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Pickup hits Harlan Fire station, Friday


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Most of the time, fire and rescue personnel leave the station to respond to accidents, but today (Friday), the accident came to them. Officials with the Harlan Fire Department reported on the Harlan Fire and Rescue FaceBook page, that a pickup truck struck the station, causing the driver to be trapped. The vehicle appeared to be a Ford Ranger pickup. There was no immediate word on injuries or the extent of injuries, or what may have caused the crash.

Check out these pictures posted on the HF-RD Facebook page:

crash3 crash2 crash1

Atlantic NRC receives national recognition for Quality Initiatives


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center report the Director of Nursing Michelle Gifford and Administrator Kellie Jimerson traveled to New Orleans on February 11, 2014, to accept the American Health Care Association’ Quality Initiatives Award for 2013. Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center is the only skilled nursing facility in the state to have earned the honor by meting all criteria, including:

  • Safely reducing hospital re-admissions within 30 days during a skilled nursing stay by 15 percent
  • Increase staff stability by reducing nursing staff turnover by 15 percent.
  • Increase customer satisfaction by having 90 percent of residents and families willing to recommend their center to others
  • and, Safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15 percent.

Administrator Kelli Jimerson said “We began in 2008 when the facility identified numerous issues that we wished to work on.”  She added “Since that time we joined the Advancing Excellence program in an effort to work on reducing survey issues, increasing our 5-star rating, and providing more of the quality care that the residents of the Atlantic community and their families have come to know and expect.”

In 2011, the ANRC was awarded the AHCA’s Bronze Quality Award. The facility is owned and operated by Care Initiatives, Iowa’s largest not-for-profit senior care provider. Certified by Medicare and Medicaid, Care Initiatives includes nursing homes, assisted livings and independent living facilities in 56 locations throughout the state, and offers a separate not-for-profit Care Initiatives Hospice service throughout 63 counties in Iowa. Care Initiatives__strive to provide Iowans with the best skilled care along with physical, occupational and speech therapy services.

Cass Co. farmers support AHS Journalism through seed company program

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County farmers Chris and Stephanie Witzman have directed a $2,500 donation to the Atlantic High School Journalism Department. The donation is made possible through the Monsanto Funds’ “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” program, and will help the department purchase equipment to improve the quality of production. The journalism department at the school produces a video news show, EYE of the Needle, which is broadcast weekly to the entire student body, and is available online.AFGC logo

Stephanie Witzman says her daughter is in the AHS Journalism Program, and knows how much they can use the funds to purchase up-to-date equipment. Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like the Atlantic High School Journalism Department, who are doing important work in their communities. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country. Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and FFA.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010, and has since donated over $13 million to more than 5,200 nonprofit organizations across the country. America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions of farmers like Chris and Stephanie Witzman.



1 dead followng Thursday’s storms in Ringgold County


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service reports one person was killed Thursday morning, when severe storms passed through southwest Iowa. Officials say an adult male died when a 30-foot conveyor belt was blown over by a wind gust. The incident occurred at around 9:55-a.m., about one-mile  west/southwest of Benton, in Ringgold County. Additional details are expected to be released later today (Friday).

2 vehicle accident nw of Lewis Thursday


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County say no injuries were reported following a collision between a van and a car Thursday morning, about two-miles northwest of Lewis. The accident happened at around 10:10-a.m. on White Pole Road.

Authorities say a 2005 Ford Freestar owned and driven by 57-year old Allen Richard Josephsen,  of Anita, was traveling west on White Pole Road when it was hit by an eastbound 1999 Buick LeSabre owned and driven by 24-year old Jessica Kristine Olsen, of Lewis. Olsen’s car went out of control on the slick roadway just prior to the collision Damage from the crash amounted to $6,400.

Bill might pave the way to rebates for Wellmark policy holders


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Democrats on a Senate committee have advanced a bill that would give the state insurance commissioner authority to order rebate to customers if an audit of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield reveals the company has too much cash in reserve. Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat from Des Moines who is running for governor, is touting the bill.  “Let’s just say that there was a determination there was excess reserves,” Hatch says. “Right now the commissioner has no authority to require the company to do anything with that. (It’s) totally up to the company.”

Wellmark lobbyist Frank Stork points to a 2011 audit which concluded Wellmark’s reserves might have been too low to cover future risks.  “And there’s currently one underway,” Stork says, “so I think at a minimum you’d want to wait and see what the current audit indicates.” Stork says the company has “reasonable” reserves. Wellmark opposes the bill. Republican legislators argue it’s not the state’s role to tell a private company how much cash to keep in reserve.

Over one-point-eight million Iowans are covered by a Wellmark health insurance policy. According to the company’s website, Wellmark held over one-point-three BILLION dollars in reserves in 2012.

(Radio Iowa)

DNA testing ordered in 40-year-old Omaha rape case


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a man convicted of rape nearly four decades ago should be allowed to seek new DNA testing, upholding an earlier Nebraska Court of Appeals ruling.  Juneal Pratt is serving 32 to 90 years for the rape, sexual assault and robbery of two Iowa sisters at an Omaha motel in 1975.

The 58-year-old Pratt has maintained his innocence and has sought DNA testing of evidence in the case for years. In 2011, a Douglas County District judge denied his request to allow DNA testing of the victims’ clothes, saying they were not stored in a way that preserved the integrity of the DNA.

Last year, the Nebraska Court of Appeals overruled Bowie, and on Friday, the state’s high court upheld that ruling.

Greenfield to celebrate 125 year old family-owned business


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Events taking place Saturday in the Adair County community of Greenfield are designed to celebrate a family that has owned the Adair County Free Press newspaper for 125-years. The Omaha World-Herald reports the events coincide with the release of Iowa Public Television’s “The Sidey Report: Life and Times of an Iowa Icon,” which is about the Sidey family, owners of the Adair County Free Press. The family’s most famous member, Hugh Sidey, covered the White House for Time magazine. He died in 2005.

There are several events planned for Saturday, all at or near Greenfield’s  historic downtown square. Getting underway at 3-p.m., is a display of Hugh Sidey’s work at the Greenfield Public Library, and a display of artifacts from the Adair County Free Press and prints from the Sidey Collection, at the Warren Cultural Center.  At 3:30 p.m., IPTV’s documentary about the paper and its owners premieres at the Grand Theatre.

And, at around 6 p.m., the premiere party begins at the Hotel Greenfield. It also celebrates the release of “The Sidey Collection” coffee table book, which will be on display and available for purchase.

Atlantic P-D releases details on Thu. 3 vehicle accident


February 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department has released additional details about a three-vehicle accident which occurred during Thursday morning’s snow storm. Officials say Dicey Trotter, of Atlantic, was injured during the crash that occurred at the intersection of 7th and Cherry Streets. She was transported by Medivac ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, for treatment.

The P-D says Trotter’s vehicle was traveling north on Cherry Street at around 10:37-a.m., and due to the icy road conditions, was unable to stop at the posted stop sign. Her vehicle slid through the stop sign and was hit on the left side by a vehicle traveling east on 7th Street. That vehicle was driven by Sandra Hayes, of Atlantic.

The impact of the collision caused Hayes’ vehicle to be pushed into the left side of a vehicle headed west on 7th Street, and driven by Larry Reimer, of Atlantic. Damage from the crash amounted to $25,000. Trotter was cited for Failure to stop within an assured, clear distance.

8AM Newscast 02-21-2014

News, Podcasts

February 21st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson