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ISU part of effort to help low-income students


September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University’s provost, Jonathan Wickert, is in Washington, D-C today with administrators from 10 other research universities to announce a program called the University Innovation Alliance. “The goal of the alliance is really to share innovations among the 11 schools that will help low-income and first-generation students succeed and get college degrees,” according to Wickert. Wickert says the work will continue over the next three to five years.

“We know that there is an achievement gap for low-income students — first to be able to come a university — and then actually be able to complete the program,” Wickert says. “And as we look at the nation’s workforce needs, we know that universities around the country need to redouble efforts to help those students.” Each of the schools has been trying different approaches to the problem, and Wickert says that’s what he’ll find out about.

“The entire concept behind the innovation is for each school to share the best practices that they have. So for us, we want to be able to learn from the other ten schools what has worked for them, and how we can deploy that here at Iowa State,” Wickert says. He will share Iowa State’s use of what are called learning communities.

“We’ve had learning communities at Iowa State University for about 20 years,” Wickert explains.”And we’ve found that it is a great program to improve the retention of students at the university, and also to increase their graduation rate. And we’ll be sharing with the other ten schools.” The other the universities founding this project are: Arizona State, Georgia State, Michigan State, Oregon State, Purdue, Ohio State, University of Central Florida, University of Kansas, University of Texas at Austin, University of California, Riverside.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Sept. 16 2014


September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A county in southern Iowa will get disaster assistance to respond to severe weather, Gov. Terry Branstad issued a disaster proclamation for Union County. The county suffered damage after severe storms and rain on Sept. 9. Under the declaration, the county can use state resources to recover from the storm.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man found dead at a Council Bluffs golf course pond. The body of Josey Janssen, 33, was found Friday at the Council Bluffs Country Club. The Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office and police said Janssen’s cause of death was accidental drowning.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A hearing has been scheduled for the man accused of killing a 5-year-old northern Iowa girl in 2005. The hearing is set Tuesday in Bremer County for Casey Frederiksen. He’s charged with first-degree murder in the June 2005 slaying of Evelyn Miller, whose body was found along the Cedar River. Frederiksen, 35, was charged in 2012 with the girl’s death. Authorities said Frederiksen was living with Evelyn’s mother in Floyd when the girl was killed.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Tuesday hearing has been scheduled for the man accused of killing a 5-year-old northern Iowa girl in 2005. Casey Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2005 slaying of Evelyn Miller, whose body was found along the Cedar River. Frederiksen, 35, was charged in 2012 with the girl’s death. Authorities said Frederiksen was living with Evelyn’s mother in Floyd when the girl was killed.

Sioux City woman faces charges in son’s death


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City woman faces child endangerment and neglect charges in connection to the April death of her infant son, according to authorities. Rebekah Williams-McCarthy, 24, was charged Friday in Woodbury County District Court with child endangerment resulting in the death of a child and neglect of a dependent person, according to the Sioux City Journal. She faces an additional two counts of neglect of a dependent person in connection with her two other children.

Williams-McCarthy is accused of depriving her two-month son, Leonard Williams, of food and health care. The child died at the end of April. Woodbury County Attorney Patrick Jennings said in a complaint and affidavit against Williams-McCarthy that an autopsy showed Leonard died of malnutrition and dehydration.

Court documents filed in the case say Williams-McCarthy failed to take the baby to doctor appointments and did not pick up vouchers for baby formula. They also say the apartment in which she lived with her children was not safe for them. Williams-McCarthy is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 22.

Leonard’s father, Michael Williams, 26, has pleaded not guilty to neglect of a dependent person in connection to the death. He carried the baby into a hospital before the child was pronounced dead.Jennings said in his complaint against Williams-McCarthy that she told an Iowa Department of Human Services worker that she knew Williams smoked marijuana in front of the children and had been feeding Leonard sugar water.

Bluffs Body ID’d


September 15th, 2014 by admin

The Council Bluffs Police Department has released the name of the person who was found at the Council Bluffs Country Club Golf Course last week. The person has been identified as 33 year old Josie Lee Janssen of Council Bluffs. The state medical examiner found no indications of foul play in his death and believes he died of accidental drowning. Janssen had been reported missing by his family on September 3rd. Through the investigation by the Council Bluffs Police it was determined Janssen was last seen the late evening hours of August 29th in the area of 4-0-1 Veterans Memorial Highway walking toward his residence and may have attempted to take a different route.

Gov. Branstad issues disaster proclamation for Union County


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Governor Terry E. Branstad today (Monday) issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Union County in response to recent severe weather. The Governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of severe weather and heavy rains on Sept. 9, 2014. In addition, the proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Union County.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of $39,580, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery.

The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website http://dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.

NE man cited following Saturday accident SW of Atlantic


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County say a truck driver from Nebraska was cited following an accident Saturday morning southwest of Atlantic.33-year old Tommy Jo Mannheim, of Bellevue, NE, was cited for Failure to Maintain Control, after the 2011 Freightliner straight truck he was driving went out of control on eastbound Highway 6 near Lansing Road.

photo bu KJAN's Chris Parks.

photo bu KJAN’s Chris Parks.

The truck overturned onto the roadway during the crash, which happened at around 9:20-a.m. No injuries were reported. Damage to the truck was estimated at $7,000.

Atlantic Fire and Rescue and Atlantic Police along with deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the scene.

Slauson arraignment set for Sept. 22nd


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Arraignment is set for Monday, Sept. 22nd, in the case of an Atlantic woman facing a multitude of charges in connection with scheme to make her 5-year old daughter appear to be sick with cancer, and solicit money for treatment never rendered.

30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson is charged with: one count of drug distribution to a person under 18, two counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury, two counts of administering harmful substances, two counts of assault while committing a felony, two counts of domestic abuse and 10 counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, and one count of Theft in the 1st degree. Online records say the alleged offenses date back to September 2013.

In an arraignment hearing, the defendant hears the formal charges against them, and enters a plea in response. Slauson’s Pre-Trial Conference is still set for October 13th, while her trial is slated to begin November 12th, unless she pleads guilty to the charges, in which case a sentencing date would be set.

Iowa birth rate sluggish despite better economy


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Even though Iowa’s economy is improving, the state’s birth rate isn’t keeping pace. Iowa Department of Public Health figures show the state’s birth rate for 2013 is up less than 1 percent over 2012, The Des Moines Register reported. The 2013 numbers are still nearly 5 percent lower than the birth rate in 2007, before the economy slumped. There were 39,013 babies born in 2013, compared with 38,686 in 2012 and 40,835 in 2007.

Similar numbers are being reported elsewhere in the country, which experts say is typical during recessions. People apparently have fewer babies because they’re less confident they can support growing families.

Birth rates tend to rebound eventually, but how long it will take is tough to pinpoint, said Gretchen Livingston of the Pew Research Center. The nation’s fertility rate, the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, was at an all-time low in 2013, though it was a bit higher in Iowa than the nation as a whole.

The decline in Iowa births includes a decrease in the number of babies born to teen mothers, which state public health officials say is a victory.  University of Iowa economics professor Alice Schoonbroodt suspects the birth rate will increase more soon, but she’s less confident than she was a year or two ago.  “The longer we go with no change, the more we’re led to believe it’s something permanent,” she said.

Iowa officials seek to improve financial teaching


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa students should be learning how to make informed financial choices as part of their education, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday, as he accepted a series of recommendations from a group charged with reviewing financial literacy teaching in the state.

Iowa school districts are expected to teach certain financial lessons to K-12 students. The group was formed by the state Department of Education to assess the current offerings and provide recommendations for improvement.  Those recommendations include revising the current standards to provide more clarity to districts and establishing ways to measure if school districts are meeting the goals.

“Financial skills are essential. Which is why they are included in Iowa’s academic standards,” Branstad said. “We know our children need to be financially literate in order to have a bright and successful future.”

Department of Education Director Brad Buck said school districts will continue to have flexibility over how they meet these standards. The department has assigned a staff member to oversee the issue of financial literacy and will try to provide resources for teachers and administrators, he said.

Fall giving opportunities


September 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As harvest season approaches, the Cass County Health System Foundation would like to remind area farmers that they can choose to donate a portion of their stored or harvested crops to benefit our friends and neighbors by enhancing healthcare services and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

There are a number of advantages to donating crops instead of cash. Not only is the value of the grain excluded from income, which results in lower taxation in federal, state and self-employment taxes, but the grain production costs are deductible as well. CassCounty-HS-2c-logo (3)

The Cass County Health System Foundation is the development arm for Cass County Health System. All monies raised are used for equipment, education and services for Cass County Health System. The Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a qualified 501(C)3 organization, which means gifts to the organization are tax deductible.

Contact Dawn Marnin, CCHS Foundation Director at 712.243.7409, or email her at mardd@casshealth.org, for more information.