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New one-hour heart surgery procedure can correct irregular heartbeat

News

April 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Open-heart surgery is no longer the only option for Iowans with an irregular heartbeat. A hospital in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area is the first in either state to offer a new alternative procedure. Cardiologist Dr. John Scherschel says the surgery corrects irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation. “Atrial fibrillation is a huge problem and it becomes more common as people age,” Dr. Scherschel says. “The stroke risk goes up considerably, it’s five-fold higher in patients with atrial fibrillation than those without.”

The procedure, called LARIAT, involves two small incisions to insert a catheter into the heart. It takes about an hour.  “Most patients will be able to go home the next day or the day after that, it’s at longest a two-day hospitalization,” Scherschel says. “With open heart surgery, it can be several days to weeks with recovery requiring weeks to months, depending on the kind of procedure.” Scherschel believes the technique will become standard treatment eventually, but for now, the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is among only a few hospitals in the nation that are using it.  “When I saw this technique described in the scientific literature back in 2009, I said we need to be doing that because that’s the right way to do this,” he says.

Marc Leger of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, recently had the procedure done in Omaha and says he constantly lived with the threat of stroke.
“Being in my early 60s, I’m glad I got that procedure done now and it’s something I’m going to hopefully live into my 90s and 100s with that,” Leger says.  LARIAT was recommended for Leger as it’s minimally-invasive and blocks stroke-causing blood clots from traveling to the brain. He was able to leave the hospital in a few days with just a Band-Aid covering his tiny incision.  

(Radio Iowa)

Iowans need to back off the salt for the health of it

News

April 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are the leading causes of death for Iowans, according to the state chapter of the American Heart Association. Salt intake is getting a lot more attention now on food labels and in the media, which is potentially life-saving news, according to registered dietician Marianne Merrick.  Merrick says, “We can really decrease the number of deaths from heart disease if we start paying more attention to how much sodium we are having on a daily basis.” Merrick advises patients who have a salty appetite to slowly start weaning themselves off sodium, especially by keeping an eye on labels of canned and packaged products. She says most of us have too much sodium in our diets.

“Our intakes are too high,” Merrick says. “A big part of it is eating processed foods. I’m a big promoter of going back to basics.” That means eating healthier by eating more fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. She says, “Not having the canned foods and the lunch meats and even bread and rolls can be high in sodium, reading those labels.” A recent national study concludes that merely cutting back on salt could save hundreds of thousands of lives nationwide in the next decade. Iowa sees an average of 92-hundred deaths every year from cardiovascular disease. Some 90-thousand Iowans have heart attacks or are diagnosed with coronary heart disease every year, and 60-thousand Iowans have a stroke.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., April 29th 2013

News

April 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad still isn’t ruling out the possibility of increasing the state fuel tax. Lawmakers seem less optimistic. Branstad says that if the Legislature approves proposed cuts to the commercial property tax, then a fuel tax increase “could be considered.” The tax has not gone up since 1989.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has given the University of Northern Iowa a $2 million grant for a new educational research and development center. The money will go toward the Center for Educational Transformation. The center’s goal is to transform education through research, advocacy and innovation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A shooting outside of a Des Moines-area strip club has killed one man in a large crowd and injured another. The shooting that killed Reginald Bryan happened in a parking lot outside Big Earl’s Gold Mine club. More than 300 people were gathered between the strip club and a nearby gas station for an after-hours party.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A domestic assault trial for the father of one of the cousins abducted in Evansdale and later found dead has been delayed. Witness schedule issues forced delay of the trial of Daniel Morrissey for assault against Misty Cook. He also has pleaded not guilty to criminal conduct and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

No one wants to pay to remove truck from Mo. river

News

April 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SLOAN, Iowa (AP) — Three months after a truck splashed into the Missouri River during a police chase, no one wants to pay the cost of removing the sunken vehicle. The Sioux City Journal reports the situation is frustrating for riverfront landowner who has to keep looking at the truck that’s covered by about a foot of water near Sloan, Iowa.Usually when vehicles wind up in the river, the owner or his insurance company pays the $6,000-to-$8,000 bill to retrieve it. But in this case, the truck’s owner, who was fleeing police at speeds over 70 mph, is either unable or unwilling to pay the bill.

Land owner Don Dixon says he’s tried contacting every agency he can think of for help, but hasn’t had any luck.

Villisca man arrested on alcohol & assault charges

News

April 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest Saturday night of a Villisca man. 21-year old Jesse A. Luft was taken into custody a little after 10-p.m. on charges of Public Intoxication and Domestic Abuse Assault. He was arrested following an investigation into a report of a man being drunk and disorderly in the street, at 200 South 1st Avenue. Luft was being held in lieu of bond, in the Montgomery County Jail.

Iowa News Headlines: Sun., April 28th 2013

News

April 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has dismissed a discrimination complaint filed against the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors. Black Hawk County Veterans Affairs Executive Director Bennie Spain says the board denied him access to public agendas and kept him from presenting agenda items.

DES MOINES, (AP) — Police in Des Moines say a body found in the backyard of a boarded-up house is that of a man police had been seeking for a hammer attack on his girlfriend. The body of Larry Western was found Thursday evening. Western was a suspect in the beating of a woman about 18 hours earlier.

IOWA CITY, (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2009 killing of an Iowa City landlord. A jury convicted Justin Marshall of first-degree aiding and abetting in a murder for the shooting death of John Versypt. Police say Versypt was checking on his properties when he was shot in the head during an attempted robbery.

DES MOINES, (AP) — A woman who sought a job at Iowa Methodist Medical Center is suing the hospital. She says it failed to make accommodations for her shy bladder syndrome. Conner says she was placed in a room with no running water and ordered to produce a urine sample when she reported to take a drug test.

Senate pushes to reopen some unemployment offices

News

April 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa(AP) — Senate Democrats are pushing to reopen some unemployment offices that closed amid a shift to offering more services by computer, but they acknowledge the governor’s opposition will likely stop their effort. The Democrats, who hold a majority in the state Senate, have included $2.7 million in their economic development budget to reopen unemployment offices in Ames, Atlantic, Clinton, Denison and Newton. Supporters of the effort say those areas need extra attention to help unemployed people.

But supporters like Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler, of Waterloo, acknowledge Gov. Terry Branstad opposes the effort and Republicans likely won’t support it. Branstad has been behind the effort to close dozens of unemployment office and install computers in more than 1,000 spots where job seeks can file for unemployment, search for jobs and build resumes.

Iowa governor signs 9 bills into law, vetoes 2

News

April 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed nine bills into law, including establishing a compulsory preschool attendance age, but he vetoed a measure letting gamblers decide how long they want to be banned from casinos. Branstad reviewed 11 bills Friday, signing nine into law and vetoing two.

The governor approved legislation giving school boards power to require all 4-year-olds enrolled in a voluntary, state-sponsored preschool to follow attendance policies. He vetoed a measure that would have given gamblers the option of banning themselves from the state’s casinos and Iowa lottery for either five years or life. Current Iowa law only permits a lifetime ban.

Branstad says he made his decision based off gambling treatment experts, who say gambling addition is a lifelong problem, making Iowa’s lifetime-only ban the best option.

Donna Reed Foundation to host 8th Annual Wine And Beer Tasting Event fundraiser

News

April 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Donna Reed Foundation say their “8th Annual Wine and Beer Tasting fundraiser” will be held Friday, May 3rd, at the Donna Reed Theater located at Broadway and Main in Denison.

Actress Donna Reed

Proceeds will benefit programs of the Donna Reed Foundation, including the upcoming centennial celebration plans for the century old theater building. Doors for the event open at 5:30 p.m., with  entertainment being provided by “Happy Tunes.”

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to join in the karaoke fun beginning at 6:00 p.m. A karaoke contest will be held from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. and judges will award singers cash prizes at 9:00 p.m. – 1st place wins $50, 2nd & 3rd win $20. All who attend will also be entered into a drawing for a wine basket, donated by ThermalFab and presented at 9:00 p.m. That person must be present to win. Title sponsors for the event are Hy-Vee, Black Hills Energy, and the Omaha Eye and Laser Institute.

Tickets are $20 per person, available at the Donna Reed Foundation office, 712-263-3334, open Monday through Friday, 10-2, by e-mailing info@donnareed.org, from board members – Roy Voggesser, Pat Fleshner and Donna Meinen or at the Denison Hy-Vee.

The mission of the Donna Reed Foundation is to: Promote continuous excellence in education, the performing arts, and community to students of all ages through her upstanding values; Memorialize her story, achievement, and leadership through the preservation of historical assets, including personal archives and a landmark opera house; and Inspire service and commitment within the communities served by the foundation, membership, and partnerships, that sustain a momentum well into the twenty-first century.

Lenox man pleads guilty to forgery charges, another Lenox man is sought

News

April 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Lenox Police Department reports 28-year old Ruben Serrano Rivera, of Lenox, entered a voluntary plea of guilty on two felony counts of forgery earlier this week.

Ruben Rivera

His sentence of two-years of probation plus a fine, court costs and other fees, was handed down on Tuesday, in Taylor County District Court. Rivera was arrested March 7th on felony charges of Possession of a controlled substance with the Intent to Distribute a schedule I drug within 1000 feet of a school, and for being in possession of a firearm. He was also charged with forgery, identity theft and failure to affix a drug tax stamp.The judge sentenced him to 5-years in prison, with the jail time suspended.  The charges were the result of an investigation and charges filed on March 7th by the Lenox Police Department.

Another man, 45-year old Rosaria Rivera, of Lenox, was arrested March 5th on warrants for Identity theft and Forgery.

Rosario Rivera

Rivera posted a $10,000 cash bond shortly after his arrest and was released from custody. On March 7th Officers conducted a search warrant at Rivera’s home and discovered drugs and a stolen firearm. Rivera failed to show for scheduled court appearances. He is currently wanted on a number of arrest warrants. Anyone having information about his location is asked to contact the Lenox Police Department at 641-333 -2929.