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Lighting ceremony set for Friday in Harlan


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Harlan is welcoming a return to an old tradition to the holiday season. The downtown square of Harlan will host a lighting ceremony on Friday evening to boost the holiday spirits. Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter says the lighting ceremony has been a joint effort. The city of Harlan was looking at new Christmas lights and then the more conversations we had, we kind of threw it out to have the animated lights. It started out as wouldn’t it be fun? And everyone jumped on the idea. I made the comment in initial meetings, I have never seen a project where the county, the city and HMU and everyone involved was so excited about on project. It has been a lot of fun putting it together.”

Off Kilter Media out of Harlan is actually programming the lights for the ceremony on Friday along with crews from Harlan Municipal Utilities. The Hotel/Motel Tax Committee has also played a big role as they donated funding for the project. Carter says she hopes that this is the start to bring the old tradition back to Harlan. “We always referred to it as Christmas City a lot when we were kids and that’s what this is all about, to try and get the Christmas City idea back to Harlan.”

The whole event starts on Friday at 5pm in downtown Harlan. Carter says “Santa will arrive on the Fire Engine. We plan to have Christmas Carolers up here. There will be coffee, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. If everything works, weather wise, we are going to set up three fire pits out on the south side of the square to roast marshmallows. Santa will turn the lights on sometime between 5 and 5:15pm.”

Horse and buggy rides will be provided to families during the ceremony and some of the businesses around the square will be open later to get some holiday shopping completed. Carter says the lighting on the square will not be designated to one night either. She says  “The shows will be done every night through Christmas until 10pm. It will play so many songs and then shut off for a few minutes and start again. I wanted everyone to know we will do Christmas music through Christmas Day and then starting December 26th through New Year’s we will do a salute to the troops. So there will be military music playing.”

The festivities on the square Friday will wrap up around 7pm but the lights will stay on until 10.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

All by yourself for Thanksgiving? Don’t be bummed. Get moving!


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Just because you’re alone on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. While many Iowans will be spending the day with family and friends, many others will be making alternative plans. Beverly Flaxington, a therapist and human behavior coach, says Iowans can stave off the holiday blues by finding positive ways to occupy their time — like volunteering. “For many people who are alone, for example, they go to a homeless shelter, they may go to a nursing home where people don’t have families themselves and visit people there,” Flaxington says. “They may belong to a church or a synagogue and be able to participate there.”

Flaxington says don’t let the Thanksgiving funk snowball, as everyone has to be alone at one point or another. Her best advice on how to get through the holiday season is to not let all the hype get larger than life.  “We create this painful cycle for ourselves, so it’s very important to catch that in action and make a decision that says, this too shall pass, I’m going to find something else I’d like to do today,” Flaxington says.

That could include going to a movie, reading a book or going shopping, either online or in person. While it’s pretty hard to avoid all of the holiday hoopla, don’t fall into self pity, get upset and catch a bad case of the blues. “It’s really taking those same facts and saying, ‘Yes, it’s Thanksgiving and I’m alone, but it’s any other day of the year. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up and it won’t be Thanksgiving and I’m going to make different choices today,'” she says.

It’s not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses but instead, she says, filtering the same information in a new way to bring a more positive outlook. If you’re having an extreme case of the blues, Flaxington recommends talking about it with a doctor or a professional therapist.

(Radio Iowa)

7AM Newscast 11-28-2013

News, Podcasts

November 28th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Food safety important on Thanksgiving


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Experts say practicing good food safety is important to a successful Thanksgiving. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center says taking proper precautions can help ensure that no one gets sick at your holiday gatherings.  It’s important to use a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey and any other meat dishes reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That ensures any bacteria is killed.
Other tips include:

  •       Don’t leave perishable food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
  •       Refrigerate any leftover turkey and use it within four days.
  •      Make sure anyone helping in the kitchen washes their hands.
  •      The Poison Center can answer other food safety questions at 1-800-222-1222.


Red Oak woman arrested following accident investigation


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County arrested the driver of an SUV that was involved in an accident Wednesday night. Deputies responded to a single-vehicle non-injury accident at 210th and T Avenue, at around 7-p.m.  Upon arrival, they found a 2002 Ford Escape driven by 42-year old Brenda Lyn Walter, of Red Oak.

Officials say following an investigation, the woman was arrested for OWI and on two-counts of Child Endangerment. Walter was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond. A passenger in the SUV, James Castillo, was cited for Open Container, and littering.

2 arrests in Red Oak overnight


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say two separate arrests occurred late Wednesday night and early this (Thursday) morning. Officials say 53-year old Dennis Edward Elliott, of Red Oak, was arrested in the 400 block of East Coolbaugh Street at around 9:35-p.m. Wednesday, on an active Montgomery County warrant for Public Intoxication. Elliott was booked into the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center.

Early this (Thursday) morning, 36-year old Tracey Lynn Ballinger, of Clarinda, was arrested in Red Oak in the 200 block of East Market Street. Ballinger was charged with OWI and Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree. Her bond was set at $1,000.

Merchants working to make day-after Black Friday be Small Business Saturday


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

While this Friday, or Black Friday, is considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year for big box stores, there’s an effort underway in Iowa and nationwide to brand the following day as Small Business Saturday. Brad Jones, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says, just as the name suggests, shoppers across the state are urged to visit their hometown businesses. “It’s those small business folks who put the jerseys on the Little League teams and help support the things at the high school and all of the various charity events,” Jones says. “It’s really an opportunity for the general public to thank them.”

Jones says many small businesses plan to offer extra deals for shoppers on Saturday. Those bargains might be greater this year with five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year. “I know there’s a lot of small businesses that are going to be offering certain discounts or coupons or things for shopping with them that day,” he says. More than 98-percent of the businesses operating in Iowa are considered small businesses. This event, Jones says, is an effort to reinforce something the federation tries to promote every day.

“Shop local,” he says. “It’s always good. Always support your small business folks because they certainly do support your local community.” The National Federation of Independent Businesses is asking local business owners to contact them via the group’s website with activities and offers for Small Business Saturday. There’s a list of Iowa businesses taking part at: http://www.nfib.com/small-business-saturday

Hurdles to getting new, young doctors in rural Iowa


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Experts say it’s not just the pay that keeps new doctors from setting up shop in rural Iowa, it’s the pressure of being on their own AND on call at all hours. Bill Lever is president and CEO of Unity Point Health which has hospitals and clinics in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, the Quad Cities, Sioux City and Waterloo. He says most young doctors just starting out want to be around other doctors, rather than starting up a solo practice in a small town.

“Most of them want to be in practice with someone else and they want enough technology — you know, imaging services and so forth — around them, ” Lever says. “So the role that critical access hospitals play, providing that kind of place where physicians feel comfortable, ‘I have the resources necessary,’ — that’s the real key.” Lever says advances in tele-medicine will also help.

“Tele-health will be a great boon to supporting medicine in rural Iowa because we’ll be able to link that primary care physician in rural Iowa to specialists here in Des Moines or other places in the state,” Lever says. “So then you won’t have this feeling: ‘I’m out here. I have this situation I don’t know what to do with.’ (Instead that doctor will say): ‘I have somebody I can consult.'” Lever’s hospital just donated 50-thousand dollars to a foundation raising money for grants that will help pay off the college debt of new doctors who choose to practice in rural Iowa.

“Loan repayment is important to get physicians to see, ‘I can make a career out of medicine without being bankrupt,'” Lever says. “That’s important, but once again in practice, you’ve got to support them in terms of that practice environment.” Being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year isn’t attractive to new doctors, either, and Lever says smaller hospitals in rural areas can provide emergency services so primary care doctors in rural Iowa get some time away from the practice of medicine.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa News Headlines: Thu., Nov. 28th 2013


November 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Composer and famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma is coming to eastern Iowa in 2015. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra says Ma will perform with them in a special concert on May 14, 2015, at the Adler Theatre in Davenport. The announcement is part of the orchestra’s preparation to celebrate its 100th season.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials say the city has reached a deal for a Florida-based company to buy and renovate a downtown hotel. Conor Acquisitions, of Fort Myers, Fla., would buy the property for $4 million and spend another $6.5 million on renovations. The 193-room hotel, now an independent, would be converted to a national brand.

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) — The murder trial of a Rockwell City man accused of killing a police officer during a standoff has been rescheduled for next year. 32-year-old Corey Trott is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 13 death of Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting, an eight-year veteran of the small town’s department. Trott has pleaded not guilty.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City man has been accused of multiple disturbances while being intoxicated, including causing a car crash and removing his clothes at a hospital. Police say 23-year-old Matthew D. Roberts crashed a vehicle into a guard rail earlier this week on Interstate 380. Roberts is charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and interference with official acts.

Trial rescheduled for Iowa man in officer killing


November 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) — The murder trial of a Rockwell City man accused of killing a police officer during a standoff has been rescheduled for next year. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports 32-year-old Corey Trott recently waived his right to a speedy trial. It is now scheduled to begin April 21 instead of Dec. 3. Trott is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 13 death of Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting, an eight-year veteran of the small town’s department. Trott has pleaded not guilty.

Buenting was responding to a standoff involving Trott, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant for assault. Trott is accused of firing a rifle that fatally hit Buenting.