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Turn off the electronics and enjoy each other


May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Everyone has been asked to turn off the T-V, computer, apps and video games as part of “Screen-Free Week.” Sara Adelmann, spokeswoman for Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, says one study estimates that school-age children spend more time with screen media than in any other activity except sleeping. Adelmann says, “What we ask during Screen-Free Week is for children and adults to give up digital entertainment for seven days and to spend that extra time reading, playing, daydreaming, enjoying the outdoors and reconnecting with family and friends and participating in other offline fun.”

A recent survey found that just in the past two years, the time children spend on media devices has tripled. While visiting the organization’s website will demand the use of a computer screen, she’s hoping you’ll get some ideas at screen-free-dot-org and then switch off the computer. “We have a list of 101 activities that you can do screen-free, for example: write a story, read a book, write a letter, write to your favorite author, draw with chalk outside, make playdough, host a potluck,” Adelmann says. “There are a lot of activities you can do that don’t involve screens and most of them don’t cost a whole lot.”

Excessive screen time can be linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problems and poor sleep time, while it’s becoming more of an issue as tablets and smart phones become more common. Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to give up screentime. “What we ask during Screen-Free Week is that you give up digital entertainment,” Adelmann says. “We absolutely understand that people can’t give up screen use for work or homework. We’re really asking people to try to figure out ways to have fun and spend your extra time involved in offline activities.”

Two Iowa communities are taking a very active role this week, including Alleman in central Iowa and Muscatine in eastern Iowa. Events include an old-time fishing event, a mother-daughter spa day and a father-son dodgeball night, along with family activities at bowling alleys, batting cages and libraries.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., May 7th 2014


May 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

STANTON, Iowa (AP) — A human chain of more than 400 people in western Iowa has helped move books from an old library to a new one. People in the small community of Stanton lined the streets Tuesday to pass the books from the old library in the downtown area to a new community building. People moved about 3,000 books in about an hour and a half. The new library is expected to open this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A suspect in a homicide case in Chicago has been captured in central Iowa. The U.S. Marshals Services says the Southern Iowa Fugitive Task Force arrested 20-year-old Daryl D. Lee on Monday afternoon in Des Moines. The Chicago Police Department says Lee is a suspect in the January shooting death of 16-year-old Marquise Harris. Lee remains at the Polk County Jail awaiting extradition back to Chicago.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The editor of the Newton Daily News has been fired a week after he posted in a personal blog a message that said gay organizations are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’ ” Bob Eschliman had worked at the newspaper since June 2012. The 4,000-circulation newspaper delivered five days a week announced in a news story and an editorial in Tuesday’s edition that Eschliman was no longer its editor.

READLYN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say the death of a man found dead inside a northeast Iowa home that was damaged by fire has been ruled an accident. The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner says 64-year-old Richard Michael Elliot died Sunday at his residence in Readlyn (REED’-lihn). The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

Human chain links libraries in western Iowa


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

STANTON, Iowa (AP) — A human chain of more than 400 people in western Iowa has helped move books from an old library to a new one. People in the small community of Stanton lined the streets Tuesday to pass the books from the old library in the downtown area to a new community building.

The Omaha World-Herald reports people moved about 3,000 books in about an hour and a half. About another 3,000 books were moved prior to Tuesday’s event because they were either too big or too delicate for the human chain. Another 2,000 books will be transported a different way.

The new library is expected to open this month.

Public hearing Wed. in Atlantic on disposal of property


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing during its meeting Wednesday evening. The hearing is with regard to the disposal of property at 405 West 4th Street. During the last Council meeting, City Attorney Dave Wiederstein reported the vacant, half-lot was tax acquired by the City, and was not is buildable. A public hearing is required before the Council can act on approving the sale of the property.

The Council will also act on a motion to refer to the Planning and Zoning Commission, a proposal to vacate an alley located between 1106 E. 7th Street and 1200 E. 7th Street. City Administrator Doug Harris says his assistant, John Lund, has been working with the Cass County Assessor’s Office to get ride of some so-called “Phantom” alleys and streets found in the City’s plat map book. The streets are held by the City, and Harris says restoring them back to private property owners would put those locations on the tax rolls. He says there is a person interested in buying the alley mentioned. Neither AMU nor the Atlantic Street Department has an issue with the vacating of the alley, according to Harris.

In other business, the Council hold the first reading of an amendment to the City’s Code of Ordinances, with regard to “Flood Plain Regulations.” John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, has been designated by the State, as the City’s official Flood Plain Manager. As such, he’s been working with the DNR to make sure the Flood Plain Ordinance meets the necessary requirements set forth by FEMA and the Iowa DNR.

The proposed amendments to the Ordinance include modifying the definitions of “Development,” “Minor Projects,” and “Routine Maintenance of Existing buildings and Facilities.” And additional amendment requires the Iowa DNR to approve alterations or relocations with regard to Flood Plain Management Standards.

The Atlantic City Council will also consider a request by the Jaycees to shoot-off fireworks at the Airport on July 4th, during the annual holiday celebration.

4 Peace Officers to be honored this Friday


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

This Friday, the State of Iowa and Governor Terry E. Branstad will honor four officers killed in the line of duty.

Iowa Peace Office Memorial

Iowa Peace Office Memorial

Each of these men died while serving to protect and keep Iowa communities safe:

Police Officer Jamie D. Buenting, Rockwell City Police Department. Died September 13, 2013
City Marshal Robert C. Coulter, Farmington Police Department. Died December 21, 1902
City Marshal Reuben Fenstenmaker, Farmington Police Department. Died January 1, 1868
Town Marshal Joseph Kashmetter, Alton Police Department. Died March 27, 1911

The public is invited to attend the event at the Peace Office Memorial in Des Moines (at the Oran Pape State Office Building, 215 East 7th Street), beginning at 10-a.m. Friday. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the rotunda of the State Capitol.

Officials say if you are unable to attend this year’s ceremony, there are many ways you can observe National Police Week. Simply  take time and thank current peace officers for protecting and serving your community and the State of Iowa.

Cramer talks about building a bridge to fiscal solvency


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Robert Cramer, Republican candidate for U-S Congress in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District stopped by the KJAN studios Tuesday morning. Cramer is one of six Republican candidates who hope to win the June Primary to challenge Democrat Staci Appel for Tom Latham’s House of Representatives seat in Washington. Latham announced late last year he would not be seeking re-election. Iowa’s Third Congressional District includes Council Bluffs, Des Moines and much of southwest Iowa.cramer

Cramer says coming down the final stretch – the final four weeks – to the Primary, he’ll put his experience building bridges as a licensed, professional engineer to use in an attempt to “rebuild” Washington. He says he has the “blueprint” for fixing Washington. It starts he says, with balancing the budget with a 5-year plan, reducing debt and removing regulations that prevent small business people from hiring.

He says part of the way to fix Washington’s seemingly endless gridlock on issues of importance to Americans, is for the Republican party to find common ground in order to create a substantive plan to move forward. Cramer says Iowans are telling him their hope is fading that the country’s current fiscal mess can be turned around, but he’s confident Republicans can make the changes needed to turn that hope into a promise.

Cramer says Iowan’s shouldn’t have to choose between candidates who stand for Conservative values or the fiscally responsible businessman. He says they can get both by electing him in the Primary.

Cass County Supervisors approve bridge project & MH/GA Director wage adjustment


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday), approved the plans for a bridge replacement project located about one-eighth of a mile east of 648th Street, on Jackson Road (the Landfill Road). Cass County Engineer Charles Marker said bids for the project will be let on August 19th. Marker says the bridge, which is being designed in-house, will be an 80-foot long, triple-span structure that’s 30-feet wide.

The current bridge is only about 24-feet wide. Markers says the new structure will allow bigger pieces of equipment to move across the current two-span structure. Marker said also, a request for a public hearing on the vacating of a long section of 740th Street in the Massena Township has been withdrawn, because the person making the request had second thoughts on the matter.

With regard to the level B, or dirt roads in the county that get torn-up by fun seekers in 4-wheel drive vehicles after it rains, Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner said citations have been issued to those who knowingly and intentionally cause damage to those roads. Feistner said the culprits were cited for either Failure to Maintain Control or Criminal Mischief for “What appear to be clear acts beyond the norm of – the use of the road – where they’ve gone out and torn roads up.”

Feistner said he’s working with the Secondary Roads Dept. to come up what amount of restitution the perpetrators might pay to repair the roads which have been too badly damaged intentionally. Feistner said Criminal Mischief is a Simple Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $65. He said the intent is to send a message to those who would purposely tear up the county’s roads, that you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

In other business, the Cass County Board of Supervisors approved a wage adjustment increase of $4,000 (to $45,000) for newly appointed full-time Mental Health and General Assistance Director Deb Schuler. Last week, the Board had discussed moving her wage up to that which was last paid to the former MD/DD/GA Director, but they felt the adjustment which was approved was more equitable. The Board also voted to place ads in the paper and elsewhere for the position, the vacancy term for which expires on June 30th.

Recent Brush Fire Related Deaths Cause Concern

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal Division and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ Burn Treatment Center are warning Iowans of the alarming number of brush fire-related deaths and injuries. Officials say between February and April this year, the U-I Burn Treatment Center reports three people have died and three others have been injured as a result of brush fires. During that same time period last year, 2013, the Burn Treatment Center reported one death and one injury from burns sustained in brush fires. All four deaths were of people ages 75 years and older. Not all of these victims were Iowans; some were flown in from surrounding states.

As more Iowans begin burning brush, officials warn people to keep a close eye on the dry and windy conditions. Brush fires can pose a serious threat to lives and property when out of control. The recent spike in senior adult deaths related to brush fires has officials warning that the risk of injury increases as one’s agility, vision and hearing diminish.

To prevent the spread of brush fires and other debris, keep in mind the following:

  • Check for county burn bans, city restrictions and with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Air Quality before conducting any open burning.
  • Never burn on dry and windy days.
  • Have water and tools on hand to extinguish anything that may escape the burn area.
  • Do NOT burn alone, always have another person with you.
  • Do NOT leave a fire unattended.
  • Call 911 immediately if a fire does get out of hand.

2 thefts and 1 arrest in Harlan


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harlan are investigating two incidents of theft. On Monday, a Manilla resident reported a break-in and theft at her property located in the 2100 block of 7th Street, in Harlan. Officials say there was significant damage to the doors and windows and items had been removed from the house. This case remains under investigation.

And, on Saturday, May 3rd, officers with the Harlan P-D were called to Merrill Field, in the 1000 block of Elm Street, where it was reported that someone had broken into the construction trailer belonging to Nemaha Landscape Construction . Numerous tools and a generator were reported missing. The case remains under investigation.

In other news, the Harlan Police Department reports 41-year old Rebecca Schaben, of Harlan, was arrested following a traffic stop, Friday. Schaben was cited for driving under suspension, fail to prove security against liability, and operation without registration. The woman was cited and then released.

(Updated) 2 accidents in Cass County, Monday – 1 fatal


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says two accidents took place Monday, one of which resulted in a fatality. As we mentioned during our earlier newscasts, 37-year old Douglas Bryan Miller, of Cumberland died following a single-vehicle rollover accident late Monday night. Officials say the crash occurred just before 11-p.m. one-half mile east of Cumberland, on Quincy Road. Miller was transported by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.The accident remains under investigation. Miller worked as a part-time announcer for KJAN, under the name “Doug Evans.”

The second accident happened at around 6-p.m., Monday, on Independence Road at 585th Street. The Sheriff’s Dept. says a 1998 Chevy Cavalier driven by 17-year old Olivia Lea Klenda, of Kimballton, was traveling east on Independence Road when the teen lost control on a curve where the road becomes 585th Street.

The vehicle entered the east ditch and rolled once before landing on its wheels. Neither Klenda nor her passenger were injured. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $6,000. Klenda was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.