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Iowa falls from 18th to 24th in national health rankings


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa has dropped several more notches on the latest report that ranks the states for their health and wellbeing. Dr. Rhonda Randall, spokeswoman for the United Health Foundation, says the list is compiled by comparing 30 different criteria in four main categories: behaviors, community environment, public policy and the clinical care system. “This year, Iowa is ranked 24th,” Dr. Randall says. “Last year, they were ranked 18th, so a decrease by six ranks. In 1990, when we started this report, Iowa was ranked number-six, so over the course of the 25 years, it’s an 18-rank decrease and it’s been a fairly slow, steady decrease over the last 25 years.”

She says Iowa had poor showings in several categories this year. “You’re ranked 47th in the nation for binge drinking, where 22% of the adult population is reporting that they binge drink,” Randall says. “You’re also ranked 46th for access to primary care physicians, and then a high incidence of infectious diseases, ranked 41st in the country there.” Iowa also had a poor showing in rates of smoking, obesity and inactivity. While Iowa now ranks in the middle of the national pack at 24th overall out of the 50 states, she says Iowa still did very well in some categories.

“There’s some areas to be very proud of,” Randall says. “(Iowa) ranked 4th in immunization coverage for children, that’s great to see many preventable illness and infectious diseases with vaccinations. Also, a high rate of high school graduation, ranked 5th in the nation there. Those two together show you’re doing right by the kids.” Iowa also had the 5th highest rank in the country for people with health insurance. See the full list of the rankings at: www.americashealthrankings.org

(Radio Iowa)

Crews installing ‘Big Mo’ sculpture in Iowa city


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Residents in a western Iowa city are celebrating the installation of a large steel sculpture on the Missouri River bank. The Daily Nonpareil reports a ceremony was held Tuesday at a Council Bluffs park to mark the installation of “Big Mo” by 81-year-old Mark di Suvero. The nearly 76-feet high piece painted in “spacetime orange” has three legs and two moving parts on top that rotate in opposite directions.

Di Suvero says crews should finish setting up the sculpture either on Wednesday evening or Thursday. The work is the latest addition to the Iowa West Foundation Public Art collection for Council Bluffs.

Mayor Matt Walsh says Council Bluffs is privileged to be involved in a partnership with the foundation to bring world-class art to the city.

Cass County Supervisors approve FY 2015 Budget Amendment


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), approved an amendment to the County’s Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget. The move came after a public hearing was held, during which there were no written or oral objections to the published amendments. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman explained the majority of the amendments are with regard to transfers of flow-through funds.

That includes: 4-million dollars in Community Development Block Grant [CBDG] as a result of flooding, rounds five and six of the funding; $100,000 for County Case Management [reimbursed expense]; an increase in General Basic transfer to Capital Projects by $350,000 [with regard to the County Public Safety Annex building, or PSAP]; an increase transfer from the Local Options Sales Tax [LOST] by$150,000 and decrease the PSAP project expense by $150,000; Capital Projects: Increase by $500,000.

The Supervisors also received a report from West Central Community Action (WCCA) Executive Director Joel Dirks, along with an annual request in funding for Fiscal Year 2016. In the past, WCCA has requested $3,500. This year, the request is for an additional $500, or $4,000 altogether. The Board took the request under advisement.

In his report, Dirks said West Central provided a little more than $1.7-million in services last year for Cass County. He says they assisted 678 households in Cass County last year, which represented 1,582 persons. Demographically, that included many single-parent households, or 57-percent of the persons WCCA works with. He said 57-percent of the households they work with have income at 100-percent of poverty or below. For example, that would mean a family of four living on $23,850 per year.

Dirks said they received an Iowa Insurance Division grant that helped to reduce the number of people without health insurance, by assisting with applications for insurance. Last year, 49-percent of WCCA’s clients had no health insurance. This year, that’s down to 24-percent.

Dirks said also, two-percent of the persons they worked with had no income last year. This year it’s down to one-percent. He says they’ve been trying to assist as many persons as possible in obtaining rental assistance and employment services. They also worked with more than 460 households with regard to LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program).

One area Dirks asked the Supervisors for help with regard to referrals to the Senior Aid Program. If anyone is age 55 or older and is at 125-percent of the poverty level or below, in need of a job, or help finding a job, please refer them to WCCA by calling (712) 243-5421.

Creston Police investigate vandalism & theft


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Creston are investigating recent incidents on vandalism and theft. Officials say on Tuesday, a resident in the 100 block of north Maple Street in Creston, reported two tires on her vehicle had been slashed. The incident, which occurred sometime between 10-p.m. Dec. 8th and 8:45-a.m. Dec. 9th, resulted in a loss estimated at $160.

And at around 5-p.m. Tuesday, a resident on north Elm Street in Creston reported to police someone had taken several items from her garage. The incident happened sometime between 7-a.m and 5-p.m. on Tuesday. The items, which included a 3,500-watt yelllow generator, a blue, 5-gallon air compressor, a socket set, and and Eden Pure heater, were valued at $1,350.

Villisca man arrested on drug charges in Creston


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports a man from Montgomery County was arrested Tuesday night, on drug charges. 31-year old Jonathan Renner, of Villisca, was arrested at around 8:10-p.m. on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Controlled Substance/2nd Offense. Renner was being held in the Union County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

Also arrested Tuesday in Creston, was: 25-year old Bradly St. Pierre, of Des Moines.  The man was taken into custody at the Union County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) on a Polk County warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. St. Pierre was later released into the custody of Polk County deputies;  27-year old Levi Cameron, of Diagonal, was arrested in Creston on a Ringgold County warrant charging him with Domestic Abuse Assault. Cameron was transported back to Ringgold County; 23-year old Dakota Weeks, of Creston, was arrested Tuesday at the Union County LEC on a warrant for Assault. He was later released on $300 bond; and, 51-year old Jeffrey Armstrong, of Loveland, CO., was arrested Tuesday at the Creston Amtrak station. Armstgrong was charged with Public Intoxication and held in the Union County Jail on $300 bond.

Missing person case in western Iowa


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Monona County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a missing person case involving 66 year old Walter Harold Ordway, of Soldier. Relatives last heard from him on November 16th. At the time, he was to expected to attend a funeral in Pennsylvania in late November. Ordway’s pickup was seen by hunters on December 7th, parked in a parking area at Oldham’s recreational area near Soldier.

A search of the area by Monona County deputies and County Conservation officers was done in the park area and several items belonging to Ordway were found near the vehicle and in the park. At this time, the sheriff’s office is investigating the man’s disappearance as a missing person’s case.

Anyone with information about Walter Ordway is asked to contact the Monona County Sheriff’s office at 712-433-1414 or 800-859-1414. Oldham’s recreational area is temporarily closed to the public while the investigation continues. Monona County Sheriff’s office has been assisted by the Iowa DNR, Monona County Conservation and Monona County EMA.


(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 12/10/2014

News, Podcasts

December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Volunteers still needed for Bell Ringing in Atlantic


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Jingle Jingle – It is that time of year again! The bells are ringing – Volunteers are the key to the success of the Salvation Army fund raising for local use.BR3 Steve Livengood and Dave Hancock have been successful in finding people to volunteer in this effort. Many thanks to the Realtors for ringing the
bells for the Red Kettle Campaign last Friday at Fareway and HyVee.

Officials thank Fareway, HyVee and WalMart for allowing the Red Kettle Campaign Bell ringers to use their locations. Their support is key to the success of the campaign. The kettles will be in place on Saturday’s this month at the locations mentioned. This weekend and next December 13th, and 20th) are the only two remaining times for you to donate or volunteer.BR2

For those who want to serve as volunteer bell ringers, the shifts are 90 minutes long. The first shift starts at 10-a.m.  Bell ringers will take donations in the form of cash, checks and loose change. Money raised is for children and families in the County who are in need.

If you’d like to volunteer as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer, call Steve Livengood at 712-243-5445.

Red Oak teens arrested for disorderly conduct


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two teenagers from Red Oak were arrested Tuesday night for Disorderly Conduct. Red Oak Police report 17-year old Devon Lee Smith and 16-year old Deric Lee Redd, both of Red Oak, were taken into custody at around 8:25-p.m. in the 100 block of east Elm Street, in Red Oak. The teens were cited and later released to their parents.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 10, 2014


December 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials have released the name of a man killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in southeast Iowa. The state Department of Natural Resources says 83-year-old Allen D. Sindt, of Davenport, was deer hunting Monday afternoon in Stephens State Forest, northwest of Unionville in Appanoose County, when the all-terrain vehicle he was driving rolled over on top of him. Officials say Sindt was trying to maneuver over a downed log at the time.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have ruled the death of a man found inside a house in Marshalltown as a homicide. The state medical examiner’s office says an autopsy was performed Sunday on 32-year-old Adam Paul Garrett, of Tama. The manner of death was certified as a homicide, though additional details were not released. Garret was found dead Saturday night inside a house. The death remains under investigation.

LAMOMI, Iowa (AP) — A southern Iowa teenager has died of brain cancer a day after receiving her high school diploma early in a special ceremony. Eighteen-year-old Bethany Gruich died Monday at her Lamoni home surrounded by family. She had been fighting brain cancer for more than two years.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Davenport School Board has approved early retirement incentives for teachers in hopes of saving money by replacing higher-paid teachers with less experienced, lower-paid teachers. The school board voted to offer the deal to nearly 270 eligible teachers. The move could save the district $1.5 million in its 2015-16 budget.