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(Podcast) SW IA News Sept. 10, 2012

News, Podcasts

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Census data shows more info on Latino population

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Information from the U-S Census shows the dramatic impact Latinos have had on Iowa’s population in the last 10 years. Gary Krob is the coordinator of the state data center.  “Since 2000, the Latino population has increased by 91-point-six percent, which is quite dramatic if you look at the population change in the state of Iowa being right around four-percent,” Krob says. “So, while Iowa’s population is growing fairly slowly, but growing, the Latino population in Iowa is booming if you will.” The data show the Latino population increased by over 75-thousand in the 10 years and there were 158-thousand in the state on July first of 2011.

“It’s a much younger population than the state. The state is generally a little older than the Latino population — actually probably not a little older, considerably older. I believe the median age for the state of Iowa is 38-point-one and the Latino population is 22-point-two, so that’s a pretty significant difference,” Krob says. The data show a majority of the Latinos work in the construction and service industries.  “I wasn’t really that surprised on the occupation groupings for the Latino population,” he says, “you hear where the Latinos are moving to, what communities they are moving into. Generally a lot of meatpacking plants a lot of production areas, and so when you see the occupation numbers, that kind of verifies what you’re hearing.”

There appears to be some correlation with the occupations and income of Latinos. He says the median income rate for Latinos is 10-thousand dollars different from the median income rate of Iowa as wholes, a difference of 37-thousand dollars compared to 47-thousand dollars. The poverty rate is a little higher too at 27-point-two-percent compare to 12-point six percent as a whole for the state. Krob says the Latino population is projected to continue to grow. “If you look at the Latino population, it’s going to drive the population growth in the state of Iowa, at least for the foreseeable future, unless something changes that’s where the population growth is going to occur,” Krob says.

The majority of the Latinos in Iowa have come from Mexico. You can see more about the Latino report on the State Data Center website at: www.iowadatacenter.org.

Iowa cities can get grants to upgrade fluoride systems

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa communities can now apply for grants to help them start putting fluoride in their water supplies or to upgrade their current fluoridation systems. Dr. Bob Russell, the state dental director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, says ten communities a year are chosen for grants of six-thousand dollars each. “Usually, especially in rural, small communities that don’t have large populations, that’s relatively enough,” Dr. Russell says. “It covers all of the basic hardware they’re going to need to add to existing systems. Those dollars were not arbitrarily created. They were actually based on studies we did.”

About 83-percent of all Iowans have access to sufficient fluoridated water now, but he says there’s still work to do. “We’ve been hearing from a lot of our local components in the communities that fluoridation equipment breaks down over time,” Russell says. “We’ve been fluoridating since 1954, roughly, and a lot of equipment is aging and needs to be upgraded and there are new communities that are seeking to get fluoridation into their community for the first time.”

Some people oppose fluoridation in water and Russell says the decision is left up to each Iowa community. He says water fluoridation is vital to a community’s oral health and to its overall health. Russell says federal studies clearly show that the life expectancy of Iowans has risen, remarkably, over the past several decades. “If you go back to the days before fluoride where people were dying of acute infections, people were averaging life spans between the late 40s and the late 60s,” Russell says. “Now, we’re seeing ages in the mid-70s up to the middle 80s. Life expectancy continues to increase even though there’s a fear that somehow quality of life is hampered by fluoride.”

Russell says for most cities, every dollar invested in water fluoridation saves 38-dollars in dental treatment costs. The Iowa Department of Public Health collaborated with the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation to create the Community Fluoridation Award. To learn more, visit: “www.deltadentalia.com” and click on the “Public Benefit Program” tab.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought hard on allergy sufferers

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The months-long drought may soon impact fall allergy sufferers in Iowa. Agronomist Robert Hartzler, at Iowa State University, says the weather has a direct impact on pollen counts that trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny noses and red, teary eyes. Hartzler says any time we don’t get rain for a while, it allows the pollen to be released in the atmosphere and it hangs around for a longer period of time. Ragweed is native to Iowa, but Hartzler says it traditionally hasn’t grown very well among row crops. He says those plants are now adapting to Iowa’s cornfields and they’re becoming more widespread. Hartzler says it may get worse in future years.

“There is some evidence that with climate change, the ragweeds are better adapted to the warmer temperatures than other plants, so there is some evidence to suggest that pollen counts could increase in the future because of the increasing temperatures we’re expected to see,” Hartzler says. Relief for allergy sufferers isn’t likely until the first frost. He says there’s been enough rain for weeds to grow, but not enough to knock down the pollen. “Rainfall is excellent at washing (pollen) out of the air, it also saturates ragweed flowers so pollen can’t be released,” Hartzler says. “Rain does help the weeds grow, but we’ve got enough moisture in most of the state to allow the weeds to do well.”

He says the amount of pollen in the air has also been boosted by higher temperatures this year. “They’re higher earlier in the year because of the summer we’ve had,” Hartzler says. “The ragweed started growing earlier because of the warm temperatures in the spring. So we have high counts earlier this year than typical.” It may be just the beginning. Hartzler says there’s evidence global warming may be promoting ragweed growth.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought could hit Iowa Christmas tree supply

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Christmas trees in Iowa and other Midwestern states could become the newest victims of this year’s drought. The hot and dry summer took a harsh toll on tree seedlings. When the newly planted trees are ready for harvest by 2019, the selection could be sickly and sagging. Growers have also reported losses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Boone County tree farmer Jesse Randall told The Des Moines Register, that the supply will tighten in upcoming years. But growers and foresters say this year’s crop, planted in 2005, will be as diverse as usual. Randall says the drought was especially hard on fir trees, which are popular among buyers because of their silvery evergreen hues and rich aromas.

Shelby County Fire Danger EXTREME – Red Flag Warnings expected

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert says the Fire Danger situation is very dangerous, and no open burning of any kind is permitted. Farm and harvest operators should take extra precautions, according to Seivert, so that the spread of fire can be controlled, and you will know that extra help is on the way if it is needed.

Seivert says fire extinguishers should be in every combine, and tractors equipped with plows should be standing-by, ready to build a fire break. The local fire danger signs will remain in the EXTREME category in Shelby County until further notice, and Red Flag Warnings are expected to be issued for this afternoon and Tuesday, as strong southerly winds, low humidity and dry field conditions are able to create explosive fire growth.

Audubon City Council to act on loan notes tonight

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Audubon this evening, is expected to act on approving the purchase of General Obligation loan notes totaling $1.585-million. The combination G.O. Capital loan and G.O. Refunding Capital loans will be used to improve the swimming pool, and for airport resurfacing and water tower/water treatment plant repair projects.

The Council will also act on approving the route for the September 28th Homecoming Parade, and other matters. The meeting begins at 7-p.m. in the Audubon City Hall.

1 seriously injured in Page County accident

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports one person was seriously injured Sunday afternoon, after a car rear-ended a pickup pulling a trailer. Officials says the driver of the car, 35-year old Chad Newberg, of New Market, was transported by LifeNet helicopter to the Nebraska Medical Center following the crash. A report on his condition is not currently available.

The accident happened at around 4-p.m. west of Highway 2 near J Avenue, northwest of Yorktown. Authorities say 63-year old Terry James Dammann, of Clarinda, was legally parked on the shoulder of Highway 2, sitting his vehicle and making a phone call, when a 2000 Mercury Cougar car driven by Newberg plowed into a trailer being pulled by Damman’s 2012 Ford F-150. The trailer was hauling a golf cart, which was destroyed in the crash.

Dammann suffered non-life threatening injuries during the accident. He was transported by Shenandoah EMS to the Shenandoah Medical Center. Newberg’s car was totaled in the crash. The damage to Damman’s vehicle, trailer and golf cart amounted to $8,500. The accident remains under investigation, and charges are pending.

Reminder: ISU Town Hall meeting in Atlantic this (Monday) morning

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach looking to hear from Iowans about how Iowa State in partnership with counties can best serve citizens, is holding a town hall meeting today (Monday), in Atlantic. The meeting begins at 10:30-a.m. in the Cass County ISU Extension and Outreach Office, located at 805 West 10th Street (next to the Cass County Community Center). It’s one of five such meetings scheduled to occur around the state.  The other meetings will take place in Ames, Storm Lake, Oskaloosa and Waterloo.

Cathann Kress, ISU Extension and Outreach vice president, and Terry Maloy, Iowa Association of County Extension Councils executive director, will participate in the conversations with Iowans. Kress says they want to gather feedback about what they’re doing well, where they need to improve, and what needs to be addressed.  She says  “All Iowans – citizens, community leaders, decision makers, partners, staff and extension council members – are welcome” to attend the meetings.

For more information about the town hall meetings or specific locations, please contact the Guthrie County Extension and Outreach Office at 641-747-2276.

Fatal cycle accident reported in Pottawattamie County

News

September 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man died during a motorcycle accident Saturday, near Underwood. According to Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker,  38-year-old Joshua Suhr, who was not wearing a helmet, died Sunday, after being flown by helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. The accident happened at around 6:20 p.m. Saturday near Pott. County Road L-34 and Sumac Road.Wintesses told authorities two southbound motorcycles traveling on L-34 passed them at a high rate of speed. Suhr, who was on one of the cycles, apparently wasn’t able to negotiate the curve near Sumac Road, and lost control of the vehicle.