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Red Oak man arrested for delivery of Meth

News

October 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a man on drug charges late Monday night. 43-year old Brett Alan Rea, of Red Oak, was taken into custody following the execution of a search warrant at 211 N. 2nd Street, in Red Oak, at around 11:10-p.m.  Rea faces two counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held at the Montgomery County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted Red Oak Police in conducting the search, and arrest.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., 10/20/2015

News

October 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A board that oversees a children’s health insurance program in Iowa says it’s waiting for more information from state officials over the board’s legal authority as the program’s services are switched to private care. Mary Mincer Hansen, chairwoman of the board that oversees the hawk-i program, told members she wants more information from the state Department of Human Services as Medicaid services are turned over to several national health providers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rep. John Kooiker, an Iowa lawmaker elected to fill a seat left open by the death of Rep. Dwayne Alons, will not seek re-election in 2016. Kooiker says in a statement released yesterday that he wants to spend more time with his nine grandchildren. Kooiker, a Republican from the northwest community of Boyden, was elected earlier this year in a special election following the November 2014 death of Alons.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — A Rock Island man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend wants a judge to reconsider his 45-year sentence. Attorneys for Timothy J. McVay filed a motion yesterday calling the sentence excessive. The 40-year-old McVay was convicted in July of first-degree murder and concealment in the death of 29-year-old Carrie Olson, 29, of Davenport, Iowa.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa City artists have collaborated to produce a comic book that will be sold by one of the genre’s largest publishers in stores across the country.The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the comic book “Saints” started its three-year, 36-issue run this month with Image Comics.

Branstad defends estimate of savings for privatizing management of Medicaid

News

October 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad is defending the way his Department of Human Services estimated the amount of savings the state would get from hiring four private companies to manage the Medicaid program. The chairman of the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee has asked Branstad to turn over the documents used to make that estimate. Reporters asked the governor about that request during his weekly news conference.

First of all, I don’t have any,” Branstad says. “This is the information that the Department…of Human Services has done forever. Michael, I don’t know if you have any more on this.” Michael Bousselot is Branstad’s chief of staff and he says the department worked with actuaries “who have been under contract for many years” to come up with a “prudent” savings estimate.

“Our office does not administer or oversee the Medicaid projections,” Bousselot says. “Rather that is handled by the Department of Human Services.” Bousselot promised to “work with” legislators and reporters who’ve asked for any Department of Human Services documents used to make the savings estimate. Democrats in the legislature and advocates for the 560-thousand Medicaid patients in Iowa as well as Iowa hospitals and health care providers have been raising concerns about Branstad’s decision to hire managed care companies to run the state’s Medicaid program.

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad mum about ‘attack dogs” claim

News

October 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad is not confirming he told a lawyer in “The Family Leader” organization to “call off your attack dogs.” The Christian conservative group has been criticizing Branstad for not fully “defunding” Planned Parenthood in Iowa. “I was leaving a restaurant and had a conversation with an old friend,” Branstad says. “And I’m not going to comment on a private conversation with an old friend.”

The Family Leader sent out an email last Friday to report on the conversation. The email said Branstad asked the group to stop criticizing him for not taking executive action to cancel Medicaid contracts that reimburse Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings and tests for Medicaid patients. Branstad says the courts have ruled against states that have tried to do that, including the ruling this weekend striking down Governor Bobby Jindal’s attempt to “defund” Planned Parenthood in Louisiana.

“Listen, I’m pro-life and I want to do what we realistically can do, but I also feel an obligation to act within the law,” Branstad says. As for what Branstad may have said to Chuck Hurley, who is The Family Leader’s chief counsel, the governor’s not talking. And he’s not revealing which Des Moines-area restaurant the conversation took place either.

“There are some things that are private, even in my life,” Branstad told reporters this morning. The Family Leader’s Friday afternoon email message encouraged supporters to call and email Branstad, to “keep up the pressure” until he “defunds” Planned Parenthood in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Committee considers possible changes in Iowa’s bottle bill

News

October 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

State officials are fielding complaints from Iowans who say they can’t get the five-cent deposit back on their empty cans and bottles. Stores that sell beverages in containers that are subject to the deposit law must accept the empties and pay back the deposit — or send customers to a local redemption center. But redemption centers are cutting back hours and some have closed. Bill Blum, of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says stores can’t tell customers “no” if there’s no redemption center to take their cans and bottles.

“That’s where local law enforcement is supposed to come in,” Blum says. “That kind of violation is a simple misdemeanor, a minimum $65 fine for every violation.” But Blum says police tell him they’re reluctant to file charges in these cases. “If you don’t want to cite these stores, at least go and talk to them and get them straight on the law so people can get their money back,” Blum says.

An interim statehouse committee is studying possible changes to Iowa’s “bottle bill” which went into effect in 1979. Retailers complain the empty cans and bottles are a health hazard in their stores. Redemption centers complain that the penny-per-container handling fee hasn’t been raised in 36 years. Iowa is one of 10 states that have a “bottle bill” that calls for refundable deposits on cans and bottles.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves 5-year plan

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors met Monday evening, and approved a 5-year plan for improvements throughout the parks system. Director Roger Herring and Assistant Director Seth Staashelm went through and rated the priorities the Board had discussed during their special meeting October 7th, and as we’ve mentioned previously, the number one priority is the Schildberg Recreation Area.

The Campground project at Schildberg is tops on the list. It includes installation of water and electric loops and hook-ups, as well as a dump station, with restrooms and showers. It’s hoped a Vision Iowa grant will pay for a majority of the costs associated with those improvements. Applications for the Vision Iowa Grant are due in by July 2016 for the Nov. 2016 grant cycle.

Also included among the major projects is: The replacement of a damaged section of trail with concrete, around Lake #3 at Schildberg: Development of the west side of the Rec Area with a restroom, running water and drinkable water access. The plan also includes an ADA compliant boat access ramp for Lake #2. Further down the list of major improvements over the next five-years, according to the plan, is asphalting or paving the gravel road on Iowa Avenue into the Rec Area, and a multi-purpose shelter complete with vending machines, and, a playground area.

Other major projects, not associated with the Schildberg Rec Area, include: the Trail connecting the Bull Creek Pathway and East Ridge Park; A master plan for swimming pool renovations; and Multipurpose Activity Center/Closed All-weather shelter.

In other business, Roger Herring said grading for the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park is complete, as well as installation of piers for the footings needed to support the new shelter, once it’s built, the concrete slab, and a service walkway. Herring said construction of the new shelter structure is expected to begin November 7th, weather permitting. And, progress is finally being made on the boat ramp for the East Nishnabotna River, next the City of Atlantic’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The final pour of the whole ramp is set for this Wednesday, weather permitting. Once it’s cured, the ramp will be slipped into place and anchored. Afterward, landscaping will get underway and a gravel parking lot will be installed. The Iowa DNR is covering half the cost of the cement for the project, or $20,000. And, with regard to the Nishna Valley Connector Trail project, Roger Herring said the bridge and completion of the trail to just west of KJAN, will bring a positive economic impact to the community, especially as it expands eastward through the AMU Well fields.

He says AMU is in the discussion phase of improving their trails system, including the possibility of paving the current, gravel trail around the well heads.

Multiple fire departments battle 2 separate blazes

News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Update 4:20-p.m.) Firefighters from Atlantic were called to a reported field fire east of Wickman Chemical Monday afternoon. The blaze was said to be east of Highway 71. The blaze was quickly brought under control.

Elsewhere, fire departments in Shelby and Harrison County kept busy Monday afternoon battling separate, large field fires. The first was reported near 170th and Apple Road in Harrison County, just across the Shelby County line. Crews from Earling, Kirkman, Westphalia, Woodbine, Panama, and Portsmouth were on the scene. The second field fire was occurring between 700th and 800th Street off of Oak Road, in Shelby County. Crews from Harlan, Avoca and Walnut were among those on the scene.

There was no immediate word on what might have caused those blazes. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for extreme fire danger Monday afternoon and evening.

Community college offers transgender student housing program

News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Western Community College is offering a pilot housing program that aims to help transgender students feel more comfortable. The Des Moines Register reports students were given the option this year of joining the program, which assigns them to a roommate based on their gender identity or expression rather than their legal sex.

This housing option appealed to Mikey Fletcher. The 23-year-old student at the college lives in the community with a male roommate. Fletcher says he wishes “other schools would recognize that they would get a larger student base” by becoming more gender-inclusive.

The U.S. Department of Education issued a guidance last year that clarifies that transgender students are protected from discrimination under federal civil rights legislation Title IX.

Jasper County man arrested on a drug charge in Union County

News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County say a man from Jasper County was arrested Sunday morning on a drug charge, southeast of Macksburg. 20-year old William Patrick Smalley, of Sully, was arrested just before 6-a.m. at the intersection of 338th Street and Fawn. Smalley was taken into custody for unlawful possession of prescription drugs. He was later released from the Union County Jail on his own recognizance.

UI study examines how parents talk to kids following injury

News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Social science research shows boys are more prone to injury than girls and a new report from the University of Iowa suggests a contributing factor could be the way children are socialized after an injury. Elizabeth O’Nell, a graduate student in the UI department of psychological and brain sciences, says her research found that parents are four times more likely to tell a daughter, than a son, to “be more careful” after a trip to the emergency room. O’Nell says while this advice might be protecting girls, there is also a potential negative side.

“It’s important for kids to sort of push themselves, a little bit, so that they can develop new skills and by telling girls to be more careful, they may be hampering them,” O’Nell said. Social science research also shows that parents generally expect and encourage boys to take more risks, according to O’Nell. Her research is published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

(Radio Iowa)