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Current text-to-911 availability in Iowa


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowans may have heard recently that new technology is making it possible for many Americans to text 911 in an emergency. In Iowa however, only a small percentage of cell phone users are currently able to use text to contact 911. Barbara Vos, E-911 Program Manager for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says right now, the only Iowans who can use text to contact 911 are those living in Black Hawk County who have i-Wireless as their cell phone provider. Any other cell phone users who try to text 911 will receive a “bounce-back” message instructing them to contact 911 via a phone call.

Vos says the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) has completed an upgrade to Iowa’s 911 network that will eventually allow citizens to contact 911 using text, video and picture messaging. The upgrade is part of a national initiative to upgrade wireless 911 networks to Internet-Protocol (IP)-based systems. These systems are more robust and capable of handling new messaging technology, including text-to-911.

Iowa’s network upgrade was a major accomplishment, but it is just the first phase in enabling text-to-911 for Iowans. Over the next approximately 18 months, HSEMD will be working with wireless carriers and 911 call centers as they get equipment and procedures in place that will allow them to utilize this new technology. The availability of text-to-911 will be rolled out on a county-by-county basis.

Even after text-to-911 is available, it will still be best to call 911 if at all possible. Not only will it be a faster way to ask for help, but 911 operators will be able to see your location when you call. Texts to 911 will not automatically show the caller’s location like a phone call will, possibly causing delays in getting needed assistance. And in an emergency, seconds can make a big difference. Still, the ability to text 911 is undeniably valuable in situations when a caller cannot communicate verbally, such as when a crime is in process or the caller is injured and unable to speak. Text-to-911 is also a valuable tool for those who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech-impaired.

Look for more updates from HSEMD in the coming months as officials work to improve the state’s E-911 system.

2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney to tout Ernst in Iowa


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Mitt Romney is returning to Iowa for the first time since the 2012 presidential election, this time to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. In a press release Thursday, Ernst’s campaign says the former Massachusetts governor will campaign May 30 with the southwestern Iowa state senator. They will visit Cedar Rapids and Davenport, eastern Iowa’s largest media markets.

Polls indicate Ernst leads a five-way race for the Republican nomination as the June 3 primary election nears. Ernst has been endorsed by a range of groups and individuals, from the tea party-backed Senate Conservatives Fund to the pro-establishment U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ernst supported Romney in the 2012 caucuses. Romney finished second in the leadoff presidential voting in Iowa but lost the state in November to Democratic President Barack Obama.

Atlantic FFA Farm Safety Day

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic FFA had a “Farm Safety Day” Friday May 9, 2014. The chapter invited the 5th grade classes from Schuler Elementary to come up to the high school to learn all about farm safety. The nine stations stations started off with FFA/Ag Department run by FFA officers Haley Carlson and Emily McDermott. This station talked about the FFA and what the Atlantic chapter does. Also they talked about the Agriculture Department in the high school and the classes available.

Environmental/Farm Safety with Alexis Boes and Carly Westphalen:These FFA members talked about the safety precautions to take when around a farm or in the environment in general. Tractor Safety with senior FFA members Steven Wright and Tucker Sager: This station had a tractor with them to show the students the safety precautions to take when around and operating a tractor. PTO/Auger Safety with Clint Hansen and Tevin Krause: These boys talked about what a PTO (Power Take­Off) and how it attaches to an auger. Also they talked about the safety precautions to take when being around or operating an auger. This station also had a tractor with an auger attached to it for their presentation.

Lawnmower Safety with FFA officers Marshal McDermott, Adam Freund and Clayton Saeugling. These officers talked to the 5th graders about how to be safe when they are around or operating a lawn mower. The members used a lawn mower with their presentation. The next four stations included Chemical Safety with FFA members Kyle Redenbaugh and Wyatt Saeugling. Also ISU Agronomist, Aaron Saeugling teaching Chemical Safety. This station talked about all different kinds of chemicals used on a farm and the precautions to take when using chemicals.

ATV Safety with freshman members Morgan Barkley, Nate Moen, and Haylee Valekia. This group had a presentation board to explain the ways to be safe when riding or operating an ATV. With personal experience, the group also explained the consequences to an ATV accident. Motorcycle/Moped Safety with Skylar Svoboda, Tyler Christensen, and Reid Nichols. As the 5th graders will be able to operate a moped in the next few years, these boys explained to their groups the importance of being safe when riding on or driving a moped or motorcycle. This station had a moped and helmet with them Friday as an example.

The final station was Chainsaw/Weed Eater Safety with Colin Peterson and FFA officer Calley Klindt.
These two FFA members explained to the students the responsibility when operating a chainsaw or weed eater and the safety precautions to take when near these two pieces of equipment. This station also used a weed eater and chainsaw for examples.

Each station had a ten minute presentation ready for the 5th graders. To keep the kids focused each station had a quiz at the end with treats for prizes. The FFA members were very pleased with the attention and questions asked by the students. Fifth grade teacher, Gini Jordan said, “My students enjoyed being exposed to not only the many aspects of safety in agriculture, but the need for safety with mowers and mopeds, too. The event was well­planned and the high school students were prepared to share their information in an interesting way.” Atlantic FFA President Marshal McDermott said, “The FFA members had a fun time teaching the kids about safety in the agricultural field.”

The Atlantic FFA Chapter would like to thank Lindeman Tractor Inc., for allowing the chapter to borrow a tractor for the afternoon! The chapter would also like to thank Aaron Saeugling for donating his time to speak at the Chemical Safety station for the afternoon! We would also like to thank all the FFA members and parents that let us use their equipment for the day.

The Atlantic FFA hopes to make this an annual event to do every spring with the elementary or middle school kids. With 9 different stations and over 120 kids presenting or listening, the day went perfect!

by Haley Carlson – Atlantic FFA Reporter

Braddyville man arrested Tuesday evening


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Department reports a traffic stop Tuesday evening resulted in an arrest. 23-year old Matthew Thomas Riddle, of Braddyville, was arrested for Driving While Barred, after the 2007 Chevy Cobalt he was driving was pulled over at around 5:45-p.m., Tuesday, near the intersection of Highway 2 and 12th Street. Riddle was brought to the Page County Jail and held until posting a $1,000 bond.

Pickup and utility truck/trailer collide in Page County


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported after a pickup and utility vehicle collided Wednesday night, in Page County. Sheriff’s officials say a 1998 Toyota pickup owned and driven by 24-year old Jeffrey Davison, of New Market, was traveling south on Willow Avenue at around 8-p.m., when Davison failed to stop at the intersection with County Road J-20.

His pickup hit a tilt bed trailer attached to a 2009 GMC utility truck, driven by 41-year old Scott Brown, of Clarinda, as Brown was traveling westbound on J-20. During the collision, the trailer became detached from the truck and came to rest in the south ditch.

The damage was estimated at $5,300. Davison was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

2 women injured during separate accidents in Mills County


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office today (Thursday), said two people were injured during separate accidents that happened Tuesday. The first occurred at around 9:40-a.m. Officials say Renae Gaver, of Glenwood, was driving a 2002 GMC eastbound on Highway 34, when she came upon an eastbound tractor. Gaver swerved onto the gravel shoulder of the road and turned to the left, causing gravel to be sprayed on the driver of the tractor. Her vehicle then crossed the median and nearly collided with a westbound cement truck before rolling over and coming to rest on its wheels in the north ditch. Gaver was transported by Glenwood Rescue to Jenny Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

The other accident happened at around 5:35-p.m. Tuesday near the Tabor City limits. Sheriff’s officials say Teresa Orme, of Shenandoah, was driving a 2008 Hyundai eastbound on Waubonsie Avenue, when for reasons unknown, her car crossed the road and went into the north ditch. The vehicle continued through a fence and finally came to rest in a field. Orme was transported by Tabor Rescue to the hospital in Shenandoah.

Zaun makes push for votes before June Primary


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Brad Zaun is making a push for votes in the final two weeks before the June 3rd Primary. Zaun, a 20th District House of Representatives Republican from Urbandale, has been hitting the campaign trail hard since the Senate adjourned earlier this month. He’s running for the 3rd District Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Tom Latham, who announced in December he would not be seeking re-election.

Senator Brad Zaun, (R-IA)

Senator Brad Zaun, (R-IA)

Zaun, who has served in the Iowa Senate since 2004, stopped by the KJAN studios Wednesday afternoon. He’s the leader among candidates seeking the 3rd District seat, according to a recent poll by Loras College. Even thought he doesn’t get into following the polls, Zaun says they’re helpful because it shows he needs to work harder to get name recognition, especially with so many voters undecided. Zaun says he “Has a lot of work to do,” because out of 300 likely voters polled, Zaun collected 17.4-percent of the vote, which is still well below the 35-percent required for nomination.

The polls indicated the other candidates, including Robert Cramer, David Young, Matt Schultz and Monte Shaw, all received between 5.3 and 8.3 percent. Just over half of those polled indicated that they were undecided in the upcoming race. Zaun says the reason he is running, has to do with how the national debt will affect his kids. He says he will not pass the debt and spending onto his kids or any other young person.

He says when he gets to Washington, the three areas he won’t touch in terms of cutting spending, are those affecting services for seniors, the disabled and military veterans. Any other subsidies are fair game. Zaun says he is in favor of term limits, and abolishing the Department of Education in Iowa and nationally. He says a bill he’s proposed would give parents the choice of how to educate their children, whether it in a private school or home-school setting.

He says he also has a bill to shut down the “Common Core” curriculum, and create an Education Savings Account that could be used for competent non-public instruction whether that is a private school, homeschooling or online education. On the subject of term limits, Zaun says it’s not up to him to decide how long is too long to stay in office. He says “It’s in God’s hands…if it’s one term, so be it.”

The 3rd Congressional District Zaun is running for, covers an area in the southeastern corner of Iowa. Polk, Dallas, Guthrie, Warren, Madison, Adair, Cass, Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page, Montgomery, Taylor, Adams, Union and Ringgold counties are also included in the district.

Grassley to Hold Meetings in Six Iowa Communities (Revised info.)


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(This is an update to our May 16th story, with a change in location for the Greenfield event)

Senator Chuck Grassley will hold six town meetings in Iowa during the week of May 26 as part of his annual 99-county tour. Grassley has held a meeting in each of Iowa’s 99 counties at least once every year since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate.

On May 28th, 29th and 30th, Grassley will be in Greenfield, Atlantic, Mount Ayr, Chariton, Pella, and Bloomfield. On Wednesday, May 28th, Grassley will hold Town Hall meetings:

• In Greenfield from 9:45-to 10:45-a.m., in the cafeteria at the Adair County Memorial Hospital (NOT in the courtroom at the Adair County Courthouse, as previously announced.)
• In Atlantic, from Noon-to 1 p.m. at Iowa Western Community College
• And in Mount Ayr, from 5-to 6-pm, in the Assembly Room at the Ringgold County Courthouse.

Bluffs appreciation group apologizes to veterans


May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs civic group has apologized to Vietnam Veterans over controversy involving a parade float. The Vietnam War veterans group pulled out of last weekend’s “Celebrate Council Bluffs” parade, after event organizers told the vets they couldn’t display a replica bamboo “Tiger Cage” on their float, which symbolized the plight of American POW’s in the Vietnam War. The Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil reports The Celebrate CB board issued a written apology, Wednesday.

Carol Horner, chairwoman of the Celebrate CB board, said the move to deny the group’s float application was made after complaints were received last year from parents and veterans alike, who expressed concern regarding the veterans group’s depiction of a soldier in a “tiger cage” cell. Horner, who is the daughter of a Vietnam veterans,  said organizers erred by not realizing the importance of the imagery behind the float.

Ben Wiese of Glenwood, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 798, said he was sincerely pleased with the board’s apology, which he graciously accepted. The board’s decision to deny the Vietnam veterans’ float sparked a protest, as several groups pulled out of the parade to stage a small demonstration Saturday afternoon in Bayliss Park.

Outrage against the board’s decision also spurred citizens to make angry emails, phone calls and voicemails to members of the Celebrate CB board and subcommittees. One board member was also allegedly threatened. Wiese says those types of actions are not acceptable, and they in no way meant for their protest over being excluded from the parade to present a danger to anyone.

Carol Horner  said she would like to see the debate become a teaching moment, working with veterans to help educate students about the true nature of the Vietnam War and the hardships endured by soldiers returning home.


The text of the letter is as follows: “It is with great humility that the Celebrate CB Board offers an earnest apology to the veterans, members of the armed forces, police and fire departments and residents of Council Bluffs. Our board never meant to exclude, harm or separate our war heroes. The mission of Celebrate CB is to celebrate our city and take pride in our community.

We recognize the importance and sacrifices our veterans made for our freedom. We obviously failed in our recognition of those who served our great nation, and we ask for compassion regarding our actions. Veterans all over the country make up the fabric of being America strong. Please accept our deepest apology. It would be our honor to work and learn from our veterans, members of the armed forces, police and fire departments and those citizens who have a genuine interest in making our great city of Council Bluffs even greater.

Sincerely, The Celebrate CB board


7AM Newscast 05-22-2014

News, Podcasts

May 22nd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson