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Troopers respond to at least 170 car wrecks on snowy roads


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol says that troopers responded to at least 170 reports of vehicle accidents since snowfalls between four and seven inches fell earlier this week. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports at least one of those crashes was fatal. Troopers also responded to more than 230 calls for roadside help as of Tuesday.

The state’s transportation department said 12 of its snow plows were involved in the wrecks. The accident that resulted in the most damage occurred in western Iowa, where a plow crashed with a semitrailer, causing nearly $158,000 in damages. Officials say there were no serious injuries.

Symptoms of flu? Call doctor ASAP


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The waiting rooms in many of Iowa’s hospitals are packed with people suffering from the flu. Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says it’s critical for those who are at high risk for complications and those who are suffering from more severe symptoms — such as trouble breathing — to contact their health care provider. “This year, it’s especially important that you contact your health care provider quickly because we know the strain of the flu that’s going around right now can be quite serious. It’s causing some people to be hospitalized and even some deaths,” Quinlisk says.

The IDPH has confirmed two recent influenza-related deaths of children in Iowa, while a third is under investigation. The two confirmed victims, a 14-year-old girl from Redfield and a 3-year-old girl from Elk Horn, were both said to be healthy and had flu shots. Quinlisk is urging parents to contact their doctor right away if their child shows symptoms of the flu. “The antiviral medication that can be given to people to help them combat the flu has to be given within 24 to 48 hours within the onset of illness for it to be effective,” Quinlisk says.

Nationally, the flu outbreak has been declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quinlisk says it’s not too late for Iowans to get the flu shot, even though the vaccine it’s not entirely effective in treating the strain known as influenza A. “While the flu shot is not 100-percent effective, it’s one of the best tools we have to provide you protection from getting seriously ill or dying of the flu,” Quinlisk says. In addition to vaccination, Quinlisk recommends following the “three Cs” for preventing flu illness: clean your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and confine germs by staying home when ill.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 7th 2015


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Public health officials are investigating the death of a 7-year-old Iowa boy who was diagnosed with influenza. The Iowa Department of Public Health says it’s investigating three pediatric deaths that they believe resulted from flu-related complications. The family of 7-year-old Travon Epps says the boy was taken to Blank Children’s Hospital on New Year’s Day. He was diagnosed with the flu and later died.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they’re investigating a shooting in southeast Iowa that left one person dead and an officer injured. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the Burlington Police Department responded to a domestic dispute Tuesday morning. Authorities say the response resulted in a shooting that left one person dead and an officer receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A Houston, Texas-based company has agreed to pay a $59,000 penalty as part of a settlement over alleged clean air and emergency planning violations at its facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Inhance Technologies LLC, formerly known as Fluoro-Seal International LP, will spend at least $180,000 on systems to recycle hazardous hydrogen fluoride gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspected the company’s Mount Pleasant, Iowa, facility in November 2010. Federal officials say the facility did not follow rules for using or storing certain types of hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals beyond specified threshold amounts.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Pharmacy Board recommends that state lawmakers reclassify a marijuana extract that is used to treat people with epilepsy. But the board has declined to make any broader changes supported by medical marijuana advocates.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s newly sworn-in Sen. Joni Ernst says she is thrilled to be getting down to business. Ernst was officially sworn in Tuesday morning in Washington. The Republican from Red Oak says she is excited to be working for Iowans and pledged to protect the state’s farmers and push for government efficiency.

Arrest late Tuesday night in Montgomery County


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Police Department report the arrest at around 9-p.m. Tuesday, of a Red Oak man. 33-year old Paul Earl Lemburg, II, was taken into custody on a warrant issued out of Montgomery County for Failure to Appear in Court. The warrant was based on an original charge of Theft in the 4th Degree. Lemburg was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s report


January 6th, 2015 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Tuesday, of a Villisca man. 30-year old Joshua Dean Cooney was arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear. Cooney was being held on $25,000 bond.

Atlantic City Council to hold 1st meeting of 2015, Wednesday


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will hold its first, regular meeting of the new year, beginning at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday, at City Hall. During the session, the Council will meet Jamie Arnold, with the law firm of Otto, Lawrence and Weidertsein. The Council has indicated it’s interest in making Arnold the City’s Attorney. If approved, he will take over for Dave Weiderstein, who won the election in November for Cass County Attorney. While Arnold has moved to Atlantic, at last report he still needed to have his paperwork processed by the State in order to practice law, in Iowa. City officials hope to appoint him to the position on January 17th.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will take care of annual administrative matters, including: approval of First Whitney Bank and Trust as the City’s official 2015 bank for checking accounts; the local newspaper as the City’s official newspaper for 2015; and approval of City Council Committee Assignments and Council Liaison Assignments for 2015.

They’ll also discuss the City of Atlantic’s role in the Cass County Public Safety Commission, following the recent withdrawal of the Cities of Anita and Griswold from the Commission, which has sparked a number of questions regarding cost distribution and taxpayer equity for services. The Council will also consider and possibly act on a recommendation by the Personnel and Finance Committee with regard to a TIF application for the Southern Heights  View development area.

Market Study to Explore Future for Downtown Avoca


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

What does the future hold for downtown Avoca?  Community residents and business persons will have a chance to chime in as part of the Downtown Avoca Market Study project being orchestrated by Avoca Main Street, Inc.  Brent Hansen, President said a special project team assembled by Avoca Main Street, Inc. initiated work on the project last week. Avoca Main Street, the local non-profit group spearheading downtown Avoca revitalization efforts, is performing the study to fine-tune and enhance downtown business development and marketing strategies.

Hansen said the study will include an in-depth analysis of input collected from local business and consumer surveys to be conducted in March and April. Project team members are in the midst of the project’s initial discovery phase that includes the collection and review of background information and an assessment of the downtown business climate. The team is also reviewing current demographic and economic data to assess conditions and to identify possible opportunities for business retention, expansion and recruitment.

According to Hansen “The raw data and numbers that we’re reviewing now is good, important information, but we’ll be digging deeper to explore opportunities for downtown Avoca. We’re excited to gather the perspectives and ideas of Avoca area residents, visitors and business persons who will be participating in surveys. As a result, we’ll gain a better sense of what downtown Avoca can be in the future, and how the community can focus its efforts to make positive things happen in the downtown.”

“Ultimately,” he said, “the information and input will be used to create strategies aimed at retaining and developing a quality mix of businesses and uses that, based on solid market data, show the best potential to succeed in downtown Avoca.”

Special components of the study, scheduled for completion this summer, include business and consumer surveys designed to identify and assess opportunities for business expansion and recruitment in the downtown business district, and recommendations for the implementation of related projects and activities.

According to Brent Hansen, “Throughout all phases of the project, we’ll actively seek input from all sectors of the community. We’ll be asking lots of questions and exploring a broad range of scenarios in an attempt to determine a direction that’s right for downtown Avoca,”

Avoca is among a select group of communities receiving technical assistance and support from Main Street Iowa in 2015 to complete a local market study. United States Department of Agriculture Rural Community Development Initiative funding and Community Development Block Grant funding were procured by Iowa Economic Development Authority to underwrite market analysis training and technical assistance furnished to a select group of Main Street Iowa communities in 2015.

For more information about study and opportunities to participate, contact Anna Hoegh, Director at mainstreet@cityofavoca.com.

(Press Release)

Joni Ernst sworn in as Iowa’s newest US senator


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s newly sworn-in Sen. Joni Ernst says she is thrilled to be getting down to business. Ernst was officially sworn in Tuesday morning in Washington. The Republican from Red Oak was joined for the ceremony by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and former Sen. Tom Harkin, the Democrat whose retirement created an opening for Ernst.

Ernst says she is excited to be working for Iowans and pledged to protect the state’s farmers and push for government efficiency. Ernst scored a decisive victory in November, helping the GOP take control of the Senate. She started the race as a relatively unknown state senator but soared to national stardom, promoting her farm upbringing and role as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard.

Men face fish and game violations in Greene County


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Three men face a total of more than 150 charges in connection with fish and game violations in Greene County. The state Department of Natural Resources says 20-year-old Hossein Kolbehrdari, of Ankeny, 21-year-old Maxwell McGlothlen, of Ankeny, and 22-year-old Rheise Presnall, of Polk City, face a variety of charges.

Kolbehrdari’s charges include unlawful possession of game birds or animals. McGlothlen’s charges include not having a hunting license and possessing a rifle while deer hunting. Presnall is accused of illegal possession of a whitetail deer, among other charges.

Officials in November conducted a search of a rental home where the men were staying. Each faces different fines. Court records do not list attorneys.

Iowa board supports reclassification of marijuana extract


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Pharmacy Board says it supports reclassifying a marijuana extract for the treatment of epilepsy, but the group has declined to make any broader changes supported by medical marijuana advocates.  The Des Moines Register reports the board approved a recommendation Monday that state lawmakers reclassify the extract, which has little of the chemical THC used to make recreational marijuana users high.

Board member James Miller says the extract’s reclassification would help Iowa code conform to a state law passed last spring. But he noted that Iowa pharmacies would be unlikely to carry the extract unless federal law was clear that it is legal. Board Chairman Edward Maier says state lawmakers should tackle the legal implications of the reclassification.