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Ready to start spring cleaning? Be careful with all of those chemicals!

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With the arrival of spring on Thursday, many Iowans will leap into a house cleaning frenzy. Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and the education coordinator for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says you’ll need to use caution with all of those powerful cleansers, especially if there are kids in the house. “What we see as a lot of exposures is the household cleaning chemicals, the things that are under the kitchen sink,” Noble says. “Usually, it’s when the product is in use, when we find exposures happening to both the kids and the adults.”

While the kitchen can be a danger zone for poisonings, she says bathrooms can be just as problematic with all of those personal hygiene products.  “The toothpaste, the shampoo, the lotion, the deodorant,” Noble says. “We always get lots of calls about that and those are things that we use every day so it’s hard to lock them up or put them up high so they’re out of reach.” She says about half of the 50-thousand calls a year that come into the Sioux City-based hotline involve children and accidental poisonings.

“It’s always surprising because you would think something might taste bad so they’re not going to eat it but kids don’t always have that same sense of taste that adults do,” Noble says. “Just because something tastes bad doesn’t mean they won’t eat it. Kids will still swallow it. You wouldn’t believe the calls that we get.” She suggests Iowans program the Iowa Poison Control Center hotline into their cell phones and have the number handy by landlines. The center is staffed 24-7 and the call is free to 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

Severe Weather Awareness week is approaching

News, Weather

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Next week, March 24th through the 28th, is Severe Weather Awareness Week.SVR Wx Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon says a Statewide Tornado Drill will take place on or about 10:15-a.m., with the warning sirens being activated throughout the County, and weather radios sounding their alerts. Kennon says the tornado drill will be an excellent opportunity for Cass County residents, businesses and schools to practice their own procedures in the event of severe weather. 

In the event of severe weather or potential severe weather on the day of the test, these test watches may be postponed. More information about Severe Weather Awareness Week and the related Tornado Drill will be released in the coming days.

Another form of severe weather is extremely dry and windy conditions that can cause controlled burns to quickly spread and become out of control, placing lives and property in danger. As we’ve mentioned before, numerous Counties this week instituted a ban on open burning, including Fremont, Page, Pottawattamie, Mills and Montgomery Counties. Shelby County began their bi-weekly updates on the Fire Danger in that county, on Monday, with the risk currently being “High” for fires to spread.

Kennon says there is no ban on open, outdoor burning in Cass County, but that may change. He says the matter will be discussed during a County Fire Association meeting Thursday night. Local fire chiefs can elect to place a burn ban in effect for their specific district, if they wish, but in general, a consensus is obtained from all the chiefs to call for a County-wide Burn Ban, which is more formal and encompassing. Anyone thinking about conducting a controlled burn in the mean time, needs to do two things, according to Kennon…

He says you need to call your local fire chief and get their permission, and if that’s granted, call the Cass County Communications Center to inform them about when and where you plan to burn, so fire department personnel and equipment needlessly respond to what may be perceived by others to be an uncontrolled burn. For a current list of counties with a burn ban in-place or those that will be in effect, go to http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/main/burnbans/

8AM Newscast 03-19-2014

News, Podcasts

March 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 03-19-2014

News, Podcasts

March 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Cass County 4-H Mardi Gras is just Days Away

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Youth Coordinator Beth Irlbeck says the County 4-H Clubs invite the public to attend their annual 4-H Mardi Gras carnival on Sunday, March 23rd. Irlbeck say “Mardi Gras includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The event is scheduled from 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic. We are so excited to offer many activities for families.”

Booths at this year’s Mardi Gras will include: Bear Grove Blazers- 4-H bucket pong; Benton Franklin – color wheel of fortune; Brighton – Skeeball; Cowpokes – Boot Bag Toss; G & L Clovers – walking taco foodstand; Griswold Clubsters – Plinko; Grant Guys & Gals –Ring Toss; Grove H.O.T – TP Basketball; Pleasant Noble United – Cake/Dessert Walk; Pymosa – Dart Throw; Union Leaders – box tunnels; Washington GEM – Pop Floats and much more.

The Youth Action Committee and Youth Council are sponsoring this county-wide event and are inviting all Cass County families to come out and join the fun. Admission is just 50-cents per person and tickets cost 10-cents each. Each 4-H club determines how many tickets to charge to play their game. All proceeds from this event go to the 4-H clubs and the Youth Council. For more information, call 712-243-1132.

Iowa officials say 2013 was year of safe hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say 2013 was another year of safe hunting in the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says no fatalities were recorded last year during hunting seasons. However, there were 11 injuries and six cases of property damage.

Megan Wisecup, safety education programs coordinator, says there’s been a trend of self-inflicted incidents over the last four to five years. Officials recommend that hunters remember basic firearm handling.

Wisecup says mandatory hunter education courses are part of a drastic drop in hunting incidents. In the 1960s, officials recorded more than 100 incidents and up to 20 fatalities a year.

Four GOP candidates for US Senate appear at NFIB forum

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate pledged last night (Tuesday) during a forum in Des Moines that they would reduce government regulations and vote to repeal “ObamaCare” if they’re elected. But the candidates differed on whether there’s a need for a law giving small business owners the right to refuse to serve same-sex couples. Arizona’s Republican governor recently vetoed a bill that would have carved out a religious exemption for business owners who, for instance, don’t want to be involved in gay weddings.

Candidate Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, a retired business executive, says religious organizations should “100 percent” have that right to refuse to participate in gay weddings. “But I think for people that choose to enter the field of commerce in businesses, I think we have to make sure that we have an environment that those businesses are open to law-abiding citizens and I’m very concerned about the discriminatory nature that could creep into that if we start to open that door,” Jacobs said.

Sam Clovis of Hinton, an economics professor, says Arizona’s governor should have signed that bill into law. “This, to me, is one of the most fundamental questions that we will have to wrestle with as a society,” Clovis said. “…At no other time in history — and I’m the oldest one sitting on this stage, I’ll tell you — I have never seen in my life the assault on religious liberty that we see today.”

Matt Whitaker of Ankeny, a former federal prosecutor, says the federal government is guilty of encroaching on religious freedoms in a number of cases, but he says there’s no need for a law granting businesses a “religious exemption.”  “As a Christian, I practice my Christian religion and I don’t want to get in the way of others whether you’re Muslim or whether you’re Jewish or some other denomination from you practicing your religion,” but I don’t think we need a federal law to enforce that right because it’s already evidenced in the First Amendment to our Constitution.”

Joni Ernst of Red Oak, a state senator, says it’s a complicated issue that has to be sorted through. “We want to ensure that we’re not discriminating, but then on the other hand we’re not forcing those (business owners) to do something that disagrees with what they believe as a religion,” Ernst said.

All four candidates expressed concerns about the so-called “common core” education standards that supporters say will lead to a better-educated workforce. The candidates said curriculum decisions should be made at the state and local level. The forum was sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Business.

(Radio Iowa)

Cold winter could delay start of construction season

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Record cold this winter could have an impact on the start of the spring construction season. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce says warmer temperatures won’t immediately signal the start of construction. “The ground, they’re saying, is frozen so deep that that’s really going to have an impact on when some of them get started,” Koonce says. Spring begins on Thursday, but Koonce says it will be awhile before spring construction takes off.

She says things probably won’t pick up until we get into April. The construction industry lost jobs for the second month in a row in January.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., March 19th 2014

News

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

MARQUETTE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire that damaged or destroyed several businesses and homes in the northeast Iowa community of Marquette. Firefighters from eight area departments battled the blaze for hours after it was first reported Monday morning on North Street in downtown Marquette. No injuries were reported.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge says a cancer-stricken 73-year-old man accused of killing his wife in 1997 can leave an Iowa prison and live at his Minnesota home until trial. Judge Paul Miller ruled Tuesday that John Bloomfield will be on house arrest at his St. Paul, Minn., residence until the July 8 trial. Bloomfield is charged in the slaying of 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has overwhelmingly passed legislation that aims to increase penalties for offenders in kidnapping cases involving minors. The bill would toughen penalties for kidnapping offenders in cases involving victims 17 years old and younger. It also would eliminate earned-time credit that reduces an inmate’s sentence for good behavior.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has approved a bill that would require state educators to provide schools with information on radon safety and encourage them to test for the gas. Schools would report to the state Department of Education about how they’re practicing radon safety. The bill returns to the Senate.

Several burn bans in place in southwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two more counties are being be added to the list of counties in the KJAN listening area which have called for a ban on open burning. A Burn Ban went into effect at 10-a.m. Tuesday, for Fremont County. Later that same day, emergency management officials in Page, Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties announced Burn Bans would be in effect in those counties beginning at 8-a.m. today (Wednesday). The bans will remain in effect until further notice.

The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. As dry conditions persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly. Pottawattamie County EMA Director Doug Reed says Pott. County “Has seen the devastating effects of fire in extreme conditions and we want to do everything we can to help mitigate an incident like that from occurring.”

During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational camp fires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fire place of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any camp fire not in an outdoor fire place is prohibited.

Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban.