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Iowa legislation mandates breast density notice


February 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill being considered by Iowa lawmakers would require that women who get mammogram exams would later be given a written statement about breast tissue density. Experts say dense breast tissue can make it harder for a mammogram to catch a possible tumor and may increase the risk of breast cancer. Bills are being considered in the Iowa House and Senate that would require Iowa’s Department of Public Health to adopt rules that breast density data would be included in mammogram reports to patients and physicians.

Dubuque Sen. Pam Jochum says the information would give women an extra sense of security. But some doctors say it could needlessly worry women and the state should leave such matters to physicians.

Construction worker causes lockdown at C. Bluffs Google facility


February 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A construction worker at the Google Data Center on the south side of Council Bluffs was cited Friday for 3rd degree Harassment, following an investigation into threats that caused the facility to be locked down for nearly an hour. Sgt. Chad Meyers with the Council Bluffs Police Department told the Daily NonPareil that authorities were called to the Data Center at around 9 a.m., Friday.

Meyers said an argument between 21-year-old Dontell Rowland, who was working construction at the location, and other construction employees was initially thought to have escalated to the point that Rowland threatened someone with a gun. Roland left the site and was pulled over by police, who searched his vehicle and home – per Rowland’s consent – and found no weapon.

Meyers said police later learned that Rowland had not threatened to use a weapon, but had threatened physical violence.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Feb. 1st 2014


February 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press….

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A top manager at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says he was asked to resign from his job. Chuck Corell, head of the conservation and recreation division, tells the Des Moines Register he was asked to submit his resignation Wednesday by Bruce Trautman, the agency’s deputy director. DNR confirmed Friday it had received resignations from Corell and Cindy Axne, head of the management services division.

MARION, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Linn County are looking for a man they say posed as a law enforcement officer and robbed a woman. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office says the robbery Thursday night involved a driver on Highway 13 near Marion.

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) — The photographers who line up at a Mississippi River lock to snap images of eagles are getting help from a man with a giant slingshot that flings dead fish into the open water. Ken Kester, who built the contraption, calls it a “fish launcher.” Kester sets up the slingshot at Lock and Dam 14 in Le Claire, Iowa. He tells the Quad-City Times it can toss fish a couple hundred feet into the channel, where the water is calmer and eagles feel comfortable snatching up the meals.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The Number 23 Oklahoma Sooners are on the road today at Number 16 Iowa State in Big 12 basketball. OU and ISU are scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. in Ames.

County attorney says trooper won’t face charges


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Pottawattamie County attorney says a state trooper won’t face criminal charges in connection with the shooting of a man last December. The Omaha World-Herald reports county attorney Matt Wilber announced Friday that trooper Tim Sieleman wouldn’t be charged in connection with the Dec. 1 shooting.

Sieleman shot 28-year-old Michael Lee, of Carter Lake, after an incident that began when the trooper stopped the man for not having license plates on a truck later determined to have been stolen.

After a chase, Sieleman rammed the pickup truck Lee was driving. Later, Sieleman was on foot when he shot at Lee as his pickup was coming toward the trooper. Lee suffered an arm wound. Lee has pleaded not guilty to interference with official acts and assaulting a police officer.

Iowa DNR: Men illegally harvested channel catfish


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) — Five men have been charged with illegally harvesting channel catfish in southwest Iowa. The state Department of Natural Resources says the men were seen on Jan. 19 loading catch onto a truck. Officials say it’s illegal to keep game fish from the Missouri River on a commercial fishing license.

They are each charged with 18 counts of illegal method of take. They each face thousands of dollars in fines. The men are 18-year-old Larkin Achenbach, of Pacific Junction; 57-year-old Lester Achenbach, of Thurman; 54-year-old Leland Achenbach, of Thurman; 50-year-old Frankie “Lyle” Achenbach, of Riverton; and 79-year-old James Achenbach, of Thurman.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission assisted in the investigation. A court date has been scheduled on Feb. 18.

Lenox School restricts student activity due to a “Situation”


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Lenox report the Lenox Community Schools were asked not to let students outside for about an hour this (Friday) afternoon. In a press release, authorities said “For a short time today around noon, the police department was dealing with a situation about 2 blocks north of the school. We were looking for an individual as part of our investigation. We did not believe this person presented any threat to the school at any time. However in order to ensure the highest degree of safety for our students, we asked the school to not allow the students outside the building for approximately one hour while we conducted our search.”

Officials say when authorities determined no threat existed, the school was immediately notified and resumed normal function. Police did not describe the precautions as a “lockdown” of the school.

Court: DOT owes subcontractors for rest stop work


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says the Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for paying three subcontractors after they completed work on state projects in 2011 but were never paid by the general contractor hired by the state.  The case centers on improvements made to Interstate 80 rest stops in Adair County. The DOT hired Universal Concrete Ltd. as the general contractor which in turn hired three subcontractors to provide equipment and concrete.

The three subcontractors, owed in excess of $32,000, sued the DOT but lost in district court and appealed. The appeal presents the first opportunity for the high court to decide whether a 1988 law requires the DOT to pay subcontractors shortchanged by a general contractor.

The court determined DOT should pay the subcontractors and any reasonable attorney fees.

Cass Supervisors approve SWIPCO agreement & table Regs pertaining to Radon control


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Friday) approved a contract with SWIPCO (the Southwest Iowa Planning Council), to provide and perform necessary services to carry out formal adoption of the local Hazard Mitigation Plan for rural Cass County and the eight cities located within the County. Action on the matter was postponed last week because there were some changes and conditions to the contract that needed to be made. The total cost of the project is $53,000, with the County’s in-kind share amounting to $7,950.

The Supervisors however tabled approval of the regulations for “Radon Control Methods,” which were passed and adopted earlier this week by the Cass County Board of Health. The Supervisors wanted more time to review the regulations and are expected to act on approving them during their meeting on Feb. 6th.

Supervisor Gaylord Schelling, who is the Board’s representative on the County Board of Health, said there really isn’t a radon problem in Cass County, but there is in other parts of the State. Testing for radon is required prior to the sale of homes. Supervisor Duane McFadden had the test done when he sold his home. He said it cost about $1,700-to $1,800, which was covered the installation of equipment and the test itself.

The equipment remains in the house, usually in the basement, and serves as a precautionary means to evacuate the colorless, odorless radioactive gas from the home through a ventilation system. It’s meant as a precaution even if no radon is detected. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said smaller test kits are also available at most hardware stores. After a few days of monitoring, the kit is sent to a company that evaluates the results.

Schelling said if the initial test show there is no problem with radon, installation of the more expensive equipment to remove it, is not necessary. Rieken said the need for radon testing arises because it is a carcinogen that can cause cancer.

The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 picocuries (peek-oh-cure’ees) per liter of air (pCi/L). Information from http://ia-radon.info/ lists the level of radon typically found for each county in Iowa. In Cass County, the average indoor radon levels as determined by radon test results from Air Chek, Inc, is 8.5 pCi/L.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the homes tested in Cass County showed levels above 4 pCi/l, 17-percent were between two and 3.9 pCi/L, while two-percent were under 2 pCi/L. The US EPA has set an action level of 4 pCi/L. At or above that level of radon, the EPA recommends you take corrective measures to reduce your exposure to radon gas.

Atlantic man arrested on an assault charge Thursday


January 31st, 2014 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest Thursday night of 25-year-old Andrew Nickum, of Atlantic. Nickum was taken into custody on a Cass County Warrant for Serious Assault stemming from an altercation that occurred early Saturday morning at 305 East 6th Street. He was booked into the  Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

Reminder of Emergency Snow Ordinance in Clarinda


January 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With the chance of accumulating snowfall to occur in Clarinda later this weekend the Clarinda Police Department is reminding citizens of the community about the emergency snow ordinance. The ordinance says: “No person shall park any motor vehicle or other apparatus upon any street of the city that will obstruct the removal of snow when there has been an accumulation of two (2) inches or more.”

“Any vehicle left parked on any street in violation of this ordinance may be impounded, and the registered owner of the vehicle will be subject to a $15.00 parking fine, and payment of all applicable towing and storage fees in order for the vehicle to be released.”