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Cass County 4-H and YMCA Partner on Youth Science

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Extension 4-H and Nishna Valley YMCA are partnering to create learning opportunities for young people in grades 4-8 to gain knowledge and skills in the science, technology, engineering and math fields with a new program.  The group “whY Science” begins October 15 from 3:45-4:45 PM in the Nishna Valley YMCA.

Young people in grades 4-8 are invited to be a part of “whY Science” that will begin meeting after school on Monday, October 15 in the youth room of the Nishna Valley YMCA.  Science sessions will be from 3:45-4:45.   Youth need to pre-register so resources, materials and staff are available for all youth. Adult partners include Lynn Barnes, Denny Stuetelberg, Tamara Gibson, Nishna Valley YMCA-Kids Fun Fitness Program coordinator, and Lee Havemeier plus other adult volunteers from the YMCA and Susan Oliver, Extension Youth Coordinator and Kate Olson, Extension Program Coordinator.  The first of a series of science sessions will be Funtivities, a hands-on exploration of electricity, magnetism, and air pressure.

Pre-registration for the collaborative program is due by October 11th.  You can register at the Y or enroll online at ia.4honline.com.  Create a new account and add “whY Science” as your club.  There is no fee for registration and the group is open to all youth in Cass County in grades 4-8.

Officials say in school, science classes need to cover a broad range of topics in a limited amount of time. “whY Science” will allow more time for youth to explore science.  The goal of the Cass County 4-H and YMCA partnership, according to the extension, is to offer additional science, technology, engineering and math opportunities on a regular basis.  In addition, science find-out days, workshops and guest speakers and tours may be incorporated into the program from now until May 2013.

RED FLAG WARNING issued for sw IA counties

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service in Omaha has extended the Red Flag Warning to cover Harrison, Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties in southwest Iowa. The warning is in effect until 6-p.m.  Previously, the warning covered those counties along and north of Highway 30. In addition, the Grassland Fire Danger Index will be in the EXTREME category today for the counties mentioned.

Officials say low humidity, winds gusting out of the southwest from 15-to 30-miles per hour will combine to create explosive fire growth if a fire should develop. Fires are especially possible in extremely dry fields and grassy areas. Outdoor burning is not recommended, and most counties in the area have a burn ban in place.

A Red Flag Warning mean that critical fire weather conditions are occurring or will shortly.

This is Fire Prevention Week

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This week (October 7th through the 13th), is National Fire Prevention Week. Locally, activities began Sunday, in Atlantic, with the Fireman’s Breakfast at the fire station. Atlantic volunteer Fire Fighter, Capt. Tom Cappel, says the goal is to promote fire safety and prevention, in the schools, and at home. The campaign designed for everyone, but especially young people.  Cappel says the kids they speak with are encouraged to go home, and talk with adults about checking smoke detectors.

Another part of fire safety week, is a reminder to farmers about safety while they’re out in the fields, and the importance of checking their equipment for faulty parts that might start a fire (such as bearings), and keeping combines and other implements free of debris. Those issues have caused some field fires recently, but they were brought under control quickly, due to the preventative action by farmers, and quick response by fire fighters.

A big part of Fire Prevention Week though, is the annual Atlantic Fireman’s Parade, which takes place this Saturday, October 13th. Cappel says two Drill and Drum Corps teams will be featured in the parade, including the Isiserettes, from Des Moines, and the Salem Stepping Saints, from Omaha. The performances begin in front of the Rock Island Depot at 5-p.m. The Parade lineup starts at 4-pm on Third and Olive St. Parade lineup is first come first serve. Parade starts at 6 pm.

For more information about all of this weekend’s activities in Atlantic, including the Rib Fest on Friday, and Harvest Fest on Saturday, along with the Fireman’s Parade and related activities, go to www.atlanticiowa.com.

9AM Newscast 10-08-2012

News, Podcasts

October 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Assisted living residents rights highlighted by Department on Aging

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department on Aging is highlighting the rights of those in nursing, assisted living and other long-term care facilities this month. Iowa’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Deanna Clingan-Fischer, says they are calling it “Resident’s Rights Month.”  “Trying to make sure that we remember and reflect on the contributions of those individuals throughout their years of service,” Clingan-Fischer says. “I think the main part about Resident’s Rights Months is just allowing us to focus on the rights of those individuals in long-term facilities and to increase the knowledge base amongst the general population that these individuals do have rights, and they haven’t lost those rights just because they’ve gone into a long-term care facility.”

The rights are guaranteed by the federal Nursing Home Reform Law and Iowa law, but people sometimes forget about those in the facilities because they don’t have as much interaction with the general public. “Many people think that if they are in a care facility they can’t know what they are talking about, or they’ve lost their ability to contribute to society. And we’d really like to dispel that myth,” Clingan-Fisher explains. “Older individuals can participate and be involved in activities and do the things that all the rest of us can do, sometimes with limitations as they get older. But our job is to help them be able to participate in those activities despite those limitations.”

This is an election year and voter participation is one of the key issues for residents of the facilities. “Voting always comes up — can a resident exercise their right to vote or not — the answer is ‘yes’ they can. Just because I am in a long-term care facility or setting, doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my ability to vote,” according to Clingan-Fischer. She says family members can have a helpful role in ensuring that residents are being treated fairly. “They need to be able to participate in their own treatment plans and care. They have the right to be fully informed to make decisions that impact them. They have the right to complain if something isn’t going right and not fear retaliation for the complaint,” Clingan-Fischer says. “So many times what happens is the family member might discover that some of these rights might be violated.”

She encourages you or a family member to call her office if you think such rights are being violated.  “Because we are an advocated for those residents, and we ensure that the residents and the tenants rights are met and protected so that they can (enjoy) a quality of life,” Clingan-Fischer. You can call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 1-866-236-1430. Clingan-Fischer says there are over 800 such facilities across the state that are home to thousands of Iowans.

(Radio Iowa)

Former House Speaker — opponent of gay marriage — to vote yes on Justice Wiggins

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Republican from Sioux City says the “outrage” he’s hearing about the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa rings “hollow” to him. Christopher Rants says some of those who’re now campaigning to oust an Iowa Supreme Court justice who joined that 2009 ruling are the same people who came to him eight years ago, when Rants was speaker of the Iowa House, warning Iowa’s Supreme Court was likely to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act.  “You don’t just start tossing out the judges because you don’t like their rulings,” Rants says, “particularly when a lot of people knew that this was going to happen down the road anyway.”

Rants says he was convinced by a representative of The Iowa Family Policy Center — now known as The Family Leader — that the House should start the process of getting an amendment to the state’s constitution to protect one-man-and-one-woman marriage. The Family Leader is now a key group involved in the campaign to vote Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins off the bench. Rants suggests it’s misplaced energy. “If people are upset, and I understand why people are upset, and you want to overturn it, you hold the legislature accountable,” Rants says.

Only the legislature — not even the governor — has the authority to begin the process of amending the state’s constitution, by placing a proposed amendment on the ballot for a vote of the people. Rants recently wrote a guest editorial in the Sioux City Journal, suggesting those who are campaigning against Justice Wiggins “would have us believe that our Supreme Court hijacked the Constition” and usurped the roles of the governor and the legislature. Rants disagrees. “I understand that this is an easy rallying cry for those people who are upset with the ruling or who want to continue to have the political issue to fight on,” Rants says. “Let’s face it — they raised a lot of money two years ago to finance their operation. They’ve got a lot of outside money coming in again and there’s nothing wrong with that, but my larger concern is that we politicize the courts to the point that we don’t have an independent judiciary.”

Two years ago the campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court Justices who were on the ballot in the 2010 retention election was successful and the groups involved have reunited this year to target a fourth justice who’s up for retention. Rants says he will vote yes to retain Justice Wiggins  “I wasn’t surprised when the court ruling came out. I don’t know many people who were surprised. Every lawyer I had talked to in advance of the court ruling said this was what was going to happen,” Rants says. “I don’t think this is a case of rampant judicial activism, not when you have a unanimous Supreme Court decision like that.” And Rants point out most of the justices that participated in the ruling had been appointed to the court by Republican Governor Terry Branstad. Rants, in his editorial for The Sioux City Journal, made clear that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but Rants wrote that he doesn’t blame Justice Wiggins — and he said neither should Iowa voters.

(Radio Iowa)

Latham and Drake attend Cass Co. Republican party HQ grand opening

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Republican Chairman David Wiederstein reports that Congressman Tom Latham attended an open house event at the Cass County Republican Headquarters in Atlantic on the afternoon of Friday, October 5th.

Congressman Tom Latham addresses the crowd.
(Photo courtesy Dale Gross)

Wiederstein says an estimated 30 people attended the event, during which State Representative Jack Drake and Congressman Latham spoke about the state of their campaigns. Both men also gave messages that centered upon reducing the size of government, tackling government debt, and increasing opportunity for success in the economy by eliminating government-imposed barriers and regulations.

8AM Newscast 10-08-2012

News, Podcasts

October 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Greenfield artist wins $5k in convenience store chain contest

News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man from Adair County, known across the country for his painting of murals honoring veterans, on a huge rock south of Interstate 80, and other renditions, has won $5,000 from Casey’s General Stores. Store officials say Ray “Bubba” Sorensen, The Freedom Rock Artist, is the winner of the Casey’s “Famous People” contest. The winner was announced late last month, following a three-month search. To celebrate, Casey’s will host a pizza party for Sorensen’s hometown of Greenfield, all-day Tuesday, October 9th, at the Casey’s General Store located at 601 Southeast Kent Street.

Residents of Greenfield can visit Casey’s throughout the day for a slice of free pizza while supplies last. Casey’s will also present Sorensen with the $5,000 Grand Prize check at the store, beginning at 11-a.m.

The Casey’s Famous People contest began in July with a community-wide call-to-action asking Facebook users to nominate local “celebrities” from their hometowns for a chance to win the $5,000 Grand Prize. The contest generated more than 650 nominations, which were narrowed down to three finalists.

View a video of Sorensen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fObmgBa_UhY

Learn where your food comes from — an Iowa farm — and win free groceries

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While Iowa’s an agricultural state, some Iowans have lived their whole lives and never set foot on a farm. A program through the group “Farmers Feed US” invites all Iowans to learn more about the origins of their food along with the chance to win 12 months of free groceries. Justin Dammann, who farms near Essex in southwest Iowa, is one of eight featured Iowa farmers on a website that showcases their operations.  “Listen to the video, see our farm and how we grow corn, soybeans and cattle and then answer the trivia question and register to win free groceries for a year,” Dammann says.

Everyone should know more about how the food they eat is produced, he says, in addition to how livestock are cared and how farmers work to protect the soil, air and water. The website features beef cattle, dairy cattle, turkey, corn, hog and soybean farmers from across the state.  “We promote those products voluntarily through programs like the Farm Bureau or Farmers Feed US and tell our story, how we produce them and show America and the world,” he says. “If we didn’t think those products were safe, we certainly wouldn’t be feeding what we grow to our own children.”  Among his crops, Dammann raises white corn, which is for human consumption. “None of that goes into the cattle market or the livestock market,” he says. “It’s kind of neat to see how the white corn is raised here in Iowa and is turned into white flour and then is used to make tortillas and tortilla chips. It’s neat to see that farmer’s gate-to-the-plate movement.”

The website offers an up-close look at eight Iowa farm families and a chance to tour their farms, in addition to the two grand prizes of free groceries for a year. The other farmers featured are: Russ Yoder, turkey farmer, Wayland; Eric and Emily Crossman, hog farmers, Ogden; Jim Brown, soybean farmer, Churdan; Pam Johnson, corn farmer, Floyd; Stephanie Dykshorn, dairy cattle farmer, Ireton; Matt Schuiteman, hog farmer, Sioux Center; and Tim Kaldenberg, beef cattle farmer, Albia. Learn more at the website: www.FarmersFeedUS.org/ia

(Radio Iowa)