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Harlan grad signs with a record label and releases a CD


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan Community High School graduate has signed with a record label and released his first CD. Jeff Johannsen, son of Seth and Kay Johannsen of Harlan, has released a CD titled “I Want to Know” produced by Jerroll Lehman Productions of Fort Wayne, IN.

Johannsen has a long list of singing accomplishments including performing the national anthem at the 2009 3-A boy’s basketball championship. He’s a four year member of the Drake University choir and chamber choir, and graduated with a degree in May of 2013 from Drake in Music Business. He plans to return to Drake this coming January to complete his music education degree.

The CD project began in December 2011 when Johannsen signed with The Management Agency of Jacksonville, FL for artist management and development. The tracks were produced earlier this year in Tennessee and Indiana. Now in distribution, the Christian contemporary artist, has released one song in conjunction with Christian Radio Promotions and is the title track “I Want to Know”.

A second single will be released sometime later from the promotions company. The 7 track CD is out for purchase and can be found online for digital download on iTunes, Amazon and Google play by searching for Jeff Johannsen. The CD can be purchased online as well from Jeff’s website, www.jeffjohannsen.com and locally from Seth and Kay Johannsen or at Farm Sweet Farm store in rural Harlan. The cost of the CD is $12.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Flu cases start to pick up


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the flu season is starting to pick up as we approach the Christmas holiday. Department medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, says there are three strains of flu in the state this year, but they hadn’t been that much of a worry until now. “For most of October and November it was sort of steady at a very low level, but unfortunately it’s really starting to take off,” Quinlisk says. “We have quite a few more people being hospitalized, coming down with laboratory confirmed flu.”

Dr. Quinlisk says the concern now is that people will start getting together for holiday parties. “It is here and it is starting to spread and as we come across people starting to travel for the holidays, we are a little bit concerned that this is really going to take off,” Quinlisk says.

One way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated against it. “Don’t put it off any farther, holidays are coming up, you need to go get your flu shot now, so that again you won’t get the flu — and you won’t spread it to other people while you are traveling for the holidays,” Quinlisk says. The flu can cause you to get sick at a time when you’d like to be spending time with family and friends. And Quinlisk says in some cases it can lead to serious consequences.

“We know that — especially among the elderly — influenza is one of the top 10 causes of death,” Quinlisk explains. “Now people don’t usually think of people dying of the flu, but we do have people dying of the flu in Iowa every single year, and quite a few.” Quinlisk says there are plentiful supplies of the flu vaccine in the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa mom’s Facebook rant about school shootings taken as serious threat


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A prosecutor in southwest Iowa is now discussing what landed a Council Bluffs woman in jail this week after she wrote about school shootings on Facebook. Police charged 39-year-old Teri Pallat with harassment and making terroristic threats after she suggested her son might soon be opening fire at Lewis Central High School. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says that type of comment is not the way to vent one’s frustrations.

Wilber says, “In today’s day and age, especially when we’re sitting here at the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook and within a couple days of another school shooting out in Colorado, we take all of these threats very, very seriously.” Pallat was upset because her son, a student at the school, had been bullied over many months and she blamed administrators for not doing anything to stop it. Reports say Pallat had filed a police report about an attack on her son at school last month.

“I know that law enforcement was at least looking into some of her concerns,” Wilber says. “I know that one of the assistants in my office had been talking either to her or law enforcement. Obviously, it was a little different situation when I started receiving phone calls at night about the situation on Facebook.”

In her rambling Facebook rant, Pallat said her son would “get the ones that caused this,” and claimed he’s a good shot. School officials reported the posting to police and deny there’s a problem with bullying at Lewis Central. Wilber says people need to understand something about how the law works. “There is no criminal law against bullying,” Wilber says. “We don’t charge bullying. If there’s been an assault or there’s been harassment or there’s been threats, those are things we look at in criminal law. You hear the word bullying used all the time but we don’t have the crime of bullying.”

Pallat has told reporters her son hit his head when he was tackled by a bully in a locker room and now suffers from seizures.

(Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 12-20-2013

News, Podcasts

December 20th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Atlantic School Board discusses expansion


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Thursday night, discussed the reasons for choosing a considerably more expensive new construction and renovation plan for the school district, prior to voting on proceeding with the process to bring a $19.8-million bond referendum to the voters. Superintendent Mike Amstein said it all boils down to current and projected increased enrollment and the need to provide a quality education.

Board Member Dennis Davis, who was the only one to vote against Concept 2, wanted to know why Amstein thought the less expensive option (Concept1). wasn’t more fitting. Amstein said it doesn’t provide any additional space for what’s going to be needed in the next two- to three-years. He said when space for Title 1 and ESL increasing enrollments are taken into consideration, Concept 1 doesn’t provide the necessary space. It does provide space for regular classrooms, but the other classes are cramped. Concept 2 he says, will provide that additional space.

Davis wanted to know how firm and accurate the projected enrollment numbers are that is prompting a proposed expansion of the district’s facilities. Amstein said “Our best guess comes from our 4-year old program and our 3-year old program. Both of those numbers still tend to run along the same lines we’ve been receiving in the past few years.” He said graduating class numbers are also expected to increase over the next couple of years.

Past that, Amstein says it’s difficult to project what the numbers will be, but the State is projecting 120-to 125 kindergarten students coming in. Amstein says they’ve already surpassed that. He said he doesn’t think the district is “overbuilding.”  Board member Phil Hascall said he “Would have voted in a heart beat for Option 1,” so the district could build faster and get rid of the mobile classrooms, but it would “short change” the kids. He said he’s glad the administration gathered the necessary input and the board made the right decision in choosing Concept 2.

Hascall said he thinks it gives the district more flexibility. Option 1 also didn’t contain a renovation for the Industrial Tech program. Board member Rod Hartwig said Concept 2 helps meet the Board’s goal of a high standard of education.

Bacterial infection worsening in northwest Iowa


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The outbreak of a contagious bacterial infection that causes diarrhea has worsened in northwest Iowa’s Woodbury County.  Siouxland District Health Department Deputy Director Tyler Brock tells the Sioux City Journal that shigellosis had sickened 225 children and adults in the region as of Wednesday. That’s up from 95 cases in late November.   Woodbury County recorded a single case of shigellosis last year.

Most people who are infected have frequent watery stools that could be bloody, as well as fever and stomach cramps, starting a day or two after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms usually last several days.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Dec. 20th 2013


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted six men from China on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, was unsealed yesterday. It alleges the men conspired to steal patented seed developed by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto and ship it to China.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say an emerald ash borer has been found in a residential tree in the southwestern Iowa city of Creston. The announcement yesterday marked the fifth location where the beetle has been found in Iowa. It’s the first time the insect has been spotted in western Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County jury has again found an Ankeny man guilty of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his ex-wife’s lover. The Des Moines Register reports 66-year-old Vernon Huser was convicted in the death of Lance Morningstar, whose body was found in 2005. Huser was convicted of the same charge in 2010, but the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial because of hearsay evidence.

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A pregnant woman’s quick stop at a central Iowa convenience store while on the way to the hospital didn’t go as planned. Amanda Teas, who works at Casey’s General Store in Greenfield, tells KCCI Abbie Hinrichs stopped in at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday to use the restroom. Hinrichs told Teas she was in labor and was headed for the Creston hospital, but gave birth 4 minutes later.

Suspects being sought in connection with beating & attempted robbery in Council Bluffs


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs are investigating an incident of alleged attempted robbery and assault that occurred after the victim went to meet a person he connected with on Facebook. Officials say 30-year old Sean Moore, of Herman, NE., reported to police two men and a woman tried to rob him during the incident that happened at around 10:35-p.m. Monday near the intersection of 29th Street and West Broadway, in Council Bluffs.

According to the Police Department, a woman Moore had been to speaking to for a month on the social media website Facebook picked Moore up in Herman, NE, and the pair – along with two men the female brought along – made their way to Council Bluffs. In the 2900 block of West Broadway, the woman and two men allegedly told Moore to get out of the vehicle and, once outside, that they had a gun and were going to rob him.

When Moore asked to see the gun, the men replied by punching him. Moore was eventually able to escape and call police. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and did not go to the hospital.  Authorities say police are targeting suspects and continue to investigate the incident.

Omaha/Council Bluffs Pharmacy robberies may be connected


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a possible connection between pharmacy robberies in Council Bluffs and Omaha. Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers told the Omaha-World Herald there were similarities between the incidents at a K-Mart Pharmacy on E. Kanesville Blvd. last Saturday, and a CVS Pharmacy on Dec. 8th., as well as the recent robbery of an Omaha Walgreens Store.

Meyer told the paper a man wearing a coat entered Kmart about 11:16-a.m. Saturday and approached the half-door that leads into the pharmacy area. As the suspect approached, he put the hood over his head and motioned to one of the pharmacy techs to come over to him. The suspect indicated he had a gun and demanded all of their pain medication.

Meyer said while no gun was displayed, the clerk could see what appeared to be the butt of a weapon inside the suspect’s coat. The man left the store with an undisclosed amount of oxycodone.

2 hurt in Mills County crash Thursday evening


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured during a collision Thursday evening on Highway 275, in Mills County. The Iowa State Patrol says the driver of a pickup, 57-year old Lee Allen Mosier, of Imogene, and the driver of a car, 66-year old William Porter Rickabaugh, Jr., of Malvern were hurt, when the vehicles collided on the shoulder of the road just north of the Mills/Fremont County line, near Tabor. The accident happened at around 5:40-p.m,

Officials say Mosier was traveling south in his 2001 Ford F-350 pickup, when he noticed headlights facing him off on the west shoulder. Mosier told authorities he thought the other vehicle was pulling out into his lane, so he took to the west shoulder of the road, where his vehicle collided with Rickabaugh’s 2000 Volvo S-80. The Volvo was pulled off on the west side of the road facing the wrong way, while Rickabaugh was retrieving mail from a rural mailbox.

Rickabaugh, who was not wearing a seat belt, was transported by Glenwood Rescue to Creighton Hospital in Omaha. Mosier, who was wearing a seat belt, was checked and treated at the scene.