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Norovirus Outbreaks Continue in Iowa

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports they are continuing to see outbreaks of norovirus illness across the state, and reports of activity have been increasing in recent weeks. Anyone can be infected with norovirus and become ill and you can get norovirus illness more than once. “With this virus in our communities and because it is so easy to spread, we need everybody to stay home when they are ill with diarrhea and vomiting,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “There’s no vaccine and no antibiotics for norovirus. It can spread in food, in the air, by shaking hands and by touching things like door knobs that an ill person has touched. So the only way to stop its spread is for those who are ill to stay home.”

Norovirus is sometimes called a ‘stomach bug.’ Symptoms of norovirus infection usually include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramping. Norovirus can spread quickly from person-to-person, especially in crowded, closed places like schools, hotels and daycare centers. The viruses are found in the vomit and stool of infected people, and can get into the air. Typically you get it by:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus (someone gets stool or vomit on their hands because they are ill, they then touch your food or drink).
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth.
  • Being near someone who is vomiting or having diarrhea.
  • Having direct contact with a person who is infected with norovirus (for example, when caring for someone with norovirus).

There are two critical ways to stop the spread of norovirus:

  • Stay home when ill and do not prepare food for anyone but yourself until three days after all diarrhea and vomiting have stopped.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating or preparing food.

For more information about norovirus, visit http://tinyurl.com/7g3gvml.

IA unemployment rate drops to lowest level in 2-1/2 years

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in December, the lowest level since June 2009. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Kerry Koonce says the report shows the state’s economy has improved a quite a bit over the last year. The unemployment rate is down from 5.7 percent in November and 6.1 percent in December 2010. An estimated 93,500 Iowans were unemployed in December. That’s down from 102,600 one year ago. The manufacturing sector added 800 jobs last month and 86-hundred (8,600) jobs over the year. Government cut the most jobs in 2011, shedding 43-hundred (4,300) positions.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Cass and Adair County Supervisors to meet Wednesday

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Regularly scheduled meetings of the Cass and Adair County Boards of Supervisors will take place Wednesday, in Atlantic and Greenfield, respectively. In Atlantic, the Cass County Board will hear an Annual Report from West Central Community Action, and the organizations’ Fiscal Year 2012 Budget request. They’ll also hear a quarterly report from County Veteran’s Affairs Director Mitch Holmes. Action items on the Board’s agenda, include allowing or disallowing Family Farm Credits and approval of Agricultural Land Credits, and possible appointments to the County Conservation Board, Pymosa Township Clerk and Trustee’s positions.

In Greenfield, the Adair County Board of Supervisors will conduct a budget session as time allows during their open meeting. They’ll also hear from Cass-Adair County Engineer Charles Marker or his designated representative, with regard to Semi bids and a longevity increase. Tim Ostroski, with the Southern Iowa Council Of Governments (SICOG), will head-up discussion about a Housing Trust Fund, and John Hansen, with Midwest Construction Consultants, will speak via telephone conference call, with regard to an Adair County Public Safety Center utility bill.

Both meetings begin at 9-a.m.

Atlantic School Board to hold budget talks this evening

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will hold a work session this evening in the High School Media Center, beginning at 7:30. During the meeting, the Board will hear a presentation on the Fiscal Year 2011 Audit. They’re also set to discuss the 2012-2013 Budget, and Middle School Renovation project. Any decisions made during the session will be acted upon during the Board’s regular meeting next month.

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz proposes fix for county redistricting

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary Matt Schultz has introduced a bill that would change the method in which county supervisor redistricting plans can be challenged if questions regarding the consideration improper political purposes are raised. 

An Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board order dismissing a complaint, filed November 8, 2011, said “The system motivates the supervisors to appoint political allies to the commission to safeguard the interest of their respective political parties.” The bill would require Legislative Services Agency to draw a map for county supervisor redistricting plan if a petition containing signatures equal to 2% of the total votes cast for the office of Governor in the preceding General Election, are collected.

Schultz said “I share the IECD Board’s frustrations with the process and the need to change the current system.   However, I believe that local control must remain a key element in creation of the redistricting plans. I believe this bill takes a necessary step to remove politics from redistricting at the local level while maintaining local control of the process.”

For more information please visit www.sos.iowa.gov<http://www.sos.iowa.gov>

8AM Newscast 01-24-2012

News, Podcasts

January 24th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 01-24-2012

News, Podcasts

January 24th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic School Administrators meet with Education Association team

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Last week, members of the Atlantic Education Association met with a team representing the District’s administration, and proposed a 6.9% salary package increase for the 2012-2013 Contract Year. Monday afternoon, those same entities met again, to hear the District’s opening proposal during the Collective Bargaining process. The Atlantic School District’s counter to last week’s salary and benefit proposal included no increase in the base salary rate, which was markedly different than the 5 percent increase in base pay presented by the union.

Atlantic School District Superintendent Mike Amstein proposed several changes in language to the current contract. Amstein says the proposed changes in particular, focused on parts of the contract that either are “permissive,” with no history of how the language was presented, or simply needed clarification. He says the proposed contract is not as long as the current version, and is more understandable.

Some of the language which was considered redundant, or “permissive,” were included in the following sections of the contract: Employee hours; Vacations and Holidays; Leaves; Transfer procedures; Staff reduction procedures; Professional Development; Salaries and Benefits; and Insurance. The Education Association will review the proposed language changes and meet again, most likely next week, with District officials. Both sides are still waiting for the district’s insurance rates to become known, before they can proceed with further, meaningful talks on salaries and benefits packages.

Red Oak man arrested this morning on drug charges

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County report a Red Oak man was arrested this (Tuesday) morning on charges of Possession of methamphetamine and Possession of marijuana. Authorities say 24-year old Timothy James Stewart was taken into custody at around 3:40-a.m..  Stewart was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on full bond.

Party planned to announce 2012 RAGBRAI route

News

January 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The route for next summer’s RAGBRAI will be announced this weekend. RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz says the eight overnight towns for the annual bicycle ride across the state will be revealed Saturday night during an event at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines. This isn’t the first time RAGBRAI officials have held a special “route announcement party.” Juskiewicz says this is the third year for the event and the previous two years were “fantastically attended.” The event is scheduled on the same day as the Iowa Bicycle Summit and Expo – held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center. The RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party runs from 8-11 p.m. The bicycle expo is free, but tickets to the RAGBRAI announcement are $30.

“The event benefits the Iowa Bicycle Coalition,” Juskiewicz said. The party will include a live band, door prizes, food and drinks. Video of the event will also be carried live on the Des Moines Register’s website. This will be the 40th year for RAGBRAI.”We’re planning some big stuff,” Juskiewicz said of the event’s 40th anniversary. “After the route comes out, we’ll clear up some of that stuff, but we’re looking forward to one thing at a time.” RAGBRAI XL will be held July 22-28. Bicyclists traditionally start the trip with their rear tire in the Missouri River and end the week-long journey with their front tire entering the Mississippi River. Juskiewicz refused to provide any clues to this year’s route. “It’ll be in Iowa,” Juskiewicz said. RAGBRAI typically draws 10,000 bicyclists from around the country and outside the U.S. Last year’s event began July 24th in Glenwood, and included overnight stops in Atlantic, Carroll and Boone, in western Iowa.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)