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2 arrests, 2 citations in Red Oak on New Year’s Day


January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

On the first day of the New Year, Red Oak Police report two arrests and two citations. Early this (Thursday) morning, officers cited 20-year old Dillon Makenzie Terry for Possession of Alcohol under the legal age of 21. Rodney Earl McAlpin was also cited for Providing Alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The citations were issued at 419 E. Reed Street, in Red Oak.

Red Oak Police report also the arrest of 25-year old Megan Renea Guffey, of Villisca. Guffey was taken into custody for Public Intoxication just after 12:30-a.m., at 106 E. Coolbaugh Street. She was being held at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) on $300 bond.

And, 30-year old Zachariah Michael Holland, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 12:30-a.m. for Domestic Abuse/Simple Assault, Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, and Trespassing. Holland was being held without bond at the Montgomery County LEC.

(6:30-a.m. News)

Brief pursuit in Pott. County leads to 3 arrests


January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A brief pursuit followed by a crash Wednesday afternoon in Pottawattamie County lead to the arrest of three people. According to the Daily NonPareil, a Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department deputy attempted to pull a vehicle over for speeding at around 4:15-p.m., near 270th Street and Iowa Highway 92. A check of the license plate indicated the vehicle had been stolen.

A brief pursuit that began soon afterward, ended when the vehicle entered the ditch at Valley View Drive and Greenview Road. Three suspects in the vehicle were taken into custody. No injuries were reported and no names were immediately released.

Cass & area Counties to share housing trust fund grant


January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Eight counties in southwest Iowa will benefit this year from a grant announced by the Southwest Iowa Housing Trust Fund. Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO) executive director John McCurdy told The Daily NonPareil, the $350,669 grant will be distributed among Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Shelby and Pottawattamie counties. Grant funding will not be used for projects in Council Bluffs.

McCurdy said a primary use of the funds is a home buyer assistance program that can help those in need buy homes with up to 7 percent – up to a maximum of $7,000 – in assistance in meeting the purchase price. While the program benefits first-time home buyers, it also includes current homeowners.

Those who receive $7,000 can qualify for $4,000 in the form of a five-year forgivable loan. If they live in the house for five years, $4,000 of the $7,000 is forgiven. The remaining $3,000 is treated as a 1 percent loan. McCurdy said the majority of the grant funds however, will go towards repairing homes for low-income homeowners in the case of imminent health and safety issues, such as when a furnace  quits during the winter and needs to be replaced.

McCurdy said the grant does not cover Council Bluffs because the city receives its own version of funds. He said the waiting list to receive aid stands at about 300 homes right now. Some homeowners can receive aid more quickly, depending on their situations, he said. The counties that participate in the program help fund it, McCurdy said, by matching the money into the trust fund.

McCurdy said demolition is part of the program as well. If a city acquires a blighted house, the funds can be used to help pay up to 50 percent of the demolition costs.

Iowa leads nation in communities with historic preservation aims


January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

No other state has as many local governments participating in a program run by the National Park Service. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs director Mary Cownie says over 100 cities and counties in Iowa have received the “certified local government” designation from the Park Service. “This highlights communities with an active local historic preservation effort, an effort that we know is critical to building vibrant communities and stimulating economic growth,” Cownie says. According to the National Park Service website, the goal of the program is to “save the irreplaceable historic character of places.”

Once an area receives “Certified Local Government” status, it gets technical assistance from state and federal experts, plus it’s eligible for government grants. Cownie cites the experience of a northwest Iowa community that received a state grant two years ago. “Le Mars has had a model historic preservation commission and with the help of a (Department of Cultural Affairs) grant, was successful in listing their downtown of more than 70 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places,” Cownie says.

The Commercial District in downtown Le Mars was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The community now has gotten a half a million dollar federal grant to help renovate the store fronts of about three dozen businesses, so they’ll look like they did when the structures were first built. The building owners will finance about 25 percent of the project. The federal grant money along with funds from the City of Le Mars will cover the rest of the cost. According to the National Park Service, studies show historic districts maintain higher property values, have less population decline and foster “a greater sense of community” among residents.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Jan. 1st 2015


January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DEWITT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two people found dead after a mobile home fire in DeWitt in eastern Iowa died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Lauren Lee McFarland and Donald Everett Miller’s deaths on Tuesday have been ruled accidental. Authorities say the cause and origin of the fire is inconclusive.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A southeast Iowa woman is set to appear in court January 6th on allegations she harassed her neighbors by mailing them cow poop. Burlington police say Kimberly Capdevila’s neighbors immediately suspected her because of an ongoing dispute over Capdevila’s barking dog.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The new public works director for Des Moines is Jonathan Gano. He is expected to start on January 26th and be paid $145,000 a year. Gano replaces Pat Kozitza, who retired Wednesday after 38 years with the city.

MIAMI (AP) — Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has declined an invitation to attend the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24th because of a scheduling conflict. More than a half-dozen potential Republican presidential contenders are set to appear. A Bush aide says he appreciated the invite from GOP Congressman Steve King.

Workshop in Oakland to focus on improving local water supplies

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources reports a one-day workshop focusing on nutrient reduction strategies to improve local drinking water supplies will be held Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Oakland Community Building, 614 Dr. Van Zee Road beginning with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.

The day-long session, targeted primarily for landowners and those involved with supplying drinking water, will focus on strategies that can be used to manage nutrients and improve soil health that meet both agricultural and water quality goals as well as what members of local communities can do to protect drinking water supplies and public health through collaboration with the agricultural sector.

Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will be the keynote speaker at a free lunch which is being provided. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to the Golden Hills RC&D before Jan.
7, by calling 712-482-3029 or by emailing michelle@goldenhillsrcd.org

The event is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Heartland Co-op, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, the Farm Services Agency, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa American Water Works Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, contact Rebecca Ohrtman at Iowa DNR, 515-725-8332.

CoOportunity Health Insurance changes may affect local policy holders


December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Insurance Commissioner recently submitted a petition for an Order of Rehabilitation for CoOportunity Health. Under this Order, CoOportunity Health is no longer offering new policies on the Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace for 2015. Susan Daniels, Chief Financial Officer at Cass County Health System, is contacting area residents who purchased this insurance product last year to be sure they are aware of the order and how it may affect their insurance coverage.CCHS

Consumers have until February 15, 2015, to make a change if they are currently CoOportunity Health customers. Those who would like assistance with their health insurance decision are encouraged to meet with the certified marketplace navigators available at Cass County Health System until February 15, 1015. The private appointments will be held at Cass County Health System in Conference Room 6, which is accessible from Parking Lot C. For more information or to make an appointment, please call either Melissa Namanny at 712-243-2850 ext. 4111 or Nancy Templeman at 712-243-3250 ext. 3411.

The Iowa Insurance Commissioner’s office has provided responses to some frequently asked questions about CoOportunity Health Insurance, which are reprinted below….

CoOportunity Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I still have insurance through CoOportunity Health on January 1, 2015?
• Yes, if you enrolled on or before December 15, 2014, and you continue to make your premium payments.
• No, if you signed up on December 16, 2014 or later you will not have coverage with CoOportunity Health. You have until the end of open enrollment, which ends February 15, 2015, to enroll in another plan.

2. What is changing with my CoOportunity Health insurance policy?
• Watch for important information you may receive from CoOportunity Health, healthcare.gov, or the Iowa Insurance Division.
• Tax subsidy eligibility and amounts may change if you keep your CoOportunity Health plan. For additional information, contact www.Healthcare.gov at 1-800-318-2596, TTY 1-855-889-4325. The call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• If CoOportunity Health is not able to be rehabilitated and an order of liquidation is entered, your coverage may be limited. State statutes create a safety net to protect policyholders when insurers go out of business. Those statutes cap coverage at $500,000 per life.

3. What does rehabilitation mean?
The Iowa Insurance Division determined that CoOportunity Health is in a hazardous financial condition. On December 23, 2014, Insurance Commissioner, Nick Gerhart, applied for and the Polk County District Court issued an order appointing the Commissioner as rehabilitator of CoOportunity Health. The company will continue in existence, but the Commissioner, as rehabilitator, is granted authority to manage the company. The Commissioner will:

• Assume management of the company.
• Attempt to correct existing problems.
• Continue operations.
• Maintain policyholder accounting.
• Develop a plan of rehabilitation or petition the court for liquidation.
Most policyholders may find it in their best interests to find other coverage before the end of open enrollment, which ends February 15, 2015.
4. If I want to remain in the marketplace and change insurance companies, where do I go?
Contact www.Healthcare.gov at 1-800-318-2596. The call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also consult an agent, broker, navigator or certified application counselor.

Avoca woman trapped following rollover accident Tue. afternoon


December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County woman was trapped in her vehicle Tuesday following an accident in Shelby County. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department reports 22-year old Elizabeth Jacquard, of Avoca, suffered non-life threatening injuries when her vehicle went out of control at around 2-p.m. on 450th Street in Shelby County, near the intersection with Maple Road.

Her vehicle entered a ditch and came to rest on its side, trapping the woman inside until she could be extricated by Avoca Rescue. She was transported to Myrtue Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. No charges have been filed at this time.

Influenza active in Cass County this year


December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials at Cass County Health System have reported higher than normal influenza activity so far this year, which is in keeping with state and nationwide trends. “We have had over 50 cases of influenza so far this year and have seen mostly influenza A, as has the rest of the state,” said Dr. Tricia Goodemote, Chief Medical Officer. “We want the public to be aware and take appropriate precautions to help control the spread of influenza and other illnesses.”

Dr. Goodemote noted while most of the patients were able to be treated as outpatients several have required inpatient care. She stressed the importance of hand-washing and self-isolation in controlling the spread of the flu. “If people are ill, they should stay home from work, school and other activities. Hand-washing continues to be the most effective tool in preventing the spread of germs, and it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.”

Cass County Health System limits visitors to inpatients during flu season, asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay home. Parents are asked not to bring young children and infants to visit inpatients throughout the flu season, typically until the end of March, as it increases the child’s risk and the patient’s risk for influenza.

Atlantic Medical Center offers influenza vaccines in the Patient Services Center located in the clinic. The cost of Influenza vaccination is covered by most health insurances and financial assistance is available for those without insurance who cannot afford the $30 charge. The Patient Services Center is open from 8:30 – 11:00 and 1:30 – 4:00 pm. No appointment is necessary, and vaccine is still available.

Iowa library’s Teen Central celebrating 5 years


December 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The Council Bluffs Library is celebrating the upcoming fifth anniversary of Teen Central, a place where youths can study and socialize. A library worker tells The Daily Nonpareil that Teen Central has increased how many programs it offers since opening in 2010. She says Teen Central began hosting between three and four programs a year. It now holds about four a week.

Teen Central is housed on the library’s second floor. The Teen Services manager says it was created to fill a needed gap in providing an educational area specifically for teenagers.  The center is open seven days a week and officials say about 60 youths visit daily during the school year. Around 500 teens participate each month in the weekly programs.