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Cass County Veterans Affairs office sees increased demand for Veterans’ DL’s

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Veterans Affairs Director Mitch Holmes provided his 3rdQuarter report Wednesday, to the Board of Supervisors. Holmes said one of the most popular, yet least know services available to veterans, is the “Veteran” designation on driver’s licenses.

Sample Iowa Driver’s License with the “Veteran” designation.

He said inquires about the program has brought veterans into his office at the courthouse, where they can also learn about the benefits they are entitled to, and apply for those benefits. Holmes said a total of 48 veterans applied for the driver’s license designation over the past quarter, with one dozen persons making their first trip to the VA Office in Atlantic.

Governor Branstad signed Senate File 2112 into law on April 19, 2012, requiring the veteran designation provision of the law to be implemented by July 1, 2013. The designation on Iowa DL’s and non-operator ID’s is a voluntary initiative designed to assist Iowa veterans. The Iowa Department of Transportation implemented the law January 15th, six months ahead of schedule, to demonstrate the state’s support for its veterans.

To get the designation, an honorably discharged veteran must present a copy of their DD 214 or applicable discharge document to their county Veterans Affairs office. That office will complete an Iowa DOT form and confirm the applicant’s veteran status, which authorizes the Iowa DOT to place the designation on the individual’s DL or non-operator ID. The veteran must then take the completed form to any Iowa DL issuance location and request that the veteran designation be added to his or her DL or non-operator ID card. Veterans may expedite the process by bringing a completed application form with them to the county Veterans Affairs office, along with a copy of their DD 214. The form is available online at:  https://va.iowa.gov. 

Holmes said several people he saw or who contacted his office, weren’t aware a V-A Office even existed in Atlantic. He said many of the veterans he’s spoken with, especially the older ones, didn’t realize they qualify for benefits available to them. Holmes said the VA has done a good job of informing the younger soldiers currently serving in, or just coming out of the military, about their benefits. It’s the older veterans who may not be aware of what they are entitled to. They don’t have to be wounded in combat in order to receive certain benefits.

Holmes said his office helped Vets file a total of 82 claims for Federal VA Benefits last quarter, assisted a little over 200 veterans, and made more than 1,320 contacts with veterans through office and home visits, phone calls and correspondence.

8AM Newscast 04-25-2013

News, Podcasts

April 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Seminar in Atlantic to cover Medicaid, Medicare, Soc. Sec. & SSI Benefits

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A workshop covering Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and SSI benefits and employment will be held next month, in Atlantic. Cass County Mental Health/General Relief Coordinator Teresa Kanning says the event, which explains how a person can earn significant income and still protect their medical benefits, will take place May 14th at the Cass County Center of Iowa Western Community College, in Atlantic. Workshop registration begins at 8:30-a.m., with the presentations starting at 9-a.m. and concluding by 4-p.m. Kanning said as of Wednesday (April 24th), 20 seats were still available for the training program, which will be presented by Michael Walling.

Walling, who has a Masters in Education, is the author of “The Guide to Social Security Benefits and Work Incentives, and other publications on SSA benefits. He’s regarded as an authority in teaching the subject to beneficiaries and professional novices, in a “Plain English,” yet interesting style. The seminar will cover: How benefits impact Employment First initiatives; What is countable earned income?; How to manage benefits to avoid the loss of medical benefits; When can work incentives reduce the amount of income SSA counts?, and How much a person can earn.

Other topics include: The 4 conditions required to terminate from SSDI while working; How a person can earn $31,367 and maintain their eligibility for SSI and Medicaid; How someone earning more then $1,040 per month can still receive SSDI and Medicare, and whether or not a person is receiving the correct information and proper benefit plan from a benefit counselor.

Registration is $75 per person if completed by May 1st, or $98 per person on or after May 1st. You can register online at www.benefits-training.com.  For more information, call 610-696-1551.

7AM Newscast 04-25-2013

News, Podcasts

April 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Nursing home disaster plans focus of Neb. event

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A national conference in Omaha next month will help long-term care facilities plan for disasters.  The two-day conference will feature speakers from around the country who have been through disasters at nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities. And experts will offer advice on meeting Medicaid and Medicare requirements.

Residents of long-term care facilities are already often in poor health and may need special care after a disaster.  UNMC Dr. Philip Smith says planning and preparation are critical for these facilities. The conference will be held May 21-22 at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha.

More details about the conference, which costs $195, are available online at www.preped.org.

Villisca teens charged with theft

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two teens from Villisca were charged in connection with alledged thefts from two local stores. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 14-year old’s Cordell Ryan Straw and Wyatt Dean Baldwin, both of Villisca, each face two counts of Theft of in the 5th Degree/Shoflifting, after they allegedly took items from the Villisca Foods and Casey’s General stores, in Villisca.

The incidents were investigated by authorities a little after 6-p.m., Wednesday. Straw and Baldwin were cited into Juvenile Court and released to the custody of their parents.

State Senator Joni Ernst pondering US Senate bid

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Republican from southwest Iowa who has been a member of the Iowa Senate since 2011 is considering a bid for the U.S. Senate. Forty-two-year-old Joni Ernst of Red Oak also serves as a major in the Iowa National Guard. “Most of my adult life has been service-driven through the National Guard, the Reserves, public service,” Ernst says. “This is one way to take it a step further and try and be part of a solution to what I see as a problem right now in Washington, D.C.” Ernst says if she were a member of the U.S. Senate, tackling the federal deficit would be her top priority.

“We haven’t had a federal budget in four years now. That to me is a huge issue, so that’s number one,” Ernst says. “But with the budget concerns and our deficit, then it ties into national security which is something that I am very, very concerned about as a member of the military. My husband’s retired military. This is an issue we talk about daily.” Ernst and her husband have three daughters. Their youngest is 13 and will be entering high school next year.

“That’s something that my family and I discussed,” Ernst says. “My husband is a very good father/mother when I am away and I have a very tight-knit family also with a brother and sister that are close and a mother that just lives up the street. My father still lives in the area and all are very active with my family.” Ernst hopes to make a final decision about running for the U.S. Senate in 30 days.

“I really would like for Congressman King to make his decision because if he says he’s pursuing this, I will not be pursuing it,” she says. Republican Congressman Steve King has been considering a bid for the U.S. Senate since Democrat Tom Harkin announced in January that he would not seek reelection. Earlier this week King said he was “still on the bubble” about the race. Ernst served six years as the Montgomery County Auditor before running in a special election for the state senate seat Kim Reynolds gave up to become Iowa’s lieutenant governor. The district changed for the 2012 election. Between the two districts, Ernst has represented 10 different counties in southwest Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., April 25th 2013

News

April 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of conservative lawmakers wants to cut the salaries of Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined in a ruling that legalized gay marriage. Republican Rep. Larry Sheets says the justices “overstepped their constitutional boundaries.” The amendment would reduce the salaries of four justices from about $163,000 to $25,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed 34 bills into law. The bills include a measure to aid rebuilding Lake Delhi. Another makes stealing a police officer’s radio a misdemeanor offense. Penalties can be enhanced to a felony if the officer is injured during the theft.

EAGLE GROVE, Iowa (AP) — A northern Iowa police officer has resigned amid a federal investigation. Eagle Grove city administrator Mike Boyd was unable to characterize the federal investigation into Jon Bailey. He said agents recently searched Bailey’s home.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach has announced his resignation as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has held the position since August 2009. He had served as a Republican congressman for eastern Iowa from 1977 to 2007, when he lost to Democrat Dave Loebsack.

Montgomery County Arrests

News

April 24th, 2013 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Wednesday) afternoon of 18-year old Michael Otis Kleindienst of Coin. He was arrested on a Pottawattamie County Warrant for false reports with public safety entities and is being held on $5,000 bond.

Also arrested today (Wednesday) was 34-year old Amy Dawn Clemmons of Red Oak. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports that Clemmons was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct. No bond was set per the magistrate.

Guns & ammo stolen from a home in Montgomery County

News

April 24th, 2013 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary that resulted in the theft of guns and ammunition. The burglary took place at 2356 Vine Ave, northeast of Villisca, between the daytime hours of 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM on Tuesday. Two handguns and ammunition were taken from the property.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office also investigated an incident criminal mischief Tuesday, at 2076 J Ave in Red Oak. The incident is believed to have taken place on either April 15th or 16th at the residence and involves damage to a vehicle estimated at $350.

Anyone with information on either incident is urged to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office or Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-1001.