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Iowa panel considers bill on breast density info

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Legislation that would require facilities offering mammograms to also give patients information on breast density will be considered by state lawmakers.  Democratic Rep. Helen Miller of Fort Dodge is the leading sponsor of the bill, which is scheduled for debate by a House subcommittee, today (Wednesday).

Women who have dense breast tissue have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women with more fatty tissue, and it can be harder for a mammogram to catch a possible tumor.  The advocacy group Are You Dense says five states have established similar laws, including New York, Texas and California.  A recent study by the American Cancer Society showed that women with denser breasts had the same chances of breast cancer survival as patients with less dense breasts.

Program offers $2,000 tax credit to Iowa home buyers

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new program announced Tuesday by the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) is designed to provide tens of thousands of dollars in federal tax relief to hundreds of first time home buyers in the state. IFA Executive Director Dave Jamison says a program of this type hasn’t been offered in Iowa since the mid-1990s. The Take Credit! Mortgage Credit Certificate program allows eligible home buyers to qualify for up to $2,000 a year in federal income tax credits through the life of the mortgage. “Potentially, that’s a $60,000 difference to somebody,” Jamison says.

Eligibility for participation in the program varies by county, “But, we can roughly say if the household income for two is under $70,000 and the home purchase price is (under) $250,000, you’re in the ballpark,” Jamison says. The IFA has allocated $50 million toward the program.  “We expect that will help approximately 1,000 Iowans and it will run until the $50 million is allocated — or about a year is what we expect,” Jamison said.

About 100 lenders in Iowa are participating in the program. More information is available online at iowafinanceauthority.gov

(Radio Iowa)

7AM Newscast 02-06-2013

News, Podcasts

February 6th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Tourism brings in big bucks for Pott. County & Council Bluffs

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Iowa say tourism spending in the State in 2011 amounted to more than $430-million in state and local taxes, with spending in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County amounting to nearly $300-million that same year, the latest year for which figures are available. The Omaha World-Herald reports the number of employees in the county with tourism-related jobs topped 3,200 with a payroll of more than $52 million.

Iowa lawmakers got a chance to see the numbers at a statewide tourism convention held last week in Des Moines. More than 100 state legislators visited the convention at the Iowa State Fair Grounds, where dozens of Iowa communities showcased their attractions, events and businesses.

Tourism officials say without tourism spending, Iowans would have to pay more in taxes to maintain the current level of state services.

Felony for women who deliver drug-addicted babies

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Women could be charged with a felony if their newborn tests positive for drugs under legislation that has cleared an Iowa House committee. Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, is the bill’s sponsor. “My hope is with this bill that it will force mom to get some treatment,” Baudler says. “We know they’re not going to put ‘em in prison for something like this. That’s just the justice system, the way it is today.” Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the bill isn’t a “comprehensive answer” to the problem.

“If you have a father that’s addicted and a mother that’s not, but there’s meth smoked actually in the home, it will be detected in the child,” Absul-Samad says. “So the then mother gets blamed for it, but the father then walks away?” Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, says the threat of having newborns tested for drugs might prompt some pregnant women to have their babies outside a hospital. “A woman who’s addicted to drugs, when she goes into labor, she may — to the extent that she thinks about it at all — she would choose to have her baby in an alley or in a closet somewhere rather than risk going to the hospital,” Wolfe said. Representative Jarad Klein, a Republican from Keota, responded “I will continue to support this bill because I believe we can save a life,” Klein said. “And if we can save one life, that is a win in my book.”

Representative Tom Shaw, a Republican from Laurens, is a former a police chief who made drug arrests. “I have had numerous drug users come up to me and…actually thank me for arresting them because without law enforcement involvement, they didn’t take their treatment seriously,” Shaw says. “…It wasn’t until they had the threat of prison time or sustained jail time that they actually went into treatment with the attitude that they had to clean themselves up.” Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, a Democrat from Des Moines, adopted a boy who was born addicted to drugs. “But I don’t think this bill would have detered his parents, especially his mother, from using drugs. I think what it would have done is forced her to abort him,” Gaines says. “…I don’t think this is going to do anything but force more women into back alley abortions.”

The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee on a 15 to six vote.

(Radio Iowa)

Montgomery & Page County EMA’s offer Storm Spotter training class Feb. 26th

News, Weather

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Hamman say that Montgomery and Page County Emergency Management Agencies are (EMA)  sponsoring the annual Storm Spotter training class in Red Oak this year. Hamman says due to cuts at the National Weather Service, the two EMA’s have grouped together to assist them and will switch between Montgomery and Page counties to host the class yearly. Montgomery in odd years and Page in even years. The class is open to the public and free of charge.
The Storm Spotter Training Class will take place Tuesday, Feb. 26th,  from 7- to 9-pm at the Montgomery Co Historical Center in Red Oak. If you have any questions contact Brian Hamman at 712-623-3749.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 6th 2013

News

February 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of sexual exploitation of children. Acting U.S. Attorney Sean Berry says 23-year-old Lucas Robinson pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. He also was convicted of one count of possession of child pornography and one count of extortion.

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Authorities continue to investigate the death of a toddler found unresponsive in a southwest Iowa residence. The state Department of Public Safety says the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is waiting for autopsy results to determine the circumstances surrounding the child’s injuries and death. Police received a 911 call Friday about an unresponsive child at a residence in Pacific Junction near the Nebraska state line.

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — A park and trail in northeast Iowa that’s close to where two cousins were last seen alive is being renamed in their memory. Waterloo television station KWWL reports the park at Meyers Lake in Evansdale will now be called Angels’ Park in memory of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins. The trail around the park will be called Trail of Angels.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Movie buffs will soon have great place to watch films in downtown Iowa City. The nonprofit group FilmScene announced Tuesday that a cinema and lounge will open this fall after extensive city-backed renovations to the building that housed the popular Vito’s bar.

Iowa authorities investigate toddler’s death

News

February 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — Authorities continue to investigate the death of a toddler found unresponsive at a residence in Mills County. The state Department of Public Safety says the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is waiting for autopsy results to determine the circumstances surrounding the child’s injuries and death. Police received a 911 call Friday about an unresponsive child at a residence in Pacific Junction.

The 13-month-old was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha with extensive injuries. The child died Saturday. Authorities have not released the child’s name.

Corning man arrested Tuesday on a fugitive warrant out of Texas

News

February 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports an Adams County man was arrested early this (Tuesday) morning for being a fugitive from justice. Brothers says at around 12: 20-a.m., officers with the Clarinda P-D apprehended 36-year old James Keith Bost, of Corning. Bost eas taken into custody in the area of 18th & Lincoln Streets, on a fugitive from justice warrant from the State of Texas. Bost was wanted by Texas authorities for felony possession of marijuana.

He was transported to the Page County Jail and held on a $10,000 cash only bond while awaiting extradition to Texas.

Lawmakers agree to $11.6 million for mental health

News

February 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State lawmakers have reached a bipartisan deal to provide $11.6 million to counties to fund mental health services in the current budget year. Sen. Jack Hatch says Tuesday that Republican and Democratic lawmakers have agreed to the funding plan, which will help counties with expenses as the state transitions to a new regional mental health treatment system. The funding for services through June 30 is substantially more than Gov. Terry Branstad proposed, but not as much as counties requested.

The Legislature approved changes to Iowa’s system last May, shifting from a system run by counties to a more regional approach in which counties pool their money. The new approach was meant to minimize differences between urban and rural areas.