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IDPH Announces First West Nile Virus Death Since 2010

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Tuesday) announced the first West Nile virus death in Iowa since 2010, an elderly (81 years of age and older) individual from Northwest Iowa. Testing at the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has confirmed 33 cases of West Nile virus in Iowa, with several more under investigation. This is more than double the number of cases reported last year at this time.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “Though autumn weather is beginning, this death and continuing reports of West Nile virus cases are reminders that mosquitoes are still biting and Iowans should still be mindful of that when outdoors.” IDPH

Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over 60 years of age are at greatest risk for severe disease.

Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2015, 14 cases of West Nile virus were reported to IDPH. Previous to this year, the last death caused by West Nile virus was in 2010, and there were two deaths that year. For more information about West Nile virus, visit idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/west-nile-virus.

(Update) Omaha woman hit by car in Council Bluffs

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Council Bluffs Police say a Nebraska woman is in critical but stable condition after being struck by a car Monday night, in Council Bluffs. Authorities say 33-year old Sharee Rhoades, of Omaha, was transported to Creighton CHI in Omaha, after she was hit. Authorities said Rhoades was struck by a 2008 Acura as she was walking east on 9th Avenue at around 7:45-p.m.

The driver of the car, 54-year old Tamara Chamberland, of Blue Springs, MO.,  said she noticed Rhoades walking in the roadway, but was unable to take evasive action in time to avoid striking her. Chamberland was not injured in the crash.

Preliminary investigation indicates that neither speed nor driver impairment appear to be factors in the accident. The Council Bluffs Police Department traffic unit is conducting an investigation into the incident. Any witnesses are asked to call 712-328-4948.

(9-a.m. News)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/25/2016

News, Podcasts

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Man sentenced to 50 years for killing father after theft

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A judge has sentenced a Council Bluffs man to 50 years in prison for killing his father. The Daily Nonpareil reports Sean Schendel was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree theft, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and obstruction of justice.

Schendel admitted killing Robert Schendel in August 2015 after his father realized his son had stolen $100 from him. During an altercation, Schendel shot his father with a handgun. He then transferred $15,000 from his father’s bank account to his own and drove his father’s minivan to Colorado, where he was arrested in Sterling. Prosecutors say he went to Colorado to buy marijuana from a dispensary to celebrate his 21st birthday.

County Attorney Matt Wilber called it, “A very sad deal.”

Insurance Commissioner files charges accusing false Medicare supplement information

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart has filed charges against two agencies which allegedly sent out mailings to Iowans that misrepresented the terms of insurance plans meant to supplement Medicare. Insurance Division spokesman, Chance McElhaney, says the charges with filed against Cynthia Fitzgerald of the Robert J. Stillwell Agency in Pennsylvania and Senior Direct, Incorporated of Texas.

“As Iowans are making these choices, they need to have the right set of facts in front of them, and so when we see something like this that is misleading to Iowans, we work to put an end to it as soon as possible,” McElhaney. Fitzgerald and the Robert J. Stillwell Agency face four charges and Senior Direct faces three. He says the two contacted thousands of Iowans. “The mailings from Fitzgerald had over 30-thousand mailings to Iowans and the target leads of the division Senior Direct had also a lot of other mailings that went out containing misleading language,” McElhaney says.

The two will get a chance to answer the allegations of the Insurance Division. He says they both will have a hearing. Those hearings are set for December. McElhanney says some Iowans raised concerns about the mailings, and that is exactly what they advise people in their insurance fraud education.”We tell people to ask questions when you get unsolicited emails or phone calls. Ask questions, make sure the information is accurate. If something doesn’t seem right, please let us know,” McElhaney says. “We really encourage Iowans contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program — SHIIP as it is better known — contact them if you have questions, if you aren’t sure if this is correct.”

He says SHIIP is a good resource for these types of questions. He say you can contact SHIIP to get free and unbiased information about Medicare and Medicare Supplements. McElhaney says Medicare supplement insurance is an important tool for managing health care costs. “It can be a big difference financially for seniors if they either don’t choose a Medicare supplement, or they chose the wrong one,” according to McElhaney.

If you have questions you can go to the Iowa Insurance Division website (www.iid.state.ia.us), or call SHIIP at 800-351-4664. Or visit the SHIIP website at: www.therightcalliowa.gov.

Local Residents Honored for Volunteer Work

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS) report local residents Connie Weichman and Dick Hensley recently accepted an award on behalf of Cass County communities for 15 years of local participation with the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). Hensley also received an individual award for 10 years of volunteer work with the program. SHIIP Director Kris Gross presented the awards. 15yrhensleywiechmanngross_cass

SHIIP offers confidential, one-on-one counseling throughout Iowa from trained volunteers to help seniors make informed decisions about Medicare and other health coverage options.

SHIIP appointments are available now during the open enrollment period. To make an appointment with a SHIIP counselor, call Carole Schuler at 243-7545.

Creston woman arrested on drug charges, Monday

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Union County woman was arrested on drug charges, Monday morning. Creston Police say 31-year old Patricia McFail, of Creston, was arrested at 800 W. Taylor Street on charges of Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. McFail was later released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 10/25/2016

News, Podcasts

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Fewer than half of Iowans in workforce have college degrees, technical certificate

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A task force will meet later this week in Des Moines to discuss how to encourage more Iowans to go to college or get additional training. Fewer than half of Iowa adults have a college degree or some sort of technical certification beyond a high school diploma.  Beth Townsend is director of Iowa Workforce Development agency. “The main issue identified by Iowa’s employers today is finding enough qualified and skilled workers who are ready and able to work,” Townsend says, “many of which, as we’ve identified, require education and training beyond high school.”

Iowa’s governor recently set the goal of  having 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce getting technical training or going to college after high school. Townsend says educators as well as  business and labor leaders have agreed to serve on the task force. “The Future Ready Iowa Alliance initiative is something that we firmly believe is necessary in order to develop the workforce we are going to need in the next 10 years,” Townsend says.

The group will address particular concerns about how minorities, disabled Iowans and former prisoners are able to get the training they need to secure jobs in the future. The “Future Ready Iowa Alliance” will meet for the first time this Friday. The governor has asked this task force to come up with a “strategic plan” by October 31st of NEXT year.

(Radio Iowa)

Milling work to begin on Atlantic streets and alleys this week

News

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic City Administrator John Lund reports Henningsen Construction plans to start milling streets tomorrow (Wednesday), as part of the City’s 2016 Street and Alley Improvement Project. Lund says the best case scenario would be to start paving 10th Street close to November 1st. Once crews get 10th done, Lund says they may leave for a few days to go do work in Anita job and let PCS (Precision Concrete Service, Inc., of Atlantic) stay ahead of them. After that they would come back and do the alleys/parking lots.

Earlier this year, the Atlantic City Council passed a Resolution “Authorizing bids for the 2016 Street and Alley Improvements.” The projects were finalized for the Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Improvement plan. Slightly more than 1.085-million dollars for the projects is being financed by the 2016 bond. $500,-thousand dollars is being used from the Local Option Sales Tax Capital Improvement Streets fund to pay for the remaining projects.

Those projects include:

  • 10th St. from Sunnyside Lane to the Hospital Drive (3″ Hot Melt Asphalt [HMA] Overlay).
  • Olive St. from 7th to 10th (3″ HMA)
  • Maple St. overlay from 9th to 10th
  • Birch St. overlay from 2nd to 3rd
  • Walnut/Elm alley from 4th to 5th
  • 3rd to 4th St. alley (Chestnut to Poplar)

The Alley’s include those from:

  • 4th to 5th Sts. (between Walnut & Elm)
  • 3rd to 4th Sts. (between Oak & Hazel)
  • 8th to 9th Sts. (between Chestnut & Walnut)
  • 2nd to 3rd Sts.(Between Maple & Linn)
  • 8th to 9th Sts. (Between Maple & Linn, and Poplar to Locust)
  • 7th and 8th Sts. (Between Poplar & Locust)
  • Alley by Gade Insurance
  • All alleys and downtown parking lots.