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Iowa woman remembers nothing after train hit van

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A 26-year-old woman says she doesn’t remember anything that occurred immediately after a train rammed into her minivan at a crossing in the west-central Iowa city of Jefferson. Cori Hunsicker, of Jefferson, told Des Moines television station KCCI  that she tried to restart her minivan after it stalled on the tracks late Monday night. It soon was trapped by the crossing arms as the train approached. She says her instinct was to get her sleeping 5-year-old son from the back seat and run. She says she got out, grabbed her son, and then the train hit. She and her son were taken to a Des Moines hospital.  Hunsicker says her legs were injured. Her son Tyler is in serious condition, but she says she’s been he’ll be OK.

Atlantic City Council to meet this evening

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Atlantic will hold a regularly scheduled meeting this evening at City Hall. During the 5:30-p.m. session, the council will receive a report from Nishna Valley Family YMCA Director Dan Haynes. They’ll also review quotes and consider awarding a contract for, remodeling of the Street Maintenance Building.

The Council on March 21st, authorized the placing of advertisements for bids, the opening for which was held April 11th. Five bidders received plans, but only one bidder, Les Beers, submitted a bid ($47,355), which was about $5,000 more than the engineer had estimated.

City Administrator Doug Harris and Street Department Superintendent Derald Andersen met with Engineer Tim Teig, from Snyder and Associates, and were reviewing the options for modifying plans for the project, in hopes of reducing the cost. Teig will review the bid before the Council this evening, and make any adjustments that are negotiated. Harris says funding for the project would come from2011 bond proceeds ($15,000), with the balance funded through the Road Use Tax Fund.

The Council will also act on a change order for the Portland Cement Concrete patching contract with Ten Point Construction, amounting to $75,937.  The change order reflects the addition of patch work on Lincoln Street to the contract. The project is expected to begin later this Spring.

Cass County Supervisors to receive Quarterly reports today

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning at the courthouse, in Atlantic. During their 9-a.m. session, the Board will receive a Secondary Roads Dept. update from County Engineer Charles Marker, along with quarterly reports from the County Conservation and Veterans Affairs Departments, and a regularly scheduled report from Teresa Kanning, General Relief/Mental Health Coordinator.

In Adair County, the Board of Supervisors will meet at 9-a.m. also, in Greenfield. On their agenda for today is the opening of bids for Watershed repairs, a quarterly report from the Case Management Coordinator, and Monthly report from Central Point Coordinator (CPC) Lori Nosekabel. The Board will enter into a closed session at 10:15-a.m., per Iowa Code, to discuss with legal counsel matters presently in litigation, or where litigation is imminent.

Iowa State study: chew food more, you’ll eat less

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A new Iowa State University study shows your mother was right when she told you to chew your food thoroughly. James Hollis, an Iowa State assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, says chewing food 40 times before swallowing reduces food intake by boosting the feeling of fullness and improves nutrient absorption. He studied 20 ISU students who were given pizza. Half chewed each bite 15 times and the other half 40 times. Researchers monitored the subjects’ appetite and took blood samples to study plasma glucose levels and hormones. Those who chewed more ate less. The study results will be presented this weekend at an experimental biology conference in San Diego, Calif.

SWCC to re-open today; Creston Hospital treating minor injuries

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Southwestern Community College in Creston say classes will resume there today (Wednesday), four days after an EF2 tornado damaged the campus and other parts of town. Terri Higgins, director of marketing and enrollment management, told the Des Moines Register, that the main road leading to the school had been closed and the school had been without power. Most of that road was opened at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, and power was restored Tuesday morning. Higgins said all classes will be held, but some locations have been moved because of the damage.

Three of the four dormitories on campus sustained damage during the storm, forcing 165 students to find accommodations elsewhere, such as a local motel, while others are staying with residents who volunteered to open up their homes. Damage to the college’s facilities were estimated to be in the millions of dollars, according to Higgins. Creston’s Fire Chief Todd Jackson told the Register all streets in the community would be reopened by this morning. Power was restored to most of the town by Tuesday afternoon.

Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston, which lost its roof in the storm and sustained other structural damage, is still only able to treat minor injuries, but officials hope to expand coverage by a little later in the week. No deaths or life-threatening injuries were reported from the tornado, one of five in Iowa on Saturday, along with strong winds and thunderstorms in many other parts of the state.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., April 18th 2012

News

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa car salesman accused of strangling a pregnant prostitute in 2007 has been convicted of first-degree murder. The Quad-City Times says a Scott County jury found Chad Wells guilty on Tuesday after less than two hours of deliberations. Closing arguments focused on whether or not he meant to kill 41-year-old Angela Hennes during a sexual encounter in Davenport.

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A teacher has been placed on leave after five students were hospitalized after ingesting caffeine during a science experiment at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. University spokeswoman Jennifer Felton tells KTIV-TV in Sioux City that the students’ instructor is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation. No details of the experiment were immediately released.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa warehouse operator has been ordered by a jury to pay Hormel Foods Corp. $4 million for failing to protect its products from floodwaters in 2008. The jury found Monday that Crystal Distribution Services, Inc., breached its contract with Hormel by failing to keep its facilities clean, failing to store products at specified temperatures and failing to pay Hormel for losses. Hormel filed the lawsuit in 2009, blaming Crystal for the loss of products stored at its Waterloo, Iowa warehouse during flooding the previous year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa basketball player will return to her home state and coach Drake University’s women’s team. Drake introduced Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk (bah-RAHN’-chek) at a news conference Tuesday in Des Moines. The 29-year-old Baranczyk has spent the past two seasons on the staff at Colorado, where she went after coaching at Marquette.

Twister-wracked Thurman sees recovery begin to take shape

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Recovery efforts are still in full-swing in the southwest Iowa town of Thurman which was hit by a powerful tornado on Saturday. Hundreds of volunteers turned out to help with the initial clean-up. Red Cross spokeswoman Alyson Roach says her agency’s workers are still in the Fremont County town, lending a hand. “They’re out right now with food trucks serving meals, snacks, making sure people are hydrated,” Roach says. Virtually every home in Thurman suffered some damage from the E-F-2 twister, while 14 houses were demolished and 28 were heavily damaged. The town of about 229 people had no serious injuries reported and no deaths. The Red Cross will continue to serve meals as long as they’re needed and Roach says they’re helping residents who were impacted by the storm.

“We have assessed the damage in the area to determine which houses were hardest hit and we are starting the process of client casework,” Roach says. “We’ll determine the immediate disaster cause needs of families and help them out with food, clothing, shelter, referrals, information, whatever they need to get through the next few days while they’re recovering.” Roach says those clean-up volunteers made a huge difference, evidenced in one example on Sunday, the day after the tornado struck.  “Six o’clock AM, you couldn’t see across the park because it was so littered with tree limbs, debris and insulation,” she says. “By the end of the day, there were kids playing in the playground.”

To make a donation toward the community’s recovery, call 800-Red Cross or visit: “redcross.org”.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Iowa students hospitalized after experiment

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Five students at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake are hospitalized after officials say they ingested caffeine during a science experiment. University spokeswoman Jennifer Felton told KTIV-TV in Sioux City that the students were hospitalized late Monday and will remain in the hospital until Wednesday. No details of the experiment were immediately released. Felton says in a statement that the students’ instructor has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation. The instructor’s name wasn’t released. Felton says all research involving physical activity or changes in the human subjects have been suspended until further notice.

Every 15 minutes played out at the Griswold Schools

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Students at the Griswold High School witnessed the effects drinking and driving have on young lives, Tuesday. The school driveway was the scene of a “fatal” traffic accident involving five of their classmates.

Griswold students, including the "Living Dead" gather prior to the accident scene being revealed

As the student body gathered on bleachers and two buses that were blocking their view of the crash scene pulled away, the teens witnessed the aftermath of the “crash,” which was actually staged as part of a program entitled “Every 15 Minutes.” Aptly named because on average, every 15 minutes, someone in the country dies in an alcohol related collision. Tuesday’s program began with a 9-1-1 call to Cass County Communications.

When Griswold Rescue arrived on the scene, they found the driver of a pickup 17-year old Jordyn Sindt, of Griswold, laying “dead” on the hood of the pickup, after having been ejected through the windshield.

The driver of the pickup, "dead" with a white sheet upon her.

Three teens were in a crumpled car. In the scenario, Lifenet Helicopter is called in and lands next to the crash site. The chopper transported one of the victims, 17-year old Alec Capps to a trauma center, where he later “dies.”

LifeNet touches down in front of the Griswold High School

Two other passengers in the car, driven by 18-year old Garrett Muhlbauer, of Lewis, were “injured” and transported by ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. They included 18-year old Melanie Palmer and 16-year old Austin Lorenz. A State Trooper administered a field sobriety test to Muhlbauer, who tested .09 for alcohol consumption and was “arrested” and taken to jail.

Trooper Wayne Brosam administers a field sobriety test to Muhlbauer

Muhlbauer was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and cited for open container.

Judy Nelson, a Registered Nurse with the Cass County Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room, helped facilitate the exercise. In the two-day program, one student is removed from the classroom every 15-minutes. That person becomes one of the “Living Dead.” They are returned to the classroom with a ghostly white painted face, and are told not to respond to or talk with anyone for the remainder of the day. Their parents receive a phone call from law enforcement, informing them of their child’s “death.”

The parents identify their child, "killed" in the crash.

Other activities, aside from viewing the results of the collision, include a mock trial for the accused drunk driver, an overnight retreat for students, and a separate retreat for parents. The second day culminates with a mock funeral and/or memorial service for the entire student body. When asked whether the students would actually learn something from the experience, Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said the serious message about the consequences of driving impaired will make them think before they get behind the wheel or ride with an impaired driver.

The program was featured last Spring, in Atlantic, as well. Judy Nelson said she hopes to have all of the school districts in the County experience it for themselves. For more information about the “Every 15-minutes” program, log on to www.every15minutes.com.

Mock collision being staged today in Griswold

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An educational, mock collision is taking place this (Tuesday) afternoon, in Griswold, at the High School. The “Every 15 Minutes” program involves students portraying victims of a crash caused by an impaired driver. The public is being asked to avoid the area along North Street and Highway 48, between 1- and 3-p.m., so as to not interfere with Emergency vehicles. No parking is being allowed in the area.