locally, information can be obtained from Cass County Naturalist Lora Schwendinger, at 712-769-2372.

Talks continue at Exira-EHK about Whole Grade Sharing & reorganization

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Exira-and Elk Horn Kimballton School Districts’ Boards of Education held a joint meeting earlier this week. Superintendent Dean Schnoes said the boards talked about how things were going with the Whole Grade Sharing arrangement between the districts. He says none of the board members expressed any concerns, and they plan to continue moving forward with Whole Grade Sharing, because the arrangement is working well with both the teachers and students.

Schnoes said also the districts will continue with their 1-to-1 incentives with regard to computers, and will constantly keep working to bring the faculty members from both districts together on future projects. Schnoes says there may still be some adjustments on staffing, as far as placement is concerned, but there are no big changes planned for the immediate future.

He says the process has also begun on getting together the paperwork necessary, with the intent of having the districts reorganized by July 1st, 2014. That’s the date when money for Whole Grade Sharing will run out. The districts can still Whole Grade Share, but Schnoes says there are no incentives after that point.

The next incentive would be to look at reorganization, because the tax rates would likely go down from $5.40 per thousand valuation, but a reorganized district would see those rates dropped to $4.40 per thousand for the first year, with incremental increases each year thereafter until it reaches $5.40 again, in the fourth year of organization. He says the goal is to have the petitions completed and vote taken by July 1st, 2014 to make reorganization official.

Schnoes said the joint boards Monday also discussed the hiring of a business manager. There are three applicants for the job, with interviews slated for next week.

Griswold school bus & pickup collide Wednesday – no injuries

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported when a Griswold Community School District bus and a pickup collided late Wednesday afternoon. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened on 650th Street, about one-half mile south of Victoria Road. Officials say the northbound 2011 Freightliner school bus with 11 students on-board, was stopped when it was hit from behind by a pickup truck.

The driver of the pickup was identified as 39-year old Susan Mae Lane, of Griswold. Damage from the accident amounted to $7,000. No citations have been issued. The accident however, remains under investigation.

(9-a.m. News)

8AM Newscast 03-29-2012

News, Podcasts

March 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 03-29-2012

News, Podcasts

March 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Iowa (early) News Headlines: March 29, 2012

News

March 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he’ll eat some of the so-called “pink slime” meat to demonstrate that it’s safe and nutritious. Branstad joined his predecessor in Iowa’s statehouse, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, for a Des Moines press conference yesterday to fight “misinformation” about the food products. Besides the meat tasting, Branstad will join other governors to tour Beef Products Incorporated plants in South Sioux City, Nebraska today.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — West Des Moines based grocery chain Hy-Vee says some customers were unhappy with the grocery chain’s decision this week not to sell ground beef with the ingredient known as pink slime. So the company now plans to offer beef with and without the ingredient. A Hy-Vee spokeswoman made the announcement yesterday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cable television provider Mediacom says customers in 17 counties in central and Southern Iowa whose televisions are not yet digital ready have been given a two-week extension before analog reception is fully eliminated. The company says the upgrade to all-digital channels will be completed by April 10th.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A former Fort Dodge police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman he met at a bar has been given probation. Forty-six-year-old Galen Hindt had pleaded guilty to extortion. Judge Michael Moon gave Hindt three years of probation on Tuesday. The alleged sexual assault happened in April 2011 before Hindt resigned from the police force.

Cass & Montgomery County Primary elections set

News

March 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The deadline to file papers for the June 5th Primary has passed. Persons interested in filing for County Offices had until the end of the business Wednesday to file with their County Auditors. In Cass County, as previously mentioned, incumbents Duane McFadden, Charles Rieken and Frank Waters have filed for re-election to the Board of Supervisors, Dale Sunderman filed for re-election to his County Auditor’s post, and Darby McLaren filed for re-election as Sheriff. All five men are Republican, and none will be opposed in the Primary. Also on the ballot in Cass County, are various candidates for the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives.

Among them, are Republicans:  Tom Latham, U-S Representative – District 3; Jake Chapman & Matthew T. Mardesen, State Senate – District 10; Clel Baudler, State Representative – District 20, and Jack Drake, State Representative – District 21. Democrats having filed for the June 5th Primary include: Leonard Boswell, U-S Representative – District 3; Greg Nepstad, State Representative – District 20, & John Rose, State Representative – District 21.

In Montgomery County: Republican Ted Schoonover has filed for County Auditor; Incumbent Republican Joe Sampson faces a challenge from fellow Republican Chris Stephens, for the job of Sheriff;  Republican Bryant Amos has filed for Supervisor – District 3; and Republican Donna Robinson has filed for a Supervisor seat in District 5.