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Healing Garden Ribbon Cutting held in Atlantic


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Ambassadors and Cass County Health System staff were on hand this (Thursday) morning, during a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cass County Memorial Hospital’s new “Healing Garden.”

Dawn Marnin cuts the ribbon, with Atlantic Ambassadors

Dawn Marnin, Cass County Hospital Memorial Foundation Director, said the project was made possible at the start, by a gift from the Al and Chris Wernimont family. Al and his family wanted to help provide the healing feature at CCMH after they experienced the benefits of a natural setting during his cancer treatments.  It’s designed as a quiet space, where family members can go while their loved ones are in the hospital.  Marnin says there are measurable benefits to a Healing Garden, such as improving mood, reducing blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, relaxation of muscles, and the perception pain is lessened.

A view of the Healing Garden

Dawn says there have been a number of donations in support of the project, including nearly all of the Cass County Health System employees.  She says she asked for 100-percent participation from their employees, and received 90-percent, which Marnin says is “absolutely huge.” She says the Atlantic and the residents of Cass County have been extremely supportive as well. The goal was to raise $300,000. At last report, Marnin says they had raised nearly $250,000. She thanked everyone who contributed any amount they could for the project.

Another view of the Healing Garden at CCMH

Dawn says people are often surprised by the garden and the effect it has.  It’s equipped with trickling water fountains, colorful flowers, trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses and a pergola for shade. There’s also an outdoor barbeque, which is designed for families who have to make an extended stay while their loved one is receiving treatment, but for hospital employee recognition events.  Donations are still being accepted to help pay for the Healing Garden, which Marnin says will eventually be open 24-hours per day.

Opportunities are also still available for you to purchase walkway paving bricks, bubbler fountains, and other amenities. For more information, call 71-243-7409, or go to www.casshealth.org.

SW 8 Senior Svcs seeks Advocates


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Southwest 8 Senior Services, a member of the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, say they are seeking passionate, engaged citizens who care about the needs of older Iowans to join their Advocacy Team. The organization is in need of volunteer advocates in southwest Iowa who live in or near the newly designated Iowa House Districts 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, and 24 and Iowa Senate Districts 8, 9, 11, and 12 to help Southwest 8 communicate with  candidates and elected officials about issues that affect Iowa’s seniors. 

This is a great opportunity for any older Iowan, a family caregiver of an older Iowan, or any Iowa resident who cares about the care and support of Iowa’s elderly population.  An Advocacy Training session will be held Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 1:30-pm, at Southwest 8 Senior Services in Council Bluffs.  To register for the training or to learn more about the great opportunity to engage in the legislative process, call Kelly Butts at Southwest 8 Senior Services:  712-328-2540 or 800-432-9209 ext. 1013.

Bow Hunting permit applications available in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green says anyone interested in bow hunting within the City limits of Atlantic, for the hunting year 2012-2013, can receive the necessary permit applications at the Police Department during normal business hours (8-a.m. to 4-p.m.). The permit will allow you to harvest antlerless deer only.

Green says permit applications need to be picked up and filled out prior to qualification try outs on August 18th at 10-a.m., or on August 22nd, at 6-p.m., at the Sunnyside Park, by the old school house.

Land owners who would like to allow a bow hunter to hunt on their land should call the Police Department at 712-243-3512 during normal business hours, and sign-up. The hunt is allowed under the City’s Urban Deer Control Ordinance.

SW IA men arrested on burglary warrants


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say two southwest Iowa men were arrested on warrants charging them with burglary. 27-year-old Seth William Rogers, of Shenandoah, was arrested on a Page County warrant for 3rd degree burglary. Rogers was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond.

And, 27-year-old Kenton Jarvis Schooling, of Red Oak, was arrested a Montgomery County warrant charging him with two counts of forgery, and a Page County warrant for 3rd degree burglary. Schooling was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond associated with the charges in Montgomery County, and $5,000 bond for the charges in Page County.

Villisca woman arrested after call for help


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say an 18-year old female was arrested Wednesday night after she called authorities to say she was intoxicated, and needed help. Cassidy M. Colebank, of Villisca, called for help at around 11:35-p.m. She told authorities she was near the City Hall in Villisca, and by a parts store.

When deputies arrived, Colebank was laying on the sidewalk in front of the parts store, and was allegedly intoxicated. She acknowledged she had been drinking, but denied using anything other than alcohol. Colebank was checked-out by Villisca Rescue, but otherwise refused medical treatment.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says her Blood Alcohol Content was .110. The legal limit for intoxication in Iowa, is .08.  Colebank, who was charged with Public Intoxication, was transported to the Montgomery County Jail without incident. Her bond was set at $300.

Western IA teacher charged with drug possession


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A report in the Omaha World-Herald says a 4th grade  teacher with the West Monona Community School District in Onawa is facing a possession of methamphetamine charge, after authorities found her with meth hidden inside an artificial sweetener packet, tucked in her purse. 43-year old Karen Kay Bartelson was taken into custody west of Onawa, July 21st.  Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also found to be in her possession. Barteleson was arrested along with two other people, who were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Lyle Schwartz, superintendent of the district, told the paper that administrators will wait for the outcome of the criminal investigation before deciding on Bartelson’s future with the district.

Annual Sales Tax holiday is Friday and Saturday


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The state’s annual sales tax holiday is this Friday and Saturday (August 3,4). Iowa Department of Revenue spokesperson, Victoria Daniels, says the holiday suspends the sales tax on purchases of shoes and clothes. “Basically anything that you can wear that is under a hundred dollars and qualifies as clothing and footwear, then you can purchase that tax free,” Daniels explains. She says the holiday was created as a way to help families save on back-to-school purchases, but you don’t have to be going to school to take advantage.

The rules are very specific about what qualifies for the tax exemption. “Anything that you would consider to be like an accessory, you know that’s not really clothing. Things like backpacks…specialized sports equipment, anything that you would use to repair clothing, those types of things don’t really qualify,” Daniels says. “It’s apparel, that you wear on your feet and your body, that’s about it.” Daniels says this is the 13th year for the sales tax holiday. The state first started collecting data on the holiday in 2006.  “It looks like the amount of sales reported on this day has grown at a pretty good rate, not huge. It did take a dive in 2008, which I think was around the time the economy went downhill, and so that’s to be expected. But it’s been climbing back up since then and has actually exceeded the amount reported in 2007,” according to Daniels.

Figures show many Iowans took advantage of the tax savings last year. “Retailers self-reported about 14-point-six million dollars worth of sales. And so if you multiply that by the six-percent state tax rate, that’s about 877-thousand dollars. Now that doesn’t include any local option sales tax,” Daniels says. There’s an additional one percent in savings for the areas that have a local option sales tax. You can find out more about the sales tax holiday at: www.iowa.gov/tax.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought now blamed for rising gasoline prices in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here’s something else to blame on the prolonged heat wave — higher gasoline prices. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the increase has been gradual, but definite, over the past several weeks of the continuing, blistering hot spell. “In Iowa, as an example, the current average is $3.47, a month ago, it was $3.37,” Weinholzer says. “So, Iowa’s seen about a dime increase in the last month.” The price of gas in Iowa ranges from as low as $3.32 a gallon in Sioux City to as high as $3.49 in Des Moines. The national average is $3.52 a gallon. Weinholzer says there are several reasons for the hike. “One, certainly is the higher global oil prices as well as higher demand because of the busy, summer driving season, along with the higher ethanol prices due to the drought that many areas of the country are seeing,” she says.

As corn plants suffer in the fields from the heat, the price of corn is skyrocketing due to the expected lower supply come harvest time. Weinholzer says gas prices should remain mostly flat through Labor Day but will likely begin to fall in September. “If there’s an increase at all, it will be slight and after Labor Day, we’ll start to see prices decline if everything goes as expected,” she says. Market developments that could change the August forecast include: strengthening or worsening of the global economy, U-S employment data, the hurricane season and geopolitical events in the Middle East.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought: Half of US counties now disaster areas

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than half of U.S. counties now are classified by the federal government as natural disaster areas mostly because of the drought. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday added 218 counties in a dozen states as disaster areas. That brings this year’s total to 1,584 in 32 states, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Iowa. The latest additions make drought-affected farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid including emergency loans. The USDA also announced ranchers may access some 3.8 million acres of conservation land for haying and grazing, and crop insurance companies have agreed to provide farmers a penalty-free grace period on insurance premiums in 2012.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Aug. 2nd 2012


August 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad had ordered flags flown at half-staff to honor an Army soldier with Iowa ties who was killed in Afghanistan. Twenty-five-year-old Sergeant Michael Ristau of Rockford, Illinois was assigned to a Washington state unit when died on July 13th after an attack in Zabul province. Branstad on Wednesday ordered all U.S. flags and state flags at state buildings and grounds be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. tomorrow until 8 a.m. Monday.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than half of U.S. counties now are classified by the federal government as natural disaster areas mostly because of the drought. The U.S. Agriculture Department added 218 counties in a dozen states as disaster areas yesterday. That brings this year’s total to 1,584 in 32 states, including Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois.

NEW YORK (AP) — An independent group supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election is preparing a $30 million advertising blitz in six battleground states this fall. A person familiar with the plans says Priorities USA Action has reserved television ad time in September in Iowa and three other states. News of the ad buy was first reported yesterday by The Washington Post.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Newton doctor accused by state regulators of loosely prescribing narcotic drugs, including to people with a history of addiction, has surrendered his license. Doctor Lafayette Twyner also agreed to pay $10,000 fine this week to settle allegations brought against him by the Iowa Board of Medicine.