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Iowa official terminates contract with Medicaid company


December 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An official has terminated Iowa’s contract with a private company that was scheduled to help manage the state’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program. Iowa Department of Administrative Services Director Janet Phipps released a report Friday night that terminates the Iowa Department of Human Services’ contract with WellCare of Iowa.

Phipps was selected by Governor Terry Branstad to review an administrative law judge’s recommendation that WellCare be dropped over allegations that it didn’t properly disclose information about fraud or mismanagement during its bid for a contract. WellCare officials have said they disagree with the judge’s ruling.

Phipps’ report upholds the state’s contracts with Amerigroup Iowa, AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa and UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley. A spokesman for Branstad says the governor’s office is still reviewing the decision.

FCC & West Central merger approved

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of Farmers Cooperative Company (FC), in Ames, and West Central® Cooperative, in Ralston, have both approved the merger of their cooperatives effective April 1st, 2016.  West Central Board Chair and Paton, Iowa-area farmer Sue Tronchetti said  “In this merger vote, our members were presented with a rare opportunity to combine two strong, financially-stable cooperatives in a merger of equals to maintain local ownership for generations to come.”  FC Chief Executive Officer Jim Chism added “We are pleased the memberships approved the boards’ recommendation. We are confident that together, we will become an even stronger cooperative and be better positioned to help improve the economic well-being of our member-owners.”

Each membership met Iowa’s state voting requirement for a successful cooperative merger as certified by independent auditing firm of Gardiner Thomsen. To approve a merger, Iowa law requires at least 50 percent of each membership (plus one) to vote, with two-thirds of those casting ballots voting in favor of the merger. West Central President and CEO Milan Kucerak will become the CEO of the newly formed cooperative.

The unified cooperative, to be known as Landus Cooperative, will be led by current West Central President and CEO Milan Kucerak and be headquartered in Ames. The board of directors will be made up of nine directors from each cooperative for equal representation. More information on any changes will be provided in coming months as integration plans are finalized.

Together, West Central and FC have more than 70 grain, agronomy and feed locations in 26 Iowa and three Minnesota counties. According to World Grain magazine’s Grain and Milling Annual, Landus Cooperative will become the seventh largest grain company in North America based on storage capacity and have shuttle-loading access on all seven major Iowa rail lines.

7AM Newscast 12-19-2015

News, Podcasts

December 19th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


Theft arrest in Red Oak Friday


December 19th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Red Oak Police Department reports the arrest of a Red Oak man for Theft on Friday.  At 7:31pm Officers arrested 41-year-old Troy Alan Myers for 5th Degree Theft on North Broadway Street in Red Oak.  Myers was taken to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and is being held on $300 cash bond.

CCHS Foundation Campaign Kicks Off


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS), says the Foundation’s 2016 Annual Campaign is now underway with a goal of raising $54,000 to purchase two critical pieces of patient care equipment. Dawn Marnin, CCHS Foundation Director
“Our plan is to purchase a new coagulation analyzer for the Laboratory and a ventilator for Respiratory Therapy. We’re determined to be the best rural hospital in the country, which means we are committed to staying at the cutting edge of technology as medical care advances.”

The coagulation analyzer performs more than 400 PT/INR tests each month, which is a test to measure how quickly your blood clots. This machine is essential for patients who have been on the medication Coumadin or Warfarin, and it’s also used before surgeries to reduce the risk of unexpected bleeding during surgery. The coagulation analyzer can also be used to detect blood clots.

CCHS employees Mitch Whiley, MLS (ASCP) and Chelsea Johnson, MLT are shown working together in the laboratory. The CCHS Foundation 2016 Campaign funds will go towards the purchase of new equipment for the department.

CCHS employees Mitch Whiley, MLS (ASCP) and Chelsea Johnson, MLT are shown working together in the laboratory. The CCHS Foundation 2016 Campaign funds will go towards the purchase of new equipment for the department.

Mitch Whiley, MLS (ASCP), Director of Laboratory Services noted, “This analyzer will bring some exciting new technology previously not available at our facility. We are thankful for the community’s support so that we can continue to provide excellent care for our patients.”

The second piece of equipment that the Foundation is fundraising for is a new ventilator. For critically ill patients, a ventilator can take over the work of breathing. The ventilator that CCHS will purchase is a versatile model that can be used on all patients—from newborns on up—and it can be used for both non-invasive and invasive therapy. It’s also very portable, making it easy to quickly transport to a patient in need.

The CCHS Foundation was established in 1968 to support the hospital’s mission by funding services, programs, and equipment. For more information or to make a donation, contact Dawn Marnin, CCHS Foundation Director, at 712-243-7409, dmarnin@casshealth.org or via the CCHS website, www.casshealth.org.

Cass County Democrats to hold fundraiser Jan. 2nd – O’Malley guest speaker


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Democratic Party will hold a fundraiser at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic on Saturday, January 2, 2016. Officials say s full luncheon will be provided, starting at 12:30-p.m. The cost of admission is $25 per person, with funds raised to be used by the local party to help cover expenses of the upcoming caucus and election seasons.

Sherry Toelle, Cass County Democratic Chair, is requesting RSVP’s to her by December 28th. “We want to make sure we have enough food and enough seating for everyone but people are still welcome to attend without a reservation, if they are unable to RSVP by the 28th.”

Presidential candidate Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland will speak during the event at 2-p.m., January 2nd. Invitations have also been sent to the two other Presidential candidates Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders but neither has confirmed as of this date (Dec. 18th). Iowa Senatorial and Congressional candidates as well as local candidates have also been invited to the event.

This is the first event in Cass County at which any of the Democratic Presidential candidates will have attended. Contact Sherry Toelle at 243-4861 with any questions about the event.

Bluffs man arrested on harassment & other charges; school placed on lockdown


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs arrested a man following a domestic disturbance late Friday morning, and charged him with Harassment in the 1st Degree and Interference with Official Acts. 19-year old Matthew Michael Kissell, of Council Bluffs, was taken into custody at around Noon and booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Authorities says officers were dispatched at around 11:47-a.m. to a residence at 1427 Ave F. Upon officers arrival it was determined that Kissell was still inside the residence and had made threats to shoot an adult relative and any responding police officers. A perimeter was set up outside the residence. Officers were able to make verbal contact with the man, who surrendered peacefully and was taken into
custody after exiting the home.

No one was injured during the incident and no weapons were ever located. During the incident, the staff at nearby Roosevelt Elementary School was notified to put their school into “lockout” until this situation could be resolved. Roosevelt Elementary was placed in “lockout” for approximately 30 minutes.

Pott. County man fined & sentenced to prison for filing a false tax return


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man was sentenced Thursday to jail time and fined, for filing a false tax return. Chief U-S District Court Judge John A. Jarvey sentenced 62-year old Craig A. Tripp, of Avoca, to three months imprisonment and fined him $15,000 for filing a false 2009 tax return. In addition, Tripp was ordered to serve one year of supervised release following his prison term. According to the plea agreement, Tripp agreed to pay his tax liability, in an amount to be determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

At the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Jarvey found Tripp failed to provide for an accurate accounting of his profits derived from the sale of beer and other items from his business, the Blue Moon Bar and Grill in Avoca, Iowa. Chief Judge Jarvey also found Tripp had failed to report business profits on his 2007, 2008, and 2010 federal tax returns.

The matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

(12-p.m. news)

Audubon County Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports an Audubon County man was sentenced to slightly more than a year in prison on drug charges. 27-year old Brock Daniel Knapp, of Exira, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey to 12 months and a day in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Knapp was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.

According to the plea agreement, beginning in June of 2014, Knapp assisted in the distribution of methamphetamine by delivering money from the sale of methamphetamine to methamphetamine suppliers involved in the conspiracy.

The matter was investigated by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Dog racing to end in Council Bluffs due to lack of interest


December 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Lack of interest has caused dog racing in Council Bluffs to come to an end.  The Daily Nonpareil reports that the last race is scheduled for Friday at Bluffs Run by Horseshoe Casino. According to Bo Guidry, Horseshoe’s senior vice president and general manager, interest in dog racing has declined over the years.

Guidry estimates that 50 to 100 people would show up to dog races on any given weekday, and slightly more on weekends. The casino has offered jobs elsewhere to the employees who work full-time at Bluffs Run. Under new legislation, Horseshoe Casino owners would have to pay the Iowa Greyhound Association $9.3 million a year for seven years to continue dog racing in Dubuque.