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AHST asks parents to serve as bus drivers


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A shortage of bus drivers left junior high school students in the AHST Community School District with a tough choice: miss class or miss activities. The Daily NonPareil reports the school district – serving Avoca, Hancock, Shelby, Tennant and secondary students in Walnut – has needed an after-school activities bus driver. Now several parents have stepped up to get their bus driving licenses.

Superintendent Jesse Ulrich said the district’s eight drivers have to drive after-school routes. Junior high students have been dismissed earlier to be taken for events so the buses can return for their regular routes, leaving the students waiting for activities to start and missing class.

The district was fine at the beginning of the year but suddenly got into a bind when a couple backup drivers became unavailable.


Atlantic Medical Center provides Influenza Vaccine


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Medical Center (AMC) say they are offering influenza vaccines Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 am and 11:00 am and 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm. There is no need to make an appointment. It takes about two weeks for influenza vaccine to provide full protection. With the holidays coming up quickly, it is best to get an influenza vaccine by early November to provide protection during the holiday gatherings with larger groups, where influenza is easily spread.

The two best ways to protect yourself, and those around you, from influenza are to get vaccinated and to practice good hand washing. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also those around you who may be too young (under 6 months) or have a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated.

There are four strains, or types, of the flu that typically hit the Midwest during flu season — two types of Influenza A and two types of Influenza B. Again this year there is a vaccine that has all four strains (types) of the flu virus in it (Quadrivalent—two A strains and two B strains), to provide even greater protection against influenza. Atlantic Medical Center will have this vaccine available. They will also be offering the High Dose flu vaccine for 65 years of age and older.

Vaccines also vary by age group, with different doses for different patient groups. The Atlantic Medical Center has the correct doses available for all age groups, including flu mist, which can be used by patients from 2 – 49 years of age. Patients can also receive Pneumonia, Tetanus with whooping cough (Tdap), and Shingles vaccines when they come in for an influenza vaccine.

The seasonal flu (influenza) is a serious disease caused by the Influenza virus. Some common symptoms of the flu are fever, cough, shaking chills, body aches, and extreme weakness. The influenza disease may last for a couple of weeks.

There is a common misconception that the “stomach flu” is the flu. That is incorrect! The “stomach flu” that everyone speaks of is caused by a different type of virus (most commonly Norovirus). The “stomach flu” only last a few days and is associated with vomiting and diarrhea.

Some people are more susceptible for complications from the Influenza virus:

  •  Children 6 months-59 months (4 years 11 months)
  • All people aged 50 years and older
  • People who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurological, hematologic ,or metabolic disorders
  • Immunosuppressed people
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of Long-Term Care or Nursing Home facilities
  • People who are morbidly obese
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives

Any of the groups of people listed above should not wait to get their flu shot; they need to be protected as soon as possible. Tragically there are many infants, children, teens, and elderly people who die from the flu virus every year! Children younger than two years of age are at particularly high risk for hospitalization due to complications of influenza.

The Influenza virus is EXTREMELY contagious!!! Influenza viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets. This happens when a person infected with Influenza coughs, sneezes, or talks. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it (shopping cart, door knob, counter top, or drinking fountain) and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. Many other viruses spread these ways too. People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning two days before symptoms develop and five to seven days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread the flu to someone else even before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Young children, those who are severely ill, and those who have severely weakened immune systems may be able to infect others for longer than five to seven days.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

•Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
•Sore throat
•Runny or stuffy nose
•Muscle or body aches
•Fatigue (very tired)
•Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Ways to help protect yourself from Influenza:
Avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information, please contact the Atlantic Medical Center Immunization Nurses at 712-243-2850.

(Press Release)

2 kidnapping attempts reported in Iowa county


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GOWRIE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are investigating two attempted kidnappings reported in the same Iowa county. Des Moines television station KCCI says the Webster County sheriff’s office received two reports on Sunday, one in the town of Gowrie and the other in Dayton.

Sheriff James Stubbs says two girls were targeted in separate instances. One is between the ages of 5 and 6, and the other is between 12 and 13 years old. Stubbs says both children are OK.

Witnesses described a white-colored vehicle in both reported kidnapping attempts. Authorities say they weren’t able to give a description of a suspect, but they’re conducting interviews and hope to provide more information.

Memorial held for Iowa teen who died after fight


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Council Bluffs community has come together to remember a western Iowa 17-year-old who died from a head injury suffered during a fight at school. Friends of Dakota Escritt released balloons at a memorial Sunday night. He died Saturday at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, two days after he hit his head on the tile floor at Abraham Lincoln High School.

Authorities have filed a felony charge of Assault Causing Serious Injury, against 16-year-old Gregary Teer, who was suspended from school. Superintendent Martha Bruckner tells KETV-TV the fight appeared to be a random, isolated incident that no policy could have prevented.

The Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office will review the circumstances surrounding Escritt’s death, today (Monday).  The teen’s friends say he enjoyed hanging out and looking at Japanese animation and comics, but some students had teased him because of his interests and hobbies. Authorities have not said what led to Thursday’s fight.

US Senate candidates met in first debate


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The two major party candidates for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat met face-to-face in an hour long debate early Sunday evening — touting their rural Iowa roots and questioning their opponent’s loyalties. Republican Joni Ernst grew up on a farm near Red Oak in southwest Iowa. Democrat Bruce Braley grew up in the small eastern Iowa town of Brooklyn, where his dad ran the grain elevator. “I have not left my rural roots, but I think congressman you have left those behind in your ‘Beltway’ ways,” Ernst said. Braley said: “I have never forgotten where I came from. That’s why I voted to pass a five-year Farm Bill.”

Each accused the other of being beholden to special interests who’re financing thousands of dollars worth of ads to try to sway Iowa voters. Braley accused Ernst of being beholden to Oklahoma billionaires who made their money in the oil industry. “Congressman Braley you’re not running against these other people. You’re running against me,” Ernst said. “…You are being funded by Tom Steyer who is a California billionaire extreme environmentalist.” Ernst also accused Braley of doing the bidding of President Obama and Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate. Braley countered with this.

“Senator Ernst would have voted to shut down the federal government with Ted Cruz. She’s called President Obama a dictator and thinks impeachment should be on the table,” Ernst replied: “Congressman, you threatened to sue a neighbor over chickens that came onto your property. You’ve talking about bipartisanship. How do we expect as Iowans to believe that you will work across the aisle when you can’t walk across your yard.” Braley responded: “It’s not true. I never threatened to sue anyone. It’s not true.” That exchange came near the end of the debate. Both began by stressing a message to appeal to independent voters. Braley repeatedly tried to tie Ernst to the so-called “Tea Party.”

“I’ll work with anyone who has a good idea that’s good for Iowa,” Braley said. “I’m a bridge builder, not a bridge burner.” Ernst told the audience she provided voters a “clear contrast” with Braley. “I believe Washington is taking our country in the wrong direction and for the past eight years Congressman Braley has been there,” Ernst said. The two candidates broke no new policy ground on issues like the minimum wage and immigration. Braley charged Ernst co-sponsored legislation in the Iowa Senate that ultimately would wind up banning abortion, certain forms of contraception and invitro fertilization. Ernst said she “will support life,” but she also believes “in a woman’s right to contraception.”

Sunday night’s debate was sponsored by The Des Moines Register and broadcast live on KCCI TV in Des Moines.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Sept. 29 2014


September 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst clashed over health care, Social Security and foreign policy during the first debate of the Iowa Senate race. The candidates in the closely-fought race have largely campaigned using scripted television ads and carefully controlled public events. Both candidates fielded questions from voters last night at Simpson College.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Disease causing bacteria have been found at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital, but officials have not informed patients about the problem. The Des Moines Register reports the VA is planning to spend $6.5 million to address the legionella bacteria that has been found in the hospital’s water pipes. VA pathologist Stacy Klutts says the bacteria are at low levels, so there is little risk of infection at this point.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City police are looking for a man who robbed a convenience store and then forced an employee to leave with him. Police say the robbery at Gasby’s in southern Iowa City was reported at 6:39 a.m. yesterday when an employee hit a panic alarm. Authorities are asking anyone with information about the robbery to call Crime Stoppers at (319) 358-8477.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) —The Pottawattamie County Attorney will review the circumstances of 17-year-old Dakota Escritt’s death on Monday. The Daily Nonpareil reports Escritt was knocked unconscious during the fight when his head hit the tile floor. Escritt died Saturday evening at an Omaha hospital.

VA Hospital finds bacteria but doesn’t disclose it


September 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Disease causing bacteria have been found at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital, but officials have not informed patients about the problem.  The Des Moines Register reports  the VA is planning to spend $6.5 million to address the legionella bacteria that has been found in the hospital’s water pipes.

VA pathologist Stacy Klutts says the bacteria are at low levels, so there is little risk of infection at this point. And officials say they have been able to control the problem. But critics say patients should be informed so they can make their own decisions, especially because so many VA patients are elderly.

Vietnam War veteran Dick Allison, who used to work at the hospital, says he’s upset administrators aren’t being upfront with the public about the bacteria.

2 fatal accidents Sunday in Central IA


September 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people died in separate crashes Sunday morning in Central Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says 26-year old Scott A. Trimble, of Davenport died in a crash near Colfax at around 2:50-a.m., on Interstate 80 westbound, in Jasper County. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Authorities say Trimble was traveling eastbound and fleeing from law enforcement in a 2014 Lincoln, when he lost control of the car after it hit stop-sticks that were set down earlier, by Mitchellville Police. The car vaulted through the median and into the westbound lane, where it collided with a 2013 Freightliner truck driven by 52-year old Michael T. Grodoski, of Lake in the Hills, IL. Grodoski was not injured. Steve Miller, a passenger in Trimble’s vehicle, was injured and transported by ambulance to Skiff Hospital. Police didn’t say why they were pursuing Trimble.

The other accident happened in Polk County, at around 8-a.m., Sunday. The State Patrol says a 2014 Chevy Cruze driven by 55-year old Linda Neubauer, of Des Moines, was traveling north on northeast 56th Street and failed to yield for a stop sign. Her car was hit by a 2013 Ford Taurus driven by 64-year old Nancy Bein, of Bondurant, as she was traveling west on northeast 78th Avenue.

Neubauer, whose car was hit on the passenger side, died later at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. Bein was injured in the crash and also transported to Methodist. A report on her condition was not immediately available. The accident remains under investigation.

UPDATE–Student Injured in School Fight Passes Away


September 28th, 2014 by Chris Parks

A fight on Thursday, September 25th at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School ended with a 17-year-old student being sent to the hospital and ultimately passing away. The Council Bluffs Police Department reports that a Council Bluffs School Resource Officer responded to a fight between two students at the school at approximately 7:45am Thursday.  During the course of the fight that occurred in a common area just outside the cafeteria, 17-year-old Dakota Escritt fell to the ground, striking his head on the tiled floor, which rendered him unconscious.  Staff intervened in the fight and rendered aid and upon arrival the officer requested ambulance assistance due to the serious nature of the injuries.

Escritt was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs and later transferred to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, where he was in critcal condition initially. Council Bluffs Police reported on Saturday at 8:00pm that Escritt was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital.

The other student involved in the fight was identified as 16-year-old Gregary Teer whom was arrested after the incident.  Teer was charged with Assault Causing Serious Injury, a class D felony and was later released into the custody of his guardian. After the news of Escritt’s passing the CBPD will meet with the Pottwattamtie County Attorney’s Office to discuss possible amendments to the charges against Teer. A press conference is expected after a decision is made.

Detectives are still working with school officials on the case and anyone with information regarding the incident are asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division at 712-328-4765.

Atlantic City Council Set to Meet Wednesday


September 27th, 2014 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic City Council will meet this Wednesday (October 1st) at 5:30-pm, in the Council Chambers at City Hall. On the agenda is an order to approve a resignation and severance agreement between the City of Atlantic and the City Administrator Doug Harris.  An option is also included on the agenda to enter into executive session upon the written request of the City Administrator to discuss the resignation and severance package. The Mayor and Personnel/Finance Committee reviewed and recommended the agreement be approved last week

Harris and the council have been at odds over recent tax abatement plans and he was asked to resign. An order to appoint his assistant John Lund as the Interim City Administrator is on the agenda as well that would be effective October 4, 2014.

Other agenda items include: Approving a change order on improvements on 17th street project;  Addressing an EPA request to move forward with the nomination of the former dry cleaner site as a National Priorities List Site; A Public hearing on, and order for the disposal of, 1200 Birch Street and 1106 Poplar Street; and, an Order to authorize the Mayor to enter into an agreement with FOX Engineering related to the potential industrial discharge of MAHLE Engine Components to the city’s wastewater system.