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Widespread Illness in Shelby County Linked to Norovirus

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Shelby County Public Health Monday evening, updated their report on recent incidents of vomiting and diarrhea. Authorities said they have recently received many more than usual reports of vomiting & diarrhea illnesses in the community over the past ten days. Calla Poldberg ARNP, Director of Public Health, announced that testing in multiple samples shows norovirus has been confirmed.

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S. Symptoms of norovirus illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness lasts for about two days. If ill, the most important thing to do is keep drinking fluids and stay home. The most common complication from norovirus infection is dehydration.

Norovirus is found in the vomit and stool of infected people and it spreads quickly. People with norovirus illness are contagious from the moment they begin feeling sick until the first few days after they recover. Some people may be contagious for even longer.

Although sometimes called the ‘stomach flu,’ norovirus is not the same virus as the respiratory influenza. There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection or drug to treat it. Anyone can get infected with norovirus. It is estimated that a person will get norovirus about five times in their lifetime.

The public can help protect themselves and others by thorough hand washing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers, and always before eating or preparing food. People with norovirus illness should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for at least 2 days after they recover from their illness.

For more information contact the Shelby County Public Health office at 712-755-4422 or your local medical provider office.

House panel seeks more detail on student debt reduction bill

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa House panel says there should be more rules specified for a bill that would allow a person to get student debt reduced through community service. A Ways and Means subcommittee discussed the bill Monday. They agreed to meet again before deciding whether to advance it.

The bill, proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad, would allow a person with student debt to provide community service to a designated organization. A grant would then be issued toward that volunteer’s educational loan.

The program would be privately funded. Individuals or corporations that participate could receive tax credits equal to 65 percent of their donations. There would be a $2 million cap on total tax credits the state could issue. Lawmakers say they want more specific rules on requirements for a grant.

Branstad says buck stops with him, so no delay in closure of MHIs in southern Iowa

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says he has broad authority to close state institutions without legislative approval — and he does not intend to delay the shut down of the Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant where layoffs are beginning this week. “I’m the chief executive,” Branstad told reporters this morning. “I was elected by the people of the Iowa to reduce the size and cost of government and to make it more efficient and to modernize it and to provide better services for the people of Iowa and we have been moving in that direction from the day that
I took office.”

Last year Branstad ordered the Iowa Juvenile Home be closed and while legislators complained, they were unable to stop the process. This year the Senate has passed a bill that called on Branstad to keep the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institutes open and accept patients through June 30th. Another senate bill that passed on a bipartisan vote called for keeping the M-H-I’s open until a plan was in place to ensure there’s care somewhere for the most severely mentally ill Iowans.

Similar legislation is pending in the House, but Branstad isn’t interested in a delay.
“I understand there’s always going to be resistance whenever you look at making a major change like this, but this is long overdue,” Branstad says. Branstad was successfully sued over the closure of Workforce Development offices around the state in 2011, but by the time the case made its way through the courts the offices had been closed. Another lawsuit still pending challenges Branstad’s authority to close the Iowa Juvenile Home. Branstad says “not everyone is going to like” the actions he takes.

“The buck stops with me,” Branstad says. “I have to make tough decisions and I’m willing to do that because the people of Iowa elected me to reduce the size and cost of government.” Branstad says after repeated recommendations over the past 40 years to close the state-run Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, it’s time to take action. Branstad made his comments this morning (Monday) during his weekly news conference.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic to serve as ICN site for Panel Discussion of the Impact of Broadband on Education

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Representatives of Iowa’s educators will meet to discuss challenges they face and share their goals and needs in implementing broadband statewide to support 21st century education. This is the first panel discussion that will be broadcasted statewide and is open to public questions from all Iowans about broadband and education. Locally, residents can partake in the discussion through the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), this Thursday, April 9th, from 1:30-until 3:30-p.m., at the Atlantic High School.

Broadband Matters, an initiative of Iowa Communications Network (ICN), is dedicated to providing awareness of the critical need to connect every student with high-speed Internet access. Broadband creates a culture in which learning becomes more interactive in and outside of the classroom, allowing for a more positive collaborative learning experience.

The discussion will originate at the Grimes State Office Building, in Des Moines.
Panelists will include:
• Brad Buck, Director, Iowa Department of Education
• John Carver, Superintendent, Howard-Winneshiek Community School District
• Galen Howsare, Deputy Executive Director, Iowa Association of School Boards
• Ric Lumbard, Executive Director, Iowa Communications Network
• Mark White, Director, Iowa Community College Online Consortium

Creston man arrested on drug-related warrants

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston arrested 20-year old Nicholas Payne Weckman, of Creston, last Friday afternoon. Weckman was taken into custody at the Union County Law Enforcement Center on Union County warrants for: a Controlled Substance Violation; Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Weckman was unable to post a total of $6,300 cash bond, and remains in the Union County Jail.

In other news, the Creston P-D reports 33-year old Jamie Ray Hartman, of Creston, was arrested early Saturday morning for OWI/1st offense. He was later released on $1,000 bond. And 22-year old Miranda Faye Pedersen, of Creston, was arrested early Sunday morning, for Driving While Revoked. She was later released on $1,000 bond, as well.

Glenwood man arrested on drug & other charges

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports a local man was arrested Friday on drug and other charges. 26-year old Marcus Armstrong,  of Glenwood, was arrested for Possession of a controlled substance, possession of Drug paraphernalia, driving while revoked and failure to file SR-22. Armstrong was being held in the Mills County Jail on $3,300 cash bond .

And, on Saturday, officers with the Glenwood P-D arrested 29-year old Clayton Fritz, of Pacific Junction, on a charge of Public intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

Afton man cited for assault

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Union County man was cited over the weekend on an assault charge.  The Sheriff’s Office reports 22-year old Michael Anthony Tucker, of Afton, was issued a citation Saturday evening to appear in court on a charge of Simple Assault. No other details were provided.

Nine-year-old boy dies in NW Iowa crash, 7 people hurt

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A nine-year-old boy was killed and seven people were hurt in a two-vehicle accident in rural Plymouth County Sunday night. Authorities say Adan Perez-Antonio of Sioux City was pronounced dead at the scene. Another child victim was transported by a medical helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City with life-threatening injuries. The other six suffered various injuries and were transported to Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.

The accident is still under investigation, but the two vehicles, a 2005 Chevy Colorado pickup truck, and a 2006 Ford Explorer collided at an intersection. Both vehicles were in the ditch upside down.

(Radio Iowa)

Dumpster fires in Council Bluffs – woman charged w/Arson

News

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Fire investigators in Council Bluffs say seven dumpster/rubbish fires occurred overnight Sunday into early this (Monday) morning. The fires were located between South 8th Street and 2nd Avenue to North 8th Street and Avenue D. The incidents took place between 10:04-p.m. Sunday and 3:31-a.m. today (Monday). Each of the fires is considered to be suspicious.

A woman was picked up by Council Bluffs Police and interviewed. 31-year old Drema L. Burson was subsequently arrested on one count of 3rd Degree Arson.

The fires remain under investigation by officials with the Council Bluffs Police Dept. and Bluffs Fire Marshal’s Office. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call either the Council Bluffs P-D or Fire Marshal’s Office.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. Newscast, 4/6/2015

News, Podcasts

April 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area, and State news, with Ric Hanson.

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