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Sleep-texting? It’s happening more than you’d think…


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Do you sleep with your cell phone on a bedside table? You may want to move it after reading this report from Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley:

The director of a sleep disorder clinic in Omaha says he’s seeing patients from Iowa and Nebraska, mostly teens and young adults, who are sleep-texting — that’s right, texting while they’re asleep. Dr. Michael Summers says, “The transition from wake to sleep and sleep to wake happens fairly abruptly and you still may be in and out of that either wake or sleep state and that is where these occur.” Dr. Summers believes sleep-texting is a lot more common than you might think. “The frequency of it really increases if you’re sleep-deprived,” he says. “You combine that with certain sleep medications that can make parasomnias more common and you’re starting to see this become more of an issue. It’s probably fairly under-reported, at least sleep-texting, because admittedly, some people may send things that are a bit embarrassing to talk about.” Summers blames the phenomenon of sleep-texting on sleep deprivation. He says, “Most people average around seven hours — or less — of sleep per night and a vast majority of studies show that most people need at least nine hours of sleep per night.” He says sleep deprivation does take its toll on a person and it can carry over into their awake time.

“You are more prone to making mistakes,” Summers says. “You’re less efficient. Chronic sleep deprivation decreases response times, so when you’re driving, you may not be able to react as quickly. You may do what we call automatic behaviors where you’re driving and you may go into this zone-like state where you drive by your exit.” Too little sleep can also lead to sleep-eating, night terrors, restless leg syndrome, sleep paralysis, chronic pain and teeth grinding. Summers, whose clinic is at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says the first step in stopping these episodes is to get more sleep. He recommends that at a certain time, electronics are turned off. He says never get into bed with your cell phone. If you need it in your bedroom, put it out of reach.

Cass Supervisors approve early payment on NW Water/Sewer project


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved the transfer $191, 000 from the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) fund to the Debt Service Fund, in order to pay down a $520,000 loan for the Northwest Water/Sewer Extension Project. The loan was originally set-up to be paid in 20 annual installments of $26,000 each, but the agreement also provided an option for the County to prepay the bond principle in all or in-part, prior to its maturity.

The project was approved by the Board in May, 2011. It involved the laying of 3,200 feet of water main and sanitary sewer from Highway 83 to the Amaizing Energy Industrial area and along Glacier Road and underneath the railroad spur line. The utilities were created in that area in hopes of fostering economic development. The County is paying for the project, with Atlantic Municipal Utilities acting as the flow-through agency for the funds.

In other business, the Board set March 14th, 9:05-a.m.,  as the date and time for a public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 County budget.

Navy says new ships named Sioux City, Omaha


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two new Navy ships will be named for cities in Iowa and Nebraska. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced plans Wednesday for five new ships, including the USS Sioux City and the USS Omaha. They are littoral combat ships, which Mabus says are fast and agile, and can operate in shallow and deep waters. Mabus says he chose the names to honor the “patriotic, hard-working citizens” of Sioux City and Omaha. The USS Sioux City, which will be built in Marinette, Wis., will be 378 feet in length. The USS Omaha, which will be built in Mobile, Ala., will be 419 feet in length. Mabus also named three new Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers — the USS John Finn, the USS Ralph Johnson and the USS Rafael Peralta.

Meteorite causes water woes for Iowa town


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

MANSON, Iowa (AP) – The northwest Iowa town of Manson is struggling to sink a new water well all because of something that happened 74 million years ago. A meteorite slammed into the region, sending up rocks from five miles below the surface. The Manson Crater spans parts of four counties with a diameter of 24 miles.
The Des Moines Register says the rocky mess is creating big headaches for well-drilling crews searching for a spot where pumps can bring up enough water for the entire town.  Crews drilled on the edge of Manson in November, but had no luck. The Department of Natural Resources is suggested the city concentrate on the center of the crater, where earlier wells have produced water.    The city’s current wells were built in 1905 and 1921.

Iowa woman faces 93 counts of animal neglect


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have charged a western Iowa woman with 93 counts of animal neglect.  A news release from the Sac County Sheriff’s Office says the charges stem from the rescue of 87 dogs and one cat from a farm in rural Kiron. The carcasses of five dead animals were found when officials searched the farm on Jan. 25th.   The sheriff’s office says 44-year-old Mary Brodersen has been charged.   Brodersen has relinquished ownership of the animals, which have been turned over to various shelters.   Six of the dogs were suspected of being pregnant.

Harassment arrest in Atlantic


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department today (Wednesday) reports 26-year old Albert Johnson, of Atlantic, was arrested Tuesday. Johnson was taken into custody on a charge of Harassment in the 3rd Degree. He was brought to the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

IA DOT to hold public mtg in Atlantic over long-range transportation plan


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation today (Wednesday) announced Atlantic will be one of six sites for a public information meeting pertaining to the State’s long-range Transportation Plan. The meeting in Atlantic will be held March 15th, at the DOT’s District 4 Office (2210 E. 7th St.), from 4:30-to 6:30pm. 

During each of the six meetings scheduled for around the state, a presentation will be made at 5:15-p.m., with DOT personnel available between 4:30-6:30pm, to individually discuss the plan. Meeting rooms are accessible for persons with disabilities. To provide comments or to request special accomodations, contact the Iowa DOT’s Office of System Planning in Ames, at 515-239-1520 or e-mail Iowa.Motion@dot.iowa.gov.

The DOT will be accepting public comment on the plan through March 30th. To view information about the plan, log on to the DOT’s website at www.iowadot.gov/iowainmotion/state.html

7AM Newscast 02-15-2012

News, Podcasts

February 15th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Iowa News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 15 2012


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The last time China’s vice president visited Iowa, he slept in a bedroom with green shag carpeting and Star Trek character cutouts on the walls. But Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping) must have fond memories of his 1985 stay. He is scheduled to return to Muscatine today to reminisce and have tea and champagne.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque officials say a blocked line caused a sanitary sewer to overflow yesterday, sending untreated wastewater onto the ground near a manhole in an undeveloped area on the city’s south side. The line was cleared but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says residents, their children and their pets should stay clear of the area for 48 hours.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has approved the IRS’s seizure of more than $90,000 from an Iowa gun show company’s bank. Investigators say owners of Manchester-based R.K. Gun Shows deposited more than $1 million in accounts in increments below $10,000 in recent years. IRS agents say banks are required to disclose deposits and withdrawals greater than $10,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — About 260,000 Iowa families may soon see a tax cut. The Iowa Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would increase the state’s earned income tax credit and decrease taxes for families who make less than $45,000 a year. The House is expected to approve the measure.

Corning High School Students to Compete in Real World Design Challenge


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several students from the Corning Community High School in Corning, are among 30 students from across the state who will be competing in the Real World Design Challenge, in Des Moines. The competition provided students with an opportunity to apply classroom lessons to technical problems currently faced in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions. The state-level component of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is open to the public and will be held at the Science Center of Iowa on Saturday, February 18th The day-long event will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and will include presentations from the participating teams, and conclude with one team receiving the Governor’s Cup, awarded by Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC for the national finals.

Other schools sending students to the competition include: Don Bosco Catholic High School (Gilbertville); Hoover High School (Des Moines); Marshalltown High School (Marshalltown); and, West High School (Davenport). They’ll share their designs for “an efficient, low-carbon-emission and environmentally-friendly personal light sport aircraft (LSA),” as well as their 2000-word essay about what they would see and do if they were given the opportunity to fly their design across the country. The teams will be judged by a panel consisting of professors from Iowa’s Regent Universities, industry professionals and a representative from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid).

Karen Misjak, executive director of the Iowa College Aid says “The Real World Design Challenge is a great opportunity for Iowa students to apply classroom learning to complex problems facing our society.” Misiak says “Iowa is faced with a worker shortage in STEM fields. We need to encourage greater student achievement and interest in STEM careers. By having students confront problems facing our nation’s leading industries, we not only encourage academic achievement, but also show them the promise their future can hold by pursing STEM-related professions.”

High schools from across the state were encouraged to form teams of 3-7 students in grades 9 through 12 to compete in the RWDC. Schools with participating teams received $1 million in professional engineering software, training on the software, curriculum materials and access to mentors. The state-level RWDC is sponsored by GEAR UP Iowa (administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission), the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University, John Deere, NASA, Project Lead the Way, Rockwell Collins, Science Center of Iowa, Softronics, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa.

For more information on the Real World Design Challenge event in Iowa, please contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456. General information regarding the Real World Design Challenge is accessible online at http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org/. In addition, information to help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college is available on Iowa College Aid’s website, www.IowaCollegeAid.gov.