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Iowa lawmakers OK anti-bullying plan for schools


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa lawmakers are continuing their efforts to fund an anti-bullying measure that would create an office to coordinate efforts and establish a grant program for schools across the state.  A three-member Senate appropriations subcommittee voted 2-1 on Monday in favor of the legislation, which goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

The bill calls for a $1 million appropriation to establish an office within the Department of Education, charged with coordinating and implementing bullying prevention and response efforts. The bill also would develop a grant program to help schools carry out new anti-bullying policies.

Adam Gregg, legislative liaison for Gov. Terry Branstad, says such a large appropriation is unnecessary. Sen. Robert Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says he’s sure an agreement on funding can be reached.

Chase suspect faces 3 charges; Sheriff thanks Audubon residents


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The man who led authorities on a nearly 30-minute, high-speed chase Sunday night from Atlantic to Audubon faces a trio of charges. Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren told KJAN News 39-year old Richard Randall Eatwell was being held on one felony and two serious misdemeanor charges. They include OWI/Narcotics-related and Reckless Driving…both serious misdemeanors, and Eluding, a Class-D felony. While he was released on his own recognizance on those charges, Eatwell was being held without bond in the Cass County Jail on the Department of Corrections warrant for a parole violation.

This latest incident is part of a recent string of chases that have occurred around southwest and western Iowa, and which have involved multiple law enforcement agencies. Sheriff McLaren expressed his frustration with the way such cases are handled. He said “Were fed up with it. I don’t want to wait for something bad to happen for somebody to really get educated by the court system. The sooner we can show that ‘if you’re in a chase of this magnitude, you’re going to do significant jail time’ is the only thing that I know that we can protect the public.”

On the bright side, McLaren had nothing but good words to say about the citizens of Audubon who helped authorities capture the suspect. He said the 9-1-1 calls they received from residents in Audubon led authorities to find and arrest Eatwell, and McLaren put out a special “Thanks” to them for their help.

A video posted on FaceBook of the last few minutes of the chase, showed the suspect’s vehicle zoom past and turn into a commercial area before he abandoned the car and took off on foot. Moments later, numerous law enforcement vehicles came rushing by. The person who shot the video flagged down a Sheriff’s SUV and pointed out where the car was…others called 9-1-1 and information about the suspect’s location was broadcast over the law enforcement frequencies.

New interns at the Museum of Danish America


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn has welcomed two new interns. Officials say Sofie Krøgh Nielsen and Helle Skovsgaard Christensen have joined the Museum’s team for the spring/summer. Both women say they are looking forward to learning about Danish immigration and experiencing Danish American culture.

Sofie Nielsen & Helle Christensen (photo provided)

Sofie Nielsen & Helle Christensen (photo provided)

Nielsen is from Strandby, Denmark and is studying at Aarhus University working toward her Masters in Experience Economy. She will be working on developing new school resources, installing the exhibition, Nude Vases, Cubist Faces: Modernism at Rookwood Pottery and doing research for future exhibitions. In addition, she will be presenting the April Brown Bag Lunch Program on Daily Life in Denmark in 1864, based on her experiences working in the open-air museum “Den Gamle By” (The Old Town) in Aarhus, Denmark.

Christensen is originally from Silkeborg, Denmark and is studying at the University of Copenhagen and working toward attaining her Masters in Information Science and Cultural Dissemination. Her bachelor’s degree is from Aarhus University in English and Visual Culture. She will be working at the Genealogy Center, processing incoming and Special Collections materials.

School bus & car fender bender in Clarinda – no serious injuries


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Updated 12:50-p.m.)

Authorities in Clarinda says no serious  injuries were reported following a minor accident involving a school bus and a car Monday morning. According to the Clarinda Police Department, a Clarinda Community School District bus was leaving a child pick-up site at 1040 West State Street and beginning to travel east,  when the 2001 Bluebird bus was hit from behind by a 2012 Ford Fusion. The accident happened at around 7:50-a.m.

The driver of the car, 28-year old Ashley Michelle Cabbage, of Stanton, told investigators she was distracted by her phone, and took her eyes off the road. When she looked up, she hit the brakes but her vehicle slammed into the rear of the bus. After the impact, the Ford veered left, off the road and crossed the westbound lane before coming to rest on the westbound shoulder.  The bus, driven by 60-year old Connie Ruth Miller, of Clarinda, came to a stop on the eastbound shoulder of the road.

Both drivers and five students on the bus, all of whom were from Clarinda and ranged in age from 9-to 13, were transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Regional Health Center to be checked for possible injuries. Cabbage was determined to have suffered non-incapacitating injuries during the collision.

A check of the bus’ flashing lights was made by the investigating officer, and all were determined to have been fully functional. Cabbage was subsequently cited for Following too close.  Damage from the accident amounted to $14,000.

Pacific Junction woman injured during an accident Thursday morning


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reported a Pacific Junction woman was injured during a single-vehicle accident Thursday morning on Eastman Road. Officials say Cassandra Wendt was traveling northbound when she failed to negotiate a curve in the road. Her 1990 Chevy went off the road to the right and hit a tree before coming to rest in a ditch. Wendt was transported by Pacific Junction Rescue to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Shenandoah man arrested on drug & weapon charges


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest late Sunday night of a Shenandoah man on drug and weapon charges. 36-year old Joseph Ryan Bredberg was taken into custody at around 11:30-p.m. following  a traffic stop. Bredberg faces Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Carrying a Dangerous Weapon charges. His bond was set at $3,300.

Also arrested Sunday, was 39-year old Derek Michael Dodge, of Corning, on a charge of OWI 1st offense, and 33-year old Jerad Keith Perkins, of Pacific Junction, on a charge of OWI/2nd offense. Dodge was being held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond, while Perkins’ bond was set at $2,000.

Mills County deputies arrested 31-year old Cassandra Sue Wilkins, of Omaha, on Saturday. She was charged with OWI/1st offense, with bond set at $1,000. And Friday night, 37-year old Carl David Galvan, Jr., of Council Bluffs, and 46-year old Cynthia Sharece Devault, also of Council Bluffs, were arrested on respective, separate Interference with Official Acts and Protection Order Violation, charges. Galvan’s bond was set at $300, while Devault was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.

And on Thursday, 53-year old Jonathan S. Elliott, of Haysville, KS, was arrested in Mills County on a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge. He was taken into custody during a traffic stop on I-29 at around 5:45-p.m. His bond was set at $300.

(9-a.m. News)

Atlantic man arrested for assault; 1 person injured during Sat. accident


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic arrested a local man Friday, on an assault charge. 30-year old Daniel Duranceau, of Atlantic, faces a charge of Domestic Assault. He was transported to Cass County Jail and held pending an appearance in front of the magistrate.

Atlantic Police also investigated a personal injury accident that occurred Saturday evening. Officials say at around 5-p.m., vehicles driven by Alyssa Adams and Donna Rourick, both of Atlantic, collided near the intersection of 9th and Chestnut Streets, as Adams was pulling out of a parking spot on Chestnut.

While doing so, she failed to see Rourick also pulling out of a parking spot. Rourick’s vehicle hit Adams’ on the left side, causing $10,000 damage. Adams was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Medivac Ambulance. Adams was subsequently cited for Failure to Yield upon entering a through Street.

8AM Newscast 03-10-2014

News, Podcasts

March 10th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Report: 32 lives saved last year by Iowa hospitals because of effort to reduce medical errors


March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A report from the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) claims hospitals across the state that participate in a program designed to reduce medical errors prevented potential harm to more than 43-hundred (4,300) patients last year. Scott McIntyre, spokesman for the Iowa Hospital Association, says the effort is part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, with the goals of reducing harm by 40 percent and hospital re-admissions by 20 percent.

“We just feel there’s been very positive and noteworthy progress,” McIntrye says. “In reality, we’re keeping people out of the hospital…and we’re saving lives.” The report estimates at least 32 lives were saved in Iowa in 2013 because of the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). The Iowa-based HEN, which includes 12 hospitals in Illinois and Nebraska, also reduced health care costs, according to McIntrye.

“Our estimate is about 51-million dollars was saved because of the improvements in these quality measures,” McIntyre says. In addition to reducing costs, McIntyre says the Iowa HEN reduced the time that patients spent in the participating hospitals by 17,758 days. The report also claims participating hospitals reduced early elective baby deliveries (which can increase complications) by 90 percent; catheter associated urinary tract infections by 44 percent; adverse drug events by 28 percent; central line-associated blood stream infections in intensive care by 24 percent; surgical site infections by 24 percent; patient falls by 23 percent; and avoidable re-admissions by 11 percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Statewide Quarantine to Slow Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – With winter starting to lessen its grip on Iowa and more people venturing outside, there’s a reminder that all 99 counties are now under restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer, an exotic insect which kills valuable ash trees. The quarantine was issued by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and prohibits taking wood and ash-tree products out of state, according to state entomologist Robin Pruisner.

“And what that means is that we’re looking at high-risk items like ash logs, hardwood firewood – we call those regulated articles – that those that originate in Iowa must stay within Iowa, must stay within the quarantine boundaries to reduce the risk of spreading emerald ash borer.”

The destructive emerald ash borer has been discovered in eight Iowa counties thus far, and Pruisner says it’s likely that more infestations of the bugs will be found before the trees even leaf out this spring.

While the quarantine prohibits transportation out of state, Pruisner said they’re urging Iowans to keep it even more local, especially when it comes to firewood.

“Kind of the rule of thumb is, we’d like to see it maybe stay in the county that it originates from. We know that’s not always possible, but firewood does carry other pests than emerald ash borer and we’re just trying to slow the spread.”

For landowners wondering whether their ash trees may be in danger, there are signs that may indicate an infestation. They include emergence holes shaped like the letter “D” and serpentine or “S-shaped” tunnels under the bark. Iowa State University entomologist Mark Shour said that at this time of year, woodpeckers can help point the way to the bugs.

“They will go after a borer, whether it be a native or an exotic borer, beneath the bark of trees,” he said. “And in our case they’ve been very helpful in locating emerald ash borer infestations when we weren’t aware of them.”

Shour said there are a few treatment options, but they can take years to be effective against the emerald ash borer – and just because a tree can be treated doesn’t mean it should be.

Those with questions or concerns about a possible infestation can contact the Iowa DNR or Department of Agriculture or an office of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

More information is at IowaAgriculture.gov and at Extension.IAState.edu.