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Bug bites and stings pose summer threat


July 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As Iowans try to have fun in the sun, some of them may resemble walking bullseyes to bees and wasps. The experts at the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center say summer is the busiest time of year for their hotline and they’re prepared to handle an influx in calls about insect stings. If you’re getting buzzed by a bee or yellow-jacket, registered nurse Joan McVoy says prevention may be the best medicine.

“If you’re around bees, don’t swing or strike at them or run away from them as the quick movements provoke them,” McVoy says. “If you’re eating outdoors, make sure you cover your food, especially your fruit and soft drinks. Avoid perfumes, after shave lotions, things like that. Avoid wearing real bright or colored flowery prints. It just attracts them.” If your child gets stung, don’t panic, but call the Poison Center hotline right away. McVoy says you need to watch for signs of an allergic reaction, especially within the first hour after a sting.

“You start to feel dizzy, faint, you start sweating, you start to wheeze or have trouble breathing, definitely give us a call,” McVoy says. “If people get stung several times, like over ten times, that’s going to be a trip to the emergency room, but most of the time, we’ll be able to watch you at home, carefully, and tell you what to watch for and what to do.” Most insect repellants that target mosquitoes will not work on stinging insects like bees. McVoy says one application of bug spray or lotion will typically last for some time, and she warns, you can overdo it by slathering on too much, too often.

“The ones that contain DEET, you want to make sure if you’re using them, especially with children, try to get the ones with the lower concentrations of less than 10%,” McVoy says. “They’re found to be just as effective as the higher concentrations. Be cautious with repeat applications. Really, one application of DEET should last you four to eight hours.” If you’re going on vacation this summer, she recommends programming the Poison Center hotline into your phone before you leave. The number is 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

SWITA bus & a car collide in Atlantic Wed., 2 injured


July 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report two people were injured when a SWITA bus and a passenger car collided Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of 7th and Laurel Streets. The crash was reported at 3:48-p.m. Officials say the SWITA bus was southbound on Laurel and stopped at the stop sign, but did not fully yield to an eastbound car. The vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection. The driver of the car and a passenger on the bus were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. Their injuries were not life threatening. The names of the drivers and victims will likely be released later this (Thursday) morning.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., July 24th 2014


July 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A jury will resume deliberations today at the trial of an Iowa man charged with killing his pregnant wife. Jurors are considering whether Seth Techel is guilty of first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy. The 23-year-old faces life in prison if convicted in his wife’s 2012 shooting death in rural southeastern Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City lawyer will serve as a judge in eastern Iowa’s 6th Judicial District. Lars Anderson was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to fill the vacancy left by retired judge Marsha Beckelman. The 6th Judicial District includes Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Tama counties.

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — The mayor of Clinton has refused to attend two closed sessions of the City Council saying he learned a valuable lesson from a recent open meetings lawsuit the city lost. Mayor Mark Vulich stepped out of two separate closed sessions on Tuesday. One involved a salary increase for the city administrator and the other an undisclosed legal matter.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man facing lawsuits involving a 2012 boat crash that killed four people and injured six others on the Mississippi River has agreed to hand over $300,000 from an insurance policy. But he wants a judge to absolve him of future damages if he does. An attorney representing Joseph Schier Junior has proposed the deal in court documents.

Nebraska Trip to Benefit Young Beef Producers

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 23rd, 2014 by Jim Field

LEWIS, Iowa — A two-day bus trip to various locations in Nebraska in early September will offer beginning and young Iowa beef producers unique networking and educational opportunities. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Chris Clark said the trip is an organized activity of ISU’s Beginning and Young Livestock Producer Network (BYLPN) and includes visits to several operations to provide a wide variety of information, experiences, and discussions.

“We’ll have stops at several different beef operations, a packing facility and the USDA Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska,” Clark said. “Our tour guide, Jacob Mayer of Settje Agri-Services & Engineering, Inc. has been very helpful in identifying and scheduling places with different approaches and strengths, and he’ll be able to help facilitate some good discussions on the trip.”

The trip is set for Thursday and Friday, Sept. 4 and 5, with the bus departing from the Cass County Extension Office in Atlantic at 7 a.m. on Sept. 4. Additional pick-up locations may be added as necessary. The group will overnight at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 805 Allen Dr., Grand Island, Nebraska, and return the evening of Sept. 5. A block of rooms has been reserved for Sept. 4 at the Fairfield Inn.

“Participants are responsible for their own hotel room fee and can make reservations at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by calling 308-381-8980 and asking for the group rate for Young Producers Group Block no later than Aug. 8,” Clark said. “After that date, rooms will be on an availability basis only.”

The BYLPN is a strategic initiative of ISU Extension and Outreach, with primary goals of creating regional peer groups of young and beginning livestock producers; and offering education, mentorship, and networking opportunities to participants.

“This bus trip is a fitting activity for those already involved in a BYLNP group, but people don’t need to be members of an existing group to participate,” Clark said. “We would love to see some new faces and get more people involved.”

Preregistration by Aug. 20 is required in order to ensure adequate transportation. For more information or to preregister, contact Clark by phone at 712-769-2200 or by email at caclark@iastate.edu or email Leann Plowman-Tibken at leann@iastate.edu.

Car causes major damage to building in Harlan


July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

In their report released today (Wednesday), the Harlan Police Department said an accident last Thursday (July 17th), caused major damage to an apartment building. Officials say a 1990 Mercury driven by Dallas Havick, of Harlan, was leaving a parking space at 1302 Hawkeye Avenue, when for reasons unknown, the car jolted forward, went over a sidewalk and crashed into an apartment. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $3,000. A dollar amount of damage to the structure was not available, but listed as “extensive.” No injuries were reported, and no citations were issued.

Harlan Police Report, 7/23/14


July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department has released a list of their most recent arrests and incidents. Officials say on Tuesday (7/22), 45-year old Stephen Weber, of Harlan, was arrested when it was reported that he had violated a no contact order that was in place between him and Katherine Hayes, of Harlan. Weber was taken to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with the violation.

On Monday (7/21), 54-year old Christopher Mathison, of Council Bluffs, was arrested following a traffic stop. Mathison was also wanted on an active Shelby County warrant from October 2013 for operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent. Mathison was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with driving under suspension and held on the warrant.

Last Saturday (7/19), charges of harassment were filed against 19-year old Dakota Grote, of Harlan, when it was reported to officers that he was sending harassing texts to Heather Frieze, Elk Horn, after paperwork on file had been sent to him instructing him to have no further contact.

And on July 10th, 49-year old Randall Hess, and 46-year old Patsy Nuzum, both of Harlan, were arrested when officers were called to a disturbance at Westridge Acres trailer court. Nuzum was transported to the Shelby County Jail and Hess was allowed to go before the magistrate and was released on his own recognizance. Both were charged with domestic abuse assault

Red Oak Police cruiser hits a fire hydrant


July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Police Department report one of their cruisers was damaged this (Wednesday) morning, when an officer went to investigate a suspicious person. Authorities say at around 4:40-a..m., Officers Zach Ward and Brandon Allen were on routine patrol in the area of the Red Oak City Maintenance Yard, when they observed a man wearing a red t-shirt and blue jeans, walking north in a grassy area immediately north of the “A” Street entrance to the maintenance yard.

Officer Allen, who was operating the 2014 Dodge Charger patrol vehicle, turned the car north onto the grassy area and began to head toward the subject, when the vehicle hit a low fire hydrant, causing under carriage damage to the car.

The male subject took off running north toward a creek and tree line. He was pursued on foot by Officer Ward, but was not to be found. An item believed to have been dropped by the man was recovered from the scene.

A dollar amount of damage to the vehicle was not immediately available.

(12-p.m. News)

Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports prices will largely depend on how cold it is this winter and how long the cold lasts. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is telling farmers and homeowners to buy ahead of time.

Last winter dwindling Midwest supplies and rising demand pushed propane prices to more than three times normal to nearly $5 per gallon. Northey doesn’t expect prices that high but he says it is important to think ahead. Iowa historically received about 20 percent of its propane from a 1,900-mile pipeline that no longer carries it.

As a result, Iowans are increasingly reliant on propane from Kansas which costs more.

Shelby County Chamber/Developsource merger on track


July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and Industry are seeing progress on the completion of the merger. The new entity’s board met for a meeting Monday after hosting an In The Know last Thursday to inform the public about the recent changes. Jane Nielsen, Interim Executive Director, says the new organization will continue to help existing business and find new business for Shelby County.

“We will still do economic development for existing business and new business. Often people see Chamber of Commerce handling retail and economic development bringing new business to town. Well between 84 and 87 percent of business growth in rural counties comes from existing business so it is important to help out the businesses out there whether they are mom and pop or a large business.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry board have already made a few changes as the chamber gift certificates are opened back up to all businesses in the county and the golf tournament has been moved to Tuesday, September 9th. The new board consisting of four people from the former DevelopSource board and four from the former Chamber board are working on a new dues structure for chamber members.

“They set up a committee to work on the dues and membership structure. Kevin Campbell headed that up and did a lot of work. They looked at the existing due structures and due structures from four, five or six chamber of commerce around us and they have nailed down a general look at it and it was presented at the In The Know and now they have to tweak it. I believe they have another meeting planned next week to finalize it and then the board will finalize it as well.”
Nielsen says financially the organization is in good shape.

“Funding from DevelopSource is secure for the next two years from our main funding resources and there will be dues that make up the rest of the budget. The money will be there to do the things that they want to do. They want to continue doing the things the Chamber has done in the past. They have looked at resurrecting some events in the past ten to fifteen years that they have done. There are always new people in the community, new blood to work on a committee and you can build on the past and come up with new ideas. We are looking for new ideas and looking for people to join the committees and lots of opportunities out there.”

President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Kevin Campbell says the board’s focus has been on administrative work. “The board has been working significantly on getting the administrative items completed. Late last week, we filed our articles of merger and some of the documentation with the Secretary of State. Just yesterday (Tuesday), we heard back from them they are recognizing that. Now we can go forward and get a lot of other administrative stuff done. Our banking accounts established and appropriate people that can transact on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.” He says the other thing the board is looking for is a new director.

“We’re working on a job description for a new director. What we have learned from past situations like this is it is going to take about 90 days to get through that process. We have a number of resources to help us with that process. We will be reaching out to state levels, state organizations and economic development organizations to get that job listing out to get a list of candidates. We will be going through the interview process and find the right individual for our situation here in Shelby County.”
Campbell says in the coming months more information on the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be released but for now the board wants the public to know this is going to be a countywide organization.

“Well that’s what we hope to communicate. A lot of what we have said so far is that we want to do that and that is a hard job to do. Where the rubber meets the road is if we actually execute on that and that really needs to be the focus. We are not just focused on Harlan but we are also focused on the communities throughout Shelby County. Each one of our communities has some type of asset and we need to leverage those in each communities have so we can help them develop. Whether it be bring a business in or expanding an existing business and leveraging those assets the best we can. It is going to be a challenge that is going to be a hard job to do. Right now the board is making sure that happens.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Shelby County Recorder warns about deed mail


July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Recorder’s office are warning residents to be cautious about a piece of mail asking about a copy of their deed and property assessment. Linda Fahn, Shelby County Recorder, says the state have received phone calls from concerned citizens about letters they received saying there was “deed activity recorded in public record” and that they should obtain a “current property grant deed and assessment.”

The company, Record Transfer Service, is charging $83 for the service. The notice is designed to cause a homeowner to believe there has been a recently recorded document, which is often not accurate. If you have received this notice, don’t be alarmed or feel it is necessary to respond.

A copy of a deed can be obtained at your local Recorder’s Office for a few dollars in copy fees. If you have any questions or to inquire about obtaining a copy of your deed, contact your local County Recorder’s Office. The Shelby County Recorder’s office can be reached by calling 712-755-5640.