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“Fairly quiet” tornado season in Iowa

News, Weather

June 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A tornado destroyed about 75 percent of the southwest Iowa town of Thurman in mid-April, the same day a tornado smashed into Creston, doing major damage to a hospital. But State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says other than that outbreak of severe weather, it’s been “fairly quiet” in terms of tornado activity in Iowa this year. “May and June are peak months for tornado activity and June the 9th would be kind of the mid-point to the tornado season, so we’re not quite to the very heart of tornado season — but we’re pretty darned close to it, though,” Hillaker says. “But thus far it’s been, you know, fairly quiet as far as severe weather — both tornadoes and hail, and high winds and such.”

Forecasters recently divided the country into 100-square-mile increments and mapped out tornado touch downs. The research found that in the past 20 years, Iowa has had more tornadoes touch down than all but two states. Recent forecasts indicate a period of calm weather ahead for Iowa. “Of course that could change in just one afternoon and kind of make the season with one bad outbreak,” Hillaker says. “But so far we’ve avoided any really big, widespread events.”

According to the National Weather Service there were 50 tornadoes in Iowa last year. Twenty tornadoes were reported in Iowa on one day — April 9, 2011.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., June 2nd 2012


June 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A Fort Dodge company where specialty gloves were made since 1970 has shut down and laid off 22 workers. The Ansell Hawkeye factory closed on Thursday. Operations Manager Mark Lolley says there were be layoffs at the company’s plants in Arkansas, Illinois and Michigan.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says a man can sue a mother to recover money he spent supporting a daughter she lied about being his own. The court opened the door yesterday to lawsuits against Iowa mothers who engage in paternity fraud. A district judge had ruled last year that such cases were not allowed in Iowa. The court says 28-year-old Joseph Dier of Grundy Center can sue Cassandra Jo Peters for paternity fraud.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Swimmers and other people have returned to the George Wyth (wihth) Lake beach, which had been washed away in June 2008. Cedar River floodwaters had swamped the beach and damaged restrooms and a concessions building. The lake sits on the north side of Waterloo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says he is against stipends for student-athletes, pointing out that there are other places where they can play for money. Bowlsby also says that the Big 12 supports a four-team playoff consisting of the highest-ranked teams to determine college football’s national champion. Bowlsby starts the job on June 15th.

Latham announces IA Disaster Mitigation Grants for Pott. County properties


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, Friday, announced that some Pottawattamie County properties ravaged by Missouri River flooding last summer will receive help in the form of federal disaster grants. The FEMA hazard mitigation grants will be used to buy out 32 residential properties and one commercial property that were damaged beyond repair. Under the grant structure, the federal government will cover 75 percent of the costs, or a total of about $4.77 million, while the state government will cover the remaining costs.


Griswold School Board Special Meeting to be held Monday


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Griswold School Board will gather for a special session Monday afternoon, June 4th. During the 5:30-p.m. meeting at the Middle School/High School Board Room, the Board of Education will act on approving the: Parking Lot Lighting Design; Walkways to the Football/Track Stands; and, a Non-Certified Staff settlement.  The board will also discuss and possibly act on personnel matters.

Summer Pest making the season’s 1st appearance at Carter Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Swimmer’s itch is starting to make its presence known to swimmers at Carter Lake near Council Bluffs. The good news is that parasitic little pest that can cause welts and itching, only lasts a few weeks and is not life-threatening. The condition is caused by flatworms, a parasite.

The flatworm eggs are transferred to water by bird droppings. The eggs hatch and infect snails, from which the free swimming form of the flatworm larvae emerges. In the absence of a suitable host such as a bird, the parasite will attempt to penetrate the skin of humans, and quickly dies after that, causing an allergic reaction below the skin resulting in welts and itching.

Officials say the symptoms are not life threatening and generally disappear within a few days. An antihistamine along with calamine lotion can be used to treat the affected areas. Swimmer’s itch is most prevalent along beaches pounded by waves.

Officials say the most preventive measure is to reduce the amount of time in the water and to quickly dry off when getting out of the lake. For more information on swimmer’s itch visit the following websites:



Shenandoah woman injured during motorcycle accident


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reported today (Friday), one person was taken to the hospital in Clarinda following a motorcycle accident which occurred Monday afternoon. 61-year old Deborah Snyder, of Shenandoah, suffered non-incapacitating injuries, when the 2000 Suzuki Savage she was driving went out of control on a curve, as she was traveling south on M Avenue in Page County. The cycle entered the south ditch and tipped over, causing $500 damage. The accident happened at around 2:45-p.m. No citations were issued.

Sheriff Palmer also reported there were no injuries following two separate vehicle versus deer accidents early this (Friday) morning. At around 3-a.m., a car driven by 20-year old Dakota Kirkpatrick, of Bedford, sustained $3,500 damage, after the man swerved to avoid hitting a deer. The 2003 Kia Spectra went out of control and slid sideways into a ditch, crossed a washout and came to rest against the south embankment. Kirkpatrick tried to drive out of the ditch but ended-up getting stuck. The accident happened about two-miles north of the Iowa-Missouri line, on Highway 2.

The other accident happened at around 6:30-a.m., when a 2007 Toyota driven by 52-year old Randy Leigh, of Council Bluffs, hit a deer on Highway 2. His vehicle sustained $5,000 damage.

Arrest warrants issued for 2 men charged in Pott. County assault


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County say they are looking for two men who are wanted on kidnapping charges. The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office says 29-year old Tabitha Proplesch, of Council Bluffs, was found inside her pickup truck near the Crescent exit on I-29. Sheriff Jeff Danker says when deputies found her, she was restrained by handcuffs and severely beaten.  

Troopers from the Iowa State Patrol and deputies from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department found Proplesch around 2:30pm Thursday. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Through the investigation with the Department of Criminal Investigation, 38 year old Brian Bey of Crescent and 32 year old Travis Labno of Omaha have been charged with 1st degree kidnapping.

Danker said he believes Proplesch knew the two men and this was not a random act. A warrant is out for the arrest and whereabouts of Bey and Labno as they are believed to be armed and dangerous. If you have any information regarding the mens’ location, contact the Pottawattamie County Communications Center at 712-328-5737, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office at 712-890-2200 or dial 9-1-1.

Cass Co. Board to act on 28-E agreement for Mental Health Svcs.


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, next week, are expected to take action on signing a letter of intent to join with other counties in a 28-E agreement for Mental Health services, as regionalization is required. The move will come during their regular meeting at 9-a.m., Wednesday.   Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation last week in Waterloo, that reform’s the state’s mental health system. It shakes up the current county-based format in favor of one based on “regions.”Cass County Mental Health Coordinator Teresa Kanning told the Board during their meeting Thursday (May 31st), that the Department of Human Services will not dictate to the various County Boards of Supervisors how to set-up the 28-E agreements, but there will be “boiler plate” documents (templates) available, on how those Boards may wish to proceed. 

Kanning says during a recent meeting she attended, the topic of “Transition Funding” was discussed, as it pertains to the new mandate. She said there is a source of $20-million to put into the transition process which has been identified for the counties. Those counties needing funds to aid in the transition for the coming Fiscal year, which begins July 1st, need to have their paperwork in order and apply for that money by October. When the new legislative session begins in January, the money is supposed to be in-place, ready to be dispersed. The funds are available to those counties which do not have enough money from property taxes to help pay for the costs of transition. Kanning says right now, she doesn’t think Cass County will qualify for any of those funds, unless something happens that would change that situation.

Supporters of the bill say it equalizes the quality of mental health care across Iowa. One change: the state will pick up the county’s share of Medicaid costs. Some county officials in Iowa say that in order to pay for Medicaid though, the state will take back a large chunk of their funding. That’s funding work programs for the intellectually disabled depend on.

Cass Co. Health System Open House set for June 10th


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Cass County Memorial Hospital says the Cass County Health System will host a community open house Sunday, June 10th, from 1 – 5 pm, in Atlantic.  The open house will showcase the completion of Phase 1 of the CCHS Addition and Renovation Project.  Guests should enter via the the main north entrance. CCMH CEO Pat Markham says they are excited to share the progress that’s been made since ground was broken 14-months ago on the new addition to the hospital. Markham says “The improvements in facilities and equipment are amazing,” and will enable them to continue providing outstanding care for their patients.

The main emphasis of Phase 1 is a two-story 42,250 sq. ft. addition, mostly to the southeast of the existing hospital.  The main floor of the new area includes the Emergency Department and Admissions, Same Day Surgery and Surgery Department.  All of the areas have been designed to maximize patient privacy and security, while accommodating the latest in medical technology.  The second floor of the addition houses Inpatient Services, which includes Obstetrics, Medical/Surgical, and Intensive Care Units.  Another major improvement in the new addition will be the updated air-handling systems which will allow more comfortable, consistent temperatures in patient rooms.

Work was also done at Atlantic Medical Center during Phase 1, with the expansion of Suite C to create a separate Obstetrics/Gynecology area, and the remodeling of some existing space to create Suite D with six additional family medicine exam rooms.  And, the CCMH atrium area has been redecorated, thanks to a $140,000 donation from the CCMH Auxiliary.  The Auxiliary funds were also used to purchase new flat-screen televisions for patient rooms and waiting areas in the new addition.

The Atlantic Medical Center addition and remodeling was completed last fall, and have been in use since that time.  The hospital areas will move into the new addition shortly after the open house; the main floor departments will move the weekend of June 15, with the second floor departments moving the weekend of June 29.  Immediately following the move, work will begin on Phase 2 of the Addition and Renovation Project. That includes the remodeling of an existing 22,000 sq. ft., primarily for improved outpatient services.

Trottin for Taylor – Trip to raise awareness of Batten Disease


June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Monona County resident is hitting the road on a trip across the state of Iowa for her grandson. Tammy Mohr, of Ute, is beginning her trip across Iowa called, “Trottin’ for Taylor” to raise awareness and funding for Batten Disease. 

Mohr’s grandson Taylor Lee Mohr has Batten Disease, a rare neurological degenerative disease that comes in four forms and is fatal in every case. The form Taylor has the late infantile form of the disease and there is no cure. Taylor is eight years old and is bedridden, blind, can not walk or talk, and his limbs are contracted. The condition forces him to use a feeding tube. 

The trip by his grandmother Tammy will begin in Muscatine on Saturday, and will end in Missouri Valley on Monday, June 18th at the Missouri River. The entire trip from one end of Iowa to the other will be done horse back riding. Tammy welcomes others to join her at any point on her ride. 

She plans to stay overnight in several places including stops in Massena, Atlantic, Avoca and Beebeetown. Donations can be made to Tammy Mohr 42883 270th Street, Ute, IA 51060. Any donations made will be delivered to the University of Iowa Batten Research. You can follow Tammy’s journey on Facebook by searching for “trottinfortaylor”.