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Funeral services to be held Sat. for 5-year old murder victim

News

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Funeral services will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in Harlan, for a five-year old Atlantic boy whose body was found August 31st in a ravine near Logan, in Harrison County. 17-year old Cody Metzker-Madsen has been charged with 1st degree murder in connection with the death of Dominic Lloyd Elkins. Metzker-Madsen is scheduled for his first court appearance on Monday.
Dominic’s mother, 24-year old Barbara Kunch, of Atlantic, told the Daily NonPareil that Dominic had behavior problems, but was getting better. Those problems eventually led to his placement in foster care and also a treatment program at Children’s Square U.S.A. in Council Bluffs. Staff at Children’s Square told Kunch that her son’s behavior was improving and that he reacted better to medications for his attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and sleeping disorder.Dominic was placed in the Children’s Square treatment program in October 2012 and left in February of this year. He had lived with his foster parents near Logan for only three-weeks when the incident that led to his death occurred. Metzker-Madsen initially claimed he wasn’t responsible for the boy’s death, and that while he and Dominic were playing, the 5-year old hit both himself and Metzker-Madsen in the head with a brick before running off toward the ravine where his body was found face-down in a small stream. Authorities say the child had multiple injuries to his head and torso. An official autopsy result has not yet been released.
Funeral services for Dominic Elkins will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 1:00 pm in the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan. Metzker-Madsen is being held in the Harrison County jail under a $500,000 bond, and will be tried as an adult. His preliminary hearing is scheduled 11 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the Harrison County courthouse.

Going back to school can lead to troubles going to sleep

News

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

School’s back in session for Iowa kids and a sleep expert says readjusting to the schedule can lead to problems of not enough sleep. Dr. Stephen Grant of Iowa Sleep in West Des Moines says it can be a problem for kids regardless of their age. “Basically school-aged children aged six to 12 years, these children need on average nine to 12 hours a night of sleep. And it’s rare that I see any of these kids getting more than eight on average,” Grant says. “And especially in the adolescents its even more salient that they believe they need even less sleep, when in fact they need at least nine hours themselves. But on average, the average teenager that I see gets about seven hours a night.”

Grant says the kids may also think they can catch up by sleeping in on the weekends — but that’s not the case. “It actually takes you about three days to catch up on your sleep, it’s nothing that you can do in one fell swoop,” he explains. It’s a matter of adjusting the schedules so the kids have the time they need. Dr. Grant says the method varies based on the age of the children. “In the school-age children it’s kind of just getting more of ceremony or kind of the expectation that sleep will happen sooner. But in the adolescents its really kind of reigning in some screen time or some smartphone time, or just allowing the teenager to window in on the potential of what life could be like with eight or nine hours under their belt instead of seven,” according to Grant.

Making sure the kids sleep at the proper time is a key. or they could suffer from “delayed sleep phase.”
“Given their own proclivity to define a sleep period, they would probably want to go to bet about maybe one or two o’clock in the morning and then sleep until 10 or eleven the next morning,” Grant says. “And if you take a look at it that would be perhaps a sufficient degree of sleep, but the timing of it radically impairs their pyscho-social functioning. School starts at eight o’clock in the morning and they need to be up and going and prepared. And these children suffer from delayed sleep phase, and it’s a real struggle for them.”

The doctor says he gets a lot of questions from parents about kids talking or walking in their sleep and snoring. For the most part, he says it’s not a major concern. He says about 40-percent of most adolescents sleep walk, and most eventually outgrow it by the age of 15. “And snoring in and of itself does not predict that these children have obstructive sleep apnea, but there is some concordance between patients that snore and the possibility of sleep disruptive breathing — specifically obstructive sleep apnea,” Grant says. Grant says if adjusting your child’s schedule does not do the trick and allow them to get enough sleep, then you can see someone like him who is a sleep specialist.

(Radio Iowa)

Risk increasing for large grass fires in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

About one-third of Iowa is now in a severe drought and the increasingly dry conditions raise the risk for grass fires. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says rural residents who burn ditches or large piles of debris need to be especially careful. “I think people underestimate just how dry the conditions are,” Reynolds says. “The other thing we see, as we start to get into the fields in the next month or so, equipment and machinery are another common cause of fires.”

Prairie or grass fires are also often ignited by discarded cigarettes.”We see an awful lot of people who are throwing cigarettes out of their cars and I’ve not seen a car yet that doesn’t come with an ashtray. We would just encourage people who are traveling through our state to put their cigarettes out in their vehicle in the ashtray,” Reynolds says. A simple spark, combined with the recent low humidity and a little wind, can quickly turn into a large fire.

Reynolds says every year, at least a few Iowans are burned or even killed in “controlled burns” that get out of control. “If we could just remind Iowans…if you absolutely have to burn, make sure you have a water source close by and just be cognizant of the conditions when you burn,” Reynolds says.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Sept. 6th 2013

News

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

WYOMING, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two people have been injured after a truck exploded in rural eastern Iowa. The Jones County Sheriff’s Department says the explosion happened yesterday morning several miles east of the small Iowa town of Wyoming. Police say 45-year-old John Ralston and 33-year-old Jamaica Ralston were scrapping metal from an old pickup truck and ignited fumes from the gas tank.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport woman has been accused of setting her ex-girlfriend’s car on fire. The Quad-City Times reports 29-year-old Jennifer Bailey faces felony charges of first-degree harassment and second-degree arson. Police say Bailey sent a harassing text message to her ex-girlfriend on August 9th about two hours before the car was set on fire. Bailey was arrested Saturday and remains at the Scott County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.

NORTH ENGLISH, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a motorcyclist has died after a crash during a chase by a sheriff’s deputy in eastern Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says the crash occurred just before 2 a.m. yesterday on Iowa Highway 149 near the county line of Iowa and Keokuk counties. Twenty-five-year-old Tucker Morrison of North English was pronounced dead at the scene.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City camp for people with mental and physical disabilities is celebrating its first year and looking to expand. Camp High Hopes marked its birthday yesterday. The $5.8 million facility has served more than 300 participants from 16 Iowa counties and four states.

Atlantic gas main leak under control

News

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Residents of at least 8 homes in the vicinity of 5th and Maple Streets in Atlantic were allowed to return to their homes this (Thursday) afternoon, about 4-hours after construction crews working on a sewer line accidentally hit a 4-inch diameter, high pressure gas line.  The line was struck at around 10:10-a.m., forcing authorities to evacuate residents in the area until utility crews could repair the damage. The official all-clear notice was received from the Cass County Emergency Management Agency at around 1:45-p.m.

The smell of gas was noticed by residents around the northeast and north central parts of town for hours Thursday, and the high-pitched sound of gas whistling from the cut in the line could be heard for well over a block away. No injuries were reported.

Iowa drought worsens in hottest week of the year

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Drought conditions have worsened in a portion of the Midwest including Iowa, the nation’s leading corn producer, as the region experienced its hottest week of the year.Drought Monitor 9-5-13 The extreme heat and near record low August rainfall combined to expand drought conditions from the eastern Dakotas southeastward into western Illinois.  Iowa saw its warmest week since July 2012, with highs topping 104 at Des Moines on Aug. 30.

About 98 percent of the state is in drought. Severe drought expanded to 32 percent of the state from 22 percent the week before. Conditions are mostly unchanged in Nebraska and Kansas. The weekly drought monitor, which tracks conditions from Aug. 27 through Tuesday morning, shows 61.7 percent of the contiguous United States in drought, nearly the same as the week before.

Cass County awarded USDA Grant to grow Farmers Markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Wellness Coordinator Teddi Grindberg has announced the County has been awarded $11,554 in a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), to assist with Farmers Markets development throughout the County. The award will extend through the end of the current market season, the coming year, and the end of the next season.

The focus of the grant is to help communities within Cass County to create and/or expand area farmers markets. The Cass County Local Food Policy Council will work in conjunction with interested communities to identify current and potential vendors, establish community-based market committees, and to promote the purchase and consumption of the local food provided in the markets.

(Update ) Gas line hit in Atlantic

News

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A square block area of Atlantic was evacuated this (Thursday) morning, following a gas line rupture at 5th and Elm Streets.  Atlantic Assistant Fire Chief Tim Cappel told KJAN News a crew working on a sewer line punctured a gas line just after 10-a.m.IMG_20130905_104552_016

Gas line punctured at 5th & maple. View looking east from 5th & Elm Streets (Ric Hanson/photo)

Gas line punctured at 5th & maple. View looking east from 5th & Elm Streets (Ric Hanson/photo)

Gas could be heard whistling from the site, as fire and police personnel worked to cordon-off the area and evacuate local residences and businesses. Cappel said they anticipated the evacuation would remain in-place for about four hours.

The public is asked to stay away from the area until the leak is fixed.

More on Atlantic’s Urban Deer Hunting Ordinance

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green says Wednesday evening’s action by the City Council pertaining to an amendment of an ordinance allowing bow hunting of deer within the City limits, means anyone interested in hunting this season, and did qualify to do so last season, should contact the Police Department to acquire a permit. Hunters who did not shoot qualifying scores last season may contact Lt. Dave Erickson at the P-D, to set-up a time to qualify.archer

Green says the department has the permit applications and hunting instruction packets available. Both may be picked up during normal business hours (8-a.m. to 4-p.m., Monday through Friday). In addition, land owners who would like to allow bow hunters to hunt on their land, should contact the Police Department at 712-243-3512 during business hours, to sign-up.

The Council’s action Wednesday, was an effort to entice hunters to actively assist in the reducing of an excessive number of deer that have plagued the City in recent years. Last year, over 30 hunters qualified for the right to hunt within the City limits of Atlantic, but only two deer were taken. The greatest change to the Ordinance, according to Green, is that hunters will be reimbursed for the cost of the State Deer Tag for taking their first doe within the City limits. Subsequent to taking an antlerless deer and having it verified that it was taken within the City limits, hunters will be given a permission slip allowing them to use their next “any sex” tag, to take one of the many large bucks that frequent the community.

 

Study: Rural residents tend to shy away from vital health screenings

News

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Big changes are coming to health insurance starting October 1st, when millions of uninsured Americans have to start buying policies under the Affordable Care Act. Jon Bailey, at the Center for Rural Affairs, says rural residents in Iowa tend NOT to get preventative screenings, like cancer tests or mammograms. “The screenings and the tests are relatively inexpensive and do pay off and rural people, the data shows, get those in significantly fewer amounts than non-rural people,” Bailey says. “I think that’s because of the type of insurance they have.” Compared to urban residents, Bailey says rural Americans are responsible for nearly 22-percent more of their total health care costs, including premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs.

The center’s research finds rural Iowans will see many pluses from the new federal health care law. Bailey says they focused on the provisions of the law, including tax credits and whether the costs can be subsidized. Bailey says, “Because of the insurance market in rural areas, because of lower incomes generally in rural areas, we think a good chuck of premium tax credits will go to rural people and a lot of rural people will benefit from them.” Bailey, the center’s director of rural research and analysis, authored the report which looks at the benefits of health insurance marketplaces, cost sharing and other incentives for rural residents.

“We hope it shows the process people will have to go through and if they purchase insurance on the new health insurance marketplaces, what they’ll potentially get in terms of premium assistance to help pay the health insurance costs,” Bailey says. “It shows how those premium assistance provisions work, who qualifies for those.” Bailey says many provisions of the new law apply to rural residents because of demographics, unique health care challenges and economic circumstances. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)