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Food Allergies in Children on the Rise: Extension Offers Childcare Provider Training

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Childcare providers in Cass and area counties have an opportunity to learn strategies and practical skills to provide an allergen-safe and healthy environment, for children in their care. ” Just a Bite: Managing Food Allergies in Childcare,” is a training program sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The training helps providers identify common food allergens for children, understand allergen food labeling laws as well as recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of food allergies. The program will be held October 30th, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the ISU Extension and Outreach Office in Atlantic. The program will be conducted by ISU Extension Nutrition & Health Program Specialist Barb Fuller.

According to ISU Extension, the prevalence of food allergies among children is rising. Officials say they have increased 18% in the last 10 years. Food allergies are more common among children, affecting 6-8% of children under age 4 whereas 4% of the adult population has food allergies. The highest incidence of food allergies occurs among children under the age of 3. Almost 1 in 5 of children in that age group have food allergies.

According to Fuller, “The prevalence of food allergies in this age group, can create life-threatening situations if a childcare provider is unaware of the management and treatment of food allergies.” She says “It often takes just a bite of the allergen to cause a reaction.” Fuller adds that “There are eight major food allergens that account for 90% of all food allergy reactions. Food allergies can be easily prevented and treated by knowing some basic principles.” Those principles will be the subject of the October 25th meeting in Atlantic. Call Rebecca at 712-243-1132 for more information or to register by October 25th.

14 IA Water Quality Projects Benefit from more than $13 million in State Revolving Fund Loans

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Finance Authority recently approved a combined total of more than $13 million in water quality loans to assist Bennett, Griswold, Kelley, Kiron, Lake Creek District, Laurens, Le Mars, Liscomb, Lohrville, Melborne, Terril, Walker, Wapello and Winterset. Griswold will receive $1.637-million loan for a Clean Water construction project.

The Construction Loans are a source of low-interest financing for these communities to address pollution of Iowa streams and lakes and the Planning & Design Loans will assist with project expenses. The funding is made available through the State Revolving Fund’s Construction Loan and Planning & Design Loan Programs.

The Iowa Finance Authority has awarded Iowa communities and municipalities more than $1.8 billion in Construction Loans and $120 million through Planning & Design Loans since program inception. The loans are made available as part of the State Revolving Fund. For more information on Planning & Design Loans, as well as other State Revolving Fund programs, visit www.IowaSRF.com.

Iowa regulators OK MidAmerican rate adjustment

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa regulators have approved a settlement on MidAmerican Energy’s plans to increase electric rates to cover rising costs. The Iowa Utilities Board says Tuesday the deal allows MidAmerican to increase annual revenue by $38.7 million, or 4 percent, in 2012. The utility temporarily raised rates in March. For 2013, the increase will raise $37.3 million, for a total two-year increase of 6.7 percent. Customers now pay about $2.33 more monthly due to the March increase, which will remain for the rest of the year. In 2013, average bills will go up another $1.30. Regulators say the increase in “reasonable” and less than what the company likely would have received in a traditional rate case. MidAmerican, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Neb., is Iowa’s largest utility with 770,000 customers.

Adair County Supervisors to discuss legal matters Wednesday

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold a closed session just after they begin their regular session Wednesday morning, in Greenfield. The closed session at 9:05-a.m. is to discuss matters currently in litigation. After they resume their normal meeting, the Board will hear from County Engineer Nick Kauffman, with regard to bids received for a bridge at W-26 Summit. They’ll also award a contract for the project and receive a Secondary Roads Department report on maintenance and activities.

Prior to the conclusion of their meeting, the Board will hear from Chamber Main Street representative Stacie Hull, with regard to a Courtyard Use Permit.

Fire field north just north of the Cass/Audubon County line

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

For the second day in a row, firefighters, and farmers with disc implements battled a field fire in the area. The Atlantic Fire Department was called to the scene of a corn field fire just after 11-a.m., at 3484 Falcon Avenue in Audubon County. Also assisting at the scene were the Exira and Brayton Fire Departments. The fire was declared extinguished at around 11:50-a.m.

Monday afternoon, fire crews from Atlantic and Marne were called to a field fire located about one mile north of Highland Road and six miles west of Atlantic.  Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees  said it appears the blaze started with an overheated bearing in an auger, while the machine was unloading grain into a bin. Crews were on the scene for about four-hours, and again later that evening, when some areas rekindled due to strong winds. About 15-to 20 acres of already harvested corn was burned.


Villisca teen arrested on felony charge

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says a Villisca teen was arrested today (Tuesday) at around 9-a.m., following an investigation into an incident which allegedly involved felony threats toward another person. 13-year old Cordell Straw was taken into custody and transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs. Additional details concerning the alleged threat were not released.

Harlan School Board accepts Ag Teacher’s resignation

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District will lose 31 years of FFA experience at the end of the school year. In a regularly scheduled meeting held Monday, the Harlan Community School Board approved the resignation of High School Ag teacher Dan Leinen. Superintendent Justin Wagner said Leinen has been nationally recognized for his outstanding work in FFA and said it was a privilege and honor to work with Leinen. Leinen has spent the past 31 years working at the Harlan Community School District, with an exception of leaving for a semester a few years ago. He spoke to the board after the resignation approval.

He thanked the Board for the opportunity to work with them and allow him to pursue his passion of working with kids. His retirement brings mixed emotions for him, but he feels that it’s time for someone else to carry on with the tradition of excellence he’s experienced in the Harlan Community School District.

The School Board also approved Leinen’s request for the early retirement benefit package. Wagner said with the exception of the one semester 7 or 8 years ago, Leinen met the criteria for early retirement.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Harlan Weather Spotter retires from service

News, Weather

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man whose face many people in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska have seen on television during the weather segments, and who reports weather data to the National Weather Service and other media outlets, including KJAN, is retiring from his post. Ray Book, from Harlan, says after 13-years of reporting daily weather data such as precipitation, temperatures and other weather phenomenon, he’s calling it quits. His last day was today (Tuesday). Book served an official observer and reporter for Harlan. He’s kept the records and reported directly to the National Weather Service each day since he took over the duty in December of 1999. That means faithfully reporting that information every day at 7-a.m., rain or shine, blizzard or hail. He says he’s seen it all over the past decade or so. The hardest part of the job he said, was measuring snowfall.

He says when people question how the amounts can vary so much, whether it’s rain or snow, he tries to explain it to them. Ray says rain and snow do not fall in equal amounts across the same area, as evidenced during this year’s drought. The drought has been the big news story this year, aside from politics. Ray has his own thoughts on the drought. He says he hopes we get some moisture. If we don’t next year won’t look good at all, but Ray says weather runs in cycles, and he thinks it will eventually all “even out.”

He started out recording his information in a book on a daily basis, and his reports at the end of each month. But, technology changed all that. He says in 2009, he started filling out the information on a computer program to the National Weather Service in Valley, NE. That information would be compiled and sent on to Washington, D.C. He also sent the same information to the local newspaper, and an Omaha television station. Ray said he’s enjoyed the job, and responsibility that comes with reporting data every single day, but the 71-year old says he’s ready to spend some time traveling, with his wife, Maxine.

The couple has five adult children. They’ve been married for 49-years. The job of reporting the weather now, falls on Dan Crees, at Crees Garden Center, in Harlan.

Cass Supervisors to hear Secondary Roads’ Union proposal

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will receive the initial bargaining proposal Wednesday, from the Union representing the County’s Secondary Roads Department. After the Public Professional and Maintenance Employees (PPME) Union presents its proposal, the County will offer its initial proposal. No action is expected to be taken at this early stage of negotiations.

In other business, the Board will hear a request from CADCO Executive Director Russell Joyce, with regard to the establishment of Enterprise Zones. That will be followed by action on approval of applications for the establishment of enterprise zones for the Midtown Apartments and Regency Villa. And, approval of two sub-recipient agreements for the federally funded Project Walker Street, upper story apartment rehabilitation, in Woodbine.

The meeting begins at 9-a.m., at the Cass County Courthouse.

Atlantic P&Z Commission to meet Tues. evening

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission are set to meet this (Tuesday) evening, at City Hall. New business on their agenda includes a review of the Namanny Subdvision preliminary plat. Old business will cover progress on updating the Zoning Ordinance. The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall.