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Ernst introduces bill to cut barriers to tele-medicine for veterans


October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, is the lead sponsor on a bill that would ease some of the restrictions on tele-medicine use to help veterans. “Tele-health is one of the V-A’s major transformational initiatives to achieve patient-centered affordable and convenient health care for our veterans. My legislation would build on these improvements for disabled or rural veterans by expanding the tele-health services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Ernst says.

She says the VETS Act would allowing qualified health professionals to operate across state lines and conduct tele-health services, including mental health care treatment for veterans.  “Under current law, the V-A may only waive the state license requirement for tele-health services if both the patient and physician are located in a federally-owned facility. Additionally, the V-A may only perform at-home tele-health care when the patient and the physician are located in the same state,” Ernst says.

She says it’s particularly important for veterans in rural areas. “My legislation works to overcome rural health care challenges and provide easier access to health services for our disabled veterans, so they may lead more independent lives in their own homes and their local communities,” Ernst says. Iowa is a rural state, but Ernst is not sure how many veterans might need the service here.

She says there are some 225-thousand veterans in Iowa, but she does not have exact numbers on how many might benefit from this change. The Veterans Administration health system has had a variety of issues and Ernst says there’s is still a lot to be done to solve them. “I would love to say that I’ve seen great improvement in the V-A, but I can’t say that right now,” according to Ernst. Ernst hopes this bill will pass and help with some of the issues with getting the proper care in a timely manner.

“I think we are blessed in the Midwest to have some great care — however across the nation if you look at the situation with the V-A’s– we are still experiencing delays in treatment for our veterans. So, we still have a number of issues that need to be resolved,” Ernst says. “I am committed to continuing that fight for our veterans.” Ernst says the bill has bipartisan support along with lead co-sponsor, Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

Ernst says tele-health reduced the number of days in a hospital for care by 54 percent and saves veterans on average two-thouSand dollars each year.

(Radio Iowa)

(Update ) Fatal House fire north of Anita Friday morning


October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office says one person died and another suffered from smoke inhalation during a house fire early this (Friday) morning, north of Anita. The call about the fire at 74566 Boone Road (about a mile south of Interstate 80 off of Highway 148) came in at around 12:43-a.m. Anita Fire Chief Josh Peach told KJAN News there was heavy smoke coming from the rural residence and flames showing from the second floor. The flames were attacked and quickly extinguished.

Photos from the scene of the fire

Photos from the scene of the fire

The house, owned by Brad Barber, was occupied by two elderly residents.  Peach says one of the victims, a male, was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, after was having difficulty breathing due to smoke inhalation. The other person died at the scene, in the upper floor of the home. State Fire Investigator John Ticer says an initial investigation determined the fire was caused an electrical malfunction in wiring within the wall of the second floor of the residence. The cause was deemed accidental. Ticer will not release the names of the victims until later today.

Anita Fire was on the scene until around 5:45-a.m., conducting mop-up and other related activities.

(Update 3:25-a.m.) House fire north of Anita Friday morning


October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to look into the cause of a house fire early this (Friday) morning, north of Anita. The call from a location about a mile south of Interstate 80 off of Highway 148 came in at around 12:43-a.m.  Anita Fire Chief Josh Peach told KJAN News when they arrived on the scene there was heavy smoke coming from the rural residence and flames showing from the second floor. The flames were attacked and quickly extinguished.

One person, an elderly male was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Anita Rescue for treatment of smoke inhalation. Peach would not confirm a female resident of the home died in the fire, pending notification of relatives, but Cass County Medical Examiner Dr. Elaine Berry was on the scene within about 90-minutes.

There’s been no official word on what may have caused the fire. Additional information is being withheld at this time, pending the results of the State Fire Marshal’s investigation. We should know more later this morning.

Red Oak man arrested for Possession of Stolen Property


October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak Thursday evening, arrested one person in connection with a theft that occurred Monday. 24-year old Michael Eugene Sickels, of Red Oak, was arrested just before 6-p.m. Thursday on a felony Possession of Stolen Property charge, for property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $10,000. Sickels was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond, with additional charges and arrests still possible.

House fire in rural Anita Fri. morning


October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota were called to the scene of a residential fire early this (Friday) morning, about three-miles northeast of Anita. The call came in at around 12:43-a.m. When law enforcement arrived on the scene near 750th and Boone Road, they saw heavy black smoke but no immediate report of flames coming from the structure where an elderly male and female reside. The male resident was outside the home, but the female was believed to still be inside on the upper floor.

Additional information is currently not available.

Exira man arrested on Domestic Abuse charges


October 8th, 2015 by Chris Parks

An Exira man has been arrested on Domestic Abuse and other charges after an incident Wednesday.  The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office arrested 57-year-old Charles Floyd Darrell for Domestic Abuse Assault 3rd, Domestic Abuse Assault Impeding Normal Breathing, and False Report to Communications with Public Safety Entities.

The charges stem from an incident at Darrell’s residence in the 1400 block of 300th Street on Wednesday, October 7th.  He was taken to the Audubon County Jail and held on $5,000 bond.  A preliminary hearing was set for October 22nd at 9:30am.

2nd Floor Committee to hold additional open house events in Atlantic


October 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A committee hoping to see a positive outcome for an $875,000 bond measure on November 3rd in Atlantic, is offering the public additional chances prior to the vote, to tour the second and third floors of the Atlantic City Hall. Funds from the bond, if approved, would be used for improvements, including making those floors handicapped accessible, and allowing for the space to be user friendly for private and public events.

The ReOpen 2nd Floor of City Hall Committee says an open house will be held Friday (Oct. 9th), at 4:30-p.m., after the Homecoming Parade, and on Saturday (Oct. 10th), from 4-until 6-p.m., before the Atlantic Fireman’s Parade. Two additional open houses will be held during Produce in the Park next Thursday (Oct. 15th, from 5:30-until 7:30-p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 31st, from 2:30-to 4:30-p.m., and then again from 7:30-until 9-p.m. You’re invited to wear a costume during the Halloween Open House.

The events will give you a chance to tour of the second and third floors of City Hall that have, until just recently, been closed to the public for approximately 40 years.

Montgomery County Auditor reminder: Absentee ballots are available


October 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Auditor/Election Commissioner Stephanie Burke reminds residents in her county that Absentee Ballots are available and absentee voting is underway, in advance of the Nov. 3rd City Elections.

Burke says 5-p.m. Friday, October 23rd is the deadline to pre-register to vote for the Regular City Election. That applies to registration in person (including registration at driver’s license stations or agencies) or by mail. After Friday, a person may register to vote at the Auditor’s Office and vote an absentee ballot. The process is the same as for registering to vote on Election Day and specific documentation must be provided. If possible, please register before Election Day.

Friday, October 30th at 5-p.m. is the deadline to request an Absentee Ballot be mailed to your for the Regular City Election. And, Tuesday, November 3rd, is Election Day. The polls will be open in Montgomery County from 7-a.m. until 8-p.m.

Polling Places include: Red Oak Gold Fair Building (Precinct 1), Red Oak Fire Station (Precinct 2), First Christian Church (Precinct 3), Elliott Community Building (Precinct 4), Grant Fire Station (Precinct 5), Stanton Fire Department (Precinct 6) and Villisca Community Building (Precinct 7)

Those requesting Absentee Ballots by mail should complete their requests as soon as possible and return them to the Auditor’s Office. The Montgomery County Auditor’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. If anyone has questions about voter registration, absentee ballots, or voting, call the Auditor’s Office at 712-623-5127 or visit www.montgomerycountyiowa.com

Atlantic woman arrested on drug & other charges


October 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports six people were arrested over the past week. 23-year old Ashly Rollins, of Atlantic, was arrested Wednesday on two charges of Possession of a Schedule 4 controlled substances (Prescription drugs), Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Drug, Operating under the influence, and Driving while license denied or revoked.

On Tuesday, officers with the A-PD arrested 34-year old Chad Ewing, of Atlantic, for Public Intoxication. And as we reported earlier, Harold Shoemaker, of Atlantic, was arrested Monday on a warrant for Failure to Appear in Court.

Last Friday, Atlantic Police arrested 33-year old Melanie Mullen, of Atlantic, for Theft in the 5th degree (for allegedly taking a bottle of alcohol), Theft in the 5th degree (gas drive-off related), and Driving Under Suspension. That same day, 26-year old Mykel Thoren, of Atlantic, was arrested for Burglary in the 3rd degree, and Theft in the 3rd and 5th degrees. The charges stem from a vehicle break-in incident, according to the Police department.

All suspects were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board discusses 5-year plan

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors held a special meeting Wednesday evening to draft a 5-year plan for Parks and Recreation in the Community. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring told KJAN News they plan to meet on Oct. 21st and narrow down their wish list and developing a time-line, prior to presenting it to the City Council at budget time.

The Board, according to Herring said its number one priority is the continued development of the Schildberg Recreation area, and the seeking out of grant funds from Vision Iowa and other sources, especially with regard to the campground area. That includes getting electricity and water hook-ups established. Other, continued improvements the Parks Board wants to see include those for Sunnyside Park. That means refurbishing the smaller shelters, add better lighting and new paint jobs.

They also looked at grants for adding a shelter on the west side of the Schildberg Rec Area, including electrical connections. Other, phased-in plans over the next five-years for the entire parks system, include the upgrading of playground equipment in all of the parks, making them handicapped accessible, and establishing a focus group to determine upgrades to the swimming pool.