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8AM Newscast 11-22-2012

News, Podcasts

November 22nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Thrill of the sale fuels Black Friday holiday

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University expert says “Black Friday” has become a “holiday” unto itself and it’s difficult for on-line retailers to compete. Ron Prescott — a small business and retail specialist for Iowa State University Extension, says there’s just something about standing in line for a bargain. “Some of these door-buster deals are really, really good and you just have a difficult time — Amazon or whoever — has a difficult time in matching that experience and it does come down to, in some cases, the experience,” Prescott says. “There’s just people who love to shop on Black Friday.”

Prescott expects participation in “Black Friday” events will be up this year, because people are more bargain conscious. “More and more, as we’ve seen since 2009, people are really trying to stretch their dollar and they’re using more coupons and they’re doing more comparative analysis on the internet,” Prescott says. “And so there’s a lot of folks that, before they go out and buy a big-ticket item, they’re going to spend some time researching.”

Prescott has predicted Iowa retailers will see a four percent increase in holiday sales this year compared to last, but he also says the “holiday sales” period has expanded, as a National Retail Federation survey found over 22 percent of Americans began their holiday shopping in October. “Really, a lot of the Christmas shopping, a lot of that Christmas budget, has been already spent,” Prescott says. “Some of us bemoan the fact that Christmas is getting longer and longer, but the fact of it is that consumers appreciate that in the long run, so they can stretch their dollars.”

The National Retail Federation estimates the average shopper will spend almost 750-dollars ($750) this holiday season.

Economist seeing more “buy local” behavior in Iowa

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University economist is seeing indications that Iowans are shifting more of their shopping to their local communities. However, David Swenson says the “buy local” concept will only succeed if it goes beyond customer awareness. “It also involves an understanding within the business community that if I buy my inputs from your business and you buy your inputs from my business – all of our businesses and all of our community will do better,” Swenson said.

The buy local movement is nothing new. Swenson remembers seeing a “buy local” sign on a business in his hometown back in the 1960s. Swenson notes the overwhelming evidence shows most consumer spending in Iowa continues to be in large shopping centers and on the Internet. “But, over the…at least five years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis of small business promotion, buy local behavior. That all leads me to conclude that, yes indeed, we’re having, in selected areas, more buy local behavior and more buy local awareness,” Swenson said.

The money spent at local businesses will multiply more rapidly, according to Swenson, when all of the business owners buy into the concept. “If you have a community where you have a rich relationship with other businesses and you tend to buy your inputs, your legal services, your bookkeeping services or any number of services from folks right there in town, you’re going to have a richer social relationship – therefore, you’re going to have a richer economic relationship over time,” Swenson said.

At least two-thirds of Iowa’s communities are losing population, so Swenson notes the buy local movement is struggling in many areas of the state. Swenson made his comments on the Iowa Public Radio program “Talk of Iowa.”

(Radio Iowa)

With new technology comes new ways to exploit it and rip you off

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A professional computer hacker who works for several Iowa companies testing their security says as technology advances, Iowans are at greater risk for identity theft. Pablos Holman says one primary line of defense is having good email passwords that use a variety of characters, numbers and symbols, making them much harder to hack. “If I can get into your email, then I can go to almost any website and click on ‘I forgot my password’ and they’ll email it to you,” Holman says. “Email is kind of the gatekeeper for everything. Now, people are accessing email from their phones all the time and don’t realize that basically gives an attacker access to everything.”

Holman recommends using what’s known as a “password manager” that allows you to have a different password for each website you use. It will synchronize passwords between your work and home computer, pad and phone and stores all that information in the cloud. Paying for gasoline using a credit card at the pump is convenient, but Holman says that could also be opening you up to a high-tech hacker. “A newer RFID credit card, paypass cards and blink cards — it’s possible to read the credit card number off them wirelessly,” he says. “Attackers can put an extra reader next to the pump and when people come by with their cards, they just collect numbers that way.” Holman says it may be wise to invest in an RFID-blocking wallet or to leave those cards at home and take them with you only when necessary.

Iowans should use passcodes on their smart phones, to keep them safer, longer, in case they’re stolen. He suggests another security precaution for our phones. “I’ve been using a privacy screen protector on my phone,” he says. “It’s really cool because it makes it so whoever is near you can’t see your screen, it just looks black. If someone is looking over your shoulder as you’re texting or checking your email, the person sitting next to me can’t see my screen.” He says 70-percent of mobile phone users don’t password-protect their phones. Also, 43-percent of Americans surveyed admit to glancing at a stranger’s mobile device. That number zooms to 66-percent for those between the ages of 18 and 24.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass Supervisors approve Housing project agreements

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, approved sub-recipient agreements for two housing projects in Woodbine. The County acts as a flow-through agency for the federally funded Walnut Street upper story apartment rehabilitation and Normal Street duplex/tri-plex construction project, administered by SWIPCO (The Southwest Iowa Planning Council).

The Supervisors also voted to approve the allowance or disallowance of Homestead Credit and Military Service Exemption claims for Fiscal Year 2013 taxes collectible in F.Y. 2014, in accordance with Iowa Code. The action is merely a procedural matter that occurs annually. And having received an Application for Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit, the Board voted to allow the credit as presented.

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s next meeting will take place Friday, November 30th.

7AM Newscast 11-22-2012

News, Podcasts

November 22nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Traffic stop leads to rollover accident in Montgomery County

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A routine traffic stop resulted a rollover accident early this (Thursday) morning, in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say neither the driver, 21-year old Cody K. Blystone, nor his passenger, 20-year old Cody W. Chapin, both of Red Oak, were injured.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a Red Oak Police officer activated his emergency lights just before 4-a.m., in an attempt to stop a 2006 Chevy Equinox that was traveling east on Bluegrass Road. After he did so, the SUV accelerated and continued east on Bluegrass, through the S-curves where the road becomes 207th Street. The SUV was exiting the curve back to the east when it went out of control near 1961 207th Street. The vehicle crossed the center of the road, entered the north ditch and rolled onto its left side. It continued to overturn as it slid in the ditch, and made contact with a field drive. The SUV finally came to rest after it flipped once more, and landed on its wheels.

After Blystone and Chapin were checked for injuries by Red Oak Fire and Rescue personnel, Blystone was transported to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, where he was charged with OWI/1st Offense and Reckless Driving. Blystone was being held in the jail on $1,000 bond. The SUV, owned by 20-year old Megan Backstrom, of Red Oak, sustained about $15,000 damage.

Red Oak man arrested on drug & other charges, Wed.

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man was arrested Wednesday, on drug and other charges. According to the Red Oak Police Department, 33-year-old Ronald William Jennings was taken into custody on Possession of a Controlled Substance/marijuana and Interference with Official Acts, charges. Jennings was being held at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $2,000 cash bond.

No injuries reported after anhydrous tank overturns in Montgomery County, Wednesday

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency says no injuries were reported after an anhydrous tank being pulled by a pickup, overturned Wednesday evening in an area near Villisca.

Overturned Anhydrous tank near Villisca, 11/21/12. (All photos courtesy Brian Hamman, Montgomery County EMA)

According to EMA Director Brian Hamman, the accident happened at around 4-p.m.   The tank was leaking after it overturned, but the leak was stopped after a valve was quickly shut off by Villisca Firefighters.

Hamman says the road remained closed while crews worked to upright the tank, and no evacuations were needed. No other information is currently available.

1 dead another seriously hurt after SUV hits a deer in Montgomery County

News

November 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa woman died and a passenger in her vehicle was seriously injured Wednesday, after the SUV they were in struck a deer on Highway 34, west of Red Oak, in Montgomery County. The Iowa State Patrol says 26-year old Shawna Michelle Curtis, and nine-year old Lydia Powell, both of Creston, were traveling east on the highway at around 7:15-p.m., when a deer entered the roadway. When Curtis’ 2008 Ford Edge struck the animal, the deer came through the windshield, hitting Curtis, causing her to lose control of the SUV.

The vehicle continued east on Highway 34 before it left the road, entered the north ditch and rolled over twice. Curtis died at the scene. Powell was flown by helicopter to Creighton Hospital in Omaha. A report on her condition is currently not available. The Patrol says the woman and the girl were wearing their seat belts.