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Harlan School Board approves laptop purchase


May 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District’s Board of Education has approved the purchase of 40 teacher laptops for the next school year. In a regular board meeting held Monday, the computer request was made by technologies coordinator Lisa Swanson. The local bid from Heartland Technologies was approved by the district at a price of $35,120. The bid submitted for the purchase of laptop computers will be used to replace teacher/staff machines at the elementary, middle and high school buildings that are 4 years old or older.

This year, the Harlan Community School District has a need to refresh 27 teacher machines, and seven teacher machines for new positions or newly identified needs, while the rest of the laptops will be overstock. Funds used for the computers will come from the the PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment) Levy.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Bob Hesman, who was recently hired by the district as the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) instructor. Superintendent Justin Wagner said Hesman  had a change of heart. Following the action items, Wagner reported to the board the school district will receive 60 STEM grants. The grants will help meet the Iowa Core requirements. Wagner said more details will emerge on the grants, once everything is finalized. 

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

(8-a.m. News)

8AM Newscast 05-07-2013

News, Podcasts

May 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Living Loess Begins Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center, say the “Living Loess Tour” series returns Saturday, May 18, 2013, with nine artisans in the Loess Hills welcoming visitors 9-am to 3-pm each third Saturday through October. This month, visitors are invited to celebrate two special anniversaries- the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway and the 75th Anniversary of the Harrison County Historical Village. The anniversary activities are at the Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center, located 5 miles east of I-29, Exit 75 on Highway 30 between Missouri Valley and Logan. 

Special 75th Anniversary activities May 18 include a guided trail hike, talks on fur trapping and early pioneer life.  Tour a log cabin and school, and learn about the Farmer’s Market, then enjoy grilled burgers and soda from 11am to 1pm from Reisz Farms compliments of the Harrison County Conservation Board. As part of the double anniversary event, you can register to win a two night stay in a housekeeping cabin at Willow Lake Reservation Area near Woodbine, or a Lincoln Highway Centennial gift basket.

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway, from 11am to 2pm you can meet the collector of a special exhibit, “Lincoln Highway: The First 100 Years”, get questions answered by an expert, and sip on samples of “Lincoln Highway Red” wine from Santa Maria Winery.  You’ll also be able to take a state by state visual tour on the Lincoln Highway with the special exhibit. For more details, log onto www.livingloess.com.

The Lincoln Highway: The First 100 Years special exhibit will be at the Harrison County Welcome Center until May 27, 2013.

Iowa leaders urged to extend foster care from age 18 to 21


May 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The head of a national advocacy group for foster children is urging Iowa legislators to consider extending the foster care program from age 18 to 21. Gary Stangler, director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, says Iowa has a good program called After Care that helps young people when they “age out” of foster care, but he says it doesn’t do enough to help them make successful transitions to adulthood. “Even in Iowa, some of these young people still end up homeless after their 18th birthday,” Stangler says. “Young girls are vulnerable, they become pregnant, because they don’t have the kinds of things we take for granted.”

Iowa’s After Care program helps extend some social services to foster children once they turn 18, but Stangler says those kids are still forced to leave their foster homes. If Iowa extended foster care to age 21, he says half the cost of those additional three years would be paid for by the federal government.  “Most kids in this country can actually go home after college, let alone high school,” Stangler says. “We need that kind of opportunity available for young people in Iowa. We need to have the full extension of foster care.”

Iowa KidsNet reports there are about 61-hundred kids in foster care in Iowa. Stangler says it would cost “a couple million dollars” for Iowa to extend foster care services to young people from age 18 through 21, but in the long-run, he says that action would save the state money. “The cost of unplanned pregnancies, the cost of homeless shelters and supports, the cost of public assistance for young people who are unemployed and who have children,” Stangler says, “these costs add up quickly and they happen quickly.”

A report from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative says every year, more than 26-thousand young people across the country age out of the foster care system. As a result, Stangler says they are more likely than their peers to drop out of school, become parents before they are ready, experience homelessness, or end up in jail. If foster care is extended from 18 to 21, the report says communities would save $300,000 in lost wages, public assistance and incarceration for each of the young people affected. Nationwide, he says the savings would amount to seven-point-eight billion dollars a year. Learn more at: www.jimcaseyyouth.org

(Radio Iowa)

This spring’s allergy season could be exceptionally bad in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Warmer weather is returning to Iowa — and so is the pollen. An allergy expert says this spring is shaping up to be one of the worst allergy seasons in years, but Iowans who are constantly sneezing likely already know that. Ted Myatt, an environmental health specialist, says allergy sufferers have more to worry about than just the great outdoors as there can be no where to hide, inside or out. “There’s allergens that are generated outside, the pollen from grass and trees and mold spores from outdoors, all of those particles end up in your home because you’re constantly moving outdoor air into your home,” Myatt says. On top of that, there are allergens generated indoors as well, like pet dander from dogs and cats. Those things, in combination with coming off of last year’s drought, are making for foul conditions for Iowans with allergies. After you’ve been outside, Myatt says it may be helpful to shower right away or to change your clothes — and to use bedding that’s hypoallergenic.

“Washing those sheets in hot water is a great strategy to prevent dust mite exposure,” Myatt says. “Dust mites love bedding and are hard to get rid of unless you use really hot water. Another thing I like to recommend is to take off your shoes. You track in a lot of dirt, a lot of pollen, a lot of mold.” Mold can be a huge problem. Even an isolated area of mold, like a window sill, can trigger symptoms in those allergic to it. He says mold spores travel by air and they will spread. Dust and pollen gather on TV screens and other electronics so keeping them clean is very important. Myatt says even for Iowans who were never bugged by allergies before, this spring could be different.

“People as they age acquire new allergy symptoms,” Myatt says. “If you move to another area of the country where the mixture of the types of pollens and allergens in the air are different than what you’re used to, you see people acquire new allergies.” Even opening the windows to let in a fresh spring breeze will also be letting in dust, mold spores and pollen.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., May 7th 2013


May 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for five Iowa counties damaged by severe weather in early April. Yesterday’s announcement means the counties of Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux will get federal funding under a public assistance program. Funding can be used for emergency repairs, essential government functions and grants for public schools.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man arrested in Texas in connection with the shooting of an Iowa police officer is fighting extradition back to the state. The Sioux City Journal reports 21-year-old Jamal Dean has indicated to authorities that he intends to fight extradition. He’s in a maximum security section of the county jail in Kingsville, Texas.

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — Two men have pleaded guilty to charges related to a bank robbery and wild chase last fall that left two officers with gunshot wounds. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports 25-year-old Jeremiah Mumford and 19-year-old William Clayton pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree robbery and two counts of attempted murder.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque authorities have been investigating an electrical problem that caused a small explosion inside a manhole downtown. Police Lt. Steve Radloff says the explosion yesterday afternoon behind the Dubuque County Jail caused a loud boom and a manhole cover to lift off its base and into the air. No injuries were reported.

Former US Attorney Matt Whitaker announces intentions to run for U.S. Senate


May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Former US Attorney Matt Whitaker shared his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the open United States Senate seat in November 2014. Whitaker, who was a guest Monday afternoon on a Des Moines talk radio station, announced he is taking the necessary steps to run for the seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin’s retirement. Whitaker becomes the first Republican to officially state he will be a candidate in the Senate race.

“I am taking the steps to run for the United States Senate,” Whitaker said. “I will have the official campaign announcement on June 3.” Whitaker, who has been married for 20 years, said his wife and children support his Senate run. “They understand the challenges facing our country and state,” Whitaker said. “This is going to be a big election about big ideas.” The Republican Senate candidate said he is excited to travel across Iowa and meet with primary voters. “Let’s talk about the issues,” Whitaker said. “Common sense solutions are going to win in the primary election and November 2014.”

(Press Release)

Man accused of shooting officer fights Iowa return


May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man arrested in Texas in connection with the shooting of an Iowa police officer is fighting extradition back to the state. The Sioux City Journal reports 21-year-old Jamal Dean has indicated to authorities that he intends to fight extradition. He is in a maximum security section of the Kleberg County Jail in Kingsville, Texas. Kleberg County Sheriff’s Capt. Albert Castillo says Dean must enter a formal decision during a court hearing. Texas Gov. Rick Perry could be asked to authorize Dean’s removal from the state.

Dean was arrested Saturday after a hunt involving local, state and federal authorities. He is accused of shooting a rifle at Sioux City Officer Kevin McCormick during a traffic stop on April 29. McCormick is expected to make a full recovery.

Two Iowa youth honored for volunteerism at a national award ceremony in Washington, D.C


May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s top two youth volunteers of 2013, 18-year old Katelyn Cinnamon, of West Des Moines and 13-year old Samantha Dilocker, of Red Oak, were honored in the nation’s capital Sunday night, for their outstanding volunteer service, during the 18th annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  Katelyn and Samantha – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – each received $1,000 awards and personal congratulations from Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), named Katelyn and Samantha Iowa’s top high school and middle level youth volunteers, in February. In addition to their cash awards, they each received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events. Katelyn, a senior at Valley High School, has raised thousands of dollars to purchase iPad tablets for each exam room at the Blank Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic, and to send young cancer patients to a weeklong camp through the Children’s Cancer Connection.

Samantha, an eighth-grader at Red Oak Middle School, initiated  an annual auction of baked goods and crafts at her local Elks Lodge that has raised  more than $22,000 over the past seven years for a local food pantry, a scholarship fund, a community toy drive and a child with cancer. In 2006, Samantha’s mother’s employer announced that it would be closing. Samantha said “There was a lot of discussion in our home and community about people losing their jobs. I didn’t really understand what it all meant, but I knew I wanted to help.” So, she proposed a bake sale to her mother, who suggested the local Elks Lodge might want to help.

Together, they decided to ask lodge members to donate baked goods for a Christmas auction. Samantha asked a family friend to serve as auctioneer; solicited donations of cakes, cookies and pies from Elks members; made posters and signs to advertise the event; and helped run the auction. The final tally exceeded $1,000, and the auction has since grown to include craft items as well as baked goods. The proceeds have ballooned: $3,700 has been donated to a food pantry, $8,100 to a Christmas “share-a-toy” program, $3,300 to the National Elks Foundation and scholarship funds, and $6,100 to area families with children with leukemia.

Youth volunteers were invited to apply for 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. More than 28,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year’s program. More information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year’s honorees can be found at http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.

Report shows drop in child abuse cases in Iowa


May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report shows a slight drop in the number of Iowa children abused or neglected last year. The state Department of Human Services report released Monday shows more than 11,600 children were abused or neglected in 2012. That’s a 1 percent decline from 2011. Nearly 80 percent of all cases were considered neglect. It means a caretaker’s action or inaction puts a child in harm’s way. Officials say common examples are parents incapable of supervising a child because of drug or alcohol abuse.

Other cases involved physical or sexual abuse. The report says more than 8,800 of all cases involved perpetrators who were later placed on a child abuse registry. The rest were considered minor and not likely to occur again.