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Tips to help Iowa Facebook users navigate new rules about content

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The tens of thousands of Iowans who frequent Facebook are getting used to the social networking website’s managers doctoring policies. A few days ago, new standards were announced about what can and cannot be posted in terms of bullying, harassment, nudity and graphic content. Thor Schrock, a technology consultant in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says if a terrorist group posts a video with violent content, it’s removed immediately.

“However, if you are a Christian activist who is worried about the slaughter of Christians in Iraq and you post a video on your account, the exact same video the terrorists would have posted, then it’s okay because you’re trying to raise awareness,” Schrock says. “So, what it comes down to is, Facebook is trying to determine the intent of the person who is posting.” This latest change in policy, Schrock says, stems from an effort a few months ago to raise awareness about breastfeeding and the photos that were posted offended some users.

“Facebook has made the clarification now that the bare breast is not allowed unless you’re breast feeding or unless you’re showing a nude statue which is considered art, then that’s okay,” Schrock says. “As far as mooning people and stuff like that, it goes back to the definition of pornography. It’s hard to define it but you know it when you see it.” The new rules help clarify what is and is not allowed on the website. Schrock says Facebook relies heavily on users reporting content which they think is inappropriate.

“The trouble is, what Facebook does is, they don’t actually actively police their users,” Schrock says. “They wait for someone to report that a user has violated the rules and then they look into it and make a decision based on the content there.” Schrock says users can also self-police the site and simply block content they don’t want to see or “unfriend” the people who routinely post it.

(Radio Iowa)

State Auditor review questions spending by four boards

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A review by the State Auditor’s office that questioned the spending of four boards under the Iowa Department of Public Health has led to changes in procedures. State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the process for buying electronics raised concerns during an audit. “Expenditures that were reimbursed to employees who had used their personal credit cards or made individual purchases of technology devices — including i-Pads, printers, scanners, laptops, G-P-S navigators, some cameras, a Kindle was in there, some wireless speakers — instead of going through the normal purchasing process.

The review involved the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, Iowa Dental Board, the Iowa Board of Medicine, and the Iowa Board of Nursing. “One particular individual, he has used his personal credit card to the tune of a little over 18-thousand dollars,” Mosiman say. “And when you are using your individual credit card, you can be earning reward points or other incentives that typically should be the property of the state for future savings instead of being the property of the individual. So, it’s not recommended practice.” She says individuals also paid some sale taxes that would not have been paid through the state purchasing process.

Mosiman says failing to follow state procedures left the devices open to not having the proper protection. “Without going through the department’s I-T department they did not have the necessary security for data and protection that is necessary, specifically in health boards,” Mosiman explains. The report covers purchases made from July 1st of 2011 to August 31st of 2014. Mosiman says most of the purchases took place in 2011 and 2012. The Iowa Pharmacy Board had reimbursements for equipment of more than 45-thousand-500 dollars.

“We’re questioning whether all of these pieces of equipment were necessary. Because as we interviewed or discussed the matter with different employees, some of the i-Pads did not perform all of the services that they needed for technology, so they still had to use their previously issued pieces of equipment,” Mosiman says. “So, we were questioning the public purpose for all of these pieces of equipment that were purchased.”

Mosiman says they also questioned why the Pharmacy Board paid the full cost of internet service for employees, which totaled more than 14-thousand dollars in the 2013 fiscal year. There were cellphone plans paid for by the state, when there were very few calls made on the plan. The State Auditor says her organization made several recommendations on changes to bring the boards into compliance with state rules. She says changes were made soon after her office started the review.

“I think once the realized that it is considered questionable, they put procedures into play to make sure they are doing a better job of that,” Mosiman says. “So, for the most part there was a favorable response to the recommendations within our report.” Mosiman says the problems surfaced in a routine review of the purchasing process for the boards.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., March 21st 2015

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — Police say Slipknot guitarist Mickael Thomson has been charged in Iowa after a fight with his brother earlier this month in which Thomson was stabbed. Clive Police Department Chief Michael Venema said Friday an investigation found both 41-year-old Thomson and his brother, 35-year-old Andrew Thomson, were responsible for the March 11th assault that hospitalized the pair. Both have been charged with disorderly conduct by fighting. The metal band Slipknot formed in the 1990s in Des Moines.

TABOR, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two 14-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed a southwestern Iowa home. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the teens were charged with first-degree arson and are being held in the Council Bluffs Juvenile Detention Center. They are accused of starting several fires that ravaged a Tabor home March 15th.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — One of the oldest churches in Fort Dodge has been demolished. The Messenger reports that demolition of the Full Gospel Lighthouse Church began last week. The church has a cornerstone dated 1903. Crews were instructed to demolish the building because of problems with the foundation.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Ally Disterhoft scored 18 points, freshman Whitney Jennings had 16 and third-seeded Iowa held off American 75-67 Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City. Melissa Dixon had 15 points with four 3s for the lady Hawkeyes, who will host 11th-seeded Miami in the second round Sunday.

Three arrested on drug charges in Crawford County

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A search warrant executed late Thursday night in Manilla, resulted in the arrest of three individuals on drug charges. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office reported today (Friday), that the search by officers with the Manilla Police Dept. and Crawford County Deputies took place at around 11-p.m. Thursday, at 578 7th Ave in Manilla.

As the result of the search warrant, Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia was seized. Authorities arrested 22-year old Brandon Lee Schechinger and 22-year old Steve Ray McClelland, both of Manilla, for Possession of a controlled Substance/Marijuana, and Possess of Drug Paraphernalia. Schechinger faces additional charges that include: Possession with intent to deliver a control substance (Marijuana) a class D Felony, and for Distributing a controlled substance to a person under legal age 18, a Class B Felony.

The third person arrested was 19-year old Myranda Lynn Jacobson, of Manilla. Her charge was for Distributing a controlled substance to a person under legal age 18, a Class B Felony.

The Young Professionals of Atlantic Seeking Nominations for excellence.

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Young Professionals of Atlantic (YPA) will host the 2nd annual awards luncheon on April 29th, 2015 and are seeking community-wide nominations for the awards. The awards are designed to recognize the achievements of young professionals who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and innovation in his/her profession and community.

The awards are open to any Young Professional that meets the following criteria: professional is aged 21-40 years old as of November 1, 2014, professional is employed by a Chamber member business or organization and professional resides within Cass County. Young Professionals will be nominated for their excellence in 4 different categories: YP Newcomer, YP Entrepreneur, YP Business Leader, YP Public Servant. There will also be one YP Choice Workplace award given.

The YP Choice Workplace Award recognizes companies who effectively attract, retain and develop young professionals. Individuals can nominate their company or another company. Companies must be Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce members. Check the membership directory at www.atlanticiowa.com for eligibility.

To nominate: go to www.atlanticiowa.com for a nomination form or stop into the Atlantic Area Chamber Of Commerce Office (102 Chestnut, Atlantic, IA 50022) to pick up a nomination form. All nomination forms must be submitted by Monday, April 6th at noon. The YPA nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee.  The Award Recipients in all 4 categories and the YP Choice Award will be recognized and celebrated at the April 29th Awards Luncheon.

*************

The Young Professionals of Atlantic is a social group with no membership dues or required meetings. Their mission is to connect, engage and attract young leaders into the community while promoting the greater Atlantic area. Members are young professionals between the ages of 21-40. Any interested individuals can contact Kevin Wieser, YPA President at 712-243-1336 for information.

Atlantic men arrested on drug charges

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two Atlantic men have been arrested on drug-related charges. The Atlantic Police Department reports 19-year old Nicholas Zimmerman was taken into custody on a Cass County warrant for Possession of a controlled substance, and Gathering where marijuana is used. And, 18-year old Caleb Woodard was arrested on a warrant for Controlled substance violation, Possession of a controlled substance/1st offense, and gathering where marijuana is used. Woodward was subsequently charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance/marijuana – 1st offense, and Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both men were booked into the Cass County Jail.

(Update) 3 injured in Atlantic collision

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(In an update to our story at 8-a.m.) Three people suffered minor, or non-life threatening injuries during an accident this (Friday) morning, in Atlantic. The Atlantic P-D says the accident happened at around 7:35-a.m. at the intersection of 6th and Maple Streets.

Ric Hanson/photo

Ric Hanson/photo

Authorities say a van driven by Margaret Trotter, of Atlantic, was traveling south on Maple and had entered the intersection with 6th Street, when she struck a pickup driven by Paul Hohenberger, of Atlantic, that was headed westbound on 6th. Hohenberger stopped at the intersection, but then proceeded west when he was hit. The man was cited for Failure to Yield from a stop sign.

Hohenberger reported minor injuries, but refused transport to the hospital. A passenger in the van was transported by Medivac Ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital, while a second passenger in the vehicle and Trotter went to the facility in a private vehicle.

Damage from the collision amounted to $14,500.

Oakland woman injured in Pott. County crash

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A two-vehicle accident in Pottawattamie County Thursday evening resulted in one of the drivers being transported to a hospital in Council Bluffs. According to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department, the accident happened at around 6-p.m. near Carson, at the intersection of Highway 59 and Dogwood Avenue.

Authorities say two vehicles were traveling north on Highway 59 when one of the drivers signaled to turn right into Dogwood, but instead turned left. The other vehicle went to pass on the left and struck the turning vehicle on the side.

The driver of the vehicle that was struck, 24-year-old Kali Kelly, of Oakland, was transported by Carson Rescue to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The other driver, 30-year-old Megan Jefferson of Treynor, was not injured. Both women were wearing seat belts. Officials say Kelly was cited for failure to give a continuous signal.

Fire at Des Moines towing company destroys 6 vehicles

News

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a fire at a Des Moines towing company has destroyed six vehicles worth more than $1.5 million. A Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials spotted the blaze around 10:15 p.m. Thursday at Hanifen Towing Co. Emergency crews from Delaware Township, Saylor Township, Altoona and Johnston responded to the fire and controlled it in less than two hours. Fire officials remained on the scene Friday morning to monitor for hot spots.

Six vehicles inside the building were ruined in the fire. No injuries were reported. Officials say the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Despite the fire, Hanifen Towing opened for business Friday.

Des Moines officials head to Omaha for NCAA tourney tips

News, Sports

March 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A delegation from Iowa’s largest city is in Nebraska’s largest city today (Friday) for the N-C double-A men’s basketball tournament, but they’re not at the CenturyLink Center just to watch the games. Deb Ward, with the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau, says it’s a learning experience for everyone involved in putting on the Big Dance. “We’ve got a contingency from Des Moines coming in,” Ward says. “Des Moines is going to host this thing next year. They’ve never done that before so they’re sort of looking to Omaha for some expertice. Same thing with Wichita. We’ve had a contingency from Wichita. They’re hosting it in a couple of years.”

Omaha has hosted several big sporting events in recent years, including the U-S Olympic swimming trials in 2012. With huge crowds expected this weekend, Ward says it’s an opportunity for the Omaha-Council Bluffs area to shine — and to enjoy an economic boost.  “Back in 2012, we saw a 31% increase in hotel demand over the year prior,” Ward says. “I can imagine it’s going to be that and more.” Ward says most of the 93-hundred hotel rooms in Douglas County, Nebraska, are booked this weekend and those in surrounding areas are filling up. She says area businesses are preparing for large crowds.

“The beauty of this is, of course, there’s things to do between the games and there’s the Saturday off day when we’ll have a lot of visitors looking for things to do,” Ward says. “They’ll be out exploring the bars and restaurants and shops and attractions which is a bonus.” The Henry Doorly Zoo and the Durham Museum are expecting an increase in visitors, along with Omaha’s Old Market area, and the casinos on the Iowa side of the river.

(Radio Iowa)