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Atlantic woman recognized for nursing excellence


December 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic nurse was named a health care leader to watch by a national health care and assisted-living magazine. According to the Daily Non Pareil, Michelle Gifford, director of nursing at Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center, was named by Provider Magazine as one of 20 health care professionals around the country who demonstrate strong leadership skills. Gifford will be featured in the magazine’s January 2014 issue “20 to Watch: Up and Coming People in Health Care.” People were recognized by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

Gifford was nominated by Kellie Jimerson, an administrator at the Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center. The center is owned by Care Initiatives, which is Iowa’s largest nonprofit senior health care provider. Jimerson told the paper that Gifford, who joined the center in February 2008, helped improve the facility. Gifford started her career in nursing at age 14 as a certified nursing assistant. She graduated from Creighton University in 2003.

State agency set to launch rental properties website


December 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) is developing a website that will list available rental properties throughout the state. It’s free for landlords to post a listing and a dedicated call center makes sure that available listings are kept current. IFA spokesperson Ashley Jared says they expect ‘Iowa Housing Search dot org’ (www.iowahousingsearch.org) to go live in mid-January. She believes it will fill a need in the state.
“There is not one current listing of rentals in the state of Iowa. Our office gets calls daily from renters and people who would like to rent, asking what’s available,” Jared says.

The IFA can direct people to some listings, according to Jared, but they often are not updated to show which properties are actually available. “This website is going to be different…it tracks units that are actually vacant and we have a call center that’s dedicated to following up with landlords on an every two-week basis to make sure the information is up to date and accurate,” Jared says. In the coming weeks, Jared says the IFA will be reaching out to landlords to post available properties on the website.

Statewide, she estimates over 13-thousand (13,000) units have already been listed. Thirty-four other states have similar websites, including Colorado, which has used their site to help flood victims find affordable housing quickly.

(Radio Iowa)

MN man struck & killed by an SUV on I-35 in central IA


December 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man from central Minnesota was struck and killed by a car late Wednesday night on Interstate 35 in south central Iowa. The State Patrol reports 74-year old Lawrence Anderson, of Marine on St. Croix, MN, was chasing a dog that had gotten away from a stranded vehicle on the shoulder of I-35 in Warren County, when he was hit in the left lane of the interstate by a southbound SUV. Anderson died at the scene. The driver of the SUV was not injured.

Officials say the accident happened near the St. Charles Exit (Mile marker 52) at around 10:30-p.m., Wednesday. The driver of the 1997 Chevy Suburban that struck Anderson was identified as 34-year old Shelton Short, of Osceola. The Patrol says Short did not see Anderson on the road and was unable to avoid the collision.

Iowa News Headlines: Thu., Dec. 26th 2013


December 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

ST. CHARLES, Iowa — A man from central Minnesota was struck and killed by a car late Wednesday night on Interstate 35 in south central Iowa. The State Patrol reports 74-year old Lawrence Andserson, of Marine on St. Croix, MN, was chasing a dog that had gotten away from a stranded vehicle on the shoulder of I-35, when he was hit in the left lane of the interstate by a southbound SUV. Anderson died at the scene. The driver of the SUV was not injured.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines-area police want people to know that leaving your car out in a snowstorm can cost you. The Register reports that police in Des Moines and the surrounding communities issued more than 1,400 citations to people who didn’t follow snow removal ordinances over the weekend. Under those rules, drivers typically can’t leave vehicles on the street after an inch of snow has fallen. These rules make it easier to clear the streets.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines woman with an ongoing feud over a doormat has been accused of attacking her neighbor on Christmas Eve. Des Moines police say 40-year-old Dana Allen was arrested Tuesday night following an incident at an apartment complex on the city’s east side. The Register says Allen is charged with assault.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police have identified a woman killed in a Christmas Eve shooting. Police said yesterday that 34-year-old Johnita Clemons of Des Moines was found Tuesday night inside a home on the city’s north side. Gunshots had been reported earlier in the area. Police say four witnesses were taken in for questioning. Additional information about them has not been released.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has begun its late muzzleloader deer season. The state Department of Natural Resources says the season began Monday. Hunters are required to wear blaze orange, and party hunting is prohibited. The late muzzleloader deer season runs through January 10th.

Iowa whiskey company in business for 8 years


December 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa-based whiskey company has shot to success since becoming a licensed brand eight years ago.  Sioux City television station KTIV reports that Templeton Rye whiskey became an officially licensed brand on Christmas Eve of 2005. The company, based in the small town of Templeton, has gained national recognition since then and is now shipping bottles to 40 states.

Templeton Rye whiskey was first made during prohibition in the 1920s and has been produced since then, but was never a legal brand. Company president Scott Bush is a great-nephew of some of the original producers of the whiskey. He says he wanted to preserve a piece of history.

7AM Newscast 12-25-2013

News, Podcasts

December 25th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Late muzzleloader deer season underway

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR reminds hunters that the late muzzleloader deer season began Dec. 23, which is the final season that any-deer licenses are available. Nearly 30,000 hunters participated in the late muzzleloader season in 2012 and the DNR expects similar numbers again this year. Archery season also re-opens on Dec. 23 so bow hunters with unfilled tags will likely be heading back to their tree stands as well.

Hunters are required to wear blaze orange during the late muzzleloader season, but unlike the shotgun seasons, party hunting is not allowed.  If hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly.

Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. The DNR says that information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.

Farmers making up bigger share of land buyers

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Farmland prices in Iowa hit a record high for the fourth straight year in the Iowa State University survey released earlier this month. I-S-U economics professor Mike Duffy, who conducts the survey, says farmers have recently become bigger players in the land sales. “Seventy-seven percent of the land was bought by existing farmers and about 18-percent by investors. Five to seven years ago, the existing farmers were only about 55-percent of the purchasers,” Duffy says. Duffy says producers looked to expand their holdings as they make more off the ground

“Farm income has been at record levels, and when incomes are high, farmers will tend to bid it into land,” Duffy explains. And as farmers age, they want to keep the land in their family. “What we’ve found is that 30-percent of the land is owned by people over 75,” Duffy says, “and the major intention is to get the land to the family, in some cases either by sale or by gifting.” Commodity prices have dropped recently, but Duffy doesn’t expects big changes in land ownership patterns.

“I think what we’re going to continue to see is about the same level of land being sold, which is about one-and-a-half percent of the land in a year. The other two-and-a-half percent is going to be transferred to the family through inheritance or something like that,” according to Duffy. The survey found the average price for an acre of land in 2013 was eight-thousand-716-dollars an acre, which was up five percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Dubuque County first to try Smart911


December 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Dubuque County is the first in the state to try a new emergency response system called “Smart-9-1-1.” County Emergency Communications Manager, Mark Murphy, says the system is voluntary and allows residents to create a database of information linked to any phone number. “Such as medical conditions, for instance diabetes, epilepsy, alzheimers things like that, they can put that information in to inform responders of their condition. They can put medications in and emergency contact information in — any special medical needs or home needs associated with that number,” Murphy says.

The service allows emergency responders to know a lot more than the dispatcher now receives from a regular or cellphone. “If they call from a landline right now we get their name associated with the phone number and and address,” Murphy explains. “If they call from a cellular number we can basically get the cellular number and the latitude and longitude associated with where they are calling from.” The service isn’t just for private homeowners. “Businesses can log in and put in information about their business — contact information so forth. They can also put in floor plans in for the businesses. Residents can also put floor plans in as well,” Murphy says.

He says all that information would then be available to first responders. That’s a lot of confidential information, but Murphy says it is safe. “It is a secure website kept offsite…we can only see the information if a person dials 9-1-1, and then only for a certain period of time,” Murphy says. Murphy says all the information can be very valuable and save time for those responding to an emergency. “People are required to update it every six months to keep it clean and up to date,” Murphy says. He says the accounts are sent a text message from the company that runs the system every six months asking them to update the information.

Dubuque County started signing people up for the service at the start of this month. Murphy wants them to be an example for others. “I hope to be the guinea pig that shows people how it works,” Murphy says. “I think it is a very good product. It has a lot of advantages for the citizens of Dubuque County, it should literally help us get a better response for the public.” Those wanting to subscribe go to a website and log in and fill out their information. Murphy says the 14-thousand dollar first year cost of the system is being paid for with funds seized by the Dubuque County Drug Task Force. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Dubuque Police Department will split the cost going forward.

(Radio Iowa)

Study finds Iowans toss out waaaay too much food


December 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A study finds consumers across Iowa and nationwide are throwing away perfectly good food because of confusion over the “use by,” “sell by” and “best by” dates on packaged foods. Dana Gunders, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-authored a report that finds tons of good food ends up in our trash cans. Gunders says about 40-percent of our nation’s food supply is thrown out when it’s still safe to consume.

Gunders says, “Given that each year, Americans spend up to $2,275 per household of four on food they throw out, the average household of four is losing up to $450 per year on food that is needlessly thrown away.” A recent Iowa Department of Natural Resources study found almost 14% of all trash dumped in the state’s landfills is food waste, or about 350,000 tons a year. The problem is getting worse, as the study found the amount of food waste being chucked in Iowa landfills has risen 62% in the past 13 years. Food science engineer Ted Labuza says if stored and handled properly, the food can last for days or even weeks beyond that date and can safely be consumed with no worry of illness.

“About 80% of the dates are guesses from some consumer questionnaires or based on what competitors are putting on,” Labuza says. “The others are done in very controlled conditions, food testing in order to determine when the taste of the product changes enough for the consumers to be displeased. I look at shelf life as the percentage of consumers that you’re willing to displease.” Expiration dates on food vary from state to state and between food company. Gunders says she’d like to see a country-wide system in place.

“People are throwing away food on the dates they see on products because they believe those dates mean the food is no longer safe to eat,” Gunders says, “however, those dates almost never have a direct link to the food safety.” Gunders says “use by” and “best by” dates on packaging are placed there by the manufacturer which determined after that time the product loses its maximum freshness. She says the “sell by” date is basically a tool for manufacturers and retailers so they can rotate product on the shelves.

Iowa has 46 municipal solid waste landfills but only four of them offer a food waste composting program. Nationwide, 40% of all food produced ends up in landfills.

(Radio Iowa)