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IHA Survey: CCMH creates $23.5 Million impact on local economy


March 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The results of a study conducted by the Iowa Hospital Association reports the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic generates 361 jobs that add $23.5 million to the economy in Cass County and the surrounding area.  The IHA study says also, that CCMH employees by themselves spend $5.4 million on retail sales and contribute $326,521 in state sales tax revenue.

CCMH CEO Todd Hudspeth said in a Press Release that “People are often surprised to learn how many people we employ and the size of our business.” He says “It takes a lot of patient care professionals to enable us to care for our community twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and even more staff behind the scenes.”

Cass Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) Executive Director Russell Joyce, said the “Cass County Health System has become major player in the area of “quality of life” that we market for our area. Having an up-to-date facility that is well staffed and equipped, along with an administration, plus a Board of Trustees, that looks to the future is a large part of growing a community.” Joyce added that there is an “Influx of younger families returning or relocating to our community along with retirees, both looking for a higher level of life quality,” and that  “We can thank our health care providers for helping make this happen.”

The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.

The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 71,437 people and create another 57,792 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $4.2 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $1.8 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s health care sector, which includes employed clinicians, long-term care services and assisted living centers, pharmacies and other medical and health services, directly and indirectly provides 307,402 Iowa jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, March 21st 2014


March 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — A jury has acquitted a former drug offender who voted despite having lost her right to cast a ballot, in a rare trial that highlights Iowa’s harsh policies toward voting rights for ex-felons. Jurors rejected a perjury charge yesterday against Kelli Jo Griffin, who was accused of lying on a voter registration form before she cast a ballot in a municipal election in November.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha-based economist says a survey of bankers in Iowa, Nebraska and eight other Midwestern states suggests the regional economy is experiencing slow to no growth. The Rural Mainstreet Index by Creighton University economist Ernie Gross rose slightly above growth neutral in March, to 50.1, compared with 48.4 in February.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A two-hour standoff between a Davenport man and local authorities has ended peacefully. The Quad-City Times reports the suspect was taken into custody around 11 a.m. yesterday after speaking with a negotiator. No injuries were reported.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) —North Carolina Central is the Number 14 seed in tonight’s East Regional in a second round matchup Friday against third seeded Big 12 tournament champion Iowa State. Iowa State is taking note of what the Eagles have done this season: A 20-game win streak, a road win at North Carolina State and a close loss at Wichita State, the only undefeated team in the country and the Number One seed in the Midwest.

Survey suggests slight growth for Midwest economy


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An economist says a survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states suggests the regional economy is experiencing slow to no growth. The Rural Mainstreet Index rose slightly above growth neutral in March, to 50.1, compared with 48.4 in February. The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the region will need to see more increases in farm commodity prices to push the agriculture-based economy back into healthy growth territory. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Distracted driver causes sideswipe accident


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A distracted driver caused an accident late Thursday morning about three-miles east of Shenandoah, in Page County. Sheriff’s officials say 49-year old Jennine Ohnmacht, of Blanchard, was traveling north on E Avenue at around 11:50-a.m., when she looked down. As she looked up, she found the 2002 Chrysler Town and County van she was driving was beside a 2005 Sterling tractor trailer, in the northbound lane.

The van clipped the driver’s side of the semi, driven by 60-year old Rodney Long, of New Market. Authorities say the Long’s semi left a little more than 153-feet of skid marks from the tires on both dual trailer axles, and swerved towards the ditch in an attempt to avoid contact with the van. Damage from the mishap amounted to $5,000. No injuries were reported.

The sheriff’s office says Ohnmacht was cited for Driving on the wrong side of a two-way highway.

Shelby County Fire Danger rating: Moderate

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management officials have lowered the county’s fire danger rating from High to “Moderate.” EMA Coordinator Bob Seivert says cooler temperatures, recent and expected moisture will provide a small window for this weekend.

If you have a pile of brush or waste to burn, please call the EMA at 755-2124 and contact your local Fire Chief, so that we are aware of the location and nature of the controlled burn. Please be aware that your city ordinances regarding burn times, and open burning, are all in effect.

Glenwood woman arrested for Possession


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report a Glenwood woman was arrested early this (Thursday) morning on a drug charge. 47-year old Lisa Mae Bolan faces a Possession of Controlled Substance charge. She was taken into custody at around 3:20-a.m. on Highway 275. Bond was set at $1,000.00.

Authorities said also, no injuries were reported following a single vehicle rollover accident Wednesday afternoon. Officials say  Jess Mullanix of Glenwood, was driving a 2004 Dodge 4 Miles eastbound northwest of Glenwood on Ellington at Glover Road, when the vehicle slipped-off the edge of the gravel road and rolled into the south ditch. The vehicle came to rest on its driver’s side. The accident was reported at around 2:25-p.m.

ACSD Budget hearing and action set for Monday


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s (ACSD) Board of Education will meet in a work session Monday evening at the High School, during which time a Public Hearing will be held on the Proposed 2014-2015 Certified Budget, which sets the rate patrons of the district will pay in terms of property taxes. The proposed budget calls for a 66-cent increase per thousand dollars assessed valuation, from $14.25 per thousand dollars valuation, to $14.91 per thousand.

Last year’s levy generated nearly $5.84-million. This year, the levy will generate a little more than $6.28-million for the district. Business Manager and Board Secretary Mary Beth Fast says the budget incorporates changes in how the districts spends for next year, and how much anticipated revenue is generated.

She says the district is generating money in its management fund to pay for early retirements, property casualty insurance premium. The Board she says has a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy [PPEL] which is up for renewal every 10-years, and a voted PPEL, and revenue from the General Fund. There is no Debt Service fund, because there are no current bond issues, and the Middle School renovation/reconstruction project is paid through the One-cent Local Option Sales Tax [LOST].

During the Board’s meeting on March 10th, Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said the districts needs to try and cut more than $803,800 from the budget over the next couple of years. One of the ways the district hopes to accomplish that is through it’s early retirement proposal. Elsewhere, cost reductions could be made across all departments, the cutting of two para-educator positions from the Level 3 Behavior Program, and other, similar savings.

Monday’s work session and public hearing begins at 7:30-p.m. in the Atlantic High School Media Center. The hearing will be followed by action on approving personnel recommendations, and the 2014-2015 proposed certified budget, along with discussion with regard to Capital Projects and the 1-to1 Computer proposal.

Wild wreck on I-29 in western Iowa leaves two injured


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A multi-vehicle crash this morning on Interstate 29 south of Sergeant Bluff left two people seriously injured. Woodbury County deputy, Doug Boetger, says it started with a pickup that for unknown reasons was going the wrong way on the interstate. “It attempted to get back up onto the interstate in the southbound. In doing so, it pulled up in front of three semis,” Boetger explains. “It struck one semi in the rear trailer axle and then kind of spun in front of a second semi that basically took it head on between the box and the cab — which imbedded the pickup onto the semi.”

A third semi was bearing down on the wreck and the driver had to take evasive action. “And managed to miss both of the other semis, but clipped a couple of trees. It was off the road for probably a hundred and fifty yards or so before it came to rest,” Boetger says. The occupants of the pickup had to be pulled out of the tangled pickup and semi. “Two people in the pickup were extricated by Salix and Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue. They were transported to Mercy Medical Center (Sioux City) with serious injuries,” Boetger says.

The drivers of the three semis were not injured. The names of the people in the pickup are not yet available.

(Radio Iowa)

Wednesday afternoon rear-ender in Atlantic


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A rear-end collision Wednesday afternoon in Atlantic caused $4,000 damage, but no serious injuries. According to the Atlantic Police Department, vehicles driven by John Carns and Jacquelyn Sheeder, both of Atlantic, collided near the intersection of 7th and Plum Streets.

Officials say both vehicles were traveling westbound on 7th at around 4:20-p.m.  When Sheeder slowed for traffic that was stopped at the signal lights, her vehicle was hit from behind by the Carns vehicle. Carns complained of pain, but declined medical assistance. Authorities say Carns was given a warning for Failure to Stop in an Assured/Clear Distance.

Locomotive strikes propane truck in northern Iowa


March 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MANSON, Iowa (AP) – A driver has been hospitalized after his propane truck was struck by a locomotive at a crossing in the northwest Iowa town of Manson.  The Messenger says the accident occurred around 5:55 p.m. Wednesday. State trooper Mark Anderson says witnesses saw the southbound truck stop at the tracks and then get hit in the back as the eastbound train went through. The truck came to rest on the driver’s side.

A hazardous-materials team responded when firefighters reported that propane was leaking from the truck.