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Smokers encouraged to develop plan to quit this week

News

November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans, who are smokers, may have this Thursday circled on their calendars. The third Thursday in November is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout — an annual effort to encourage smokers to quit for the day or make a plan to quit. Peggy Huppert, with the American Cancer Society in Central Iowa, says in the early 1970s, more than 40-percent of adult Iowans smoked cigarettes or cigars. Today, that figure has dropped to 18-percent. “We still think that’s too high,” Huppert said. “We have a lot of emphasis on helping people quit because of the harm that is caused. It is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the nation and in Iowa.”cigarette

Smoking is blamed for roughly 80-percent of all lung cancer cases in the U.S. and lung cancer is the leading cause of death among all forms of cancer. Despite the extreme risks associated with smoking, thousands of Iowans have trouble quitting. “It’s extremely hard to quit smoking. Nicotine is the most addictive substance known to humans, more addictive than crack, meth, or any illegal drug,” Huppert said. “The average person has to try seven times to quit smoking before they’re successful.”

Around 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, which equates to just under 1 in every 5 adults. Huppert suggests Iowans who need help quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco contact Quitline Iowa. “Within 30 days of quitting, your health can improve significantly and it will add years to your life,” Huppert said.

Persons who enroll in the Quitline Iowa program could be eligible for eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, including patches, gum, or lozenges.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Nov. 17 2014

News

November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Iowa (AP) — About 80 soldiers in an Iowa Army National Guard unit may be sent to West Africa to help respond to the Ebola outbreak there. The Iowa National Guard said yesterday that members of the 294th Area Support Medical Company are being notified that they may be deployed next spring for six months to a year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials may impose new limits on groundwater use to protect the underground aquifer that supplies drinking water to a half-million Iowans. The Des Moines Register reports environmental leaders are concerned about the future of the Jordan aquifer that sits beneath most of Iowa because water use continues to grow. The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss requiring additional conservation measures and possibly force some water users to seek other sources of water.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A shooting in downtown Dubuque that injured two women is being investigated. Police Lieutenant Pablo Ramirez says 46-year-old Tanya Brisco and 34-year-old Danielle Brown were both wounded shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday. The Telegraph Herald reports that the shooting happened at The Mad Hatter bar, which was the site of a different shooting last November when the bar was called Players Club.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 5-year-old girl was critically hurt this weekend when she sledded into a street in Council Bluffs and was hit by a pickup truck. The Daily Nonpareil reports the incident happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

King says Obama would create constitutional crisis with executive order on immigration

News

November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King says President Obama will provoke a “constitutional crisis” if he follows through with an executive order that would shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. “There’s just a growing coalition of people that are starting to see that this isn’t just a trial balloon that the president has been floating for several months,” King says, “but it is a very, very serious threat to our constitution and it is an impending constitutional crisis.” King has been a leading critic of what he calls “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. Congress was in session last week and King talked with his colleagues about what action can be taken if Obama issues that executive order.

“We haven’t coalesced on an idea and a direction at this point, but I believe we that we’re digging in, ready to do so,” King says. “And there are a number of options that are in front of us.” The “preferred” option, according to King, would be for the president to back off his threat to take executive action but, if Obama does, King says congress can act quickly in December to shut off funding for the agencies that would carry out the new immigration policy. As for filing articles of impeachment against Obama if he does issue an executive order on immigration, King says that’s a political decision.

“High crimes and misdemeanors are not defined. Congress defines them. That really means that the people need to weigh in,” King says, “so of course I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to say the word (impeachment) but we have this: The president has taken an oath…to uphold the constitution, to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. We also take an oath and the president’s oath to the constitution may or may not mean something to him, but ours had better mean something to us.” Some Democrats have said executive action from President Obama on immigration would only be temporary, as it would put pressure on congress to act.

“There are a few Republicans who think that, but I think that there’s a huge flaw in that thinking,” King says. “…If the president could violate the constitution and insist that congress pass legislation to conform to his lawless legislative edict in order for the president’s edict to be constitutional, that is a ridiculous concept that our founding fathers sought to avoid. They want congress to restrain a president, not want to conform to a lawless one.” King says he cannot fathom the “audacity” of President Obama thinking “he can completely destroy the rule of law with the stroke of a pen.”

(Radio Iowa)

Bluffs sledding accident – UPDATE

News

November 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs, late Sunday evening, released additional information about a sledding accident that occurred Saturday afternoon. Officials said at around 12:55-p.m., 5-year old Kailey Maloney, of Council Bluffs was sledding near Abraham Lincoln High School. Her sled slid onto Bennett Avenue. 58-year old Michael Needham, of Council Bluffs, was driving southbound on Bennett Avenue in a Chevy Colorado pickup, when Kailey slide into the path of the pickup and was struck.

The girl was seriously injured and transported by the Council Bluffs Fire Department to the Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition. Needham was not injured. The Council Bluffs Police Department Traffic Unit is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time

IA Guard unit notified of possible mobilization for Operation United Assistance

News

November 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa National Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood said Sunday, that the Secretary of Defense has notified the 294th Area Support Medical Company, Iowa Army National Guard based in Washington, Iowa, of a pending mobilization in support of Operation United Assistance. The mobilization will affect approximately 80 Soldiers from the unit.

Operation United Assistance, the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies are providing certain unique, supporting capabilities as needed to the operation.

Army National Guard personnel, in conjunction with other U.S. military personnel, are being deployed to provide military force command and control, engineering, logistical, and training support to the whole-of-U.S. Government humanitarian mission. This deployment is in support of a humanitarian mission designed to stop the spread of the Ebola virus and keep it from becoming a pandemic that could potentially impact American citizens. It is anticipated that the deployment will commence in Spring 2015 and last for approximately six months.

All Soldiers will be provided necessary training and equipment to prevent the Ebola virus from infecting them. As a precautionary measure and to ensure everyone’s safety, all Soldiers re-deploying from Africa will undergo an observation program overseas to ensure all returning personnel are healthy and have not contracted the Ebola virus.

The 294th Area Support Medical Company previously deployed in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the unit provided full spectrum medical support at the Taji Theater Internment Facility Reintegration Center (TIFRC).

Controlled burn planned for this (Sunday) morning, in Stuart

News

November 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Stuart Fire Dept will be conducting a controlled house burn this morning at southwest 5th and Gains Streets, in Stuart. Officials say during the burn, they ask all spectators stay back a safe distance, and do not park where where you will hinder the fire trucks from reaching the scene.

There will be personal from a couple of surrounding departments assisting with the controlled burn.

Companies to be hiring at Omaha job fair

News

November 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – More than four dozen companies will be hiring at a job fair being held in Omaha. The fair will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Comfort Inn on Grover Street in south-central Omaha.  Organizers say a full range of fields will be represented at the fair, and some 50 employers are seeking full-time, part-time or seasonal workers.

Those looking to hire include AAA Nebraska, Century Link, Fed Ex, First Data, Omaha Steaks, Physicians Mutual and UMB Bank. Participants are encouraged to bring resumes, be prepared for onsite interviews and to dress the part.

Consortium of school districts hopes to launch Teacher Leadership/Compensation Pgm.

News

November 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Several southwest Iowa school districts hope to join Council Bluffs in launching a Teacher Leadership and Compensation System program next school year with the backing of the Iowa Department of Education. The Daily NonPareil reports, across Iowa, 39 schools are implementing TLC for the first year of its three-year phased launch, with Council Bluffs being the only area school district approved for the program for the 2014-15 school year.

Funding from the statewide initiative has paired new teachers with eight full-time mentors in the Council Bluffs Community School District, as well as adding model teachers, instructional coaches and curriculum specialists, all with the goal of classroom teachers stepping up into leadership positions. Funding for the first year is $50 million in state funds. Council Bluffs received about $2.8 million to launch its TLC program, which the district has said would cost an estimated $4.4 million in total, including 30 new positions.

To support those new roles, the Council Bluffs district brought in consultant Diane Sweeney to work with teacher leaders on how to effectively do their new jobs. To participate in the TLC program, districts must agree to pay a minimum of $33,500 for all full-time teachers, select teacher leaders using a committee, involve at least a quarter of its teachers in leadership roles, maintain teacher compensation levels the following year and apply the leadership program across all schools in the district.

Thirteen school districts in the Green Hills Area Education Agency applied for funding for the second year of the TLC grants. The Green Hills AEA spans districts in portions of 22 counties across southwest Iowa. Among the districts applying for funding by the Oct. 31 deadline were AHST, Atlantic, Glenwood, Griswold, Lewis Central, Red Oak and Underwood, according to Norgaard. Area school districts not seeking funding include Boyer Valley, East Mills, Fremont-Mills, Harlan, Logan-Magnolia, Missouri Valley, Riverside, Treynor, Tri-Center, West Harrison and Woodbine.

Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck, Deputy Director Ryan Wise, and Linda Fandel, special assistant for education to Gov. Terry Branstad will meet with teachers, administrators and others to find out what’s working and what needs improvement in the program. The state’s goal is to have all school districts voluntarily participating in the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System by the 2016-17 school year. The program’s goals are to attract and retain quality teachers, promote collaboration, reward professional growth and improve student achievement.

IL man injured in Mills County crash, Saturday

News

November 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A man from Chicago, IL, was injured Saturday evening, when the pickup he was driving spun out of control in Mills County, went off the road and hit a sign post and a culvert before coming to rest on the roadway. The Iowa State Patrol says 31-year old Dennis Smagur, who was not wearing a seat belt, was transported by Glenwood Rescue to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

The accident happened at around 5:35-p.m., as Smagur was east on Bunge Avenue, near the intersection with Alcorn Avenue. The man was found under the rear of his pickup. A report on his condition was not available late Saturday night.

Hit and run accident in Stanton Saturday evening

News

November 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County are asking for the public’s help in locating a vehicle that slid-off the road and hit a light pole in Stanton, Saturday evening. Sheriff’s officials say at around 5:15-p.m., a mid-2000’s model Chevy pickup, dark grey or black in color, slid-off the road and hit a light pole near the intersection of Halland and Broad Avenue’s in Stanton. The vehicle then sped-off northbound, out of town.

The light pole owned by the City of Stanton sustained $2,000 damage. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001, or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107.