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Officials in Boone to shut down Mamie Doud Eisenhower museum

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in the central Iowa city of Boone have announced plans to close the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace, citing waning revenue in recent years to the museum.

The quaint, yellow clapboard house is where Mamie Doud was born in 1896. As first lady, she often returned with her husband, WWII general and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The home now serves as a museum filled with memorabilia from Mamie Eisenhower’s life.

Boone County Historical Society Director Mara MacKay tells station KCCI that the home is in need of repairs, and declining revenue has left the organization unable to cover those costs.

MacKay says fundraising events intended to help have fallen short.

ISU professor’s research finds ‘seismic shift’ in teen sleeping habits

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

New research from an Iowa State University psychology professor finds smartphones are causing a “seismic shift” in sleep patterns among teenagers. I-S-U’s Zlatan Krizan and a colleague at San Diego State University found teens who spend more than two hours a day on their smartphones get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night.

“I’ve studied sleep for a few years now and it seemed that the technological revolution is having unprecedented effects on sleep and especially among younger generations,” Krizan says, “the ‘iGen’ that grew up with internet and smart phones.” Krizan and his colleague reviewed surveys of more than 360-thousand American teenagers. They found an “abrupt shift” in sleep patterns, just as more teenagers began using smartphones to text and gain access to social media sites. Krizan says the sleep deprivation leads to a “lack of energy and motivation.”

“Research with children has also found that when they’re able to improve sleep among students in school, you have less auto accidents on the roads, you have less conflict among students, better focus,” Krizan says. “Sleep is one of those things that really reaches into every single corner of the way our bodies and brains work, which is what makes it so important.” Health professionals recommend that teenagers get about nine hours of sleep each night. Krislan’s new research on teen sleeping habits has been published in the journal “Sleep Medicine”.

(Radio Iowa)

SE IA couple arrested for child endangerment causing death

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A man and woman from southwest Iowa were arrested today (Thursday) in connection with the Nov. 9th, 2016 death of their biological 17-month old child. Officials with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) report 29-year old Ambrashia Marie Chrzan, and 36-year old Anthony Lamont McCoy, of Riverside, were taken into custody on felony warrants for Child Endangerment Resulting in Death.

On November 9, 2016, the child, identified only by the initials “A.M.”, was discovered unresponsive in her crib by her mother, Ambrashia Chrzan.  Chrzan and Anthony McCoy were identified as the biological parents and the sole caretakers responsible for care and feeding of A.M.

On November 10, 2016, an autopsy was done on A.M. by a pathologist at the University of Iowa Hospital’s Decedent Care Unit.  A.M’s death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death was undetermined while malnutrition and neglect significantly contributed to the death.  At the time of the autopsy, A.M.’s body weight was eleven (11) pounds and the pathologist found A.M. to be in a state of malnutrition.

Ambrashia Chrzan and Anthony McCoy are currently being housed in the Washington County Jail.  If convicted of the Class-B felony, both face up to no more than 50 years confinement.

A joint investigation leading to their arrest was conducted by the Iowa DCI, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Iowa Attorney General, and the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Backyard chicken trend leads to more disease infections

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The trend of raising backyard chickens is causing a soaring number of illnesses from poultry-related diseases. Since January, nearly 1,000 people have contracted salmonella poisoning from chickens and ducks in 48 states. More than 200 were hospitalized and one person died. The Centers for Disease Control says that toll was four times higher than in 2015.

Experts say a big factor is people who treat their birds like pets by kissing or snuggling them and letting them walk around indoors. Poultry can carry salmonella bacteria in their intestines that can be shed in their feces. The bacteria can attach to feathers and dust and brush off on shoes or clothing. But the CDC says illnesses can be prevented with proper handling, including washing hands after handling the birds.

Rural survey: Farm foreclosures over next 5 years a concern

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years. The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Water mains to be flushed in Elk Horn, Friday (10/20/17)

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The City of Elk Horn (IA) says crews will be performing routine maintenance by flushing the water mains this Friday. Residents and patrons of the water system should check for cloudy water before cooking, doing laundry or bathing. If the water appears cloudy, let it run for a short period or until clear. Call 712-250-1273 with any questions or concerns.

Audubon man arrested Wed. for Disorderly Conduct

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports 19-year old Travis Theodore Wolff, of Audubon, was arrested at around 5:30-p.m. Wednesday. Wolff was charged with Disorderly Conduct following an incident that occurred at Highway 71 and Mantz Avenue in Audubon. He was transported to the Audubon County Jail later released following an appearance before the Magistrate where he pled guilty and was fined.

Tips for parents on keeping kids’ cavities at bay during Halloween

News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Costumed trick-or-treaters will soon be hitting Iowa’s sidewalks and parents might be able to use a few tips about how to help their kids scare away cavities this Halloween. Ashley Aubry, a registered dental hygienist, says the bacteria inside our mouths is probably more excited than children about candy because it feeds on sugar, producing a weak acid — and that acid is what contributes to cavities.  Aubry says, “It may be a good idea to divide the candy out and make sure they only eat the candy they like and make sure that they only eat it after a meal, as a snack, and if they do eat that snack, make sure they brush right afterwards.”

Not all candies are created equal. Sticky, gummy and hard candies can stay on teeth longer, giving bacteria a longer time to snack. According to the American Dental Association, chocolate is likely the best option for children because it washes off teeth more easily than some of the other types of sweets. Also ideal are alternative treats like fruits, veggies or popcorn. She says parents need to restrict access to the candy, otherwise kids may gobble it for hours on end. “Whether it’s sucking on a hard piece of candy like a Jolly Rancher or eating a bag full of gummy bears,” Aubry says, “the key thing is to make sure that they don’t consume the food all day and that they take the time to brush and drink plenty of water because without, that sticky, chewy food will stay on their teeth all day.”

Limit the stash of post-Halloween candy. Aubry suggest parents let children choose the candy they like best and then donate the rest. Also, the ADA recommends children and adults brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and floss once a day. Aubry is a clinical instructor at Creighton University’s School of Dentistry.

(Radio Iowa)

Send in the plows; Iowa DOT getting ready for winter

News, Weather

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

It’s been sunny and relatively warm with temperatures in the 60s and 70s this week, but Iowa Department of Transportation employees are busy preparing for winter. Craig Bargfrede is the DOT’s winter operations administrator. “In our world, October 15th is actually the official start of the winter season and that runs through April 15th,” Bargfrede says.

The agency’s 900 plows and other snow-moving equipment are being brought out of storage for tuneups and maintenance. “Making sure everything is functioning properly on the trucks, plows, blowers – we’re in the process of doing calibration on all of our spreaders to make sure the material is being dispensed properly and accurately across the board,” Bargfrede says.

Over the summer, the Iowa DOT stocked storage facilities with nearly 230-thousand tons of salt to use on roads this winter. “Our annual usage has been somewhere around 140-to-150-thousand tons,” Bargfrede says. “So, if we would have a normal winter season, we have enough salt today to cover our requirement.”

In the coming weeks, even when it’s sunny and dry, Iowans may see DOT trucks spraying brine on roads and bridges. Bargfrede says it’s a “proactive approach.” Spraying brine on areas prone to frost prevents the formation of an icy layer, which typically occurs on cold, clear nights.

(Radio Iowa)

11 Iowa projects to receive grants to help promote specialty crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today (Thursday) announced that eleven projects in Iowa have been selected to receive grant funding to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.  The Department received $282,032 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to support the program. Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, and producer groups were eligible to apply for funding. The maximum grant award from the Department to sub-grantees is $24,000 and administrative and indirect costs are not allowed.

Among the grant recipients in southwest Iowa, is:

Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) in Oakland, which received $23,991. The organization is working with New Tree School, local growers, and other partners, to create new markets for sales of locally-sourced and locally–propagated native oak trees.  They will first identify public and private lands with old-growth oak trees from which to harvest acorns. Project partners such as farmers and landowners with an interest in propagating oaks will be identified and trained in proper growing practices.

Southern Iowa Resource, Conservation & Development, in Creston, received a $23,968 grant  for a project aimed to draw the millennial demographic to farmers markets. Southern Iowa Resource, Conservation & Development will use text message marketing and Facebook advertising, to exclusively promote specialty crop farmers’ market vendors at area farmers’ markets, in addition to radio and newspaper ads.

Other recipients include: Lutheran Services in Iowa – $24,000; Iowa State University of Science and Technology – $23,750; Iowa State University of Science and Technology- $23,968; Allamakee New Beginnings, Inc. dba Iowa Food Hub – $21,198; The James Gang dba Iowa Valley Global Food Project – $23,331; University of Northern Iowa – $17,186; Practical Farmers of Iowa – $24,000; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Johnson County Extension- $20,764; and, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program – $24,000.

Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said “The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program has supported a wide variety of projects here in Iowa in the past several years to promote locally grown products and we are excited to get another round of funding that will support food safety, research and marketing efforts.  Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to local foods and other products.”

“Specialty Crops” that are eligible under the program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  The funds not passed through to Iowa organizations will be used by the Department to administer the grant. Grant funds will be used for projects that benefit and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops industry as a whole, and cannot be for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.