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7AM Newscast 08-03-2013

News, Podcasts

August 3rd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Chris Parks


FDA links stomach bug in 2 states to Mexican farm: Salad mix served at Olive Garden & Red Lobster

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are apparently zeroing in on the source of at least some of the cyclospora infections that have sickened more than 400 people in 16 states. The Food and Drug Administration says the outbreak of stomach illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska is linked to salad mix served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in those states. The salad mix was supplied by a Mexican farm.

Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster are owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants. A Darden spokesman said the FDA’s announcement is “new information” and that there have been no previous problems with the supplier — Taylor Farms de Mexico. It’s the Mexican branch of Taylor Farms of Salinas, Calif.

The FDA says its’ investigation has not implicated any package salad sold in grocery stores. It’s also not clear if there is a connection to illnesses in 14 other states.

3 injured during 2 separate accidents on I-80 in Cass County, Friday


August 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Three people were injured during two separate accidents Friday on Interstate 80 here in Cass County. According to the Iowa State Patrol, two people on a motorcycle were injured when their rear tire blew out at around 8:35-p.m. about 2.5-miles east of the Wiota exit. Officials say a 1997 Harley Davidson cycle driven by 32-year old Robert Shuttleworth, of Sterling, VA, was traveling westbound when the tire blew, causing the cycle to go out of control and end up in the median. Shuttleworth and his passenger, 32-year old Michelle Gaffey, also of Sterling, VA, were injured. Both had been wearing their helmets. They were transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital by Anita Rescue.

The second accident happened near the Marne exit on I-80 westbound, at around 4:50-p.m., Friday. The State Patrol says a 2012 Buick Murano driven by 33-year old Jessica Winston, of Bennington, NE, and a 2009 International semi driven by 44-year old Ceferino Oquendo-Garcia, of Omaha, were traveling west in the right hand lane of I-80, when the front of the semi hit the rear of the SUV. Both vehicles pulled-off the interstate at Exit 51. Winston, who was wearing her seat belt, complained of pain and drove herself to the Cass County Memorial Hospital to be checked out.

State warns drivers to be cautious amid tall corn

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State transportation officials are warning motorists that as Iowa’s corn crop grows taller, they need to be extra cautious at intersections and railroad crossings. The Iowa Department of Transportation says the state had 33 crashes in 2012 that were blamed on obstructed views due to trees or crops. Those crashes left one person dead and at least 40 people injured.

Although most people who have lived for any stretch in Iowa are accustomed to crops occasionally hindering views, state safety engineer Jeremey Vortherms says people still underestimate the danger. At uncontrolled intersections, Vortherms says drivers should act as if a stop or yield sign were posted.

Powerball jackpot reaches $300M for Saturday


August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — This weekend’s Powerball jackpot will be worth at least $300 million, so the $2 tickets are likely to sell quickly. Saturday’s jackpot is still well below the record Powerball jackpot of $590.5 million that an 84-year-old Florida widow won in May.

But it’s big enough to attract casual players who only buy tickets when they think the payoff is big enough to be life-changing. The odds of matching all six numbers — five white balls plus the Powerball — are 1 in 175.2 million. Lottery officials expect plenty of tickets will be sold in the 43 states that offer Powerball. Tickets are also sold in Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Cell phone company brings back campaigns to help teachers & schools


August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with U.S. Cellular said Friday (today), the wireless service provider has decided to bring back its “Calling All Teachers” campaign for the first time since 2010, to donate $500,000 to help teachers fund projects to enhance their students’ learning experience. The company is working with DonorsChoose.org and inviting teachers to post their projects on the site for potential funding. DonorsChoose.org is a philanthropic website that helps teachers find funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.

Don Cochran, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Iowa, said “Teachers influence children in so many positive ways, so we want to help them provide an excellent learning experience for students,” and that the “Calling All Teachers” campaign is a way for teachers to get the tools they need to advance their students’ education.”

Iowa public school teachers can register online at DonorsChoose.org, affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher, then post their classroom projects. When the campaign was held in 2009 and 2010, U.S. Cellular donated $2.1 million to fund more than 3,800 classroom projects, which included purchasing musical instruments, reading games, technology tools and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by Sept. 16 to be eligible for the funding.

And, starting in November, U.S. Cellular also will bring back its “Calling All Communities” campaign for the fifth year. Schools can rally community support for the chance to win a share of $500,000 to fund what their students need the most. The top 20 schools that garner the most community votes will each win $25,000 to use as they wish to improve their educational experience.

For more information, visit uscellular.com.

School Board Elections set in Montgomery County


August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Auditor Stephanie Burkes, Friday, released the names of the candidate who will appear on the September 10th School Election ballot. There are three vacancies in the Red Oak School District’s Board of Education. Candidates include: Kathy M. Walker, Warren C. Hayes, and Paul M. Griffen. There are also three vacant seats up for grabs on the Stanton School Board. Candidates include: Mark Lindgren, Brian Bates and Jeff Sorensen.

Voters in the Stanton election will also have to decide on whether or not they wish to approve Proposition A, which calls for the adoption of a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) specifying the use of revenues from the State of Iowa to “Secure an advanced vision for education fund received by the Stanton Community School District.” The RPS specifies the use of the sales, services and use tax funds received from the State, and may be used for school infrastructure purposes (such as a new school building or buildings, new additions, the repair, expansion or improvement of district facilities, etc.).

Voters in the Villisca School District have two names on the Sept. 10th ballot to fill two vacancies on the school board. The candidates are Leland D. Shipley, and Todd Drake. And, there are candidates on the ballot for Director of Southwestern Community College district 1, as well as district 3 through 7. Candidates whose names appear on the ballot for those respective districts include Dennis Davis, Jerry Smith, Carol Saxton, Ken Rech, Zach Gunsolley and Vicki Sickels.

Their names will appear on all of the ballots in Montgomery County, as well as Public Measure B, which asks if the college’s Board of Directors (who serves 13 counties in western & southwest Iowa) should be authorized to continue to levy a tax not to exceed 20.25-cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value, for a period of 10-years, beginning with collection for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2017. The renewed tax would be used for infrastructure and equipment purchases as needed.

The polls will be open from Noon until 8-p.m. September 10th in Montgomery County, for the School Elections.

Red Oak Man Arrested on Assault and Obstruction Charges


August 2nd, 2013 by admin

Earlier today (Friday) The Red Oak Police Department reports arresting 22-year old Christopher Michael Tyner of Red Oak for Domestic Abuse Assault and Obstruction of Emergency Communications. Tyner was transported to the Montgomery County Law Center and held on $300 cash bond.

(Update 12-p.m.) Fire destroys garage in Atlantic Thursday night


August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The cause of a fire late Thursday night in Atlantic is listed as “undetermined,” but considered to be suspicious. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees said crews responded to a reported shed/garage fire at 403 Birch Street, at around 11:55-p.m.  He said upon arrival, an attached shed was fully engulfed in flames and the garage was becoming involved.

McNees said the contents of the nearby home had been removed earlier in the day because the residence had been foreclosed on. He asks anyone who may have seen anything suspicious late Thursday night to call the Atlantic Police or Fire Department’s non-emergency numbers.

He says the contents of the shed and garage were damaged by smoke and fire, and the garage is currently structurally unsound and most likely a total loss. A dollar amount was not immediately available.

McNees said they are looking into three possible causes for the fire, including a discarded cigarette, intentional, or electrical. The latter he says, is the least likely to have been the cause. The fire spread rapidly due to the number of accelerants stored inside the shed.

School Election candidates deadline has passed


August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The deadline to file nomination papers for the September 10th School Board elections in Cass County has passed. The deadline was Thursday, August 1st. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports there are will be very few contested races this fall.

Here are the candidates for their respective school district boards of education:

CAM Community School District:

North District – Chuck Kinzie (incumbent); South District – Gary Dinkla (Incumbent); At Large District – Nick Kaufman (Incumbant).

Atlantic Community School District:

At Large (elect 2) – Kristy Pellett & Josh McLaren (Incumbents), & Bob Reilly.

Griswold Community School District:

District 3 – Scott C. Peterson (incumbent); District 4 – Thomas Jay Moore (Incumbent); At Large  (elect 2) – Steve Baier & Robert Peterson (Incumbents), & Denise L. Bridges.

Iowa Western Community College Director:

District #4: Scott D. Robinson (Incumbent)

There are also two Public Measures on the ballot in Cass County pertaining to Iowa Western Community College:

Public Measure B asks if the college’s Board of Directors (which serves 13 counties in western & southwest Iowa) should be authorized to continue to levy a tax not to exceed 20.25-cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value, for a period of 10-years, beginning with collection for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2017. The renewed tax would be used for infrastructure and equipment purchases as needed.

Public Measure C asks if voters wish to continue a levy not to exceed six-cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation, for program sharing between community colleges or for the purchase of instructional equipment. If approved the renewed tax would be in effect for 10-years, beginning with the June 30th, 2017 collections.