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Senate Oks plan to study breast density education


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate have approved legislation that will establish a task force to study breast tissue density. The bill passed unanimously Wednesday and will move to the state House for review. It replaced legislation which would have required breast density data be included in mammogram reports to patients and physicians. Instead, under this plan, the state will set up a task force to review how best to educate patients and doctors on this issue.

Experts say dense breast tissue can make it harder for a mammogram to catch a possible tumor and may increase the risk of breast cancer. But some doctors say this kind of notification could needlessly worry women and the state should leave such matters to physicians.

Review backs top Iowa insurer’s $1.3B reserve fund


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A review by an independent consultant says the $1.3 billion in reserves held by Iowa’s dominant health insurer is “reasonable and prudent” for now.  Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart hired Risk and Regulatory Consulting, LLC, to review whether Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield had the right amount of customers’ money in reserves.

Its report released Wednesday says Wellmark is holding an appropriate amount given the risks the company faces. The report says a smaller future surplus might be needed if the insurance market stabilizes following full implementation of federal health reform.

Some Democratic lawmakers, including gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch, demanded an investigation into Wellmark’s reserves, contending much of that money should be returned to policyholders. Wellmark provides coverage for more than 2 million people in Iowa and South Dakota.

Stuffed bears help Sioux City woman honor husband


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City woman says she’ll think of her husband this weekend as she drives to Omaha in a car stuffed with hundreds of stuffed bears and other animals. Kerry Ruehl and her children will take more than 500 bears to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where her husband Mike “Bear” Ruehl was treated for cancer at times over a dozen years. He died Feb. 6 in Omaha at age 60. For his funeral, the family asked that people bring a stuffed animal.

Kerry Ruehl tells the Sioux City Journal that during her husband’s treatment, they watched sick children in strollers or pulling their IVs. They didn’t think it was fair.  She thought this was a way her husband, who loved working with children, could continue spreading cheer.

New Iowa statue will be installed in Capitol soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad says a statue of Norman Borlaug will be installed in the U.S. Capitol next month.  Branstad will attend the official installation on March 25, which is the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth.   In 2011, Iowa officials agreed to replace a statue of Sen. James Harlan at the U.S. Capitol with one of Borlaug. Borlaug was a Cresco native who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his role in combating world hunger.

South Dakota artist Benjamin Victor created the sculpture. The statue is finished and is in Aberdeen, South Dakota, awaiting transport to Washington.  Each state can display two sculptures in the Capitol. The Borlaug statue will replace one of former senator and Interior Department secretary James Harlan. The Harlan statue will return to Iowa.

(Podcast) 7-a.m. News & Funeral Announcements, 2/26/2014

News, Podcasts

February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Area News and funeral announcement with KJAN News Directcor Ric Hanson.


Red Oak man arrested on a CoC warrant


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County report the arrest this (Wednesday) morning of a man wanted a warrant for Contempt of Court. 22-year old Aaron Gar Nelson, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 3:30-a.m.

Nelson was brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on a $5,000 bond.

1 injury reported following Tue. morning accident in Villisca


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A passenger in a car that was struck by a pickup truck Tuesday morning in Villisca, was sent to the hospital for treatment of possible injuries. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 43-year old Keith Currin, of Villisca, was transported by Villisca Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital following the crash, which occurred at around 8:50-a.m., at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 1st Street, in Villisca.

Authorities say a 2006 Buick owned and operated by 77-year old Phillip Currin, of Villisca, was headed north on 3rd Aveneue, and had stopped at the intersection. A 2011 GMC pickup owned and operate by 62-year old Donald Myers, of Villisca, was traveling east on 1st Street, and also stopped at the intersection. Myers failed to see the Currin vehicle, and proceeded into the intersection, hitting the car on its left rear side, and causing it to veer to the left before the Buick hit a fire hydrant.

Damage from the crash was estimated at $4,500 altogether. The City of Villisca’s fire hydrant appeared to be undamaged, according to officials. Myers was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign. Deputies were assisted at the scene by personnel with the Villisca and Red Oak Fire and Rescue Departments.

Treynor resident donates $2,500 to the local Fire Dept. through AFGC Program


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Treynor woman who has used the services of the Treynor Volunteer Fire Department over the years has expressed her gratitude through a donation of $2,500. The Daily NonPareil reports Jolene Lammert‘s home caught fire twice over the years, and just a few years ago, her father-in-law was involved in a tractor accident. But every time, volunteer firefighters came to her aid. The 55-year-old woman still lives in that house, and her father is currently in good health.

On Monday, Jolene and her husband, Ron, donated $2,500 to the fire department to help pay for new hydraulic rescue tools. Lammert received the money when she was chosen by America’s Farmers Grow Communities as a winner for Pottawattamie County. The group works with farmers to support rural communities. Lammert entered the contest and, upon winning, was allowed to donate her prize to the organization of her choosing.

Fire Chief Russ Maguire said the funds will be used toward the $24,000 needed to replace the department’s aging rescue tools. Fire officials are looking to obtain a $10,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to assist with the equipment. The department will pay the difference.

Pott. County Board considers sale of a park in Hancock


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors is considering whether to sell a portion of a county-owned park in Hancock to an adjacent grain storage company for an expansion. The Daily NonPareil reports the Scoular Co., which has a grain storage facility in Hancock, would like to purchase approximately 2.8 acres of land in Botna Bend Park, located alongside the facility. A Scoular official has said the land was in an unused portion of the park.

Botna Bend is a 119-acre park featuring a campground, playground, hiking trails and basketball and volleyball courts. The Scoular representative told the paper the campground area is still 400 to 500 feet away from the planned expansion site. A proposed new storage building on that ground would be 70 feet high, 180 feet in width and 420 feet in length.

Scoular reportedly will invest up to $4.5 million in this expansion,with $40,000 in additional tax revenue for the community. The purchase agreement calls for the company to pay $50,000 for the property and agree to pay an additional $50,000 for park improvements where needed. The new structure would be considered an “overflow” type of storage facility, especially during fall harvest time when current storage buildings reached their own capacities.

The five-member board of supervisors, before officially voting on the matter, requested the company and the county’s conservation office work out an agreeable plan for drainage issues. Also at Tuesday’s board meeting, the board set a public hearing on the 2015 fiscal year county operating budget for March 17 at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors room.

NE man found guilty in Mills Co. sex abuse case


February 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Omaha World-Herald reports a Nebraska man was found guilty Tuesday in the case of two Mills County girls who were sexually abused last September. The girls were eight- and nine-years old. 64-year old John R. Schondelmeyer, of Bellevue, NE., was convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child. A  jury issued its verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.

Schondelmeyer faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison on each sexual abuse count and a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the lascivious acts counts. He’s scheduled to be sentenced April 14th.

Schondelmeyer may still face charges in Sarpy County, NE.  However, it’s not clear what direction officials will take the case.